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Please help me find the perfect hybrid..

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by WheelieG, 22 May 2008.

  1. WheelieG

    WheelieG New Member

    Location:
    Herts & London
    Hi to all, just joined today. I've been trying to find my ideal next bike but the more I research it, the more confused I become. There's TOO much choice out there!

    I'm a 5' 4" female with inside leg measurement (bare feet) of 31.5", fairly unfit but not desperately so but I do have problems with my lower back.

    I'm looking for a light, comfortable, speedy, versatile hybrid with an open frame but not one of those very low slung open frames. No drop handlebars (had a Dawes Galaxy, been there and done that). I will be using it for short runs to the post office, shops - so it needs a rack for panniers etc and for longer rides - say 5 to 20 miles average - for getting fit. The roads round here are really bad, potholes etc and I'd like to take it to the park, ride it on gravelly paths etc.

    From what I understand, comfort bikes are heavier than hybrids so I'd prefer the latter.

    I already have a Brompton, Specialized Rockhopper, Dahon (20" tourer), and none of them really fits the bill.

    My LBS recommended a Trek T30 but I can't find much info on these and am more interested in a Giant CRS 2 City at £395 http://www.giant-bicycles.com/EN-GB/bikes/women/1432/31744/

    Specialized Globe City 5 - but these are around £700
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkModel.jsp?a=b&minisite=10028&spid=37040&language=US

    Or a Dawes Sonoran £300 ish
    http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/sonoran-ladies-1.htm

    Or a Dawes Discovery 301 about £250
    http://www.dawescycles.com/dawes/dicovery-301-ladies.htm

    If anyone has any suggestions for other bikes or opinions on these I'd be very grateful. Also frame size suggestions, where to start? 15" 17"?

    Thanks!
     
  2. HelenD123

    HelenD123 Veteran

    Location:
    York
    Is there any reason you've singled out the Specialized Globe City 5 from the range? There are other, cheaper ones. The standard Globes (i.e without racks, mudguards and lights) start at £260. The Globe City 5 is also £549.99 in the catalogue I got from my LBS a few weeks ago. Confusingly they seem to have changed the Globe City range mid way through the year.
     
  3. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    The best thing to do is go round a few local bike shops (LBSs) and try as many as you can. At the end of the day you are the one who is going to be riding it. Don't buy a bike which you haven't had a chance to ride just on some one else's say so, when you fine the right bike for you, you will know it because it just feels right. If any of the shops won't let you take the bikes out for a test ride, just walk away and never go back.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    WheelieG

    WheelieG New Member

    Location:
    Herts & London
    Hi Helen and Hairy Jock

    Thanks for replying. I picked that Globe precisely because it has racks, mudguards etc. I know I could get buy one without and get them added on but I've done that with two other bikes and the quality has always been problematic.

    Hairy Jock, my two LBSs aren't up to much so I'll have to travel further afield and the brand of bike largely determines where I'll go. I will of course try a few out for size.

    Does anyone know which of Dawes, Giant and Specialized tend to make lighter bikes?
     
  5. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Staff Member

    Location:
    Bristol
    Hi my inside leg is fractionally longer than yours, and I have both a 17" and a 19" bike (still can't decide if the later is too big). I would have thought that the 15" is on the small side, though I have long arms which may affect it too). I would start by trying the 17" though it seems to vary between makes.
     
  6. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    Don't have any experience of Giant, but I'd always pick Specialized over Dawes. I find that they're better quality and better bikes in general.
     
  7. OP
    OP
    WheelieG

    WheelieG New Member

    Location:
    Herts & London
    Hi Summerdays, I thought 17" sounded about right, thanks, I'll start with one of those. I've got long arms too.

    Mister Paul, that's very helpful bcs you've confirmed what I was thinking about Dawes. My MTB is a Specialized and it's a great bike so I'll stick with that brand.
     
  8. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    I've got a Specialized Crossroads, which was what the Globe used to be. I think it's 3 years old. I've never had a problem with it, and love the bike.
     
  9. OP
    OP
    WheelieG

    WheelieG New Member

    Location:
    Herts & London
    Thanks Mr Paul, I'm going to look at some in my LBS today. They also sell Marin, are they any good?
     
  10. Maz

    Maz Guru

    I used to have a Dawes Discovery 301 and found it a good solid reliable bike. Then I wanted something a bit nippier and sportier and test-rode the Marin Fairfax and Specialized Sirrus. For me, the Sirrus was nicer, but you have to try them for yourself.
     
  11. Daniel B

    Daniel B New Member

    I have 3, so I may be biased, but I think they are stonking bikes, very good quality, but perhaps not as well specced as some alternatives, but the frames have a very good reputation.
     
  12. Ashtrayhead

    Ashtrayhead Über Member

    Location:
    Belvedere, Kent.
    Wheelie G....My sister is trying to sell her Kona Dr Dew, 2005 model, hardly used, never been in the wet, 54 frame. Take a look on the Kona website for the spec if you're interested. She's only expecting to get about £200 for it!
     
  13. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carmarthenshire
    May be teaching granny about eggs here but I have recently learned from the learned Mr Paul Hewitt of Hewitt Cycles, that the vital bike dimension to get right, is the seat to pedal centre distance. (if one extrapolates a vertical line from the centre of the pedal spindle in it's furthest forward position (side view 3 'o'clock) and measure from the centre of the bit of the saddle your sit bones actually make contact with, to the extrapolated vertical line.)

    The correct seat position can be determined by dropping a plumb line from the rear of your patella (not the back of the entire knee) with you sitting on the bike, foot on/in the pedal and the pedal in the 3'o'clock position - get a pal to help you. This vertical line should intersect the exact centre of the pedal spindle. If you can't get your seat back far enough with a normal seatpost, the frame is too small. Try a larger frame. Better to have a frame that's slightly too big than too small. It's always possible to fit a shorter stem to correct the seat to handlebar distance.

    In fact, try these chaps - this is an extract from an email sent to me by someone who knows about good customer service and it's vaguely your neck of the woods I think (could be very wrong mind - I do live in West Wales after all!)

    The Big Adventure Store, Swindon
    Agreed a hybrid was the right bike for us. Suggested we didn't need the most expensive Cube model and recommended the next one down. Had a cheaper one there to test out and watched me ride it to confirm their view on the right frame size. Then suggested I try a 54cm frame and showed me how it would be too big for what I wanted. Said they would set it up properly on a jig in the shop. Felt this was essential for all bikes. They got my money.

    a. listened to the customer
    b. suggested the right solution
    c. had one there to test
    d. did hands on demonstration
    e. offered a full set up at no charge
    f. did a deal on price using free accessories
    g. took lots of time on the phone and the appointment
    e. explained everything they said such that I could understand it
    [FONT=&quot]
    sorry this post is so long:blush: but I have covered two important issues:smile:
    [/FONT]
     
  14. OP
    OP
    WheelieG

    WheelieG New Member

    Location:
    Herts & London
    Hi Ashtrayhead, thanks - the frame would be too large but those Konas are beautiful bikes! Hope your sister gets a great price.

    515mm - great post, I'm going to print it out it wasn't too long, it was very helpful.

    Daniel B - When I asked my LBS about Specialized Globes they said they recommend Marin hybrids as they are much lighter. Having spent days scouring the internet and ogling bike pics I've almost decided to stick with Marin, with Ridgeback as a second choice.

    I'm also thinking I'd prefer a 26" wheel - easier to steer/store - but am keeping an open mind.

    All the bike shops seem to specialise in MTBs plus it's impossible to find one that sells both Marin and Ridgeback hybrids. Leave alone women's versions in a smallish frame so it's difficult to compare the available options.

    I'm going to test a Marin Larkspur and Stinson and a Ridgeback Terrain MXK if I can ever find a shop that sells them :biggrin:
     
  15. 515mm

    515mm Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Carmarthenshire
    Hi Wheels

    Glad to be of assistance - take a look at this one. It's £500 all bar the penny and was the model that Little Miss was going to plump for before she plumped for the Giant SCR2W road bike....

    sorry it isn't a proper link:blush:, my skills lie elsewhere:biggrin: but you could copy and paste it into your browser... happy hunting!



    www.marin.co.uk/2008/bikedetail.php?ModNo=3864

    oo! It appears to have turned magically into a link. Well, well