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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm new to road biking, and I'm wondering which is bike is better for the money? Here are the prices at the local shop around my area

Rapid 3 (flat handlebar) is around $520

Defy 3 (drop down handlebar) is around $720

which bike would you recommend for a novice rider? Thanks.
 

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Didn't really include anything for us to make a determination on... How far do you plan to ride, do you ever plan to race, do you want to take it on unpaved trails, yada yada... but in general it'll come down to which feels more comfortable and if you like the road style handlebars.
 

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You definitely need to determine what type of riding your going to be doing. As for my experience, i was new to the sport two yrs ago and coming off of a knee surgery. I wasn't sure that I would really get into cycling or not so I purchased a giant Rapid for my first bike. Mainly b/c of pricing. I absolutely loved the bike. Thought it was comfortable, more upright position than a true roadie, and yet fast enough to hang on a group ride. It took me 500 miles to get addicted to the sport, sold my rapid and bought a true roadie. In my case i wasn't willing to dish out 2k for a bike until I knew that I really wanted to do this. I was very happy with the rapid as a first bike. They are very similar bikes. Best advise would be to test ride both and see which has a better fit and feel.

Good luck and Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the biking I do will certainly not be for competitive reasons, just for cardio exercise around the beach, park, lake, etc.. I just want a good road bike upgrade from my mountain bike. Thanks!
 

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Based on your riding style and use, in my humble opinion, I personally would be very happy with the giant rapid. Its a very comfortable bike. When i say true roadie, i simply mean a bike that has drop bars and road bike style shifters. The rapid is basically a combination of a road bike and a mountain bike. It has a road style frame, road style tires, mountain bike shifters, and mountain bike handle bars. Thats the difference between the rapid and the defy. The rapid is a hybrid (because of its bars and controls) and the defy is a road bike.
 

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I am new to cycling also, and I recently faced the very same decision. At the time I wanted a commuter style bike that would give me the option of doing longer rides on the weekend and that would fit my budget. I went with the Rapid 3.

I LOVE the bike. As others have pointed out, it's quick enough so that you can pretty much get the full road bike experience (and you generally can keep up with group rides), but it has the flat handlebars that give an entry level rider a bit more confidence and maneuverability in traffic. The components are cheap, but they're not bad for the price, and that just means you won't feel as bad if it turns out you don't catch cycling fever.

That being said... I absolutely have caught the fever. And if I had it to do over again I would get a lower end model with drop handlebars (like the Defy) or (ideally) a higher quality, used road bike in the same price range. If you really get into cycling, I think you'll find the flat handlebars more of an annoyance than a convenience. I find that if you ride for more than 25-30 miles at a time, the flat bars hurt your hands and wrists (even if you wear padded gloves). The drop bars will give you the ability to change your hand position and relieve the pressure (not to mention the ability to get into a faster, more aerodynamic position). Plus, I feel kind of silly wearing lycra shorts and/or a jersey on my hybrid bike. (But not quite silly enough not to do it!) I've got nearly 2K miles on my Rapid and - even though it's holding up great - I'm already salivating at the thought of upgrading my ride.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
very good advice guys! very much appreciated! so I guess my choice will be going with the rapid 3, so I can get a feel of what road cycling is all about, and if I really enjoy it, I can always sell the rapid 3 and upgrade to a drop handle bar type roadbike. Any other entry level roadbikes you guys recommend? and again thank you for the advice!
 

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I started out on a Giant FCR (hybrid). Loved it, but within just a few months realized I wanted to ride further and faster than the FCR was comfortable for. The flat bar doesn't give you as many hand positions, which can lead to pressure and numbness on longer rides. So I got a road bike, and haven't looked back since.

My FCR sits in the garage begging to be ridden, but I just love my road bikes so much I never choose the FCR any more.
 

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FGCHENG said:
Any other entry level roadbikes you guys recommend?
I've not ridden one yet, but in your price range I would get the Specialized Allez Steel Double without hesitation. Of course, you'd have to be comfortable with the fact that it has downtube shifters (i.e. you have to take your hands off the bars to shift gears). I think it's a beautiful bike, and the price is right. There is a thread on here somewhere about it.

But, if you're keeping your rides under 25 miles, I think you'll be quite happy with the Rapid.
 

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Future...

Think of the future . I went through exactly what you are. I purchased a Giant Seek 3 as my first non-mountain type bike and absolutely Loved it . Three months later I sold the bike I loved and bought a Giant Defy 2 . The Rapid probably seems more natural to you because you are used to flat bars but take your time . If you will be doing alot of road riding you will want to be on a drop bar road bike . BTW , I love my Defy !
 

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FGCHENG said:
gahh such a hard decision!! by the way how many times a week you guys ride?
I'm able to take my bike with me almost everywhere I go so I try to ride three plus times a week . The HOT summer weather has been keeping me off of the bike for a week or so . Not happy , I need to ride !
 

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If you are already used to a mountain bike and that type of geometry, all you're getting with the Rapid is no front suspension and smooth skinnier tires. You already know what it feels like to ride in an upright position. If you want a true road bike feel, you will not get it from a bike with flat bars. Go take a Defy or some other entry level road bike, with drop bars, for at least a 1 hour ride. Tell the shop you plan to take a long test ride and if they don't want you to do that, go find another shop. 60 minutes on the road bike will tell you which bike to buy. Nobody can or should even try to tell you which bike is better for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
okay and a little more on my riding style, I will certainly not ride for more than 10 miles at a time. I probably won't be buying those bike shorts and shirts, just helmet and a water bottle. I'm not too hardcore on this, just riding for freedom, fun, fitness, and endurance. and I won't be doing any competitive racing.


so... Rapid 3 guys? I think I'm gonna pick it up today.
 
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