I test rode the Jamis Coda Sport and loved it. Ended up buying the Coda Elite, but am thinking about a Coda Sport for one of my daughters. The thing I liked, beside the fact that it seemed well suited to my body frame, was that it seemed to do everything well, from handling to braking to shifting. Just seemed like a well-rounded bike for the money. The steel frame was a plus to me.
Haven't tried the Giant, but the Trek 7500 FX, which costs a bit less, I think, than the Jamis has its fans.
One thing I'd suggest is to test ride the bikes you're interested in and see which one most floats your boat. Make sure it's as long a test drive as you can take.
Thanks for the reply. I've tried both, and they both feel good. I'm not sure if I should do steel over aluminum. I definitely like the style of the Jamis better, but I don't want to make a decision based on style.
Steel might weigh a bit more, but it is more forgiving on the rider so far as the bumps, jarring, vibrations of cycling are concerned. Steel also doesn't fatigue like aluminum and can be expected to last longer.
I recall a review of the Jamis Coda Sport. I'll be back in a few minutes to post a link to the article.
Sorry, I couldn't find the actual article, but Jamis's site makes reference to an article in Bicycling Magazine which states:
WHY IT'S A BEST BUY – Best parts spec for the least dough. The Ride. Our test bike weighed 26 pounds but felt fleet and confident. Spec is excellent: Shimano Deore rear derailleur and ST-R223 shift/brake levers, 30/42/52 Truvativ chainring and Avid Single Digit 3 linear-pull brakes. Go full-roadie by trading the Ritchey flat bar for drops, or swap Hutchinson road tires for moderate knobbies and ride the trail. There are even braze-ons for front and rear racks.
Hope this helps.
I wasn't even aware of Jamis until recently from posts on this board. Now, I'm a fanboy, with all the accompanying biases.
I bought the FCR 3. The bike has substantially better components (9 vs. 8 speed, comp fork, rims and tires, cranks and shifters) which completely justified the less than $200 difference in price that I felt I would easily waste getting the upgrade bug anyway.
That being said, I love the bike. I actually first purchased the Cypress LX and although it was very comfortable and pretty fast for a hybrid I took it back after test riding the FCR 3 and 4. The FCR 3 by the way shifted much smoother and felt much more nible and handled better than the FCR 4.