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  1. #1
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    Doing my research

    I've starting my reasearch into getting my first "real" (read: non-Walmart sub-$100 junk) bike. I have settled on getting a Hybrid since I prefer that seating arrangement. Other than being a Clyde (268 and dropping), I have a rather short inseam (30") for being 5'8" and I think the only real bell/whistle I'd like are disc brakes. I am not opposed at all to prior year models or even used equipment, either. I'd just like to stay below about $500, just to keep the wife happy. I spend too much on bowling and cars as it is, lol!

    I've been doing the web thing for now since I don't have a LBS that I frequent. so... here we go!

    Which LBS(s) would those in the Memphis area suggest?
    Are there any Brands/Lines that I should stay clear of?
    Any and all other suggestions are more than welcome!

    Thanks
    Rick
    Last edited by WebFootFreak; 09-27-13 at 11:00 AM. Reason: Grammar > Me

  2. #2
    Rolling roadblock
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    The Trek 7.2FX Disc MSRPs at 599, should be able to find one a bit under that.
    It seems that Specialized, Giant, and Cannondale don't get discs on hybrids until the ~$700 price point.

    Matt
    With every ride, I get a little stronger. I gain a little stamina. I gain a little pride. And so I await the next ride...

    Riding slow is not a sign of weakness. Quitting is.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    I enjoyed my Trek 7.2 FX and DS 8.3, but wish I would have invested in a road bike sooner now that I have one.

  4. #4
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Sorry, this is another instance where I think a hybrid is the absolute wrong choice for you.

    Consider a road bike ... especially used, at that price point.

  5. #5
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    A nice used modern road bike with STI shifting and learn to ride on the hoods. Don't think you have to ride in the drops. You can eventually learn to use the drops if you do desire like going down hill.

    But really, a decent used road bike for around 500 will get you a bike that was probably around 1000-1500 when new. I generally like wide handlebars so I look for wide drop bars around 44mm. You could even add cross-top brake levers if you wanted to have brakes on the flat portion of the handlebars as well.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  6. #6
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    Here is one in Memphis: http://memphis.craigslist.org/bik/4088607730.html If it fits (looks like it was WAYY too small for the previous owner), then offer them 550 or 600. Much nicer bike for the long term than a hybrid.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  7. #7
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattInFla View Post
    The Trek 7.2FX Disc MSRPs at 599, should be able to find one a bit under that.
    It seems that Specialized, Giant, and Cannondale don't get discs on hybrids until the ~$700 price point.

    Matt
    Matt: I've noted the same thing. That's part of the reason I'm asking here hoping someone has run across something I haven't.



    Quote Originally Posted by ill.clyde View Post
    Sorry, this is another instance where I think a hybrid is the absolute wrong choice for you.

    Consider a road bike ... especially used, at that price point.
    ill.clyde: My primary reason with going hybrid over road is the seating. I find that the more forward leaning I've had to do on a road bike to be quite uncomfortable. My hands also fall asleep quite a bit sooner. Please, why do you think it's the wrong choice? I am very much trying to make an informed decision before I spend the money.

  8. #8
    Senior Member moochems's Avatar
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    I highly reccomend allowing a little extra room in your budget for handlebars, saddle, pedals, and tires.

    Definetly ride whatever you get in the original configuration until you can figure what you don't like about the fit, and what you do like about the fit. Tires, however, may be neccesary to change before the first ride. Those other things may be fine as original, but having budget for replacement parts may be neccesary, maybe the local bike store will fit you with the purchase, wich may nullify my reccomendation. The point is, those parts are personal, and the manufacturers can't predict what will work for you. It might take a couple hundred miles to figure out what handlebar, for example, would work best for you.


    If you like to do your own wrenching, bikesdirectDOTcom might be a good choice.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebFootFreak View Post


    ill.clyde: My primary reason with going hybrid over road is the seating. I find that the more forward leaning I've had to do on a road bike to be quite uncomfortable. My hands also fall asleep quite a bit sooner. Please, why do you think it's the wrong choice? I am very much trying to make an informed decision before I spend the money.
    Road bikes give more hand positions and allow for more aggressive riding. Most fatties like me bought hybrids as their first bike only to discover that road bikes were not really that hard to get used to and can be just as comfortable. Mind you I really like that I can go really low while riding into heavy wind.
    If your hands fall asleep, then you aren't fitted properly to the bike.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  10. #10
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Well, I'm assuming you're riding for overall fitness and more than likely weight loss?

    If that's the case, you're more than likely going to "outride" a hybrid, and eventually want to "go faster" or "go longer distances."

    and in that case, a hybrid presents its own limitation and you'll more than likely be back here, seeking information/recommendations on road bikes

    Bob presents a couple of good options/ideas above. I'm just as "upright" on my road bike, or my CX bike, when I'm on the flat part of the bars or on the hoods.

    I understand the upright position is more comfortable, but with a proper fitting and some adjustment, a road bike needn't be uncomfortable at all.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
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    Oh btw, the reason why I suggest a modern road bike is that they have STI shifting so you can leave your hands on the handlebars while shifting and they have sloping top tubes that help with short inseam people (like me).
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  12. #12
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    bobotech: Apparently I was in the middle of my last reply when you replied. You make very valid points

    ill.clyde: Fitness and wight loss are the primary goals, yes. I'm also working up for my first non-walked 5K and hopefully a short Duathlon soon after that. I'm also learning on here that a fitting is a very good idea.

    Okay... back to the web to look at road bikes... lol!

  13. #13
    Klaatu..Verata..Necktie? genejockey's Avatar
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    Way back when, in 1994 when I started riding, I got a hybrid, for all the reasons one usually get one - upright position, etc. I rapidly outgrew it. I think it took about 6 months before I was hankering for something faster.

    One big problem with both flat bar road bikes and hybrids is that you get one hand position. Add bar ends, maybe two. But the main hand position is with your hands pronated (palm down) and your weight resting across your palms, with your wrist flexed. Lean forward, and of course your hands fall asleep.

    On a road bike, that position is one of at least 4 positions, 3 of which put the hand in a neutral position - hoods, drops, and curve. On the hoods and the drops, the weight rests on your 'lifeline', rather than across your palm. Your wrists are straight.

    You also have at least 4 different levels of 'uprightness' available, and thus aerodynamics.

    You can set the bike up so that the reach to the tops put you even more upright than your flat bar, and then the hoods will put you just a little more aero, and the drops - which you won't use much - more aero still.
    "Don’t take life so serious—it ain’t nohow permanent."

  14. #14
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebFootFreak View Post
    bobotech: Apparently I was in the middle of my last reply when you replied. You make very valid points

    ill.clyde: Fitness and wight loss are the primary goals, yes. I'm also working up for my first non-walked 5K and hopefully a short Duathlon soon after that. I'm also learning on here that a fitting is a very good idea.

    Okay... back to the web to look at road bikes... lol!
    Honestly, ride them both, a hybrid and a road bike ... Compare the two. Keep "doing your reasearch." Ride as many bikes as you can.

    I'm not saying my advice is gospel

    I just know how many times we've seen someone say, "I want a hybrid because I like the way I sit on it" and then months, maybe a year, later, they come back and say, "I want to go fast, I shouldn't have gotten a hybrid" or, "The hybrid is great, but I can't go as fast or as long as I want."

    At around 260, your options open WAY up, and the need for custom parts or higher spoke count/beefier wheels go way down which are the main reasons clydes typically seek out hybrids or worse, comfort bikes.

    The problem will be your budget. It's hard to get a "nice" entry level road bike at that price. So shop around. Check out your LBS and used bikes on CL in particular. If you have a Performance bike shop nearby that's a nice way to save a little money without buying online.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebFootFreak View Post

    Okay... back to the web to look at road bikes... lol!
    Mind you with approx a 500 dollar budget, you will be looking at used or possibly bikes direct or their outlet bike island.

    For example, this one is new with cosmetic issues:
    http://bikeisland.com/cgi-bin/BKTK_S...ls&ProdID=2620
    $549.

    Only thing is that you should get it checked out by someone who knows how to build bikes but component wise, its a good deal.
    "When dealing with stuff like this consider that this is a bicycle, not a spaceship." -- FBinNY

  16. #16
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    Definately ride as many bikes as you can, road and hybrid. I started out on a hybrid, quickly got the road bike bug, bought a road bike, road it for maybe six months and decided it wasn't for me. I've been riding hybrids ever since and that was 1995 or 1996. It really depends on what type of riding you end up doing and that's hard to know until you start riding and find out what you like and don't like. If you end up emphasizing speed and distance then a road bike is absolutely the best choice. If you discover you like adventure biking (mixed pavement and gravel/dirt road/hard packed earth) then a road bike is not a good choice.

    I would strongly advise against getting a hybrid with any kind of suspension. If you just want a bike to cruise along with, get a beach style cruiser bike. If you want a bike for fairly quick and short to medium distance rides, get a hybrid like the Trek FX series. Fast and/or long distance, get a road bike. Adventure biking, get a cyclo-cross or the new "gravel grinder" category of bike.

    I'm gonna disagree with the majority here. I would never recommend a road bike for a first-timer. They are very specialized, very limited in what they can do and they are near the top of the ladder in expense.

    This is my new bike that I just spent a decent amount of money building up. I can put skinny tires and light wheels on it and have a 24 lb flat-bar road bike, I can ride it with heavy touring wheels and tires (as shown here) and have a 26 lb hybrid, I can put 45mm knobby tires on it and have a good off-pavement dirt riding bicycle, I can put racks and fenders on it and have a first-class commuter bike or a decent, light touring bike. It's very versatile and about the only things I couldn't do on it are fast club rides or singletrack, neither of which interests me anyway. To me, this is the type of bike the average person is best served by.

    Handsome Devil Hybrid resized.jpg
    Last edited by corwin1968; 09-27-13 at 01:10 PM.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  17. #17
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    Saved "bikeisland.com". I have no worries about building a bike and I can always repaint to something more my taste.

    ill.clyde: the fact that so many of those threads have been seen is why your opinion has weight. If not you saying it, then someone else (for the most part).

    Thanks again everyone for your thoughts... This is why I'm starting my research 3+ months before my purchase. I'm definitely not going to be able to have a stable of bikes!

  18. #18
    Senior Member anthonygeo's Avatar
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    Doing my research

    Hey if you shop around (used) you may find 3 bikes you like. I think a road bike and a mountain bike would be a for sure bet but heck you may find a hybrid as well.
    6 Bikes Still Fat

  19. #19
    Senior Member ill.clyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebFootFreak View Post
    ill.clyde: the fact that so many of those threads have been seen is why your opinion has weight. If not you saying it, then someone else (for the most part).
    Honestly, that's the ONLY reason I do it. Believe it or not, I HAVE recommended hybrids at times, but those are usually very specific cases.

    and like I said, my opinion is far from gospel.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jarrett2's Avatar
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    You can use me as a reference for a cautionary tale. In May I bought a comfort hybrid, Specialized Expedition Sport. Rode it for about a month before I had topped it out and couldn't go any faster despite wanting to. The straw was a guy on a road bike on my trail came by just barely pedaling and I worked as hard as I could to keep up and he just pulled away.

    So my thought was a Trek FX 7.2 would be the answer. It was fine, but not a ton faster really. I think I rode it for a month or so. Then I rode my buddy's Trek DS 8.3 and liked it so I bought one of those as well and ended up leaving the FX 7.2 in the garage mostly. After riding it for another month or so, I did a group ride through some hills with a bunch of road bikers and the difference between a road bike and even a "road" hybrid became very clear. It stoked the fire for a road bike.

    A couple of weeks back, I bought one and have done 300 miles on it or so. I took my hybrid back out for a spin and I just don't find it as comfortable now as a well fitted road bike. Hand numbness, that was a constant struggle on the hybrids, is essentially a thing of the past. I did struggle with getting the saddle correct on the road bike, but I did that as well with the hybrids. Now I'm having a hard time thinking when I will actually jump on my hybrid again for a ride. Maybe I will put some racks on it and use it to run to the store and such, but I'd actually rather have a drop bar style bike for that as well. It may just become a friend bike or trade fodder at this point.

    Basically if you know you like riding a bike and you know that you are going to be riding on pavement, I'd suggest going straight to a road bike instead of going the expensive route like I did.

  21. #21
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    If you haven't got much experience with bike maintenance, I'd stick to going to a bike shop. To be honest, I'd go to a bike shop anyway over Craigslist but that's me. What I'm saying, stop into a local bike shop, seeing how it's the end of the season you may be able to find a deal on a 2012-13 model or even a traded in model (used but most shops stand by their work). Stop in and let them know what you're looking for and that you're on a strict budget, and ask about any recent trade-ins.
    "Just ride it until the wheels fall off!"

  22. #22
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    I'm going to go against the flow here and agree with Corwin1968 to say that, if you want a hybrid to start with, then get one. Yes, you may very well decide on a road bike after riding for a while, but a hybrid is a very good starter bike and a good grocery-getter/beater bike after or if you've gotten a road bike. Kona make bikes with longish top tubes that would suit your dimensions well and have some very good value-for-money choices such as the Kona Dew Plus. (Keep in mind that the price you see on this web page is a Canadian price and will be lower where you live.)
    http://www.konaworld.com/dew_plus.cfm

  23. #23
    Senior Member WebFootFreak's Avatar
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    I kind of shocked myself on Friday. When I saddled up, I manually put the chain on the largest crank sprocket (front deraileur took a dive) and took off. Now I'll be the first to say that I stayed on relatively flat ground. My elevation change was maybe 100' total. Since I didn't have a lot of time, I decided to try my neighborhood route that I've been thinking of for a sprint course. It turns out that it's a 3.3 mile lap with a lot of twisties since it goes through 3 subdivisions and back down a highway.

    So.. In the dark, I went 6.6 mi in 31:10 (12.7 avg mph). I was winded, yes, but when I looked at my rear sprocket, I noted that I was one gear from topped out. I guess that means that I definitely need to go with a road bike. I like the speed

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhodabike View Post
    I'm going to go against the flow here and agree with Corwin1968 to say that, if you want a hybrid to start with, then get one. Yes, you may very well decide on a road bike after riding for a while, but a hybrid is a very good starter bike and a good grocery-getter/beater bike after or if you've gotten a road bike.
    +1

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by WebFootFreak View Post
    I kind of shocked myself on Friday. When I saddled up, I manually put the chain on the largest crank sprocket (front deraileur took a dive) and took off. Now I'll be the first to say that I stayed on relatively flat ground. My elevation change was maybe 100' total. Since I didn't have a lot of time, I decided to try my neighborhood route that I've been thinking of for a sprint course. It turns out that it's a 3.3 mile lap with a lot of twisties since it goes through 3 subdivisions and back down a highway.

    So.. In the dark, I went 6.6 mi in 31:10 (12.7 avg mph). I was winded, yes, but when I looked at my rear sprocket, I noted that I was one gear from topped out. I guess that means that I definitely need to go with a road bike. I like the speed
    I'm also into the speed aspect of bicycling however, it’s hardly likely you’d need a road bike with an average speed of just 12.7 MPH. My portly mountain bikes with 26” wheels all have 48 teeth large chainrings and 11 tooth cogs in the rear and I yield upper 17’s to low 19’s average speeds depending upon my routes, but I’m nowhere near the need for a road bike (though I own a 2011 Trek 2.1 road bike). I actually prefer to ride my portly mountain bikes for numerous reasons and slow isn’t one of those reasons. I recently rode my 35 pound Trek Wahoo 29er hardtail to JimThorpe, PA and back, a 200-mile ride, so don't let anyone kid you, a hybrid and a mountain bike can be used to ride very long distances (and I'm 57 years old).

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