road bike or hybrid?

Discussion in 'The Bike Cafe' started by GreenLizard, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. GreenLizard

    GreenLizard New Member

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    I am just getting into cycling and want to buy a bike. Originally my plans were to get a road bike, but I am now also considering buying a hybrid (multiterrain bike). I plan to do group rides with a local club, probably on the roads, but considering when I ride on my own I often ride on bumpy sidewalks and alleys, and jump high curbs, so I thought a hybrid might be better for me so I don't have to be too careful with it. But I have read on other forums that hybrids are slower than road bikes and are not good for group rides. What should I do?
     
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  2. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    A few options:

    Change you riding style if you want to join a group ride.

    Buy a mountain bike and a road bike.

    Buy a MTB and fit Conti slicks.

    Buy a Flat bar road bike and keep off the kerbs.
     
  3. baj32161

    baj32161 New Member

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    Also, depending upon your pirce range, you may want to consider a cyclocross bike. It has road racing geometry, drop bars, and can be fitted with narrow road tires or wider tires for off roading or bumpy terrain. They are perfectly capable for fast group rides. They usually have enough tire clearance to miunt fenders and such. They do tend to be a bit more expensive but may be a good option for you.

    Cheers,

    Brian
     
  4. Cyclesafe

    Cyclesafe New Member

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    You will not be happy with a mountain or a hybid bike on a group ride because either you will be dropped or suffer the (hopefully unvoiced) frustration of those in your group that will either have to ride slower or have to wait for you every couple of miles. Of course, if your group rides the trails and you have a road bike, they will either drop you or be pissed off that they are constantly calling to have you medivac'ed off the trail. Don't mix these sports unless you are riding with others that have the same set up as you.

    However, the cyclocross idea is a very good one. You won't be the fastest/safest in either venue, but you will be able to contribute rather than detract from either kind of group ride. Try Felt or Cannondale cyclocross bikes - good value.
     
  5. Hoya1500

    Hoya1500 New Member

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    Hey Green,

    I work as a sales associate at a bike shop. It doesn't really account for much, but heres what i've learned thus far from my experience. From what you've written, there are a few factors that will determine what bike(s) you ultimately buy.

    1- What the guys in your group ride; Its no fun if you're always playing catch-up huffing and puffing on a hybrid when everyone else is on road bikes. Conversely, riding a better bike than everyone else will put a damper on the friendly atmosphere of group rides. If you're planning on riding with a specific group, there are certain criteria that need to be met in order to "fit in" and its important to follow them or else you risk upsetting the group's dynamic. Purpose also plays a major role in this. Are you riding to get in shape or for the additional social bonus of riding with a group?

    2- Terrain; Risky curb-jumps aside, bumpy terrain and the occasion (mild) pothole will not be a problem for a moderately priced (read: Aluminum or steel) road bike. So you can either change your riding style to fit the bike you're buying or you can buy a bike to fit your style.

    3- Comfort; Comfort, age,l and overall fitness play a big role in what bike you buy. How much do you value the overall comfort of your ride? If this is a non-issue for you and all you want to do is be fast and keep up with the peleton, then a road bike is the perfect match. After that, things get a bit more hazy. There are a variety of "comfort" road bikes (i.e. Trek's Pilot series) that have most of the benefits of a road bike, but they aim at Touring consumer market and have a less aggressive geometry. On the other end, fitness hybrids (such as Trek's FX series and Giants FCR series) offer a majority of the benefits seen on hybrids (upright positions, cushy seat, etc) and wrapping it in a slicker package (faster components, fast wheels and tires, etc)

    4-Budget; Last, but not least, you have to determine how much you're willing to pay. Hybrids are usually less expensive than road bikes but there is an overlap in the market when it comes to the lower end road bikes and the higher end hybrids and fitness hybrids. So for the price of a high-end hybrid you'll be comparing it to a moderately equipped road bike. All the previous points come in to play here, as well as how much of the cycling lifestyle you want to be involved in.


    Regarding cyclocross bikes, this a great alternative and i second (or third) this suggestion. They're a durable and quick ride. Not the quickest, nor the most durable, but as far as what you're looking for, the best compromise between the two. Hopefully, i didn't ramble on about too many obscure aspects of cycling. Good luck in your cycling pursuits!


    Cheers,
     
  6. roadbikeman

    roadbikeman New Member

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    Just remember - mountain bikes are for mountains and road bikes are for the road.

    That should give you a hint!

    Happy cycling!
     
  7. rsheard

    rsheard New Member

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    Nine months ago I was right where you are now. I wasn't sure what I really wanted so I bought a Fuji hybrid to give me a decent enough bike without breaking the bank to see if cycling was really for me. But riding exclusively on the roads, I'm about to trade up now to a road bike. I get dropped in groups (probably still will for another season or so when I change bikes), but I've ridden enough now that I know I want to continue.

    The problem for me now is the wide range of options. I'll probably go with a Trek because the local bike shop features them and I don't really want to travel far for service.

    By the time I trade in the hybrid, though, it'll only have cost me a few hundred dollars for the year I've used it--a decent price to discover cycling. Good luck.
     
  8. Geonz

    Geonz New Member

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    What they said. Hybrids are significantly slower than road bikes. If the guys in the group you want to ride with are on road bikes, then odds are they're going to be faster (unless there are other factors like you're really fast and the hybrid would be an equalizer).

    Road riding and curb hopping are two different things... figure out which you like better. You might end up getting both :)
     
  9. BanditManDan

    BanditManDan New Member

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    When I started out riding I bought a hybrid. I started out riding with my son or solo and it was fine for that but when I got more into cycling and group riding I wanted the speed of a road bike. I ended up buying a road bike within 6 months and it would have been cheaper to just buy the road bike and skip the hybrid thing all together. Now I'm racing and I ended up buying yet another road bike but that's another story. :eek:

    I also like the idea of a cyclocross bike, it's truely the best hybrid.

    BanditManDan
     
  10. dbackmtg

    dbackmtg New Member

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    check out the gary fisher Montaire, Utopia or Kaitai. Their mountain bikes with front suspension that roll on 700x42 tires.
     
  11. Bailei

    Bailei New Member

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    I like road bikes the best because riding on the road is not so dirty and not so much cleaning.
     
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