His Brain is Gone!
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Paoli, Wisconsin
Bikes: RANS Stratus, Bridgestone CB-1, Trek 7600, Sun EZ-Rider AX, Fuji Absolute 1.0, Cayne Rambler 3
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You want to find a bike that you enjoy riding, that will motivate you to get on it. But that perception on a limited riding experience can be highly influenced by how the bike is set up. Things like the seat being in the right position, how the handlebars are set up, if the shifting system is properly adjusted, etc. Try to get these adjusted for you by the shop before you take a ride, so you can more fairly compare the different bikes.
You have a decent list of bikes. The Suede and Townie are nice, comfortable pedal-forward bikes that most people like a lot. The Raleigh Circa looks like a nice bike, especially the Circa 2 with its very nice 8-speed internal hub. Technically, it is only a bit "pedal forward", not as much as the Townie or Suede.
There really is no way to determine how well you will like a bike in 2-3 months, after you've ridden a lot. Many people who purchase comfort bikes and then get in better riding condition, are quickly ready to move up to a higher performance bike. Even if you do that, you haven't wasted your money, because that bike did get you in better shape.
If you are limited to short test rides, then pay attention to how comfortable you feel on the bike. Is it fun to ride? Does it make you want to ride further? I've had test rides where after 5 minutes, I couldn't wait to get off of the bike. Swoop it around some turns and see if you are confident in its handling.
BTW, the Townies and Raleighs are on sale through May 10 from REI, if you have one of those near you.
"Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L'Amour
There are two types of road bikers: bikers who are faster than me, and me. Bruce Cameron - Denver Post
Last edited by Tom Bombadil; 05-05-09 at 04:14 PM.