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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bike vs Hybrid - How different are they???

    If you take a mountain bike and put road tires on it, does that make it a hybrid? What makes a hybrid different from a mountain bike?

    I have an old Miyata Ridge Runner that is in excellent condition and has road tires on it. These bikes from the early 90s are listed as mountain bikes, but they do not look like the mountain bikes you find in stores today. It does not even look like it has any type of suspension... I could be wrong though since I'm new to the whole bike thing and trying to learn. Also, it is pretty light... Lighter than the mountain bikes I tried to pick up when shopping around.

    Basically, why would my specific Miyata Ridge Runner with road tires not qualify as a hybrid?

    Waiting for feedback...

  2. #2
    Senior Member LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
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    Ridge Runner's a pretty sweet bike. You can put slicks on it and call it a hybrid if you want. Many hybrids come with 700c wheels, as opposed to 26". I'd just call it a MTB with slicks. It's a better bike than probably 90% of the hybrids of similar vintage.

    If it's rigid, then it's likely to be lighter than many MTBs these days until you look at some really nice XC rigs.

    Front shocks didn't become almost completely ubiquitous 'til about 1995/1996
    1980ish Free Spirit Sunbird fixed * 1996 Mongoose IBOC Zero-G * 1997 KHS Comp * 1990-ish Scapin * Olde Western Auto Cruiser.

  3. #3
    I have senior moments... bikinfool's Avatar
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    Just labels. Pick the attributes you need in a bike's setup you need and call it what you want. For amusement try the differences in mountain bikes among the terms cross country, trail and all mountain. Is a hybrid more similar to a cyclocross or tourer instead of a mountain bike? The more variety of bike frame styles and wheel choices we have and then add in various brake/derailleur or stems/bars/controls, the blurrier the marketing terms become.
    suum quique
    Mountain bikes: Santa Cruz Hecklers (99, 02, 07), Santa Cruz Nomad, Moots YBB, Trek OCLV Pro Issue, American Breezer
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  4. #4
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Hybrids (as marketed) come in a number of forms that range from comfort oriented to higher performance models and geometry wise... many are much like mountain bikes and a good number come equipped with 26 inch tyres, especially in smaller frame sizes or where a more robust wheel is needed.

    Put slicks on an mtb and up the gearing a little and you will have a bike that performs much like many hybrids... older rigid mountain bikes tended to be built with touring geometry but ran 26 inch tyres and had lower gearing and flat bars for off roading.

    In defining hybrid bicycles there is the market versions and then there are those bikes that are built with a blend of parts which can also be called hybrids.

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the clarifications! I think I will hold on to my ridgerunner for a while longer. I think that it is versatile enough to allow me to do several things while I try to figure out what type of biking I will really be doing.

  6. #6
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    My hybrid is a basicly a road bike with straight handlebars and a road triple crank, the tires are 700x28 instead of my normal 700x23, also the tires have a little tread instead of being slicks. and it has a head shock (cannondale).
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
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  7. #7
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by momocycler View Post
    If you take a mountain bike and put road tires on it, does that make it a hybrid? What makes a hybrid different from a mountain bike?
    If you say it does, then it does. Think about it. You are creating a bike suitable for multiple tasks. You've got tires for the road. You've a frame that can stand up to some trail. That sounds "hybrid" to me. As a bonus, you probably get really easy fender mounting from the non-suspension-corrected rigid for that's sure to be on the bike.

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