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Thread: Hybrid decision

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    Smile Hybrid decision

    Looking to buy my first real bike. Will use it mostly on bike trails, flat roads, around the neighborhood, and probably pulling my 1 year old in a child bike trailer. Test rode the Trek 7100 and loved it, but I also loved the look of the Neko. Didn't ride it on the road yet, but I will before I decide. I'm looking for input on these two Trek bikes....opinions? Any info would be greatly appreciated!

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    Quote Originally Posted by cskiwi View Post
    Looking to buy my first real bike. Will use it mostly on bike trails, flat roads, around the neighborhood, and probably pulling my 1 year old in a child bike trailer. Test rode the Trek 7100 and loved it, but I also loved the look of the Neko. Didn't ride it on the road yet, but I will before I decide. I'm looking for input on these two Trek bikes....opinions? Any info would be greatly appreciated!
    Welcome to Bike Forums ! They appear to be pretty close component wise, if they have both in stock, just pick the one you really like riding the BEST ! Maybe someone with experience on these two different models will chime in. Richard : )

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    The biggest difference I see is riding position. The 7100 is really upright and the Neka has you leaning forward a bit.

    Otherwise, the Neka has 3mm larger tires and 13mm more travel on the fork which are not a big deal at this price point. You can always swap the tires out anyway.

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    I suggest the Neko because it seems faster than the 7100

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    Thanks for the input! Being new to biking, the differences that are listed between the two don't mean much to me at this point - I don't have enough knowledge. I know that when I tried the 7100, the 16 inch fit me best, but the owner of the shop said I might be able to fit on the 18 inch if I went with the Neko, as they are made slightly smaller than the 7100s. The seat on the 7100 seemed more comfortable, but again, I loved the look of the Neko. Comfort is my main concern, so I guess I'll just do what Richard said, and pick the one that feels best. I was mainly hoping that no one came back with negative comments on either one, because then I'd have to start my search all over again.

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    I would recomend you look into the 7.2 or 7.3 FX as well as it might be a little bit faster and lighter than a 7100. I don't know much about the Neko but it looks like it is similar to the DS series which I am a big fan of. I also own a 7200 and while I do like it the one complaint I Have is that when you are carrying some extra weight such as a lock and a book bag it could really slow you down alot.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cskiwi View Post
    Thanks for the input! Being new to biking, the differences that are listed between the two don't mean much to me at this point - I don't have enough knowledge. I know that when I tried the 7100, the 16 inch fit me best, but the owner of the shop said I might be able to fit on the 18 inch if I went with the Neko, as they are made slightly smaller than the 7100s. The seat on the 7100 seemed more comfortable, but again, I loved the look of the Neko. Comfort is my main concern, so I guess I'll just do what Richard said, and pick the one that feels best. I was mainly hoping that no one came back with negative comments on either one, because then I'd have to start my search all over again.
    At least your one step ahead of me, I tend to buy, (then read the reviews) been in a dilemma myself trying to get into performance riding, without speeding big dollars on a future cloths hanger that I'm stuck with. Tried CL for the last couple of months but nothing worth buying has came up, so ended up at the Bike shops. And everything I liked there was more than I wanted to spend, on something that I'm not sure really interest me, (Road Riding) I enjoy the trails to much. Set myself a ball park budget of 500.00 dollars out the door price on a NEW bike, ended up with a Diamondback Insight 1 , if I find my interest keeps heading in that direction, can always start upgrading from there but haven't lost to much. I don't think you will go wrong with either one of those two bikes you have been looking at. keep us informed, Richard : )

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    That's about our budget also, in the $500 area. Plus, the accessories we'll need. We had cheap bikes years ago, and NEVER used them. They weren't comfortable, they squeaked...etc. My husband's brother is an avid biker, and said going to a bike shop is definitely the way to go. Worth the money...they will fit you to the bike properly, help with maintenance, and will usually give money toward your bike if you decide to upgrade in the future. The woman we spoke to at the shop here was wonderful and steered us toward some good choices when we told her what we wanted to spend and how we'll be using them. She said a hybrid was probably the best choice for us. I will keep you updated!!

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    I will also look into those others, and regarding the riding style, I'm not sure if I want to be more upright, or more leaning forward? I guess I'll just see which is most comfortable. Thank you everyone for the responses!

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    If you have not ridden a bike in a long time, upright will be more comfortable at first IMO. However, this also limits of fast or aggressive you ride. The Neko's geometry and riding position makes faster riding more fun and stable. You will be leaned forward some though. This is all personal preference. If you think you'll ride more than maybe 3 or 5 miles at a time, the Neko will be more comfortable in the long run.

    You might notice that on the 7100 the saddle is a lot bigger and padded more. Don't worry about that just yet because upright bikes need bigger and wider saddles because of the riding position. Everyone's butt hurts for the few couple weeks if they haven't ridden regularly for more than a month or two.

    My opinion is that more speed is more fun...thus if I were choosing one of those two, I'd choose the Neko. However, since all I ride is city streets, I'd probably go for a 7.3FX or 7.4FX myself. They can go off-road, like dirt hiking or walking trails, but they won't be the best at it, and I'd have to go slowly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by richard4993 View Post
    I would recomend you look into the 7.2 or 7.3 FX as well as it might be a little bit faster and lighter than a 7100. I don't know much about the Neko but it looks like it is similar to the DS series which I am a big fan of. I also own a 7200 and while I do like it the one complaint I Have is that when you are carrying some extra weight such as a lock and a book bag it could really slow you down alot.
    From what I can find, the Neko is the women's version of the DS series. No idea why they used the Japanese word for cat though..

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    @jsdavis, yes, I actually was concerned about the seat on the Neko. When I rode the 7100, I did like the padded seat (I don't have the smallest backside haha). But you're right, I'm sure I'd get used to a smaller/harder seat once I'm more used to riding. We have a beautiful paved rail trail here, and I think that will be what I'm going to ride on the most...pulling my one year old in the trailer. Speed is not a huge issue to me (because of the baby), nor do I see myself on dirt or gravel paths, but you never know, right? I'm reading that the Neko and DS seem more capable of that, if we should decide to go off roading at some point. I showed my husband the photo of the DS, and he is now considering that one instead of the 7100 as well. But we both have to test ride them to make sure. I'm wondering if the Neko and DS will be as smooth and comfortable as the 7100 was on the street. I was also wondering if the handlebars on those are adjustable. I can't seem to find that info online. I don't mind leaning forward slightly, but I do not want to be all hunched over like I was on my old 10 speed years ago. I'm not going to be racing, or anything.

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    Chowchow, I will look into these as well, thank you!

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    I think the Neko will feel similar to the 7100, but for street, personally I'd lock the fork out because it's more efficient -- especially if there is a hill climb involved. I rode a front suspension mountain bike around town daily for a while as transportation and while it's not as fast as my hybrid, the ride is definitely smoother because of the suspension. For big bumps and road imperfections though, you might want to lift yourself off the saddle an inch or two. You'll have to ride it to see how it goes though. When climbing hills, you might notice the suspension bouncing in which case you'd want to lock the fork otherwise some of the energy you put into the pedals goes into compressing the fork rather than driving the bike up the hill.

    In regards to the handle bars on the Neko an the DS, there is a bit of adjustment, but it might be more limited compared to the 7100 without changing parts out.

    Take a look at this photo. At the front of the bike, the horizontal piece that connects the handle bars to the fork tube is called the stem. You can see the two bolts that clamp the stem to the steerer tube which is part of the fork. Below the stem are one or more spacers that help keep the stem at a specific height. In this photo the spacers are black. You can change the spacers and stem around to raise or lower the bars. This is maybe only 1 or 2 inches of adjustment but that can make a big difference. Beyond that, you'll have to change the stem which can be longer, shorter, and angled upwards more. They don't cost very much and many will swap it out free for a similar price stem or at least give you credit towards a more expensive one.



    You won't be hunched over like on a road bike, the Neko should be more upright but not as much as the 7100, I'd imagine. I think this is a Neko:


    If you find that you don't like the saddle, the bike shop may give you credit for the original saddle or swap out free for one of similar value just like the stem.
    Last edited by jsdavis; 02-09-12 at 10:51 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cskiwi View Post
    @jsdavis, yes, I actually was concerned about the seat on the Neko. When I rode the 7100, I did like the padded seat (I don't have the smallest backside haha). But you're right, I'm sure I'd get used to a smaller/harder seat once I'm more used to riding. We have a beautiful paved rail trail here, and I think that will be what I'm going to ride on the most...pulling my one year old in the trailer. Speed is not a huge issue to me (because of the baby), nor do I see myself on dirt or gravel paths, but you never know, right? I'm reading that the Neko and DS seem more capable of that, if we should decide to go off roading at some point. I showed my husband the photo of the DS, and he is now considering that one instead of the 7100 as well. But we both have to test ride them to make sure. I'm wondering if the Neko and DS will be as smooth and comfortable as the 7100 was on the street. I was also wondering if the handlebars on those are adjustable. I can't seem to find that info online. I don't mind leaning forward slightly, but I do not want to be all hunched over like I was on my old 10 speed years ago. I'm not going to be racing, or anything.
    If you were to decide you don't like the saddle you can always change it. I own a 7200 as well as a Utopia which was renamed 8.4 DS for 2012 and I personally think the Utopia rides alot better than the 7200. Much smoother and more agile.
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    thank you so much jsdavis for all that info, and Richard also....hopefully we're going to tomorrow (waiting on the bikerack we're supposed to be getting from someone)..I can't wait to try them all out and see which I like best. And I think I will ask the shop about switching the saddle if I find the Neko one too hard. I'll keep you all informed. Thanks again everyone!

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    christinesbike.jpg I went with the Neko...sorry for the glare! And my husband went with the DS 8.3....

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    Dansbike.jpg hubby's DS 8.3
    Last edited by cskiwi; 02-11-12 at 01:06 PM. Reason: add caption

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    Quote Originally Posted by cskiwi View Post
    Chowchow, I will look into these as well, thank you!
    Personally, I wouldn't tow any precious cargo with the bikes you've listed. I would at least go with ChowChow's recommendations. However, I would go even further and make certain that I had disc brakes, too! You may not need them now. However in two or three years, who knows?

    Some types of cargo, expand quickly!

    - Slim

    PS.

    If you were towing anything less precious, I wouldn't feel this way!

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    Slim, why do you say that? about the towing?

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    The bikes you've listed are all at the bottom of the totem pole insofar as componentry is concerned. Also, I personally would want to invest in only the best in brakes, if I were towing an infant or toddler. Weight-wise, you probably wouldn't have much to worry about at first. However, after a couple of years with wear and tear on low end components and without disc brakes, I'd be a little concerned.

    However, I do tend to be overly cautious when it comes to kids! I'd rather error on the side of caution. Especially on a balance-dependent-two-wheeled bike.

    - Slim

    PS.

    I'm not sure on this one. I could be wrong. It's just a gut feeling....

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    Both of the bikes that you and your husband got has pretty low end components. His is just about a step above yours. How much did you guys paid for them?
    Hopefully not close to retail price.

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    well the DS has disc brakes, mine does not. We had someone with us at the shop that is a pretty avid rider (and pretty knowledgeable), and thought the bikes were great for our purposes. I'm happy with our purchase. Haven't people been riding bikes with non-disc brakes for years?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cskiwi View Post
    well the DS has disc brakes, mine does not. We had someone with us at the shop that is a pretty avid rider (and pretty knowledgeable), and thought the bikes were great for our purposes. I'm happy with our purchase. Haven't people been riding bikes with non-disc brakes for years?
    Your brakes will be fine. I was just trying to encourage you to get disc brakes before the final purchase, just for the extra added insurance. However, you're absolutely correct. Folks have been riding for more than a century now without disc brakes. I imagine we could ride another century and never miss them!

    Congratulations on your new bike! I can assure you that you have nothing to worry about!

    Happy Trails!

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