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Old 01-11-04, 07:27 PM   #1
cyclezealot
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Comfort of Hybrid vs. road bike.

I have gotten our hybrid tuned up and it shifts nicely..It is supposed to be my wife's bike. Has upright handle bars and power grip pedals..So many think it is riding in the drops that makes one uncomfortable.
I enjoy the hybrid for short rides..Lately rode it on two seperate 40-50 mile rides. I come back my hands are definitely achier and my feet hurt more. On short rides it is ok.. You can put your hands straight out. So you do not have to arch your back at all.
I find my average speed is down..After about 35 miles my hands are hurting. Feet hurt some.. Think it that my feet don't 'float about the pedals,' more downward pressure on the feet causing it to ache. I find it more difficult to get my speed up,even when I want to...
Many of us here who are usually on road bikes switch to more upright bikes.? .Are you more comfortable on your road bike or the bike with upright handlebars.
Could it be my position on the hybrid?
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Old 01-12-04, 06:05 AM   #2
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In my opinion, there is nothing better than road bikes if you are talking of comfort and performance on the road..

Touring bikes, those equipped with drop bars, are the most comfortable because of the longer wheelbase and is more stable on the road.. the downside is, it is slower than the roadbike, and is heavier but the wider gear range does come in handy on long rides..

So I don't think roadies like us won't be going to use hybrids on long rides..

I think hybrids are great city cruisers where manuevarability is a plus.. The flat bar makes the bike more manuevarable, especially in tight traffic and corners.
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Old 01-12-04, 06:58 AM   #3
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Dexmax.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dexmax
In my opinion, there is nothing better than road bikes if you are talking of comfort and performance on the road..

Touring bikes, those equipped with drop bars, are the most comfortable because of the longer wheelbase and is more stable on the road.. the downside is, it is slower than the roadbike, and is heavier but the wider gear range does come in handy on long rides..

So I don't think roadies like us won't be going to use hybrids on long rides..

I think hybrids are great city cruisers where manuevarability is a plus.. The flat bar makes the bike more manuevarable, especially in tight traffic and corners.
Having not ridden the hybrid for long distance, upon until late, I was surprised I found it less comfortable.
Maybe it is just you become a hardened roadie.. Guess, the nature of my question is seat position as important on hybrid bikes as road bikes.. With more upright handle bars being about 90 degrees to your chest, I had always thought so many new cyclists thought the drop position was the cause of discomfort? Not my experience so far......... To power grip pedals, don't think my seat position too low; causing the discomfort in the feet?Anything I can do to feel more comfortable.?
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Old 01-12-04, 07:02 AM   #4
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I tried riding a hybrid several years ago. Very uncomfortable. After a month it was in storage. I gave it away a year later.

I've always been a roadie and I guess I always will.
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Old 01-12-04, 08:38 AM   #5
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my second bike was a Jamis Hybrid..i was still trying to get a feel for what kind of bike i wanted..It was cool..as long as you stayed within the city limits.
I broke 2 rear spokes during a ride in the countryside--smooth,hilly terrain, mind you..i got it repaired and sold it about a year later.
It's still in use today--pavement riding only..
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Old 01-12-04, 09:01 AM   #6
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One big problem with hybrids is that most have mountain bike cranksets with a too-wide Q-factor. This can sap a lot of power so it feels like you are pedalling harder to acheive the same speed. You keep looking to see if you have a flat tire. I had this problem on my hybrid- swapped out the 121mm bottom bracket for a 107 and THAT problem was solved.

Of course the BIGGEST problem with hybrids is the flat handlebar does not offer enough hands positions. That results in sore hands. I have ridden my hybrid (1997 Giant Innova) twice on RAGBRAI and on one MS150 plus numerous century rides. The hand aching never goes away. Even after changing the stem many many times. I was able to get some relief by raising the bar and moving the saddle back to shift some of my body weight away from the handlebar.

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Old 01-12-04, 09:31 AM   #7
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You dont ride in the drops much.I'm on the hoods mostly.In 100 miles,i might not ever go to the drops.
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Old 01-12-04, 09:44 AM   #8
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Even if you don't use them often, they offer another place for your hands, which can help the ache/numbness problem. I think that my road bike is perfectly comfortable. Part of it comes from more careful fitting procedures at most LBS, and part of it is from equipment changes that I have done. I think that some bike shops assume that someone who buys a hybrid is going to tend not to do longer rides, and so doesn't require as much attention to certain aspects of proper fitting. I also think that at some shops, even if you walked in and told the kid on the sales floor that you were planning on doing a 150 weekend charity ride, they might still push you towards a hybrid if you don't appear to be a seasoned rider. Just my opinion.
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Old 01-12-04, 09:47 AM   #9
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Hybrids are more comfortable than road bikes for people who aren't accustomed to being on a bike and are riding shorter distances.

Once you break yourself in you can't beat a road bike for comfort, and this difference gets more extreme the longer the distance.
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Old 01-12-04, 10:26 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brillig
Hybrids are more comfortable than road bikes for people who aren't accustomed to being on a bike and are riding shorter distances.

Once you break yourself in you can't beat a road bike for comfort, and this difference gets more extreme the longer the distance.
Agreed. A hybrid is initially more comfortable, but doesn't offer enough hand or body positions for a long ride. On the roadie, every time I change hand positions, I also tend to slightly change my body angle too. Cyclotourist is spot on about the Q-factor. It is something I'd never really noticed when it was my primary bike, but really stands out now.

25 miles is about my limit on the hybrid these days. After about 10 miles, the extra weight starts to get to me and the power-sapping tendencies of the wider, lower pressure tires begins to annoy me. It's great for commuting, but now that I'm getting more and more used to a road bike, I'm sure it will get replaced soon with a cyclocross or tourer.
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Old 01-12-04, 10:43 AM   #11
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Another thing to consider is that not everyone is the same.

I love the wider Q-factor. I've had several bikes since the mid-80s, and I'd always felt like my feet were fighting with the cranks. My ankles hurt, my knees bumped the top tube, and I just generally felt uncomfortable. I had to spend a lot of time off the bike trying to recover.

Then I bought a new MTB a couple years ago. Suddenly I felt so much better. And it felt like I was putting full power into pedalling instead of struggling against the pedals. And what was the difference? Wide q-factor crankset. Later I bought a Trek 520 that came with a 105 triple crank. I had an LX crank on order, because I knew I wanted the wider Q, but the shop let me ride it with the 105 until the new crank came in. Oh did my knees hurt! When the new crank was on, I felt so much better.

Now after about 900 miles on the 520, I'm thinking about having a straight bar put on. The drop bars or OK, but I never ride the drops (I can, but there really isn't much need for it since I'm not racing) and I find riding with my hands on bar-ends much more comfortable than riding on the hoods of drop bars. Yes, I've tried varying the angle, etc. of the drop bars. Nothing hurts, but I find the drop bar unnecessary and flat bar with barends just a little better.

So, to each his own. Find what works for you, don't automatically assume that there is a universal solution.
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Old 01-12-04, 11:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by booyah
the hybrid... will get replaced soon with a cyclocross or tourer.
or you could use it as a toy to experiment with- put on a chainguard and single chainring plus narrower tires, mustache handlebar and barend shifters. Have a 1x8 commuter. Of course, hardcore bicyclers will giggle when you ride by but, so what? :-)
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Old 01-12-04, 11:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cycletourist
or you could use it as a toy to experiment with- put on a chainguard and single chainring plus narrower tires, mustache handlebar and barend shifters. Have a 1x8 commuter. Of course, hardcore bicyclers will giggle when you ride by but, so what? :-)
Not a bad idea! I've always liked the quirkiness of a mustache bar...
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Old 01-12-04, 12:44 PM   #14
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One of the problems with straight bars is that they force a bend into your wrist. This concentrates any vibration and shock.
With well set drops (and moustache bars), you can hold the hoods with a very neutral wrist "set".
Combine this with the harsh forks on low-end bikes and your hands will be buzzing. No wonder sus forks are so popular on hybrids.
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Old 01-12-04, 02:09 PM   #15
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I'm still saving up for the road bike. I have a hybrid- I went to a bike store and since it was my first bike, I automatically went for the hybrid, and the store didn't do anything to talk me out of it, even though I told them what I was going to do with it. I ought to bring the dang bike back and get a full refund. They knew dang well that hybrids shouldn't be ridden if you're doing long rides.

When I get my road bike, the hybrid will be for short rides (less than 10 miles) like when I'm going grocery shopping or running to the club. That's about it.

My wrists hurt just thinking about doing one more century on that bike!

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Old 01-12-04, 02:34 PM   #16
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Reason for hybrids?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
I'm still saving up for the road bike. I have a hybrid- I went to a bike store and since it was my first bike, I automatically went for the hybrid, and the store didn't do anything to talk me out of it, even though I told them what I was going to do with it. I ought to bring the dang bike back and get a full refund. They knew dang well that hybrids shouldn't be ridden if you're doing long rides.

When I get my road bike, the hybrid will be for short rides (less than 10 miles) like when I'm going grocery shopping or running to the club. That's about it.

My wrists hurt just thinking about doing one more century on that bike!

Koffee
My best guess, reason so many favor hybrids and think them more comfortable.
Bad backs?
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Old 01-12-04, 02:53 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cyclezealot
My best guess, reason so many favor hybrids and think them more comfortable.
Bad backs?
Some might buy them for comfort reasons, real or imagined. For many people, they may well be more comfortable than a road racing frame, and some people probably do prefer flat bars to drops. For others, a hybrid is perceived to be more comfortable, and the perception is believed without testing because it is too scary a prospect to take a road bike out for a spin. The first couple of rides I had on my road bike did work my lower back much more than a hybrid or mountain bike.

Speaking from experience, as an out-of-condition adult wandering down to a bike store to buy a new bike, hybrids seem a great choice. I didn't know much about road bikes and hence was a bit scared of owning one, thinking they were only for 'serious' cyclists and racers. I also didn't want to spend too much but wanted something with decent quality. When I bought it, I wasn't riding long distances - probably 10 miles at most. It was a great choice for me to help me get back into cycling, and is still a handy bike to have around for short or slower paced rides.
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Old 01-12-04, 03:46 PM   #18
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Side by side, my Trek 730 multi-track hybrid and my Specialized Allez match. Meaning; the seat, handlebars, and crank are all in the same exact spot relative to each other. Just the frame angles and wheel base are different.

I did change out the 730 stem for one without any rise to achieve this, but not on purpose.

For whatever reason, the road bike is better on long rides.
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Old 01-12-04, 05:13 PM   #19
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[QUOTE=dexmax]In my opinion, there is nothing better than road bikes if you are talking of comfort and performance on the road..

Nothing better? Good thing its only an opinion. Racing recumbents are far more comfortable on the road and on the average much faster than a road bike. That is my opinion. And yes I own 2 road bikes 2 mountain bikes and 2 lowracers. I'm on the average, 6 mph faster on the same course on the lowracer. That is a fact.
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