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

Suspend the forks or keep them hard - beginner question

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

Suspend the forks or keep them hard - beginner question

Old 07-29-13, 05:23 PM
  #1  
minorhero
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Suspend the forks or keep them hard - beginner question

Hello world,

I am getting ready to buy a new bike and I wanted to know some opinions on whether I should buy a bike that has suspension on the front tire or none at all.

Currently I am riding a 2002 Trek 800 Sport (all original), so it is a steel frame with no suspension and has V-brakes. It also has the twisty gear shift. I want to upgrade my bike mainly because I find myself changing gears without meaning to when going up hills or down. While I'm at it I might as well get a whole new bike since technology on bikes seems to have improved quite a bit over the years.

I ride mostly on paved bike paths but occasionally my paved bike paths are in really rough shape and I end up going through dirt, a little mud, and sometimes on pea gravel. I want a bike that has some room to grow so I could go through a bit of forest, but I will never be big into mountain biking. I am riding my bike almost entirely for fitness reasons. I will never be taking this bike down a rocky trail hopping over things I could not roll over normally. I currently ride about 10 miles round trip when I go out but I want to expand that a bit as I get into better shape.

I went to two local bike shops and unfortunately got two different answers. One bike shop sold Giant bikes and after telling the fellow there the above he brought out two bikes, the Roam 3 and the Escape 2. This fellow indicated that he thought the Roam 3 would be the better bike for me with its front suspension. The other shop I went to sold Kona bikes and this fellow indicated the Dew and Dew Plus as the best bikes. They had a Splice on hand but the fellow indicated he thought I would like the Dews much more once I road test them. Their test rides would be on pavement though since that was what was around them.

I am left thinking that each bike shop steered me towards the better bikes they had in their shop as opposed to the best type of bike overall. So now I come seeking opinions. At what point in terrain do you wish you had suspension? And at what point on long rides do you wish you did not have have suspension? If hauling around those extra few pounds of suspension only comes into play at 40 miles of peddling, I think I am going to be ok with suspension. But if I am going to notice a big difference at say 15 miles and never need it for relatively smooth forest paths with tree branches every so often, then maybe I don't need it after all.

Thoughts?

BTW, price range is around 600 or so, and I am a short man at 5'5". I couldn't road test today because I came from work and was not dressed for it.

Last edited by minorhero; 07-29-13 at 05:27 PM.
minorhero is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 10:32 AM
  #2  
SPiN 360
Senior Member
 
SPiN 360's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 131

Bikes: 2013 Giant Roam XR1

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
In the $600 price range, suspension forks are probably not worth your time. Better to go non-suspension.
SPiN 360 is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 10:36 AM
  #3  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,396

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 188 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6865 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 227 Times in 185 Posts
Elbows and knees are good suspension , see a bump, ahead? get out of the saddle.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 10:58 AM
  #4  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
At the $600 price point, I would consider just repairing your Trek 800. Not clear what the problem is. Technology has not changed all that much in 11 years, at least at your price point. For sure there are lighter faster bikes than the 800, but $600 gets you a decent, basic hybrid or mountain bike these days, sort of what $300 or $400 got you in the early 2000s. It will have a better frame than your 800, and 8 speed shifters instead of your 7 speed, and perhaps lighter wheels. Better but perhaps, not orders of magnitudes better than what you have.

If you do decide on a new bike, my personal preference is for a solid fork, unless you ride really rough trails, and if that is the case, just go with a mountain bike rather than a hybrid.

Last edited by MRT2; 07-30-13 at 11:11 AM.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 01:05 PM
  #5  
minorhero
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sounds like the consensus is to go with solid forks then. Now that that issue is out of the way I can focus on which brand of bike etc. I know the kona dew gets a lot of good press but I can't get into its rather plain looks. I want something with a more modern look to it.

I won't be updating my trek mostly because my understanding is that replacing the shifters and derailers etc is a major upgrade and by the time I do that I will likely be in range of a new bike. Instead I am going to sell my trek and use the money to offset the purchase of a new bike.

Last edited by minorhero; 07-30-13 at 01:13 PM.
minorhero is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 02:05 PM
  #6  
Jimi77
Used & Abused
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 314

Bikes: GT Avalanche 2.0 + Burley D'lite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Sounds like the consensus is to go with solid forks then. Now that that issue is out of the way I can focus on which brand of bike etc. I know the kona dew gets a lot of good press but I can't get into its rather plain looks. I want something with a more modern look to it.

I won't be updating my trek mostly because my understanding is that replacing the shifters and derailers etc is a major upgrade and by the time I do that I will likely be in range of a new bike. Instead I am going to sell my trek and use the money to offset the purchase of a new bike.
Depends on what equipment you replace it with. A set of Alivio trigger shifters run ~$30, but if you want Deores, then you're spending ~$75 or ~$130 for a set XTR shifters. Personally, I'd probably update the bike if it's comfortable to ride and the only compliant is the shifters.
Jimi77 is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 02:30 PM
  #7  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
Sounds like the consensus is to go with solid forks then. Now that that issue is out of the way I can focus on which brand of bike etc. I know the kona dew gets a lot of good press but I can't get into its rather plain looks. I want something with a more modern look to it.

I won't be updating my trek mostly because my understanding is that replacing the shifters and derailers etc is a major upgrade and by the time I do that I will likely be in range of a new bike. Instead I am going to sell my trek and use the money to offset the purchase of a new bike.
Not even close, and unless the derailleurs are a problem, don't see why you would need to replace those. Really nothing wrong with a nice, steel frame. If it were me, I would make a few tweaks to the 800, maybe put $50 or $100 into it, and save up for something clearly better than your basic $500 or $600 hybrid. $800 gets you into a really nice hybrid, and $900 to $1,000 gets you into something really cool that would be a big step up in every way from your 800.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 02:31 PM
  #8  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Jimi77 View Post
Depends on what equipment you replace it with. A set of Alivio trigger shifters run ~$30, but if you want Deores, then you're spending ~$75 or ~$130 for a set XTR shifters. Personally, I'd probably update the bike if it's comfortable to ride and the only compliant is the shifters.
Alivio shifters should be more than enough for an 800. XTR seems like maybe overkill.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 02:41 PM
  #9  
minorhero
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The derailers are a problem sadly. I thought the bike just needed to be adjusted. But in reading reviews of my bike online the consensus is that the 800 has sloppy gear shifting and that certainly has been born out by my experience.
minorhero is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 02:47 PM
  #10  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
The derailers are a problem sadly. I thought the bike just needed to be adjusted. But in reading reviews of my bike online the consensus is that the 800 has sloppy gear shifting and that certainly has been born out by my experience.
Shimano Alivio rear derailleur ($25), which is a step up from your current (Altus) derailleur, and is about what you would get with, for example, the popular Trek Fx 7.2, which retails for $550, or just under $600 with sales tax. http://www.jensonusa.com/!9Lf27nsKWB...FY9AMgod9BoAVw

Last edited by MRT2; 07-30-13 at 03:39 PM.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 07-30-13, 04:49 PM
  #11  
Jimi77
Used & Abused
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Posts: 314

Bikes: GT Avalanche 2.0 + Burley D'lite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
The derailers are a problem sadly. I thought the bike just needed to be adjusted. But in reading reviews of my bike online the consensus is that the 800 has sloppy gear shifting and that certainly has been born out by my experience.
Alivio shifters and derailleurs would run ~$100, otoh a bike equipped with Alivio components would be in the $600 range.
Jimi77 is offline  
Old 07-31-13, 05:25 PM
  #12  
minorhero
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I appreciate all the responses and it does look like I could upgrade my bike a lot cheaper then I thought.

That being said, I am still definitely going to buy a new bike. Today I went and test road a 2012 Trek 7.2, 2011 Trek 7.5 and 2012 Kona Dew Plus. I really liked the Kona Dew Plus and all the bikes had a significantly different and better feel then my Trek 800 Sport. The 7.5 felt like it was literally half the weight of my 800. I almost bought the Kona Dew Plus but I had done a lot of research on what the bike "should" have cost as a 2012 model and the bike shop I was in (which is a semi-local chain store) was unwilling to come down very far off the MSRP. If I am going to pay too much I rather do it in a truly locally owned bike shop.

After riding the bikes a bit I think I may even want to try out some "urban commuting" bikes as well before making my decision. Has anyone ever taken something like the Trek Allant on a gravel path? I'm not talking about something that has potholes every 30 feet, but a relatively maintained path. If someone is from Maryland or Virginia I am thinking of the C&O Canal trail.
minorhero is offline  
Old 07-31-13, 05:47 PM
  #13  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
I appreciate all the responses and it does look like I could upgrade my bike a lot cheaper then I thought.

That being said, I am still definitely going to buy a new bike. Today I went and test road a 2012 Trek 7.2, 2011 Trek 7.5 and 2012 Kona Dew Plus. I really liked the Kona Dew Plus and all the bikes had a significantly different and better feel then my Trek 800 Sport. The 7.5 felt like it was literally half the weight of my 800. I almost bought the Kona Dew Plus but I had done a lot of research on what the bike "should" have cost as a 2012 model and the bike shop I was in (which is a semi-local chain store) was unwilling to come down very far off the MSRP. If I am going to pay too much I rather do it in a truly locally owned bike shop.

After riding the bikes a bit I think I may even want to try out some "urban commuting" bikes as well before making my decision. Has anyone ever taken something like the Trek Allant on a gravel path? I'm not talking about something that has potholes every 30 feet, but a relatively maintained path. If someone is from Maryland or Virginia I am thinking of the C&O Canal trail.
So basically, you just want a new bike. That is cool. No need to justify it to internet strangers. Sometimes, you just want something shiny and new.

The 7.5 retails for twice what the 7.2 retails for, and thus is clearly the better bike, though much more expensive. If it comes down to the 7.2 or the Dew Plus, I would go with the Dew plus, assuming both fit. Trek makes a fine bike, but the 7.2 is kind of boring.

Last edited by MRT2; 07-31-13 at 05:57 PM.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 07-31-13, 06:29 PM
  #14  
minorhero
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
The 7.5 retails for twice what the 7.2 retails for, and thus is clearly the better bike, though much more expensive. If it comes down to the 7.2 or the Dew Plus, I would go with the Dew plus, assuming both fit. Trek makes a fine bike, but the 7.2 is kind of boring.
I did like the Dew Plus more then the 7.2 but really the gap between them didn't feel too far apart to my inexperienced eye. I would have gone for the Dew Plus if I could have talked them down a bit more. The 7.5 was a 2011 model and they were selling it for 700 some odd dollars. Essentially about 100 dollars more then the MSRP of the Dew Plus. I just was not interested in spending that much. The gear shifting was noticeably smoother on the 7.5 as one would expect for a bike that has a MSRP 400 dollars more then the Dew Plus.

At this point I want to test ride some other models and see how they stack up to the Dew Plus which I am going to consider as setting the bar.
minorhero is offline  
Old 07-31-13, 06:46 PM
  #15  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
I did like the Dew Plus more then the 7.2 but really the gap between them didn't feel too far apart to my inexperienced eye. I would have gone for the Dew Plus if I could have talked them down a bit more. The 7.5 was a 2011 model and they were selling it for 700 some odd dollars. Essentially about 100 dollars more then the MSRP of the Dew Plus. I just was not interested in spending that much. The gear shifting was noticeably smoother on the 7.5 as one would expect for a bike that has a MSRP 400 dollars more then the Dew Plus.

At this point I want to test ride some other models and see how they stack up to the Dew Plus which I am going to consider as setting the bar.
The Fx 7.5 for $700 is quite a deal. A new one retails for $1,100. If you like that one, maybe get it.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 07-31-13, 07:04 PM
  #16  
minorhero
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
The Fx 7.5 for $700 is quite a deal. A new one retails for $1,100. If you like that one, maybe get it.
It wasn't exactly 700 it was somewhere in the 700s... I want to say closer to 770 or some such. I honestly didn't pay close attention there because it was outside the range I wanted to be at. Yes its still a pretty good deal at that price but I don't think I noticed a HUGE difference between the 7.5 and the Dew Plus. The gears were smoother but that is about it. Plus the 7.5 had V-Brakes and I definitely liked the Dew Plus's disc brakes. I have seen online both at big box stores and on forums (heck even this forum) of folks getting the 2012 Dew plus in the low 500s to high 400s. This shop wouldn't go below 570 for the 2012 Dew Plus.

I am the kind of guy who likes to haggle and they just weren't haggling enough for me. Plus like I said, if I am going to pay too much for a bike I want to get it from a truly local bike store.
minorhero is offline  
Old 07-31-13, 07:15 PM
  #17  
MRT2
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 5,866

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast, 1997 Bianchi Advantage, 1994 Trek 930.

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by minorhero View Post
It wasn't exactly 700 it was somewhere in the 700s... I want to say closer to 770 or some such. I honestly didn't pay close attention there because it was outside the range I wanted to be at. Yes its still a pretty good deal at that price but I don't think I noticed a HUGE difference between the 7.5 and the Dew Plus. The gears were smoother but that is about it. Plus the 7.5 had V-Brakes and I definitely liked the Dew Plus's disc brakes. I have seen online both at big box stores and on forums (heck even this forum) of folks getting the 2012 Dew plus in the low 500s to high 400s. This shop wouldn't go below 570 for the 2012 Dew Plus.

I am the kind of guy who likes to haggle and they just weren't haggling enough for me. Plus like I said, if I am going to pay too much for a bike I want to get it from a truly local bike store.
I guess. I look at it this way. Tomorrow is August 1. Labor Day is just a few short weeks away. Weather will be getting cooler soon. Do you want to save $50 or do you want to be out riding your new bike? If you wait until after Thanksgiving, you might get a great deal, but you will have missed out on the best part of the riding season.

Also, not sure that for what you do, discs are really necessary. V Brakes work well and are simpler and lighter. Discs would be good for those who ride in wet conditions often. IMO.

Last edited by MRT2; 07-31-13 at 07:19 PM.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 07-31-13, 08:21 PM
  #18  
minorhero
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Posts: 39
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Oh I'm not going to be waiting till thanksgiving. I will buy a bike in the next week or so. Its not like this is the only bike store there is.

I agree that I don't "need" disc brakes. But I also probably don't "need" a nice shifter either etc. But the disc brakes on the Dew Plus definitely felt better then the v-brakes on either my 800, the 7.2 or the 7.5.
minorhero is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
tonythomas
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
8
06-12-12 10:46 AM
Steveharvey73
Introductions
2
05-15-12 12:10 AM
dannyg1
Folding Bikes
7
03-23-06 11:03 AM
OC Roadie
Road Cycling
8
12-27-05 06:33 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

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