hybrid bikes

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Doctor Phibes, Aug 8, 2003.

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  1. I was reading some older posts about pro's and cons of hybrid bikes and a lot of people calledthem
    slow, or a waste of a good road bike investment. On paper at least I'm starting to see many
    advantages depending on what you're using the bike for.

    If you are riding over nice smooth roads and don't mind changing the occasional road bike flat and
    tears the skin off your fingers when your reseat the new tube, a road bike is great.

    But if you actually have to pay attention to road, need to ride with traffic, make frequent stops,
    avoid and sometimes being unable to avoid junk on the road because you have two lanes of traffic on
    your left and they aint budging and have granted you only about 6 inches of space as they encroach
    upon you, you might want to be more upright..you might want to have a bike that doesn't get flats,
    just because...

    So why not a modern hybrid? It has a light frame, it has a crankset larger than what you'd get with
    a modified mountain bike. The tires will not have the same preasure problems that occur with road
    tires. Keep in mind i'm just trying to commute not race, not fitness riding...just ride to and from
    work...to supermarket and back etc. For those things i'd just simply use or get another bike. Great
    thing about bikes, a great bike is a fraction of the cheapest cars.

    Anyone see any reason i shouldn't get a hybrid? i'm thinking of a trek, they make several. My goal
    is to just average 20 mph or more that i easily did on a mountain bike with skinnies.
     
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  2. Doug Purdy

    Doug Purdy Guest

    "Doctor Phibes" wrote
    > So why not a modern hybrid? It has a light frame, it has a crankset larger than what you'd get
    > with a modified mountain bike. The tires will not have the same preasure problems that occur with
    > road tires. Keep in mind i'm just trying to commute not race, not fitness riding...just ride to
    > and from work...to supermarket and back etc. For those things i'd just simply use or get another
    > bike. Great thing about bikes, a great bike is a fraction of the cheapest cars.

    They often seem to be lower quality bikes but there are plenty of mtbs like that and all hybrids
    are not cheap. Some even seem like real road bikes with flat bars. Commuting bikes tend to get
    abused anyway, especially in winter salt & slush and cleaning isn't easy in the cold. Why wreck
    your best bike?

    Many say mtb hubs are better sealed than road. And an upright position in dense winter winds is not
    my fondest wish. Apart from that hybrids seem better built for commuting, general bike needs. All
    seem to have fender and rear rack brazeons, some even have lowrider brazeons.

    The wheels would probably be better with some tightening by someone who knws wheels and you should
    avoid the curb-jumping, sidewalk-riding style but you know that. You want it, go for it.

    Doug Toronto
     
  3. Bb

    Bb Guest

    I commute on a road bike with a messenger bag. I have a set of 36 spoke wheels and use Armadillo
    tires. The tires are 700X26, a bit large for "roadies". Flats are not an issue. I replaced the quick
    release skewers with Kryptonite locking skewers for quick and easy parking. I'm happy as can be with
    what I have but I also have ordered a touring frame which I intend to build up with racks, fenders
    etc. for foul weather/heavy loads.

    A "hybrid" bike is probably a good idea for commuting. Just make sure the components are good enough
    to hold up. The "speed" difference over a sub10 mile commute between race bike and a smell the roses
    hybrid amounts to a few minutes. I have a special place where I stop on the way to work to watch
    egrets in a tidal slough while I sip coffee from my stainless steel vacuum bike bottle. Commuting is
    not racing. It's starting the day feeling great and ending the work day the same way.

    The best bike is the one that gets ridden. I agree with Doug Bob

    You want it, go for it.
    >
    > Doug Toronto
     
  4. I have been debating this myself the last couple of weeks as I have a road bike on standby. I
    currently commute with my Gary Fisher Zebrano (around $350), which is by no means a top-of-the-line
    bike but it gets the job done. A friend of mine has the one-up (the Nirvana -- around $500) with
    upgraded components.

    I usually commute upward of 14 miles one-way to work and back, but have easily done 80+ miles in a
    day. I tend to average overall 16+ mph, but I usually travel around 19+ mph.

    After these ten months and 2500+ miles of commuting, I would be more wary of a road bike, especially
    in a city when you're start and stop, dealing with cars and dodging things that go poke on the road.
    My LBS asked the right questions and led me to a hybrid rather than a road or a MTB. I haven't been
    disappointed.

    But, then again, my ideal world has me owning three bikes. :)

    ---

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Doctor
    Phibes) wrote:

    > I was reading some older posts about pro's and cons of hybrid bikes and a lot of people calledthem
    > slow, or a waste of a good road bike investment. On paper at least I'm starting to see many
    > advantages depending on what you're using the bike for.
    >
    > If you are riding over nice smooth roads and don't mind changing the occasional road bike flat and
    > tears the skin off your fingers when your reseat the new tube, a road bike is great.
    >
    > But if you actually have to pay attention to road, need to ride with traffic, make frequent stops,
    > avoid and sometimes being unable to avoid junk on the road because you have two lanes of traffic
    > on your left and they aint budging and have granted you only about 6 inches of space as they
    > encroach upon you, you might want to be more upright..you might want to have a bike that doesn't
    > get flats, just because...
    >
    > So why not a modern hybrid? It has a light frame, it has a crankset larger than what you'd get
    > with a modified mountain bike. The tires will not have the same preasure problems that occur with
    > road tires. Keep in mind i'm just trying to commute not race, not fitness riding...just ride to
    > and from work...to supermarket and back etc. For those things i'd just simply use or get another
    > bike. Great thing about bikes, a great bike is a fraction of the cheapest cars.
    >
    > Anyone see any reason i shouldn't get a hybrid? i'm thinking of a trek, they make several. My goal
    > is to just average 20 mph or more that i easily did on a mountain bike with skinnies.
     
  5. Steve Moline

    Steve Moline Guest

    I used a Trek 720 hybrid for commuting for years (8 miles each way) and it served me exceptionally
    well. In fact, I still have it and ride it routinely for recreational riding.

    I'm jumping in here because a friend and I are making plans for a cross-country bike trip next
    spring. He just bought a beautiful Trek 520 touring bike for the trip. I'm currently planning to
    stick with my 720 hybrid and make the trip with that. Reasons include unknown mix of road and
    weather conditions, packing (or towing) lots of gear, upright sitting position, and 10 years of
    trust and confidence in my 720.

    However, I'd also be comfortable buying a new touring bike if I was convinced that the 720 was the
    wrong ride for a cross-country trip. Any insights, suggestions, comments, or other advice would be
    helpful and most welcome.

    On 8/9/03 5:11 AM, in article [email protected], "Donny Harder Jr."
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I have been debating this myself the last couple of weeks as I have a road bike on standby. I
    > currently commute with my Gary Fisher Zebrano (around $350), which is by no means a
    > top-of-the-line bike but it gets the job done. A friend of mine has the one-up (the Nirvana --
    > around $500) with upgraded components.
    >
    > I usually commute upward of 14 miles one-way to work and back, but have easily done 80+ miles in a
    > day. I tend to average overall 16+ mph, but I usually travel around 19+ mph.
    >
    > After these ten months and 2500+ miles of commuting, I would be more wary of a road bike,
    > especially in a city when you're start and stop, dealing with cars and dodging things that go poke
    > on the road. My LBS asked the right questions and led me to a hybrid rather than a road or a MTB.
    > I haven't been disappointed.
    >
    > But, then again, my ideal world has me owning three bikes. :)
    >
    > ---
    >
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Doctor
    > Phibes) wrote:
    >
    >> I was reading some older posts about pro's and cons of hybrid bikes and a lot of people
    >> calledthem slow, or a waste of a good road bike investment. On paper at least I'm starting to see
    >> many advantages depending on what you're using the bike for.
    >>
    >> If you are riding over nice smooth roads and don't mind changing the occasional road bike flat
    >> and tears the skin off your fingers when your reseat the new tube, a road bike is great.
    >>
    >> But if you actually have to pay attention to road, need to ride with traffic, make frequent
    >> stops, avoid and sometimes being unable to avoid junk on the road because you have two lanes of
    >> traffic on your left and they aint budging and have granted you only about 6 inches of space as
    >> they encroach upon you, you might want to be more upright..you might want to have a bike that
    >> doesn't get flats, just because...
    >>
    >> So why not a modern hybrid? It has a light frame, it has a crankset larger than what you'd get
    >> with a modified mountain bike. The tires will not have the same preasure problems that occur with
    >> road tires. Keep in mind i'm just trying to commute not race, not fitness riding...just ride to
    >> and from work...to supermarket and back etc. For those things i'd just simply use or get another
    >> bike. Great thing about bikes, a great bike is a fraction of the cheapest cars.
    >>
    >> Anyone see any reason i shouldn't get a hybrid? i'm thinking of a trek, they make several. My
    >> goal is to just average 20 mph or more that i easily did on a mountain bike with skinnies.
     
  6. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Sat, 09 Aug 2003 18:03:02 GMT, <BB5AB07A.834%[email protected]>, Steve Moline
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >However, I'd also be comfortable buying a new touring bike if I was convinced that the 720 was the
    >wrong ride for a cross-country trip. Any insights, suggestions, comments, or other advice would be
    >helpful and most welcome.

    When touring, one spends much of their time on the drops because the wind will eat you. Maybe all
    you need are new bars and controls.

    Throw out anywhere from 20 to fifty percent of what you're planning to carry. You won't need it. And
    if you do, you can buy it along the way.
    --
    zk
     
  7. Steve Moline wrote:

    > I used a Trek 720 hybrid for commuting for years (8 miles each way) and it served me exceptionally
    > well. In fact, I still have it and ride it routinely for recreational riding.
    >
    > I'm jumping in here because a friend and I are making plans for a cross-country bike trip next
    > spring. He just bought a beautiful Trek 520 touring bike for the trip. I'm currently planning to
    > stick with my 720 hybrid and make the trip with that. Reasons include unknown mix of road and
    > weather conditions, packing (or towing) lots of gear, upright sitting position, and 10 years of
    > trust and confidence in my 720.
    >
    > However, I'd also be comfortable buying a new touring bike if I was convinced that the 720 was the
    > wrong ride for a cross-country trip. Any insights, suggestions, comments, or other advice would be
    > helpful and most welcome.

    Mostly agree with the comments of ZK. Your hybrid 720 will probably serve you fine. Put some Conti
    TT tires on it and you'll be all set.

    A couple comments. The drop bar suggestion is an extremely good one for touring service. You spend
    quite a lot of time pedaling during a day and being able to move your hands around different places
    on the bar is *really* useful.

    And of course, no matter which way you go across the country, you'll be dealing with the headwinds.
    Going down into the handlebar drops *really* helps move you along, although it won't help you much
    in the "psychology of adverse winds" department.

    A couple reservations concerning the 720. *Three* water bottle cages, as on the 520 and any other
    serious touring bike, is *very* useful! You can stash water elsewhere on the bike, but then you're
    using up space something else could have occupied. Three bottles on the frame is great.

    Touring bikes generally have a longer wheelbase. When you bolt panniers on the back of your 720,
    will the heel of your foot clear the pannier without trouble?

    Remember, you're going cross country, and that represents a lot of crank revolutions. If your heel
    is brushing the forward edge of the pannier with every revolution, you'll either have no heel
    remaining, or go mad, before you arrive on the other coast!

    I have a 520 myself, and I've been cross country on it. It's a great ride and a fine, very
    affordable, bike for the purpose.

    SMH
     
  8. Steve Moline <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<BB5AB07A.834%[email protected]>...
    > I used a Trek 720 hybrid for commuting for years (8 miles each way) and it served me exceptionally
    > well. In fact, I still have it and ride it routinely for recreational riding.
    >
    > I'm jumping in here because a friend and I are making plans for a cross-country bike trip next
    > spring. He just bought a beautiful Trek 520 touring bike for the trip. I'm currently planning to
    > stick with my 720 hybrid and make the trip with that. Reasons include unknown mix of road and
    > weather conditions, packing (or towing) lots of gear, upright sitting position, and 10 years of
    > trust and confidence in my 720.
    >
    > However, I'd also be comfortable buying a new touring bike if I was convinced that the 720 was the
    > wrong ride for a cross-country trip. Any insights, suggestions, comments, or other advice would be
    > helpful and most welcome.
    >
    >
    I'd go with the hybrid because of exactly what you said, you don't know what's ahead of you. I
    went on a lil bike trip with a touring bike. It was only suppose to be 60 miles. I got my first
    flat 20 miles
    in. Psychologically it hurt me. I panicked, couldn't even find my pump and tubes in the trailer!
    lol You will meet friendly people along the way. Someone gave me a ride closer to town(bike
    shop), I walked some but got it fixed and was on my way. It was a heat related pinch, 85
    degrees at 5am. I wound up having another flat that day if memory serves me right lol ride
    turned into about 110 miles.

    If i had a hybrid i would have been in better shape...if that hybrid had a handle bar extention to
    drop down i would have been golden. Even on my old mountain bike i used to lean over the bar and
    rest my elbows still pedaling hard...I saw improvement over head winds. Simple modifications should
    be most useful but the greatest attribute is you knowing that bike, your body is probably one with
    it..an extension of you...take aul silver along you'll appreciate the company ;-)
     
  9. Steve Moline

    Steve Moline Guest

    Great comments by several posters. Much appreciated.

    Regarding hydration and packs, my plans have been to carry two water bottles on the frame, but
    actually rely on a Camelback Rocket for primary hydration needs.

    In terms of the packs, I've been planning on using a BOB trailer. Still weighing the pros and cons
    of that, but if the panniers interfere with peddling, then the decision gets made for itself.

    Unless, of course, I spring for a new 520! <g> I'm "this close" to just going for a new bike, but
    really believe I can rely on "old purple" (vice "Silver") to carry me along. And high concern about
    flats is part of my motivation. In ten years on the 720, I've never had a flat (knock, knock). Now
    that I've said that and jinxed myself, I'll have one every day from now on.

    Thanks again for the great advice!

    On 8/9/03 3:00 PM, in article [email protected], "Stephen Harding"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Steve Moline wrote:
    >
    >> I used a Trek 720 hybrid for commuting for years (8 miles each way) and it served me
    >> exceptionally well. In fact, I still have it and ride it routinely for recreational riding.
    >>
    >> I'm jumping in here because a friend and I are making plans for a cross-country bike trip next
    >> spring. He just bought a beautiful Trek 520 touring bike for the trip. I'm currently planning to
    >> stick with my 720 hybrid and make the trip with that. Reasons include unknown mix of road and
    >> weather conditions, packing (or towing) lots of gear, upright sitting position, and 10 years of
    >> trust and confidence in my 720.
    >>
    >> However, I'd also be comfortable buying a new touring bike if I was convinced that the 720 was
    >> the wrong ride for a cross-country trip. Any insights, suggestions, comments, or other advice
    >> would be helpful and most welcome.
    >
    > Mostly agree with the comments of ZK. Your hybrid 720 will probably serve you fine. Put some Conti
    > TT tires on it and you'll be all set.
    >
    > A couple comments. The drop bar suggestion is an extremely good one for touring service. You spend
    > quite a lot of time pedaling during a day and being able to move your hands around different
    > places on the bar is *really* useful.
    >
    > And of course, no matter which way you go across the country, you'll be dealing with the
    > headwinds. Going down into the handlebar drops *really* helps move you along, although it won't
    > help you much in the "psychology of adverse winds" department.
    >
    > A couple reservations concerning the 720. *Three* water bottle cages, as on the 520 and any other
    > serious touring bike, is *very* useful! You can stash water elsewhere on the bike, but then you're
    > using up space something else could have occupied. Three bottles on the frame is great.
    >
    > Touring bikes generally have a longer wheelbase. When you bolt panniers on the back of your 720,
    > will the heel of your foot clear the pannier without trouble?
    >
    > Remember, you're going cross country, and that represents a lot of crank revolutions. If your heel
    > is brushing the forward edge of the pannier with every revolution, you'll either have no heel
    > remaining, or go mad, before you arrive on the other coast!
    >
    > I have a 520 myself, and I've been cross country on it. It's a great ride and a fine, very
    > affordable, bike for the purpose.
    >
    >
    > SMH
     
  10. Steve Moline wrote:

    > Regarding hydration and packs, my plans have been to carry two water bottles on the frame, but
    > actually rely on a Camelback Rocket for primary hydration needs.

    I guess the camelback is gaining popularity even among road bikers.

    Personally, I don't like having anything on my back while riding, especially while on tour where it
    might be there for the entire day, several days running.

    > In terms of the packs, I've been planning on using a BOB trailer. Still weighing the pros and cons
    > of that, but if the panniers interfere with peddling, then the decision gets made for itself.

    I think trailers are also gaining in popularity for touring purposes. They look like a very useful
    way to haul stuff, but I'm still a traditionalist and will continue to tie/stuff equipment on to the
    bike itself.

    > Unless, of course, I spring for a new 520! <g> I'm "this close" to just going for a new bike, but
    > really believe I can rely on "old purple" (vice "Silver") to carry me along. And high concern
    > about flats is part of my motivation. In ten years on the 720, I've never had a flat (knock,
    > knock). Now that I've said that and jinxed myself, I'll have one every day from now on.

    I don't think flats would be any more prevalent on a touring bike, with touring tires than on any
    hybrid. I presume you will NOT be using the common hybrid knobby type tires. You really need to run
    road tires, and I've found the Avocet Cross and Conti Top Touring to be about the best you can use.
    I run strictly Contis now on my touring bike and haven't had them flat on me in years.

    But yes...you've probably jinxed yourself now, no matter what tire you run!

    SMH
     
  11. Steve Moline <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<BB5B9C10.8BB%[email protected]>...
    > Great comments by several posters. Much appreciated.
    >
    > Regarding hydration and packs, my plans have been to carry two water bottles on the frame, but
    > actually rely on a Camelback Rocket for primary hydration needs.
    >
    > In terms of the packs, I've been planning on using a BOB trailer. Still weighing the pros and cons
    > of that, but if the panniers interfere with peddling, then the decision gets made for itself.
    >
    > Unless, of course, I spring for a new 520! <g> I'm "this close" to just going for a new bike, but
    > really believe I can rely on "old purple" (vice "Silver") to carry me along. And high concern
    > about flats is part of my motivation. In ten years on the 720, I've never had a flat (knock,
    > knock). Now that I've said that and jinxed myself, I'll have one every day from now on.
    >
    > Thanks again for the great advice!
    >
    >
    >
    Good luck with aul' purple! I've never used panniers before, i have a burley trailer and like it. If
    you make sure everything you take is micro, ie; travel shampoo, soap, etc it wont feel like pulling
    the weight since it will be rolling by itself, not making you feel like you have ankle weights which
    I suspect panniers feel like.

    Good luck and watch out for roofing nail they're a killer ;-)
     
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