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xmlwave
07-17-2012, 08:41 AM
I am new to the bike trails here in Arlington, and would like to upgrade from my old and cheap Schwinn bike, but I am not sure where to start. Google search reveals several shops in the area:

Performance Bicycle
Freshbikes Cycling
Big Wheel Bikes
Revolution Cycles

I am looking for a basic lightweight hybrid or road bike for under $500.

I have been to Performance Bicycle at Bailey's Crossroads and was somewhat overwhelmed by the choices there. The prices seemed very reasonable. I haven't been to other stores, but I feel that I may not be able do "apples to apples" comparison with all these bicycle options.

Can someone recommend a local store for their service and prices? I will likely need ongoing help with the bike maintenance, as I am new to this, so I would like to get the bike from an established shop that would help with alignment, tuning, etc.

Oh, and would you recommend getting a bike online and then getting it to a shop for professional assembly, or should I just get it directly from the local shop?

KLizotte
07-17-2012, 10:12 AM
Freshbikes won't have anything you are looking for since it aims at the high end market. Spokes is a local chain that has a good selection of hybrids as does REI.

Under $500 is gonna be tough. Your best bet is to check the websites of the major manufacturers to see what they offer in your price range, look to see where their dealers are, then call the shops to see if they have what you interested in on the floor to try. Buying online is not a good idea unless you have a lot of experience with buying bikes.

You may also wish to check Phoenix Bikes near Shirlington to see if they have a used bike that may fit your needs.

consularrider
07-17-2012, 10:22 AM
Other options close by (there are so many to chose from):

REI (http://www.rei.com/stores/34) at Bailey's Crossroads
Bikenetic (http://www.bikenetic.com/) on W Broad St in Falls Church (just off the W&OD at West St)
Papillon Cycles (http://papilloncycles.com/)on Columbia Pike at Walter Reed
Spokes Etc (http://spokesetc.com/storelocator/alexandria-1.htm)on Quaker Lane in Alexandria (just north of Rte 7)
Wheel Nuts (http://wheelnutsbikeshop.com/1/)on Montgomery in Alexandria between Fairfax and Royal
Bike Pro Shop (http://bicycleproshop.com/locations/)on Duke St in Alexandria and on M St in Georgetown at the Key Bridge
Hudson Trail Offitters (http://www.hudsontrail.com/storelocations.php)in Pentagon Row
Phoenix Bikes (http://www.phoenixbikes.org/about/location)on Four Mile Run (used bikes)
Velocity Coop (http://velocitycoop.org/)on Mt Vernon in Del Ray (used bikes)
Bike Club (http://www.bikeclubva.com/)on Washington St (Lee Highway) in Falls Church

And there are more a little further away that I'm not really familiar with.

I have visited all of these shops (and the ones you mentioned above) at some point over the past six years and bought bikes from Papillon and Spokes and have been happy with both. I have had mechanical work from both of those, Bikenetics, Big Wheel (Lyon Village), and Fresh Bikes (when it was Contes), and again have been happy with the service I got from each. Bikenetics is the one closest to my house and I have been taking my bikes there for work since they opened this year.

There is also a mechanic service in Falls Church called the Nova Bicycle Doctor (http://www.novabicycledoctor.com/)that I haven't tried.

On whether to order a bike online and then have a shop assemble it, I probably wouldn't recommend that the first time around, especially if you need guidance on bike fit. I think we're just about to hit the start of summer sales of the 2012 models as the 2013 ones start coming out. I know Performance has been running a series of sales for the past several weeks and have some good values in your price range. But part of the fun is trying different things and getting some good test rides in before you buy. I'm sure you'll find one that speaks to you.

xmlwave
07-17-2012, 11:07 AM
Thank you for the suggestions! Yep, I know $500 is not much for a nice bike, but it will be a major upgrade for me. It's like going from Inspiron to XPS; eventually, I may get Alienware. :)

I am very hesitant to get used bike, so I will try to stick to an entry-level new one. The Diamondback Insight Fitness Bike (Performance Exclusive) looks very attractive at $350 (on sale), but I plan to check some of the other stores above for alternatives. Other bikes I have considered are: 2011 GT Traffic 2.0 Commuter Bike for $450 and even the 2011 Fuji Absolute 2.0 (Performance Exclusive) for $600. I just can't tell if the extra $ is justified and you get better experience. I will try to visit several of these stores and look for advice. The bike trails here in Arlington are so nice, and I really would like to get a decent bike to explore them. :)

jabberwocky
07-17-2012, 11:20 AM
I just can't tell if the extra $ is justified and you get better experience.In that price range, most of the differences will be in the components. Higher priced components are (usually) lighter, better performing and more durable. Once you get to a certain level further cost increases just make things lighter, but in the sub-500 price range you aren't there yet. :)

Definitely test ride, too. Lots of bikes fit differently; a good shop will spend some time making sure a bike fits properly (beyond just having you stand over it and declaring it good).

dasgeh
07-17-2012, 11:26 AM
Welcome to biking in Arlington. It's awesome.

I've bought from Performance and from Cyclelife, and had friends/family buy from many of the others listed. Performance is a discount shop, is not going to have the great LBS culture and service. But they're service is decent and I believe their bikes come with maintenance for longer than a year, which is nice, especially if you're located near enough to go back there when you have problems. They're prices are probably the lowest of the area.

Revolution is a larger chain, and I find their service and "culture" to reflect that.

The others you've listed are great local bike shops, and have excellent service and "culture".

So a basic question is how much do you care about "culture"? And whether you care whether you're going to wait a few days when you need service.

Of course, as we've said in so many threads in this forum, bike fit is a of paramount importance. Personally, I don't care about an LBS's culture, and as long as the service is acceptable, I'm fine. So I'd go for the bike that fits you best. You'll have it for a long time, and resale values around here are high enough that an extra $50-$100 is not going to matter over the life of the bike.

Also, I'd think really hard before buying a hybrid. Why are your comprising between on-road and off-? I used to be a hybrid rider, but I don't go off road. I realized that I'm just sacrificing some of the best qualities of bikes made for roads, and not getting anything on the other side. If you want speed, look at road bikes. If you want durability, look at cross or touring bikes. If you want up-right geometry, look at touring bikes or "dutch bikes".

In the mean time, you can take a CaBi out to enjoy the trails -- I think you can still snag a free day membership just to try it out, and I find it's totally worth the annual price to get around town without worrying about locking up my own bike. You can easily grab one in Ballston and ride the Custis to Rosslyn, for example.

Good luck!

Tim Kelley
07-17-2012, 11:27 AM
Freshbikes won't have anything you are looking for since it aims at the high end market. Spokes is a local chain that has a good selection of hybrids as does REI.

Under $500 is gonna be tough. Your best bet is to check the websites of the major manufacturers to see what they offer in your price range, look to see where their dealers are, then call the shops to see if they have what you interested in on the floor to try. Buying online is not a good idea unless you have a lot of experience with buying bikes.

You may also wish to check Phoenix Bikes near Shirlington to see if they have a used bike that may fit your needs.

*Freshbikes does carry a few of the low end Cannondale commuter/hybrid bikes. Their selection can be limited because they are more focused on higher end stuff.

Tim Kelley
07-17-2012, 11:32 AM
One thing I like to remind people is to consider a bike shop's location when choosing a bike. You'll most likely be going back there for accessories, repairs, tune-ups etc. It's convenient to have a shop nearby that you can walk or take transit to if you need to drop your bike off. You don't want to have to drive 45 minutes through traffic just to drop off your bike for a simple adjustment.

The shop I go to is between my house and work so I frequently stop in and have built up an excellent rapport with the sales and service staff!

jabberwocky
07-17-2012, 11:37 AM
Performance is a discount shop, is not going to have the great LBS culture and service. But they're service is decent and I believe their bikes come with maintenance for longer than a year, which is nice, especially if you're located near enough to go back there when you have problems. They're prices are probably the lowest of the area.I've bought from most of the shops in my area, and honestly I have no issues with Performance, though I know a lot of diehard LBS folks look down on them. I've bought a few bikes and lots of small parts over the years from them and always felt I was treated well. And they are the best place in town for clothes shopping (best prices, good selection).

rcannon100
07-17-2012, 12:03 PM
Consider Phoenix Bikes in Four Mile Run and Velocity Bikes in Alexandria Del Ray. Both sell used bikes. Both are community organizations. If you have $500 in your pocket, you might be able to buy a better bike that is used.

I generally shop at REI. I have heard this refrain from several people - the REI folk are excellent about talking to you. If you go in with a question, you will get a 20 minute answer. They have a good inventory.

I own a Cannondale Badboy that is a hybrid. I love it. First I love it because it is huge. Second, I love it because it is a city bike that can take a beating. Road bikes are for speed - and if you are confident of your surface - cool. I want a flat handlebar with powerful brakes and everything right on my hands. I want slightly larger tires than road bike tires (but not mountain bike tires). Sometimes these are called urban bikes. Less of a "hybrid" (you can put road or mountain bike tires on it) and more of a bike built for demanding city driving.

KLizotte
07-17-2012, 12:10 PM
In the mean time, you can take a CaBi out to enjoy the trails -- I think you can still snag a free day membership just to try it out, and I find it's totally worth the annual price to get around town without worrying about locking up my own bike. You can easily grab one in Ballston and ride the Custis to Rosslyn, for example. Good luck!

I agree with what dasgeh has written except the suggestion to ride a CaBi on the Custis. They are *very* heavy bikes with only three speeds and trying to manage the Custis hills on one of them, esp in summer heat, will not be a fun experience. That's my 2 cents anyway.

KLizotte
07-17-2012, 12:17 PM
You also need to figure out if you are going to be hauling a lot of stuff with you and whether you want a rack or not. True road bikes aren't really made for racks with a lot of weight on them.

FYI: REI is the only place I know of that will provide a full refund for a used bike at any time. City Bikes will give you a full refund only in the first 30 days. To my knowledge, those are the only LBSs that provide that level of satisfaction guarantee; therefore, don't be afraid to take a long time in the shop/going on test rides before deciding.

xmlwave
07-17-2012, 12:23 PM
When I was younger, there weren't many choices for my budget -- Walmart, K-Mart, Target, etc. had the same type of bike for about $100. In the $500 range, the choices become more daunting. I cannot even imagine how one chooses a $1,000 bike. :)

This weekend I have mapped several bike shops to visit. Thank you all for the suggestions! And I agree that I should find something close to home, so that it will be easy to go back for service. (I am next to the East Falls Church metro station)

rcannon100 -- you have summed up what I would like to get in a bike -- "city bike that can take a beating". I don't go on dirt roads, but I do envision going up/down sidewalks. I will most likely check out the Cannondale Badboy at REI. It is somewhat outside my price range, but the reviews look good and it has some cool features, such as disc brakes. I will certainly take dasgeh's advice and inquire about touring bikes or "dutch bikes".

bluerider
07-17-2012, 12:40 PM
I would also consider single speed bikes. If you get rid of the derailleurs and shifters, it saves weight and cost. If you are looking for more of a commuting bike and can live with the simplicity of a one gear, its a reasonable choice. Most manufacturers make single speed bikes that are close to your price point.

ShawnoftheDread
07-17-2012, 12:51 PM
Also, I'd think really hard before buying a hybrid. Why are your comprising between on-road and off-? I used to be a hybrid rider, but I don't go off road. I realized that I'm just sacrificing some of the best qualities of bikes made for roads, and not getting anything on the other side. If you want speed, look at road bikes. If you want durability, look at cross or touring bikes. If you want up-right geometry, look at touring bikes or "dutch bikes".
Good luck!

I don't know why cyclists denigrate hybrids so much. A lot of the trails and roads in the area are perfect for hybrids--bumpy and poorly paved, with frequent detours onto gravel, dirt, or grass. Flat bars are also useful for city riding. My back likes them too. Sure, a cyclocross would be great -- show me one in the $500 range in an LBS.

jabberwocky
07-17-2012, 12:58 PM
I would also consider single speed bikes.I would not recommend one to a new rider in the Arlington area. Its quite hilly, especially once you venture off the major paths (though even the Custis would be ugly for a new rider on a singlespeed!).


I don't know why cyclists denigrate hybrids so much. A lot of the trails and roads in the area are perfect for hybrids--bumpy and poorly paved, with frequent detours onto gravel, dirt, or grass. Flat bars are also useful for city riding. My back likes them too. Sure, a cyclocross would be great -- show me one in the $500 range in an LBS.I think dasgeh meant the traditional hybrid (mtb-ish frame, cheap suspension fork, 700c wheels with big tires, usually MTB components), which I've never understood the point of. The OP linked some bikes that are more flat-bar road bikes though, which I think is the right idea.

Arlingtonrider
07-17-2012, 01:25 PM
I love my hybrid! It's not the mountain bike type, though, and I stay on pavement for the most part. I've had it for 13 years and ride it all over, though I don't seek out the biggest steepest hills - more because of me than the bike. Bikenetics in Falls Church has some nice bikes of the type you might really like that are not overly expensive.

dasgeh
07-17-2012, 01:30 PM
I think dasgeh meant the traditional hybrid (mtb-ish frame, cheap suspension fork, 700c wheels with big tires, usually MTB components), which I've never understood the point of. The OP linked
some bikes that are more flat-bar road bikes though, which I think is the right idea.

Yep, that's what I meant. Sorry, I hadn't clicked on his links. And I don't mean to denigrate them -- I think people who ride offroad sometimes (like the toepath) will find value in them. But I bought one when I originally started commuting a long time ago, and it was a waste of money. I was just saying you should think about the use and why you're buying what you're buying.

Re: CaBi on the Custis -- that's why I suggested Ballston - Rosslyn and not the reverse! But actually, I see CaBis on the Custis every day. The low gear seems to do fine on the big hill, as long as you take it slow. I do think it's worth getting on one before you buy, especially if you can get a free one day. It helps you know whether you want speed, and whether you like upright.

Personally, I have both a road bike (for my non-pregnant self) and an upright bike (ok, it's an ebike, but it's dutch bike geometry). They both have their advantages and disadvantages - just depends on why you want to ride.

TwoWheelsDC
07-17-2012, 01:36 PM
The popularity of hybrids also means the local shops tend to stock them in a wide variety of sizes, so you can usually test ride and take one home the same day...none of this order and wait crap!

Greenbelt
07-17-2012, 02:00 PM
I'll thrown in my two cents, although it's important to disclose that that my wife owns (most of) a local bike shop as of a month or so ago.

First, if you ride a lot, a local bike shop can be a tremendous resource -- it really paid for me to have an LBS that I could actually have a relationship with, and hang out and ask lots of questions, rather than just buying a bike or bringing it in for service from somebody anonymous. A good LBS will know you, know your bike, know how you ride and under what conditions, and can provide a ton of useful help. These extra supports really helped me when I was getting started, and I've realized how valuable that is.

Second, I second the comments on fit -- often getting a bike to fit just right is the difference between a bike that gets 1,000s of joyful miles or a bike that sits in the garage.

On bikes, I don't like the term hybrid so much, but some best sellers at my LBS are bikes like the Kona Dew Plus (essentially an aluminum MTB hardtail rigged for city use rather than trails, with 700x35c tires and hydra-disk brakes), the Jamis Coda Sport (essentially a steel road bike with flat bars for city bike use), and, at the higher end, the Jamis Nova Race ( cyclocross with mechanical disk brakes and options for rack/fenders/commuting). These aren't really hybrids, but they're all very versatile.

-Jeff

DaveK
07-17-2012, 02:10 PM
Jamis Coda Sport (essentially a steel road bike with flat bars for city bike use)

My LBSs (LBS's?) sell tons of these bikes. I should say the bike shops near me because I don't love either one, but that's neither here nor there. Anyway the Jamis is a great bike. I just recommended it to my neighbor who's sentencing himself to the suburbs but wants to keep bike commuting into the city.

KelOnWheels
07-17-2012, 02:12 PM
^^ The Jamis Coda Sport is on my shortlist right now, since I too have a small budget. Seems to me the component level in the $500 - $800 range is fairly similar, so I'm thinking I'll stay on the bottom end of that to start with and then maybe next year when I'm a stronger rider and have more of an idea of what I want I'll be ready for something in the $1200 range. That's my 2 cents, anyway :)

One of my friends who lives in DC just got the Coda Comp and loves it.

pfunkallstar
07-17-2012, 02:13 PM
I worked at a number of local bike shops back in the 90's and have a pretty solid idea of things on the mechanic side of things:

REI at Bailey's Crossroads - Prices tend to be a bit high except during their attic sales, service is good, and the mechanics are excellent. I never worked there but kinda wish I had.
Bikenetic on W Broad St in Falls Church (just off the W&OD at West St) - Me like. Close to house. Got me a shifter.
Papillon Cycles on Columbia Pike at Walter Reed - These guys rock socks. Bailey is a freaking legend and deserves to be. Weld on some dropouts, try to find someone else who will. This was my first job and I think these guys are still the best service shop in Arlington.
Spokes Etc on Quaker Lane in Alexandria (just north of Rte 7) - Great all around shop. Good sales, slightly high in terms of price, but great selection. Massive mechanic area and great wrenches. Ricky has been working as a mechanic there for more than a decade now - they also treat their people right.
Bike Pro Shop on Duke St in Alexandria and on M St in Georgetown at the Key Bridge - Have Cannondale - will ride?
Hudson Trail Offitters in Pentagon Row - I hated working here, overpriced, management tended to not give a damn, bike sales were bad.
Bike Club on Washington St (Lee Highway) in Falls Church - You can crack a beer with them, not sure about the service though.
Big Wheel (Lee Highway) Falls Church - You would be better off taking your business elsewhere. The major brands, read Trek, Specialized, etc... won't work with them. That should be enough of a hint to stay away.

GuyContinental
07-17-2012, 02:15 PM
I think that a use case might be helpful- if you have a short commute (under 10 miles) and want something just to kick around on there is nothing wrong with a hybrid. If you have a longer commute or want to do longer weekend rides then a road bike might be in order. If you want to do longer rides AND the towpath AND some light dirt trails then Greenbelt's versatile suggestions are fantastic.

My only issue with "hybrids" is the weight from cheesy components and unnecessary suspension forks- a lighter bike is usually more fun and easier to ride. FWIW I was on the D&D Espresso ride several years ago (it's a often huge 50-70 mile Sunday winter ride) and mid-way along a 50ish guy on a mid-range 700cc hybrid joined the paceline and held with it for probably 40 miles. At the end of the day it's not the bike, it's the rider.

TwoWheelsDC
07-17-2012, 02:24 PM
^^ The Jamis Coda Sport is on my shortlist right now, since I too have a small budget. Seems to me the component level in the $500 - $800 range is fairly similar, so I'm thinking I'll stay on the bottom end of that to start with and then maybe next year when I'm a stronger rider and have more of an idea of what I want I'll be ready for something in the $1200 range. That's my 2 cents, anyway :)

One of my friends who lives in DC just got the Coda Comp and loves it.

I owned one...it was good for urban commuting and I wouldn't recommend against it (but I eventually felt the drop bar itch, so I sold it). However, my wife has a Fuji Absolute 2.0 (2010 model?) that was cheaper, has better components (including disc brakes), and feels better put together than the Jamis did. Fuji may have modified the Absolute lineup and raised the prices this model year though, so you may need to check around and see if the comparison still works in Fuji's favor.

GuyContinental
07-17-2012, 02:32 PM
REI at Bailey's Crossroads - Prices tend to be a bit high except during their attic sales, service is good, and the mechanics are excellent. I never worked there but kinda wish I had.

I think that this one surprises people- I did w/e bike shop work at this REI years ago and was very impressed with the mechanics. At least at the time (early 2000's) they were sent to Barnett for multi-week training which is far from cheap. It's also telling that the owner and Ops manager of TBSFKAC (Freshbikes) both came from that REI.

Freshbikes is my go-to, partially because of the above but also because of Greg (formerly at Bike Pro Shop in Georgetown). That said, they are often backlogged and are not cheap. Regardless, it's worth it for me as a owner of 4 Cannondales and their mountains of proprietary parts (in my case 3 Lefty's and two sets of hollowtech cranks) to go to a shop/mechanic that knows those bikes and those parts inside-out.

pfunkallstar
07-17-2012, 02:50 PM
I know the woes of Cannondale proprietary parts. I still have an original Moto crank from my old CAAD4 team bike that was a BEAST - light, stiff, and awesome looking. The problem being that has a tendency to squeak with anything other than late-90's coda BBs - sad.

mstone
07-17-2012, 03:37 PM
I don't know why cyclists denigrate hybrids so much. A lot of the trails and roads in the area are perfect for hybrids--bumpy and poorly paved, with frequent detours onto gravel, dirt, or grass. Flat bars are also useful for city riding. My back likes them too. Sure, a cyclocross would be great -- show me one in the $500 range in an LBS.


Well, I don't understand why people redefine what is meant by a hybrid bike and then don't understand why people denigrate some other kind of bike. :)

edit to add: I suppose that was a bit terse. Basically (IMO) the heritage of "hybrid bike" is "cheap, flat handlebars, no specific purpose, cheap/blingy 'comfort' additions like fluffy seat or useless suspension". As soon as you start talking about a bike that's designed to fill a particular role reasonably well, the term "hybrid" is useless and you need to use a more specific term that captures the intended role. Maybe it's not fair that "hybrid" has that kind of baggage, but it also isn't fair that a good number of people won't consider a bike that doesn't have flat bars because the industry has pushed slammed-down low/uncomfortable road racing bikes for so long. The first thing (again IMO) is to understand where and how you'll be riding, then start figuring out what kind of bike is good for that. And, unfortunately, it will probably involve going to a lot of different stores after extensive internet-based research because very, very, very few places have a good selection of multiple types of bikes from multiple manufacturers.

KelOnWheels
07-17-2012, 04:22 PM
I owned one...it was good for urban commuting and I wouldn't recommend against it (but I eventually felt the drop bar itch, so I sold it). However, my wife has a Fuji Absolute 2.0 (2010 model?) that was cheaper, has better components (including disc brakes), and feels better put together than the Jamis did. Fuji may have modified the Absolute lineup and raised the prices this model year though, so you may need to check around and see if the comparison still works in Fuji's favor.

The old Coda Sport is now equivalent to the Coda Comp or Elite (I forget which at the moment since I went outside at lunchtime and boiled my brain), the current Coda Sport is the entry-level model (MSRP $560) and looks equivalent to the current Fuji Absolute 3.0. I like steel though, so I'll probably go with Jamis.

lordofthemark
07-17-2012, 04:24 PM
I think that a use case might be helpful- if you have a short commute (under 10 miles) and want something just to kick around on there is nothing wrong with a hybrid. If you have a longer commute or want to do longer weekend rides then a road bike might be in order. If you want to do longer rides AND the towpath AND some light dirt trails then Greenbelt's versatile suggestions are fantastic.

What would you say to someone who wants to do a short commute, mostly short weekend rides, an occasional longer weekend ride, and who already has a mountain bike for dirt and gravel trails?

mstone
07-17-2012, 04:36 PM
What would you say to someone who wants to do a short commute, mostly short weekend rides, an occasional longer weekend ride, and who already has a mountain bike for dirt and gravel trails?

use the mountain bike for the short commute, buy whatever you want for whatever kind of weekend ride you plan to do

Greenbelt
07-17-2012, 05:01 PM
What would you say to someone who wants to do a short commute, mostly short weekend rides, an occasional longer weekend ride, and who already has a mountain bike for dirt and gravel trails?

Ever consider a touring bike? Not cheap, but also very versatile, though not quick and fun to ride as a regular road bike. I commute on one of these (http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/aurora/11_bosanova.html). It's essentially a medium-heavy steel road bike with a carbon front fork and disk brakes and decent gear components. Sturdy enough to handle heavy loads, but still pretty fast -- way faster than an MTB anyways. The extra weight is a drawback for climbing, but it does have a granny gear. (This isn't a problem for me as my commute is pretty flat and there are no long hills that I ride regularly.) I took off the too-cute fancy silver fenders and replaced them with regular Planet Bike fenders.

ShawnoftheDread
07-17-2012, 05:58 PM
Who is "you" in this reply? I'm not the one who labelled the Trek FX series, Cannondale Quick, Fuji Absolute and the like "hybrids." The manufacturers did that. If you don't like that they call their bikes made for both trail and road use hybrids just because they aren't crappy bikes, take it up with them. I didn't redefine anything.


Well, I don't understand why people redefine what is meant by a hybrid bike and then don't understand why people denigrate some other kind of bike. :)

edit to add: I suppose that was a bit terse. Basically (IMO) the heritage of "hybrid bike" is "cheap, flat handlebars, no specific purpose, cheap/blingy 'comfort' additions like fluffy seat or useless suspension". As soon as you start talking about a bike that's designed to fill a particular role reasonably well, the term "hybrid" is useless and you need to use a more specific term that captures the intended role. Maybe it's not fair that "hybrid" has that kind of baggage, but it also isn't fair that a good number of people won't consider a bike that doesn't have flat bars because the industry has pushed slammed-down low/uncomfortable road racing bikes for so long. The first thing (again IMO) is to understand where and how you'll be riding, then start figuring out what kind of bike is good for that. And, unfortunately, it will probably involve going to a lot of different stores after extensive internet-based research because very, very, very few places have a good selection of multiple types of bikes from multiple manufacturers.

mstone
07-18-2012, 06:19 AM
Who is "you" in this reply? I'm not the one who labelled the Trek FX series, Cannondale Quick, Fuji Absolute and the like "hybrids." The manufacturers did that. If you don't like that they call their bikes made for both trail and road use hybrids just because they aren't crappy bikes, take it up with them. I didn't redefine anything.

Trek FX is filed under "town/fitness", not hybrid. Cannondale under "Recreation & Urban". Fuji does prominently use the term hybrid, but always with a modifier like "Performance Road Hybrid" or "Commuter Hybrid". So I still stand by my position that describing a bike as a "hybrid" is about as useful as describing it as "having two wheels that are the same size".

Just look back at the history of the term. "Hybrid" was invented by the industry to describe bikes that pulled cheap mass-market components from road racy lines and mountain bikey lines after the industry itself decided that all cheap mass market bikes needed to fit into a road racy or mountain bikey bin. The various attributes of a "hybrid" existed on bikes long before the term was invented, and a bike that can be generally classified as "something non-enthusiasts want to ride" was merely reinvented after the industry realized it had forgotten about that market segment. At this point there's enough variety that more descriptive terms are necessary.

GuyContinental
07-18-2012, 07:35 AM
Quote Originally Posted by lordofthemark View Post
What would you say to someone who wants to do a short commute, mostly short weekend rides, an occasional longer weekend ride, and who already has a mountain bike for dirt and gravel trails?

use the mountain bike for the short commute, buy whatever you want for whatever kind of weekend ride you plan to do

I concur- use the MTB for most things and get something fun with drop bars for those longer rides (or else you probably won't do them). The catch there is if your MTB is not exactly bike rack fodder (i.e. it's nice) then it's not a good candidate as it will get damaged and could get pillaged. FWIW I don't subscribe to the "one bike to do it all" theory and instead roll with the "right tool for the job" theory and have lots of bikes (and an understanding wife):

Road Bike for daily commuting and and long rides
CX for adventures, wet weather commuting, commute detours, kid-hauling and traveling
SS MTB for w/e riding and racing
FS MTB for travel MTB, marathon & adventure races and what passes for hard biking around here (rarely used)
1x9 MTB beater for daily kick-around riding (and bike racks), errands and some kid-hauling

(and I want a Tandem for mass-family riding)

Although if I found myself living someplace where one bike was the limit, it would be a CX with a second set of wheels for long rides.

dasgeh
07-18-2012, 11:17 AM
What would you say to someone who wants to do a short commute, mostly short weekend rides, an occasional longer weekend ride, and who already has a mountain bike for dirt and gravel trails?

What surfaces do you ride on? How fast do you go/want to go? How much do you carry?

5555624
07-18-2012, 12:54 PM
What would you say to someone who wants to do a short commute, mostly short weekend rides, an occasional longer weekend ride, and who already has a mountain bike for dirt and gravel trails?

If the MTB has knobby tires, replace them with something smoother and ride it. If it turns out you like the commute and want to do longer weekend rides, then think about getting something else. You may decide you like the MTB. If you've already got bike, get out there and ride it.

vvill
07-18-2012, 03:42 PM
Bikenetic is the one closest to my house and I have been taking my bikes there for work since they opened this year.

Same here - it's the closest, close to a trail, and bikeable from my house. I've been very happy with them so far (although I have two bikes that I bought from Performance that I still take there for basic free services). I have also used Bike Pro Shop in Alexandria once and they were fine (although a bit pricey).

acc
07-18-2012, 05:28 PM
Bikenetics has worked on my bikes since last winter. I can't say enough positive things about the shop and the people who work there. Visiting the shop is like dropping in to see friends.

ann

Mark Blacknell
07-18-2012, 05:29 PM
Great advice, so far. My only addition is to underline the warning to stay away from Big Wheel Bikes on Lee Highway/Lyon Village. Search "Big Wheel Bikes" on the forum, if you want details.

xmlwave
07-19-2012, 08:44 PM
Wealth of info in this thread! I couldn't wait till the weekend, so I visited three local shops:

- Performance Bicycle at Bailey's Crossroads
- REI at Bailey's Crossroads
- Bike Club on Washington St (Lee Highway) in Falls Church

The friendliest place with the biggest selection was Performance Bicycle. But more about that in a moment.

On the opposite spectrum was Bike Club. The guy there effectively dismissed me for my audacity to look for $500 bike. He even told me that other shops will outright kick me out. Ouch. I guess I am not the right demographic for them, but I was expecting friendlier interaction. At REI the guys were friendly and offered some options, but the prices were outside my range.

So, back to Performance Bicycle. They have some decent prices for hybrids, and now I am contemplating five rather distinct options.

1. Diamondback Insight Fitness Bike for $350
2. 2011 Fuji Absolute 3.0 for $400
3. 2011 Fuji Absolute 2.0 for $600
4. 2012 GT Tachyon 3.0 Fitness Bike for $550 (I think, but not 100% certain)
5. 2012 Charge Tap Fitness Bike for $550

I test drove Fuji Absolute 3.0 and 2012 GT Tachyon 3.0 Fitness Bike; didn't have time for more. :( The GT didn't feel right. Not sure why, but I was expecting more from such pricey bike.

They didn't have Diamondback Insight in my size, so I couldn't test drive it, but I really liked the feel of 2011 Fuji Absolute 3.0. Fuji Absolute 2.0 should be the same and the guy there recommended it for the upgraded components.

In light of the price/perfomance ratio of the above bikes, which one would you recommend for cruising on the Arlington trails and occasionally commuting to work (in DC) for about 10miles each way.

I am thinking of buying the bike this weekend. :)

KLizotte
07-19-2012, 10:11 PM
I can't speak to the quality of the above bikes but I would highly recommend trying out a few more bikes just in case since you'll find dramatic differences between frame styles/sizes. Also, even if you think the Fuji is "your" bike, you should still see if you can try it out at another store or two because it will give you the ability to try it out in different terrain/traffic situations. The area around Performance Bike in Bailey Crossroads is not bike friendly unfortunately. If you can find a store carrying the same bike near a bike trail or more residential area, you will have more opportunities to really test it out. Going up a hill is much different then riding on the flats.

I walk by Hudson Trail Outfitters every day and they have been advertising a bike sale and I think they carry Fuji. Spokes also has a good range of lower priced bikes and they are very nice to the customers (Bike Club sounds evil).

Keep in mind that you will have to buy a rack, pannier, bell, lights, water cage(s), and inner tube(s); and if you don't already own one: pump, multi-tool, tire lever, water bottle(s), helmet. Some stores offer free financing.

I would also ask if the stem is replaceable (if necessary) and if they will do it for free. Sometimes after a month of riding, one finds that a shorter/higher/longer stem would make things more comfortable. Most reputable bike shops will replace the first one for free.

jabberwocky
07-20-2012, 07:41 AM
One thing about Performance bike, if the store you went to doesn't have your size, have them check other stores in the area (or call around and check yourself). Especially in that price range (which are the biggest sellers) odds are another shop in the area will have the one you want. There are several Performances in the area.

As for the GT "not feeling right", thats very common. Different manufacturers have different approaches to geometry. Thats why its good to test ride.

vvill
07-20-2012, 08:49 AM
The Charge Tap is an interesting commuter since it's steel, comes with full fenders and an internally geared hub (IGH), so it's the most different of your choices. It's also more unusual/less generic (and a prettier bike imo). The more traditional level top tube could make it a touch harder for riding with non-bike clothes. I'd guess it's a touch heavier than the others since both frame and fork are steel, and the hub will also be heavy.

The other choices are much of a muchness: entry level aluminum fitness-hybrids with wider tires and wide gearing and it comes down to your preference really. Any of them would be worthy casual/around-town bikes with some zip. It looks like they all have standard stems/handlebars so you can change the stem in future if you need.

The Fuji and GT both have carbon forks so may ride a little more comfortably. Keep in mind that when you test ride a bike it probably won't be set up ideally for you. You might want to ask them to adjust, at the very least, the saddle height for you before you test ride. The GT has a bit of a smaller wheelbase so the handling may be a teeny bit racier/sharper/less stable. The Fuji has the cables runs over the top of the top tube which makes it easier for shouldering if you need to carry it up stairs, etc.

Btw here are the links to most of those bikes for anyone else:
Fuji 2.0
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1118664_-1___400316
Charge
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1108607_-1___400319
DB
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1117668_-1___400316
GT
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1114671_-1___400316

pfunkallstar
07-20-2012, 09:26 AM
The Charge Tap definitely fits the bill of a "ready-to-go commuter bike."

ShawnoftheDread
07-20-2012, 09:31 AM
I agree with vvill on the look of the Charge Tap. That's a nice looking bike, and much different than the others. But it's also quite a bit more than the Fuji 3.0 and the Diamondback.

On the two Fujis, others here with more experience will correct me if I'm wrong, but it doesn't seem like the component difference between the 2.0 and the 3.0 is enough to justify the $200 difference for someone looking for a more entry-level bike. It seems the money is mostly going for the carbon fork. But I've never ridden a carbon fork, so can't comment on how much better they are than the 3.0's aluminum/steel fork. The cranks, brakes, and gears seem similar enough between the two that I'm not sure you'd notice the differences for some time. I'm sure I wouldn't.

Certifried
07-20-2012, 09:54 AM
It's like going from Inspiron to XPS; eventually, I may get Alienware. :)


Alienware is crap now that Dell owns them. Stay away!

xmlwave
07-20-2012, 10:10 AM
Thanks for all the advice!

vvill -- you bring an interesting point about the steel bike. Up until yesterday I was under the impression that steel bikes are much heavier than aluminum; however, when I checked the Charge bike yesterday, I was surprised to discover that this is not [entirely] true. I will try to go for a spin on that one and see how it feels.
KLizotte -- I found Hudson Trail Outfitters location not too far from work, so I will check them out today. Unfortunately, Spokes is not anywhere close to me, but I may check them out on the weekend. And you are right about the accessories -- I may need to get some of them.
ShawnoftheDread -- I will do some online research to compare the Fuji 2.0 vs 3.0. The guy from Performance Bicycle indicated that the upgrade in performance was well worth the premium.

One more thing -- is it acceptable to try and negotiate on the price? I imagine this is absolute no-no in some stores, but I expect that others may be flexible about this.

jabberwocky
07-20-2012, 10:36 AM
One more thing -- is it acceptable to try and negotiate on the price? I imagine this is absolute no-no in some stores, but I expect that others may be flexible about this.Depends on the shop and the bike. Margins on bikes in that price range are usually pretty thin, and seeing how thats the most common price range the shop would probably be less willing to negotiate on price. If its an older model you might have more luck (since the shop is more motivated to move it).

You might have better luck trying for a discount on any accessories (helmet, bags, racks, shoes, etc) and buying them at the same time as the bike.

TwoWheelsDC
07-20-2012, 10:51 AM
ShawnoftheDread -- I will do some online research to compare the Fuji 2.0 vs 3.0. The guy from Performance Bicycle indicated that the upgrade in performance was well worth the premium.



This seems to be a dubious claim at best. The 2.0 has a Tiagra RD, which is a decent road component. The 3.0 has an Acera RD, which is a "recreational" component. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems the 2.0 has the better component here. FD and crank seem to be roughly the same and on a hybrid (or even most road bikes, for that matter), it will hardly make a difference. Interestingly, bikepedia shows the 2.0 as being a full pound lighter than the 3.0. So yeah, unless you seriously like the way the 3.0 rides, the 2.0 seems to be the better value.

xmlwave
07-20-2012, 10:55 AM
...it seems the 2.0 has the better component here.

You are right -- 2.0 is more advanced and expensive model compared to 3.0. The salesman from the store indicated that 2.0 is worth more than the $200 premium over 3.0.

vvill
07-20-2012, 11:12 AM
Steel vs aluminum - the general thinking is that steel is more comfortable and lasts longer but is heavier and can rust, but there are high end steel bikes though that are very light and like any material, the end results vary from frame to frame. The only steel bike I've owned was a MTB that was stolen so I can't really make any comparisons based on experience.

That Charge bike from the pictures does appear to have a fairly aggressive (less upright) set up with the saddle higher than the handlebars which may not be ideal depending on your riding style.

Don't forget to factor in accessories and maintenance costs. I think I'd rather spend $200 on accessories than on incremental upgrades from low-level to mid-low level components. If you are buying at Performance, they have a "Team Performance" membership. Costs about $30/yr I think, but you get 10% store credit on any purchases including bikes, so it could be worth your while for 1 year if you do spend $600. Performance as well as Bikenetic in Falls Church offer free lifetime basic maintenance with new bikes purchases from them.

TwoWheelsDC
07-20-2012, 11:20 AM
You are right -- 2.0 is more advanced and expensive model compared to 3.0. The salesman from the store indicated that 2.0 is worth more than the $200 premium over 3.0.


Ooooooh, I thought the 2.0 was cheaper and the guy was saying that the 3.0 components were worth the expense. Regardless of my mistake, I still say get the cheaper of the two. Although Tiagra is "better" it's doubtful you'd notice the difference.

vvill
07-20-2012, 11:27 AM
Although Tiagra is "better" it's doubtful you'd notice the difference.

Yep, especially for flat bar shifters. If it were dropbar road style shifters I would spring for Tiagra over Sora.

KelOnWheels
07-20-2012, 11:33 AM
I think I'd rather spend $200 on accessories than on incremental upgrades from low-level to mid-low level components.

This.

PS - STEEL IS REAL! ;)

ShawnoftheDread
07-20-2012, 01:28 PM
This seems to be a dubious claim at best. The 2.0 has a Tiagra RD, which is a decent road component. The 3.0 has an Acera RD, which is a "recreational" component. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems the 2.0 has the better component here. FD and crank seem to be roughly the same and on a hybrid (or even most road bikes, for that matter), it will hardly make a difference. Interestingly, bikepedia shows the 2.0 as being a full pound lighter than the 3.0. So yeah, unless you seriously like the way the 3.0 rides, the 2.0 seems to be the better value.

Wait, are you saying it is worth the $200 price difference, or that the shop guy's claim is dubious? One pound weight difference, comparable crank, but a better RD doesn't seem worth it to me for entry-level. You'd more than make up for the weight difference by leaving your u-lock on the rack at work.

Never mind: just saw your later response. Carry on.

ShawnoftheDread
07-20-2012, 01:33 PM
This.

PS - STEEL IS REAL! ;)

Though aluminum is real too. Ever been hit in the head with a beer can? Real.

jabberwocky
07-20-2012, 01:39 PM
PS - STEEL IS REAL! ;)I used to believe this, until I broke pretty much every steel bike I've ever owned. :p

TwoWheelsDC
07-20-2012, 02:18 PM
Wait, are you saying it is worth the $200 price difference, or that the shop guy's claim is dubious? One pound weight difference, comparable crank, but a better RD doesn't seem worth it to me for entry-level. You'd more than make up for the weight difference by leaving your u-lock on the rack at work.

Never mind: just saw your later response. Carry on.

Sorry for the confusion...I was just assuming the 3.0 was the more expensive of the two when I was looking at the specs. Fuji may need to work on it's naming scheme...

TwoWheelsDC
07-20-2012, 02:24 PM
This.

PS - STEEL IS REAL! ;)

Aluminum sure feels real when it's rattling the teeth out of my skull :D it's worth it though because my aluminum bike shoots up hills compared to my steel bike. The difference in acceleration "feel" is very noticeable...not as much give.

GuyContinental
07-20-2012, 02:32 PM
I'm a pretty big fan of supporting thy LBS but Nashbar has two dang good deals right now on a generic steel 105 touring/commuter
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_522412_-1___203588

and a generic Force (or Rival for less) road bike
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_533290_-1___203588

You'd have a hard time buying that Force group (new) for that...

KelOnWheels
07-20-2012, 02:47 PM
it's worth it though because my aluminum bike shoots up hills compared to my steel bike.

Hmm. Yes. I do not think the movement of my bike up a hill can be described, even charitably, as "shooting". :D

Greenbelt
07-20-2012, 02:59 PM
Aluminum sure feels real when it's rattling the teeth out of my skull :D it's worth it though because my aluminum bike shoots up hills compared to my steel bike. The difference in acceleration "feel" is very noticeable...not as much give.

Carbon seat stays!

pfunkallstar
07-20-2012, 03:49 PM
4REAL! Carbon seat stays and a carbon fork make for fewer crowns and bridges. Then again, I've always somewhat longed to be one of those chill looking guys rocking the full-suspension, 6" travel frames on the MVT. They are going anywhere fast, but they are getting there in style.

xmlwave
07-20-2012, 04:05 PM
On the way home I stopped by Hudson Trail Outfitters per KLizotte's suggestion, and indeed -- there were quite a few bikes in my price range. I didn't even know the store existed and it is quite close to my work. (ty KLizotte!)

I tried couple of bikes and really liked the feel of 2011 Scott Sub 40. I hadn't heard of this brand before, but for $380 (+/-) the bike was quite nice. It appears that both Hudson Trail Outfitters (with this Scott) and Performance Bicycle (with the Fuji Absolute 3.0) offer lifetime adjustment service. Both bikes are about the same price, and both feel comfortable to ride. I looked up their specs at bikepedia.com per TwoWheelsDC suggestion, but it is hard for me to decypher which one has better components. Here are some examples:

2011 Fuji Absolute 3.0

Brakeset: Tektro Mini-V brakes, Promax alloy levers
Shift Levers: Shimano Acera
Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-M191
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Altus
Crankset: Fuji alloy, 28/38/48 teeth
Rear Cogs: 8-speed, 11 - 32 teeth
Seatpost: Fuji Micro Adjust, 27.2mm diameter
Hubs: Fuji alloy road
Rims: Jalco DT-21 double wall, 32-hole
Tires: 700 x 28c Kenda K-176


2011 Scott Sub 40

Brakeset: Scott Comp V-Brake brakes, Shimano ST-EF51 alloy levers
Shift Levers: Shimano ST-EF51
Front Derailleur: Shimano FD-M191, clamp on
Rear Derailleur: Shimano RD-M360
Crankset: Shimano FC-M171, 48/38/28t teeth
Rear Cogs: 11 - 32 teeth
Seatpost: Scott Alloy, 31.6mm diameter
Hubs: Front: Scott CO-31, Rear: Shimano FH-RM30
Rims: Rigida DP 2000, 32-hole
Tires: 700 x 37c Continental Sport Contact

So... Same price. Good fit. Which one is better (spec-wise)? Hudson Trail Outfitters vs. Performance Bicycle?

Mark Blacknell
07-20-2012, 05:07 PM
Which one rides better? Get that. If that doesn't work, which one looks better? Get that.

(Really, don't spend too much time overoptimizing. Get the one that makes you smile the most.)

lordofthemark
07-20-2012, 05:31 PM
What surfaces do you ride on? How fast do you go/want to go? How much do you carry?

for my current weekend rides all kinds of things - last weekend I took the bus to the MVT and rode that (and also the bridges too and from DC and a bit of the Canal towpath) Ive riden on the cross county trail, including the gravelly and dirt parts, on streets in annandale, sometimes on sidewalks on Little River Turnpike (varying sidewalk conditions).

The commute I am aiming to do would be from the Pentagon Metro station to corner of M and New Jersey SE.

Someday I would like to take a nice long ride on the W&OD - like to Purcellville and back.

Maybe its not being in shape, or knowing the tricks to riding effecitively (I do want to take a class) or its the heat, but I find I get exhausted riding the mountain bike any length, and I don't go very fast. Last sunday I did a short ride, maybe 10 minutes here in hilly annandale (to get to the bus) than a ride from the Pentagon around to the MVT and then on the MVT to Rosslyn, and by the time I got to Rosslyn I was tired and sweaty. I assume that would have been more pleasant on a lighter bike with narrower wheels.


I would still keep the MTB for the CCT excursions, and so forth. Or I would give it to my daughter.

vvill
07-20-2012, 06:11 PM
I'm a pretty big fan of supporting thy LBS but Nashbar has two dang good deals right now on a generic steel 105 touring/commuter
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_522412_-1___203588

and a generic Force (or Rival for less) road bike
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_533290_-1___203588

You'd have a hard time buying that Force group (new) for that...

Very true. I had a look at some of their bikes online today. You could always support the LBS by bringing your newly purchased Nashbar bike in for final fine-tuning. Though you might get some side eye. :D


Maybe its not being in shape, or knowing the tricks to riding effecitively (I do want to take a class) or its the heat, but I find I get exhausted riding the mountain bike any length, and I don't go very fast. Last sunday I did a short ride, maybe 10 minutes here in hilly annandale (to get to the bus) than a ride from the Pentagon around to the MVT and then on the MVT to Rosslyn, and by the time I got to Rosslyn I was tired and sweaty. I assume that would have been more pleasant on a lighter bike with narrower wheels.

The first time I ever tried the W&OD/Custis was about 6 years ago when I tried my commute on for size on a weekend. I had a $300 MTB and I was so exhausted, I didn't attempt riding to work for 3-4 years after that!(only to metro - it was thanks to Bike to Work Day I attempted bike commuting again.)

For a MTB I think the easiest optimization is to get thinner slicker tires, and make sure they are inflated enough. You can get 26" slicks for <$20 each (they're around 1.2-1.5 inches wide). It's probably not worth the $ trying to lighten a stock MTB. Also make sure your saddle is high enough for decent leg extension. If you happen to have a front shock with lockout it could be helpful to lock it out as well.

KLizotte
07-20-2012, 06:22 PM
So... Same price. Good fit. Which one is better (spec-wise)? Hudson Trail Outfitters vs. Performance Bicycle?

I agree with Mark. Go with the one that feels the most comfortable and seems to ride the best. That will make the biggest difference in enjoyment over the long term. If you keep up with routine maintenance and avoid potholes, the components will age equally well. The brands are both well respected. Also which LBS makes you feel the most comfortable and seems most willing to help you out with adjustments?

But it really comes down to whether the bike makes you feel like you are in control, doesn't hurt any body parts, feels "zippy", etc. If you don't want to get off, that's a good sign. Make sure before you buy that all of the accessories you want to add are doable (e.g., fenders, rack, etc).

ShawnoftheDread
07-20-2012, 06:31 PM
Either of those two is going to work find for your intended ride. Based on tire size, the Fuji might be a bit better on pavement and the Scott a bit better on trails with gravel sections.

I second what Mark said. Get the one you like better on a gut level, not analyzing the minor differences between those two component groups. Or buy from whichever store you feel better about.

xmlwave
07-21-2012, 05:35 PM
Alright... I got it. I was gravitating towards the Fuji Absolute 3.0, but at the end, I got the Diamondback Insight (Performance Exclusive). At the end of the day, I am still a newb when it comes to bikes, so I decided to start small and eventually build up to a more serious bike. Getting $600 bike would have been an overkill for my needs right now, even though I was sooo tempted (and had the budget). The guys at Performance Bicycle were exceptional, and I would not hesitate to recommend them (Vienna/Tyson's location) to anyone who is new to biking.

Thanks for all the support here on this forum! Now that I have a bike, I plan to visit this forum for more insight and suggestion on how best to explore the trails around Arlington. There are also more accessories and gear to get, but all this in its own time.

Can't wait to go out on the trails tomorrow when the rain stops. :) See you all there!

KelOnWheels
07-21-2012, 06:47 PM
Alright... I got it. I was gravitating towards the Fuji Absolute 3.0, but at the end, I got the Diamondback Insight (Performance Exclusive).

Pics or it didn't happen! :D

KLizotte
07-21-2012, 09:44 PM
Congrats! You will now become obsessed with weather forecasts and radar, at least during the summer. Make sure you have a good lock and lots of water!

Get your hands on the various bike maps the counties put out.

Enjoy.

xmlwave
07-22-2012, 08:00 PM
The Insight handles very well. At least compared to my old bike. This morning was drizzling a bit, but I still went out East on W&OD trail for few miles. However, this afternoon the weather was great and I was able to check out W&OD West of here. Looks like commuting to DC on this bike should be fairly easy! This week I will try to get biking gloves and few other accessories to make the commute easier/ more fun.

I noticed some noise from the bike (esp. at higher speeds), but couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I will probably go back to the store for them to check out the alignment, etc. I am really glad that I got it from a local store vs. ordering it online and having to assemble it myself.

Here is a pic of the bike from this afternoon. 1392

KelOnWheels
07-22-2012, 09:00 PM
Nice! Happy riding!

mstone
07-23-2012, 08:23 AM
Sorry for the confusion...I was just assuming the 3.0 was the more expensive of the two when I was looking at the specs. Fuji may need to work on it's naming scheme...

Fuji call the top-end model in each line 1.0, and the numbers increase as the price-point goes down, sorta like "first place, second place, etc."

vvill
07-23-2012, 09:00 AM
Looks like a sweet ride. My first non-department store/yard sale bike was a Diamondback.

pfunkallstar
07-23-2012, 09:17 AM
The Insight handles very well. At least compared to my old bike. This morning was drizzling a bit, but I still went out East on W&OD trail for few miles. However, this afternoon the weather was great and I was able to check out W&OD West of here. Looks like commuting to DC on this bike should be fairly easy! This week I will try to get biking gloves and few other accessories to make the commute easier/ more fun.

I noticed some noise from the bike (esp. at higher speeds), but couldn't figure out where it was coming from. I will probably go back to the store for them to check out the alignment, etc. I am really glad that I got it from a local store vs. ordering it online and having to assemble it myself.

Here is a pic of the bike from this afternoon. 1392

That is a slick looking bike. Diamondback is definitely the Hyundai of the bike world - in the best way possible. They take a little bit from Specialized, a little from Trek, and mash it up into something people can afford. Happy Riding!

DismalScientist
07-23-2012, 11:42 AM
I'm a pretty big fan of supporting thy LBS but Nashbar has two dang good deals right now on a generic steel 105 touring/commuter
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_522412_-1___203588

and a generic Force (or Rival for less) road bike
http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product_10053_10052_533290_-1___203588

You'd have a hard time buying that Force group (new) for that...

Nashbar is Performance on the internet. I bought their generic 105 touring bike and am satisfied, although I would have wanted, and bought, better wheels. The pedals are crap as well. I also changed the 35 mm tires to 28s.

All that said, I would suggest used. Bikes are like cars and their resale value falls after taking them out of the lot.

And, of course, old steel is more real than new steel. But any steel is more real than Aluminum.