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Looking for my first hybrid..need help

Old 06-01-15, 03:43 AM
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fox41883
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Looking for my first hybrid..need help

Hi All,

I am new to this forum and to bikes so figured I'd post here to ask a question about choosing my first bike….you can tell I'm new from the question probably. I've been looking around and know I want a hybrid, something to commute to work and ride paved bike paths, something that will last a while as well. Right now I can afford an entry-level model. I've got it narrowed down to two, the Novara Buzz at REI and the Kona Dew. Not sure which to go with. I can get a good deal at REI with the Buzz, disc brakes (how important is it to have these?) on it as well…BUT the frame is a bit small (medium and I border medium to large) and I'll need a handle bar extension with how high I have to raise the seat to sit how I want. Otherwise felt good on the test drive. Or…I can go with the Kona Dew. Which for a little higher price I also get no disc brakes. Basically the REI Buzz I was looking at is equivalent to the Dew Plus but for much less. Everyone I talk to really seems to like Kona and is so-so on Novara. Not sure which route to take. Figured I would ask here as some input might help make my decision since I am new to cycling.

Hopefully this question is not too long and makes sense. I look forward to any feedback. Thanks!
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Old 06-01-15, 05:59 AM
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Do not buy the bike that is too small and requires a handlebar extension. Does REI have that one in a larger size that fits? If not, then cross that one off your list. You don't want to be monkeying around with handlebar extensions to force a fit that doesn't exist.

Disk brakes are trendy, but rim brakes are fine. I actually run rim brakes on my go-to mountain bike.

Many will be so-so on the Novara because it is a second- or third-tier bike brand. You've got your top-tier brands like Trek, Kona, Giant, Specialized, and then Novara is just a store-brand. It's like the difference between Del Monte green beans and Spartan-brand green beans. (Which is to say that much of the difference lies in the marketing and in one's mind).

The really, really important thing here is to get a bike that fits nicely from the get-go. If you like the Novara, see whether one is available in a larger size. On the other hand the Kona Dew line has been around forever -- my son has one -- and has been successful for Kona. The Dew is available in six different frame sizes, so it should be easy enough to find a good fit.

If you like the Dew but want disk brakes, then bump up to the Dew Plus or the Dew Deluxe which have them.
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Old 06-08-15, 08:40 PM
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Thanks Jonathan! Sorry for the delay in the reply also. Been looking around and sticking to your advice of don't buy something that doesn't fit. Working well so far. The bike dealers around where I live don't have too much in stock and have some bikes that are either just a little too big or too small. So that's been good advice to not bend and buy something not quite right. Now looking at one of the Trek FX models, the 7.2-7.4 range. I test drove one of those just to see and out of Kona, Novara and Trek I liked the FX the best. Looks like from the site here it is a popular and well respected model as well. I let you know what I end up getting. Thanks again for the help!

Last edited by fox41883; 06-08-15 at 08:42 PM. Reason: misspelling
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Old 06-08-15, 09:45 PM
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Agree with sizing being key.

As far as disc brakes, probably a nice to have if you plan to ride in the rain, otherwise it is just personal choice.

I ride a 2011 Trek 7.3 FX that I bought used last year, and I am with you on liking the FX line. I am sure that each manufacturer has a similar line, but it seems like your main issue is finding the right bike in stock. I think Treks tend to be a bit pricier than similar bikes by other brands due to marketing and popularity... but they do have good bikes, like any shop quality bikes.

Good luck on your decision.
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Old 06-08-15, 11:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
As far as disc brakes, probably a nice to have if you plan to ride in the rain, otherwise it is just personal choice.
Some BMXer friends and I were rehabbing some Walmart-bike brakes the other day. We pretty much agreed that we hate rim brakes. All those fiddly bits when putting on new pads. Toe-in. Having to align everything just right. Meh. Rim brakes are awful.

So then I went downstairs to swap a set of disc brakes between frames. Rotors out of true. The dreaded ka-ching sound. Hydraulic cable too long. Had to cut it, and now to bleed it. Nicked my finger in the rotor whilst it was spinning (ouch!). Calipers shifted position while I tightened the bolts. Disc brakes are awful too.

Rim brakes are awful. Disc brakes are awful. Buy a bike with no brakes! Be happy.

Yeah, it's all down to preference and choosing your poison. My current favorite mountain-bike has rim brakes.

And the Trek FX series seems to be well-liked.
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Old 06-09-15, 07:25 AM
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I got caught in the rain about 10 days ago on my Sirrus, which has excellent rim brakes. In the rain.... well I will be upgrading to a new one with disc brakes. Really could have used those disc brakes when I got caught in un-expected rain. I'm pretty much a weather geek, and it still happened to me. If suprise rain happens where you are, then I strongly suggest disc brakes from my own personal experience.

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