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Old 06-05-12, 12:57 AM   #1
luxo
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Looking for some good suggestions up to $500

Hi there. So as the title says, I'm in need of some assistance with finding a good bike. I'll be riding mostly on the road, and perhaps some paved trails. There are a lot of hilly roads in my area as well (albeit small inclines).

I've decided on a hybrid style, and these so called "performance hybrids" seem to fit the bill, leaning more toward a road bike style. Aesthetically, I'd like something with a black color scheme, though I might consider something of a dark color, or silver. Mechanically, I really hate the chain rubbing against the derailleur, so I can't have any of that. Loud shifting is a turn off for me as well but I can live with that.

I purchased a Walmart-exclusive "Schwinn DSB" for $250, so that should give you an idea of my level of experience. While it looks, feels, and rides great, there are unfixable problems with the derailleurs and as one user here put it, "trying to fix an el-cheapo discount store bike is a losing battle". Needless to say I won't be buying any more department store bikes in the forseeable future.

Budget:
I'm gonna bump my budget up to $450 (or $500 if it's really worth it) so I can hopefully get a quality ride. I do wonder if I'm overreaching in my expectations at this price point but what the hell.

Measurements:
6'1" male; inseam measured at I think around 34 inches, perhaps an inch less.

I really like the Diamondback Insight 2. To me it's just looks gorgeous, and the price isn't too bad. I've seen the 2011 model going for $500, while the 2012 model is going for $400 as they've downgraded the conponents. It just sucks REI doesn't have them in stock for less than $400 like they did a few months ago.



I wanted to give as much info as possible on what I need/like and hope someone with more experience will have some cool recommendations!
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Old 06-05-12, 06:39 AM   #2
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This is not a new topic so do some browsing on this forum and you'll find a lot of answers.
As for me I will continue to recommend the Focus Arribe, which is sold as a fitness bike but comes with the experience of Focus Bikes (Germany) who build good road bikes and cyclocross bikes.
If you have a Performance store near you check it out. The sale price makes it a great value:

http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...3-_-Affil_Item

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Old 06-05-12, 09:23 AM   #3
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Giant Escape
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Old 06-05-12, 10:35 AM   #4
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There is a Performance Bicycles store near me actually. Brandini, any particular reasons for choosing the Giant Escape? Also, there are a few different models of the Escape, which one were you recommending?
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Old 06-05-12, 11:17 AM   #5
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Your biggest limiting factor is price, but I test rode an Escape 1 to get a feel for it before getting a Seek 3 (more ruggedy and disc brakes) and the Escape impressed the hell outa me. Only thing I wanted better were brakes but this was a fresh out of box, non-broken-in bike. I opted for the Seek because of discs, chromoly fork, all shimano (vs mixed), nicer hubs and tires. It's more what I grew up with (Raleigh M30) so I can bomb around off curbs and goof off and have clearance for meaty tires for trails. Best part is, if you don't need all that, you can get the Escape 1 and not pay for it.

Escape 1 = typical nice 4-door like a Mazda
Seek 3 = Subaru WRX (non sti)

This sexy pic of a forum member's kitted Escape should convince you:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...1#post14254361
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Old 06-05-12, 12:29 PM   #6
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Because budget seems to be a factor, I'd suggest that you consider buying a used bicycle from Craigslist or another classified advertisement venue.

I'm constantly amazed at the number of quality bikes (of all kinds) that are being offered at reasonable prices. Apparently many were ridden a handful of times and put away in someone's garage-unused and unloved.
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Old 06-05-12, 12:32 PM   #7
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Because budget seems to be a factor, I'd suggest that you consider buying a used bicycle from Craigslist or another classified advertisement venue.

I'm constantly amazed at the number of quality bikes (of all kinds) that are being offered at reasonable prices. Apparently many were ridden a handful of times and put away in someone's garage-unused and unloved.
A good idea, but they key point before you pick one up is *know your size requirements,* it's one thing a bike shop can help you with that the seller might be right (or wrong) about. Also figure in the cost of a tune up at a local shop into the total cost, also no warranty.

But before you look too hard at Giant, see if they're close by:
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/dealers/

If not, you're on to the next brand since they don't sell online.

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Old 06-05-12, 01:19 PM   #8
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I probably won't be buying used... I'd rather have the warranty, free tune-ups, etc. Luckily enough, there is a place that sells Giant bikes a few miles down the road from me. They're listing the 2012 Escape 1 at $480.

I also saw the 2012 Escape 2 for $390, and the only differences I noted were Shimano conponents on the Escape 2 vs. SRAM on the Escape 1. Would I notice the difference? According to forum member Igo, the SRAM X4 rear derailleur on the Escape 1 is so smooth, all he has to do is "think it" and he's in the gear he needs.
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Old 06-05-12, 01:30 PM   #9
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REI still has Insights for sale at their online store!

The Diamondback Insight 1 ~ $400
www.rei.com/product/832975/diamondback-insight-hybrid-bike-2012-special-buy

The Diamondback Insight 2 ~ $450
www.amazon.com/dp/B005NXOBKO/?tag=diamonbicycl-20

Good Luck!

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Old 06-05-12, 01:33 PM   #10
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I bought my son an Escape 2 a few months ago and he loves it. I tried it for the first time last weekend and found it very easy to shift and a very enjoyable ride. Good luck to you.
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Old 06-05-12, 02:06 PM   #11
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A 2012 Trek 7.1 FX would fit into that price range.

If there is a Jamis dealer in your region, I'd bet you could secure a 2011 Coda Sport.

I bought a 7.2 a few weeks back and absolutely love it.
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Old 06-05-12, 02:49 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
REI still has Insights for sale at their online store!
Thanks but those are the 2012 models. The 2011 Insight 1 is much better equipped from what I understand. Plus I'm not digging that light blue.


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Originally Posted by Lobs616 View Post
I bought my son an Escape 2 a few months ago and he loves it. I tried it for the first time last weekend and found it very easy to shift and a very enjoyable ride. Good luck to you.
That's good to hear, I'm starting to like the Escape models more and more. I'm just still wondering if the Escape 1 would be a better choice overall.


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A 2012 Trek 7.1 FX would fit into that price range.

If there is a Jamis dealer in your region, I'd bet you could secure a 2011 Coda Sport.

I bought a 7.2 a few weeks back and absolutely love it.
I'll have a look at those. The 7.1 FX looks a little on the heavy side, are there any (at least ballpark) weight figures? Ideally I'd like something around 25 lbs.
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Old 06-05-12, 04:19 PM   #13
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Luxo says:

Quote:
Thanks but those are the 2012 models. The 2011 Insight 1 is much better equipped from what I understand. Plus I'm not digging that light blue.
That is the most beautiful color blue I've ever seen in my entire life! She's just gorgeous!
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Old 06-05-12, 05:00 PM   #14
luxo
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If it was a deep blue I wouldn't mind. Eh, to each his own I suppose.
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Old 06-05-12, 05:38 PM   #15
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I also saw the 2012 Escape 2 for $390, and the only differences I noted were Shimano conponents on the Escape 2 vs. SRAM on the Escape 1
Escape 1 key upgrades over Escape 2 (info on Giant site)
-SRAM X4 trigger shifting, rear derailleur
-Shimano crankset
-Giant S-X2 tires with puncture protection

-better color )

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Old 06-05-12, 06:03 PM   #16
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I would go with the Diamond Insight 2 or a 2011 Trek 7.2 FX.
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Old 06-05-12, 07:25 PM   #17
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Escape 1 key upgrades over Escape 2 (info on Giant site)
-SRAM X4 trigger shifting, rear derailleur
-Shimano crankset
-Giant S-X2 tires with puncture protection
The question is, is it worth the upgrade?
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Old 06-06-12, 03:08 AM   #18
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minor improvements, but at the same time the price difference is small

I chose the Escape 1
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Old 06-06-12, 03:21 AM   #19
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..., I really hate the chain rubbing against the derailleur, so I can't have any of that. Loud shifting is a turn off for me as well but I can live with that.
...
What are you talking about here? Every bike with a badly tuned derailleur or incorrect chainline will have this. If it worries you that much, buy a single speed or learn how to adjust your derailleurs on youtube.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:22 AM   #20
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Also read up on cross chaining.

PS the escape 1 (vs 2) has a nicer bottom bracket (shimano), and an alloy front fork vs straight steel, so test ride both and see which feels best to you.
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Old 06-06-12, 11:57 AM   #21
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I have the 2012 Escape1. Bought it last fall and have never had a problem with it. It is extremely versatile, I use it on both road and paved/unpaved trails.

For the price it is the best bang for the buck. I highly recommend it.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:52 PM   #22
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@giantcfr1 I typed that when I was having some frustration with my cheap Walmart-bought Schwinn, so it was probably unnecessary to mention in hindsight. I have since tuned it up so that it shifts without a sound (I expect the front derailleur will start slipping out of alignment after a ride or two), but it's really not worth the trouble. And I never cross chain. I've never owned any top of the line bikes but I like to think I have at least basic knowledge of how bikes work. And then there's always Wikipedia.

I'm thinking the Escape 1 will be good for me, I've heard nothing bad about it besides the tires having severe rolling resistance. Anyone care to comment on that? And I'm still open to more suggestions if there are any.
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Old 06-06-12, 01:03 PM   #23
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Ride the wal-martian until it starts eating parts then! No reason not to, really. It's definitely the cheapest option. You could even get a rigid front fork for the road and improve cycling efficiency. AND it's a good bike to learn wrenching on so if you mess it up you won't be kicking yourself much.

Whatever makes you happy!
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Old 06-08-12, 04:14 PM   #24
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This Schwinn Le Tour is on sale and a great bargain. Bikeman.com told me once that the closest to a hybrid is a touring frame. http://www.giantnerd.com/schwinn-le-tour-classic-road-bike-beginner.html?avad=55963_d2ddb8f5&utm_source=avantlink&utm_medium=affiliate&utm_campaign=avantlink%2 Bsales

The price on this for what you get is unreal, really.

Usually I'd say GT Traffic 3.0 or 4.0 (whichever one has V-brakes, too lazy to check right now).
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Old 06-08-12, 11:40 PM   #25
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That bike doesn't really interest me. The style and color scheme look ancient in my opinion, plus I'd prefer flat bars. Thanks for the suggestion though.

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