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need some new bike sug.'s(4 posts)

need some new bike sug.'sThierry
May 7, 2001 10:09 AM
I am just getting back into this biking thing after years and years of being away. I need a new road bike. My budget is a whoping 600-$800. I will do some touring and a lot of commuting. Thinking of the GT ZR 4000 @ $700. Please help. THX
If it's for touring and commuting ...Brian C.
May 7, 2001 10:17 AM
you might want to consider a hybrid.
Just a thought.
re: need some new bike sug.'sRich Clark
May 7, 2001 11:16 AM
I'm a big fan of loaded touring bikes for use as commuters, even moreso if some actual touring is also part of the mix.

It's true that you can get a lot of the same functionality from a hybrid, and if the hybrid's upright seating position appeals to you it might be worth investigating. There are a million of them, from every manufacturer, and my advice is to shop for a good bike shop, one that really understands and believes in "fit first," and work with them. There's not a lot of important differences between comparable hybrids from Trek, Raleigh, Bianchi, Cannondale, Giant, Jamis, etc., etc., and you can get a very upscale one with your budget.

But if it's a road bike you want, the new touring bikes in your price range can be listed easily: Raleigh R300 ($650), the almost identical Diamondback Interval ($650), REI Novara Randonee ($750), Fuji Touring Series ($750). Of these, I'd pick the Novara if you already have good wrench skills and/or a good relationship with a nearby bike shop, since it's very well-specced for the money but REI stores are few and far between, and the quality of their shops may be inconsistent. I'd pick the Fuji otherwise.

For a little more money, you hit the sweet spot of three really excellent bikes: Cannondale T800, Bianchi Volpe, Trek 520, all between $900 and $1k.

The main problem with touring bikes is that most shops have few, if any, in stock. Even shops that do a lot of road business tend to stock only racing and sport bikes, if you want a tourer, with its capacity for front and rear racks, fenders, wide tires, and extended gearing -- the very things that also make them outstanding commuting bikes -- you have to order one. A good shop will do this for you on spec, though, without obligation on your part.

Good luck,
RichC
another to consider...BudhaSlug
May 7, 2001 1:33 PM
you might also want to look at a Surly Cross-check. Its set up as a cyclo-cross frame (as far as geometry), but can handle just about anything... road, cross, touring (it has rack eyelets and long enough chainstays), and it can even be set up as a single speed or fixed gear. I bought one about 5 months ago for winter riding, set it up as a single speed/fixed gear, and plan to do a good bit of fixed gear touring on it this summer. Check out surlybikes.com... any LBS can order a frame/fork or a complete bike (with some careful discount or used parts buying you could put together a sweet rig for 600-800 easy)

Peace and Light,
Ben