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  1. #1
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Trek 7300 vs Specialized A1 or Sirrus

    Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Looking for a bike that is effecient for long road trips but don't won't a raod bike. Thanks

  2. #2
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    Does anyone have any experience with either of these? Looking for a bike that is effecient for long road trips but don't won't a raod bike. Thanks
    The Sirrus line are road bikes with flat bars. What makes them road bikes is their light weight, skinny, slick, high-pressure tires, rigid forks, and light road wheels.

    Trek makes similar flat-bar road bikes -- the 7500FX and 7700FX -- but the 7300 isn't one of them. The 7300 is a hybrid, and it's generally heavier, with fatter tires, heavier wheels, and more comfort features, including a low-end suspension fork, something that's pretty useless for long road trips.

    Specialized has about 8 models with "A1" in the name, so I don't know which one you mean.

    Besides light weight and road tires, most road bikes have drop bars because they offer a wider variety of comfortable hand positions, which is very important on long rides, and because they offer a more aerodynamic posture which is very welcome when doing 70 miles into a 20mph headwind.

    What puts a lot of people off of drop bars is that today most road bikes have the bars set too low, racing style, which suits few normal people. If the tops of the drop bars are at the same height your flat bars would be, you can be just as comfortable while still having the drops available when you need them.

    But plenty of people tour and do charity centuries on flat bar bikes. The Sirrus or the Trek FX models are both good choices. Pick the one that fits.

    RichC

  3. #3
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Rich,
    So I am assuming you would stay away from the A1. The one I was looking at today is not even on their website yet, but it is like the middle of the road for the A1's. The Sirrus I was thinking about is actually the low end, strictly because of budget and I can pick it up for about $100 less than the Trek 7500FX.

    The A1 was really a nice bike though, however I don't know how it would be on a 50-60 run.

    Thanks,
    PF

  4. #4
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Oh yeah while at it what about the Jamis Coda or Tangier. Sorry I didn't include that in my origianal.

    Thanks again,
    PF

  5. #5
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    Rich,
    So I am assuming you would stay away from the A1.
    I still don't know which bike you're referring to. There are A1's in the Sirrus line, A1's in the Allez road bike line, and A1's in the S-Works road bike line.

    RichC

  6. #6
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    Oh yeah while at it what about the Jamis Coda or Tangier.
    PF
    The Coda is more like a Sirrus; the Tangier is more like a regular hybrid such as the 7300. The Coda is significantly lighter with narrower tires, but uses parts at least as good.

    Based on the specs I'd personally prefer the Coda as a road bike, but I haven't ridden any Jamises. I hear good things about them, however, especially in terms of bang-for-the-buck.

    The best value in a bike is the one that fits best, of course. No bike is a good buy if it hurts when you ride it.

    RichC

  7. #7
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Rich,

    I am sorry about that. The 2 Specialized I am talking about is the Sirrus A1 and Crossroads A1. Of course the Crossroad is a hybrid and that is probably the decision I am trying to make is to more towards a road bike or a hybrid. Like I said the Crossroad I looked at yesterday isn't even on the web site yet but it resembeled the Sirrus with the exception of a little wider tires and a suspension front fork. Specialized does list their Sirrus line under hybrid and road bikes. Thanks for all your help so far.

    Pat

  8. #8
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    and that is probably the decision I am trying to make is to more towards a road bike or a hybrid.
    Hybrids are designed to be comfortable bikes for easy rides for people who don't ride much, or are new at it. They sacrifice speed and efficiency for comfort. They're intended for use not just on pavement but also on dirt and gravel trails that aren't too rough.

    Road bikes are designed to be fast and efficient on paved roads. They are designed to be comfortable for people who regularly ride long distances.

    The longer and farther you ride, the more likely the "comfort" features of a hybrid will actually work against you. The wide, soft seat will chafe. The suspension will steal energy. The fatter tires will slow you down.

    "Flat-bar road bikes" are a compromise for people who simply can't or don't want to deal with drop bars. They also tend to be a bit cheaper than drop bar bikes because road levers are relatively expensive. They sacrifice the aerodynamic potential and multiple hand positions of drop bars in favor of... whatever it is the flat-bar rider is looking for.

    Of all the bikes you mentioned, based on spec I liked the Jamis Coda the best because it's most like a touring bike, and I think touring bikes are the most versatile and practical transportational bikes made. Robust enough tires to handle rough roads but still very roadworthy. Able to mount racks and fenders, front and rear. 36-hole wheels with 14/15 butted spokes. Name-brand parts and decent grade of components throughout. Indeed, I wasn't aware of this specific bike, so thanks for pointing it out.

    How much was it selling for?

    However, somewhere along here you have to ride the bikes and see what feels best. Fit is paramount, far more important than any details of spec or design. Besides, you're going to have to ride it, not me!

    RichC

  9. #9
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    Looking for a bike that is effecient for long road trips but don't won't a raod bike. Thanks
    Why don't you want a road bike? I'm not trying to be a jerk, but I don't understand the idea of these flatbar roadbikes. If you're doing long distances you are going to want multiple hand positions. If you go with the flatbar you'll have to add bar-ends just to get another hand position.

    If you're looking at a Jamis dealer, I think both the Nova and the Aurora are better choices. The Coda is a nice bike, probably the nicest spec'd hybrid that I know of, but I think a dropped bar bike is a better choice. The handlebars on the Nova and Aurora are set high for comfort but you still have the drop section for when you need to be more efficient.
    "only on a BIKE"

  10. #10
    aka Sir MaddyX MadCat's Avatar
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    Personally, I love my 2001 Trek 7600FX. I went shopping with the initial intent on getting medium/low end ($1000 or less US road bike).
    I've never thought of it as a flat bar road bike. My ride just doesn't seem as fragile. Those carbon forks that are popular now seem pretty sexy though. I didn't want a roadie partially because I was afraid I'd break it and I saw a roadie awkwardly trying to maneuver our of a traffic jam and I thought no.
    I pondered another mountain bike but I wanted the speed that I was lacking in my last two mountainbikes.
    If you're looking for an urban ride and don't care about suspention then this bike is the best of both worlds. I haven't tried the 2002 Trek FX models yet. I'm tempted to take one for a spin if the snow ever clears up.

  11. #11
    Love Me....Love My Bike! aerobat's Avatar
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    I wouldn't be too quick to trash hybrids. I guess it depends on brand and model, but as Madcat says, they can be the best of both worlds.

    I've got a Giant Innova, an older one, steel frame without the suspension, solid seat post, and it's a geat bike. I've done a few MS 150's on it and some metric centuries, as well as commuting, and its handles it all. Even some light off road.

    I got it as my first "serious" bike, and it has served me well.
    "...perhaps the world needs a little more Canada" - Jean Chretian, 2003.

  12. #12
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by MadCat
    I didn't want a roadie partially because I was afraid I'd break it and I saw a roadie awkwardly trying to maneuver our of a traffic jam and I thought no.
    That's what gets me so boiled about the way the bike industry has "disappeared" the really practical road bikes. There is nothing fragile about cyclocross or touring bikes. These are machines intended to take the incredible beating of 'cross racing -- or to be reliable and comfortable over thousands of miles of loaded, unsupported tekking through the middle of nowhere -- but as far as Buycycling Magazine and most bike shops are concerned, they don't exist.

    The only road bikes anybody ever sees are the superlight racing bikes with 20c tires and 6" of drop to the bars, or the lesser bikes made to emulate them. And so now we get these flat-bar road bikes which exist in the exact niche where touring bikes and all-rounders used to dominate, and it's not because people really want them, mostly. It's because for some unfathomable reason the industry doesn't want to sell touring bikes.

    Touring bikes are road bikes. Cyclocross bikes are road bikes. Take a look at something like the Bianchi Volpe -- $900 for what may be the ideal commuting bike if you have a lot of miles to cover.

    [/rant]
    RichC

  13. #13
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    I'm not putting hybrid bikes down. In fact I think they are a better choice than the MTBs that I see many people riding. In urban traffic the hybrid design makes perfect sense. In this setting the flat-bar is all you need because you'll want a upright position and the braking and shifting controls at your fingertips at all times.

    However I think the dropped-bar bike is better for all around riding. The flat-bar road bike seems to be something new the manufacturers have devised. They differ from hybrids by having racing bike wheels with 32 or fewer spokes and skinny tires. This makes them less suited to urban riding and the flat-bar makes them less suited to general road riding. I just don't see the niche these bikes fill. The only reasonable explanation is that some buyers are intimidated by the dropped bar. If it gets more people on bikes I'm all for it. I'm just interested in the reasoning behind these bikes.
    "only on a BIKE"

  14. #14
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    I am 49 years old and have not been back into riding for that long and the problem I see with the drop down bars would possibly be my back. I feel like most of the time I would be in the most upright position anyway.

    Another consiration is cost. Most hybrids and a lot of the flat bar road bikes are considerably less money than the roadies. I know we are not comparing apples to apples, but quite often it does just come down to plain ole economics.

  15. #15
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    I am 49 years old and have not been back into riding for that long and the problem I see with the drop down bars would possibly be my back. I feel like most of the time I would be in the most upright position anyway.
    Well, I'm 50, and I have bone spurs in my lower spine, and I can tell you that I feel less pain riding my road bike than I ever did on a hybrid. Obviously everyone's different; for some folks, a recumbent would be the best thing for their back. But it's not automatic -- far from it -- that upright posture is better for your back when riding a bike. The opposite is more likely to be true. On a properly fit road bike you bend at the hips, rather than bending your spine. Distributing your weight more evenly puts less pressure on your spine and lumbar. You take shocks with your legs, not your back. (There's a reason these upright bikes tend to come with suspension seatposts.)

    Another consiration is cost. Most hybrids and a lot of the flat bar road bikes are considerably less money than the roadies. I know we are not comparing apples to apples, but quite often it does just come down to plain ole economics.
    I don't know that this is really true, although it often looks that way in bike shops. The bikes we've been discussing -- Sirrus and 7500fx and Coda et al -- are well into the $600+ range, where there are plenty of decent road bikes of comparable quality. If you're talking about $300 bikes, then sure, it's hard to make a credible road bike to sell that cheaply.

    RichC
    Last edited by Rich Clark; 04-01-02 at 12:26 PM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    You have some very good points here. The main thing I am going on here is the comfort of the old 10 speeds and that is probably not fair. I guess the only way to tell is to ride road bike for awhile.

  17. #17
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    I am 49 years old and have not been back into riding for that long and the problem I see with the drop down bars would possibly be my back. I feel like most of the time I would be in the most upright position anyway.

    Another consiration is cost. Most hybrids and a lot of the flat bar road bikes are considerably less money than the roadies. I know we are not comparing apples to apples, but quite often it does just come down to plain ole economics.
    Thanks, that seems like a reasonable explanation. I ride a MTB with slicks on it so I guess i shouldn't talk. Personally, I'd go with the Jamis Coda. I like the components and the polished steel frame. I don't think you should exclude road bikes though. Maybe test ride a couple and see what you think.
    "only on a BIKE"

  18. #18
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Now wait a minute here. First you were the advocate for road bikes now you tell me you ride a mountain bike with slicks. What's up with that? Actually I ride a Schwinn Seirra now which is basically a MTB with slicks and higher handle bars.

    I don't plan on getting rid of it either because it is great on most trails unless they are really rough and at that point I don't won't to ride them anyway.

    The real reason for another one is not for real long rides. I am in a club and there are a bunch of guys that ride about 20 to 25 miles 2 or 3 times a week and I don't think I could keep up with them on my bike and maybe couldn't even on a hybrid. So I really don't know which way to go for sure.

    Guess I am just going to have to try some different things out and go from there.

    Thanks...

  19. #19
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    "Now wait a minute here. First you were the advocate for road bikes now you tell me you ride a mountain bike with slicks. What's up with that? "

    I think you said it best when you said sometimes it comes down to plain ole economics. I really would like a touring or cyclocross bike, but instead i make do with what i have. I commute on it, ride trails and dirt roads on it and plan on doing some touring too.
    "only on a BIKE"

  20. #20
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    And you know to do all three things you mentioned the best you can you would basically need 3 bikes. I don't know about you but I can't afford 3 bikes especially 3 high end bikes and don't know for sure yet if I want to afford 2.

    Have to wait and see how it all plays out.

  21. #21
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Well I went and road a road bike today and they just aren't for me. So I will keep looking at the hybrid or straight bar road bikes. Thanks for everyones help.

  22. #22
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by gabiker
    Well I went and road a road bike today and they just aren't for me. So I will keep looking at the hybrid or straight bar road bikes. Thanks for everyones help.
    What bike did you ride? What was it that you didn't like?

    (I bet it wasn't a touring bike or anything like one. I bet it had real skinny tires. And I bet its handlebars were mounted much lower than saddle height.)

    Find a Bianchi dealer and look at the Volpe. Now *there* is a great bike for people who think they want a hybrid.

    RichC

  23. #23
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Your right on all accounts. It was a Specialized Allez A1 Elite which is really a nice bike and more than I can afford. I really had to bend over much more than I would won't to on this particular bike and I wear glass's which made it even hard to see because I was looking out of the top of them.

    Maybe I will try the Bianchi, because I rode the hybrid that I like there and didn't like it any better than what I already ride. In fact my bike with the wide tires rolled better and was easier to pedal than the hybrid.

    So the search continues. But that is the fun of it isn't it?

  24. #24
    Senior Member gabiker's Avatar
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    Looked up Bianci and there is not dealers anywhere close to me which is an hour N. of Atlanta. According to their website there is none in Atlanta either.

  25. #25
    sandcruiser thbirks's Avatar
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    http://www.specializedbikes.com/SBCB...20%7Eza%3D1023

    Just thought I'd drop in. Is this the bike you test-rode? The handlebars are actually set at a pretty good height on this one and the A1 24. The other Allez's have the handlebars even lower.

    I can't believe Bianchi doesn't have a dealer near Atlanta. That'
    s just crazy.

    So I was thinking, alot of what makes a roadbike faster and more efficient is the skinny, high pressure tires. I think you'd be amazed at the difference that putting some skinny tires on your current bike would make. And just out of curiousity how is the bike you're riding now set up? Are the handlebars set higher than the seat? Is the hybrid you said you tested the Sirrus that you refer to in your original post?

    Sorry for all the questions.
    "only on a BIKE"

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