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Old 08-16-11, 06:16 PM   #1
cdnbiker
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The best road/mountain bike for a good price

Hello,

I'm not sure if this is in the right forum, but here it goes:

I'm thinking of getting a bike that I can use for some light off-road/trail use, as well as road riding; a "hybrid", I'm guessing. I'm just getting into biking and was thinking of getting a Trek 3900 Disc. Does anyone know if this is a good beginner bike or if there is a better one for a better price?

Thanks for helping,

Peter
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Old 08-16-11, 06:40 PM   #2
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It's a tall order to find a bike that's great on both the trails and the street; you end up compromising on certain aspects to find a usable balance. IMHO the 3900 looks more geared to the trail than the street. If you're gonna do more trail riding, then it might be the perfect bike for you.

You might want to consider a bike with a lockout fork that will "lock out" the suspension, essentially turning it into a rigid fork for riding on the street. That said, if most of your riding is done on the street, you may not need suspension at all. If that's the case then you may also want to consider a bike with taller wheels (i.e., 700c vs. the Trek's 26 inchers).

If you're looking for a mountain bike that you can ride to and from the trails, the 3900 looks like a capable performer.
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Old 08-16-11, 07:12 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by irclean View Post
It's a tall order to find a bike that's great on both the trails and the street; you end up compromising on certain aspects to find a usable balance. IMHO the 3900 looks more geared to the trail than the street. If you're gonna do more trail riding, then it might be the perfect bike for you.

You might want to consider a bike with a lockout fork that will "lock out" the suspension, essentially turning it into a rigid fork for riding on the street. That said, if most of your riding is done on the street, you may not need suspension at all. If that's the case then you may also want to consider a bike with taller wheels (i.e., 700c vs. the Trek's 26 inchers).

If you're looking for a mountain bike that you can ride to and from the trails, the 3900 looks like a capable performer.
I'll be doing most of my riding on the street, irclean, but I'd like a bike that can handle off-road as well.

I did see a bike on the Trek website that had the "lock-out" suspension feature, but I can't remember which one it was.

Thanks for helping,

Peter

Edit: It looks like a few Trek bike have the lock-out suspension feature. The Kaitai model looks pretty good.

Last edited by cdnbiker; 08-16-11 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 08-16-11, 07:30 PM   #4
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I was in the market for exactly the same type bike and ended up getting a Giant Roan 1 which has 700c wheels but 40mm wide agressive Kenda tires. It has front lockable suspension with disc brakes and Sram X5 gearing. I have taken it off road on some single track entry/mid level trails and it has handled well. On the street it is solid.
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Old 08-16-11, 07:47 PM   #5
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I have 400 miles on my Giant Roam 1 and I love it more now than when I bought it a few months ago. I do probably 2/3 paved roads/trails and 1/3 off road trails. The Roam does about as good as can be expected on those diverse surfaces.

I think the 2012 models are just coming out, so you might look for a deal on a 2011.
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Old 08-17-11, 06:41 AM   #6
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Thanks, I just gave it a look. It looks like a very good bike that can handle road as well as trails.

Is the seat comfortable, or would I have to replace it later on?
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Old 08-17-11, 06:51 PM   #7
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It's comfy enough that I have no plans to change it.
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Old 08-17-11, 06:56 PM   #8
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what are you considering to be off-road riding?
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Old 08-18-11, 07:06 AM   #9
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what are you considering to be off-road riding?
Maybe some bumpy dirt paths and light trails as well as bumpy paved paths. I'm more worried about the suspension on the bike than anything else.
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Old 08-18-11, 02:34 PM   #10
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Maybe some bumpy dirt paths and light trails as well as bumpy paved paths. I'm more worried about the suspension on the bike than anything else.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, you may not even need suspension. Opinions vary, but until you start spending some big bucks, suspension is heavy and inefficient. If you're not riding on rough trails, traversing tree roots, boulders, and vertical drops, then you probably don't need suspension. Relatively fat tires, combined with proper riding style (knees bent; giving you your own built-in suspension) will give you all the cushion you need on the surfaces that you described.

In any case, you should test ride as many bikes as possible, and don't limit yourself to one manufacturer. Since you're Canadian, I might suggest bikes like the Norco Indie or Scene, Brodie Cohort, or something from the venerable Kona Dew lineup.
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Old 08-18-11, 06:30 PM   #11
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Maybe some bumpy dirt paths and light trails as well as bumpy paved paths. I'm more worried about the suspension on the bike than anything else.
Agree with irclean, if this is all your dirt riding will be you don't even need suspension, or disc brakes. What are your concerns about the suspension?

My Trek Navigator handles dirt paths and bad bumpy paved paths pretty comfortably and sturdily. Suspension fork locks, too. But it's not the fastest bike, for sure. I consider this my "dirt" hybrid.
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Old 08-19-11, 06:21 AM   #12
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I'll definitely look at those bike brands, irclean.

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Agree with irclean, if this is all your dirt riding will be you don't even need suspension, or disc brakes. What are your concerns about the suspension?
I don't really want to put too much strain on the bike and want to feel comfortable when riding on trails. I could probably do without the disk brakes, but probably not the lockout suspension.

Peter
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Old 08-22-11, 11:13 AM   #13
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if that's all the off road riding you're going to do i don't think you need to worry about suspension or the disc brakes as irclean and bunnicula posted. the suspension would most likely just turn into a waste of money as they have a tendency to freeze up and basically become a solid fork. just get a good steel framed bike. the steel will absorb vibrations much and give you a more comfortable ride essentially accomplishing the same thing as show to a lesser but sufficient degree.
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Old 08-22-11, 11:22 AM   #14
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If that's all the trails you're going to see, you might also want to consider a cyclocross bike for a more road oriented bike that can handle a fair bit of dirt paths and the like.
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Old 08-23-11, 08:27 AM   #15
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Thanks boffenbec. I'll definitely look into solid fork bikes as well

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If that's all the trails you're going to see, you might also want to consider a cyclocross bike for a more road oriented bike that can handle a fair bit of dirt paths and the like.
Do they have cyclocross bikes that are close to the same price as the bikes mentioned above?
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Old 08-26-11, 06:30 PM   #16
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Hey, as far as the seat goes, it's a personal preference. I didn't like the stock seat on my Roam 1 but putting it on my newly acquired used Boulder SE back-up bike with it's more offroad/aggressive tires the seat is great!.
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