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First new "real" bike

Old 06-01-15, 05:28 PM
  #1  
zachstep
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Question First new "real" bike

Ok, first of all I apologize for starting the same old, which is best for me thread, but there are some questions that were not answered on other threads and I really don't like being the guy to revive a thread that was active over a year ago. The last time I spent most of my time biking was back in junior high. A co-worker has been riding around on his diamondback mtb, and suggested I get one as well. I'm not a fan of just riding off road, but I know that the country roads of Indiana are rugged on road bikes (speaking to the cyclists nice enough to stop as they ride by my house). So anyways, I've decided on a dual sport bike so I can play in both worlds, obviously not as well as the true purpose bikes, but decent enough to hopefully keep up (I took my brothers no name walmart 29er out the other day, and according to a bike app i managed to stay at 18 mph for 2 miles before my thighs were cursing at me).

The 4 bike shops close enough for me (all under a 30 minute drive) sell Giant, Trek, and Specialized. Supposedly they can order Cannondale, and a few other brands I've never heard of, but none were in stock to check out.
I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to post the names of the shops, or even the cities so I'm going to avoid doing that.

I'm planning on staying as close to $600 as possible so that seems to keep me at the entry level models. I know that each bike will feel different and that will be the main focus for me to get out and test ride when the weather will cooperate (the shop I spoke to today would not allow a test ride even though it was just a mist outside).

The bikes will be Trek 8.3DS, Specialized Crosstrail, Giant Roam 2 or 3. Since I only plan on about 25% of my time being off road (mostly dry dirt trails or grassy areas), I'd really prefer a non suspension fork like the 7.2 FX or Sirrus, but from what I've been told they would hate anything offroad. I've seen a couple of videos involving a 7.2 on some light trails and it seemed ok in the video. https://youtu.be/__Zwrt3Rw70 I know this https://youtu.be/NJl2IXHZrNk would kill the street bikes, but have any of you put a dual sport into something similar?

Anyways, back to the original question, how easy is it to upgrade these bikes as I grow and find more of what I enjoy doing while riding? Like adding discs to a bike that doesn't have it, changing out the gearing, etc. Also, between the 3 brands, are any of them more reliable or does it basically turn into Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge?

I will add one last thing, that I've been told a cyclo-cross bike would be perfect for me by a friend overseas right now, but I definitely do not have that kind of cash available to me at this time (I'm a security guard).
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Old 06-01-15, 05:45 PM
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Anything 32 width or less would perform bad on wet trail. On dry trail you can probably get away with a 32 width. Having a road bike style frame will seriously cut weight which I recommend. FX 7.2 or 7.3 would surely be fit for you. I'd be careful though if you have a 1-2 feet drop since the wheels might bend and needs truing again
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Old 06-01-15, 05:54 PM
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zachstep
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I really don't plan on anything like that, my back really hates the drops even on suspension bikes (Thanks Army). I would probably just get off and push past anything that I start to sink into in hopes of an easier clean up. Another thing I forgot to mention was about tubeless rims. According to Trek, the 8.3 is ready for them. According to the bike shop, no it's not a tubeless rim because it's not listed on the rim as tlr or something like that.
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Old 06-01-15, 06:12 PM
  #4  
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Hmmm, 25% off road? Maybe you want to consider a bike with front suspension that you can lock out. If I did 25% of my riding off road and I had only one bike (I have three) that is what I would probably be looking at. I agree on 32 tires...

FYI I love the disc brakes on my new Giant but I can't imagine it would make financial sense to add them to a bike later. I feel the same way about gearing changes. I you think you are gonna want disc brakes and a certain type of gearing, buy the right bike in the first place.


Originally Posted by zachstep View Post
Ok, first of all I apologize for starting the same old, which is best for me thread, but there are some questions that were not answered on other threads and I really don't like being the guy to revive a thread that was active over a year ago. The last time I spent most of my time biking was back in junior high. A co-worker has been riding around on his diamondback mtb, and suggested I get one as well. I'm not a fan of just riding off road, but I know that the country roads of Indiana are rugged on road bikes (speaking to the cyclists nice enough to stop as they ride by my house). So anyways, I've decided on a dual sport bike so I can play in both worlds, obviously not as well as the true purpose bikes, but decent enough to hopefully keep up (I took my brothers no name walmart 29er out the other day, and according to a bike app i managed to stay at 18 mph for 2 miles before my thighs were cursing at me).

The 4 bike shops close enough for me (all under a 30 minute drive) sell Giant, Trek, and Specialized. Supposedly they can order Cannondale, and a few other brands I've never heard of, but none were in stock to check out.
I'm not sure if I'm even allowed to post the names of the shops, or even the cities so I'm going to avoid doing that.

I'm planning on staying as close to $600 as possible so that seems to keep me at the entry level models. I know that each bike will feel different and that will be the main focus for me to get out and test ride when the weather will cooperate (the shop I spoke to today would not allow a test ride even though it was just a mist outside).

The bikes will be Trek 8.3DS, Specialized Crosstrail, Giant Roam 2 or 3. Since I only plan on about 25% of my time being off road (mostly dry dirt trails or grassy areas), I'd really prefer a non suspension fork like the 7.2 FX or Sirrus, but from what I've been told they would hate anything offroad. I've seen a couple of videos involving a 7.2 on some light trails and it seemed ok in the video. https://youtu.be/__Zwrt3Rw70 I know this https://youtu.be/NJl2IXHZrNk would kill the street bikes, but have any of you put a dual sport into something similar?

Anyways, back to the original question, how easy is it to upgrade these bikes as I grow and find more of what I enjoy doing while riding? Like adding discs to a bike that doesn't have it, changing out the gearing, etc. Also, between the 3 brands, are any of them more reliable or does it basically turn into Ford vs Chevy vs Dodge?

I will add one last thing, that I've been told a cyclo-cross bike would be perfect for me by a friend overseas right now, but I definitely do not have that kind of cash available to me at this time (I'm a security guard).

Last edited by RickGr4; 06-01-15 at 06:16 PM.
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Old 06-01-15, 06:49 PM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by zachstep View Post
Anyways, back to the original question, how easy is it to upgrade these bikes as I grow and find more of what I enjoy doing while riding? Like adding discs to a bike that doesn't have it, changing out the gearing, etc.
Upgrading cassette/gearing not hard. Upgrading to disc will most likely be almost impossible as if you buy a bike with canti/v brakes neither your frame or forks will have the proper mounts for disc breaks. You would also have to change your wheels to allow for disc brakes. Get the picture

I will add one last thing, that I've been told a cyclo-cross bike would be perfect for me by a friend overseas right now, but I definitely do not have that kind of cash available to me at this time (I'm a security guard).
Cyclocross is fun and is slightly more road orientated however be aware that most CX bikes run around 32mm tires (though some of the "gravel grinders" allow you to put on 38/40s) . Your hybrids will run about 38mm tires. I've had my CX the same places I've had my hybrid, in the same places I've had my full MTB ( 1.96' tires). It's all doable however as your tires get thinner and thinner you have to be more careful and pick your lines better and sand/mud tracks with thinner tires is not fun.

It's also not much fun doing switchbacks on a drop bar either.....

IMHO looking at the video you posted I'd say an MTB or hybrid not a CX. Though if it's only 25% off road......

I recently purchased a road bike and the decision was selling either the CX or the hybrid (Trek DS 8.4) . In the end the DS was much more versatile for the type of riding I do so the CX went.

Much is the pity only you can decide

Last edited by limbot; 06-01-15 at 07:46 PM.
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Old 06-01-15, 07:21 PM
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- Yes, Trek/Specialized/Giant are much like Chevy/Ford/Dodge ... Giant does give a bit more for the money, but they may cut back somewhere else (would that be like Dodge?). For example the Giant Roam 2 is the only one in your lineup that offers Hydraulic Brakes, so that would have me looking at it if I could not bump up the Trek or Specialized one model up for a better comparison.
- A dual sport should work in your second video, whereas an FX/Sirrus would not! But it would also be down to rider skill, like not whacking a tree with your handlebar and wiping out ... or not locking your wheels going down.
- Not sure you can add discs to a bike that comes without, as the dropouts and fork may not have the mounting points. Changing gearing should be doable, but better/cheaper to buy a bike with what you want up front.
- Cyclocross would not be as good on tougher trails, but would be more efficient on the road with narrower tires, drop bars, and lighter.
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Old 06-02-15, 08:35 AM
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For what it's worth, I have a Giant Escape 1 and I love it ($650). It comes with 32 or 35 mm tires but I swapped them out for 28mm which lets it perform very well on pavement where I average between 15-20 mph. I ride it on dirt roads too but avoid roads that have been recently graded as the dirt is too loose. Maybe if I had wider tires it would be fine.
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Old 06-02-15, 06:07 PM
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I rode an 8.4 today, it was fun and i liked the brakes on it (they didn't have an 8.3 ready to go in my size and they were decently busy so I didn't want to insist, although they did say they'll get one ready in that size because they need them prepped anyways, also they are the 2016s). Definitely a difference playing on wet grass with them compared to a mountain bike. I also road a Crosstrail and it was fun, but I can't figure out why they only make them in awesome red in the baseline I rode. Both bikes felt great. Giant did not have any ready or instock except for an XL (I need a medium). I know everyone says the fork on the crosstrail sucks and to upgrade to a better model so I'm guessing I'll pass on it unless I want to play with it till it breaks. How about the fork difference between the 8.3 and 8.4? Are they pretty much identical at that point? Or are there slight changes in the fork?
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Old 06-02-15, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by zachstep View Post
I rode an 8.4 today, it was fun and i liked the brakes on it (they didn't have an 8.3 ready to go in my size and they were decently busy so I didn't want to insist, although they did say they'll get one ready in that size because they need them prepped anyways, also they are the 2016s). Definitely a difference playing on wet grass with them compared to a mountain bike. I also road a Crosstrail and it was fun, but I can't figure out why they only make them in awesome red in the baseline I rode. Both bikes felt great. Giant did not have any ready or instock except for an XL (I need a medium). I know everyone says the fork on the crosstrail sucks and to upgrade to a better model so I'm guessing I'll pass on it unless I want to play with it till it breaks. How about the fork difference between the 8.3 and 8.4? Are they pretty much identical at that point? Or are there slight changes in the fork?
IMHO, the 8.4 is the sweet spot in the DS lineup, and if at all possible, spend the extra $$$ over the 8.3. As you discovered the hydraulic discs are really nice, 27 vs 24 speeds, and most of the components are upgraded over the 8.3.

As for the fork, I believe they are the same hydraulic lockout model between the 8.3 and 8.4, 8.5 gets a better remote lockout fork. As far as forks go, the lowest versions of these bikes don't come with lockout (useless for the road in my opinion). Then one up sometimes has mechanical lockout (you need to get off the bike to lock/unlock). Further up, hydraulic lockout lets you change on the fly by reaching down for the knob, and adjust the firmness a little bit. Remote lockout (on the highest models) lets you lock/unlock from a switch on the handlebar. All the brands of Dual Sports offer variations of the SR Suntour, so I doubt one sucks compared to the others. None of these Dual Sports unfortunately offer MTB grade suspension with larger travel, or air shocks.
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Old 06-04-15, 09:52 AM
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I'd really like to save a bit of cash, and the Specialized Crosstrail Disc Sport is only $740 vs the $800 for the Trek 8.4 DS. Too bad no one has it in stock in my size to ride and make sure I like how they feel compared to the Trek. I guess I will head up to the Giant dealer about an hour away and see if they will allow a test ride. only downside is there are no real trails and I hate riding in city traffic vs rural areas.
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Old 06-04-15, 10:34 AM
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Don't worry about the fork on the Crosstrail Sport.... I have one, with about 36,000 miles on it, 7 years old, and not one problem with it. Still functions as it did when new! People that swear at them, don't have one!
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Old 06-04-15, 05:57 PM
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Well I decided that I didn't want to drive 45 minutes to a giant dealer. Crosstrails being out of stock at 3 stores within driving range and not knowing when their shipment would arrive disappointed me, so I went with what a lot of people have and love. I can work on cars and computers, yet somehow I messed up the water bottle screws. Thankfully they were nice enough to fix it for me for free (I'm still concerned it might happen again, I don't know how you can loosen the threaded inserts by hand). So gentlemen, I am now the proud owner of an 8.4 DS. I would like to know how people talk about getting a better seat or tires free of charge at their lbs? I felt awkward trying to bring it up so I didn't.

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Old 06-04-15, 07:19 PM
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Nice choice

Stock seat may be fine, ride it for a while, play with the forward/backward tilt up/down and see how you go. It'll take a while for you butt to get used to riding. Don't assume it's crap just because your butt hurts first up

I've put over 3000 kms on the stock LT3 tires on my 2013 DS 8.4 (okay the backs almost a slick now but... ) Mix of road, trail and even MTB park tracks where they're probably not even appropriate. Wear em out then look at replacing them with something "more appropriate" if required.

No time for buyers remorse. You're happy with your purchase.

Just ride !!!

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Old 06-04-15, 07:21 PM
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No remorse at all, just wishing I would have had them install a cage there instead of me wasting an hour of my time driving it back to the store and my house again. I'd really love to know how I messed it up.
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Old 06-04-15, 07:29 PM
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Next time it's an issue you'll be able to ride to the shop
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Old 06-04-15, 07:32 PM
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Yea, I'm not sure I'm ready to ride 20 miles yet. But I know it's in the works having rode 6 miles yesterday. With an actual fitted bike that's much lighter I should be good to go now.
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Old 06-08-15, 01:38 PM
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Well finding a semi close calorie counter is close to impossible without doing a lot of testing and updates. Does anyone have a bag they would recommend for me to carry a tube and some patches? I'd like one that goes just behind the front of the bike since that appears to be wasted space (under the seat I have my flashy light so people hopefully won't hit me when I'm on the road, unless you can recommend a bag with a light ).
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Old 06-08-15, 03:07 PM
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You mean something like this?
Sporting Accessories Bike Cycling Triangle BAG Front Frame Bicycle Black Pouch | eBay
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