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Old 08-11-10, 06:03 AM   #1
tallnlanky
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Of Hybrids and Roadies

I'm trying to plan out my next bike purchase and need a little help. I would like a bike for road riding, but am not looking for a high tec race bike. I want something that is equally suitable for a 50-100 mile fitness ride or carrying enough gear for a weekend camping trip. From what I can tell looking around on the different manufacturer websites I think I'm looking for either a performance hybrid or a fitness road bike. If this is true, what is the difference between these two categories of bikes besides the handlebars?

I would also appreciate any suggestions for what bikes might suit my needs. I'm purposely leaving my price range out so it won't limit the suggestions.

Hope this makes sense. I've been up for too many hours.....
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Old 08-11-10, 06:45 AM   #2
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Also look at touring and sport touring bikes and maybe cross bikes.

But for a weekend camping trip I would take the same gear as a week long tour except less clothes. Look for a bike that has eyelets for a rear rack.

For long ride I prefer drop bars for the additional hand positions.

Last edited by cyclist2000; 08-11-10 at 09:34 PM.
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Old 08-11-10, 07:21 AM   #3
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Also look at touring and sport touring bikes and maybe cross bikes.
^^ this
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Old 08-11-10, 07:28 AM   #4
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I agree with the others. If you want to carry camping gear sometimes, that means you'll need good sized panniers sometimes, and that means you'll want the longer chainstays and rack mounting points of a touring bike. If building from scratch many cross frames posess these qualities too.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:37 AM   #5
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Let me just suggest, based on my own experience, that you NOT get a flat bar bike it fitness hybrid.

If you want to make your Allez less aggressive, that's easy.
You can't make a flat bar much more aggressive.
I learned this the hard way, with my Jamis Allegro which I quickly "outgrew" and ended up selling in favor of a Felt F3.

Also, drop bar bikes give you tons of hand positions.
On a flat bar, on longer rides, many people get uncomfortable fast. Typically this results in numbness, wrist and elbow pain.

Go for a road bike if you want to ride on the road more than 15 miles at a time.

Think Trek 1.5 or 2.1, specialized sectaur or roubaix or crux (cross bike), felt Z series, etc
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Old 08-11-10, 11:15 AM   #6
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I agree with the others. "Performance hybrid" is a contradiction in terms. "Fitness road bike" is a compromise many people outgrow.

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Think Trek 1.5 or 2.1, specialized sectaur or roubaix or crux (cross bike), felt Z series, etc
The Trek 1.5 or 2.1 have a racing geometry. The Trek Pilot has a relaxed front end like the Specialized Roubaix.
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Old 08-11-10, 11:41 AM   #7
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Light touring bike. Jamis Aurora or Surly XC. And check what REI is offering.
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Old 08-11-10, 12:43 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
Also look at touring and sport touring bikes and maybe cross bikes.
Actually, you only need to look at these!!

For example, something like the Trek 520 or the Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 would work very well for what you want to do.
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Old 08-11-10, 06:04 PM   #9
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Some great info here guys. Thanks! I have looked into a couple of the suggestions and will continue to do so. One of my friends mentioned the Giant Defy 2. Would that fall into the same category of what is being mentioned? Do these bikes have brazeons for panniers?

This might be a stretch, but is it possible to buy a bike like this without a proper fitting? I would like to buy now when the bikes are going on sale, but I live in an isolated area and won't be anywhere close to a LBS until probably next spring. The hundred or so dollars that I would save isn't worth the cost of buying a bike that doesn't fit. I am 6'1", about 200, 34" inseam.

Thanks again.
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Old 08-11-10, 06:39 PM   #10
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it possible to buy a bike like this without a proper fitting? <snip> I am 6'1", about 200, 34" inseam.
It's very possible to buy a bike without a fitting. Getting it to fit is another matter entirely. As you said, saving a hundred now isn't worth the cost of a bike that doesn't fit.

The tough part is that bikes are "sized" by the seat tube length. Adjusting saddle height is the easiest thing to do. Where frame size is more important is in top tube length (or on a compact frame, virtual top tube length). Screw up that measurement and you can only compensate so much with a longer or shorter stem before handling goes all wonky.

I too have a 34" cycling inseam (different than my Levi's inseam) but since I'm 5'-10", I take a shorter top tube than you. Over the years I've learned that a 56cm top tube is just about right for me. I ignore the bike "size" and measure the top tube. I have bikes that range in "size" from 55 to 58, yet they all have a top tube of 56cm. And they all have a bit of extra seatpost showing to compensate for my long legs.

It sounds to me like you're still early enough in the game that you haven't yet established what top tube length works best for you. Until you do, I'd suggest you get fit on a bike before buying it.
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Old 08-12-10, 06:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallnlanky View Post
This might be a stretch, but is it possible to buy a bike like this without a proper fitting? I would like to buy now when the bikes are going on sale, but I live in an isolated area and won't be anywhere close to a LBS until probably next spring. The hundred or so dollars that I would save isn't worth the cost of buying a bike that doesn't fit. I am 6'1", about 200, 34" inseam.
The #1 mistake people make when buying a bike is to buy the wrong size. Often this is accompanied by phrases like "it was a really good deal!" and "the bike shop said I could make it work".

If you're biking 3 miles to school, you can just deal with the discomfort, and bike slower, and make it work.

If you're biking 50-100 miles, you WILL notice it, and it will nearly certainly be painful, with the possibility of chronic injury. Now each bike does have *some* adjustments built into it, don't get me wrong. But getting the right size is more important than the nearly every other aspect of the bike.
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