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Need help choosing bike?

Old 12-12-11, 06:32 PM
  #1  
jabamgl
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Need help choosing bike?

I'm a first timer in cycling and I have made following list:
Giant Cypress (2012)$429
Trek 7300 (2011) $429
Diamondback Menona (2010 or 11) $379
Globe (Specialized) Carmel (2010) $329 (no trigger shift for the gears)

Little about me, I'm 6 feet tall, pretty healthy. However, my knee is bad (ACL surgery). A doctor recommended me riding bicycle was good idea.

Thank you for your help.

If I missed something, let me know. So, we can have a better picture to paint.
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Old 12-13-11, 04:12 AM
  #2  
fairymuff
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What bike is best will largely depend on the type of riding you are likely to do. Will it be mostly road? Dirt Tracks? Off-road?

Also, how often and how far do you intend to ride?

Generally speaking, the best thing to do when choosing a bike is to find a Local Bike Shop (LBS) that stocks the bike(s) you're interested in, so you can try them,both in terms of general handling and fit.

Finally, what's your budget? If you are planning to spend a decent amount of time on the bike, it would be worth seeing if you can stretch the budget upward a bit. The quality of the components will increase with the price. As it is, I would be looking for the more expensive one(s) of the bikes you mention.
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Old 12-13-11, 04:26 AM
  #3  
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+1 ^, but have to say the Trek.

Last edited by ScottieDog; 12-13-11 at 04:28 AM. Reason: another post made whilst i was writing.
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Old 12-13-11, 07:42 AM
  #4  
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All of the bikes on your list have a suspension fork. Any particular reason you want a suspension fork? I personally don't care for them, they are heavier and give the bike that bit of bouncy feeling. Unless you're going off-road I'm not sure it's needed.

Have you considered the following models (none of these have suspension forks):
Giant Rapid
Trek FX series
Diamondback Insight
Jamis Coda
Specialized Sirrus

Happy shopping!!
Ciao
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Old 12-13-11, 07:52 AM
  #5  
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Welcome to the forum. I have a Trek 7200 and my wife has a 7100 that we are very pleased with. We ride the Chicago lakefront, numerous bike paths, etc. quite a bit and love it. You will get a lot of advice here - no doubt. (The comment re: front suspension, I respectfully disagree...I find that it doesn't hinder/slow us down etc. at all - and when you hit a 'bump in the road' it helps a good deal - especially with bad shoulders/arthritis etc.). Best idea of all - go visit a bunch of LBS (Local Bike Shops) - try a bunch of different models and buy the one that YOU like - eventually you'll be hooked and will want to start adding some stuff - like a rack/bag, maybe some ergonomic grips, a mirror, water bottle holders etc. I read somewhere that "now" (or at least in the next few months is an ideal time to buy, as there are some deals to be had on 2010/11 models as the new inventory is coming in). I believe that any of those bikes you list are more than capable of helping you with your knee and getting up and out there - have fun!!!! Welcome - would be interested in hearing what you end up with and have a great Holiday.
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Old 12-13-11, 10:55 AM
  #6  
jabamgl
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Thank you for all for responding.
I should be riding mostly on paved roads, 6 miles round trip to work, 4 miles round trip to grocery that sort of shopping places. As for budget, money less spent is always a good day. But I don't want to cut corner.
As for suspension fork, I rode bike without it made my hand kinda numb. Years ago when I was in college, I had road bike with no suspension. So, I thought that front suspension will give me some sort of comfort. But you are right I have not tried ones without it. So, I will go out try today.
As for what I liked from the list, I liked all of them. The Giant bike better in shifting and the seat was real soft plus the shop was extremely helpful and welcome.

I will try out different models ciao_bella recommended and will report back tonight.

Again, thank you for reading and responding.
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Old 12-13-11, 03:01 PM
  #7  
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In my opinion, front suspension on paved roads is a waste. It just adds weight to the bike. For you hand going numb you could try bar-ends. Plus these days most bikes come with ergonomically designed hand grips.
Try the Giant Escape 2 which is for around $420. I have the Escape 1 which is step up and I love it. Its really comfortable on paved roads and dirt trails and pretty quick too. You can always change the tires to better suit your style of riding.

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/....2/8910/48614/
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Old 12-13-11, 05:41 PM
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Originally Posted by jabamgl View Post
Thank you for all for responding.
I should be riding mostly on paved roads, 6 miles round trip to work, 4 miles round trip to grocery that sort of shopping places. As for budget, money less spent is always a good day. But I don't want to cut corner.
As for suspension fork, I rode bike without it made my hand kinda numb. Years ago when I was in college, I had road bike with no suspension. So, I thought that front suspension will give me some sort of comfort. But you are right I have not tried ones without it. So, I will go out try today.
As for what I liked from the list, I liked all of them. The Giant bike better in shifting and the seat was real soft plus the shop was extremely helpful and welcome.

I will try out different models ciao_bella recommended and will report back tonight.

Again, thank you for reading and responding.
For those type of distances, any bike will do really. As said, you don't need suspension for road riding, but there's nothing stopping you if you want suspension. Most people out here ride Mountain Bikes with suspension and fat tires, and they never leave the road. It's not particularly hilly here either. I suppose they think it looks cool.

Hand numbness: on short rides, this is most likely a matter of poor bike fit (and all the more reason to try out a bike at your LBS). For longer (over an hour) rides, many of us use padded cycling gloves, and bar ends for additional hand positions. Since you're talking about 15 minute hops on the bike numbness shouldn't be an issue really.
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Old 12-13-11, 06:49 PM
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Definitely agree with all the above posts. Forget the suspension, make sure you ride as many different brands as models as you can to get a good feel for proper fit and comfort.

Also check out Cannondale and Fuji, both make excellent bikes at or near your price point.
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Old 12-14-11, 01:58 AM
  #10  
jabamgl
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Thank you all for responding. Today, I have tried Giant Escape and Rapid. They were lighter and faster than ones with suspension (I almost bought the Escape). So, I'm no longer interested in bikes with suspension. I think I like bikes more towards exercising or road bikes.

Like one suggested earlier, I will try as many bikes as possible. I will try a shop tomorrow for Trek FX and they also said that they carry Specialized bikes.

I will respond back to you all tomorrow with my take on Trek FX and others.
Again, thank you all for reading and responding.
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Old 12-14-11, 03:28 AM
  #11  
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Once you know your price range, try all the major brands in that range. They will all be fairly similar. The differences will be gearing, geometry, tire size. Also find out the weight of the bike. The weight may vary by 5 or more pounds. Depends on frame size. You will probably like some bikes better than others. I recommend buying the one that you like best. I agree that you should try more bikes. It seems like you will have no problem finding a bike you like!
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Old 12-14-11, 06:58 AM
  #12  
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Hi there Jabamgl!

Try all of the bikes you want. Then after this exercise, find a Jamis dealer and try a nice chromoly steel-framed bicycle. Either the Jamis Satellite Sport road bike or the Jamis Coda Sport hybrid bike will do just fine. The Jamis Coda is an award-winning hybrid bicycle that is an amazingly comfortable ride. It is also a very fast and nimble bicycle. Since its frame is made of chromoly steel, it will last for decades, if kept dry. The Jamis Coda will accept tires anywhere from 28 to 38mm in width. It can also be easily fitted with both fenders and rack.

Good Luck!

-Slim

www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/satellite/12_satellitesport_rd.html

www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codasport_rd.html
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Old 12-14-11, 09:53 AM
  #13  
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Jamis does make a good bike so I would check them out of you can.

Don't get caught up in frame material, they all have their pros and cons so it only comes down to personal preference. For your intended use any frame material will suffice.
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Old 12-14-11, 01:13 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by 4.11 View Post
Jamis does make a good bike so I would check them out of you can.

Don't get caught up in frame material, they all have their pros and cons so it only comes down to personal preference. For your intended use any frame material will suffice.
I agree....don't get caught up in the rhetoric from certain member(s) about the benefits of a steel frame - much overrated.....
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Old 12-14-11, 06:04 PM
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fairymuff
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+2 on the tiresome rhetoric. To say that the record is stuck would be an understatement...
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Old 12-14-11, 11:27 PM
  #16  
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Out of your choices I would say the Trek 7300. I picked up my 7200 used to use as a commuter and its not a bad bike at all if you want comfort over performance. It can be a little sluggish if you are carrying alot of stuff though. If you want something a little faster in that price range with front suspension I would say go with an 8.2 or 8.3 DS. I have the utopia which was renamed 8.4 DS in 2012 and couldn't be happier with it, very fast and smooth on bumpy roads.
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Old 12-16-11, 01:06 AM
  #17  
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Hey there Jabamgl!

Saying frame material is not important, is like saying your choice in batteries is not important. Some batteries just plain last longer than others and are more dependable. Aluminum is good for a finite period of time. However, it would be rare for an aluminum-framed bicycle to last for decades with daily routine use due to the relatively short fatigue life of aluminum. Steel-framed bicycles traditionally last for decades, if kept dry. They are a true investment!

Aluminum would be a better choice if you live near the ocean and your bike is subjected to a moist and salty environment. In general, chromoly steel is by far a superior bicycle frame material than aluminum.

Good Luck!

- Slim


www.brightspoke.com/c/understanding/bike-frame-materials.html

www.talu.com/materials.php

Last edited by SlimRider; 12-16-11 at 01:11 AM.
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Old 12-16-11, 08:44 AM
  #18  
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There is a lot of talk on these forums about the fatigue life of aluminum and yet no actual pics showing the failures or how long it took to happen.

When discussing steel frames why is there always the caveat that you have to keep it dry? this is proof it has its weaknesses and therefore not the "best" material after all.

When it comes to frames you pick what will perform for the intended use. If I was going to pedal across the USA I'd want a steel frame, if I was entering a race I'd want carbon fiber. The further away you get from the extremes of the sport the less frame material matters.

All frame materials have their good points and bad points, neither of which ever trumps proper fit and what you can afford.

The reason there are no old bikes made from aluminum is not because the aluminum didn't last it's because the technology and metallurgy from the "old days" wasn't conducive to aluminum being used as a frame material.

Steel was cheap and easy to work with and that is the real reason it was used back in the day, and the reason it is used today. This doesn't mean it is bad it just means it is another choice.

I have a 10 year old Cannondale aluminum frame and after doing duty as the general family cruiser it is now doing duty as a single speed mountain bike. So far no cracks, and I am not worried there will ever be any.

Not hatin' on steel here, I've owned steel framed bikes and will own one again one of these days.

Last edited by 4.11; 12-16-11 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 12-18-11, 04:40 AM
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You should try the avanti inc 1. it does not have a suspension fork but is surprisingly smooth due to its geometry
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Old 12-18-11, 07:53 PM
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Originally Posted by 4.11 View Post
I have a 10 year old Cannondale aluminum frame and after doing duty as the general family cruiser it is now doing duty as a single speed mountain bike. So far no cracks, and I am not worried there will ever be any.
How many miles on that frame? How hard do you ride? Do you ride standing and really push on that frame? There's a guy at work who has broken several frames, both aluminum and carbon fiber. Probably puts on 8-10k miles a year all on road.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by a1penguin View Post
How many miles on that frame? How hard do you ride? Do you ride standing and really push on that frame? There's a guy at work who has broken several frames, both aluminum and carbon fiber. Probably puts on 8-10k miles a year all on road.
A guy at work huh? guess that proves it, aluminum frames shouldn't be used . Seriously though any material can break, even steel, there is no "best" material, only what is best for your application.

This frame I have probably has around 6k miles, it has been run hard but it never gets wet and is stored in a heated garage in the winter.

For this post we are talking about a first time rider who really doesn't need to be weighed down in the frame material debate, let this guy get a bike, start riding and then he can decide what his preference is.
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Old 12-18-11, 11:43 PM
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Arguing steel vs. aluminum is worse than arguing grap jelly vs. strawberry jam in a PBJ sandwich. As long as the bike is quality, frame material is in the eye of the beholder. My preference leans to the CroMo steel side, but I've ridden some damn fine alloy bikes too. In the end, try a bunch and take the one home that feels right to you. We're not living with it, you are.
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Old 12-19-11, 07:46 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by Ron B View Post
(The comment re: front suspension, I respectfully disagree...I find that it doesn't hinder/slow us down etc. at all - and when you hit a 'bump in the road' it helps a good deal - especially with bad shoulders/arthritis etc.).
I find that front suspension adds weight and reduces pedaling efficiency, resulting in slower speeds for the same effort, but as you say, it can make for a more comfortable, pleasant ride if you're not in a big hurry and have bumpy surfaces to navigate. There's definitely a place for it.
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Old 12-20-11, 01:34 AM
  #24  
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Hello to all replied and cared and readl. I'm very sorry it took me a long time to post back.

I'm reporting back from my research. I have to say here that finding a perfect bike is a lot harder than what I thought. It seems that all the bikes I had tried felt very similar to each other. Trek FX was lighter but its gears did not shift smooth like Giant Escape. Now, when I said lighter, I meant 1 oz lighter (Trek FX 26lb & Giant Escape 27lb). I think I like the Giant Escape better. Haro "something" was similar to weight but its brake was superior (I mean it stoppped in shorter distances and surprisingly, I liked it).

However, I need to try following bikes.

Diamond Insight
Jamis Coda
Fuji (no idea)
Avanti inc 1.O (it looks to me australian, no dealer in the states)

The dealers for these bikes are in 40-65 miles.

Specialized Sirrus was not in stock for me to try.

Thank you again all.
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Old 12-20-11, 10:02 AM
  #25  
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By the time you travel around looking at all those different bikes you have probably added a few hundred dollars to your price tag in gas and time.

As was eluded to earlier, many of the recommendations here are simply preferences of those making the same. As I have fairly recently gotten back into cycling after a 15 year hiatus I have faced much the same choices as if I never rode before, except that I had preconceived notions about frame materials, components, and even riding styles that were left over from when I used to look through catalogs and hang out at a bike shop when I was a kid.

What I have found is that there are so many choices and so many pros and cons and overlap in bike style and uses that I just bought a couple and rode them both, changing out parts as I went along. I have sold the ones I don't need on eBay and used spare parts to experiment with other builds. It has made me a better mechanic than I would be just maintaining one bike and has been a lot of fun to boot. Sure, I wasted some money in all of it, but so is being stuck with a bike you want to upgrade. Having tried a lot of bikes in person will make you better at buying online too because you should be familiar with what geometry works for you.

For me, I found that a flat bar cyclocross conversion with a few sets of wheels with different tires works best for the rail trail riding that I do. When I was a kid that bike would have been just called a hybrid... 1 chainring or 3 up front shouldn't change that.

Good luck.
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