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Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
Looking at comfort bikes and my local bike shops carry these models in the
$300 range. Any opinions? I checked Consumer Reports, though I'm not sure
I should regard them as an authority on this subject. Interestingly, the
shop that carried Giant spoke about them as the premier maker of Comfort
Bikes, yet they didn't even make the Consumer reports ratings list, nor did
Gary Fisher (!) Consumer Reports order was:

Jamis Explorer 2.0
GT Timberline
Trek Navigator 100
Schwinn Sierra GS
Specialized Expedition
Raleigh SC30
Diamondback Wildwood

In other categories, both Fisher and Giant did do well: (Fisher #1 in
front-suspension mountain bikes - Marlin; Giant #1 in hybrid bikes - Cypress
LX).

Thoughts/comments appreciated...

Thx in advance,
-Dave

david_desroches@yahoo.com
post #2 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

On Fri, 16 Jul 2004 23:30:43 -0400, "Dave DesRoches"
<david_desroches@yahoo.com> wrote:

>In other categories, both Fisher and Giant did do well: (Fisher #1 in
>front-suspension mountain bikes - Marlin; Giant #1 in hybrid bikes - Cypress
>LX).
>
>Thoughts/comments appreciated...
>
>Thx in advance,
>-Dave


What bike are you riding now, and what -kinds- of riding do you intend
to ride? Age? Size? Weight?

-B
post #3 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

Dave,
Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool. These
are the people you see riding on the sidewalk with their back in a
vertical position, the seat 3" too low, spinning the crank very slow in
a high gear, and the (optional) helmet tilted back like a yamica.
They are clueless as to what a bicycle is for, so they follow the
model of bicycle riding as a child: very short trips on the sidewalk.
They fool themselves that they are getting "exercise" on the bicycle.
The reality is that they barely get their heart rate up high enough, for
long enough minutes, on the short slow sidewalk or bike path rides.
A bicycle uses 1/3 the calories as traveling on foot for the same
distance. These lazy people need to be walking around the block or to
the corner store, not saving effort by riding some overweight tank of a
bicycle.
Having said that the "hybrid" or "comfort" SHOPPER is looking to
AVOID getting a sweat, the best $300 bicycle is like having a beauty
contest for women who must be at least 30% overweight. These are tanks
because: (1) the shoppers are cheapskates who don't want to spent money
or calories, and (2) they ride on the sidewalk and bash the bicycles
into curbs.
Furthermore, the SERVICE CONTRACT you get from a bicycle shop is as
important as the bicycle itself.
Last year I took the owner of a new $350 Trek hybrid on a 38 mile
bike club ride. She rode instead a Schwinn Le Tour road bike that I
bought in a garage sale for $100 and was much lighter. Afterwards we
went to several quality bicycle shops. We found a Specialized road bike
in the back of one bike shop. It was her exact size. The same frame with
better parts (and this year's model) was also there for $1800 sale
price, but this one was two years old and had more economy level parts,
but this was clearly a "racing" road bike suitable for 100 mile rides.
It was on sale for $535 and came with a 3 year service contract.
The vast majority of adults shopping for cheap bicycles to ride on
the sidewalk would be better off getting on a power walking or slow
jogging program.
Cheers,
Bruce Freeburger


Dave DesRoches wrote:
> Looking at comfort bikes and my local bike shops carry these models in the
> $300 range.
>
> Thoughts/comments appreciated...
>
> Thx in advance,
> -Dave
>
> david_desroches@yahoo.com
>
>
post #4 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

"Bruce Freeburger" Bruce Freeburger top-posted:

> Dave,
> Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool.


{similar friendly advice and OP's question snipped}

Comments like that keep people from trying cycling and contribute to a
certain "elitist" image that doesn't serve the sport well.

Bill "See? I can make opinion sound like fact, too" S.
post #5 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

>Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool.

What a nice, friendly, helpful and constructive comment....

My 'winter' bike cost £120.... About $80... It's a cheap dual-suspension
machine of the type commonly found in supermarkets. Apart from adding a
rack, mudguards, lights and changing the bottom bracket for a real one it's
unaltered... The pedals started to squeak last year and got replaced....

I live at the foot of the Pentland hills near Edinburgh and five days a week
through a harsh Scottish winter that bike is used on my regular 8-mile
climb\descend maintenance run... I've quite deliberately loaded the bike
with weight to keep the energy expenditure up as I don't have the time or
inclination to ride further in what can be rather difficult weather
conditions.... I expected it to last me ONE winter...

It'll be three years old next week, I just checked the trip computer and
it's covered 3482 miles and hasn't been off the road since last August as
the weather here has been atrocious this summer..... It's absolutely fine!
This is particularly surprising as, being just a winter hack, it only gets
attention when it complains! I know many people who have owned very cheap
supermarket\catalogue bikes for years and commute regularly on them... An
alarming thought for those who feel the need to impose their particular 'you
must have or you're damned' creed upon others.......

Whether the proposal is to spend £30 or £3000 on a bicycle for whatever
purpose it's reasonable to want to spend that money as well as it can be
spent.

> The vast majority of adults shopping for cheap bicycles to ride on
> the sidewalk would be better off getting on a power walking or slow
> jogging program.


Surprised to learn that riding on the pavement is legal in the US!
Personally I'd never discourage anyone from any form of cycling as I feel
it's a great way to get and stay reasonably fit, whatever your level. Even
if you only ride a 1/2 miles to the shops and back to get your paper in the
morning it's far better for you and those about you than jumping into the
car to make the same journey.... AS many folk do!

$300, ..around £180 isn't a great deal of money to buy a decent bike though
I suspect you'll get better value in the U.S. than we would in the UK.
Oddly enough I'm going to echo what our somewhat unfreindly colleague said
and suggest that either you up the budget or consider a good second-hand
machine with a decent guarantee.

At that price point it's possible that the only real difference between the
machines is the colour of paint and the stickers. The real weak spot in most
very cheap bikes is the bottom bracket. Often these are no more than some
cheap arrangement of ball bearings; look for a bike with a cartridge
type.... Next is the overall running gear. Again you'll probably find a
chap nameless chainsets; some are ok, some need to be avoided. Shimano seem
to make good economy running gear and if you can make sure everything's so
branded you stand a better chance of avoiding trouble....

Personally I've never set much store by these consumer reports. Occasionally
they'll spring something really problematic but you really need to make your
own judgement.
post #6 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

"Dave DesRoches" <david_desroches@yahoo.com> wrote in message
news:eOGdnb4BPaj5AGXdRVn-jA@comcast.com...
> Looking at comfort bikes and my local bike shops carry these models in the
> $300 range. Any opinions? I checked Consumer Reports, though I'm not sure
> I should regard them as an authority on this subject. Interestingly, the
> shop that carried Giant spoke about them as the premier maker of Comfort
> Bikes, yet they didn't even make the Consumer reports ratings list, nor did
> Gary Fisher (!) Consumer Reports order was:
>
> Jamis Explorer 2.0
> GT Timberline
> Trek Navigator 100
> Schwinn Sierra GS
> Specialized Expedition
> Raleigh SC30
> Diamondback Wildwood


Consumer Reports should be taken with a grain of salt, but they usually aren't
completely off base. I'm sure that any of these bikes would be a decent
entry-level value. Bikes have become a much better deal in recent years, so
$300 does buy something ride-able (ignore people who can't spell yarmulke).

What's probably more important than the actual bike brand or model is the
staff at the shop. The quality of bike assembly/setup is probably a greater
value issue than the differences between any of those bikes. Bear in mind that
you get what you pay for, and diminishing returns don't really start settling
in until $1,000 or so, but those are serviceable bikes with perhaps slightly
different component tradeoffs.
post #7 of 18
Thread Starter 

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

I guess this "fool" should have been more specific.

I have a Trek road bike I use for breaking a sweat, so my interest in this
category was a quality, recreational ride that didn't necessitate my
clipping into pedals and skidding through sand. Because I have a good road
bike I'm happy with, I wasn't looking to break the bank with this
supplementary ride - but also wanted to purchase a quality bike that would
last.

Thanks to all for their opinions on the subject. Reputability of the shop
and service seem to be recurring themes. Much appreciated!

-Dave

"Bruce Freeburger" <"Bruce Freeburger"> wrote in message
news:j-GdnTOTloIjqWTdRVn-hw@comcast.com...
> Dave,
> Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool. These
> are the people you see riding on the sidewalk with their back in a
> vertical position, the seat 3" too low, spinning the crank very slow in
> a high gear, and the (optional) helmet tilted back like a yamica.
> They are clueless as to what a bicycle is for, so they follow the
> model of bicycle riding as a child: very short trips on the sidewalk.
> They fool themselves that they are getting "exercise" on the bicycle.
> The reality is that they barely get their heart rate up high enough, for
> long enough minutes, on the short slow sidewalk or bike path rides.
> A bicycle uses 1/3 the calories as traveling on foot for the same
> distance. These lazy people need to be walking around the block or to
> the corner store, not saving effort by riding some overweight tank of a
> bicycle.
> Having said that the "hybrid" or "comfort" SHOPPER is looking to
> AVOID getting a sweat, the best $300 bicycle is like having a beauty
> contest for women who must be at least 30% overweight. These are tanks
> because: (1) the shoppers are cheapskates who don't want to spent money
> or calories, and (2) they ride on the sidewalk and bash the bicycles
> into curbs.
> Furthermore, the SERVICE CONTRACT you get from a bicycle shop is as
> important as the bicycle itself.
> Last year I took the owner of a new $350 Trek hybrid on a 38 mile
> bike club ride. She rode instead a Schwinn Le Tour road bike that I
> bought in a garage sale for $100 and was much lighter. Afterwards we
> went to several quality bicycle shops. We found a Specialized road bike
> in the back of one bike shop. It was her exact size. The same frame with
> better parts (and this year's model) was also there for $1800 sale
> price, but this one was two years old and had more economy level parts,
> but this was clearly a "racing" road bike suitable for 100 mile rides.
> It was on sale for $535 and came with a 3 year service contract.
> The vast majority of adults shopping for cheap bicycles to ride on
> the sidewalk would be better off getting on a power walking or slow
> jogging program.
> Cheers,
> Bruce Freeburger
>
>
> Dave DesRoches wrote:
> > Looking at comfort bikes and my local bike shops carry these models in

the
> > $300 range.
> >
> > Thoughts/comments appreciated...
> >
> > Thx in advance,
> > -Dave
> >
> > david_desroches@yahoo.com
> >
> >

>
post #8 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 22:15:59 -0400, "Dave DesRoches"
<david_desroches@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I guess this "fool" should have been more specific.
>
>I have a Trek road bike I use for breaking a sweat, so my interest in this
>category was a quality, recreational ride that didn't necessitate my
>clipping into pedals and skidding through sand. Because I have a good road
>bike I'm happy with, I wasn't looking to break the bank with this
>supplementary ride - but also wanted to purchase a quality bike that would
>last.


Yeah, sure you do. ;-)

-B
post #9 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

>Subject: Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant
>Sedona)
>From: sverre@pdq.net (Sverre)
>Date: 7/19/2004 9:28 AM US Eastern Standard Time
>Message-id: <d3a14a6f.0407190628.11092476@posting.google.com>
>
>Steve Knight <stevek@knight-toolworks.com> wrote in message
>news:<h4pif0ti3mb6nofj76gvl4te6td185vl1j@4ax.com>...
>> On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:16:26 -0400, "Bruce Freeburger" <"Bruce Freeburger">
>> wrote:
>>
>> >Dave,
>> > Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool. These
>> >are the people you see riding on the sidewalk with their back in a
>> >vertical position, the seat 3" too low, spinning the crank very slow in
>> >a high gear, and the (optional) helmet tilted back like a yamica.

>>
>> you forgot the headphones and riding the wrong direction.

>
>Well, I ride a "comfort" bike (Specialized Expedition Elite). I
>commute to work every day (14 mile round trip), and also use it for
>most errands like grocery shopping, trips to the post office etc. The
>bike is loaded with rack, baskets, fenders and lights. It's a real
>bicycle SUV. I do however, know and follow the traffic rules.
>
>Just recently I have seen several "serious" bikers who don't. One was
>a roadie who had all the right gear including pulling a BOB trailer.
>He also ran a red light doing a left turn in a really busy
>intersection. Another, on the same road, also a roadie with all the
>right gear, was riding against traffic on a 4 lane, 45mph road.
>Another roadie (a real speedster this one) I see almost every day in
>rougly the same spot, inside a subdivision. This guy apparently think
>he's a racer. He always wears headphones and speeds through the
>intersections (running stop signs) like a maniac.
>
>For the record, I see roadies that do follow the rules. My point is
>that it isn't the gear or the type of bike that makes a good cyclist,
>and making general statements against people riding comfort bikes, or
>cheap bikes, isn't really fair.
>
>Sverre


It's just kind of a usenet thing to generalize and insult I guess.
It's not about WHAT you ride...Some people don't get that.
post #10 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:16:26 -0400, "Bruce Freeburger" <"Bruce
Freeburger"> wrote:

>Dave,
> Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool. These
>are the people you see riding on the sidewalk with their back in a
>vertical position, the seat 3" too low, spinning the crank very slow in
>a high gear, and the (optional) helmet tilted back like a yamica.
> They are clueless as to what a bicycle is for, so they follow the
>model of bicycle riding as a child: very short trips on the sidewalk.


While I do agree that more cyclists need to be out on the road, not
everybody can be an elite roadie. Road racing bicycles aren't the
best thing in the world for loose sand, gravel trails, or trips from
the market laden with groceries.

I use my bicycle--a tourer--for everything from quick trips to the
store to long rides in the country.

-Luigi
post #11 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 22:15:59 -0400, "Dave DesRoches"
<david_desroches@yahoo.com> wrote:

>I guess this "fool" should have been more specific.
>
>I have a Trek road bike I use for breaking a sweat, so my interest in this
>category was a quality, recreational ride that didn't necessitate my
>clipping into pedals and skidding through sand. Because I have a good road
>bike I'm happy with, I wasn't looking to break the bank with this
>supplementary ride - but also wanted to purchase a quality bike that would
>last.
>
>Thanks to all for their opinions on the subject. Reputability of the shop
>and service seem to be recurring themes. Much appreciated!


Why not pick up a good-quality used, rigid (no suspension) mountain
bike?

-Luigi


>-Dave
post #12 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

On Tue, 20 Jul 2004 10:09:01 -0400, Luigi de Guzman
<luigi12081@cox.net> wrote:

>On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:16:26 -0400, "Bruce Freeburger" <"Bruce
>Freeburger"> wrote:
>
>>Dave,
>> Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool. These
>>are the people you see riding on the sidewalk with their back in a
>>vertical position, the seat 3" too low, spinning the crank very slow in
>>a high gear, and the (optional) helmet tilted back like a yamica.
>> They are clueless as to what a bicycle is for, so they follow the
>>model of bicycle riding as a child: very short trips on the sidewalk.

>
>While I do agree that more cyclists need to be out on the road, not
>everybody can be an elite roadie. Road racing bicycles aren't the
>best thing in the world for loose sand, gravel trails, or trips from
>the market laden with groceries.
>
>I use my bicycle--a tourer--for everything from quick trips to the
>store to long rides in the country.
>
>-Luigi


I hesitate to post this, but I went in and test rode a couple road
bikes, (Trek 2200 among them). It was a bit too extreme drop such that
I couldn't really get into the drops with the left hip injury
stiffness, but the Ultegra components were sweet, as was the shifter.
Had never seen that type of shifter, but I could see it being nice.

Riding on the hoods was just fine, but lack of a brake lever set on
the bar seemed less than optimal for me.

So I looked at the only other bike in that category with dual brakes,
and it was the 1000C. That bike fit me -very- well. OK, I'm ashamed to
say I liked a 'comfort' road bike - so ditch the suspension seatpost
and I thought that ride would be nice for the next upgrade. So now I'm
eyeing the 1800C. Still a decent angle and fit, plus Ultegra. I'll
test ride it again in the early fall.

-B
post #13 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

Rick Onanian wrote:
>
> Attn post modifier extensionalization terminology methodology nazis:
> Note a new flagrant violation, "brakeset", on
> http://www.trekbikes.com/bikes/2004/road/2200.jsp


Well, I /suppose/ that a bike /could/ come with, say, 105 levers and Ultegra
brakes?

> I can't wait to see "Cassetteset".


Now you're just being silly.

Bill "must be the black stuff in your stupid translucent bottle?" S.
post #14 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

Rick Onanian wrote:
> On Wed, 21 Jul 2004 14:51:13 GMT, "S o r n i"
> <sorni@bite-me.san.rr.com> wrote:
>> Bill "must be the black stuff in your stupid translucent bottle?" S.

>
> The bottle is stupid because it is speckled, not because it is
> translucent. The translucence just augmentifies the problematic
> issue. <G>


You mean the problematic TISSUE!

Bill "get your affairs in order, man -- that stuff's deadly" S.
post #15 of 18

Re: Advice on "Comfort Bikes" (Gary Fisher Capitola vs. Giant Sedona)

In article <8g9qf05q6kd2nge9fp6f0tc0ri3rnen5ha@4ax.com>,
Luigi de Guzman <luigi12081@cox.net> wrote:

> On Sat, 17 Jul 2004 10:16:26 -0400, "Bruce Freeburger" <"Bruce
> Freeburger"> wrote:
>
> >Dave,
> > Anyone who is shopping for the best $300 bicycle is a fool. These
> >are the people you see riding on the sidewalk with their back in a
> >vertical position, the seat 3" too low, spinning the crank very slow in
> >a high gear, and the (optional) helmet tilted back like a yamica.
> > They are clueless as to what a bicycle is for, so they follow the
> >model of bicycle riding as a child: very short trips on the sidewalk.

>
> While I do agree that more cyclists need to be out on the road, not
> everybody can be an elite roadie. Road racing bicycles aren't the
> best thing in the world for loose sand, gravel trails, or trips from
> the market laden with groceries.


My Bianchi Sport disagrees! Or maybe it's just quietly saying "kill me!"
every time I do those things.

> I use my bicycle--a tourer--for everything from quick trips to the
> store to long rides in the country.


Either I have a high tolerance for pain, or the differences between
racing and touring frames is overstated.

Except for the fact that I ride fast enough to want aero advantages
(current benchmark is to beat the express bus from an even start over a
4-ish km section of minimal-to-moderately rising terrain, and then to
keep that advantage down the hill and all the way home) and use my
commute/whatever riding for training, I am warming to Chalo's idea that
the flat bar suits non-racers better.

The non-aero reason for a drop bar is to give multiple positions, mostly
for long rides. If that's the case, I think the Grant Peterson (of
Rivendell bikes) theory of high-rise drop bars makes sense. My father
does as well: he is _very_ happy with the garage-sale Mikado, which
currently has an MTB stem providing a very short reach and high rise
compared to the stock stem.

Where was I? If you're not sure about this whole bike-riding thing, I
think the best, most sensible beginner machine is an old rigid mountain
bike running slick tires. Such a machine can do anything except race.
Heck, you could add tri-bars to the flat bar and probably end up more
aero than most touring bikes, too.

Did I ever mention my plan to put aero bars on the BMX LX?
--
Ryan Cousineau, rcousine@sfu.ca http://www.wiredcola.com
President, Fabrizio Mazzoleni Fan Club
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