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  1. #1
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    Newbie needs some help!

    Hey y'all! I'm pretty new to riding anything other than cheap Walmart bikes, and I'm looking into getting a new bike. I'd appreciate any advice you could give me! TL;DR at the bottom :)

    Background: I currently have a Trek 7100 WSD which I've used to go to and from class (I'm in college). I live on campus so the distance is pretty insignificant. It does its job and is faster than walking, but it's also clunky, slow, and heavy. I don't feel comfortable using it for anything other than the 5 minute ride to class.

    What I want: I'm looking for an entry-level bike for the purpose of commuting, fitness, and the occasional weekend adventure. Hopefully I'll be in nursing school in the fall, and the apartments are only a couple miles away from the school. I like to ride on park trails and on roads so I need something suitable for both. I'm not rough on my bike, but I do have to go off of curbs and on grass/mud/gravel to avoid people walking to class. So I need something that can handle off road as well. I'd also like something that would give me a decent road workout! I've only ever had the flat bar handlebars, but I'd like to upgrade to drop bar. I'm not really interested in racing so it doesn't have to be the best or fastest bike out there, just the best for me. I'm also small, about 5'1 and 105 lbs. My inseam is a little bit under 29 inches I think, but I don't know how accurately I measured that. So I need a bike that's available in a smaller size. I'd also like it to last a while so that I don't need to get another bike for a long time.

    What I've looked at: I'm primarily looking at the Giant Invite 2 (Invite 2 (2014) - Bikes | Giant Bicycles | United States). From what I understand, it's a cyclocross bike so it can handle roads and off roads. It's available in both a S and XS size, and at $1150 it's probably the most that I could spend on a bike right now. I think it's on the cheaper end of quality bikes. And apparently it's pretty easy to get a set of road tires (slicks?) and put them on a cx bike, but it's not so easy to put thicker tires on a road bike. I also love the way it looks :) I'm not sure what all of the measurements mean for each of the sizes, but I think I'm leaning toward the XS just because I'm shorter than average.

    Advice: Really anything that you could tell me would be appreciated. Does a cyclocross bike seem like a good fit for what I want? Is the Invite 2 a decent bike? Based on my measurements and the table given on the website, do you think a S or XS would fit me better? Are there any other bikes you would recommend for me? What are your opinions on clip less pedals (I've heard both great and not great things)?

    Sorry this is pretty long, but I'd appreciate the help :)

    TL;DR: I need a do anything bike for commuting, fitness, and adventure. Is a cyclocross bike, specifically the Giant Invite 2, a good fit for me?
    Last edited by BU2016; 01-20-2014 at 02:32 PM.

  2. #2
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    That invite 2 looks good just make sure it has clearance for like 35c knobbies in case you want to ride off road more. Also a lower end trek crockett, trek cross rip, or cannondale caadx (get discs) which they made down to a 44cm. Also any cross bike that you are using for commuting id really recommend disc brakes. My winter/beater/pit cross bike has trp euro x's and i couldnt stop worth a damn today ridding in the snow. That Giant bike has a 50cm top tube thats pretty small, if its too long there isnt much choice in anything else. Hard to say if it would fit you w/o seeing you on a bike.

  3. #3
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    that giant should be fine. The "compact" frame may be harder to shoulder....

    you don't have to doing a cross race to need to shoulder a bike...

  4. #4
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    Thanks for the reply! Sorry, what do you mean by clearance? I'll check out those treks and cannondale as well, and I think the giant does have disc brakes.

  5. #5
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    Thanks! I'm ok with that being harder. I don't know that I'll have to shoulder it all that often, and as long as it's not impossible then I'm fine with it.

  6. #6
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    There is a female rider that rides with us sometimes..she is riding the Invite 2 from Giant...I think the she is right at 5 foot 5 so I can no t comment on their sizing...she has used it on 40 mile gravel grinders with us with no problems..she has done longer road rides on it and from looking at in person it seems like it would do ok on fire roads and hard pack smooth XC type trails...

    I am not sure what kind of clearance(how big a tire you can put on a bike) is on the rear....that is something you really want to know...she is still running the stock tires on it that came with it...I did not pay attention to it to see if it had mounts for a rear rack...

    I will say in person the Invite 2 was a pretty sweet looking little rig..price seems really reasonable on it...she pretty much stopped riding her road bike in favor for the invite due to the more relaxed geometry(fit) of the bike...

  7. #7
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    Do you happen to know what size her Invite2 is? My bike shop said they will have more of this model over Spring Break so I can go and check out how much clearance there is. Yeah it looks great from the pictures I've seen! Thanks for your reply!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BU2016 View Post
    Do you happen to know what size her Invite2 is? My bike shop said they will have more of this model over Spring Break so I can go and check out how much clearance there is. Yeah it looks great from the pictures I've seen! Thanks for your reply!
    I have no idea the size she is riding...whatever size it is for her height it seems to fit perfect for her.... at 5'1 I think you would be on the XS version..my wife is your height and everyone of her bikes she rides is the smallest version that is offered in her models and she has never had issues with the bikes fitting her

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyTx View Post
    I have no idea the size she is riding...whatever size it is for her height it seems to fit perfect for her.... at 5'1 I think you would be on the XS version..my wife is your height and everyone of her bikes she rides is the smallest version that is offered in her models and she has never had issues with the bikes fitting her
    Ok thanks. Yeah I figured the XS would be right for me.

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