Difference between Hybrid bikes

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by andisue50, Jun 14, 2014.

  1. andisue50

    andisue50 New Member

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    Hey, folks! Thanks in advance for any help you can provide. My husband and I are brand new to biking and planning to get hybrid bikes. Based on what's available in my area and within my budget, I have narrowed it down to 3 bikes, but I really don't understand the difference between them (or the brands for that matter). My choices are : Jamis Commuter 1, Nishiki Manitoba, and Diamondback Clarity. We pretty much plan to ride for recreation/fitness.
     
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  2. Owboduz

    Owboduz New Member

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    I started with a hybrid as well. When I started riding longer distances, the extra weight, rolling resistance, and wind resistance as compared to a road bike really started wear me down. I've just picked up my first road bike and it's a whole new experience.

    If you're planning to ride on pavement, I suggest trying out a road bike before settling on a hybrid. If you're planning to ride on trails, then a hybrid is a better choice.

    I'd lean towards aluminium over steel. In this case, that means the Jamis is out.
     
  3. andisue50

    andisue50 New Member

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    Thank you for your input, Owboduz. I know that people with road bikes love them, but I'm just not interested in going in that direction at this point. If you don't mind me asking, why do you favor aluminum vs steel? Many places I have read said the opposite, but it does seem to be a very convoluted topic.
     
  4. oldbobcat

    oldbobcat Well-Known Member

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    There are different types of hybrid:
    • Comfort, distinguished by a short upright riding position, fat saddles, riser handlebars with adjustable stems, often with inexpensive suspension forks up front and inexpensive suspension seatposts in the back. Come with either 700c or 26" wheels.
    • Fitness, distinguished by a longer, slightly lower riding position, more athletic saddles, rigid forks, and lower handlebars. Always with 700c wheels. For spirited riding mostly on pavement.
    • Dual sport, basically a 29'er hardtail MTB with a short-travel fork, skinnier wheels, and taller gearing. Wheels are 700c with fatter, knobby tires. For spirited riding with more dirt road and moderate trail in the mix.
    • Urban, basically a fitness hybrid with a mix of up-to-date commuter/hipster accoutrements, that may include internally geared rear hub or single-speed, belt drive, disk brakes, racks, stylish fenders, cup holders, and so on.

    I hope this helps you understand the territory.
     
  5. Owboduz

    Owboduz New Member

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    I felt the same way about road bikes until I started doing long distance riding. Most places will let you ride a bike around for a few minutes to get the feel of it. Why not try one before making up your mind? I won't say any more about it. If you ever need to climb a hill, you'll want the aluminium frame. It's a question of weight versus rigidity. Aluminum gives you the same rigidity for much less weight. Aside from frame geometry, at which I haven't looked too closely, the bikes you have listed are all pretty similar. They all have 7 speed rear mech. They all have mud guard and rack mounting eyelets. At least two of them come in a women's version. Taking to a female cyclist friend of mine, it sounds as though that matters, at least for the saddle.
     
  6. Volnix

    Volnix Well-Known Member

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    The Jamis one has a steel frame whilst the Diamondback is Aluminium.

    There are lots of versions of each model.

    Why not a cyclocross bike?

    These are often used as commuters and tourers and with the right tires are trail-capable.

    They can also be used whilst holding the top of the handlebars, just like a flat bar hybrid.
     
  7. AyeYo

    AyeYo Member

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    I'm going to go with Owboduz on this one and say that if you're riding nothing but pavement, you're going to wish you got road bikes. People riding mountain and hybrid bikes down bike paths are like the people that commute in H2 Hummers and lifted Jeep Wranglers. If the bike will never see a dirt trail, there's no reason for it to be equiped as such.

    If you insist on picking one of the three listed, I'd go with the Diamondback. The Nishiki is some off-brand department store bike that I can't find much info on. The Jamis is exactly what it says it is: a commuter bike. It has a lot of stuff needed for a commute that you don't need for fitness/fun riding. Obviously you can remove this stuff, but then you're paying for stuff you aren't using. That just leaves the Diamondback.

    What are you paying for these bikes? I'm guessing you're buying at Dicks, Sports Authority, or somewhere similar? If you give us a price range, we might be able to suggest some better quality bike shop bikes for the same money.
     
  8. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    THAT's a pretty good summary which I hope the OP uses ...

    I love Hybrid frames which are mated to RIGID forks ...

    FWIW. IMO, the frame choice is often more cosmetic than many people would like to admit ...

    • almost ANY bike can be fitted with narrower tires ... MOST so-called Road bikes are limited to 700x28 tires without fenders ...
    • a Hybrid frame can certainly handle a "Road" tire/wheelset
    [*]almost ANY bike can be fitted with Drop handlebars
    [*]almost ANY bike can be fitted with lighter components

    l think that for future serviceability (and fewer persistent-and/or-never-to-be-resolved creaking noises) that the main thing I would be looking in a frame is a traditional, English threaded BB ... that is, AVOID frames with PRESSED IN BB BEARINGS!!!

    Frame material. Aluminum will save a couple of pounds over a comparable steel frame.

    • as someone elsewhere observed, steel has had 2500 years of R&D.

    Much of the weight difference between an inexpensive bike & its more expensive cousins is in the components/wheels/tires.

    BTW. I've got a CF bicycle frame. I've got aluminum bicycle frames. Nonetheless, I am amongst those who does prefer a steel bicycle frame.
     
  9. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    A "cyclocross" bike is potentially a good choice ...

    BUT, some/many people NEVER acclimate to DROP handlebars ...

    The JAMIS CODA series is basically a cyclocross-type bike with FLAT handlebars ...

    • the base model has a steel frame & an MSRP of about $550 it's the one which I would choose because the money saved could go toward future component changes (if any were deemed necessary by me)
     
  10. Owboduz

    Owboduz New Member

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    Don't be too quick to dismiss off-brand bikes. Decathlon's B'Twin bikes get some pretty good reviews for the price. You might find that for the same money, an off-brand bike will get you the next level up in components. In my case, the off-brand bike (Vitus Razor) amounted to a 37% savings over the nearest similarly equipped branded bike (Giant Defy 4).

    I hate to go with the cliche, but will the store you're shopping at let you take any of these bikes out for a spin? Pick the one that feels the best. Even just a ride around the parking lot is better than nothing. Ultimately, a "good" but uncomfortable bike isn't going to accomplish what you want.
     
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