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Good All-Arounder Suggestions

Old 04-30-19, 10:34 PM
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EGBigelo
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Good All-Arounder Suggestions

Hi Everyone, I'm looking for some advice on a bike. I'm a road rider and all set with my road bike. I had a mountain bike (Trek X-Caliber) and mountain biking just wasn't for me.

I'm looking for a bike to use for running errands, getting groceries and stuff like that. But, I also want to be able to log some decent miles on it. I will ride my road bike 4-5 times a week, about 30 miles each ride. I would use this new bike to ride when I just don't feel like putting on all the kit I wear when road riding.

I see the "fitness" category of hybrids, and to me they look like road bikes with slighter wider tires and flat bars, which may fit my need for logging miles. But I also see dual sport bikes that have a front suspension, and that might be perfect for riding around town, over curbs and potholes.

I'm a Trek fan and the two bikes that come to mind are the FX and DS, but I'd like to try something new. So I guess I'm looking for advice on a bike that's good for putting on miles, but also as a work horse do it all type of bike, that isn't a Trek.

Sorry for the ambiguous post, I'm just looking for suggestions from others who use their hybrid as I intend to.
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Old 05-01-19, 05:18 AM
  #2  
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I have a Giant Roam (which is analogous to the Trek DS), and I quite enjoy it. I've recently converted it from 622mm ("700c") wheels to 584mm ("650b") wheels, and I like it better with the smaller diameter wheels. I'm a wide tire kind of person, so I appreciate the extra clearance that the DS type bikes offer (my Roam fits up to about 54mm wide on 622mm wheels or about 60mm wide on 584mm wheels). Many of the FX-style bikes don't offer that kind of tire clearance.

I ride on dirt and gravel a lot, but it's a true mix depending on my ride. I use my Roam for when I ride more pavement than dirt (I have 47mm semi-slicks on it) and I use my MTB for when I ride more dirt than pavement (I have 52mm cross country tires on it). Both bikes are setup as "hybrid" bikes (with a Topeak MTX rack and dual bottle cages on each), but I usually take the Roam if I'm going to the store, because it's usually more pavement than dirt, but it's fun to take the "back way" home and hit some gravel roads. Because both bikes have larger tires, both are well-suited to the task.

Suspension vs. rigid fork is pretty much a religious topic in this forum -- you tend to either like it or not. I enjoy having it, even the short 63mm travel on the Roam. I do ride with it locked out sometimes, and I ride with it enabled sometimes. It definitely works; I will unlock it when the bumps are sharper and it does make a real difference. I ride with lower pressures in my tires than many do I would guess (2 bar/30psi up front and 3 bar/45 psi in the back), but the fork is still helpful for the sections with larger gravel bits. The large section tires help a good amount, too.

The frame geometry is usually quite different on bikes with suspension vs. ones without. The head tube is generally higher up in the air with a suspension fork than it is with a rigid fork. You may or may not like that. I do like it, as it provides a more upright riding position. Having said that, you can adjust either style of bike to fit your style. If you want a more level position (between handlebar and saddle) with a suspension fork bike, you might buy a size smaller than what might be ideal, as it'll have a shorter head tube and you can raise the saddle up higher out of the frame for a level position. Likewise, if you want an upright position with a rigid fork bike, where the top tube is more horizontal, you might buy a size on the larger side, where the head tube will be longer for a higher handlebar/stem position.

I would recommend giving both types a good long test ride and see what you think. Note that different brands DO ride differently. They each have a different feel. I didn't like the feel of the Giant Escape as much as the Trek FX. But I like the Giant Roam as much as the Trek DS. I have some experience with both brands, and Treks seem to feel "shorter" to me in terms of reach than Giants do. I'm sure it reflected in the numbers, but Giants feel just a touch larger to me given similar frame size numbers (so the reach is probably a bit longer for the same size seat tube). Just as Fords and Chevys have different feels to them, so will different bike brands.

Good luck!
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Old 05-01-19, 07:31 AM
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Thanks @hokiefyd. Even before reading your post I was already researching the Roam, and glad to hear you enjoy it. You mentioned how it feels a bit different than the Trek, and I'm anxious now to take one for a test ride. I've ridden Trek for so long that I don't remember what other bikes feel like.

Regarding the suspension, I want to have a front rack similar to what you would put on the rear. So something square with sides on it, almost like a basket but rigid. I'm not sure I could do something like that with a front suspension.

Thanks again for the feedback.
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Old 05-01-19, 07:57 AM
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Originally Posted by EGBigelo View Post
Regarding the suspension, I want to have a front rack similar to what you would put on the rear. So something square with sides on it, almost like a basket but rigid. I'm not sure I could do something like that with a front suspension.
I'm sure you could rig something up, but I agree that a front suspension is generally not compatible with a rack. Most of the rigid forks on bikes like the FX, Escape, etc., have mid-point rack mounts on the fork blades. Don't overlook bikes like the Jamis Coda (similar to an FX), or even something from a brand like Surly. Some of their touring bikes might interest you.
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Old 05-01-19, 08:16 AM
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The more I look at Surly's website, the more I want a Bridge Club!
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Old 05-01-19, 08:48 AM
  #6  
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When I went looking for a good all round bike last year I found Giant had a good choice of models. I bought their Sedona and love it, But it is no speed demon with it's bolt upright position and 26 x1.95" semi-knobby tires. It is built for comfort. That said I'm going to try to squeeze a little more out of it by lowering the handlebars and sliding the seat all the way back.

If I really wanted something more athletic, But still comfortable I might look at their Aluminum Escape with rack mounts front and rear. The 35mm tires look quick on ash fault and stable on gravel. It seems to have a low stand over height too which is very handy getting on and off.

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Old 05-01-19, 09:38 AM
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If I was in the market for something a little different than anything else out there I would take a longggggg look at the Urban 8.0 or it's lower priced sibling the Urban 5.0. The design and the Gates drive make it a perfect jump on and go bike IMHO. I purchased a couple of Canyon Roadlites (their flat bar road bike) last winter and have been extremely pleased with the bikes and Canyon's customer service here in the state. If interested you can view my thread here: https://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bi...roadlites.html


The Urban 8.0:
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Old 05-01-19, 09:47 AM
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That Urban 8 is awesome! Out of my price range for sure though. I'm looking to stay under $700.
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Old 05-01-19, 06:06 PM
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I got a Trek FX 2 with disk brakes. Rolls very nicely on 700x35 tires. It's really a great all round bike that fits in your budget.
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Old 05-02-19, 08:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Mtl01 View Post
I got a Trek FX 2 with disk brakes. Rolls very nicely on 700x35 tires. It's really a great all round bike that fits in your budget.
That's on my list. I think it's a great deal with hydraulic brakes, and currently $579.99 at my local Trek dealer.

Do you think a 40mm or 42mm tire would fit? Trek doesn't mention it on their site like they do for the DS.
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Old 05-02-19, 02:09 PM
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Some interesting 650b bikes, the Devinci Cartier although that has a single crankset. The 650b Kona Dew has a triple crankset.
If you insist on 700c wheels, bikes like the Norco Indie 3 might do (larger tires than usual).

EDIT: I almost forgot the KHS Urban X which has a backrack and fenders standard, plus triple crankset.

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Old 05-02-19, 04:22 PM
  #12  
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It's hard to beat the Giant Escape as an all-around "neighborhood" or commuter bike. It does well on pavement and limestone gravel. It fits all manner of fenders, tires and racks. They tend to be well spec'd for the $. You can usually find a deal on one but they also retain resale value. Last year I replaced a 2014 Escape that was bent all out of shape when I was hit by a car in 2017 with a 2018 LBS Escape 2 Rental Fleet sell off model for under $225. Yet I see them sell on Craigslist for more $.

I'm not here to say it's 'better' than any of the other suggestions and since it was my first real 'adult' bike I have a definite prejudice in it's favor. It's not a racer, it's not an all day bike and you'd be a fool to take it on a singletrack. But as a "throw my leg over the top tube and let's see where the ride takes us" bike, it works.

YMMV
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Old 05-02-19, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by hybridbkrdr View Post
Some interesting 650b bikes, the Devinci Cartier although that has a single crankset. The 650b Kona Dew has a triple crankset.
If you insist on 700c wheels, bikes like the Norco Indie 3 might do (larger tires than usual).

EDIT: I almost forgot the KHS Urban X which has a backrack and fenders standard, plus triple crankset.
I'd like something with 650b wheels, or something that's 650b compatible. I was actually looking into a Giant Talon 3 (29" wheel version). I know it's a mountain bike, but it's pretty much like the Giant Roam or Trek DS will more suspension travel and fatter tires. I think that might make a great all arounder. I can do everything I want to do, include riding decent distances with those big tires, and it's only $540.

Originally Posted by zaxmalloy View Post
It's hard to beat the Giant Escape as an all-around "neighborhood" or commuter bike. It does well on pavement and limestone gravel. It fits all manner of fenders, tires and racks. They tend to be well spec'd for the $. You can usually find a deal on one but they also retain resale value. Last year I replaced a 2014 Escape that was bent all out of shape when I was hit by a car in 2017 with a 2018 LBS Escape 2 Rental Fleet sell off model for under $225. Yet I see them sell on Craigslist for more $.

I'm not here to say it's 'better' than any of the other suggestions and since it was my first real 'adult' bike I have a definite prejudice in it's favor. It's not a racer, it's not an all day bike and you'd be a fool to take it on a singletrack. But as a "throw my leg over the top tube and let's see where the ride takes us" bike, it works.

YMMV
I like the Escape. That's my top choice for a non suspension bike. And you're right, great value for the money. I like that about Giant.
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Old 05-03-19, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by EGBigelo View Post
I'd like something with 650b wheels, or something that's 650b compatible.
Note that most modern bikes with disc brakes can be converted. I've done this with my Roam. The large size frame fit me well, but standover is just a little tight. And that was with the stock 38mm tires. That worsened when I fitted the 2" 29er tires on it. I like wide tires so to make the bike fit better for me (rather than selling it), I bought a set of 650b wheels. I currently have Vittoria Terreno Zero tires on it (47mm wide) that I bought on clearance and they're really fast.

The notional tire diameter with the stock 38-622 is 698mm, and is 678mm with the 47-584 tires. So I've lost 20mm in overall tire diameter, or 10mm in radius, and the whole bike including the bottom bracket is 10mm lower than stock, which is a good move for me.

It probably doesn't make financial sense to buy a new 700c bike with the intention of spending more money to convert to 650b, but if you run across a used 700c hybrid that you otherwise like (that has disc brakes), then 650b wheels might be just the ticket for you.
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Old 05-03-19, 12:08 PM
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in Trek look at the FX line.. in the various price points @ your trek dealer
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Old 05-04-19, 07:02 PM
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I got the DS 2. After much deliberation with myself, looking at specs and geometry, price and the close place that had the bikes I wanted, the Trek won out. And the price was marked down too so that was a bonus.

It's familiar like my other Treks, and I really like the riding position. During the test ride I felt like I was on top of the bike, hard to explain. I'm just used to the road bike I guess. Took it for a longer ride when I got home and it's really comfortable. The front suspension is fine, it does it's job over the parts of the road that usually jars my upper body.

First upgrade will be the seat. I'm usually ok with stock saddles, but this one seems harsh to me. Then a rack, and a decent headlight.

This is a bad pic. I will post a better pic in the DS owners thread. Thanks everyone for the advice and comments!

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Old 05-04-19, 07:24 PM
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Congratulations!
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Old 05-11-19, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
The more I look at Surly's website, the more I want a Bridge Club!
OK. Now I want a Bridge Club, too!
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Old 05-12-19, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Franc Franclin View Post
OK. Now I want a Bridge Club, too!
Cross Check has been a real awakener. Road, trails, whatever. Loving the 41 Knards . Roll well, and do ok on most dirt.
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