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  1. #1
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    Help with choosing bike?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm new to bicycling, and want a bike for commuting and weekend tours. I'll mainly use it on urban roads and paved trails, but want one that's capable of riding on some dirt/gravel as well (about 5 miles/day, 20-30 miles/weekends). I'm also thinking of doing a century, if I enjoy biking enough and get in good enough shape.

    I've been to some bike shops, and the bike that fits best is the Marin Kentfield. Would this be good enough for my purposes? I'm also trying to decide between the CS1 and the CS2. With discounts, they are:

    CS1, $387: http://www.marinbikes.com/2012/bike_...&Kentfield_CS1
    CS2, $432: http://www.marinbikes.com/2012/bike_...&Kentfield_CS2

    I know it's silly, but I really like the color of the CS1, and it's also cheaper...is it worth it for me to upgrade to the CS2? Would the CS1 be sufficient for my needs?

    Would appreciate any help/advice..thanks for reading!

  2. #2
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    any advice?

  3. #3
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    The CS2 should be decent enough for what you are looking for, but not a bike that I would take for more than a 15 mile ride. 10-15 max should be okay. I recommend at least a 8 speed. The Trek 7.2 FX or a similar bike would be better.

  4. #4
    joel52
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    You would probably do fine with either of those. Looking at what you get for the extra $45 for the CS2, adjustable stem, chainguard, upgraded rear derailleur and tires, I'd probably go for the CS2. Or if you really like the white over the blue, the shop may be able upgrade the rear derailleur on the CS1 for about that much, maybe less. I'm not familiar with the Shimano "we're not going to even bother naming this model" derailleurs but I would be wary for anything other than very occasional riding and it sounds like you're looking to do more.

  5. #5
    joel52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChowChow View Post
    The CS2 should be decent enough for what you are looking for, but not a bike that I would take for more than a 15 mile ride. 10-15 max should be okay. I recommend at least a 8 speed. The Trek 7.2 FX or a similar bike would be better.
    ChowChow, I read those as 7x3 not 7 speeds.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by joel52 View Post
    ChowChow, I read those as 7x3 not 7 speeds.
    I meant a 7 speed cassette. I know that it's a total of 21 speed 7x3.

  7. #7
    joel52
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    Ok. For what it's worth, my rear wheel got stolen off my around town mountain bike a couple of years ago and all I could scavenge for replacement was a wheel with a 7 speed cassette. Other than the trouble of running that with a 8-speed indexed shifter I never found the range going from 24 to 21 to be limiting. Does depend on the terrain though.

    For that price, if you ride the CSs and like them I wouldn't worry about it. After all, once you buy a bike you'll be in the rather precarious position of having only 1 bike. If the gearing proves to be limiting you'll know for your next one.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Otter 718's Avatar
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    I agree with ChowChow on the 7 vs 8-speed concern. It's not that you need one more gear, but more like an indicator of component quality. I also agree with joel52's caution with the no-name Shimano parts.

    Bike components are a perfect case of diminishing returns; at this $200-$400-$600 level though, the upgrades are relatively inexpensive, and significant in terms of quality. If you can stretch it, I think that something with an 8-speed Shimano Alivio drivetrain (maybe Acera) is a good starting point for the entry-level "quality bike". It sounds like you'll be doing enough riding to justify it.

    Here is someone's short write-up on the Shimano component heirarchy. It's a little bit outdated, but it may help.
    http://mc2.vicnet.net.au/home/vichpv...manoparts.html

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    Chow Chow, sorry for the newb question, but why is this bike less likely to handle rides of 15 miles+? Is it because the components are likely to fail, or because the build of the bike will make longer rides more uncomfortable?

    Joel, thanks for the information on how the CS1 might be upgraded..I'll check with the bike shop on prices. With a 7-speed cassette, did you have any trouble getting up hills? I live in Seattle so might need to bike up hills now and then..

    Otter, thanks for the Shimano hierarchy! I was wondering how to compare components.

    BTW, I also tried the Trek 7.2 fx, but found the fit uncomfortable (too much pressure on wrists/arms). I didn't make any adjustments...could that be fixed by adjusting the handlebars/etc., or is that just the geometry of the bike?

    Thanks again!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Otter 718's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by karenkaren07 View Post
    BTW, I also tried the Trek 7.2 fx, but found the fit uncomfortable (too much pressure on wrists/arms). I didn't make any adjustments...could that be fixed by adjusting the handlebars/etc., or is that just the geometry of the bike?
    I really like the 7.2 FX (I bought one). I do think that with the right adjustments, which could take some time and tweaking to find, you should be able to find a comfortable position on it. Too much pressure on your wrists and arms is totally not acceptable, though, so if it can not be made to fit you, then it's not a good choice.

  11. #11
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    Giant Escape would also fit the bill. They also have women's models of each level to boot.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by karenkaren07 View Post
    Chow Chow, sorry for the newb question, but why is this bike less likely to handle rides of 15 miles+? Is it because the components are likely to fail, or because the build of the bike will make longer rides more uncomfortable?

    Joel, thanks for the information on how the CS1 might be upgraded..I'll check with the bike shop on prices. With a 7-speed cassette, did you have any trouble getting up hills? I live in Seattle so might need to bike up hills now and then..

    Otter, thanks for the Shimano hierarchy! I was wondering how to compare components.

    BTW, I also tried the Trek 7.2 fx, but found the fit uncomfortable (too much pressure on wrists/arms). I didn't make any adjustments...could that be fixed by adjusting the handlebars/etc., or is that just the geometry of the bike?

    Thanks again!
    The components on a 7 speed is usually entry level components. Which isn't the best for what it does and breaks down more easily. Walmart bikes has entry level and no name brand components. If I was to get a brand name bike. I would at least get one that has a notch up in components etc when compare with the big box store's bikes. Plus, with a 7 speed. You will find yourself wanting more gears. Most likely a 7 speed bike would be a bit slower than a 8 speed.

    You need to make sure that the bike fits you and get the proper adjustments. You might be able to find a new, but older bike like a 2010 or 2011 Trek 7.2 FX for a cheaper price.

  13. #13
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    One of my brother has a 7 speed bike (21 speeds total) and it comes with entry level components. Compare to mines (9 speed, 27 speeds total). His bike feels heavier. The shifting isn't that great. Harder to pedal and his bike is much slower than mines. We went on a 20 mile ride one day and I offer him my bike to ride, in exchange for his for me to ride. I felt bad for him, because he couldn't keep up and is always resting. After exchanging, he was able to keep up. While riding his bike. I found myself switching to the largest chain ring a lot, to get more speed. With at least a 8 speed, you won't find yourself doing that as much.

    Low entry bikes are usually heavier, less comfortable and operates like crap. Which won't feel that great on long rides.

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    If you could skip the off roads and get a bike for roads and pavements use only. Then get a mountain bike for the future instead. When you want to do some off roads. Then you can look for a bike that is better for longer rides and is comfortable. Like a hybrid that is more of a road bike. Like the Fuji Absolute models and Jamis Coda models etc. If you want to save money. You can get a bike from www.bikesdirect.com and take it to a LBS and get it adjusted for around $50-$60.

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/fuji/absolute_2.htm I got the same bike, but the 19 inch blue men model from them.
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fe_latte_x.htm I got this model for my wife, but a 15 inch in women frame.

    Both are very good bikes. Fast and light.

  15. #15
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    Right now I'm riding my friend's bike (slightly too big), and I can only do 5 miles on it . Sad, but I'm having a great time, and hoping to get stronger, so hopefully I'm not being too optimistic with my goals.

    Still, it would be great to have a reliable bike that I won't "outgrow" too soon, so I'll look into the suggested options, and test drive the Trek FX again (and I'll ask the salesperson to make adjustments to see if it helps).

    Thanks again for all the help! I really do appreciate it.

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