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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this gets asked all the time, and I've read reviews and posts til my eyes are bleeding, but I figured I would put all of my info out there and let you decide once and for now what bike is best for me.
My situation is a little unique in that I live in Japan and am not yet fluent in speaking the language, and even worse reading it.
This makes it hard for me to actually find bikes I'm interested in to test ride.
So here is everything I can think to tell that might have some bearing on the decision. Thanks in advance for any and all help given.

age - 45
height - 5'7" (170cm)
weight - a few pounds over :rolleyes:
budget - under $1000 U.S./ 100,000yen
riding preferences - 75% on-road (comfort and conditioning more important that speed), 25% off-road (trail riding, dirt roads, etc. nothing hardcore)
wishes - I'd like something comfortable that is useful for everyday commuting while being sturdy enough to handle the extra pounds I'm toting (until I lose them) as I begin to get off the roads more and more (like I was doing years ago before marriage and gravity took their toll).
I know hybrids come to mind, and I've certainly researched all of them, but if there's a hard tail that would meet my needs I might be more inclined to go with that.

Sampling of some of the many that I've been thinking about:
Kona Dew FS
Jamis Allegro 2X (3X not available in Japan)
GT Karakoram
Giant XTC 3
Cannondale F5
and many more...

Thanks again for your help.
 

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Looking at the bikes you have listed, I would choose the Giant if I were spending my money. Last time I was shopping for a new bike, the best advice I received was to buy the bike for the rider you plan to become so you're not stuck with a bike that cannot keep up with you 6-12 months from now.

First, you mentioned you expected your off-road use to increase as you get back into shape, and I think you might prefer the mountain bike gearing over the hybrid gearing in the long run. Second, I think the Tora fork on the Giant would serve you better in the off-road situations than the RST on the Cannondale.

If your budget permits, you could always get a set of semi slicks and a second set of wheels for commuting / street use. I use my hardtail that way, but can switch in just a couple of minutes including a quick brake adjustment.

Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks JC. Great advice. I have been leaning towards the Giant as it seems to have the best specs to go along with a decent price. Your logic makes great sense and may be the final push I need. I'm going by the shop to see if I can get on it just to be sure it fits, but I'm bringing my wallet too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, get on it is about all I could do! It seems they're not very receptive to customers test-riding bikes over here. At least not in this neck of the woods. Their reasoning is that if I ride it then it's no longer a new bike and they wouldn't be able to sell it as such. While I understand the logic, it's a bit baffling to me how anyone would be willing to throw down big money on something they've never ridden. He said he had a GT I could try. WTF??
Anyhow, I ended up pulling the trigger anyways because I just like the bike. I'm waiting for it to be tweaked now. Pics later.
Thanks again to those that assisted.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Thanks. I used a fairly thick adhesive cushioning strip on the belt clip before mounting it on the tube (I should add that the tube is flat on top, allowing for a very secure attachment). That should prevent any scratching as well as dampen the bumps. I won't be doing anything hardcore anyways, at least not until I drop about 20lbs and get my "bike legs" back!
 
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