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  1. #26
    Scott n4zou's Avatar
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    I've got a road bike, a TT bike, an older road bike fitted with a moustache handlebar and chain guard I use as a Cafť bike, and several MTB bikes. I ride my Specialized CrossRoads hybrid more than all the others combined. I use it as a commuter and as a touring bike. I have had college roadie snobs that have never seen me on one of my road bikes comment about my hybrid and how they would never ride anything other than a road bike. It's really fun to see the look on their face when I easily pass them on my road bike or get lower times on the Saturday time trial loop. I just tell them the Hybrid is for training! If you ride a loaded to the gills Hybrid your strength will improve and when you get on a road bike your performance is incredible. Here is a picture of my Hybrid while on a tour last fall.

  2. #27
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    A hybrid is what it says- a cross between two bikes and it is neither. It is not a full mountain bike- but not many of them are- even bikes sold as mountain bikes. And Mountain bikes properly set up are not good on the road- You can have rigid forks and put slicks on them but they do not really work on the road. So that is one side of a hybrid that will either work better for you - as a bike to use on the road- or not work that well as a bike to use offroad. Then there are thefull road bikes- Come in a variety of forms- Racing bikes, sport, comfort, touring, but basically they are all road bikes. If you are on tarmac and smoothsurfaces then a road bike is for you. Except for one thing- those damn drop handlebars. Even road riders - if you watch them go past you, do not use the drop position all that often. They are riding on the hoods or on the top of the bars. The drop position is used for out and out speed- or downhill- or into a headwind- For most- the Usual position is more upright and you do have a couple of positions. So why have a road bike when you are not going to be hammering down a hill- into a headwind and using that full aerodynamic position. Because on the Tarmac the bike is a lot more efiicient than other bikes. Including the hybrid.

    So what is a hybrid- Basically it is what you want to use it for. Bit of trail work where you want a more compliant ride and still retain control. Road use where you can get up a good speed but without that awkward handlebar position and lack of control that can come about with the narrower bars. Perhaps you want to do both- Lots of road work but a bike that will take the rough trails to get out without cars getting in the way.

    Then on top of that- There are the advantages and the big one to me is that they are comfortable. The riding position is good for a 50mile ride, albeit slower than a road bike, but not by much. If you look at the better Hybrids- They are modelled on road bikes but with straight bars. The riding position that most roadies use in any case. So a hybrid being a second class or downgraded bike- No way.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  3. #28
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jet Travis
    Life is short. Nothing wrong with hybrids. Ride what ya like. That's my two cents.

    On the other hand, go-fast road bikes are fun. I've modfied mine with higher handlebars and lower (easier) gears than the young 'uns would approve of, but I've got a disc issue and I'm not about to blow out my back trying to act like a 25-year-old
    So what was it that entered the 20k race for you. The sensible rider or the person trying to relive his youth. Or was it just one of those moments that you regret once you have sobered up.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  4. #29
    Ontheroad Rolling15's Avatar
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    My own two cents is that hybrids arenít bad bikes but they are a compromise. If you want to tool around and you will be an occasional rider a comfort/hybrid bike would be fine. I own a hybrid and a road bike and I find that hybrids are really not a substitute for either a mountain bike or a road bike. For off road riding a hybridís geometry is too tall, the gearing is wrong and the suspension spells disaster. For on road riding the thicker hybrid tires require greater effort. The components on a hybrid such as brakes, de-railers, rims and gearing are (usually) not of the same quality of a true road bike.
    Most people purchase a hybrid because of the straight handle bars and shifters. I believe that if you plan on riding for hours at a time (on road) I would personally go for a road bike with a more relaxed frame geometry and one that either comes or can be retrofitted with a straight bar and shifters.

  5. #30
    Senior Member tonphil1960's Avatar
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    Agree with above !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ride what you like and depending on the type of riding you plan to do.. Hybrids Are Good !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    TP

  6. #31
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    My first bike was a Giant Boulder mountain bike. Early on, I discovered that I liked riding on pavement more than dirt and that I needed something more efficient. Knowing very little about bicycles, I "lucked" out and chose a Specialized Sirrus hybrid in the $500.00 range. It had the flat bars and the mountain bike style shifters, but the geometry and tires were more like a true road bike. I still ride this bike from time to time and have over 1000 miles on it. Even at that price range I think it's a great bike. It was perfect for me to ride enough miles on it (including two centuries) to know I wanted to move toward a traditional drop bar road bike. I've since put close to 2000 miles on my Bianchi roadie. In my opinion, there's nothing wrong with any bicycle if you like it and it's fun to ride. I have to admit...that I somewhat cringe when I see kids on bmx bikes..but then I'm an old coot. They are riding "bikes" after all...and that has to be a good thing.

  7. #32
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dauphin
    I have to admit...that I somewhat cringe when I see kids on bmx bikes..but then I'm an old coot. They are riding "bikes" after all...and that has to be a good thing.
    I enjoy seeing kids on BMXer's but for one reason only- If they learn to ride them right- then they will learn skills that I would give my big toe to have- (Need the rest of me to ride a bike)
    What gets me are the ones that have one- Can't ride it- and only use it for nuisance value in the neighbourhood. Just like the 20 year old and his mates we have living locally.
    How long was I in the army? Five foot seven.


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  8. #33
    Ride Daddy Ride Jet Travis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    So what was it that entered the 20k race for you. The sensible rider or the person trying to relive his youth. Or was it just one of those moments that you regret once you have sobered up.
    Since I never raced in my youth, I have to save my foolish indescretions for my old age. Besides, how much pain and degradation can 20K take out of me? (Don't answer that).
    "Light it up, Popo." --Levi Leipheimer

  9. #34
    SSP
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    Hybrids are OK bikes for many uses...especially around town rides, riding on bike trails, etc.

    But, they are definitely slower than drop bar road bikes. If you're at all interested in speed, you'll want to look into standard road bikes at some point.

    Me? I like to go fast, so no hybrids for me (though I do have in mind a project to create an "errand bike" that may end up with flat bars).
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  10. #35
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    I don't think any bikes are "bad." Hybrids get no respect because they incorporate so many compromises. Consequently, they are too fragile and inconvenient for errands and commuting, have the wrong tires for off-road, are too heavy and non-aerodynamic for road riding, and so on. However, although they don't do anything particularly well, they can do everything. That's why they are the "default bike" that an LBS will try to sell you if you have no clear idea what riding you will do. My back-up bike is a hybrid, and I enjoy riding it. That's enough for me.

    Paul

  11. #36
    Senior Member SaiKaiTai's Avatar
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    Hybrids answered the "little boy" that still lives inside of me. I am no mountain biker -and have asperations, either- but the call of the off-road does appeal to me. When I came back to cycling, I knew I'd spend most of my time on the pavement but if the pavement ran out, or I saw a path or trail to look interesting, I wanted to be able to take it. Voila! The hybrid, not great at either but good at both. I just swapped out the stock tires when I bought the bike and I haven't looked back since. OK, I *am* looking roadies now they are in the "nice to have" bucket. With my Kaitai, I have what I need in the "have to have" bucket.
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  12. #37
    Senior Member Sci-Fi's Avatar
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    Why are Hybrids or any other bike without drop bars "bad"? The impression one gets from many cycling forums is that people buy road bikes even for their pre-school kids or install drop bars on their trikes...lol. I remember a time where "flipping" the drop bars up was the "in thing" and people thought it made the road/touring bike a more practical bicycle...how times and attitudes have changed over the years.

    If one decides to replace their drop bars with a moustache, north road, on-one mary, etc handlebars...have they essentially made their road bike a hybrid or customized their bike to meet their current requirements? Who cares if the seat is lower than the handlebars. What is a "proper" bike anyways and who has the right and qualifications to make that "expert" distinction?

    The main thing is if one enjoys riding their bike, despite the current popular convention/opinion, and if the bike performs they way they expect/want it to...in comfort and with confidence. What someone else thinks about your bike is immaterial...one has to make a decision whether or not their bike is the best for them or buy something else that does.

  13. #38
    Senior Member George's Avatar
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    All I know if it weren't for hybrids I wouldn't be riding. I put trekking bars on mine a few weeks ago, because I didn't care for flatbars, and I have all the hand positions I need to make me more comfort than I was before. Good luck and have fun riding.
    George

  14. #39
    Dirt Bomb sknhgy's Avatar
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    Thanks for the replys.
    Perhaps, to restate my original question, "what's this fuss about hybrids?"
    Like I said, I love my bikes. I owned a Schwinn Collegiate for several decades. I'll bet my hands spent less than a combined total of 5 minutes on the drop position of the handlebars. I don't like flying through space head first, even with a helmet on. Never have, never will (I know, never say never.) It feels like I'm trying to use my noggin for a battering ram. Just not for me, thank you.
    I've always been Mr. Upright.

    I was just asking because of the comments I hear.

    Pee Wee Herman's bike in Pee Wee's Big Adventure didn't have drop handlebars, either.

  15. #40
    Proud To Be An American EXCALIBUR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sknhgy
    Pee Wee Herman's bike in Pee Wee's Big Adventure didn't have drop handlebars, either.
    Pee Wee's da Man! He also knew how to get a good grip on himself.
    Last edited by EXCALIBUR; 04-16-07 at 07:39 PM.
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  16. #41
    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rolling15
    My own two cents is that hybrids arenít bad bikes but they are a compromise. If you want to tool around and you will be an occasional rider a comfort/hybrid bike would be fine. I own a hybrid and a road bike and I find that hybrids are really not a substitute for either a mountain bike or a road bike. For off road riding a hybridís geometry is too tall, the gearing is wrong and the suspension spells disaster. For on road riding the thicker hybrid tires require greater effort. The components on a hybrid such as brakes, de-railers, rims and gearing are (usually) not of the same quality of a true road bike.
    Most people purchase a hybrid because of the straight handle bars and shifters. I believe that if you plan on riding for hours at a time (on road) I would personally go for a road bike with a more relaxed frame geometry and one that either comes or can be retrofitted with a straight bar and shifters.

    I think this hits the nail on the head. For casual riding, hybrids are fine. but if you get more serious about either off-road or road biking, you'll probably be happier with a bike specifically designed for what you are going to be doing.

    I did test ride a hybrid before buying my current bike. I did not like the locked-in-one-position feeling I got from the flat bars. By getting a relaxed geometry road bike and/or raising the bars, you can get just as upright putting your hands on the top of traditional road bars as you can on flat bars but still have the option of putting your hands on the the hoods or in the drops.

    Dan
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  17. #42
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    I sure hope they're not bad, I just bought one that I think hits the sweet spot for me. It's a real hybrid. Lightweight steel frame, 700x28s - road. Brakes? Disc- MTB. 52 42 30 triple chain ring - road. 11-32 9 speed cassette - MTB. Carbon fork - road. Riding position - upright (I actually raised the stem a fair bit and put bars on with some lift to get bars slightly above seat height). Speed? Enough for me, comfort, definitely enough for me. I weighed it the other night, fully loaded (air pump and a loaded seat bag and ready to ride but with no water on board) it was 28.5 lbs. Not gossamer by any stretch but for a 21.5" steel framed bike that does not seem all that bad to me. I like mine. Sounds like you like yours too. How can that be bad?
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  18. #43
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Not even professional roadracers stay in the drops most of the time. The standard position for most road riders is on the hoods. Don't believe me? Here is Daniele Contrini on the last lap of the finishing circuit in Macon of today's stage of the Tour de Georgia.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  19. #44
    I need more cowbell. Digital Gee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg
    Not even professional roadracers stay in the drops most of the time. The standard position for most road riders is on the hoods. Don't believe me? Here is Daniele Contrini on the last lap of the finishing circuit in Macon of today's stage of the Tour de Georgia.
    Nice tandem behind her...
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  20. #45
    cyclepath daredevil's Avatar
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    My favorite bike? The one I'm riding at the time. Road, mountain, hybrid, single speed, flat bar road, aluminum, carbon, steel....it doesn't matter, they all rock!
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  21. #46
    Senior Member CrossChain's Avatar
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    Not the time for a flat bar vs. drop bar debate. A matter of preference anyway. Personally, I can't imagine doing 30 or more miles on a flat bar-- on the road. Trail riding requires so much in the way of body shifting and movement it is hard to get frozen into a position. On the road, more subtle body movements come into play. The drop bar allows more relaxing changes of trunk, shoulder, arm, neck, and hand position. It's that subtle variety that keeps one from being frozen into a static position-- one source of discomfort on a long road ride.

  22. #47
    MAK
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    For what it's worth, I started two years ago with a hybrid and really enjoyed it. As I started to get into club riding I realized that the 40 lb hybrid was holding me back.

    I too worried about the leaning and stretching on a road bike but my new Felt 80 is wonderful. I had brake levers put on the top of the handlebars and quite frankly, I'm on the hoods about 85% of the time without thinking about it. Saving the 18 lbs or so of bike weight has made my riding much more enjoyable so the body weight is shrinking too. I also find that I'm a bit more of a minimalist with the road bike so the saved weight of not carrying extra gear helps too. Specialized Armadillos give me added resistance to flats and I couldn't be happier.

  23. #48
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Digital Gee
    Nice tandem behind her...
    Daniele Contrini is a him, not a her. And I forgot to mention he was about 2.5K from winning the stage when I took that picture. But yeah, nice tandem.
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  24. #49
    Bike Junkie roccobike's Avatar
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    Technically, my road bike, a Cannondale SR500 is actually a hybrid because it has a head shock. But with turned down bars and 700X23 tires, I just make believe its a road bike, nobody seems to notice. I ride what I like, when I want to.
    My favorite bike mechanic once told me, ride to have fun, those who force themselves to ride for whatever reason, soon find reasons not to ride and leave the sport.
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  25. #50
    Yen
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulH
    I don't think any bikes are "bad." Hybrids get no respect because they incorporate so many compromises. Consequently, they are too fragile and inconvenient for errands and commuting, have the wrong tires for off-road, are too heavy and non-aerodynamic for road riding, and so on. However, although they don't do anything particularly well, they can do everything. That's why they are the "default bike" that an LBS will try to sell you if you have no clear idea what riding you will do. My back-up bike is a hybrid, and I enjoy riding it. That's enough for me.

    Paul
    Fragile??? Would you explain, please?
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