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Old 06-04-08, 08:21 AM   #1
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Advice Wanted: Starter Bike for NYC

I'm closing in on buying my first bike as an adult, and am working on a $300-550 budget. I'm looking for something that will handle the urban streets (potholes, curbs, stop-and-go traffic, etc) as well as at least some light trails. Because it's more or less my first time riding in a while, and my first time ever in an urban environment, I want something that's going to offer stability (while still allowing me to get good exercise, do the occasional commute, etc).

I've heard that some people actually go with Mountain Bikes, while others strongly recommend the hybrid. At this point I'm narrowed to the Trek 3900/4300, the Trek 7.2 FX/7.3 FX, and the Specialized Sirrus.

Any thoughts on the best way to spend my money...and whether it's worth spending the extra money on the higher-grade models (4300/7.3/Sirrus) vs the lower ones (3900/7.2)?
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Old 06-04-08, 12:55 PM   #2
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Here is the best answer I can give you:
Buy the bike with the BEST components possible. It will ALWAYS cost you a lot more to upgrade later.
That said,
A hybrid should do you fine for commuting or centuries and even some less than perfect roads, pot holes etc. You can get some with shocks that will soften your ride regarding pot holes. If you avoid the holes, you can skip the shocks as they add to the price and add weight.
Mt Bikes are for off road riding, but will handle crappy weather such as rain covered roads, slush or snow.

Most bike shops will get you in the right direction and if you want a better bike later on the re-sale on the lower end quality made bikes (trek, specialized, bianchi etc) is still pretty good.

Good Luck

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Old 06-04-08, 01:27 PM   #3
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Hybrids are the worst of both options. The geometry makes them uncomfortable for longer road trips and don't handle trails well.

The Hardrock is a very decent mtb for the price, can either lockout the front fork or swap it for a stiff one for street riding plus get slicks put on and have a second set of tires for off road.

Can also look around in the Cyclocross forum here and check out some of those options. I ride a roadbike in the city with no problems in terms of road roughness (and I'm a Clyde (big guy)). Those are bikes that can handle road and trails well - beefier fork and frame to handle the roughness but also light and fast. May be slightly out of your price range but might be the better choice. In the Clyde FAQ in my sig I have a section on different kinds of bikes that might be useful to browse through, the narration at the top may also be useful to you.
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