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Seeking purchase advice

Old 11-11-11, 12:15 AM
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a1penguin
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Seeking purchase advice

I'd like to have a winter bike primarily for commuting. Riding on paved roads. I live in Northern California so winter means rain and wet. Here's a list of what I'm looking for

- Price: under $1000
- Disc brakes
- No front (or rear) suspension
- Flat bar or drop bars
- Minimum 28mm tires, but 37mm might feel too clunky
- Must have fender mounts
- Slight preference for road gearing rather to mtb gearing
- Open to hybrid, cyclocross, road bikes
- Open to both steel and aluminum, but under 30 lbs

I'm not convinced that IGH is good/bad. CL in this area doesn't seem to have many bikes that meet the disc brake requirement.

I've been reading through the forum, but haven't see a lot of recommendations in this price range. I really like my road bike, but I don't want to ride it in wet weather.

Thanks!

Last edited by a1penguin; 11-11-11 at 02:12 AM.
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Old 11-11-11, 07:32 AM
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I live in Northern California too.

What do you mean by "Winter", "Rain", and "Wet"?

It doesn't rain that much here at all...At anythime!

Now if you're just looking for an N+1 bike, just say so ...If so, here are my recommendations:

1) The Jamis Coda Elite ~ $1050

2) The Kona Dr. Dew ~ $1050

3) The Kona Dew Deluxe ~ $849 (This golden bike is absolutely gorgeous)

4)The Raleigh Superbe Roadster ~ $1200

5) The Trek 7.5FX ~ $1080

6) The Trek 7.3FX ~ $800

7) The Cannondale Bad Boy 9 ~ $730 at REI

8) The Giant Seek 3 ~ $700

- Slim

PS.

* All of the above models either come with fenders and a racks, or they can be easily fitted with fenders and racks.

- Funny...Right after I posted this comment, it started to rain like cats and dogs!

Last edited by SlimRider; 11-15-11 at 05:31 AM.
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Old 11-11-11, 11:03 AM
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The Gravity Zilla is pretty cool. My wife just bought me one for my birthday. I believe it was right at $540 shipped, and it's ORANGE!!! Mine weighs in at 27 lbs.

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/zilla.htm

Last edited by big_heineken; 01-23-12 at 04:17 PM. Reason: typo: ways doesn't mean weighs.
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Old 11-11-11, 11:20 AM
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At the risk of sounding like an ad for bikes direct, here goes...

The Coda Elite is a nice bike. In fact, they are all nice bikes. If you're looking for road gearing you may look for a flat bar road bike or a cross bike. Specifically, if you want those gears and disc brakes check out the Motobecane Fantom Cross outlaw. It's a mostly Tiagra equipped 18 sp ride with Avid mechanical disc brakes. For $895 to your door you can't beat it. You could even swap out the drops, throw some flats on, sell the shifters on e-bay and come out ahead. I did that with a Moto Fantom Cross and I love it. I only wish now that I had gone with the Titanium Rival equipped version or steel one... the SRAM would have been easier to swap trigger shifters with and the rail trails that I ride can be a little bone jarring with aluminum frame.

The steel framed SRAM Fantom is less at $800, Nashbar has a nice 105 equipped steel ride for $800, and BD has another aluminum Rival ride for $999. All of these look to have fender mounts and would make great commuters.

A little note, you should be handy enough to do some adjustments on the drivetrain and brakes when you receive it (or be OK to take it to your local shop).

Good luck and ride safe.

Last edited by puckett129; 11-11-11 at 10:13 PM. Reason: sp
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Old 11-11-11, 01:00 PM
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2011 Jamis Coda Elite has better components than the 2012 model.

$1000 from Wheelhouse Bikes in Santa Barbara.
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Old 11-12-11, 05:18 AM
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This bike would be very near to the top of my list - Trek FX7.3 (with disc brakes) https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../7_3_fx_disc/# In fact, I narrowed my personal search for a new bike resently to the Trek and the Cannondale Quick CX3 (with disc brakes). I eventually chose the 2012 Cannondale, it has a suspension fork which better suited my road/rail-to-trail needs.
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Old 11-12-11, 05:40 AM
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I can vouch for the Trek 7.3 Disc. I have the 2010 version (Trek Valencia), and my wife has the 2011 version. Very nice bike. Comes with 28/38/48 gearing, so somewhere in between MTB and road bike. The stock tires are 32 mm. It's got full eyelets for a rack and mudguard.

We regularly tour on them, taking in road as well as towpath and disused railway. I think it would be an excellent commuter.
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Old 11-13-11, 08:19 PM
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I just got a Cannondale 2011 Quick CX2 which meets all the criteria the front fork can be locked out to be ridged for the road.

https://www.bikeforums.net/attachment...0&d=1320859855

it cost was right at a 900.
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Old 11-15-11, 03:55 AM
  #9  
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Thanks for all the great suggestions. I went around to a bunch of bike stores over the weekend. Most of the bikes in stock are road or mountain bikes. I saw the Trek FX line at one store. Stood over a 7.6 and it had a nice feel to it. Being an older adult, I don't find the sloping top bar appealing. I like a flat top tube and while the bar on the FX isn't flat, it's not as sloped as some of the other bikes I considered. I was unable to find an FX disc model anyplace :-/ The FX disc models do NOT have a carbon fork, so they won't have as smooth a ride. But as a winter bike for commuting on smooth, paved roads, I think I would prefer disc brakes over carbon fork. The
Since the 7.5 is in my budget and my bike-nerd co worker has convinced me the components on the 7.5 are worth the price difference, I'll probably pull the trigger on the 7.5 FX disc.

The Zilla looks interesting, but it has 40mm tires. I don't think my Toyota Tercel had tires that wide. The Motobecane looks more compelling. But I'm leery of purchasing a bike that I have no idea how well it will fit. When I shopped for a road bike, most of the men's bikes didn't fit well, so I'd rather have a good idea that a bike will fit. And I get to support my LBS and if I have problems, I don't have to pay shipping costs to get service.

All those shiny new bikes had me drooling.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:25 AM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I went around to a bunch of bike stores over the weekend. Most of the bikes in stock are road or mountain bikes. I saw the Trek FX line at one store. Stood over a 7.6 and it had a nice feel to it. Being an older adult, I don't find the sloping top bar appealing. I like a flat top tube and while the bar on the FX isn't flat, it's not as sloped as some of the other bikes I considered. I was unable to find an FX disc model anyplace :-/ The FX disc models do NOT have a carbon fork, so they won't have as smooth a ride. But as a winter bike for commuting on smooth, paved roads, I think I would prefer disc brakes over carbon fork. The
Since the 7.5 is in my budget and my bike-nerd co worker has convinced me the components on the 7.5 are worth the price difference, I'll probably pull the trigger on the 7.5 FX disc.

The Zilla looks interesting, but it has 40mm tires. I don't think my Toyota Tercel had tires that wide. The Motobecane looks more compelling. But I'm leery of purchasing a bike that I have no idea how well it will fit. When I shopped for a road bike, most of the men's bikes didn't fit well, so I'd rather have a good idea that a bike will fit. And I get to support my LBS and if I have problems, I don't have to pay shipping costs to get service.

All those shiny new bikes had me drooling.
Good for you A1penguin!

Yeaaay for A1penguin!!!!..


- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 11-15-11 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 11-15-11, 12:20 PM
  #11  
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Way to go bud. The FX 7.5 was my first choice too until i started to do some mountain biking then that thought changed. I still think the FX is a great bike though.
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Old 11-16-11, 09:56 PM
  #12  
KevinB.
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I like this one ...GT Tachyon 3.0

https://www.gtbicycles.com/2012/bikes...12-tachyon-3-0
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Old 11-20-11, 06:36 PM
  #13  
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I just put my $ down for the Trek 7.5 FX Disc. It was raining so I only got a test ride on the trainer on a 7.6. The bike is very comfortable and the 17.5 fit like it was made for me. It felt more like a flat bar road bike than a mountain bike. I pick it up on Wednesday. I have Thursday to try it out and ride it some before I am housebound for my oncall shift. I'll provide a ride report after I have some time on it.

I'm super excited!
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Old 11-30-11, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by big_heineken View Post
The Gravity Zilla is pretty cool. My wife just bought me one for my birthday. I believe it was right at $540 shipped, and it's ORANGE!!! Mine ways in at 27 lbs.

https://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/zilla.htm
Any chance you could post some pics of your bike? I am trying to decide between the black or orange one...any updates on how it rides? Thanks!
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Old 01-20-12, 01:20 PM
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Sorry. this took so long. I forgot about it. I've ridden it a few and it is a lot of fun.




(The sun and shadows make it look multicolored.)
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Old 01-21-12, 12:15 PM
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I got one of these last summer, a 2010 model. It weights about 25lbs with fenders and computer. I have really enjoyed it and it stops quick in the rain too.
https://www.cannondale.com/2012/bikes...ick-cx-4-21069
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Old 03-13-12, 11:32 AM
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Originally Posted by big_heineken View Post
Sorry. this took so long. I forgot about it. I've ridden it a few and it is a lot of fun.




(The sun and shadows make it look multicolored.)
Big_H:

I was looking at the Zilla and wanted to know your impression of it and if the decals on the cycle are clear-coated over or could be removed. I have this idea of buying a silver zilla and painting it in a candy color (electric green).

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Old 03-22-12, 12:19 PM
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They're clear coated on. I've got one and tried buffing them out with a 3M stripping wheel, was a huge pain and i've got some recess where they used to be.
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Old 03-26-12, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by rhammons View Post
They're clear coated on. I've got one and tried buffing them out with a 3M stripping wheel, was a huge pain and i've got some recess where they used to be.
Thanks for the info! Looks like I will be sticking to the OEM colors.
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Old 04-09-12, 02:11 AM
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When you ordered your Zilla, did you use the sizing chart BikesDirect provides, or is their any other good tricks I could use? I'm a tad hesitant to buy a bike before I can test ride...
Thanks in advance for any advice you may have.
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Old 04-16-12, 07:54 AM
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a_a:

I used a number of sizing charts (btw, I bought a Gravity Zilla) that can be found on the internet (using google). I then compared those to the detailed dimensions that are shown for the Gravity Zilla. I did not just use the simple sizing chart showing only height.

I ordered the 53.5 because most sizing charts indicated 52 cm to 54 cm - I am 5 ft 11 in, have a 31 in inseam, but a long torso. Bikes Direct warns strongly about the standover height being at least 1 to 1.5 inches lower than your inseam. Although I did not ignore this, standover is not as important to me as effective top tube.

After all this (where the 53.5 I ordered was technically too high for my inseam, but the effective top tube was in the ball park) the Gravity Zilla I ordered is right at my crotch (no gap in standover height), but the stretch, from seat to bars is just right. The fit, in total, works well and the bike is responsive and comfortable (I did have to hack saw the seat post - the adjustible part that goes into the seat tube - for length - because it would not drop down internally past the water bottle bosses).

All this to state, don't just go with the "simple" height to size stated on the website, do your research on fit, compare with the detailed dimensions of effective top tube, and compare this with seat tube lenghs. If all this is confusing, and you don't want to do the research, consider buying a bike at your local bike shop. This will help you avoid disappointment and repacking the bike exactly as you received it from Bikes Direct, along with the cost of reshipping.
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Old 04-23-12, 09:42 AM
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Bobbyman:
Thanks for your response, makes sense. I ended up going with a Motobecane Fantom Uno, but still have the Gravity Zilla in mind for a second bike someday. Hope you're enjoying your Zilla ;]
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Old 04-23-12, 12:28 PM
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Just looked at the Zilla for the first time, due to this thread. What an interesting bike. Dropbars, Sora/Deore derailleurs, disc brakes, CrMo fork, easy hybrid gearing. Price is great at $500. That would make for a nice commuter and all-purpose bike.
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