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Old 11-05-17, 02:15 PM   #1
Juggy_Gales
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Buying New Hybrid Giant Bike Roam1, Roam 2 or Toughroad SLR

I have been checking out so many diff Bikes over the last couple months, Because when I buy I want to be very happy and have no regrets thinking I should have waited and gotten a better model.. etc etc

I live in Pinellas county FL and will mostly be using it in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties which is considered The Tampa Bay Area.. This area is very flat, more paved and gravel paths than any really hilly or mountain terrain.
I was going to go for an entry level Mountain Bike like the Talon 2 or 3, The components are decent.. and sure I could upgrade later.. But.. Id like to do as little upgrading to what I want.. Plus after studying Gear Ratios and why you would want this or that.. My choices have now switched.. I am now looking at the Giant Roam 1 & 2 and Also the Toughroad SLR. All of those are equipped pretty well with the Roam 1 having more of the components I want and Ten Speed Cassette. Plus I like that the Roam has a 48 tooth Large Cog on the crank which would be great for speed on paved roads. Its gearing is 26/36/48 Which is a good range.. Not as low of a Gear as the Toughroad, but I am also not climbing anything steep.. The Cassette is a 10 speed 11-36
Plus.. I think In the future If I wanted to switch out the Fork to a more mountain Bike worthy Fork with 100mm travel atleast with a Rockshox recon I could.

I checked out the Cypress which was an automatic No.. It just was not enough of a Bike. I then Checked out the Sedona which actually does ride really nice for what it is, But I don't like how the stem can rotate forward and back, I just picture riding on something a lil more rough and it going forward too much and me going over the bar lol.
Plus I want larger than 26inch wheels.
So, I then went with an Entry Level Mountain Bike 29er to test ride, the Talon 2.. Which is a capable bike.. decent components and price isn't bad.. I Just am not sure about seating position, I felt like I was too forward on the bike where most of my riding would be over the Front and weight on my arms the entire ride.. The position is aggressive and great if I was going to be riding those kinds of trails often..
But most of my riding with be Paved road/trail and gravel trail.. And I want a more comfortable position for long distance riding.. So Here I am with Hybrids.. I am going to Test Ride the Roam and the Toughroad.
I like the wheels of the Toughroad SLR 2 best and I like the components and gear ratio of the Roam 1 best. Roam 2 has most friendly Price.

2018 Toughroad SLR2 is $890, 2018 Roam 1 is $990 and Roam 2 is $590
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Old 11-05-17, 03:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Juggy_Gales View Post
I live in Pinellas county FL and will mostly be using it in Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties which is considered The Tampa Bay Area.. This area is very flat, more paved and gravel paths than any really hilly or mountain terrain.
I'll muddy the waters more and say get an Escape or even a Fastroad (staying with Giant here)
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Old 11-05-17, 04:03 PM   #3
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Escape

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I'll muddy the waters more and say get an Escape or even a Fastroad (staying with Giant here)
I looked at the escape, and Id say the Roam is better.. in my opinion.

The fastroad is awesome and I hear great things about it.. But I still want something with thicker & wider tires for when I am off the paved roads. Thats Why Id go toughroad over fastroad.
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Old 11-05-17, 09:13 PM   #4
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i have a Toughroad SLR 1 and really like it. My vote is for the Toughroad SLR 2
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Old 11-05-17, 10:41 PM   #5
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I have an older Roam-2, which I love, but it is heavily modified. This past summer it was my favorite to ride out of four bikes.

My advice is to get the most bike you can afford so you don't get upgrade-itis. Many people buy new bikes and start upgrading them immediately. Give the bike a chance first.

Since you live in a flat area of the country (I do too) you can buy a rear cassette with tighter gear ratios than any of these bikes offer stock. Maybe your shop can swap it out for you before your purchase so you don't have an extra expense. Maybe even ask them about more pavement friendly tires too.

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Old 11-06-17, 01:14 AM   #6
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Dr Morbius

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I have an older Roam-2, which I love, but it is heavily modified. This past summer it was my favorite to ride out of four bikes.

My advice is to get the most bike you can afford so you don't get upgrade-itis. Many people buy new bikes and start upgrading them immediately. Give the bike a chance first.

Since you live in a flat area of the country (I do too) you can buy a rear cassette with tighter gear ratios than any of these bikes offer stock. Maybe your shop can swap it out for you before your purchase so you don't have an extra expense. Maybe even ask them about more pavement friendly tires too.
Thank you for sharing with me your 'weirding way' Love the Dune Quote.. I convinced my GF to name her cat Muad'Dib..

I think the best thing for me to do is test ride both the Roam 2 and Toughroad SLR2..

But Yes, since most shops have components in stock I would wonder if they would cut me a deal with upgrading/changing a few things before I buy. I plan to use the Bike Often so I would like to do as you say and buy as much bike as possible so I am not trying to upgrade things right away and just enjoy the bike as is..

One issue with watching too many reviews.. You often are watching or reading from people who may be professionals that are waaay deeper into the sport than you are so They may recommend a certain level component that you could do without for a year or so.. and save your money buying cheaper and do small upgrades instead of switching out the entire drive train.
So I will test ride both out.. and then make a final decision.. If I go with the Toughroad SLR2 I probably will have them put on some more street friendly tires..
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Old 11-06-17, 10:47 AM   #7
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The Roam's are nice bikes, but, IMO, you need to decide if you're in need of that suspension.

I was almost all set to get a Roam 2, and the more I thought about it, I talked myself down to an Escape. (Escape 3, actually, but that's working fine for me).

I've even been so bold as to take it out on a Single Track - which was a horrible idea for my skill level - but the bike handled fine. It was a bit slower on the gravel getting out there, and the tires were probably a bit too slick and narrow compared to a proper mountain bike for it - , but again, some of that is owner skill level too.

Anyway - my Escape has fared very well on pavement and packed rocks. Loose gravel and dirt was a bit more tricky...but we survived.
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Old 11-06-17, 11:45 AM   #8
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The Roam's are nice bikes, but, IMO, you need to decide if you're in need of that suspension.

I was almost all set to get a Roam 2, and the more I thought about it, I talked myself down to an Escape. (Escape 3, actually, but that's working fine for me).

I've even been so bold as to take it out on a Single Track - which was a horrible idea for my skill level - but the bike handled fine. It was a bit slower on the gravel getting out there, and the tires were probably a bit too slick and narrow compared to a proper mountain bike for it - , but again, some of that is owner skill level too.

Anyway - my Escape has fared very well on pavement and packed rocks. Loose gravel and dirt was a bit more tricky...but we survived.
It seems Giant only has the Escape 1 for 2018.. I did look at it online, It's not a bad Bike.. I am just thinking about Now and the Future.. what is fine for me now and what I can possibly upgrade to later.. I like that the cables of the Escape go through the frame, that is a nice touch. well.. for one cable anyway haha.
As for the shocks, right now.. not so much but I do want to trail ride in the future.. with the roam already set for suspension I could keep the suspension it has rigid and then later buy rockshox for it. The Toughroad, I don't know if you could even change out the forks for suspension forks..
Im a Big guy.. I need something that If I do take it off rd.. it could handle my weight coming down on it as well.
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Old 11-06-17, 11:54 AM   #9
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It seems Giant only has the Escape 1 for 2018.. I did look at it online, It's not a bad Bike.. I am just thinking about Now and the Future.. what is fine for me now and what I can possibly upgrade to later.. I like that the cables of the Escape go through the frame, that is a nice touch. well.. for one cable anyway haha.
As for the shocks, right now.. not so much but I do want to trail ride in the future.. with the roam already set for suspension I could keep the suspension it has rigid and then later buy rockshox for it. The Toughroad, I don't know if you could even change out the forks for suspension forks..
Im a Big guy.. I need something that If I do take it off rd.. it could handle my weight coming down on it as well.
The Toughroad does not have suspension-corrected geometry; you could switch in a suspension fork but it would definitely completely mess up the geometry/handling and likely void the warranty

Same subject: bear in mind that the Roam is designed (geometry) around a short-travel (63mm) 'trekking' fork, with an unsagged axle-to-crown length of around 470mm. If you were to switch out the fork later you'd want to stay with something like that -- a higher-end Suntour (e.g. the NCX-E Air fork on the Roam 0 [see Canadian website]) or a Rockshox Paragon. An 80 or 100mm travel 29er fork would boot the front end way up.
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Old 11-06-17, 01:01 PM   #10
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Badger: those are both very good points. I did think about whether putting a diff fork would screw up the roam like it would with a bike not designed for suspension... Im just disappointed that they made the Roam so well equipped and gave it the suspension it did.. if it was geared with 100mm it would be very useful.
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Old 11-06-17, 01:07 PM   #11
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modifications

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Originally Posted by Doctor Morbius View Post
I have an older Roam-2, which I love, but it is heavily modified. This past summer it was my favorite to ride out of four bikes.

My advice is to get the most bike you can afford so you don't get upgrade-itis. Many people buy new bikes and start upgrading them immediately. Give the bike a chance first.

Since you live in a flat area of the country (I do too) you can buy a rear cassette with tighter gear ratios than any of these bikes offer stock. Maybe your shop can swap it out for you before your purchase so you don't have an extra expense. Maybe even ask them about more pavement friendly tires too.

What have you modified on your roam 2? which components did you replace them with?
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Old 11-06-17, 01:21 PM   #12
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What have you modified on your roam 2? which components did you replace them with?
https://www.bikeforums.net/19874253-post6.html
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Old 11-06-17, 01:30 PM   #13
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That's a great looking bike
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Old 11-06-17, 01:37 PM   #14
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That's a great looking bike
Thanks!
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Old 11-07-17, 10:11 AM   #15
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I also live in the Tampa Bay Area. Brandon area, and I have a Toughroad SLR1 that I modified to a 1x system and it is a great bike. I also looked at the foam and the Trek DS. If you are planning on riding bike paths (i.e. Pinellas Trail) the 50c tires on the Toughroad will be plenty of shock absorption. I doubt you will need the front suspension of a Roam. I had a Specialized Crosstrail a few years ago and actually prefer the rigid carbon fork over the suspension. Each to their own though.
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Old 11-08-17, 12:33 AM   #16
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Suspension Vs Rigid

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I also live in the Tampa Bay Area. Brandon area, and I have a Toughroad SLR1 that I modified to a 1x system and it is a great bike. I also looked at the foam and the Trek DS. If you are planning on riding bike paths (i.e. Pinellas Trail) the 50c tires on the Toughroad will be plenty of shock absorption. I doubt you will need the front suspension of a Roam. I had a Specialized Crosstrail a few years ago and actually prefer the rigid carbon fork over the suspension. Each to their own though.
Last Bike I owned was a Peugeot Limestone Hybrid that I owned since about 1991 and sold sometime about 5 years ago.. it needed tons of work and I honestly had never studied on really upgrading bikes until recently.

I was interested in what suspension could offer but never had it so I don't even know if I would need it, I would love to eventually hit up some more off road trails.. but I am waaay too out of shape to mess around like that now..
One of the things I did like about the tough road is that the tires are thick from wheel to tread which would definitely soften bumps.. I don't need a very wide tire.. but if I am gonna go rigid, Id like to soften up the road some..
The Roam 1 really looks like they fitted it with nice components.. I would really like the ToughRoad SLR2 that is equipped and geared like the Toughroad... I want my Largest Front Cog to be similar to a road bike.. and I would like my smallest Cog to be great for climbing hills if I bring my bike to where there are steeper inclines..

I may eventually work my way to a 1X system with a 10-12 speed cassette.. But that will be after I am in better shape and to see whether I will be heading towards more of a Road or Mountain style Bike.. I could see myself eventually getting a Fastroad and a comparable mountain bike to have a good range of both.. but that is aways away


So You definitely recommend the Toughroad? if I did get one.. it will be the SLR2
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Old 11-08-17, 12:31 PM   #17
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Most off road trails in Florida that I've ridden are soft/sand & require a wide tire mountain bike because of the terrain. You'd probably be best served for now by the more road-oriented bike. You can always pick up a cheap mountain bike off Clist if you want to give that a try later.

I love my Roam 2, but I use it 50-50 street/dirt up here in NC where we have miles of rolling hard pack trails w/ great traction & not much soft stuff...the fork is handy for soaking up the roots and rocks. In your case, I'd be all over that SLR2.
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Old 11-08-17, 04:41 PM   #18
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Most off road trails in Florida that I've ridden are soft/sand & require a wide tire mountain bike because of the terrain. You'd probably be best served for now by the more road-oriented bike. You can always pick up a cheap mountain bike off Clist if you want to give that a try later.

I love my Roam 2, but I use it 50-50 street/dirt up here in NC where we have miles of rolling hard pack trails w/ great traction & not much soft stuff...the fork is handy for soaking up the roots and rocks. In your case, I'd be all over that SLR2.
Interesting. I was going to suggest going with something more road oriented but refrained because I was not all that familiar with the biking scene in Pinellas County. I would suggest the Tough road or something even more roadish like the Escape, or even the Any Road, if OP is locked into Giant.
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Old 11-08-17, 08:03 PM   #19
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It seems Giant only has the Escape 1 for 2018..
Not True at all. In 2018 Models Giant is offering the escape 2 & 3 with rim brakes and escape 1 & 2 with disk brakes
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Old 11-09-17, 02:59 AM   #20
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Not True at all. In 2018 Models Giant is offering the escape 2 & 3 with rim brakes and escape 1 & 2 with disk brakes
If I was going with Escape I think I'd get the Escape 1
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Old 11-09-17, 09:01 AM   #21
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If I was going with Escape I think I'd get the Escape 1
I have an escape 2, a 2015 with rim brakes. The escape 2 is now offered only as the city escape 2 model with disk brake, rear rack, & fenders. At $ 580, I think this is a great deal. Mine was bought used and so I added the rack and fenders aftermarket.
Living in central NJ we have no mountains to speak, mostly flat with rolling hills (much like your area), and my bike handles that well. Riding along the shore we occasionally get some heavy winds, but that has not been a problem either.

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Old 11-09-17, 11:35 AM   #22
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I have an escape 2, a 2015 with rim brakes. The escape 2 is now offered only as the city escape 2 model with disk brake, rear rack, & fenders. At $ 580, I think this is a great deal. Mine was bought used and so I added the rack and fenders aftermarket.
Living in central NJ we have no mountains to speak, mostly flat with rolling hills (much like your area), and my bike handles that well. Riding along the shore we occasionally get some heavy winds, but that has not been a problem either.
Nice, I'll def test ride it. I'm originally from NJ. Bayonne, NJ NJ has some hills and some steep inclines in northern hudson county. But yes much is flat.

I will also be adding a rack to it.

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Old 11-09-17, 12:32 PM   #23
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Nice, I'll def test ride it. I'm originally from NJ. Bayonne, NJ NJ has some hills and some steep inclines in northern hudson county. But yes much is flat.

I will also be adding a rack to it.
Check out the Escape City 2. at $ 580 it comes with a rear rack, fenders, disk brakes and a 3 X 8 drive train
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Old 11-09-17, 10:39 PM   #24
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Im Really liking all of the Feedback..

I gotta check Escape 1, Roam 1 and 2 and the Toughroad SLR2 out..

I saw someone mention the escape city 2 but I do not like the color scheme.. It has it's own charm kind of having that retro WW2 Army Bike Vibe.. But I don't want it as my every day bike.

Best looking in my opinion is Roam 1 and then Toughroad SLR2 but really I flip flop with them.


I did check out the Talon 2 and 3 do you guys have any experience with them? I road the Talon 2 and it is a great bike.. But The riding position is def for someone that will be on trails often. Overall though... Lightweight and solid bike.. I was impressed with it.

Though I am more going towards the Toughroad/Roam/Escape direction.. and if those bikes really suit me well maybe I will go for a Fastroad in the future if I stick with road bikes.. I am looking for a bike that I could go offroad a bit.. Not so much technical trails.. more gravel and dirt paths.. yet also can be used to go for miles on the road comfortably.. maybe load up for a long ride and camping sorta thing..

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Old 11-10-17, 11:49 AM   #25
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Love my Roam 1 for a MTB-lite choice, but after a full season i came to terms that i simply wont use it in any sort of technical offroad to use it as such. Its pretty much the bike i take to bike train my kid to school with or ride to the park. For everything else my gut wants the road bike, and having one that accepts a 28-30c tire means i can take it through cobbles, chipseal and even a packed towpath just fine as well.

Personally If i could do it over , i'd trade for more speed on the flats and would choose a Giant Fastroad or Giant Anyroad, as they would suit the surfaces well.
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