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  1. #1
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    Need some help picking the right bikes by Specialized for husband and I...?

    I posted in the Clyde and Athena forum but wanted some more responses so trying here as well....we have a bike shop that is helping us and we are able to get Specialized bikes but also open to other brands like Diamondback...which I can buy at Dicks sporting goods...but anyway what we are torn between are really these models....

    Specialized - Hardrock and Myka (female version for me) more an all terrain

    Expedition or Carmel - Comfort bike

    and the Crosstrail and Ariel (female version) - hybrid

    We live close to the creeper trail and will be riding it a lot but also riding some in our neighborhood paved roads, some dirt trails, gravel, etc

    We dont want to be limited to one thing or another so I would say it would be 40% street and 60 packed trails, dirt, sand, etc

    So im really torn as to what bikes to get. My husband and I are getting bikes to ride for fun and get back in shape as we are overweight but not obese. We are both in our late 20s. So just wondering on some opinions as im having trouble deciding which style to get!!

  2. #2
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    Diamondback bikes are about two steps above an x-mart bike.
    Specialized makes top quality, first rate bikes. Go with the Specialized bikes.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  3. #3
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    Well yes I want to go with the Specialized but im needing help deciding what "style" bike will fit me....

  4. #4
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I'm 66 years old and wouldn't go near any of the bikes except the Hardrock. Its been around for years. A real workhorse. Good for trails or paved roads.
    My bikes --> 2001 Litespeed Tuscany---2011 Felt Z4

    Life is like a 10-speed bicycle. Most of us have gears we never use. ~ Charles Schultz

  5. #5
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    The sales associate at my LBS has been pushing the Explorer which use to be called the Carmel...it is a Comfort bike with smaller tires than a MTB tread and big seat, etc...but it is more upright sitting...see im torn because i dont know if I will be happy riding in more of the forward MTB position or would I like sitting more upright....we will be riding our roads around our neighborhood also...so didnt know how the hardrock would work....is it a comfortable bike?

  6. #6
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    You've got good instinct looking at Specialized. You won't go wrong getting any of the listed models. Don't worry too much about the width/style of tires. It's an easy thing to change. Most MTB-type rims will take a 1.5-2.5 wide tire. If you find yourself mostly on pavement you can put on a lower-resistance (thinner) tire.
    I actually just got my wife an Ariel and it's fantastic. It's a little too "comfort" for me, even, but it suits her well. If you're really going to be 60% on dirt, I'd avoid the Carmel or any true comfort bikes. And you may find the Hardrock too aggressive for leisurely rides. Assuming you fit the bike, "aggressiveness" of a bike's stance can be eyeballed by the horizontal and vertical difference between the seat and handlebars. Look at the three bikes you've mentioned side-by-side and you'll see what I mean. If you're overweight and buying bikes for fitness, an "aggressive" stance may be hard on your back and wrists. The ariel/crosswhatever is a good mix. But most of all, don't get hung up. Buy a bike that fits and ride as much as you can!
    Good luck.

  7. #7
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    Right now we are not set on any....my husband's definate concern is being COMFORTABLE which he keeps telling me he doesnt care what the bike can do he just wants comfort...but he is also out of shape and wanting whats easiest! Therefore the comfort bike makes sense to him. However I want a bike we can enjoy for several years and not do a lot of modifications to. Our budget is about 450 per bike.

  8. #8
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    Why don't you each buy a bike you enjoy? They don't have to be the same.

  9. #9
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    no no im not saying they have to be the same im just trying to think into the future whereas my husband focuses on the here and now....just thinking....will he outgrow the comfort bike and want something with more uses....

  10. #10
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    My dad has a comfort style bike because he has some back issues and it was what he felt most comfortable on. He has ridden it for years, on street and trail. No problems with either.

    I would say get what feels right, right now, you don't want to be so uncomfortable on your bike that it makes you not want to ride it. If you find that you want a different style bike in the future...sell it and get something else. GOOD bikes, like Specialized, that are well cared for hold their value pretty well.
    My bikes match!
    1989 Cannondale SR-300
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  11. #11
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    We own a 4 or 5 year old Specialized Expedition, an old 2000-era Hardrock, and an 07 Sequoia Elite...oh, and a 1990's Burley tandem.

    They are a cut above the Diamondback and big box store quality level in my opinion. I don't think you can go wrong. My wife rides our Expedition, and it is a nice less aggressive comfortable bike with fatter tires. Great all around casual bike for road and light trail. The Hardrock is old school, steel frame, no suspension, so it is my beater bike to haul my Burley Nomad trailer to the store, etc. I can bang it around and not worry about it. The Sequoia is a little more upright road bike and I got the last year of the carbon fork and stays, so pretty comfy but a lot more efficient than my other bikes, so it's my single ride bike when I don't want to haul or ride with anyone else. The Sequoia's weakness is that it is more fragile, was more expensive, and runs pretty small tires comfort wise. All of our bikes have strengths and weaknesses.

    You can get one bike that does many things well and none spectacularly, or have multiple bikes which are real good at one thing and less so at others. Your call. Get out and test ride some stuff. I looked at a ton of bikes before I dropped what to me was a considerable sum on my Sequoia.

    Personally, since you asked, I'd avoid the Dick's level of bikes and spring for a decent Trek, Specialized, Giant, etc. Get one from your local bike shop. They'll do a lot better job of helping you select a bike, and fit you to that bike, than a department store.

    Oh, one other thing I thought of. If you have access to an REI store, they usually have a real nice and diverse bike selection that might help you out. Check out their website. If nothing else you can compare a lot of different bike styles and see what you might be interested in. Their return policy is second to none if you get a bike you don't mesh with, too...unlike anywhere else you might buy where you are stuck. The other thing about REI that sounds like it might really help you is that you can test ride all these diverse bikes back to back, all different styles, etc. Even if you had to drive 100 miles, personally I think it would be worth it to find a shop where you could test out a whole bunch of bikes and make the right decision. Don't buy a bike in 10 minutes, and realize that you can only do so much shopping and comparing online or in a catalog. You have to get out on the bikes. I'm a hugely overanalytical person with big purchases, and I realized at a point that until you start getting on some bikes and riding, you really have no idea what you'll like or be comfortable on. Again, here is where a good shop with a wide selection and a good staff can really be the difference.

    Although we own a lot of Specialized, don't limit yourself. The other big guys might make a bike you like better. If you stick with the major players, you will generally be OK.
    Last edited by syncro87; 03-08-11 at 05:07 AM.

  12. #12
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    I faced the same question a couple of years ago. i was looking for a bike for mixed conditions as well as pulling kids in a chariot trailer. I looked at the hardrock and the crosstail. I ended up going with a hardrock 19er (19 " wheels rather than the 17" ones) because the larger the circumference of the wheel the you faster / farther you can go with less work, and I had them put on 1" tires rather than the stock 2" ones. I love that bike and it is really comfortable even pulling my son on a trail a bike and my daughters in the 2 person chariot trailer all day long.

    My wife really liked the Myka but ended up going with the ariel.(For the larger wheels) She loves that bike too, although I would recommend switching to a fork without suspension (I did that with mine, will replace my wife's this summer) as you just lose to much momentum with the cheap shocks on those forks.

    I don't think you can go wrong with these - for entry level bikes they are great.

  13. #13
    2 Fat 2 Furious contango's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by janda View Post
    no no im not saying they have to be the same im just trying to think into the future whereas my husband focuses on the here and now....just thinking....will he outgrow the comfort bike and want something with more uses....
    If you're getting into cycling for the first time the best you can do is take a best guess and run with it.

    In a similar situation I bought a Specialized Rockhopper Comp on the basis I wanted to be able to ride on roads and trails and figured every once in a while I'd bang over a tree root or something. Now I find I do more miles on the road where I want to get about fast but still want to bump up onto the pavement and cut across onto a muddy track with tree roots. So on the road I wish I had something faster and on the trail I wish I had more knobbly tyres (I put tyres on that are aimed more for low rolling resistance than the ability to cope with lots of mud).

    It may be you'll buy something that can do a bit of everything and find in 12-18 months you're perfectly happy with it. It may be you'll find yourself wishing you had something faster because you want more speed on the road and never go off-road. It may be you'll wish you had full suspension and don't care about the loss of speed on tarmac that entails. There's simply no way of knowing.

    With the amount of variation you can make by swapping the tyres on the bike without having to trade the bike at all I'd be inclined to aim at something like the HardRock as a starter bike so you can push it a little in any direction. My Rockhopper is a whole bundle of compromises now but I still love it to bits, and can maintain cruising averages of about 14-15mph over tarmac. A road bike would probably see that going over 20mph but for me that's not enough reason to stump the cash for a second bike.

    The crucial thing is buy something you're comfortable riding, and get out and ride it. Before you know it you'll be losing weight and getting fitter, and if you're anything like me you'll wish you took up cycling a decade ago.

  14. #14
    mje
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    My wife bought a comfort bike similar to the Expedition a couple years ago, and I think if she were to do it over she'd get a zippier hybrid a la Crosstrail or Vita. Comfort bikes are slow and not that comfortable if you ride more than about an hour. I can't imagine the sort of riding that a comfort bike lends itself to would get a 20-something year old in shape. On the other hand, a bike that you don't like and don't ride will contribute even less to your fitness.

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