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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I currently own a Gary Fisher Mamba (circa late 1990s...see pic) and although it hasn't been used a great deal, it shows some signs of wear...brakes weak (actually wasn't impressed by the Shimana STX RC brakes when I first got the bike), some rust on the frame, etc.

I would like to get a new bike, a hybrid, because I'll be riding it with my daughter (19) and my son (9) on the roads but on some 'not so rough' trails with my friends.

Are there any decent hybrid bikes you would recommend that can be had for under $700? With a daughter in college, obviously the cheaper the better, but I don't want to buy something that will fall apart in two years.

Thanks for any and all help!!!

TripleB

Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Tire Wheel
 

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It has been said here that the bike to buy is the one that fits, and the one that moves you to get on and ride. If you don't like the way your bike looks, or you haven't connected with it, you're much less likely to get on and tear it up out there. It doesn't seem like lack of motivation will be the case here as you already have riding partners. Still, the above holds very true. Get the one YOU like.

If you haven't looked around at bikes in quite some time you're in for a surprise. With the relative explosion in popularity of this sport - at least stateside - prices have gone up quite a bit, but also bike technology has taken a leap forward. Disc brakes, carbon forks, e-assist... it's all trickling down through all branches and price points. Entirely new categories of bikes have been created lately. Check this out... cross country tires, suspension, on road/cx frame.

Back to the bike, I think around that price point every brand is going to be offering the same level of equipment just in a different package. I think it may come down to which brands are offered by your local LBS' (local bike shop).

Road frames these days are a lot more versatile, some of the more fitness oriented ones come with 28 width tires or more, and not the skinny 23's of days past. Some have generous clearance allowing you to drop in beefier tires for those days on the cross country trails. "Gravel bikes" are another new category. They are road frames that have stable geometry and come with fat cross country tires.

I don't think you want a race frame road bike, but you may be surprised at some of the more comfort/endurance/gravel/cross country offerings. Still, your price point may make these out of reach. Hybrid bikes are cheaper.

Trek FX series
Cannondale Quick series
Specialized Sirrus

Head on over to the bike shop for a test ride!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You look like a bigger guy so fit is going to be important, Looks they offer a 22" as the largest frame size.
6'3"...weight ranges between 185 and 210...depending on my laziness factor!

I'm not sure how old the prices are for these models, or if the models are even available any longer, but the following bikes get great reviews:

- Giant Cypress LX ($340)
- Trek 7.1 FX ($470)
- Giant Sedona DX ($490)
- Specialized Sirrus Sport ($560)
- Raleigh USA C200 ($460)


TripleB
 

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Is there any chance that you or the kids will catch the "bug" and work up to riding longer distances?

If so, you should get a bike with drop handlebars.
Straight bars lock your hands and body into one position while drop bars have 5 and let you move around on the bike. You can stretch out and/or sit up or get low or anywhere in between. Personally, I have to be able to move around to avoid cramping.
There are no disadvantages to drop bars; they can be setup so the tops are as high as straight bars. On my cross bike the bars are even with the top of the saddle and with my hands on the tops my back is at a 45 degree angle, perfect for me.
If you get addicted to cycling (as we all have) you're gonna want drop bars. There are good reasons why they've been around for a century.

Look at "cross" bikes, they're the do-it-all choice with drop bars. They have about the same (relaxed) geometry as hybrids and also take the same larger tires. I've used 32-35mm cross tires for trails and 25mm racers for the road.
My cross bike came with the same triple chainrings that hybrids use (though I later upgraded to a double).
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
Is there any chance that you or the kids will catch the "bug" and work up to riding longer distances? If so, you should get a bike with drop handlebars. Look at "cross" bikes, they're the do-it-all choice with drop bars.
I appreciate the information and explanation.

How do I tell a 'cross' bike from a 'hybrid' bike? Does it typically say it in the name?

Do they off the same adaptability for road and smooth trails like hybrid bikes?

And maybe more importantly...can a new 'cross' bike be had for under $600?

Again, thank you for your help!

TripleB
 

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Cranky Old Bastard
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This is the newer version of the Trek CrossRip that I bought 3 years ago: Bicycle frame Bicycle tire Bicycle wheel Tire Wheel
Cross (slang for cyclocross) bikes have drop bars. Hybrids, straight bars and often (almost useless) suspension forks and seatposts.

Hybrids are made for casual riders so they hit the lower price points. Then after they add the expense of (again, almost useless) spring fork and seatpost the rest of the components are as cheap as possible.

I've not noticed a cross bike at the $600 level, I think you'd have to go at least a little higher than that. I got a good discount on mine and paid $1K.
OK, I just looked at Performance and they have a GT gravel bike on sale for $650: GT Grade Alloy Sora Gravel Bike - 2016
It looks decent and most Performance shops have staff competent enough to see you get the right size and fit it to you.
At the lower end you often get a lot more bike for not much more money and there are many more to choose from once you hit the $800-$1000 point.

Edit: and I just noticed that if you're signed up for their reward points you will get 20% of the cost of the bike in stuff like a helmet, etc.
 
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