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Old 08-17-11, 03:36 PM   #1
TStwahine
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Trying to make a decision on which hybrid to buy...raleigh cadent or trek fx? Ugh!

Hey guys, I've been doing a fairly exhaustive search this summer for a bike and it's been less than fruitful. I will be pretty honest and realize that I know next to nothing about bikes (I can tell the difference between a road bike, a hybrid and a mountain bike...and I know how to brake and change gears)... Sorry if this is a little long, I'll try to give a quick background.

I was a pretty dedicated trail runner but last year had a significant achilles injury that resulted in me being in a cast for 5 months, the irony is I got hurt at work, not even while running! I purchased a spin bike but I find myself loathing the 30 minutes I would spend on it during my rehab, I was SO bored. I am one of those people that would rather run outside in -20 degree weather (yak trax are awesome) than run on a treadmill inside.

I am currently located in Iowa City, Iowa. We have winter weather for about 6 months of the year and mostly hot/humid summers. I don't really have the "bike bug" in me, at least not yet. I have figured out that I want a hybrid, the roads here can be a bit grumbly as I like to call them so a road bike would just be asking for trouble with the super thin tires, and quite frankly I don't really like the extreme riding position.

I did have an 80's road bike that I brought out here with me from California (I'm a southern californian, not used to winters!). Unfortunately it was stolen within 2 weeks off the top of my thule car rack (i was inside a store for 20 minutes ), I also had a mountain bike that was stolen out of my garage. I don't know what it is about Iowa city but they love to steal bikes...which just really disappoints me.

To my problem. I have scoured the craiglist ads but for the most part the bikes are either super huge or usually from the 80's and the prices are still $300-$400, I also have checked ebay but with shipping I end up coming to the conclusion I might as well buy new. Single speeds seem popular here but I'm not so sure about that. Those seem very pricey too.

I went to my LBS and chatted with the guy about my needs (basically I want to use it to get to class at the Uni and the hospital that i work at...both are on the other side of the river and it is hilly...but only about 2 miles away from me). He pulled out the Raleigh Cadent Ft0, I loved it, but this could also just be the fact that it was shiny and new. They were having a sale and he said he'd let it go for $400 but i was on my lunch break and had to quickly get back before being able to test ride it.

"Unfortunately" I had to fly back to cali for a family emergency and the july special was over when i came back. I went back to the LBS and they didn't have the Ft0 anymore but did have the ft1 and i test road that. Wow!! Amazing, the last bike i rode was an old diamondback where the chain slipped and had i been a man I would have been unmanned. the gears shifted nicely and I enjoying riding it. He looked at the dealer site and it said they were out of the ft0's but he'd call and see. He got back to me and told me that they in fact still did have the 2011 ones and they ordered one in my size because they wanted one anyways. It will be there in about a week and I can have it if i want it.

I was at the mall recently and walked in our local sports place called Scheels and they had a trek 7.1fx for $299, which seemed like a steal. To be honest Im one of those people that prefers to go local, but that is a such a steep price discount especially when I want to get a basket and fenders. I guess my question here is the trek fx 7.1 as good as the raleigh? I have done so much research but when you don't know the lingo it's like trying to decipher russian using a chinese dictionary, just not gonna happen.

Initially my price point was no more than $400, well this young woman has discovered thats the minimum of where bikes start. But Im one of those people who is financing their own education and even with working I make ends meet but this is an extravagence for me. I have talked my father into possibly helping out with $200 of it.

So thoughts? Suggestions? This other guy i talked to at the LBS sounded pretty firm on not giving me the price that was quoted to me in july (i still have the business card wit the guys name on it and the price) and $459+tax BEFORE fenders and basket is a pretty big ouch, or do I go with the fx that I like but not as much as the raleigh? I'm 5'5 and 122lbs with an inseam of 30".

Somehow I feel that someone has already snapped up the fx though, seems like a pretty decent price. Should i just try to be patient and wait for something else? I haven't been able to find any used cadent's either and again a lot of the bikes in my area are priced fairly high (there is a high demand here, and a lot of students come here from the chicago suburbs and their parents have huge wallets).

Sorry this is so long and I truly appreciate any help, sorry if this is a bit jumbled, I had to work at 4am and am running on empty.

Also, any tips about how to avoid getting my bike stolen? I just don't want to go through that again, I hate thieves, and when I don't have parents that help me out it makes the item essentially irreplaceable. I have a U lock but i have heard that some people carry 2 locks on them, I'm not adverse to that, especially considering the money I'm likely going to be forking out. Suggestions on locks to buy?

Thank you Thank you!!
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Old 08-17-11, 03:58 PM   #2
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That's a long post and the part I read was well written.
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Old 08-17-11, 03:58 PM   #3
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That is one hell of a story, and not a bad post. Forgive me for speedreading in places, but I think I got the gist. (I enjoyed the 'unmanned' part in particular. )

I think these are the biggest things you want to know:

- you need a hybrid bike with some decent tire clearance. if you ever intend to ride in truly wintry conditions, you will want studded tires. that means 32mm minimum, and 35mm is a lot better. I am not 100% confident either of the bikes you are considering can do this. when you go back to the Trek dealership, compare the 7.1FX against one of their DS series bikes like the Bodega. the dual sport bikes are heavier by far, but you're not trying to win a race. (yet.)

- you need a cable lock at least 5 feet long and 12mm (1/2 inch) thick. such a cable CAN be cut, but it takes very large tools to do so, and it isn't very discreet walking around with them so generally thieves will not do it in anything less than a remote area. 5-6 feet is enough to go through both wheels, the frame, and around a pole or metal bike rack.
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Old 08-17-11, 05:05 PM   #4
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Since you're in Iowa City, is it possible for you to make it to this shop? They offer Jamis, Kona, and KHS- which are arguably the best bang for the buck brands around. And they sell some used ones, too...

Never been to IA, but that shop came back from a dealer search on the Kona site. Before everyone starts chiming in on what they think you should get, if at all possible, go for yourself and submit your list of potentials.
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Old 08-17-11, 06:13 PM   #5
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Nice first post and welcome to BF! I lurked here for about a month reading everything.... and learning. I went to two lbs in the area and just started to hop on bikes during my lunch hour. I really liked a trek 7.2fx but the frame was to big for me. After talking to a member on BF (qmsdc15) he convinced me that the frame was to large. I ended up going with a 2010 7.3fx...and I love it. Don't make a impulse buy! When you have a couple of hours go to some different lbs's in your area and ride.... then ride some more. Get fitted and make sure you get some kind of tune up maintenance deal from the lbs you purchase from. Forget CL unless you are a very very informed buyer! Ditto on what all the above posters wrote...Oh I liked the "unmanned" part too!
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Old 08-18-11, 11:04 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the replies guys, I realize it was a little long. Currently I've been to Geoff's bike and ski, world of bikes, 30th century bikes and Scheels. I haven't been to broken spoke yet because they were closed during ragbrai and currently there is a ton of construction right in front of their shop, I have heard good things about them and plan on going in today or tomorrow. I'm not yet certain I'd like to do any winter riding where studs are required, mostly because it get's very icy here and with my track record I think I'm begging for trouble. Some of the bikes listed are starting to get out of my price point. I cannot spend more than $500, and ideally less than that so I can get some fenders and perhaps a basket I really like the raleigh but I know I shouldn't do an impulse buy! Will check out Broken spoke today and see if they have anything to offer me. I really appreciate the help (and i will buy that cable lock!)!
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Old 08-18-11, 11:23 AM   #7
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That used GT for $195 at Broken Spoke looks good.
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Old 08-18-11, 11:27 AM   #8
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If that Trek 7.1 FX is new for $299 then buy it! 2012 is going for $469
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Old 08-18-11, 06:38 PM   #9
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The Trek 7.1 is a great price! I prefer the ride of the 7.3 myself, but that 7.1 could be a great bike for a new rider on a tight budget. You need to ride both of those bikes before you can make an informed decision though.
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Old 08-19-11, 08:47 AM   #10
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Both of the bikes you are looking at are good starter bikes considering your budget. Components are similar and I'm guessing they are in the same price point at your LBS. If you have test-ridden both, go with the one that fits you the best and that you will enjoy riding the most. If you are going to use it as a commuter bike, in addition to the fenders and basket, you should also invest in a blinking tail light and headlight, and some bright/reflective clothing to make yourself seen on the commute. Guessing your commute, while short at 2 miles, will involve some time on the road with cars.
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Old 08-19-11, 01:42 PM   #11
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Sorry been sick and work at 4am keeps me busy. Thanks. It seemed pretty hard to turn down the trek fx for $300, its probably gone by now. I haven't test ridden it, I've only test ridden the raleigh cadent ft1 (they were out of the ft0 but had ordered another one)... it felt great... but what do i know? I checked out broken spoke, cool guys, the shop is not very big but i told the guy what i was looking for and he told me the kona dew, i liked that bike too... that one is going for $439 so now there is another player. Today I will go to scheels and see if that trek is even available anymore...otherwise i think its between the raleigh and the kona. The guy showed me his kona rd bike and il admit the thing looked like it could take a beating. I will also be biking to and from my house/school/work to the University's boathouse so thats going to add a few more miles daily... and yes il be sharing the road with cars about 90% of the time.

So IF the trek is not available thoughts on the kona? It is about $30 cheaper than the raleigh, i guess i also like that the bikes come out of the pacific northwest... Alright, headed to check and see if the trek is available. I look forward to getting a bike in the next week!!
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Old 08-21-11, 10:20 AM   #12
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Exclamation Okay may have found something.... advice requested...

Trek was gone, so thats out. Oh well.

I did find a pretty nice bike online that is a Marin Commuter bike and it already has fenders and a bag on it... $300 including shipping... but I'm a bit confused by the sizing. 13.5" seems awfully small, i emailed the guy about it with my height and he said it should work, Im pretty small but I'm not sure about THAT small, I'm just 5'5" with running shoes on...so probably 5'4" without (sad face). My inseam is 30" though if that means anything. Here are the specs on the marin bike:
http://www.marinbikes.com/2008_html/...?serialnum=577

Here's the bike:



Couple of other shots:









I really like it and would love to pick this up for $300, i guess the rear fender is slightly tweaked but he said it doesn't effect its riding ability. On the spec list it shows 15" as being the smallest, but on bikepedia it lists 13.5" as the smallest, I'm so confused I really need to get a bike soon as for crew we begin workouts this week and because i cannot run I need to bike with the team instead. (I hate that I cannot run).
So...
- Raleigh Cadent Ft0 still in the running at $469 before fenders and a basket etc.
- Kona Dew $439 before fenders and basket
- Marin Corte Madera bike: $300 including fenders and a bag thing under the seat (don't know what this is called!).
OUT: Trek... for the price eh.

The Corte Madera is my top choice from price point and what it has included, but obviously size is an issue. My 2nd choice is the Kona, It seems pretty rugged and I really think that may be what i need.

HELP!
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Old 08-21-11, 11:18 AM   #13
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Corte Madera
Haha I love how they name their bikes after cities in CA. Ever been to Corte Madera? I have! I brought my MacBook into the Apple store there because my charger wouldn't work...

Anyway...

I think 13.5" is probably way too small. If I were you, the smallest I would go is 16.5".
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Old 08-21-11, 12:34 PM   #14
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It is pretty funny actually, it makes it really hard to research the bike, I keep getting hotel listings!! I haven't been to corte madera, just san fran and sausalito (LOVE LOVE!) and some wine country ... I'm from orange county, CA so we get the great weather but none of the lush greenery of up North.

To my current dilemma I think you are very right... darn it, this seemed like a good buy Back to the drawing board. First I'm too short for most bikes and now I'm too big.
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Old 08-23-11, 12:58 PM   #15
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Trek 7.0
offer $200
http://iowacity.craigslist.org/bik/2530191930.html

Giant Sedona ST
$200 Looks to be in great shape if they still have it.

http://iowacity.craigslist.org/bik/2547149552.html
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Old 08-24-11, 11:27 PM   #16
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Trek 7.0
offer $200
http://iowacity.craigslist.org/bik/2530191930.html

Giant Sedona ST
$200 Looks to be in great shape if they still have it.

http://iowacity.craigslist.org/bik/2547149552.html
Thank you! I've had such a busy week of classes and what not that I haven't been able to come back. I emailed about the trek
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Old 08-27-11, 02:05 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Rider98Glide View Post
Trek 7.0
offer $200
http://iowacity.craigslist.org/bik/2530191930.html

Giant Sedona ST
$200 Looks to be in great shape if they still have it.

http://iowacity.craigslist.org/bik/2547149552.html
Neither one of them has gotten back to me several days later, I even sent 2 emails on the trek, that happens a lot on craigslist here in IC...not sure why, maybe because they are all college students
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Old 08-27-11, 03:22 PM   #18
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That happens a lot to me period on CL anywhere. They most likely sold and the seller can't be bothered to pull the ad or modify it to say "SOLD".
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Old 08-27-11, 04:13 PM   #19
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Trek ad says no email at home to call or text. Good luck.
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Old 08-28-11, 06:14 PM   #20
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I'm 5'4" tall, like you, and I have the 16" Jamis Coda femme frame. My old Trek 730 is a 17" frame.
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Old 08-28-11, 10:23 PM   #21
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Trek ad says no email at home to call or text. Good luck.
Really? I don't see that in the ad I'm looking at...it shows no phone number. Are you reading something I'm not seeing? This is all I'm seeing:

Trek 7.0 FX- Women's 17.5" - $260 (Iowa City)

This bike is in good condition, mechanically sound and pretty much awesome but too short for me (I'm 5'7").
Extras include:
6 function bike computer (manual online)
pedal straps
bell
adjustable rear view mirror
$260 obo

mine is silver/grey just like the one in this link:

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...-bike-ec016499
--

Weird.
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Old 08-30-11, 04:40 PM   #22
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To Rider98glide thank you for the help, I cannot reply with pm's yet because of my post count but I definitely wanted to say thank you. Although I really would rather have a hybrid than a mountain bike... we'll see!
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Old 08-30-11, 06:28 PM   #23
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I sent Trek peeps a text and got no response.
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Old 08-30-11, 06:39 PM   #24
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You are burning daylight, or more importantly, Iowa summer. Your post talked about how much you loved the ride of the Raleigh. Go get it. It is only the high point by $30. I bet if you told your Dad how much you liked it, that could be whittled down

That bike got you excited. Go with it.
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Old 09-01-11, 10:06 AM   #25
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They still got the Trek 7.0 as they sent me a text today.

PHONE OR TEXT ONLY, I don't have email at home. 319-325-3599
mine is silver/grey just like the one in this link:

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...-bike-ec016499
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