Road Bike or Hybrid? Need Help!

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by K-Man, Nov 17, 2003.

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  1. K-Man

    K-Man Guest

    I'm thinking about asking Santa for a bike for Christmas this year. This will be the first bike I've
    owned since my teenage BMX days back in the early 80's, so I've been doing some research and
    visiting the local bike shops. Most of my riding will be on the road, but I will also be doing some
    offroad riding on light dirt trails and light gravel. I'm currently leaning toward the Trek 7300
    since it seems to have the combination of features that I'm looking for:

    http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7300.jsp

    I live in Western NC, and we have have a number of great road rides that range from 15 to 50 miles.
    My only concern is how this bike will do on longer road rides. Will it be comfortable? What's the
    longest road trip that this kind of bike is good for? Any other bikes you might suggest given the
    kind of riding I'll be doing? Thanks in advance!

    Ken
     
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  2. Harris

    Harris Guest

    K-Man <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I'm thinking about asking Santa for a bike for Christmas this year. This will be the first bike
    > I've owned since my teenage BMX days back in the early 80's, so I've been doing some research and
    > visiting the local bike shops. Most of my riding will be on the road, but I will also be doing
    > some offroad riding on light dirt trails and light gravel. I'm currently leaning toward the Trek
    > 7300 since it seems to have the combination of features that I'm looking for:

    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7300.jsp

    > I live in Western NC, and we have have a number of great road rides that range from 15 to 50
    > miles. My only concern is how this bike will do on longer road rides. Will it be comfortable?
    > What's the longest road trip that this kind of bike is good for? Any other bikes you might suggest
    > given the kind of riding I'll be doing? Thanks in advance!

    It sounds like a good choice for what you want. Fifty mile rides might be pushing it due to the
    upright position and fat tires. If these will be casual rides with a few stops it should be ok.

    If you want something more performance oriented that you could still use on gravel and dirt, you
    might consider a cross bike. But those will be more expensive.

    Art Harris
     
  3. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 10:10:11 -0500, K-Man <[email protected]> from Posted via Supernews,
    http://www.supernews.com wrote:

    >I'm thinking about asking Santa for a bike for Christmas this year. This will be the first bike
    >I've owned since my teenage BMX days back in the early 80's, so I've been doing some research and
    >visiting the local bike shops. Most of my riding will be on the road, but I will also be doing some
    >offroad riding on light dirt trails and light gravel. I'm currently leaning toward the Trek 7300
    >since it seems to have the combination of features that I'm looking for:
    >
    >http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7300.jsp
    >
    >I live in Western NC, and we have have a number of great road rides that range from 15 to 50 miles.
    >My only concern is how this bike will do on longer road rides. Will it be comfortable? What's the
    >longest road trip that this kind of bike is good for? Any other bikes you might suggest given the
    >kind of riding I'll be doing? Thanks in advance!

    That's an OK bike. I am not a fan of hybrids, though. I think you will find that the 7300 is like a
    plush tank compared to the BMXs you rode. You might shake it apart if you try a BMX riding style.

    Test ride a real road bike. Might I recommend the 5200:

    http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/5200.jsp

    C'mon, do your part for the economic recovery!

    OK, kidding there. It is a pricey bike, but you will absolutely love the ride and it should hold up
    for years with normal maintenance.

    --
    real e-mail addy: kevansmith23 at yahoo dot com I know things about TROY DONAHUE that can't even
    be PRINTED!!
     
  4. Amh

    Amh Guest

    K-Man <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > I'm thinking about asking Santa for a bike for Christmas this year. This will be the first bike
    > I've owned since my teenage BMX days back in the early 80's, so I've been doing some research and
    > visiting the local bike shops. Most of my riding will be on the road, but I will also be doing
    > some offroad riding on light dirt trails and light gravel. I'm currently leaning toward the Trek
    > 7300 since it seems to have the combination of features that I'm looking for:
    >
    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7300.jsp
    >
    > I live in Western NC, and we have have a number of great road rides that range from 15 to 50
    > miles. My only concern is how this bike will do on longer road rides. Will it be comfortable?
    > What's the longest road trip that this kind of bike is good for? Any other bikes you might suggest
    > given the kind of riding I'll be doing? Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Ken

    Upright bikes are known for their comfort for most riders. However some folks (myself included) can
    get sore wrists from the handlebar position. Easy to solve with bar ends that can be clamped on. But
    you really know your comfort level until you ride it for 20-30 miles. The longest you'll be
    comfortable on this bike is something only you can answer. I've ridden my mountain bike on a road
    for 25 miles once, and I was pretty uncomfortable. On my road bike I'd have been fine.

    I prefer to do any long riding on a typical drop bar bike. For a few reasons. Number one being that
    I can get out of the wind and more aerodynamic on a drop bar bike. Not that I have to be going full
    speed but when the wind is blowing at me I like to get out of the wind as much as I can. Another
    factor for me would be the weight of the bike. My bike is lightweight and the less weight I'm
    pedaling the happier I am.

    Not to confuse your decision even more but it is possible to ride gravel and light dirt trails on a
    road bike. I have a pair of cyclocross tires on my road bike and have taken it on some bumpy trails.
    As long as there is clearence for the tires though.

    In any event get the bike that you'll ride and not let gather dust in the garage.

    Enjoy, Andy
     
  5. Harris

    Harris Guest

    Kevan Smith <[email protected]> wrote:

    > That's an OK bike. I am not a fan of hybrids, though. I think you will find that the 7300 is
    > like a plush tank compared to the BMXs you rode. You might shake it apart if you try a BMX
    > riding style.

    > Test ride a real road bike. Might I recommend the 5200:

    > It is a pricey bike, but you will absolutely love the ride
    > and it should hold up for years with normal maintenance.

    But he wants a bike he can ride on dirt trails and gravel roads. What are the widest tires a 5200
    will accept?

    Art Harris
     
  6. redfrogz

    redfrogz New Member

    Joined:
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    Hybrids are good for nothing - complete compromise and in six months time you'll regret your decision.
    I would suggest buying a good quality hard tail mountain bike with an extra set of wheels clad with road tyres (I use hutchinson gold 1" jobs and they do the biz). So it may be a couple of pounds heavier but it's not that big a deal especially if you have no intention of racing - but you end up with a bike that will go anywhere. I've got a '94 GT Karakoram which I keep set up with my road wheels and it does the job fabulously - even on 100 mile rides. Whilst the Trek 5200 road bike is a fab machine, it aint going to go very well on the trail!
     
  7. Jacques

    Jacques Guest

    > It sounds like a good choice for what you want. Fifty mile rides might be pushing it due to the
    > upright position and fat tires. If these will be casual rides with a few stops it should be ok.
    >
    > If you want something more performance oriented that you could still use on gravel and dirt, you
    > might consider a cross bike. But those will be more expensive.
    >
    > Art Harris

    But these tires aren't that fat ! I really think you can do 50 miles without problems on this bike.
    My recommendation is you change the saddle for something harder (look at the one of the 7300 FX),
    and you choose a size where your saddle will be about (or at least) at the same height as your
    handlebars. You might get sore wrists on very long rides, but your butt will feel less bad and you
    will have more strength on the pedals.

    Look at my own bike:
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/journal/page/?pics=small&page_id=7735&mtime=20031018125107 On this
    bike I've done 80 miles a day during 13 days (unloaded I've pushed it to 120 miles in one day) and
    it is no more a "road bike" that the 7300.
     
  8. Kevan Smith

    Kevan Smith Guest

    On Mon, 17 Nov 2003 21:41:05 GMT, Harris <[email protected]> from Verio wrote:

    >Kevan Smith <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >> That's an OK bike. I am not a fan of hybrids, though. I think you will find that the 7300 is
    >> like a plush tank compared to the BMXs you rode. You might shake it apart if you try a BMX
    >> riding style.
    >
    >> Test ride a real road bike. Might I recommend the 5200:
    >
    >> It is a pricey bike, but you will absolutely love the ride
    >> and it should hold up for years with normal maintenance.
    >
    >But he wants a bike he can ride on dirt trails and gravel roads. What are the widest tires a 5200
    >will accept?

    Dunno, but who would want to ride on trails and gravel when there's plenty of good road to train on?
    Real cyclists only get on some lame-o mountain bike as a publicity stunt. This is the itme of year
    when you should be doing long rides to build up your aerobic base, anyway.

    --
    real e-mail addy: kevansmith23 at yahoo dot com I'm mentally OVERDRAWN! What's that SIGNPOST up
    ahead? Where's ROD STERLING when you really need him?
     
  9. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    "K-Man" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I'm thinking about asking Santa for a bike for Christmas this year. This will be the first bike
    > I've owned since my teenage BMX days back in the early 80's, so I've been doing some research and
    > visiting the local bike shops. Most of my riding will be on the road, but I will also be doing
    > some offroad riding on light dirt trails and light gravel. I'm currently leaning toward the Trek
    > 7300 since it seems to have the combination of features that I'm looking for:
    >
    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7300.jsp
    >
    > I live in Western NC, and we have have a number of great road rides that range from 15 to 50
    > miles. My only concern is how this bike will do on longer road rides. Will it be comfortable?
    > What's the longest road trip that this kind of bike is good for? Any other bikes you might suggest
    > given the kind of riding I'll be doing? Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Ken

    I just started cycling this February and I bought both a hybrid (in February) and a road bike (last
    month) this year. I use the road bike almost exclusively now. This weekend I rode 30+ miles and
    almost 3 of it was on dirt roads. The bike performed well even with 700x23 tires. If I had to do it
    again, instead of the hybrid I would have bought a road bike that could take a wider tire (28 or
    maybe 32) instead of the hybrid.

    As for comfort, after changing out the stock saddle on my road bike, I actually find it more
    comfortable than the hybrid with front suspension and a suspended seat post.

    If you do decide to go the hybrid route, it certainly is possible to do longer road rides on them.
    For me it is not as fun or as comfortable as with the road bike but it is much preferable to my old
    form of recreation of watching TV sports. I think where the hybrid really shines is in riding in
    city traffic because the upright riding position makes you more visible. The hybrid is also a little
    easier on Santa's wallet.

    Also, you will want to make sure that Santa gets the bike from a good local bicycle shop that will
    work with you to fit the bike to your size and riding style. Santa should also bring accesories like
    water bottles and cages, cycling shorts, shoes, and clip-in pedals.

    Merry Christmas! Matthew
     
  10. Steve Shapiro

    Steve Shapiro New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2003
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    I started out two years ago with an aluminum framed hybrid. It got me back to bicycling and don’t regret it for a minute. Now, I do 30 to 40 mile road rides and occasional gravel or dirt road rides of lesser distance. But the bike has evolved as my needs changed. The suspension fork was a complete waste of time and has been replaced with a non-suspension, inexpensive steel one. I added bar ends, a micro-adjusting seat post (for the shock absorbing one that came on it) and a Brooks saddle. Along the way I changed to spd pedals and shoes too. I find the bike is comfortable and with the long, curved bar ends I can lean forward as far as I want to. The bars are adjusted a cm or two higher then my seat...I’m 61 years old and this gets me a comfortable riding position.

    So, if you consider a 7300 fx, you could save some money and lose the relatively useless but heavy suspension fork and seatpost right off the bat. The wide tires that come on the bike will give a great ride. I strongly suggest that you add bar ends quickly as they make a big difference in comfort by providing many good hand positions. I like drop bars too, but the hybrid got me re-started in cycling and has evolved to meet my needs so far. Either can work as long as the fit is good.

    Western NC is hilly. My daughter goes to school in Asheville and it’s mighty beautiful there. But the mountains are somewhat intimidating to an old fart like me. Is that the kind of terrain you plan to ride in? I ride in eastern MA with small hills.

    Steve Shapiro
     
  11. jhuskey

    jhuskey Moderator

    Joined:
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    I am just the other side of the mountain in East Tennessee. I have an inexpensive mountain bike(hardtail) for rougher conditions and a light weight upper end road bike. This is the only way to be truly happy in this area.The first time someone of comparable conditioning blows by you on a road bike as you are srtuggling on a heavy bike you will know what I am saying.At least that is the way I feel. I would recommend getting a good road bike,there are many good ones out there, and a reasonable mountain bike for shorter rougher rides, like a Trek 4300,used and in good shape around $200.00. And of course there are a lot of others reasonably priced .Of course everyone has different wants .This is just my opinion.
     
  12. Bill Blum

    Bill Blum Guest

    K-Man wrote:
    > My only concern is how this bike will do on longer road rides. Will it be comfortable?

    For pete's sake, replace the default saddle if you're looking at long trips.

    > What's the longest road trip that this kind of bike is good for? Any other bikes you might suggest
    > given the kind of riding I'll be doing? Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Ken

    I've been commuting back and forth to campus, running in town errands, and making runs down the
    bike path (about 10-15 miles) on my Giant Cypress. I wouldn't do any serious trail riding on it,
    but I have no fear of cutting thru unpaved alleys, or following dirt access roads next to railroad
    right of way.
     
  13. K-Man

    K-Man Guest

    Thanks to all who responded to my original question re getting a road bike or a hybrid. After the
    responses here and talking with a couple of guys at my LBS, I'v decided to go the road route. I've
    narrowed my choices to two bikes:

    Trek 1000C

    http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1000c.jsp

    Trek 1200C

    http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1200c.jsp

    The guys at my LBS recommended I go with the 1200 if my budge allowed because of the better
    components, specifically:

    - Carbon fork
    - Better shifters (Shimano Tiagra vs. Shimano Sora)
    - Better rims (Alexa AT50 vs. Matrix Aurora)

    Taking into account that I'm 6'2", 240 lbs and live in a pretty hilly area, will those components
    make _that_ much of a difference. I'd like to get the 1200C, but it's a little out of my budget. If
    I got the 1200C, I'd have to skimp on things like shorts, helmet, gloves, and a few other
    necessities. :( Thanks in advance!

    Ken
     
  14. Clyde

    Clyde Guest

    You also need to consider if you are going to get low enough gearing on the road bike. The road bike
    low gear will be 30x25. Unless you are a very strong climber that will not be low enough to spin up
    steep hills. And you may wind up injuring your knees. The hybrid would come with a 28x32 low gear,
    which is a better choice for spinning up hills. Of course, you could ask the shop to change the
    gearing (and perhaps the rear deraill) before the bike leaves the shop.

    Clyde
     
  15. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, k- [email protected] says...
    > Thanks to all who responded to my original question re getting a road bike or a hybrid. After the
    > responses here and talking with a couple of guys at my LBS, I'v decided to go the road route. I've
    > narrowed my choices to two bikes:
    >
    > Trek 1000C
    >
    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1000c.jsp
    >
    >
    > Trek 1200C
    >
    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1200c.jsp
    >
    >
    > The guys at my LBS recommended I go with the 1200 if my budge allowed because of the better
    > components, specifically:
    >
    > - Carbon fork
    > - Better shifters (Shimano Tiagra vs. Shimano Sora)
    > - Better rims (Alexa AT50 vs. Matrix Aurora)
    >
    > Taking into account that I'm 6'2", 240 lbs and live in a pretty hilly area, will those components
    > make _that_ much of a difference. I'd like

    No, they won't make a big difference. From my experience, the one which might affect you the most
    would be the shifters: Sora shifts up with a thumb lever on the inside of the brake lever, and for
    some people is tough to reach from the drops. I like the one on Tiagra and above, which uses a lever
    underneath the brake lever, which is easily operable from either the hoods or the drops.

    Another bike which is a close equivalent to the 1200 in equipment but is just slightly less
    expensive is the Fuji Touring. It's a steel frame, comes with a rear rack and a Tiagra/Deore group,
    and sells for about $799.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  16. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    "K-Man" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Thanks to all who responded to my original question re getting a road bike or a hybrid. After the
    > responses here and talking with a couple of guys at my LBS, I'v decided to go the road route. I've
    > narrowed my choices to two bikes:
    >
    > Trek 1000C
    >
    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1000c.jsp
    >
    >
    > Trek 1200C
    >
    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1200c.jsp
    >
    >
    > The guys at my LBS recommended I go with the 1200 if my budge allowed because of the better
    > components, specifically:
    >
    > - Carbon fork
    > - Better shifters (Shimano Tiagra vs. Shimano Sora)
    > - Better rims (Alexa AT50 vs. Matrix Aurora)
    >
    > Taking into account that I'm 6'2", 240 lbs and live in a pretty hilly area, will those components
    > make _that_ much of a difference. I'd like to get the 1200C, but it's a little out of my budget.
    > If I got the 1200C, I'd have to skimp on things like shorts, helmet, gloves, and a few other
    > necessities. :( Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Ken

    Maybe your shop still has closeouts on the 2003 models? If skimping means doing without the
    accessories, I would recommend going with the 1000c. I would much rather ride an eight speed
    drivetrain in padded shorts than a nine speed in cutoffs. And it looks like you are buying a bike
    for comfort so if the only advantage on the fork and rims is that they are lighter I don't think it
    matters that much. I'm sure Mike from Chain Reaction will chime in on the different Trek models.

    Just out of curiosity, did you try the (for lack of a better term) non-comfort road bikes like the
    Trek 1000?

    Matthew
     
  17. David Kerber

    David Kerber Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > You also need to consider if you are going to get low enough gearing on the road bike. The road
    > bike low gear will be 30x25. Unless you are a very strong climber that will not be low enough to
    > spin up steep hills.

    A 30x25 is still a pretty low gear. I rode for many years on an old 10-speed bike with a 39x28 low
    gear, and never met a hill I couldn't climb standing, though some of them took some effort.

    > And you may wind up injuring your knees. The hybrid would come with a 28x32 low gear, which is a
    > better choice for spinning up hills. Of course, you could ask the shop to change the gearing (and
    > perhaps the rear deraill) before the bike leaves the shop.

    Definitely a possibility. The Fuji Touring I mentioned in an earlier post comes with a 30x32
    lowest gear.

    --
    Dave Kerber Fight spam: remove the ns_ from the return address before replying!

    REAL programmers write self-modifying code.
     
  18. Ken,

    I purchased a Trek 7500FX at the beginning of the season, having basically the same objectives that
    you mentioned. Frankly, I love the bike, but began going for such long rides that I decided to get a
    full-blown road bike. It's fantastic for 10-20 mile rides, but I don't think I could do a century on
    it. The 7500 didn't fair as well as I would have liked on hills (which we have a lot of), but it's
    quite fast on level stretches and downhill.

    Find a good bike shop, and test ride a hybrid and road bike. I originally thought that I would be
    doing some light trail riding, but that never happened. I should have gone road from the beginning.

    Best,

    MSM

    "K-Man" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I'm thinking about asking Santa for a bike for Christmas this year. This will be the first bike
    > I've owned since my teenage BMX days back in the early 80's, so I've been doing some research and
    > visiting the local bike shops. Most of my riding will be on the road, but I will also be doing
    > some offroad riding on light dirt trails and light gravel. I'm currently leaning toward the Trek
    > 7300 since it seems to have the combination of features that I'm looking for:
    >
    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/citybike/7300.jsp
    >
    > I live in Western NC, and we have have a number of great road rides that range from 15 to 50
    > miles. My only concern is how this bike will do on longer road rides. Will it be comfortable?
    > What's the longest road trip that this kind of bike is good for? Any other bikes you might suggest
    > given the kind of riding I'll be doing? Thanks in advance!
    >
    > Ken
     
  19. H. M. Leary

    H. M. Leary Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    "Michael S. Moorhead" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > Ken,
    >
    > I purchased a Trek 7500FX at the beginning of the season, having basically the same objectives
    > that you mentioned. Frankly, I love the bike, but began going for such long rides that I decided
    > to get a full-blown road bike. It's fantastic for 10-20 mile rides, but I don't think I could do a
    > century on it. The 7500 didn't fair as well as I would have liked on hills (which we have a lot
    > of), but it's quite fast on level stretches and downhill.
    >
    > Find a good bike shop, and test ride a hybrid and road bike. I originally thought that I would be
    > doing some light trail riding, but that never happened. I should have gone road from the
    > beginning.
    >
    > Best,
    >
    > MSM
    >
    snip To the OP:

    Hybrid or road doesn¹t really make much difference. I have both.

    I have ridden my ³hybrid² from coast to coast averaging about 10 hours a day with no problem ( and I
    pulled a cargo trailer )

    The key is fit, corect fit, and proper fit! Followed by the right gears and tires.

    Look at cycle cross bikes. Mine has an Easton carbon fiber flat bar with bar ends so that my wrists
    are not bent, much like riding the flats on my road bike with drop bars. There is about an inch
    difference in the saddle to bar drop.

    Comfort, and only you can tell, is also key. As for speed.. this has more to do with the rider
    than the bike.

    Ride and enjoy!

    --
    ³Freedom Is a Light for Which Many Have Died in Darkness³

    - Tomb of the unknown - American Revolution
     
  20. Harris

    Harris Guest

    K-Man <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Thanks to all who responded to my original question re getting a road bike or a hybrid. After the
    > responses here and talking with a couple of guys at my LBS, I'v decided to go the road route. I've
    > narrowed my choices to two bikes:

    > Trek 1000C

    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1000c.jsp

    > Trek 1200C

    > http://www.trekbike.com/bikes/2004/road/1200c.jsp

    > The guys at my LBS recommended I go with the 1200 if my budge allowed because of the better
    > components, specifically:

    > - Carbon fork
    > - Better shifters (Shimano Tiagra vs. Shimano Sora)
    > - Better rims (Alexa AT50 vs. Matrix Aurora)

    > Taking into account that I'm 6'2", 240 lbs and live in a pretty hilly area, will those components
    > make _that_ much of a difference. I'd like to get the 1200C, but it's a little out of my budget.
    > If I got the 1200C, I'd have to skimp on things like shorts, helmet, gloves, and a few other
    > necessities. :( Thanks in advance!

    According to the links you gave, the 1200c is only available in three sizes with 58 cm being the
    largest. The 1000 is available in a 63 cm which seems more approppriate for your height.

    At 240 pounds, you will want sturdy wheels. These bikes only have 32 spoke wheels. That might be ok,
    but I'd recommend 36 spoke wheels. And more importantly, have the shop tension and stress relieve
    the spokes before you take delivery.

    Art Harris
     
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