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Hey looking for my first bike!

Old 04-08-20, 05:54 PM
  #1  
makoken
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Hey looking for my first bike!

After doing some research I believe a hybrid is the bike of choice for me.

I am in Chicago and will likely be on pavement most of the time getting around the city, but I have heard about some trails in the area that I may check out.

I'd like to stay under $500, however some are a bit over below.

I am completely new to this, but I've been lead to believe that disc brakes are good as well as a carbon fork (which none of these have).

I have compiled a list so far, in no particular order (I tried to post links but I need 10 posts before I can do that):
  1. Specialized Sirrus - Men's Spec
  2. FX 1 Disc
  3. Escape 3 Disc
  4. Marin Fairfax 1
  5. Raleigh Cadent 2
  6. LL Bean Sport Tour
  7. Jamis Coda Sport
Any input, thoughts, or other recs would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks!
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Old 04-08-20, 07:49 PM
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Hello and welcome. There's a nearly identical thread here:

Hybrid advice under $500

From just a few days ago with some good commentary in there. You may find some good and relevant info in that thread. I would definitely recommend you try before you buy -- ride different bikes to see which ones fit you the best. Different bikes will fit you differently, and even small dimensional variations can make a big difference in terms of comfort. Trying different styles and brands will be helpful in narrowing your choices to what you feel most comfortable on.
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Old 04-09-20, 01:15 PM
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austinsweden
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I had a very similar list to you, and decided on the LL Bean Sport Tour given a 10% coupon code (easy to get via email list) and really huge discounts on gift cards at CardCash.com (20-25% off the value of the gift cards). Ultimately price was ~$316 before shipping.

I haven't received yet, but seems like a great deal. See the link posted above for details on the LL Bean set-up.
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Old 04-09-20, 03:26 PM
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Might want to check out the Fuji Absolute. I know a dealer here in L'ville has a deal going on one of the inexpensive models. Fuji is not as well known as some of the other brands listed, so maybe you can swing a deal. There is a dealer finder on the site, and there are dealers around the Chgo. area.
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Old 04-09-20, 05:20 PM
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Even at the regular price, that LL Bean bike is great deal. Modern 9-speed drivetrain (in terms of derailleurs) and hydraulic disc brakes for under 500 bucks?

If their return policy includes bikes (return for a refund within a year), then that sounds like a pretty low risk purchase. It is interesting that they say returns "for personal reasons unrelated to product performance or satisfaction" are not accepted. I'm not sure what a "personal reason other than satisfaction" could be...unless you straight up told them, "sorry, I can't afford to pay the credit card bill this month."
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Old 04-23-20, 05:19 PM
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I ended up buying the L.L. Bean. I was all set to pick up the Marin Fairfax 2 for $550 plus tax, then stumbled on this thread about the L.L. Bean. I read the specs quite a few times and had quite an involved chat session with a rep at L.L. Bean who sent me all the specs. It checks off all the boxes in my "wish list": aluminum frame, Shimano Acera and/or Altus derailleurs and shifters, Tektro hydraulic disc brakes, name-brand crank (in this case, Suntour), etc. With the 10% discount and buying gift cards off cardcash.com (like another forum member recommneded), I ended up paying $375 total which includes their oversized shipping fee and tax (so it was $310 before shipping and tax). With basically the exact same feature set and components as the Marin Fairfax 2, and also made by Marin (the rep at L.L. Bean confirmed this for me), it seemed like a steal. The only major difference I can see is the cables on the L.L. Bean do not route through the frame, but I can handle that for a $200 savings.
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