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Old 11-24-13, 03:51 PM   #1
Riley1
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Question Newbie! Advice appreciated on buying a new bike!

Hello!

So long story short; i'm currently at university and i'm looking for a hybrid bike that I will mostly use on pavements during term-time but can also be used on light trails during holidays and weekends.
I'm not going to be growing any more (at least I hope not, at 5'11!)
I think i'm looking for something light, with 700c wheels, fairly slim tyres and definitely not a womens bike as I generally do not like the design or feel of them, especially 'step-through' frames!

Can any of you lovely people suggest some good bikes or brands for about 600 or below? I've been looking at Trek, Giant and Pinnacle?

Or perhaps some options I haven't thought of yet?

Thank you!
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Old 11-25-13, 10:32 AM   #2
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I love my Giant Escape City. It's ideal for use in an urban environment.
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Old 11-25-13, 11:51 AM   #3
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What model/ year? How long have you had it? Any issues with it?
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Old 11-25-13, 01:33 PM   #4
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The model is "Escape City". It's a 2014. I've had it since September. 730+ miles, no issues at all. Rides like a dream.
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Old 11-25-13, 05:30 PM   #5
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Thank you
I've found the Giant Escape 3 (2013), bit cheaper but looks like a good starting bike?
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Old 11-25-13, 08:48 PM   #6
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Ride as many as you can, and buy the one you fall in love with...
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Old 11-25-13, 08:53 PM   #7
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I love my 2013 Trek 7.5 FX.

It is a hybrid bike that's closer to a road bike than to a mountain bike. It's got 700x28 tyres and weighs just a bit over 21 lbs, which I consider to be fairly light for a hybrid model.

Highly recommended.
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Old 11-26-13, 04:13 AM   #8
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I'd recommend the following:
1) The Surly Ogre
2) The Jamis Coda Elite
3) The Giant Escape
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Old 11-26-13, 04:59 PM   #9
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Thank you for all your suggestions! The Surly looks awesome but is probably a bit out of my price range at the moment
What is the general consensus on lockout suspension in hybrids? For example on the Pinnacle Cobalt 1, or Ridgeback Momentum?
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Old 11-26-13, 05:18 PM   #10
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Unless you're buying a quality mountain bike, I think it's fairly fruitless to invest in a bike with a front suspension. Rigid forks work just fine on the trails, without so many cheap moving parts weighing down your front end.
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Old 11-26-13, 05:56 PM   #11
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Go to www.nashbar.com and get the Diamondback Interval road bike!

* On second thought, many college campuses are bicycle theft magnets. Perhaps the GT Zum from Performance.com would be a better option. It really appears to be a nice bike.

Last edited by WestPablo; 11-26-13 at 11:19 PM.
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Old 11-26-13, 07:38 PM   #12
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I second the emotion to avoid suspension entirely on anything below about a $1200 mountain bike.
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Old 11-26-13, 07:52 PM   #13
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Unless you're buying a quality mountain bike, I think it's fairly fruitless to invest in a bike with a front suspension. Rigid forks work just fine on the trails, without so many cheap moving parts weighing down your front end.
Agreed. I tested out a couple of hybrids with a lock-out front suspension but couldn't really tell the difference on mediocrely-paved roads and MUPs. Even with the suspension enabled, the ride wasn't nearly as smooth on the rough surface as my old Gary Fisher MTB.
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Old 11-27-13, 04:52 AM   #14
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That makes sense, I suppose suspension is going to be a bit feeble on a bike it wasn't really designed for!
The GT Zum does look like a nice bike, but I have been warned by a friend that GT bikes are a bit overpriced because you mostly pay for the frame, with not especially good components? Is that true?
So far I have a shortlist of the Giant Escape, Marin Fairfax SC1, Ridgeback Comet and the Trek 7.2/7.3 FX.
After a fair bit of research, to me it seems unless you're going to spend 900+ there isn't actually a great deal of difference between bikes of a lower price - often the components don't reflect the price increases...
I'm happy to be told I'm wrong though!
Another confusing issue is sizing! I understand the best way is to go into a bike shop and try different ones, which I will do soon, but looking at sizing charts online, is it the standover that's the most important to get right? And how can you approximate what standover height is the best? Is it something to do with inside leg length/ height?
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Old 11-27-13, 06:28 AM   #15
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The GT Zum does look like a nice bike, but I have been warned by a friend that GT bikes are a bit overpriced because you mostly pay for the frame, with not especially good components? Is that true?
I've found that GT makes great bikes that are usually competitively priced, and that's especially so when they're being sold online from either Nashbar or Performance.

* Sizing is dicey business when buying online. It's always best to test ride a bike, before making the final purchase. That's the best part about buying from Performance. You get to test ride the bike, before taking final possession.

Hey! That's right! You're across the pond! There is no Nashbar or Performance over there! ....Sorry!

Last edited by WestPablo; 11-27-13 at 06:36 AM.
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Old 11-27-13, 09:45 AM   #16
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Another confusing issue is sizing! I understand the best way is to go into a bike shop and try different ones, which I will do soon, but looking at sizing charts online, is it the standover that's the most important to get right? And how can you approximate what standover height is the best? Is it something to do with inside leg length/ height?
I recommend going to a bike shop first, test riding as many bikes as you can, and then buying from a bike shop. There's no way to know how a bike will feel to you without getting on and riding it around.
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Old 11-27-13, 09:51 AM   #17
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Haha yes unfortunately I'm a Brit (wait, no, I'm proud of that fact!)
But we have lots of little independent bike shops and I'm sure it's the same principle of going in and trying them out
Thank you for your advice though!
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Old 11-27-13, 10:12 AM   #18
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Haha yes unfortunately I'm a Brit (wait, no, I'm proud of that fact!)
But we have lots of little independent bike shops and I'm sure it's the same principle of going in and trying them out
Thank you for your advice though!
I don't understand why being a Brit has anything to do with my advice.
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Old 11-27-13, 04:33 PM   #19
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I don't understand why being a Brit has anything to do with my advice.
Ah, sorry, the Brit comment was referring to WestPablo's advice, as I hadn't noticed your reply sorry! I'm recovering from an operation and the painkillers are making me a bit scatty
I will be sure to try several bikes out before I buy one
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Old 11-27-13, 05:41 PM   #20
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Ah, sorry, the Brit comment was referring to WestPablo's advice, as I hadn't noticed your reply sorry! I'm recovering from an operation and the painkillers are making me a bit scatty
I will be sure to try several bikes out before I buy one

The "across the pond" comment was pertaining to your inability to order from Nashbar or Performance. It wasn't at all related to sizing or fit. There, it doesn't matter where you are, a test ride willl always be key.
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Old 11-27-13, 05:57 PM   #21
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The "across the pond" comment was pertaining to your inability to order from Nashbar or Performance. It wasn't at all related to sizing or fit.
Yes I understood that! Never mind
I think I will also try out the Trek 7.5 2013, at 150 off it looks to be a good deal for a nice bike!
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Old 11-27-13, 07:13 PM   #22
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I think I will also try out the Trek 7.5 2013, at 150 off it looks to be a good deal for a nice bike!


I love mine. I've racked up about 1,300 miles in the last 3 months, and I still can't ride it enough.
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Old 11-28-13, 01:57 AM   #23
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I love mine. I've racked up about 1,300 miles in the last 3 months, and I still can't ride it enough.
Sounds like you're really happy with it! What made you go for that particular model rather than any of the other FX's? Have you made any modifications to it?
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Old 11-28-13, 09:55 AM   #24
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Sounds like you're really happy with it! What made you go for that particular model rather than any of the other FX's? Have you made any modifications to it?
I compared it with the 7.4 and the 7.6 within the FX models. (I'd eliminated those from other manufacturers by that point.) I picked the 7.5 mainly because of the (1) rear shock absorber, (2) 700x28 tyres and (3) compact double crank (vs triple). The 7.6 has all those + 10-speed rear (vs 9-speed) and skinnier tyres (700x25s), but I didn't think I needed those for $300 more. The 7.4 had fatter tyres (700x32s), lacked the rear shock absorber, and had a triple crank. I believe the 7.5 has the best balance between road- and comfort-bike characteristics in the FX product line.

My FX is pretty much stock. The only mods I've done are (1) pedals and (2) bar-ends. The stock pedals work reasonably well, but I found them to be pretty slippery in the rain. Bar-ends add an alternative hand position for long rides.
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Old 11-29-13, 06:17 PM   #25
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I bought a Trek 7.4 earlier this year and have put over 3,000 miles on it. Other than normal maintenance I have had zero problems with the bike and when the tires wore out I replaced them with 28mm tires. I have had no problem riding metric centuries and kept up with the roadies with the 7.4.
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