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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    1

    I need help deciding between three bicycles.

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    Hi,

    I am new to riding bikes. I learned to ride on an abandoned Walmart bike in my apartment complex that is way too small for me. My husband convinced me to buy a better quality bike for safety and comfort. After alot of research I have narrowed down my choices to three bicycles:

    1. Specialized Sirrus Sporthttp://www.specialized.com/be/en/bc/...=38461&eid=121

    2. Specialized Vita http://www.specialized.com/be/en/bc/...=38460&eid=121

    3. Bianchi Iseo http://www.bianchiusa.com/09-bicycle...9-xt-iseo.html

    4. Fuji Absolute 3.0 http://www.fujibikes.com/LifeStyle/R...bsolute30.aspx

    The only one that is really women's specific is #2. I know the best advice is to try them all out but I live in a small town with only one bike store so I can't really try them all out.

    I have only tried the Sirrus and it seemed to fit okay. The LBS said he could swap out the stem for a shorter one and swap out the saddle for one that is specific to my sitbone measurement.

    Anyway, I guess the real question is - which one is better in terms of quality and components? Does anyone ride any of these bicycles?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Antonio Heights, CA (Upland)
    Posts
    1,068
    I would lean toward one of the Specialized. For one, they both have a lot of Shimano parts on them. Shimano is known for well made products. That's about all I can offer. Hopefully you'll get more input.
    GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!

    2009 Cannondale Super Six High Modulus / SRAM Red / Selle San Marco Mantra

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Limbo
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    8,783
    Quote Originally Posted by A.Sphere View Post
    I know the best advice is to try them all out but I live in a small town with only one bike store so I can't really try them all out.
    Which does the bike shop carry?

    Where would you get one if it isn't from that one shop?
    2008 Trek FX 7.2/Terry Cite X
    2009 Jamis Aurora/Brooks B-68
    2010 Trek FX 7.6 WSD/stock bontrager

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,101
    My friend, who just started riding, has the Vita. She loves it, it has good components, and it seems perfect for a beginning rider who has made a commitment.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Beautiful NW or Left Coast
    Posts
    5,645
    Bianchis are really cool bikes. But you need to ride them all yourself, we can't do that for you.

    good luck.
    I like Bikes - Mimi
    Watercolor Blog

    Davidson Custom Bike - Cavaletta
    Dahon 2009 Sport - Luna
    Old Raleigh Mixte - Mitzi

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Soquel, CA
    Posts
    193
    I just got a Specialized Vita Sport to replace my comfort/hybrid. Does anyone need a nearly new Specialized Globe Carmel WSD small - I'm in central CA? The Vita fits great, goes fast, and I am really happy with it. My husband got the Sirrus which is the men's version of the same bike. I'm 5'3". Why get a men's bike if you can get a women's one, especially if you are short? The Globe was also very good to start out with. It's stable and fine if you live in a place that is mostly flat, or you are new to cycling. Anyway, I would highly recommend the Vita.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    foothills of the Ozarks aka Tornado Alley
    Posts
    4,197
    The Vita is a women's specific design. Do WSD bikes fit you? Generally if you have a shorter torso with longer legs, a WSD bike may fit you. They are generally a little lighter in weight and have narrower handlebars. Also, the Vita comes with twist shifters. You can always change out components but if you don't like twist shifters, that's something to consider in terms of added cost.

    The Sirrus is a unisex design with finger shifters. One of the bike shops I visited chose that bike as the official errand bike for the staff. If you choose to go with the Sirrus, you might be more comfortable with a shorter stem (Specialized puts a stock 100 mm stem on their bikes).

    Both of these bikes come with a triple so you'll be ready to tackle those hills.

    While you are checking out the bikes, try on a pair of Specialized shoes. They are quite comfy and I have never had to "break in" a pair.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Antonio Heights, CA (Upland)
    Posts
    1,068
    I just wanted to point out that just because a bike is not WSD (women specific design), doesn't mean it's a "men's" bike. As sundial mentioned, the Sirrus is a "unisex" bike, which can be for a man or a woman. Just depends on what fits you. I have a Cannondale CAAD9, which is a unisex. I'm tall, so I didn't need a WSD. I do, however, plan to change out the handlebars for smaller one's, as I have discovered I don't have as much control in the drops as I could.
    GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!

    2009 Cannondale Super Six High Modulus / SRAM Red / Selle San Marco Mantra

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,309
    Yes, you need to ride them all and decide for yourself. I can give you *MY* opinion on the bikes you've listed but that is just my opinion...
    You need to find a bike that is right for YOU, and that fit's YOU.
    I own a bike shop, and I help people make that decision all day long. I stress to them that all bikes have merit, and that you have to find the one that fits you the best, that "speaks" to you. I can usually help them find something in my shop, but sometimes it's a different brand. And that is ok. Like I said, all bikes have merit.
    That being said, if it were "ME", and I had the choices you have laid out, I would go in the following direction...
    Specialized
    (prolly shouldn't go here, but gonna jump in anyway)
    I would never buy a Specialized. This is purely from a bike dealers standpoint seeing how unethical their business practices are. They are very cut throat- even to their own dealers. In the past I had a Specialized road bike, and a mountain bike. So did hubby and son, but now that I have a bit of background, I wouldn't touch one. Do they make beautiful bikes? yes. That's the sad part. I guess it comes down to how you feel about things like that.
    Again, your call. If the bike fits, it speaks to you, and you don't mind dealing with a company that has a "at all costs" attitude about business. Go for it. It's kind of like the anti vs pro wal mart debate in a way.
    (I'm sure I'll get slammed for this, but I think people should know.)

    Bianchi-
    Sold them last year, very nice bikes. They are a niche brand though, and I've found that they either fit you like a glove- or not at all. I do love their wsd road bikes. Sexy sexy machines! - Too bad I didn't have the market for them because they are great bikes. One thing I did notice was the parts spec/price ratio was not as competitve as the major brands. Your "bang for the buck" may not be there. But they do have quite a pedigree. Dating back to 1885 in fact.

    Fuji-
    Pretty nice bikes, but they seem to have a dept store feel to them. Depending on the bike you can get a great deal. Did have some issues last year with performance selling people road bikes that were too big for them. They had very long top tubes for the size of the bike. So watch the fit on whatever you are looking at. Don't go by frame size alone.
    In fact that advice should be used with all of them. Be more concerned with the effective top tube length.

    Well, hope this helps. Like I said- find the bike that speaks to YOU. Because only you will be riding her. Not all of us online houligans!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,780
    Quote Originally Posted by featuretile View Post
    Why get a men's bike if you can get a women's one, especially if you are short?
    Some women fit better on a men's bikes. It depends on the top tube length and on inseam length. Even if you are short, you may have a shorter inseam and longer arms and in that case a men's bike would probably be a better fit.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Soquel, CA
    Posts
    193
    My Specialized Vita Sport is a 2008 model so it is equivalent to the current Vita Sport Elite (which has carbon forks and trigger shifters, not twist). I think if you go up to the Sport Model this year, it will have trigger shifters, as well (but no carbon). I tested a small Sirrus and the Vita Sport at the same time and felt more comfortable on the Vita. I'm not sure about the previous bike store owners' comment about bad practices of Specialized, but Specialized is a highly respected local company where I live. If your LBS is a Specialized dealer, they can probably order a Vita Sport (or Elite) for you without you having to find another store. The comment at my LBS was that both the Vita & Sirrus were a really good value and that you couldn't really get a better bike at that price. Most of the road bikes everyone else is comparing them to are alot more expensive.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    San Antonio Heights, CA (Upland)
    Posts
    1,068
    Quote Originally Posted by Running Mommy View Post
    Specialized
    (prolly shouldn't go here, but gonna jump in anyway)
    I would never buy a Specialized. This is purely from a bike dealers standpoint seeing how unethical their business practices are. They are very cut throat- even to their own dealers. In the past I had a Specialized road bike, and a mountain bike. So did hubby and son, but now that I have a bit of background, I wouldn't touch one. Do they make beautiful bikes? yes. That's the sad part. I guess it comes down to how you feel about things like that.
    Again, your call. If the bike fits, it speaks to you, and you don't mind dealing with a company that has a "at all costs" attitude about business. Go for it. It's kind of like the anti vs pro wal mart debate in a way.
    (I'm sure I'll get slammed for this, but I think people should know.)
    I second the motion that Specialized is unethical. In fact, I refer to them as Specialized Nazis! We go to an awesome LBS, who used to sell Specialized, in addition to others. Dh and I both have Cannondale. However, the owner recently stopped selling Specialized because they tried to bully their way into his shop by making him sell ONLY Specialized. It was all or nothing, so he opted for "nothing". He knows another LBS owner who went all Specialized and ended up losing his store because of it.

    So, while of the three bikes you listed, I leaned more toward Specialized, it wasn't because I'm a Specialized Nazi, but because of my limited knowledge of the three, the Specialized did seem like the better choice for quality.

    How about you get a Cannondale instead?!!!
    GO RIDE YOUR BIKE!!!

    2009 Cannondale Super Six High Modulus / SRAM Red / Selle San Marco Mantra

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    2,309
    Yeah Jiffer, I know it's a touchy subject because so many ladies on here have specialized bikes. Like I said- great bikes.... Horrible company.
    For instance, in a trade mag recently I read a letter from an LBS owner. He was a Trek and Specialized dealer in the Tucson area. Apparently Specialized decided to open a concept store 100 feet from his store! And they didn't even have the respect to tell him. He said that they sent emails to all of the local specialized dealers and magically left him off the list.... NICE!

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Belle, Mo.
    Posts
    1,780
    I've learned a lot from this thread. Too bad A.Sphere hasn't shown up beyond the initial post.
    Claudia

    2009 Trek 7.6fx
    2013 Jamis Satellite
    2014 Terry Burlington

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    905
    Quote Originally Posted by uforgot View Post
    I've learned a lot from this thread. Too bad A.Sphere hasn't shown up beyond the initial post.
    I was actually looking at the thread and about to throw in my 2 cents - but then I saw that the original poster did not follow up, so now I'm wondering...

    Oh, and by the way...
    Quote Originally Posted by Biciclista
    Bianchis are really cool bikes.
    Yes they are! Long time Bianchista here
    E.'s website: www.earchphoto.com

    2005 Bianchi 928C L'Una RC
    2010 BMC SLX01 racemaster
    2008 BMC TT03 Time Machine
    Campy Record and SSM Aspide naked carbon on all bikes

 

 

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