Hybrid bikes - looking for advice

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Bengt-Olaf Schn, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is for riding mostly on roads and
    gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt path. However no real off-road riding.

    I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and Sirrus
    Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700

    Any advice/comments on the strenghts/weaknesses of these bikes.

    Thanks, Bengt-Olaf.
     
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  2. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "Bengt-Olaf Schneider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is for riding mostly on roads and
    > gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt
    path.
    > However no real off-road riding.
    >
    > I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and Sirrus
    > Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700

    The more you ride, the more likely you'll be glad you bought a bike with drop handlebars, like the
    Volpe or the T800/T2000. Just make sure the bike is set up with the steerer tube cut long enough so
    the bars can be as high as you want them to be. Since choosing drop bars involves some different
    hardware (shifters, brakes) that affects cost and future upgrade paths, it's a critical choice.

    Aside from that, all those bikes (except I don't know anything about the Motobecane) are quality
    products; the choice between drop bars and flat/riser bars is the one you should make first, IMO.
    That'll eliminate several entries from your list.

    After that you should focus on fit, which is the most important aspect of a bike's suitability.
    And during the process of determining which bike fits you best, you will get a very good sense
    of which local bike shop is the one you want to deal with -- and that's almost as important as
    fit. Interestingly, the two issues interact: the best bike shop will turn out to be the one that
    is willing to spend lots of time and attention on getting you properly fitted to the
    perfectly-sized bike.

    RichC
     
  3. Mud Dog

    Mud Dog Guest

    Some quite different bikes here, I wont beat about the bush I sell both Cannondales and Treks, the
    T2000 is an out and out Tourer, drop bars, STI controls with pretty much traditional touring
    geometry i.e. not quite as stretched as a racer but much more head down than the Treks which are
    much nearer to MTB style. The Treks will be considerably lighter than the "Dale" (IN UK spec at
    least as some markets get suspension forks) and better in the city with the flat bars and upright
    seating position, the Dale is an expedition horse or longer distance commuter. Both the Treks and
    the Dale have frames hand made in the US. Hope this helps

    "Bengt-Olaf Schneider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is for riding mostly on roads and
    > gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt
    path.
    > However no real off-road riding.
    >
    > I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and Sirrus
    > Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700
    >
    > Any advice/comments on the strenghts/weaknesses of these bikes.
    >
    > Thanks, Bengt-Olaf.
     
  4. Mud Dog

    Mud Dog Guest

    Some quite different bikes here, I wont beat about the bush I sell both Cannondales and Treks, the
    T2000 is an out and out Tourer, drop bars, STI controls with pretty much traditional touring
    geometry i.e. not quite as stretched as a racer but much more head down than the Treks which are
    much nearer to MTB style. The Treks will be considerably lighter than the "Dale" (IN UK spec at
    least as some markets get suspension forks) and better in the city with the flat bars and upright
    seating position, the Dale is an expedition horse or longer distance commuter. Both the Treks and
    the Dale have frames hand made in the US. Hope this helps

    "Bengt-Olaf Schneider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is for riding mostly on roads and
    > gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt
    path.
    > However no real off-road riding.
    >
    > I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and Sirrus
    > Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700
    >
    > Any advice/comments on the strenghts/weaknesses of these bikes.
    >
    > Thanks, Bengt-Olaf.
     
  5. Mud Dog

    Mud Dog Guest

    Some quite different bikes here, I wont beat about the bush I sell both Cannondales and Treks, the
    T2000 is an out and out Tourer, drop bars, STI controls with pretty much traditional touring
    geometry i.e. not quite as stretched as a racer but much more head down than the Treks which are
    much nearer to MTB style. The Treks will be considerably lighter than the "Dale" (IN UK spec at
    least as some markets get suspension forks) and better in the city with the flat bars and upright
    seating position, the Dale is an expedition horse or longer distance commuter. Both the Treks and
    the Dale have frames hand made in the US. Hope this helps

    "Bengt-Olaf Schneider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is for riding mostly on roads and
    > gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt
    path.
    > However no real off-road riding.
    >
    > I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and Sirrus
    > Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700
    >
    > Any advice/comments on the strenghts/weaknesses of these bikes.
    >
    > Thanks, Bengt-Olaf.
     
  6. John Wiegley

    John Wiegley Guest

    >>>>> On Mon Jan 13, Rich writes:

    > Aside from that, all those bikes (except I don't know anything about the Motobecane) are quality
    > products; the choice between drop bars and flat/riser bars is the one you should make first,
    > IMO. That'll eliminate several entries from your list.

    Does having the drop bars make it a Cyclocross bike?

    John
     
  7. Have you seen any differences in repair history or service between these bikes. I guess the weight
    difference between the Treks and the Cannondale is mostly due to the frame material or are there
    other differences to be aware of ?

    "Mud Dog" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Some quite different bikes here, I wont beat about the bush I sell both Cannondales and Treks, the
    > T2000 is an out and out Tourer, drop bars, STI controls with pretty much traditional touring
    > geometry i.e. not quite as stretched as a racer but much more head down than the Treks which are
    > much nearer to MTB style. The Treks will be considerably lighter than the
    "Dale"
    > (IN UK spec at least as some markets get suspension forks) and better in
    the
    > city with the flat bars and upright seating position, the Dale is an expedition horse or longer
    > distance commuter. Both the Treks and the Dale have frames hand made in the US. Hope this helps
    >
    >
    >
    > "Bengt-Olaf Schneider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is for riding mostly on roads
    > > and gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt
    > path.
    > > However no real off-road riding.
    > >
    > > I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and Sirrus
    > > Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700
    > >
    > > Any advice/comments on the strenghts/weaknesses of these bikes.
    > >
    > > Thanks, Bengt-Olaf.
    > >
    >
     
  8. Rich Clark

    Rich Clark Guest

    "John Wiegley" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > >>>>> On Mon Jan 13, Rich writes:
    >
    > > Aside from that, all those bikes (except I don't know anything about the Motobecane) are quality
    > > products; the choice between drop bars and flat/riser bars is the one you should make first,
    > > IMO. That'll eliminate several entries from your list.
    >
    > Does having the drop bars make it a Cyclocross bike?

    Not necessarily, although 'cross bikes usually do have drop bars. The
    T2000/T800 are touring bikes, and the Volpe is closer to a touring bike than anything else.
    Generally (very generally), a 'cross bike will have a higher bottom bracket for better ground
    clearance, and a double crankset. But 'cross bikes can be made into excellent commuter/touring
    bikes, depending on your needs.

    If you're looking at the T-series C'dales and the Volpe (which is a great bike), the Trek 520, the
    Fuji Touring, and the Novara Randonee should also be on your list. Also the Bruce Gordon BLT.

    RichC
     
  9. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is for riding mostly on roads and
    >gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt path. However no real off-road riding.
    >

    >I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and Sirrus
    >Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700

    >Any advice/comments on the strenghts/weaknesses of these bikes.
    >
    >Thanks, Bengt-Olaf.

    A couple of questions:

    How much riding experience do you have, are your familiar with the differences between drop bars and
    flat bars, STI shifters and MTB.Hybrid style shifters?

    IF you are comfortable with drop bars and the roads are relatively smooth, the touring or cyclocross
    style bikes like the T2000 and the Volpe could be good choices. But if the roads are rough and
    filled with holes and you will bounce around quite a bit, then you might find the more upright
    position of the Hybrid design gives you less vibration in your hands and a bit more control.

    Another option to consider is a mountain bike fitted with appropriate gearing and narrower smooth
    tires. The real advantage of a MTB over a Hybrid is that you can mount wider tires, I currently have
    an older GT Zaskar setup with 1.75 inch wide road tires, it works quite nicely on gravel, even rough
    dirt riding and yet performs reasonably well on the road. The ride is certainly smoother over rough
    roads than a bike I have setup as a cyclo-cross bike.

    Every year we travel to Arizona, New Mexico, Utah from California and car camp. Often I see cyclists
    touring. Over New Years I talked to a fellow doing a 1000+ mile self supported tour, he was on a
    basic mountain bike. I see this quite often, these bikes can be comfortable, efficient and reliable
    on the road.

    Without knowing the balance of your riding, it is difficult to advise, are you looking at 50%-50%
    split between pavement and gravel/dirt? If that is the case I would suggest considering either the
    hybrid or MTB, they work very nicely on the road.

    The real issue with hybrids and road bikes when riding off the pavement is the fact that wide tires
    are not available for them and even then the widest sizes often will not fit. If you think you may
    want wide tires to provide a decent ride over those gravel roads, then consider a mountain bike.

    I make the following comment:

    Most often the biggest difference between two bikes is the dealer that sells them. Not only is setup
    of the bike important, but the time the dealer takes to make sure you know what you are getting and
    are happy with it.

    So I suggest finding a dealer who seems to be helpful, knowledgeable and happy to take the time to
    make sure you are comfortable with your purchase. A dealer who sells for less but just wants to sell
    you a bike may be more expensive in the long run than the one that is concerned about you.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  10. Mud Dog

    Mud Dog Guest

    We sold I think only 1 of the Trek 7500's last year and none of the 7700's as opposed to at least 6
    or 7 of the Cannondales, that is I think due to the type of bikes people in the Uk buy rather than
    anything else, the hybrid market in the UK is very strong but not for high end types, we sell lots
    of the 7200 and 7300 models for instance. The major weight savings are probably in the wheels, the
    Treks have lightweight paired spoke tech wheels as opposed to well built touring style though I
    would say the frames are lighter as well because of design rather than material. Ive not seen any
    frame problems with either bikes "Bengt-Olaf Schneider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Have you seen any differences in repair history or service between these bikes. I guess the weight
    > difference between the Treks and the Cannondale is
    mostly
    > due to the frame material or are there other differences to be aware of ?
    >
    > "Mud Dog" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > Some quite different bikes here, I wont beat about the bush I sell both Cannondales and Treks,
    > > the T2000 is an out and out Tourer, drop bars,
    STI
    > > controls with pretty much traditional touring geometry i.e. not quite as stretched as a racer
    > > but much more head down than the Treks which are
    much
    > > nearer to MTB style. The Treks will be considerably lighter than the
    > "Dale"
    > > (IN UK spec at least as some markets get suspension forks) and better in
    > the
    > > city with the flat bars and upright seating position, the Dale is an expedition horse or longer
    > > distance commuter. Both the Treks and the
    Dale
    > > have frames hand made in the US. Hope this helps
    > >
    > >
    > >
    > > "Bengt-Olaf Schneider" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > > news:[email protected]...
    > > > I am shopping around for hybrid bike or cross-bikes. Planned use is
    for
    > > > riding mostly on roads and gravel roads, but also the occasional dirt
    > > path.
    > > > However no real off-road riding.
    > > >
    > > > I have been looking at the following bikes: Trek 7500+7700 Specialized Sequoia Exper and
    > > > Sirrus Elite Motobecane Cafe Latte Cannondale T2000 Bianchi Volpe Raleigh C700
    > > >
    > > > Any advice/comments on the strenghts/weaknesses of these bikes.
    > > >
    > > > Thanks, Bengt-Olaf.
    > > >
    > > >
    > >
    >
     
  11. Jon made a good comment, some additions. In '98 I bought a Nishiki hybrid, so this is based on my
    experiences riding it. Nowadays I'm interested in recumbents, especially the road machines like
    low racers.

    Jon Isaacs <[email protected]> wrote:

    : IF you are comfortable with drop bars and the roads are relatively smooth, the touring or
    : cyclocross style bikes like the T2000 and the Volpe could be good choices.

    As I mostly ride smooth, paved bike tracks/paths, I eventually came to the conclusion that I'd have
    been better served by a touring bike with drop bars. Smoother rolling tires and the more aerodynamic
    racing position would give you more speed.

    Nowadays I look forward to owning (and riding :) multiple bikes, so I can have something even more
    optimized towards road and other fast riding.

    : But if the roads are rough and filled with holes and you will bounce around quite a bit, then you
    : might find the more upright position of the Hybrid design gives you less vibration in your hands
    : and a bit more control.

    Can't you mount aero bars on flat handlebars? AFAIK they would give you the most aero position
    available, which is widely used on triathlon and track bikes. Think I've seen them on a similar
    hybrid as mine over here... maybe the optimum solution for some people? :)

    : Another option to consider is a mountain bike fitted with appropriate gearing and narrower smooth
    : tires. The real advantage of a MTB over a Hybrid is that you can mount wider tires, I currently
    : have an older GT Zaskar setup with 1.75 inch wide road tires, it works quite nicely on gravel,
    : even rough dirt riding and yet performs reasonably well on the road. The ride is certainly
    : smoother over rough roads than a bike I have setup as a cyclo-cross bike.

    I occasionally ride my hybrid on rougher paths, like gravel, lots of potholes, even forest trails.
    This is slow and annoying, though the bike is ok on the better, smoother dirt/gravel roads. Frontal
    suspension could help, but it's a speed disadvantage in a few ways :)

    : Without knowing the balance of your riding, it is difficult to advise, are you looking at 50%-50%
    : split between pavement and gravel/dirt? If that is the case I would suggest considering either the
    : hybrid or MTB, they work very nicely on the road.

    Yup it depends on the balance. Mine is well over 95% pavement, but my hybrid can survive the
    occasional trip on rougher surfaces. A MTB would make riding in this kind of environment
    comfortable.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
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