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Learner - Hybrid bike with or without fork suspension

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#1 ritz2001



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Posted 24 April 2012 - 03:49 PM

Hi, I have just learned to ride at an ancient  age of 35. I learned on a rubbish bike bought off ebay. i now want to buy myself a new bike. I am  looking at hybrids.  Until now, i have just been riding on quiet roads. i dont see myself riding in traffic. Nor will i be riding up and down hills. but i would like the option of being able to ride on gravel and tow paths. should  i buy a hybrid bike with or without fork suspension? my budget is 500 to 550 pounds. speed is not important for me. i just want a comfortable ride. the few extra kilos that suspension adds to the weight, is it too big a deal?


my local bike shop told me that i should get one with suspension only if i absolutely must have it. as i said ,  i would like the option of riding on just paved roads. Will not be able to afford two bikes. So i would really  appreciate some  direction. Will a hybrid bike geared to paved road be comfortable enough?



#2 davereo


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Posted 24 April 2012 - 04:17 PM

IMO I would go with the ridgid fork.  The suspension fork is added cost that will relate into lower level components used to build the rest of the bike. Also for the style of riding you describe I see no benefit from the suspension fork.

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#3 oldbobcat


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Posted 28 April 2012 - 08:13 PM

I'm with Dave on this. Unless you're riding singletrack a suspension fork is needless weight and expense. And you really don't get a worthwhile fork until you spend around $600 for the bike.

#4 alfeng


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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:10 AM

FWIW. I love Hybrid bikes because they can accommodate almost any size tyre ... and, changing the components allows a Hybrid to morph into a configuration which will serve almost any function ...



As noted, a RIGID Fork is better in terms of weight & initial cost -- Why pay more?!?


And,  as I have stated in the past, if a person needs a bike with a front suspension, then they should buy a bike with a good front suspension ...


  • so, if 700c wheels are on the agenda, then a 29er should probably be on the shopping list.
    • but, that doesn't mean that the rider needs to use the massive 700x52-or-larger tyres which come on a 29er ..
    • 700x42 are certainly suitable for most rough graded roads ...
    • 700x30-32 (whose circumference is the equivalent of a 27x1.125 tyre) may be all a person needs



IMO, it's better to learn how to avoid the pot holes rather than ram into-or-through them.


BTW.  In addition to the bikes which you may have already looked at, look at a JAMIS Coda as a reference bike even if it is not readily available at an LBS near you.  It's basically a Cyclocross bike with FLAT Bars instead of DROP Bars, so it will be a little more nimble than a Hybrid, but tyre size beyond 700x42 (if the fork even allows that large a tyre) may be problematic.










#5 AlanG


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Posted 29 April 2012 - 10:03 AM

I ride a gravel trail several days a week on my commute and use a rigid fork cyclocross bike with no issues on it. I started out with a "comfort" type bike with front suspension but it eventually seemed too slow and clunky to me. Unless you plan on riding on fairly rough terrain, don't bother with the suspension... if you care about performance in any way... especially on paved trails or roads.


To be contrary for a moment, if you are not planning to go significant distances and don't care about speed, and comfort is your top priority, those comfort type bikes are "comfortable." But set up the handlebars forward and lower if possible. And a lighter hybrid bike with suspension should be better than the cheap comfort bikes.


A friend of mine got a Cannondale Quick CX-2 (suspension fork) and loves it. This could be in your price range. (I don't know what they sell for in the UK.)  The CX3 is less expensive and the CX4 is even less but has a rigid fork.



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