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Old 08-01-11, 04:48 PM   #1
jlb62
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Advice on first purchase

Hello, I know there are tons of these threads here, and I would like to first post and say that I'm sorry for creating another one, however, this thread will be tailored specifically to me, and I will use it to ask all the questions I need answers to throughout my buying process.

A bit about me as far as a bike would be concerned: I am 26 years old and about 6' tall (5'11'' to be exact). I plan on riding mostly on the roads around my neighborhood for recreation, exercise, fun, and also for some short commutes (<10 miles). Due to where I live, there will be times (not too often) that I need to be able to ride on dirt and maybe sometimes gravel driveways. I do enjoy athletics and competition so at times I may ride my bike pretty hard and fast.

My current experience with bikes: Well I haven't really ridden a bike since I was like 10, and then it was only cheap wally world bikes. I have no clue about brands and components which puts me at a disadvantage when looking at bikes and trying to decide what fits my style.

Budget: Right now i'm trying to figure out my exact budget, but I am planning on spending $600 or less. I know that may sound low to you, but for a first bike and the fact that I don't know if I will stick with it or not, I don't see why it wouldn't work. Also, I would have a hard time convincing my wife that bike is worth that much money. (she was shocked when she found out that bikes were $400 and $500, just to go with me to the LBS and see the $4,000 bikes lol). We also don't have a huge income, and it will prolly be some time before I have the money saved up.

Now its time for my first round of questions, I'm sure by now you have a good idea about what i'm looking at:

1. At the local bike shop, the guy pointed me toward a Specialized Crosstrail (the cheapest model) and the Giant Roam 1. Of course being about $100 cheaper, the Crosstrail is my current target if I want to go with a brand new bike at that store (they sell Giant and Specialized brands, while another local store that I havn't been too yet sells Trek and cannondale). If I saved the $100 on the crosstrail, what would I be missing? or would it be better to wait and save up another 100 for the roam?

2. If I decided to go with either of those bikes, I would like to know, are they durable and would they last me a good while, or with them being on the "cheap" side of REAL bikes, would they just feel like a wally world bike with a brand name?

3. I have been searching Craigslist looking for any awesome deals. Thinking of maybe going used and me not knowing much about bikes, I would first like to know if there are any brands I should watch out for or to avoid altogether?

Well that is all I have for now, I'm sorry it went so long, but I'll keep to this thread for any more questions I have later. I want to thank you in advance for any advice you give me. And maybe I can learn something about purchasing
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Old 08-01-11, 06:46 PM   #2
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The difference in the bikes that you looked at is in the components (mostly the drivetrain). Usually the more the bike costs, the better the components but that is not always the case as sometimes you do pay a little extra for the name. The most important thing is getting a test ride on the different bikes that you are interested in and getting the one that is the most comfortable to ride. Also, you may want to look at other models as there are good hybrids that start at around $300.00. If you get a change to pick up or read the newest issue of Bicycling Magazine, there is an issue toward the back of the mag where they test and recommend some hybrids in the under $400.00 price range.

Get some suggestions from others on this forum and then test ride each of the bikes that you are interested in. Besides a good fit, a bike also needs to have a WOW Factor. When you find the bike that gives you both, you know that its the one you are going to buy.
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Old 08-01-11, 09:49 PM   #3
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It's late for me but one difference I can think off the top of head btwn the two is that the base Crosstrail will not have a lockout front suspension (Sport version will, though, abt $100 more retail). The Roam 1 will have the lockout. Going from memory here, so double check your specs.

Given your riding conditions, it sounds like if you get something with a front suspension fork you will likely prefer the lockout since you'll be primarily on the road.

Off to sleep now, but maybe bumping your post to the top will elicit more replies.

Oh, and welcome!
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Old 08-02-11, 01:54 AM   #4
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Sure sounds like you need a hybrid to start with. And this is the place to get advise on the US market. Many brands makes equal bikes when it comes to components and geometry, so dont underrate good looks! Good luck!
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Old 08-02-11, 09:48 AM   #5
EsoxLucius
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For $330 you could get a Giant Cypress ST which is a very nice budget ride. For your application I don't think you really need a suspension fork. Another really nice ride within your budget would be the Jamis Coda for $550. As you might surmise, I'm partial to steel.

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/...st/7354/44066/
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...a/11_coda.html
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Old 08-02-11, 08:22 PM   #6
jlb62
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Thank you for all your responses. I looked at several of the bikes you have spoken of and found out about even more LBSs in my area which allow me to look, test, and check out each of the mentioned bikes. I guess first thing is getting a look at the bikes and getting a test ride for each of them... I hope they don't mind me riding all their bikes and then going to another LBS just to ride their selection.... I guess I will use the test rides to determine what I will end up buying.

Thanks again
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