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Old 09-27-04, 05:46 PM   #1
Boudicca
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performance hybrids

Anyone got any thoughts on the so-called performance hybrids out there -- road/touring bike components, but back- and shoulder-friendly flat handlebars? I've been looking at the Specialized Sirrius, along with a few similar types from Cannondale and others, although the Sequoia could be an option too if I decide to bite the drop bar bullet. I ride about 100-150 km a week in a combination of short commutes and longer city/country weekend rides, using a mid-end hybrid right now. But with a history of shoulder problems I'm wary of switching to drop bars unless I'm quite sure I'll be able to get used to them. Any feedback appreciated.
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Old 09-27-04, 08:13 PM   #2
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I tested the Sirrus Sport Disk and it was great for the short time I was riding it. The Sequoia was also really nice. I opted finally for the Trek 7500FX (mountain bike gearing as opposed to the Sirrus's road gearing, and no disk brakes, but similar to the Sirrus in other respects). Great bike! Ultimately I chose to buy the Trek from my regular shop (that doesn't stock Specialized bikes) rather than go to a competitor, but based on my test rides I don't think you can go wrong with either.

Happy shopping!
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Old 09-27-04, 09:36 PM   #3
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I have a Trek hybrid and a Fuji road bike. The hybrid has riser bars--basically flat--and I have frequent episodes of hand numbness when I ride it for any distance. Hand numbness when I ride the road bike is rare. Drop bars give you many positions for your hands, and I find riding on the hoods or just behind the hood is a comfortable position.

I suppose the hand numbness on the Trek could be relieved if I brought the handlebars up some, but then I'd be much less comfortable on the saddle.
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Old 09-28-04, 08:10 AM   #4
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I've got a Devinci Stockholm that I use for commuting, rail-trails and pulling around my 2yr old in a trailer. I'm going to be adding some bar ends, as I like more hand positions than the flat bars offer.

FWIW, I'm building up another bike from spare parts, and I'd like to try some of those nifty looking Moustache bars from nitto.
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Old 09-28-04, 08:32 AM   #5
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Had a Felt SR71,nice and fast.
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Old 09-28-04, 12:40 PM   #6
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After reviewing the specs of all the hybrid bikes mentioned here, I bought a Fuji Absolute. Fuji describes this bike as a "flat bar road bike". And it is! I am stricktly an urban rider and a road bike drop position simply is not for me. The only change I made is to fit a handlebar with more back-sweep. Still flat, but with 9 degrees of back sweep. So now I have the speed and acceleration of a 22 pound road bike, and the riding postion I need.

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Old 09-28-04, 05:06 PM   #7
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Drops in a sensible position (ie, higher than a stock bike is usually set up for) are usually a better choice for longer distances. They offer more hand positions, including several that are more ergonomic than straight bars (palms parallel to your torso vs perpendicular) while still offering braking (and probably shifting) at your fingertips (as opposed to bar ends). But everyone's different. I would strongly suggest trying to find someone you know of similar proportions with a road bike (better yet, a touring-specific road bike) and loaning it from them before you sink serious dough.
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Old 09-28-04, 06:32 PM   #8
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To many people think you ride in the drops all the time. 100 miles or more a week and i might not use them at all and most of the other riders i see are not in them either.
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Old 09-28-04, 08:45 PM   #9
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I have a "performance" hybrid - a Gary Fisher Utopia, which is essentially a Trek 7500FX with a shock on the fork. It's a great bike, but I found that I was frustrated somewhat with the lack of speed compared to a road bike and my hand position on the flat bar became uncomfortable after about an hour or so. I ended up buying a road bike the next summer. I find the drop bars are much more comfortable than a flat bar and I rarely use the drops. Try both the Sirrus and the Sequoia for an extended ride if you can. Frankly, if I owned a bike shop, I'd sell all the hybrids I could because my customers would come back later for a road bike! Anyway, good luck in your search - that's half the fun.

By the way, Prosody, if your hands are getting numb on the flat bars, try making sure that your wrists are straight. I find that when my hands go numb, I've bent my wrists. Straightening out my wrists usually does the trick for my numbness.
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Old 09-28-04, 09:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slotibartfast
By the way, Prosody, if your hands are getting numb on the flat bars, try making sure that your wrists are straight. I find that when my hands go numb, I've bent my wrists. Straightening out my wrists usually does the trick for my numbness.
Good point. A lot of people rotate flat bars so that the brake levers are pointed straight forward or even more upward, presumably to bring them closer. They should be angled so that there is a straight line from your forearms to hands.
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Old 09-29-04, 06:37 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slotibartfast
By the way, Prosody, if your hands are getting numb on the flat bars, try making sure that your wrists are straight. I find that when my hands go numb, I've bent my wrists. Straightening out my wrists usually does the trick for my numbness.
Thanks for the tip, I'll check it out next time I ride the hybrid.
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Old 09-29-04, 07:46 AM   #12
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I recently bought an 04 Sirrus and have been very happy with it. It's quite quick and responsive. I'd been away from cycling for 30 years but, the third day I owned it, I decided to participate in Critical Mass and had no problems keeping up with the group.

I have noticed one particular stretch on the local bikeway where my hands start to go numb. It doesn't seem to have anythiing to do with the amount of time, or distance I've been riding - maybe something about the nature of the surface?

I'm considering Gel gloves to see if that eliminates the problem. Maybe I just need to consider how I'm holding the handlebars.

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Old 09-29-04, 08:27 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by igor441
After reviewing the specs of all the hybrid bikes mentioned here, I bought a Fuji Absolute. Fuji describes this bike as a "flat bar road bike". And it is! I am stricktly an urban rider and a road bike drop position simply is not for me. The only change I made is to fit a handlebar with more back-sweep. Still flat, but with 9 degrees of back sweep. So now I have the speed and acceleration of a 22 pound road bike, and the riding postion I need.

Igor
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That's a nice hybrid. You have good taste.

I would have chosen the Bianchi Strada simply because it's steel even though the Fuji is better looking. A hybrid with limited hand positions made of Alu can cause problems. My second choice would have been the Jamis Coda.
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