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New to cycling, and need a nice bike

Old 04-13-10, 01:25 PM
  #1  
ballistic
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New to cycling, and need a nice bike

Currently choosing between:

Giant Rapid 0
Fuji Absolute 1.0
Trek 7.6 FX
Cannondale Quick 3


The Rapid 0 and Absolute 1.0 seem to have the best components, but I've yet to find a shop that can get me one to test ride. I'm still calling around. They should be able to order them in from the manufacturer without cost to them, right?

I've ridden the 7.6 FX, and my mom has an '09 7.6 FX WSD. I really like its smooth ride. Cannondale bikes seem to be expensive for what they offer. They do look nice.

Anyone have experience with these? Recommendations? Suggestions for other bikes I should look at?
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Old 04-13-10, 03:44 PM
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You know - they are all nice bikes - and you shouldn't have to pay anything to test ride a bike that's right for you! (PERIOD)

Find another dealer who is willing to work for you.......

That being said, you usually get more for your money with a GIANT, since they actually make their own bikes (and several others manufacturers.)

Make sure you test ride as many as you can, and one will jump out at you as the best of the bunch.
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Old 04-13-10, 05:55 PM
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All are good bikes. I considered them all in choosing my bike. You might check with Performance bikes on the Absolute 1.0. It was the only place that I found that actually had one. They also will let you order it and if you don't like it, then you dont pay. I have owned 2 giants and they were both good bikes. The TREK rides great but the 7.6fx did not have very good equipment for the dollars. You might also consider the Specialized Sirrus Comp in the same grouping as it also is light, aggressive and fun to ride....not that I am biased. LOL
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Old 04-13-10, 06:05 PM
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I checked Performance Bike, but didn't see the 1.0. Just the 2.0 and lower. Did you have to contact them about it?
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Old 04-13-10, 06:30 PM
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I have Fuji Absolute 1.0 and I love it. It is comfortable, fast, and handles well. I have the 2009 with rim brakes, I would probably love it more if it were a 2010 with disks. My wallet loved the 2009 model sale price better though! While only you can tell if it is the best bike for you, it is quite a nice bike.

It sounds like you have looked at Performance Bike's stock but have not asked them if they will get one in for you to try without a commitment on your part. You should not have to pay them to try a bike they claim to sell. They should have some way to get you a test ride without any risk on your part. And they may well have a way but you probably will have to ask them to do that. I bought my Fuji at a small local shop and they have most models in stock. Some would have to be brought out of the basement and assembled first but even they can do that. A big store like Performance should be able to accommodate you.

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Old 04-13-10, 06:33 PM
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My LBS sells Giant and Fuji, but he doesn't stock anything high-end. He told me he stocks Rapid 3, so he probably stocks anything around $500 and cheaper. I haven't asked if he can order a Rapid 0 or Absolute 1.0. I'll be doing that tomorrow.
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Old 04-13-10, 09:51 PM
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Here's another thought that is somewhat hard to confirm because the information on the Fuji website disagrees with itself. The Absolute 1.0 and 2.0 appear to have the exact same frame geometry on the web page display. So riding a 2.0 should tell you exactly how the 1.0 will feel and ride. Now some of the details are upgraded on the 1.0 but I doubt very much that anything on the 1.0 will seem worse to you than the same components on the 2.0. It could be that you would dislike something on the 2.0 and would view the 1.0 component as an upgrade. I think that the major aspects of the Absolute 1.0 could be sampled accurately on the 2.0 however.

Now if you click on the links on the web pages to download the pdf spec sheets for the two bikes you will see some differences between the two models. I don't know which information is accurate, the web page or the pdf. The two are so broadly similar though that I suspect that the frames are identical and only the componentry varies between them. I think there may have been some geometry adjustments when the disk brakes were added for 2010 and the pdf may reflect a mix of 2009 and 2010 dimensions but that is only a guess on my part.

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Old 04-14-10, 12:44 PM
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You seem to be right about the Rapid frames. At least the website lists all the same dimensions. The problem is that no one stocks higher-end models, nor the largest sizes available. And no one will order me a bike to test without a deposit. This is rather ridiculous. I see no practical way to test ride bikes I'm interested in. My desire to even purchase a bike is starting to fade.

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Old 04-16-10, 07:38 PM
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Here are some measurements I took myself. I would, of course, get measured by the bike shop I purchase through. It seems that I'm more around 6'2'' without shoes on.





If the site I just used is accurate (not that my self-taken measurements are, but they're close), then the Rapid 0's largest seat tube size of 58.5cm should be fairly suitable. The guy at the Giant reseller I visited two weekends ago put me on a 58cm bike and said a 60cm+ bike would be better. Can a few cm really make a big difference in posture/sitting angle? Can it be offset by seat height or anything?
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Old 04-16-10, 11:08 PM
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Also, which bike is the best on paper?

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Old 04-17-10, 11:11 AM
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Bump. Any thoughts?
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Old 04-17-10, 01:08 PM
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I thought I answered this, but I guess not. I always feel that Giant gives you the best buy for the money - they seen to give you their savings of manufacturer, in higher end components.

My vote would be for the Rapid. I really think it is the best buy, and the best machine, for the money. I really like Giant bikes, A LOT - it's just that they don't "feel" right to me.

For some strange reason, Specialized bikes are always more comfortable to me - to ride. I don't know why.

If the Giant trips your trigger, - fit, finish, feel, lust - I say go for it. You have to buy the one that feels right to you - and, one should jump out at you when riding.

Technically, I should ride a 58, according to my measurements - but, I ride a 61, because it "feels" so much better to me. It allows me to ride more stretched out, while the 58s always feel "cramped" to me.

Get the one that fits the best, feels the best, and looks the best. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 04-17-10, 01:14 PM
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I guess I'll head to Performance Bike when they get the 2010 models in, and have them get my measurements.

There's a boutique bike shop in town that carries Marin and Kona, plus a bunch more that aren't as mainstream as Trek, Giant, etc. I've seen their prices though. They're in a ritzy part of town (Short North).
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Old 04-17-10, 09:02 PM
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I dunno. I'm strangely drawn to the Defy 1. I feel like at some point I'm going to want drop handlebars, even though right now I'm not into them at all. I foresee myself getting a little bored with casual strolls down bike paths. And I like that I have more holding options. The flat bars that I've tried aren't wide enough for my hands. There's always a brake lever or shifter touching me.
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Old 04-17-10, 11:25 PM
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Bicycling.com released its 2010 winners. The Giant Defy 2 is first on the list. Looks like it's the Compact version.
https://www.bicycling.com/bke/slide/h...-421-0,00.html

But the Defy 2's MSRP is $1100, while the Defy 1 is $1350. I would definitely want to try a Defy 1 if I could get it for a decent price.
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Old 04-18-10, 06:53 AM
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I agree - that Defy is a very nice bike - and I really like aluminum, too.

Sadly, it might be a tough time of the year to get a good price - but, if you start looking at the 3, and two, and feign rotten wallet syndrome, while drooling for the 1, it just might work ------ LOL

I wish I could ride a drop bar bike, but it just ain't in the cards.

Besides, I love my Crostrail.
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Old 04-18-10, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
I wish I could ride a drop bar bike, but it just ain't in the cards.
Do tell?
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Old 04-18-10, 11:41 AM
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I have a physical condition with my back - Spondylosis, Spondylothesis, which has pretty much limited me to riding stuff with wider tires, a more upright riding position, and a front suspension (to limit the shock transfer from hand to back).

I love riding, doing 30-40 miles every day - and the Hybrid lets me do that....... without pain.
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Old 04-18-10, 04:28 PM
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Originally Posted by ballistic View Post
Also, which bike is the best on paper?

I dunno what all that stuff is. So what would YOU go with?
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Old 04-18-10, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by ballistic View Post
I feel like at some point I'm going to want drop handlebars, even though right now I'm not into them at all. I foresee myself getting a little bored with casual strolls down bike paths. And I like that I have more holding options.
Did you say there is a Marin dealer near you? If you think you want drops take a look at the Marin Lombard.

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Old 04-18-10, 10:13 PM
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What's nice about the Lombard over the Defy 1?
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Old 04-20-10, 12:29 PM
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Stopped by the LBS and rode a 2009 Defy 3 and a (2010 I think) Rapid 3, both larges. Nice bikes.

I rode the Defy for probably fifteen minutes to see how well I liked the dropped handlebars. I like the different options, but I think my arms started to fatigue a little after reaching out so far and straight. Maybe it was the geometry. Would a larger seatpost be more comfortable, or seat height?

The Rapid 3 was nice. The frame is a bit beefier and probably a couple pounds heavier, so it absorbs bumps a little better. It comes with huge handles, unlike the Trek bikes I rode. I could hold them without being jammed up against the controls. But there's one hand position while riding. It has those perpendicular bars on the ends, but they weren't comfortable for accelerating and riding fast. He said they were more for resting.

He also mentioned that the double-paddle brake/shifter assemblies aren't as reliable as the single-paddle/thumb-lever assemblies, though he did say they've gotten better since they first came out years ago.

Thoughts?

If I decide to go with a Giant, and have him order me a Defy 1 or Rapid 0, I'm wondering if I should get the XL. I felt pretty good on the L, but I don't know enough to know how the XL might change the fit and comfort.
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Old 04-20-10, 12:46 PM
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He told me the Defy 1 would be $1250, which is $100 off the MSRP. Decent deal, or can I haggle him down?
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Old 04-20-10, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by ballistic View Post
What's nice about the Lombard over the Defy 1?
The Lombard is a bike I was looking at when I was deciding and if I had not found a good deal on the Fuji that I bought I might very well have ended up on a Lombard. I don't know what a Defy 1 is, I merely mentioned the Lombard because it looks like a good bike and you said you were interested in drop bars. I don't happen to believe there is any magic in finding a bike. I am sure that if you looked at enough bikes you could easily find half a dozen to a dozen that would "speak to you" as some like to say. Any one of them would work splendidly for you. If you have found one that you think fits that description already then there is little reason to look for more. Trying to decide between a dozen models that differ by a few tenths of a percent in their suitability for you can be a maddening experience, why go there?

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Old 04-20-10, 04:04 PM
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Without haggling and/or having accessories reduced, the Defy 1 will be about $1335 with tax. The Defy about $1068.

Is Shimano 105 worth $267 more than Tiagra?

And the Defy 1 doesn't come with pedals. Where's a good place to get some? Looking for regular pedals. No cages or clips.

Last edited by ballistic; 04-20-10 at 04:14 PM.
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