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A few questions

Old 07-25-14, 10:26 AM
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A few questions

Greetings all,

I had to put my bike search on hold for a bit due to family and work issues, but I知 back into looking around. Recently, I test rode quite a few bikes (Trek, Jamis, Marin, Giant, GT, Diamond Back, and KHS). Any opinions on GT and Diamond Back? They both seem to be cheaper than the others for a similarly equipped bike. I知 wondering if they are of lesser quality.

My main dilemma is which type of bike to go with. I really like the comfort of the Jamis Citizen 2 I rode. Kind of like peddling in my easy chair, smooth and comfortable ride that will make me want to get out and ride more. However, I can稚 help but think will the 田omfort of this kind of bike get old after a while? I don稚 want to be in the position 6 months from now wishing I bought a more aggressive hybrid or dual-sport like the Trek 8.2 DS or Giant Escape 2, both of which are on my short list. Anyone experience something like this? As a possible solution, the Giant dealer suggested swapping the Escape 2痴 seat and seat post for ones that are more comfort oriented, or go with a Roam 3 which is similar to the Escape but with front suspension lock-out and do the same. Btw, he does not stock the Giant Roam series and thus I did not test ride that one, but he can order one in. I壇 appreciate any thoughts on this.

One last question, all the shops I went to advised something along the lines of a hybrid. One shop though, steered me away from a hybrid and into a mountain bike, Trek 820 and 3500 in particular. These bikes were the only ones I tested that had smaller 26 tires. They rode well and felt quite nimble, but less efficient than the others. He said that a MTB would give me a better workout. Other shops all had reservations about a MTB due to the type of riding I will do, which is mostly gravel and packed dirt trails and some paved. I知 thinking that I may also try some outings with the local cycle club who group-ride on the same trails. Anyone agree with this guy suggesting a MTB?

Thanks in advance!
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Old 07-25-14, 10:42 AM
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If you're already having misgivings about a possible "comfort" bike being too comfortable down the road, I'd steer clear. I rarely, if ever, recommend a comfort or hybrid bike.

I'd consider a cyclocross/gravel bike. Similar to a road bike, able to accomodate wider tires for light trails and bike paths, somewhat racy but not overly so.

Nothing wrong with GT or Diamondback ... in fact, the DB CX bikes get good reviews especially for their price.

Take your time ... listen to your LBS but if they start the hard sell, get out of there.

Get the bike you want, and the one that speaks to you
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Old 07-25-14, 11:58 AM
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Comfort bikes are comfortable in the shop.
Comfortable for a couple blocks here and there and maybe a few miles now and again.

If that's your goal then more power to you.

But you'll see very few riding a lot on those. However, there are lots of types bikes out there, now more then ever.

I ride a full tourer. This suits me now and for quite a while
I drool over cyclo-cross bikes and roubaix's, and classic steel (with modern running gear)... If I was lighter, I'd have one of these too...

I love my old sport tourer, but well, it's not up for my bulk. The new ones would be.
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Old 07-25-14, 12:25 PM
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I love that nonsense - it'll give you a better workout. Newsflash, if the bike is harder to ride you won't want to ride and you won't get ANY workout. My father in law uses the same excuse about his out of true rear wheel. Let me true it for you, sez I - no, it just gives me a better workout. So it sits in the garage.

Cross bikes, gravel bikes would fit your needs well but I think a hybrid would work out fine too. They tend to be decent all around bikes. Just expect that if you get into it in 6 months, you're probably going to want something different no matter what you start with, so don't let that stop you from getting something you like now.

But steer clear of that comfort Jamis unless you only plan on looking at it in the garage. You'll get tired of it fast if you do any distance at all.
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Old 07-25-14, 01:44 PM
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I started just a tad under where you are. I was 5'8" and 252 (51 y/o if that matters). I bought a $100 big box store comfort bike. The deal I made with myself was i had to complete a 20 mile ride, talk about torture, before I'd allow myself to buy a nice bike. I did this to test my resolve as my history dictated I would not stick with anything that looked like exercise. I completed the 20 mile ride and went straight to a nice road bike. 60Lbs later I've not regretted the road bike one bit.

My point is you know yourself and your fitness ability. This coupled with how much you enjoy pushing it should factor in, not just how big you are. I'm not suggesting you should start on a roadie. However, I think the comfort bikes are a mistake for most folks and you should consider starting with at least a flat bar/hybrid.

Enjoy your ride and post pics of what you decide to get.
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Old 07-25-14, 02:17 PM
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Get what YOU want. If you like it and will continue to ride it then the only opinion that matters is yours. Get what you will consistently hike your leg over and have some fun on. Don't over think it, don't overanalyze it. That's all I got.
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Old 07-25-14, 02:29 PM
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A bit over a year ago I was just starting out too. And I too was thinking of a comfort bike because on a test ride my butt felt cushioned and comfy. I was looking at the Jamis Citizen. But this forum wisely influenced me to pursue a hybrid instead if I was working toward fitness goals. I ended up with a Jamis Coda Sport, which I love. It is kind a flat bar road bike- it isn't like a mountain bike as it is pretty light and doesn't have the suspension a mtb has. The forum also advised me that if I kept with it I would would be wanting a road bike in no time. And alas, they were right again, and I am now looking at moving up to a road bike so I can put in more miles and time easier.

Anyways, I commend you for starting to ride and I second the opinion that a comfort bike is NOT the way to go unless you just plan to peddle a couple miles on a bike path. Beyond that you need something more substantial. And you will need bike shorts of some sort. As much as wearing them can be "awkward" they make a world of difference. I like my hybrid- it is steel and pretty zippy and a gorgeous old school ruby red. And it wasn't super expensive- under $600. I am not sure on the gravel path scenario, you may be better off with a bike that has some suspension if you really want to focus on that kind of riding. But for an equal mix of road and hard packed gravel I think a hybrid, possibly with some more dirt oriented tires, would be a good choice.
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Old 07-26-14, 01:04 PM
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Thanks for the replies. My gut tells the comfort bike will get old, agreeing with most of your opinions. Some of you mentioned a cross bike and a gravel bike. What makes these different than other bikes and are they (cross and gravel) different from one another or the same thing? Being able to test these on the trails I will be riding on, I prefer a front suspension, if it can be locked out. Right now, my short list consists of Trek 8.2 DS, Diamond Back Trace, and the Giant Roam. Any opinions on these three? I am also searching the lists for a used bike, but haven't found anything decent yet.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:34 PM
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I have a Diamond Back Classic AL comfort bike and am riding 3 days a week for rides of 25-35 miles at about 11 mph average and really enjoying it. I'm thinking about getting a Giant Sedona DX or a Trek Shift 2 upgrade from the Diamond Back. Are either of those really going to be a big difference? I'm wondering why most bikers on this forum seem opposed to comfort bikes. I ride mainly sidewalks, some rough, and like I said am really enjoying it. Started riding again in May after a 30 year layoff from riding.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:41 PM
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I have a Diamond Back Classic AL comfort bike and am riding 3 days a week for rides of 25-35 miles at about 11 mph average and really enjoying it. I'm thinking about getting a Giant Sedona DX or a Trek Shift 2 upgrade from the Diamond Back. Are either of those really going to be a big difference? I'm wondering why most bikers on this forum seem opposed to comfort bikes. I ride mainly sidewalks, some rough, and like I said am really enjoying it. Started riding again in May after a 30 year layoff from riding.
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Old 07-26-14, 08:44 PM
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Fit and comfort are most important. BTW you don't need a comfort bike to be comfortable IMO
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Old 07-26-14, 10:01 PM
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Originally Posted by Northwestrider
BTW you don't need a comfort bike to be comfortable IMO
Please elaborate on this, if you don't mind. I understand that personal preference plays a large part but what makes a bike more or less comfortable?
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Old 07-27-14, 06:30 AM
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Leg extension, reach, are important and your LBS should be willing to help find a bike that agree's with you. You should be able to find the bike you like, then if you can afford a small amount, possibly change your stem length or handle bars to make it work. Your saddle as well will after a few miles become important but this area takes in some cases quite a bit of experimentation.
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Old 07-27-14, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by DoggieDaddy
Please elaborate on this, if you don't mind. I understand that personal preference plays a large part but what makes a bike more or less comfortable?
I think the "comfort" angle really boils down to something a non cyclist is more comfortable riding :-).
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