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Old 04-13-08, 02:36 PM   #1
flan48
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Worth the Switch?

Hi All,
I'd appreciate your opinions: I have a 2007 Raleigh Venture 4.0 comfort bike)1.95" tires. I've had it for 7 months now and must admit it functions as planned meaning 30-60 minute rides for fitness and enjoyment.

However, I'd like to have a somewhat easier time on hills, riding against the wind, etc (including going faster!) and therefore am considering a hybrid where the tires are perhaps 1.37-1.57" wide and a diameter of 700 mm. Included in the list would be the Raleigh Passage, Trek 7200 and Giant Cypress. I must stick to either what I have or these hybrids as I have a herniated disc at L4/L5 and doc says bike riding is good but I must be as upright as possible.

Thank you in advance for your thoughts as to whether or not it is worth the switch.
Bes regards
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Old 04-13-08, 02:48 PM   #2
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Narrower tires will run higher pressures and have a harsher ride. This may affect your back. I know the ride got signifilcantly better when I went to fatter tires on my recumbent. Beyond that, I will say that my ride buddy who has a Trek 7200 really likes it. I've wrenched on it for him, and for the money, it's a nice bike. bk
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Old 04-13-08, 03:00 PM   #3
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These are the lower spec hybrids and would not be a great deal better than your existing bike for ridability or comfort. Couple I suggest you look at are the Specialised Sirrus and the Giant FCR. Both these are basically road bikes with straight bars and have the attributes of a "Racing" bike but with comfort in mind. Links below.


http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...ad/1244/29286/

http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...p?sid=08Sirrus

bkaapcke Has highlighted one of the drawbacks of Hybrid bikes in that narrower tyres and high pressures may cause you a problem- but the Sirrus and FCR still give you a choice. Wider tyres can be fitted and lower pressures can be used. Both these will affect "Performance" though but these two bikes- along with several others that others will recommend- are well worth a test ride.
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Old 04-13-08, 03:01 PM   #4
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I have herniated disc at L4/L5 . Riding a Felt F-80 Road Bike. 371 miles last week. 2240 miles for the year.
It helps my back.
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Old 04-13-08, 03:16 PM   #5
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Get some skinnier "street tires", and pump them up to the max. I Like 26x1.50" for my 230 lbs. on my non suspension bike. You can go even skinnier.
When it comes to hills & acceleration, weight DOES matter, and it's really noticeablw when it's in the wheels/tires.
Also, according to my web search, you have 28-38-48T rings with an 11-34 cassette.
I'd consider a 13-26 cassette IF you can handle all your hills when on the small ring and 2nd gear AND you never use the big ring with 8th gear. (48/11 is very high)
11-13-15-17-20-23-26-34
13-14-15-17-19-21-23-26
You would have closer spacing in the 17-26 (hill) range AND (cruise) 13-17 gears. Just use the appropriate chain ring as required.
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Old 04-14-08, 09:34 AM   #6
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Thank you for your replies.
Best regards
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Old 04-14-08, 09:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bkaapcke View Post
Narrower tires will run higher pressures and have a harsher ride. This may affect your back. I know the ride got signifilcantly better when I went to fatter tires on my recumbent. Beyond that, I will say that my ride buddy who has a Trek 7200 really likes it. I've wrenched on it for him, and for the money, it's a nice bike. bk
True to a degree, what are we talking about 170 psi Tri Comps? The max pressure differences between the tire sizes being talked about are negliglble. You can always run them at a lower pressure.
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Old 04-14-08, 09:53 AM   #8
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+1 on replacing the tires. I replaced the stock tires on my wife's comfort bike (26 x 1.95 / 65 psi max) with some 26 x 1.25 / 90 psi max tires and she was amazed at the difference.
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Old 04-14-08, 04:22 PM   #9
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+1 on replacing the tires. I replaced the stock tires on my wife's comfort bike (26 x 1.95 / 65 psi max) with some 26 x 1.25 / 90 psi max tires and she was amazed at the difference.
Yes, that does seem, to me, to be the best solution. Did that require much of a adjustment to the front and rear brakes?

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-08, 05:50 PM   #10
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Yes, that does seem, to me, to be the best solution. Did that require much of a adjustment to the front and rear brakes?
None at all. Only tools required are a set of tire levers, which you probably ought to get anyway if you don't already have a set.

Also, if you only ride on pavement slick tires will roll easier than tires with tread. I use the avocet cross tires (26x1.25) on my mtn bike because I rarely ride off pavement. Performance has this:

http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...tegory_ID=5425

Looks good, price is right.

Last edited by buddyp; 04-14-08 at 05:59 PM.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:52 PM   #11
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Did that require much of a adjustment to the front and rear brakes?
The brakes hit the rim not the tire so no adjustment involved. You will need smaller tubes to match the smaller tires.
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Old 04-15-08, 06:46 AM   #12
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[QUOTE=stapfam;6511875]These are the lower spec hybrids and would not be a great deal better than your existing bike for ridability or comfort. Couple I suggest you look at are the Specialised Sirrus and the Giant FCR. Both these are basically road bikes with straight bars and have the attributes of a "Racing" bike but with comfort in mind.


I have a Sirrus Comp and got it for the same reasons the OP described, more speed especially. I love it but the ride is stiffer with 100 lbs of pressure in the 700x28cm tires. Also you will be leaning forward more. I added some bar ends that allow frequent position changes and my back has been ok with it, and I have a history of lower back problems.
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Old 04-15-08, 06:56 AM   #13
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flan,
I have a Trek 7500 which I bought as my first bike a few years ago for the same reasons you stated: bad back problems. After a couple of years peddling I decided that I wanted to try a road bike. I have never regretted that decision. I have found that riding my road bikes, all of which have aero bars, is very comfortable and has caused me no more challenges than the hybrid. In fact riding in the aero bars is very comfortable and takes the pressure off of your back when you are into the wind and at the end of a long ride.
Good luck with your ride.
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Old 04-15-08, 07:47 AM   #14
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Many of us have herniated discs (myself included) and ride road bikes with drop bars. There is no reason the tops and hoods of a drop bar cannot be just as high as a flat bar or higher.

The tire changes will help, but a road bike is better for faster, more efficient road riding.
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Old 04-15-08, 11:40 AM   #15
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Thank you for your replies.
Best regards
Several people have mentioned it but while testing bikes- try a road bike. You do not have to get down into the drop position and I know that when I went road- It took me 6 months before I could ride in that position.---Due to compressed vertebrae in the lower back. I find that stretching out on the bike is just as comfortable as the mountain bike position- and the more comfortable Bike I have has the bars 3" below the saddle- and gives a longer stretch than the other two. Only problem I find now is neck ache after 4 hours on that bike.
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Old 04-15-08, 01:42 PM   #16
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I have a very bad L5 S1....riding actually makes my back feel better. According to my PT it depends I the kind of damage and what nerves are being impacted.

I think you'll be waay impressed with how much faster and easier a road bike rides over your hybrid. I just suggest that you consider a stem with a very mild amount of rise. You'll be on the brake hoods 90% of the time anyway. I'd be surprised if this setup makes your back worse. Maybe you could try someone else's over the weekend? Just make sure it fits reasonably well or it won't be a worthwhile test.

Good luck!

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Old 04-15-08, 02:56 PM   #17
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When it comes to "back problems", there is no one solution that works for everybody!
If I ride 2 minutes on a drop bar bike, I can't straighten up the rest of the day.
I have to ride VERY upright. Did I mention I detest head winds?
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Old 04-15-08, 06:35 PM   #18
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I also have a bad back. Back surgery once, and that was on L5. From my experience, the road bike is much better than my hybrid on my back. Maybe your doctor is confused as to the bike positions.
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Old 04-20-08, 08:06 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by CACycling View Post
+1 on replacing the tires. I replaced the stock tires on my wife's comfort bike (26 x 1.95 / 65 psi max) with some 26 x 1.25 / 90 psi max tires and she was amazed at the difference.
I went to my LBS, which is terrific. They said that a 26 x 1.25" tire would not fit on my rims. What they did recommend was a 1.5" tire (originals were/are 1.95" with a lot of tread - like a mountain bike tire), high pressure (100 psi), with very little tread. I said let's do it.

So, for a total cost of $77, which includes new tubes and an extra tube, I have what seems like a totally different bike. The difference is incredible - i love it!

So, the idea on changing tires was indeed a great one. Thanks again!
Best regards
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