As promised, I went out today to test ride bikes. I found one I liked. I bought it.
Now for the longer version.
After services and going out to Abe’s Deli (blech) for lunch with congregation friends, I started on the Bike Trek. The first stop was Bicycle Den in Granada Hills. I described to him what I currently had and what I was looking for, and that I was particularly interested (as he was a Giant dealer) in the Giant Escape. He took a look at me, pronounced me a small frame, and pointed me to a Giant Cypress. I rode it around the parking lot. I didn’t like the feel: I felt I was too close to the handlebars. He indicated he didn’t have anything larger, or anything else to suggest. I took his card, with the Giant a definate maybe.
Next stop was REI. There, the fellow took the time to actually measure me for the frame: indeed, I was a medium (17.8). We talked about the Cannondales for a bit, and I test rode a Quick 4, but on a large frame. I liked the ride (although the seat was hard). I asked if he could find a medium frame. He didn’t have one in stock, and as it was the end of the season, he couldn’t order them. I asked about the Scott Sub 20, and he indicated that the Northridge REI wasn’t a Scott dealer. I tried the Marin Fairfax in the right size frame, but I hated it: the top clips were annoying, and it just wasn’t comfortable. He suggested a Marin Bridgeway, but I wanted more gears.
The third shop was Reseda Bicycles in Reseda. This was the Trek dealer. Again, I described what I was looking for, and that I was interested in the Trek 7000 or FX. He didn’t have the 7000, and suggested either the Trek 7100 or the Trek 7200. I test rode the 7200, and it was perfect: great riding position, comfortable gear changes, comfortable seat, good braking. I asked the different in price between the 7100 and 7200. The 7100 was $419, and the $7200 was $499… but the one I test rode was last year’s model, and was thus $429. I told him sold. I added a rack, lights, trip computer, and lock, and was out the door for just under $580. As I recall, there is a year service included, and I need to come back in a month or so for break-in adjustments.