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  1. #1
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    Worried about buying nicer than I need

    As the title suggests, I'm looking to purchase a bike (my first) and while I have looked through hundreds of pots on these forums to get an idea of what I want, I'm concerned I might be looking down the wrong path.

    As of this point, I'm thinking I want either a Trek 7.4, a Specialized Sirrus Elite, or a Cannondale Quick SL 3. From what I can determine, the Trek is the cheapest of the bunch, with the Cannondale and Specialized being roughly the same. The LBS that sells the specialized is asking list for it, which struck me as odd.

    My narrowing down to those bikes was based on the fact that I like the two LBS that sell them, which I read time and time again as being important. Additionally, I like the style and feel of the lighter, more performance-oriented hybrids.

    As for my intended use: I plan to ride mostly on weekends, everything from errands around town to longer jaunts on bike trails. That said, I wouldn't think I'd be going much more than 30 miles per weekend. I'd also like to get some fenders thanks to the planned city use, and I'm not sure how appropriate that is for any of these bikes. Oh, and I live in New Orleans, which has some of the most epically horrible roads in the western world. Seriously, the roads are an uneven mess, so I'm worried about that.

    So then, I guess the heart of my question is...an I looking at the right class of bike? I like the feel of them all, but the narrower tires give me pause thanks to the third world streets (not that I'm concerned about comfort. More concerned about loss of control, if that's even an issue on thinner wheels). The price point isn't an issue, it's just more a sense of me wanting to make the right choice from the start as best I can. I don't particularly want to get some entry-level bike then feel the need to upgrade it in short order, hence why I'm looking a bit above the base models...but then I don't want to go overboard and get a bike that is relatively nicer than my ability to notice the value of the upgrade, given that I won't be putting on tons of miles.

    EDIT: If it's relevant info, I'm 6'1 and 210lbs.
    Last edited by Bean Burrito; 02-22-13 at 10:26 AM.

  2. #2
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    i could be wrong but wheels built with 32 spoke rims might be on the the light side for your weight. i was over 200 for a while and a bike with 36 spoke wheels never had problems keeping the wheels true. a bike with 32 spoke wheels was a constant headache keeping the wheels true. in fact i flat spotted a rear rim and that was just riding paved roads. my 02.

  3. #3
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    I gotta Trek DS 8.6 but the cheaper 8.5 would have worked.
    Remote lock-out on the fork, 20mm of rear wheel travel a few pounds heavyer than what you posted.
    But with my 6' 230# crazy 65yo body slamming up driveways, hitting 2' bumps, the 32 spoke wheels are still true and tight.
    This is over 60 days of riding atleast 10 miles a day.

    The wheels/tires are not lite on these types of bikes... generally.
    Last edited by pursuance; 02-25-13 at 11:41 AM. Reason: 20mm rear travel

  4. #4
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    Properly tensioned 32h wheels are FINE as long as they are 3x laced. Even still I had a 28h radially laced wheel that held up to 220lbs. Just have to have the wheels tensioned evenly and with enough tension...

    Fenders on a flat bar road bike (that IS what these really are) you ask? Let me show ya:



    They look fine, and work GREAT. Those are Planet Bikes road fenders (my sirrus has 28c tires). the road fenders are for up to 28c, and there is plenty of room. (Yes, this is my bike...)

    I am partial to specialized. But Trek and Cannondale are both good. RIDE each one, that will tell you what you need to know. Brand is not as important as fit/feel
    2012 Diamondback Podium 2 - Ready for spring! :D
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Your first bike just lets you know what you REALLY want.
    I always recommend getting a DECENT used bike off CL, ride it for a while to figure out what you like/dislike about it and then buy new.
    You can keep or sell the first bike.
    You may be like me and have 2 different style bikes for different purposes.
    I have a old MB with rack, baskets & fenders (which made it heavier than I liked) I use as a grocery getter/wet streets and a Hybrid just to ride for pleasure or non cargo transportation.

  6. #6
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    Your bike shop, or one of the several shops in town, sell all 3 of those ?

  7. #7
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    I can understand where you are coming from. My wife and I love going to Norleans a couple of times a year to ride mostly across the lake on the Tammany Trace. But have taken the Levee Trail into the city and biked around the city a couple of times. You're right about the pavement. When we were looking at replacements for our 18 year old hybrids we almost bought a couple of Quick's. They are great bikes, ride super but I was a little shy looking at the spokes on the wheels. I'm 6 feet and 200 lbs. Figured I didn't want to break a spoke or two. I'm sure that wouldn't really happen or well maybe.... Anyway we ended up buying a couple of Giant Escape RX 0's. I can tell you that anyone of the above bikes will serve you well. What a great way to get around your historic city. Enjoy.

  8. #8
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    I ride a Trek 7.2 with fenders in NYC -- New Orleans roads are worse, but ours are still a challenge. The narrow tires are fine, as long as you have a 7.2 or higher (a 7.1 doesn't have the puncture resistant tires). Control is no problem. I've also done 50+ mile rides on it, and had no issues (other than my hands going a bit numb, which is fixable with some cheap upgrades). As to weight, don't worry about it -- you're well within normal ranges for these bikes. In terms of the fenders, the Trek already comes with all the necessary holes and braze-ons to attach them easily -- I'm sure the others do as well.

    Personally, I do think you're looking about one or two classes too high for your needs, though -- but if you have the money, who cares? For example, you don't really need a carbon fork, but if you want one...nothing wrong with it. That being said, riding is addictive, and the right number of bikes to own is N+1, with N being the number of bikes you currently own. I went with a cheaper hybrid to start, and to use as a commuter bike (and to see if I liked riding) -- then added a nicer road bike for those really long rides where you want all the performance you can get. So, for me, I didn't see the point in getting a super high-end commuter to start -- the n+1 is when you want to start looking higher up.
    The most important thing is simply to ride.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
    Your bike shop, or one of the several shops in town, sell all 3 of those ?
    One shop sells trek and cannondale, the other sells specialized. Those are within a mile and a half or so. Plus there's a place about 1/4th of a mile down the road that sells Fujis, and a place that sells Raleigh and Giant maybe 3 miles away. It's a pretty nice spread of easily-accessible selection!

    I've also been looking through Craigslist pretty frequently as well as checking out used bikes at different shops, but the used market seems really picked over here, and by the time I email a Craigslist seller, they've already sold the darn bike.

  10. #10
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    These are all great bikes will work great for your intended purpose. Seeing as you want to mount fenders and you want to use the bikes for errands, make sure you can mount a rack and fenders on the back. The Cannondale and the Trek have a little bit wider (32c) tire than the Specialized. You could probably get the shop to mount the larger tires on the Specialized bike for no charge if you asked them. That said, all the wheels and tires on these bikes should hold up very well given your size and intended use.

    The only thing I would do if I were you before I chose one of these bikes is ride a few bikes in this price range with drop handlebars. Make sure you can fit fenders and racks and at least 32c tires on these bikes too. Given that you are looking for a performance oriented ride you may like these bikes. One big advantage of drop bars over flat bars are multiple hand positions. This keeps your hands fresh on longer rides. You can also set up the bars so that you are not all hunched over like on a racing bike.


    Whatever you decide good luck and enjoy your new bike.
    Last edited by jerseyJim; 02-22-13 at 02:37 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuance View Post
    I gotta Trek DS 8.6 but the cheaper 8.5 would have worked.
    Remote lock-out on the fork, 80mm of rear wheel travel a few pounds heavyer than what you posted.
    But with my 6' 230# crazy 65yo body slamming up driveways, hitting 2' bumps, the 32 spoke wheels are still true and tight.
    This is over 60 days of riding atleast 10 miles a day.

    The wheels/tires are not lite on these types of bikes... generally.
    not to hijack the thread but...any chance we could see some pics of the 8.6. I've only seen the website pics and there aren't "real world"

  12. #12
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nymtber View Post
    ...
    Fenders on a flat bar road bike (that IS what these really are) you ask? Let me show ya:


    ...
    But but but, that frame doesn't have road calipers on it.
    Road Bike: 2004 ORBEA Mitis2+Carbon, Freekin' groovy Urban / Mountain Road Cruising Bike: 2007 CANNONDALE Bad Boy Disc, MTB: 2012 Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin 29er

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean Burrito View Post
    As the title suggests, I'm looking to purchase a bike (my first) and while I have looked through hundreds of pots on these forums to get an idea of what I want, I'm concerned I might be looking down the wrong path.

    As of this point, I'm thinking I want either a Trek 7.4, a Specialized Sirrus Elite, or a Cannondale Quick SL 3. From what I can determine, the Trek is the cheapest of the bunch, with the Cannondale and Specialized being roughly the same. The LBS that sells the specialized is asking list for it, which struck me as odd.

    My narrowing down to those bikes was based on the fact that I like the two LBS that sell them, which I read time and time again as being important. Additionally, I like the style and feel of the lighter, more performance-oriented hybrids.

    As for my intended use: I plan to ride mostly on weekends, everything from errands around town to longer jaunts on bike trails. That said, I wouldn't think I'd be going much more than 30 miles per weekend. I'd also like to get some fenders thanks to the planned city use, and I'm not sure how appropriate that is for any of these bikes. Oh, and I live in New Orleans, which has some of the most epically horrible roads in the western world. Seriously, the roads are an uneven mess, so I'm worried about that.

    So then, I guess the heart of my question is...an I looking at the right class of bike? I like the feel of them all, but the narrower tires give me pause thanks to the third world streets (not that I'm concerned about comfort. More concerned about loss of control, if that's even an issue on thinner wheels). The price point isn't an issue, it's just more a sense of me wanting to make the right choice from the start as best I can. I don't particularly want to get some entry-level bike then feel the need to upgrade it in short order, hence why I'm looking a bit above the base models...but then I don't want to go overboard and get a bike that is relatively nicer than my ability to notice the value of the upgrade, given that I won't be putting on tons of miles.

    EDIT: If it's relevant info, I'm 6'1 and 210lbs.
    The 7.2 FX I bought is quick and reliable. My intended purpose is commuting, fitness and touring. If there is a specific task you have for your bike... buy for that purpose. But you will be surprised what a good, basic bike will do for you.

    IMG_20130113_150900.jpg

  14. #14
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    Just like some others have said, maybe you are looking at higher models than for your purposes. I bought a Trek 7.1 fx and that thing surprises me of how reliable and sturdy it is. Roads here where i live arent the greatest but my bike does it all. Money was an issue for me and that $500 i spent was alot but since you said you can afford it, go for it, biking is always more fun with a more expensive bike! Good luck and tell us what you end up buying!

  15. #15
    Senior Member a1penguin's Avatar
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    "Additionally, I like the style and feel of the lighter, more performance-oriented hybrids."

    Well, that says it all. You have made the decision that you are willing to pay more for lighter bike. Given that you weight 210, I think the better components will be a good choice. I have a couple of co-workers who are one the 240 side and they have seem to have more problems with their bikes than I do, so I think buying a better components will pay for itself in the long run. Given that the roads are crappy, you will be better off with larger diameter tires. The Trek and Cannondale are 32c tires and the Specialized are 28s. I don't know what the rims are but you might want to inquire about swapping out the stock tires for wider ones. Ask the LBS about larger diameter tires; frame dimensions and brakes will determine how large a tire the bike will accept. A bike in this price range that is stored in good environment (garage rather than outside) will last a life time.

    IMHO you have selected bikes that will meet your needs.
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    I ended up getting a 2013 Jamis Coda Comp...so not one of the bikes I listed at the start, but pretty close. The deciding factor ended up being the ride. The other bikes felt pretty darn similar, but the Jamis felt more comfortable somehow.

    This purchase put me on the lower end of my budget, but hey, it felt right. I considered the Coda Elite, but I didn't think that upgrade was a worthwhile as upgrading models of the FX or Sirrus.

    Now I need to consider what I might upgrade on the bike.

  17. #17
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    upgrades are nice but what pays off is time on the bike. start off slow maybe 1/2 hour for a few days and build up, no sense in making your body feel unpleasent, give it time to adjust to riding. once you get to a steady riding state then look for upgrades. sounds like a good choice on the jamis comp, i ride steel also, 1979 puch, now an 8 speed with flat bars and a 1992 bianchi advantage now a 9 speed both in steel.

  18. #18
    Certified Bike Brat Burton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean Burrito View Post
    I ended up getting a 2013 Jamis Coda Comp....

    Now I need to consider what I might upgrade on the bike.
    Considering the title of the original post - that gave me a chuckle!!

    Glad the test ride went well - give it a runaround fir a week or two and take it on a tour of all the accessory shops. After than things will just kinda happe on their own.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean Burrito View Post
    I ended up getting a 2013 Jamis Coda Comp...so not one of the bikes I listed at the start, but pretty close. The deciding factor ended up being the ride. The other bikes felt pretty darn similar, but the Jamis felt more comfortable somehow.

    This purchase put me on the lower end of my budget, but hey, it felt right. I considered the Coda Elite, but I didn't think that upgrade was a worthwhile as upgrading models of the FX or Sirrus.

    Now I need to consider what I might upgrade on the bike.

    Nice choice. Cromoly, CF fork... good looking bike. A rear rack and some fenders and your good to go. Ride safe. Enjoy your new bike!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jerseyJim View Post
    Nice choice. Cromoly, CF fork... good looking bike. A rear rack and some fenders and your good to go. Ride safe. Enjoy your new bike!
    Yeah, when I said I wanted to upgrade some things, I was thinking along the lines of fenders, the rack, possibly tires. No components or anything! Heck, the saddle and grips are already pretty nice.

    The look of the bike really grew on me as I looked over a range of things. At first I liked the matte black with color highlights of the Sirrus Elite and some of the FXes, but then my girlfriend got a Specialized Globe Work 1, which has a pretty minimalist, silver, mostly unbranded look. That made me appreciate a more understated look.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bean Burrito View Post
    I ended up getting a 2013 Jamis Coda Comp...so not one of the bikes I listed at the start, but pretty close. The deciding factor ended up being the ride. The other bikes felt pretty darn similar, but the Jamis felt more comfortable somehow.

    This purchase put me on the lower end of my budget, but hey, it felt right. I considered the Coda Elite, but I didn't think that upgrade was a worthwhile as upgrading models of the FX or Sirrus.

    Now I need to consider what I might upgrade on the bike.

    Nice choice. I am shopping these same bikes and have ridden all 3 you originally posted about plus the Jamis Allegro and Coda. I agree that the Jamis are more comfortable. I think I am going with the allegro and my wife the coda.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Duster72 View Post
    Nice choice. I am shopping these same bikes and have ridden all 3 you originally posted about plus the Jamis Allegro and Coda. I agree that the Jamis are more comfortable. I think I am going with the allegro and my wife the coda.
    They're also good deals relative to brands like Specialized and Trek, and they have a pretty classic look that almost anyone should find appealing or at least acceptable . But boy, when you boil it down, you get some great bike for the money.

  23. #23
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    congrats on your new bike! but be ready to spend a couple more hundred on upgrades and accessories

  24. #24
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    reminds me of something I heard in a movie about what someone had told a young man about choosing a wife: "when you meet a woman that you think is better than you deserve, marry her"
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  25. #25
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    first bike should be cheap but decent

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Kapaun View Post
    Your first bike just lets you know what you REALLY want.
    I always recommend getting a DECENT used bike off CL, ride it for a while to figure out what you like/dislike about it and then buy new.
    You can keep or sell the first bike.
    You may be like me and have 2 different style bikes for different purposes.
    I have a old MB with rack, baskets & fenders (which made it heavier than I liked) I use as a grocery getter/wet streets and a Hybrid just to ride for pleasure or non cargo transportation.
    I so agree with you first bike should be a tester so 2nd user is how I did it....

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