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Old 05-27-08, 10:48 PM   #1
Timberwolf5578
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Who makes better all-purpose hybrid type bikes? Specialized or Trek?

Overall, how do these two brands compare? Is one slightly better than the other, or are they 100% equivalent in quality? Or is it all a matter of opinion?

Also does a all-purpose hybrid type bike have any advantage over a full fledged mountain bike, if the rider is not going to do a lot of hardcore mountain biking? just riding for fitness and transportation mostly on pavement and gravel trails.

Any responses will be appreciated.

Thanks
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Old 05-28-08, 06:17 AM   #2
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Raleigh Detour 4.0
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Old 05-28-08, 09:24 AM   #3
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Hey Timber,

I have a 04 Devinci Amsterdam (bought it new in 04). I currently have 4000+ km on it.

I'm 200 lbs and commute with the bike daily on pavement. I've trued the wheels and adjusted the rear derailleur once last summer. The only thing replaced is the tires and tubes at 3000 km due to a cut tire.

To date, the bike looks, runs and shifts like the day I bought it.

No complaints here -I'd recommend it www.devinci.com

Just curious - why buy a hybrid as opposed to a cyclocross or touring bike?

-R.
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Old 05-28-08, 10:09 AM   #4
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my friend has a trek hybrid bike, and it's NICE. great for commuting.

seems to me trek tests the nitty gritty parts of their bikes more than others. from talking to a bike mechanic, he said trek tests the longevity of their stock parts more than other companies, and they usually last longer (that is, if they are kept in good repair).

that's my only opinion on the subject.

@radshark- you buy a hyrbrid for the upright position (being seen in traffic and comfort)
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Old 05-28-08, 11:26 AM   #5
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Most midrange brands are pretty similar; the frames are all made in the same few Taiwanese factories and kitted out with the same Shimano components. Many of the smaller, less well known brands are just as good and more creative in their design than the big boys.
There is more value added by a good bike shop than by a particular brand sticker. My local Giant dealer spends about 1hr checking the assembly, tuning the wheels etc and his bikes are particularly reliable.
You can use different brands to extend the sizing options: some brands fill in the gaps between sizes left by others. Some bikes are longer or shorter for a better fit to your body shape.
Are hybrids more useful than hardtail MTBs? There is little difference if you fit appropriate tyres (eg a mid-size slick). Suspension forks generally reduce practicality; they are heavier, take some maintenance and usually prevent you fitting full-length fenders but you find them on both styles of bike.
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Old 05-28-08, 02:44 PM   #6
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Most of the major brands are pretty equal as far as quality is concerned. I've owned Trek,Specialized,Kona,Fuji,Cannondale,Novara,Bianchi,Marin,Jamis,Swobo,Redline,Schwinn(LBS,not WalMart),Surly,and Raleigh. None were junk. Cannondales sometimes have lower level components for a given price range because they are made in America and the frames cost more to build. Marin and Jamis seem to spec their bikes a touch higher for a given price point.

Which bike is better depends on two things;how well a particular bike fits you,and what you're going to be using it for.
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Old 05-28-08, 10:14 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nahh View Post
my friend has a trek hybrid bike, and it's NICE. great for commuting.

seems to me trek tests the nitty gritty parts of their bikes more than others. from talking to a bike mechanic, he said trek tests the longevity of their stock parts more than other companies, and they usually last longer (that is, if they are kept in good repair).

that's my only opinion on the subject.

@radshark- you buy a hyrbrid for the upright position (being seen in traffic and comfort)
BS, Trek uses the same off the shelf parts at every price point that everyone else does.
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Old 05-29-08, 03:48 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by nahh View Post
my friend has a trek hybrid bike, and it's NICE. great for commuting.

seems to me trek tests the nitty gritty parts of their bikes more than others. from talking to a bike mechanic, he said trek tests the longevity of their stock parts more than other companies, and they usually last longer (that is, if they are kept in good repair).

that's my only opinion on the subject.

@radshark- you buy a hyrbrid for the upright position (being seen in traffic and comfort)
I agree with DieselDan, that's total BS. I'm sure that mechanic just happens to be on Trek's payroll and/or work in a store that sells Treks. Most bikes you buy from Trek are in similar quality to a bike from any other of the large manufacturers as long as they are at the same price point.

To answer the OP's question, a hybrid will probably suit your needs better than a MTB if all you ride on are paved roads and gravel trails. This is because hybrids usually usually have thinner and larger 700c wheels which are better suited for riding on the road than moutain bike wheels and tires. Also, hybrids do not usually come with suspension forks which will do nothing but absorb your pedaling energy on paved roads. Also, hybrids sometimes have a different frame geometry that will be better suited for the road. Hybrids will usually come with proper mounts for fenders and racks if they are needed for commuting, not all mountain bikes will have these.

If you would like the option of riding on off-road MTB trails though, a mountain bike with a suspension fork with lock out and smooth rolling tires might be a good compromise.


Your best bet for deciding on a brand would be to test ride bikes from both brands that are comparable in price and see which one you feel rides better or has things you like better such as a more comfortable seat or better looking color. Quality and build wise, they will be pretty much the same.

Last edited by Azndude51; 05-29-08 at 03:51 AM.
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Old 05-29-08, 11:04 AM   #9
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That's the first time I heard about the visibility improvement over road bikes. Makes sense I guess. A more upright position makes it easier to do shoulder checks, etc... I do find my hybrid a bit easier to steer in tight situations too.

I know some will completely disagree with me but I think a hybrid is not a suitable replacement for either a mountain or touring bike. As such, IMHO, a hybrid is not an "all-purpose" bike. Conversely, either a mountain or touring bike can roughly provide the same functionality as a hybrid while offering the ability to either handle rough trails or travel comfortably over long distances.

I have a hybrid (first bike) and a road bike. After a few years I bought a road bike as the hybrid simply lacked different a variety of hand positions and aerodynamic efficiency to tour longer distances (75-200 km). Now that I'm accustomed to using both bikes I don't notice any difference in terms of comfort - except my wrists and hands do not get sore after 20 km on the road bike as I can adjust my hand positons. In terms of visibility I use a mirror and shoulder checks and don't experience a noticeable difference in visibility.

Nonetheless, I still use my hybrid for commuting 20 km to work so I'm still happy with the purchase. It has served me well, and has more then paid for itself in gas, parking fees, and insurance. But, in hindsight, my first purchase should have been a touring bike or perhaps a cyclocross bike.

I guess my advice based on my experience would be:

1. If you want to do some serious tour riding and really rugged off-road riding your looking at two bikes (a road bike and a mountain bike): if you purchase a hybrid - you'll be looking at three bikes.

2. If the off-road riding is limited to gravel roads and reasonable trail riding a cyclocross bike would be a better choice. A cyclocross bike is more rugged then a road bike and you can easily swap out the off-road tires with thinner slicks and transform it into a fairly capable road bike: you only need one bike.

Best of luck and have fun!

-R.
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Old 05-29-08, 10:00 PM   #10
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get a salsa casserole its cool and inexpensive...
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Old 05-29-08, 10:32 PM   #11
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most of the big manufacturers hybrids are pretty compromised, they look cool but parts arent that great and they are on the pricey side for what you get. if you build up your own hybrid you could do very well using an older frame and used components. i second the cyclocross suggestion, if you are going for fitness rides you'll like the drop bars. good luck
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Old 05-29-08, 11:29 PM   #12
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Thanks for the replies everyone. I think I am going to stick with my mountain bike so that I can go on rougher trails if I want to. I currently have a 1994 Cannondale Super V 3000 and I am very happy with it.
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Old 05-30-08, 07:43 AM   #13
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I know some will completely disagree with me but I think a hybrid is not a suitable replacement for either a mountain or touring bike.

And some of us will agree with you 100%!

I owned a Trek 750 hybrid for 10 years. Excellent bike, very robust, solid, required almost no maintenance in that time. It was the perfect bike for the sort of "utility cycling" I was using it for: commuting, running errands, very short casual weekend rides, occassional forays onto hard-packed dirt trails & railroad beds. But it never had the durability nor appropriate geometry to rock the technical single track offroad trails, and as soon as I got seriously into road cycling its weight, gearing, and body position became a liability.

Still, I'd recommend a Trek to anyone who really wanted a hybrid.

Funny story: I gave my Trek hybrid to a friend who works as a sound designer/foley artist for film & television. He told me just the other day that he had needed to record the sounds of an old, rickety bicycle for a film he's working on, so he grabbed the Trek out of his house & brought it to the studio. After trying for 45 minutes he eventually determined that this 10-year-old bike was simply too well built to be useful, as it wasn't making any of the noises one associates with a rickety old bicycle!
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Old 05-30-08, 08:51 PM   #14
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Both very good bikes, they pay attention to quality and have good reputations, I have, and do, own both.
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