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Old 02-28-06, 08:58 PM   #1
Momtothreeboys
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Help! New to biking and need advice on what to get!

Hi all--new here and am ready to purchase my first bike since 1990 (got it for college and never used it).

Seeing as though I am fairly clueless about bikes, I am finding this all a bit overwhelming
Here's what I would like and maybe you can tell me which brands/models I should look at.
I will be riding approximately 10 miles 3-4 times a week through various neighborhoods and on a bike trail. I am leaning towards a hybrid but have no idea which one. I looked at the Trek 7200 and like it, but now after doing some forum reading, I am wondering if I should go for the 7300 and then there is the issue of FX or not. Since I will be using the bike on fairly flat pavement, is the suspension really worth having or will it just add weight and something else to have to get fixed?
I also read a little about the Giant Cypress LX. I was looking to spend between $300-$400. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
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Old 02-28-06, 10:26 PM   #2
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I've been researching the 7.3 FX, too. A friend and I are getting new bikes at the end of March. He's getting a 7.3 FX an I'm getting a 7.5 FX. From what I can tell, basically you're talking about comfort vs weight. The FX will have a little more rigid ride, but it is a little lighter. That just depends on your preference. I'm not sure that a paved bike trail warrants suspension, but then again, I've never had it. It might be the best thing since sliced bread and I might be full of it (Quiet there in the peanut gallery!). You could always get the FX and have the bike shop put a more comfortable seat on it before you walk out of there with it. I think the 7300 is more adjustable than the FX in height of the handlebars, too, to adjust your sitting position. The FX has a few better components, I think, but don't quote me on that.

Basically, the best thing you can do is ride both bikes and see which you like better since the price isn't all that different between the two (especially if you catch a sale). Ride on different surfaces if you can (street vs sidewalk vs alley vs parking lot... go up and down driveways, over a speed bump, etc.... but no curbs!) and test the difference in suspension, seat, etc.

Just remember....... either bike you choose will be the right one and you will love it regardless.

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Last edited by faith&bike2live; 02-28-06 at 10:44 PM.
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Old 02-28-06, 10:45 PM   #3
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A hybrid is what you need, but may I suggest also:
Within your budget, check hybrids and entry level flat bar road bikes in the $400s like the Specialized Sirrus or Fuji Absolute (I am just throwing two I saw and liked), these will allow you to go further and you never know...
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Old 03-01-06, 12:30 PM   #4
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I just went thru the same process and ended up with the Trek 7.2 FX. I did not like the suspension on the 7200 as it was too mushy for my tastes. We got my wife a 7200. A couple of things different between the two are the saddle (her's is more comfortable), you'll sit more upright on the 7200, and the gear shifters are different. On the fx, the shifters are operated with your thumbs and on the 7200, the handles twist. The tires are also a little thinner on the fx series.
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Old 03-01-06, 12:41 PM   #5
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Without getting into specific bikes, I will just add another vote that I would give preference to non-suspension forks.

My first bike in 20+ years is a Giant Sedona DX, and I only wish it were a Cypress (for the 700c wyheels) and had no suspension... But it has been a good bike, with 3 years and about 2000 miles on it...

If you do opt for suspension, be sure it is adjustable. I don't know if there are any that aren't, but my suspension forks are adjusted to the stiffest setting, and my suspension seatpost is tightened completely, and is in effect a solid seat post.

My prediction is you will fall in love with cycling, and get another bike after a year or two after you learn about where and how you ride, and refine your preferences.
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Old 03-01-06, 12:59 PM   #6
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First, find a decent bike shop. They will advise you on fit, check the final assembly and make any upgrades (such as kevlar-lined tyres) and fit all your accessories (rack, fenders etc). They should also offer a tuneup after a couple of weeks to tighten all the cables. Really great bike shops will tune the spoke tension of the cheap machine-built wheels to make a much stronger and more reliable package but this is five-star service.
The brand is not so important, most respected brands produce very similar quality bikes.
The choice between a hybrid and a flat-bar road bike coms down to how harsh your terrain is. FBRBs have gearing which is a bit higher and are lighter and nippier. They are more fun on the road but quite cabable of riding bike paths. They are a firm favourite with regular commuters doing daily 10mile urban rides.
Hybrids have lower gearing but can be heavier and the suspension is not neccessary. If you want or need the fatter tyres they have more clearance but most hybrid users end up switching to faster, slick, narrower tyres.
The argument is probably less critical than one of actually having a bike.
Budget for helmet, puncture repair kit, rack, fenders, lights as needed.

Last edited by MichaelW; 03-01-06 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 03-01-06, 01:13 PM   #7
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I bought my wife a Trek hybrid 7100 a couple of years ago and she liked it but it was heavy. She didn't feel the need for the front wheel suspension or the suspension seatpost. We did lots of riding in the country and on bike paths in town, going longer and longer distances. The hybrid ran fine on dirt roads, too.

Last week I upgraded her to the Trek 7.5FX WSD. Beautiful bike. Better tires, wheels, gears. The gearing is even a bit lower(26 granny chainring instead of 28). She loves it.

My stepdaughter gets the 7100. It's a huge upgrade from her Wal-mart bike. She can haul her kids in their trailer to the store, down the bike paths, around the neighborhood. She may even join us old folks touring the countryside.


The trigger shifters work better than the grip shifters but that's maybe a minor inconvenience. Lugging around the extra weight of the hybrid is fine on flat rides and for shorter distances but if you ride a lighter bike you'll not want to go back to the heavier one, particularly if you've got some hills to climb.

Both the hybrid and the FX can accomodate racks in the back and fenders. The FX even has mount points for front racks/panniers.

My wife's FX
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Old 03-01-06, 03:41 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtothreeboys
Since I will be using the bike on fairly flat pavement, is the suspension really worth having or will it just add weight and something else to have to get fixed?
I also read a little about the Giant Cypress LX. I was looking to spend between $300-$400. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
IMO, suspension is uneccessary weight for paved trail riding under normal circumstances. In your price range, take a look at the Fuji Absolute and the the Giant FCR 4 if you can find one (2005 model - discontinued).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cycliste
A hybrid is what you need, but may I suggest also:
Within your budget, check hybrids and entry level flat bar road bikes in the $400s like the Specialized Sirrus or Fuji Absolute (I am just throwing two I saw and liked), these will allow you to go further and you never know...
As detailed in another post, we looked at the Fuji Absolute, Silhouette, and Royale. The Royale is Fuji's top end flat bar road bike, and retails for about $750. Carbon fork and stays, 9 speed, just over 20 lbs. Th eAbsolute is the bottom end - all alloy, about 24lbs, and priced in your range. Both rode well, but as you'd expect the carbon equipped one was a smoother ride.

Also seek out the Giant FCR series for test rides - they are very nice as well. Both seemed a lot lighter than the Trek offerings in their comparable price ranges. And the Giant FCR 4 is a 2005 model, so you might find one heavily discounted. We did.
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