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  1. #1
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    Advice for first hybrid!

    I'm looking for an entry level bike that can do a little bit of everything, and only looking to spend a few hundred bucks. I've decided I want disc brakes and lockout suspension, and have been eyeing models like the Trek DS and Giant Roam. I've spent my fair share researching and educating myself online since I'm a noob, but can't decide what would be best for me. I'm having trouble finding good deals on Craigslist for the type of bike I'm looking for, but not sure if I want to pay for a new bike! I understand I might have to fork up some more money than planned, but what details and components or whatever should I be focusing on? Also, I've noticed bikes with rigid forks are much more popular on Craigslist. If I see a good deal on a rigid fork can I safely throw on a suspension fork? Really any advice would be appreciated!

  2. #2
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    What type of riding are you planning to do? road? rail trails? mountain? gravel? bike paths? that will be important. Also what's a few hundred? 2 or 7?
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2014 All City Macho Man Disc
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    What type of riding are you planning to do? road? rail trails? mountain? gravel? bike paths? that will be important. Also what's a few hundred? 2 or 7?
    Mostly road and light trails, but want a bike that can handle a little rougher terrain if needed. I have an old Schwinn 10 speed that I've been using on the road and paths, but can't really take anywhere else. Budget wise, I'd prefer not to spend more than 5 since I'm new to this!

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  4. #4
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    Personally, I would rather find a good rigid MTB (29er maybe?) vs. a Hybrid - Depending on the bike yes you can swap to a suspension fork. Cheap sus forks are worthless hence the rigid suggestion. If you are comfortable with used, then you might find a decent bike with a decent fork, but it might take some time. You can post links here of your CL finds and you will get feedback. FWIW I ride my rigid bike on rail trails and a bit of road if I want a change from CX bike. (which is another option btw I paid $400.00 for my Kona Jake) Good luck! (others will chime in with other options)

    ps. just make sure whatever bike you get - fits!
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2014 All City Macho Man Disc
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcd46 View Post
    Personally, I would rather find a good rigid MTB (29er maybe?) vs. a Hybrid - Depending on the bike yes you can swap to a suspension fork. Cheap sus forks are worthless hence the rigid suggestion. If you are comfortable with used, then you might find a decent bike with a decent fork, but it might take some time. You can post links here of your CL finds and you will get feedback. FWIW I ride my rigid bike on rail trails and a bit of road if I want a change from CX bike. (which is another option btw I paid $400.00 for my Kona Jake) Good luck! (others will chime in with other options)

    ps. just make sure whatever bike you get - fits!
    ^ solid advice!! an older MTB or cyclocross/gravel bike is a much better option than a hybrid with a terrible fork.

    With a $500 budget you have some options but will need to be patient and shop carefully. You don't want to end up with a turd that needs $200 in repairs. you may have to compromise somewhere (disc brakes, lockout fork, etc.).

    I'd rather have excellent rim brakes than crappy disc brakes, and I'd rather have a good rigid fork than a crappy suspension fork. YMMV
    Rigid SS 29er
    Fat Lefty
    SS MonsterCross
    SS cyclocross
    all steel

    Stop asking how much it weighs and just go ride it.

  6. #6
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    I'm comfortable buying used if it's in good condition. I don't know much about tune ups so definitely don't want a bike that needs a lot of repairs. As for the suspension, my old Schwinn is a road bike with a rigid fork so that's why I'm hesitant to get another rigid fork. But maybe that's not logical thinking? Here's what I've found on CL:

    Trek 7.2

    Gary Fisher Cronus

    Trek Marlin

    Kona

    KHS 2.0 Ultra Sport

    Ridley Blast

    I know that's a lot of links, but I just can't decide what is a good deal for the price! I'm 5'7" so looking for small to medium frames, but not all posts give the size.

  7. #7
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    You can probably bring this down to $450/400? -

    https://waterloo.craigslist.org/bik/6104101551.html
    2016 SC Heckler R build
    2014 All City Macho Man Disc
    Nashbar 29er (Rigid)

    Giggity!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by PTzach View Post
    I don't know much about tune ups so definitely don't want a bike that needs a lot of repairs.
    All bikes need regular servicing and attention. Unless you like walking home pushing a bicycle?

    The best do-it-all bike, in my opinion, is a hard-tail mountain bike. A hybrid isn't strong enough for rougher trails and a CX bike isn't going to be a lot of fun on them. Hard-tails are by far the most popular type of bike for a reason.

    I buy most of my bikes used. People buy bikes and never use them so you can find essentially brand new bikes for sale at great prices.

    I'd go for medium frame on most bikes if I were you.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr Pig View Post
    All bikes need regular servicing and attention. Unless you like walking home pushing a bicycle?

    The best do-it-all bike, in my opinion, is a hard-tail mountain bike. A hybrid isn't strong enough for rougher trails and a CX bike isn't going to be a lot of fun on them. Hard-tails are by far the most popular type of bike for a reason.

    I buy most of my bikes used. People buy bikes and never use them so you can find essentially brand new bikes for sale at great prices.

    I'd go for medium frame on most bikes if I were you.
    I understand I'll have to maintain any bike I get, but don't want to buy a used that needs some parts replaced. I'm thinking I should buy new, or make sure a CL bike is in great condition. I've been looking at hard-tails for the most part, so I guess I should probably stop using the term "hybrid." What do you think about the Giant Roam 3 for an entry-level? It has disc brakes and lockout, and under $500. I know the fork is probably on the lower end, but would it last me at least a year or two before I feel comfortable upgrading the fork? Buying it from the LBS would also give me a year of adjustments and tune-ups and what not.

    Giant Roam 3

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by PTzach View Post
    What do you think about the Giant Roam 3 for an entry-level?
    Entry level is exactly the correct description of it. I would say a bike like that represents the absolute bottom rung of the acceptable mountain bike ladder. Any worse than that and I wouldn't touch it. Having said that, I still couldn't bring myself to buy it. For that money you could buy a mint, nice quality used bike and that's what I'd do.

    But if it's just for pootling around the town and light, smooth trails it'll do fine. If you plan on ending up with a better bike I would either leave it as it is and sell it come upgrade time or not buy it in the first place. I wouldn't put money into upgrading it.

    When you look at lower-end bikes like this you're thinking 'Right, it's got a crap fork but I can replace that' but the truth is that everything on the bike is cheap. The bars, frame and other parts will be heavy, the wheels will buckle easily, the dérailleurs will wear out quicker than better quality ones would. Fitting a better fork would be a good upgrade but for what it would cost to upgrade the bike you could've bought a bike that was better over all.

    So sure, as a starter bike, it's fine. If you were saying 'I want a cheap bike to get me out of the house, nothing too demanding' I'd say yeah, this bike will do the job. But you've indicated that you want to upgrade it. Bit less easy to recommend it then.

  11. #11
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    If you are buying used and not knowledgeable and capable of bicycle maintenance and repairs, you might budget $150 for tuneup and repairs with the realization it could be less or it could be much more.
    Do the math.

  12. #12
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    Found a 2006 Specialized Stumpjumper disc on CL for $375. Owner claims it's only been ridden a few times, and going off bicycle blue book I could probably get it for a little less. Brand New price was $1600. Does that look like a good deal assuming the bike is in good shape?

    2006 Specialized Stumpjumper Disc

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  13. #13
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    Offer $225-$250 and strike a deal, keep it under $300. You will need to lose that gel seat cover and spend some bucks for new tires if you want to do any rugged off-roading.

  14. #14
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    It looks like a decent bike for the money but it's a good age, which will limit its life. by that I mean that upgrading it will be difficult because a lot of the newer stuff won't fit it.

    But that doesn't mean it's not a perfectly viable bike. Lots of people ride bikes like that every day and have fun doing it. As a cheap way to get mobile it's a fine option.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PTzach View Post
    Found a 2006 Specialized Stumpjumper disc on CL for $375. Owner claims it's only been ridden a few times, and going off bicycle blue book I could probably get it for a little less. Brand New price was $1600. Does that look like a good deal assuming the bike is in good shape?

    2006 Specialized Stumpjumper Disc

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    The bike is 11 years old. I wouldn't bother with it. Not even at $200.

    I agree that a hybrid isn't your best option if you want to ride mtb trails. I commute on a "hybrid" with 35mm tires and they're far too narrow for even packed gravel trails.

    A hybrid could work, but it really depends upon the tire width. It would also very, very heavily depend upon just how much road, gravel, and mtb you want to ride.

    As for mtb bikes... There are many makes and models that can be bought new from local bike stores that you can get the right size for $350-$500.

    Here's one of many examples.

    Product: GT Backwoods Sport Mountain Bike - Performance Exclusive

    I rode this bike on legit mtb trails for two years; I was 240 pounds +/-. Never broke a part. Only replaced the tires. Still in great shape.

    I tried to buy a used bike first. Never found one of the Craigslist treasures; I'm sure they're out there, but they don't grow on trees.

    Don't believe this forum's rote advice that the inexpensive, entry-level bike is terrible. It's not. They provide great value and quite worth the minimal price.

    I can't recommend one enough.

  16. #16
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    There's this one too, if you want to stick with Giant- https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/talon-3 I have an higher end ($800) "entry level" hardtail that I ride the crap out of. As in heavy rooted trails, smaller rocks, and small jumps. Bike has held up fine. If you are doing mostly road/gravel and an occasional ride through the woods, any of the mountain hardtails should hold up for a long time.
    2016 GT Avalanche Comp
    2016 Raleigh Willard 1

  17. #17
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    How is this offer on CL? From looking it up seems like it's a great deal, especially with the extras...thoughts?

    Specialized Rockhopper Comp 29

  18. #18
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    Based on bicycle blue book the bike itself is worth about $415. All the extra stuff it comes with looks to be easily worth the $94 extra. If its the right size, I'd say go for it. See if they will knock a few bucks off.
    2016 GT Avalanche Comp
    2016 Raleigh Willard 1

  19. #19
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    Yes, looks like an excellent buy.

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    I looked further into the size, and unfortunately I think it's far too big. Only a medium frame, but according to Specialized archives the stand over height is almost 32 inches. For myself who is 5'7", that's way too big right?

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  21. #21
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    Unless different sizing applies for mountain bikes?

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  22. #22
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    Should fit fine.

  23. #23
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    if you ever want to ride single track, hybrids are not ideal. if you insist, just go to costco and buy the hybrid bike they ahve for $160ish.

    i recommend a XC hardtail. wait for a deal like the one below and buy it. Xct fork and disc brakes for under $350 is what you're looking for.
    Google << slickdeals GT Pro Mountain Bike: Adult Aggressor or Women's Laguna $300 >>

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