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Old 08-24-09, 03:03 PM   #1
agc1976
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Will I regret getting a hybrid instead of a road bike?

I'm about 20 hours away from going to the bike shop and getting a pair of bikes for me and my wife. After about 3 weeks of internet research I've settled on a good quality hybrid ~$1,200 range.

We chose hybrid because:
1. We won't go off road
2. We want to ride relaxed (not too fast but not too slow)
3. We have never used drop bars and feel intimidated by it.
4. Chose higher quality components because a few friends have road bikes and we'd like to be able to go with them on 20-30 mile trips. Also, I dont like to buy bottom end of the range stuff (maybe psychological issue).
5. I'd like to be able to walk my dog using this attachment: http://www.thedogoutdoors.com/walkyd...ike-leash.html

My only concern is that I've read so much on the forums that most people who start with flat bars soon feel the need to get drop bar road bike. Is the flat bar road bike the right one for us? Should we save money and get a cheaper one in case we later want road bikes? Comfort is a big deal for us (reason why we want carbon components and a little higher end stuff)
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Old 08-24-09, 03:18 PM   #2
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Personally, I fear you will regret it.

I bought a hybrid, because I didn't see why I needed a road bike. They were silly poncy things for silly poncy people, I thought.

Then I bought a different hybrid, a lighter, faster one that really was the right size (as opposed to hybrid no. 1, which wasn't. It got stolen.

I now own two road bikes, plus a folding bicycle with drop handlebars.

I love all three of them. I find them more comfortable, I like the fact that I have different hand positions, I find them faster, and I love being able to duck into the drops if a headwind is too strong.

But there again, I would also be terrified at the idea of a walky dog thingy like that, so we're probably different markets anyway. What happens if Fido is spooked by a squirrel and takes off in the oppopsite direction from the one I want to go?

Whatever you get, enjoy 'em.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:21 PM   #3
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I ride a road bike with drop bars because my wrists are among the body parts I like to keep comfortable.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:22 PM   #4
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Hybrid works for me, but I ride on fairly well maintained dirt roads. I do not do 30 mile trips. There is such a thing as a flat bar road bike, though I can't suggest a particular one. Also, it's my understanding that the geometry on Giant's OCR series is more accomodating that most road bikes. I'm satisfied with my Giant Cypress hybrid, but routinely doing 30 miles might tip the balance the other way, again noting that you won't go off road.

Edit to add: Agree with Boudicca in regards to Fido. Combine this with no plans to ride off road, and it is worrysome.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:27 PM   #5
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Will I regret getting a hybrid instead of a road bike?
Depends how you take to cycling. Assuming the bug bites...

In the short term, yes.
In the long term, no, because then you'll have both.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:38 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by agc1976 View Post
I'm about 20 hours away from going to the bike shop and getting a pair of bikes for me and my wife. After about 3 weeks of internet research I've settled on a good quality hybrid ~$1,200 range.

We chose hybrid because:
1. We won't go off road
2. We want to ride relaxed (not too fast but not too slow)
3. We have never used drop bars and feel intimidated by it.
4. Chose higher quality components because a few friends have road bikes and we'd like to be able to go with them on 20-30 mile trips. Also, I dont like to buy bottom end of the range stuff (maybe psychological issue).
5. I'd like to be able to walk my dog using this attachment: http://www.thedogoutdoors.com/walkyd...ike-leash.html

My only concern is that I've read so much on the forums that most people who start with flat bars soon feel the need to get drop bar road bike. Is the flat bar road bike the right one for us? Should we save money and get a cheaper one in case we later want road bikes? Comfort is a big deal for us (reason why we want carbon components and a little higher end stuff)
One thing nice about hybrids is being able to use them off road. There are some paths that don't require a mountain bike. One can get road bikes that allow for wider tires that will let you do what a hybrid would, off road.

I don't see why you couldn't use the dog device on a road bike. But it might be safer with upright bars.

What bike are you looking at? How fast do your friends ride (average speed)?

You might not really get that much of an advantage spending as much as $1200.

Note that most people with dropped bars spend most of their time on the brake hoods. This allows you to shift and brake without moving your hands (but it is somewhat harder to brake from the hoods especially if you have small hands).

You'll tend to be less upright with dropped bars and that does take some getting used to. Note that you don't need to use a "racing" position, which many people don't find comfortable for long distances.

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There is such a thing as a flat bar road bike, though I can't suggest a particular one.
I think the "flat bar road bike" is an underappreciated class. It won't let you bash into/over things quite like a hybrid, but ridden carefully, it will be just as capable, especially if it can fit wider tires!

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-24-09 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:42 PM   #7
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$1200 for a hybrid? Does it come with solid gold components?

Sounds like you want to "start" with a flat bar road bike. Look at the Coda series in the link below.
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...eet/index.html

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Old 08-24-09, 03:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agc1976 View Post
I'm about 20 hours away from going to the bike shop and getting a pair of bikes for me and my wife. After about 3 weeks of internet research I've settled on a good quality hybrid ~$1,200 range.

My only concern is that I've read so much on the forums that most people who start with flat bars soon feel the need to get drop bar road bike. Is the flat bar road bike the right one for us? Should we save money and get a cheaper one in case we later want road bikes? Comfort is a big deal for us (reason why we want carbon components and a little higher end stuff)
I think that it depends on how you use your bikes. If you visualize yourself alone or only with your wife, I suspect that you will be happy with the bikes that you have chosen for a long time. If you find yourself doing group rides, you'll probably want bikes that are similar to the other riders.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:48 PM   #9
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You will feel a little regret no matter what kind of bike you get.
If you get a hybrid, the buzzing sound of those knobby tires on the asphalt will haunt you, as will the other riders zipping by on skinny tires.
If you get 'pure' road bike, trails will mockingly beckon from the asphalt prison.

Ambivalence and regret are part of our nature, so you might as well make peace with them and relish the advantages of your choice, (and there are advantages to either of those choices.)
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Old 08-24-09, 03:48 PM   #10
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Well, I actually meant a flat bar road bike. I've settled on the Cannondale Quick 2.

As far as my friends, one used to ride with a group but he was the slowest and had trouble keeping up (the group rode at around 18mph). He says he'd rather ride slower and be more relaxed, he's not very athletic but neither am I. The other is my cousin who runs marathons and wants to get either a fast flat bar or a true road bike.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:48 PM   #11
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$1200 for a hybrid? Does it come with solid gold components?

Sounds like you want to "start" with a flat bar road bike. Look at the Coda series in the link below.
http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...eet/index.html

That's one to look at. The Specialized Sirrus is another.

Note that hybrids typically place you in a more upright position that bikes like this.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:51 PM   #12
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We chose hybrid because:
1. We won't go off road
^Isn't this the same for people who get road bikes?^


I went from this to this in less than a year. When I first shopped around, I wasn't considering anything else, but a hybrid. After I bought the Bianchi, I purchased my first road bike (80's Univega) and loved it. Shimano group with stem shifters for $60. Although the hybrid was a good bike, it wasn't for me. Mainly because I would get wrist pain with the bent handlebars. So I sold it to my cousin and bought the Motobecane. If I had thought of it, I would have got a Bianchi Axis 'cross bike or the Volpe.

Note: After a good cleaning/tuning, I sold the Univega with a few accessories (Planet Bike Superflash, Power Grip pedals, etc.) for $220.
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Old 08-24-09, 03:56 PM   #13
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Hybrids are really good for older folks who can't take having the handlebars below the seat. Ask yourself; Is this me? If not, test ride some road bikes before you decide. bk
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Old 08-24-09, 03:57 PM   #14
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Well, I actually meant a flat bar road bike. I've settled on the Cannondale Quick 2.

As far as my friends, one used to ride with a group but he was the slowest and had trouble keeping up (the group rode at around 18mph). He says he'd rather ride slower and be more relaxed, he's not very athletic but neither am I. The other is my cousin who runs marathons and wants to get either a fast flat bar or a true road bike.
That's a bit more of a "flat bar road bike".

http://www3.cannondale.com/bikes/09/...odel-9QR2.html

You might want a road bike (better aerodynamics) to ride any distance at 18+mph.

Given what you describe you want to do, I don't think you'd need to get rid of that Cannondale anytime soon! Of course (outside of the dog thing), a road bike would work for what you want to do also. It looks like the critical thing for you is the handle bar issue.

=============

By the way, converting between handle bar types isn't cheap and the geometries of bicycles set up for one or the other type of handle bars is often different.

Last edited by njkayaker; 08-24-09 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 08-24-09, 04:11 PM   #15
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This seems to be an issue that confounds new riders (and even experienced ones who you would think would understand this) : the height of the handlebars depends on the length of the steerer and the rise of the stem. It has nothing to do with the shape of the handlebar.
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Old 08-24-09, 04:18 PM   #16
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Nobody can make the choice for you, There are performance Hybrids, comfort bikes, Road bikes with flat bars as well as drops. You really have to just try them out.
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Old 08-24-09, 04:46 PM   #17
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This seems to be an issue that confounds new riders (and even experienced ones who you would think would understand this) : the height of the handlebars depends on the length of the steerer and the rise of the stem. It has nothing to do with the shape of the handlebar.
Flat handle bars often have a rise.

More interesting than the height of the handle bars is what posture you want to ride in.
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Old 08-24-09, 04:59 PM   #18
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look at the cannondale synapse. It is a road bike with drop bars, but it has a more upright riding position than most other road bikes.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:00 PM   #19
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There is nothing in the world that says you only have to own one bicycle. If you and your wife, together or separately, decide that you would like to try a different kind of riding then you can look at road bikes later. Hybrids are nice, fun around the block, run an errand, or trip to the grocery store bicycles. If you do a 20 to 30 mile trip with friends on road bikes you might not keep up with them, but you'll still be able to finish the trip riding hybrids. The drop handlebars offer more hand positions and for a long trip that might be useful, but they have their disadvantages as well. Bicycles are considerably more maneuverable with flat handlebars. If you want to try drop bars go to a bike shop and see if the flat ones on the hybrids can be swapped out.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:21 PM   #20
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The drop handlebars offer more hand positions and for a long trip that might be useful, but they have their disadvantages as well. Bicycles are considerably more maneuverable with flat handlebars. If you want to try drop bars go to a bike shop and see if the flat ones on the hybrids can be swapped out.
Speaking for yourself? As for me, this is untrue. My 'cross bike is just as maneuverable (if not more) than my previously owned hybrid. It also depends on the person. Why would you suggest swapping out the bars on the hybrid? I say test ride some road bikes. 'Nuff said.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:23 PM   #21
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There is nothing in the world that says you only have to own one bicycle. If you and your wife, together or separately, decide that you would like to try a different kind of riding then you can look at road bikes later. Hybrids are nice, fun around the block, run an errand, or trip to the grocery store bicycles. If you do a 20 to 30 mile trip with friends on road bikes you might not keep up with them, but you'll still be able to finish the trip riding hybrids. The drop handlebars offer more hand positions and for a long trip that might be useful, but they have their disadvantages as well. Bicycles are considerably more maneuverable with flat handlebars. If you want to try drop bars go to a bike shop and see if the flat ones on the hybrids can be swapped out.
This has not been my experience. I've only had a couple flat handlebar bikes: both 80s-90s rigid steel mountain bikes. Neither has been as maneuverable as any of my crit bikes.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:33 PM   #22
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If you do a 20 to 30 mile trip with friends on road bikes you might not keep up with them, but you'll still be able to finish the trip riding hybrids.
It looks like he's looking at more of a road bike with flat handle bars. These bikes tend to be lighter and higher performance than a "true" hybrid with the same level of versatility (if you ride them carefully).

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If you want to try drop bars go to a bike shop and see if the flat ones on the hybrids can be swapped out.
Typically, this is a fairly big, not cheap, deal. It could easily cost $400 with brifters. (You'd have to replace the bars, the shifters, the brake levers, the cabling.)

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This has not been my experience. I've only had a couple flat handlebar bikes: both 80s-90s rigid steel mountain bikes. Neither has been as maneuverable as any of my crit bikes.
People don't seem to use dropped bars on mountain bikes. For road riding, I'd say they both are equally manueverable but upright is a bit more secure (generally) for rougher/tricker riding.

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Old 08-24-09, 05:36 PM   #23
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What about the 30/39/50 crank (11-26 cassette) of the Quick 2 versus the 26/36/48 (11-32) of the more economical Quick 3 for the type of riding that I'm planning to do? I may encounter some steep climbs every once in a while where I live so I'm liking the Quick 3 for that but I don't want to give up too much speed (Quick 2 also has Shimano 105 RD and lighter wheels I believe).
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Old 08-24-09, 05:39 PM   #24
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I do, except in the winter. I want a heavy bike with wide handlebars for that.
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Old 08-24-09, 05:41 PM   #25
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Typically, this is a fairly big, not cheap, deal. It could easily cost $400 with brifters. (You'd have to replace the bars, the shifters, the brake levers, the cabling.)
Couldn't agree more. You can always use your existing brake levers and shifters (if compatible with your choice of drop bars), but that seems like a bad idea. People have done it, but I wouldn't suggest it.
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