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  1. #1
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    Buying new hybrid: Opinions please!!

    So I'm sick and tired of my HEAVY mtn. bike for commuting. Background: my commute is 20 miles one way, and I'd really like to be doing the round trip 3-4x/week. I think a new, lighter, more road worthy bike will so help me attain this goal.

    Anyways, just checking out the LBS's (we only have 2) and I can only afford around $600. I found this:

    http://www.mielebicycles.com/en/velo...&COLOR=ALUPOLI

    What do y'all think? I took it for a spin and it felt good, fast and LIGHT!!! I did like it. Does anyone know anything about these bikes? I'd never heard of them before.

    Any and all opinions welcome! Thx!

  2. #2
    feros ferio John E's Avatar
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    Whatever turns you on. I prefer drop bars for commuting, because of the wide variety of hand positions, but others will concur with your choice.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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  3. #3
    Ex-Lion Tamer Bklyn's Avatar
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    You'll find few people here who will defend hybrids; they're like Hootie and the Blowfish. I don't know anyone who likes them, yet their popularity speaks for itself.

    I have a hybrid, which is not as fun to ride as the road bike, but it's super-reliable. And I don't care if it gets wet or dirty.

    What's your terrain? Do you have a lot of hills? Bad pavement? Bike paths and no rednecks for the full 20 miles?

    If I was buying a new hybrid, I'd look at this Bianchi. It has an internal-geared hub, which sounds great after my derailleur just folded into my spokes and caused a wreck.
    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/bianchi05/611.html
    Quote Originally Posted by unkchunk View Post
    Sure, that sort of behavior might be acceptable in California, where people are all concerned about color video and feelings.

  4. #4
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    I've found adding aero bars to my mtn. bike helps hugely with the hand positioning. I also like the upright position for the most part.

    Bklyn - I'm on highway for mostly the whole commute - it's mostly chip seal, with god-knows-what strewn about. Dodging glass shards, gravelly bits, chunks of sod, tire remnants, etc is not uncommon. So I need a pretty sturdy tire that will withstand all that junk. That's what keeps me from a road bike really. I also have a few short sections of gravel road to go down. I don't know though - can road bikes handle all that?

    Why is your hybrid not as much fun as the road bike?

  5. #5
    Prairie Path Commuter
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    This bike looks very much to me like a ridgid tail MTB cira early 90's. This is what I run and I have a 14 mile one way commute, and judging by pics on this forum lots of other poeple run these bikes too. I think they make good commuters. My Marin has a cromoly steel frame and I don't think it is heavy (although it is no road bike either). Also, if you look at the Touring Forum lots of people run rigid tail MTBs as touring bikes. I assume your current MTB has the suspension style frame and that is why it is heavy.

  6. #6
    Mooninite shakeNbake's Avatar
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    Try to test the Trek FX if you can, they're really good.

  7. #7
    Ex-Lion Tamer Bklyn's Avatar
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    The road bike is more fun because it's lighter, more responsive, and, I don't know, cooler? The hybrid is the minivan, the road bike is, like, a vintage Karman Ghia. The both make the commute in the same time; it's a different mind-set, maybe.
    And I apologize for taking you for a new member; I didn't read your handle, and I misread your join date as June 2006. I hope I didn't condescend.
    Quote Originally Posted by unkchunk View Post
    Sure, that sort of behavior might be acceptable in California, where people are all concerned about color video and feelings.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Mtn_Chick -- I like the multiple personalities of the hybrid. From pavement to gravel to cutting across the grass, hybrid does it all without havinbg to worry too much about it. I've not heard of the Miele bikes. A woman in my building rides the Bianchi Milano. If you like retro styling it is a very pretty bike -- hers is black and like Italian shoes or clothes reflects a tasteful stylish designer. I don't know how it rides and the women who rides it has such a short commute her comments are probably not that relevant. I'll toss in one plug for the Fuji Supreme. I've ridden mine almost 6,000 miles through gravel, dirt, mud, snow, ice, some single track and even pavement and the bike has done it all without problems.
    God grant me the serenity to accept the hills and winds I cannot change;
    courage to challenge the cagers I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
    (with apologies to AA)
    24 mi. roundtrip -- Maryland suburbs to DC and back.

  9. #9
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    You must be Canadian. We don't see many Mieles here in the US. If the bike fits you well and it is a major improvement over your current ride I would say go for it.

    I would, however, try riding at least one bike with drop bars. The ride posture may turn out not to be for you, but I would at least give it a test ride. They tend to be a bit over your price range, but cyclocross bikes are an interesting choice. They seem much more like actual hybrids of road and mtb. bikes.
    Last edited by barba; 06-07-06 at 10:08 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    robmcl - yeah, I have the suspension on the bike I have now. Not sure why I got it - I was commuting last year and the other LBS told me it was a hybrid (as I say I'm pretty clueless in gear/techy stuff - and this new LBS says no) and would be good for hwy commuting. Maybe for some, but not for me!

    Bklyn - no worries, I am only here in the summer, since we have nothing but cold and snow for 7 months of the year. And y'know - I've never seen the road bikes as "cool" looking - no offense to those who do! I just really like the look of the hybrids and if speed isn't much of a difference between the two, I think the hybrid is for me.

    MDNewbie - that's what I'm thinking, I need something fairly versatile. The hybrids seem to fit.

    barba - I guess it is a Cdn company. And good point - if it's a better bike, I have more fun on it, I might as well go for it. For once in my life (Ha!) I'm actually *thinking* before I drop a load of cash on something!!

    I may borrow a friend's road bike for an upcoming race, so I may wait to buy till after the race. Who knows, I may become an obsessed, fanatical roadie!!

  11. #11
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    robmcl - yeah, I have the suspension on the bike I have now. Not sure why I got it - I was commuting last year and the other LBS told me it was a hybrid (as I say I'm pretty clueless in gear/techy stuff - and this new LBS says no) and would be good for hwy commuting. Maybe for some, but not for me!

    Bklyn - no worries, I am only here in the summer, since we have nothing but cold and snow for 7 months of the year. And y'know - I've never seen the road bikes as "cool" looking - no offense to those who do! I just really like the look of the hybrids and if speed isn't much of a difference between the two, I think the hybrid is for me.

    MDNewbie - that's what I'm thinking, I need something fairly versatile. The hybrids seem to fit.

    barba - I guess it is a Cdn company. And good point - if it's a better bike, I have more fun on it, I might as well go for it. For once in my life (Ha!) I'm actually *thinking* before I drop a load of cash on something!!

    I may borrow a friend's road bike for an upcoming race, so I may wait to buy till after the race. Who knows, I may become an obsessed, fanatical roadie!!

  12. #12
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    Whupps! Double post....

  13. #13
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    Ah crap! Yet another post. Darn that there internet...

  14. #14
    Senior Member mtn_chick's Avatar
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    Ah crap! Yet another post. Darn that there internet...

  15. #15
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I ride a hybrid exclusively. I would have a hard time with a road bike on the gravel (sometimes loose, sometimes VERY loose, like sand). I have suspension but I would DEFINITELY NOT get it again even though I ride on rough gravel at times. It doesn't make that much difference IMHO when you're running 32s or larger as I am, and it just adds weight and forces you to make allowances for movement when you run computer cables, etc.
    I think I might like having a touring bike, but that's probably just because I long to go touring. If I lost my bike and had to buy another "only one bike" bike at this point, I'd probably go with another hybrid. Nothing else I've seen in the price range can take the range of tires and abuse and fenders and racks and lights and everything else I want on the bike. A cross bike could probably do it, but I can't buy a cross bike new for $350, and I've been perfectly happy with my current $350 bike, so why spend more?
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  16. #16
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    "Road bike" can describe a wide variety of styles from competition race bikes to more relaxed touring machines. Not all road bikes are limited to narrow tyres. Light touring bikes can easily accomodate 28mm tyres and tourer can take 32mm and wider. Cyclo-cross style bikes can take wider tyres but still have light, agile frames. I use a 32mm on rough roads and tracks in all weather.
    The hybrid you show has a ridgid Al fork; this may be a bit unforgiving. A classic steel touring fork is quite springy and can absorb considerable shock.

  17. #17
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    I may suggest that you save more money and get a cyclocross bike. It has several adavantages over a hybrid.

    1. Usually lighter
    2. Drop bars to get out of the wind.
    3. Cross brake levers let you brake while sitting up.
    4. Rack and fender mounts on most models
    5. Can run wide tires. My poprad has 32 mm which roll A LOT better than my 1.5 MTB slicks

    Get the size that will allow you to easily set the height of the handlebars level with the seat. It will be as comfortable or more than a hybrid.

  18. #18
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
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    Ditto what both MichaelW and BillyBob said. I can't really recommend a hybrid either.

    I commute on what is essentially a touring bike: Slightly longer chainstays, drop bars level with the saddle, 700x25 tires, rack and fenders. I cross railroad tracks with it, ride through rough streets strewn with all sorts of crap, and over a road that's made of a sharp gravel/slurry mix. (What were they thinking?) The only terrain I don't cover in my commute is loose/shifting sand or gravel. While my tires are "skinny" compared with an ATB/hybrid, compared with some racing bikes they are fairly thick. I also run Armadillos for the flat protection.

    Road bikes come in many flavors, and many of those are not hunched over gossamer light racing bikes, but rather are quite suited for your needs. A hybrid is often just a road friendly ATB; ok at lots of things, but not great at anything.

    The upright geometry of a hybrid may also time/distance limit you on rides. Upright riding is fine for short jaunts, but as the ride gets longer can be terrible on the tush and back. A touring/cyclocross road bike with bars level with the saddle gives you a posture that you can ride with for quite long distances, at greater speed for less effort, while having clearance for "fatter" tires if need be, plus fenders, racks, etc.

    My only point of disagreement with MichaelW is on the steel v aluminum fork. Ride comfort comes first and foremost from geometry. One must become a serious "road feel" epicure to find such an appreciable difference between aluminum and steel that that becomes a deciding factor in comfort.
    Good night...and good luck

  19. #19
    Luggite bsyptak's Avatar
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    mtn_chick,

    Was that $600US or $600Cdn? For $600US (or even Cdn), there are better hybrid bikes out there. IMO, it's going to be hard to get a decent road bike for that kind of $. Fuji Newest is one of the few I can think of that would work. Of course, it's bottom of the line. Still decent though. But for a hybrid, you're in the middle of the line. Hybrid bikes are cheaper because they share MTB parts.

    I try not to talk people out of the type of bike they are interested in buying. But I like to suggest diff brands/models that I think are better values. What other brands do the 2 bike shops carry? It is possible that they just don't stock hybrids in the other brands, but can get them in stock in a matter of days.

  20. #20
    Senior Member spinerguy's Avatar
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    Hey
    I am lucky enough to have one bike for the occasion: a decent Cannondale road bike (105 components) a Kona Jake the Snake cyclocross bike (105 components) a Trek 7200fx hybrid without suspension which I’d say it’s comparable to the Miele posted above. It is not a bad ride but essentially I got it for those short jaunts where I don’t need speed & don’t mind lock it up outside for a while.

    The hybrid although it has a nice plushy feel & responsiveness it’s kinda hard to keep a good cadence because it’s heavy in the long run.
    If I could have only one it would be the Kona because it has everything: light, fast enough to hang with any roadie & fat tires for the dirt/gravel paths, I mean we are talking about a little over thousand dollars bike, but again for your budget you should be able to get a high performance hybrid.
    If you can check out the sirrus series or the marin.

  21. #21
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtn_chick
    Background: my commute is 20 miles one way, and I'd really like to be doing the round trip 3-4x/week. I think a new, lighter, more road worthy bike will so help me attain this goal.

    http://www.mielebicycles.com/en/velo...&COLOR=ALUPOLI

    t felt good, fast and LIGHT!!!

    Any and all opinions welcome! Thx!
    20 mile commute? Wow!

    The bicycle seems nice overall. It does have an agressive positioning to keep you driving forward.

    My only concern is the Truvative Isoflow crank. Certainly, Truvative make some great cranks. However, the chainrings are 42/32/22. Also, the cassette is a HG30 which is a 8 speed cassette with a 11-32t range. Here are the gear inches:

    102.2 77.8 53.5
    93.7 71.4 49.1
    80.3 61.2 42.1
    70.2 53.5 36.8
    62.4 47.6 32.7
    53.5 40.8 28.0
    46.8 35.7 24.5
    40.1 30.6 21.0
    35.1 26.8 18.4


    Your heaviest gear is a 102.2. It has been recommended to have a high gear range of 110. If I were commuting 20 miles each way I would want a bigger crank with at least 48t chain ring. IMO
    Last edited by georgiaboy; 06-08-06 at 10:58 AM.
    Would you like a dream with that?

  22. #22
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    Hybrid v. Road

    I own a hybrid and a road bike. Mostly I use my road bike to commute because it's a lot faster and I just enjoy riding it more, though sometimes the going is a little rough because I ride on some nasty streets to get to work here in NYC. However, when it's pouring rain like it has been lately, I like the hybrid because it has wider tires and those awesome v-brakes that are great and reliable in the rain. Also, I have it set up with fenders and bits of it wrapped in tubes, so I don't worry about it getting dirty and gritty (except the drive train, which I clean regularly).

    I will also say that before I discovered that I'm a road bike person at heart, I rode that hybrid everywhere, every day. It was a great bike for me, especially as my first "nice bike" as an adult (previously I trashed a series of cheap crappola bikes). But once I got used to the road machine it became my regular ride.

    Regarding that bike you sent a link to -- $600 USD? My Specialized Sirrus cost less than that brand new at the beginning of the model year, and I think it has nicer components. It's taken quite a beating and still runs like new, even after a New York winter (and yes, I did ride it through both blizzards). Tough little bike, and it is also nice looking (for a hybrid) and fast (for a hybrid). I put Armadillo tires on it and it was good to go (though I hate the suspension seatpost -- if I had known I would hate it I bet the LBS would have switched it out for me).

  23. #23
    Senior Member rykoala's Avatar
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    mnt_chick, I say do some more test rides and see if there's anything else you like. Hybrids tend to be cheaper than road bikes, so that is a factor. You could always move your aero bars to it. I'm not sure how I'd feel about getting a 7 speed bike though. That's very old tech, which tells me they used it because its *cheap*. Make sure its a freehub and not a freewheel for the price. And make sure the wheels are double walled rims not just single wall cheapies.

    Take care and enjoy your commute

  24. #24
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    Road v. hybrid

    Ok, I just wrote a long, detailed response to you and lost it, so I will keep this one very, very short and hopefully very, very sweet.

    I love my road bike most of the time but I love my hybrid when it's pouring rain. Wide tires and V-brakes and fenders, oh my.

    The Specialized Sirrus is an awesome hybrid that you can find for under $600 USD new (mine was less than that at the very beginning of the model year). Reliable, quick, comfy, and tried and true. I beat the crap out of mine over the New York City winter and after a good cleaning it still rides like new. I've heard good things about the Fuji Absolute, which is similar, but personally I think it is a weirdly squirrely ride and not as solid as the Sirrus. I've never heard of the bike you sent the link to.

    Freaking computer. Grr.

  25. #25
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    Cyclocross

    Oh, though I stand by what I just posted, I have to second the idea of a cyclocross bike or a touring bike. If I could only have one bike I would get something like a Surly Crosscheck or a touring bike. Not so pretty but tough, reliable, and flexible. Big or small tires, fenders or no, not too aggressive positioning, flip the stem and it's even more upright. You can ride it on gravel or even a nice trail, or take it on a century. If I had room for a 4th bike I would buy a touring bike. *sigh*

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