Newbie Commutor Giant vs Avanti

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

Newbie Commutor Giant vs Avanti

Postby commi » Tue Jan 02, 2007 12:34 pm

I ride 2 - 4 times a week. To work mostly and occasionally to uni. I also ride around albert park lake on weekends. I haven't graduated to riding on open roads, with groups or anything.

I currently have a mountain bike? (cost about $200 5 years ago) from Melbourne Bicycle Centre in Prahran. Its really heavy, even though I've put some thinner tyres on. Gears can get hard to change sometimes with the old twist system. It works fine but I just want something newer to play with.

I ride on the road mostly, except for a short stretch of footpath and going up and down driveways. So I've been looking at flat bar road bikes. Not knowing anything about bike brands or mechanics of them, I've been recommended Avanti and Giant. I originally set myself around $500 meaning I could get a Giant CRX 4 and the Avanti Blade. (Is the Blade 8 lower or higher in the range?)

But after reading a couple of threads here I'm starting to think spending an extra $100-200 might be worth it. So now I'm thinking about the CRX 3 and Blade Sport (if that's the next model up)

Anyone know anything about them? Even 06 or older models? How do the two brands compare in this price range? I tried looking at the specs on their websites but they mean nothing to me. A guy at a different bike shop said CRX have better frames and something, while the Blades have better wheel sets and something. Is this true, and what does it actually mean? What about all the other parts aside from the frame and wheels?

I like the Blade but only because the handle grip looks nicer and has the horn thingys. I know I can add it to the CRX if I want them. I have them on my current bike and I use them when I'm cruising along the lake and occasionally on the road.

I'm also interested in getting rack and panniers put on, as I, like many others, are sick of the sweaty back. But just want to know if it makes it harder to ride with this setup on the back of the bike? e.g. with balance, weight distribution, heel being so close to the bags

I've so far been to a shop that mostly sells Avantis in Carnegie and a shop that sells both Giant and Avanti, in Prahran. These are the only brands these shops stock in flat bar bikes. But I went to the other bike shop in Prahran (where I got my current bike) and they have heaps of brands: Apollo, Diamond Back, GT, Malvern Star, Norco, Shogun and Merida. Some of these brands have similarly priced bikes, but I'm getting way too confused with the choices.
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by BNA » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:46 pm

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Postby moosterbounce » Wed Jan 03, 2007 10:46 pm

I have a 2006 Blade Sport as my commuter and I love it. The frame size may be an issue as they are small, medium and large I think. Mine is a medium and I am a little stretched out on it, but it suits my style.

My borther in law also has a blade sport - same year - and he fitted panniers to it no problem and he too loves it. The weight of the panniers was fine and he certainly welcomed not having to use a backpack in summer.

Sorry, but I can't compare the other bikes you are looking at. Hope it helps to know there are 2 happy customers!!

No doubt you will take lots of bikes out for a test ride. You may prefer the feel of one over another - go with what feels right.

Moo...
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Postby beauyboy » Thu Jan 04, 2007 7:51 am

To tell th truth it is like comparing a falcon with commadore.
The Blade 8 has an internalgear hub and for that reason it is around $800.
Well after looking at one site the difference between the Giant 3 and Avanti sport is $4. However one interesting thing with the Giant is that it comes with a adjustable handle bar stem. They both come with bum suspention.

That the best I can come up with, hope it was some help.

Donald
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Postby beauyboy » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:00 am

After looking thru the caterlog the Blade 8 is basicly the Blade sport fitted with a internal gear hub. However if the photos in the catalog are correct the Blade 8 come with a better seat suspention post then the Blade sport.

Donald

PS if you are looking for info on internal gear hubs there is a thread on this site about them.
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Postby commi » Thu Jan 04, 2007 8:25 am

Thanks for the input everyone. I think I will stay away from internal gearing at this stage as I understand there aren't gears suited for hill climbs (not that there are many hills where i ride, but just in case)

so its definately out of the CRX 3 and the Blade Sport (I'm going to test them this weekend and decide. I think looking at their specs they are much of a muchness.

Only thing is, like I said I kind of like the look of the Blade better, it has cool looking grips and already has bar ends, whereas I'd have to spend another $30-40 for them for the CRX, and the Blade is $30 cheaper retail.

I don't know anything about parts so don't know if one would cost more than the other to have parts replaced.

But then I seem to see more Giants on the road than Avanti (across all bike types)
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Postby europa » Thu Jan 04, 2007 9:58 am

You'll see more Giants on the roads because there are more shops selling Giants than Avantis - both are excellent brands, though you may prefer the 'exclusivity' of an Avanti :D

I wouldn't be put off by the internal gearing - it seems a great way to go for a commuter and we have some very happy owners on the forum.

I think you have narrowed your choice down to the point where you can safely take the bike that tugs at your heart most, the one you can park outside the coffee shop and stare at while your long black goes cold. Seriously, you should always buy the bike you fall in love with and maybe you've reached the point where you can let your heart make the final choice.

Richard

btw, love the Falcon vs Commodore line, though why anyone would own a Holden is beyond me :P
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Postby Bnej » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:25 am

commi wrote:Thanks for the input everyone. I think I will stay away from internal gearing at this stage as I understand there aren't gears suited for hill climbs (not that there are many hills where i ride, but just in case)


Don't know where you heard that from. I live in a very hilly area & have the slightly older Nexus Inter-7 hub, using a 34t chainring the bottom gear is 27 gear inches, roughly equivalent to most low road gearings (like 30t/30t). The 8 speed hub is far better again, with a wider range and smoother shifting. Best of all is how easy the gear indexing is - you turn a barrel to line up two red marks on the hub, then all the gears are indexed perfectly.

If you're looking for a commuter, the Giant CRX City, Avanti Blade 8 or Trek S300 or S500 are great bikes. You will have far less maintenance on hub gears than deraileurs, you can shift one handed, and you can shift down after stopping. You shouldn't rule them out. The gear range is similar to what you will get on your deraileur bike, but with more space between gears.
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Postby commi » Thu Jan 04, 2007 10:38 am

Bnej wrote:If you're looking for a commuter, the Giant CRX City, Avanti Blade 8 or Trek S300 or S500 are great bikes. .


Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm already stretching my budget by moving from my initial CRX 4 and Blade, to the CRX 3 and Blade Sport.
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Postby commi » Sat Jan 06, 2007 4:13 pm

I ended up getting the Avanti Blade Sport.

I didn't like the Giant CRX 3 frame. I didn't feel comfortable on the test ride. The distance between the seat and handle is a bit shorter than the Blade. Plus the seat on the CRX was quite hard.

I must admit shifting gears was maybe a bit smoother on the CRX and it is also marginally lighter than the Blade.

The things I like about the Blade was the frame dimensions, comfortable grips and it already has bar ends. Also I was told (and I believe) that the Blade is a bit more sturdy when it comes to every day use, especially on the crappy Melbourne roads.

The standard wheels on the Blade has more spokes than the CRX, so I guess would have less chance of buckling, and the frame is a little stronger.

I just did a couple of laps around Albert Park lake and it makes a world of difference compared with my old MTB, though without any suspension I'm feeling any bumps more (something I'll get used to)

So I'm very happy with it. Didn't get any extra things like bottle holder or rack or anything, but I did get a riding shirt and knicks. I'd never worn knicks before. Its oddly comfortable!!!!

I'm such a newbie!! I thought I'd bought a dud riding shirt because after I washed it today I saw a little "rip" inside the middle back pocket that goes through to the inside of the shirt. I thought, "crap! now I have to take it back to exchange". My partner eventually figured out it must be for an MP3 player headphone...
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