Finally... "hybrids" you can commute on

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Bean Long, Apr 14, 2005.

  1. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Hi all,

    I know I'm going to be told that I've been living in a dark, quiet hole for
    the past 10 years, but I've been looking for a new commuter lately and have
    come across some really useful hybrids for the first time... ever. In years
    gone by the best hybrid I could find was more on the MTB side of the fence
    with quite heavy road tyres and gear sets for climbing hills you were likely
    to fall over backwards on. Now I find that Avanti, Giant, Shimano and few
    others have some handy hybrids which look and feel like road bikes. Narrow
    wheels and tyres, handy road gears and a frame that will handle paniers etc.
    plus the usual flat bars for a little more upright posture and that MTB
    steering. I'm pleasantly surprised and am keen on the Giant CRX series. If
    anyone (who thinks that a commuter bike is a genuine mode of transport and
    hasn't already ignored this post or laughed out loud) can offer an opinion
    on the quality and use of these machines I'd love to hear some feedback.
    When our next child arrives (currently 11 days late!!) I want to make good
    use of the $3000 !!! :)

    Cheers,

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
     
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  2. craigster_jd

    craigster_jd New Member

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    I ride a Ridgeback Genesis Day 1 to work. It's effectively a flat bar road bike, with a slightly sturdier frame, clearance for guards, drilling for rack etc. Pretty hard to come by down under (I brought mine with me from the UK), but a nice comfortable ride and is suitable for the longer commute (and it's fast too).

    At the time when I bought it I was planning to use it for weekend fitness riding as well as commuting. However now I have the roadie for that, so unfortunately the Ridgeback is overkill somewhat for my fairly short commute.

    If I had the chance again, I'd probably stick to using a slicked up MTB (with lockable forks and maybe a non-compact chainset). That way I'd at least have something more versatile. My personal opinion would be to be careful how much you spend on a commuter bike, since you'll probably be leaving it places where it could be stolen, and use the money on something specific (i.e. a roadie or an MTB). Depends what sort of non-commuting riding you do most.

    Best of luck for the new arrival.

    Cheers,
    Craigster.
     
  3. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    $3000. baby-bonus right?
    And people(inc me) say this govt is useless!!!

    For commuting these bikes are good, but...
    make sure (assuming pannier usage here) that you go for one with decent chainstay length to give you ample clearance for heels vs panniers.
    The earlier models (TREK, Giant etc) were simply one of their road frames with flatbars thown on and the above scenario became a cleaar issue.

    Depending upon your commute/surface/path you may find the 25-32mm tyres these bikes use too narrow/harsh/not-good-on-loose-gravel-paths.

    Now we are heading into winter the obvious issue of component wear-n-tear will kick in. Do you need all 3 chainrings on the front?
    (must_resist_urge_to_espouse_SS/Fixed/hubgears....)

    the addition of (cant remember brand) the short little barends will do wonders to save your hands/wrists over time and help if you want to stand/stomp on climbs.

    Craigster's bike gets rave reviews in C+ mag (i think i drooled on yer bike in the CBD laast year craig :rolleyes: ). perhaps google it and read the reason's why they like it so much and see if what you are looking at has the same elements?

    As Craig says consider slicking up a mtb(rigid preferably) as parts will be cheaper (commuting will mean you become a LBS regular) and the wheels stronger.

    And last of all? IT MUST BE GREEN! :D:D:D (or streetcred-electrical-tape)

    F"soopacommuta"Dutch
     
  4. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Mmmm... the Ridgeback looks nice. I can never work out what components are
    better though. Would anyone care to let me know the major diff between,
    say, the Ridgeback
    (http://demo.i-bikeshop.com/products.php?plid=m1b66s20p435&tbv=RIDGEBACK_Gen
    esis_Day_1_) and the Giant CRX 1
    (http://www.giant-bicycle.com/au/030.000.000/030.000.000.asp?model=9873&year
    =2005&search_text=CRX)

    Which has the better quality derailers for example?

    Cheers,
    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
    "craigster_jd" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]
    >
    > > If
    > > anyone (who thinks that a commuter bike is a genuine mode of transport
    > > and
    > > hasn't already ignored this post or laughed out loud) can offer an
    > > opinion
    > > on the quality and use of these machines I'd love to hear some
    > > feedback.
    > > When our next child arrives (currently 11 days late!!) I want to make
    > > good
    > > use of the $3000 !!! :)
    > >
    > >

    >
    > I ride a Ridgeback Genesis Day 1 to work. It's effectively a flat bar
    > road bike, with a slightly sturdier frame, clearance for guards,
    > drilling for rack etc. Pretty hard to come by down under (I brought
    > mine with me from the UK), but a nice comfortable ride and is suitable
    > for the longer commute (and it's fast too).
    >
    > At the time when I bought it I was planning to use it for weekend
    > fitness riding as well as commuting. However now I have the roadie for
    > that, so unfortunately the Ridgeback is overkill somewhat for my fairly
    > short commute.
    >
    > If I had the chance again, I'd probably stick to using a slicked up MTB
    > (with lockable forks and maybe a non-compact chainset). That way I'd at
    > least have something more versatile. My personal opinion would be to be
    > careful how much you spend on a commuter bike, since you'll probably be
    > leaving it places where it could be stolen, and use the money on
    > something specific (i.e. a roadie or an MTB). Depends what sort of
    > non-commuting riding you do most.
    >
    > Best of luck for the new arrival.
    >
    > Cheers,
    > Craigster.
    >
    >
    > --
    > craigster_jd
    >
     
  5. alex

    alex Guest

    I enjoyed my Avanti blade comp before it was written off

    Not as quick as my current bike ... but plenty of mounting points for
    panniers and stuff and good value for money in that price range

    DB tubing, tiagra bits + 105 derailleur, alex da-16 rims etc..

    Plenty of good stuff around
     
  6. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Thanks for the feedback dutch. I checked a few of the Giant CRX specs and,
    yes, the frame looks just like their standard roadies with a relatively
    short chainstay, so I'll check out panier fit if I test drive one. As for
    where I ride there's no hassles with rough terrain as I'm sticking to roads
    and paved trails. I've actually been considering a road bike for some time
    but being the genetic freak that I am, I have a congenital back problem and
    dip bars are just useless for me... I'd never be bending down that far! The
    more upright position is a little easier on the old back.

    Regarding the chainrings, I know I won't need them all, so perhaps I should
    look at other options. Perhaps someone sells a flat-bar with road
    chainrings?! I'd be interested in building my own bike... but I'm just too
    freakin' lazy!

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying

    "flyingdutch" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]

    > For commuting these bikes are good, but...
    > make sure (assuming pannier usage here) that you go for one with decent
    > chainstay length to give you ample clearance for heels vs panniers.
    > The earlier models (TREK, Giant etc) were simply one of their road
    > frames with flatbars thown on and the above scenario became a cleaar
    > issue.


    <etc. snipped>
     
  7. craigster_jd

    craigster_jd New Member

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    Looks like they've dropped the spec on the Ridgeback since I bought mine - my 2003 Day 01 is about the same spec as the 2004 Day 02 on that page, save for the carbon forks. The Tiagra groupset performs excellently and hardly ever needs adjusting considering the stick it gets week-in week-out. Although I've never tried Sora, I've had a bad experience with the other entry-level group, Acera, and suggust it's worth at least going for Tiagra. Generally, the Shimano mid-range groups offer much better value for money and improved performance over entry-level for only a very small price premium.

    The Giant is slightly higher spec with the Shimano 550 wheelset and 105 groupset. I'd say this was somewhat extravagent for a pure commuter - it's probably aimed more at people who want to do fitness riding but don't like the aggressive riding position of a 'proper' roadie. But hey, it's you're money (or your baby's!).

    I chose the Ridgeback over the Specialized Sirrus Elite. In the end it came down to the brakes - the Tektro Dual Pivots on mine were much smoother than the no-name V's which came on the Specialized.

    Dutchy - there is a good chance it was mine you saw (black frame). I've only seen one other in the two years I've been here.

    Cheers,
    Craigster.
     
  8. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Yeah... I've seen these and am quite impressed. I was half interested in
    thier road bike of similar price but was told by my LBS that the Blade had
    far better components and I think the price similarity was due to a lower
    spec frame on the Blade.

    How'd you write it off??

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
    "alex" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > I enjoyed my Avanti blade comp before it was written off
    >
    > Not as quick as my current bike ... but plenty of mounting points for
    > panniers and stuff and good value for money in that price range
    >
    > DB tubing, tiagra bits + 105 derailleur, alex da-16 rims etc..
    >
    > Plenty of good stuff around
    >
     
  9. craigster_jd

    craigster_jd New Member

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    There aren't many geared bikes out there with a single chainring these days.

    Probably not a lot of use to you, but Edinburgh Bicycle do one.
     
  10. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    "craigster_jd" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]

    > The Giant is slightly higher spec with the Shimano 550 wheelset and 105
    > groupset. I'd say this was somewhat extravagent for a pure commuter -
    > it's probably aimed more at people who want to do fitness riding but
    > don't like the aggressive riding position of a 'proper' roadie. But
    > hey, it's you're money (or your baby's!).


    The Giant CRX1 is a bit too exie anyway. I love the look of it and it's one
    to drool over but overkill on the currency stakes. Despite the money coming
    in from good old Johnny, my intention is not actually to keep having kids to
    fund my bike addiction... I actually need a new bike and will be using my
    own money! The CRX2 is a better deal on that level but I'm still looking.
    The Merida Speeder series, Avanti Blade and Shimano flat bars all look good.
    With the hints you've given me I might make a more informed choice.

    Cheers,

    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying
     
  11. eddiec

    eddiec New Member

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    Don't forget to have a squiz at the Kona Dew series: http://tinyurl.com/bgaed

    They might be a bit more 'MTBish' than you're after, but they're certainly an interesting line of hybrids...
     
  12. alex

    alex Guest

    Some old bloke decided to hit me with his car :(

    http://photos1.blogger.com/img/153/3409/800/IMG_0089+92-small.jpg
    http://photos1.blogger.com/img/153/3409/800/IMG_0089+92-small.jpg

    I was considering just replacing the blade comp with the same again,
    but I decided to spend a bit more and get a nice road bike

    The frame on the blade is fine, but if you want something real schmick
    a bit more $$$ would be required

    I *think* shifters+brake levers on a flat bar are cheaper than a road
    bike.... not sure what else is cheaper due to flat bar ... maybe flat
    handlebars are cheaper too??

    What other bikes are you considering?
     
  13. Bean Long

    Bean Long Guest

    Ouch! Like the spread on the front forks there. You could hook up a car
    wheel to that!

    At the minute I'm just getting an idea of what flat bars there are out
    there. There seem to be more than I thought although few show up on 2004
    catalogues from most of the big bike sellers. Currently I ride an old piece
    of junk with no known history but prior to that an Avanti Montari comp. and
    an old Shogun Metro which I broke (snapped the chainstay after riding it to
    death with heavy panniers on). I was exrtremely happy with the Montari
    until I had to flog it off before heading to the UK for a few years
    (couldn't afford to keep it). For that reason alone I am leaning towards
    the Blade, but may expand my experience with something else. I have
    considered a roadie but have a bad back and also tend to go for paniers
    rather than a back-pack (I might change my mind here though). Finally, I
    have also considered recumbents but they are a bit out of my price range at
    the mo.

    I'm almost strictly a commuter. With very young kids I don't get much time
    to go 'exploring' on the bike like I used to. Any other bikes you could
    suggest for the daily commute would be welcome.
    --
    Bean

    Remove "yourfinger" before replying

    "alex" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Some old bloke decided to hit me with his car :(
    >
    > http://photos1.blogger.com/img/153/3409/800/IMG_0089+92-small.jpg
    > http://photos1.blogger.com/img/153/3409/800/IMG_0089+92-small.jpg
    >
    > I was considering just replacing the blade comp with the same again,
    > but I decided to spend a bit more and get a nice road bike
    >
    > The frame on the blade is fine, but if you want something real schmick
    > a bit more $$$ would be required
    >
    > I *think* shifters+brake levers on a flat bar are cheaper than a road
    > bike.... not sure what else is cheaper due to flat bar ... maybe flat
    > handlebars are cheaper too??
    >
    > What other bikes are you considering?
    >
     
  14. flyingdutch

    flyingdutch New Member

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    they all are!
    remove inner and either outer or middle ring and you negate tthe need for cabling/shifter. leave front derailleur so you dont constantly drop chain, if you rkeepin bigge rchaining you put it on the inside of the outer spider arm and use short/bmx bolts. less moving parts = easier bike and less to break

    FD
     
  15. alex

    alex Guest

    Sounds like a flat bar is the way to go, if you are going to get
    something more high end than the blade comp make sure the wheels will
    be able to cope with your weight + panniers

    and look out for cagers :)
     
  16. HughMann

    HughMann New Member

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    Have an 05 Avanti Blade Elite. Possibly not as high end as others but would fit the bill.
    $1600 flat bar roadie fitted with lugs for panniers, 105, Tiagra. Chainstays on all frames is 425mm so "should" be no probs with heel drag.
    LBS adamant that wheels are plenty strong enough for touring with 4 full panniers.
    Give it a test ride.

    Best wishes for expected arrival
    Hugh
     
  17. Bean Long wrote:

    > Hi all,
    >
    > I know I'm going to be told that I've been living in a dark, quiet
    > hole for the past 10 years, but I've been looking for a new commuter
    > lately and have come across some really useful hybrids for the first
    > time... ever. In years gone by the best hybrid I could find was more
    > on the MTB side of the fence with quite heavy road tyres and gear
    > sets for climbing hills you were likely to fall over backwards on.
    > Now I find that Avanti, Giant, Shimano and few others have some handy
    > hybrids which look and feel like road bikes. Narrow wheels and
    > tyres, handy road gears and a frame that will handle paniers etc.
    > plus the usual flat bars for a little more upright posture and that
    > MTB steering. I'm pleasantly surprised and am keen on the Giant CRX
    > series. If anyone (who thinks that a commuter bike is a genuine
    > mode of transport and hasn't already ignored this post or laughed out
    > loud) can offer an opinion on the quality and use of these machines
    > I'd love to hear some feedback. When our next child arrives
    > (currently 11 days late!!) I want to make good use of the $3000 !!!
    > :)
    >
    > Cheers,


    Another option could be a touring bike - a good LBS should be able to
    swap out components to raise the stem pretty much as high as you like,
    I think?
     
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