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?