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Old 05-29-06, 08:44 AM   #1
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Need Advice on Buying a Hybrid

I need to buy a hybrid bike and need some help, please. I found one on sale and need to make a quick decision.

I will be riding mostly road, but also want to be able to take it on trails. I want it to be reliable, sturdy, and easy to maintain as Iím not mechanically inclined at all. Also, a reasonably lightweight bike is important as Iím short and itís difficult for me to load it on a bike rack. I donít ride often, but want this bike to pretty much last me so I donít need to buy another bike 10 years down the road.
I had a Giant Rincon that I bought around í97 and it was okay. My main complaints were it was too heavy and the brakes werenít great, especially if I took off the front wheel Ė it would then have to be readjusted.

I am looking at a 2005 GT Timberline Small (Comfort Bike) which I can get for around $230. Has a Shimano drivetrain.

Is that a good deal? Is it easier to maintain than the Rincon (brakes are more reliable and I can take off the wheel without problems)? Are there lighter/better bikes around that are in the same price range? Is a Shimano drivetrain good? The bike is new, but the chain makes a little noise in a few gears Ė if it doesnít get worse, I can deal with that, but is that a sign of problems to come? The store manager said at that price, that is a common issue, but I donít remember that with my Rincon Ė is he blowing smoke?
Basically, what am I supposed to look for in a bike (e.g. drivetrain, brakes, gears)?

I am willing to spend a little more if it is worth it, but I was told that I would have to pretty much triple the price to see a difference in quality. Is that right?

Anyway, thanks for any help you can give me!!
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Old 05-29-06, 09:28 AM   #2
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In my opinion, the Rincon is a better bike. The chain noise may be a poorly adjusted drivetrain, but the reviews show the drivetrain as a weakness on this bike.

My suggestion would be to look at a Giant Cypress/Sedona. Specialized Crossroads, or Trek 100/7000 series bike. All these bikes start out out around $319 and have at least Shimano Alivio derailleurs.

The newer style bikes make removing the front wheel easy with quick release skewers and brakes. Most bikes in this hybrid range will weigh about 25 lbs.

When looking for bikes, most name brand bikes will have simular componets in a certain price range.
There might be a chance that a Local Bike Store/Shop (LBS) mave have a last years model still in stock at a reduced price.
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Old 05-29-06, 09:51 AM   #3
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For a ~$300 bike, I would buy a Trek FX series or any hybrid that does not have suspension parts. You will get more for you money that way.
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Old 05-29-06, 10:25 AM   #4
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Shimano drive trains, even at the lower price ranges are reliable, especially if you avoid "rapid rise" rear derailleurs.

Everybody concentrates on the shifting systems when they buy new bikes but it's the brakes that'll give you fits. ProMax brakes suck. Tektro are a little better. Avid and Shimano brakes are good.
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Old 05-29-06, 12:48 PM   #5
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Trek FX series blew other hybrids(that I tried) out of the water.

When I bought my bike (Schwinn Fastback) a few days ago, I tried some hybrids, some cannondale, trek navigators, trek 7000s. The FX is just much faster and agressive than the others.
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Old 05-29-06, 12:50 PM   #6
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Two words to the original poster (and I speak from experience on this) - KONA DEW. 'Nuff said.
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