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  1. #1
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    How Did You Choose a Hybrid?

    Many of you walked into a bike-shop looking for a new bike, and rolled out on a hybrid. How did you come to choose your bike?

    With me - I wanted something that would work well on the paved roads here, which can turn to gravel & dirt very quickly. I didn't want a mountain-bike as they are cumbersome to roll on pavement (at least I think so), and I already had/have a fantastic road-bike. So the hybrids grabbed me. Then the research began...

    Armed with a general idea of what I wanted, and a computer, I read every review and spec-sheet I could find. Figured which ones would lend themselves to customizing. And what cost differentials I would encounter. After several days, I decided on a Trek 7.5.

    Knowing my propensity to customize any bike that found it's way into my domain, the 7.5 seemed the best candidate. The LBS that had Treks had a few 7.5's on sale as they were last years stock and the new ones were rolling in. They had one left of exactly what I wanted. I placed a down-payment over the phone. And the next day - it was mine.

    My regret: I should have gone with the 7.3 as the frame is the same. And that's about all that's left of my former 7.5 - the frame/fork, headset, and the handlebars.

    Now to find another frame, used, to build-up to sell with the stock-parts from the 7.5.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Having been newly retired (laid off) at 59, my wife and I wanted something mainly for excercise. Having been veterans of 10-speeds in the 70's, that were never really that comfortable to ride, we've been off bikes for 15-20 years. We knew that what we wanted now was an upright position and comfortable ride, mostly for local side-streets and paths. Speed was not important.

    I did the research, and it looked like a hybrid would fit the bill. I found several from major suppliers, that all seemed pretty similar in build and price. It seemed that any would be a good choice. The LBS featured Giant products. After checking them out, we both got Cypress models. This was just last week. So far, so good.
    70's Schwinn Continental
    2009 Giant Cypress

  3. #3
    Eternal Newbie Kevrob's Avatar
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    Over a year ago I was bikeless. I desperately needed a ride as emergency transportation for job-hunting. I picked up an old Sears Free Spirit 10-speed with DT shifting and downturned bars at a Goodwill store. It got me where I needed to get to, but it was a bear to ride and the roads in my area were tough on my tubes, my tires, and eventually my wheels*. I parked it and last October, again under the ***, bought a Magna faux MTB from Target. I knew I shouldn't, but when needs must...

    That beast handled the dodgy roads around here better, and the 11 extra gears made ascending hills easier, but the rear derailleur eventually failed and wrecked my rear wheel. It is now parked, with a new wheel provided under warranty, but is as yet unrideable. I couldn't get my area's only remaining LBS to work on it for less than the original purchase price.

    I wasn't about to buy another X-Mart bike, and couldn't afford an entry-level LBS bike, so I went the Craigslist route. I nabbed a Lawee-designed Univega Trail for $40.00. I since replaced the tires on it (+$60.00 for Specialized Hemispheres) and one of the shifters (+$20), and mounted front and rear lights, a seatpost rack, a pump, an AirZound horn and a mirror. (Probably another $100 in accessories.)

    I settled on the Univega mostly because I learned on BF that these bikes were a good value. It does exactly what I want it to. It is much lighter than the fauxMTB, and I'm more comfortable riding upright, given my skill level and the traffic I run into. At some point I want to upgrade the rack, add baskets or panniers, add fenders and make a solid commuter out of it. The frame is designed to accept the extra hardware.

    Unless the weather is too awful, I'm confident enough to ride just about anywhere I need to go. While I originally got back on a bike out of necessity, I do enjoy riding, and look for excuses to take the bike out. I certainly need the exercise. Given a fat enough wallet, I don't doubt that I'd be tempted by N+1 disease, and have a bike for all occasions. But, since I can really only afford to keep one bike,† the hybrid suits me best.

    Kevin


    * The same LBS that wouldn't work on my Magna didn't want to change a flat on my FS the last time I took it there. They thought the rear wheel had lost one two many spokes, and I shouldn't send good money after bad. I eventually bought a tube and some tire levers and learned how to change it myself, then donated the bike back to GW.

    † When and if I get the unrideable fauxMTB working, I'll probably sell it or donate it. It's not a good enough bike to keep, and I rarely trail ride.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DX Rider's Avatar
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    I needed an alternative to my mountain bike that I was commuting on at the time. The roads around here are kind of rough and I'm not the most gentle rider, so I thought that a road bike wouldn't take the abuse as well. Plus, I wasn't a big fan of riding in the drops, so I wanted a straight bar.

    My hybrid is the backbone of my bicycle stable.
    Quote Originally Posted by stronglight View Post
    There is just no cure for stupid.
    1982 Motobecane Jubile Sport
    1997 Cannondale F-400
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  5. #5
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    I set out to build a bike that would combine the best aspects of my road bike and mountain bike and started with a 1999 Trek 7500 Multitrack that I picked up for $100.00 (nearly mint) and then rebuilt from the frame up.

    I basically built my own version of the Trek Portland.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Nermal's Avatar
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    Somehow, just mounting the old Diamondback mountain bike made me feel like I could accidently go over the handlebars. Maybe a fit problem, maybe something else, but I didn't like it. Nothing with drop bars would work for me, so I went with the Giant Cypress SX. It's worked out well for the riding I do.
    Some people are like a Slinky ... not really good for anything, but you still can't help but smile when you shove them down the stairs.

  7. #7
    Pro Paper Plane Pilot wunderkind's Avatar
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    what the heck is a hybrid? Is it a mtb with slick tires and rigid forks? Maybe it can be a road bike with chubbier tires and comfort saddle? WTF is hybrid. I don't get it.
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  8. #8
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    Don't feel bad, some people never get it.

  9. #9
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
    what the heck is a hybrid? Is it a mtb with slick tires and rigid forks? Maybe it can be a road bike with chubbier tires and comfort saddle? WTF is hybrid. I don't get it.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hybrid_bicycle

  10. #10
    Grammar Cop Condorita's Avatar
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    I didn't want a mountain bike because I planned to ride mostly on pavement, and I didn't want a road bike because I wanted the option of hard-packed dirt and because I don't like drops. The Giant Cypress (technically a comfort hybrid) fit the bill and my pocket book.
    That which does not kill me has made a massive tactical blunder.
    Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen. Louis L'Amour
    '07 Giant Cypress WSD "Radagast the Beige-and-Black" * '97 (?) Bianchi Premio "Orion" * '09 Trek Allant "The Black Pearl"

  11. #11
    Grumpy mike047's Avatar
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    I originally bought a 2009 Fuji Nevada 3.0 and a week later saw a 2008 Giant Sedona DX and bought it...haven't rode the Fuji since.
    mike
    2008 Giant Sedona DX + Anenir trailer
    2007 Corsa with a tall seat post--for sale
    2010 Giant Rincon......ROX
    2011 Giant Revel 0

  12. #12
    Banned
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    I became a bike messenger in 1986 and I used a road bike, but I fell down a lot slipping on wet paint and grates. So I got a mountain bike because I thought the wider tires would help me stay upright. I put drop bars w/ bar end shifters on it because I thought I could split lanes better with narrower bars. That was my first hybrid.

    I started doing a little MTB racing and realized flat bars, mtb shifters and mtb brake levers were better for that, so I got a flat bar mtb. Later, I bought a touring bike and put flat bars, mtb shifters and brake levers on it. That was my second hybrid. I had gone from a mtb with drops to a touring bike with flat bars!

    When hybrids came around, obviously that was right down my alley, and I've owned several of them. While the hybrids required modifications, I now have a pretty nice "flat bar road bike" that came already set up almost perfect for me.

  13. #13
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    I was coming off a steel road bike, after 35 years on it, and wanted something that sit me more upright, had big wheels, a big frame, front suspension, could carry a load of groceries, drop outs for fenders and such, with wide enough tires for gravel and occasional dirt, with high enough gearing to ride the road......

    The Hybrid fit the bill better than anything else I rode.

    My Specialized Crosstrail (08) is the perfect do it all bike, fo me.

    I sold the steel road bike about 3 weeks later, and never looked back.

  14. #14
    Senior Member wolfchild's Avatar
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    I have two mountain bikes one of them a singlespeed, one geared both with a rigid fork , but I also wanted a fixed gear bike, with 700cc wheels, sloping top tube, steel frame, enough clearence for 32mm tires with fenders, so I got myself a KHS Urban Uno, I love riding that bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member
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    I wanted something faster than a mountain bike for riding on the multi-use trails and some roads around me. I didn't want to spend what it would cost to get a road bike, and wasn't too thrilled about having to be so bent over. The forums, and my LBS, led me towards the "fitness" bikes and I ended up with a Trek FX 7.3

  16. #16
    CX Wannabe jarelj's Avatar
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    I had a MTB that I didn't ride much for quite a few years, then got a Trek 7500 about 8 years ago, which was my first Hybrid. It was much better then the MTB for the type of riding I do (Fitness riding - street and bike paved trails), but I still didn't ride it a ton, I'd go in spurts for a few months at a time riding several days a week then not riding for months at a time. Just turned 40 and wanted to make sure I stay active into my 50's, 60's, 70's and beyond, and I see biking as something I can keep doing for a long time, so I made the commitment to get more into it and make it a permanent part of my life. I wanted to upgrade to a more road-oriented bike, lighter, without the suspension and wider tires that the 7500 has, since I never go offroad. I settled on the Trek 7.6fx after riding quite a few bikes. I tried a few road bikes, and just wasn't comfortable with the riding position and handling, and was worried about getting flats with the tiny tires. Considered a Cyclocross bike, but went with the hybrid. I've really enjoyed the speed I picked up with the 7.6fx over the 7500, and I won't rule out getting a road bike at some point as well, but for what I do with it (exercise daily and occasional recreational ride with my wife - who inherited my 7500) the 7.6fx fits the bill pretty well. I'll end up upgrading components on it I'm sure, but I think the basic platform is pretty solid.

  17. #17
    Great State of Varmint Panthers007's Avatar
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    Well - I do have a beautiful vintage road-bike, which we called 'racing-bike' back when I first rolled it out of my shop in 1983. It's (of course...) a PUCH. And I also recently bought, through CL, an old 3-speed in decent shape. And, naturally, I've customized it to it's better-then-new self. It is also a (wait for it) PUCH.

    And I have my utterly-customized Trek hybrid that started it's nascent career as a Trek 7.5 FX. I love all of 'em. Even named my 3-spd. after a lady - Grazelda. But if I think about it, and I could only have one bicycle, which bike would be the only one? Taking into account such characteristics as versatility, road conditions up here in Varmint (Vermont), ease of maintenance, and out-and-out comfort:

    It's the Hybrid.
    How do you keep an idiot in suspense?

  18. #18
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    Kona Dew FS

    I hadn't ridden a bike regularly for nearly 20 years. Back in the day I cycled a great deal -- commuting, lots of touring, and lots of mtn bike riding. We currently have a program here in British Columbia where you can take your old car to the junk yard and the government gives you up to $1200 towards a new bike. I'd been thinking about getting back into cycling and this was the incentive that I needed.

    I figured I'd be riding primarily on the road but wanted a bike that I could do light trail riding with my kids -- the hybrid class of bike fit the bill perfectly. I began visiting local bike shops and looked at Norco, Cannondale, Fisher, Trek, DeVinci, Brodie and none of them did much for me -- either the bike wasn't equipped the way I wanted it (components, disk brakes, suspension) or I just didn't like the look of the bike. The closest that I got to what I wanted was a Brodie Energy. Then I came across a Kona dealer and immediately liked the Dew FS. It has 700 wheels, disk brakes and front suspension was exactly what I was looking for -- and the bike looks cool. Some digging around on the web found very few reviews but what little I found was all good.

    Ended up purchasing the Dew FS for myself and with the money left over from the $1200, I threw in three hundred more bucks and also bought my daughter a Kona L'anai mtn bike as well as a few accessories.

    My primary goal for this bike is for fitness and so far it's been working out pretty good -- in the three months that I've owned it, I've ridden more than 1800 kilometers. Fitness is happening and I'm getting back in shape.

    I've absolutely no regrets about my decision to buy a hybrid and have no misgivings about the final decision to buy a Kona Dew FS. The bike is fast and comfortable -- I can cruise along on flat roads on windless days at about 34-35 km/hr (21-22mph) -- such an increase in speed over my old mtn bikes!

    Since buying the bike, I've added a front and rear lights, a rear rack, water bottle cage, pump, and an under seat bag.

    It's a hybrid, and I'm happy that I have it.
    ---

    As an aside, the new 2010 Kona's have been posted on their website and I'm really glad that I got the 2009 model of the Dew FS as the 2010 model has drastically changed and I'm not much enamored by it at all.

    This is the 2009 model which I purchased:



    Here's the new 2010 model that I wouldn't have bought (it's a style thing):

  19. #19
    You gonna eat that? Doohickie's Avatar
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    I started riding again in February 2008 after hardly riding at all for the previous ~20 years. I got back on my old bike, a 1984 Nishiki Olympic 12. I wrecked it shortly afterward and planned on buying a new bike for my birthday in the fall.

    Before that, though, I found out an older lady in our church had a couple bikes for sale. One of them turned out to be a "brand new" 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS hybrid which I picked up for song. (The other was the Raleigh DL-1 Tourist that I also bought). But the reason I bought a hybrid was simply that it was there, it was in showroom-new shape, and it was cheap. Frankly I doubt I would have ever bought a hybrid in a bike shop.

    Having said that, it has turned out to be a great transportation bike. I can load it down somewhat and go play in traffic quite nimbly. It has low gearing so it really accelerates quickly, and I can climb hills easily on it. I wish it had a little more top end, but I'm happy with what I've got.
    I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.



    Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."

  20. #20
    Senior Member droobieinop's Avatar
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    Hi, my name i droobie and I've been riding a hybrid since '95...

    Sorry, it was just sounding so 12 step that I skipped a bunch of posts with too many details for me at 0030 hrs.

    That and this bit is getting redundant for me, but...

    What I remember the most about my bike purchase is that I bought a bike at a great price from a guy I knew from high school, at a shop in an area of town 30 miles from where we grew up. We had obviously moved since.

    I chose my trek 750 because it covered all my needs at the time with one bike. I had a lower gearing (that could have been a few teeth larger up front), wider tires for potential offroading (this is only fla after all), and the ability to carry front and rear racks (for commuting and touring).

    Oh, and the list price was like $550, half the price of a touring bike if I remember.
    "change is the only constant"

  21. #21
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    MTB's are slow, road bikes are weak. [/sarcasm]

    Most make great utility bikes.
    Some that are more road bike then not I don't quite get (Jamis Coda and Trek 7.5/7.9 are a couple.)

  22. #22
    pedaler baldsue's Avatar
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    I traded my Dahon Mariner for a Marin Larkspur and that was the end of my not-riding days. I fell in love and since that fateful day, 7/7/8, I've bought too many more bikes. About half of which I parted with. The Larkspur remains in my stable as my bad weather commuter and my good weather commuter is now my Marin Point Reyes.

    When I walked into the LBS to buy a tube for my Dahon, I had no idea I'd walk out with a hybrid but I'm really glad I did. It lead me to down the road to single speed and road bikes. I still have no desire to have a mountain bike but I'd love to build up a hybrid.

    I, too, would have a difficult decision to make if I had to choose to keep only one bike. I love my road bike, a Novara Carema. I love my yellow Schwinn Madison. I love my Marin Point Reyes. But if I could only keep one, it would be the MPR.

    Panthers007--my Marin Larkspur could use your stock Trek 7.5 parts but then maybe it would be too nice to be a bad weather bike.

  23. #23
    Retro Prairie Girl terraskye's Avatar
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    I had 10-speeds growing up...I didn't get to choose them, my parents did. Back then I was slimmer and didn't care but I hated how the tape kept coming off the handlebars so that was just another thing I didn't want to have to worry about now. (Free Spirit if I recall correctly)

    Now I'm in the Athena class and tested road a road bike I didnt like being hunched over with my stomach in the way ( my son is now 21, can I still blame it on baby weight gain


    When we first started looking at bikes we were steered towards the Treks which we both liked but one day while internet surfing I saw a picture and specs of the Specialized Globe City 7.1 and it was love at 1st sight.

    I got lucky that I was able to get this bike after seeing it two years earlier as Specialized changed the look of the newer models which I didn't care for.

    Of course now that I'm learning more about bikes and now know you can replace handlebar tape but what did I know at age 11
    ~Fiona~

    My Bikes:
    1978 Raleigh DL-1 "Eliza"
    '07 Specialized Globe City 7.1 "Serenity"
    Forthcoming
    2010 Pashley Princess Sovereign "Mina"

    Also, Check out my Bike Blog:)
    Girl Can Bike

  24. #24
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    Fondness for the Trek 7300

    My wife is new to bicylcling (I'm not). I bought her a used bike last autumn to see if she would like bicycling as an activity we could share. She fell in love with the rail trails up here (Southern Ontario) so I decided to by her a better bike this past April. She fell in love with the Trek 7300 WSD. I decided that I did not want to outmatch her on the trail so I bought the same model in the men's version. My wife liked that.... and still does. Sometimes I do smart things.

    I forgot who termed the bike a "luxo-barge" but that sure has resonance with me. The SPA fork suspension smoothes out the bumps (and at 35mm movement, it doesn't rob much energy). I appreciate the suspension seat post as well. The only things I changed were that I added Trekking bars, toe clips, and a Brooks B17 saddle. The gearing is good and the bike is faster than some would think.

    It's good to ride a luxo barge. It's even better to have my wife ride with me. I do own a MTB and plan to get a C&V roadie BUT....Hybrids have their place and I ride my luxo-barge with gratitude and pride.

  25. #25
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    I walked into the LBS just to have a look. I saw and liked the Globe Carmel bikes he had. I liked the look and the upright, comfortable seating position. I asked the wife if she wanted to get new bikes to ride around for fun and exercise and she said yes. So then I went back and the guy gave me the huge Specialized catalogue which had a middle section dedicated to the Globe series. I narrowed it down to them. While looked them all over I quickly realized that the Carmel would get old quickly as we got into better shape so we settled on the Viennas. My wife didn't like the ladies models so we bought two Vienna 3s. Love them.

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