Hey guys and gals!
I haven't ridden hardly at all in ten years, and now that I have my daughter riding, I wanted to start again. I had mountain bikes in the past, but I have no intention of ever using trails, and the reason I had them was lack of education on my part.
I want to ride on the street with the family, and also to exercise on my own for about 30 minutes a day starting out until I can build up some endurance.
I expect 100% of the riding to be on the road, neighborhoods, sidewalks, greenways, whatever. No trails.
I have hit up 2 LBS and the local REI and been riding a lot. I have settled on a hybrid. I love the idea of a road bike on paper, because I'm a car guy and enjoy performance cars. But when it comes to bikes, I need something more versatile and laid back. The road bike riding position and drop bars are a deal breaker for me. The 23mm tires are also too narrow on anything but perfect pavement for my tastes. One thing they had going for them is that they are crazy fast and efficient. I want a bike that is efficient so I can ride more distances at greater speed so my exercise routine doesn't make me exhausted in short order (mountain bike).
To that end, I've ridden these bikes:
Roam 2: Way too mountain bikey for me. Tires too wide, don't want or need suspension.
Escape 0: _Loved_ this bike after riding the Roam. Better efficiency, gearing, speed. 32mm tires.
Defy 3: (road bike). Fast as blazes, but too hardcore for a guy like me, plus no go since I couldn't ride with my wife and kids.
After this, the wife road and bought an Escape 2 from this shop. I was happy and placed an Escape 0 for me on order, put down a deposit. (The Escape I rode there was an XL, I need a L).
I felt pretty good about this bike shop, until...
I hit up the local REI to get a helmet and check things out. At this point, I realized that the LBS I had used before didn't give us much love. The REI guys are just normal non-commissioned employees, but did a ton better job of qualifying my needs and ACTUALLY FITTING ME TO THE BIKE. The fact we bought a bike from the other place and they didn't bother to fit my wife kinda pisses me off.
Quick 4: I didn't like this bike anywhere near as much as the Escape 0. Component list was lower, it felt heavier and clunky in comparison.
Quick 3: This bike was lighter, rode nicer, and had greater efficiency. I'd say it was extremely close to the Escape 0 in performance, but the Giant dealer is $180 cheaper.
Just an awesome LBS that carries Specialized and Trek. Althought the shop is bigger, the hands on customer service is exceptional. They were talking about fitting me right away, and said they would change the stem and even the seat if it wasn't what I liked.
Sirrus Sport: I didn't like this bike much either. The seat was uncomfortable and reminded me of the Quick 4.
Sirrus Comp: Here's where things get interesting. This bike is a step up in components and has smaller tires (28mm), where the rest had 32mm. It's also the only bike that had 10 speeds out back. The sucky part? They didn't have one in the shop. I shoot straight with the guy helping me, and he offers to bring one in and fit me, $0 charge, no strings attached, and even knows I ordered the Giant already. This place just slays with customer service. Right away, he said he'd come $90 off price, but it's still almost $300 more than the Escape.
Honestly, I know I will like the Escape, but I want a LBS that will support me and care. The Sirrus Comp won't be here for a couple more days, probably the same day my Escape should arrive. I am excited to ride the Comp because it should be the nicest of the bunch.
I'll report back soon. If I love the Sirrus, I'll try to talk them down a little more. If I don't think its worth it, I'll make the Giant shop fit me before I leave.
Thanks for reading my blathering.