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First Time Serious Bike Purchase - Giant Roam 2?

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First Time Serious Bike Purchase - Giant Roam 2?

Old 06-08-19, 06:57 PM
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CircularReason
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First Time Serious Bike Purchase - Giant Roam 2?

Hey friends,

First post, and looking for advice. I'm trying to get into biking, partly for fun with my family, partly for exercise and adventure. I'm looking for something that will allow me to do a little bit of everything. In reality, probably 70% of my riding will be on back country roads, but I like the idea of going on trails and such (though admittedly, I've never actually done that). I have an LBS that's 15 minutes down the road, and they sell mainly Giant bikes. The owner there pointed me towards the Giant Roam 2 (2019). I tired it, and I like it, though again I have very little experience in this whole serious biking thing. So....

Is this a good bike to get for a do it all kind of bike? Is there other bikes I should be looking at? trek? Specialized (some other LBS near me have these?) I'm looking to stay around the price of the Roam 2, but if I need to go a little more for something that's the right bike, I'm willing to do that.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-08-19, 09:26 PM
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If it fits comfortably, and will support your purposes for riding, its right.

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Old 06-08-19, 09:40 PM
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A lot depends on the condition and surface of the back country roads you will riding. If you are going to be riding mostly on pavement on fairly decent roads, I would think long and hard before making a decision to spend that kind of coin on a bike that has shocks on the front. If you are going to be doing lots of gravel and trails or the country roads are really rough, then suspension forks might be a good idea...

I do 90% of my riding on back country paved roads, 5% on gravel and 5% on greenways and other surfaces. I love my 2011 Fuji Absolute for this purpose. But if I were looking for a Giant starter bike, I'd be looking at the Giant Escape 2, or the Escape 3 if cost is an issue. For the price difference I would go with the Escape 2. But that's just me.

Other similar bikes:

Fuji Absolute
Specialized Sirrus
Trek FX

Note: My 1997 Trek 830 does have suspension forks, surprisingly good ones, especially for its age. I love it, and its makes a great backup and 'second' bike, but my Fuji is what I choose to ride much more often. I mention that just to say that I do have experience both with standard forks and suspension forks, and for decent paved roads I much prefer standard forks. When I'm riding gravel I'm more likely to choose the Trek with suspension forks. I don't ride trails/woods unless I'm just running a gap between paved roads or greenways. In other words, not if I can help it.

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Old 06-09-19, 06:08 AM
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The Roam is probably a good bike for your stated use. I have a 2018 model Roam 2, and I quite like it. It will take larger tires, which I've really come to prefer. The Escape series may also be a good bike, but I can tell you from experience that they ride and feel very different. I rode an Escape and a Roam before buying my Roam. In addition to the comfort the suspension fork provides, the Roam also has a more upright riding position (because of the extra height of the suspension). That's one of the reasons I bought the Roam over the Escape -- it just felt better.

That was for me, though. You will have your own preferences and reaction to how different bikes fit. Certainly test both and make your decision based on what your body tells you.
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Old 06-09-19, 08:24 AM
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As I mentioned in another thread asking about gravel hybrids......If you are looking for a high quality AL frame bike take a look at Canyon's Pathlight SL 7.0. Next year they may bring in one of the carbon framed models as well. My wife and I have a couple of their high end flat bar road bikes and found them to be a fantastic bikes and Canyon's purchase experience beyond our hopes. Check out the link for the Pathlight here if interested: https://www.canyon.com/en-us/fitness...rahmenfarbe=BK

One of the nice things about Canyon is now free shipping, no sales tax out of CA, and they give you 30 days to try it out or send back for FULL refund.
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Old 06-09-19, 09:59 AM
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As someone who also just got back into the cycling after many years away, I can't agree more with the recommendation to visit your local shops and try as many bikes (makes and models). There are so many differences between bike makers and bike types, and even within the same maker, within each model, that internet research can only do so much. I'll give a great example. I thought I wanted a certain type of bike as a "cheaper, ride around town and not freak out about it being stolen" bike. Read about several models on this forum that, just based on what owners have said, seemed to tick off all the boxes I was looking for. I tried those models and found out they were absolutely not for me. Nothing against the bikes, the riding position and how far apart my hands were just not what I was looking for. So online research and opinions are a great place to start, but be sure to ride before you make a decision. I now see bicycles like cars. Read the online reviews and get a feel for pricing...but I'd never buy a car without test driving it (and quite a few others in its class).
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Old 06-09-19, 11:18 AM
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I'm sure the Canyon is a great bike, but the OP clearly stated:

"...I'm looking to stay around the price of the Roam 2".

Originally Posted by DowneasTTer View Post
As I mentioned in another thread asking about gravel hybrids......If you are looking for a high quality AL frame bike take a look at Canyon's Pathlight SL 7.0. Next year they may bring in one of the carbon framed models as well. My wife and I have a couple of their high end flat bar road bikes and found them to be a fantastic bikes and Canyon's purchase experience beyond our hopes. Check out the link for the Pathlight here if interested: https://www.canyon.com/en-us/fitness...rahmenfarbe=BK

One of the nice things about Canyon is now free shipping, no sales tax out of CA, and they give you 30 days to try it out or send back for FULL refund.
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Old 06-09-19, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Rje58 View Post
I'm sure the Canyon is a great bike, but the OP clearly stated:

"...I'm looking to stay around the price of the Roam 2".
Actually he said "I'm looking to stay around the price of the Roam 2, but if I need to go a little more for something that's the right bike, I'm willing to do that." I guess it depends on what he views as a little more ....... for a lot more bike.....Roam 2 about $700 Roam 1 about $1000 ...... Pathlight 6.0 around $1100 and Pathlight 7.0 around $1400.
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Old 06-09-19, 12:01 PM
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More info/choices for OP is always good. And people's idea of "a little bit more" always varies. My thinking though was that if OP knows of Roam 2, he likely knows of the whole Roam lineup, including the Roam 1 for $1000. If he was comfortable with $1000+ he'd have started this thread with Roam 1. The Pathlite starts above the Roam 1, so that's why it didn't occur to me to recommend that (or any other bike over $1000). I had intuited that if he chose to start at the $700 range, knowing the next step up in that line was $1000, by "staying around the price" he meant capping it at below what the Roam 1 was at.

But it's his call, and Canyon does have a stellar reputation!
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Old 06-09-19, 02:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CircularReason View Post
Hey friends,

First post, and looking for advice. I'm trying to get into biking, partly for fun with my family, partly for exercise and adventure. I'm looking for something that will allow me to do a little bit of everything. In reality, probably 70% of my riding will be on back country roads, but I like the idea of going on trails and such (though admittedly, I've never actually done that). I have an LBS that's 15 minutes down the road, and they sell mainly Giant bikes. The owner there pointed me towards the Giant Roam 2 (2019). I tired it, and I like it, though again I have very little experience in this whole serious biking thing. So....

Is this a good bike to get for a do it all kind of bike? Is there other bikes I should be looking at? trek? Specialized (some other LBS near me have these?) I'm looking to stay around the price of the Roam 2, but if I need to go a little more for something that's the right bike, I'm willing to do that.

Thanks in advance.
We have all been there. You want to get back to cycling, but the choices are confusing. Way back in the 80s, there were two basic types of bikes. Road bikes, with drop bars, and mountain bikes. Then around the early 90s, the hybrid was born. Flat bars and mountain bike frame, and tires somewhere between the thin tires on road bikes and the thick knobby tires on mountain bikes.

Today, there are drop bar bikes with wide tires for gravel adventures, and hybrids that are basically road bikes with flat bars.

Then there are hybrids with suspension forks, which is what you are considering.

I am not a fan of the suspension fork hybrid. Mountain bikes have them because of the need to navigate over rough terrain and maintain speed. But you pay a weight penalty and additionally, it really isn't suitable for single track anyway. And you pay a weight penalty, and on the cheaper forks, the fork sucks energy because of the tendency to act as a pogo stick, unless the bike has a suspension lockout, in which case, why have a suspension at all. For those reasons, I would say to stay away from any entry level or even mid priced bike with a suspension fork.
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Old 06-09-19, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by CarloM View Post
More info/choices for OP is always good. And people's idea of "a little bit more" always varies. My thinking though was that if OP knows of Roam 2, he likely knows of the whole Roam lineup, including the Roam 1 for $1000. If he was comfortable with $1000+ he'd have started this thread with Roam 1. The Pathlite starts above the Roam 1, so that's why it didn't occur to me to recommend that (or any other bike over $1000). I had intuited that if he chose to start at the $700 range, knowing the next step up in that line was $1000, by "staying around the price" he meant capping it at below what the Roam 1 was at.

But it's his call, and Canyon does have a stellar reputation!
I agree. For bike nerds, it might seem like nothing to suggest spending another $300 to get something better, but a lot of folks already considering themselves stretching up to get to $700 retail. And truth be told, at that price point, you should be able to get something decent. The only question is, what is decent?

Giant offers good value in their low to mid price tiers, but they do seem to have made some odd choices in upgrading some models and downgrading others. To my mind, the old Escape 1 was a fantastic value at $650. But the Escape 1 is now discontinued, so if you want that level of quality, you need to go up to the Escape 1 disc at $790. And while disc brakes are a nice feature, IMO, they are not really necessary on a hybrid that is meant for leisure and fitness riding. While they offer better performance in wet weather, they are also more complex which adds to costs down the line.
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Old 06-10-19, 12:05 AM
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To add to your question, MRT2, about "what is decent"? It's also important for him to audition as many bikes as he can within the areas he'll be riding around frequently, if possible. Hopefully his LBS's will be willing to let him go a little far afield with the proper deposit (usually an ID and a CC number just in case you damage the bike). Here's my personal experience why:

While I plan on going on long-ish rides when I can get away for a weekend jaunt, the majority of my rides will be commuting the couple of miles to/from work, and within about 5 miles of where I live. Well, there is little to no flat land where I live. Everything is slightly inclined/declined, with a few punishing areas with steeper grades. So while someone who rides mostly flat terrain may have different priorities than me, I learned that fast, accurate shifting, and a higher number of gears on the cassette were most important to me, along with ride comfort. The loaner the bike shop gave me until mine arrives has 7 in the cassette and 3 in the front (vs. 11 and 2). I find the difference between gears on the cassette too great on the loaner when going up certain inclines, so sometimes I'm hunting between the front and rear gears. Couple that with the loaner being a lowest level FX that is quite a few years old...well let's just say shifting can be dicey sometimes. But when I rode the FX S5 and 6 around the same areas, shifting was much more a breeze since I was only changing the rear gears vs. the front, and the Shimano components on the new bikes are so much nicer than the loaner.

Since OP is just getting into biking (and I had been on a 25+ year hiatus, so current bike technology was basically unrecognizable to me), I'd wager we both couldn't hope to know everything we need to know about the type of bike we want just from reading online reviews and advice. I was so out of the game, and riding a lot of bikes from my LBS taught me so much about what I wanted (and didn't want) in a bike.

So my final advice for OP is to ride as many bikes as you can from as many shops as you can. Test out shifting. Test out inclines. If the LBS's will let him, ride a bit in the areas he plans to ride on the most. He seems to be in an area that has Trek, Specialized and Giant which are the Big Three, so he should be covered as far as variety.
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Old 06-10-19, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by CarloM View Post
To add to your question, MRT2, about "what is decent"? It's also important for him to audition as many bikes as he can within the areas he'll be riding around frequently, if possible. Hopefully his LBS's will be willing to let him go a little far afield with the proper deposit (usually an ID and a CC number just in case you damage the bike). Here's my personal experience why:

While I plan on going on long-ish rides when I can get away for a weekend jaunt, the majority of my rides will be commuting the couple of miles to/from work, and within about 5 miles of where I live. Well, there is little to no flat land where I live. Everything is slightly inclined/declined, with a few punishing areas with steeper grades. So while someone who rides mostly flat terrain may have different priorities than me, I learned that fast, accurate shifting, and a higher number of gears on the cassette were most important to me, along with ride comfort. The loaner the bike shop gave me until mine arrives has 7 in the cassette and 3 in the front (vs. 11 and 2). I find the difference between gears on the cassette too great on the loaner when going up certain inclines, so sometimes I'm hunting between the front and rear gears. Couple that with the loaner being a lowest level FX that is quite a few years old...well let's just say shifting can be dicey sometimes. But when I rode the FX S5 and 6 around the same areas, shifting was much more a breeze since I was only changing the rear gears vs. the front, and the Shimano components on the new bikes are so much nicer than the loaner.

Since OP is just getting into biking (and I had been on a 25+ year hiatus, so current bike technology was basically unrecognizable to me), I'd wager we both couldn't hope to know everything we need to know about the type of bike we want just from reading online reviews and advice. I was so out of the game, and riding a lot of bikes from my LBS taught me so much about what I wanted (and didn't want) in a bike.

So my final advice for OP is to ride as many bikes as you can from as many shops as you can. Test out shifting. Test out inclines. If the LBS's will let him, ride a bit in the areas he plans to ride on the most. He seems to be in an area that has Trek, Specialized and Giant which are the Big Three, so he should be covered as far as variety.
A good post except for one thing. If you look closely at a gear inch calculator, you will find the biggest difference between, say, a 10 or 11 speed cassette and an 8 gear cassette is in how closely spaced the bigger gears are, and almost no difference in the spacing of the lower gears. Add to that the fact that the 10 and 11 speed cassettes are more often than not paired with a double chainring while the 8 and 9 speeds are paired with a triple chainring and you will discover that a well chosen 3 x 8 or 3 x 9 is MORE useful for big climbs than is a 2 x 10 or 2 x 11. The reason for this is, when you are suffering up a steep climb, you are using the 3 or 4 largest cogs at the back of the cassette.

So comparing the typical 2 x 11 with a compact double to the typical 3 x 8 hybrid with a triple, the lowest 4 gear combinations on the 2 x 11 are 28.7, 32.8. 36.7 and 41.7. On the 3 x 8 triple with the smaller chainring, the 4 smallest gears are 21.9, 25, 29, and 33. As you can see, the spacing between the 4 lowest gears is about the same on the 8 and 11 speed options, while the gearing is significantly lower on the 8 speed option, paired with a triple chainring. The choice for a person having to deal with big hills should be obvious. The 3 x 8, hands down.
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Old 06-10-19, 09:02 AM
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Originally Posted by MRT2 View Post
A good post except for one thing. If you look closely at a gear inch calculator, you will find the biggest difference between, say, a 10 or 11 speed cassette and an 8 gear cassette is in how closely spaced the bigger gears are, and almost no difference in the spacing of the lower gears. Add to that the fact that the 10 and 11 speed cassettes are more often than not paired with a double chainring while the 8 and 9 speeds are paired with a triple chainring and you will discover that a well chosen 3 x 8 or 3 x 9 is MORE useful for big climbs than is a 2 x 10 or 2 x 11. The reason for this is, when you are suffering up a steep climb, you are using the 3 or 4 largest cogs at the back of the cassette.

So comparing the typical 2 x 11 with a compact double to the typical 3 x 8 hybrid with a triple, the lowest 4 gear combinations on the 2 x 11 are 28.7, 32.8. 36.7 and 41.7. On the 3 x 8 triple with the smaller chainring, the 4 smallest gears are 21.9, 25, 29, and 33. As you can see, the spacing between the 4 lowest gears is about the same on the 8 and 11 speed options, while the gearing is significantly lower on the 8 speed option, paired with a triple chainring. The choice for a person having to deal with big hills should be obvious. The 3 x 8, hands down.
So again, pardon my ignorance as I'm just getting back into cycling, but here's what I'm seeing.

Here is a pic of the cassette from the loaner bike that I have right now:

I'm seeing a huge difference between the 2nd gear and the largest 1st gear (the one that says Megadrive Super-Low 34T). I'm using 1st and 2nd gear numbering because that's how they're numbered on the shifters...and also how I'm used to thinking about gears as it relates to cars.

And here is a picture I took of the cassette from Trek's website for the FX S6 (again, mine hasn't arrived so apologies for taking a picture from a computer screen).

There seems to be much less size differentials between the lowest gears

In fact it looks like they fit potentially two more gears in the lower picture between the gap that 1st and 2nd gear of the upper picture. It almost looks like the loaner I have have home jumps from 1st to 4th gear (in diameter size) when compared to the 11 gear cassette in the lower picture.

Or do I have things totally backwards?
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Old 06-10-19, 09:54 AM
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You are not exactly wrong, but you are not exactly right, either. The loaner bike has a 7 speed 11-34 "mega range" freewheel. You are correct that there is a huge jump between the second lowest to lowest gear, 24 teeth to 34 teeth. They configured it this way so the rider has 6 relatively closely spaced gears plus one bailout gear. It is a sensible compromise for a rider who mostly rides on flats but sometimes needs a bailout gear.

The 11 speed cassette is a Shimano 11 - 32 cassette. The advantage of that cassette isn't at the lower gears but the higher ones, where the 4 highest gears have 1 tooth jumps. But at the lowest gears, the jumps are 3 to 4 teeth, so no real advantage over a better chosen 8 or 9 speed cassette. (The 11 tooth cog is, at least for me. Worthless as I never need 120 gear inches anyway. You need to go more than 35 mph to use that gear)
Originally Posted by CarloM View Post
So again, pardon my ignorance as I'm just getting back into cycling, but here's what I'm seeing.

Here is a pic of the cassette from the loaner bike that I have right now:

I'm seeing a huge difference between the 2nd gear and the largest 1st gear (the one that says Megadrive Super-Low 34T). I'm using 1st and 2nd gear numbering because that's how they're numbered on the shifters...and also how I'm used to thinking about gears as it relates to cars.

And here is a picture I took of the cassette from Trek's website for the FX S6 (again, mine hasn't arrived so apologies for taking a picture from a computer screen).

There seems to be much less size differentials between the lowest gears

In fact it looks like they fit potentially two more gears in the lower picture between the gap that 1st and 2nd gear of the upper picture. It almost looks like the loaner I have have home jumps from 1st to 4th gear (in diameter size) when compared to the 11 gear cassette in the lower picture.

Or do I have things totally backwards?
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Old 06-10-19, 10:05 AM
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Well I admit I'm getting lost. All I know is that I live in an area with a lot of slight-to-moderate extended slopes (my subsection of L.A. was built in a hilly area which over the last 100 years have been smoothed out a little by urban sprawl but the inclines are still very real...especially noticeable on a bike).

I find that the jump between 2nd and 1st on the rear cassette to be so big, that I have to change the front gears often which then throws off my cadence and I play this game of "hunt the gears" between the front and rear ones. When I rode the FX S5 and 6 around the same areas, I had much less issue and didn't even have to change the front gear at all. Also because the loaner bike is considerably older and the group set is of much lower quality (I believe it's a base FX from a few years ago) the shifting is nowhere near as instantaneous and snappy.
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Old 06-10-19, 10:15 AM
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An example of an 8 speed cassette that gives identical gear ratios on the 4 lower gears is the Sunrace 8 speed 12 - 32 All you give up are a useless 11 tooth cog, and two tooth jumps between 12, 14, and 16.
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Old 06-10-19, 10:20 AM
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So my takeaway from all of this is: OP should ride as many as they can in the areas, because while there are examples as you have given, there's also examples as I've shown where there's a huge disparity between lower gears. Plus all groupsets and cassettes vary per bike, per make, per model, per model year, etc. OP is going to know where they ride most often, what type of terrain, incline, etc. They may not have any of my concerns at all with regards to inclines.
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Old 06-10-19, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by CarloM View Post
Well I admit I'm getting lost. All I know is that I live in an area with a lot of slight-to-moderate extended slopes (my subsection of L.A. was built in a hilly area which over the last 100 years have been smoothed out a little by urban sprawl but the inclines are still very real...especially noticeable on a bike).

I find that the jump between 2nd and 1st on the rear cassette to be so big, that I have to change the front gears often which then throws off my cadence and I play this game of "hunt the gears" between the front and rear ones. When I rode the FX S5 and 6 around the same areas, I had much less issue and didn't even have to change the front gear at all. Also because the loaner bike is considerably older and the group set is of much lower quality (I believe it's a base FX from a few years ago) the shifting is nowhere near as instantaneous and snappy.
As I said, the loaner was a 6 speed plus a bailout gear, probably paired with a triple. If you had an 8 speed cassette paired with the same compact double chainring, you would have noticed no difference at all in shifting, as the math doesn't lie. The difference between an 11 and and 8 or 9 speed cassette are more closely spaced big gears, almost no difference on the small gears.
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Old 06-10-19, 06:13 PM
  #20  
badger1
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... meanwhile, the op -- none of whose concerns have been addressed directly, if at all save by @hokiefyd -- has likely long since left the building. For good reason.

Never mind. Carry on.
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Old 06-13-19, 02:23 PM
  #21  
fat2fit
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Roam is awesome bike. I have a Trek Dual Sport 2, same exact kinda bike. Love it
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Old 06-13-19, 05:29 PM
  #22  
xroadcharlie
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After doing some research last year myself on new bikes, I narrowed it down to either the Giant Roam or Sedona.

I choose the 2018 Sedona for its upright seating position, its 1.95" low preasure tires, and suspension seatpost. What some call a comfort bike. The Roam has a semi-tuck position thanks to a shorter stack, longer reach and lower handlebars for reduced wind resistance and probably has faster tires. I almost wish I had bought the Roam instead.

Based on my Experience with my Sedona, I think the Roam would be a fine choice. Despite being a low priced bike this Sedona is way more comfortable and fun then it has any right to be. But I would avoid disc brakes on these low end bikes.

I'm not liking what I see on low end disc brakes. WAY to complex for such a simple task, At least for recreational riders. Giant machined the rims on my Sedona so it stops in the rain, Just not as quickly. Besides, If disc brakes are so good, Why does Giant still use rim brakes on their $6,000 bikes. I think marketing is the main driver behind low end disc brakes. Like those fully suspended $400 bikes that are basically a Pogo Stick with wheels.
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Old 06-14-19, 10:00 AM
  #23  
fat2fit
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Originally Posted by xroadcharlie View Post
After doing some research last year myself on new bikes, I narrowed it down to either the Giant Roam or Sedona.

I choose the 2018 Sedona for its upright seating position, its 1.95" low preasure tires, and suspension seatpost. What some call a comfort bike. The Roam has a semi-tuck position thanks to a shorter stack, longer reach and lower handlebars for reduced wind resistance and probably has faster tires. I almost wish I had bought the Roam instead.

Based on my Experience with my Sedona, I think the Roam would be a fine choice. Despite being a low priced bike this Sedona is way more comfortable and fun then it has any right to be. But I would avoid disc brakes on these low end bikes.

I'm not liking what I see on low end disc brakes. WAY to complex for such a simple task, At least for recreational riders. Giant machined the rims on my Sedona so it stops in the rain, Just not as quickly. Besides, If disc brakes are so good, Why does Giant still use rim brakes on their $6,000 bikes. I think marketing is the main driver behind low end disc brakes. Like those fully suspended $400 bikes that are basically a Pogo Stick with wheels.
I'll have to disagree, disc brakes require less maintenance than rim brakes and work better in the sense that you can apply any amount of pressure you want depending on how slow/fast you want to stop vs rim brake. Road Bikes are now even adapting disc brakes but I expect them to be on all bikes in the future
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