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Is it worth the extra money?

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Is it worth the extra money?

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Old 02-18-19, 04:06 PM
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heygents
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Is it worth the extra money?

I'm looking to get more serious about my bike riding. To date, i have been doing all my recreational riding on an older Gary Fisher mountain bike which has consisted of some fitness cycling, rail to trails rides with the family, bike paths on vacation, etc. I'm looking to get a hybrid and to start riding significantly more. I will be doing the following with the bike:

1. Commuting a day or two a week (6 miles each way) to work.
2. Recreational/Fitness rides on road and rail/trail (packed mulch, gravel, etc.)
3. I will probably be putting my kids topeak bike seat on the back
4. Occasionally (couple of times a year) be riding on beach/packed sand.

I'm looking at the Trek FX2 Disc or Jamis Coda Sport ($500 to $600 Range). Does it make sense for me to pay another $150 to get to the FX3 or Coda Comp level? I'm one that has no problem extra for something i'm planning on keeping for a long time. Is there anything else I should be looking at in this price range to accomplish what I want to do?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-18-19, 06:35 PM
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Hi,

I think the FX3 is absolutely worth the price premium. For your $220, you get a carbon fiber fork (vs. aluminum alloy), a pretty nice 9-speed drivetrain (vs. entry level 8-speed), IsoZone handlebars and grips (vs. standard solid grips), and Shimano hydraulic brakes (vs. Tektro hydraulic brakes). I think those are worth the additional cost, and you'd never be able to buy those parts and upgrade for $220.

I think the $210 difference between the Coda Sport and the Coda Comp is an even better upgrade than FX2 to FX3 (for the value you get). The Coda Sport is truly a high quality bike...full Reynolds 520 double-butted frame with carbon fiber fork (vs. double butted steel frame and fork on Sport), and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes (vs. linear pull rim brakes). The Coda Comp's drivetrain (8-speed) is similar to that of the Trek FX2...with the Jamis, you're paying for that high quality steel frame. Both Sport (27.0 pounds) and Comp (26.5 pounds) will be competitive with the FX bikes in terms of weight.

They'll likely have very different feels to you, though. A steel frame will probably feel more comfortable, and more flexy, than an aluminum frame. I have a similar bike to the Jamis Coda line -- an older Trek 750. It's a '90s touring/hybrid bike with a double butted True Temper steel frame, and it definitely feels more compliant than a modern aluminum rigid hybrid. You may like that or not; I would certainly recommend trying all of these to see how they feel to you.

My last recommendation is tire clearance. With your intended riding, I would recommend larger tires, and the models you're looking at will likely support up to about 40mm tires. For your riding, I like something like a Giant ToughRoad (rigid 29er hybrid) or Giant Roam (29er hybrid with a suspension fork). The Giant ToughRoad is pretty unique, but the Roam is basically the same as a Trek DS, a Specialized CrossTrail, Jamis DXT, etc. The ToughRoad comes with 2" tires, and I know you can fit 2" tires on the Roam and DS bikes. For mulch, gravel, and riding on sand, you'll want a larger tire footprint. It needn't be a knobby tire -- there are plenty of 2" tires with smooth tread patterns for use on pavement -- but I think you'll want that wider contact patch for the softer surfaces you're considering. As an example, I have the 29x2" Schwalbe Hurricane on my Roam. It's a pretty soft and compliant tire and, with the right inflation, it just floats over any sort of gravel surface or trail you want to ride.
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Old 02-18-19, 11:37 PM
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I looked at Jamis some time ago, I wish they made a Coda with a chromoly fork and disc brakes.
Stupid marketing...

The listed specs for the frames are
Coda Sport:
Size Specific Design Double-butted chromoly frame, extended head tube with reinforced collars, double tapered cromo stays, forged dropouts and fender/rack eyelets
Coda Comp:
Size Specific Design Disc Brake Reynolds 520 double-butted chromoly main tubes, extended head tube with reinforced collars, double tapered cromo stays, forged dropouts and fender/rack eyelets
They are verbally identical except that Coda Comp lists Reynolds 520 tubing vs. generic chromoly tubing for Coda Sport.
However, Reynolds 520 IS chromoly (not heat treated): Cycle Tubing & Tube Sets - Reynolds Technology (heat treated is Reynolds 725, Tange Prestige etc.). Given that both Sport and Comp model are made at the same facility (Maxway Ltd.?), what are the differences? Maybe tubing profile (both are double butted anyway) or seamed vs. seamless. Since both frames use "size specific design" and the same alloy, who on Earth knows the specifics?

I would say get the higer model if you want a carbon fork and disc brakes. Speaking of the compliance of the steel frame, a non-disc fork can in principle be made more compliant.

IMO some components on these bikes are a shame. How about a square taper crankset (fc-m371) on a $820 FX3 disc? Even better, Octalink fc-t4010 on a $980 Coda Elite? Why not T4060 with an outboard bottom bracket?

Have you looked into drop bar bikes? Gravel bikes are essentially drop bar hybrids. Something like Jamis Renegade or Double Cross? It will cost a bit more, but it will probably be better suited for more riding. You can keep the MTB you have for beach rides and some more relaxed riding.

An hybrid is essentially a rigid MTB with slightly narrower tires.
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Old 02-20-19, 07:15 AM
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Thanks for the responses. After thinking about it, I'm definitely going to take the next step up to the FX3 Disc or the Coda Comp. Is there any other similar bike in this price range $800 I should look at before making a decision?

Since riding on the beach isn't something that will work with this bike, I'm just going to take my current mountain bike on the vacation that we do the beach riding and then I won't need to worry about it.
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Old 02-20-19, 09:16 AM
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Cannondale Quick 3 (not CX). Should come in about the same price range, with hydraulic disks, pretty good drive train, carbon fibre fork, mounts for rack and fenders at the same time. If you can find one to test ride it is worth a try. Might not be for you, but it is a pretty popular hybrid. Tire clearance is good too.
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Old 02-20-19, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by heygents View Post
Thanks for the responses. After thinking about it, I'm definitely going to take the next step up to the FX3 Disc or the Coda Comp. Is there any other similar bike in this price range $800 I should look at before making a decision?
Fortunately for you, this is a very popular segment of the market, and every manufacturer has a bike on offer.

Trek FX3 Disc ($820)
Giant Escape 1 Disc ($790)
Specialized Sirrus SL ($750)
Cannondale Quick 4 ($790)
Raleigh Cadent 3 ($740, marked down to $550 on their website)

I'm sure there are others as well. I recommend test-riding before purchase. If you agree, that may knock the Raleigh out, as they're infrequently sold in bike shops anymore. The geometry will be slightly different between each of these bikes, and they'll all feel just a little different to you. The specs are generally close, functionally equivalent, or exactly the same, among all of them. Let fit/feel/color/bike shop reputation/etc be your guide here, rather than specs on paper.
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Old 02-21-19, 11:40 AM
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I can tell you that what ever bike you buy get a carbon fork. I have a Quick 3 and 7 and I can tell you that the cost difference is well worth the upgrade after a hour of two on the bike. All the bikes you are looking at are good, and if they fit you, then you can not go wrong. Fit is the biggest tell with the class of bikes you are talking about at the $7-900.00 range and how the controls lay out for you. I rode a Giant and checked out the fit on a Trek and bought two Cannondales. Just a matter of what felt good to my body size. You will spend a lot more time on a good fitting bike than you would on a very expensive bike that is just painful to ride.
Just my opinion, Frank.
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