I'm in the market for a bike to help me get in shape and have some fun doing it (if that is in fact possible ). I'm about 5'10" 220lbs. I figure most of my riding will be on roads and paved trails with some light-duty dirt/gravel trails mixed in every once in a while. I'm looking to spend $450 max, less if possible.
After trolling these threads for quite some time to glean a bit of knowledge, I've narrowed my choice down to 3 hybrids and a "fitness" bike.
'07 Trek 7.2FX
'07 Trek 7200
- I don't think I'll need the suspension, but have seen good reviews of this bike here and on other forums.
I stopped by a local Trek specialty store, and they had the 7.2FX and 7200 on sale for $350 each. My intention was to get a test ride in, but the sales reps were busy and the only person available was a kid younger than me who kindly pointed me towards several 7200 WSD's (I'm 22 and male, btw; he was nice enough but I don't think he should be tending to prospective customers given his limited experience).
'07 Raleigh Passage 5.5
- Disc brakes seem unnecessary and the price is a bit above what I'd prefer, but specs look solid.
I plan on checking out the Raleigh some time on Saturday.
'07 Mongoose Crossway 450
- Suspension that has "lockout" ability.
This was suggested by a knowledgeable rep at a nearby Performance Bicycle Shop, who claimed the lockout frame was a feature not seen on many bikes below $1,000. The bike was $399 in store, and I noticed the Performance coupon thread on BF that would knock another $40 or so off the price if purchased online.
I plan to ride each one of these before deciding, as the feel is the most important factor (price is a close 2nd ). If anyone has experience with these bikes, has a recommendation re: specs and/or what would fit my needs best, your input would be greatly appreciated. I apologize for the lengthy request as a first post, but I'd like to have as much info as possible before investing what I consider to be a substantial amount of money.
I'm in a very similar situation... I'm about 5'11", 250 lbs., and I'm looking to buy my first "real" bike (i.e. not the Wal-Mart mountain bikes I've been putting up with until now). I would very much like to keep it under $350 (I test-rode a Specialized Globe today and it was wonderful, but $410 is even getting a bit high), but I recognize that it's an investment and I want to get my money's worth even if that means I spend a bit more. I know very little about the different makes and models, but I checked out a couple of A-train's options and they look like what I'm looking for.
I would like it to be very efficient (last bike was a full-suspension mountain bike and I felt like I was riding in sand, it stole so much energy), it's much more fun to ride when you're riding fast! A hybrid, I think, but as I'm going to college in rural Indiana, the roads aren't always in perfect shape. I'm in the Chicago area for the summer and Village Cycle has lots of Treks on sale - 7000 for $224, 7100 for $264, 7200 for $336 - would any of these be a good buy? I'm assuming the principal difference between these models is in the quality of the individual components, and thus their reliability. Reliability is big. Anyway, even if you don't suggest a particular make or model (helpful thought that would be) I could use some pointers on how to go about buying a bike. I want to get in better shape and I really love riding, but the price has to be right, and the more hassle- and maintenance-free the experience is, the better. Thanks in advance for any help or suggestions anyone can provide!
I'd highly recommend starting your own thread if you're looking for help from the knowledgeable people here. I don't know nearly as much as the vets on Bike Forums, but I'll happily share my personal experience.
I ended up returning the Raleigh as I found it to be a bit too upright and the front suspension was unnecessary for my needs. I went with the Trek 7.2 FX for its solid frame and forward-leaning riding position. I've taken it on some choppy streets and dirt trails here in San Jose and it's handled quite well so far, although you may want to replace the saddle with something a bit more comfortable if you happen to choose this model .
From my limited experience, most bikes in the same price range have a similar feature set. It mainly depends on what kind of riding you're planning to do. The FX was perfect for me because it has plenty of speed without the worry of damage from riding on uneven surfaces. It looks like the main difference for the Hybrid line is the front suspension on the higher models. You'll most likely lose some speed but it may dampen the blow if you're riding on rough terrain. The best advice I can offer is to get on each bike and test it in the conditions you're most likely to encounter on a normal ride.
I hope some of this has been helpful in making a decision. Good luck!