Hybrid Bicycles - Bike suggestions for limestone trail + tagalong
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04-08-11, 08:53 PM
I love to bike, have a trek 1000 wsd road bike (my trainer bike) and an independent fabrication crown jewel with campy chorus :love: road bike.
I have an old trek 800 cromoly MTB from the late 90's. It fits small on me. I prefer to be stretched out more than what the fit on this bike provides.
I had a trek navigator 2.0wsd (fairly new) and sold it last fall. I used it on the bike paths with my daughter on the tagalong. I really did not like the VERY upright seating now that I'm a road biker. I also didn't like how heavy it was.
So now I am wondering what the ideal type of bike would be for the rails to trails we have in Wisconsin. We like to do family bike rides of about 20-30mi with the kids behind us (my daughter is 6 and only 40ish pounds). We will always like to ride on trails so I would like to get a decent bike but really can't spend too much.
This week I purchased a cute mixte that I'm realizing isn't very practical. Instead of sinking money into it I think I'll be thinking of the next purchase.
So would a hybrid be a good choice? I really love steel so the Jamis Coda sounds nice. Other bikes in this family would be Trek fx series, Cannondale Quick series, Specialized Sirrus?
What size tires are ideal on limestone?
04-08-11, 09:44 PM
I think you see 700/35 or maybe 700/32's on a dirt path. I have the FX 7.5 with 700/32s and I mostly ride the road. But I did ride a limestone bike path last week and it did just fine. It was fairly hard packed stone though. I really like my FX but it's more to the MTB side of hybrid where the Specialized Sirrus is a tad more toward road bike side -- at least in the upper level models.
I'm probably going to switch to 28's or even 25s as I said I ride the road 95% of the time.
04-09-11, 09:42 AM
I'll keep it in mind. I just found out our taxes are about 10,000 more than we expected (we're used to a big refund and will have to pay that amount) so this isn't something I"ll be able to do anytime soon. Now i"m thinking of trying my dd on my trek 1000 wsd. I need to get platform pedals (clipless with a tagalong just won't work for me) and if I can stay stable with the drop bars, I'll see about getting wider tires. It's possible that 700 x 28 could fit with my frame/setup. We only go on a handful of long rides with the family so I could probably live with my MTB too if I have to. :)
04-09-11, 08:01 PM
What's the matter with the Trek 800, it's a great ride that will take a lot of abuse. I have 2 and have put many many miles on them with out any problems. I think the components are stronger than the same on new models. They make a great hybrid/fitness bike, just put 26x1.5 tires on them and go. I have the Bontrager Select tires but they do not make them anymore. You can get a set of 1.5" tires that are designed for road and gravel path for probably less than $50 to upgrade the bike. Bontrager (Trek) now has a model the H4 to do road/path. The Cromoly steel soaks up the bumps on the limestone without to great a weight penalty. The extra weight is great for training, when you get back on the road bikes they will feel super light.
PS- The fit issue is because you are more familiar with a road bike. MTB/Hybrids are more compact and as you ride it more it will begin to feel better.
04-10-11, 07:50 PM
That's a good point! I just feel so cramped on it, but I can give it a try! I'll go for a family ride and switch out the saddle and see if the 800 will work.
04-11-11, 06:18 AM
Honestly, I'd just ride the road bike. I see *plenty* of roadies on Military Ridge and Glacial Drumlin, and there is a copious supply of idiots trying to ride paceline on Cap City Trail or the Southwest Path. I'd be a lot more concerned about making sure your daughter's wheels have good tires tho. I'd worry less about fat tires for your roadie, and more about fenders. Things get awfully dusty, and dust + grease = grinding compound. Fenders will cut down some on how much dust hits your drivetrain. You may run into the odd sandy or gravelly spot where slicks force you to ride cautiously, but mountain/cross style tires are not required. (if they were, I'd be in trouble, since my hybrid's tires are slicks)
I know some of the other state trails get pretty thrashed by snowmobiles, so if you're not around Madison, use your judgement.
Rail trails will rarely have grades in excess of 3%, so it's pretty feasible to singlespeed everything around Madison even with a cargo load. The mixte may well have more clearance than the roadie, and they tend to be built pretty long in the top tube, so it might well make a nice trails roadie for you over the long term. Sometimes you can even take a 27" mixte and make it 700C for insanely fat tire clearances. Old school 27" tires measure 1 1/4" or about 32mm, so if your roadie's ride is way too harsh, try the mixte over the mountain bike.
04-11-11, 07:17 PM
What about a longer stem and and/or a layback seatpost to provide a more stretched-out ride on your old MTB?
So would a hybrid be a good choice?
If you do not like an upright seating position then probably not. You can get hybrids with a more road-bike-like riding posture but they will be so much like road bikes that you may as well use your "beater" road bike for trail riding. It will probably take 28 mm tires and they will be fine on limestone trails. It may go 32 mm or even a little wider and 32's would be great. Now that the tax man cometh new tires would be the cheapest way to get you a fine trail bike. You don't need suspension, etc for the Wisconsin rail to trail system.
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