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Old 08-15-07, 07:59 AM   #1
philmarion
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Need a new hybrid - help please.

I have a 1992 Miyata Triplecross. I ride it to work every day and on weekends. It is going in to it's 3 generation of replacement parts. The rear derailer shifter needs replacing and a new back rim is in order. I wonder if I need a new bike. I certainly could afford a $1000 new hybrid bike but seriously, why should I bother buying a new bike? Every time I get serious about buying a new bike I guess I start feeling guilty about trading my trusty ol' Miyata in for something younger and newer. Is this misspent loyalty? Is there really any reason why a new bike would be better? Doesn't it just make sense to keep buying new components as they get old and need replacing? Is it more cost efficient to replace components or buy a complete new bike every 10 years?
This is a serious and sincere post. I really wonder if buying a new bike is a waste of money if all I need is a few new components every year. Has bike technology changed to the point that I should retire the 1993 Miyata? As far as I know a bike is just a frame and components. Why would I want a new bike? Is chromoly outdated now? With cars and computers the technology improves every year. Clearly upgrading every 5 years is good. I don't know if that is the case with bikes.
One important aspect has been that my back and right ankle are starting to hurt more and more. This is what is making me wonder if I need a new bike since it might mean less wear and tear on my body. I am 45 years old now so I am not the spring chicken I once was. I do have 1 killer hill on my daily ride (both ways as it is a steep ravine). Do I really need a new bike or does this sound like I need to pay someone $50 to make sure my current bike is ergonomically suited for my body?
The Miyata frame is old and scratched, I doubt any of the other original parts remain other than the handle bar and front forks, but what advantage would a new bike bring? Is it silly consumerism to want a new bike when buying new components is just as good of an option?
I sincerely thank all replies in advance. I haven't bought a bike since 1992. So can you recommend a decent $1000 hybrid. I am not up to speed on what bike manufacturers are good nowadays. There is a Trek store near my house. I live in a major city Toronto and should be able to find most bike makes. I know Miyata is no longer sold here.
Sincerest thanks to all who offer reasoned and well intended replies (I encountered a few jerks in the road racing forum)
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Old 08-15-07, 08:54 AM   #2
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The only thing you're going to gain by buying new is saving a little weight, a few extra unnecessary gears, and disc brakes if you want them.

If you're willing to spend $1k for the modest improvements, take a look at the Jamis Coda line. Use the search function to see the hundreds of threads that talk about them.

The Triplecross is a nice hybrid. Still.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:04 AM   #3
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I faced the same situation two years ago, with a 15 yr old bike that had a lot of miles on it. My rear wheel needed replacement, as did my sprockets, chain, and rear derailer.

I bought new and kept that bike as a backup. I tuned it up as best I could and replaced 3 broken spokes. My son uses it, too. I figure I rely on my bike too much to be putzing around with it so often.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:09 AM   #4
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I have a Miyata 600 GT, a very sweet ride, which I unfortunately don't ride much.

If you are experiencing joint pain, you may want to test ride a variety of bikes to see if you find a different one more comfortable - there really is not much to lose in test riding, anyway.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:29 AM   #5
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Sounds to me like you're pretty much already talked yourself out of a new bike. Seriously, though, there's really nothing that a new bike will bring that you don't already have, except shiny. If you want to look for a good hybrid, though, you don't need to spend 1K. I bought my '05 Giant Sedona, equipping it with a pannier rack, water bottle and cage, kickstand (yes, those are extra now), flat repair kit with a universal tool, panniers, good lights, and a cycleputer with cadence for under US$650. Since then I've added a Brooks saddle and Specialized Armadillo tires.

If your bike is working for you and you've got it set up so you can ride comfortably, then I'd just stick with the old one and save the cash. As far as your knees are concerned, have you talked to your doctor about that? I did and it turned out that I've started with the old arthritis thing. He said that riding actually delayed the onset a bit, since my muscles have been compensating, but it's there for sure. Now I take Celebrex and an anti-inflammatory daily along with my breakfast. I've changed my riding habits a little so I go for a higher cadence up hills, and I seem to be doing fine.

I saw an ortho/sports med guy a while ago about some shoulder pain I was having. He injected cortisone and that's doing much better now too. Talking to him, though, he said that I could look forward to requiring knee replacement in both knees later in life. His advice was to ride as long as I could, since its considered low impact (has he ridden many hills??) and actually helps delay the requirement for replacement.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:36 AM   #6
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I have a Miyata 600 GT, a very sweet ride, which I unfortunately don't ride much.

If you are experiencing joint pain, you may want to test ride a variety of bikes to see if you find a different one more comfortable - there really is not much to lose in test riding, anyway.
Thanks to all the replies thus far.
Rajman, I see you are in T.O. as well. So do places like Cycle Path or Duke's allow you to test the bike? What value is that though in the sense that many of the pains and aches may be from stress repetitive movements? Would that emerge after a 10 minute ride?
Any recommendations on local bike stores (Finch to downtown)? I haven't looked at bike stores since 1993. I bought mine from Dukes at the time. Any brand recommendations?
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Old 08-15-07, 09:49 AM   #7
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Sounds to me like you're pretty much already talked yourself out of a new bike. Seriously, though, there's really nothing that a new bike will bring that you don't already have, except shiny.
Perhaps... actually I have always suspected that my bike was already more than adequate. I realise that there is much that I DON'T know and for that reason I decided to ask more knowledgible bike enthusiasts. I just wanted to confirm that there was no quantum leap in bike technology that I had missed and was depriving myself. Also I am wondering if the aches I am feeling are due to an old bike. I've ridden alot for 30 years and it is only this year that my ankle (not knee), and back is bugging me. I definitely will ensure that whatever I choose to do, getting the bike spec'ed for me is a priority.
Essentially I owe myself a expensive present. For my birthday my spouse bought me the frou-frou girly dog she always wanted. She said I can buy her a man-sized bike in return. Essentially we are buying ourself a present on eachother's birthday. So, instead of a bike I might buy her a lense for my camera. This way we always give the perfect gift!
I have no problem spending $1000 on a new hybrid. I will definitely get my money's worth. I'll ride it almost every day and hopefully get 15 years service from it as I have from the Miyata. But if replacing the components as they wear out is not depriving me of any big difference I'll keep my ol' green Miyata running. The advantage of a scratched old bike is that it doesn't draw the attention of crack thieves/joy riders.
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Old 08-15-07, 09:53 AM   #8
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Well, depending on your existing level of components & how much you spend on a new bike, you might get a bit better shifting, more reliable, lighter, etc. But since you're talking about a commuter, the lighter probably isn't a big deal. After all, there's lots of ways to find to take a couple of pounds off a bike with lights, fender, mudflaps, a variety of bags, etc. Or take a couple of pounds off the rider

The main thing you might like (IMO) about a new bike is some new geometry which might be a bit easier on your body parts. No idea how, ask the LBS & spend a good bit of time test riding. As far as chromoly being outdated... a lot of people still prefer steel bikes, especially if weight isn't a big factor. And chromoly is still one of the best bike steels around.

Plenty of people over on the vintage forum riding bikes 40+ years old. With a little care and appreciation, there isn't much of a limit on the life of a steel frame/fork.

All that said, there is something fun about a new bike, discovering its quirks and pecularities. Then after you ride it a while, you can swap back and re-discover things about your old bike. I'm convinced that it takes several long term affairs with different bikes to determine what you really like if you're ever looking for the "ultimate" bike.
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Old 08-15-07, 10:17 AM   #9
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My "new" bike is a blue 1992 Miyata triplecross... it's great and I just replaced the rear wheel because the freewheel was causing broken axles (when combined with my clydeness). I would not be lured by new bikes. Cro-mo is not outdated, Surly, Soma, Lemond are still pumping them out.

One thing I noticed when I was tuning my triplecross was that the handlebar was shorter than I'm accustomed to and very heavy. I replaced it with a modern carbon mtb bar, probably saving a pound.

Another different is that if you have stock parts, the chainrings are the eliptical Biopace design. I noticed the difference immediately and it seems better on my knees.

Miyata's never die, do not give it up.
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Old 08-15-07, 10:33 AM   #10
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My "new" bike is a blue 1992 Miyata triplecross...

Miyata's never die, do not give it up.
HMMM, that's the one I had stolen from me before I bought the '93 Miyata. Mine was inconspicuous grey though. I am noticing a fair number of old Miyata's one the street lately. I guess it was one sturdy bike. Before the Miyata I had a Mongoose Bushpig that I liked.
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Old 08-15-07, 10:34 AM   #11
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Plenty of people over on the vintage forum riding bikes 40+ years old. With a little care and appreciation, there isn't much of a limit on the life of a steel frame/fork.
I am older than these Vintage bikes....does that make me a vintage rider?
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Old 08-15-07, 11:50 AM   #12
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So essentially if I decide to buy a new hybrid can anyone recommend a good brand? Miyata are not sold here any more and it's been decades since I've paid any attention to bike brands.
I'd like to spend about $1000.

THANKS!
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Old 08-16-07, 06:59 AM   #13
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I went out looking for hybrids lately but have ended up getting pretty excited about a Giant FCR2 which is a modified road bike. That might be something to consider. The FCR1 has better components, I understand (and bumps you closer to that $1,000). I found this a lot more fun than a hybrid but just as comfortable. Not sure if this is your style, but might be worth a check. I never thought I'd end up looking at road bikes and a lot felt very bumpy and uncomfortable so this was just a revelation.
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Old 08-16-07, 11:23 AM   #14
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Thanks to all the replies thus far.
Rajman, I see you are in T.O. as well. So do places like Cycle Path or Duke's allow you to test the bike? What value is that though in the sense that many of the pains and aches may be from stress repetitive movements? Would that emerge after a 10 minute ride?
Any recommendations on local bike stores (Finch to downtown)? I haven't looked at bike stores since 1993. I bought mine from Dukes at the time. Any brand recommendations?
I wouldn't buy a bike from a LBS that wouldn't allow you to test ride (sometimes they won't let you if it's raining or snowing, but that is pretty reasonable).

While you are right that repetitive strain problems may not emerge after a 15 minute ride, it still is of value, IMHO.
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Old 08-16-07, 11:57 AM   #15
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Thanks for your PM message Rajman and the product recomendation Mulchie!

I was casually looking at hybrids a few weeks ago - the brand names escape me mostly since I really wasn't seriously considering a purchase at the time. I am fortunate to live in a megalopolis with dozens of bike stores with numerous bike manufacturers. I am willing to spend $1000 which should get me a sweet bike. Are there any brand names at that price point that one should definitely avoid? I seem to recall a Norco hybrid at that price in one of the stores. I have an innate dislike of that brand for no particular rational reason.
Conversely, any hybrid manufacturers that are head and shoulders above the others?
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Old 08-16-07, 12:48 PM   #16
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Jamis,Ibex,Kona,Marin,and Novara(REI) all give you nicely specc'd bikes for the money. Cannondales are expensive for what you get because they're made in the US. Most other companies give you just what you're paying for.
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Old 08-16-07, 01:55 PM   #17
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Hey dynaryder.... what do you think about the Giant FCR2?
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Old 08-16-07, 02:12 PM   #18
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I wouldn't want those low spoke count wheels on crappy DC roads,but I don't know what conditions are like where you live. I also rock disc brakes. Will it take full fenders? Not my cup of tea,but it seems like a nice bike.

Novara(REI) has a bike called the Express for about the same price with higher spec bits. Any '07's left should prolly be on sale too.
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Old 08-16-07, 02:22 PM   #19
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In Toronto, both Sweet Pete's (formerly Cycle Path) and Duke's carry Kona bikes (as well as others, duh). I highly recommend checking out the Dew series of bikes.

Sweet Pete's also carry's Trek, Cycle Path carries Cannondale and a few others in addition to Kona.

Enjoy.

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Old 08-17-07, 07:44 AM   #20
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In Toronto, both Sweet Pete's (formerly Cycle Path) and Duke's carry Kona bikes (as well as others, duh). I highly recommend checking out the Dew series of bikes.

Sweet Pete's also carry's Trek, Cycle Path carries Cannondale and a few others in addition to Kona.

Enjoy.
I am assuming the Dew is a line from Kona. I am at Yonge & Davisville where there's a Trek store. Is this solely devoted to Trek bikes? What do you think of them? Thanks for your help!
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Old 08-17-07, 07:52 AM   #21
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Quick question to all you big brained people...

...what are the advantages/disadvantages of disk brakes? Do they break better? only in wet weather? Are they more likely to break and require expensive maintenance?

...Are there any websites that have done bike product reviews where I could read (hopefully impartial) evaluations of hybrid bikes? These sites exist for cameras and computers - do they exist for bikes?
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Old 08-17-07, 07:58 AM   #22
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Sounds to me like you're pretty much already talked yourself out of a new bike.
Well I've talked myself out of ditching the old bike in favor of a new bike. I think instead I'll keep the old one AND get a new one. I once believed you only needed one watch and one computer and one camera. Now I own several of each. I guess having only one bike is an idea I have let go of.
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Old 08-17-07, 08:06 AM   #23
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One of the reasons I am asking about brand recommendations is that the hybrids I have looked at all appear to be considerably different in design. When I last bought a bike in 1993 ALL the frames essentially looked identical - the Miyata was diferent. I think it had revolutionary triple butted welds that made it better than most.
Now I notice there is huge variation in bike frame shapes - some have larger tubing, some have different shapes (not round but flattenned) so it makes me wonder if there is huge difference in the ride between them. I wonder if some companies sacrifice smooth ride or power transfer for a certain 'look' that they believe would sell better. I'd prefer a bike that rides better over a bike that is designed to sell rather than to perform. That's the kind of info, opinion that I am interested in - thanks again to all those who take the time to help me out. MUCH appreciated!
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Old 08-17-07, 12:29 PM   #24
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...what are the advantages/disadvantages of disk brakes? Do they break better? only in wet weather? Are they more likely to break and require expensive maintenance?
For commuters,the only real disadvantages for disc brakes are the initial cost is higher and it can be tricky to mount fenders and racks. Disc brakes stop as hard as a properly set up set of V's,but are uneffected by rain and snow,require fewer/easier adjustments,have much longer pad life,do not wear on the wheel rims,and still work if the wheel's out of true. Disc brake pads are usually easier to change than rim brake pads,replacing a worn rotor is much easier than rebuilding a wheel,and you don't have to disconnect/reconnect(or forget to) your brakes when removing the wheels.


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...Are there any websites that have done bike product reviews where I could read (hopefully impartial) evaluations of hybrid bikes? These sites exist for cameras and computers - do they exist for bikes?
There's MTB Review for MTB's and RoadBike Review for road bikes,but I've never seen a site just for hybrids(or any other subtype of bike). Basically your best shot is to search the forums or post a question about the model you're looking at.
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Old 08-17-07, 01:41 PM   #25
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Roadbike Review does have a section for hybrids. Click here

The Jamis line gets a lot of love on these boards. Same with the Kona Dew, Trek FX, and Specialized Sirrus. As far as the differences between all of them, go out and test ride a bunch of them and see which one feels right to you. The tubing used and geometry angles affect the riding experience, and will vary in appearance based on Aluminum (larger O.D.), steel (smaller O.D.), aero vs. normal, etc.

On a different note, have you considered a drop bar road bike or cyclocross bike? You have a hybrid that works, maybe add something different to the stable. Different cameras do different things well, so do different bicycles.

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