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Best men's hybrid under $300?

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Old 07-06-18, 11:10 PM
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Best men's hybrid under $300?

So, I am bumping 50 and I need to get back into riding. I had a Schwinn Trailway 700c Hybrid that I used for years and loved. It fit my need well. I loaned it to my son a couple years ago and he abused it. I took a look at it today and pretty much the only thing that is good is the frame. It needs everything. I got to figuring up the cost in parts to get it back in shape and I think buying a new bike is the best way to go. I don't need anything fancy. I am not going to be competing. I just need something dependable for exercise purposes a few times a week. Maybe 7 to 10 miles. I live out in the country a mile down a dirt road from pavement, but I will riding on pavement 80% of the time, so I think the 700c hybrid like the Trailway I had works best for me. I am 5'10" and weigh 220lbs. I have back problems, so I need a smooth ride (no jolting). My Trailway had front shocks (and an aftermarket shock absorbing seat) and that helped so much with jolting. $300 is my budget right now as my finances are not that great. Here are some models I am looking at, but I have been out of the bike market for a long time, so I am hoping to get some input from people that are more up to date with what's on the market today.

Schwinn Discover Men's Hybrid Bike ( amzn.to/2NrnrQR ) This one has pretty good reviews.

Critical Cycles Men's Barron Hybrid ( amzn.to/2KHcCfT )Never heard of this brand but it looks good and has a few good reviews.

Diamondback Bicycles Edgewood Hybrid ( amzn.to/2J205Od )I have heard of this brand but never owned one. Has some good reviews as well.

I am open to ideas and suggestions. Thanks for the help.
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Old 07-07-18, 02:42 AM
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There is a subfoum for hybrid bikes, and another for fifty plus riders, you might have better luck on one of those forums.
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Old 07-07-18, 05:50 AM
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Most here are a go to the bike shop kinda cyclists but if these are your choices I'd say between the 3 the Diamondback. They've made the Edgewood a long time although not the same company it once was. Looks like a 2017 marked down for clearance.
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Old 07-07-18, 07:03 AM
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Have you looked at something like a Trek FX series? Guaranteed you will not get any service breaks on anything from amazon. Check the shops, some of them offer limited lifetime service deals with bike purchase. I have learned to do my own work, but just getting back into it you will need some help along the way the first couple years. Bikes are like cars. You have to clean and lubricate if you expect it to be running in 5 or 10 years.
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Old 07-07-18, 07:51 AM
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"All things being equal, they will be"

who does the best set up assembly , at your favorite local bike shop ?
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Old 07-07-18, 08:00 AM
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drop another $80 on a Giant Escape or Trek FX, IMHO (if your local shops sell them)
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Old 07-07-18, 08:22 AM
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Originally Posted by ShaneC80 View Post
drop another $80 on a Giant Escape or Trek FX, IMHO (if your local shops sell them)
this or buy used!
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Old 07-07-18, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by metieval View Post
this or buy used!
x 3
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Old 07-07-18, 10:31 AM
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$300 is a bad price point for a new bike. You should be able to find a much better value for that money in the used market. Or if you prefer new, consider upping your budget to $400, and you will have more quality options. FWIW, unless you are going with something from before the 2000s, I would stay away from Schwinn, Diamondback, or other brands that sell at Target, Wal Mart or Amazon. Stick with brands sold at bike shops and you should be fine. Of the major brands, Giant tends to offer the best value for the money. As far as the bikes I own, my family and I own bikes by these brands. Trek, Kona, Salsa, Jamis, Bianchi, Peugeot (vintage), and Gitane (vintage). No one of these brands is better than another.
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Old 07-07-18, 10:07 PM
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Don't bother with that stuff or anything bought online. Go down to your local shop and actually work out a budget that can get you what you want not just the cheapest thing out there. Plus buying online looses out on warranties and you need to pay a bunch extra to get it built up and tuned which you don't need to pay for at your local shop.

Stick with a good quality steel frame (not hi-ten steel) ideally with a carbon fork (for a smoother ride and some weight reduction) but a steel fork is fine too or if you must go aluminum find the bike with a carbon fork and make sure you have lots of tire clearance (wider tires usually equal more comfort, less flats and more fun). Avoid Shimano Tourney and Altus for sure ideally I would avoid Claris and Acera if you want dependability. For brakes hydraulic disc brakes offer better stopping power and modulation and brands like Shimano, Magura, TRP, offer some excellent brakes but Tektro isn't bad for hydraulic. Mechanical discs can be decent if you stick with TRP Spyre/Spyke or Avid BB7s usually any non-TRP stuff or stuff below BB7s just isn't that great. Avoid suspension seatposts unless you get an aftermarket one from Sirrus Cycles (Kinekt) or Cane Creek (Thudbuster). Also good to avoid any suspension forks unless you are riding truly off road on really rough stuff like a mountain bike trail, it is another thing to go wrong and the nicer forks are generally quite expensive and have more travel then one would want on more paved or gravelly adventures. Also find cranks that use bolted on chainrings rather than riveted (because when you need to replace a chainring you won't have to replace the entire crankset).

If you absolutely cannot go above your low budget then consider a single speed, the fewer parts mean you can get a tiny bit higher quality and have something more reliable (or at least fewer parts to go wrong)

Get something you want to ride a lot because if you just look at price you won't want to ride it much and you will bring it to the shop more often than not and spend money on something that just isn't worth it. If you spend more than your initial budget but ride it a whole heck of a heap more and you bring it to the shop less and have to replace parts less frequently then you will have done well. If you go solely on price maybe consider purchasing a $300 sculpture you can let collect dust, it will look better.
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Old 07-08-18, 03:25 AM
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I had one of those Trailways. the kickstand clip broke in the parking lot of the Target I bought it from & it needed work, modification & a stronger rear wheel. turned out to be a rugged year 'round commuter. you live out in the country a mile down a dirt road from pavement, so can you assemble a new bike bought online? can you carry a bike on your car? do you have access to parts in local towns to build up / repair the Trailway? about where do you live? how tall are you? maybe we can find something better on craigslist for you to test ride. I agree a Trek FX would be a good used bike to get. one of my current bikes, is just that. if I had to choose between the three you showed us, I'd go for the one with fenders & rack, but that's me. those wheels w paired spokes aren't the best. but with care & checking/adjustment they might work, but you might have to buy a stronger rear wheel like I did

yesterday I rode a $50 craigslist bike w/ added $100 tires. it's about 20 years old but I consider it trustworthy especially after I've been torturing it & it isn't my FX (which I love) it's an old Schwinn Crisscross

here's the Trailway before I sold it

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Old 07-08-18, 03:44 AM
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I work as a p/t bike tech at Dick's Sporting Goods and my suggestion is the Schwinn Freemont, which has everything you mentioned, OP. Including shock absorber forks, and seat post. It's also got a more upright riding position so you should be pretty comfortable on it. Shifts and brakes well, as well.
Ideally you'd buy it from a Dick's Sporting Goods - or some other physical store that sells them, so it's already assembled. If you order it online from Dick's, you can have it sent to any of their storees for free assembly, and then just pick it up there.

The suggestions to go to a bike shop and spend more money are ok, and will net you a better bike, but it sounds like a bike the Fremont is more of what you're looking for - an inexpensive, reliable bike to ride for some light rides. Good luck.

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Old 07-08-18, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
Don't bother with that stuff or anything bought online. Go down to your local shop and actually work out a budget that can get you what you want not just the cheapest thing out there.

Stick with a good quality steel frame (not hi-ten steel) ideally with a carbon fork (for a smoother ride and some weight reduction) but a steel fork is fine too or if you must go aluminum find the bike with a carbon fork and make sure you have lots of tire clearance (wider tires usually equal more comfort, less flats and more fun). Avoid Shimano Tourney and Altus for sure ideally I would avoid Claris and Acera if you want dependability. For brakes hydraulic disc brakes offer better stopping power and modulation and brands like Shimano, Magura, TRP, offer some excellent brakes but Tektro isn't bad for hydraulic. Mechanical discs can be decent if you stick with TRP Spyre/Spyke or Avid BB7s usually any non-TRP stuff or stuff below BB7s just isn't that great. Avoid suspension seatposts unless you get an aftermarket one from Sirrus Cycles (Kinekt) or Cane Creek (Thudbuster). Also good to avoid any suspension forks unless you are riding truly off road on really rough stuff like a mountain bike trail, it is another thing to go wrong and the nicer forks are generally quite expensive and have more travel then one would want on more paved or gravelly adventures. Also find cranks that use bolted on chainrings rather than riveted (because when you need to replace a chainring you won't have to replace the entire crankset).
we get it- you work at a shop and see value in buying from a shop.
But really- read thru what you posted and remove your bias due to employment. You have to then be able to see how limiting and exclusive it sounds. Sure, it was done with good intent and phrased nicely(as much as possible, at least), but boy does it paint a grave picture of almost no hope.

Someone comes to you with a $300 budget and you tell him to buy new from a shop and increase it(already said he cant) and to get a carbon fork(not gonna happen at that price) as well as avoid standard components on everything up to twice his budget.

oh, or get a single speed. Ha, yeah.

sure, front suspension on budget bikes is typically not durable, but he plans to ride 30mi a week at most. Pretty sure holding up to singletrack isnt a concern.
oh, and the suggested seatpost that costs probably $140 thru your shop sealed it. Strong work there.




hey OP- what you are considering may not last forever. It may need to be adjusted more frequently than higher level and more expensive components. These are all possibilities but not certainties.
at your expected weekly mileage, your options should typically work well and only need to be serviced a couple times a year, if that.
Looking used could help bring a higher level bike into your price range, but that assumes you are comfortable with buying used and assessing the unknown.
hope you enjoy whatever you buy and post a picture!
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Old 07-08-18, 01:14 PM
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I'd be looking on CL for stuff like this.

https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/d...625142479.html
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Old 07-08-18, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Someone comes to you with a $300 budget and you tell him to buy new from a shop and increase it(already said he cant) and to get a carbon fork(not gonna happen at that price) as well as avoid standard components on everything up to twice his budget.

oh, or get a single speed. Ha, yeah.

sure, front suspension on budget bikes is typically not durable, but he plans to ride 30mi a week at most. Pretty sure holding up to singletrack isnt a concern.
oh, and the suggested seatpost that costs probably $140 thru your shop sealed it. Strong work there.
Seriously! Took the words right out of my mouth..
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Old 07-08-18, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
we get it- you work at a shop and see value in buying from a shop.
But really- read thru what you posted and remove your bias due to employment. You have to then be able to see how limiting and exclusive it sounds. Sure, it was done with good intent and phrased nicely(as much as possible, at least), but boy does it paint a grave picture of almost no hope.

Someone comes to you with a $300 budget and you tell him to buy new from a shop and increase it(already said he cant) and to get a carbon fork(not gonna happen at that price) as well as avoid standard components on everything up to twice his budget.

oh, or get a single speed. Ha, yeah.

sure, front suspension on budget bikes is typically not durable, but he plans to ride 30mi a week at most. Pretty sure holding up to singletrack isnt a concern.
oh, and the suggested seatpost that costs probably $140 thru your shop sealed it. Strong work there.




hey OP- what you are considering may not last forever. It may need to be adjusted more frequently than higher level and more expensive components. These are all possibilities but not certainties.
at your expected weekly mileage, your options should typically work well and only need to be serviced a couple times a year, if that.
Looking used could help bring a higher level bike into your price range, but that assumes you are comfortable with buying used and assessing the unknown.
hope you enjoy whatever you buy and post a picture!
Look I get it as well, you guys never see these bikes except brand new at the wally mart, I see them frequently being brought in for repairs, bought new online, or people just didn't ride them because of many issues usually relating to it being crap. etc... They are crap and trying to sugar coat them is not my M.O. I don't like to be dishonest and wasn't raised that way so I am not going to recommend a product that isn't worth the money being put into it. I am not going to say something is good when it is not or try and pretend you can get something decent for next to nothing.
I did mention quality suspension seatposts because people tend to be interested in them and rather than having them buy a ton of cheap ones that are going to fail by their design I will mention the good ones. What I said doesn't mean you have to purchase that seatpost but to let someone know they exist and work really well.

The reason I say what I say is so people buy bikes they want to ride not just focus on price. A cheap bike that you don't ride is not a cheap bike and a more expensive bike that you ride a lot can be quite a good deal because you are getting more out of it and hopefully having to put less into it. I want someone to buy a bike because they have ridden the bike and enjoy it not because it is the cheapest. I am not joining in the race to the bottom. I did mention things to avoid but to say I was painting some bleak dystopian landscape is very false. I just didn't spend as much time being overly flowery but it is the internets and we are grown adults I think we can handle things ; )
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Old 07-08-18, 07:33 PM
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Two things to consider: be honest with yourself as to whether you trust yourself to assemble any bike you buy online, otherwise you need to factor in the cost of paying to assemble it. Second thing, you mention back problems. That would worry me about buying a bike online because it is really hard to know how the bike will feel based on written specs and reviews. Also, depending on where you leave your bike, you probably want to make sure it isn't too heavy for you to lift.

Long story short, don't buy anything you can't actually try out first. Returning a bike to an online retailer has got to be a pain.
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Old 07-09-18, 02:00 AM
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There are less expensive choices. The entry level Trek FX is $359 and the entry level Trek Verve is $399. You might find them even cheaper on sale.

I wouldn't badmouth the Diamondbacks. My son is still riding a Diamondback Parkway purchased in 1999 with over 15000 mi. Chen components and all... Shimano Acera or Alivio drivetrain (can't remember and the bike is not handy...).

All it takes is to learn to do the basic adjustments (Park tools videos in YouTube) and it runs smoothly. My wife's Gary Fisher Nirvana (same age) shifts crisply with its Sram Gripshifts and middle of the road Shimano drivetrain (no 105 or Deoore there). I spent half an hour adjusting the drivetrain 3 months ago (when I changed the chain and 8 speed cogset) and runs smoothly. She resists buying a new bike because she likes it. I have to say that she looks like she rides IN the bike, not OVER it, like the olden days bikes looked. Like a cyclist should!

In some areas, CL might net you a decent FX or Specialized hybrid for $300, 2-4 years old. If you find one and it fits,.... buy it. Fit is the question in the used market.

Good luck.
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Old 07-09-18, 10:34 PM
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Thank you guys for all the awesome advice. I really appreciate it very much. I was tied up all weekend and could not respond, but I have read every word. I know $300 is not much, and I will try to find some extra $ to go a little higher, but I lost two family members this year and had to fund two funerals out of my retirement savings, so things are really tight. You guys have given the exact information I am looking for and it will take me some time to fully digest it all. Thanks again.

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Old 07-09-18, 10:49 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
I had one of those Trailways. the kickstand clip broke in the parking lot of the Target I bought it from & it needed work, modification & a stronger rear wheel. turned out to be a rugged year 'round commuter. you live out in the country a mile down a dirt road from pavement, so can you assemble a new bike bought online? can you carry a bike on your car? do you have access to parts in local towns to build up / repair the Trailway? about where do you live? how tall are you? maybe we can find something better on craigslist for you to test ride. I agree a Trek FX would be a good used bike to get. one of my current bikes, is just that. if I had to choose between the three you showed us, I'd go for the one with fenders & rack, but that's me. those wheels w paired spokes aren't the best. but with care & checking/adjustment they might work, but you might have to buy a stronger rear wheel like I did

yesterday I rode a $50 craigslist bike w/ added $100 tires. it's about 20 years old but I consider it trustworthy especially after I've been torturing it & it isn't my FX (which I love) it's an old Schwinn Crisscross

here's the Trailway before I sold it


Thanks. I am 5' 10" tall, 220lbs. I can assemble a bike and do repair work, although I don't have the special tools to pull the pedals and bottom bracket off as yet, I will buy them if needed. I am seriously going to look at the Trek FX. There is only one bike shop within 150 miles of me. The last time I was in there, there bikes stared at $800 and went into insanity range. They have zero competition in this area and it is hard to make a living because nobody rides bikes in West Central Texas. I have to get up before dawn and hit the road to avoid the heat. Soon as the sun hits, it shoots up to over 90 degrees and goes up from there. You have to wait until almost dark for to to drop below 100, so you can't go that far.
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Old 07-09-18, 11:10 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
"All things being equal, they will be"

who does the best set up assembly , at your favorite local bike shop ?
There is only one bike shop within 150 miles of me that I know of. Nobody rides bikes here in west central Texas.
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Old 07-09-18, 11:31 PM
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So, a search of CL and Facebook Marketplace came up with zero results for anyone the bikes mentioned in my area. The closet bike I could find was this one that 260 miles from me. https://killeen.craigslist.org/bik/d...638549948.html But it is a little large for me I think. How good of ad deal is this and do you think it is work the drive to go get it?
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Old 07-09-18, 11:55 PM
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Way too big. I am also 5'10" and my Trek Verve is 17" frame.

Where is your home in West Texas?
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Old 07-10-18, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by dedhed View Post
I'd be looking on CL for stuff like this.

https://madison.craigslist.org/bik/d...625142479.html
x2
I wouldn't bother with a $50 throwaway bike, but both my Raven, and my Super V were Craigslist finds at $300 each..
both needed a little work, the Raven needed new tires and a new seat, and the shock fixed.. I think I have another $200 into repairs, did it all myself.
The Super V was ready to ride, but the spring in the fork was too light for my frame.. found the kit on Ebay for $50.

I think there's a Cad3 on there right now for $250 https://southbend.craigslist.org/bik...631744336.html
I found this one looking for the other ad.. https://kalamazoo.craigslist.org/bik...608574422.html that one is a little on the high side pricewise, but I bet if you waved three hundo's in his face he wouldn't let you walk away.

Good bikes are out there. And the smart move would be to take it to a LBS and set it up for you, fit, preference parts, etc..
If it doesn't work out, just re-list it.
There are some finds out there. Just make sure you take hundo's in one pocket, and 20's in another. And don't be afraid to say, "Best I can do is $xx" with the cash in your hand, and start back to the car. People seeing hundred dollar bills walking away are suddenly "motivated sellers."

Last edited by JLDickmon; 07-10-18 at 06:26 AM.
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Old 07-10-18, 06:46 AM
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JLDickmon
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Bikes: Raleigh Talus 29, Cannondale Raven 700, Cannondale Super V 1000, Cannondale Raven 3000

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OOo.. another thing I just remembered about CL bikes.. before you go look, have the seller send you a snap of the serial number so you can Blue Book it, so you have a starting point for your offer.
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