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  1. #1
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    Buy nicer or buy cheap and accesorise? New owner incoming!

    Hi all!

    Im a new member (more of a lurker really) who will be joining the hybrid community soon. I hadnt really ridden in over a decade but during this deployment i picked up a bike that would make a wally world bike feel awesome. It was however enough to get my out of catching a ride to work and get me hooked on riding. Ive decided when i get back i want to make biking part of my (and my family's) life.

    My big question is, should I:

    1) buy cheaper (say a Giant Escape 3 vs a Escape 1) and grab a nice seat and bar ends etc

    2) buy nicer but hold off on accesories

    3) try to find a cheap bike on craigslist and build a frankenbike (im an aircraft mechanic and good with my hands/anything mechanical)

    Any suggestions are appreciated!

    Trying to keep it $500ish so currently eyeballing Giant Escapes, Trek 7's, Jamis Coda, and Cannondale Quick. Didnt care for the Specialized Sirrus astheticly. Owners feel free to weigh in on bikes!

  2. #2
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Thats a relative question. Once you get past paying $400 for a hybrid you're paying for a lighter frame and higher end components. But the user interfaces - ie grips, saddle and pedals are NEVER high end. And pedals aren't even included on many road bikes.

    So your call. On my case function is more important than minimal grams, and a frame has never been a shortcoming so my strategy is to buy a reasonable hybrid - new or used - and put high end tires, grips and saddle on it. A fairly decent wheelset costs as much as an average hybrid, but great tires are still a cheaper more effective upgrade. YMMV

  3. #3
    Recreational/Utility bjjoondo's Avatar
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    Personally, I'd BUY as high as you can, as it's pretty expensive to, "add upgraded" component's later, jmho. I'll put in a Shout Out for the "Jamis Coda" as I have a 2012 Coda Sport and love it!! NOTE: If you buy a new (2013) Jamis Coda series machine, step up to the "Coda Comp", it's a bummer but Jamis really took a step DOWN on the Coda Sport for 2013, componet wise!! If you can find a leftover "2012 Jamis Coda Sport", jmho, ymmv.
    Take care, RIDE SAFE, have FUN!
    B.J. Ondo
    2011 Jamis Allegro 1

  4. #4
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skudoo View Post



    3) try to find a cheap bike on craigslist and build a frankenbike (im an aircraft mechanic and good with my hands/anything mechanical)
    That.

    It is a lot of fun to do.
    I am currently in my basement building a couple project bikes.

    Here's one I assembled from last winter. Most parts are from CL and bike swap.


    $380 all said and done.
    Last edited by DVC45; 01-20-13 at 05:08 PM.

  5. #5
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    Building a bike is fun, no doubt about it. Nothing better than building something yourself and having a little pride with the result. I love that feeling of real ownership and control. As long as you have the patience to wait out good deals on parts or have access to a place stocked full of bits and bolt like a community shop or refurb/recyclery, you are good to go. Otherwise, the costs of fixing up an old beater can be higher than you expected and its easier to keep your eye out for a good used bike that someone else left in their garage and never got around to riding. A simple DIY tune up and you're in business.

    If you do decide to buy new, the Jamis Coda and Giant Escapes are great choices. You won't go wrong with either.

  6. #6
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Burton View Post
    Thats a relative question. Once you get past paying $400 for a hybrid you're paying for a lighter frame and higher end components. But the user interfaces - ie grips, saddle and pedals are NEVER high end. And pedals aren't even included on many road bikes.

    So your call. On my case function is more important than minimal grams, and a frame has never been a shortcoming so my strategy is to buy a reasonable hybrid - new or used - and put high end tires, grips and saddle on it. A fairly decent wheelset costs as much as an average hybrid, but great tires are still a cheaper more effective upgrade. YMMV
    +1. Upgrading drive components after purchase is going to cost a lot more than purchasing a better bike. What accessories do you wish to purchase/upgrade right away? Seats are often not to rider's liking. Bar ends are a popular add on. Other accessories can be added as needed and since you have a bike, you probably have basics like helmet, gloves, flat repair, etc covered. You should not have to upgrade anything on a new bike. Personally, since you are going to rely on this bike for transportation and put many miles on it, I would go for the better components. In the price range of the Escape 1 vs 3, I think you are getting better bike for the money. Perhaps you can call around and try to find a 2012 or 2011 Escape 1 that is discounted. Finally, used can save you some money depending on what the market in your area is like and how patient you are.
    Congrats on getting bit by the bug!
    2012 Cannondale Synapse 3, 2012 Trek 7.5 FX Disc, 2003 Trek 2200 WSD, 1997 Specialized Rockhopper Al Comp

  7. #7
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Find a decent $100 Specialized or Trek hybrid bike in your local CL. Accessorize as you go.

    Here are a few examples http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3562213440.html http://chicago.craigslist.org/sox/bid/3551060344.html http://chicago.craigslist.org/chc/bik/3562176233.html

    Plenty of nice, hardly ridden used bikes out there for sale. Unless, of course, you just want to buy a new one.
    Last edited by DVC45; 01-22-13 at 09:26 AM.

  8. #8
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    I bought the cheapest Specialized Sirrus, with the intention of upgrading parts as they wear out. The higher models have better shifting I suppose, but I have few complaints about mine. The front derailleur is probably the weakest, and an upgrade would cost $15. After the initial bike purchase I have spent at least $300 on a rack, bag, shoes, pedals, fenders and lights. I wouldn't have been able to do that if I had a more expensive bike to begin with - and these additions made my commute much more comfortable and safer.

    YMMV of course - depends on how much money you can spare, and what use you will put the bike to.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    How about option 4: Buy a $300-400 used hybrid on Craigslist and use the remainder of your $500 budget for accessories. The only catch is that you need to figure out what size frame fits you first. That way you get a bike with better components and don't need to skimp on accessories.

  10. #10
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    I agree that a used bike will be the most bang for the buck. That does leave you mostly on your own in deciding what model and size is appropriate.

    I happen to enjoy putting together a semi-custom frankenbike. Current project is a '91 Schwinn Crosscut frame that is going to be a light touring/city bike. It's going to take a while to get all the items for it. It's not my only bike, however.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  11. #11
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    Update: Happened across a barely used Giant Escape 2 ($300) on craigslist and the wife is picking up for me today =) Arranging a phone call to this guy with my 8-hour time difference was interesting for sure.

    Cant wait for two months to pass so i return home to my family (and my new toy). Maybe i can get her to catch the bug and go on family bike rides!

    On another note, anyone here own the burley bee or similar priced kid trailers? My little boy will be about the right age to ride in one when i get back.

  12. #12
    Senior Member DEW21's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skudoo View Post
    Update: Happened across a barely used Giant Escape 2 ($300) on craigslist and the wife is picking up for me today =) Arranging a phone call to this guy with my 8-hour time difference was interesting for sure.

    Cant wait for two months to pass so i return home to my family (and my new toy). Maybe i can get her to catch the bug and go on family bike rides!

    On another note, anyone here own the burley bee or similar priced kid trailers? My little boy will be about the right age to ride in one when i get back.
    Same bike I picked up a few months ago (new). I was able to put 250 miles on it before winter arrived and loving it! Picked up a few accessories over the winter for it, Topeak rack and MTX bag, bmx style platform pedals and still debating on type of lock to purchase. Your gonna like your new ride! Get a lid to protect your brain, I found bycyclying to be more dangerous than motorcycle riding.

  13. #13
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Pics or it didn't happen!


  14. #14
    S'Cruzer pierce's Avatar
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    rack: $25
    fenders: $30
    pedals: $45 (fancy BMX pin pedals on clearance)
    bag: $65 (hey, I got a nice banjo bro. expandable top bag)
    tail blinky: $15
    really bright chinese headlight: $30 (ebay rocks!)

    way short of $300 here, aren't we?

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