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yet another what bike should I buy post :(

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yet another what bike should I buy post :(

Old 10-24-09, 03:12 AM
  #1  
jakeismydog2
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yet another what bike should I buy post :(

A few comments first...

I have scoured these bike forums pages for the past few weeks to educate myself before I posted. I do know how to use "Search The Forums" so please do not suggest I try that because I have. I do not want suggestions of "I think a Cyclocross bike is better" or "you will wish you did not buy flat bars" I just want responses from people who own or have ridden the bikes I am looking at, who can give me their opinions about the bikes. I also know that nothing beats going to the LBS and riding them around, but I would like to be well educated before I go and drop $400-600 (thats real money for me).

Here is a list of the bikes I am looking at (with list price & link to website):

Kona Dew $449
Kona Dew Plus $549
Kona Smoke $425
Jamis Coda $550
Felt X-City 6 $449
Specialized Sirrus $550
Trek 7.2x $529
Cannondale Quick 6 $469

I am open to suggestions as long as they are very similar to the bikes listed, and not from BD.

I will be commuting about 5 mi one way, in city traffic, I weigh about 205# and am 5'9" tall. I do desire to have fenders and racks, I will need to carry groceries etc with the bike. The goal of purchasing this bike is to allow my wife and I to become a one car family.

Sorry for being a little harsh but I have read the same recommendations over and over in these forums, and I do not desire to read them again (even if they are great suggestions)


-Jakeismydog2
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Old 10-24-09, 08:02 AM
  #2  
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I had a Trek 7.3fx. Apologies for breaking your "rules" but my experience with the bike was that I wished I didn't buy a flat bar bike. It was fine for short runs to work and all, but tiring in headwinds and not fun on rides longer than 15-20 miles. The tires it came with then were like riding on stones; don't know if they're different now. I sold it to buy a more useful bike.

Assuming they all can take fenders and racks, all those bikes are pretty much the same. Some people will say there's a difference because some are steel and some are aluminum but eh. You have to decide if you want discs or not. A that price point an up-level derailer or something here or there doesn't really matter, and you're buying a certain look. Other than that they're all pretty much the same bike and you'll need to differentiate them through seeing what's available locally and test rides.

Outside of the typical advice that I'm not sure what you're looking for. "Those are fine" - there you go.
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Old 10-24-09, 08:05 AM
  #3  
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I rode a Trek 7200 once (the 7.2x's predecessor). I was young and naive at the time and thought that a hybrid was what I wanted. The upright seating position felt comfortable during my 10 minute test ride, but started to get in the way when I wanted to go longer distances.

I do desire to have fenders and racks, I will need to carry groceries etc with the bike.

I'm curious why none of the bikes in your final list come with a rack, and only one comes with fenders. Especially since price is a factor, you have to budget for that stuff (along with the installation cost).
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Old 10-24-09, 08:08 AM
  #4  
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Originally Posted by jagged View Post
I rode a Trek 7200 once (the 7.2x's predecessor). I was young and naive at the time and thought that a hybrid was what I wanted. The upright seating position felt comfortable during my 10 minute test ride, but started to get in the way when I wanted to go longer distances.
This is pretty much exactly my experience. OP if you're set on these bikes, it's probably worth looking at a Giant Transend. The DX model comes with rack and fenders and the "average retail price" is $540.
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Old 10-24-09, 08:27 AM
  #5  
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Dew Plus! This is the bike I should have bought instead of my mountain bike. All of the other choices have canti brakes and are missing braze-ons for a front rack. The Kona P2 fork is highly sought after. If you really want to carry some groceries, a front rack is very desirable.
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Old 10-24-09, 08:42 AM
  #6  
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The Kona Smoke is the best value. It includes fenders and the steel frame & fork will prove a comfortable ride.

It's a good utility and shorter-rides bike.

Once you start riding more than 20 miles at a time, you will want a road bike with drop bars.

Michael
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Old 10-24-09, 08:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bugly64 View Post
Dew Plus! This is the bike I should have bought instead of my mountain bike. All of the other choices have canti brakes and are missing braze-ons for a front rack. The Kona P2 fork is highly sought after. If you really want to carry some groceries, a front rack is very desirable.
The Jamis also has braze-ons for the front rack, if that's important to you. Personally I would choose the Coda over the Dew Plus just because I like the feel of steel. The other big difference between these two bikes is the Dew's disc brakes. If you don't plan to ride in snow then the Jamis' brakes will do just fine. My experience is that v-brakes combined with aluminum rims stop fine in wet weather, and I weigh a lot more than you do. Snow, well that's another story. I think these two bikes are the best choices from your list. My advice is to test ride both of them and see which one feels best to you. After all, it's your money.
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Old 10-24-09, 08:56 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by jagged View Post
I do desire to have fenders and racks, I will need to carry groceries etc with the bike.

I'm curious why none of the bikes in your final list come with a rack, and only one comes with fenders. Especially since price is a factor, you have to budget for that stuff (along with the installation cost).
Bikes with racks included don't always have the rack that the owner wants, though. As one example, if I got a rack that didn't have a tube end poking down next to a leg (most of the Tubus racks don't; most of the Topeak racks do, though), I wouldn't be able to use the panniers my sister gave to me -- they have the ring-on-bungee-cord lower attachment. Or it might be missing a light mount across the back, or it doesn't have a spring clamp, or it has a spring clamp that isn't wanted, etc etc.

OEM fenders are usually pretty good, but sometimes they're the same aftermarket stuff that we'd get anyway.
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Old 10-24-09, 09:02 AM
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Oh, and OP, get whatever you like this time. Ride it a lot -- ride it whenever you might think you need to drive. Ride it often enough that you'll reduce mileage on your car, spending less on gas and doing maintenance less frequently.

Then, take the money you've saved and buy the inevitable second bike that has all the features you wished the first bike had.

There's validity to when we say, "Trust me, you'll want this-and-that later," but at the same time, even if we all bought the same first bike, we certainly did not buy the same second bike.
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Old 10-24-09, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by barrackssi View Post
then, take the money you've saved and buy the inevitable second bike that has all the features you wished the first bike had.
+1000
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Old 10-24-09, 10:11 AM
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That's ok. The commuter I bought had drop bars but it should be a simple matter to switch them over to flat bars. So don't limit your choices since you can set up a bike the way you want it, not just the ones on your list.

That said, look at the single speed Broncks Black. Perfect for a 5 miles commute, minimalism and made in America:

http://www.bowerylanebicycles.com/broncks_black.html cost: $595 with FREE shipping in the continental US.

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Old 10-24-09, 10:14 AM
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Once you start riding more than 20 miles at a time, you will want a road bike with drop bars.
That's my feeling too. I bought a Trek 7.7FX (flat bar road bike) last year for commuting and after 9000km (5500 miles), I really wish I bought a drop bar bike. I often use my Cannondale touring bike (with drop bars) to commute to work and even though it's 4lbs heavier, it's just as fast, more comfortable, and more fun to ride. I'm still debating putting drops on the Trek.
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Old 10-24-09, 10:30 AM
  #13  
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I'd get the Dew Plus if you're gonna ride in the muck at all.

The Dew (not Plus) and the Coda are the only ones Ive ridden.

I generally can't stand hybrids, but the Dew ain't bad.
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Old 10-24-09, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
The Kona Smoke is the best value. It includes fenders and the steel frame & fork will prove a comfortable ride.

It's a good utility and shorter-rides bike.

Once you start riding more than 20 miles at a time, you will want a road bike with drop bars.

Michael
+1 I was about to buy one last week but my commuter has been salvaged.
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Old 10-24-09, 11:29 AM
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Personally, I own a Dew and don't regret the purchase so far. It's served both my commuting and recreation needs just fine. Plus I got it used at a nice discount. I would say just try out all the bikes on your list and see if you can get a feel for which one will serve you best.
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Old 10-24-09, 04:15 PM
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Originally Posted by bugly64 View Post
All of the other choices have canti brakes and are missing braze-ons for a front rack.
Incorrect. The Trek FX has V's and is set up for a front rack.
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Old 10-24-09, 09:31 PM
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Personally, all those bikes are good enough I'd choose off of the store I wanted to buy from as much as the bike. Another bike to add to your list is the KHS Urban Xpress. It's a nice steel frame.
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Old 10-25-09, 04:59 AM
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I've ridden some of the bikes on your list. Here are some thoughts:

* The Kona Dew models are more rugged than the Sirrus. You'll appreciate the Dew over the Sirrus if you're dealing with rough pavement.

* The Dew models come with rack and fender mounting points. The Sirrus does not, and least I'm fairly certain it does not.

* The Smoke is a nice bike, but gives a more upright and sedate position than does the Dew. When I test-rode a Dew, I felt I had something I could ride aggressively. When I test-rode a Smoke, I felt like I was on a bike for toodling around the neighborhood. Your mileage may vary. But that's what I came away thinking.

* I can't recall the difference between a Dew and a Dew Plus. But at some point in the Dew line, you get disc brakes. I like disc brakes, especially in inclement weather.

The Dew and the Smoke strike me as bikes built for utility. They either have or come with fender and rack mounts. They are bikes you can ride for exercise, or that you can put a rack on and commute with, or haul groceries with. The Sirrus is a bike built just for exercise, and nothing more.

So there you have it -- my two sense. If I didn't mention a model, it's because I have not personally ridden it.
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Old 10-25-09, 08:42 AM
  #19  
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I own a Felt X City D, which is the 2009 single chainring version, like the 2010 X City 6, but with some different components. I like mine a lot. The riding position is just what I was looking for, all the components (on my 2009 model) seem quality. I like the handlebars (different on 2010, not sure what those are like) too. I added bar ends, fenders and a rack.

I also sat on, but didn't ride, a Dew, but the only one they had in stock in my size was a much more expensive model. If they had one that fit me around the $500 range, I might have bought one. The Dews seem to be quite nice by nearly every account. The only issues I've heard of with Konas is the paint. I don't know if they have changed since, but I had a 2005 Kona JTS, and it would scratch if you breathed on it hard.

I also rode a Giant Seek. I really thought I'd buy the Seek going in, but it just didn't feel right. Also, it did not shift nearly as well as the Felt, though I don't know how the components compare.

If the bike feels right to you, you really can't go wrong with anything in your list. Providing, of course, it has all the mounting thingies you require.
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Old 10-25-09, 01:33 PM
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Thanks for all the responses. It seems like the Kona Dew is considered to be a solid bike for the money, and thanks waynesworld for lettung me know about the Felt. I thought the felt spec'd out better than the others for the money, but I found very little posted about it on BF. Those of you who have pointed out that you got tired of flat bars real fast... I am definately not sold on the idea of drop bars, but with so many of you saying the same thing I am willing to listen. Could you give me a couple of suggestions for me to look at when I go check out a few lbs's. I am sure someone will suggest CL but I am not in an area with very many bikers so CL is pretty difficult to find bikes on.
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Old 10-25-09, 01:43 PM
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You need to take them out for a ride and see what 'you' like. Regardless of what someone else says, one of those bikes might be great for them, but you may not like it.

In addition, you may find a model that's worth spending a few extra bucks on that you won't regret down the road.

Good luck! It's always fun buying a new bike!
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Old 10-25-09, 05:22 PM
  #22  
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I really have no opinion Felt but I feel that you Felt should get whatever bicycle Felt that appeals to you the most Felt.
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Old 10-26-09, 01:19 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Tundra_Man View Post
I really have no opinion Felt but I feel that you Felt should get whatever bicycle Felt that appeals to you the most Felt.
Hahaha!!! Very nice.

I do like mine a lot, so I'm with ya. It's kind of rare to hear that sort of opinion around here, though. Nice.
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Old 10-26-09, 03:56 AM
  #24  
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Hi,

Yes - definitely take the bikes out to ride, but for what it's worth...

For a 5 mile commute in traffic, flat bars have their advantages - more upright means you have a better view. It's not a long ride so the limited position won't be a pain as it would on a 10 miler (you could also fit bar ends later for a bit of variety).

I've ridden the Konas (both Dews), the Specialized and the Trek 7.3FX which I'm guessing is similar.

I went with the Dew Plus. The Specialized was nice and light but I wanted something that could handle a bit more of the rough stuff. My thought was that if in the future, I want something more road oriented, I would get a road bike.

The Trek ran it a close second but the ride was a bit more 'boring' and predictable. the Konas were more fun.

The Dew Plus has better gears and has disc brakes. Might be overkill on a commute but the noise they make in the wet is useful for soaked and inattentive pedestrians

I haven't ridden the Smoke - the difference seems to be it's steel (so heavier - but maybe more comfy ride) but it has wide slick tyres so it's going to be slower.

The Dews also have an abundance of braze-ons and mountings for racks and mudgaurds. However, the '09 Dew Plus's disc brakes means you'll need a disc-specific rack (or disc-rack spacers) and attention when fitting the mudguards so the supports don't foul the callipers. The '10 Dew Plus has modified seat-stays so that the callipers are between the seat and chain stays and it's easier to fit standard racks.

Re the Kona paint - yes it seems a bit fragile on the '09 model but the bike comes with a bottle of touch-up. I've heard that the '10s use different paint from previous years.

One final thing with the Konas. I'm 5'9" and got the 54" frame. I was borderline with the 56" frame too but the smaller frame with extended seat post felt a more nimble ride. However, the frame is very compact on all the models and the cranks are long, so there is a chance of pedal overlap on the smaller frames - where your toe will hit the front tyre on the pedal downstroke if you've got quite a bit of turn on. For me, it was fine with flat or clipless pedals. But I tried some half-clips prior to going clipless and they fouled the wheels a fair bit (the plastic clips projected quite a way in front of my toes). It might have been partly down to my technique - I always seem to push off with the wheel turned away from my down-stroking foot.

Anyway - if you're going for a flat-barred commuting hybrid, I don't think you can go far wrong with one of the Dews.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...58#post9911858

Last edited by g00se; 10-26-09 at 04:08 AM. Reason: clarification and typo
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Old 10-26-09, 06:00 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by jakeismydog2 View Post
A few comments first...

I have scoured these bike forums pages for the past few weeks to educate myself before I posted. I do know how to use "Search The Forums" so please do not suggest I try that because I have. I do not want suggestions of "I think a Cyclocross bike is better" or "you will wish you did not buy flat bars" I just want responses from people who own or have ridden the bikes I am looking at, who can give me their opinions about the bikes. I also know that nothing beats going to the LBS and riding them around, but I would like to be well educated before I go and drop $400-600 (thats real money for me).

Here is a list of the bikes I am looking at (with list price & link to website):

Kona Dew $449
Kona Dew Plus $549
Kona Smoke $425
Jamis Coda $550
Felt X-City 6 $449
Specialized Sirrus $550
Trek 7.2x $529
Cannondale Quick 6 $469

I am open to suggestions as long as they are very similar to the bikes listed, and not from BD.

I will be commuting about 5 mi one way, in city traffic, I weigh about 205# and am 5'9" tall. I do desire to have fenders and racks, I will need to carry groceries etc with the bike. The goal of purchasing this bike is to allow my wife and I to become a one car family.

Sorry for being a little harsh but I have read the same recommendations over and over in these forums, and I do not desire to read them again (even if they are great suggestions)


-Jakeismydog2


All the bikes you show are very similar... with one exception.... The Dew Plus has disk brakes. Other than that, test ride as many as you can, and then pick the one that feels best to you. (be sure to do some hill climbing)

Consider though that the disk brakes will stop you in any weather. That one exception can make a difference.
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