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Looking to get a bike to do rail trails and road biking... my LBS have Raleigh, Trek, Cannondale, and Janis in the area...

It's been pouring all week so I haven't been able to test drive a things, but I've been soaking up the reviews...

I'm looking to spend $750 to $1000... I guess I'm presently most interested int the Trek DS series, the Quick CX series, and the Janis Coda series? I'm intrigued by the 'steel frame' mania some seem to have...

My main concern is that these are too far towards 'mountain bikes' and I won't really enjoy road biking on them...

I'm a beginner cyclist and heavy... 220lbs 5' 7"... Hoping to do fitness biking/commuting as well.

Any advice?

Javasligner
 

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You'll spend less starting with a cheap bike and if ya stay with it, buy a better bike. I am on a used old Huffy, and still not ready to invest 300 dollars. And i have lost 15 pounds, in a month. If ya stick with it, get a better, high dollar bike.
 

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You will find that most of the dedicated road bikes have tires that are too skinny to use on many of the rails to trails with fine chat covering them. I would go with no less than a 32 with a 38 being optimal. You will find those wider tires on hybrids which are a great choice for a first bike due to their versatility. You can find wonderful hybrids in the Treks and the Cannondales with the Trek 7.3 and the Cannondale Quick series being solid, great bikes that should last you for a long time with minimal maintenance. I ride with the roadies occasionally on my Quick 3 and do fine although I can't keep up with the leaders of the pack. That's not the bikes fault as much as it is the bike engine's fault and also the fact that roadies will never let a hybrid pass them if possible. You should be able to easily get something in your price range that will be a wonderful first bike and then the choice is really up to you after doing some test riding. I totally agree with VoyagerAl about starting with a lower dollar bike (something in the 500-600 dollar range) and riding it for a season or two....your views of where you ride and what you want will definitely change as time goes on and then you can spring for that bike of your dreams. You don't need suspension forks, carbon fiber frames or disc brakes to get a great bike. No matter what you buy, ride the hell out of it and keep smiling.
 

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Some hybrid bikes more on the road end of the spectrum are the Cannondale Bad Boys, the Jamis Codas you've mention and Trek FX series. The Trek DS and Cannondale Quick CX are nice bikes but as you mention, leaning more towards the mountain bike.
 

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Hi,

I too have an interest in this subject. I am currently in the market for an additional bike (I currently own a good road bike) so I can ride on a variety of surfaces. I am looking for a more versatile bike to suit my personal needs. This new bike will only be used for about 10% of my riding time as I will continue to ride my road bike. I have pretty much decided that a hybrid bike, without a suspension fork, will not be satisfactory for the off-road type surfaces that I plan on riding. However, a mountain bike is too much of a departure from my road bike. With all this being said, I have chosen a hybrid with a suspension fork. I have ridden a few of the top brands that I have access to (thru my local bike shops, Trek, Giant, Jamis, Specialized) and the Jamis Allegro X series looks like the the bike I will probably be going with.

My only advise is to ride as many bikes that you have access to and get the bike that has the best "feel" to you. What may be a great bike to someone else, may not necessarily fit your particular needs.

Hope this helps,

Tom
 

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If your wanting more towards the "road" side, I REALLY like my new Jamis Coda Sport (2012 model), it sprints nicely and it's first bike I've owned in a LOOOOOONG time that seem to "like" to go UPHILLS!! It has a smooth ride and it's very versital. Now if your wanting something a bit more "off road", then the Specialized CrossTrail series or the Jamis Allegro X, series, (Jamis Allegro= ROAD/Jamis Allegro X= more OFF ROAD), jmho. offers more "bang for the buck" than the Trek DS series, (again, jmho, ymmv). Like most have stated, go out and RIDE as many as possible in different brands and styles and "one" will TALK to you and you'll take it home! ENJOY. :)
 
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