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  1. #1
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    A hybrid bike or a mountain bike and change the tires?

    Hi people, nice to meet you all, this is my first post.

    I am thinking about buying a bike for commuting to work, getting around the town, and doing some bike trail riding as well. I have researched this forum, and found out that a hybrid bike seems to fit my usage the best.

    However, a friend of mine suggested that why don't I buy a mountain bike and then change the tires to the ones used by a hybrid bike. After all, there are a lot more selections for mountain bikes than there are for hybrid bikes, especially within my budget, which is 500 CAN (about 380 US).

    So I am just wondering what are people's thoughts on that? Thanks a lot for your help.

  2. #2
    DEADBEEF khuon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollysong
    However, a friend of mine suggested that why don't I buy a mountain bike and then change the tires to the ones used by a hybrid bike. After all, there are a lot more selections for mountain bikes than there are for hybrid bikes, especially within my budget, which is 500 CAN (about 380 US).
    You can certainly do this and in fact some manufacturers will sell a MTB with slicks (Cannondale Badboy Rigid - comes with 26"x1.0" IRC Metros). However, keep in mind that a MTB will generally be heavier than a similarly priced hybrid and that 26" tyres don't roll as efficiently or smoothly as 700c. That said, those points may end up being very minor. I used to commute on my old fully rigid MTB that had 26"x2.1" tyres but then again, I only had one bike and it needed to do everything. Also, you may want to find a bike that has a rigid fork because in that pricerange suspension is usually pretty crappy and a rigid fork is more efficient on the road. This may limit your selection some too. However, ask the bike shop if they will give you some store credit towards a Surly 1x1 rigid fork if you want to trade out the suspension fork. These forks are top-notch rigid forks and cost around US$60 new.
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  3. #3
    Closet Bike-a-holic tourist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollysong
    Hi people, nice to meet you all, this is my first post.

    I am thinking about buying a bike for commuting to work, getting around the town, and doing some bike trail riding as well. I have researched this forum, and found out that a hybrid bike seems to fit my usage the best.

    However, a friend of mine suggested that why don't I buy a mountain bike and then change the tires to the ones used by a hybrid bike. After all, there are a lot more selections for mountain bikes than there are for hybrid bikes, especially within my budget, which is 500 CAN (about 380 US).

    So I am just wondering what are people's thoughts on that? Thanks a lot for your help.
    I would look at the Trek Navigator 200, Specilized Expedition Sport, Kona Smoke, and my personal favorite in this class the Marin Muir Woods. All $400 USD or less.
    The road don't go nowhere, stays right where it is.

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  4. #4
    Yup pyze-guy's Avatar
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    Remember though that living in Canada we have to (I believe) pay duty on bikes from the states. A $400 USD bike in the US will cost more than that here. My rigid Cannondale Bad boy cost me $1050 Can before tax, about $780 US. Check out Rocky Mountain or Davinci bikes. The Kona Dew is around that range at some stores, Trek, Gary Fisher and Spezialized bikes can be bought in your price range aswell. Concerning the type of bike, hybred or MTB, what type of riding or you going to be doing? Recreational, trails, commuting etc. Both style of bike have advantages and disadvantages concerning performance and comfort in regards to riding style.
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  5. #5
    wonderer, wanderer gonesh9's Avatar
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    Go mountain. Once you start getting into riding more, you'll find that most hybrids really aren't designed for longer rides, with their extreme upright position. A mountain bike with slicks can get you a lot more places than a hybird, and will be more comfortable in the long run.

  6. #6
    We drive on the left. Dutchy's Avatar
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    I have a full rigid (Cannondale CAAD3) bike with slicks and sometimes put knobblies on for some dirt riding. The MTB will be a lot more fun and look a lot cooler than a hybrid. I would never recommend anyone getting a hybrid. There is nothing it can do that can't be done on an MTB with slicks. As khuon mentioned cheap suspension forks aren't worth the extra hassle of servicing and the massive weight penalty.

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  7. #7
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    Get the mountain bike and check out the Club Roost cross tera 26X1.5 tires. It is a muti-purpose tire that is great on the road and the trail. Low rolling resistence on the road and can handle the trail quite reasonable. It is a very well thought out tire for both road and trail I would say.

  8. #8
    Skin-Pounder Bikes-N-Drums's Avatar
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    I did the mountain bike with street tires for years until I realized that I never went offroad anymore. One day I found myself in a bike shop and test rode a Trek 7500. Since all I was doing was commuting on pavement anymore, I found the hybrid to be much easier and comfortable to ride for commuting (especially with slicks on it) than the mountain bike. Nevertheless, it is fairly useless for offroading. In the end though, I got myself a road bike. Anyway, assess just how much offroading you'll be doing, cuz once those knobbies were off my mountain bike I never went offroad again.
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  9. #9
    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Don't get a Hybrid. They are in between and do not excel at either. If you get a mountain bike, you will at least be able to play in the Mud.

  10. #10
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    I have tested some of the hybrids and don't like them. I was also thinking of getting one last year but now own two mountain bikes. I am glad I didn't get one. These hybrids are very upright. They will be virtually worthless on any trail other than concrete.


    THe MOuntain Bike will be good in town as well. YOu will not find a Mountain Bike to be uncomfortable and the tires are not that big of an issue either. You will gain some speed if you go to a slick narrow tire but my theory on speed is that if you want to go fast, get in your car. A tire with more width and tread will provide you with more options and places to ride your bike.

  11. #11
    Closet Bike-a-holic tourist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hollysong
    I am thinking about buying a bike for commuting to work, getting around the town, and doing some bike trail riding as well.
    How far is your commute to work??
    The road don't go nowhere, stays right where it is.

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    Hi people, first of all, thanks all for you help. Most of you recommend to go for a mountatin bike, and I think that is what I will do. I will look for a mountain bike, with slick tires (or some of the ones that people suggested above), but without front fork suspension. That really helps me clearify my concerns and narrow down my choices.

    So far, Cona Dew, Smoke, and Marin Muir Wood are the ones I found that fit the requirements and my budget. I will keep looking ^_^.

    Thanks again for the help. Greatly appreciated.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pyze-guy
    Concerning the type of bike, hybred or MTB, what type of riding or you going to be doing?
    Hi Pyze-guy, I will be commuting to work, getting around the town and some bike trail ridings with the bike that I am planning to buy.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by tourist
    How far is your commute to work??
    Hi tourist, my commute to work is about 5 km (about 3.1 miles).

  15. #15
    Closet Bike-a-holic tourist's Avatar
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    Hollysong - If your commute is that short then I would with a 26" tire bike. If you are going to trail ride occasionally then the Dew will be a great choice. It is by far the most road oriented of the 3 you mentioned. Between the Smoke and the Muir Woods, to me there is no contest. The Muir Woods is far and away the winner. It will be fine for many trail situations as well as smooth as silk on the road. It's really a bike between hybrid and mountain, which from your description is exactly what you want. It also saves you from the cheap shock mountain bike which on any road just flat sucks. BTW it's nearly 1.5 kgs lighter than the Smoke. Until you commit to being a trail rider only or a road rider only, for around town, commuting and trails you can't even come close to the Muir Woods for the ability to do all 3.
    The road don't go nowhere, stays right where it is.

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  16. #16
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    Sorry to be the dissenting post, but I would tend to prefer the "hybrid". But then, it depends a lot on what you do, what you plan to do and even what you could do with the bike. And that would, I think, depend a lot on where you live. Rather than point you to a specific bike, I would rather highlight the differences:

    Suspension
    That's a "great" feature of mountain bikes, but unless you do rough trails (often called "technical rides") or ride on gravel roads, suspension adds weight and maintenance. Besides, a cheap or unadequately adjusted suspension, or an uneven rider with oscillate up and down with each pedal stroke, which is tiring. That's generally a problem with the rider, not the suspension, but with a hybrid, that's one less problem.
    Better moutain bikes have a lockable suspension, but again, it adds cost.

    Weight
    A suspended bike is heavier than a non-suspended one. Not that bad on level ground, but a real problem if you have to climb stairs. Again, advantage Hybrid.

    Tires
    Slicks definitely help for commuting. Knobbies help on muddy trails, but most hybrids would accept 700x37 or 700x42. Still, if you want to cycle off road in snow or in very liquid mud, mountain bikes accept still wider tire.

    Gearing
    Both will have a 11-32 cassette (or something close).
    A typical mountain bike will have 44-34-22 chainrings while a hybrid will have 52-40-30 (Shimano) or 46-36-26 (Sugino) chainrings.
    Advantage for mountain, although you might ask the shop at time of purchase to swap rings for smaller ones; then, both bikes become equal.

    Fenders
    Forget clip-ons except in Nevada. Real fenders need to be installed with eyelets, and they are the only thing that allow you to ride in all weather with street clothes. Besides, fenders with mudflaps prolong the life of your drivetrain.
    Usually advantage for hybrid, because fenders aren't easy to install on many moutain bikes (understatement...).

    Rack
    A rear rack is great for commute, because you can use a pannier (later if you wish) to carry your stuff. It's also essential for shopping, touring and a wealth of other uses. Racks are much more easy to install on non-suspended bikes.


    In short, for cycling in and around the city, the "medium ground" is the best, which means either a touring bike or light-touring bike for those who prefer drop bars, or a hybrid for those who prefer straight bars. On the other hand, if I were living in a moutain village with only one main road but lots of forestry roads around town, I would opt for a mountain bike.

    Regards,
    Michel Gagnon
    Montréal (Québec, Canada)

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