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Old 07-02-07, 09:04 PM   #1
iMikey
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Badly need your advice !!!

Hi Guys!!!
I would like to spend about 700$ (+/-) on a hybrid bike that I plan to use for riding in the parks, commuting to work/city ride and go on trails occasionally.
Any suggestions and comments? My intentions were to go with Gary Fisher Kaitai is that a good choice?
Specialized Crosstrail Elite and Expert as well as the Trek 7.3Fx Disc also caught my eye but they slightly above my budget. Please let me know what you think.

Regards

iMike
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Old 07-02-07, 09:22 PM   #2
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In a given price range, there's not likely to be much difference among different brands of bikes. The market is so competitive that nobody can offer substantially more than anybody else. If they do put on an expensive derailleur or saddle or whatever, they'll probably have to cut back on something that doesn't show, like the bottom bracket. Ride a bunch of bikes in your price range and buy the one that seems to fit you best. Or else the orange one, which is always the best choice.
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Old 07-02-07, 09:48 PM   #3
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Also shop the shops. Better service is priceless when buying a serious bike. If the sales person is interested in what you need, can size you pretty good, and has a well-stocked and organized store, that's what you look for. Another detail point to see if they really care, the seat quick release. A good shop will orientate those the same way everytime to make trial fitting adjustments easier. If not, they just want a product out of the store. Or else the green one, those are always the best choice.
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Old 07-02-07, 11:00 PM   #4
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I am a fan of supporting the LBS, but my wife just picked up a K2 Astral at REI the other weekend. It's a nice bike for what you are looking for and it was a great deal. The components are not first-rate, but it's fun to ride and would be a fine commuter and recreational bike. Here's a link: http://www.rei.com/product/745715

For about $630 you could also get a "Buzz". These are pretty cool as well. Slightly better components as I recall. The Big Buzz was the same bike but with 700c wheels and a little more spendy.
http://www.rei.com/product/744800
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Old 07-02-07, 11:05 PM   #5
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The most important choice is picking the right shop. One that answers your questions and puts time into making sure you get the right bike in the right size. A shop that builds bikes correctly, trues the wheels, tunes them up, and takes care of you a month, or a year after the sale.

A $700 bike that is perfectly assembled, tuned, and with perfectly trued wheels is more enjoyable to ride than a $1,400 bike that is poorly assembled and tuned, with less than perfect wheels.

Visit the four or five shops closest to your home. Hang out, ask questions, listen to how they talk to people. Ask yourself "Which of these shops would be the most enjoyable place to spend a Saturday morning".

If people running a shop seem to just be selling products, they might as well be selling sweaters. Look for people with a passion for bikes and for cycling. A clue: a sign that says "we are closed this afternoon because we've gone riding".
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Old 07-05-07, 06:17 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
If people running a shop seem to just be selling products, they might as well be selling sweaters. Look for people with a passion for bikes and for cycling. A clue: a sign that says "we are closed this afternoon because we've gone riding".
What great advice. Sometimes when I shop, I swear that the salesperson hates the product that they are selling. My LBS has a sign that says "we are closed - we are riders too!!"

He is very conscientious in addressing any concerns (even trivial ones) after the sale - a real gem.

Caruso
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Old 07-05-07, 01:11 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
The most important choice is picking the right shop. One that answers your questions and puts time into making sure you get the right bike in the right size. A shop that builds bikes correctly, trues the wheels, tunes them up, and takes care of you a month, or a year after the sale.
If people running a shop seem to just be selling products, they might as well be selling sweaters.
We dropped into one shop (one of small chain of "ski and bike" shops - red flag! red flag! ) where it was like pulling teeth to get the salesman - the manager - to assist us. The coup de grace came when he gave us a bike with nearly flat tires to "test ride". Pointing out said tires elicited only a bored expression and no response from the manager. 30 seconds later we were saying our polite goodbyes and thank yous and drove straight over to the local shop to purchase. No matter what I want to buy for a bike or accessories in future, I'm going to give the local shop first crack at selling it to me.
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