Buying a comfort bike - Need Advice

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by ninjamini, Apr 10, 2006.

  1. ninjamini

    ninjamini New Member

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    I am buying a comfort bike and I need advice. I am looking at a Jamis, Trek and Giant. All 3 are similar in build and parts. All 3 ride slightly different but I can't say that I prefer one over the other. All are the same money. Here is my thoughts on all three.

    Trek - is the brand leader most recognized and most sold. That means something - it may just be marketing (Bose speakers come to mind) but still they sell a lot and there may be something to that.

    Jamis - also a good bike and I like the color here the best.

    Giant - The sales person talks highly about the technology that goes into their construction.

    Anything you have to comment on the three brands - love or hate. Note: that I have been to 6 stores and one guy that I like the most actually works at two of these stores. He also sells all three brands between the 2 stores and he hates trek. He likes Giant the best and Jamis a close second. He feels that Trek is all name and poor build quality.
     
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  2. heavy

    heavy New Member

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    Some folks will tell you that many Trek frames are produced by Giant. Don't know if that is true, but might be fun to ask him to point out the evidence of poor build quality...

    Around these parts, comfort bike has become a euphemism for heavy and slow. They fill a niche, but hybrids will generally be a bit easier to pedal and move down the road a little better. Might let you get a bit more use out of the bike before it's time to trade up (in the event that bicycling starts to become the end rather than the means to an end).

    All three brands you mentioned are fine. None is clearly superior.
     
  3. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    All Giants, and the low-end Trek and Specalized (and many, many other) frames are made in Taiwan. I do not know if they are made in the same factories, but I expect that the build quality is the same. They all use the same Shimano groupsets, so there should be no difference there. The most important thing is to find one that fits you. The next most important thing is to find a reputable LBS that will set it up correctly and provide good service and free adjustments at least through the time it takes you to get it adjusted to your liking and to get through the initial break-in period (new cables will stretch and the brakes and derailleurs will require tweaking).

    I am not sure what you mean by "comfort" If you are talking about something like the Trek Navigator series, then I agree with Heavy that unless you are planning to do mostly off-road riding, you would be better off with the Trek 7000 series. I do not know what the comparable Giant or Jamis models are, but the Specalized Expedition series is similar to the Navigator series, and the Specalized Crossroad series is similar to the Trek 7000 series. There is not much difference between the Specalized or the Trek.

    If by comfort you mean a comfort road bike like the Trek Pilot series, then I would serioiusly consider the Specalized Sequoia or the Felt 72. Of these, IMHO, Specialized offers more for the money on similarily priced models.
     
  4. ninjamini

    ninjamini New Member

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    So I guess from what everyone is saying that there is no real difference between the bikes. That is to say that there is not one that really stands out over the others.

    Buy Trek because they are good and they have great marketing and Lance Armstrong.
    Buy Giant because they are the biggest producer making frames for the others.
    Buy Jamis cuz there good too.

    The real decision comes down to the slight differences in the frame geometry and which one "feels" best. Which also comes down to the bike shop building the bike and if they happen to adjust it to you in the build...just by chance.

    So there is no real answer...just go buy a bike and take a ride and let the shopping experience fade away!
     
  5. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    On the contrary, the shopping experience is to be enjoyed. All else being equal, buy from the shop that is going to give you the best service and that gave you the best experience during the shopping experience. And the order should be take a ride on several different bikes, then buy the bike you like best.

    If they happen to adjust the bike to you, it will not be just by chance. It will be because they know what they are doing and they are trying to make you a happy customer. If they cannot do that, then go somewhere else.
     
  6. ninjamini

    ninjamini New Member

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    I was not clear. I drive a Mini cooper. There are two type of mini drivers...those who talk about there mini and those who drive. I kinda think that you should spend less time talking and more time doing.

    The adjustments that I was talking about was for the test ride not for the purchase. I expect them to do several adjustments but on a comfort bike its alot less than on a road bike.
     
  7. unicos

    unicos New Member

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    Trek frames are not made by Giant. I really think it’s true that a rumor spreads 10 times faster than the truth. Many of the Lower end Trek frames (as well as most all of the other major brands) are being made outside the USA. Trek does have very strong ties with the outsourced manufacturers and does not jump manufacturers for the cheapest price like many do. The same people that built the frame last year will build the frame this year and next.
     
  8. unicos

    unicos New Member

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    I would recommend:


    • 1st Trek (Marketing is good but they wouldn’t have made it this far without building a good product. They do have Lance but I wouldn’t buy a bike just because of that)
    • 2nd Giant (They are not the largest producer producing for others; Especially Trek. I think Trek is the largest producer other than a company that makes the utility bike sold in China (I cant remember the name of the company though).
    • 3rd Jamis
    The next major factor should be the LBS. Willingness to help fit the bike to you and any little things, like free lifetime adjustments, will add up in the end. Look how long the shop has been around too.

    Use the 80/20 rule when deciding what type of bike to buy. Don’t buy a style bike for what you want to do but for what you will actually do with the bike. I listen to so many people tell me how they plan to ride, I recommend a hybrid or comfort bike based on the type of riding described and they buy a mountain bike because they think they might ride across the lawn a couple of times.
     
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