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Old 06-12-07, 04:56 PM   #1
jasterm
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Total Newb hybrid question:

I understand most purist would steer a newbie from a hybrid, but for those who know: Which hybrid would you recomend in the $1000 - $1500 US range? Are there any hybrids worth mentioning at the $1750-$2000 mark? There are so many companies to choose from, I could use a little guidance.
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Old 06-12-07, 05:09 PM   #2
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"Hybrid" covers a lot of ground, from sluggish but grampa-friendly comfort bikes, to high end flat bar speedsters.

What sort of riding do you intend to do, what's your approximate age, fitness level and cycling experience?

A rule of thumb I have quoted before is to look at the picture of a bike on a manufacturer's website and see how the height of the handlebars compares to the height of the seat.

If the handlebars are a lot higher than the seat, the bike is probably slow and stable, and will be good for an older person, someone not very confident in their riding, or someone who wants to ride a mile tops to Starbucks. If the handlebars are a little lower than the seat, the bike is intended for a lithe, athletic, younger person who wants to max out his speed over a longer distance. If the handlebars are about the same height as the seat, the bike will represent a reasonable compromise between comfort and speed.

Also, are you thinking about pavement only, or bike paths, or packed rail-trails, or actual off road trails?

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Old 06-12-07, 06:06 PM   #3
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Why that's easy. Shop for a bike store first.

Visit as many bike stores as you can in your area and talk to as many sales people as you can. You'll know the right salesperson when you find them. That'll be the one who answers your questions patiently and asks you the right questions in return.

Once you find the right salesperson buy a brand they sell and you'll never go wrong.
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Old 06-12-07, 07:18 PM   #4
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Trek 7.7FX and Specialized Sirrus Pro.
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Old 06-12-07, 11:22 PM   #5
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I was interested in the 7.7FX when I was looking for a high end hybrid, another I was interested in was Jamis. Look at their Coda Supreme, its a well decked out bike.
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Old 06-13-07, 10:47 AM   #6
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Thanks for the responses all, and most of all your patience towards a newb. I am in my 30's, and am in decent shape. I box 3 times a week, and can maintain a pretty high level of high impact cardio, so my bike purchase is primarily more for recreational speed riding, than cardio training. I'd be riding on mostly paved roads in central park (NY), and some light trails (also in the parks around NY), so I'm leaning towards more of a road biased hybrid. I know the hybrids have a rep for "jack of all trades, ace of none," but I get my workout in the ring, and want something more for fun to supplement my fitness. That being said, I love toys. I've done a search on the forum with a lot of great info, and it seems that the same companies come up when discussing hybrids: Trek, Jamis, Specialized, Kona, Devinci, etc... I'm a believer in carbon fiber frames, and noticed in discussions that disc breaks tend to be favored. I liked the look of the Jamis, but am not sure if there are other options that I should be looking at. Any other tidbits of advice?
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Old 06-13-07, 01:25 PM   #7
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The top of the line Jamis Coda(think it's still called Elite) and Specialized Sirrus,the Kona Dr Dew,and the Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra are all sweet rides. Ibex makes a nice high-end hybrid(Corrida?),but I've never seen one in the flesh.

For the kind of riding you describe,I think I'd go with a Dr Dew or BBU. Most of the high end hybrids are more road oriented,and I'd be careful about taking something with a carbon fork down trails. The Dr Dew is slightly MTB-ish,and with the stock wide tires would do pretty well on trails. You could always swap on skinnier tires for more speed. The BBU would also be a good choice because you can lock out the front suspension on the fly. The BBU is also based on a MTB frameset,so if you wanted you could build up a second 26" wheelset with knobbies and do some serious trailwork.

You also might want to look at a cyclocross bike.
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Old 06-13-07, 02:53 PM   #8
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The hybrids in your (very high) price range are basically going to be flat bar road bikes. I would reccomend trying out drop bar road bikes as well, because you might like them. if you do, you will have a wider variety of bikes to choose from.

I would try to stick to around 1500. For road bikes, it's generally recognized as something of a "sweet spot." You get the same frame, generally, as the super expensive bikes, with 105 level components, which are high performance but not over the top expensive. Generally, this will get you the most bike for your buck. After around 1500, it's diminishing returns for every dollar spent.
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Old 06-13-07, 03:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasterm
I understand most purist would steer a newbie from a hybrid, but for those who know: Which hybrid would you recomend in the $1000 - $1500 US range? Are there any hybrids worth mentioning at the $1750-$2000 mark? There are so many companies to choose from, I could use a little guidance.
Yeah, but why respect a purist? To each his own. You'll find many who ride seriously and recommend a hybrid. You'll also find that the term hybrid is so vague nowadays, as it encompasses so many styles, that it's not too useful.

Maybe start with some info on your riding environment (trails, pavement, etc) and other factors, and what style of bike you're looking for (comfortable more upright, more race-oriented hybrid, etc).

If you mean TOTAL newb then from my perspective that price range is a bit high to jump into unless you really know what is going to work for you. But maybe you're rich.

For race-oriented hybrid I (obviously) recommend the one I have right now - Specialized Sirrus series.
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Old 06-13-07, 03:25 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasterm
Thanks for the responses all, and most of all your patience towards a newb. I am in my 30's, and am in decent shape. I box 3 times a week, and can maintain a pretty high level of high impact cardio, so my bike purchase is primarily more for recreational speed riding, than cardio training. I'd be riding on mostly paved roads in central park (NY), and some light trails (also in the parks around NY), so I'm leaning towards more of a road biased hybrid. I know the hybrids have a rep for "jack of all trades, ace of none," but I get my workout in the ring, and want something more for fun to supplement my fitness. That being said, I love toys. I've done a search on the forum with a lot of great info, and it seems that the same companies come up when discussing hybrids: Trek, Jamis, Specialized, Kona, Devinci, etc... I'm a believer in carbon fiber frames, and noticed in discussions that disc breaks tend to be favored. I liked the look of the Jamis, but am not sure if there are other options that I should be looking at. Any other tidbits of advice?
From what you say you are accurate in your choice of bike style.

The makes you list are the commonly recommended ones. Best off test riding to see what works for you. Have at it.

The "jack of all trades, master of none" line, as refers to hybrids, is a long worn out cliche. Don't let anyone diss you.
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Old 06-13-07, 04:03 PM   #11
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Cannondale Road Warrior 1000, if you'd consider aluminum frame w/ carbon fork and seat post.

http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/c...odel-7HR1.html

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Old 06-13-07, 04:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasterm
I understand most purist would steer a newbie from a hybrid, but for those who know: Which hybrid would you recomend in the $1000 - $1500 US range?
Right now, my commuter and errand bike is a Specialized Crosstrail Pro. Lists at $1200. I think I paid $1100. It looks for all the world like a mountain bike, but it's not quite a mountain bike, but you can actually take it out on singletrack and ride it so long as you aren't on too crazy of a trail. I love the bike for riding around town. It's got 29-inch tires that I can really get cranked up going downhill. Components are all quite nice. The bike shifts well. The hydraulic brakes stop well. The carbon handlebar and seatpost add a nice bit of bling. I've heard the Crosstrail referred to as "a hybrid of a hybrid", because it seems to split the difference between the more typical hybrid and a hardtail mountain-bike. It's worth a look if you want a hybrid that you can ride aggressively.

The bike comes stock with some hybrid tires that are slick in the middle and that have tread on the edges. At the moment though, I have on a pair of Specialized Fast Trak tires, which are mountain-bike tires with a tread pattern that works pretty darn well on pavement. Last week I had four hours to kill while my daughter took a CPR class in a nearby town. I took my Crosstrail with me, got my daughter into her class, and then had a nice ride around town that included highway, sidestreets, bike path, and even several miles of singletrack on the local trail system.

I don't mean to sound like a commercial here. I'm just trying to get across my own personal enthusiasm for the particular hybrid that I bought. Your riding style may vary from mine. You may not want a hybrid that is almost a mountain-bike. Etc.

I did have some initial angst about standover height -- there isn't any. And I still wonder whether maybe I should've gotten the 17-inch frame instead of the 18-inch frame.

Were I doing things over again, I would also look harder at the Specialized Tricross. That's more like a road bike, but it's one that would work on dirt roads and fire trails and even some smooth singletrack. It is on my short list for next year.
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Old 06-13-07, 04:30 PM   #13
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I just bought a NOS (new, old stock) 2005 Jamis Coda Elite to replace my 04 Giant Cypress SX (Same as FCR series now). I should have done it a long time ago. I hate the massively stiff feeling of all aluminum bikes. You might not mind. The new steel ride on all of the old surfaces that used to be so uncomfortable now make me feel like my tires are not pumped up and are absorbing the shock. Not slow, just cushy smooth. It's not a placebo effect either, it is incredibly different. Obviously it's the steel frame. I think in the city you'll appreciate steel. The streets suck. The 07 Elite is about $1200 with disc brakes. The Comp with v-brakes is almost the same bike (lighter wheelset, different steel for the frame) for $400 less.

There are a number of shops in Manhattan where you can test ride a Jamis Coda hopefully. Bicycle Renaissance is 1 block from the park on the west side. Call first to see if they have one to test ride. I'd say if you aren't going to ride it in the rain, don't bother with disc brakes. V-brakes will stop you fast enough. Then again, the frame on the Elite is nicer steel, and the weight of both bikes is about the same.
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Old 06-14-07, 12:33 AM   #14
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People will always try to steer you away from a hybrid at your price range. People tried to talk me into a road bike. I got this Ti ride and don't regret it at all.

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Old 06-14-07, 01:59 AM   #15
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Not to be contrarian, but why would you spend that much money on a recreational bike for casual weekend rides? Carbon frame and disc brakes for tooling around Central Park? Why? I don't get it.

Why not buy a really nice bike like the Trek 7.5FX and save your money?
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Old 06-14-07, 08:49 AM   #16
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+1 for the Tricross. You can get one for $1100. And it's NOT a hybrid. It's better.
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Old 06-14-07, 09:52 AM   #17
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Not to be contrarian, but why would you spend that much money on a recreational bike for casual weekend rides? Carbon frame and disc brakes for tooling around Central Park? Why? I don't get it.

Why not buy a really nice bike like the Trek 7.5FX and save your money?
Because they can. One of the benefits of living in the city.

Someone would probably ask you the same question and offer that a 7.3FX is a really nice bike and you too could have saved some money. Capeesh?
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Old 06-14-07, 10:21 AM   #18
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Why a hybrid? A billion Chinese can't all be wrong:

Nor can a billion Indians:
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Old 06-14-07, 11:06 AM   #19
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Because they can. One of the benefits of living in the city.

Someone would probably ask you the same question and offer that a 7.3FX is a really nice bike and you too could have saved some money. Capeesh?
Well, I have a 7.2FX, so they couldn't ask me that question. He can buy whatever he likes, but I stand by my point.
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Old 06-14-07, 11:56 AM   #20
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Hi,
I also live in NYC. I bought a Cannondale Road Warrior 500 two month ago for same purpose as you. I paid $800 for it at Sid's Bike and I think it's a great road oriented hybrid for the price. The components are slightly better than the average FX from Trekk and the frame is outstanding, also it has a carbon fiber fork which I really love for shock absorbtion. It has punctured resistent 700c tires and I can ride it almost as fast as the guys in the park with dedicated road bikes. You can also go with the RW 800 or 1000 if you want to splurge. I did not find the upgraded parts to be worth the difference though. I bought the bike after trying 3 different bikes from Specialized, Trekk and Bianchi. Go to a shop and take one for a spin, that's the way to go. I heard the Bianchi Strada is a solid competitor but I could not find it anywhere. Cannondale bicycle are hand assembled in the USA and the frame is made in the USA. I found that among a flow of product that are exclusively made and assembled in China this was a positive. My 2c.
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Old 06-14-07, 12:00 PM   #21
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Quote:
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Why a hybrid? A billion Chinese can't all be wrong:
Nor can a billion Indians:
So you're saying that the majority of Chinese and Indians are riding 'hybrids'?
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Old 06-14-07, 01:19 PM   #22
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So you're saying that the majority of Chinese and Indians are riding 'hybrids'?
Yup. Not in a strict American version (not too many of them buying 7.7FXs), but upright, skinny tire bikes. Major difference is handlebars that come back around and point to the back.
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Old 06-14-07, 02:12 PM   #23
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Yup. Not in a strict American version (not too many of them buying 7.7FXs), but upright, skinny tire bikes. Major difference is handlebars that come back around and point to the back.
In other words they ride utility/commuter bikes. Whew, I thought for a second there had been some major shift in cycling overnight.

Sorry dude, those ain't 'hybrids' in the classic, American marketing driven sense of the category. Those are actual bikes.
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Old 06-14-07, 03:09 PM   #24
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Thanks all. Your info was VERY helpful! I went out to a shop near me, and they had the Cannondale 800 and 1000 that was very nice! I wasn’t too crazy about the orange color of the 800, but the 1000 was more to my liking. I inquired about the Specialized Crosstrail Pro, and Tricross bikes, but they informed me that they were hot sellers when they first came out, and that many distributors sold out immediately. I like the idea of having a “road-bike with a straight-bar,” but I’m just a bit weary about buying a bike that I need to be too gentle with, and stress out when I need to travel by trail.

Bsyptak, thanks for all the help! I think I’m leaning toward the Jamis, but the Cannondale 1000, (and even the BBU) is looking really nice too. I think I’ll be able to make a decision once I can see the Jamis in person and take it out for a test ride. Really though, I appreciate the assistance! I’ll keep searching and let you know.
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