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Old 06-10-12, 10:08 AM   #1
LikingBiking
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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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Old 06-10-12, 07:25 PM   #2
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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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Old 06-11-12, 08:29 PM   #3
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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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Old 06-11-12, 08:37 PM   #4
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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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Old 06-11-12, 09:36 PM   #5
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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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Old 06-11-12, 09:43 PM   #6
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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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Old 06-11-12, 09:50 PM   #7
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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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Old 06-11-12, 09:53 PM   #8
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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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Old 06-12-12, 02:14 AM   #9
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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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Old 06-12-12, 08:38 AM   #10
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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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Old 06-12-12, 09:13 AM   #11
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.... 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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Old 06-12-12, 10:51 AM   #12
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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.)
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Old 06-12-12, 11:15 AM   #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

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Old 06-12-12, 03:03 PM   #14
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^^^some really nice choices there.
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Old 06-13-12, 07:11 PM   #15
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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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Old 06-14-12, 09:49 PM   #16
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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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Old 06-15-12, 06:43 AM   #17
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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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Old 06-15-12, 07:04 AM   #18
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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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Old 06-15-12, 09:06 AM   #19
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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.
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.

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Old 06-15-12, 09:38 AM   #20
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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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Old 06-15-12, 01:22 PM   #21
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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.
"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.
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Old 06-15-12, 02:47 PM   #22
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I suggest you check out the Giant Escape2. Typically you can find them for under $400.
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Old 06-16-12, 12:31 PM   #23
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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.
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.
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Old 06-16-12, 12:39 PM   #24
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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.
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?
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