I'm just a pokey recreational hybrid rider getting back into biking again. I had a short fling a couple of years ago and then let it get away from me after about 6-8 rides, then I started up again, modestly, in Sept '06. Picked up a used Trek 7600 hybrid in November and like it a lot. Hope to get out on the bike trails with it come Spring.
I've been toying with riding a road bike, which I've never owned one of, but even on hybrids if I have the handlebar down, it is very uncomfortable. I test rode a road bike in October and hated it. Test rode one in November and hated it. Tried one last week and hated it. Now I've tried two more this week and hated both of them. When I attempt to use the lower position of the drop bars, my hands and back both start hurting within one minute. Extremely uncomfortable.
So today I was in a LBS, chatting with the salesman, who had nothing else to do, and after my negative test ride, he quizzes me for a while on my riding habits and what hurts and what I like. After a few minutes he says, "I have the bike for you right over here."
He then leads me to over a Bacchetta Cafe recumbent. I've ridden a Sun 'bent trike before and did like it, but had never tried a two-wheel 'bent. So I decided to take him up on it and take a ride. Boy, what a different riding experience. I made it about 10' before starting to fall over. Next time I made it about 20'. After about 6 or 7 panic stops, I finally got going on it. Had to stop occasionally as I got a bit out of control, I kept pushing forward on the handlebars and these suckers move forward if you do that.
But in the end I have to admit that I loved it. It was so comfortable. And the view was great, you can watch the world go by. Perhaps the most comfortable bike ride I have ever taken.
I'm thinking about renting one for a day after it warms up, to take it out for a few hours and see if my legs start killing me from trying to keep them up so long, or my arms don't like being so high. Or if that seat turns against you after 30 minutes.
I was riding all of these road bikes because I had a bead on a good deal on a slightly used Fuji. Now I think I'm going to say to heck with them. Ride my hybrid and start thinking about 'bents.