Getting back into cycling: '12 Giant Escape


New Member
Aug 2, 2012
Hey guys. I should apologize up front for the long post. I am getting back into cycling after a 20-year absence. Things have changed so much that I am just a little overwhelmed. I suppose I should have posted here first, but I went to my LBS last weekend intending to buy a Trek 820. I was thinking with my large build (6' 2", 230lbs) that I should probably get a bike with some sort of suspension (I remember how beat up I used to get on my old Schwinn 10-speed going over the tiniest dent in the pavement). The sales guy insisted that for my needs (road and light trails), I would not be happy with an MTB and to get a commuter/hybrid instead -- so he pointed me to the Giants, and given that this LBS has a great reputation, I trusted his advice. I figured since it's been so long since I rode for any real amount of time, I would stick with the low-end stuff, so I picked out a '12 Giant Escape 2. I tried it out, compared the ride to the Trek 820 and it seemed smooth enough for me, so I said I'd take it. Only thing was, the frame (Large) was just a tad small, so he said he'd go in the back and get me an XL. I sat on the XL and it seemed perfect, so I went straight to the checkout. He said that since it was late July and they were expecting the '13 models soon, my bike was on sale. No complaints from me.

When I got home, I looked at the receipt and it said "Giant Escape 3". I looked at the bike and realized that the coloring was slightly different than the one I picked out, namely the "Giant" on the frame is solid white lettering, as opposed to outlined in white, and the cable housing is white instead of black. Also, the pedals are metal instead of the anti-slip resin ones I tried, and the shifters are different. I really should have looked more closely in the store. So I called them up and asked what the difference was, and they said "none, it's the same bike." Looking online, though, it seems that the Escape 3 isn't even available in the US market (Europe model), so I'm wondering a couple of things:

  1. How did they even get the Escape 3?
  2. Since I am a noob and all, is it even worth saying something to the LBS about this and trying to get something worked out to where I can get the things I want? (namely the pedals and the cable housing -- I'm one of those guys who's picky about colors)
  3. If I'm going to go the route of talking to them about this, should I just revisit my choice of Commuter/Hybrid vs MTB and give the Trek another try? I rode them both and honestly didn't see much difference between them, other than the Trek is heavier due to the frame. If I will be riding this mostly on the road, should an MTB even be an option?

I'm fairly certain at this point that they were taking advantage of my noobness to get rid of something no one else wanted. It's true that I bought one of the cheapest bikes in the store, and I'm sure they have very little incentive to cater to my needs, but I have a problem plunking down nearly $500 (after accessories and tax) for something that's not exactly what I intended to get. Any advice?