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Question about bikes...

Old 10-21-15, 06:02 AM
  #1  
spanglersplace
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Question about bikes...

Hi everyone, new to the forum.

My son and I are getting new bikes, upgrading from your typical 200 Schwinn to better hybrids since we do a lot of 25 and 50 mile bike outings with Scouts. I have literally been to every shop in my area, a Specialized dealer, a Cannondale dealer, a Giant dealer and even went to Dicks Sporting goods and saw a awesome looking GT bike of course all the bike shops laughed at that. Here is the issue, we are looking to spend 500-625 for each bike. What I have saw is this.

1. GT Vantura at Dicks which is a hybrid but must only be available there @ 599.99, its very light and looks great but I am not sure since I am a newbie how the components stack up or the company, there is not much around.
GT Vantara Comp Bike | DICK'S Sporting Goods

2. 2015 Cannondale Quick 5 Red $579.99 $521.99
3. 2015 Cannondale Quick CX 4 Black $679.99 $611.99
4. 2016 Giant Seek 3 620.00 Platinum
5. 2015 Giant Roam 2 557.00 Blue
6. 2016 Giant Escape 1 619.00 Matte Black

So, obviously I am not sure if I want more road versus more trail, but these are the ones I am looking at, some are on clearance as they are 2015 models and I get more bang for the buck, can someone please help me understand what's good and what's not and what's the best deal, etc...help!!!! Thank you.

Gary
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Old 10-21-15, 06:37 AM
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RonH
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All the bikes listed are very similar with similar components. Ride them all and get the one you like the best. Make sure it fits (correct frame size, saddle height, etc). Buy the bikes from a bike shop, not Dick's. Let us know which one you get.
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Old 10-21-15, 06:57 AM
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I think RonH nailed it. Buy from the shop that you like best.
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Old 10-21-15, 07:14 AM
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The basic problem with buying from the LBS you "like" is that you have nothing to base your opinion on. I have found that there are two excellent bike shops that I know of in the Pioneer Valley and two that I know to avoid. I learned this by having dealt with them on maintenance issues, and at that point it became clear who was competent and who wasn't. They all seemed pretty much the same when you talked to them, but there was a huge difference where the rubber met the road. We have a local paper that does annual "best of" surveys for lots of stuff, including bike shops. Unfortunately, most folks who vote in these things don't seem to have any meaningful experience with the actual shops. The OP might be able to get good direction from a local cycling club if he is part of one, but sizing up a bike shop is like sizing up an insurance company -- you only know what they're really worth once it's too late to do anything about it. Or so ISTM.
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Old 10-21-15, 07:17 AM
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caloso
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Buy your bike from the bike shop you like best. Dick's is not a bike shop.
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Old 10-21-15, 07:33 AM
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Yep. Pick the bikes and shop you like best. Avoid Dicks. All bikes usually need minor adjustments after some riding. A local store does that for free with new bikes; Dicks won't even understand.
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Old 10-21-15, 07:42 AM
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Originally Posted by spanglersplace View Post
Hi everyone, new to the forum.

My son and I are getting new bikes, upgrading from your typical 200 Schwinn to better hybrids since we do a lot of 25 and 50 mile bike outings with Scouts. . . . went to Dicks Sporting goods and saw a awesome looking GT bike of course all the bike shops laughed at that. Here is the issue, we are looking to spend 500-625 for each bike. What I have saw is this.

So, obviously I am not sure if I want more road versus more trail, but these are the ones I am looking at, some are on clearance as they are 2015 models and I get more bang for the buck, can someone please help me understand what's good and what's not and what's the best deal, etc...help!!!! Thank you.

Gary
Hi Gary,

I highly recommend purchasing from a LBS and not Dick's. You might save some money with Dick's in the short run, but the bike will be more expensive in the long run. At a LBS, you get a bike assembled by someone who has the knowledge to put the bike together (such as how to align brake pads for safety) and proper tools (such as a torque wrench) to make sure that it is safe to ride. You likely aren't going to get this at Dicks. That is about a $150.00 value that is a freebie when you buy from a LBS. LBS bikes also normally come with a free one month tune-up to adjust the bike after it settles in and to address cable stretch. That is easily a $50 value.
Additionally, when parts wear out, the LBS is qualified to actually provide warranty service on the bike. For example, it isn't unusual for stock pedals to wear out in the first few months of riding a bike. A LBS will generally be happy to replace the pedal under warranty and get you back to riding the day you bring it in. A place like Dick's might give you more of a hassle or make you wait longer for a part to come in.

The Road vs Trail is something you would do well to figure out now. There are few bikes that do road & trail well. You are going to compromise somewhere. Either you'll spend more to get a good front shock with lockout, sacrifice speed and rigidity to gain comfort with an inexpensive front shock, or sacrifice some comfort to have a fully rigid bike. If you are doing mainly road riding, my personal preference is for the fully rigid bike. You also will likely end up purchasing different tries for trail rides and road rides.

Also, I think at least one of the bikes you mentioned has hydraulic disc brakes. I dislike the added maintenance required by hydraulic discs, and I avoid them. I do ride a bike with mechanical disc brakes, but I frequently ride in the rain and they are idea for that.
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Old 10-21-15, 07:53 AM
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Find out what those Scouts outings on bikes will be like. Take that into consideration. To earn certain badges, a scout might have to do a long ride.

The kids will have mostly wide tire bikes like mountain bikes for kids. But its where you live. In Orange County where I live, I see a lot of Scouts riding in a group on the Santa Ana River Trail. That's paved. But your area may not be.
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Old 10-22-15, 12:17 PM
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You can still buy your ammo at Dick's, though. Good selection, if you'd like...
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Old 10-22-15, 01:01 PM
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The road (as opposed to mtb) version of the Cycling Merit Badge requires 2 rides each at 10, 15 and 25 miles, and a 50 mile ride. Here are the complete requirements: Cycling Merit Badge

Based on the rides I have done with the Troop that I am the Assistant Scoutmaster of, a hybrid would be a good choice. Speeds are on the low side for the majority of them, stops are frequent (they are eating machines and always need a snack, plus our Troop goes to some beautiful places), and you need to be able to carry stuff.
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Old 10-22-15, 01:52 PM
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Good recommendations here. Find out where your troop rides. My son's troop does its 50 mile ride on a bike path with a crushed gravel surface, so a medium-tired hybrid is a better bike for them than a skinny-tired road bike. But a wide-tired mountain bike is overkill, and ends up slower.

Of the bikes you listed, they all seem like good, versatile options. However, I wouldn't recommend the Giant Roam you listed because it has a front shock.
Unless you're doing off-road riding (mountain bike trails with serious bumps), a front shock is un-necessary and lots of added weight.
If you are doing off-road riding, you'll want a bike with a much better shock than what comes on the Roam.

If you want a bike that's good on the pavement but still capable in occasional dirt and crushed gravel, the Quick CX seems a better option than the Roam.

Other bikes to consider: drop-bar "adventure" or "gravel" bikes, like the Giant AnyRoad, give you the medium-width tires of a hybrid for occasional dirt and gravel, but they're faster because of the more aggressive drop bar posture.
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Old 10-22-15, 01:59 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
Buy your bike from the bike shop you like best. Dick's is not a bike shop.
Yes. I've come to learn that choosing a bike shop is much more important than choosing a bike.
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