Marin Fairfax v. Specialized Sirrus v. Jamis Coda v. Giant Rapid

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by earlwarren, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. earlwarren

    earlwarren New Member

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    I'm trying to decide among some hybrids or flat-bar road bikes at about $500, and would love some advice from the veterans. I read though a lot of the posts on this forum re: these bikes, and the consensus seems to be they are all good, but I don't know how to make a decision, or if there are some telling differences among them.

    I'm a 28 year-old guy, 5'10", about 175, in decent shape, and have been putzing around on hybrids since college -- at least until I moved to L.A., and got in the awful habit of driving 2 blocks for coffee.

    Now I'm back in the Bay Area, and looking to get a solid bike to go for some weekend 10-30 mile rides around the Bay Area roads, both flat and hills. I'm not ready for a road bike, especially since I'll also be occasionally just riding on SF city streets, so I thought I'd get a hybrid geared more toward performance than comfort, or maybe what some salespeople have told me is a "flat bar road bike."

    There are four in particular I test rode (just a 5m spin) and liked within my budget ($400-$600), and would appreciate any insight on them:

    2009 Marin Fairfax (19"). $499 at Marin Factory store; aluminum frame w/ carbon fork; derailer: shimano sora; crankset: TruVativ Touro 3.0; rims: Alex DC-19 (28c).

    I liked that this is a light bike with road-bike components. It seemed pretty smooth and put together, but I see some people say that the bottom-of-the-line sora could be trouble.

    2010 Specialized Sirrus (54 cm). $469 at LBS; aluminum frame; derailer: shimano altus; crankset: shimano FCM-191; rims: Alex S500 (32c).

    Seems very light and comfortable, but I wonder what I'm losing with not getting the carbon fork of the Marin?

    2010 Giant Rapid 3 (medium). $550 at LBS; aluminum frame (chromoly fork?); derailer: shimano sora; crankset: FSA Tempo; rims: Giant Sport Road (28c).

    This felt very fast, but I was bouncing around from the vibrations on a rough city street on a test ride.

    2009 Jamis Coda (19"). $430 at Sports Basement; steel frame; derailer: shimano acera M360; crankset: FSA alloy triple; rims: Alex ID-19 (28c).

    I love how the steel makes it a smooth, sturdy ride, but I wonder what I lose with the added weight?

    I also checked out a Gary Fisher Monona, but had to ride a 17" and didn't get a good idea about it, and the Raleigh FT1 Alysa, which was nice but I felt a little too upright.

    I wonder too if maybe I can eliminate the Giant Rapid -- the 28c tires + all-aluminum frame being trouble w/ vibrations? My favorites rides are in the hills above Berkeley and Palo Alto, and just winding through the Presidio -- and none of those roads are particularly smooth, so maybe I need to go with a more comfortable bike.

    I read in one of the sticky posts that, at this price point, there's not going to be a lot of difference, so perhaps I should just figure out what feels best.

    I really appreciate the help. It's great to have experts here helping us newbies get introduced to the sport. Thanks again.
     
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  2. mikeyfoucs

    mikeyfoucs New Member

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    Hello,

    I've tried a few of these bikes, and also liked the feel of the Jamis Coda and Specialized Sirrus. I haven't found such reasonable prices as you though. I'm also in the Bay Area. Would you mind posting the links or at least names of the LBS you visited?

    I'd appreciate it.
    Thanks
     
  3. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW. My vote is for the JAMIS CODA ... it's a good bike ... and, my preference would almost always be for a steel framed bike.

    If I got the Jamis Coda, I would probably change to Road/Drop bars + cantilever brake calipers at some point ... but, again, that's just my preference.
     
  4. chitownshanty

    chitownshanty New Member

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    Anyone know if this site is legitimate? Just found a Jamis Coda Elite for $500?

    Jamis Coda Elite

    Thanks!
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Well, you would be paying with a credit card, so your purchase is protected from fraud.

    BTW. Some of the component specs are different from the specs of a Jamis Coda Elite as listed on the Jamis website ... so, check them to make sure you can live with any changes (changes, which you may-or-may-not prefer) ...

    One obvious difference are the rims -- the ones in the Bikeshack Limited listing are MAVIC CXP22 & the "official" specs are for MAVIC A119 rims ... the former are 622-15 & the latter are WIDER (presumably, 622-19) ... that means that the bike being sold is better suited for road riding & the latter can be more easily fit with wider tires ...

    et cetera.

    FYI. By my reckoning, this is the time of year when bike "models" of the current calendar year are typically discounted at least 20% ... sometimes, more. 2009 models (since this is 2010) are theoretically two years old, and so they might be discounted 30%, or more.

    The PAINT color is an indication that the particular bikes being sold are not 2010 ... they are probably from the 2009 model year (or, even prior NOS bikes) ... nothing wrong with that!

    Since I haven't fully embraced disc brakes for MTBing, I might lean toward the more plebeian 2009 Jamis Coda Comp which they are selling for $385 ...

    But, FWIW, if I were looking for a bike which used 700c wheels & had disc brake mounts, then I would definitely give serious consideration to ordering the Jamis Elite from that online vendor.
     
  6. Doublej

    Doublej New Member

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    The color is that of the 2009 Coda Elite.

    One big question is how much is shipping and other fees? Anyone know what the to your door price is?
     
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