Road vs. Hybrid selection help needed! Plz!

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by Out of Shape, Aug 9, 2006.

  1. Out of Shape

    Out of Shape New Member

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    Well, here goes...first post ever.

    Last week I hopped onto my (once cool) 31 pound Univega Gran Tourismo road bike, only to find that my bad back and neck don't appreciate its weight or bent over riding style anymore. I decided to get a new bike, but find myself baffled by the options in styles and components. Here are the facts:

    1. I have a few bulged discs in my lower back and would prefer a more upright ride. Neck tends to get sore while riding also.
    2. I am 6' 0" and 205 lbs.
    3. I plan on riding 2-3x per week, 5-10 miles a day to start, but want a bike that I can eventually take out for 50-100 miles a day(possible San Francisco to San Diego ride).
    4. I'd like to spend under $600 or so.

    Can someone offer me some good advice on specific bikes that would work for my situation? I looked at the Trek 7.2FX, 7.3FX (out of stock), and Schwinn Super Sport GS (front derailer shifted horribly!). Any other suggestions?

    Thank you very much in advance!
     
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  2. gclark8

    gclark8 New Member

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    Giant FCR 3,2,1
    Felt SR 101, 91, 81, 71
    Specialized Sirrus,
    These are all worth a look.
     
  3. RickF

    RickF New Member

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    If you are willing to stretch your budget to $800, consider the Specialized Sequoia and Trek Pilot 1.0 (MSRP for both is $770). I am 54, down to 197 pounds (from 265 in December), and also have back problems (although my problem is spinal stenosis from arthritis rather than buldging disks). Until last week, my primary ride had been a Specialized Crossroads Elite. It is a great bike for rides up to about 32 miles (50K), but with any flat bar bike, the disadvantage on a long ride is the lack of multiple hand positions. Following a 40 mile ride last month, I had numbness in the ring and little fingers of my left hand (ulnar nerve palsy) that lasted for three days. Drop bars allow you to move around more and avoid problems like this. Compared to the Trek 7.2FX or Specialized Sirrus, the other disadvantage is the 38 mm tires and heavy wheels. Climbs and acceleration are very difficult with the wider and heavier wheels.

    Even with a bad back, you do not need to be afraid of the drop bars. I am now riding a Specialized Roubaix Elite, and am extremely happy with it. I still use the Crossroads for trail rides, but on the road, I use the Roubaix. I am going to participate in the MS 150 in New Bern, NC on September 9 and 10 (75 miles per day for two days). I could have managed it on the Crossroads, but the Roubaix will be much more comfortable and will allow me to cut about an hour off my riding time each day.

    The relaxed geometry road bikes like the Trek Pilot, Specialized Seqoia, and Specialized Roubaix can be set up with a more upright position compared to he racing geometries. Just shorten the stem and raise the bars, and the neck and back problems can be avoided. The key to a comfortable ride is to find an LBS that has an experienced fitter who can spend quality time with you to be sure that you are in the correct position on the bike. If you are aiming for a 50 to 100 mile ride, I would definitely recomend sticking with drop bars.
     
  4. Albert 50

    Albert 50 New Member

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    I'm sure most of us have been Out Of Shape before & I was one of them:)
    The old bad back though is still with me & I chose a flat bar road bike, similar to the Sirrus Pro after riding 18500 klms on a Trek 7300fx.
    I did choose a FBRB believing it to be more back freindly than a fair dinkum road bike. I have never ridden a drop bar bike so I do not really know if my choise was neccessary to save the back. I don't ride bolt upright & do tend to stretch forward some what but can't ride for long in an aero position before the back says "please straighten up a touch".
    I no longer have problems with hand numbness or sore wrists on any rides, the max of which has been around 20 or so 100 k rides. I have bar ends & use several hand positions which I constantly change. Riding flat handed with basically no grip with the wrists not bent up,even over bumpy sections with a balanced riding position without to much weight on the hands is the key. I even have a loose grip on the bar ends when riding out of the saddle. In essence hand problems can be minimised & not an issue in deciding to flat bar or not IMO. Max tyre pressure of 100 psi for my 25mm front is also of benifit, 120 is to high for comfort.BTW I'm 50 yo.
     
  5. smithsr

    smithsr New Member

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    I was a bit like you, except I was new to riding at 50, a fittish 95Kg and with one osteoarthritic knee which prevented running. I took on a lot of advice and went to a Giant CRX2 which I really liked (still do) and thought would last me for quite a while. However the lack of hand positions lead to soreness and in turn prompted me to try all sorts of combinations with bars. The mix seems to work well now.

    Then I came across a 2nd hand Reynolds 531 steel frame set up as a racing bike in OK knick bought it and tried it out. After fiddling, got LBS to shorten stem to suit my reach and raise the quill so that top of bars were just above level of seat. Seems to work great and the roadie bars give heaps of hand positions without getting head and back too low.

    I now have two ride options both of which seem to work well for me (except my son prefers the steel frame to his own new bike).

    If you go to the Rivendell site (http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/), you will see this is the sort of thing they advocate. I noticed also that Shelton Brown also seems to be doing much the same thing with his bikes now if you look through what he rides. http://sheldonbrown.com

    My long winded story probably points to not necessarily looking to new bike but changing your riding position by some minor mods at the steering end. (not familair with your ride so ack this may not be practical). Hope this helps.


     
  6. Out of Shape

    Out of Shape New Member

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    Thanks so much to all of you for your input! I have some research to do and look forward to getting the right bike. Thanks again!
     
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