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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 01-02-07, 04:03 PM   #1
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Will I notice difference with Hybrid

I currently ride a Giant Boldershock (from about 1999) which I find fine for me in most situations. I generally ride for fun (10 mile weekend rides and accaisonal 5mile commute to work) but haven't ridden for about 6 months since the birth of my son. I have road tyres on it instead of the big nobbly things it came with.

I'm going to start commuting the 5 miles to work which is mostly road and a bit of track, and i've got it into my head that to do this I should buy a hybrid. I'm convinced it'll be easier on the hills as it wont have front suspension, and be a bit faster on the road (I often feel like I need a couple more gears on the Giant).

I'll also be attaching a trailer for my son when he's a bit older for family days out.

So my question is, am I kidding myself thinking that there's a discernable difference between a mountainbike with road tyres and a hybrid?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
Steve
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Old 01-02-07, 04:18 PM   #2
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Welcome!

Check out the links in my sig - if you're riding road go the extra bit and look into getting a road bike. A hybrid doesn't allow you to ride offroad as well as a mountainbike nor as fast on the road. Since you already have a mountainbike go with a roadbike/touring/cyclocross for road riding only. Don't fret about the bike 'holding' you (again, check the links for explanations).

Hambone uses a trailer and I'm pretty sure uses his roadbike for that (and will tell you the same thing about a hybrid!)
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Old 01-02-07, 04:49 PM   #3
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If you are only using it for short rides, I would look at used as well. Some nice bikes floating around that are collecting dust in garages and storage units
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Old 01-02-07, 08:20 PM   #4
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am I kidding myself thinking that there's a discernable difference between a mountainbike with road tyres and a hybrid?
I think for a 5 mile commute yes you are likely kidding yourself. You know what will make the ride easier? ...

Time in the saddle.

You will be surprised at how fast you build up your leg muscles and lung capacity.

I don't think you would see enough of a difference to warrant the change. YMMV
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Old 01-03-07, 04:24 AM   #5
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Thanks all for the comments.
Air, I'd looked at your sig and followed some links prior to posting, but I'm a sucker for marketing and a hybrid looks like the best of both worlds (although I'm sure you're right in pointing out it's also the worst of both). I just needed someone to tell me I'm being an idiot (Thanks Mike).

I started the commute to work today. Well I tried, I got exactly half way before the rear axle (don't know if that's the right word) broke, I don't think the quick release was done up. It then took me about an hour to walk home, pick up the car, drive back to pick up the bike and drive to work. Who said cycling was fun?
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Old 01-03-07, 06:34 AM   #6
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Don't listen to any of us, go to a LBS and ride everything they have. Take notes, and if you don't want the LBS cost you can always find it used.

I think you are on the right track going with a no suspension bike. I am going to be changing out my front fork before spring. I already dumped the seat post, and I swapped the 35mm tires with 28mm.

Don't let us make your decision for you, you will be the one riding, and you will need to be the one who is comfortable on it.

PS: Cycling is fun, walking isn't.
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Old 01-03-07, 09:45 AM   #7
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A quick trip to the LBS (Itook me a while to work out what that meant) and I now have a new skewer (I also had to look this up).
I don't have a new bike as a result of some good will-power.

The LBS guy said I would really feel the benefit of a hybrid as it would 'roll better' and have bigger wheels and better gearing, he said it would be easier on the hills (which was music to my ears). He said that front suspension wouldn't make a difference but I suspect this is because 80% of the bikes in his shop had front suspension, although he did say that he chose a bike without it.

I think the real problem isn't that my wheels are too small or my bike is too heavy, I think the real problem is with my rubbish legs trying to cart my massive body up a steep hill.

Maybe if I do a month of commutes on the bike, I'll deserve to buy a new one.

Thanks again.
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Old 01-03-07, 10:55 AM   #8
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Congrats on making what I would consider a good but hard call. We all want new stuff, we all want to make our lives easier (part of the reasons we are clydes right? *Grins*) If your goal is to get fit and also some weight the Mtn Bike will do that for you. I bought a hybrid with shocks, now I wish I had bought a fitness version without them, I also have wants a road bike. It seems that nirvana always lays just beyond the horizon.

I put a little over 3000 miles on my hybrid between May and September, I told myself I would get a new bike this coming summer. You know now I am not so sure. That bike did what I needed it to do, it got me in shape for two triathlons and I did "alright" in them, would I do better with a road or tri-bkie sure but it is unlikely that I would finish in the top 10 so I am not sure at this time what the point would be. (OK being honest I still might try to buy my way up the ladder *grins*)

I guess what I am saying is you *may* still want a new bike but get fit on this one, then you will have a much better idea of what you want to get.

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Old 01-03-07, 11:24 AM   #9
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good move, I have planned to get a new bike after I drop all the weight I want to lose as I figure I will have earn a new bike, but in the mean time I am replacing certain parts to help make the ride better. I too will be replacing the front fork as I can not lock it out like the new forks can do. I also replaced my seat post, and some other odd and ends. Eventually I will change out my handle bars for some trekking type bars and who knows, after all of this, I might just forget the new bike and stay with what I have.
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Old 01-03-07, 11:52 AM   #10
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What kind of tires do you have on the Giant? A cheaper alternative would be to put on a smaller, slicker tire (say a 26X1.5) made for city streets.

I did that on my MTB, and pikced up about 2-3 mph average. It's still slower than the cross bike, but faster than it was.

You could do that for about $60-100, and keep your knobbies for the rougher stuff.
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Old 01-03-07, 01:38 PM   #11
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Steve2k - what's your weight?

If you're a sucker for marketing look at cyclocross bikes! Fast, on/off road, strong.

Buying a bike after XXX goals are acheived is a great way of rewarding yourself (instead of say food which many people (myself especially) will do)! Also - that gives you a month to do research.
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Old 01-03-07, 03:36 PM   #12
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Steve2K -- I think there is a lot of wisdom to riding what you have for a while and then making a purchse when you have a better feel for what you like and need. You will be a very different rider in a onth or two and will have a much clearer idea of what works for you.

On front suspension -- I ride a hybrid with suspension and I am ambivalent about it. Since the suspension has to be set pretty high it takes a lot to really move it. My advice would be if you find a bike you like with suspension buy it, if you find one without suspension you like it buy it. The most important thing is to get a bike that fits you well and that you like so that you will want to ride a lot.

There are lots of good possible choices so ride a bunch of bikes over the next month or two and then make your best informed choice. Good luck.
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Old 01-03-07, 04:47 PM   #13
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If you do get a bike with suspension, make sure it can be locked out in case you don't need or want it for the specific riding you are doing at that time. My front end will dive on me even on the strongest setting which makes it really hard to come out of the saddle and get a good drive on the peddles if needed.
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Old 01-03-07, 06:26 PM   #14
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Brian is 100%, I watch my front end dive when I am pulling hills. LOTS of wasted energy.
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Old 01-04-07, 05:48 AM   #15
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Commute Day 2. Skewer replaced, back wheel won't go round when quick release is tightened. If quick release is loose enough for wheel to go round it falls out when you pick the bike up. I may not be a bike engineer, but even I know that something is not right. I'll be back to the LBS this afternoon and hopefully do the commute home.

This cycling lark really takes commitment.
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Old 01-04-07, 08:04 AM   #16
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Sounds like the skewer caps need to be backed off a little when you put your wheel in. I sort of have this issue with my back wheel as it is a narrower wheel than the OEM wheel than came on the bike. I have to squeeze the rear forks (chain/seat stays) a little to allow the wheel to drop into place.
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Old 01-04-07, 09:44 AM   #17
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Steve2k -- hang in there. Once you get the initial kinks worked out, things do go smoother. When you're at the LBS have them give the bike a good once over to make sure there aren't any other adjustment issues looming in your future.
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Old 01-04-07, 10:58 AM   #18
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The beginning is annoying - don't give up, never surrender!
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Old 01-04-07, 12:47 PM   #19
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all right here's my two pence worth...

You can change the gearing on the bike you have for a fraction of the cost of a new bike. If you want it easier getting up a hill -- go with a smaller "granny" gear. (That is the inside one in the front. Chainrings are the front gears, cogs/cassettes are the back).) If you want the option of a higher gear ratio when you are cruising on flats/down hill you could get a bigger large chainring or go with a different set of cogs (smaller number of teeth -- especially on the smallest cog.) There are limits to the difference between the number of teeth on the large/middle/small chain rings. Basically this is dependent on your rear deraileur. Do some research or rely on a good shop (lbs). Within reason, there is no effective difference between MTB and hybrid in this regard.

In my experience, most clydesdales ride in too hard a gear anyway. It is better for your exercise/your workout and for your knees and for your speed to spin than to mash. (spin vs mash is a pretty common cycling expression. For a beginner, cadence (or the rpm of your pedals/crank) should be close to 100. At least that should be your goal. Spinning describes the fluid, round stroke of a good cyclists pedaling. Mashing describes the guy who just pushes down on the pedals.) Put a few bucks into a cycle computer with cadence and you will be amazed (a cheap one in the states is about $20.)

I have said several times that I am not a fan of hybrids. As much as I am not a fan, I love to hear about big folks riding -- so if that is what will get you on a bike, do it!

That said, I would wait. Make it a reward. If you loose X kilos or get down to a size Y or whatever, then reward yourself with a bike. Set a realistic but aggressive goal and I'll bet by the time you reach it you will want a road bike.

****************
I pull my trailer with my road and with my mtn bike. The mtn bike is more comfy as far as sitting up and it gives a better view of traffic. AND the trainer is not supposed to go over 15 mph so the benefits of my road bike are limited anyway. If I'm on vacation and only have my road bike, then I'll opt for that. Otherwise, I usually use my MTB. (Plus, Mrs. Hambone only has an MTB so it keeps our rides more "fair" too.)

If you are going to be pulling a trainer, look into the trainer and how it attaches. If it clamps to the chainstay -- you should keep in mind the wheelbase of your bike. Too short and your heel will hit the clamp.

****************
on the road, I would group bikes into three categories:
  • Most efficient:time trial, road, triathlon, touring,
  • efficient:cyclocross, flat bar road bikes (some hybrids fit this description)
  • less efficient: hybrid, MTB, cruisers
Granted, there are others I left out like recmbents and single speeds and there are certainly some I missed, but that should get you started (and give you an idea of how I think.)
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Old 01-04-07, 01:01 PM   #20
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as I reread what I posted I thought "there is a good example of the difference between bikes."

My wife's bike with slicks and road ready gearing is better than a good hybrid. I pull the trailer with two kids on my road bike and still get frustrated having to wait for her. (And she's in better overall condition than I am.)
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Old 01-05-07, 05:11 AM   #21
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Thanks all. I took the back wheel to the LBS and he said "where's the rest of it?". I knew I was in trouble at this point. I showed him a bit I found in the car (I had assumed it was part of the car) and he said "yeah that's one bit, but there's more missing".

When he took the wheel to bits he could see that the casing for the bearings had cracked which prevented them from going round. He said "it's as though someones taken off the back wheel, lost a bit and then overtightened it". I felt my face go red as I vagely remembered having to do something up pretty tight to stop it wobbling.

Anyway, he put a new wheel together for me there and then and I rode in to work this morning. It's only 5 miles each way, but there are 3 killer (to me at least) hills that I have to get over. It took me 30 minutes to get here (I got it down to 22 minutes in the summer)

It took me about an hour sitting at my desk before I could breathe well enough to say hello to people.

Still, that's another 5 miles on the clock.

Catching up on the questions:
Tyres - I've got some road tyres (I think 1.5) which are better than the nobblies.
Weight - 124kg (my peak, I'm very proud )
computer - I have a cycle computer, I'll check if it has cadence (I'm pretty sure it doesn't)

Hambone, I'm pretty sure I mash up the hills, with the little gears I don't seem to make much progress, so I pop it in a higher gear and just force my way up the hill. This didn't seem to hard 8 months ago, but is killing me at the moment.

Thanks again all for the encouragement/advice.
Cheers, Steve
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Old 01-05-07, 06:40 AM   #22
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Quote:
I rode in to work this morning. It's only 5 miles each way, but there are 3 killer (to me at least) hills that I have to get over.
And tomorrow they will be a little easer, and the next day a little easer than the last, and so on, and so on, until you get over them before you realize you started the climb.

I wish I could ride in, but the logistics are very bad. I would be able to get here, but the ride home would end up in the back of an alliance.

If you are mashing the pedals, drop a gear, it will seem like you are not going anywhere, but you will not be as wiped out when you do get to the top.

One thing that made a HUGE difference with me was to get toe clips for my pedals. I am now clip less, but for starters toe clips are a great way to go.
http://www.nashbar.com/profile_combo.cfm?combo=20559

I like these over the new plastic ones because I have big feet, and I was able to bend them to fit without using a torch like I did with the plastic ones. They made a big difference with me. Another thing is to go back to the LBS, and have them help fit you to the bike. A proper riding position is essential, and they will most likely do it for free. (especially if you get the toe clips from them. LOL)

I am on good standings with my LBS, to the point that the manager knows my name, bike, kids name, his bike, and where and how we ride. I have found that the more I deal with them the better the discounts are. I needed a watch mount for my HRM, and he pulled one out of a box in the back, and said Hmmmm that looks like it would be worth about a dollar. Everyone on line wanted seven plus shipping. He also replaced my son's two week old bike helmet after Zach smashed the side in when he fell in the woods. He said he was glad he was wearing it, put it on display, and just gave Zach a new (next one better I may add) helmet.

So after all this rambling I should finish with; keep plugging, cadence is the key, and get to know your LBS people.

Good Job.
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Old 01-05-07, 07:44 AM   #23
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Congrats Steve - that's the spirit!!

Now that you have a few miles under your belt come over here and join Tom's Spinner group! Basically report in every week on how many miles you rode and he's compiling graphs. It's a great motivation tool - there's a weight loss one as well.
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Old 01-05-07, 09:59 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steve2k
Thanks all. I took the back wheel to the LBS and he said "where's the rest of it?". I knew I was in trouble at this point. I showed him a bit I found in the car (I had assumed it was part of the car) and he said "yeah that's one bit, but there's more missing".

When he took the wheel to bits he could see that the casing for the bearings had cracked which prevented them from going round. He said "it's as though someones taken off the back wheel, lost a bit and then overtightened it". I felt my face go red as I vagely remembered having to do something up pretty tight to stop it wobbling.

Anyway, he put a new wheel together for me there and then and I rode in to work this morning. It's only 5 miles each way, but there are 3 killer (to me at least) hills that I have to get over. It took me 30 minutes to get here (I got it down to 22 minutes in the summer)

It took me about an hour sitting at my desk before I could breathe well enough to say hello to people.

Still, that's another 5 miles on the clock.

Catching up on the questions:
Tyres - I've got some road tyres (I think 1.5) which are better than the nobblies.
Weight - 124kg (my peak, I'm very proud )
computer - I have a cycle computer, I'll check if it has cadence (I'm pretty sure it doesn't)

Hambone, I'm pretty sure I mash up the hills, with the little gears I don't seem to make much progress, so I pop it in a higher gear and just force my way up the hill. This didn't seem to hard 8 months ago, but is killing me at the moment.

Thanks again all for the encouragement/advice.
Cheers, Steve
as has been said, it gets easier.

You can get a good idea of cadence just by doing some basic math. (Don't make yourself nuts on this but figure out a couple of speeds and gear combos and what the cadence is there and you can make yourself aware...)

In order to measure real cadence a computer needs a sensor at the crank arm. You can also get "virtual" cadence on computers which interface with your shifters by inputting the gears, and the size of your tyre. Virtual because it then figures if you are going a certain speed in a certain gear, your cadence must be X rpm. But if you coast it still says this.

It is a discipline thing but an easier gear and spinning up the hill is a much better option in the long run. As I said, better for the knees, etc. And you'll find that once you ride a little bit more, you are acutally faster over the long haul this way. It seems counterintuitive but it works.

I might also suggest my (non clipless) favorite:
Power Grips
http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...All%20Products
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Old 10-15-11, 10:47 AM   #25
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I followed this thread from the stickies as I wanted to hear some opinions regarding hybrid bikes, from the clydes.

I commute from astoria to midtown four days a week on average and do some recreational and utilitarian riding on weekends (usually no further than twenty miles so far).

Some of the negative comments about hybrids seem like unfounded bias rather than opinion based on experience.

My current eight mile route takes me over, road, gravel, woodchips, and even a little grass.

I cruise past the mtb's and can pace many of the skinny road bikers in nyc traffic conditions.

And the pannier touring guys, can't lane split up to the lights with me.

My single years experience riding an escape 2, frame size 5' 11"- 6' 2", hybrid kevlar tires, and mks lambda platform pedals, has shown me that for my environment, uses, and body type this bike is perfect.

/insert my two cents
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