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Old 08-24-09, 09:50 AM   #1
ksikelly
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What bike - hybrid or mountain?

I am not sure what bike to get. Today at the cycling shop they recommended a hybrid (specialized globe carmel 700).

I live in the country and its a mix of paved and gravel roads. Some big hills and some some of the gravel roades have potholes.

I will be increasing my riding from 15miles to 30miles (this year) or more (next year).

It is for fitness/losing weight as well as function - biking to the city every once in a while to meet my mom.

Would this be a decent bike for this or am I wasting my money. I can't afford top of the line right now so its just a small upgrade from my mountain bike.

One more thing to note is that it can be quite windy out in the country. Maybe this is the case for city cyclists also.

Here is a link to that bike in particular: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en-G...obe+carmel+700

Thanks for any feedback and advice.
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Old 08-24-09, 10:07 AM   #2
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I am not sure what bike to get. Today at the cycling shop they recommended a hybrid (specialized globe carmel 700).
What mountain bike do you have?

Gravel isn't generally much of a problem. Some gravel roads are quite good (flat). Ideally, you'd avoid the potholes. I don't think you need a mountain bike (unless you can't avoid the pothole!) but you'd have to be more careful riding on rough stuff than you would with a mountain bike.

The Carmel will work for you but it might not be what you want if you become more serious. It looks like it is intended for casual riders (not that there's anything wrong with that).

The gears are quite low (so hills should not be a problem).

I like the following better.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...45858&eid=4356

One thing that gives you some versatility is being able to put different sized tires on the bike. The Sirrus comes with 32mm and the Carmel comes with 38mm. These sizes are wide for road tires and very narrow for mountain bike tires. They are typical widths for hybrids and cyclocross bikes.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-24-09 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 08-24-09, 10:27 AM   #3
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MTB for sure...
I ride mine all the time...
I still have 2 road bikes...
you can always put some not so aggresive tires on it for pavment use...
put a more upright stem/handle bar combo...

a hybrid is neither a rodie or a mtb... but the mtb can do both and exceptionally well

I do 20+ miles on my mtb all the time... and mainly on dirt country roads... cant do that with a roadie... (no traffic there either..)
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Old 08-24-09, 10:34 AM   #4
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I do 20+ miles on my mtb all the time... and mainly on dirt country roads... cant do that with a roadie... (no traffic there either..)
Cyclocross riders would have a different opinion!

Mountain bikes are ideal if the path is very bumpy. If the path is flat, other bikes work as well.

(I managed to ride my touring bike 350miles from Pittsburgh to Washington DC on gravel and dirt roads with no problems and doing that wasn't a big deal.)

Certainly, the bike you have would work fine. And the advice to consider using different tires on that is a good one.

You might also consider looking for a use bicycle.
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Old 08-24-09, 10:57 AM   #5
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You might ask this question on the new hybrid sub-forum here...
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Old 08-24-09, 11:34 AM   #6
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You might ask this question on the new hybrid sub-forum here...
They would provide the obvious and only answer (for them): get a hybrid! (It still might be useful to ask there.)

The Sirrus is more of a road bike (look at the saddle) than a hybrid is (which tend to have fairly wide seats).

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Old 08-24-09, 12:16 PM   #7
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That Carmel look more like a comfort bike. If you are riding far, you'd want something with a more aggresive frame geometry. If I have to choose b/t this bike and a mtb, I'd get mtb hardtail.
But if you plan to just bumble about at the nearest bike paved path or boardwalks, then the Carmel will do the trick.
Better yet, get a performance hybrid. It's almost like a road bike but with straight bars.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:15 PM   #8
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A good hardtail mtb with a lockout front suspension will be better than a hybrid.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:53 PM   #9
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That Carmel look more like a comfort bike. If you are riding far, you'd want something with a more aggresive frame geometry. If I have to choose b/t this bike and a mtb, I'd get mtb hardtail.
But if you plan to just bumble about at the nearest bike paved path or boardwalks, then the Carmel will do the trick.
Better yet, get a performance hybrid. It's almost like a road bike but with straight bars.
+1

A "comfort bike" might not actually be very comfortable on rides of 30 miles.

Try a few different ones out and see what you think.
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Old 08-24-09, 08:07 PM   #10
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Thanks for all the replies. I'll check out the hybrid section. the big confusion is not knowing what I want and not knowing if the sales staff can tell me what I want. I just expected I could go in and once I told them my needs they would pick the right one.

I definitely believe I will be extending the length of the rides next year. Living in the country I wouldn't call it commuting though.

The mountain bike I have right now is ALL wrong! We got it on sale at Costco (my husband worked there) just to see if it was something I'd like. I hadn't biked before this. Found out today its a 20" frame with small wheels. I'm 5'3". It has 21 gears. I love biking so far except the steep hills.
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Old 08-26-09, 02:17 PM   #11
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What mountain bike do you have?

Gravel isn't generally much of a problem. Some gravel roads are quite good (flat). Ideally, you'd avoid the potholes. I don't think you need a mountain bike (unless you can't avoid the pothole!) but you'd have to be more careful riding on rough stuff than you would with a mountain bike.

The Carmel will work for you but it might not be what you want if you become more serious. It looks like it is intended for casual riders (not that there's anything wrong with that).

The gears are quite low (so hills should not be a problem).

I like the following better.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...45858&eid=4356

One thing that gives you some versatility is being able to put different sized tires on the bike. The Sirrus comes with 32mm and the Carmel comes with 38mm. These sizes are wide for road tires and very narrow for mountain bike tires. They are typical widths for hybrids and cyclocross bikes.
The Sirrus can't take a wider tyre than 32. At least the last version I checked couldn't. That would make it useless for cross and, frankly, cripples it as a hybrid design - high quality 38s can actually be faster than 32s and have much more grip. In the OP's shoes I'd want at least a 38mm tyre with room left over for fenders.

Other than that I 'd say don't get bogged down in categories, especially ones as vague as this. Don't buy a suspension fork bike, they steal pedaling energy.

A low end Trek 7 series hybrid would probably be a safe buy - they're very popular. I'd worry more about getting the frame size right than anything else - google "bicycle frame size guide" rather than just relying on staff.
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Old 08-26-09, 04:32 PM   #12
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If you like riding the Carmel, it looks like the Specialized equivalent of the Giant Cypress, which is the 700c version of my first bike back in the saddle, a Giant Sedona.

I think the Carmel will do fine with gravel roads. I ride my Sedona on gravel occasionally, and I weigh over 300 pounds. Just ride like you should on any bike. If there is a pot hole coming up avoid it if possible or stand up to use your legs to absorb the shock. Your rear will thank you for it.

Also, for longer rides. I haven't kept up my mileage, but I have ridden a couple of 60+ mile rides on my Sedona with no problems other than I am fat... again at over 300 pounds, and 50 years old. If you weigh less, you will definitely have no problem with doing longer rides, but you will have to build up to it (as you would with any bike).

Unless you are riding on wilderness trails don't bother with a mountain bike.

You may some day want to get a different bike, but don't let that keep you from choosing now.

Be sure to test ride the bike, and others if you have other shops available to you, and enjoy whatever bike you get.
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Old 08-26-09, 06:56 PM   #13
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Real simple. If you are not going to use it on unimproved trails then get a hybrid. The suspension is just one more thing to go wrong and adds a needless amount of weight.
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Old 08-26-09, 07:47 PM   #14
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They would provide the obvious and only answer (for them): get a hybrid! (It still might be useful to ask there.)

The Sirrus is more of a road bike (look at the saddle) than a hybrid is (which tend to have fairly wide seats).
most people in the hybrid forum own more than just hybrids, it's not an exclusive club
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Old 08-27-09, 01:07 PM   #15
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I tend to think that there's less real difference between Hybrid and MTB than you'd think and it's often more a matter of mindset and a few parts difference (saddle, stem, tires, etc)
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Old 08-27-09, 01:21 PM   #16
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most people in the hybrid forum own more than just hybrids, it's not an exclusive club.
We really have no idea if it's "most" of them. Asking the question in this forum was reasonable. Asking the question in the "hybrid" forum is reasonable too (as I said).
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Old 08-27-09, 02:12 PM   #17
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I tend to think that there's less real difference between Hybrid and MTB than you'd think and it's often more a matter of mindset and a few parts difference (saddle, stem, tires, etc)
This is more true on some than others.

And it is at last those few differences that make a hybrid and MTB each better at different things.

Riding knobbies on the road sucks, and you can fix that on a mountain bike, or get a hybrid to start with... The same with other components. A mountain bike can be hybridized, and a hybrid can be made more suitable for off roading. However, picking the right one up front saves work and money.
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Old 08-27-09, 03:16 PM   #18
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We really have no idea if it's "most" of them. Asking the question in this forum was reasonable. Asking the question in the "hybrid" forum is reasonable too (as I said).
Easy killer, I was just making a point, I was not offended buy your comment
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Old 08-27-09, 03:42 PM   #19
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Easy killer, I was just making a point, I was not offended buy your comment
I didn't think you were offended.

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Old 08-27-09, 03:48 PM   #20
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I didn't think you were offended.
I'm glad the internet lacks emotion
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Old 08-27-09, 03:59 PM   #21
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Check out the Specialized Crosstrail, along with the Sirrus. Both are Hybrids leaned more toward the road.

Both will do fine on gravel, hard packed dirt or lime, and hard surfaced roads.
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Old 08-27-09, 08:17 PM   #22
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A "comfort bike" might not actually be very comfortable on rides of 30 miles
I've done half centuries on my comfort hybrid Giant Cypress, one of them as recently as last week, while the first was within 4 months of getting back into cycling.
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