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Old 06-25-07, 10:11 PM   #1
Yen
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A century on a hybrid?

We are enjoying this so much that we want to go further all the time, and I'm beginning to wonder if we could complete a century on these bikes as they are. I feel good when we return from our rides... in fact, I could go further (if not for my sit bones ) but we're trying to add mileage gradually. I am recovering quickly.

I'm wondering if many have completed centuries on hybrids, and if it is difficult to keep up with the group on the fatter tires. Would I need to swap the hybrid tires (nubby and fat like mtn bike but same diameter as a road bike) for road bike tires? With the right saddle (I'm still test-riding a Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle) and fit, can we do this?

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Old 06-25-07, 10:21 PM   #2
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Sure. People do it all the time. You won't go as fast as a regular road bike, but so be it. I would definitely suggest narrower, higher pressure tires. Also, something to give you more hand positions would be a good thing. Bar ends, trekking bars, aero bars, something.
Don't expect to feel good at the end though.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:28 PM   #3
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I did my first one on an old Mongoose mountain bike in about 1984. It was hard, but a century kicks my ass anyway, and I was only in my 30s then so I was a lot tougher. I'd gotten into cycling again on a mountain bike after a post-college layoff, and when i started doing road rides, I couldn't afford a real roadie. Do get some fairly high pressure road tires, but otherwise you'll be fine, assuming you would have been fine anyway. Bikes are more versatile then we give them credit for.
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Old 06-25-07, 10:38 PM   #4
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As BD said, it has been done many times. I once searched through the forums looking for such examples and found a lot of them.

Some have done long tours on hybrids too, riding hundreds upon hundreds of miles.

Your tires aren't too bad to start with. Didn't the 2006 Cypress SX come with 700x35 tires? Those are thinner than most hybrids.
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Old 06-26-07, 04:29 AM   #5
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Do you ride off-road or on gravel roads? If not, replace those tires with something in the 25-38 cm range. If you do ride gravel roads, stick to something around 38 cm. You will notice an immediate difference. On organized centuries, we finish in the middle of the "pack"- the pack stretches out pretty fast- the hard core roadies will be finishing as we're eating lunch; we'll be finishing our post century milkshakes (that's why I ride them- I get a shake as a recovery drink every time I do one) on the way home as the tail end is coming in.

We ride Specialized Expedition Sports (comfort/hybrid bikes). Did my first century on it after replacing the 1.9 knobbies with 1.5 Armadillos (not slicks, but almost-we ride on paved roads, and some with gravel; 1.5 is as skinny as I want to go due to the gravel, and for general reliability). Have done several since... We also replaced the swept bars with straight bars, added clip-on aeros so we can get down out of the wind. Wife also has bar ends on hers for more hand positions. Replaced the suspension forks, as they got loose, with fixed (less weight, cheap, we don't do much where we need suspension anyway)

Have over 6,000 miles on them now. If you're comfy on them now, modify away! Make them super comfy!
As for doing it with the stock knobbies? Sure you can, we see lots of them finish. But, I guarantee you smoother tires be the best investiment you've made since your mirrors. Second will be toe clips, clipless pedals/shoes or power grips (if you don't already have something to tie your feet to the pedals). We completed all our centuries so far with power grips and tennis shoes.

sorry for rambling....
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Old 06-26-07, 04:39 AM   #6
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Heck, yeah! Shoot for the century at the end of this season and go for a double next season. The bike will go the distance if you will.
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Old 06-26-07, 05:14 AM   #7
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Folks ride centuries on many different bikes. Mtn Bikes, a "banana seat" bike, single speeds, fixies, hybrids, roadies, recumbents.

It won't be as easy on a hybrid. Get the easiest rolling tires you can. And, most of all, have fun!

Training is the most important thing.
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Old 06-26-07, 05:38 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yen
We are enjoying this so much that we want to go further all the time, and I'm beginning to wonder if we could complete a century on these bikes as they are. I feel good when we return from our rides... in fact, I could go further (if not for my sit bones ) but we're trying to add mileage gradually. I am recovering quickly.

I'm wondering if many have completed centuries on hybrids, and if it is difficult to keep up with the group on the fatter tires. Would I need to swap the hybrid tires (nubby and fat like mtn bike but same diameter as a road bike) for road bike tires? With the right saddle (I'm still test-riding a Specialized BG2 Sport Saddle) and fit, can we do this?

Yen
Short answer is: sure you can. I did my first century (a solo) when I was 63 after about 4 months of regular riding using a Specialized Crossroads with 700 x 38 tires. It took me 8 hours and I was pretty tired at the end, but it was worth it.

A narrower tire would help, a comfortable seat, and a flat course would help a lot. You might look for a supported ride (there should be some charity rides in your area) which will certainly have riders of your experience level (and will take away the anxiety of mechanical trouble or food issues) and go for it.

Be sure to take a small camera so you can post photos of your adventure when you write your story for the forum. Can't wait to read it.
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Old 06-26-07, 05:46 AM   #9
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No problem riding a century on any bike with the proper preperation . Lots of miles and long rides.I have ridden them on my hard tail mountain bike , though it is custom built for the road . It has 1.3 slick tires, a trekking crank 48-38-28 and a 11-23 road casette, Be prepared to be passed by everone on road bikes! I have ridden them on road bikes also and the end is equaly painful on both.
Having said all this I have gone back to a road bike this year, having found one that fits. My first century was on an old myata 10 speed that did not fit me well.Thats why I went to the custom mountain bike for more comfort. If you properly prepare you will not fail. If you do not put in base milage you are in for a long day.
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Old 06-26-07, 05:54 AM   #10
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A century on hybrid? I wouldn't want to try it.
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Old 06-26-07, 07:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Travis
A century on hybrid? I wouldn't want to try it.
I have a Treck Madone and a Treck 7700 Hybrid. Both have aerobars. Both have the same saddle. Both have 700 x 23 tires if I go on roads.
Going at a steady speed on flats is not much of a difference. Acceleration and hills put the Hybrid at a disadvantage. The Hybrid with all stuff is 38#. The Madone is under 20#.

Going 100 miles at 15 MPH average is no problem with the Hybrid.
Going 100 miles at 20 MPH requires the Madone.
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Old 06-26-07, 08:46 AM   #12
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1.5 slicks and bar ends
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Old 06-26-07, 08:59 AM   #13
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I did my first century on a Mtn bike with knobby tires....I say go for it!
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Old 06-26-07, 09:28 AM   #14
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I'm attempting the first annual Queen City Century this coming Saturday on my Coda. I'll let you know how it goes.
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Old 06-26-07, 09:50 AM   #15
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A few years ago I took a couple year break from cycling. When I got back into it all I had was a Schwinn MTB. I did a handfull of centuries on it over two years before I got another bike. A hybrid would be a piece of cake.
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Old 06-26-07, 10:01 AM   #16
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Put on smooth tires (needn't be skinny road tires - just minimal tread). Inflate to max pressure. Pace yourself. Hydrate. Take pictures. Have fun. Report back.

You have your orders!
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Old 06-26-07, 10:18 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Travis
A century on hybrid? I wouldn't want to try it.
It wouldn't be my first choice since I have options including a bike I have refined over the years specifically for riding long road rides. But if I had one bike and it was a hybrid, and if I had the desire and ability to ride a century, I wouldn't let the type of bike keep me from doing it.
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Old 06-26-07, 10:34 AM   #18
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I did 105 miles on the Chief Ladiga and Silver Comet rail trails in one day, spent the night camped out, and returned home that same 105 miles the next day. Here is the Specialized CrossRoads hybrid turned touring bike I used, and yes, I did self-support and did it alone.

I used Panaracer 737 700X37 tires at 90 PSI. these tires are designed for pavement and hard packed dirt/gravel roads.
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Old 06-26-07, 10:48 AM   #19
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When Thomas Stevens arrived in in Liverpool, England to begin the European leg of his around-the-world ride, he was greeted by members of the local cycling club. Several of these folks had completed a double century (200 mile) ride the fall before.

This was in the spring of 1885.

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Old 06-26-07, 10:58 AM   #20
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There have been a number of posts telling Yen to put on tires like 1.5" slicks, less tread, between 25mm to 38mm.

The 2006 Cypress SX that I rode had tires like this as standard equipment. It had 700x35 (1.4") tires with a light multi-purpose tread. But some 2006 models have 700x40, so it is possible that Yen's have those. If they are the 700x40 Comfort Cross Slime-filled tires, then they are a bit wide and heavy. Going to something like a 700x32 would lighten the bike and let it roll a little easier.

If you have the 700x35 non-slime-filled tires, then going to a 32 would make only a very small difference.

As n4zou noted above, he uses 700x37 tires (1.5"). Anything in this range can be used.

As to doing a century on a hybrid, for me the odds of completing a century on a hybrid would be more than 1000% higher than doing it on a road bike.
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Old 06-26-07, 11:02 AM   #21
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No doubt it can be done. If I can do 66 miles (that's a little more than a metric century) on my Dahon 7 Speed, a hybrid could easily surpass that. By summer's end, I look forward to doing at least a century.
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Old 06-26-07, 11:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet Travis
A century on hybrid? I wouldn't want to try it.
Please, explain why you feel that way.


I was incorrect in my original description of my tires. They are not fat nubby tires like a mtn bike, they are narrower and the tread is smoother, but much less tread than a mtn bike. I believe they are 700x40c, which is 1.5 (correct?). My bike is at in the shop today so I can't check, and I don't remember. )

I really appreciate the positive encouragement and suggestions. Obviously, my best preparation is time in the saddle, and we'll know when we are ready. Every week we want to go further. First, I need to get myself the right saddle and work out these sit bone issues while we work on increasing our weekly mileage. Also, bar ends or something to give my hands more options.

As for the pedals, I definitely don't want to go clipless but I do like the look of those power grips. I'm having new pedals put on today because I removed the toestraps that came with the bike and was left with the metal pedal cage getting trapped in my shoe tread -- this caused my first fall when I couldn't get my foot off when we stopped at the curb (at least my first fall occurred when I wasn't moving.......). These new pedals will be the rubber jobs....... I hope I made the right choice.

Thanks everyone!

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Old 06-26-07, 11:18 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
There have been a number of posts telling Yen to put on tires like 1.5" slicks, less tread, between 25mm to 38mm.

The 2006 Cypress SX that I rode had tires like this as standard equipment. It had 700x35 (1.4") tires with a light multi-purpose tread. But some 2006 models have 700x40, so it is possible that Yen's have those. If they are the 700x40 Comfort Cross Slime-filled tires, then they are a bit wide and heavy. Going to something like a 700x32 would lighten the bike and let it roll a little easier.
Tom - Yep, I believe i have 70x40 slime-filled Michelin tires but I'll know for sure later when I pick it up from the shop (I'm embarrassed that I don't know this now....... I should know this!).

I like Dellphinus' suggestion of 1.5 Armadillos tires. We ride on the road but it seems everywhere we go around here we encounter gravel and glass in our path.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
As to doing a century on a hybrid, for me the odds of completing a century on a hybrid would be more than 1000% higher than doing it on a road bike.
Amen, brother!
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Old 06-26-07, 11:25 AM   #24
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Take a look at the Continental City Contact.......excellent flat protection and ride quality.
http://www.biketiresdirect.com/produ...ction=ci_COCIT
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Old 06-26-07, 11:30 AM   #25
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Quote:
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As for the pedals, I definitely don't want to go clipless but I do like the look of those power grips.
Yen, you might want to reconsider. Clipless make a huge difference on distance rides, IMO, enough to justify the little bit of time and practice needed to get used to them. I stress "little" here- it really takes very little time to be proficient and comfy in clipping in and out.
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