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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 10-18-04, 01:31 PM   #1
Crowbar
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Going from Mountain to Hybrid/Comfort Bike

Many years ago I used to ride a conventional touring bike. However, I "blew out" my back 2 - 3 times riding and gave it up. Last year I got an entry level mountain bike (Raliegh SC30) and love it from the perspective that I'm now riding upright and putting less stress on my back. But, I only ride on streets and the thing performs like a tank (I'm tired of watching people on touring bikes cruise by me like I'm standing still).

So now I'm looking at hybrid/comfort bikes. I am specifically looking at Fuji Royale (pricy) and the Fuji Silhouette. I am also looking at the Specialized Sirrus Elite. It seems like all the bikes pretty much have the same quality components and range in the 20 - 22 lb range give or take. All are aluminum framed and some have carbon-fiber forks. Aside from the obvious issue of riding the bike to see how it feels for me, what should I be looking for? I have also read about Giant and Trek. It seems there are a ton of bikes in this space. Any experiences in sorting this out would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.
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Old 10-18-04, 02:49 PM   #2
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I'm on a Trek 7100 and I love the thing. I'm satisfied with my speed; I often catch up to and draft on roadies... until they notice me and sprint away in disgust
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Old 10-18-04, 03:38 PM   #3
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I'd try to work on the back problem with strength training then get a real road bike.
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Old 10-18-04, 04:11 PM   #4
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I put 2000 miles on my Trek 7500 fx last year and have no complaints at all. But I got the need for speed and bought a road bike this year. The 7500fx was a great ride but I did change the 700x35 tires to 700x28's which made it a little quicker. Jim
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Old 10-18-04, 08:11 PM   #5
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All good bikes. I'm sorta partial to Specialized, mostly because my local shop is good and I haven't had any problems, but for what it's worth we just got a Sirrus for my son and it seems to be suiting him well. Ride and choose.

However there is another thing you might want to consider. Try some narrower tires that will fit your rims, as smooth as you can find. That will make your pedalling effort easier for a given speed. Possibly change the cassette to some taller gears. A lot of what hurts performance would be those suspension forks, so if there's a way to adjust them and make them stiffer or lock them you might like the bike a lot better. You might find that you can make some inexpensive adjustments and get what you want out of it.

However...The Sirrus and probably the others you are looking at are probably a lot lighter and stiffer, and should have slightly taller gearing, as well as narrower tires. The Sirrus 28 mm tires are half as wide as the 1.95" on the SC30 (which isn't really a mountain bike, it's a comfort bike) so it will perform a lot better. One other note, if a road bike is properly fitted to you and set up right, it should be comfortable and should not hurt your back. Some light core strength training might help, but I have minor lower back pain often, and doing 50 miles on my road bike doesn't bother it a bit.
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Old 10-18-04, 10:30 PM   #6
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I don't have anything constructive to offer..as usual. At the moment, I have gone from commuting on my hybrid to commuting on my MB. Uggghhhh!!! The MB is OK but feels like a tank after riding the hybrid and road bike for so long. I want my hybrid back! As soon as the replacement chain ring comes in, I'm back on the hybrid.

My hybrid is a Univega. In its day it was one of the better hybrids. However, you can't get a Univega anymore.
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Old 10-19-04, 07:44 AM   #7
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Take the Giant Cypress SX out for a spin. I liked it better than the similar priced Specialized (Can't remember which one, but the SX had better specs for the $). It's $600. I didn't think it was necessary to go up to the $800+ level of bikes. The SRAM grip shifters are way better on the SX than the mid-level Shimano shifters on pretty much all of the other bikes in this category. I can't understand why the SRAMs weren't spec'd across the board.
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Old 10-19-04, 10:10 AM   #8
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Take the Giant Revive out for a spin. It works for many who can't ride regular bikes.
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Old 10-19-04, 11:28 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tree Trunk
I don't have anything constructive to offer..as usual. At the moment, I have gone from commuting on my hybrid to commuting on my MB. Uggghhhh!!! The MB is OK but feels like a tank after riding the hybrid and road bike for so long. I want my hybrid back! As soon as the replacement chain ring comes in, I'm back on the hybrid.

My hybrid is a Univega. In its day it was one of the better hybrids. However, you can't get a Univega anymore.
I have a Univega hybrid and it rocks. Since the frame is chromoly, I don't need suspension. It's faster and more comfortable than my Bianchi Milano with 26' inch wheels and a hard Alu frame.

If I was looking for a street bike, I would choose steel all the way. A flat bar hybrid limits your hand positions which is why you need a steel frame. I would look at the Bianchi Strada or Jamis Coda.

Steve
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Old 10-21-04, 08:37 AM   #10
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I’ve been commuting with a ’04 Fuji Royale since the beginning of August.

I chose it for the more comfortable, upright riding position. I ended up putting aero bars on it so I could cut the wind. Personally, I love everything about the bike but the flat bars. I need to drop to the aero bars at least every 8 miles to keep my hands from going numb. That and I only road on the spec’d saddle for 30 miles before I threw it away!

I don’t know where you live, but FWIW the 38c Nokian studded tires just fit.

If I wasn’t a friend of the Fuji dealer I would have purchased a Lemond “Big Sky” series. They have drop bars with an adjustable stem that can give you plenty of rise, cross brake levers on the bar tops with integrated shift/brake levers. Plenty of hand positions and built for comfort, including a suspension seat post.
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Old 10-21-04, 09:08 AM   #11
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You might want to check with your doc and see if the recumbent riding position will offer any gains. 'bents offer a nice comfortable ride. A good 'bent pilot can hold their own with roadies under most cases.just a suggestion for a possible option.

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Old 10-21-04, 09:31 AM   #12
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I've gone just the other way. I had been riding a Trek 7300, Gunnar Cross hairs and a Raleigh R700 last year, but since the spring I have been using a Jamis MTB that I picked up with road slicks. It was just more comfortable than the other bikes (I have a bad back to) I just find it more comfortable . As far as speed goes, I have no problem mataining a good clip with the roadies, but I'm in it more for the excersis than the speed.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:16 PM   #13
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I have been commuting with a Devinci hybrid that baby is one sweet ride. Its fast and very light (compaired to my mountain bike) I bought it about 2 years ago and only park it when the snow starts to fly.
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Old 10-27-04, 12:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crowbar
Many years ago I used to ride a conventional touring bike. However, I "blew out" my back 2 - 3 times riding and gave it up. Last year I got an entry level mountain bike (Raliegh SC30) and love it from the perspective that I'm now riding upright and putting less stress on my back. But, I only ride on streets and the thing performs like a tank (I'm tired of watching people on touring bikes cruise by me like I'm standing still).

Thanks in advance.
Mate, before you dump a bunch of money into another bike
consider a simple change of tires first. Install a set of
street slicks on your bike and pump them hard to lessen
the rolling resitance that is slowing you down. Low rolling resitance
is the edge that road bikes have on other bikes. VERY low
rolling resitance.
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Old 10-27-04, 01:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
Mate, before you dump a bunch of money into another bike
consider a simple change of tires first. Install a set of
street slicks on your bike and pump them hard to lessen
the rolling resitance that is slowing you down. Low rolling resitance
is the edge that road bikes have on other bikes. VERY low
rolling resitance.
That's what I did along with installing a set of riser bars and a slightly higher rise stem.
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Old 10-30-04, 06:16 PM   #16
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Have you considered a recumbent yet? Mine has a nice backrest with lumbar support. It doesn't bother my back at all even though short rides on mountain bikes are painful. It is like a lawn chair with wheels. You're not going to find a more comfortable ride than that.
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Old 10-30-04, 08:39 PM   #17
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I've always thought 'bents were a neat idea, but it seems that it'd be difficult to get used to riding one.
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Old 10-30-04, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryogenic
I've always thought 'bents were a neat idea, but it seems that it'd be difficult to get used to riding one.
There IS a learning curve especially for the under seat steering models
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Old 10-30-04, 11:05 PM   #19
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Yeah... I'd imagine so... steering by leaning and clenching your buttcheeks. I'm not sure how well I'd get along doing that. However, I've heard they're wicked comfortable. I've only seen ONE in my entire city as long as I can remember.
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Old 03-03-05, 06:49 AM   #20
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I posted this reply on my 2004 Royal in this thread: http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...205#post684205

Quote:
Originally Posted by madhouse
I’ve been commuting with a ’04 Fuji Royale since the beginning of August.

I chose it for the more comfortable, upright riding position. I ended up putting aero bars on it so I could cut the wind. Personally, I love everything about the bike but the flat bars. I need to drop to the aero bars at least every 8 miles to keep my hands from going numb. That and I only road on the spec’d saddle for 30 miles before I threw it away!

I don’t know where you live, but FWIW the 38c Nokian studded tires just fit.

If I wasn’t a friend of the Fuji dealer I would have purchased a Lemond “Big Sky” series. They have drop bars with an adjustable stem that can give you plenty of rise, cross brake levers on the bar tops with integrated shift/brake levers. Plenty of hand positions and built for comfort, including a suspension seat post.
I also have a lot of drag with the dust boots on the front Ritchy hub.
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Old 03-03-05, 08:21 AM   #21
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Sorry for opening this back up... I was replying to another thread and had to many windows open.
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Old 03-03-05, 08:31 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cryogenic
Yeah... I'd imagine so... steering by leaning and clenching your buttcheeks. I'm not sure how well I'd get along doing that. However, I've heard they're wicked comfortable. I've only seen ONE in my entire city as long as I can remember.
I went to a bent dealer in NJ and nearly purchased one right then an there. They are addictive and these were BikeE's by the way! I'm afraid of going back to the bent dealer because I might not be able to hold myself back. None of my road/hybrid/folding bikes were as comfortable as recumbents from Rans.
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Old 03-18-05, 05:21 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Lone_rider
I have been commuting with a Devinci hybrid that baby is one sweet ride. Its fast and very light (compaired to my mountain bike) I bought it about 2 years ago and only park it when the snow starts to fly.
Which Devinci bike is it ?
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