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Thread: Seeking Hybrids

  1. #1
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    Seeking Hybrids

    My wife and I have been looking for hybrid bikes, but are new to the world of biking. The hybrid bike concept seems like a match since we want to ride on and off road, however, we aren't quite sure where to start. We are considering buying used and our budget is around $600-$700 in total for both bikes. What are some suggested quality brands/models within this price range?

    We want to work up to riding around 20 hours per week. Our aim is reliability, comfort and the ability to ride from pavement to dirt. Willing to upgrade components over time.

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    Your budget is unrealistic for two bikes unless you're looking at used ones. Even then it really depends on where you are. SF Bay Area is difficult to find decent deals on Craigslist and even then its quite time consuming because you have to wait for one in your size and you like.

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    Thanks for the honesty.

    If you had $350-500 for each bike and could buy new or used what would you pick?

    I am in the DC Metro area.

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    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Go to your local bike shops. They'll have the usual lineups of Trek, Specialized. Giant etc. Give a look, ride a couple and take it from there.
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    Jamis Coda maybe. I saw one in a store for $500 yesterday. Giant Escape or Via, Giant Seek. Felt Verza. Marin Muirwoods, Marin Larkspur. Kona Dew.

    Something like those. Suspension isn't much use unless you're riding somewhere where the wheels will leave the ground. Even dirt trails you'll be fine without suspension if they're in a park or something.

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    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
    Suspension isn't much use unless you're riding somewhere where the wheels will leave the ground. Even dirt trails you'll be fine without suspension if they're in a park or something.
    agreed
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    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
    Suspension isn't much use unless you're riding somewhere where the wheels will leave the ground. Even dirt trails you'll be fine without suspension if they're in a park or something.
    +2

    I ride a Trek 7.2FX. The Giant Rapid is worth a try. I really liked the test ride I had of it's predecessor, the FCR.
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    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    Some models aimed toward comfort have suspension seat posts, that would be OK. Not my cup of tea but the wife has one.
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    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Visit two or three LBS in your area. Ask if they have 2011 models on sale. While $350 may seem like a lot of dough, it doesn't buy a lot of bike :-( $450-500 will buy you a quality bike that will hold up well and will last many years. Hybrid bikes are fine choices. Depending on your riding physical condition, age, goals, you might find a comfort bike more to your liking. A trip to LBS and a test ride on a few bikes will help you figure out what type of bike will be best for you.

    There are many threads similar to this one. But here are a few bikes that are in your price range and are nice bikes: Trek 7.1 FX, Trek 7100, Trek 7000, Specialized Sirrus, Giant Escape 1 and Escape 2.

    Performance Bike and REI often have a good selection of bikes. Performance always has bikes on sale.

    Hope this helps.
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    + on the Escape
    - on the Seek (it's too much bike with discs and is built for possible trails so it's a bit tank-y)

    BUT in all honesty, and this is coming from someone that jumped in with both feet very recently, shop for the shop first. My LBS where I will have to have warranty service done is HORRIBLE about calling to let you know when it's ready, HORRIBLE about having stuff ready when promised, and has HORRIBLE accessory prices.

    But they had the bike that fit & felt best...

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    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by brandini View Post
    .... My LBS where I will have to have warranty service done is HORRIBLE about calling to let you know when it's ready, HORRIBLE about having stuff ready when promised, and has HORRIBLE accessory prices.

    But they had the bike that fit & felt best...

    And this is why you should never feel obliged to show loyalty to the shop you purchased your bike. If they don't value your $$$, just move on. By the way, what kind of warranty issues have you had on a new bike?

    Oh, I vote for the Escape series too.

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    I dropped it off since I noticed the rear cassette wobbles when you spin the rear wheel, so the rear axle is suspect. Otherwise just dropped it off for the post break-in tune-up. THE ONLY reason I'm still going there is that warranty parts & service = free while another shop would charge. The shop within riding distance is a dream, it's beautiful, huge, the people there talk because it's an interest not just to sell, they have a bar, they have coffee, they just didn't have anything that checked all the boxes on my requirement list.

    I wish Giant would support service at non-dealer shops. (I don't know if they do, I might ask, ie. pose the 'what if I'm on vacation?' question.)

  13. #13
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    You have a few of options near your price point:


    1) Monitor your local Craigslist for any old chromoly 80's styled road or mountain bike.

    2) Join a bicycle co-op and find the appropriate bicycle frames there, in order to build your bikes. Alternatively, you may order your frames online and use the co-op components to build your bikes.

    3) Slightly increase your budget, so that you will be able to afford quality hybrid bicycles like that of the following:

    The Giant Escape 2.0 ~ $420
    www.giantbicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/escape.2/8910/48614/

    2 X 420 = $840

    4) Purchase your hybrids online thru bikesdirect.com:

    a) The Motobecane Cafe Latte ~ $400
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/cafe_latte_x.htm

    b) The Mercier Galaxy Tour ~ $350
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/galaxy_tour.htm
    Last edited by SlimRider; 06-12-12 at 02:24 PM.

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    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    ^^^some really nice choices there.
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    Certainly a lot good of information here, thanks for all the insight everyone.

    There are a few shops around, I'll look into all the suggestions and try to narrow it down.

    What are your hybrid bike setups and what kind of riding do you like?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    4) Purchase your hybrids online thru bikesdirect.com:

    a) The Motobecane Cafe Latte ~ $400
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/cafe_latte_x.htm

    b) The Mercier Galaxy Tour ~ $350
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/galaxy_tour.htm
    Only if OP is not going to pay a bike shop to build and tune them. Add another $50-70 each for build and adjustments at a bike shop.

    Also since it sounds like he isn't sure what she wants, sizing could be a problem. They have a sizing chart, but the heights will overlap maybe 1-2inches for frame each size instead of having a definitive cut-off like they have it.
    Last edited by jsdavis; 06-14-12 at 09:55 PM.

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    I will go visit some shops and do some test rides.

    The Mercier is labeled as road bike, is it capable of doing non-paved surfaces?

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    Some one please correct me if I'm wrong on this but a Hybrid is not really suited for off road, gravel or dirt. A Hybrid is more a road bike with a up rite geometry. Example Jamis Coda and Trek FX wont be any fun off the pavement. Now a Trek DS could handle off road much better. I think your more looking for a crossover or dual sport style if you have you mind set on on and off road.
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    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopKatz View Post
    Some one please correct me if I'm wrong on this but a Hybrid is not really suited for off road, gravel or dirt. A Hybrid is more a road bike with a up rite geometry. Example Jamis Coda and Trek FX wont be any fun off the pavement. Now a Trek DS could handle off road much better. I think your more looking for a crossover or dual sport style if you have you mind set on on and off road.
    There is no real clear definition to a Hybrid. I'm sure originally it was a mountain bike with some road features so you could ride it both street and trails.
    Over the last couple of years, consumers have been offered a huge range of so called hybrids which now appear to be flat-bar road bikes. Those particular bikes may not last so much off road.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_bike

    My bike in particular has a mountain bike frame and components, but has 700c disc road wheels. The selling point which makes it compatible in both environments is the fact one can swap the wheels straight over to 26" because of the discs.
    Last edited by giantcfr1; 06-15-12 at 09:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by giantcfr1 View Post
    My bike in particular has a mountain bike frame and components, but has 700c disc road wheels. The selling point which makes it compatible in both environments is the fact one can swap the wheels straight over to 26" because of the discs.
    The fcr seems to be the less trucklike and more plush Seek, which has the same features but is more tanky for faffing off a bit more on trails and such.

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    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopKatz View Post
    Some one please correct me if I'm wrong on this but a Hybrid is not really suited for off road, gravel or dirt. A Hybrid is more a road bike with a up rite geometry. Example Jamis Coda and Trek FX wont be any fun off the pavement. Now a Trek DS could handle off road much better. I think your more looking for a crossover or dual sport style if you have you mind set on on and off road.
    "Off road" has no clear meaning. A paved MUP is off road. If there are well maintained, non-paved paths that are relatively flat and have crushed gravel and no stones, a hybrid would be fine. A sandy fire road with ruts and 2" stones is not going to be fun on a hybrid, but a mountain bike would handle the terrain much better.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

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    I suggest you check out the Giant Escape2. Typically you can find them for under $400.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LikingBiking View Post
    Thanks for the honesty.

    If you had $350-500 for each bike and could buy new or used what would you pick?

    I am in the DC Metro area.
    I paid $450 for my Giant Escape 1. It's the best bike I've ever owned and I own two bikes that costs 3 times as much.
    Road Bike: Trek 2.1 Apex
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    Igo
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopKatz View Post
    Some one please correct me if I'm wrong on this but a Hybrid is not really suited for off road, gravel or dirt. A Hybrid is more a road bike with a up rite geometry. Example Jamis Coda and Trek FX wont be any fun off the pavement. Now a Trek DS could handle off road much better. I think your more looking for a crossover or dual sport style if you have you mind set on on and off road.
    If you are going to ride in serious dirt, you won't like that bike in the street usually. My Giant Escape does great in top gravel on hard pack with 32C tires but in muck, not so great. It transitions to the road wonderfully. What are you REALLY going to be riding in? Really? if you have but 1 bike?
    Road Bike: Trek 2.1 Apex
    SPD Pedals
    Continental Gatorskin tires
    Kool Stop brake pads

    Hybrid/Commuter: Giant Escape 1
    Panaracer 28c T-Serv tires
    Ergon GP2-L Grips
    Serfas Lycra Dual Density Saddle
    Eleven81 BMX Pedals
    Kool Stop brake pads
    Planet Bike Blaze 2W front light
    Planet Bike Superflash Stealth rear light
    Topeak Explorer MTX Rack
    Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EX
    Topeak MTX TrunkBag DXP with Expandable Side Panniers
    Topeak Aero Expanding Wedge - Medium
    Garmin GPSMap 60CSx

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