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Rode The Specialized AWOL Today

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Rode The Specialized AWOL Today

Old 06-16-14, 06:54 PM
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Rode The Specialized AWOL Today

I got a chance to try out a Specialized base model AWOL today at my LBS. I have ridden the Giant Anyroad and the Giant Revolt base model, but the AWOL kind of won me over. The steel frame is amazing and I like the riding position on this bike. Not sure if I can swing the Comp version, but I liked the ride I took today on pavement and some packed dirt roads around the dealership

Anyone out there own one of these? I wonder if adding the upper position brake levers to the straight part of the handlebars is a good move. I know that the TriCross model I saw today had those installed from the factory.
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Old 06-16-14, 07:54 PM
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Lol! I went the other way. Rode the AWOL and decided on the Anyroad. Roughly 400 miles on it and couldn't be happier. The AWOL was a nice ride and I'm sure a guy could be just as happy. Price point, equipment, styling, and service from the local Giant dealer swayed me the other way. I also didn't prefer the exposed cabling along the frame behind the front wheel on the AWOL (didn't seem preferable on a gravel class bike) but what do I know as a newbie?

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Old 06-17-14, 12:41 AM
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Thanks for the input, Tinker! God, I miss the west. You are lucky to be in Colorado! Both of these bikes are nice and I totally see why you went with the Giant! I might try one more test ride, but the steel AWOL wooed me like a Martin guitar!
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Old 06-19-14, 07:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankykentucky
Anyone out there own one of these? I wonder if adding the upper position brake levers to the straight part of the handlebars is a good move. I know that the TriCross model I saw today had those installed from the factory.
For best performance with mechanical disc brakes it's recommended to run full compression-less cable housing to the brake. Read here: How to setup the Avid BB7

I've taken the interrupter upper position brake levers off my Tricross and upgraded the brake cable. I can see why many people like them, however I thought the return spring on them was a bit weak and I didn't like how they work to pull the cable. Another reason for me taking them off was that they expose the brake cable to the elements.

I'm a bit obsessive with my setup though. I did notice an improvement at the brake lever with them off. I would rather bike manufacturers not install them and include the best quality brake cable they can spec instead.

I can recommend the Tricross. Even with an alloy fork the ride quality of the Tricross is excellent in my opinion. My old bike was a touring bike with a Reynolds 520 cromoly steel frame so I was expecting the ride quality of the Tricross to be harsh. I quite like the stiffness of the alloy frame. It feels great when putting the power down to accelerate. Also my old bike had rusted quite a lot on the steerer tube so that had a lot to do with my purchase of an alloy frame bike this time around.
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Old 06-19-14, 09:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Crankykentucky
Thanks for the input, Tinker! God, I miss the west. You are lucky to be in Colorado! Both of these bikes are nice and I totally see why you went with the Giant! I might try one more test ride, but the steel AWOL wooed me like a Martin guitar!
If I thought I would do more gravel then I may have had a lot harder time passing on the AWOL. As it is, I'm 90% commuting pavement and my back likes the upright posture of this style bike. I think I can relate to your feeling; when I was testing bikes before buying, the AWOL was the first one I loved and almost bought right then.
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Old 06-19-14, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by TinkerinWstuff
If I thought I would do more gravel then I may have had a lot harder time passing on the AWOL. As it is, I'm 90% commuting pavement and my back likes the upright posture of this style bike. I think I can relate to your feeling; when I was testing bikes before buying, the AWOL was the first one I loved and almost bought right then.
This kind of all-round road bike satisfies the dilemma of what kind of bike to buy on a budget if you can have only one bike. The AWOL will be appreciated by riders who do what you do and are also intrigued about exploring the not so beaten path.
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Old 06-19-14, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by TinkerinWstuff
If I thought I would do more gravel then I may have had a lot harder time passing on the AWOL. As it is, I'm 90% commuting pavement and my back likes the upright posture of this style bike. I think I can relate to your feeling; when I was testing bikes before buying, the AWOL was the first one I loved and almost bought right then.
I liked the Anyroad that I test drove last year, but the Massachusetts Giant dealership I deal with says they got poor recentpion on the Anyroad. So, they haven't been in a hurry to get more in. They said the Revolt has been a real winner and that the Seek bikes have been popular. The AWOL is more about feel to me and I like how sparse the frame looks since I got a Trek bike stolen last year. I almost went with a Crosstrail after riding a nice Sport Disc, but I am trying to ween myself off of a front suspension fork.

The frame dimesnsions and the headstock leave me in a comfortable position with the nice drop bars. The bike is pretty way out for an old guy like me! My LBS guy told me that I am two-weeks away from being the longest "decider" customer he has had!
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Old 06-20-14, 06:25 PM
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Ok, I spent some more time with Giant bikes today. I can't seem to get used to the Revolt, even though the components are top drawer. I also road a dynamite mountain bike (Giant Talon 27.5) with some nice features and very good road behavior. The Giant Seeks are also nice, but I might be leaning more and more towards the Specialized line.

More later!
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Old 06-20-14, 09:22 PM
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Sounds like a done deal . I expect to see pics of an AWOL tomorrow.
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