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Help! Buying Advice

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Old 04-16-18, 01:31 PM
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IrishYorf07
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Help! Buying Advice

Need some opinions/advice on purchasing a new hybrid. I'm just getting into cycling and never realized how many options are out there, and the fact that every local bike store only has their own select few brands makes it even more difficult to choose. Consensus seems to be that I need a fitness/performance orientated hybrid. I'll be on city streets and well maintained flat bike trails (primarily paved). I'm joining a bike group with mainly road bikes. My girlfriend is in the same situation and got the hook up on a Trek FX 3. Awesome bike, but I won't get the same hook up and I'm trying not to cross into that $700 range. I've accepted that I'd be better off not sticking with my below $500 goal and have warmed up to a few options that are around $600.

What do you guys think of the following:
2017 Norco VFR 4
Trek Zektor 2
Trek FX 2 Disc


Frames and forks in my price range seem to all be about the same...alloy/aluminum...every now and then a steel fork...but stepping up to the carbon fork seems to always cross into that next price range. Any advice you could offer on material/components would be great! What to avoid, where sacrifices can/shouldn't be made to help with cost.

THANKS!!!
_Kyle_
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Old 04-16-18, 02:08 PM
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I personally like the red color of the Norco, but I do not like the freewheel on it.

Between the Zektor and FX 2, the forks are different, and the frame on the FX is gold aluminum which I assume is better than silver. As for parts, The Zektor has slight better shifters and deraileurs, but I have never had any trouble with the parts on the FX. The Zektor also has hydraulic brakes vs the FX's mechanical and the tires on the FX are a little wider.

Zektor 2
Frame - Alpha Silver Aluminum, DuoTrap S compatible, rack & fender mounts
Fork - Chromoly steerer, alloy legs
Shifters -Shimano Claris rapid-fire, 8 speed
Front derailleur - Shimano Claris
Rear derailleur - Shimano Claris

FX 2
Frame -FX Alpha Gold Aluminum, DuoTrap S compatible, post mount disc, rack & fender mounts
Fork - FX alloy disc w/tapered wall thickness, straight blades
Shifters - Shimano EF500, 8 speed
Front derailleur - Shimano Tourney TY71
Rear derailleur - Shimano Acera M360

Personally I'd go with a FX LTD as I like the colors (is that allowed?). In your situation, I'd go with the FX as gold aluminum is likely better than silver (not sure how much better) and the parts can be changed.

Look for a used FX, they are very common bikes and can often be found in excellent shape on CL for great prices. That is unless you are set on having disc brakes, the FX with discs are relatively new so less used ones are around.

If the road bike group you are planing to join are experienced, you may have trouble keeping up. If they are beginners, you may be OK.
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Old 04-16-18, 02:56 PM
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IrishYorf07
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I didn't see my reply post, so I'm doing it again. I was confused on your description about the Norco. The one I'm looking at doesn't have any red options and it's not a freewheel. Here's the link: ww.norco.com/bikes2017/city/hybrids/vfr/vfr-4/

That bike actually has a very similar component build to the Trek FX 3, which people on here seem to love. The main difference being the fork. But if I don't want to cross into that 700 range, I'm not gonna get a carbon fork, so the discounted 2017 Norco VFR 4 seems like the best bang for my buck at 600.
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Old 04-16-18, 02:58 PM
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How often are you going to be riding with the road bike group? You might want to look into the Trek CrossRip as well.


Edit: NVM, they are out of your price range. Are you only limited to choosing from Norco and Trek? There's the Specialized Sirrus, Cannondale Quick and Giant Escape bikes.
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Old 04-16-18, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishYorf07 View Post
I didn't see my reply post, so I'm doing it again. I was confused on your description about the Norco. The one I'm looking at doesn't have any red options and it's not a freewheel. Here's the link: www.norco.com/bikes2017/city/hybrids/vfr/vfr-4/
I was looking at this one: https://www.norco.com/bikes/city/fitness/vfr/vfr-4/

Your Norco VFR4 is better than the one I found. The biggest differences I see are hydraulic brakes and 30mm tires (Skinniest of the 3).

You really need to ride the bikes and go by which feels more comfortable to you. Shopping by specs is difficult, especially when you are new.
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Old 04-16-18, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I was looking at this one: .norco.com/bikes/city/fitness/vfr/vfr-4/[/url]

Your Norco VFR4 is better than the one I found. The biggest differences I see are hydraulic brakes and 30mm tires (Skinniest of the 3).

You really need to ride the bikes and go by which feels more comfortable to you. Shopping by specs is difficult, especially when you are new.
I know, the problem is that none of my local shops have much of a hybrid selection in stock so I can't get a feel test riding them. It's making it really difficult.
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Old 04-16-18, 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by finch204 View Post
How often are you going to be riding with the road bike group? You might want to look into the Trek CrossRip as well.


Edit: NVM, they are out of your price range. Are you only limited to choosing from Norco and Trek? There's the Specialized Sirrus, Cannondale Quick and Giant Escape bikes.
My only limitations are what my local stores carry. I have a friend at a shop that carries Norco which is why I've focused on them. They also seem to fit well with my price range. Then we've got actual Trek stores, so that's obviously the place that has the most models available.

I hear a lot of good things about Giants and there's a shop with them close by, but Giant doesn't seem to have as many variations. It's either a cheap basic Escape or pricy one to get better components like disc brakes. There's not a lot of those in between models like you get with other brands.
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Old 04-16-18, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishYorf07 View Post
Need some opinions/advice on purchasing a new hybrid. I'm just getting into cycling and never realized how many options are out there, and the fact that every local bike store only has their own select few brands makes it even more difficult to choose. Consensus seems to be that I need a fitness/performance orientated hybrid. I'll be on city streets and well maintained flat bike trails (primarily paved). I'm joining a bike group with mainly road bikes. My girlfriend is in the same situation and got the hook up on a Trek FX 3. Awesome bike, but I won't get the same hook up and I'm trying not to cross into that $700 range. I've accepted that I'd be better off not sticking with my below $500 goal and have warmed up to a few options that are around $600.

What do you guys think of the following:
2017 Norco VFR 4
Trek Zektor 2
Trek FX 2 Disc


Frames and forks in my price range seem to all be about the same...alloy/aluminum...every now and then a steel fork...but stepping up to the carbon fork seems to always cross into that next price range. Any advice you could offer on material/components would be great! What to avoid, where sacrifices can/shouldn't be made to help with cost.

THANKS!!!
_Kyle_
Kyle, even having read some of your replies, I will join others in saying that you really need to ride a few bikes, and spend some legitimate time on one, in order to get a good feel for a bike. I know first hand -- I'm going to a bike shop tomorrow to return a bike that I recently bought that ended up not being the one for me.

You said consensus tells you that you need a fitness/performance hybrid. Don't let anyone else tell you what you need. Try a number of different styles of bike. In Trek, the FX, Verve, and DS are potential fits for you (and those are all hybrids -- not to mention dedicated road or mountain bikes). In Giant, the same segment offerings are Escape, Cypress, and Roam. In Specialized, the same segment offerings are Sirrus, Crossroads, and Crosstrail. Norco likely also has a model in each of these segments. Though they don't have true names, I call them "performance hybrid", "comfort hybrid", and "dual sport" segments (respectively). Each segment will have a different feel, and each brand within each segment may also feel different from the others (they each will have slightly different geometry).

Reading between the lines of your post, it sound like you've joined a local club and they're mostly roadies. By their nature, they will probably encourage you to get the lightest, lowest, fastest bike you can afford. There's nothing wrong with that advice, but I wouldn't let that be the #1 factor in looking at bikes. Personal fit is WAY more important than anything else. WAY more. My family recently went to visit my folks and we did a lot of bike riding, and I pedaled my dad's new e-bike for 20 miles up and down hills. With no assist. That bike weighs 55 pounds. It sort of opened my eyes to the concept that weight can make a difference, but only up to a point.

You might find that you like an FX or an Escape or a Sirrus (or any other performance hybrid). And if you do, that's great. But buy it because you love the ride and how it fits you and how comfortable you are on it; don't buy it because someone else said it's the kind to get.

Your girlfriend's FX 3 has a carbon fork -- that's a nice feature, and you'd likely find that it helps smooth the ride some compared with a similar model, but with an aluminum alloy fork. You also might find that you like the option of running larger tires (the Verve/Cypress and DS/Roam will support much wider tires than the FX/Escape). Or you may find that you like the narrower tires. It's all personal preference. It's a great position to be in (yours) because you have little preconceived notion of what a bike should be or what brand you like or this or that. Your mind appears to be pretty open, which is great.

Good luck, and let us know how your search goes.
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Old 04-16-18, 05:54 PM
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If you are handy check out the hybrids on bikesdirect. Plenty choice with CF fork.

CF fork really is great.
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Old 04-17-18, 02:55 AM
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Go with the Big 4: Giant, Specialized, Trek, Cannondale. They offer the greatest selection of sizes and components to suit virtually any taste. Once you get more experienced in cycling and know what you like/dislike, then you can expand more confidently and move on to more exclusive cycle manufacturers should your taste lead you in that direction.

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Old 04-17-18, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Kyle, even having read some of your replies, I will join others in saying that you really need to ride a few bikes, and spend some legitimate time on one, in order to get a good feel for a bike. I know first hand -- I'm going to a bike shop tomorrow to return a bike that I recently bought that ended up not being the one for me.

You said consensus tells you that you need a fitness/performance hybrid. Don't let anyone else tell you what you need. Try a number of different styles of bike. In Trek, the FX, Verve, and DS are potential fits for you (and those are all hybrids -- not to mention dedicated road or mountain bikes). In Giant, the same segment offerings are Escape, Cypress, and Roam. In Specialized, the same segment offerings are Sirrus, Crossroads, and Crosstrail. Norco likely also has a model in each of these segments. Though they don't have true names, I call them "performance hybrid", "comfort hybrid", and "dual sport" segments (respectively). Each segment will have a different feel, and each brand within each segment may also feel different from the others (they each will have slightly different geometry).

Reading between the lines of your post, it sound like you've joined a local club and they're mostly roadies. By their nature, they will probably encourage you to get the lightest, lowest, fastest bike you can afford. There's nothing wrong with that advice, but I wouldn't let that be the #1 factor in looking at bikes. Personal fit is WAY more important than anything else. WAY more. My family recently went to visit my folks and we did a lot of bike riding, and I pedaled my dad's new e-bike for 20 miles up and down hills. With no assist. That bike weighs 55 pounds. It sort of opened my eyes to the concept that weight can make a difference, but only up to a point.

You might find that you like an FX or an Escape or a Sirrus (or any other performance hybrid). And if you do, that's great. But buy it because you love the ride and how it fits you and how comfortable you are on it; don't buy it because someone else said it's the kind to get.

Your girlfriend's FX 3 has a carbon fork -- that's a nice feature, and you'd likely find that it helps smooth the ride some compared with a similar model, but with an aluminum alloy fork. You also might find that you like the option of running larger tires (the Verve/Cypress and DS/Roam will support much wider tires than the FX/Escape). Or you may find that you like the narrower tires. It's all personal preference. It's a great position to be in (yours) because you have little preconceived notion of what a bike should be or what brand you like or this or that. Your mind appears to be pretty open, which is great.

Good luck, and let us know how your search goes.
Thanks so much for that that thorough and thoughtful post! You know what's crazy, is I've been to 5 local shops now and haven't been on a single bike. Other than the Trek store (first stop and sticker shock) none of the other stores have had much of a selection at all. Even at the Trek store, my gf ended up with the FX3 because it was one of the only models they had in stock in her size. From what we've been told by other riders...we're not in a biking town and most of the serious guys order their bikes.

You're right tho, I need to quit spending all day looking at specs and components online and just go and ride any hybrid I can find. I actually haven't been to our Specialized dealer yet and looking online, those prices look more friendly than Trek.

And you nailed it on the head... we're being influenced by a bunch of roadies and they're training for a 100 mile ride at the end of the year. My gf is already riding with them but has been split into a slower pace group that's doing more leisurely rides. I don't think we're going to be able to keep up with them anytime soon regardless of what bike we're on, so I should probably quit worrying about that and stop focusing on lightweight road speed. Personally I've thought since the beginning that I'd like something a little more durable/versatile with better shock absorption capability and stability. I just don't want the bike to slow me down too much. Looking at those 32c tires tho...I don't like the thought of how they'd ride on rougher roads or bike trails with varied surfaces. All the shops have told me they'd be fine tho. Only one way to find out!!! I'll let you know the results of some test rides this week. I plan to hit up the Trek, Specialized, Giant, and Cannondale dealers in town and should be able to find at least one hybrid from each category amongst all of them haha.
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Old 04-17-18, 10:48 AM
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Everybody has a different desired balance of comfort and speed. I'll share that my personal balance is heavily towards the traditional definition of "comfort" (more upright riding position, larger volume tires, shock absorbing fork sometimes, etc). I don't ride for speed, I never track my average speed, and I look at my maximum speed only for fun ("wow, how fast did we get going down that hill?!"). Most roadies' balance will be heavily towards speed and aerodynamics. Those metrics are big drivers of that cycling niche. They love going fast and comparing times and getting low on the bike for "more aero" and all that stuff.

Some folks will be more in the middle. Some will be more extreme than most roadies (time trialing, etc) and some will be more extreme than I towards comfort. You'll want to find for yourself what your needs and desires are, knowing full well that may change over time. I like the idea of buying what is comfortable to you NOW, getting experience riding, maybe trying friends' bikes and such to see what you like (or buying some used, so you don't have a lot of risk involved), and then buying something different if your desires change over time. Others recommend buying what you'll likely be comfortable with a year from now (in terms of performance), and then growing into it. Whatever works for you.

I would recommend buying from a local shop vs. the internet. You don't know the size you're going to feel good on yet (and even if you did, different brands will feel different), and you will likely not have good support from your local bike shop on an internet bike (except that they'll be happy to take your money for a tune-up). Any Trek dealer can order in pretty much anything in Trek's catalog. Same with Specialized, Giant, etc. A bike shop should have *something* close to what you're looking for, even if it's just one size in one model. If that size feels slightly too small, they can order in the next larger size and in the trim you want (FX 1, 2, 3, etc). They can also measure you in the shop and have a pretty good idea of what size you'll like based on their experience with their brand(s).
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Old 04-17-18, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I know first hand -- I'm going to a bike shop tomorrow to return a bike that I recently bought that ended up not being the one for me.
Sorry for the off-topic, but are you referring to the ARX?
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Old 04-17-18, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Kyle, even having read some of your replies, I will join others in saying that you really need to ride a few bikes, and spend some legitimate time on one, in order to get a good feel for a bike. I know first hand -- I'm going to a bike shop tomorrow to return a bike that I recently bought that ended up not being the one for me.

You said consensus tells you that you need a fitness/performance hybrid. Don't let anyone else tell you what you need. Try a number of different styles of bike. In Trek, the FX, Verve, and DS are potential fits for you (and those are all hybrids -- not to mention dedicated road or mountain bikes). In Giant, the same segment offerings are Escape, Cypress, and Roam. In Specialized, the same segment offerings are Sirrus, Crossroads, and Crosstrail. Norco likely also has a model in each of these segments. Though they don't have true names, I call them "performance hybrid", "comfort hybrid", and "dual sport" segments (respectively). Each segment will have a different feel, and each brand within each segment may also feel different from the others (they each will have slightly different geometry).

Reading between the lines of your post, it sound like you've joined a local club and they're mostly roadies. By their nature, they will probably encourage you to get the lightest, lowest, fastest bike you can afford. There's nothing wrong with that advice, but I wouldn't let that be the #1 factor in looking at bikes. Personal fit is WAY more important than anything else. WAY more. My family recently went to visit my folks and we did a lot of bike riding, and I pedaled my dad's new e-bike for 20 miles up and down hills. With no assist. That bike weighs 55 pounds. It sort of opened my eyes to the concept that weight can make a difference, but only up to a point.

You might find that you like an FX or an Escape or a Sirrus (or any other performance hybrid). And if you do, that's great. But buy it because you love the ride and how it fits you and how comfortable you are on it; don't buy it because someone else said it's the kind to get.

Your girlfriend's FX 3 has a carbon fork -- that's a nice feature, and you'd likely find that it helps smooth the ride some compared with a similar model, but with an aluminum alloy fork. You also might find that you like the option of running larger tires (the Verve/Cypress and DS/Roam will support much wider tires than the FX/Escape). Or you may find that you like the narrower tires. It's all personal preference. It's a great position to be in (yours) because you have little preconceived notion of what a bike should be or what brand you like or this or that. Your mind appears to be pretty open, which is great.

Good luck, and let us know how your search goes.
Alright, so I did some test riding today... A Specialized Sirrus and Crosstrail. Sirrus felt extremely stiff and awkward. Enjoyed the comfort the bigger tires and suspension offered no doubt.

Then I hit the Trek store... started on a DS 3, then an FX 3 and 4, then a DS 2 that was a larger size. I really enjoyed all of them. Would be comfortable on an FX or DS. Leaning towards the DS for versatility.

Finally I finished up on some Giant Roam 2s. Very comfortable ride. Comparable to the Trek DS.

So I'm at a crossroad...2018 Trek DS 2 ($650) DS 3 ($740) or 2017 Giant Roam 2 on sale for $500. Smart money says the Roam but the Trek store crew seemed in a different league than the guys at Giant. Totally different experience. Much more comfortable/confident with the Trek guys. Is that enough to constitute such a price difference? Components don't seem that different between the bikes.

Any advice?
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Old 04-17-18, 04:41 PM
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Return policy

Originally Posted by IrishYorf07 View Post
Alright, so I did some test riding today... A Specialized Sirrus and Crosstrail. Sirrus felt extremely stiff and awkward. Enjoyed the comfort the bigger tires and suspension offered no doubt.

Then I hit the Trek store... started on a DS 3, then an FX 3 and 4, then a DS 2 that was a larger size. I really enjoyed all of them. Would be comfortable on an FX or DS. Leaning towards the DS for versatility.

Finally I finished up on some Giant Roam 2s. Very comfortable ride. Comparable to the Trek DS.

So I'm at a crossroad...2018 Trek DS 2 ($650) DS 3 ($740) or 2017 Giant Roam 2 on sale for $500. Smart money says the Roam but the Trek store crew seemed in a different league than the guys at Giant. Totally different experience. Much more comfortable/confident with the Trek guys. Is that enough to constitute such a price difference? Components don't seem that different between the bikes.

Any advice?
Have you compared the return policy?
I live near a large city with plenty of bike shops, but few stores other than Trek had much inventory in the hybrid bikes. Hybrids are popular. I purchased from trek because they gave me 3 days to ride the bike and get a full return if not satisfied, and 30 days to trial and return for full store credit.
Trek has a huge line of bikes so I felt confident that I could find one that fit. I bought an FX 4, which has a longer reach than the FX1-3( because it is a Sport model?). So I am changing the stem to improve the fit, love the bike otherwise.

Good luck and enjoy!
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Old 04-17-18, 04:59 PM
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Originally Posted by SKT18 View Post
Have you compared the return policy?
I live near a large city with plenty of bike shops, but few stores other than Trek had much inventory in the hybrid bikes. Hybrids are popular. I purchased from trek because they gave me 3 days to ride the bike and get a full return if not satisfied, and 30 days to trial and return for full store credit.
Trek has a huge line of bikes so I felt confident that I could find one that fit. I bought an FX 4, which has a longer reach than the FX1-3( because it is a Sport model?). So I am changing the stem to improve the fit, love the bike otherwise.

Good luck and enjoy!
That - about return policy, and what is included in the price ( service, adjustments, some freebies).

Giant is manufacturing Trek frames; usually for the same money you will get better components with Giant, or same components for less $$.

To make an example of how different are tastes and preferences - I was very impressed by Sirrus, really liked the stiffness and fit - reminds me of my road bike. Giant Toughroad specs looks great on paper - I tried a few over a year time; every time I'd end up with a weird feeling - no way; this is NOT my bike.

I ended up with Surly - Troll for family outings (bought two - one for my wife), and for my own entertainment on every surface - Karate Monkey, set as 1x10, with mech disc brakes.

Each of the bikes you mentioned can provide you with a lot of fun and great service. The most important is how much time you spend riding.. and remeber, the mindset here is +1. There is always one more bike you need to enjoy the day more fully !

/ksywa
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Old 04-17-18, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by andrei_r View Post
Sorry for the off-topic, but are you referring to the ARX?
Yes; will write more about that in that thread.
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Old 04-17-18, 05:36 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishYorf07 View Post
Much more comfortable/confident with the Trek guys. Is that enough to constitute such a price difference? Components don't seem that different between the bikes.
Given that you are getting back into biking and may not have a lot of tools or experience wrenching on bikes, I would recommend buying from the shop that offers the best service (both in terms of friendliness and attitude, and in terms of their service policy). Does the Trek store offer one year of free maintenance? Three years? Tune-ups for life? Etc.

On the other hand, the Trek DS 3 (at $740) is quite a bit more expensive than the Giant Roam 2 on sale (at $500). That Giant would really tempt me at that price.

Do you like the color of one any better than the other?
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Old 04-17-18, 07:31 PM
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If you are still planning on riding with roadies, I'd go for a bike without suspension. Cheaper suspension bikes are heavier and absorb some pedal efficiency Plus you plan to ride with your girlfriend who has the FX (no suspension), I'd get a similar bike to her.

My girlfriend still rides her FX 7.2 that I picked up used. I had one as well, but my dad ended up liking it so much that I gave it to him. The 32-35mm tires are good for basic trails and gravel.

Edit: Not sure what size you are or where in South Carolina you are located, but here is a 19" FX 7.3 for $260 - https://greenville.craigslist.org/bi...519445826.html

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Old 04-17-18, 11:08 PM
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Try to check out ORBEA CARPE 30' 2018.
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Old 04-18-18, 08:45 AM
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IrishYorf07
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
Given that you are getting back into biking and may not have a lot of tools or experience wrenching on bikes, I would recommend buying from the shop that offers the best service (both in terms of friendliness and attitude, and in terms of their service policy). Does the Trek store offer one year of free maintenance? Three years? Tune-ups for life? Etc.

On the other hand, the Trek DS 3 (at $740) is quite a bit more expensive than the Giant Roam 2 on sale (at $500). That Giant would really tempt me at that price.

Do you like the color of one any better than the other?
Yeah, with such a price difference I feel like that may trump all the other factors (even a brand new '18 Giant Roam 2 would be $600)... Both shops offer 1 year of free service (granted I should verify exactly what each defines as service, just a tune-up/adjustment or any type of work I'd need done?) And I'm not sure of the Giant return policy (Trek gives 30 days) I do like the color and look of all the Treks better than the Giants but I'm going to look into the other Giant location to see if they have other color options on sale and I'd still like to test ride an Escape.

I'm telling you tho, the experience at the Trek store was about as good as it could be. The guy was super concerned about my fit, watched me ride, made adjustments, brought out different models and sizes to me without needing to ask, didn't push at all towards a certain model or version. Was very responsive and thoughtful to all my concerns/indecision. When he provided me an official quote at the end he actually wrote it up for the lower/cheaper version (DS2). The Giant guy was more or less a shoulder shrugger and putting in minimal effort. He put me on a Medium (Trek started me out on a 21/Large) and didn't have much to say about me questioning which size I should be on other than it's personal preference and making sure you have an inch or so of stand-over height clearance. Which does seem to be true, but I guess it was just how nonchalant and how little he seemed to care that bothered me. The Giant store is right next to my house tho...so that's very nice. But obviously my gf will be having to make the trek to the Trek store (courtesy laugh?)... and the owner of the two Trek stores in town rides with/helps run the bike group we're joining and is close friends with my gf's boss (hence her getting the hook up). So obviously there's a ton of pros with Trek... with the only cons being the price and I guess distance to the store.

I'll be making my decision after I visit the other Giant store and hopefully test an Escape. I'll also try to figure out if I can work my indirect connection to the Trek owner to get any form of discount haha.
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Old 04-18-18, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
If you are still planning on riding with roadies, I'd go for a bike without suspension. Cheaper suspension bikes are heavier and absorb some pedal efficiency Plus you plan to ride with your girlfriend who has the FX (no suspension), I'd get a similar bike to her.

My girlfriend still rides her FX 7.2 that I picked up used. I had one as well, but my dad ended up liking it so much that I gave it to him. The 32-35mm tires are good for basic trails and gravel.
Don't you love when you lose something you spent 20 min typing? Haha... Unfortunately I'm at least 3 hours away from Greenville, which is apparently a much more bike friendly town. I'm down in Charleston.

The Trek guy was on the same train of thought as you, leaning towards the FX since that's what my gf is on. She won't be comfortable with nearly as much terrain as I would be on a DS. He did say tho that he and his crew agree that the DS is a great entry bike b/c it allows you to figure out your preferences and get established/experienced in biking. Then you'll know whether you're leaning one way or the other (adventurous/road). If all goes well, I could see my gf and I both picking up another bike so we have both options.

I will say, the roads/sidewalks here are terrible. Cracks, train tracks, uneven pavement, rough shoulders, debris, and badly maintained bike lanes. Those sport hybrids handle every road bump even sewer grates with ease. As far as keeping up with the roadies, I think we're a very long way away from being able to keep up with them no matter how light our bikes are. I also foresee more of our biking being just us two and not to doubt my gf, but I don't think she'll be leaving me in the dust if I'm on a heavier bike. I'm also not sure she'll ever be comfortable with or want to go for speed. I think duration/distance is more the goal rather than how fast. I will say, you can feel that weight difference and those 38c tires are big. I'd be interested to try out 35s and see how much of a difference there is.
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Old 04-18-18, 11:22 AM
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Originally Posted by IrishYorf07 View Post
If all goes well, I could see my gf and I both picking up another bike so we have both options.
I think this is the *best* choice. If you have room to store multiple bikes, this could be a great option. I have a Trek Verve (the 2015 model, which had a suspension fork back then) and it's like riding in a Cadillac. Comfort for miles (literally) and super upright for sight-seeing or touring, etc. I also have a Trek 750 (a 1997 model) that is more or less like what an FX is today. It's a rigid frame 700c hybrid, with a more "rider forward" fit. My handlebar is about equal with my saddle on that bike and it's a much faster bike than my Verve.

Sometimes I feel like the Verve. Sometimes I feel like the 750. On any given day, I might take one or the other.

And I just bought a Roam 2 (today). So that'll be a third option.

It sounds like your Trek store folks are super nice, and it's too bad that the Giant guy is pretty cavalier about you actually buying a bike. Dealers are, of course, independent and on their own. You'll find some real good ones with every brand and some real lousy ones with every brand. I guess you just need to go with your gut on this one. Easy advice to give on an internet forum, right?
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Old 04-18-18, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by IrishYorf07 View Post
Unfortunately I'm at least 3 hours away from Greenville, which is apparently a much more bike friendly town. I'm down in Charleston.
I'd get this Jamis if you can fit a medium

Jamis Coda - $150
https://charleston.craigslist.org/bi...537881033.html

Unless you don't mind driving, there are not a lot of reasonably priced hybrids on Charleston craigslist.

Originally Posted by IrishYorf07 View Post
If all goes well, I could see my gf and I both picking up another bike so we have both options.
In this case, I'd prefer a mountain bike over a hybrid with suspension like the DS.
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Old 04-18-18, 07:17 PM
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Sounds to me like you should go with Trek. Having a good experience at the shop would be high in priority for me. If Trek puts you at ease and shows interest in your needs, then they seem like the winner. Sure the other options might be cheaper, but paying a bit more for better customer service is worth it.

FWIW I have a DS3. My first real adult bike outside of a cheap Walmart Schwinn hybrid. I really like the bike a lot. It is indeed an entry level bike in general. I wasn't sure where I'd predominantly be riding. There's good offroad single tracks as well as paved trails around here that I wanted to explore. I tested the Verve and FX models before I made the purchase. Verve was very comfy, yet slow. FX was fast and light, but a bit too forward for me at the time. I wanted a middle ground to be able to handle longer distances on various terrain. My experience at the Trek dealer was similar. They weren't pushy. Listened to my wants and needs. Were very patient as well as informative. I didn't attempt another dealer or brand, as they exceeded my expectations for customer service.

Nine months later and I'm still happy with my DS 3 for what it is. However, I do see myself eventually getting a FX3 disc. I'd keep the DS for comfort and light offroading, as well as the gravel trails, and use the FX for nicer paved trails and some road use. I'm not a all regretting the DS. It will continue to serve a purpose. If anything, if I could do it all over again (and could afford it) I would have gotten something like a Marlin 7 AND an FX 3 at the same time to cover all bases well. The DS3 does suit all those needs, just doesn't exceed as well as dedicated bikes would for specific terrains. Jack of all trades, master of none type deal. Which is acceptable for a beginner/recreational cyclist as myself.
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