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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2014

    Advice? Upgrading f/old MTB - REI Zealo vs. Trek 7.4 vs Jamis Coda Comp vs. other?

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    Hi All -

    I'm new to this forum but have found other threads very informative as I research a new bike... which has inspired me to post this in hopes of some advice. Conditions and specs are below, would welcome your 2 cents!!

    Interested in a new bike for the following purpose/conditions:
    - commuting (4-20mi/each way with the occasional ~30mi ride)
    - fun/fitness (riding ~4-10mi to the pub/coffee, etc)
    - roads/paved trails and city riding
    - not planning on frequent riding in the rain -- but will if I get caught in it.
    - budget: prefer to stay < $1k

    Background: Upgrading from my old (ca. mid-90s) Specialized Rockhopper FS MTB -- it's a beast, but tried and true and I plan to keep it for riding trails/mtn biking. I've been using my Rockhopper for the 15-30mi commute and it takes a long time (I'd like to think it's just the bike ).

    I've looked at the following, in order of current preference (among many other bikes/test rides):
    - Jamis Coda Comp Femme: http://goo.gl/vuCv0a (steel, super smooth- seemed to roll on its own)
    - Trek 7.4 FX: http://www.trekbikes.com/int/en/bike.../7_4_fx_2014/# (Aluminum frame w/carbon fork, solid, with very similar feel to my MTB, but lighter)
    - REI Zealo: http://www.rei.com/product/837491/no...ealo-bike-2014 (a bit heavy, all aluminum, but great components for the price (e.g., Tiagra, BB7 disc brakes) )

    I also have tried a few road bikes-- I know drop bars would take adjusting to, but I'm open to them (it's just that I have small hands and really need to get to those brakes quickly and confidently in DC traffic!). The Giant Avail was a blast to test ride but a bit above my price range.

    Where I'm hung up: want a safe and solid commuter, but am concerned I'll "grow out of it" (and want a road bike)....

    Many thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Tucson, AZ
    Nothing says you can't have two bikes down the road.

    What's your bike storage situation like at work?

    I like steel, and it sounds like you liked the ride of the Coda. I'd stay away from the Zealo. Nice components (and the brakes are better than the ones that came on my CX bike), but the fork is aluminum, and the ride might be uncomfortable. You might be a bit more comfortable too, with the brakes on either the Trek or Jamis.

    It sounds like you want a road bike down the road anyway, so I'd buy something with some "zip" as well to carry you on a bit longer until you make the leap to a road bike. The higher-end FX series, if I remember correctly, is pretty close to a road bike, just with flat bars. I'm not familiar with Jamis except that they do a nice steel bike and give you a lot of bang for your buck.

    (And that new Avail is gorgeous...)
    At least I don't leave slime trails.

    2009 Giant Avail 3 |Specialized Jett 143

    2013 Charge Filter Apex| Specialized Jett 143
    1996(?) Giant Iguana 630|Specialized Riva

    Saving for the next one...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Southeastern MA
    Quote Originally Posted by Muirenn View Post
    I would have said the Jamis Coda even before you made you list.
    Another (somewhat-biased) vote for the Coda. I have the 2009 (men's) Sport and love it. The ride is smooth and stable, yet it's quick and responsive. Although I am happy with each of my bikes, the Coda is the one that made me experience the phenomena of the "saddle disappearing underneath me". It's pretty cool.

    1990 Univega Alpina/(stock) gel saddle
    2009 Specialized Dolce Elite/BG Lithia saddle
    2009 Jamis Coda Sport/Selle Royale Respiro saddle
    2010 Jamis Aurora/Jamis Touring Sport saddle

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Thanks all!

    Muirenn and Kubla, thanks for the Jamis endorsement! Kubla, your comments are inspiring -- I know that sensation w/skiing and imagine it's very cool w/a bike.

    Owlie, thanks for the tips on the Treks -- I'll take a look at the 7.5. Re: bike storage at work, we have many racks in an outdoor (covered) area -- we're on a campus in a business park so I'd be comfortable w/a "good bike" locked up there-- I'm more concerned about bike storage at home (in a community garage) and in the city while commuting to event/restaurants/etc...

    I tested a CX bike yesterday -- the Giant Invite 2. It was a nice ride -- drop bars were surprisingly comfortable and easy to reach the brakes (thank you, Giant, for WSD) and it has in-line brakes on the tops. My hesitation w/it is the Sora components-- the shifting wasn't entirely "crisp" and it seemed like the front derailleur needed to be adjusted as the chain was rubbing against it. I guess the shifting would just take some getting used to...

    Anyone have the Invite 2?

    (I admit to trying the Avail again -- man is that a fun bike! incredibly responsive and zippy and was fine navigating through traffic. May need to keep this on my wish list.).

    Heading out on a community ride on the Jamis today. Hoping to have a decision made very soon...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Hi All,
    Thanks for the valuable input!

    Is anyone familiar with the Giant Invite 2??

    It's a WSD cyclocross bike -- I tested it last weekend and liked it quite a bit -- seems like it could be a good mix of commuter/intro to drop bars/more road-like zip. Only hesitation is the Sora components (shifting not as crisp as one would prefer).

    (I took the Coda Comp out for a ~18mi community ride (touring city murals!) and still liked it, although I would switch out the saddle. My hands bothered me a bit by the end of the ride, but I still liked the bike. I admit to trying the Giant Avail 1 again ... wow is that a fun ride. But, I need a bike I can lock up outside/in my apt bldg garage and that's not something I'd want to leave out anywhere... going to leave this for my "someday" list!).

    Owlie, re: bike storage at work, there are many bike racks outside in a covered area. I typically bus my bike to work then do either the 14 or 26mi ride home (length dictated by public transit schedules)



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