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  1. #1
    Member EdmontonIrish's Avatar
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    New Rider, Old Question - MTB or Hybrid?

    Hi all. I have a question that's probably been answered a dozen times or more, but it's still gnawing away at my brain like Kirstey Alley on a cheesesteak.

    I'm coming back to biking after a 7-year hiatus, and I can really only afford one bike to fit all my "wants". I'll be using it for short commutes (4 kms or so), but I also definetely want to be able to take it on weekend gravel road/multi-use trail rides. Maybe a few trips to the mountains in the summer, but strictly tourist-fare.

    So here's what I'm torn between:

    Rocky Mountain Whistler - hybrid with front shocks, 700 x 35c tires. I know it'd be perfect for my commuting, but can it handle the gravel, hard packed city trails, an occasional tourist trail?

    http://www.rocky-mountain.com/bikes/...istler-30.aspx

    vs.

    Rocky Mountain Soul - I could switch out the tires to a more road-worthy set, but the tire size should still mean slower road travel (right?)

    http://www.rocky-mountain.com/bikes/...port/soul.aspx

    Any and all help would be much appreciated. I'll be picking it up right soon - I need to get back on a bike.

  2. #2
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    For the type of riding you are describing a hybrid will work just fine. Here is my Trek Navigator 200 in the woods with racks and panniers for good measure. I wouldn't attempt serious mountain biking with it but it's perfect for dirt roads and even easy non technical single track.

    Have fun shopping.
    Brian Daniels

  3. #3
    I couldn't car less. jeff williams's Avatar
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    Number 2. The fork on the comfort bike is low end.
    Mtb well set can be fast, no do-dads, ridden in an good cycling position, small semi-slick tires and even custom rings.
    A 'road' bike will do poorly offroad, and it's not even a good road geometry!
    A mtb will do road o.k, offroad great.
    Between the two, the soul seems to be a real cycle, not sure about the comfort.
    But the comfort will restrict any developement into offroad riding, it's not a piece of 'sporting' equiptment = liesure, commuting, light exercise. Offroad I mean, a trail with a couple roots, a rock here -there.
    I probably would not ride the comfort offroad, and offroad I bet the ride is not so comfortable.
    The body position is basically the same, If you wanted, a suspension seatpost on the mtb.


    As far as 700 vs 26 rims..it's firstly the power of the rider, position of the body, bike weight, tire contact.
    Unless you are racing home everyday from work against US postal riders, I doubt it would matter.
    My example is 38T chainring to 11T cog 80rpm.
    A 700 wheel is 1.1 mph faster, this does not factor in increased road contact with larger tire.


    Back to your Q?

    Yes, bike one will do MUP, tourist fare.

    Yes, but not much slower and you have more options as to what terrain you can cycle.

    You need to ride both bikes and decide what feels best for you, a bike that has a good ergonomic feel is going to get ridden. A bike that you don't like will gather dust. Testride.
    Last edited by jeff williams; 05-17-05 at 11:54 AM.

  4. #4
    Humvee of bikes =Worksman Nightshade's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonIrish
    Hi all. I have a question that's probably been answered a dozen times or more, but it's still gnawing away at my brain like Kirstey Alley on a cheesesteak.

    I'm coming back to biking after a 7-year hiatus, and I can really only afford one bike to fit all my "wants". I'll be using it for short commutes (4 kms or so), but I also definetely want to be able to take it on weekend gravel road/multi-use trail rides. Maybe a few trips to the mountains in the summer, but strictly tourist-fare.

    So here's what I'm torn between:

    Rocky Mountain Whistler - hybrid with front shocks, 700 x 35c tires. I know it'd be perfect for my commuting, but can it handle the gravel, hard packed city trails, an occasional tourist trail?

    http://www.rocky-mountain.com/bikes/...istler-30.aspx

    vs.

    Rocky Mountain Soul - I could switch out the tires to a more road-worthy set, but the tire size should still mean slower road travel (right?)

    http://www.rocky-mountain.com/bikes/...port/soul.aspx

    Any and all help would be much appreciated. I'll be picking it up right soon - I need to get back on a bike.
    Ok, now for the suprize answer.....

    Neither type,mate. For REAL versitlity buy a..........cross bike!!!!

    That's right a Cross bike built for cyclocross. Why?

    Easy really as a cross bike HAS to do it all to be able to survive
    a cross course, mate. Ain't no MTB or Hybrid do that......

  5. #5
    Senior Member Dang's Avatar
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    Hmmm....Your question takes me back to 1997 when I first decided to buy a new bike. Decided on a the hybrid. A Specialized Crossroad. You know, the best of both worlds I guess. Then a couple of years later I decided a real MTN bike is what I wanted. I salvaged a few discarded ones and today I'm happy with my Specialized Rockhopper. Then...Ha ha... I picked up a used Trek 400 road bike. Can't belive how fast with so less effort I can go on that Trek.
    Today I mostly ride the Crossroads for my basic ride. She's perfect for commuting around town, about 85% of my riding time. But its good to know if I want to hit the trails I can and do. If I wanna speed around town I ride the Trek.
    Gosh. I can't tell you what to get. But do make sure you get a bike for your body type. Any bike you buy whether it's a MTN, road or hybrid that's not in tune with your body will suck!

  6. #6
    clevernamehere
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    Quote Originally Posted by EdmontonIrish
    ...I could switch out the tires to a more road-worthy set, but the tire size should still mean slower road travel (right?)
    My experience has been that tire/wheel diameter makes no difference. I rode a hybrid (Marin Larkspur) for 4300km of commuting miles (including winter). It was stolen. I replaced it with a Marin Novato. Marin clasifies it as an "Urban" bike... basically a mountain bike with no suspension, taller gearing & road semi-slicks.

    The tires on both bikes are very similar (except diameter)... Larkspur had 700 x 35c, the Novato 26x1.4", both semi-slicks, both 80psi max. Both bikes have the same chain rings (48/38/28) but different cassettes (Novato: 12-26, Larkspur: 11-32).

    If anything the Novato feels faster... 3 days after getting it I set my personal best average speed & top speed for my commute.

    I went with the Novato because of my winter commuting. I'll have a better selection of studded winter tires to choose from (wider as well) but I can still run a very efficient narrower tire for my summer commute.

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