Saturday, July 02, 2005

20 15 20 15

(newly edited)

Happy birthday to my brother Samuel! (And me!)

Am thinking about buying a new bike, a hybrid to be exact. Here are the models I've narrowed it down to, all around the same price range:

Trek 7300 $$$$
Specialized Crossroads Sport $$$
Raleigh SC40 $$$
Motobecane Jubilee Deluxe $$$$

I've test ridden the first three, except that the Trek was an FX (no front suspension) and it was a Crossroads Elite. The most comfortable one by far was the Specialized. It was so cushy and laidback, like riding on air. However, it seemed a little too relaxed and not for aggressive riding at any time. On the company website it is listed under "comfort;" it looked very recreational. The bike was pretty high (therefore a higher center of gravity), but I really liked the higher handlebars. The Trek FX was pretty rigid and reminded me of a mountain bike- it didn't treat my butt that nicely. The regular 7300 has seatpost suspension like the Specialized, so I want to ride this particular model before deciding. The Raleigh, in terms of comfort, fell in between the other two models. To me it wasn't as flashy and impressive, but it felt alright. I appreciated that the sport model (SC) had 26" tires that were a bit fatter than the thin ones on normal hybrids. I want to be able to ride off a curb and go over occasional gravelly or grassy areas without worrying about having the right tires. I'm just using this bike to get from home to school, which doesn't require much fanciness. I just hated the low handlebars on my old (mountain) bike, it kinda ached my back when I had to go up those long Austiny hills. All these other bikes are selling for about list price but I saw the Motobecane on bikesdirect.com selling for almost 50% off. Sounded like a good deal, almost too good? Mcoker, maybe you can eye the specs and tell me how it looks. Of all places, there happened to be a store in Plano, so I got to ride it around a bit. The salesperson made sure I knew that these were being sold wholesale (-> much cheaper price) and were the best bang for my buck as opposed to the other brands who have to make up for so much advertising vs. Motobecane, a brand with who few are familiar. And free service for life! So basically, I am looking for a bike with:
- higher/adjustable handlebars
- suspension seatpost
- front suspension
- the right tires (26")

Trek 7300 vs. Motobecane Jubilee Deluxe. If I get the Trek, how much of what I'm paying is for the Lance Armstrong name brand?

I don't know much about bikes. I wish I did, like be able to fix and adjust my own (like a flat tire!), know about quality parts, biking dynamics, go on real rides, stuff like that.
Later: I read some articles on sheldonbrown.com that expelled a few cycling myths. Smooth tires are absolutely the best for roads/pavement, no tread is necessary. Both types will get slippery when wet. Braking in the front will not cause you to fly over your handlebars- it's the recommended way to brake in normal conditions. Riding in too high of a gear will overexert your body = bad. Tires: a wider front and narrower rear increases cornering traction and overall shock absorbency. Sheldon Brown also said to stay away from hybrid tires (on the Motobecane) since they don't do great on either surface. Hmm, I guess I should take that into consideration. Should I get a road tire for the back?

12 comments:

J*Rob said...

Happy birthday, franl! I hope you have a great one.

P.S.: Cigars are totally awesome.

mcoker said...

lemme see what i can offer :) It looks like all of them (except the specialized) are just typical bike frames with a big/cushy seat and positive rise stem (making your handlebars higher and closer to you). The specialized frame is funky looking, so that's probably specific to their "cruiser" model. I dunno what's good/bad about that. In my opinion, they all look about the same, but the motobecane actually has better components all around than just about any of them (derailleurs, crank, fork - same as the trek). And honestly, you could probably replace the seat/stem and make it a decent mtn bike later on if you wanted to. That'd be my recommendation. *Especially* if it's cheaper. If it's not, I'd say just go with whichever is cheapest.
Oh and one thing to remember, and I think john can attest to this, just about every bike I've been on hurts my butt/crotch area for a week or two after I haven't ridden in a while. My current road bike seat is seriously as hard as a brick. There is sooooo very little cushion in it, it's amazing. It only made me sore for a week or so, and feels fine now.

mcoker said...

oh! and I can teach you how to change a flat. Lots of places around town have free classes on how to do that. Actually, Bicycle Sports Shop at Lamar/Barton Springs Rd. has a bicycle maintenance class (free!) every tues/wed at 6pm. It's awesome. They teach you how to take your tires off the bike, change your tires, adjust stuff all over, it's quite informative. I'd defnitely recommend it.

f. said...

hey thanks mcoker! someone else that the motobecane looked pretty reputable. The guy at the store said I'd probably fit a 16" but do I make sure? I'll also check into those classes when I get back. Some of this stuff is just so technical, but I still want to get into it. Will I ever need to switch out the stock parts or are they good enough for regular riding? And, what kind of bike do you ride the most? (p.s. i edited/updated the post with more info.)

mcoker said...

From looking at pictures of you, a 16" sounds just about right. What's your inseam? And how tall are you? The classes at bicycle sports shop aren't technical at all really, they're very hands on and practical. The stock parts on that bike look great for every day riding. The only concern would be the fork doesn't have a boot around the upper part, so dirt and rain and stuff could potentially get in if you left it outside all the time, but probably wouldn't make a difference if you're just riding it around. And those forks have seals to keep that crap out anyways. My bike is an Orbea frame, with all custom components. Elli has a Specialized, I've known a number of people who had Trek's and I used to have GT mtn bike. All these bikes are great, never had any issues that I know of with any of them.

f. said...

31 inches. 5'6". Mr. fancy pants!

mcoker said...

31" inseam!!!
I wear 32" pants, and I'm 6" taller than you. And I think my last mtn bike was 21"... But the way girls are built, and especially for cruising around, I'd say a 16" is a good size.

f. said...

ok thanks lots mcoker, i got the motobecane this morning. yay! now if only the outside wasn't an oven..

mcoker said...

nice!!! how do you like it so far?
yeah i just went on an hour ride and i probably lost 50% of my body weight in sweat. It's so friggin hot, and windy!

f. said...

it's nice and comfy, I'm waiting for cool weather to take it out some more.

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