Hybrid Bicycles - Is a hybrid bicycle for bumpy Louisiana blacktop roads, simple trails and dirt roads?
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I wanted to get a bicycle that I can ride in my neighborhood (bumpy Louisiana roads with potholes), when I'm at my parents house in the country (surrounded by dirt roads and logging roads, not true mountain trails). We are in north Louisiana so lots of hills but no mountains. We have a local bike shop with very little stock (one Raleigh Cadent in stock) but they can order the Treks (if I don't like it I'm stuck with it,no exchanges). I can drive two + hours to buy a bike in either Shreveport or Jackson, MS. I am not sure what I should be looking for brandwise and I get mixed reports on whether or not a hybrid can handle Louisiana dirt roads. The bike shop here in town wasn't a great resource for me when I stopped in before so I'm a little discouraged at this point. Was grateful to find this website. We did just get a Dick's Sporting Goods (but their prices seeem in line with bike shops) and we also have a Walmart and a Target but I can afford to get a good bicycle this one time.
02-16-13, 06:41 PM
A hybrid bike would be fine in this environment...put some 32 mm tires on it and u will be fine...go to a bike shop...stay away from big retailers...your bike will be proper.
02-18-13, 05:21 AM
Hybrid bikes generally come in two flavors. Some lean more to road or smooth riding like a flat bar roadbike and some have a leaning to more off road use.
You description of where your riding to me means you want the later, these bikes have lower gearing for hills and you might even want a suspension fork to smooth things out a bit for rough riding, there geometry is more suited for slower riding in tighter terrain but still there not full on MTB's and better on road than a mtb.
Here the Trek leans more to smoother fast riding while this Giant would be a great bike for you but there's loads of other brands it depends on whats available to you. I think the Cadent would sit in between these, closer to the Giant of off road but has a rigid fork better for smoother roads.
02-18-13, 06:18 AM
Spooky how neither of those bikes have valve stems.
02-18-13, 08:22 AM
To add to the useful info above, I ride on similar terrain you described. I went with something with a suspension fork. Yes, its not the greatest ever, but it doesn't need to be. It also has a lockout feature, so when I'm on smooth roads, its like having a standard fork. I would definitely look for something like that. Here's wht I have for comparison...Raleigh Misceo Trail 1.0.
And mine doesn't show valve stems either!
me, I would be looking for a bike with relatively fat 700c tires but no suspension for that sort of riding. for bad roads, I'd want 38c tires, especially if you're a big heavy guy. those will handle logging roads just fine. potholes are best driven around on any bike, suspension or not.
I've liked the looks of this beast for a while, but its not cheap
I'd put some light 29x2" (700x50) slicks on it for road use, and I'd build it with a trekking triple, like a 48-36-26 front instead of mountain gearing.
02-18-13, 09:22 AM
Almost any hybrid will do for that type of riding, and a lock out suspension fork really does help when in the hard bumpy stuff. See the thread on tires, below, and most dealers will cut a good deal on tire swap before the sale.
I picked up a trek DS last summer picking it over a Trek FX because of the suspension fork with lockout. Turns out I got roadbike fever and picked up a RB and find even with the skinny 25mm tires I can take it on our local trails and pothole filled country roads and it does fine. If I had to choose again I would not have got the suspension fork model as I'm not into more serious offroad riding and the sus forks add a few lbs to the equation. My hybrid sees little action these days.
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