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Junior Member
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600 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Scenario: 45 yr. old male, active, no medical/mobility issues. 68.5" tall/ 165 lb. (inseam 30") Looking for suggestions for a new bike. Riding mainly on paved trails at local park, some hard pack trails, some road riding.

Want something comfortable, but nimble as well. Tired of my slow Comfort bike. Also, if you have read my other thread you know I am not happy with the stiff ride I am getting from my current bike.

I will be riding mostly every day/every other day for 20-30 mi. at a time. I am fairly mechanical and can do all the set-up myself, if I would decide to purchase a bike online, except not so sure if I have the patience to true up wheels!

Give me some ideas/suggestions/feedback/choices. Looking to spend no more than 1K. I am leaning towards a Hybrid w/ front suspension at least, lightweight, and plan on outfitting it with a Thudbuster.

Thanks in advance! :)
 

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Senior Member
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sounds to me like you may wanna go with a hybrid of sorts, or maybe a mtn bike to throw some more road friendly tires on.. though if your comfort bike is to stiff of a ride for you, not sure how you'll feel about those options
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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I just looked at a Giant Roam today. Don't know if it's what you're looking for, but it got my attention as a good commuter/fitness/light trail bike.
 

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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter #4
Funny you mention the Giant Roam; I was looking at a Giant Sedona earlier today that I really liked & it is a similar bike. You guys are more experienced than I am.

Differences between the two? Prefer one over the other?
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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Giant is the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world - they build for other companies too. So I think that gives them an edge in value. Where "value" once meant "inexpensive", here it means you get a little more for your money. Of course, I haven't sold them in years, so I'm not as familiar with each one any more.

That said, the Sedona looks to have much lower spec, along with 26" MTB wheels, as opposed to the Roam with better components and 700C wheels. If you plan on riding fast, the Roam wins. If low speed comfort is more important, go with the Sedona.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank for that info.

I have seen several guys riding Giants on the trials, I know they are very popular. A friend has recommended a Giant to me as well.

I have been doing non-stop research over the last couple of days, so as you might imagine, I have discovered BD by now.

The pricing is very appealing & I read great reviews on them. I suppose the forums take a dim view of them as opposed to purchasing from the LBS, but I must say in these economic times when every penny counts...I am mighty tempted.

For example, I was looking at the Motobecane Hybrids; well equipped/ disc brakes, front susp./27 spd./ 29er. for less than a fiver.

Too many choices...like a kid in a candy shop! :D
 

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although im a newbie here is my experience. I recently decided to get my first road bike. I too saw the appeal of BD.com and decided to purchase my first roadbike through them. the bike I picked was part of the dawes line. and I too did a lot of research beforehand. the first 2 weeks I thought it was the greatest bike. I put just over 200 miles on it. but after 200 miles I was having a lot of saddle issues (I couldn't do more than 12-15 miles without being in incredible pain), and wasn't satisfied with the shifters, and then realized I wanted more out of my first road bike. so between a new seat, paying for a fit, and changing the shifters and crankset. the difference was about the price of an entry level road bike at my LBS.

I then called aro
 

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sorry hit send on accident. so anyways I then called around my LBS and asked if I purchased a new bike if it included a fit. believe it or not some bike shops don't include a fit even with a brand new bike purchase. I found a reputable LBS that included the fit. so I dumped the dawes and came up with the difference and went to my LBS. they helped me pick out a few bikes that were in my range and test ride. I picked the bike I wanted with the features i wanted and felt the most comfortable on. they did a fitting and away I went. I got home did an 8 mile ride and experienced some numbness in the hands, feet, and package areas. I called them and they told me to bring it back in to adjust the fit. they literally tilted the seat slightly down in front and lowered it .5cm. I will say I couldn't be happier with this decision. I am now hitting 20-30 mile rides with little to no discomfort (still adjusting to the seat).

all in all I think BD offers good bikes at good prices but if you decide to go that route make sure you are researching all the components of the bike 1 by 1. in my case I'm much happier even though I had to spend a little more with my felt bike over the dawes. for example it took me 2-3 weeks and much discomfort on the dawes to hit 200M. on the felt that was fitted properly it took me 4 days to put over 100M and I feel very comfortable to the point where I just want to ride all the time now. I believe that BD offers good bikes and good deals however in my learning experience I believe that going to my LBS was the right decision for me. Choose wisely and good luck.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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I know Mike from Bikes Direct on a more personal level than most. Since I sold him some advertising on another site more than five years ago, we've kept in touch. He's a good guy, that sells bikes at a fair price. Some people may not like his business model, but if they have that much free time on their hands, maybe they should go after WalMart and their business model instead.

Bikes Direct is a great option for those that know what they are buying, and understand the limitations of not buying directly from a bike shop. LiveFree could have just as easily spent some money getting a proper fit, and been happy with the Dawes.

At the end of the day, it comes down to getting educated about what you want/need in a bike, and making sure it fits you. As I was looking for something to replace my Cannondale, I found the Dawes BullsEye 29er. Single speed MTB sex right there.
 

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If I were you I would go with a cyclocross or a freeroad bike. Unlike a hybrid, they have drop bars which would give you more hand positions. You will be able to ride fast on the road and won't have to worry about taking it off the road.
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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4,311 Posts
I would make a list of the things I wanted then see what meats the list as close as I could, you will have to give up some maybe. That is what i did on my last bike. I ended up with a steel frame touring bike a Jamis Aurora Elite, I wanted more comfort and some low gears and disc brakes, it allso has a fue outher things I wanted like a short top tube for a more upright rideing posishion .
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I just read the Hybrid bike speed question thread, and now I'm thinking that a Hybrid is not what I am looking for.

I have my Ironhorse Comfort up to 58 mph. on a good downhill, :eek: and maybe easy cruising at 18-20 on flat pavement - maybe a bit more, I can't remember now. maybe it's so fast downhill because it's so heavy! :D

For some reason, I thought the Hybrid would be more nimble/faster than what I am seeing in that thread.

I definitely need to make a trip to the LBS to get a feel for a few different models & see what appeals to me.
 

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I wasn't trying to bad mouth BD. as I said I think they offer good bikes at a good price certainly much better than you will find in any retail department store chain. and admittedly I did not do enough research when I made my purchase from there. I was just saying that in my experience I was much happier going to my LBS and learning first hand from more experienced riders. as far as a fit goes yes I do assume that a proper fit and possibly a new seat would have solved my seat issues. but when it came down to swapping out components I then decided to see what my LBS had to offer and was happier with the decision I made and choosing that route.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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I wasn't implying anything other than it sounded like you just needed to get your bike fit, regardless of where it came from.

Having bought three motorcycles online (not cheap ones either), buying a bicycle over the internet is painless and stress-free for me.
 

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Junior Member
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Discussion Starter #16
I am trying to decide whether to sell a kid or a dog to get the Roam. ;)
LOL - it is cheaper to feed the dog :D

I like the Roam too, I keep looking at the pics on the website.

Also, I should mention something here; I make most of my purchases online and rarely frequent any local places...because of ...well...two things;

* Pushy, over the top salesmen selling on commissions.

* Pushy, over the top salesmen that are in a hurry and don't want to spend time with the customer.

If it looks like you're just window shopping they don't take much serious time with you. And, if your out to save a buck and not spend at least $1500 + with them & also buy accessories, they seem to not spend much time on you.

After dealing with this mentality for so long, I've just gotten fed up with it. It's much easier/less stress to do online research and make an educated guess on a purchase.

I don't mean to broad brush every shop with the same brush, but it seems to be this way all too frequently. From bikes, to guns, to guitars, rush you in & out.

That being said, I am like most people, I like to go into a store and "kick the tires" on whatever product it is I am interested in.

When the atmosphere of the store is not a pleasant one it just pushes people away.

Maybe it's just my area...:confused:

I know, buying "sight unseen" can be sketchy but for the most part this has worked out very well for me.

BTW - on the cyclocross or a freeroad bike suggestion; not sure if I am wanting to go back to the classic "10 speed" handle bar setup. Although, I know that type of bike is faster.
 

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fair enough hack. I just didn't want to get off on the wrong foot with any of you here. you have all been very kind and informative to me. dually noted coming from the bmx world into my first road bike I just felt more comfortable learning with a more "hands-on" approach from an experienced rider at my LBS than researching everything myself.
 

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Total noob (& forum admin)
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There was once a time when I really didn't know much. But that was a long time ago. ;)

I realized it's been nearly a year since I set foot in a bike shop, and I am pretty clueless about most models. Of course, if you have camping gear, sock or running shoe questions...

My LBS has a tag on the Roam with some $700 or so price, and then the sale price is $619. That would impress me more if the Giant website didn't say "U.S. Average Retail Price: $620".
 

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Yesterday tired old man, Today retired old man
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4,311 Posts
I think Hybrid is a lose term I have two thay are not at all alike my Fuji is a flat bar road bike, fast and nimble my Cannondale is a plane jane bike that just keeps on going
 

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Honestly, I do not think you need to worry about your reasons for not visiting an LBS.

If the shop is snooty, arrogant, etc. courtesy calls for you to walk out the door and head over to the next shop. A good LBS should cater to riders of ALL levels, not just the "hardcore" set.

I bought my bike from an uppity shop because I didn't know better. After going to a "good" shop, I have never been back there. You'll find most employees at a shop are not there for the money, it's a job out of passion, not monetary gain.

I would head to 3 or 4 shops, just to get a feel for what is out there in the product line/price range you are interested in and what kind of vibe the shop puts out.

Also, keep your ears OPEN. When we bought my wife her first bike, I was dead set she needed a cruiser/beach cruiser. The salesman convinced me a hybrid would be better for her. I listened and it's been bliss for her, a beach cruiser that I was dead set on was going to be a very, very wrong tool for the intended job.
 
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