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  1. #1
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    Need help picking bike!

    Hi Guys/Gals,

    new member from T.O Canada and I need some help picking a bike.

    I am an active person who runs and swims daily and would finally like to start biking outside. The only problem is I know nothing about bikes. The last bike I owned was when I was 13, but I do use a stationary bike at the gym.

    My real end goal is to complete a half ironman, I'm a long way away from there but you have to start somewhere! My budget was about 500 dollars.

    I went into a bike shop and tried two bikes from Trek: the 7.0 Fx ($400) and the Livestrong Fx ($600). The 7.0 seemed like a more comfy ride to me (even though most reviewers hate the saddle) but I was wondering if their was anything else in this price range I should be looking at or trying out?

    I haven't picked a training method or anything yet but I know I will be putting in about 8-10km's minimum on the bike daily being the distance from here and back to the gym so any advice on how to choose and where to begin would be great.

    Much appreciated!

    Edit: I should also add that I am by no means a big guy, 5"6 and 165lbs.

    I'm more than happy to buy off kijiji if I can find something in the right size range but I don't know what to look for!
    Last edited by jm2hill; 07-07-12 at 11:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Since you're basically going to be training for tri's, you'll probably want to stick with the performance/fitness bike end of the hybrid spectrum. Within your budget, I'd say the Specialized Sirrus and the Coda and Allegro models from Jamis. The Giant Rapid would be a really good candidate to put clip on aero bars on, but it's outside your budget. I'm sure others will chime in soon enough.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
    Ride what and in what manner pleases you. Those that mind don't matter, and those that matter don't mind. srsly.
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  3. #3
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, JM2Hill!

    1) What is the upper limit of your budget?

    2) Will you be traversing any hills?

    3) What will your terrain be like? ...Paved roads?...Dirt trails?....Rocky rooty tracks?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Welcome To Bike Forums, JM2Hill!

    1) What is the upper limit of your budget? Right now 600. I'll be honest though, if you tell me that the bike will last quite a long time without breaking so long as I take care of it of course things could stretch to max 900ish.

    2) Will you be traversing any hills? On my planned riding routes nothing to special

    3) What will your terrain be like? ...Paved roads?...Dirt trails?....Rocky rooty tracks? 80% Paved roads 20% paved trails.
    Hi Slimrider, thanks for the welcome. Answers are above in bold!
    Last edited by jm2hill; 07-08-12 at 01:08 AM.

  5. #5
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    Alright JM2Hill!

    You have several options before you. They are as follows:

    1) Find a Jamis dealership and get the Jamis Coda Comp ~ $775
    www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codacomp_bk.html

    This is a fast and versatile hybrid. It's good for commuting, exercise, sight-seeing, and running utility errands, once set up with rack. It can be equipped with fenders and up to size 38mm tires. It won Bicycling Magazine's Editor Choice Award for best hybrid of the year 2011.

    2) Join a bicycle co-op and get assistance from the co-op with ordering the the sized bike from bikesdirect.com. The Schwinn Letour Legacy will give you many years of service. It's a 10 speed and has 105 components for the most part. I highly recommend it. After arrival, complete the build at the co-op. Ordering the correct size the first time around is crucial.

    The Schwinn Letour Legacy ~ $800

    www.bikesdirect.com/products/schwinn/schwinn_letour_legacy_xi.htm

    This is just a very fast and reliable bike!

    *This is the best bang for your buck!- If the sizing is correct...

    3) Go to a Marin dealership and get the Marin Muirwoods ~ $630
    www.marinbikes.com/2012/bike_specs.php?serialnumb=2207&muirwoods

    At 5' 6", this bike will most probably suit your fancy because it will give you a greater sense of control and confidence, due to its lower profile (size 26" wheels) and its wider tires. It's built like a tank! If speed is not a major factor, but comfort, dependability, and durability are your primary points of focus, then this is your bike. It's an urban stealth bomber! This is a fun and get-outta-my-way kinda bike! Gangwaaaaay..............

    * It ain't that slow neither!

    4) Since you have no serious hills to speak of, you really don't need a multi-geared bike! A single speed can provide all of your cycling needs. Single speeds are efficient, low maintenance, and inexpensive in most cases.

    I would recommend the following single speeds:

    a) The KHS Urban Soul ~ $400
    www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_soul_12.htm

    b) The Schwinn Madison ~ $585
    www.schwinnbikes.com/bikes/urban/2012-madison-14401/

    c) The Felt Brougham ~ $550
    www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2012/Fixie/Fixie-Series/Brougham.aspx

    d) The Trek Earl ~ $530
    www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/town/urban_utility/earl/earl/

    e) The Raleigh Back Alley ~ $550
    www.raleighusa.com/bikes/steel-road/back-alley-12/


    Good Luck!

    PS.

    You're only traveling about six miles per day round trip. That's a short trek!
    Perfect for hybrid or single speed cycling.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-08-12 at 09:00 AM.

  6. #6
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    Jim, read this thread.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ke-darn-hybrid!

    You want a drop bar road bike for your stated purpose.

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    Thanks for all the recommendations Slimrider, got lots to look at. The minimum I'll be doing per day is about 6mi, however, once I get the bike and get a schedule up and get going I'll split train the running and the biking. Which would have me biking about 3-4 days per week for 1-2 hours.

    Paul, I realize a road bike would probably be better for me but I thought it might be cost prohibitive at this point and it would be better to get a decent hybrid?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    Hi Guys/Gals,

    new member from T.O Canada and I need some help picking a bike.

    I am an active person who runs and swims daily and would finally like to start biking outside. The only problem is I know nothing about bikes. The last bike I owned was when I was 13, but I do use a stationary bike at the gym.

    My real end goal is to complete a half ironman, I'm a long way away from there but you have to start somewhere! My budget was about 500 dollars.

    I went into a bike shop and tried two bikes from Trek: the 7.0 Fx ($400) and the Livestrong Fx ($600). The 7.0 seemed like a more comfy ride to me (even though most reviewers hate the saddle) but I was wondering if their was anything else in this price range I should be looking at or trying out?

    I haven't picked a training method or anything yet but I know I will be putting in about 8-10km's minimum on the bike daily being the distance from here and back to the gym so any advice on how to choose and where to begin would be great.

    Much appreciated!

    Edit: I should also add that I am by no means a big guy, 5"6 and 165lbs.

    I'm more than happy to buy off kijiji if I can find something in the right size range but I don't know what to look for!
    Slim is a STEEL guy, (yes I do own a Coda Sport too) but for your usage I'd recommend a "Jamis Allegro" over the Jamis Coda, the Allegro is more "sporty" ie: S-shaped chain and seat stays a more "straight" fork and to me seems more agressive, (PS: I own a 2011 Jamis Allegro 1 and 2012 Jamis Coda Sport). I've put 700cX25 road tires on my Allegro 1 and it's made it have a sport feel, where my Coda Sport has more of a "touring" feel, even with 700cX28 road tires, (stock was 700cX32). Also try the Cannondale QUICK series of bicycles, (Quick 4 and up, according to your budget), I may replace the Allegro 1 with a Cannondale Quick 3 next springs but I'm not sure as I do like the Allegro 1. JMHO, YMMV.

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/canada/the...legrocomp.html

    http://www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes...-quick-4-21002

    BTW: My 2011 Allegro 1 is now the, 2012 Allegro Sport, the Allegro Comp (link) is a upgrade with a "carbon fiber" fork and more ROAD type drivetrain components, FYI.
    Last edited by bjjoondo; 07-08-12 at 10:09 AM.
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    1993 Mongoose Switchback MTB, converted to a "comfort bike"! :)

  9. #9
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    Hmm, I'm going to run into a bike shop today to take a look at the Coda and Allegro, lots of people riding them so I'll give them both a go.

    What do you guys think of the Ventura sport and Satellite sport. The jamis dealer is having close out sales on 2011 models and both fit into my price range being 500 and 700 respectively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    Hmm, I'm going to run into a bike shop today to take a look at the Coda and Allegro, lots of people riding them so I'll give them both a go.

    What do you guys think of the Ventura sport and Satellite sport. The jamis dealer is having close out sales on 2011 models and both fit into my price range being 500 and 700 respectively.
    LOL, well pretty much the same compairson, the Ventura is more sporty a bit lighter, with Alum. frame and fork, more sporting road drivetrain components, etc. the Satellite has a "road TRIPLE", crankset and more touring drive train components, is a bit heavier being cromo-steel frame and fork. Since your only doing short runs to the gym and back and are looking at Triatholons in the future, I'd go for the Ventura Sport over the Satellite as you'll probably sell either of these in the future to get a serious Tri-Bike if that becomes your thing! YMMV. have FUN choosing that new bike! ENJOY!
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    1993 Mongoose Switchback MTB, converted to a "comfort bike"! :)

  11. #11
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    It all depends on the ride you want. If you like the FX series, which are great for fitness, try some higher level ones. They ride quite a bit nicer than the 7.0.

    The Specialized Sirrus is also a good choice, the Allegro, the Quick series (Quick 3 is more road-like, but the 4 would do). Felt makes a nice bike and is usually less expensive. Try as many options as you can, and go for the bike that gives you the greatest joy to ride.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    Thanks for all the recommendations Slimrider, got lots to look at. The minimum I'll be doing per day is about 6mi, however, once I get the bike and get a schedule up and get going I'll split train the running and the biking. Which would have me biking about 3-4 days per week for 1-2 hours.

    Paul, I realize a road bike would probably be better for me but I thought it might be cost prohibitive at this point and it would be better to get a decent hybrid?
    Hi there JM2Hill!

    Insofar as the Ventura and the Jamis Satellite Sport road bikes are concerned, they're both only 8 speeds. They both come with the lowest level of components. The Ventura and Satellite Comp models would be better investments, as they are both 9 speeds and come with Sora components. Most road bikes at the $1000 level are equipped with Sora components.

    If it's really in your heart of hearts to get a road bike, then get a road bike! There just might be a 2011 Jamis Satellite Comp on sale at the Jamis dealership.

    Also, once again, that Schwinn Letour Legacy from bikesdirect, is the best deal on the planet! It has 105 components!

    Shimano Road Bike Gruppo Hierarchy:

    Dura Ace > Ultegra > 105 > Tiagra > Sora > 2300 > Hogsnot
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-08-12 at 12:39 PM.

  13. #13
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    I've been looking at the Schwinn all day but I have a feeling the sizing won't work for me just based on the readings I've done. My inseam is 75cm so my ST (C-T) should be about 500mm (75*.67). While the bikes only come in 480mm or 540mm? I think I would need a frame in the middle of those two! its too bad they don't make one it looks like one hell of a bike.

  14. #14
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
    Jim, read this thread.

    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ke-darn-hybrid!

    You want a drop bar road bike for your stated purpose.
    You probably won't be happy with a hybrid for tris. Use bikes have low resale value. What is your budget?
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

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    Quote Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
    You probably won't be happy with a hybrid for tris. Use bikes have low resale value. What is your budget?
    The reason I was looking at hybrid's was: 1) I figured I didn't have the right experience for a road bike (I haven't biked outdoors in 8+ years) 2) My starting budget was going to be around 500 for a bike that I could use for outdoor training until I get closer to my goals, but apparently bikes are things that can last i.e you can replace/repair/reuse/addon etc so my budget could be stretched to max 900.

    Which even at 900 it feels like I should get a good quality hybrid to train on rather than an entry level road. But then again, what better way to get used to a road bike than on an entry level one. So basically I don't know what to get lol!

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    Alright then, you can't go wrong with this one:

    The Gravity Liberty 2 ~ $500
    www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/liberty_2.htm

    It's perfect for training! Next year when you're ready to upgrade, you should be able to unload this one for at least $400.

    Good Luck!

    PS.

    Checkout the sizing guide....

  17. #17
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    The reason I was looking at hybrid's was: 1) I figured I didn't have the right experience for a road bike (I haven't biked outdoors in 8+ years) 2) My starting budget was going to be around 500 for a bike that I could use for outdoor training until I get closer to my goals, but apparently bikes are things that can last i.e you can replace/repair/reuse/addon etc so my budget could be stretched to max 900.

    Which even at 900 it feels like I should get a good quality hybrid to train on rather than an entry level road. But then again, what better way to get used to a road bike than on an entry level one. So basically I don't know what to get lol!
    I don't want to steer you away from a hybrid, but I see a fair number of posts from people who purchase a hybrid for just this reason and six months later they want a road bike. You are young and in good shape and I think you would outgrow a hybrid pretty quickly. Perhaps you might consider buying used for a few months until you can figure out what kind of bike you want? If you purchase a used bike, ideally, you could sell it (if you can find a buyer) for almost as much as you paid for it. Do you have friends that are bike nerds? You might also consider renting a road bike from LBS for a day and see how that works out. Around here I think you can get a bike for $40-50 and that's probably at the top of the ladder.

    I like the Gravity Liberty. I would pay your LBS to assemble it and pay for a basic fitting. You can get a lot of good miles on the Gravity. It is Sora/Tiagra. I recommend not purchasing components below Sora level.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  18. #18
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    I wish I had friends that were bike nerds... hell I wish I had friends that exercised! I've got 1 running buddy but thats about it. I've looked for used (kijiji & CL) and I'm just struggling to find anything in my size/area.

    So I was looking at the Liberty and as Slimrider said the sizing guide and they recommend the Small size and that got me re-reading everything I did the other day about the geometry (Which was quite similar to the Schwinn) to see which would fit the best so that leads me to questions which may dispel what I said about the Schwinn not fitting:

    When I stand over the frame with flat foot how much clearance should I have between my groin and the frame? On the trek 7.0 which was a 20in I had close to no clearance . Now the bike store said that was optimal? Other things I've read say you want 1-2in min? With my short legs I don't think I'll really ever get much clearance tho.

    I got someone to help me do the inseam test and I came in more accurately this time at a 74cm which would put me in the ST height of 480-490 not the 500 I thought. and the SO height at about 710? I assume I should then be sizing down to a 48/46.5 and not up to a 50?

    With that being said and I appreciate the forth coming answers I will also be going into a different shop and trying a 48 and a 50 to see which one I like more.

    Last question then maybe after tomorrow I'll make a decision: The Schwinn as Slimrider said looks like a great deal for the components and parts and fits in my budget, the Liberty is a good budget bike with decent parts and is the lower end of my budget. Should I prefer the 48cm size bike which one would be the better choice for someone who hasn't outdoor biked in awhile?

    p.s I'm really hoping you say I'll be okay riding the schwinn if that sways your decision at all.
    p.p.s thanks again and again and again for the help
    Last edited by jm2hill; 07-09-12 at 04:07 AM.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    The reason I was looking at hybrid's was: 1) I figured I didn't have the right experience for a road bike (I haven't biked outdoors in 8+ years) 2) My starting budget was going to be around 500 for a bike that I could use for outdoor training until I get closer to my goals, but apparently bikes are things that can last i.e you can replace/repair/reuse/addon etc so my budget could be stretched to max 900.

    Which even at 900 it feels like I should get a good quality hybrid to train on rather than an entry level road. But then again, what better way to get used to a road bike than on an entry level one. So basically I don't know what to get lol!
    You don't get any more hybrid for your buck than you get road bike for your buck. $500 buys an entry level hybrid or an entry level road bike. $900 will buy you a very nice hybrid or a very nice road bike. In fact, you'll end up with a lighter, faster and better suited for your goal bike, if you get a road bike.

    Oh and that Schwinn is a very sweet bike!
    Last edited by Paul Barnard; 07-09-12 at 09:04 AM.

  20. #20
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    Alright then, JM2Hill...

    Here's another thought.

    Order the Schwinn Letour Legacy. If it doesn't fit, use the 30-day return policy, that bikesdirect.com has stipulated in their 100% satisfaction guarantee. At that time, you can just repackage the Schwinn, return it, and order the Liberty 2 in the prescribed size. That way, if the Schwinn does fit, then you're satisfied and your quest ends. OTOH, if you're not satisfied, you can just return it and order the Liberty 2.

    At the end of the day, you'll have a really nice road bike!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-09-12 at 02:03 PM.

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    One more bike to consider: a new 2009 Jamis Comet for 850.

    It has better parts than the Schwinn will come assembled fitted and tuned up. It has the aero handle bars which I've never used so its a little bit frightening but seems like a good bike all around?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    One more bike to consider: a new 2009 Jamis Comet for 850.

    It has better parts than the Schwinn will come assembled fitted and tuned up. It has the aero handle bars which I've never used so its a little bit frightening but seems like a good bike all around?

    Is that a question or are you just excited?

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    Quote Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
    Is that a question or are you just excited?
    I am excited! Bike shopping is almost as much fun (and confusing) as ski shopping! It looks like a nice bike. Its a few models old now, but its new from the jamis store. But the question/idea is that I'm just worried it might be too much too quick to start off with after not riding outdoors for so long!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jm2hill View Post
    One more bike to consider: a new 2009 Jamis Comet for 850.

    It has better parts than the Schwinn will come assembled fitted and tuned up. It has the aero handle bars which I've never used so its a little bit frightening but seems like a good bike all around?
    http://www.bikepedia.com/Images/QBim...f=09_COMET.jpg

    WOW, now that's a bike that you could go on a TRIATHOLON with!!! SWEET! Since you could get a good fitting and have the LBS there to make sure the stem reach and angle is right and the aero bars are part of the package and it's a NEW leftover, I'd say WHY NOT!! LOL, remember it's only a BICYCLE, nothing to get intimendated about. JMHO, YMMV.
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    1993 Mongoose Switchback MTB, converted to a "comfort bike"! :)

  25. #25
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    I don't think a road bike is above your skill level. A bike with aero bars, though, is probably asking for trouble. The 850 is a tri bike, but you might not find it comfortable for everyday riding. The Schwinn Letour Legacy is a nicely equipped road bike. As for sizes, they look very bizarre: 38, 48, 54 cm. (Is that 38 a mistake?). The top tube length is also useful number. The standover will tell if the bike is too big. You should have 1-2 inches between you and the bike. The Schwinn small has 735 standover and you measured 740. That's 0.5cm which is pretty close.

    The proper size of bike is one where you have adequate standover, are not reaching too far, the seat is not too low and not too high (look at pics and you'll see that people typically have 6-12" seat post showing). I think that 20" Trek hybrid is too large. I am 5'7" 31 inseam and I purchased the 17.5" and the seat is quite high. The general wisdom say if you are between sizes, purchase the smaller size.

    Slim's advice seems OK. Or you can continue to shop around.
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

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