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Old 05-06-13, 11:33 AM   #1
RedBike78
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What should I get? Road bike or hybrid?

I have a good mountain bike, but I'm looking at getting a second bike and am trying to choose between some form of road bike or a hybrid (i.e. road-ish-bike with flat bars). Here's what I want it for:
  • Commuting: I have around a 30 minute commute. I would not bike everyday, but I would like to bike at least a few times a week. I'd also like to use it to bike around town, etc.
  • Recreational riding: There are awesome bike paths in my city. While I can certainly ride my MTB on them, I think it would be more enjoyable with a more sleek bike with smaller, slicker tires. I'd like to spend at least a few hours each weekend biking for both fitness and fun.

Originally I thought I'd get a hybrid, but some of my roadie friends think it will be more versatile to get a road bike. Does anyone have thoughts on this? I like the idea of being able to go faster on a real road bike (fast = fun!) but I've never had a road bike before, so I think I'd be more comfortable on a flat-barred bike.
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Old 05-06-13, 11:41 AM   #2
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Are the trails you ride paved, dirt, gravel, or crushed limestone? In addition to a road bike, you could also consider a cyclo cross bike.
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Old 05-06-13, 11:46 AM   #3
RedBike78
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Trails would probably be 90% pavement. I was also considering a cyclocross or touring bike, yes.

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Are the trails you ride paved, dirt, gravel, or crushed limestone? In addition to a road bike, you could also consider a cyclo cross bike.
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Old 05-06-13, 12:01 PM   #4
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Originally I thought I'd get a hybrid, but some of my roadie friends think it will be more versatile to get a road bike. Does anyone have thoughts on this?
Absolutely. If you have friends that ride, get a bike that's similar to theirs. That way, if you decide to ride together, you won't feel you're at a disadvantage.
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Old 05-06-13, 01:11 PM   #5
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Road bike. There's very, very little that a hybrid brings to the table for you that you wouldn't rather use an MTB or a road bike for. If you already have the MTB covered... well, the second bike is an obvious choice.
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Old 05-06-13, 01:17 PM   #6
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Hybrid is fine for putting around and short commutes, but a road bike will be faster and more comfortable for longer rides. Drop bars give you three distinctly different hand positions, plus some in between. This is why road bikes have drop bars. You can set up the bike so the tops are at about the same height and distance as your flat bars would be and then have two progressively lower and longer positions on the hoods and in the drops. If you're going to get into road riding alone or with buddies, get a road bike.
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Old 05-06-13, 01:43 PM   #7
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A hybrid is for cyclists who either do short urban commutes, or who frequently alternate between dirt trails and paved roads. Hybrids are usually good at doing a lot of moderate cycling. It's not the best bike on paved roads, because that's what road bikes do! The hybrid is not the best bike, for roots, rocks, and loose gravel, because that's what mountain bikes do! A hybrid is an in-betweener!

Right now, you already own a mtb. You own the very best on dirt trails and mountains. However, mtbikes are not the most efficient bikes when cycled upon paved roads. Road bikes are the most efficient means of travel on paved roads, anywhere in the world.

You sir, need a genuine road bike!

Just get something like this one and install some cross lever brakes across the hoods for greater confidence. I'm sure you'll do just fine:
www.gtbicycles.com/2013/bikes/road/performance/corsa-1-0


cross lever brakes
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Last edited by Cfiber; 05-06-13 at 03:21 PM.
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Old 05-06-13, 01:56 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by RedBike78 View Post
Originally I thought I'd get a hybrid, but some of my roadie friends think it will be more versatile to get a road bike. Does anyone have thoughts on this? I like the idea of being able to go faster on a real road bike (fast = fun!) but I've never had a road bike before, so I think I'd be more comfortable on a flat-barred bike.
Go to your LBS (local bike shop) and test ride a bunch of different bikes (including cross bikes as mentioned - get slicks instead of knobbies). There's a lot to say for drop bars, but if they don't work for you, then don't get 'em.

Everything else being equal, I'd choose a cross bike out of the choices before you.
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Old 05-08-13, 04:49 PM   #9
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My own expereience was get a hybrid it took me sometime around a year to get comfortable and at one with my roadbike where it has now after two years of being second choice to the trek 7.5fx has become first choice. Also remember not nimble in traffic and you will need padded shorts and clipless pedals
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