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Suggestions on a pair (male & female) of Dual Sport/Hybrid bikes‏?

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Suggestions on a pair (male & female) of Dual Sport/Hybrid bikes‏?

Old 11-21-14, 10:19 AM
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Suggestions on a pair (male & female) of Dual Sport/Hybrid bikes‏?

My wife and I are looking to get a pair of hybrid bicycles. Iíve been cycling since I was 15, but have not gotten on a bike in a couple years. My favorite bike to ride around the city was a late 80s Peugeot Triathlon- biopace crank, 16 speed (shifters located on frame). I believe it was an alloy frame, but was considerably light. My wife has not ridden in years. We both weigh around 165lbs, and are looking for some good hybrid bikes to get us riding again. We tested some trek 7.2 fitness bikes, and the 8.3 dual sports, and loved them- I just didnít like the $650+ price. Iíd like to keep our purchase in the $400-500 price range. Motobecane caught my attention due to their lower prices, but Iím not sure how they compare to the aforementioned Treks in weight/ride quality. All the LBS's recommendations seem biased by the bikes they carry, so I'd like to get a suggestion from consumers. Thanks,
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Old 11-21-14, 11:35 AM
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The FX 7.2 easily meets that criteria. I paid $425 for a 2015 FX 7.2 in September. It was a $25 discount off of their standard price because I had purchased a Trek Verve 2 from them a couple of weeks earlier for my wife.
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Old 11-21-14, 12:44 PM
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Each manufacturer will have similar bikes, and they may make slightly different component mixes to get to the price points they offer, so ride a few and see which bike (and shop) you like best.

Unless you are going to be doing off road, or very rough roads, my opinion is that the shocks etc of a DS are mostly going to add weight. I ride a 7.3 FX mostly on gravel and crushed stone and it does fine.

The Motobecanes I know of are sold by BikesDirect, and from what I have read in various forums here, they are decent bikes, but you won't get to test ride, and you will either need to do your own assembly, or find a shop willing to do it for a fee.

In my opinion, your price range is a good one for hybrids, although as with any type of bike, the more you pay, the better/lighter it will be.

My advice is to check out various shops and test ride whatever they have that llooks like you would like it, and is in your price range. When you think you are close, see if you can urge them to let you take a long test ride (long defined loosely however you decide to define it). As mentioned above, I would avoid shocks etc, but if you or your wife feel the need/desire for certain configurations then make you decision accordingly.
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Old 11-21-14, 01:40 PM
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In Trek's bike Lines , Dual Sport = a suspension fork , FX is made around not having one and so weighs less.

bikes direct bypasses shops, (and services after the sale) talk to them directly, .. it's between you and them.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-21-14 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 11-21-14, 05:21 PM
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I bought my wife a 7.2 two months ago and she loves it. The WSD frame fits her well, solid components, pretty light and $450.00. You may get them cheaper if buying two.
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Old 11-22-14, 05:37 AM
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If you NEED suspension, by all means buy it....... If you don't ,,,,, you are much better off without it! The FX in Trek, Sirrus in Specialized, and Escape in Giant, are all wonderful bikes. Others have similar offerings.

Buy the most bike you can afford, as better is usually worth it in the long run.
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Old 11-23-14, 09:50 AM
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My wife and I bought Giant Roam and Rove. Hybrids with shocks on the front. On pavement we lock the fork and on dirt roads and trails we unlock them. These are our first bikes. We like them and ride them a lot. If you buy something you don't like you will not ride it. Like others have said,buy a better bike and you will be happier.
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Old 11-24-14, 10:45 AM
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If it works out... DEFINITELY buy the same brand of bike, or at least from the same shop. While most shops can't push the price of current models too low, they will usually give you a 5-10% discount on a second bike if you buy two. I ended up really liking the value of the Roam 2 -- it had everything I wanted in a more expensive bike for much less (everything except a remote lockout fork, but I can still lock out on the fly), while my GF really liked the Specialized. Over time, I've come to appreciate the better things about both bikes -- I think the Specialized paint job and accessories (pedals, grips, seat) are just a hair better than Giant, while Giant's "hardware" is better -- derailleur, shifters, brakes, fork. Not that either are deal-breakers -- just depends which you value more. Unfortunately there wasn't a store selling Giant and Specialized in our area. Most important, check out how the frame fits you -- it's the one thing you really can't change all that drastically on a bike, even if you want to spend a lot of money. The Spec and Trek were great bikes but the slightly more compact/upright feel of the Roam sold me. I also just don't really like Specialized's paint choices on the Crosstrail -- a matte black (which I find boring) or a very loud blue/green/orange (which I just think won't age well). Looked at 13/14/15 and saw the same every year.

I guess my point is -- don't get in a situation where one of you compromises too much on a bike while the other gets exactly what they want! But depending on which brands you choose, you might be able to get both from the same shop and save a little extra money.

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Old 11-24-14, 09:09 PM
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There are many here that have more experience than I do. I recently went through a similar process 3 times. Bike for me, bike for my other half, then another bike for me. Here's how it went. Prepare, long post ahead.

I decided I was dropping jogging and going back to biking, and went about educating myself and riding as many hybrids I could. I didn't want to go more than roughly $500 or so. I rode every bike around. Trek, Giant, Cannondale, Kona, etc. Rode some that were near $1000, and some that were $350-$400. Mostly there was not allot of difference between them. A $800 Trek FX rode nearly identical for a $400 Trek FX. I very nearly bought a Trek FX7.2, but they did not want to throw in lifetime tuneups etc that the other were, or even 10% store credit (one other shop was offering both), so I walked. Eventually I rode a Specialized Sirrus Sport, and loved the bike, but hated the seller. Eventually bought the same bike from another seller for almost 15% discount (nice thing about the common brands, keep trying and someone will crack and make you a deal eventually, some profit is better than a loss due to inventory costs). I LOVE my Sirrus Sport in Blue as I HATE Black and Grey bikes. That bike stood out for "me", but probable would not for everyone. I love the way it feels, and looks.

The other half bought her own bike later, and ended up with a Bianchi, which she also loves (Pink-Red BTW). She had learned much from my search and made a well thought out informed choice for her. She made her own choice, and I support that choice, and the shop where she bought it. So we have two bikes for the LBS.

But we do not have a third bike from the LBS. After several weeks I decided I wanted a Mountain Bike I could keep at work and ride with my friends (nothing trail serious, just fun). So back to riding bikes, but also very aware of Bikes Direct. Same process, similar range in prices. Even went back to the Specialized dealer that I did not like. In the end, nothing much stood out, except I did like the Cannondale Trail 7. It came in Yellow that looked very nice. I was looking for a reason to buy from the LBS. BUT, the size I needed would not be available in yellow until basically March. So it was a black bike or something else. No way in %^&$ I'm spending that much $$$ for something I hate the looks of. Then I noticed something.

Check out this pic of the Trail 7.


Now look at the Motobecane 427HT.


Outside of minor routing of cables, it's the same frame. After some digging BD frames are built by Kenesis, who makes many many many frames for many big names in the bicycle business. BD frames are built of the same materials, in the same factories, by the same people. What's more the 427HT has equal or better components (i.e. the Cannondale doesn't have lockouts). And before someone claims that the Cannondale has a better fork, pedals, tires whatever...... Guess again. Same stuff on all the other bikes in this general price range. Nothing elite with any of them. Only somewhat significant difference is the Cannondale is 700C wheels, and the 427HT is 650B wheels which may or may not matter to you. Guess what. It rides as well as the Cannondale did, and slightly better than some of the others, and I kept $200+ (including taxes) in my pocket for a second bike with better components. That is a very significant percentage of total cost. I really wanted to buy LBS, but just could not, and certainly not a $%%# Black bike.

Assembled it in about 1-1.5 hours taking my time enjoying the process. Be aware they ship the bikes with the forks turned around. I then tuned the gears (only the front needed it), and the brakes (again only the front), and it was ready to go. Wheels were true etc. I am hardly mechanically inclined, and lack patience to look at instructions most of the time. In fact patience and mechanical ability are about my weakest attributes. I am however good at solving problems, but there was very little to solve, and assemble was very intuitive. I refuse to pay a bike shop $40-$60 to tune my bikes that takes someone 10-15 minutes to do. Also assemble will typically takes someone that is practiced in a bike shop 20-30 minutes, so I'm not paying the $100-150 they want to assemble a bike. That is very poor value to me. In the future I will likely be going the BD route. Many will claim you loose the LBS support going this route, and the professional check up on assemble etc. At least locally, that is horse waste. Every bike I rode, but one had shifting problems etc. In hindsight it's obvious to me that all but one bike did not get that "professional service and support" everyone claims. They were just thrown together and put on the floor. The one exception was....... Specialized Sirrus that I rode. Probable why it stood out to me.

Take home IMHO, if you don't like the process or ideal of servicing your own bikes, go buy from the LBS of your choice, but make sure you get things like free lifetime tuneups etc as these take so little of their time. But for me, it isn't what I will be doing. I will be riding my Sirrus Sport, and my mean Green Machine 427HT, and loving them both. I have ZERO regrets with either. Just pick what sits best with you, and don't worry.


Last edited by quicktrigger; 11-24-14 at 09:23 PM.
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Old 11-25-14, 09:26 PM
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I'm not a weight-weenie, my DS bike + me weigh 250 and the 2 or so pounds the suspension fork adds is less than 1% of the total package so I really don't care. But I changed my tires from 700x38 75-100psi to 29er 700x48 35-60 psi tires and I really don't think the sus-fork even noticeably helps now. LIke I said I don't think the 2 pounds matters but I could've saved a hundredish and got a sirrus or 7 series and put the same tires on. (assuming they'd fit)

The bigger lower pressure tires may = slower, I've seen conflicting opinions on this, I haven't felt a difference or seen on my speedo but if you're buying a hybrid in the first place, you're probably doing it for fitness and seeing the sights like me, not training for a race, really doesn't matter if you're going 1 mph less or not, if that does matter get a road bike and go lots faster.

Edit: although about the most offroad things I ever really do with any regularity are taking quarterish-mile shortcuts through 2 mowed fields and jumping some curbs, I think I'd be fine doing either without suspension, esp with my new tires.

edit again: that olive drab paint on the 8.3 is so boss I was about to pay $80 more for it than my specialized.

edit the 3rd: I was looking at either motobecane elite edventure or elite trail for $200 less than what I paid while also being lots higher spec in places but got scared off by comments about them needing a tune before 1st ride or my own thoughts of something being broken right out of the box and not taking that 1st ride for weeks more. (also the motobecanes have round tubes that seemed boring + "cheap looking" to me vs hydroformed.)

Last edited by John Redcorn; 11-25-14 at 10:02 PM.
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Old 11-26-14, 10:31 AM
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Pretty much every bike needs some tuning out of the box, no matter the brand. It is not hard. Plenty of online video's to show you exactly what you need to do, and how. The ones I have found most useful are those from Art's Cyclery, as they have a video demo, but then also give you written step by step instructions. Plus once you learn how, that is one more expense you don't have to worry about. The tuning of brakes, gears, and turning the fork is all EASY. No matter which bikes you end up with, you would do yourself well to teach yourself these things.

As for bikes, John is correct IMHO. I will add a couple of items. Having both the Sirrus, and Motobecane with the wide tires, it is not noticeable as long as you ride one of the other. However, if I ride the Motobecane Mountain, then the Sirrus, the difference is noticeable, but not "serious". I would say the Mountain bike requires something like 5% more effort. How they handle is much more difference. Plus as stated before, there is very little difference between the actual ride of a $1000 bike, versus a $450 bike that has the same frame. To me it falls mostly into the category of marketing, expectation, and people wanting to believe they are better. People will spend $100-$200 for digital HDMI cables for auto and video setups and SWEAR it so much better. However, if you know/understand the physics and how these cable work, it is fundamentally impossible by the laws of physics as long as the $5-10 HDMI cable is physically intact. I will say this, the Sirrus is much more fun to ride on paved surfaces, or other smooth surfaces. The Motobecane easily wins on rougher surfaces. Their overall handling is much different, no matter the surface.

John, I completely understand your point on "plain" tubes looking cheap. There were in fact several bikes on BD I was not interested in largely for that reason. However, after paying close attention, many of the "name brands" have frames nearly identical on their "entry" level bikes. Often one formed tube, and one not so much. As in my example above, the Cannondale Trail and Motobecane 427 HT have very nearly identical frames.

Lastly, the other half very very nearly bought a Specialized Crosstrail. She LOVED the ride of those bikes. As for why she went with the Bianchi Cortina, I've not asked her. Probable it's because she liked the people better, the color, somewhat lower cost, and free lifetime tuneups. These later items can easily out weight most any real differences in bike models. I LOVE my Sirrus. But I would have bought another bike instead, if I have had to buy it from the dealer where I first rode it.

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Old 11-26-14, 01:42 PM
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I recommend you find a large, reliable LBS and go for test rides until you find the bike that suits you. For my first hybrid, I test rode Specialized Sirrus bikes starting with the cheapest, until I got to one that went fast enough to suit me. A big bike shop will have the best selection, which makes all the difference in the world. I bought my daughter a Trek 7.2 because that bike shop was closer to her house. Bikes need maintenance, so you may want to consider where you will get your tuneups BEFORE you buy your bikes.
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