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Old 09-28-08, 09:14 PM   #1
Yen
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Replacing my hybrid: The search is over

On Friday, I paid a deposit on N+1. Since it's not mine yet, it's still N+1/4.

Some of you may already know from reading my posts in the Touring forum. I chose a Surly Long Haul Trucker. I viewed them on-line earlier this year before I bought the Roubaix, but the LHT is a touring bike, and I wasn't planning to tour.

I've been looking, shopping, comparing, and researching replacements for my hybrid (the Giant Cypress SX which is too big). I enjoy riding it when speed and keeping up with a group are not part of the ride. I love the casual uprightness and sure-footedness. But, alas, it's too big. And heavy.

So I've been looking around for a replacement. This time, I knew what I didn't want (excess weight, suspension fork and seat post), but not quite everything I did want. At first, I focused on flat-bar road bikes and light weight hybrids where I could find them in my size. I knew I wanted a go-anywhere bike, mostly for roads but able to handle occasional gravel or crushed stone paths. Not bolt upright, but not too stretched out. Casual and sure-footed like my hybrid. Ready for commuting/errands, and maybe a tour someday (we talk about it after I retire). A nice ride, dependable, within my budget........... and, if I'm lucky................ blue.

I read great things about the Jamis Coda but could not find a shop that had one in my size. I rode some Treks, a Felt, and Konas. Some of you recommended a Cross-Check or touring bikes in my "shopping for a new hybrid" thread. So, I looked again at the Surlys. A touring bike? I kept an open mind. The LHT stood out -- but where is a shop that sells Surlys? One of the LBSs said he could get them but my size wasn't available. I decided to save a touring bike for N+2 or 3 and returned to looking at hybrids. But I kept going back to the LHT. I found a shop that had one -- imagine that -- already built in my size!!! We drove down that afternoon to see it.

What a cutie! I rode it, I liked it, and it fit. So I went home to think about it, study the geometry, and think some more. We drove back on Friday to ride it again, this time longer. It has the relaxed, sure-footed ride I love on my hybrid. And, it's blue! They offered 20% off the price on the tag, a deal that I could not pass up for a bike I really, really like.

I now know that a touring bike like the LHT can be the all-around bike I was looking for. It's the blending of my hybrid and my Roubaix. Going from the hybrid to the Roubaix was like going from a VW Bus to a Porsche; the LHT is the steadfast Honda Civic somewhere in the middle.

The only thing I'll have them change this week is the pedals (I want SPDs on one side, platforms on the other probably A530 or 324), and probably the saddle. I'm not sure about the saddle because I haven't decided on the bars (either trekking, bullhorn, H-bar, or ???). I may keep everything as it is, ride it a while, then decide. What changes would you make, if any, before bringing it home?

There is still a special place in my heart for my Giant. It is a great bike, very reliable, no problems. It got me back into cycling. I may keep it around as an extra bike, or a loaner, or sell it to a good home.

Here she is.... my N+1/4:
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Old 09-28-08, 09:22 PM   #2
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Nice choice. I thought this was in the mix for you, based upon our earlier discussions.

I just looked at one of them last Wednesday, at an independent bike shop that builds up frames from Surly, Salsa, Soma, and Waterford/Gunnar. If I were ever inclined to consider a drop bar bike, this would be one I would consider.

Are you going to get the typical relaxed gearing as found on most LHTs?
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Old 09-28-08, 09:30 PM   #3
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Yes, I plan to keep the gearing, at least for now until I've ridden it a while. It should be great on hills, though maybe not as fast as the Roubaix but I don't reach the max on that bike anyway. I'll see how it keeps up with the roadies in group.

Thanks for your approval, Tom. You could always get the bike and change out the bars which I'll probably end up doing. Have you tried trekking bars?
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Old 09-29-08, 08:52 AM   #4
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Good choice, and congratulations.
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Old 09-29-08, 09:12 AM   #5
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Congrats on finding such a sweet bike. I wish you many happy miles on it.
Blue is my second favorite bike color.
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Old 09-29-08, 09:31 AM   #6
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My friend got a LHT early in the summer. She put a rack on it and immediately began touring, from SF to the Sierras, and then down to Monterey. She loves that bike. It's a light metallic green and very pretty.

She kept the bars and replaced the saddle with a Brooks. Says it's the most comfortable saddle ever.

Congratulations on your new bike. I'm looking forward to your ride report.
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Old 09-29-08, 10:42 AM   #7
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Hey, way to go Yen. The hand writing was on the wall. Did you buy it off the people that had the bike. Anyhow congratulations on the new ride, I think you made a very good choice.
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Old 09-29-08, 11:13 AM   #8
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Nice bike! I rode a Cross-Check the other day and was quite impressed. Couldn't try the LHT because all they had were frames. I think you'll love this bike. And, other than all that blue pigment weighing it down, it should be quite fast enough!
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Old 09-29-08, 12:34 PM   #9
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Good for you, Yen. I have had my eye on the LHT for a while, been looking for a jump-on-and-ride bike for around town. Also aspire to doing some touring, so that attracted me, too. Can't decide between something like a Redline 9*2*5 and an LHT, maybe have to do N+2!

Keep us updated as you roll up the miles, I'm interested in how you like it. Seems that Trucker's have a tendency to become a lot of people's favorite bike, over time.
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Old 09-29-08, 12:58 PM   #10
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I now know that a touring bike like the LHT can be the all-around bike I was looking for.
Good choice, Yen

Touring bikes make great all-around bikes. I purchased mine for trips around town, towing the grand-kids in the trailer and riding the trails in my area. I also used it on a tour this summer and loved it!
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Old 09-29-08, 01:29 PM   #11
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We don't have Surly's over here but from the reports and specs of the bikes- They sound a good deal. Looks as though this will be a good "Allrounder" of a bike. Good commuter- good "Beater" bike for the local shopping- Occasional Spare bike and for the odd trip where you Don't (Or do) want to a serious ride.

Needs panniers and get the one sided SPD's on it. They will be a pain- but short trips in trainers and they will be fine and if you do a more serious trip- then the SPD shoes will be better. Don't change anything else on the bike though- Give it a couple of months for you to settle in and "Find" the problems before you change them



Not sure how the Sidi's will react to such a cheap bike though.
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Old 09-29-08, 07:25 PM   #12
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Thanks everyone! A530 SPD pedals (one-sided as Stapfam recommends) are on order and I may have my bike by Friday if they can get them in and installed. I'll ride it a while before changing anything else, except perhaps the saddle which seems to be the ONLY thing about this bike that new owners don't like - but that's typical of just about any bike. It's going to be fun dressing her up.

George: Yes, I bought it from the shop that had the bike.
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Old 09-29-08, 11:24 PM   #13
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So what size did you & the LBS determine was the best fit? 54cm?
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Old 09-30-08, 11:42 PM   #14
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Yen, I wonder if you are noticing a difference in how the LHT treats your knees compared with the hybrid.

Reason I ask is, guy at LBS insists my knee problems are due to hybrid geometry, and wants me to buy a road bike. (I like to do 20-40 mile rides)

Because of back problems, the only road bikes I could use would be relaxed bikes like the LHT or the Specialized Sequoia, and I'm wondering if there would be much difference from my hybrid. I love the current bike in terms of ride quality.
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Old 10-05-08, 12:20 AM   #15
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Reason I ask is, guy at LBS insists my knee problems are due to hybrid geometry
Anyone care to comment about that assertion? I'm having trouble seeing the logic--seat tube angles are not radically different.
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Old 10-05-08, 12:35 AM   #16
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Reason I ask is, guy at LBS insists my knee problems are due to hybrid geometry, and wants me to buy a road bike. (I like to do 20-40 mile rides)

Because of back problems, the only road bikes I could use would be relaxed bikes like the LHT or the Specialized Sequoia, and I'm wondering if there would be much difference from my hybrid. I love the current bike in terms of ride quality.
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Anyone care to comment about that assertion? I'm having trouble seeing the logic--seat tube angles are not radically different.
Same here. The only knee problems I know of are related to the Angle the feet sit on the pedals. This affects the position of the joint when pressure is put on it and hence pain.

I always ride with the toes pointing in and this gives a comfortable position for the knees. (One of the many advantages of Clipless pedals with minimal float ) It has even got to the stage that I climb stairs with the toes pointing in at work.

Only other thing I can see is that Saddle height and fore and aft position will affect it aswell so I reckon a pedal and saddle fitting may be in order
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Old 10-05-08, 08:45 AM   #17
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Hi Yen. Any update on the LHT? I can't wait for a ride report.
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Old 10-05-08, 09:26 AM   #18
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Hi Tru -- I haven't heard from the shop yet. They had to order the pedals I want and I thought I'd just have them put them on while the bike is still there waiting for the balance due. I could have ordered them separately and just gone to get the bike, but I thought they gave me a great deal so I'll get the accessories from there if they have them. I'll still need bottle cages and a pump mount but I can get those after I bring home the bike. I cant't wait to ride it.
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Old 10-05-08, 10:05 AM   #19
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Yen, isn't your bullhorn Roubaix now darn-near a high-performance street hybrid?
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Old 10-05-08, 10:07 AM   #20
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Yen, I wonder if you are noticing a difference in how the LHT treats your knees compared with the hybrid.

Reason I ask is, guy at LBS insists my knee problems are due to hybrid geometry, and wants me to buy a road bike. (I like to do 20-40 mile rides)

Because of back problems, the only road bikes I could use would be relaxed bikes like the LHT or the Specialized Sequoia, and I'm wondering if there would be much difference from my hybrid. I love the current bike in terms of ride quality.
Sportsman, what's unique about "hybrid geometry" that affects you?

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Old 10-05-08, 10:09 AM   #21
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Yen, isn't your bullhorn Roubaix now darn-near a high-performance street hybrid?
How's that?
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Old 10-05-08, 03:30 PM   #22
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How's that?

Maybe I don't understand the "essence of hybrid," but a high-end one seems primarily to be a flat bar road bike, and in fact they are often marketed under the moniker "fitness bike." They typically have road wheels, road tires, road gearing sets, near-road saddles depending on rider, road brakes, and brifters adapted to fit the mostly straight handlebar but with proper cable pull for the road derailleurs (if they are different from MB), and brake levers with pull to match short to medium reach sidepulls or dual-pivots. To have one with a full-carbon frame like your baby does seems rare to me, but barring the bullhorns (pun not intended), it seems quite similar. You'll ride with your hands in a thumb-forward grip position rather than thumbs-inward like on a hybrid.

Do hybrid frames have a key difference from a road bike? Only thing I can think of based on Mrs. Road Fan's Cannondale 800 is rather long chainstays, and a lot of trail, at least based on my measurements.

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Old 10-05-08, 06:22 PM   #23
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The term "hybrid" no longer has any real meaning in the modern bicycle marketing goulash. Once upon a time, a hybrid was a 700c wheeled version of a rigid MTB aimed toward a more casual rider. Today I can't figure out what they are supposed to be a hybrid of, maybe a road bike and a comfort bike. Bikes like the Spec. Cross-Trail are the closest thing now to a traditional hybrid, but I don't think they are even called hybrids.
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Old 10-05-08, 07:55 PM   #24
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They certainly do keep changing hybrids and comfort bikes. Lots of variations out there.

I consider the "classic" hybrids to be bikes like the Trek 7x00 series and Cannondale Adverturer line. The Fuji Crosstown is also very close to this standard, but Fuji calls it a "City" bike.

I used to include the Giant Cypress series, but in 2009 Giant has moved the Cypress into their Comfort bike category. Still mostly a classic hybrid but they've softened it a bit more.

I consider a classic hybrid to have a mountain bike type frame, a light-duty suspension fork, an adjustable stem, a somewhat cushy seat (but not like a comfort bike), a triple crank that is usually around 48/38/28, with a mountain bike like rear cassette (11-32'ish). Mountain bike brakes & derailleurs. Usually has tires in the 700x32 to 700x42 range. And will typically weigh from 27 to 32 pounds.

But then you can vary several or all of these things to make the bike more performance or comfort or off-road capable.

I would not consider a Specialized Roubaix with bull horn bars to be a hybrid. Every part of the bike is a road bike and bull horn bars are considered to be track bike oriented. Which is still a race orientation.

A "fitness" hybrid can range from being somewhat more performance oriented than a standard hybrid to being very close to a road bike, essentially a road bike with a flat bar and usually mountain bike shifters & brake levers.
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Old 10-05-08, 08:05 PM   #25
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Here's a very high end fitness hybrid ... the Trek 7.9 FX. Full carbon frame. List price of $2750.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/79fx/

Note that it still has thumb shifters and V-brakes. The stem is still up a bit (positive 12 degrees). The frame geometry lies between a mountain bike and a road bike, a kind of relaxed road bike. Tires are 700x28, wider than what you would expect in a $2750 road bike.
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