Top positive review
48 people found this helpful
on June 8, 2010
I bought this bike (large size, blue color) to commute to work and back - about 5 miles each way, in city traffic and over a couple of bridges. It's been 3 months now and I have to say I'm very happy with the quality of this product given the price. I actually save time taking the bike to work over public transportation, not to mention the exercise I get and the money I save on subway fare - I find that I ride the bike in and back about 3 times per week (I don't ride it when it rains or when I don't feel like it).
Overall I give this bike 5 stars because it is exactly what is advertised - a great no-frills every-day hybrid bike for a great price. The components are not top-notch but they are not cheap either. There are a few things you may want to replace over time (as I have done and plan to do) but overall this bike runs great out-of-the-box. The 700c tires were a requirement for me, I didn't want mountain bike tires because I'm riding mostly on the street but at the same time in NYC you want something a little more rugged than racer tires.
A couple of notes I have on this item:
- I had this bike professionally adjusted at a local bike shop prior to riding it for about $35. This was very necessary, since as I assembled it, it had some issues with the gear shifters and the breaks were not as tight as I'd like them.
- I bought additional accessories day one: a bottle holder ($5), a bike pump with holder ($10), a bike stand ($7), battery operated lights front and back ($15), a bike lock ($10), helmet ($25).
All these were from Amazon.com but I don't remember the exact items. For the bike lock I got a 6-foot cable lock and am happy to report that using this I can go around a lamp-post and the frame and both wheels without much trouble. This worked out much better than the u-lock I tried at first which ended up being too short to get the frame and front wheel into. The front wheel on this bike is sort of far away from the frame, so it requires a bigger U-lock if you want to get them both in. I live in NYC, so it's a big deal to have your bike secured if you're leaving it for any amount of time. I also take the seat with me when I leave the bike on the street.
- I had the bike shop replace the quick-release wheel locks/pins with nut-based ones that require a special key to undo just as a safety percaution (since I live in NYC) and since I don't forsee needing to take the wheels off at any time
- I removed the silly plastic reflectors off the wheels - they're annoying and mine started to slide down/twist on their own.
- The handlebars on this bike are really wide I'm thinking at some point I'm going to replace these with smaller ones - I found that when riding in NYC traffic the handlebars are a little too wide to easily navigate between cars parked on the side of the street and cars waiting at a red light (especially on thinner streets). Also getting the bike in and out of houses/apartments is sort of annoying with the wide handlebars. I wouldn't want racer handlebars (bent ones) - but something in the standard geometry that doesn't come out to the side so much.
- Today (after riding the bike for 3 months) I also took off the front gear shifter and derailleur (including the plastic tubing, and metal wire). I found that I don't use the front gears at all and when using the high-gear (3 on the front, 7 on back) the chain would brush against the front derailleur (I'm sure this could be adjusted but I figured I'd just take the whole thing off since I never use it). Since the break levers and gear shifters are integrated into one unit on this bike it's a bit of a hassle - but nothing you can't do in about 30 mins.
- At some point I'm going to replace the front gear-wheel and the whole pedal/axle assembly, but not yet. That's the only other thing that annoys me about this bike - the pedals are kinda cheap platic, chunky things. They look/feel almost childish. Once again, not a deal-breaker at this price level but smaller/lighter pedals with straps is more along my preference.
- Another thing I really like about this bike is the weight. It's a big bike but it's light. Easy to pick up and carry. I was comparing this to a friend's stripped-down steel-tube racer and we were both surprised how much lighter mine was even with the extra stuff I had on mine (lights, lock, bottle holder with bottle of water in it, etc).
I hope this review makes more people buy this bike if they're trying to make up their mind about a model. I looked at various similarly-priced models frmo Schiwmm and Diamondback, but settled on this one and I'm very happy. I'm 5-11 and the large size is perfect for me - seat about 2" up off the lowest position - if you're 5-9 or shorter you may want to go with one size smaller.