Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Hybrid Bicycles
Reload this Page >

entry level newbie bike: alum frame/suspension fork vs cromo frame/rigid cromo fork?

Notices
Hybrid Bicycles Where else would you go to discuss these fun, versatile bikes?

entry level newbie bike: alum frame/suspension fork vs cromo frame/rigid cromo fork?

Old 05-09-11, 03:55 PM
  #1  
goagain
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
entry level newbie bike: alum frame/suspension fork vs cromo frame/rigid cromo fork?

I'm new here and have read replies to several threads that seem to indicate cromo/rigid would be what I need, but I'm not sure. Hope someone can advise me and give a little more detail, so I'm asking specifically.

I haven't ridden in decades and want to start doing some casual riding around the block or in parks or rail/trail, maybe a short group ride later if I get good enough. Nothing rough but maybe some gravel, grass, or smooth dirt, but mostly paved. I'm a female in my early 60's in good health except I could stand to lose some weight.

I'm not sure how often I'll get to ride, so I want to stay in the $400 price range, which I know won't have the best components but will be better than a WM bike. There is no LBS but the closest bike shops to me both sell Giants.

Would the Cypress, or maybe the Sedona, "ST" W (cromo, rigid cromo fork) be better for me than the regular Cypress or Sedona W, which have an aluminum frame and a suspension fork? The bike shops seem to push the alum/susp fork, and most models in this price range seem to be that, but I don't understand why. They are $70 more, but that's not a huge amount. (Alum/susp $400, cromo/rigid $330) These would be the women's models. All four of these models have a suspension seat post and similar everything else except wheel size.

I know lighter is supposed to be better, but they won't give the weights. I've been told that on low end bikes such as these, aluminum ones are often as heavy as, or heavier than, steel ones because the alum has to be thicker than the steel to be strong enough, and the suspension fork adds extra weight. I don't know which of these models is actually lighter.

I am more concerned with ease of pedaling than speed, since I'm a newbie rider and older. Comfort is also a factor, but I don't have any aches and pains so I'm hoping that's not a big concern for me on the kind of riding I plan to do and on these "comfort" bikes. ??

Also, any thoughts on whether to get 700c wheels (Cypresses) or 26" (Sedonas)? On the aluminum model the tires are 700x35 and on the cromo, 700x38. Both 26" bikes have 26x1.95 tires. I'm about 5'3" if that matters. All these come in XS and S sizes, I guess I'd need a S but I figure the BS can help me with that.

From what I've read, the cromo seems to be the likely candidate, but then the shops seem to stock and push alum. I guess I'm having a hard time believing the cheaper bike might actually be the better one for me. LOL I need advice!

I also looked at the Trek 700, but it is just "steel" not cromo and has fewer gears but costs more, and there is no Trek dealer nearby anyway. I think I'll probably go with one of the Giants, but which? This will likely be my only bike purchase and I want to get the best one for me. I know I need to try them, but that will probably be a ride around the parking lot and won't tell this newbie much. Thanks for any insights you can give me!
goagain is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 05:38 PM
  #2  
etroutski
Troutonabike
 
etroutski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: franklin,nc
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hi Goagain. I will tell you right off that I think either bike Sedona or Cypress will be a good choice. My wife does ride a Sedona and I ride a Cypress. I ditched my suspension fork several years ago and went with a chro-moly rigid fork and actually use my bike (with lots of alterations) for a touring bike.
I personally don't think that the suspension fork is worth the extra weight (several lbs. heavier) unless you are planning on some fairly heavy and rough off road stuff. I use my rigid fork on gravel, grass, lime-rock, etc. with out any problems.
My wife's bike still has a suspension fork, but she would be happy if I got around to replacing it. She doesn't feel like it is needed.
Now with the 26inch wheels you generally have fatter tires than with the 700s. This will give you a little more comfy ride. We actually replaced my wife's fat tires with thinner slicks since she rides more on pavement that on dirt.The 700s in theory will roll easier, being larger. I don't know that you or I would really notice a huge difference. Tire size and tread do make a noticeable difference.
So there you are, my 2 cents worth. Like I said, you can't go wrong with either bike. If you do progress as a rider and end up wanting to ride more road miles and things, you will probably want the 700s and rigid fork.
Happy trails and good riding to you! I hope you enjoy whatever you end up buying!
etroutski is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 05:59 PM
  #3  
goagain
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks! I'm glad you think these models are good choices. I really can't go any more expensive right now. Are the tires that come on these OK?

Anyone else?
goagain is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 06:27 PM
  #4  
etroutski
Troutonabike
 
etroutski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: franklin,nc
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think the tires will be fine to start with and then when you wear them out and are ready to replace them, you'll have a better idea of your type of riding and what kind of tires you will want.
etroutski is offline  
Old 05-09-11, 06:53 PM
  #5  
goagain
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks! Any thoughts on aluminum frames vs the cromo ones? The person who told me about the suspension forks being too heavy said he thinks steel gives an easier ride, but there sure are a lot of aluminum bikes now. ??
goagain is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 08:19 AM
  #6  
Juha
Formerly Known as Newbie
 
Juha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 6,251
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I agree with NOT getting a suspension fork. At that price point they're bound to be heavy, not very good, not too useful for your intended riding, and generally one additional moving part waiting to fail.

I wouldn't worry too much about the frame material. Few if any bike models are manufactured in both alu and steel frames so that you could really compare which is "easier", whatever that means. Differences in frame design (geometry, fit etc) have more effect on how the ride feels than the material used, IMO.

--J
__________________
To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
Community guidelines

Last edited by Juha; 05-10-11 at 08:29 AM.
Juha is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 10:02 AM
  #7  
EsoxLucius
Senior Member
 
EsoxLucius's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
Location: Western Wisconsin
Posts: 411

Bikes: 2009 Giant Cypress DX 2009 Jamis Coda Comp

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
From someone who has ridden an aluminum frame hybrid with a suspension fork (Giant Cypress DX) and a steel frame flat handlebar road bike with a carbon fork (Jamis Coda Comp), I can say from my experience that the more comfortable and secure feeling ride comes with the latter. IMO.
EsoxLucius is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 10:53 AM
  #8  
qmsdc15
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Maryland
Posts: 5,155

Bikes: rockhopper, delta V, cannondale H300, Marin Mill Valley

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I'd go with the Cypress over the Sedona. The narrower tires will roll easier.
qmsdc15 is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 03:23 PM
  #9  
knobd
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: SE PA USA
Posts: 323
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'd go with the steel bike. I have both aluminum and steel and overall the steel is more comfortable. My aluminum bike is pretty comfortable too, especially on the hands with the carbon fork but at the butt it hurts more. I know you have suspension seat posts but I think the steel will absorb more before it gets to the seat post. You may even want to ditch the suspension seat post on the steel bike. Don't underestimate the seat stays being chromo vs. aluminum. I think my aluminum bike is a bit more nimble but that is probably more of a result of differences in the geometry.
knobd is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 03:43 PM
  #10  
goagain
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks so much for the posts! Almost everyone (except the bike shops !?!) says to avoid the models with the suspension forks, and go with the cromo with rigid fork. That's what I plan to do at present. I guess it's just too good to believe that the cheaper model (cromo) is actually the best one for me. LOL

I welcome other comments as well. I know nothing! Thanks--
goagain is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 04:04 PM
  #11  
qmsdc15
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Maryland
Posts: 5,155

Bikes: rockhopper, delta V, cannondale H300, Marin Mill Valley

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
i've never asked a bike shop to weigh a bike but I always assumed they could. It seems weird a bike shop wouldn't have a bike scale. Almost weird enough that I'd take my business elsewhere and tell them why. In the spec sheet for the Cypress where the weight should be is a lengthy explanation about the difficulty of giving an accurate figure and TELlS YOU TO ASK YOUR GIANT DEALER to weigh it. The salesman referring to the spec sheet "They don't publish the weights" is a moron in my opinion.


From Giant spec sheet;
"How much does this bike weigh? It’s a common question, and rightly so. But the truth is, there are no industry standards for claiming bike weights—and this leads to a lot of misinformation. Variances exist based on size, frame material, finish and hardware. And as bikes get lighter, these differences become more critical. At Giant, we believe the only way to truly know the weight of any particular bike is to find out for yourself at your local retailer."

Honestly lifting the bikes will give you a sense of the weight, but if you want a more accurate measurement, they should provide you with one.
qmsdc15 is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 06:50 PM
  #12  
etroutski
Troutonabike
 
etroutski's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: franklin,nc
Posts: 50
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Make sure you let us know what you end up getting, Goagain!
etroutski is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 08:10 PM
  #13  
DB Tigger
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 7

Bikes: Diamondback Trace Sport / Diamondback Overdrive 29

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hello everyone! Long time lurker, first time poster.

Just wanted to chime into this thread. I recently purchased a Diamondback Trace and it came with a non lockout suspension. At first, I liked the smoothness but realized it 'bobbed' around too much so I replaced it with a chromoly fork from Salsa which was considered "suspension correct". I love it and can cover more distance at ease. While the suspension is nice and smooth, I didn't realized how much it robbed pedal stroke and didn't realize how heavy it is. After I got the bike back from my bike shop, it transformed the bike perfectly

But again, this is a cheap suspension fork. Perhaps the more high tech ones are better and lighter.
DB Tigger is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 08:29 PM
  #14  
Scooby214
Saving gas on my commute
 
Scooby214's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
The basic suspension forks seem to be fine for casual riders that have little interest in riding fast. We have some rough roads in my neighborhood, and my wife likes having the suspension fork when she rides around pulling my daughter on her tandem tag-a-long. Her prior bike had a rigid fork, and she says she can tell the difference in a positive way. She has no interest in riding hard enough to make the fork bob up and down.

For me, on the other hand, I have a rather firm suspension fork on my hybrid that I prefer to her softer fork. If my fork wears out before I buy a new hybrid, I'll replace it with a cro-mo suspension corrected fork.
Scooby214 is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 08:42 PM
  #15  
goagain
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks to everyone who posted!

In fairness to Giant, I should clarify the "weight not published" comment by the bike shop. That was from a Trek shop that I had also contacted, in reference to the Trek 700 which someone had also recommended to me, not a Giant shop. The Trek shop is farther away, and the Trek didn't seem any better than the Giant to me but cost a little more, so I stopped researching the Trek after that. I think it's ridiculous that neither Trek nor Giant lists bike weights in their descriptions!

Tigger, thanks so much for sharing your experience with the forks. The suspension forks on the bikes I'm considering would be cheap ones, too, because they are on $400 bikes. I think I'm going with the majority opinion here and will try to get one of the cromo rigid fork models if it is available, even though the shops seem to push the suspension models more for some reason. Still got to decide which size wheels, though.

The info here is so helpful to me! Thanks all!
goagain is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 08:49 PM
  #16  
goagain
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Scooby, didn't see your post when I replied. Your post gives me new doubts about going with the cromo fork! The street I live on isn't rough, though. I guess I will try to ride one of each type, but I'm afraid I won't be able to tell. Decisions, decisions!! Thanks for posting, all the info I get helps me.
goagain is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 09:10 PM
  #17  
BHOFM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: NW Arkansas
Posts: 785

Bikes: Too many to count

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Don't get hung up on the weight thing. I had a 25lb Schwinn that rode like a truck and a 35lb
Spalding that is a dream to ride. I ride a Trek, never weighed it, but it doesn't matter. It is one
sweet ride. '91 720 fitness. I cranked over a hundred miles in about seven hours last Friday.

If the bike fits, and you like it, that is what you are looking for. Half the thing is the seat. A $10k
bike with a $500 seat that doesn't fit is going to sit in the garage. A Wally bike that happens to
be the right size with a $10 seat that fits you will be ridden.
BHOFM is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 09:15 PM
  #18  
Scooby214
Saving gas on my commute
 
Scooby214's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Oklahoma City
Posts: 511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by goagain View Post
Scooby, didn't see your post when I replied. Your post gives me new doubts about going with the cromo fork! The street I live on isn't rough, though. I guess I will try to ride one of each type, but I'm afraid I won't be able to tell. Decisions, decisions!! Thanks for posting, all the info I get helps me.
I venture to guess that you will be fine with either fork. For the riding style that you describe, and the street you live on, I don't think you need to worry too much about which fork you need. If you can't tell any difference, go with the cro-mo fork and save the money. If you can tell a difference, go with the one that you like better.
Scooby214 is offline  
Old 05-10-11, 09:32 PM
  #19  
DB Tigger
Junior Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Vacaville, CA
Posts: 7

Bikes: Diamondback Trace Sport / Diamondback Overdrive 29

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My recommendation is if you're going to get one that comes with a suspension fork, make sure it has the lock out feature. Best of both worlds. May cost a bit more than the standard version , but worth it on the long run.

Mine didn't have it so I went with a rigid fork but that's fine for mostly street/surface riding and with some trail rides but next year, my next will be an offroad oriented with the lockout suspension fork.
DB Tigger is offline  
Old 05-11-11, 03:26 PM
  #20  
goagain
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks, everyone. I think I will buy one of the cromo models if I do buy a bike, unless I don't like it when I try it out. Your posts have been very helpful to me.
goagain is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
corrado33
General Cycling Discussion
20
01-22-16 03:28 PM
tonycd
Fifty Plus (50+)
18
12-02-14 03:41 PM
mtalinm
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
3
05-08-14 10:43 AM
tergal
Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg)
14
12-19-12 09:42 PM
w98seeng
Mountain Biking
11
03-25-11 12:30 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.