Hybrid Bicycles - Anyone else ride their hybrid on trails?
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My husband and I just got new bikes to get back into biking - basically for fun and to stay in better shape. We ride our local rail trail and plan to ride a few other situations as well...our rail trail is basically fine gravel packed and fairly level except a few small gradual uphills. We went riding yesterday for the first time and noticed most people were on comfor bikes or MTB's. So just wondering who else is riding their hybrid styles on trails? I am hoping we made the right decision on the bikes...so far we love them though - I have a specialized crosstrail and my husband a Giant Roam 1...both feature lock outs.
03-14-11, 07:16 AM
I think your bike choice is fantastic. Post some pictures, we all love pic's :)
our rail trail is basically fine gravel packed and fairly level except a few small gradual uphills.
Yeah, railroads really, Really, REALLY hate grades and they will spend considerable amounts of money and detour many miles to keep them below 2% even in mountainous regions -- if at all possible. So rail-to-trail bike trails will almost always have gentle grades. The trail near my house follows this rule except for the section where the rails are still there and in use and therefore the bike trail runs parallel to active rail lines and goes up and down all the hills that the railroad tracks run gently through on cuts and fills.
I ride my hybrid (and it is a road biased hybrid) on this type of trail all the time. It does fine. It will even go on dirt forest trails pretty well as long as you avoid the ones a MTBer would consider challenging. You may want to use tires in the 32 - 38 mm width if your bikes did not come with tires that wide though, truth be told, 28 mm tires will handle a lot of off road duties. I see a lot of roadies riding the trail by me on their 23 mm road tires and while the gravel portions are the only sections where I pass them, they do not seem to be struggling to get through, it just puts them off their pace.
Ok, so on edit, after noticing that you mentioned that your bikes have "lock outs", I surmise you have suspension forks. That means you basically have light duty, hard tail MTB-like hybrids. You will have no trouble on rail to trail affairs and probably not on gentle to moderate MTB trails either. Unlock the forks if need be. This is the kind of stuff your bikes were made for.
03-14-11, 10:32 AM
nope. I have a Sirrus which is really a flat handle bar road bike with hybrid gearing (more mountain than road). I tend to get a little aggressive on trails if any ruts or bumps or sharp corners are around, and I have a mtb and SS mtb that I use in those cases.
My girlfriend however only has her hybrid (7100WSD) and she rides it on everything we ride on. Pavement, gravel, rail-trail, etc. Even a little single track (which she does not like :( )
If I had the bikes you have, then yes, I would ride off pavement :) They are designed for more off road than the performance hybrids. I looked at a crosstrail but since I owned a mountain bike I figured it would not be a fit for what I needed: a pavement bike.
03-14-11, 11:33 AM
Absolutely! You have the perfect bike for rail to trails. I have a Scott Sportster, which is Scott's version of the bikes you have. Pefect bike for rail to trails. We have lots of them around where I live and use it to ride them all the time.
03-14-11, 12:41 PM
I ride my Crosstrail on the local trails, a lot - even the gravel ones, and a few local, gravel country roads too.
I swapped my tires out for a 35 on the front, and a 40 on the rear - Schwalbe Marathon Supremes, because I don't like flat tires. Never looked back, and never had a problem.
The bike is so much better behaved with this combo - the steering is quicker and more precise, and the rear is still heavy duty.
Works great - and I have a matching set in the basement for when I need new ones.
Those Specialized OEM's are really crappy!
Yes, I have been reading a lot of complaints about my specialized tires! Which scares me! Do they make any other brands in the same size 700x45 I can put on with comparable tred but better quality tires?
03-14-11, 03:28 PM
Trails, fields, forestspaths, forests themselves, asphalt, pavement, gravel, light dirt, cobblestones, rocky tracks, countryside, town, etc...
Love it all :)
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