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Flat-bar Road Bike in Philly?

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Flat-bar Road Bike in Philly?

Old 08-11-08, 06:54 PM
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hebrewbacon
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Flat-bar Road Bike in Philly?

Hey everybody, I'm a major newbie here, but I thought some of the more experienced among you could offer me some help. I've tried to find a thread on what I'm looking for, but nothing was just right.

I go to school in Philly, and I'm looking to ride a few times a week for an hour or two at a time (maybe more on the weekends). I live in Virginia, where it's quite hilly, so I definitely need more low-end power than a single speed can offer. I don't plan on going off-road, and while the streets can get a bit pock-marked, I'm definitely leaning toward the road bike side of things, though one with a flat-bar since I want a more upright position. My dream bike is something that's light, quick, and attractive (not flashy), but also tough enough that falling over won't damage it.

Bike theft is a major problem in the area (I had my last bike stolen ), but I'll be storing my bike inside and ordered a Kryptonite Evolution Mini and cable in case I'll be leaving it out for any length of time. Still, I'm concerned about getting anything that screams, "Steal me!" too loud.

I'm looking to spend between $550 and $900, and I've looked all over the internet and my LBS's to find something that fits. I put a GT Legato 1.0 on layaway at my Performance Bike 2.5 months ago, but they still don't have it yet. I'm not sure how long I can wait. However, I'll be getting it for $720 out the door, with another $70 in store credit, which is quite a good deal and has been causing me to try to stick with them.

The GT Legato 1.0 is just about what I want, but considering the delay, I've started considering other options. Both the Specialized Globe Sport and Specialized Sirrus or Sirrus Sport stick out as worthy choices (and came highly recommended by another LBS). There is also a Trek dealer locally, and the FX 7.5 seems like it could be a good fit (a little more expensive, but better equipped). I could also buy the bike in Philadelphia, though that could be more difficult logistically.

So, first off, if you've read this far, thanks! Secondly, would you recommend any of these bikes over another? Or do you know of something that fits the bill better than anything I listed? I'm not going to quibble too much about price; build quality is more important to me than an extra $50. Finally, would you discourage me from purchasing any of these? Thanks a ton!

Aaron
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Old 08-12-08, 07:06 AM
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RonH
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Have you looked at the Jamis Coda line (Coda, Coda Sport, Coda Comp, Coda Elite)? Awesome bikes.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...eet/index.html
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Old 08-12-08, 07:23 AM
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hebrewbacon
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Ron, thanks for the suggestion. It seems right up my alley, and the Chromoly looks like it could be a good option compared to aluminum.
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Old 08-12-08, 08:25 AM
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Jamis is offered at Trophy Bikes, I'd go talk to the guys there and test ride a few.
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Old 08-12-08, 08:44 AM
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Kona's Dew series are also nice.

If you're going to be riding somewhere hilly,I wouldn't pick the Legato. 34/25 isn't much of a hill climbing gear,and 11-25 10sp cassette means you're going to be playing the shifters like castinettes(although I'm surprised it has Ultegra at that price point). The Dews and Codas have much wider gearing.
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Old 08-12-08, 08:50 AM
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I have a Specialized Sirrus and am really enjoying it. Though unlike you I want something more aggressive (i.e. drop bars). If you have any specific questions I'd be happy to answer.
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Old 08-12-08, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by RonH View Post
Have you looked at the Jamis Coda line (Coda, Coda Sport, Coda Comp, Coda Elite)? Awesome bikes.

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...eet/index.html
Yes yes yes. I came in here to recommend a Coda. I was all set to get a road bike (with drop bars), and at the last moment, the dealer rolled out the Coda. It was far more comfortable, it looked better, and was slightly cheaper than the bike I'd been considering.
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Old 08-12-08, 09:11 AM
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No experience with the others, I've been commuting in Boston on the 7.5 (so similar conditions to yours, I'd expect) and lovin' it. I got mine for $720 at my LBS.
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Old 08-12-08, 10:05 AM
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Check out via bicycles on 8th between south and Bainbridge. Although it could be Ninth. They have tons of great used road bikes. Also check out Frankenstein bike worx at 1529 Spruce. It is kinda hard to find because it is in a basement but it is a fun shop with just the sort of bikes you are looking for. Also the owner is a great time.

Also there is a seller on c-list who sells bikes his name is redblooded bikes and he posts out of east philly. He has good bikes.
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Old 08-12-08, 12:10 PM
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Thanks for all of the great advice. Please keep it coming!

Also, I was hoping somebody could advise me as to where to purchase the bike. I go to college in Philadelphia for much of the year but live permanently in Virginia. All of the local shops in Virginia offer free tune-ups for life on any bike purchased from them, but I don't know if I can expect the same in Philly.

I'll be riding my bike the most in Philly, however, and so I wanted to know if it's best to buy the bike there or buy it at home where, aside from getting it a few weeks ahead, I'll also have a guarantee of free maintenance whenever the bike comes home.
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Old 08-12-08, 02:03 PM
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I'd buy it in Philly. There are Philly people here, hopefully one of them will chime in with some lbs recs.

BTW, I'd be wary of any store that claims "free tune-ups for life". I doubt that means you can bring it in for a tune-up whenever you want to, and even if it did, that wouldn't equate to "free maintenance". In any case, I would really advise against making that the deciding factor for your purchase unless all other things truly were equal.
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Old 08-12-08, 02:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BroadSTPhilly View Post
Also there is a seller on c-list who sells bikes his name is redblooded bikes and he posts out of east philly. He has good bikes.
must be a sweet life living in the Delaware River....
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Old 08-12-08, 02:09 PM
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I have been riding a Specialized Sirrus for 8 months and I love it--I test rode Jamis, Trek , Giant,
Diamondback and several others at similar prices and I preferred the Sirrus. And I knew it the first 30 seconds I rode it--It just had the feel that I wanted. My advice is to test ride the ones in your price range and the bike will find you---
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Old 08-12-08, 02:29 PM
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buy the bike from a good shop that is closest to your campus. trophy bikes in next to penn and drexel. you'll have to wait a few days for any tune ups though. if you are interested in a bike from performance they have a shop on columbus which has a shop, i've never taken my bike there so i can't comment on their service. there are also many other good shops in philly but those are two that i've been too recently. i'm pretty sure all of the good shops in philly will do free tune ups for like x years and that all of them will require some form of wait because they are just so busy now.
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Old 08-12-08, 07:59 PM
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Most of what I have to say about Philly bike shops is negative.

I bought a bike from Frankenstein, and so did a friend. Great prices, but I won't be going there again. I could get over the guy being super weird, but I think they cheap out on the setup (like cables, clamps, etc.).

I know some people who've had unpleasant experiences at Trophy. Via I think is hit or miss--my impression is that they're very taken with themselves, and maybe if you seem like their kind of person they'll be good to you, but otherwise good luck. Some of their bikes are no doubt classic, quality machines, but others are probably just old and overpriced.

I've had a couple good experiences at Bicycle Therapy, and so has a coworker, though they're somewhat more roadie oriented, I think. And they sell Specialized and Bianchi at full retail, so that ain't cheap.

I don't know of a shop in Philly that gives free tune-ups for life, though it's possible there are some. I know Therapy has something like a 5 year service plan for $60 (I could be wrong about the duration or the price, but it's something in that range).

I don't know if I agree with lil brown bat about being wary of free tune-ups. Obviously that's not going to mean free everything, but if it includes the basics (brake and shifting adjustments, wheel truing, cables) and you're not comfortable doing that stuff yourself, then that's money saved. Maybe not a lot, but worth taking into account. Also, if you're planning to get maintenance from the shop where you bought the bike, you might want to ask yourself which location will be more convenient in the long run--i.e. where will the bike be in 4 years? My wife's bike has free maintenance for life from the shop in Michigan where we got it, which doesn't do much for us here in Philly.
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Old 08-14-08, 09:42 PM
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Well, after lots of searching around, I've discovered that the GT Legato 1.0 and Trek 7.5 FX are simply impossible to track down in a 58-60cm frame. Since my local Performance Bike had pretty much screwed me, for which the manager was truly apologetic, I decided to go back to them to see if they could cut me a deal on anything that could suit me. The manager pulled out a cyclocross bike, which I hadn't considered, but which seems more and more to my liking the more I think about it.

It was a 2008 Fuji Cross Comp - very well spec-ed for the price. It's all Shimano 105 with an Ultegra rear deraileur, and I shoudl be able to get it for somewhere between $720 and $800, with 10% back in store credit. I hadn't ridden in drops or on a road bike at all for that matter until yesterday, but it was a fit that I really found myself growing to like. Moreover, I have a craving to go fast, and without drops a hybrid isn't going to cut it. It's funny that rather than getting a mountain bike trying to act like a road bike, I'm apt to get the very opposite - a road bike fused with mountain bike DNA. Am I crazy, or could this be a great bike for riding recreationally around the Philly area?
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Old 08-15-08, 08:27 AM
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Actually its E phila that he posts as his location sounds better than Port Richmond I guess. Btw I forgot to mention Firehouse bicycles which at 50th and baltimore I believe.
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Old 08-15-08, 11:48 AM
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I live a couple minutes walk away from firehouse bikes - I wouldn't really recommend them if you're shopping for a bike. They're a fine place to buy individual parts from, though.

As for free repairs... go to the bike church and do it yourself. They'll help you, let you use their tools, and not charge you a dime. (but parts are regular bike-shop price, plus everybody has to pitch in cleaning up the shop).
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