I admire road bikes, too. And am one of those cyclist who smiles wistfully (on my old Raleigh MTB) when they zip past me, head down, or head-up chugging water. But I live in a beautiful place and one of the real pleasures for me is seeing it, smelling the hay when it is mown and all the rest. So I want my head up even if it means losing speed. (though the other night I was riding home and was hit in the throat with a BAT! (the flying kind) No joke. So maybe that's another reason for those darned looped-down handle bars that no one ever mentions?)
Right now I've got it bad for the Giant FCR2, so I don't know how long I can hold out. Best combo for me, since it's got speed and some of the comfort of a hybrid. And I can lean into the Raleigh when the New England winters start to crunch.
How silly can you get? What makes you think that everyone out on a road bike is going flat out or racing all the time? Maybe they are just out enjoying a nice bike ride.My favorite thing to do is ride up along side a novice/not-too-serious road biker and see how fast I can push them.
I have a Giant Cypress DX for a three weeks now and love it. I used a 15 year old Scott for the last 4 years, so I may be biased.
I logged about 175 miles so far and it has been fantastic it comes with front susp., a seat post shock and a "tall" first gear to help out on the steepest of hills. Iím a fat bas$%^d (226) looking to loose weight ant it is perfect for that. Great on black top and stable on washed out closed down dirt roads.
Best 350 I ever spent on myself
I rode a Raleigh C50 hybrid off and on for over 10 years. I used it mainly for neighborhood riding with my kids, quick runs to the store. etc. But when I decided to do a lot more riding as a way to improve my fitness I found I didn't like it much for that. I switched to a Cannondale Synapse and found it to be more comfortable.
That is also how I know they are novices.
I bike around a college campus a lot, so you can imagine the personality types I see every day. A lot of hot heads who don't want anyone to pass them. I have had people on a bikeway swerve back and forth so I couldn't pass them. I eventually get along side of them and they try to get as much speed as they can, so I try to save my energy for hills and pull away then. I have even had people say, as I pass them, "oh, not on a POS hybrid you don't!"
Also, since I have ridden several 1000 miles this season and seen about as many bikes, does it really seem that silly that I have only encountered about 10 instances such as I described?
My whole point is saying any of this is to stand up for the hybrid bike...
Just took a spin on a midrange road bike --
It's neat. It was my first time really trying out the whole road geometry/drop bar thing. I didn't feel as stable as on my Bad Boy, but I think that's just because I'd have to get used to the positioning. The ride was nice & smooth, too -- a lot more comfortable than I thought it could be (it's been YEARS since I've tried a road bike).
The interesting thing, though, is that I felt like I had to rein in that bike. It just wants to go fast; it wants to get out on the open road. The superlight weight, the crouched position, the tall gearing... everything just begs for speed. I would love to take it someplace where I could just crank on the pedals and try to crack 30 mph on the flats for the first time.
But, it's just not as good in places like downtown DC as a hybrid bike can be. This is where it's better to have a little more upright stance and a beefier frame. I couldn't figure out how to downshift while braking on the road bike, either, but I do it on my Bad Boy all the time as I approach intersections.
So, IMO, it comes back to what a lot of us have said already -- road bikes are best taken to the open road, mountain bikes for off-roading, and hybrids (or even stiff MTBs with fast tires) for tooling around the city.
And if you can pass a roadie on your hybrid (or, better yet, a full suspension MTB) -- good on ya.
I have a Marin San Rafael Hybrid which I really like and have ridden on long rides (60 miles). But as I rack up the miles, I find my self wanting a lighter bike with a more aero body position. Next one will be a cyclocross
I bought a Trek 7200 last year, for my first bike in at least 10 years, and I really like it. It's helping me to get my bike legs for when I get my first road bike next year. I just bought LOOK pedals with Specialized shoes, which I plan to transfer over. Using them on this bike for a while will, hopefully, ensure that I have a smaller learning curve when I step up.
I don't know that a Hybrid is any worse or better than a road or mtn bike. It just depends on what you need a bike for.
Been using an IronHorse hybrid for 3 years, great ride. I am not racing, i am not maintain biking, i am commuting. A hybrid does that job nicely.
I agree with the previous posters that hybrids are ideal for city riding esp. short rides. For long commutes, you'd do better with a road-type bike.
Here's my review of the Fuji Crosstown: http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/
This was my first experience with a hybrid and I was really impressed. For the price point, this Fuji has good componentry.
There are no bad bikes. There is only "inappropriate for intended use".
To me, fit, tires, and quality are the three biggies. There's a lot of overlap in what category different manufacturers call their various bikes.
Fit includes the sizing of the bike to match your body, and the position of your body on the bike. You can make some educated guesses about fit but, it's just like buying a shoes or a suit, there's no substitute for trying it on.
Tires are a biggie. They come in a lot of widths and tread patterns. Picking the right one for your use will make a big difference. As a general rule, narrow tires will allow you to use more air pressure and will roll a little easier. Wider tires will be a bit more comfortable and will flat less often. Knobs and other tread features don't really do much unless you are seriously off roading.
Lots of people have trouble distinguishing between features and quality. Features are things like how many potential gear combinations and does it have a suspension fork or seatpost. Quality has to do with how solidly and crisply the bike operates. Until fairly recently, hybrid bikes have been heavy on features and skimpy on quality. That's not necessarily true today but, at the $500 price point, you are going to have to be discerning.
Last edited by Retro Grouch; 08-19-07 at 11:50 AM.
I have a Marin Hawk Hill which I think qualifies as a hybrid (in the UK they call them All Terrain Bikes). I quite like it and find it's better than a road bike for the roads of London, which are not exactly flat, especially the more main roads. Sometimes I go to cycle in Hampstead Heath, a big, largely unkept (purposefully) park where most of the time you ride on gravel. I think my bike is pretty suitable for that, obviously not as good as a mountain bike, but better than a thin road bike.
I think it's perfect for my daily commute and my occasional forays into the countryside.
In the past,i have had dawes galaxy tourers,a ribble 531 c racing bike and numerous others..!but now i ride a claudbutler urban 400 hybrid bike.I changed the bars to flat, put a madison fluid gel seat on(oh so comfy!!!!!!!!)mud guards and a pannier rack...and spent a month tweaking my riding position...i can now honestly say it is without doubt the best and most comfortable bike i have ever had!....it fulfills all my requirements,i use it for shopping,commuting,touring...and going off road....you would be surprised just how tough these hybrids are are.!!!For any one who wants a good all rounder,in my opinion you cant go far wrong with a hybrid!!!!!!!!I am now also a flat bar convert....!Hope this helps all the best kwyll.!
When you post such a question here what you generally get is a lot of posts that basically want you to validate their purchase decision. "You should buy a bike like mine."
Of the two bikes you indicated, I think that the Giant has a more techie frame and the Marin has better components. I'm a retro grouch so I'd pick the Marin.
A well fitted conservative road bike is more comfortable due to having many, many more hand positions
Not too much to say here
Like BR said, a hybrid is neither road or mountain, but at the same time it is a bit of both. It's not the fastest on the road, and after about 50 miles it starts getting uncomfortable, but I can generally keep up on the club rides. I don't try to ride the technical trails, but it works for gravel and the flatter single tracks. Works well for me since on a typical ride I'll combine road and off road (and I go a lot of places where skinny road tires would not work.)
Hybrids - hype only if the person talking says they're the greatest bike ever. Not heavanly, but can be a good ride for many situations.
It's all a matter of what suits you best.
Last edited by cc_rider; 07-30-08 at 08:05 AM.
My bike journal http://cc-rider.livejournal.com/
Hybrids started out in the eighties as "...skinny-tired mountain bikes...". They've been compromise bikes right from the start. For most of us, that's a good thing. They are what they are.
Last edited by JanMM; 07-30-08 at 08:59 PM.
For me, and most of my riding is a 10 mile daily commute, a hybrid seems to be the best choice (Giant FCR3). I don't need suspension or wide tires and I find a true road bike to be very hard on my old back and neck.
I think it is really just a matter of individual need and comfort. One size does not fit all.
I love my hybrid. I don't go that fast, nor do I desire to go really fast, I want a nice bike that is comfortable to ride, can do a grocery run with 2 panniers, and a back pack full of stuff and then turn around and go on a nice ride with my wife on her cruiser.
I have a very inexpensive hybrid, a K2 T-Nine Crosswind from REI. I ride about 30 miles a week, which includes my commutes to and from work, and weekends hauling my daughter to playgrounds and pools and the store in her trailer.
It's a good utility bike and it only cost about $400. How can I complain about that?
This is my "other" bike.
2008 Specialized Sirrus Comp-Upgraded to 105, Terry Fly Ti saddle, Cateye Micro Wireless computer, Cateye lighting, Topeak frame pump, Specialized carbon cage, Polar insulated bottle.
I love it for fast/power riding in the neighborhood, 17-21 mph range.
Highly recommeded over a hybrid.
Fantasy: Espresso and a tailwind
Reality: Diarrhea and a headwind
Hybrids are quite popular with the over 50 crowd because they are more comfortable. Fro some of us, once we pass 50, the bent over riding position of road bikes is all over. The more upright position of a hybrid solves a lot of comfort problems. They don't make sense to younger riders. bk
I picked up a Univega hybrid for $20.00 off Craigslist. I mean to flip it eventually. It's great all-around bike. The 27" wheelset limits the offroad use, but 27x 1/14 tires can handle the odd dirt trail. If it was the only bike I had, I'd be happy to ride it.
Is the Specialized Crosstrail considered a hybrid? Saw one in the LBS the other day and it looked neat.