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Old 06-13-11, 09:28 AM   #1
dogmomof2
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Hybrid? Comfort?

So I've been researching like crazy to try to figure out what type bike I'll likely be most happy with. Reading this site has helped, but because I'm hoping to buy used, my options are a bit more limited. I *think* I want something more than a tool around town bike -- something with a bit more speed perhaps? Will be riding mostly paved bike paths. One bike I've got my eye on is a Trek Navigator 2.0. Looks pretty good and I plan to test drive it today, but am concerned that it could be too pokey. I'm in pretty good shape for my age so can handle more than a coaster bike. Is it possible that the Navigator is closer to a hybrid than a comfort? Any other words of wisdom?
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Old 06-13-11, 10:18 AM   #2
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Good luck with your research. There's certainly a vast choice of excellent bikes these days, and a confusing number of 'categories' which to my perception aren't exclusively different - big overlap.
You mention Trek. No market leader can remain so with bad product - I like their offerings. However, I'm not sure what your concern about 'pokey' is.

'Pokey' - too fast and sporty for your present cycling comfort zone?
'Pokey' - too angular, too leaned forward?
'Pokey' - the saddle's a bit impertinent?

You sound like someone who's looking for something that's accessible from the first, and won't disappoint as you get more keen.
Trek 7.5 fx is maybe the world's best selling bike?

(I am in no way associated with Trek, not a shill, bought one of these for my wife, she loves it, went from 20 miles on a good day to centuries often) Other companies do very similar machines
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Old 06-13-11, 10:27 AM   #3
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Your description of your requirements and your concerns sounds more like someone looking for a casual drop bar road bike than either a hybrid or comfort bike. Find one with relaxed geometry and a tallish head tube so you can bring the bars up around saddle height and you should be comfortable and not be pokey (slow).
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Old 06-13-11, 11:56 AM   #4
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One bike I've got my eye on is a Trek Navigator 2.0. Looks pretty good and I plan to test drive it today, but am concerned that it could be too pokey. I'm in pretty good shape for my age so can handle more than a coaster bike. Is it possible that the Navigator is closer to a hybrid than a comfort?
I have a Nav 2.0 and it is indeed a comfort bike, not a (semi) lightweight hybrid. It's not light, but rides comfortably as you'd expect although I've never taken it for rides longer than 20 miles or so. However, at some point (if I ever have time to ride again...) I plan on moving in a more roadie direction if that's any indication. There's nothing wrong with the Navigator per se, it's just squarely in the comfort zone with all that implies.
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Old 06-13-11, 11:56 AM   #5
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I have a Navigator 2.0. It is not a speedy bike. It is great for cruising the neighborhood or going to the store. It is very comfortable for up to around 8 miles. My top speed on it is just under 12mph. I would need a different seat and handlebars if I wanted to go any farther on a regular basis. I have a Trek 7.5 FX or a road bike for longer rides. I go from 14 to 18 mph on these bikes for 20+ mile rides.

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Old 06-13-11, 11:59 AM   #6
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I'd lean to aggressive. Set the barrier high and go for it. We bought our first road bikes in the early 70's. Pokey. Got race bikes in the mid 70's. Much more fun and therefore motivational. But, due to lifestyle/job, only rode 6 to 12 times/year. Retired in '98, three/four years later got more serious at biking and we now typically ride twice per week emphasising longer rides. We always have gone for the sporty bikes --- suitably geared for our more limited bike fitness (and age) as we do other stuff as well.

At 72 I have no problem with a 45/50 degree back angle (much lower on steep climbs on the trails), 80 to 110 cadence, and rideing in the heat/cold, etc. It's all attitude. Folks have a tendency to see age as something to blame for being timid or for pains due to lack of use. Like being over-50 was some how a limiting factor.

The wife, 70, lusted for this used 18 lb carbon race -configured 30 speed road bike a few weeks ago. I thought it was a very bad idea as I don't even like that kind of bike. But, if it makes her ride more and harder, it's worth the big $'s. Had to change out the ultegra drive train for a mountain bike drive train (works fine with STI) or she'd never make the hills. She can climb with a 22/34 now when she has too just like her other two bikes.

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Old 06-13-11, 12:02 PM   #7
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I've done around 20 mph in calm air on my 2.0 (but not for long :-), but the upright geometry is something to consider - Both for and against. It feels comfortable but in that position you're really a sailboat. Tailwinds are great, headwinds really suck.
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Old 06-13-11, 12:10 PM   #8
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I think the only way to really know is to do test rides. Even if you buy used, there should be shops around that are willing to let you test ride new bikes that are similar to the ones you are looking at. In my area there are three or four shops that will rent certain bikes. Maybe you could look into this as an option too.
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Old 06-13-11, 01:06 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by dogmomof2 View Post
I *think* I want something more than a tool around town bike -- something with a bit more speed perhaps? Will be riding mostly paved bike paths.
You didn't say what your budget is but it sounds like you really want a flat bar road bike. Something like this. Can you spring for ~$550 plus extra for a helmet, frame pump, seat bag, spare tube, patch kit, and multitool?

Let us know what bike you get. Pics are required.
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Old 06-13-11, 01:41 PM   #10
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Agree with With RonH and BD. If you are going to be on the road or on paved trails then a road bike with drop or flat bars will be the best. The effort in riding this type of bike compared to a "Comfort" bike is tremendous. You may not want speed now but start doing the 20 milers and you will notice the difference.

Although you are talking about Hybrid/comfort- do not dismiss the road bikes with drop handlebars. They can be surprisingly comfortable.
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Old 06-13-11, 01:44 PM   #11
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You didn't say what your budget is but it sounds like you really want a flat bar road bike. Something like this. Can you spring for ~$550 plus extra for a helmet, frame pump, seat bag, spare tube, patch kit, and multitool?

Let us know what bike you get. Pics are required.
frame pump? What's a frame pump?

My budget started at below $100 for a used bike until I learned that what I saw at that price point was probably junk. So I increased my budget to the $200-$350 range
and I still seem to be coming up short. Spending over $500 for a bike seems so extravagant, but I'm really frugal (i.e., cheap.) However, now that the initial sticker shock has worn off, maybe I can do $500-$550.
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Old 06-13-11, 03:05 PM   #12
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$500+ will get you into the range of the Jamis Coda and secondhand could buy you a respectable bike. Problem S/H is that you will have to know what you are looking at or perhaps you have a Knowledgeable friend that could help you out.

Frame pump- When riding you need a minimum of parts carried on the bike for minor repairs. Most common repair is for punctures so you need two tyre levers and a patch kit as a minimum but to play safe a spare tube and a multi tool which is a pack of tools with allen keys and screw drivers. These are carried in a small bag under the saddle. The Frame pump is the pump you carry on the bike to inflate the tyre after you have repaired it. And if you really want to play safe you will need a helmet- despite what some may say.
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Old 06-13-11, 08:17 PM   #13
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For me, nothing beats an old school road bike w/ drop bars and relaxed geometry, by today's aggressive racing standards. Particularly if you are mechanically inclined, consider a classic road bike.
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Old 06-14-11, 02:02 PM   #14
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So I tested a road bike today and discovered it isn't the bike for me, so I'm going back to my idea of a hybrid. Two questions...there is a used Trek Skye, 16" frame I'd like to go see (it's about a 45 minute drive) and to compare, I looked at, but didn't test yet, a Trek FX3, 13", which is what the salesperson said would be the right size for me. I guess it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway,) I can save several bucks by going used, but how does the Skye compare to the FX3? And is the frame size the same on the Skye as the FX3? I've searched and searched the internet, but can't find answers and all of you have been so helpful, I'm hoping someone can give me additional advice....thanks!
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Old 06-16-11, 10:58 AM   #15
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The drama (and tension) is between two things: the thrill of riding with speed and mastery of the elements and the reality of the body that is not quite what it used to be. You end up coming to grips with this and realize its a process.

You will be most happy with the bike that compromises little for the will power you put out. In the end its about how you like to ride and how much effort you're willing to make to get there.

Here its like a window looking in to get insight. But you have to walk thru the door and try things out. Many bike riders go through a few bikes before they know where they stand. Don't be afraid of spending money on these bikes. Consider it as a proactive health care decision.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:47 AM   #16
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So I tested a road bike today and discovered it isn't the bike for me, so I'm going back to my idea of a hybrid.
Just curious, what about the test ride made you come to that conclusion? Not trying to change your mind. Just trying to understand a different perspective.
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Old 06-16-11, 01:21 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by dogmomof2 View Post
So I tested a road bike today and discovered it isn't the bike for me, so I'm going back to my idea of a hybrid. Two questions...there is a used Trek Skye, 16" frame I'd like to go see (it's about a 45 minute drive) and to compare, I looked at, but didn't test yet, a Trek FX3, 13", which is what the salesperson said would be the right size for me. I guess it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway,) I can save several bucks by going used, but how does the Skye compare to the FX3? And is the frame size the same on the Skye as the FX3? I've searched and searched the internet, but can't find answers and all of you have been so helpful, I'm hoping someone can give me additional advice....thanks!

The FX3 is a very popular bike on these forums. You wouldn't go wrong with that bike. I tried one out when I was shopping a month or two ago. I ended up with a similar bike, the Cannondale Quick 4, just because it fit me better. From looking at the pictures of the Skye I would think that the FX3 is going to be a much better bike for you as you don't just want to tool around town and want something a bit speedier. It looks like the Skye has a front suspension, which doesn't seem necessary where you plan to ride and may bog you down a bit. I don't know how tall you are or what you inseam is (from crotch to ground), but if the Trek 13" is likely the right size for you the Skye at 16" is likely too big. It looks like the smallest Skye is 14".

Last edited by goldfinch; 06-16-11 at 01:29 PM.
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Old 06-16-11, 07:02 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by dogmomof2 View Post
So I tested a road bike today and discovered it isn't the bike for me, so I'm going back to my idea of a hybrid. Two questions...there is a used Trek Skye, 16" frame I'd like to go see (it's about a 45 minute drive) and to compare, I looked at, but didn't test yet, a Trek FX3, 13", which is what the salesperson said would be the right size for me. I guess it goes without saying (but I'll say it anyway,) I can save several bucks by going used, but how does the Skye compare to the FX3? And is the frame size the same on the Skye as the FX3? I've searched and searched the internet, but can't find answers and all of you have been so helpful, I'm hoping someone can give me additional advice....thanks!
What kind of road bike did you try ? Road bikes are one type of bike where one size/type does not fit all. There are a lot of options out there.

I know I'd never be able to get my wife on a road bike. She doesn't believe me when I tell her that my Roubaix is so much more comfortable than my 7100 but I'm an old roadie who got back into cycling with a hybrid and I don't need the mountain bike type gearing of a hybrid to climb hills.

The FX is probably a better bet in the long run, especially if you want to go on longer rides. A lighter bike makes for a happier rider, especially on longer rides. While there's no reason why you can't ride a hardtail like the Skye on longer rides, they do weigh more. On the other hand, if you like to go off the bike paths and streets and go off road once in a while, a hardtail is a lot of fun.

If I were you, I'd go with the FX.
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Old 06-16-11, 08:02 PM   #19
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Bought an FX7.3 in 2009. Only 24 pounds....which is good for a hybrid. A great bike.
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Old 06-16-11, 08:22 PM   #20
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I was in your position about 17 months ago. I was absolutely positive that a drop bar road bike wasn't for me, and I was right---for a while. Get into any new sport and you never know just how you are going to evolve. I bought a Bianchi Camaleonte, a hybrid but a street oriented hybrid and put over 6000 miles on it last year as I evolved into a road and paved trail rider. Amazing myself, I started this year with a drop bar road bike. While my Bianchi CTC road bike is perfect for me now, it really wasn't right for the me of a year ago.

I rode the Bianchi hybrid today because it had just rained and I didn't want the grit in the drive train of the road bike, and this hybrid is a really nice bike. The handling is very stable and position comfortable. It's pretty fast but not as fast as my road bike but it isn't supposed to be. For doing trails, around the neighborhood, riding with family or in a urban situation, you could make a strong case that this type of bike is the one to have, if you are only going to have one that is. If you're on the road pouring the miles on, well, it's road bike all the way.

Giant makes a very nice version too, I'm sure all the makers do.

Pict below, I've got stuff hanging all over this.

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Old 06-17-11, 08:25 AM   #21
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Awesome hybrid, similar to my Giant that I bought about 10 years ago, but somewhat better than mine with the newer frame design and parts, partially because mine wasn't a hybrid then. I don't remember the seller using that label then, It was just a mountain bike on sale at a Sun & Ski tent sale, probably because there are no mountains around here. Lately, I'm re-discovering the advantages of a road bike after yanking an old junk Gitane out of the attic and cleaning it up, and realizing that it seems so much faster. I don't know if it's the total weight or the geometry or what, but even the old $10 attic beater with steel frame and worn out parts seems faster than my aluminum mountain bike. Whodathunkit, go figure. I guess that's one of the reasons that the young hotshots go by me so fast on the bike trail. I think I'll clean up my 35 year old Raleigh Gran Prix and see if I can re-discover my youth.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:31 PM   #22
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Just curious, what about the test ride made you come to that conclusion? Not trying to change your mind. Just trying to understand a different perspective.
I felt like I had no control. It wasn't a step-through (is that the right terminology?) and it just felt too big for me even though the sales gal said it was the right size. I wish I could remember the brand....this is an independent bike shop so I "assume" the bikes are not junk.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:33 PM   #23
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The FX3 is a very popular bike on these forums. You wouldn't go wrong with that bike. I tried one out when I was shopping a month or two ago. I ended up with a similar bike, the Cannondale Quick 4, just because it fit me better. From looking at the pictures of the Skye I would think that the FX3 is going to be a much better bike for you as you don't just want to tool around town and want something a bit speedier. It looks like the Skye has a front suspension, which doesn't seem necessary where you plan to ride and may bog you down a bit. I don't know how tall you are or what you inseam is (from crotch to ground), but if the Trek 13" is likely the right size for you the Skye at 16" is likely too big. It looks like the smallest Skye is 14".
Thanks; that's what I thought and since I haven't seriously ridden a bike in *several* years, I think I better go with a new one so I can be fitted properly.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:55 PM   #24
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I felt like I had no control. It wasn't a step-through (is that the right terminology?) and it just felt too big for me even though the sales gal said it was the right size. I wish I could remember the brand....this is an independent bike shop so I "assume" the bikes are not junk.
Although you may well be more comfortable on a flat bar bike for now, I wouldn't jump to any big conclusions about drop bar bikes based on that one ride. Any number of things could have contributed to those feelings. Your tastes and your confidence on a bike of any type will likely change drastically as you gain more experience. There's no telling what your next bike after this one will be like.
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Old 06-18-11, 04:39 AM   #25
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Bikes need not be that expensive but cheap (Lower quality) bikes do exist. In the known makes- Trek- Giant- Bianchi-Cannondale-Marin And plenty more, Good "Starter" bikes do exist. You do get what you pay for but low level components will not affect the ride for a newcomer too much. Later on and you "May" want 10 speed gears- a few lbs off the bike and the "BIG" name parts. Initially that will not matter too much. You want a bike that will get you started and not fall apart too often. Looking on the Giant site and several bikes come to mind that are woman specific. The link to the Giant site shows a couple that will get you up hills and do the milage when you get up to it. The DASH 3 is one that I have experience of with a couple of mates having bought the mens version and they are good bikes. The escape is not one I know but it is classed as a sport bike so would get you through the early stages of riding.

http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...d/?level=sport
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