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  1. #1
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    Newbie really confused, input and opinions really needed. PLEASE!!!

    I am new to biking but want to get a "Hybrid/Commuter" and my budget is $600ish. If totally worth spending up to $800 than I will, would prefer not to. Want to start riding 10-30+ miles 2x a week, flat but eventually some hills.

    I was looking at Specialized Sirrus Sport $550 but open to opinions to other comparable brands in same price range. I live in Orange County ,CA so have various bike shops and dealers. Bike Religion is closest to me and sells connondales but have treks and specialized close by to.

    If I bumped up to $800 price I was looking at Specialized Elite or Cannondale BadBoy 9. I really like the way the BadBoy 9 looks and has disc brakes. But Specialized Sirrus Elite has carbon fiber forks.

    I am so newbie that I have scoured the Internet for reviews and info but am coming up short, so anyone please help. I don't want to spend over $800 for this would already be pushing it.

    Thank you to everyone in advance....

  2. #2
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Find you a LBS and explain your wants/needs/desires, listen to what they say, and then come back and use this forum as a sounding board on how intelligent their suggestion is.

    Or, see if you can find a Giant dealer and take a look at the Escape City. Or a KHS shop for the Urban X.
    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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    no1mad, already did that twice over. Cannondale guy says cannondale, trek guy says trek and specialized guy says specialized. That is why I am on this forum to get a somewhat unbiased opinion. I just don't know a lot about bikes so I thought I would try and get opinions here and hear about things that I am unaware of.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Every shop will say the brands that they sell are better- it wouldn't be good business if they went "our product sucks and you'll be better off getting...".

    What I was saying (or meant to say) was which models they recommended for your purposes?
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  5. #5
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    Welcome To Bike Forums, Ccoppola!

    I would suggest that you locate your nearest Jamis dealership and test ride both the Jamis Coda Sport and the Jamis Coda Comp. Since their frames are made of chromoly steel, you won't be in need of another commuting hybrid for the rest of your entire life. The Codas are all agile, easy to accelerate, and extremely versatile. While they prefer the paved road, they find no real challenge in traversing any mountain side's gravel packed dirt trails, either. The Coda is an award-winning bicycle. The Coda won Bicycling magazine's Editor's Choice Award for being best hybrid of the year 2011.

    You currently have several Jamis, Marin, and KHS dealerships within your area.

    The Jamis Coda Sport ~ $560
    www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codasport_bk.html

    The Jamis Coda Comp ~ $775
    www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codacomp_bk.html

    You might also want to checkout the Urban XCel or Urban Xpress by KHS. KHS makes excellent bicycles!

    The KHS Urban XCel ~ $770
    www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_xcel_12.htm

    The KHS Urban XPress ~ $570
    www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_xpress_m_12.htm

    There's also the Mountain bike like hybrid called the Muirwoods by Marin.

    The Marin Muirwoods 29er ~ $750
    www.marinbikes.com/2012/bikes_specs.php?serialnum=2262&Muirwoods29er/

    The Marin Muirwoods 26er ~ $630
    www.marinbikes.com/2012/bikes_specs.php?serialnum=2207&Muirwoods

    * If you're tall, go with the 29er!

    Unlike the Codas and the Urbans, the Muirwoods find the mountainous side trails, just as easy as the the paved urban roads.

    Good Luck!

    PS.

    For some reason, I really do like that Cannondale Bad Boy 9!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-14-12 at 11:00 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    ccoppola, you generally are doing longer rides. While you are a newbie, I think you'll soon discover that you want a road bike. Why are you not considering a road bike?
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  7. #7
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    im 6' and 225lbs, Wont be riding dirt or trails because I have a somewhat bad back and need to stay on paved roads. I can do stationary bike, elliptical, swim or paddle board. Cant do to much jarring on the back.

    no1mad, specialized said sport or elite, cannon dale said badboy 9 or quick 4. I am confused and not sure what to go with, I rode them and the terrain was different for the test drives, neither will let me rent for the day to really try out.

    The closest jamie bike shop is 20+ miles away and felt that If i bought local, i would be able to take back for lifetime free tuneups, etc... But now reading on this forum, it makes me want to check out the Jamis brand. Does it really matter if you buy a bike local or 20+ miles away??

    Haven't considered a road bike because the LBS said that entry level is $1000 and mainly I want to be able to cruise the neighborhood or local harbor with my 4yr old.

    Thank you so much for the opinions.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ccoppola View Post
    im 6' and 225lbs, Wont be riding dirt or trails because I have a somewhat bad back and need to stay on paved roads. I can do stationary bike, elliptical, swim or paddle board. Cant do to much jarring on the back.

    no1mad, specialized said sport or elite, cannon dale said badboy 9 or quick 4. I am confused and not sure what to go with, I rode them and the terrain was different for the test drives, neither will let me rent for the day to really try out.

    The closest jamie bike shop is 20+ miles away and felt that If i bought local, i would be able to take back for lifetime free tuneups, etc... But now reading on this forum, it makes me want to check out the Jamis brand. Does it really matter if you buy a bike local or 20+ miles away??

    Haven't considered a road bike because the LBS said that entry level is $1000 and mainly I want to be able to cruise the neighborhood or local harbor with my 4yr old.

    Thank you so much for the opinions.
    You probably mean 'adjustments'. Even so, if a shop that is close to you is offering that for free, and if their customer service is giving you the warm and fuzzy, you might be better off buying from them.

    Each of the brands and models that you've stated so far all have their loyalists on this board, so the advice you get from here will be a bit biased- based upon on our own individual likes/dislikes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cyril View Post
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    You probably mean 'adjustments'. Even so, if a shop that is close to you is offering that for free, and if their customer service is giving you the warm and fuzzy, you might be better off buying from them.

    Each of the brands and models that you've stated so far all have their loyalists on this board, so the advice you get from here will be a bit biased- based upon on our own individual likes/dislikes.
    I would think that your ultimate goal would be to become as mechanically independent as possible, so that you will be able to save money. The mechanics of most bicycles is not that difficult. Most cyclists who became proficient at bicycle mechanics, were just tinkerers at first...

    Most components on a bicycle are quite simple to both adjust and replace.

    When it comes to local bike shops and independence, distance is your friend!
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-15-12 at 03:15 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member 009jim's Avatar
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    Trek 7100

  11. #11
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    slimrider, i kinda figured that about fixing the bike on my own. What is is about the Jamis bikes that you like over the others? Seems that the Cannondal Quick 4 got editors choice for 2012 in BicyclingMagazine.

    its looking like my choices may be Sirrus sport, quick 4 or coda sport. All in that $550 range, what about components, are they all basically the same? Quick 4 has carbon fiber forks, is that better than others in same price range?


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ccoppola View Post
    im 6' and 225lbs, Wont be riding dirt or trails because I have a somewhat bad back and need to stay on paved roads. I can do stationary bike, elliptical, swim or paddle board. Cant do to much jarring on the back.

    no1mad, specialized said sport or elite, cannon dale said badboy 9 or quick 4. I am confused and not sure what to go with, I rode them and the terrain was different for the test drives, neither will let me rent for the day to really try out.

    The closest jamie bike shop is 20+ miles away and felt that If i bought local, i would be able to take back for lifetime free tuneups, etc... But now reading on this forum, it makes me want to check out the Jamis brand. Does it really matter if you buy a bike local or 20+ miles away??

    Haven't considered a road bike because the LBS said that entry level is $1000 and mainly I want to be able to cruise the neighborhood or local harbor with my 4yr old.

    Thank you so much for the opinions.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ccoppola View Post
    im 6' and 225lbs, Wont be riding dirt or trails because I have a somewhat bad back and need to stay on paved roads. I can do stationary bike, elliptical, swim or paddle board. Cant do to much jarring on the back.

    no1mad, specialized said sport or elite, cannon dale said badboy 9 or quick 4. I am confused and not sure what to go with, I rode them and the terrain was different for the test drives, neither will let me rent for the day to really try out.

    The closest jamie bike shop is 20+ miles away and felt that If i bought local, i would be able to take back for lifetime free tuneups, etc... But now reading on this forum, it makes me want to check out the Jamis brand. Does it really matter if you buy a bike local or 20+ miles away??

    Haven't considered a road bike because the LBS said that entry level is $1000 and mainly I want to be able to cruise the neighborhood or local harbor with my 4yr old.

    Thank you so much for the opinions.
    Hi Ccoppola!
    If you were considering a road bike, you can get the entry level Specialized Allez for about $799, probably less if you can find a previous year's model. Other brands' entry level road bikes can be had around that price, too. But for your needs you probably will be more comfortable on a road-oriented hybrid, especially cruising with your 4 year old. The Specialized Sirrus, Cannondale Quick and Bad Boy, and the Trek FX line are all good choices for you. In fact, all these companies make good bikes, and have comparable models in their lines. Is one brand necessarily better than another? No, not generally. As No1mad stated, you will find people loyal to the brand they have. I have a Specialized, a Cannondale, and a Trek, so I'm partial to them. So your task is going to be to determine which of the suggested bikes might be good for you and try them all out. Don't short-change yourself without taking some good test rides on several different brands. Try a model up just to feel what the difference in ride would be, and if it would be worth it to spend a little more now and not outgrow the bike.

    The shop you buy from is very important, more so because this is all new for you. You'd want to get a good fitting, at minimum (fit will make the difference between the bike feeling ok or like an extension of your body). You want to be able to trust their advice and that their considering your best interests in helping you find the right bike. If you have any issues with your new bike you'd want to be confident that they'd take care of it and in a timely manner. The better the bike shop, the more you'll probably learn from them in your dealings with them. To me, a bike shop 20 miles away is still pretty local. I'd have no qualms with driving to that shop for tuneups and repairs. Many shops offer just an initial free tuneup (adjustments) on your purchase, so you can always go more locally after that for future repair needs. It would be worth it to drive 20 miles to try a few brands that might not be in your immediate vicinity.

    But you do have some great choices in your area! Specialized, Cannondale, and Trek all make good bikes. Some other good brands to consider are Giant, Felt, Scott, Bianchi, and Jamis. The geometry on each frame will be slightly different, and will play a big part in the bike feeling right or wrong. But there is much that a good fitter can do (and should do) to get a bike comfortable for you. And don't judge a bike by its saddle comfort, as often (usually) the saddle is the first thing that gets changed out - in fact, often with the initial fitting. In the end, go with the bike that seems to fit you best, is most suited for your needs, and gives you the greatest joy to ride.

    That being said, here are some things you may want to think about - because a carbon fork DOES help to absorb road vibration that's a feature worth considering. The Sirrus and the Quick 4 both have it. With your back issues it could really help to make riding more comfortable for you.

    Bike weight - for me, a heavy bike that can only go about 10-12 mph on paved roads is not enjoyable. Thinner tires and a lighter frame will be faster and easier to ride on pavement, and in climbing, so a lighter weight bike will help. Disc brakes add weight, so it may be a feature to leave off unless you plan to ride in rain and/or mud. Avoid front suspension shocks.

    Look for last season's (2011) models. The 2013s should be coming out soon, and the 2012s should be getting discounted. You can get a higher level bike in that model's line-up, which will ride nicer, often for the same price as the lower model.

    As my personal bias, I'd like to see you try a Cannondale Quick 3. Very much like the Sirrus, a bit smoother, imo. It can be set up with a less upright position, more like a flat bar road bike (so can the Quick 4), and can be had at the higher end of your price range if on sale. Which bikes have you ridden so far, and what did you like/dislike?

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    Bunnicula, really appreciate you taking the time to explain. Really stoked and nice to see someone take the time to help a stranger just beginning in the wonderful sport of bicycling. I could afford the quick 4 but the quick 3 would be out of my range, for $800 is the absolute most (already pushing and exceeding my $750 allotment) I could spend at this moment in time.

    None of the bike shops have mentioned anything about previous years models going on sale due to the 2013 coming out. They all said that the 2013 are coming though. Maybe best for me to wait a couple of weeks or a month. Both shops have offered 10% off, cannondale store may offer a little bit more he said.

    As far as the bikes i have ridden were the Specialized Sport and Elite ( but were on a really smooth parking lot). The only Cannondale I have tried was the Badboy 9 (but was on a bumpy alley way). From what you said regarding disc brakes, I am going to stay away from the Badboy 9 and am going to go back to the cannondale shop and try the quick 4 and quick 3, also ask again about previous year models on sale or discounted.

    If you don't mind me asking bunnicula, what is it about the quick 3. Is it the good entry point that I will not outgrow as quick?

    I am in no real hurry, just have the bug to want to get one soon. Keep telling myself there is no rush.
    Last edited by Ccoppola; 07-15-12 at 11:40 AM. Reason: added a question

  14. #14
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    Bicycle philosophy insomuch as styles, uses, and designs is quite simple and can be easily studied and understood, all within an hour or two. However, bicycle mechanics could take quite some time. Many BMX and MTB kids learned by tinkering throughout the many summer vacations filled with cycling. Other cyclists take bicycle mechanics courses and/or workshops at the LBS.

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    Then just keep the Quick 4 on your list of considerations. I have a Quick 3 and find it to be the perfect hybrid - for me. I also have a carbon fiber road bike that I love, and between these two bikes I have all my biking needs covered. As to the differences, the Quick 3 is lighter, due in part to better, lighter components. The tires are thinner and more road-like. From what you're saying you're looking for I think it could suit your needs very well. But the Quick 4 is a good choice also. It has the carbon forks and vibration dampening chain and seat stays, which all help to give a smoother road ride - something it sounds like you'd appreciate. And please don't stay away from the Badboy on my advice, try to find a smooth road and judge for yourself. The Badboy is a nice bike. I just found the more I rode the more important bike weight became in my efforts to attain speed. The nimbleness and balance of a bike are critcal as well. Many here have one of the Trek FX series, but I just didn't feel right on them. The geometry of the frame was off for me.

    The 10% off your shops have offered could be a nice discount, because the pricier the bike the bigger the discount will be. On a $500 bike it's only $50, but would equate to $70 on a $700 bike, and would probably be at least $100 at the Cannondale dealer (maybe more), making a $700 bike $600. Something to keep in mind to help stay in your budget. Cannondale and Specialized make really nice frames, an opinion expressed to me by a Trek dealer .

    Keep in mind that Giant and Felt are two other good brands that are usually priced lower than their competition. I've really been impressed with some Felts. Slim loves the ride of the Jamis Coda, another good choice. And did you ride the Sirrus? What did you think of it?
    Last edited by Bunnicula; 07-15-12 at 01:55 PM.

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    I think I need to spend a afternoon without the wife and visit many bike stores and re-test. Was kinda disappointed at my LBS that sells Cannondales, they don't have the quick 4 or 3 in stock and won't order it in unless I pay first, is this normal? The sales guy told me to ride the large quick 5 and make my judgement from this. He said the large looks about right and adjusted the seat a little and said that's it. Which takes me to another newbie question.

    What should I look for when I am to be fitted to a bike???? One said stand over the cross bar and if my privates barely touch it's good, another said its a 15% bend in my leg when peddling. Neither have mentioned much more. Seems like reading a ton of the forums a lot of people's LBS seem to do more. Is this after you buy there bike? What is a typical fitting?

    I am gonna try and find another Cannondale dealer and see if they have the quick 3 or 4 in stock. Is it worth traveling 30+ miles to try the Jamis sport?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ccoppola View Post
    I think I need to spend a afternoon without the wife and visit many bike stores and re-test. Was kinda disappointed at my LBS that sells Cannondales, they don't have the quick 4 or 3 in stock and won't order it in unless I pay first, is this normal? The sales guy told me to ride the large quick 5 and make my judgement from this. He said the large looks about right and adjusted the seat a little and said that's it. Which takes me to another newbie question.

    What should I look for when I am to be fitted to a bike???? One said stand over the cross bar and if my privates barely touch it's good, another said its a 15% bend in my leg when peddling. Neither have mentioned much more. Seems like reading a ton of the forums a lot of people's LBS seem to do more. Is this after you buy there bike? What is a typical fitting?

    I am gonna try and find another Cannondale dealer and see if they have the quick 3 or 4 in stock. Is it worth traveling 30+ miles to try the Jamis sport?
    Yes! Of course, it would be worth it, to have better customer service and a better bicycle all 'round! The Jamis Coda Sport will be able to fit up to 38mm wide tires, a rack, and fenders, as well. Besides, in addition to being a better bicycle that will probably last you for entire lifetime, the Coda Sport is most likely to be the least expensive too!

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    well off for a drive to check out the quick 4 large and a trek 20011 7.5 fx. can get the trek for $699 maybe a little less.

    Also waiting on a local Jamis dealer to get the Coda Comp in to try out, hopefully in a couple days.

    Any opinions on the Trex 7.5fx, haven't heard to much about.

    Thanks again everyone for helping me on my purchase...Craig

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    well off for a drive to check out the quick 4 large and a trek 20011 7.5 fx. can get the trek for $699 maybe a little less.

    Also waiting on a local Jamis dealer to get the Coda Comp in to try out, hopefully in a couple days.

    Any opinions on the Trek 7.5fx, haven't heard to much about.

    Thanks again everyone for helping me on my purchase...Craig

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    Yes. I happen to own a Trek 7.5FX. It's my only aluminum framed bicycle.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ccoppola View Post
    well off for a drive to check out the quick 4 large and a trek 20011 7.5 fx. can get the trek for $699 maybe a little less.

    Also waiting on a local Jamis dealer to get the Coda Comp in to try out, hopefully in a couple days.

    Any opinions on the Trex 7.5fx, haven't heard to much about.


    Thanks again everyone for helping me on my purchase...Craig
    While it's a fine bicycle, it still can't compare to any of my other three steel framed bicycles...

    Remember:

    Comfort and fit is everything. The only way to intelligently compare most bikes in reference to comfort, is to both mount and ride most bikes.

    Have fun!


    PS.

    While you're at the Jamis dealership, also try the Satellite and Ventura Sports Models. Cycling for longer distances, begs for a road bike...
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-16-12 at 02:41 PM.

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    So still frame is better and supposedly more comfortable

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ccoppola View Post
    So still frame is better and supposedly more comfortable
    Frame material is a 'Holy War' topic on these boards. They all have their pros and cons, but at your price point, the ergonomics, the overall fit of the bike, and the width and air pressure of the tires will be more noticeable than frame material.

    Put it this way: what manufacturer is going to use an unsafe material in the building process?
    Last edited by no1mad; 07-16-12 at 04:06 PM. Reason: grammar
    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.
    Community guidelines

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    Quote Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
    Frame material is a 'Holy War' topic on these boards. They all have their pros and cons, but at your price point, the ergonomics, the overall fit of the bike, and the width and air pressure of the tires will be more noticeable than frame material.

    Put it this way: what manufacturer is going to use an unsafe material in the building process?
    Agree! Get the bike that you enjoy riding the most. They are all fine choices. Is it worth it to ride 30 miles out of your way? Yes, if you want to find the right bike for you and that's the closest dealer. Definitely go without the wife, don't be rushed, and take as long as you need to get a feel for the bike. I've had many shops offer to let me take a bike out and ride on some local path, or around the neighborhood for as long as I wanted or needed to. The shops that want money before they bring a bike in for you to try are being unreasonable, imo, and not fair to their customers. Most really good shops will bring a bike in because they can always sell it to someone else if you don't like it. I know money is tight in this economy, and they don't want to have excess inventory, but if they don't have the size and model you want then they already have a gap in their inventory. These are popular, low priced bikes and easy to sell. And the Quick 5 rides nothing like the Quick 3 or 4 so it wouldn't tell you a thing about those bikes. Find another shop!

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    Well tested the 2011 7.5fx and Cannondales quick 5 & 3. I am so new that cruising the lots I really couldn't notice to much, although I liked the Cannondale better.

    Now for jamis coda comp, can't find anywhere, the closest BS tells me that I have to pay for a 3day rental if I want them to order so I can try. Another BS which is 45min on a good day said that he will order and if I don't like then I am not committed to buy. Sounds great but it's so far away and I am so new that a long way to go if I have issues. Funny thing is I can't find anything bad or negative comments on the coda comp, really surprised.

    The bike shop closest to me that said I had to pay to rent before he would order, will sell the 2012 coda comp (black) for $700 and the coda sport femme for $500 ( for the wife). Also would discount more if I bought both, seems like a good deal.

    The bike shop 45 min away will match $700 and $500, but with store credit.

    Any suggestions on price I should paying???

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ccoppola View Post
    Well tested the 2011 7.5fx and Cannondales quick 5 & 3. I am so new that cruising the lots I really couldn't notice to much, although I liked the Cannondale better.

    Now for jamis coda comp, can't find anywhere, the closest BS tells me that I have to pay for a 3day rental if I want them to order so I can try. Another BS which is 45min on a good day said that he will order and if I don't like then I am not committed to buy. Sounds great but it's so far away and I am so new that a long way to go if I have issues. Funny thing is I can't find anything bad or negative comments on the coda comp, really surprised.

    The bike shop closest to me that said I had to pay to rent before he would order, will sell the 2012 coda comp (black) for $700 and the coda sport femme for $500 ( for the wife). Also would discount more if I bought both, seems like a good deal.


    The bike shop 45 min away will match $700 and $500, but with store credit.

    Any suggestions on price I should paying???
    You could call Jamis Customer Service @ 201-768-9050 and explain the rental situation with LBS #1.

    BTW

    It's "LBS" NOT "BS"

    LBS = local bike shop

    OTOH, I've never known anyone who disliked the ride of a Jamis Coda. Plus when you consider your huge discount...Somehow it just doesn't seem like that much of a risk...

    So what about making a morning out of it, this coming Saturday. Just take the drive to LBS #2. Do a 20 minute test ride on the Coda Comp and a 20 minute test ride on the Satellite Sport. Return home and make your final decision as to which of all the bikes you liked the best.
    Last edited by SlimRider; 07-17-12 at 01:37 PM.

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