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Old 07-10-10, 08:47 PM   #1
madfx
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What can a road bike do that a hybrid cant? which for me?

silly question maybe, but I have been giving this some serious thought. Just recently ( 3 months ago)got back into cycling, after about a 10yr lay off, my motivation was excersise/weight loss.

I started with an old schwinn varsity 12 speed and have since gone onto a few trek hybids, 7.2,7.3 and currently a trek 7.5FX, love it, very comfortable, fits me great, etc..
I am starting to want longer rides, currently I ride 10 miles aday, I would like to start doing 20/25 a few times a week, I am thinking about a true road bike again, I guess for a bit more speed and I miss the different hand position options..

will a road bike make any difference, or is what I have already perfect for my use? any real benifits to going to a full road bike over my hybrid?
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Old 07-10-10, 08:49 PM   #2
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You answered your own question, more speed, better and more hand positions.
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Old 07-10-10, 09:42 PM   #3
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silly question maybe, but I have been giving this some serious thought. Just recently ( 3 months ago)got back into cycling, after about a 10yr lay off, my motivation was excersise/weight loss.

I started with an old schwinn varsity 12 speed and have since gone onto a few trek hybids, 7.2,7.3 and currently a trek 7.5FX, love it, very comfortable, fits me great, etc..
I am starting to want longer rides, currently I ride 10 miles aday, I would like to start doing 20/25 a few times a week, I am thinking about a true road bike again, I guess for a bit more speed and I miss the different hand position options..

will a road bike make any difference, or is what I have already perfect for my use? any real benifits to going to a full road bike over my hybrid?
I also think you answered your own question. You are comfortable on your present bike. The 7.5 Fx is no slouch, and is more than capable of handling 25, or even 50 mile rides. I don't think it is out of the question to ride a century on a flat bar road bike or performance hybrid. My wife and I have done 25 mile rides on our hybrids. I have a 13 year old steel Bianchi hybrid, my wife owns a Trek 7000 women's comfort hybrid. Both are slower and heavier than your 7.5FX. If you want to vary your hand position, you could mount some bar ends on your 7.5 FX.
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Old 07-10-10, 10:03 PM   #4
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i do over 25 mile rides on a 2009 kaitai with bar ends and never feel that it is a burden towards that goal. if you had a comfort style hybrid, i could see some concern, but you don't.
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Old 07-11-10, 03:29 AM   #5
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It would be cheaper to experiment with bar ends or maybe even a trekking bar and see how you do on longer rides. You could also get a decent used road bike pretty cheap and see how you like the ride.
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Old 07-11-10, 03:42 AM   #6
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speed
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Old 07-11-10, 07:00 AM   #7
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You point out that a roadbike has more handpositions.
This is not necessarily true ... if you add barends and an aerobar to a flatbar you will have even more usable postions.
I live in an area where there are nearly allways a lot of roadbikes riding around and 95% of them are not using the drops but are simply holding the middle of the bars or the grips of the brakelevers, simply because using the drops all the time is too painfull for your back, arms and wrists.
An aerobar will give you a position that is as aerodynamical as using a dropbar, yet it is far superior when it comes to comfort.
Believe me ... I pass most roadbikes while being more comfortable
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Old 07-11-10, 01:36 PM   #8
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You point out that a roadbike has more handpositions.
This is not necessarily true ... if you add barends and an aerobar to a flatbar you will have even more usable postions.
All of which except the primary one - which compresses the carpals - lacking brake levers, of course.

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I live in an area where there are nearly allways a lot of roadbikes riding around and 95% of them are not using the drops but are simply holding the middle of the bars or the grips of the brakelevers, simply because using the drops all the time is too painfull for your back, arms and wrists.
Ok: you don't understand how to ride a drop bar. The on the hoods position is the MAIN position; riding in the drops of the least frequently used position. The hoods on a modern bike are super comfortable bar extensions with brake levers.

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An aerobar will give you a position that is as aerodynamical as using a dropbar, yet it is far superior when it comes to comfort.
An aerobar is MORE aerodynamic than riding in the drops. But steering and braking are tricky.
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Old 07-11-10, 01:39 PM   #9
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Re the OP, what people normally mean by a road bike is a racer. They're fast and light, but can only use very narrow tyres. Together with their twitchy handling this can make them a little alarming. A cyclocross bike - slightly beefier and less skittish anc capable of using wide rubber - is the best general purpose drop handle. Make sure it has a triple chainring unless you live somewhere very flat.
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Old 07-11-10, 01:43 PM   #10
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Hybrids and headwinds are a bad combination. Being able to get into the drops really saves the day in a headwind.
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Old 07-11-10, 04:34 PM   #11
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I have tendinitis in my thumbs, so I cannot use any position on a drop bar. That's a handlebar with zero usable hand positions for me. Riding on the hoods is incredibly painful for me and the drops are only marginally better.

Whereas there are handlebars for mountain bike sizing (hybrids / flat bars) that have multiple hand positions & ergo grips & bar ends which are significantly more comfortable for me.

Although the standard flat bars with simple rubber grips that come on many bikes, are really bad for long-distance riding (IMHO). With better bars and grips, riding 50-100 miles isn't that hard on a hybrid. I know people who do it all the time. Riding 20 to 30 to 50 miles on your 7.5FX shouldn't be difficult at all. I've done 60+ on a Trek 7600, which isn't as aero as your 7.5 FX.

However a road bike is faster, with the better aero riding position. And I guess the drop bars are comfortable for many. People that I have known who switched from bikes like the Trek FX to road bikes, generally gained 1-2 mph on their rides.
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Old 07-11-10, 09:20 PM   #12
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I just did a metric century on my 7.5FX. I have bar ends wrapped in bar tape. The less upright position of a road bike is harder on my palms and wrists. this is my most limiting factor in long distance. As far as speed, seat comfort, and handling - I love the FX. My average speed for the 64 miles was 15.67mph. My hands hurt a lot at the end of that, but I think a road bike would have been worse. It was a very hilly ride (the One Helluva Ride starting in Chelsea Mi), if it weren't for all of the hills my legs could have gone much farther. Yes, I got passed by a lot of road bikes, but I wasn't racing anyone. For 20-25 miles the FX is great.

If you want a road bike with similar geometry to the FX, check out the Trek Pilot series, It's a little more upright than the average road bike, but everything else is the same as a true road bike. My choices came down to that or the 7.5FX.
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Old 07-12-10, 09:43 AM   #13
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Trekking bars,FTW. I love the set on my Safari. I've been using my Ti cross bike for nice weather commuting,and cannot get the positioning right. When the hoods are comfortable,I can't get to the brakes right in the drops,and when I can reach the brakes in the drops,the hoods hurt my wrists. Looking into either a set of dirt drops,or taking the SRAM triggers and X-9 rear der I picked up on clearance at REI and going to a trekking bar conversion.
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Old 07-12-10, 01:46 PM   #14
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What can a road bike do that a hybrid cant? which for me?

R E S P E C T.
































I keeed! I keeeed!


OP should post this over at the road cycling section too. Replies from this section and that one should offer you a balanced POV.
Personally if you are happy with your Trek why would you want to change it?
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Old 07-13-10, 05:57 AM   #15
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I have a 7.5 fx and go 50 or so miles on Saturday and then do it again on Sunday if I can get the time on the weekends. During the week my average ride is 20 miles, so I can tell you from experience your fx is more than up to the task. I am looking into switching the stock grips on the Trek as the ergogrips the bike came with slide around way to much for my liking.

Many road bikes sold today have to use skinny tires and you are s.o.l. if you want to mount something like 700x32s. What this means is having to pump 100+ p.s.i. into the tires to keep from harming a rim which makes the ride harsher than a fatter tire pumped to a lesser p.s.i.. I, and my back prefer the wider tires. Most road bikes (meaning race bikes) that are being sold today don't have areas to mount a rack if this matter to you. You can mount a rear rack on the 7.5fx.

Easiest way to get more hand positions on a hybrid is to add bar ends, or you could switch the bar to a treking bar, which offers quite a few different hand positions. I have been contemplating sticking a treking bar on mine just because I want something different.
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Old 07-13-10, 08:02 AM   #16
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I ride a Road Bike but I know a guy that rides a FX 7.5 in my group rides and he does just fine. He rides with the B and C groups but and always finish with the group. I had a 2010 Specialized Sirrus and could not keep up.
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Old 07-13-10, 09:03 AM   #17
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I ride the drops most of the time, especially into the wind. I never ride the tops and the remainder of the time is on the hoods when maneuvering tricky areas or traffic where I need brakes now. My shifters are down tube or bar end so I don't need to be on the hoods and actually have better braking position on the drops.

The idea that more upright equals more comfort is an idea that is far from universal.
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Old 07-13-10, 09:29 AM   #18
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The idea that more upright equals more comfort is an idea that is far from universal.
... or maybe you're just the exception to the rule.
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Old 07-13-10, 09:35 AM   #19
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... or maybe you're just the exception to the rule.
Nope, you need to be more observant, fit, riders on fast bikes, going fast are on the drops. Large, fluffy people on hybrids with big squishy tires may be the norm given the current state of obesity run rampant but nonetheless, the drops are fine, comfy and efficient for many of us. It is a whole nuther world down on the drops.
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Old 07-13-10, 10:33 AM   #20
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the drops are fine, comfy and efficient for many of us
They may be comfy to many ... I never sugested they weren't.
I simply said that they aren't as comfortable as some other options, like a nice aerobar for instance.
I'm not overweight at all, but if you would have a bad back you would agree with me that drops aren't comfortable.
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Old 07-13-10, 10:47 AM   #21
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They may be comfy to many ... I never sugested they weren't.
I simply said that they aren't as comfortable as some other options, like a nice aerobar for instance.
I'm not overweight at all, but if you would have a bad back you would agree with me that drops aren't comfortable.
More true words were never spoken - try older age, bad back, carpel tunnel, tendonitis and arthritis everywhere, a bad knee, and probably more forgotten - make Hybrids, and their upright and spine relaxing geometry, a godsend to those of us who still love riding; but lack the requirements to ride in the drops for very long.
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Old 07-13-10, 03:28 PM   #22
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Nope, you need to be more observant, fit, riders on fast bikes, going fast are on the drops. Large, fluffy people on hybrids with big squishy tires may be the norm given the current state of obesity run rampant but nonetheless, the drops are fine, comfy and efficient for many of us. It is a whole nuther world down on the drops.
Uh ... I happened live in an area were there are lots of people on road bikes, in their glorious team colors and the majority look pretty much "large and fluffy," and don't seem to spend much time on the drops, either. Those tight clothes look real nice on those guts, buts and thighs.
Besides, the benefit of excercise is based on the energy output, not the speed. Bust you a$$ on your hybrid, MTB, beach cruiser, whatever, and you're going to get in better shape. Obviously a road bike is better for long rides and covering more ground, but if you want a work out, it's not a necessity.
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Old 07-13-10, 04:39 PM   #23
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Uh ... I happened live in an area were there are lots of people on road bikes, in their glorious team colors and the majority look pretty much "large and fluffy," and don't seem to spend much time on the drops, either. Those tight clothes look real nice on those guts, buts and thighs.
Besides, the benefit of excercise is based on the energy output, not the speed. Bust you a$$ on your hybrid, MTB, beach cruiser, whatever, and you're going to get in better shape. Obviously a road bike is better for long rides and covering more ground, but if you want a work out, it's not a necessity.
Hmmmm ... +1 to that.
@OP: fwiw, unless you've a hankering this season to join a group ride etc., and even then not necessary, I'd start extending your rides with what ya got. You say you find it comfortable etc. etc. so why change now? Maybe add some bar ends, or change to a flatbar with bar ends (if you're still using the stock riser bar), maybe switch to light 28c tires, but really ... your 7.5 is a pretty d__n fine road (not road racing) bike as it stands.

I've been averaging now about 7000 kms/year on my roadified hardtail mtb since 2002 (I've now just this year switched to a Sirrus Comp [yep, with flat bars/bar ends]), and have done lots of long distance rides over that period, including several centuries.

Never had a problem, but then I happen to prefer my set up to drops (and yes, I've tried to switch to 'em several times). However, I'm old (58), and have severe degenerative arthritis (spine, hips, hands etc.), so my setup suits me. With flat bars/bar ends, I can turn my wrists through 90 degrees, // tops/hoods. Others find drops work best for them -- whatever works, I say.

However, I will say this: watch a segment of e.g. the Tour de France, and note how often/how much time professionals -- people who actually ride road-racing bikes for a living, as fast as they possibly can -- actually spend 'in the drops.' Specific situations aside, not much. Just sayin'.
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Old 07-14-10, 02:42 AM   #24
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It is true what badger says that even in pro races the riders use the drops only when really necessary, simply because it is impossible to maintain riding drops for a very long time.
This is exactly why I have aerobars ... I use them about 90% of the time when doing roads and they remain comfortable for many miles.
For offroad or trails they aren't very stable, so for those situations I use my flatbar.
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Old 07-14-10, 06:21 AM   #25
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great perspectives.. thanks!
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