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Dilemma

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Old 06-16-07, 07:40 PM
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Baroque
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Dilemma

Armed with suggestions from this forum, and the meager reviews available on the net (for the stuff I've been seeing, anyway), here's the results of my bike hunting today. I visited 4 shops:

#1: The only comfort bike in the shop is the Marin Stinson. $390 and has Shimano CO51 f.d., Shimano Altus r.d., Shimano EF50 EZFire Plus 7-spd shifters. Beautiful appearance, but ride and fit earned only an "eh". See at http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...s_stinson.html
NOTE: this shop just bought a bike for $40 that they are fixing up to sell on EBay. It has 2 chains, and "pedals" that you only push down (not around in circle). As one rises, you push the other one down. I didn't get to look at it myself but my better half did, and only said "well, that's a first". He's very practical in his taste in bikes though.

#2: Only option was a Del Sol bike; low $300's, similar components to Marin Stinson. Didn't grab me.

#3: Performance shop carried only road bikes (!!!!) I remember shopping for a new tire for my "racing bike" some years ago, and not finding anything but mountain bikes everywhere. Just wait long enough and history always repeats itself.....anyway, these kind folks recommended bike shop #4

#4: Choices were Giant Sedona DX ($349) or LX ($449).
The DX was a decent fit, although the seat was not as comfy as the Raleigh Venture 3.0 I tried last week. I really goofed when taking notes on the components though. I thought the DX had Alivio rear derailleur, but when I got home and looked online, it looks like the LX has the Alivio and the DX I liked has the Shimano Acera. Bummer. However, the DX does have adjustable front shocks, and for whatever it's worth, 24 speeds (12 was already way more than I needed, but hey, give me 24, I'll try to use 'em).

Tomorrow I'm trying one more bike shop, but basically, I haven't seen any other brands in my local bike shops for under $500 except what's listed above. It's either one of these listed here or the road bike in my garage with the 1 1/8" tires....I have done hard-packed dirt roads on it, with tires at about 98 lbs pressure, but that's an adventure I'm not anxious to repeat anymore!

So my choice at this moment comes down to:

- Giant Sedona DX for $349 with Acera rear derailleur. There's a lot to like about this bike, but I've read so many bad reviews about the Acera, I'm worried that even the Altus would be better.
I've got to say that the shifting went well during my test ride though --- as well as I could test with one foot in an Ace bandage!!!
http://www.giant-bicycle.com/en-US/bikes/lifestyle/600/28405/

- Raleigh Venture 3.0 for $299, which I can upgrade during the build, I guess.
http://www.raleighusa.com/items.asp?deptid=6&itemid=362
I liked the fit and feel of this bike as well, but the shifting was only an "eh".

Any and all comments would be SO appreciated!
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Old 06-16-07, 07:54 PM
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I took an Acera off my son's Mongoose when it died, and it didn't look like it was as well built as even an Alivio. I've ridden my Wahoo into the ground and the Alivio hasn't given me any trouble, and that's including trail abuse, etc.
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Old 06-16-07, 07:57 PM
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If it's only the rear derailleur that is stopping you , don't let it. Rear derailleurs are not a big ticket item and are easily replaceable. You could put a nice LX rear der. on for $32 (web price), not including installation (if you don't do it yourself). Or the store might be willing to give you an "adjustment" if they can use the stock rear der. on something, and order an LX for you. Don't worry too much about the stock seat--the first thing usually replace on a bike is the stock seat. Front ders. don't make as big a dif as rear der-as they are only working with 3 rings, so even most inexpensive front ders. are OK.
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Old 06-16-07, 08:00 PM
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My wifes Sedona and my Trek 4300 both have the Alivio rear derailleurs and they have been completely trouble free. I have carried the bikes on the back of the motor home many miles in rain dust etc., rode in a lot of sand and never properly cared for them and they just keep on shifting. I am not familiar with the Acera, but would highly recommend the Alivios.
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Old 06-16-07, 08:52 PM
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I agree with Freeranger. Don't worry about the rear derailleur spec. Acera will work fine. When it wears out replace it with something better.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?s...cm_cat=1069410
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...%20Derailleurs
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Old 06-16-07, 09:21 PM
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Hi everyone,

I checked an online store (Jenson USA) and found only $10 difference between the Acera and Alivio derailleurs: 19.99 and 29.99 respectively. Maybe the bike shop can work a deal for me; they've got tons of inventory and a thriving repair shop. Fingers crossed! I know it seems like kind of a small thing to worry about, but I'd like to have it set up nicely when it leaves the shop, all brandy-new and shiny

P.S. Freeranger and BluesDawg,
I can also see your point about just taking the Acera and wearing it out, if it comes to that.
ThanX!
- Ally

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Old 06-16-07, 09:27 PM
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Did you try any of the hybrids that are one step above the "comfort" bikes to see if those were okay for you.

For example, a Marin San Rafael, Giant Cypress LX or Raleigh Passage 5.0? These are a little lighter and roll along a bit easier, while still retaining much of the comfort and riding position of a comfort bike. Another option is a Trek 7300, which has a nice SRAM X.7 rear derailleur.

Most "comfort" line bikes don't have higher-end components. Occasionally some company offers a higher-end comfort bike, like Trek did a few years back with their Navigator 600, which had Deore XT and Rockshok fork. But they couldn't sell them.

One that I would recommend to try out is the Specialized Crossroads Elite. This kinda lies between a comfort and standard hybrid, with a laidback, relaxed riding position. It has the very solid Deore rear derailleur and decent Alex wheels. I found it a comfortable ride. You could check out the Expedition Elite too, perhaps even more comfy with fatter tires, but otherwise almost the same as the Crossroads.

All of these list for under $500.

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Old 06-16-07, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Did you try any of the hybrids that are one step above the "comfort" bikes to see if those were okay for you. For example, a Marin San Rafael, Giant Cypress LX or Raleigh Passage 5.0? One that I would recommend to try out is the Specialized Crossroads Elite. This kinda lies between a comfort and standard hybrid, with a laidback, relaxed riding position. You could check out the Expedition Elite too, perhaps even more comfy with fatter tires, but otherwise almost the same as the Crossroads.
All of these list for under $500.
Hi Tom,

My choices were pretty limited in the shops I've visited. The shop with the Raleigh Venture only had a few no-name hybrids, not the Passage. The shop with the Marin Stinson only had the Stinson. The Giant shop might actually have the Cypress though. I'll have to check that out tomorrow. I was leaning more towards the Comfort for the added measure of safety on loose gravel, sand, bumpy/rooty trails, etc.
Can't be too careful with a wild bike.

Ally
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Old 06-16-07, 10:01 PM
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A standard hybrid is very good on gravel bike paths & bumpy, rooty trails. I wouldn't shy away from them for that reason. Most of them are based upon mountain bike frames.

The Specialized bikes I mentioned has the seat set back a little bit, which puts you a little closer to the ground while sitting on it. Makes it easier to get your feet onto the ground quickly. Oh, and those fat tires on the Expedition are 26", which gets you even a little closer to the ground.

Too bad about not getting a chance to check out the Marin San Rafael. It has a nice ride. The Trek 7300 does too, if there is a Trek dealer around (and when isn't there??). You could check out their Navigator 3.0 as a comfort bike too.
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Old 06-16-07, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Baroque
I was leaning more towards the Comfort for the added measure of safety on loose gravel, sand, bumpy/rooty trails, etc.
Can't be too careful with a wild bike.

Ally
I can't imagine that the spongy suspension on most comfort bikes would make a bike safer in these conditions. If anything, their lack of controlled movement may well make them dangerous compared to a rigid bike or one with higher quality suspension.
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Old 06-16-07, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
A standard hybrid is very good on gravel bike paths & bumpy, rooty trails. I wouldn't shy away from them for that reason. Most of them are based upon mountain bike frames.
The Specialized bikes I mentioned has the seat set back a little bit, which puts you a little closer to the ground while sitting on it. Makes it easier to get your feet onto the ground quickly. Oh, and those fat tires on the Expedition are 26", which gets you even a little closer to the ground.
Too bad about not getting a chance to check out the Marin San Rafael. It has a nice ride. The Trek 7300 does too, if there is a Trek dealer around (and when isn't there??). You could check out their Navigator 3.0 as a comfort bike too.
You've convinced me -- I'll just have to try to ride a good hybrid before making the final decision. Nothing worse than buying one thing and then kicking yourself later. I like the Specialized idea of putting feet to ground quickly & easily. There is only 1 more shop - or maybe 2, now that I'm thinking about it - that we didn't get a chance to visit today. Would be nice if they had Trek or other choices. We drove about 100 miles today just to find the shops we did...pickins are slim...but half the fun is in the hunt :-)
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Old 06-16-07, 10:47 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg
I can't imagine that the spongy suspension on most comfort bikes would make a bike safer in these conditions. If anything, their lack of controlled movement may well make them dangerous compared to a rigid bike or one with higher quality suspension.
I have to admit I had my doubts about too much suspension as well, even though I think my arms and nether regions will thank me eventually. The ability to adjust the amount of suspension with the Sedona DX becomes very interesting. I know I've taken a brutal beating with my road-type bike on cobblestones, for example, almost bouncing off the road, where suspension could actually feel safer.

Wish I could own 1 of each type of bike.

- Ally
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Old 06-17-07, 04:42 AM
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My daughter has a Cypress.....no complaints, it seems like a real sweet ride.....I wouldn't mind owning one myself.


Originally Posted by Baroque
NOTE: this shop just bought a bike for $40 that they are fixing up to sell on EBay. It has 2 chains, and "pedals" that you only push down (not around in circle). As one rises, you push the other one down. I didn't get to look at it myself but my better half did, and only said "well, that's a first". He's very practical in his taste in bikes though.
Just a little input on your notation:
That sounds like an Alenax. Probably from the late 70's to early 80's. It's worth having one in your stable if for no other reason than it's an oddity. They are noisy as all get out, but fun to ride around the block, beach etc., which is about all we do with ours.




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Old 06-17-07, 01:24 PM
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You could probably get the bike shop to upgrade the DER as a deal closer. Worst case, split the difference.
When I was looking at the entry level Cypress (ST), the LBS was willing to swap the Free Wheel to something more "road worthy", no charge.
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