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Old 07-16-12, 05:10 AM   #1
lukew
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Buying my 1st bike - recommendations required

Hi all

I'm looking to buy a new bike (my first since I was a teenager) and I have a budget of about 500.

I'm planning on buying a hybrid as I want to ride on roads and also some trails (mainly woodland/public paths, nothing too demanding, gravel/grass etc) so I'd like something fast but also something strong enough to take off-road occasionally.

I've only looked at Giant and Specialized so far as they are the only stores near me and have the following in mind:

Giant Seek 3 - http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/....3/9319/49835/

Specialized Crosstrail Sport Disc - http://www.specializedconceptstore.c...20Sport%20Disc

Don't think I'm overly fussed about having front suspension, but would I need it to go off-road occasionally? Out of the 2 bikes above, which would be more suitable and which is more value for money, parts wise?

If you can recommend anything else then feel free to!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 07-16-12, 07:57 AM   #2
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Welcome To Bike Forums, Lukew!

As you described your budget, uses, and purposes, I instantly began visualizing the following bicycles:

The Giant Escape 1 ~ 500 p
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bikes/model/escape.1/white/9321/55768/

The Giant Seek 3 ~ 500 p

www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bikes/model/seek.3/9319/49835/

The Giant Blvd 2 ~ 450 p
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-gb/bikes/model/blvd.2/9323/49845/

* As Giant is by far the superior bicycle company in terms of customer
service and product, I would highly recommend the above bicycles.

You don't need front suspension for your purposes. The more moving parts, the greater the repair potential. Besides suspended forks at that price aren't the best.

Last edited by SlimRider; 07-16-12 at 08:15 AM.
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Old 07-16-12, 08:07 AM   #3
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Of the 2 you have listed, would go for the Giant, this has the advantage of having a rigid fork, the suspension fork on the specialized is at present un-serviceable in the UK, and should be considered disposable if it ever needs.

Neither have great spec's, and if you can stretch another 50, you can get something like a Boardman Hybrid Compe which looks better than both, and has a better spec. http://www.halfords.com/webapp/wcs/s...egoryId_165534
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Old 07-16-12, 09:14 AM   #4
lukew
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Thanks for the input so far guys. Without front suspension, is it still possible/wise to go up and down curbs? I won't be doing it often, but the option to is always nice without having to worry I'm doing anything overly damaging.

I will check out the Boardman, I think I should be able to stretch my budget if need be. I'm going to purcahse the bike through the ride to work scheme so will save anyway.
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Old 07-16-12, 09:26 AM   #5
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People ride down stairs on bikes with rigid forks. That being said, if you are planning on a bunch of curb hopping, then the wheels are going to be the weak link- especially if you are a heavier lad.
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Old 07-16-12, 11:38 AM   #6
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I was pretty much in the same boat as you a few weeks ago. I ride mostly on the street but I like to go to some parks and ride trails too. I went with the Specialized Crosstrail Sport and I'm very happy with my decision. I test rode a bunch of different bikes like the Giant Roam 1, Raleigh Misceo (can't remember the model), and a couple others. The Specialized just seemed best for me so that's what I went with. I ride with the fork locked most of the time but it's nice to have options.

Last edited by dhunley1; 07-16-12 at 11:42 AM.
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Old 07-16-12, 02:57 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by dhunley1 View Post
I was pretty much in the same boat as you a few weeks ago. I ride mostly on the street but I like to go to some parks and ride trails too. I went with the Specialized Crosstrail Sport and I'm very happy with my decision. I test rode a bunch of different bikes like the Giant Roam 1, Raleigh Misceo (can't remember the model), and a couple others. The Specialized just seemed best for me so that's what I went with. I ride with the fork locked most of the time but it's nice to have options.
How's it been so far?

Spent the last few hours looking at all the bikes, and this new Boardman one recommended. Hate making decisions!
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Old 07-16-12, 03:08 PM   #8
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Hi Lukew!

You currently have in your possession, an ample number of great bikes. Now go to their respective dealerships with a notebook in hand and test ride them all.

After each ride, write down your overall impression of the bike.

Write down the model brand and name..Next, answer these questions: Was it fast?...Was it smooth? ...Did you feel comfortable?...Did it change gears smoothly and efficiently?..Were there any strange noises?...etc..
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Old 07-16-12, 03:38 PM   #9
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How's it been so far?

Spent the last few hours looking at all the bikes, and this new Boardman one recommended. Hate making decisions!
So far it's been great! It shifts nice and smoothly, rolls nice and smooth on pavement, but has no issues going off road. Like I said, I usually have the fork locked but the suspension feels pretty nice when it's unlocked (not bouncy like some of the mtn bikes I tested).

Like others have said, test ride some different bikes and decide for yourself.
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