Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

bundybiker
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Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Mon Nov 20, 2017 3:08 pm

I am looking to upgrade from my Cell Yarra 1.0 to something with a little bit more grunt. I ride to and from work 3 to 4 times a week plus do a Saturday morning ride, at the moment I travel 100 to 150 kilometres per week. The three bikes I have decided on comparing are the Specialised Sirrus 2018 Alloy Disc, the Trek FX 2 (from the reviews on youtube this looks like the sort of bike I am after, like the wireless built in facility as well plus the internal cabling). My third option is a Marin Fairfax SC 4 (just looks good and I think would have the speed I am after). Whilst they vary in price these 3 bikes appear to meet my needs. The trip to and from work is over some bumpy roads, a wooden bridge and a bike path along the edge of a river. I do not really go off trails but as the roads aren't the best in regional Queensland I need something that has some give in it. I also find my Cell bike to be a little on the slow side so was hoping one of the three I have chosen would give me a bit more zip. As I don't know too much about pros and cons of crankshafts, gears, seats etc. I was hoping for some feedback to limit my choices from 3 down to 2 or 1.
Unfortunately the opportunity to try them all out is not possible in Bundaberg so am relying on research, reviews and youtube to assist me with my purchase. If needed I can get to Brisbane for possible tryouts.
Bundybiker

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A_P
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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby A_P » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:48 pm

From those 3, i'd choose the Marin.
Disc brakes over rim. Internal cable routing, Higher spec groupset over the other 2.
The Marin is only 2x9 , but then Bundy is pretty flat.
700c x 28 might be on the narrow side, but you should be able to fit something wider when they wear out.
All of those should be lighter than whar you are riding on now
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bundybiker
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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Mon Nov 20, 2017 4:54 pm

Yeah I am leaning that way myself.
Not sure about the loss of gears though. I know Bundy is reasonably flat but the wind does pick up every afternoon and there are a couple of small hills I climb on my way to and from work. Maybe I have to harden up ? Thanks for your input

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Mububban
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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby Mububban » Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:25 pm

bundybiker wrote:Yeah I am leaning that way myself.
Not sure about the loss of gears though. I know Bundy is reasonably flat but the wind does pick up every afternoon and there are a couple of small hills I climb on my way to and from work. Maybe I have to harden up ? Thanks for your input


"Harden up" ie grinding a low cadence gear up hills will kill your knees.

With only 9 speeds, you'll have bigger than ideal gaps between gears so sometimes will be spinning too fast or too slow rather than goldilocks "just right" but 48-32 on the front and 11-32 on the back means you can climb up a wall in your easiest gear.

Hydraulic discs too....nice bike for under a grand!
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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Mon Nov 20, 2017 11:01 pm

Fairly sure the Marin will be a better bike overall. The only MTB I've ever considered buying was a Marin Muirwood, 20+ years ago. The Specialized and Trek have weirdly obvious cost-cutting measures in their spec (Tektro mechanical discs or a Microshift front derailleur etc). The Marin sounds well-specced and no garbage-level Tektro brakes. I think the gearing (11-34 and 48-32) will be fine for the terrain you're describing. And being a disc-braked frame, you should be able to squeeze 32mm tyres in there if you want.

The other alternative would be to mod the Cell bike to suit your needs better. Currently your Cell has Promax V-Brakes, a 7sp 14-34 freewheel, 42mm Kenda Komfort tyres, if it's still original. Changing the brakes to a set of Shimano or Avids with SwissStop Viking pads (I've been told these are good) and swapping the tyres for say a set of 35mm Schwalbe Marathon Racers or something similar, would probably make the bike a bit quicker without affecting your traction or handling to any great extent.
The freewheel on the other hand is a problem. Shimano do make a 13-28t but will make little discernible difference.

Hmm, after typing all that...think you should just go and buy the Marin.
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bundybiker
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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:36 am

A lot of technical stuff there, not sure it all made sense to me. The Cell I purchased 3 to 4 years ago and i feel I am ready for an upgrade hence the reason I was looking at the Marin, Trek and Specialised. I do want to spend a bit more money and understand that changing tyres etc can give me more what I want to suit my needs but I do not know too much about the gears etc. My current Cell changes well and I have used all but the 3 easiest gears so I don''t think the loss of 3 gears will upset me.

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby Mububban » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:06 pm

bundybiker wrote:A lot of technical stuff there...I do not know too much about the gears etc. My current Cell changes well and I have used all but the 3 easiest gears so I don''t think the loss of 3 gears will upset me.


Haha, before I got a road bike I paid zero attention to gearing. I just knew I had 3 x 8 but knew nothing specifically about teeth.

The Marin has 48-32 on the front and 11-34 on the back.

48-32 on the front - the biggest front ring has 48 teeth for going fast on the flats, 32 is the smaller front ring for going up hills.
11-34 at the back - 11 is the smallest rear gear, 11 teeth for going fast. 34 teeth is the biggest "granny" gear, for spinning your way up long hard climbs.
If you've got 11 gears in the back, the gap between each gear change will be less noticeable. If you've got 7 gears that cover the same spread of ratios, you'll get bigger gaps as you go up and down gears. Finding that perfect gear is easier the more gears you have.

The Cell Yarra has triple gearing on the front, a 48-38-28 so you'll lose your easiest gearing combinations using the front 28, but the 32 should still be doable.

For comparison, a compact road bike "climb up any mountain easily" gearing setup uses 50-34 on the front gearing, and 11-32 gearing on the back. I'm unfit, skinny and weak, and I can climb hills with this gearing combination.
General use road bikes tend to come with semi-compact 52-36 on the front (faster on flats and downhill, harder on climbs) and 11-28 on the back (losing the easiest 1 or 2 gears for climbing).
Pro riders use 53-39 and 11-25 or 11-28 depending on terrain of that day's stage.

If you don't even need the 3 easiest gears on your current bike, then I think the 48-32 on the front of the Marin should be okay. I say this as a very low powered casual commuting rider, not a hardcore athlete :)
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bundybiker
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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 12:31 pm

Cool, thanks for that explanation. I feel I have learned something today and will be monitoring my gear changes and selections with a little bit more care now.
I do have another question about what it means when it says it has 27 speed drivetrain. Does this mean it has the facility to add extra cogs to the front or am I missing the point altogether.
Although I have been riding for 3 to 4 years, I basically get on and start riding, if things get too hard I change to an easier gear but lately i have found that I want to ride further and get fitter. I am just over 90kg's and 183 centimetres.

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby Duck! » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:21 pm

"27-sp" means 3 on the front x 9 on the rear. In reality there's some degree of "crossover" in the gear ratios, meaning you can find certain gear ratios, or very similar ones, on different chainring/sprocket combinations, reducing the actual number of distinct gears from the nominal 27. Hence the more modern reference to 3x9 or whatever.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:29 pm

The description for the Marin says 27 speed drivetrain, but I have been informed that there are only 2 x 9 gears 18 for this model of bike ??

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby Mububban » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:31 pm

bundybiker wrote:Cool, thanks for that explanation. I feel I have learned something today and will be monitoring my gear changes and selections with a little bit more care now.
I do have another question about what it means when it says it has 27 speed drivetrain. Does this mean it has the facility to add extra cogs to the front or am I missing the point altogether.
Although I have been riding for 3 to 4 years, I basically get on and start riding, if things get too hard I change to an easier gear but lately i have found that I want to ride further and get fitter. I am just over 90kg's and 183 centimetres.


You're not alone, I've been riding bikes for fun and transport since childhood. I'm almost 40 now and only cared to learn about gearing and teeth etc in the last 12 months :D It simply doesn't matter for most riders. Just change up or down when it gets easy or hard :)

X number of gears simply means "front gears multiplied by rear gears" so if you've got 3 front gear rings, multiplied by 9 gears at the back, you have a 27 speed bike.
Modern road bikes have 2 at the front, 11 at the back, 2 x 11 = 22 gears.
Kids bikes or modern mountain bikes often come with a "one by" drivetrain, meaning only one front ring for simplicity, multiplied by X gears at the back. My kids have 1 x 7, modern MTBs will often have 1 x 11 or 1 x 12. Although many still come with 2 gears at the front.

To compensate for losing the gear range of two front chain rings, the cassettes on the back of "one by" mountain bikes are ENORMOUS :D They look like dinner plates. But that gives you most of the range from fast on the flats to easy uphill climbing, with only 11 or 12 gear combinations rather than 22.

This is a 10-50 cassette :shock:

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bundybiker
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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 1:35 pm

Cool, thanks for that really helpful. At this stage looks like the Marin has won convincingly.

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby RobertL » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:23 pm

bundybiker wrote:The description for the Marin says 27 speed drivetrain, but I have been informed that there are only 2 x 9 gears 18 for this model of bike ??


Welcome to the world of online bike advertisements, where fairly important, basic information like that is often wrong.

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:26 pm

Thanks for that, thought the Marin only had 18 gears but then reread the advertisement and thought "what the". Can you recommend a decent bike shop in Brisbane ??

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby RobertL » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:49 pm

bundybiker wrote:Thanks for that, thought the Marin only had 18 gears but then reread the advertisement and thought "what the". Can you recommend a decent bike shop in Brisbane ??


As far as I can tell, the only shop that sells Marin bikes in Australia is in Melbourne: https://www.bikes.com.au/

They do ship all over Australia, though.

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Tue Nov 21, 2017 4:55 pm

Yeah I saw that but thought as I am in Brisbane next week I may visit a decent bike shop and have a chat with them. Any thoughts ??

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby RobertL » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:39 am

OK - of the stores that I have personally visited, or have had recommendations, I would suggest:

If you want to look at Trek bikes, I can recommend Yellow Jersey at Woolloongabba.

Just around the corner is Planet Cycles, who stock Specialized.

My local Giant store - Tom Wallace Cycles, at Lutwyche - is also good.

There are also 99Bikes shops all over the place. They have a decent range, and I've always got good service there.

I also like Bike Obsession in the city, and I ride with Lifecycle who are at Highgate Hill. They are both very good shops, but they may not have much stock in what you are looking for.

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Re: Specialised versus Trek versus Marin Fairfax

Postby bundybiker » Wed Nov 22, 2017 10:44 am

Thanks for your assistance

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