Help! Buying a Hybrid bike... brands.. who to believe!

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Help! Buying a Hybrid bike... brands.. who to believe!

Postby cloudgirl » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:27 am

Hi,
I am in the process of buying a bike but need some help!

I am keen to cycle to work (only a few km, no bike path) and also to join social cycling groups. I dont imagine I will ever do much off road. I also want to fit a rack to the bike so I can cart groceries around etc.

I have taken a flat bar road bike for a test drive but am uncomfortable and would prefer a 'comfort' bike. I have been looking at light weight hybrids.

I have been to various bike shops in Brisbane and have been recommended Avanti, Mongoose, Diamondback and Trek.

I would appreciate it if anyone out there could tell me if I am on the right track and whether there is much difference between the brands.

THANK YOU!!!!!

Cheers
Jenny
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by BNA » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:35 am

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Postby sogood » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:35 am

They are all reputable brands with dependable frames. I would also add Giant in that group. However, the difference will be in the quality of the specific components included in the various models. Bike companies are now rather tricky and would put on some well known group components on those locations where it's easy to notice and select cheapie parts for those less noticed areas.

I would suggest that you get some specific models and then list out the groupset of all the included components, including wheels. I think there's enough knowledge here to help you further once you have that level of information.
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Postby Bnej » Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:39 am

Good brands are much of a muchness. They're all orders of magnitude better than department store bikes.

Flat bar bike you should be paying between $400 and $1000, depending on your preference for weight, components, shiny bits.

What was making you uncomfortable on the bike you tried?

To fit a rack, you just need to make sure it can take one when you buy it. The rear triangle needs attachment points, but most bikes you look at will have these.
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Postby MJF » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:27 pm

Happy with my Shogun Metro GS - just clocked 1000km in two months for one broken spoke... and I weigh 121.5kg.

The LBS reckons it had the best running gear in the sub-$1K range... but they're a Shogun dealer so are probably not reliable. The only ongoing issue is a gear selection issue - the adjustment of the rear derailleur is very tricky and getting up/down shifts to work consistently has been a challenge.
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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Mar 06, 2007 12:41 pm

Hi Cloudgirl,

Females have a different body shape to males the same height, hence there are female specific bikes with wider seats, shorter top tubes, narrower handlebars, less reach to the brakes etc.

It could be that you were testing male bikes.

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Postby LuckyPierre » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:31 pm

Hi - here's a plug. Find a Avanti dealer and check out the comfort bikes that they have designed in association with Sarah Ulmer. One of my friends has one and is very happy it. She is saving her penny's to move up to aroad bike
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Postby moosterbounce » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:09 pm

Ummm...from a girl that has an Avanti Blade Sport and a Scott CR1 (not the girl's version), I would have to say that SOME women are better on a women's specific frame. Personally, I feel cramped on them...though I'm pretty unique :wink: (husband says I'm weird :shock: ).

Women's specific frames are being bought by guys who are quite short as the more compact styling suits them. Shame so many WS designs are pink though, and they all seem to be called Diva!!

It sounds like, as well as trying a women's specific frame, you will need to ride a whole bunch of bikes (what fun!!). Bear in mind though that by changing some stuff like the stem length, a bike can "fit" much better.

You should also look at Cannondale too as they have some somen's specifc comfort frames. I've also heard good things about the Sarah Ulmer brand (Sub I think) that are available at Avanti outlets.

One thing I found (that will probably cause an argument :D ) is that I don't recommend a shockie on the seat post. In my opinion, anything that changes your geometry whilst riding (leg length will alter when post is compressed or not) isn't good. I thought it was a great idea until I used it. Might have been my weight or a cheap component...I dunno...just my thoughts.

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Postby beauyboy » Tue Mar 06, 2007 5:53 pm

If you are looking at Avanti's and Avanti Sub bikes Lifecycle at Normanby Fiveways. If you are only cycling a few ks to work Avanti Discovery might work for you, mine has traveled 4000ks so far and still works great.

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Postby MJF » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:27 pm

moosterbounce wrote:One thing I found (that will probably cause an argument :D ) is that I don't recommend a shockie on the seat post. In my opinion, anything that changes your geometry whilst riding (leg length will alter when post is compressed or not) isn't good. I thought it was a great idea until I used it. Might have been my weight or a cheap component...I dunno...just my thoughts.

Moo...


And with my Tioga suspension seat post, if you pull it out and turn it upside down, you can adjust the preload up so that it almost doesn't move. I do, however, agree with you - it's a bad idea for serious cyclists, as the seat height will not stay consistent. I've kept the suspension seat post as I'm hoping the 'give' in the seatpost is protecting the rear wheel somewhat.
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Postby Bnej » Tue Mar 06, 2007 8:37 pm

You can get good suspension seatposts, like the Cane Creek Thudbuster, but they don't come on cheap bikes.

Most of the ones you get add suspension in the wrong direction (towards the pedals rather than the back wheel), tend to stick as a result of this, and generally don't do what you want.

A sprung saddle is probably a better bet than most suspension seatposts.

I have a sporty enough Bontrager CRZ comfort saddle, which has well designed padding that soaks up road shock but still supports my weight pretty well.

Of course, if you're riding smooth roads, you don't need anything. It's nice to have some shock absorption there if you're riding broken/coarse/potholed/patched roads though.
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Postby stryker84 » Tue Mar 06, 2007 10:06 pm

heya, i've ridden a Shogun Metro SE myself, and found it quite comfortable. it got stolen after a month though, that kinda sucked, but it allowed me to move on to an Avanti Blade Sport, flat bar roadie, which i'm enjoying even more!

If you're looking at comfort/hybrid bikes, then yeah, I think that Shogun are good value, at least, from my experience of looking around.

Also, I'm riding an Avanti (albeit flat-bar road) now, and if it's anything to go by, the Sarah Ulmer Brand (SUB) bikes should be pretty good, though I don't know how the price stacks up. (also, their flat roadie's a nice pastel blue colour, which I personally like, but that's another issue!). Can't say I ever considerd one of them though, since, well, being a guy and everything, I'd get some pretty weird looks asking to buy one, and then riding around on it with the big "female symbol" paintwork...
Also, with both Avanti and Sarah Ulmer, I was looking at their flat-roadies, so no idea how their hybrid/comfort range are.

In summary, what I have experienced:
SHOGUN - Metro series, from experience, good quality, reasonable price
AVANTI - my current ride, flat bar road, if their hybrids are of similar quality then they should be fine
SUB - no idea, but if Avanti are anything to go by...

Only can reiterate what the others have already said, go out, try each of the bikes, (make sure they fit you properly as well!), and then go with the one that suits you best. Most important, rather than all our advice, is what you personally love riding! Remember, decide with your heart first, then with your pocketbook.
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Postby cloudgirl » Wed Mar 07, 2007 9:21 am

Hi Everyone.. Thank you for all of this great information! Much appreciated! Will go for some test drives this weekend.
Cheers
Jenny.
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Postby Halfanewb » Wed Mar 07, 2007 12:15 pm

If your on the northside jenny, stop by hoffy cycles in sandgate just opposite the railway station. They have a large range of trek cannondale lemond and scott , they have allways been supportive and allways have time to talk to a customer about the right bike for your needs. if its a shogun your after, bums on bikes strathpine/redcliff have a good range of flatbar bikes.

happy shopping :)
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