Hybrid or Road

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by George R, Mar 2, 2003.

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  1. George R

    George R Guest

    I currently ride about 60 miles a week from spring to early fall on a 1988 Schwinn Traveler. I'm now
    debating either a road or hybrid bike in the $800 range. I currently ride on the road only but with
    my kids getting bigger I may be moving to bike paths soon. Any ideas?
     
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  2. George R wrote:
    >
    > I currently ride about 60 miles a week from spring to early fall on a 1988 Schwinn Traveler. I'm
    > now debating either a road or hybrid bike in the $800 range. I currently ride on the road only but
    > with my kids getting bigger I may be moving to bike paths soon. Any ideas?

    I would definitely say hybrid/touring. Check out the Breezer Range bikes
    http://www.breezerbikes.com/. I think you (and your children) will benefit from fenders, lights, and
    a rack. You'll be more comfortable in an upright position for the longer times ahead pulling a
    trailer, and the wider tires will help on crushed limestone trails, muddy detours, etc. A bike like
    that will be more practical for running errands and you will be setting a good example for your
    children by biking instead of driving a car. Nothing wrong with having a road bike in addition to a
    practical bike if you are inclined to go on the occasional century or club ride. I think those types
    of rides diminish once you have children though.

    -Bob Matter Hammond, Indiana
    ----------------
    "Singing the praises of bikes is nice, but the reality is that their greatest utility is in
    replacing cars and attempting to undo all the horrors that cars have brought."
    -- Dan Kliman, M.D.
     
  3. [email protected] (George R) wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > I currently ride about 60 miles a week from spring to early fall on a 1988 Schwinn Traveler. I'm
    > now debating either a road or hybrid bike in the $800 range. I currently ride on the road only but
    > with my kids getting bigger I may be moving to bike paths soon. Any ideas?

    I have an older Trek road bike that I love dearly, but last spring, I bought myself a hybrid and it
    changed my life. I ride more now because I am more comfortable. With the more up-right position, my
    hand numbness problems are greatly reduced. Sure, I can't go as fast, but that's OK with me. Also, I
    don't worry about getting a flat on bad city streets, gravel roads, dirt roads, and trails, so I go
    more places then before.

    I do like to tinker as well as to ride, so I've built my own extra set of wheels. If I know that
    I'll be riding on good pavement, I put on a light-weight wheel / tire set. For rides on unknown
    surfaces or dirt rides, the heaver and wider (35mm) wheel / tire set goes on. Of course, this wheel
    swapping can be done with road bikes, but the width of the tires will be limited, perhaps to as
    narrow as 28mm max. If a road style is more appealing to you but you want the option for cross
    country travel, consider a cyclo-cross or touring frame. These types have greater tire clearance
    than racing frames.

    If you buy a hybrid, the rear spacing is likely to be 135 mm. This means that you will have mountain
    bike hubs and a chain line set up for a 3 speed crank. It's just me, but I like mountain bike drive
    train parts better than road. But, certainly, you can have a 3 speed crank and mountain type gearing
    on a road bike having 130mm rear spacing. No big deal. The hybrid will probably have v brakes. They
    work great and are easy to maintain. I can't comment on how good or durable two pivot road brakes
    are. No experience. My hybrid came with a suspension (RockShox) fork. It does not do much but it is
    heavy. If I had it to do again, I would get a non-suspension fork first, ride for some time, then
    decide if I wanted a suspension unit.

    I'd suggest the following:
    1. The most important thing is to find a local bike shop willing to take the time to talk, answer
    your questions, and fit you carefully. If your bike fits, you will ride it and smile.

    2. Spend money on the parts that touch you: seat, shorts, handlebars (correct width) gloves shoes
    and pedals. Eschew super-fancy wheels for now. I'll guess that if comfortable, you will be happy,
    no matter which kind of bike, road or hybrid, you select.

    I almost forgot to mention the hybrid I bought is a Marin, San-Anselmo. Nice frame with low end
    components the worst of which I quickly replaced (because I wanted to, not because I had to.) But,
    for $800, with any brand name, you should get very servicable components on your new bike.

    Good luck, Steve Shapiro
     
  4. Undaunted1

    Undaunted1 Guest

    I debated road or hybrid for a long time last year. I wound up buying a Trek 7500. I love it. It is
    great on roads as well as moderately rough unpaved trails. I had been riding a Ross mountain bike
    that I had since 1988. The difference between it and the new Trek is remarkable.

    "George R" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > I currently ride about 60 miles a week from spring to early fall on a 1988 Schwinn Traveler. I'm
    > now debating either a road or hybrid bike in the $800 range. I currently ride on the road only but
    > with my kids getting bigger I may be moving to bike paths soon. Any ideas?
     
  5. Jack Kessler

    Jack Kessler Guest

    I agree. A road bike is generally designed for racing and training for racing and is a relatively
    poor choice for much else. Similarly a real mountain bike is designed for off-road riding and is not
    a very good choice on pavement.

    Just as a camera is primarily a device for holding a film and a lens and the rest is just details, a
    bicycle is to some extent a device for mounting tires and a seat. All hybrids and most tourers will
    accomodate a very wide range of tires. A mountain bike will accomodate an even wider range.

    Unless you are in a big hurry you won't have much need for a road racing bicycle and its narrow
    tires. Unless you plan to be in soft dirt a lot you won't need the wide, heavy,
    high-rolling-resistance studded tires found on most mountain bikes either.

    For most pavement riding, consider a hybrid or tourer or an unsuspended mountain bike with
    relatively wide, smooth (no tread pattern - also called slicks) tires. Rolling resistance is lower
    with wider tires and lower with high pressure tires. These are usually mutually contradictory
    features - wide tires run at lower pressures, narrow tires at higher pressures. The optimum
    combination are often tires with little or no tread pattern and made by Avocet or Continental.
    Slicks have better traction on both dry and wet pavement than pattern tread, according to Jobst
    Brandt, a Palo Alto engineer and the Wheel God.

    One thing to watch out for is that a suspension frame, such as one finds on most mountain bikes,
    precludes the mounting of any but really bogus racks on whichever end of the frame has the
    suspension. Without a rack, one cannot carry much of anything on a bicycle. (Such as a sleeping bag
    and tent - or groceries or a tot or a camera, diary, hardback, and lunch.)

    "Robert J. Matter" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > George R wrote:
    > >
    > > I currently ride about 60 miles a week from spring to early fall on a 1988 Schwinn Traveler. I'm
    > > now debating either a road or hybrid bike in the $800 range. I currently ride on the road only
    > > but with my kids getting bigger I may be moving to bike paths soon. Any ideas?
    >
    > I would definitely say hybrid/touring. Check out the Breezer Range bikes
    http://www.breezerbikes.com/. I think you (and your children) will benefit from fenders, lights, and
    a rack. You'll be more comfortable in an upright position for the longer times ahead pulling a
    trailer, and the wider tires will help on crushed limestone trails, muddy detours, etc. A bike like
    that will be more practical for running errands and you will be setting a good example for your
    children by biking instead of driving a car. Nothing wrong with having a road bike in addition to a
    practical bike if you are inclined to go on the occasional century or club ride. I think those types
    of rides diminish once you have children though.
    >
    > -Bob Matter Hammond, Indiana
    > ----------------
    > "Singing the praises of bikes is nice, but the reality is that their greatest utility is in
    > replacing cars and attempting to undo all the horrors that cars have brought."
    > -- Dan Kliman, M.D.
     
  6. Harris

    Harris Guest

    Jack Kessler <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I agree. A road bike is generally designed for racing and training for racing and is a relatively
    > poor choice for much else.

    Oh really? How do you reckon that?

    Art Harris
     
  7. Shabby

    Shabby New Member

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    People seem to think that road bikes can't be used anywhere except on the road. The only place you can't ride a road bike is on sand, mud or messy gravel. Ideally you want a road bike and an MTB, but having both is not an option, decide whether you want to go off road frequently. If you do, get an MTB and buy some slicks as well for when you are on man made surfaces.

    Hybrids are not good on-road and not so great off road either. But they're comfortable to sit on, so if that's what you want, buy an armchair. There's many more road bikes and MTB's out bing ridden, and lots of hybrids in garages.
     
  8. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    Shabby wrote:

    > Hybrids are not good on-road and not so great off road either. But they're comfortable to sit on,
    > so if that's what you want, buy an armchair. There's many more road bikes and MTB's out bing
    > ridden, and lots of hybrids in garages.

    A hybrid is a more versatile road bike than the majority of bikes that call themselves "road bikes"
    these days. A hybrid's wheelbase is not stupid-short, the wheel clearance allows a tire size larger
    than 25mm, eyelets for fenders and racks are common, and it's easy to get your handlebars close to
    the height of your saddle.

    Putting drop bars on a hybrid can provide you with a decent sport touring bike for not too much
    money. Here's such a converted hybrid:

    http://192.168.1.11/bike/costanoa0208/pages/P8250003.html
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  9. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Terry Morse" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Shabby wrote:

    <snip>

    > Putting drop bars on a hybrid can provide you with a decent sport touring bike for not too much
    > money. Here's such a converted hybrid:
    >
    > http://192.168.1.11/bike/costanoa0208/pages/P8250003.html

    Ummm, Terry, all ip addresses starting with 192.168 are internal network addresses and are not
    visible from outside the network where the computer is connected. Move that page to a computer
    visible from the net and then send us a link!

    -Buck
     
  10. Mark Lee

    Mark Lee Guest

    "Denver C. Fox" <[email protected]> wrote in message After someone else wrote:
    > >A road bike is generally designed for racing and training for racing and is a relatively poor
    > >choice for much else.
    >
    > Have to disagree.
    >
    > My road bike (Lemond BA) never races nor trains. What it does is let me
    go
    > real fast and easy on a multitude of roads and paths.
    >
    > My mtn bike w/slicks lets me go places the road bike doesn't like to go,
    and
    > carries a lot more stuff in the paniers, but the road bike is a lot more
    fun.
    >

    And I agree with Denver. The roadbike is more comfortable and covers more ground for the same
    effort. It's also better for hills (on the road). My wife who commutes 23km per day on her roady
    says she would just NOT do it if she had to ride a MTB. Mark Lee
     
  11. Terry Morse

    Terry Morse Guest

    "Buck" wrote:

    > > Putting drop bars on a hybrid can provide you with a decent sport touring bike for not too much
    > > money. Here's such a converted hybrid:
    > >
    > > http://192.168.1.11/bike/costanoa0208/pages/P8250003.html
    >
    > Ummm, Terry, all ip addresses starting with 192.168 are internal network addresses and are not
    > visible from outside the network where the computer is connected. Move that page to a computer
    > visible from the net and then send us a link!

    Oops, sorry for the internal reference. This ought to work:

    http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/costanoa0208/pages/P8250003.html
    --
    terry morse Palo Alto, CA http://www.terrymorse.com/bike/
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

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

    > Jack Kessler <[email protected]> wrote:

    > > I agree. A road bike is generally designed for racing
    and training for
    > > racing and is a relatively poor choice for much else.
    >
    > Oh really? How do you reckon that?

    As you imply, this is not categorically true. However, it's practically true when looking at the
    bikes most shops have stock, ready to sell you -- no room for racks, fenders, or tires wider than
    25mm, and race-styled setups with handlebars too low and gearing too tall, at least for for most
    people. Yes, other models are available, but not at most bike shops. Things are getting better with
    more triple cranks and fat tires being offered, but we still have a long way to go.

    Matt O.
     
  13. asahitoro

    asahitoro Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] (Jon Isaacs) wrote: snip

    > One of the bikes I ride a great deal is a MTB which was converted to a drop bar touring
    > bike. Converting a MTB gives one the option of using tires widths that are not available for
    > 700C wheels.
    >
    > Fit is a big issue with this conversion since most MTBs have long top tubes to begin with but such
    > a bike can be super solid and capable of carrying a large load over roads of dubious quality with
    > relative ease.
    >
    > This is not a fast bike but it is a great all around bike.
    >
    > Jon Isaacs
    >
    >
    >
    >

    Jon,

    Can and/or should I change my MTB components to road bike type components if my bike is primarily
    90% road/paved path? If you recall, you helped me earlier with some Trek 7700 advice and I've since
    decided to hold on to my old but basically new Giant CFM 4 a little while longer. I figure until I'm
    sure I'll be biking a lot(if I have the time), I might as well make it sort of a hyprid by adding
    slicks, suspension seatpost, etc.. The 7 speed Shimano STX components I have now aren't the greatest
    but they're basically brand new. If I do upgrade them, I was wondering if I should go with something
    like Shimano 105 type stuff for my purposes? I'll probably have to at least upgrade the cassette and
    maybe the STX cranks at the same time as well? What other changes will make my bike more road worthy
    or are the tires and gearing the main stuff? What are some good road type bars to get?

    Here's my basic setup now (Bikenstein hybrid): -'95 Giant CFM 4 frame (black/bonded carbon fiber
    with aluminum lugs) -Rockshox suspension seatpost/'02 Rockshox Judy SL forks (set to 80mm) -FSA
    Orbit XL II headset -Titec Big Al stem (110mm/10* rise)/Titec Hellbent bars -ODI Rogue grips w/Lock
    Grip -Selle Italia Flite Ti perforated leather saddle -Shimano STX cantilever brakes/brake levers
    w/Scott Mathauser pads -SRAM Gripshift 400 shifter/Shimano STX front/rear derailluers (21 speed)
    -Shimano STX crankset/Shimano SPD PD-M323 pedals -Shimano STX hubs/Weinman BCX 3 rims/Michelin Rock
    semi slicks (1.75)

    Where can I improve the most for the $$? It's pretty flat and wide open where I ride and once I get
    up to speed I don't shift(or brake) that much. I guess I'd be more concerned with improving the
    actual gearing for better speed.

    Thanks for any of your experienced input,

    Scott
     
  14. "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote in message.net...
    >
    > but we still have a long way to go.
    >
    You could start by losing some weight and getting in shape and learn how to spin the cranks.

    Look, fenders, racks, and wide tires just don't belong on a good bike. Get yourself something like a
    Fondreist P4 or De Rosa King - run 39x19 gearing and sit on an SLR saddle.

    Don't question this, anything else makes you look really bad.
     
  15. "Matt O'Toole" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Things are getting better with more triple cranks and fat tires being offered, but we still have a
    >long way to go.

    Seek ye out the mid-eighties touring boom! Purchase one of the fine Japanese frames of that era and
    ride happy!
     
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