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Old 12-12-12, 09:08 PM   #1
saintjb
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Old but New

I am just getting back into biking after a 30 year hiatus. I have spent a lot of time shopping and learning. I did my home work riding every bike in the hybrid category. There were three bikes that I kept going back to. My decision will be one of these three.
1) Jamis Coda Elite
2) Trek 7.4 DFX
3) Crosstrail Sport Disc
Where I am ignorant is in Brand, Quality, Reputation. I am about a 70% street biker and 30% crushed gravel, cynders and dirt path biker. Any honest opinions would be greatly appreciated.
Regards, JB
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Old 12-13-12, 12:56 AM   #2
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At the price point that you're shopping, they are all fine bikes. Try and ride all 3 back to back over similar (if not the same) road surfaces. The one that feels the most comfy to you is the likely winner.
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Old 12-13-12, 08:17 AM   #3
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At the price point that you're shopping, they are all fine bikes. Try and ride all 3 back to back over similar (if not the same) road surfaces. The one that feels the most comfy to you is the likely winner.
I agree 100%. While I love my Trek 7.4FX, that is what felt right to me. You may feel differently, so try all "candidates" and then you'll be able to make an intelligent decision.

Good luck and best regards
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Old 12-13-12, 09:59 AM   #4
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IF you posted links to the 3 bikes, it'd make it much easier for the rest of us to compare components to see if anything sticks out, good or bad.
I for one, am not taking the time to search out those bikes for you.
3 quick clicks, and I would.
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Old 12-13-12, 03:55 PM   #5
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Bill is right....good point

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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
IF you posted links to the 3 bikes, it'd make it much easier for the rest of us to compare components to see if anything sticks out, good or bad.
I for one, am not taking the time to search out those bikes for you.
3 quick clicks, and I would.
Bill excellent pt.

http://www.evanscycles.com/products/...-bike-ec041527

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...fx/7_4_fx_disc

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...trailsportdisc
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Old 12-13-12, 04:45 PM   #6
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Specialized and Trek are two of the biggest bike brands in the USA, and Jamis is one of the 2nd tier brands (in size, not quality). be hard to go wrong with any of them

I'm not a fan of disk brakes on low end bikes, nor suspension forks (didn't look to see if any of these have either of those features). both are awesome features on $$$$ mountain bikes, but the cheap stuff is pretty bad.

if you're a bigger person, a 700c wheel will be much nicer on the roads than a 26". for that 30% crushed gravel and dirt trail, you certainly want a bike with a wider tire, like a 700x38 rather than a 700x28, although I do a fair amount of easy hard pack on 700x32 tires. again, I've not looked up those 3 specific bikes to see where they are on the wheel sizes.
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Old 12-13-12, 07:53 PM   #7
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I don't think you would go wrong with any of those choices.

I personally don't like shocks (I don't need them or their extra weight) or disc brakes (don't need them either in my flat terrain).

I DO like the 9 speed drive trains vs a lower number.
In disc brakes, I see a potentially expensive repair in my future.
IF you plan to ride in wet conditions or STEEP downhills, the discs may be useful.

Of the 3, I kind of prefer the Jamis.
YOU have to decide what feels best for you though. There should be one of them that simply "talks" to you a little sweeter than the others. More of an extension of yourself, rather than something you have to adapt yourself to.

BTW, if the gearing choices don't quite match your riding needs, you can do a cassette swap rather inexpensively.
Both my bikes have been "upgraded" to 9 speeds. For my flat conditions, I use 12-21 & 12-23 cassettes. That gives me lots of closely spaced gears to keep my cadence at an optimum (for me) RPM. This greatly assists my "cruise speed", since I have emphysema.

All opinions expressed are from an old codger!
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Old 12-13-12, 08:15 PM   #8
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and in my mixed flats-n-hills, I went from a 11-34 8 speed to a 13-26 8 speed to gain closer spaced gears. my front is a 48-38-28, so that gives me PLENTY of gear range.

warning on switching from 7/8 to 9 speeds... 9-speed needs a different shifter, this can get expensive if your bike has integrated brake+shifters controls. I am a little picky and wouldn't want different design controls on the left and right, so I'd end up having to swap BOTH, meh.
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Old 12-13-12, 08:53 PM   #9
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I don't think you need a suspension fork for the limited off-road riding you'll be doing, just 35 or 38mm wide tires. I've owned the Coda and currently own a 7.5FX. I prefer the geometry of the Trek with it's taller head tube. The Coda places you in a more aggressive (leaned over) position with its short head tube. The Specialized Sirrus is the hybrid that competes with the 7.4FX and Coda BTW. Try to test ride each bike and see which one you prefer.
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Old 12-14-12, 11:52 AM   #10
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I love my 2012 Jamis Coda Sport, it's my utility/everyday bike so it has to do all kinds of terrain and pull my loaded utility trailer at times too! I've had several Jamis's over the years and really think the give a good "bang for the buck" over some of the current super producers brands, jmho, ymmv. I wanted the "STEEL" frame set due to using the bike as a "trailer tugger", (we are a Car Free couple). I've put on a more agressive treaded tire for a bit more "control" is loose dirt and sand than the stock tires which are VERY GOOD and the flat protection system is awesome! Unless your doing a lot of "rooted or broken up trail riding", you don't need the suspension, now IF your thinking of doing any "single track" trails, I'll go against the opinon's and say, YOU want suspension, again jmho. Do agree with a TEST RIDE being the best way to truel decide between these great bikes!
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Old 12-23-12, 07:59 AM   #11
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No bad bikes there
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Old 12-23-12, 05:01 PM   #12
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My $.02,the Crosstrail is different from the other two in that it's closer to a MTB. If you're looking to go more offroad,then it's a better choice for this than the other two due to the suspension fork and wider tire clearance. The fork has a lockout,so it'll do ok on the road,it'll just be slower than the others. The Coda,with it's steel frame and curved carbon fork,will ride better than the all alloy straight bladed fork FX. The Coda is also the only one with mechanical discs,which require more regular maintenance than hydros,but they don't have to be bled and it's easier/cheaper to change the cables then it would be for hoses if you swap the handlebars or do some other mod(like adding an Xtracycle). All are 9spd,which means your chains will last longer and cost less to replace than the current 10spd fad.

Really though,you need to ride each and determine which feels best.
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Old 12-23-12, 05:04 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
In disc brakes, I see a potentially expensive repair in my future.
Only if you have hydros and don't keep up with the bleeding.

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IF you plan to ride in wet conditions or STEEP downhills, the discs may be useful.
Also zero rim wear,performance not tied to wheel trueness,they work in snow,easier wheel removal/can't forget to reconnect them,longer lasting pads/easier installation,fewer regular adjustments needed.
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Old 12-23-12, 09:32 PM   #14
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You indeed have done your homework. I would stay away from the bike with the suspension fork. You don't need a fork for the type of off road riding you describe. The Jamis and the Trek have nearly identical specs: 9 speed, same gears, hydraulic disc brakes (not sure which brand is better), both have 32mm tires. The big difference is that the Jamis is steel and the Trek is aluminum. Slim would tell you that aluminum wears out after three rides and steel will last until the next apocalypse. I think either one is fine and I would not be surprised if 95% of the bikes out there are aluminum. There is one difference, however. Steel rusts. If you live and ride in a really rainy area, perhaps you will be better served with aluminum. Steel supposedly gives a smoother ride. YMMV.
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Old 12-24-12, 10:23 AM   #15
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Of those three bikes I think it is a coin toss between the Jamis and Trek bikes. For the kind of riding you do a suspension fork will do little more than add weight so forget the Specialized. Additionally, if either Jamis or Trek makes otherwise comparably equipped bikes with rim brakes then you might look at those as well. Based on the kind of riding you plan disc brakes are probably overkill and swiching to rims could save some bucks. And your bike will stop just as well.

I ride a Giant FCR on gravel & dirt trail as well as paved rail bed trails. Switching from the stock 700x28 to 700x42 made a huge difference in off-road ridability so you should consider switching to 35 or 38 at the least. Check the inner rim width to determine the outer limit for tire size.

Welcome back to bike riding. After many years of riding just road bikes I finally switched to a hybrid and love the flexibility so much that I'm getting ready to sell that old carbon frame.
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Old 12-24-12, 03:28 PM   #16
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many hybrids won't fit a 40mm, just be warned.... they will hit the frame at the chain stays.
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