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  1. #1
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    difference between flat bar road bike and hybrid?

    okay. I was at the local bicycle shop yesterday, and noticed that they had a few road bikes that had flat mountain bike bars instead of drops. whats the difference between that and say a hybrid? or if one were to put a flat bar and mountain bike controls on a cyclocross would that not be very similar to a hybrid?

  2. #2
    MAK
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    The biggest differences between a hybrid and a road bike have to do with the weight (with the hybrid probably 10-15 lbs heavier) the tires (hybrids usually come with 35cc to 38cc tires rather than the 23cc +/- on the road bike ) and the gearing (with many hybrids closer to mountain gearing).

    I'm not very familiar with cyclocross bikes but I do believe that the bottom brackets are higher and the geomety is very different. I'm not sure how this affects the ride.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    I'm in the process of trying to figure out wether I want a road bike, flat bar road bike or a cyclocross also. Right now I'm still in the confused stage so I'm just looking for what ever feel good and is the best deal. I think the shifters on the flat bar bikes are less expensive so that helps keep the price down and make them a little more affordable(I think). I actually prefer the thumb shifter on the flat bar bikes, but want drop bars for more hand possitions. So confused...

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1
    I'm in the process of trying to figure out wether I want a road bike, flat bar road bike or a cyclocross also. Right now I'm still in the confused stage so I'm just looking for what ever feel good and is the best deal. I think the shifters on the flat bar bikes are less expensive so that helps keep the price down and make them a little more affordable(I think). I actually prefer the thumb shifter on the flat bar bikes, but want drop bars for more hand possitions. So confused...
    i find my flat bar mountain bike more comfortable then drops. Maybe as the gut goes away that will change. However, I rode a cyclocross bike the other day and really liked it, except for the drops anyway. So I was thinking, a cyclocross with a flat bar and mountain bike controls could be the perfect bike for light single track / asphalt bike paths and MUP's

    road bike light / mountain bike strong

  5. #5
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clearwaterms
    i find my flat bar mountain bike more comfortable then drops. Maybe as the gut goes away that will change. However, I rode a cyclocross bike the other day and really liked it, except for the drops anyway. So I was thinking, a cyclocross with a flat bar and mountain bike controls could be the perfect bike for light single track / asphalt bike paths and MUP's

    road bike light / mountain bike strong
    You basically just described a c-dale bad boy. I test rode one and LOVED IT, but I think I want to go with drops.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1
    You basically just described a c-dale bad boy. I test rode one and LOVED IT, but I think I want to go with drops.
    I just looked at the bad boy and it looks like a hybrid, mountain bike frame vs. cyclocross frame.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clearwaterms
    I just looked at the bad boy and it looks like a hybrid, mountain bike frame vs. cyclocross frame.

    Go test drive one, they are cool. They are light and come with road tires, but have the strength and clearance for bigger off road tires.

  8. #8
    MAK
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1
    I'm in the process of trying to figure out wether I want a road bike, flat bar road bike or a cyclocross also. Right now I'm still in the confused stage so I'm just looking for what ever feel good and is the best deal. I think the shifters on the flat bar bikes are less expensive so that helps keep the price down and make them a little more affordable(I think). I actually prefer the thumb shifter on the flat bar bikes, but want drop bars for more hand possitions. So confused...
    When I moved from a hybrid to my current road bike I had additional brake levers installed on the top bar and it's worked out great. Tons of hand positions with brake levers always nearby. I figured that they would be handy until I lost my gut but I'm keeping them anyway. Best $25.00 I've spent in a long time.

  9. #9
    Senior Member jaxgtr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MAK
    When I moved from a hybrid to my current road bike I had additional brake levers installed on the top bar and it's worked out great. Tons of hand positions with brake levers always nearby. I figured that they would be handy until I lost my gut but I'm keeping them anyway. Best $25.00 I've spent in a long time.
    yea, those are sweet. I almost put them on mine, but the next time I need new bar tape I'm putting them on.
    Brian | 2013 Cannondale SuperSix 5 | 2014 Trek CrossRip Comp | 2003 Trek 7300
    Quote Originally Posted by AEO View Post
    you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

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    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clearwaterms
    i find my flat bar mountain bike more comfortable then drops. Maybe as the gut goes away that will change. However, I rode a cyclocross bike the other day and really liked it, except for the drops anyway. So I was thinking, a cyclocross with a flat bar and mountain bike controls could be the perfect bike for light single track / asphalt bike paths and MUP's

    road bike light / mountain bike strong
    Check out a Jamis Coda. Everything you name, plus steel frame comfort. I ride a Coda Elite and love it to death. CF fork, disc brakes and darn good components. They are great values too.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  11. #11
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1
    I'm in the process of trying to figure out wether I want a road bike, flat bar road bike or a cyclocross also. Right now I'm still in the confused stage so I'm just looking for what ever feel good and is the best deal. I think the shifters on the flat bar bikes are less expensive so that helps keep the price down and make them a little more affordable(I think). I actually prefer the thumb shifter on the flat bar bikes, but want drop bars for more hand possitions. So confused...
    I've been using the drops on my touring road bike for 1 1/2 years and was recently thinking to change the handlebars out for some flat handlebars, but also was wary of losing hand positions (especially since I am occasionally prone to hand numbness).

    I haven't done it yet, but here is my new solution. Somebody pointed me in the direction of trekking bars, and as I hear, they are commonly used on touring bikes. See pic below....I'm gonna switch my drops out for these.



    If you want to really get fancy...you can get trekking bars with aerobars on them so you can still get aero if you want too. Like these:
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    Check out a Jamis Coda. Everything you name, plus steel frame comfort. I ride a Coda Elite and love it to death. CF fork, disc brakes and darn good components. They are great values too.
    yeah thats more like it...

    Road bike weight
    flat bar comfort
    mountain bike casette for easier hill climbs

    My local LBS is a jamis dealer. I might have to check out that bike. THey are also a Kona dealer, and claim that Kona makes a Jake model in a flat bar (but they don't have it listed on there site)

    either way, im not buying until next season.

  13. #13
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    The last Shop I worked for sold Jamis and they always had some great Bikes at good prices. I don't think anyone around here sells them.

    The Cross/Hybrid/Fast City bike scene is really blurred right now. I'm not sure what I would want. There are some that are really close, but my Clyde bike seems to be able to do much as these bikes could, and with a simple tire change could even be better. (I'll ride the Michelin's that came on the wheelset till they flat or wear out!)

    I'm leaning towards a cyclocross style bike because I want drop bars, and the other item would be a Steel frame over aluminum, but that's just me.

    Chris
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    Quote Originally Posted by ang1sgt
    The last Shop I worked for sold Jamis and they always had some great Bikes at good prices. I don't think anyone around here sells them.

    The Cross/Hybrid/Fast City bike scene is really blurred right now. I'm not sure what I would want. There are some that are really close, but my Clyde bike seems to be able to do much as these bikes could, and with a simple tire change could even be better. (I'll ride the Michelin's that came on the wheelset till they flat or wear out!)

    I'm leaning towards a cyclocross style bike because I want drop bars, and the other item would be a Steel frame over aluminum, but that's just me.

    Chris

    seeing your bike built is what inspired the question. I mean, a fixed front forked cross bike that has the geometry of a mountain bike, add a trekking crank and a 9 spd. 11-34 cassette and you have a great do it all bike...

    one question, why steel vs. al?

    another thing I saw was possibly buying a crosscheck off the floor and converting it to flat bar... once again, not in the market for another year or so.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Terrierman
    Check out a Jamis Coda. Everything you name, plus steel frame comfort. I ride a Coda Elite and love it to death. CF fork, disc brakes and darn good components. They are great values too.
    Hay, I like those, I wish we had a Jamis dealer localy, I'd like to look at them.



    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite
    I've been using the drops on my touring road bike for 1 1/2 years and was recently thinking to change the handlebars out for some flat handlebars, but also was wary of losing hand positions (especially since I am occasionally prone to hand numbness).

    I haven't done it yet, but here is my new solution. Somebody pointed me in the direction of trekking bars, and as I hear, they are commonly used on touring bikes. See pic below....I'm gonna switch my drops out for these.



    If you want to really get fancy...you can get trekking bars with aerobars on them so you can still get aero if you want too. Like these:
    You're on to something there!

  16. #16
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    People who absolutely hate drop bars have probably never had a bike properly fitted for their body and riding style, or else they operate under the misconception that you have to ride holding the drops all the time. If you think you might prefer flat bars, before you do the conversion, try getting a stem length and bar height that allows you to ride comfortably with your hands on the hoods and on the tops (which is how you will ride 90% or more of the time anyway), and also make sure you have brakes that are good for braking from the hoods (modern dual pivots require less hand force than single pivot brakes if it's a problem for you).

    You could even just pretend that the tops are your flat bars, and totally ignore the drops, if you want.

    Now, if your only experience with drop bars is trying a bike that has the bar tops 6 inches below the saddle, of course that will not have been a happy experience.

    Personally, I just don't see the logic in buying a road bike that is configured like a hybrid. May as well just buy a performance hybrid (and there's nothing wrong with that at all).

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    OK, so what I gather from this thread is that the only difference between hybrid/road bikes is 1) weight; and 2) tire width. (aside from, obviously, the bars)

    Is that correct?

    If so, and one is looking at and entry level bike, it would seem that he/she could spend about $240 for an LBS hybrid (Giant Cypres, etc.) or $650 on a road bike ( Giant OCR 3, etc.).

    Now, for a light clyde (down to 212 as of today from appx. 235-240) with no racing ambition, how does it make sense to buy a road bike? Does the weight of the bike matter that much? I wouldn't think the tire size would matter much except for the rotational inertia when speeding up.

    I would like a nice road bike, no doubt, but that's something like a 250% price increase.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Longfemur
    Personally, I just don't see the logic in buying a road bike that is configured like a hybrid. May as well just buy a performance hybrid (and there's nothing wrong with that at all).
    What's logic got to do with it anyway? If it's what you want is all that really matters right?
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Caincando1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chief5286
    OK, so what I gather from this thread is that the only difference between hybrid/road bikes is 1) weight; and 2) tire width. (aside from, obviously, the bars)

    Is that correct?

    If so, and one is looking at and entry level bike, it would seem that he/she could spend about $240 for an LBS hybrid (Giant Cypres, etc.) or $650 on a road bike ( Giant OCR 3, etc.).

    Now, for a light clyde (down to 212 as of today from appx. 235-240) with no racing ambition, how does it make sense to buy a road bike? Does the weight of the bike matter that much? I wouldn't think the tire size would matter much except for the rotational inertia when speeding up.

    I would like a nice road bike, no doubt, but that's something like a 250% price increase.
    When comparing a hybrid to a road bike take them both for a 5-10 mile ride and time the rides. You'll see that there is a big difference in speed and efficiency. There are a number of different reasons for this(yes tires make a big difference as well as other factors), but it boils down to moving farther and faster for the same amount of effort. A flat bar road bike will be closer to road bike because they are quit similar.

  20. #20
    jimbogregs
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    Hi there, I'm a 6'1 245lb man who is not afraid of carbohydrates and I ride a Specialized Cirrus Elite, I like it but having recently test ridden a Specialized Roubaix Elite that is the route I am going to go.
    Felt faster, carbon frame was great and I think in the long run I will get more out of it.

  21. #21
    Senior Member hr2510's Avatar
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    Back many many years ago.... I had a Schwinn Continental and never really used the drop portion of the bars so I flipped the drop bars(Left to right & upside down). I still could ride on the flat bar(now the bottom) or I could raise up and grab the ends of the drops kinda like mustache bars. I remember liking that much better. That said, I just ordered a 5" rise handlebar and rear rack for my MTB. I guess it will be a cross between a cruiser and MTB when I'm finished.
    Code:
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    • Mike
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  22. #22
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    I have a Specialized Sirrus (a hybrid). Here are the differences between my bike and a road bike.

    Straight bars - not drops
    Rapid fire shifters - not STI or similar
    Triple chainring (okay some roadie have them too, but nearly all hybrids I have seen have a triple)
    V-brakes - not any of the road-style brakes
    heavier than a road
    my tires 700c x 32 vs some of the thinner tires used on road bikes (then again there are definitely road bikes running 32s)
    suspension seatpost (I don't remember ever seeing a roadie with a suspension seatpost... thats okay I'm replacing it shortly)

  23. #23
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Caincando1
    You're on to something there!
    Thanks.

    I was really wondering what type of handlebar to change out for the drops. When somebody posted a pic of trekking bars over in commuting I instantly knew those were what I wanted. It seemed to be the perfect comprimise.

    I think I'll get those basic ones first (the bars themselves are only $20). But if the work well for me and I start feeling like I want to get more aero, I'll spring for the fancier ones (those are like $130 or so).
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by KingTermite
    Thanks.

    I was really wondering what type of handlebar to change out for the drops. When somebody posted a pic of trekking bars over in commuting I instantly knew those were what I wanted. It seemed to be the perfect comprimise.

    I think I'll get those basic ones first (the bars themselves are only $20). But if the work well for me and I start feeling like I want to get more aero, I'll spring for the fancier ones (those are like $130 or so).
    If you want the aerobars later, why not just buy the clamp-on aerobars... you can get ones with arm rests for like $60 when they aren't on sale. See this

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