Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53
  1. #1
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Riding on Seattle streets and trails - mountain or hybrid?

    Hi.

    I'm in the market for a new bike. My current one is a mountain bike (Gary Fisher Marlin), but since I plan on riding mostly on the streets in and around Seattle, with occasional rides on trails like Burke-Gilman and Interurban, I'm wondering whether I should opt for a hybrid model or buy another mountain bike.

    The one mountain bike I am considering is the GT Avalanche 2.0. I just test-rode a 3.0 Hydraulic and liked the feel of it. (The shop didn't have a 2.0 with the appropriate frame size for me.) Are there any other mountain bikes I should consider? Or should a hybrid bike be a better fit for me? If so, any bikes to check out?

    I've been told that brands like Trek and Specialized are generally overpriced, but I'm a novice myself and can't really tell.

    My current pattern is a commute between home and transit centre (about 2 miles one way) every day, plus riding around the neighbourhood for about half an hour 3-4 times a week. Like I said I plan on riding on the local trails too, though I haven't "debuted" there yet.

    Thanks in advance for your advice!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    4,800
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I would go with a hybrid myself. For just street and trail riding you don't need the knobbies and suspension. As for Trek and Specialized, they may cost a bit more than others, but are generally well made, and have better paint jobs. Look at Cannondale and Giant also, which are in the same league as Trek.

    The other thing to try first, since you already have a bike, is to put slicks on your Gary Fisher. Putting skinnier 26" tires without much tread on a wheel made for knobbies will improve the ride on streets and paved trails. This is what I did for my commuter bike.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    NJ cellphone central
    My Bikes
    Surly Ogre // (old and gone) Cannondale ST400, Rockhopper Sport
    Posts
    468
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another vote for trying slicks on it. Schwalbe Big Apples or similar. If that works you could have a new set of wheels to swap slicks and knobbies easily.

  4. #4
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the replies!

    The reason I'm considering buying a new bike is that my wife is interested in riding as well and needs a bike for it. My current bike has an XS frame (as I inherited it from a short female friend) and will fit her well. That will give me an "opportunity" to shop for one for myself.

  5. #5
    Perm Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Personally I would look at the modern crop of road bikes that allow larger tires and fenders. Full fenders really make it almost trivial to ride in the rain around here and the ones you can typically fit on a mountain bike really don't cut it. They will dramatically cut down your maintenance needs here too because they keep a lot of road grime off your chain and gears. I have a mountain bike that is only ridden when doing "real mountain biking". It is just so slow and wasteful of energy on gravel or paved roads that I always prefer my road bikes. You can do the John Wayne trail etc...with a good road bike.

    I would highly suggest you go to some of the local re-sellers like Counter Balance or Recycle Cycles or Free Range to try out some bikes. They tend to know the commute market much better and can divine your wants and needs better than at some of the larger local and regional chains.

    That said...if you want to mountain bike, get one But for a daily rider I would be tempted to buy a road/cross bike around here and buy a 10 year old hard tail off of craigslist for the occasional MB trip. The ability to drop into the drops on a road bike is a huge morale booster when you have a head wind.

  6. #6
    John Wayne Toilet Paper nhluhr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Seattle
    My Bikes
    BH G5
    Posts
    1,872
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    There is basically nothing in the city limits that you need a MTB for... but slicks on an MTB are a good option. A flat-bar road bike is maybe a bit better in terms of aerodynamic efficiency, etc.

  7. #7
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A little update. I went to a few bike shops to do some test rides. I ended up trying 7 different hybrid bikes.

    Marin Fairfax SC3 (Ride Bicycles)
    Trek 7.4 FX (Gregg's)
    Trek 7.2 FX (Gregg's)
    Specialized Sirrus Elite (Gregg's)
    GT Tachyon 2.0 (REI)
    Novara Big Buzz (REI)
    Marin Stinson (REI)

    They are all road-like hybrid bikes with thin, 700c tyres and no front suspension except for the Stinson, which I wanted to ride on the rough pavement around the REI store just to see how much of a difference a front suspension can make.

    Based on the test rides, I've narrowed down the choices to two models - Marin Fairfax SC3 (or SC4) and GT Tachyon.
    They both have smooth rides, crisp shifters and nice disc brakes. The Fairfax has an edge on the ride comfort due to a better saddle (for me, anyway), but the REI guy told me it's easy to swap saddles, so that's not a deciding factor. The Tachyon is definitely lighter, which is a plus for me as I have a back problem and the lighter always the better. The Fairfax (SC3 or SC4) is cheaper, and the SC3 I test rode had the kind of narrow handlebar that fit me very well.

    Do you have any take on those two bikes? I've also considered a GT Transeo, but none of the shops I visited today had one in stock that I could try.

  8. #8
    Perm Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    IMHO, if you have back problems avoid aluminum frames, even those with front suspension will be harder on it. I would be looking for a steel bike with a geometry that will let you ride in a way that fits you and your back. Unfortunately this means lots of longer test rides. Remember that a few pounds of bike weight really doesn't matter until you get to a competitive level or carry it a lot. The Jamis Coda Sport is in a similar price range as the bikes you are looking at and steel, I would highly consider looking at it if you get a chance. Note this is just personal taste but I have sold every Aluminum bike I have ever owned due to a "harsher ride" which may fully be in my mind.

  9. #9
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the advice. I take it you have a bad back, too?

    I've been riding my aluminum-framed mountain bike quite a bit lately without experiencing any back issue, which leads me to assume the wider MTB tyres and/or a front suspension helps absorb the shock from the crappy pavement in my neighbourhood (Northgate / Pinehurst / Lake City). The bike I rode at REI all gave me pretty harsh rides, but that was probably because of the horrible pavement on the roads around there. The bike lanes around Green Lake were exceptional.

    I would really like to rent the Fairfax out and try it in my own neighbourhood. If the ride is too harsh there, I'll know it's not the right bike for me.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    NJ cellphone central
    My Bikes
    Surly Ogre // (old and gone) Cannondale ST400, Rockhopper Sport
    Posts
    468
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Since you're definitely shopping, I just built up a ride with 700x40 tires on it and I'd point you to models with 700x35's or with room for larger, coming from mountain you'll like the bigger tires. They make the ride a bit more plush and bomb proof too. I wasn't sure I'd like the 40's much on pavement, but I really like them more each time I go for a ride.

    The "cross" bikes with drop bars are really nice. Frames are a bit more beefy, rack, fender and bottle mounts all over, very convenient commuter bikes and don't let the drop bars scare you away, just make sure you get them fit so they are high enough for you without having a severe drop from the seat height. If you get them high enough they are very comfortable and let you move your hands around to several positions. It's really nice to have the options to move around.

    Fender mounts with all the rain out there...not a bad thing to have.

    My friends who live there have been telling me there are just epic miles of paths along the water, sounds like an amazing place to cycle compared to many. Here in NJ I'm lucky to make a 10 mile ride on paths without being in traffic by comparison. I've been told that 50 mile runs out there are no problem.

  11. #11
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the advice! The 700 x 35/40 tyres are definitely something I will consider. Are there any particular bikes that come with those tyres that you would recommend? Looks like the Fairfax comes with 700 x 32 tyres. Will I be able to fit 700 x 35 on it? I am visiting the shop tomorrow to discuss more details about my preference, so the more information I have, all the better.

    Your information also helps me understand (a bit at least) why the ride on the GT Tachyon was so much harsher than that of the Fairfax or the Trek FX. Aside from the horrendous road surface around REI (where I test rode the Tachyon), it comes with 700 x 28 tyres. I assume that must have contributed to the bumpiness.

  12. #12
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi San Remo, Norvara Intrepid MTB , Softride Solo 700
    Posts
    4,364
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just traded in my hybrid for a hard tail mtb. I was tired of beating up my hybrid and my body on the crummy streets in Seattle. Having the front suspension has helped smooth out the ride. I have Schwalbe Marathons for tires and swap them out when I do use the bike to off road.
    Matthew 6

  13. #13
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by ngateguy View Post
    I just traded in my hybrid for a hard tail mtb. I was tired of beating up my hybrid and my body on the crummy streets in Seattle. Having the front suspension has helped smooth out the ride. I have Schwalbe Marathons for tires and swap them out when I do use the bike to off road.
    Do you have 29-inch tyres or 26? What is the mountain bike you just bought, if you wouldn't mind my asking?

  14. #14
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another update.

    I test rode a 2012 Cannondale Quick CX 1 at REI yesterday. It was on clearance ($1049 instead of $1399). Still a bit pricey for me, but I gave it a try.

    It was a great bike! It felt light and easy to manoeuvre. I was able to ride the crappy roads around the store without too much trouble. I had trouble shifting down to the 1st gear, but the REI guy said it would be just a matter of adjustment. Same for the brake bars with too much play.

    I am going to go back to the store today to try it out again. In the meantime, if you guys have anything to say about this particular bike, I'd appreciate all the feedback.

  15. #15
    Center of the Universe ngateguy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Everett, WA
    My Bikes
    Bianchi San Remo, Norvara Intrepid MTB , Softride Solo 700
    Posts
    4,364
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    Do you have 29-inch tyres or 26? What is the mountain bike you just bought, if you wouldn't mind my asking?
    I bought a used 26" Fuji Thrill-SE mainly because the former owner had upgraded the transmission to a Shimanao XT Pro with rapid fire. I would suggest 29" wheels if it is in your budget they are much better than 26" wheels
    Matthew 6

  16. #16
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Brooklyn NY
    Posts
    4,800
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    The C'Dale Quick is a nice bike.

  17. #17
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the feedback and advice, everyone.

    I bought the Cannondale Quick CX 1 that I mentioned above. I ended up returning it and buying a different model - a 2013 Trek 7.5 FX.
    Last edited by daihard; 08-16-13 at 11:21 PM.

  18. #18
    Senior Member codyjhc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Greater Seattle Area
    My Bikes
    2013 Takara SS (aka POS)
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    So you live in Seattle and you're not riding a fixie? Worst hipster ever!
    codyjhc
    instagram | strava | twitter

  19. #19
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by codyjhc View Post
    So you live in Seattle and you're not riding a fixie? Worst hipster ever!
    I'm so not hip 'cause I don't even know what a "fixie" is. LOL

  20. #20
    Senior Member codyjhc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Greater Seattle Area
    My Bikes
    2013 Takara SS (aka POS)
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    I'm so not hip 'cause I don't even know what a "fixie" is. LOL
    It's a fixed gear bicycle. Don't worry, being hip is overrated!

    I live across the water in Bellevue - haven't taken the time to try any of the trails over here though.
    codyjhc
    instagram | strava | twitter

  21. #21
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by codyjhc View Post
    It's a fixed gear bicycle. Don't worry, being hip is overrated!

    I live across the water in Bellevue - haven't taken the time to try any of the trails over here though.
    Haha I see. I don't think I could handle a fixed-gear bike. We have way too many hills!

  22. #22
    Senior Member codyjhc's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Greater Seattle Area
    My Bikes
    2013 Takara SS (aka POS)
    Posts
    55
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by daihard View Post
    Haha I see. I don't think I could handle a fixed-gear bike. We have way too many hills!
    I ride a single speed to work. Its only 10 miles a day so I'm able to get in a better workout on the hills to make up for the short distance!
    codyjhc
    instagram | strava | twitter

  23. #23
    Perm Newbie
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    27
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Enjoy your bike, it will treat you well.

    To answer you question I was having back problems but a proper bike fit solved that problem.

  24. #24
    Senior Member daihard's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    My Bikes
    Trek, Cannondale
    Posts
    1,570
    Mentioned
    4 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by nyrikki View Post
    Enjoy your bike, it will treat you well.

    To answer you question I was having back problems but a proper bike fit solved that problem.
    Thanks! I'm already loving my bike. I appreciate your answering my question, too.

  25. #25
    Senior Member Seattle Forrest's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    11,076
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I would get a road bike if you plan to ride on the roads. The Burke Gilman and Interurban trails are paved, so they count as roads as far as this goes. Sounds like you've already bought a bike (woot!) so I'm just saying this in case anybody finds the thread on Google while looking for advice...

    Quote Originally Posted by kingsqueak View Post
    My friends who live there have been telling me there are just epic miles of paths along the water, sounds like an amazing place to cycle compared to many. Here in NJ I'm lucky to make a 10 mile ride on paths without being in traffic by comparison. I've been told that 50 mile runs out there are no problem.
    Here's my version of the best ride in Seattle. I have no idea where you live, but it's a loop so the starting point is pretty flexible.

    Ride along the BGT heading east from Gas Works Park to Montlake, head south over the bridge, go right just after the gas station, and then follow the Lake Washington Loop. You'll ride 10 or 15 miles along the lake shore, with views of Mount Rainier and the Cascade Range on a clear day. When you come to Seward Park, go into the park and make a loop, then take Orcas up to Beacon Hill, follow Beacon north until you hit the Chief Sealth Trail, go left, come out on 15th Ave and follow it north until you've gone over the bridge, then ride down to the waterfront. Follow that into Myrtle Edwards Park, ride the "beach" through the park, follow the trail through the train yard, up into Magnolia, and come down through the Locks. On the far side, you wind up back on the BGT.

    It's important to do the loop a few times, because there's endless variation. Some days you go to Beer Shiva Park and take more Chief Sealth Trail, other days you keep going around the southern half of the lake and come home on the I-90 trail.

    Also, you can make a loop around West Seattle, including Alki, and get a lot more saltwater miles in. There's a different loop around the northern half of the lake, or just the whole thing, but the southern half is the most scenic. And for a shorter ride, like after work, do a loop around Lake Union.
    Don't believe everything you think.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •