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Discussion Starter #1
Over the last week I have read a hundred forum posts and searched for reviews, ratings, etc on bikes. My last bike was a heavier Giant 5+ years old and the frame was WAY too big for me so I didn't ride it due to feeling uncomfortable. The bike before that was a road bike and before that a Raleigh mountain bike which was also heavy. I believe both mountain bikes had steel frames.

Anyway... The majority of my riding will be done on paved trails and roads but there will be an occasional ride in the forest preserve. I don't plan on jumping any tree stumps or racing up or down any dirt hills so I figured that the hybrid was the best choice for me with what I wanted to do with it...

After doing much research I have decided against disc brakes and rear suspension. I am still very much up in the air about front suspension and if I were to get it I would want a lockout function (typically available on bikes out of my price range)..

PRICE RANGE about $400 USD

I want an aluminum men's frame with double wall rims. The LBS's in my neighborhood sell Giant, Raleigh, Schwinn & GT predominantly.

The last bike I looked at was a Schwinn Sporterra Sport quoted at $419 which included a 10% discount due to it being a 2011. (good price?)

I guess what I am asking is if there are other bikes in this price range that I should be looking at aside from this Schwinn. I hate the seat and don’t LOVE the look of the bike but I can change the seat and live with the look of the bike if the function is there…

Soooooooo.. What do you all think?
 

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i own a gt traffic 4.0 and like BUTmake sure that the specs for the gt you are interested in have the same specs at your lbs
that are in their catolog. mine didn't i got different size tires, not a problem, but the brand name was the same and freewheel had a different ratio(change it out for the one that was listed in the catolag.when i ask the dealer all he said "that's what they sent me".
gt quality is suspect.since i made the changes my gt is a better ride.
best of luck on your search
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks Sky!

I rode a couple different bikes the other day and it looks like so far I am in favor of the 2012 Giant Escape 1 ($499). I also really liked a Specialist bike they had there but it was a bit over my budget. It had perfect tires for what I wanted to do with it but it was around $60 more even though it was on "clearance".

What do you guys think of SDRAM products? Shimano was on Specialist but it was the entry level and SDRAM was on Giant. Sales guy said that SDRAM was a Chicago based company with great customer service and a good product. Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks fez!.. Do you ride on dirt at all? That is the ONLY thing I am worried about with the 2012 Giant Escape 1... Slicker thinner tires and no suspension fork.. I don't plan on going crazy off roading but I do plan to ride a forest preserve bike trail or 2.. Advice?
 

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I have done dirt trails and bike paths with no problems at all. I plan on doing the Virginia Creeper Trail with it this summer. The Escape handles everything I throw at it with ease. Think of it as cyclocross bike.

In my opinion, you really don't need a suspension fork on paved trails and roads. Most of the time you will have it locked out. For dirt trails, it 'might' smooth out the bumps a little. Or you could just put thicker tires and get the same result, without the added weight of a suspension fork.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
fez.. Still kinda torn.. A Specialized Ariel in my medium frame size should be at the bike shop later this week for me to try. I think at this point it is between the Ariel and the Escape 1... The Ariel has the suspension fork and the tires are a bit more aggressive. But the parts on the Giant Escape 1 are a bit better.. So it's a tough decision!!.. :(

So just gonna go take a ride on the Ariel and see how it feels.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Arrrgggg!! fez!!!.. lol.. Now you threw another bike in the mix!!.. heh.. I guess I put the Ariel in the mix because it has the suspension fork and I like knowing that I can unlock if I NEED it.. And lock if not needed.. I am looking at the Roam2 now and the thing I do not like about it is that the women's frame is too slanted and will not allow a water bottle.. This was a major factor for me that drove me nuts with women's frames... The Ariel and Escape are almost at the men's style. If that all makes sense?
 

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My gf is the same way. She does not like the step through design most women's bikes have. In most cases, you can get men's version and they work just fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Yep!.. Only issue with that is for those of us with short legs.. lol.. So I try to find a happy medium!..
 

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The disadvantage of a suspension fork is the added weight. The advantage of a suspension fork is the suspension. Never lock the suspension out, it will not make your bike lighter, it will only allow you to experience the disadvantage without experiencing the advantage. Would you lock out your car's suspension on smooth roads if you could? No.

Suspension forks are heavy. You don't need one for the riding you are planning to do.
 

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Arrrgggg!! fez!!!.. lol.. Now you threw another bike in the mix!!.. heh.. I guess I put the Ariel in the mix because it has the suspension fork and I like knowing that I can unlock if I NEED it.. And lock if not needed.. I am looking at the Roam2 now and the thing I do not like about it is that the women's frame is too slanted and will not allow a water bottle.. This was a major factor for me that drove me nuts with women's frames... The Ariel and Escape are almost at the men's style. If that all makes sense?
You can ride the men's version.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Alright.. Well I went to the bike shop tonight to see the Ariel that the shop just got in my size.. I sat on it, rode it down the block, looked at it a whole bunch and "himmed & hawed" about it.. Ok.. Obviously I didn't LOVE the bike.. I second guessed it and told the owner I would think about it.. I left there and went straight to another bike shop a couple miles away.. A Giant dealer, thanks to fez.. :p

I had to see what this Roam thing was all about.. All they had was men's frames and a 2011 with SRAM shifters.. It didnt take me long to see that I cannot use SRAM shifters, my hands are too small and apparently my thumbs are too short.. lol...

So that took a couple of my options away...

I took a chance and ordered a Roam 1 W in a small frame hoping that it will fit in a couple weeks when it arrives, if it doesn,t the bike shop owner said that it isn't a problem and that he will just sell it to someone else and order me the next size up..

So with that being said.. I DID spend MORE than I wanted to.. But.. All in all.. I only spent $30 more than I intended to on the Ariel and I believe that I got a MUCH better bike out of the deal..

:)

Thanks fez!!!! (And all else who helped in this decision) . I truly appreciate it!!!.. I have been obsessing over this purchase for a couple months now!... Can't wait until I get it!!

P.S. Here were my final options.. As I said, I went with the Giant Roam 1W...


http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/SBCProduct.jsp?spid=62258&scid=1102&scname=Multi+Use

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/roam.w/9055/48952/
 

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Wow the Roam 1W is a really nice bike. congrats! Let us know how the fitting goes and ofcourse post some pics!
 

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Good for you Innocence. I find that Giant has the best value for the dollar.
 
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