Hybrids. Best of both worlds or master of none?

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by Andrew, Dec 4, 2003.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    Hi,

    I'm seriously looking at investing in a bike to get back into the sport at least at a recreational
    level. Historically I've always been a road bike guy, but it's been a good ten years since I last
    rode seriously (I'm 34).

    As much as I love the speed and lightness of a road bike, I'm also aware of their limitations in
    terms of terrain. I expect that I'll want to go riding on off road bike paths and the like as well
    as using it on the road. I don't see my wife pounding out miles along Beach Road with me on a Sunday
    morning, more likely a sedate trip along the Yarra Trail.

    Can anyone offer an informed opinion of so called hybrid machines. I'm looking at the Avanti Blade
    Comp and Blade Pro machines as a good example of the type. I'd very much like to get involved in a
    club too. To what extent will I struggle with a bike like this, it appears that most road club
    riders use a pure road machine.

    Any thoughts appreciated. Cheers Andrew
     
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  2. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "Andrew" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > As much as I love the speed and lightness of a road bike, I'm also
    aware of
    > their limitations in terms of terrain. I expect that I'll want to go
    riding
    > on off road bike paths and the like as well as using it on the road. I
    don't
    > see my wife pounding out miles along Beach Road with me on a Sunday
    morning,
    > more likely a sedate trip along the Yarra Trail.

    Buy a mountain bike and if you find you are on the road lots, fit it with slick tyres. Mountain
    bikes are where a lot of the development dollars are being spent these days and they are
    generally tougher and more versatile, but possibly heavier, unless you get a pure-bred
    cross-country (xc) machine.

    > Can anyone offer an informed opinion of so called hybrid machines. I'm looking at the Avanti Blade
    > Comp and Blade Pro machines as a good
    example of
    > the type. I'd very much like to get involved in a club too. To what
    extent
    > will I struggle with a bike like this, it appears that most road club
    riders
    > use a pure road machine.

    If it was a road racing club you wanted to join, i.e. Blackburn CC or Carnegie-Caulfield you'd be
    wanting a road bike. http://www.blackburncycling.org.au/ http://www.blackburncycling.org.au/

    There are other possibilities like, perhaps the Middle Distance CC which I see a lot out at Croydon
    (though most of them seem to be on road bikes) and the "slower but longer"?? guys at
    http://www.audax.org.au. Try: www.ftf.com.au for a mountain biking club. Oh, all these links assume
    you're in Melbourne. Sorry if that's not the case! :-S

    Personally I wouldn't be caught dead on a hybrid. Just bear that in mind when reading any of my
    posts :) I commuted daily, raced tri's, rode council trails, rode "real" off-road and it was all on
    an Avanti hard-tail mountain bike. Love it!

    hippy
     
  3. Shabby

    Shabby New Member

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    Hippy's beaten me to the punch. Hybrids: not good on the road, not good off the road.

    You'll never come across anyone who does lots of miles on a hybrid, but you'll always be able to find plenty of them second hand in excellent condition, most with big comfy seats.

    If you're going off road a lot then a MTB would be ideal, with some slicks for your day to day usage (unless you live near some dirt trails and will be getting out every day, in which case the knobbies would be better). If you're going to be riding on bike path, go with a road bike, they are a lot more durable than people think they are.

    A lot of it is in the technique - you can ride a full suspension mountain bike straight over a gutter without to much bother, but it's still better to jump the gutter regardless of what type of bike you're on.

    Might be worth clarifying exactly the type of riding you'll be doing -(distance, number of days per week, terrain etc..) for some better advice??
     
  4. waffle

    waffle New Member

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    I'd suggest flat bar 'road bikes'. Specialised and Avanti both make a number of such bikes. positives: versatile - suitable for both on and off road (low impact); low weight - no superflous suspension forks, suspension seat posts, etc, light frames.
    I can't think of any positives of the hybrid bike. to my mind, hybrid bikes as a general product were alot better 7-10 years ago. in more recent years manufacturers have over-capitalised adding front suspension forks and heavy frames.
     
  5. Tim Jones

    Tim Jones Guest

    "Andrew" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm seriously looking at investing in a bike to get back into the sport at least at a recreational
    > level. Historically I've always been a road bike guy, but it's been a good ten years since I last
    > rode seriously (I'm 34).
    >
    > As much as I love the speed and lightness of a road bike, I'm also aware
    of
    > their limitations in terms of terrain. I expect that I'll want to go
    riding
    > on off road bike paths and the like as well as using it on the road. I
    don't
    > see my wife pounding out miles along Beach Road with me on a Sunday
    morning,
    > more likely a sedate trip along the Yarra Trail.
    >
    > Can anyone offer an informed opinion of so called hybrid machines. I'm looking at the Avanti Blade
    > Comp and Blade Pro machines as a good example
    of
    > the type. I'd very much like to get involved in a club too. To what extent will I struggle with a
    > bike like this, it appears that most road club
    riders
    > use a pure road machine.
    >

    Hybrids are also known as "Comfort bikes" - they are quite comfortable for short distances as far as
    the geometery goes.

    If you will be riding with kids, they are a good choice as they are easy to ride and comfortable at
    that pace.

    For mainly trail riding, I would suggest that you can get a decent mountain bike at the moment quite
    cheap, and if you put slicks (tyres made for roads and pavement rather than having knobbles) and a
    regular fork (suspension forks on cheap bikes aren't worth the effort).

    There's nothing really wrong with the Hybrid option however - you just can't go fast and you can't
    do more off-road than gravel.

    hth

    Tim
     
  6. "Andrew" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Can anyone offer an informed opinion of so called hybrid machines. I'm looking at the Avanti Blade
    > Comp and Blade Pro machines as a good example
    of
    > the type. I'd very much like to get involved in a club too.

    For recreational riding with the wife? www.mbtc.org.au

    > To what extent will I struggle with a bike like this, it appears that most road club
    riders
    > use a pure road machine.

    Not in our club. Whatever bike you feel comfortable in covering the distance. Hybrid is fine for
    around town bike trails and day tours. Like hippy said, MTB may be better due to more development
    pressure, stronger and more versatile for bush track touring, and easily converted with high
    pressure slick tyres for road riding.

    Cheers Peter
     
  7. Hippy

    Hippy Guest

    "Shabby" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > A lot of it is in the technique - you can ride a full suspension mountain bike straight over a
    > gutter without to much bother, but it's still better to jump the gutter regardless of what type of
    > bike you're on.

    Yeah, too true. I'm often taking shortcuts that'll see me hopping my road bike up stuff. On my
    race bike though, I try and avoid it - just to prolong the life of the more expensive wheels. On
    ATBIAD this year had to hop a few times while in a bunch belting along at 45+kph. There was a
    bunch of junk all over the road in a few places. Just a little bit of height can save a lot of
    time fixing a puncture.

    hippy
     
  8. Ritch

    Ritch Guest

    "Andrew" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm seriously looking at investing in a bike to get back into the sport at least at a recreational
    > level. Historically I've always been a road bike guy, but it's been a good ten years since I last
    > rode seriously (I'm 34).
    >
    > As much as I love the speed and lightness of a road bike, I'm also aware of their limitations in
    > terms of terrain. I expect that I'll want to go riding on off road bike paths and the like as well
    > as using it on the road. I don't see my wife pounding out miles along Beach Road with me on a
    > Sunday morning, more likely a sedate trip along the Yarra Trail.
    >
    > Can anyone offer an informed opinion of so called hybrid machines. I'm looking at the Avanti Blade
    > Comp and Blade Pro machines as a good example of the type. I'd very much like to get involved in a
    > club too. To what extent will I struggle with a bike like this, it appears that most road club
    > riders use a pure road machine.
    >
    > Any thoughts appreciated. Cheers Andrew

    I used a cheap hybrid for commuting. It lasted about 5 years without any real maintenance, but I ran
    it into the ground. Cheap ones are good value for money - $300 goes a long way if you don't abuse
    the machine.

    Why not look at a cyclocross bike? - road-type handlebars, beefer frame, fatter tyres than a road
    bike. The downside is that they can sometimes be a little expensive.

    Ritch
     
  9. Steve

    Steve Guest

    As far as clubs go, for recreational riding there are several around, most with links on the BV
    website. I'm involved in Manningham BUG which has a range of riders and rides, from easy doddles
    along paths to longer faster rides and occasional weekend trips. You can look us up at
    www.vicnet.net.au/~mannbug
     
  10. gescom

    gescom New Member

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    Andrew, i'm not sure how much you want to spend but here are a few bikes I think you should consider:


    Trek 520 (http://www.trekbikes.com.au/catalogue.cgi?rm=product&product_id=16&subcategory_id=1)
    A tough but heavy road/touring bike.


    Specialized Sequioa
    http://www.specialized.com/SBCBkModel.jsp?spid=6001&JServSessionIdroot=uy755qirtu.j27002
    Comfortable and upright riding position on a fast road bike. Comes with a suspension seatpost and adjustable handlebar (angle) stem.


    Cannondale Bad Boy Rigid :)
    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/04/cusa/model-4MRBB.html
    A 26" wheel rigid (non-suspension) mtb.


    IMO flat-bar road bikes are no big deal. A handlebar height that -you're- comfortable riding with is more important.

    For frame sizing this is worth a read : http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/bikes_framesize.html
     
  11. Greg Walton

    Greg Walton Guest

    gescom wrote:

    > For frame sizing this is worth a read : http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/html/bikes_framesize.html
    >

    Just reading their webpage makes me want to get one of their bikes. Talk about traditionalists and a
    labour of love.

    Cheers Greg

    I'm really greg dot walton at swissonline dot ch
     
  12. "Shabby" wrote:

    > You'll never come across anyone who does lots of miles on a hybrid

    I thought I wasn't doing *too* bad at 5,600 km in the last 12 months.

    John
     
  13. cirrus

    cirrus New Member

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    and I've put 3,400 km on my Trek 7200 in the past 18 months, including one 50 mile ride. It's my bike of choice as a commuter. I choose the roadie for longer rides on the weekends.
     
  14. amirm

    amirm New Member

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    In my humble opinion, "hybrid bike" is a case of lost, or at least confused identity. Firstly, the name is very misleading, resulting in unfair expectations from this sort of bike. Names such as "comfort" or "city" are a lot more appropriate.

    The hybrid bike is not supposed to provide the best of both road and MTB. That's why people comment that it is a failure in that respect. This sort of bike is aimed for relatively short rides that may involve frequent stoppings. That's where "city bike" is coming from. Equally such a bike is suitable for funful commuting. It's not really designed for off road. Due to its weight and character, it will be generally slow on the road, too. Use it on walk and cycle paths and it will shine.

    The components are also designed for non-hardcore use. Shimano even went out of their way to design the rapid rise rear derailleurs just for them. These Shimano sell automatic gears or internal hub gears (some as few as three speeds) for comfort bikes, does that mean anything? From this product, I gather that a "comfort" bike is created for soft-core riders around town. If one expects more, then one is destined to be disappointed.

    I used my Avanti Pioneer over 6000 km for commuting over almost two years. Now I use a road bike for commuting, and use the Avanti as a back-up or for casual rides with my family. My Avanti has served my purpose immaculately and I have no regrets hanging on to it.

    I have been doing a bit of road rides and that's why I have two road bikes. I am planning on some serious mountain biking, and hence, am planning to get a bike for that purpose.

    In automotive equivalent, hybrid bikes are like most of new soft off-roaders. They fail to serve for heavy off-roading, and their road manners/performance is too compromised. But a large group of people use them. I'm sure some are pleased because they bought what they needed, and the rest who wanted to have the best of the two worlds are somewhat disappointed on both fronts.




     
  15. waffle

    waffle New Member

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    there's nothing wrong w/ the concept of the hybrid, its the execution, specifically there tends to be an "over capitalisation" by manufacturers in relation to frame strength and accessories, namely front suspension forks both of which add considerably to the total weight of the bike and detract from its general usefulness. Must recent model hybrids weigh an absolute ton. Depending on your style of intended riding, i can absolutely no benefits in this bikes over flat bar road bikes or comfort bikes.
     
  16. Shabby

    Shabby New Member

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    I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, but 107km per week isn't really considered lots of miles. I'm not being a snob, but my initial comment still stands.
     
  17. Gg

    Gg Guest

    > From: Shabby <[email protected]>
    >
    > John Henderson wrote:
    >> "Shabby" wrote:
    >>> You'll never come across anyone who does lots of miles on a hybrid
    >> I thought I wasn't doing *too* bad at 5,600 km in the last 12 months. John
    >
    >
    >
    > I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, but 107km per week isn't really considered lots of
    > miles. I'm not being a snob, but my initial comment still stands.

    My oath you're being snobbish. 5,600km per year is not a bad haul. It's thousands more km's than
    many cyclists do.

    What's your point? That only roadies who do 250+km per week are allowed to say that they're doing
    "lots of miles"? Grow up.
     
  18. "Shabby" wrote:

    > I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, but 107km per week isn't really considered lots of
    > miles. I'm not being a snob, but my initial comment still stands.

    A bit of irony - I know that some of you do fantastic milages, as you scream past me.

    But I'm retired, and a hybrid is a great compromise for me. Years ago, I did a lot of bicycle
    touring. And I reckon I still would if I didn't have a disabled son to look after.

    John
     
  19. Jose Rizal

    Jose Rizal Guest

    John Henderson:

    > "Shabby" wrote:
    >
    > > I'm not sure if you're being ironic or not, but 107km per week isn't really considered lots of
    > > miles. I'm not being a snob, but my initial comment still stands.
    >
    > A bit of irony - I know that some of you do fantastic milages, as you scream past me.
    >
    > But I'm retired, and a hybrid is a great compromise for me. Years ago, I did a lot of bicycle
    > touring. And I reckon I still would if I didn't have a disabled son to look after.

    Comments like the one before yours shouldn't make you feel inferior in any way. People have opinions
    on many things, none more so than on bike geometries and perceived differences, these often being
    related to the commentators' own cycling style which are often touted as superior in respects. You
    only have to look at posts which reek of disdain for certain bicycle types or components, and the
    other poster's use of "lots of miles" is indicative of this.
     
  20. Shabby

    Shabby New Member

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    No, my point is that as people get into cycling, they often increase their mileages. And once they do that, the hybrid goes to the back of the shed to gather dust. All I'm doing is attempting to save this bloke from buying a bike he'll regret.

    The majority of people who have posted also suggested exactly what I did, getting an MTB with slicks instead of a hybrid.

    Perhaps I'll start a separate thread asking people to define "Lots of miles", "A fair few miles", "Not enough miles" and the ever popular "Haven't had a chance to get out". ("Haven't had a chance to get out" is roadie speak for "I've been training my ass off and I'm going to attack off the line".)
     
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