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  1. #1
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    MTB or Hybrid - commuting and touring

    So, figuring a starter bike for $5-600 for daily commuting to work and occasional touring - wich would you recommend, a MTB or Hybrid? My current choices are between:
    Trek 3900/4300 mtb
    Scott Sportster P3 hybrid

  2. #2
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I'd recommend a used touring bike.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  3. #3
    Senior Member envane's Avatar
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    If you're serious about the touring aspect, take a look at Giant's Trans Sports line:

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...le/1273/29362/

    I'd recommend against anything with suspension.

  4. #4
    on your left.
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    Quote Originally Posted by envane View Post
    I'd recommend against anything with suspension.
    yeah! whatever you do, no suspension.

    what you need is a used touring bike. but if you are dead set on getting either a mtb or a hybrid i say go with a more road oriented hybrid. and if you really want to tour, get trekking bars. they will add hand positions and make long distance way more bearable.
    Quote Originally Posted by caloso View Post
    I learned this the hard way. They say that experience is the best teacher, but I would have been preferred to just read about it on the internet.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Check out the Raleigh Transporter. If you search the forums, you'll find some threads from not too long ago.

  6. #6
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    I'd go for a hybrid, it would be a bit more functional.

  7. #7
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    What about the Trek 7.0fx range. In your price range you'd be looking 7.3fx possibly. I just bought the Trek 7.2fx. The position is quite upright -- very comfortable like a mountain bike but it really is optimised for the road. You get these nice 700X35c tyres which have a thinner tread pattern and can be pumped up to 85psi. The bikes have small trail so steering is more sensitive than road bikes. This is good if you want to load the bike up a bit with a backpack or some panniers. Lack of suspension means you get the weight down. Mine weighed 12.75 on the bike shop scales, although the 7.3 will have an alloy fork so that might get it down to 12kg.

  8. #8
    SA[in]NE FredOak's Avatar
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    I got the Trek 7200 with some of the same logic as lisitsa, I have degenerative disc disease and the slightly more upright position on the hybrid is really comfortable. I'm using it for commuting and errands right now, but if I wanted to go touring I would just change a couple things (different seat and pedals) and add a couple things (panniers, lights) and would be good to go.

  9. #9
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    I'd recommend a used touring bike.
    +1 On the touring bike. It would be more useful across the condions that you will encounter. A hybrid is hampered by its lack of hand positions of its flat bar.
    Riding 19 Years of Specialized Sirrus Tradition.
    Live in Houston? Come to http://bicyclecommutehouston.blogspot.com/
    1988 Specialized Sirrus, 1989 Alpine Monitor Pass MTB, 2007 Specialized Sirrus 700C hybrid, 2007 Schwinn Town & Country trike, 1970 "Resto-Improved" Raleigh 20, 1970 "WIP" Raleigh 20, and 1980 "WIP" Schwinn Town & Country trike

  10. #10
    Senior Member kidpurple's Avatar
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    No mountain bike - I think that has been agreed on already.

    You can add bar ends to the flat bars or like nahh said change the bar to a trekking bar.



    I've never used a trekking bar but I want to put one on one of my bikes soon.

  11. #11
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    If your going to buy a new touring bike make it the Surly LHT (long Haul trucker). If your dead set on a hybrid you can set it up with Trekking bars providing many hand positions allowing long rides with no numbing and pain due to a single hand position.
    this thread shows several different bikes with trekking bars.
    trekking bar pics?
    [SIGPIC]http://www.bikeforums.net/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=57360&dateline=1197386754[/SIGPIC]
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  12. #12
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    So, a trekking bar would take care of the hand position issue, but there's still the matter of upright riding position. Upright riding position is comfortable for about 10 miles, but by mile 15 it's working against you.

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    I don't know peoples obsession with road bars. I've had them for many years, and switching to a hybrid with bar-ends, I don't seem to have much problem.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by envane View Post
    If you're serious about the touring aspect, take a look at Giant's Trans Sports line:

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...le/1273/29362/

    I'd recommend against anything with suspension.
    You better look quick, they didn't make it to '09.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member dnslater's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    I'd recommend a used touring bike.
    +1 on finding a tourer. This would be your best bet. No reason to do a mountain bike unless you are doing serious off roading. For general road use this will be far too heavy and the suspension adds more maintenance. The trek FX line is also a good starting point given your budget. It easily takes fenders and racks. Get some bar ends or different bars as others have suggested.

  16. #16
    Older than dirt CCrew's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oling View Post
    So, figuring a starter bike for $5-600 for daily commuting to work and occasional touring - wich would you recommend, a MTB or Hybrid? My current choices are between:
    Trek 3900/4300 mtb
    Scott Sportster P3 hybrid
    I'll be the voice of dissent here

    I commute (albeit not every day - rest of the days are on a Lemond road bike)) and tour (exclusively) on a Trek 4300 Disc. It's set up with ergon grips and a rack and touring I pull a BOB trailer. Since most of the touring we do is rail trail/C&O canal, it works just fine for us. 75 mile days are not unusual. Really depends on what you intend to ride when you say "touring". If asphalt I'd agree with the others and go to a touring specific bike or pay some more $$ and go cyclocross. Rational for the cyclocross is that most touring bikes are built/designed for loads and are geared similar to a MTB. Cyclocross bike is more a road geometry and gearing but most have eyelets for racks and longer chainstays than a pure road bike so can be outfitted for touring and make great commuters. Surly CrossCheck rather than the LHT as an example.

    -Roger

  17. #17
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    I started with this:

    (bike as I bought it)

    but have gone to this:

    (with drop bars and bar-end shifter--don't ask why only one)

    I bought the bike, expecting to be happy with the "trekking" style with straight bars. However, I quickly discovered that my palms would go numb. Raising and lowering the bars didn't help, nor did gloves. I almost bought those curvy "trekking" bars, but just wasn't sure how well they would work, so I went back to what I know--drops with bar-end shifters. I'm very happy with the result. I am more aerodynamic, and can feel it on the flat and downhill, and I have multiple positions for my hands if they get tired, but quite frankly, they are quite happy on the hoods. BTW, I don't ride many km per day--maybe 5km each direction, but usually about 10 minutes into my ride, my hands would start to hurt, and longer rides (like today, I've already done 20km, and have another 10km to go at the end of the day), the drops are the only reason I think of it. I don't see how anybody can stand straight bars for any length of time in the saddle--and yes, I did try bar-end extenders, but they didn't help at all for me, and I felt less stable and secure...

    But then again, that's just me. I guess I would say this, if you have lots of exclusive experience on drop handlebars, you would probably be happier with drops. If you are used to a mountain bike, you might prefer trekking bars or straights with horns on the end. But again, that's just me. :-)

    -Jon

  18. #18
    Senior Member Cycho's Avatar
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    I use a Trek 7200 as my commuter and used it to go 75 miles in the NYC Century Tour. I swapped out the stock platform pedals for a pair of cage pedals and added toe clips. I also added a rack which doubles as a fender. My only other change is to add a pair of bar ends (for climbing leverage) and different hand position. It does have suspension which I lock down to the tightest possible, but it's come in handy on some of the less than smoothly paved roads I travel on in North NJ. It's been a champ, as far as I'm concerned.

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