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  1. #1
    I Love My Dream
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    How much should a hybrid cost?, and

    and what should the frame be made out of?

    One thing I can tell you with 100% certainty is that a lot of the people that buy the most expensive bicycles are sometimes the people that don't actually use them anywhere near to their full capabilities. By default the most expensive bicycles you would find in a LBS are race bikes, either road or mountain. People that buy these bikes really don't NEED them. People that buy these bikes WANT them. A small fraction of race bikes are sold to racers. I think people confuse needs and wants. These are people that perhaps have had some success in their life, may be well healed or simply have disposable income and they want to reward themselves with a top end top quality bike. These people show at up bike stores knowing what they are looking for. These people are not racers of any note, these people are not professional cyclists, these people are professionals in other walks of life. The FACT is they have money and like cycling so can afford to drop big $$ on cycling.

    Are they capable of riding that new Splesh S-Works Tarmac to it's full capabilities? NO. Are they able to beat everyone up the mountain on their new S-Works Epic? Absolutely NOT!!! Are they capable of beating everyone down the mountain on their carbon S-Works Enduro? Not a hope of that. Are they having the times of their lives. A resounding YES! They come back to the store grinning like butcher's dogs. Do you think I stood out on the street going "psst hey mister, want to come in and buy a carbon race bike? Then when I get them into the store I put my 'Saleman's Voodoo Curse' on them and make them spend twice as much as they wanted on something they didn't need because salespeople hold so much power over normal people. Come closer your getting sleepy my darling. I believe it's called "pulling the wool over the eyes of an unsuspecting public". Actually it's more like "giving the public what they asked for."

    Are there advantages to these top line bikes that entry level bikes don't have? Absolutely. Do the people that purchase and ride these bikes have the skill to exploit these advantages? Sometimes. Generally though they are just enthusiasts that like you and can afford high end gear. More than being able to afford it they have made the choice to spend money on cycling.

    At the other end of the spectrum cycling still has a poor mentality surrounding it. It's only natural. Cycling can be a really inexpensive form of transportation. For some people it's not about recreation it's how they get around. I'm talking about people that ride bikes out of necessity. People that simply can not fathom the idea of spending more than $199 over at wallyworldmart. And in between these two extremes are all of the people that have there own belief systems. Belief systems based on THEIR own past experience.

    Since this hybrid forum is relatively new I think it's unique in that how much someone should spend on a hybrid is a topic of discussion. It's not this way on other established subforums. Over in the SS/FG or Cyclocross forums for example the question would be more like "What's the best bike for this amount of money? People will make recommondations for any given price range. Here when someone asks that question they are given answers like "If your going to spend X amount you should really get a road bike", "It's not worth spending more than X amount on a Hybrid. This is where people have arbitraily put price caps on hybrids based on their personal belief systems. You don't need this, you don't need that. Yet need has nothing in the world to do with it. No one NEEDS more than just a basic bike to ride. People WANT to ride nice bikes.

    Somehow though because of the hybrid's ultilitarian back ground there still is this belief in place that states 'a hybrid rider does not deserve top shelf components.' The hybrid rider certainly does not deserve a carbon fibre frame. So instead of our riders that bought those top fite road and mountain bikes I want to illustrate two examples of hybrid riders from the unsuspecting public that I know.

    1. Lives in a city of a million people that has 400 kms of unshared paved path and a further 200 kms of shared pathway (shared with motor traffic). Ex pro hockey player, does not have tons of spare time so wants a bike he can ride as soon as he walks out his door and wants comfort and speed. Loves pounding the pavement hard. He trains when he rides. Thought about buying a road bike but went with a hybrid instead. He's not really interested in hitting the open road or transporting his road bike by car somewhere to find a good spot to ride. Likes the riding position that the combination of flatbar, longer head tube and longer hybrid geometry 400mm front fork provides. The frame has to be carbon. This is his alone time and he KNOWS what he WANTS. Buys a Specialized Sirrus Pro... List price $2299.99 CDN. http://www.specialized.com/ca/en/bc/...Sirrus&eid=121 . Absolutlely is in love with his bike. Within a month he puts on a set of Mavic Elite wheels, Vittoria Rubino Pro 700/23 tires and a pair of Avid Single Digit Ultimates brakes and Avid Speed Dial SL levers. I'm sure he's not finished with mods yet. His Sunday morning training ride is a 110 km criss cross of the city. Tries to beat his last time everytime. Absolutely fell in love with his bike and cycling. His very favourite part? Standing on it and passing people like they are standing still on some of the big hills around town. He freakin puts the hammer down. The bike is a source of pride and joy for this guy.

    Does he need this bike? Is this too much bike? Is this what you would ride? Actually it does not matter what you would ride?, what's most important is what he wants. He is not an idiot. He can read the interweb, he can see the data. He wants an experince. He knows full well what the difference between his needs and wants are. Thinks he cares about stiffness tests? Does he care about all the scare mongering about crashing? Was anything hidden from this guy and was he some how coerced into buying this bike. He spent close tp $3000 CDN. If he had spent $1499.99 on this... http://www.specialized.com/ca/en/bc/...=39272&eid=121 would his experience of his bike be the same? He is totally happy with his purchase.

    2. Late forties, used to be a fairly active and and enthusiastic mountain bike rider in a previous life before marriage and children. Coincidentally he lives in the same city as guy # 1, surprise surprise. He is mostly interested in riding on the bike path just like #1 except his real purpose to riding on the paved pathway is to get him to the many kms of singletrack that is connected by the path all throughout the city. Thought about getting a mountain bike again but at 6'4" never really felt comfortable on a 26" wheeled bike. Does not need or want the extra heft of a 29er. The ride to get to the singletrack is all on pavement, he wants something in between. Buys a Specialized Crosstrail Pro... List price $1599.99 CDN. http://www.specialized.com/ca/en/bc/...strail&eid=125 . The only model in the Crosstrail line that uses M4 aluminum like Splesh's Rockhopper. He ALWAYS wanted a bike that was a mix of Shimano XTR/XT drivetrain components but could not afford it until now. Before he took the bike home all of the drivetrain and shifters were swapped to XT, including a trekking crankset, the derailleurs were changed to XTR, changed the tires to a slightly smaller 700/38 Specialized Crossroads. Lives to ride this bike from his house in the core of the city to the singletrack spread out around town. He's got bills and responsibilities and feels he will never do any hardcore mountain biking again. Does not need or want to risk injury at this stage in his life. Total advocate for cycling and the shop. Got exactly what he wanted. Does he need front suspension? Did he need XT/XTR components? If he had not upgraded his bike would his experience of his bike be the same?

    Where did this artificial price ceiling come from concerning hybrid bikes? Is the way these two bikes are being used any less valid than someone that buy's a high end road or mountain bike? Who exactly are the judges able to tell someone what they want is wrong for them. It's from the poor mentality still surrounding the bicycle industry. If you've been following along in another thread I've so much as been accused of being part of a conspiracy to sell unsafe bikes to an unknowing public or at the very least be so stupid that I'm brainwashed by these companies, don't know ****e about bikes or that I fully don't disclose the inherent dangers of riding a carbon bike to potential customers. OMG! Really? Chill out.

    It does not matter where you go or what you talk about there will always be those that try and come along to p on your parade. The 2 bikes described above don't fall into some people's narrow view of what a hybrid is so they display all of this data to show you scientifially how much of a fool you are. No one needs anything more than what they have. You should not want what they haven't got. WATCH OUT it's unsafe what YOUR doing!!!! It's okay actually because I know who these people are, I've met them personally. I know who they are but they don't remember me. We've ran into each other on many occasions.

    They are friends of new riders that come to the store looking for a bike. They brought them along because they are 'experts'. The truth of the matter is that they've owned a couple of bikes and they read everything they can find on the interent. They are there to insure that newbie does not get ripped off by a shady bike salesman, psst meister want to buy my bike? What actually happens is that the 'expert' usually disagrees with everthing the sales person says and they deflate the new rider excitement. The store they are in carries brand S & R and they'll throw out some stupid question about a specification on brand G to test the salesperson knowledge. Then they go and try another store and the same thing happens again. By the time the new buyer gets a bike it looks like a near clone of the 'experts' bike with one important difference. It's not quite as not quite as good as the 'experts' bike, after all why would a newbie need something as good as an 'expert'?, they are just starting out. A typical long term bike shop employee is someone that lives and breathes bicycles and the only way to surround themselves with bikes on a daily basis is to work in a bike shop. You will meet them at various stages in their career which of course coincides with how much knowledge they have at that moment. What could a person like that possibly know compared to the 'expert' that has ridden a couple of bikes and reads everything he can find on the internet? I know them because they are easy to spot you just have to listen to what comes out of their mouths. The reason they don't remember me? Everywhere they go they treat salespeople with mistrust and disdain and it shows on their faces. We recognize them. They are affectionately referred to as lot lawyers on car lots all over North America. They always know more than anyone else and have data to back it up.

    When someone comes to the hybrid forum and asks "what is the best hybrid for $2000?", why is the first response given you don't NEED a $2000 hybrid, here's the data to back up my position, buy a road bike, suspension is useless, carbon is useless on a hybrid etc etc. The 'Experts' are the first to show up and discourage and deflate the new bike riders. Watch it happen at BF live.

    Who here has written the rules and the guide lines used to determine how much money some one should spend to have their fun? Before the finacially less fortuneate get all upset I'm not in any way saying that you need to throw large amounts of money at a bike to have fun. You know what though?, it does not hurt. People with money to spend should be able to join in our fun. One less car and all that. I sell bikes for a living by choice. I sell fun to people. They spend freely. I have the best job!! It's kind of sad really that people actually think there would be any other motive for a bike sale person other than to put someone else on a bike. This is a good thing! I have absolutely no shame or regret in selling people expensive carbon fibre bicycles.
    Last edited by Little Darwin; 09-17-09 at 05:53 PM.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  2. #2
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Now I see why it took you so long to start that thread you said you would

    Work on being succinct in your rants.
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  3. #3
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    Well said, Saddle Up. Probably the best post in the hybrid forum so far. Good read. Thanks for posting.

  4. #4
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    My reply sure fits your definitions.... How much do you have? How much are you willing to part with....

    Nice job!

  5. #5
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    I think I will for the Cliff Notes.

  6. #6
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    I enjoy nice parts. I spend a lot of time on my bike. I feel justified in riding an upscale hybrid. I spend enough time riding that I get plenty of value (health and otherwise) from my investment.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sh00k's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by probe1957 View Post
    I think I will for the Cliff Notes.
    (not to be disrespectful to the OP but) x2.
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  8. #8
    Gear Hub fan
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    Saddle Up;

    I agree with you. I bought a Civia Hyland Rohloff which cost a lot more than your hockey player's bike. I really like it except for the paranoia about having it stolen. High end components do work better and last longer. Buying a high end bike of any type is a personal decision and should not be attacked or put down by others merely because it is not their choice.
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  9. #9
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    I don't disagree with most of what you say, Saddle Up.

    But I do take issue with your opinion of people who accompany their friends to bike stores. If someone goes into a bike store knowing nothing about bikes, why should the knowledge and bias of a single employee be the only factors guiding that person's purchase decision?

  10. #10
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    That part is simple to me - because they don't know any better, and assume they are talking to a "professional" who does.

  11. #11
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    So, if I understand this right, you're saying that people shouldn't tell others how much to spend on a bike or what kind of bike to get? That makes sense to me... If someone wants to spend a lot and they can afford it, let them. If someone doesn't want to spend a lot, that's fine, too. A person is ultimately going to spend however much they want to spend in order to make himself or herself happy.

    However, contrary to what you said, I do think a newbie might appreciate other peoples' ("experts" or not) opinions because it could present other possible options for them to consider. I know I wouldn't have bought the bike I did if someone didn't say "hey, why don't you try this kind of bike instead." I tried it loved it and I am very happy with what I ended up buying. But yes, any other options and suggestions should be presented in a positive manner, not like "don't buy that because..." "Why not try this, too" is much better and perfectly appropriate, I think.

    I also think if a newbie has done a little research and is actively looking for a bike, they will have enough sense to take other peoples' opinions with a grain of salt. They should know that an opinion is just an opinion, and that there is nobody who can say how much a bike is really worth to a person except for that person.

    On a side note, is it too hard to type out Specialized? "Splesh" just sounds bad, imo.

  12. #12
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    The first guy should be on a road bike and the second guy should have a mountain bike.

  13. #13
    Zensunni Wanderer KShep's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
    I enjoy nice parts. I spend a lot of time on my bike. I feel justified in riding an upscale hybrid. I spend enough time riding that I get plenty of value (health and otherwise) from my investment.
    +1...depending on your definition of lot
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    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    So someone comes on to the forums and asks, "What hybrid should I buy for $1000-1500?"

    And it sounds like he wants opinions.

    What if its my opinion that in that price range and for their needs, a hybrid is not what they want? Am I not allowed to share that opinion? Am I also not allowed to share an opinion about what type of frame they should get?
    My Bikes: 2009 Breezer Uptown EX | 1980 Miyata 610 | 1970 Hercules | 198? Miele ?
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  15. #15
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Opinions and sharing info are a lot different than being combative and directing......

    Sure, all opinions are valuable, as long as they are offered for consideration, rather than direction.

    I think that Gepilling summed it up quite nicely - offered in a friendly manner, they are always welcome.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    So someone comes on to the forums and asks, "What hybrid should I buy for $1000-1500?"

    And it sounds like he wants opinions.
    But the question is "what hybrid should I buy?" Why offer other suggestions when the question clearly states that a specific bike is desired? If someone asks me about which hybrid is best for them, I'm not going to suggest that they get a unicycle. In some cases, the unicycle just might be the perfect fit, but I'm assuming that since they asked which hybrid they should buy, that they truly want a hybrid.

    Personally, even if well-intended, I find it frustrating when people answer my questions with answers that I haven't asked for.

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    Quote Originally Posted by qmsdc15 View Post
    The first guy should be on a road bike and the second guy should have a mountain bike.
    Um, no. Read the requirements -- it sounds as though both riders got what they need and are both happy with them. Listening to a customers requirements is a large and important part of the sales process -- sounds like Saddle Up did a good job of satisfying his customers needs and offered bikes suitable for their purposes.

  18. #18
    Senior Member FlatSix911's Avatar
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    Saddle up - nice writing style ... have you thought about contributing to a Bike magazine?

  19. #19
    Senior Member MorganRaider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wanderer View Post
    That part is simple to me - because they don't know any better, and assume they are talking to a "professional" who does.

    I have been to a couple of LBS's on separate occasions asking different employees the same question and each time I got different answers. I walked out of those stores.

    I bought from an LBS that has employees who have a real passion for cycling and as such, they tend to know what they are talking about.

  20. #20
    I Love My Dream
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    Quote Originally Posted by gepilling View Post
    So, if I understand this right, you're saying that people shouldn't tell others how much to spend on a bike or what kind of bike to get? That makes sense to me... If someone wants to spend a lot and they can afford it, let them. If someone doesn't want to spend a lot, that's fine, too. A person is ultimately going to spend however much they want to spend in order to make himself or herself happy.

    What I'm saying is that if someone wants to spend x amount of money on this don't tell them to spend x amount of money on that instead. Spending x amount of money on a hybrid is a legitimate thing to do.



    However, contrary to what you said, I do think a newbie might appreciate other peoples' ("experts" or not) opinions because it could present other possible options for them to consider. I know I wouldn't have bought the bike I did if someone didn't say "hey, why don't you try this kind of bike instead." I tried it loved it and I am very happy with what I ended up buying. But yes, any other options and suggestions should be presented in a positive manner, not like "don't buy that because..." "Why not try this, too" is much better and perfectly appropriate, I think.

    Absolutely! That's why a real expert will determine where the rider will spend the majority of their time riding before suggesting a bike. You can try different types of bikes at a bike shop not on the internet.



    I also think if a newbie has done a little research and is actively looking for a bike, they will have enough sense to take other peoples' opinions with a grain of salt. They should know that an opinion is just an opinion, and that there is nobody who can say how much a bike is really worth to a person except for that person.

    Really are you sure? Newbies come here thinking that the other person typing on their keyboard is an expert. Fact is sometimes it's a guy that owns a bike nothing more.

    On a side note, is it too hard to type out Specialized? "Splesh" just sounds bad, imo.
    Note taken.



    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    So someone comes on to the forums and asks, "What hybrid should I buy for $1000-1500?"

    And it sounds like he wants opinions.

    What if its my opinion that in that price range and for their needs, a hybrid is not what they want? Am I not allowed to share that opinion? Am I also not allowed to share an opinion about what type of frame they should get?
    Absolutely you are but on more than one occasion here the very first response to that very same question was "you should be looking at a road bike", this is one of my beefs.

    Quote Originally Posted by WCoastPeddler View Post
    But the question is "what hybrid should I buy?" Why offer other suggestions when the question clearly states that a specific bike is desired? If someone asks me about which hybrid is best for them, I'm not going to suggest that they get a unicycle. In some cases, the unicycle just might be the perfect fit, but I'm assuming that since they asked which hybrid they should buy, that they truly want a hybrid.

    Personally, even if well-intended, I find it frustrating when people answer my questions with answers that I haven't asked for.
    Thank you. This.

    Quote Originally Posted by FlatSix911 View Post
    Saddle up - nice writing style ... have you thought about contributing to a Bike magazine?
    Thanks. Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by MorganRaider View Post
    I have been to a couple of LBS's on separate occasions asking different employees the same question and each time I got different answers. I walked out of those stores.

    I bought from an LBS that has employees who have a real passion for cycling and as such, they tend to know what they are talking about.
    These stores do exist.
    It's none of my business what other people think of me.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mikeshoup View Post
    So someone comes on to the forums and asks, "What hybrid should I buy for $1000-1500?"

    And it sounds like he wants opinions.

    What if its my opinion that in that price range and for their needs, a hybrid is not what they want? Am I not allowed to share that opinion? Am I also not allowed to share an opinion about what type of frame they should get?
    That's like somebody asking a question about a particular brand of bike and getting fifteen answers about every other brand of bike out there. It's not answering the question. If you're fine with that approach who is anyone to criticize.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

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    Senior Member Terrierman's Avatar
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    @saddleup. Nice set of thoughts there. You only missed one thing, what kind of frame should you want on a hybird? Why good quality cro-mo steel of course. I thought everybody knew that.
    It's all downhill from here. Except the parts that are uphill.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    Are they capable of riding that new Splesh S-Works Tarmac to it's full capabilities? NO. Are they able to beat everyone up the mountain on their new S-Works Epic? Absolutely NOT!!! Are they capable of beating everyone down the mountain on their carbon S-Works Enduro?
    "NO" indeed. However they are actually getting something genuine and relevant extra if they have purchased wisely - that Tarmac WILL ride faster than a cheaper bike, the Epic WILL let them ride downhills faster. They are purchasing real extra capability. (I won't ride a modern suspension MTB because the decent ones make all the terrain I have handy too easy - and I'm far from an off road star.)

    Otoh, if they are mis-sold a carbon hybrid on the grounds that it is more rigid than an alu frame (when it typically isn't) and will therefore go faster (this doesn't follow even if the frame is more rigid) and the incompetent/dishonest salesman doesn't refer them to the manufacturer's safety warnings about carbon frames (ie that they need professional inspection and possibly replacement after even minor crashes) then the situation is different.

    Don't confuse a mediocre driver buying a Porsche with a driver paying Porsche money for a mediocre car because he has been told by an unscrupulous salesman that it is like a Porsche....

  24. #24
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Saddle Up View Post
    I have absolutely no shame or regret in selling people expensive carbon fibre bicycles.
    How do you feel about skipping the safety information that the manufacturers require that consumers know? You admitted that you don't tell customers anything before they buy bikes, while Trek says:

    What if I crash my carbon frame or part?

    Carbon fiber is a great material for producing premium bike frames and parts. However if a carbon part or frame experiences an impact it requires more expertise to determine its integrity than is needed for a comparable metal part. If your carbon part or frame has been crashed, we strongly urge you to have it assessed by your local Trek dealer as they are equipped to look for damage. Carbon fiber will not dent like metal but will crack which may lead to failure.


    We do offer a Crash Replacement/Carbon Care program via our dealer network for carbon frames up to five years old which gives a rider a credit toward a new frame/part. To take advantage of this program contact your local Trek retailer.
    - So you leave customers at risk of possible injury, from the sudden failure that happens to apparently unharmed carbon bikes, and unaware of their right to an ultra-cheap replacement if a frame does go...

  25. #25
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Ok. Reality-check here. Does anyone even make a carbon-fiber hybrid? Offhand, I cannot think of one. All the hybrids that come to mind are either aluminum or steel.

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