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Recommendations On Bike Please

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Recommendations On Bike Please

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Old 06-26-09, 04:00 PM
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hockman4357
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Recommendations On Bike Please

I have been reading this forum for a few days. I want to purchase a bike to help me get in shape that is reasonably comfortable and easy to ride. I will be riding primarily on asphalt. I am 53 years old and weigh in at 240 (I am hoping to lose 30 pounds). I am 6' tall. I don't think that my rides will frequently be outside of the 10-20 mile range. My price range is up to approximately $600.

I have been considering the Trek 7.3 FX or 7200, but the nearest Trek bike shop is 70 miles away.

Locally, we have a Specialized and Giant dealer. I have read some pretty good things about both.

I there a specific Specialized or Giant model that sounds like a good fit for my conditions? I have read good things about the Giant Cypress, but I don't know if I want the front suspension fork. It sounds like a stationary fork would be best and that a carbon front fork would be ideal. The Specialized Sirrus, Sport, and Vienna 2 also look as if they have potential.

I also would like some advice relative to what tire size would be best for me. Should I be looking at 700x28 or 700x35 tires?

Any help/advice in selecting a bike would be greatly appreciated!!! I want to purchase one and begin riding within a week or two.

Thanks in advance!!!
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Old 06-26-09, 04:06 PM
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Fork: If all of your riding is on asphalt or hard dirt multitrack, you are indeed better off without suspension. There is nothing magic about a carbon fork -- you just have to inspect it frequently for small cracks.

Tires: Not all 700Cx28s are equal in width. A wide 700Cx28, such as a Specialized Armadillo, should be fine for your application, but my Continental 700Cx28s are more like 25mm wide.

There is nothing wrong with Specialized or Trek, both of which are probably made by Giant in the middle price ranges.

Position: The trickiest aspect of buying one's first bicycle in many years is that what feels comfortable to you now may feel too upright and slow 6 months or a year from now. Get something just a bit sporty or challenging, and you'll probably be happy with it after a few months of riding.
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Old 06-26-09, 04:38 PM
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Both of those Trek's are good entry-level bikes and would be suitable for your needs. A good quality hybrid, from any of the major manufacturer's, would probably be a good way to get started.

If the hybrid you're interested in has "eyelets" to allow mounting a rear rack and fenders, even better. Fitted like that, and with a decent set of panniers (e.g., the Utility Basket from Arkel), you can start using your bike for errands around town. That's a great way to get some free exercise time, burn some calories, reduce wear and tear on your car, and reduce your carbon footprint.

After a year or two of riding, you may find yourself looking for something a little more sporty/faster...and that's OK. Better to ease into the sport on a more comfortable bike, than to try and get used to an agressive, race-oriented bike.

As for weight loss - I'd recommend you shoot for a loss of 60 lbs. At 6' tall, 180 is a reasonable and healthy weight goal.

And be especially careful about "rewarding" yourself with extra food portions after you've been riding. I can't tell you how many times I've heard guys say, "I ride 150 miles per week and can't lose one pound". It just shows how easy it is to blow a good exercise program with a few poor food choices, and how easy it is to eat more than we burn in exercise, if we're not careful.


Also, make sure the shop takes the time to properly fit you to the bike...adjusting things like saddle height, saddle fore-aft, and handlebar height and reach, until you're comfortable on the bike.

Other than that...enjoy the ride!
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Old 06-26-09, 04:55 PM
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Originally Posted by hockman4357 View Post

I have been considering the Trek 7.3 FX or 7200, but the nearest Trek bike shop is 70 miles away.

Locally, we have a Specialized and Giant dealer.
Personally I'd very *strongly* favor buying locally -- take a close look at the Specialized Sirrus, which is right in your price range if you want a flat-bar road bike.

If you want something sportier with drop bars, there is the Specialized Allez.

Giant makes similar bikes, but I don't know their model names.
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Old 06-26-09, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Both of those Trek's are good entry-level bikes and would be suitable for your needs. A good quality hybrid, from any of the major manufacturer's, would probably be a good way to get started.

If the hybrid you're interested in has "eyelets" to allow mounting a rear rack and fenders, even better. Fitted like that, and with a decent set of panniers (e.g., the Utility Basket from Arkel), you can start using your bike for errands around town. That's a great way to get some free exercise time, burn some calories, reduce wear and tear on your car, and reduce your carbon footprint.

After a year or two of riding, you may find yourself looking for something a little more sporty/faster...and that's OK. Better to ease into the sport on a more comfortable bike, than to try and get used to an agressive, race-oriented bike.

As for weight loss - I'd recommend you shoot for a loss of 60 lbs. At 6' tall, 180 is a reasonable and healthy weight goal.

And be especially careful about "rewarding" yourself with extra food portions after you've been riding. I can't tell you how many times I've heard guys say, "I ride 150 miles per week and can't lose one pound". It just shows how easy it is to blow a good exercise program with a few poor food choices, and how easy it is to eat more than we burn in exercise, if we're not careful.


Also, make sure the shop takes the time to properly fit you to the bike...adjusting things like saddle height, saddle fore-aft, and handlebar height and reach, until you're comfortable on the bike.

Other than that...enjoy the ride!
Well, hello stranger!
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Old 06-26-09, 05:37 PM
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Hey, Denver. How have you been?

I've been more of a lurker than a poster lately...especially in 50+ (though I do post sometimes in Commuting and Road Riding). I've dedicated this year to "living like an athlete", so there's less time for posting. Racing, training, weekly workout schedules, bike prep, sleeping, and being careful with eating, have become my obsessions.

It's been an interesting experience...on the one hand, I'm superbly fit (even though I'm middle of the pack compared to the really fast guys). On the other hand, while I may be highly "fit", I may not be all that "healthy" (in the broader sense).

From my perspective, there's a dark side to the athlete lifestyle. I feel like I've become somewhat one-dimensional and self-centered. And it also requires giving up a lot of other things...things like social rides, outings with friends, etc. And at times the bike(s) have felt like a second job (especially when training for time trials, where I go back and forth on a boring flat road at very high levels of intensity).

It raises some interesting existential questions, like..."If I'm unlikely to win, why am I working so hard, and giving up so much?".

I don't have any good answers just yet, and plan on living this way through October (wrapping up the season at the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah). After that, I'll have to evaluate, to see whether it's been worth the cost.

So, hopefully I'll be able to post more frequently later this year.

In the meantime...carry on, and sorry for the threadjack.
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Old 06-26-09, 06:03 PM
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Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Hey, Denver. How have you been?
Threadjack continues.

I've been great - continuing with my swimming, bicycling, walking, stretching and am into a new resistance program emphasizing endurance. I won't say any more as I get bombed now whenever I mention it on the 50+ forum.

I will be doing a sprint triathlon shortly, but it will be like a solo century - just me and NO stopwatch. 500 yards swimming, 13 miles biking, 3 miles run/walk (as I don't run much). Just for fun and as a goal. I don't relish swimming with 50 other folks in a pool thrashing around and hitting each other.

Looking forward to my 70th birthday in November.

Hopefully, end of threadjack!!

Sorry.
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Old 06-26-09, 06:06 PM
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Originally Posted by SSP View Post
Both of those Trek's are good entry-level bikes and would be suitable for your needs. A good quality hybrid, from any of the major manufacturer's, would probably be a good way to get started.

If the hybrid you're interested in has "eyelets" to allow mounting a rear rack and fenders, even better. Fitted like that, and with a decent set of panniers (e.g., the Utility Basket from Arkel), you can start using your bike for errands around town. That's a great way to get some free exercise time, burn some calories, reduce wear and tear on your car, and reduce your carbon footprint.

After a year or two of riding, you may find yourself looking for something a little more sporty/faster...and that's OK. Better to ease into the sport on a more comfortable bike, than to try and get used to an agressive, race-oriented bike.

As for weight loss - I'd recommend you shoot for a loss of 60 lbs. At 6' tall, 180 is a reasonable and healthy weight goal.

And be especially careful about "rewarding" yourself with extra food portions after you've been riding. I can't tell you how many times I've heard guys say, "I ride 150 miles per week and can't lose one pound". It just shows how easy it is to blow a good exercise program with a few poor food choices, and how easy it is to eat more than we burn in exercise, if we're not careful.


Also, make sure the shop takes the time to properly fit you to the bike...adjusting things like saddle height, saddle fore-aft, and handlebar height and reach, until you're comfortable on the bike.

Other than that...enjoy the ride!
It looks like I'm going to have to go out of town to buy the bike anyway. The LBS really doesn't have much to offer afterall.

Having said that, I think that I will take a close look at both the Trek 7200 and the Trek 7.3 FX. Frankly, I am presently leaning towards the Trek 7.3 FX. I just have a feeling that it might better fit my needs for a longer period of time. Does this sound like logical thinking? I will need to check to see if it comes equipped with the "eyelets" that you are referring to.

Any additional info would be appreciated!
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Old 06-26-09, 06:28 PM
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I had a 7.3 FX and it is a great hybrid. That being said, after a few months I realized I wanted more and got a road bike. LOVE the road bike. But, that is my experience, not necessarily what you will experience. At 55 I thought I was too old for a road bike, and that a hybrid was what I needed... I was wrong.

All I am saying is at least look at other options that hybrids.... and whatever you get, ride it... I can honesty say getting a bike changed my life.
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Old 06-26-09, 07:11 PM
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Fer gosh sakes, you're just starting out/back with cycling -- even if you're "flush" financially, why not find something used, local, inexpensive, which fits? Later on, when you've lost those 60lbs (hey, I've got over 100lbs to lose!), go ahead and invest in a brand-new, or high-end used, bicycle.

I bought a used Trek 600 on eBay, gave it some new shoes (Continental Grand Prix 4 Seasons, in 700x28c), and just ride it. No, it's not perfect, but the $225 it cost me, along with the cost of tires, new cabling, and stem, are far less than the up-to-$600 you've mentioned.

C'mon... you work hard for your money. Still, YMMV.
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Old 06-26-09, 08:07 PM
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Originally Posted by BremenCole View Post
I had a 7.3 FX and it is a great hybrid. That being said, after a few months I realized I wanted more and got a road bike. LOVE the road bike. But, that is my experience, not necessarily what you will experience. At 55 I thought I was too old for a road bike, and that a hybrid was what I needed... I was wrong.

All I am saying is at least look at other options that hybrids.... and whatever you get, ride it... I can honesty say getting a bike changed my life.
Amen, brother!

There's many on BF who've been changed by bikes, and some whose lives have been saved.

It happened for me 17 years ago when I bought a low-end Specialized rigid-tail mountain bike, in the hopes that it would help me stop smoking (I had started again after 5 years...doh!). Little did I know that it would change my body, my view of myself, and my raison d'être. It was also partly responsible for breaking up my marriage (which was long overdue). I can't imagine life without bikes, and can't imagine what mine would have been like if I hadn't re-discovered all the good things they bring to your life.

Keep 'em turning...
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Old 06-26-09, 08:49 PM
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@SSP Yes, I really am serious when I say getting a bike changed my life. Like you I can't imagine life without bikes and riding. I really am not into the exercise part of it, though it is a wonderful side effect. I have lost weight over time (yea!) and keep it off (yea, yea!). But what keeps me riding is, when I ride my attitude gets adjusted correctly, and my energy level soars. When I ride I just feel better, and am in a better state of mind. I enjoy riding, and I enjoy the effect it has on me.... anyway....

@jbhoren A used bike is a great idea. My wife got a used Specialized Allez a few months ago at a LBS. Got it out the door for $250! It even had a compter on it (Cateye) and showed just a bit over 400 miles. It is a great bike, and huge "bang for the buck" factor.....
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Old 06-26-09, 08:56 PM
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Here's another 50+ whose bike has changed his life.

H-Man - Do not overthink this purchase. The main thing is to get riding. Once you've been riding for a while, you'll get a much better idea about the kind of bike you need. Then oyu can sell this bike and get one that fits your newer, leaner style.
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Old 06-26-09, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by hockman4357 View Post
. Frankly, I am presently leaning towards the Trek 7.3 FX. ...
I will need to check to see if it comes equipped with the "eyelets" that you are referring to.
It has eyelets. You can zoom in on the picture and see there are two eyelets on the rear dropout for fender and rack (just above and to the left of the top of the chrome derailleur hanger), an eyelet on the front droputs for a fender (right behind the axle bolt, you can actually see both the left and right eyelet) and even a rack eyelet halfway up the fork which now seems to be standard on Treks even though only a few tourers are likely to want front fork racks.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/73fx/

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Old 06-26-09, 10:57 PM
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I rode a Trek hybrid Thursday. I have a couple of road bikes and a touring bike. I ride one of the road bikes almost every day. The only reason I mention this is to put my next comment into context. The hybrid was evey bit as agile as my touring bike. It was set up pretty nice and I would not hesitate to use it for touring. I was shopping for an around town bike that would allow me to go to the store etc. I am retiring next Tuesday ( actually being down sized) and would like to try going car free around town for a year. I wanted something that I could put platform pedals on and would be fun to ride. It was a short spin at our local bike shop, but it gave me a pretty good idea of how it would handle, and is not much heavier than my touring bike.

I believe that it would be a great bike to have, even if you decide you want something different later. I don't think you can ever have too many bikes! Like folks said the main thing is to start riding.
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Old 06-26-09, 11:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
I rode a Trek hybrid Thursday. I have a couple of road bikes and a touring bike. I ride one of the road bikes almost every day. The only reason I mention this is to put my next comment into context. The hybrid was evey bit as agile as my touring bike. It was set up pretty nice and I would not hesitate to use it for touring. I was shopping for an around town bike that would allow me to go to the store etc. I am retiring next Tuesday ( actually being down sized) and would like to try going car free around town for a year. I wanted something that I could put platform pedals on and would be fun to ride. It was a short spin at our local bike shop, but it gave me a pretty good idea of how it would handle, and is not much heavier than my touring bike.

I believe that it would be a great bike to have, even if you decide you want something different later. I don't think you can ever have too many bikes! Like folks said the main thing is to start riding.
Which specific Trek hybrid model did you test drive?
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Old 06-27-09, 12:39 AM
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I should think that almost every manufacturer will make a bike that would be suitable for your needs- and comfort.

Only problem is that all the bikes are almost the same but one would grab hold of you and say "Buy ME". You have to get out and try the various bikes in the first place.

Most of us would recommend buying locally- If the shop does suit your needs. Not all LBSs will have the same competence on dealing with customers and their problem so you have to find the LBS for you.

And on the bikes- Specialised Sirrus- Giant FCR and plenty more will suit. As you plan to ride on ashspalt- get a hybrid with a rigid fork and don't even go for a suspension seat post. You may think this will give a harsher ride- but at this price point you will be getting a better ride by going Rigid.
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Old 06-27-09, 09:59 PM
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It was a Trek 7.2 or 7.3 FX. I'm not sure, but the original price was in the $650 range and was on sale for $460. This makes me think it was last year's 7.3.

I think Stapfam makes a good point. Ride as many as you can before you buy.
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Old 06-28-09, 12:08 AM
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Thanks for all the good advice. I located a used 2006 or 2007 Trek 7.2 FX today from a private party. Is there a way to check on the year it was manufactured? It is in very good shape with the exception of some nicks and scratches. It seems to ride really well. I paid $150 which seems like a good deal.

I am thinking that I should take it in for a tune up. What is the going price for a tune up? Does it need to be done by a Trek dealer or can any reputable bike shop take care of this? I did take off the front tire to transport the bike home and managed to lose one of the springs on the lever used to tighten the the wheel on the frame. I'm assuming that the bike shop will have these available........right? It doesn't have a kick stand. Should I add one? How about adding front and back fenders? Where is the best place to buy parts and accessories for Trek bikes?

What should I do do get rid of as many scratches and nicks as I can? Does Trek make touch up paint? The color is rage red.

Anyway, I want to get this baby fine tuned and then ride the heck out of it.

Thanks again for all of the excellent advice. I'm pumped!!!

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Old 06-28-09, 12:41 AM
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What year is your Trek -

You might be able to just post all the details of your bike in a separate post and someone could figure out what year it is. Colors, components, etc. change from year to year and that will help people figure out what it is. Or just send an email to Trek, they'll be able to figure it out.

Tune-up/price of tune-up -

Any good bike shop should be able to tune up your bike. Doesn't have to be a Trek dealer.
Here's a pretty thorough price list from a respected shop here in Seattle. I would expect that the "perfromance and safety tune" ought to be all you need.
http://www.recycledcycles.com/repairs.php

BTW, your bike not even need a tune...if it hasn't been ridden much, you might be good to good. If the brakes work well, and the brake pads appear fresh, and the gears shift OK, you are probably OK. If it seems ok, or if you can figure out how to tweak whatever is wrong on your own, you might try riding it for 30 to 60 days until you accumulate some miles (and more questions), and then take it in.

Spring on quick-release lever -

Any bike shop should have one. If you take your bike in for a complete tune, ask them to take care of it. They shouldn't charge you very much (if anything) for one if you're getting a tune.

Best place to get parts and accessories for Trek bikes --

Any bike shop, online or a physical store, will stock the kinds of parts you need. The only "Trek" part of your bike is the frame...the other components are standard brands like Shimano, etc., that you can get anywhere. Probably a lot of the parts on your bike are marked Bontrager, which is Trek's house brand.

Does Trek make touch up paint?

Try fingernail polish to touch up your frame. If you want to get really picky, there are several online stores that sell touch up paint for cars, 1,000's of shades. Just google "touch up paint" and you'll find them.


Have fun w/the new bike...

Two websites that every cyclist should know about:

http://www.parktool.com/repair/

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/

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Old 06-28-09, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by hockman4357 View Post
Thanks for all the good advice. I located a used 2006 or 2007 Trek 7.2 FX today from a private party. Is there a way to check on the year it was manufactured?
Does it have an adjustable handlebar stem or is it fixed?
http://bikepedia.com/QuickBike/Side2...=11138b+95741b
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Old 06-28-09, 05:33 AM
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Originally Posted by hockman4357 View Post
I have been reading this forum for a few days. I want to purchase a bike to help me get in shape that is reasonably comfortable and easy to ride. I will be riding primarily on asphalt. I am 53 years old and weigh in at 240 (I am hoping to lose 30 pounds). I am 6' tall. I don't think that my rides will frequently be outside of the 10-20 mile range. My price range is up to approximately $600.

I have been considering the Trek 7.3 FX or 7200, but the nearest Trek bike shop is 70 miles away.

Locally, we have a Specialized and Giant dealer. I have read some pretty good things about both.

I there a specific Specialized or Giant model that sounds like a good fit for my conditions? I have read good things about the Giant Cypress, but I don't know if I want the front suspension fork. It sounds like a stationary fork would be best and that a carbon front fork would be ideal. The Specialized Sirrus, Sport, and Vienna 2 also look as if they have potential.

I also would like some advice relative to what tire size would be best for me. Should I be looking at 700x28 or 700x35 tires?

Any help/advice in selecting a bike would be greatly appreciated!!! I want to purchase one and begin riding within a week or two.

Thanks in advance!!!
I've been riding continuously since I was 20, and have always ridden road bikes. Recently I decided to buy a city bike for the short 10-20 mile "errand" riding and decided on a Jamis Commuter 3. I found a shop online,bicyclebananas.com, which had a large number of 2007 overstocks. I got one at $399 and have been pleased as I could be with it. My 18 year old son liked it so much, he bought one also. I'm about the same height and wgt range and [U]barely[U]fit the 22.5" frame(I have short legs,32" inseam).
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Old 06-28-09, 10:16 AM
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Originally Posted by hockman4357 View Post
Thanks for all the good advice. I located a used 2006 or 2007 Trek 7.2 FX today from a private party. Is there a way to check on the year it was manufactured?
The Trek website has their catalogue archived by year, so you could browse through that looking for colour or component matches.
www.trekbikes.com
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2007/archive/72fx
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/2006/archive/72fx

Looks like either year could be red, but silver is 2007, and matte steel blue is 2006, and it seems they didn't make that model in 2005. Oops I see it is red. Some other details might clue you in to the year.

EDT: good point from BluesDawg. The 2006 has an Alloy Aheadset adjustable stem to raise or lower the handlbars, the 2007 has a fixed 10 degree Bontrager stem.

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Old 06-28-09, 10:33 AM
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You can ride it without the quick release spring, but it is convenient to have it. You actually don't need to take the quick release skewer completely apart next time - just flip the lever, unscrew it slightly, and the wheel will pop out. When you remount the wheel, be sure to screw it a bit tighter, so that the lever closes firmly. Also be sure the axle is properly centred in the dropouts in the bottom of fork - there should be little ridges to help place it, called "lawyer lips" since they are intended to help prevent lawsuits from an improperly seated wheel falling out. In fact, that's why you have to slightly unscrew the quick release after opening the lever - to get over the lawyer lips.

If you can apply full braking power without the lever touching the handlbar, the brakes are probably safe enough to ride until a bike store checks them out. If you can squeeze the brakes until the lever touches the handlebar, they ought to be tightened before you ride beyond your driveway. I would encourage you to have it checked over - even $60 is not much to pay if there turns out to be some safety issue they correct.

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Old 06-28-09, 10:47 AM
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Originally Posted by BengeBoy View Post
Personally I'd very *strongly* favor buying locally -- take a close look at the Specialized Sirrus, which is right in your price range if you want a flat-bar road bike.

If you want something sportier with drop bars, there is the Specialized Allez.

Giant makes similar bikes, but I don't know their model names.

+1 on the sirrus, one of the best bikes I ever owned.
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