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Dmoceri said:
I have a limited budget of about 550 give or take.

The two bikes I was looking at were the GT Transeo 3.0 Disc and the Raleigh Cadent FT1..I.
Hi Dmoceri;

Nice to see another cultured, worldly and intelligent person looking at Raleighs here. We are a select group, proudly schleck-shifting our way through the peloton of Giants and Fujis and Specialized...

I have the Cadent FT3, which I got rather by accident. I was looking at the FT1, but the LBS recommended that I go to the FT2 because of the significant component upgrade. So I will pass this recommendation on to you.

I got the FT3 because the eastern part of the States were out of FT2s by the time I got around to ordering, so I got a discounted upgrade to the FT3.

A quick zip over to the Raleigh site:

http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/performance-hybrid/

discloses the following:

FT1: Derailleur (F) Shimano Altus (R) Shimano Alivio
Cranks Shimano FCM311 28/38/48t w/Chainguard
Shifter Shimano EF-51 EZ Fire 8spd

FT2: Derailleur (F) Shimano Alivio (R) Shimano Alivio 9spd
Cranks Shimano Alivio 26/36/48t
Shifter Shimano Alivio 9spd

FT3: Derailleur (F) Shimano R440 (R) Shimano Tiagra
Cranks Shimano Tiagra 2pc 34/50t
Shifter Shimano R440 9spd

NOW: this is from the 2011 offerings, and differ significantly from my 2010 bike. My 2010 FT3 has the three-ring front-- which frankly I could not live without. The granny gear is fantastic!!!!!!!!! This is gone from the FT3, but is on the FT1 and FT2.

I don't know anything about the Alivio components.

Aside from that, it has the requisite carbon fork, although for 2011, they say it is a "carbon cross" - again, not sure what that means.

It could be that you can find a 2010 kicking around now, the 2011 have just come into the market... and from my VERY limited knowledge, you may get better bang for the buck. But again, the Alivio is unknown to me.

Good luck! Pls. let us know what you decide.

Don
 

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Dmoceri said:
^^ thank you very much for the great response..But I think that the FT2 is alittle out of my price range if I want to get other things like helmet and such..like I said I am completely new to biking and have to get everthing :)
Understand about price ranges! I originally had $400 allocated!

BUT... 1) your LBS might have some negotiating room..that is the only way I could go to the FT3 - he was trying to sell a bike and I was trying to buy one, and 2) helmets and whatnot are cheap. Mine cost $22, fits fine, and if I fall, it will be disposed of anyway, the same as my motorcycle helmet. Water bottles are the $4 version, but they hold water. I am still riding in shorts and sneaks, which for my level is perfectly fine. An ODO is planned, but I don't have one yet. The tire pump ran $35, but it has been working all summer. The rear rack ran... $20 or so? The pack was a little pricier - close to $50.

Point being, you don't need the "Certified by Lance" gear when you are starting out. It can be fun to slum around for a bit until you figure out what is really useful and what is equippage designed for more highly-developed riders.
 
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