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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, all;

I'm new here so I thought I'd ask a few questions before I actually buy something. I'm looking for a bike to fetch groceries, do errands up to around 12 miles and ride for fitness. I am in no way a hardcore bike guy. I've tried road bikes but they're way too uncomfortable for me. I need something in the hybrid/comfort bike realm. I don't want to go all the way comfort because I'd like the bike to be a bit nimble and quick, but I don't really want a true hybrid either because I'll never take it off pavement.

Unfortunately my budget is pathetic. I'm looking in the $250-$350 range and there ain't much. At this point the two main contenders are a Diamondback Kalamar from Dick's and a Giant Cypress ST from a LBS.

I know most advice would point me away from getting a bike at Dick's but it's definitely the cheapest one. I think maybe a Giant Cypress DX would be a good decision but I really don't think I can come up with the extra cash.

I'd really appreciate some advice from more experienced riders. If I get the Diamondback will I hate it in 2 months? Will it last a couple years until I decide to upgrade or will it just sadly deteriorate? Is the Cypress, even the ST model, a better choice? Is there something out there I'm not considering? What would you recommend?

Thanks for your time.

P.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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12,350 Posts
Go with the Giant. Even though the Cypress is steel vs the aluminum Kalamar, the bike itself is probably a bit better. And I wouldn't worry about the weight difference, since the steel will most likely give a smoother ride. Giant is the largest manufacturer of bicycles in the world, and there's a decent chance they even make the Kalamar.

Diamondback is no longer a real player in the bicycle industry.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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Well if you read my post below you would see that you can pick up some good deals on Craigslist at least it seamed like a good deal to me. I am 64 years old, and it is hard to give up my comford bike Jamis Explorer 2. I am sure with time I will be rideing the Cannondale quick 6 more.
 

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Younger than Hack
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Purple, go with the LBS. The advantage of having them to back the bike up are more than worth the money saved by purchasing the bike at Dick's.

You can still by the bike at dicks and have the LBS work on it but it would still be better to start out with a bike built by someone who knows bikes and is looking for you to return and tell people about them.

Dick's and other big box stores know they have buyers they are not concerned about customer service like your LBS will be. Plus each time you ride you will have the thought in the back of your mind that the bike you are on helped support your local community.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I imagined that the overwhelming response would be to go with the LBS and avoid Dick's at all costs. I've been to one of my three LBS and the baseline model they had was (I believe) a Specialized Globe. It looked pretty sweet but at $400 it was out of my range. I've checked another LBS website and they deal in Giants and advertise the Cypress ST which is right around what I'm looking to spend. I'm heading there tomorrow to check out their selection.

If it comes down to a Cypress, and I find a bit of extra cash lying about, is it worth it to upgrade to a non-ST Cypress? The R or the DX? Or should I just stick with the basic ST as I'm pretty much a brand new rider?

Any other suggestions I should consider? LBS #3 in my town deals in Treks. I've looked at their stuff online and I haven't really seen anything in my price range.

Thanks, everybody, for your replies. I appreciate it.

P.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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I would say that you should be able to deal on the price as the 2010 are comming out I was offered a bike for 1/3 off so there is some room to deal
my.02
 

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I would definitely check Craig's list. You'd be amazed at how much more bike you can get for the same amount of $. Many people impulsively buy bikes and then never ride them. You get a bike that is basically new (except for the dust) for half what it cost new. You do have to wait 'til a suitable bike comes up though.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
So I spent today shopping around and test riding. Turns out the Cypress is not for me. It's a bit to cushy and upright. After a ride I decided I'd like something with a bit more performance. My favorite by far was the Trek 7.1 FX. It seems to be everything I need. I was surprised by how much more aggressive it was than the Cypress. Only problem is the shop didn't have one in my size. I'm a pretty short guy, with stubby legs, but I have a long torso. The 15" was reasonably comfortable but I'm told on longer rides I would really appreciate the extra cockpit length on a 17.5". So now I'm emailing stores in surrounding towns to find out if any of them have one. Hopefully by Monday I'll be making a short road trip, followed by a leisurely test ride, concluded with me packing my new bike into the car. Wish me luck.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
My inseam is about 29" but my reach is disproportionately longer. A few years ago I had a road bike that had to have a longer stem and I never really liked it. The 15" bike felt a bit too small. If it were a mountain bike it would've been perfect. Since it's gonna be for asphalt only I think I'd be better off with the 17". We'll see how it fits.
 

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Cycling for life
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Our lbs has the Specialized Globe on sale for 350 right now on the 09. We got one for my wife and its fantastic. Plus she got to ride a half dozen bikes, they the service there is awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ok, so I've discovered one more contender. One LBS has ordered the Trek 7.1 FX in my size for me to try. However, at another LBS I found a Specialized Crosstrail. It's the basic, cheapest model. I didn't test ride it because it looked a lot more like a mountain bike than a hybrid but I've been reading reviews of it today online. People seem to LOVE this bike, especially as a commuter. It get high marks for quickness on pavement, coupled with the ability to eat up light off-road stuff that might occur on a commute, such as gravel, construction lots, curbs, grass and packed dirt. I didn't want front suspension, and the Crosstrail's fork doesn't lock out but it is adjustable to a pretty stiff setting for pavement.

Anyone have any experience with this ride? I'm very interested now and wish I'd taken a test ride. As I've said, I'll be almost exclusively on pavement but it'd be nice to know I could cut through a vacant lot or hit an easy dirt trail if I needed to. It seems more versatile than the Trek.

Again, thanks to all.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I forgot to mention that the LBS with the Crosstrail offers free lifetime tuneups. The Trek shop doesn't.
 

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Cycling for life
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mtndoc has posted in several places here about his crosstrail and how well it performs. I would take the time to go back and give it a shot.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thanks for your help, everyone, especially mtndoc who took time out to PM me and keep answering my asinine questions. I finally ended up with a bike today. I tried to forget about everything but how the bikes felt when I rode them. I just closed my eyes (not literally, of course) and decided to pick the one I felt the most comfortable and at home on. When I got home I had a beautiful new '09 Trek 7.2 FX in electric blue. Couldn't be happier so far.
 
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