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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 10-27-11, 07:45 PM   #1
Allen55
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hybrid vs road bike...

I was sitting here thinking about road bikes after reading a post on another forum. It got me to wondering what the major differences are between a real road bike and my Hybrid trek 7000? Im new to this game, as you guys know, but I really can't SEE a difference except for the handlebars.

Can you guys enlighten me? why would I want to reward myself with one when I hit my goal weight of 190?
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Old 10-27-11, 08:03 PM   #2
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The riding position is different, and in more ways than just the bars. Your hips will be higher and your upper body will be more forward. On a road bike, you'll be able to involve your arms and back when climbing, and it's a more aerodynamic position as well. It will feel a little tippy at first, so you might want to forego the clipless pedals for a month or so.

The drop bars are much more comfortable on longer rides, and you have more varied riding positions as well. It's also easier to stand up when that is needed.

I have one of each, and greatly prefer the road bike. When the time comes, if you're not so sure you really want one, you may want to check out Craigslist. That way if you decide you prefer the hybrid, you can unload the used bike for close to what you paid.
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Old 10-27-11, 08:54 PM   #3
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I opted for a touring bike, kind of a heavy road bike, my wife got the hybrid--and I'm glad I did. The suspension hinders the kind of riding we do--mostly paved and packed gravel. She works a lot harder than I do and I'm towing kids!
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Old 10-27-11, 08:56 PM   #4
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What Former said.

Also, a road bike is designed to be efficient in moving a person forward (in everything that goes along with that statement). A hybrid? Not so much. That's the end-result.

When you pedal on a road bike, you'll be like, "Wow! I just pedal and it moves! So quick, so responsive. It feels lighter, too!"

Last, as Former alluded to a bit, it's alot more comfortable over longer rides.
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Old 10-27-11, 09:14 PM   #5
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A road bike will be lighter, use narrower tires, and will put your legs in a near-standing position while your back will be bent forward. This shifts your hips forward, putting a narrower part of your seatbones on the saddle - this is why road saddles are so narrow. It's easy to put a lot of power down this way, and the drop bars give you a lot of grip options so you can shift yourself around while riding, avoiding fatigue. Gearing will be higher than a hybrid because you are expected to be in cycling shape, and you probably won't be climbing monster hills like you'd see off-road.

A touring bike is basically a road bike with a stronger frame and wheels, wider gear range (generally "mountain" grupos), and more relaxed geometry (more seat tube angle, taller bars, etc.) Some riders opt for mountain or trekking bars for more leverage when carrying things on a front rack.
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Old 10-27-11, 09:15 PM   #6
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Wow...Had no clue that the road bikes were different enough to tell with pedaling. why didn't I get a road bike to start with? LOL. well, I do think I will be getting one when I lose these 80 pounds as my reward!
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Old 10-27-11, 09:27 PM   #7
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I just recently (last weekend) got my new road bike. A Trek 1.2.

I also have a Trek 7.2fx hybrid. It's a great bike, but there's really no comparison. The 1.2 is lighter, faster, and much more responsive.
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Old 10-27-11, 09:40 PM   #8
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Simplified

Road bikes are light, more aero dynamic and allows you to go fast. The trade-off is the kind of terrain it can go on.

Hybrids are more aero-dynamic than a mountain bike but heavier than a road bike so it uses more leg power to push a hybrid compared to road bike. Aero dynamics also play a part in speed because you'll have more wind resistance on a hybrid.

More technical stuff


-Road bikes have thiner wheels compared to hybrids which reduces drag ( wind resistance ).

- Road bikes are lighter due to lighter wheels, frame and so on thus easier to accelerate compared to a heavier bike.

-Road bikes have drop bars which force you into a more comfortable aero position compared to ducking on a flat bar on a hybrid ( getting bar ends might help you a bit more ).

- Hybrid wins if your travelling on the pavement, or bad terrain such as dirt paths.

What I pick

I use a hybrid because it's more versatile and I can only afford one bike. So there are your basic facts about road bikes and hybrids.
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Old 10-28-11, 07:26 AM   #9
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I have both a hybrid and a road bike and like having both. The road bike is for long rides on good pavement. I can go faster and further than if I took the hybrid.

My hybrid is used around town and on dirt road and path rides. Around down it is nicer than the road bike because I am sitting more upright and it makes it easier to see when negotiating traffic and such in town. I put slightly larger, knobbier tires on it so it is almost like a hard tail mountain bike.
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Old 10-28-11, 08:05 AM   #10
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...
- Hybrid wins if your travelling on the pavement, or bad terrain such as dirt paths.

What I pick

I use a hybrid because it's more versatile and I can only afford one bike. So there are your basic facts about road bikes and hybrids.
I presume your "pavement" is like British, what Americans call "sidewalk," right?

I'll throw two more considerations into the stew.

First, there's at least two different kinds of bikes being sold as "hybrids" nowadays. One is what we used to call a rigid mountain bike with slick tires, the other is built like a road bike without drop bars. They're pounds apart in weight and handle more like their predecessors than like the other flavor.

Second, a touring bike (as sillygolem alluded) is a road bike, but allows wide latitude in choosing tires. Fat tires, say 700Cx37, can give you a comfortable ride on anything reasonable (no curbs, please). Skinnier tires, say 28-32, roll about as well as a racing bike. With capacity to haul a load, fit fenders, and ride decent trails as well as roads, I think a touring bike is the ultimate in bicycle versatility.
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Old 10-28-11, 08:13 AM   #11
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You're in serious danger.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen55 View Post
I was sitting here thinking about road bikes after reading a post on another forum. It got me to wondering what the major differences are between a real road bike and my Hybrid trek 7000?
You just went clipless. Now you're thinking about a road bike. Soon you'll have less money in your checking account, and a big smile on your face. Don't say we didn't warn you.

A (well tuned) road bike is the most energy-efficient form of transportation you can buy. You push down on the pedal, and it leaps forward like a horse. As other people have said, it puts you into a very different position than a hybrid, with your weight somewhat more centered over the BB, and your legs closer to a standing position, with your back stretched out forward. This lets you deliver more power to the pedals, makes it easier to spin them quickly, and makes you more aero-dynamic. The drop bars give you a variety of different hand and back positions, so you can move yourself around over the course of a long ride.

Road bikes are meant to go fast, first and foremost. They're the easiest bikes to "fly" on, and they tend to make climbing very easy, at least until it gets so steep that the lower gearing on a hybrid.

You can take a bike with 700x23 tires on the dirt, but you have to go pretty slow and do it gingerly. I do. Several of my favorite routes go by nice parks, and I like to go through them and check out the scenery. But they come into their own light on the pavement. My road bike is also my mountain bike, but there are road through the mountains.
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Old 10-28-11, 09:43 AM   #12
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I really like my Trek Madone 4.5 Road Bike. I put 2500 miles on my Trek 7300 Hybrid before I switched. Riding into the wind is not nearly as hard with it as the Hybrid. The more Aero position with the lower handlebar requires stronger core muscles. Otherwise all that weight from bending foward will be on your hands. If you want to go to a road bike start working on your core muscles. It'll help with the Hybrid but is really the key to being comfortable on a road bike.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:22 PM   #13
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For a slight variant opinion, what everyone said is true except:

Some "road" bikes are made to be more relaxed, and put the handlebars at or above seat height. These are targeted for a less aerodynamic but possibly more comfortable riding position.

As was mention, some "road" bikes are touring bikes, with frame geometry very similar to hybrids as far as seat angle and chainstay length, and are targeted not for aerodynamics but for all day comfort and heavy loads.

Some "hybrids" are really flat bar road bikes, and have the stiffness, short chainstays, and nimble feeling of a road bike, but without the drop bars and corresponding aerodynamic advantage. My bike falls in this category, with my handlebars 5" below my seat, and the need for a strong core like Jethro mentioned.

Rather than reward yourself with a road bike, reward yourself with a bike that meets what you desire, regardless of label.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:36 PM   #14
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Imsure Ill know more about what I want when that time comes as I read and research. Ive still got about 90 pounds to go. Needless to say, it won't be next week.
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Old 10-28-11, 01:47 PM   #15
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Why wait until you're under 200lbs? Going for a new lightweight I take it?

I started back riding at 242 lbs a couple years ago on a 1972 Peugeot AO8 and moved on to a 26 pound 1977 Raleigh Super Grand Prix and finally to a 29 pound 1979 Raleigh Super Grand Prix.

I'm now down to 209 and still blasting around in the '79, vintage bikes are great but are not for everyone.
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Old 10-28-11, 02:32 PM   #16
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Different tools for different jobs.

Yeah, road bikes are faster/more efficient/all that, but if you like riding long distances, they're MUCH more comfortable as well. They're built to go faster, sure, but they're designed to handle speed and distance more comfortably.

The hybrid is MUCH more comfortable cruising slowly on the MUP, cruising to the grocery store, etc, but is awful when riding harder or long distances (I was doing over 50 mile rides on a hybrid before my road bike). The road bike is infinitely more comfortable on long rides and fast rides, but it's actually very uncomfortable when going slow.

It sounds strange, but the road bike is more comfortable when actually working/pedaling, and the hybrid is more comfortable when you're going slow. It's about the weight balance for me at least. When working harder, the weight is more on my legs, less on hands and seat, so I can go for hours on end if I'm pedaling constantly. When going slow though, the weight all ends up on rear end and hands. So when riding slow, like on the MUP with my wife or to a restaurant, the hybrid is the way to go.
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Old 10-28-11, 09:04 PM   #17
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Another reason to start on a hybrid: If you're an adult who hasn't ridden since childhood, the road bike may be intimidating. Your center of gravity is higher and you're farther forward, and if you're not used to it, it will seem tippy and hazardous. There was a number of years where I didn't ride at all, then got back on my mountain bike a little bit. The first time I got on my road bike when starting back up, it was uncomfortable and intimidating. After I'd ridden my mountain bike and then hybrid a good bit, I started back on the road bike and remembered how much more I liked it.
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Old 10-29-11, 02:04 AM   #18
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I have a road bike and mountain bike. The mtn bike is nice. I use it to go arounf town. It can take my energy to pedal it but it only makes me stronger in the long run.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE my Giant defy road bike.

If I could get another bike.... it would be a touring bike. I need and want the gearing selection for climbing.
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Old 10-29-11, 06:03 AM   #19
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+1 on the distance criterion- I try to ride my Giant Cypress for shorter rides, but switch to my Ross Signature Road bike for anything farther. It eliminates a lot of back issues for me, which seem to stem from riding in an upright position. I tend to run 700 x 32s on my Giant, but I can run a wide range of tires on the Ross. I currently run Kenda 700x 25s on the Ross
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Old 10-29-11, 02:13 PM   #20
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Another reason to start on a hybrid: If you're an adult who hasn't ridden since childhood, the road bike may be intimidating. Your center of gravity is higher and you're farther forward, and if you're not used to it, it will seem tippy and hazardous. There was a number of years where I didn't ride at all, then got back on my mountain bike a little bit. The first time I got on my road bike when starting back up, it was uncomfortable and intimidating. After I'd ridden my mountain bike and then hybrid a good bit, I started back on the road bike and remembered how much more I liked it.
This is one of the reasons I bought a hybrid to start. The road bike and the positioning to ride it was intimidating. I rode both and the hybrid just felt much better and safer, for now.

Long term I have set the goal that once I get more comfortable on a bike again and lose a little more weight I will give a road bike another try. If at that time it feels right I'm going to reward myself and buy a road bike and then just switch as I see fit. Having been using a spinning bike at the Y recently due to weather I can already tell a huge difference in what I could expect from a pure riding perspective (a whole lot more speed and riding endurance for starters), it's just getting comfortable enough to ride one first.
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Old 10-30-11, 02:54 AM   #21
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Another option is the cyclocross bike. A little bit "racier" in design than a pure touring bike (shorter wheelbase), but with the same heavy duty brakes and wheels. Lower priced 'cross bikes have rack and fender eyelets.
My better half has ridden road bikes all his life, but now that we live in a place where the roads are falling apart, most of his miles have been on a Ridley Crossbow with 32c touring tires.
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Old 10-30-11, 03:02 AM   #22
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I started with mountain bike, turned it into a hybrid and now went full roadie . I do not even want to think about the cost of trying to turn my mountain bike into a road bike, was not worth it but fun learning how to build bikes. Now I have to turn my mtn back to a mtn bike but luckily I saved all the parts. I am riding road 95 percent of the time now on a dedicated road bike.
Personal advice, ride the hybrid and have fun, save for a road bike down the road or buy a cheap craiglist one, just don't follow my inexperienced steps of spending wads of cash for nothing.
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Old 10-30-11, 11:44 AM   #23
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I too have a Hybrid bike (Trek Navigator 1.0) and after doing a 28.5 mile ride last week (with ChefIsaac) I quickly realized that the bike is too heavy and lacks the proper gearing to keep up on touring rides as other riders get stronger. I am actively saving and looking at road bikes (and possibly having wheels built if needed).
On the straight flats, I get about 1/8 mile behind due to running out of gears (and not wanting to spin like crazy and burning out) and on the climbs (albeit mild compare to the guys out west), the lower gearing is OK but the bike is heavy and you can feel that the power isn't being put down as efficiently as you'd like.

Some bikes I am looking at are:
Giant Defy Series
Cannondale CAAD8 (LBS has a good sale on these right now)
Trek 1&2 series
and of course, the ebay of Craig's list bargain!
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Old 10-31-11, 04:00 PM   #24
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One thing to watch out for road bikes is that they have very narrow handlebars. Appareantly at a 49cm shoulder span (bone to bone, not deltoid to deltoid), I am considered some kind of freak as far as cyclists go I dunno your shoulder width but most people feel a little cooped up if they're on a handle bar narrower than their shoulders, I certainly did on 44cm drops.

Also, hybrids are still great for some light mountainbiking, fire roads and all of that. They're also good candidatesw for tourers. You can always just lower your flat bars if you want to get more aero, and there's a few handle bar options out there if you want more hand positions.
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Old 10-31-11, 04:29 PM   #25
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One thing to watch out for road bikes is that they have very narrow handlebars. Appareantly at a 49cm shoulder span (bone to bone, not deltoid to deltoid), I am considered some kind of freak as far as cyclists go I dunno your shoulder width but most people feel a little cooped up if they're on a handle bar narrower than their shoulders, I certainly did on 44cm drops.
Like other components, handlebars are sized generically based on the frame size. Larger frames get wider bars. Even so, most shops will swap bars for nominal fee on a new bike. Some that are super service oriented may do it for free.
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