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  1. #1
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    Newbie Hybrid Rider - Advice on Next Step

    I bought a Giant Roam 1 earlier this spring and I really like the bike. My wife got one at the same time and we thought we would be doing more trail riding than roads. As it turns out, I have gotten into riding roads much more than trails. We live in middle TN and it is pretty hilly for a rider of my age, fitness and ability (58, 200lbs). It has become painfully clear that I need to supplement my bike portfolio with something that is more road friendly and relegate the Roam to trails.

    I don't have any huge goals other than overall fitness, no real interest in riding centuries or group rides. My question is should I go for an entry level road bike or look at a more road friendly hybrid like a Trek 7.x? I have been researching and thinking about a Specialized Secteur or Cannondale Synapse.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Roger

  2. #2
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    I'd keep the hybrid you have for occasional trails and then get a road bike since you ride roads.

  3. #3
    Senior Member JonathanGennick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bassplyr View Post
    We live in middle TN and it is pretty hilly for a rider of my age, fitness and ability (58, 200lbs). It has become painfully clear that I need to supplement my bike portfolio with something that is more road friendly and relegate the Roam to trails.
    It takes time to build up fitness. Going to full-on road bike like the Secteur will get you a lighter-weight bike with possibly a better riding position for hills, but the gearing will be harder than on your Roam. If hills are the problem, then just be aware that buying a road bike might not make those hills magically easier. However, in the long run, if you're riding road, then it makes sense to get more road-friendly bike with a rigid fork and skinnier tires and a suitable riding position.

  4. #4
    Galveston County Texas 10 Wheels's Avatar
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    Get a road bike with a triple 50-39-24 chain rings and a 11-34 cassette.
    Have fun ride slow.
    [SIZE=1][B]What I like about Texas[/B]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PGukLuXzH1E

    Set F1re To The Ra1n ( NY Night Rain Ride)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7jfcWEkSrI

  5. #5
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    I would first try to just put some thinner, slick tires on the bikes you have. Lock out the suspension and just make sure you are in low gears to spin up those hills. I live in a very hilly area in MD and have the trek Utopia which is comparable to the roam. I also have a road bike that is under 18 pounds. It really is all about fitness and not the bike. I easily glided up hills yesterday morning on my utopia that last year killed me on my road bike. But I have been riding way more this year and my utopia has lower gearing that I used instead of trying to power my way up at the expense of my knees.

  6. #6
    For The Fun of It
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    Get a drop bar road bike with a triple crank. You'll be glad you did. My drop bar is far more comfortable than my flat bar commuter.

  7. #7
    Senior Member tchen510's Avatar
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    I was ina similar situation with my Gary Fisher Monona, but since the gearing was 50-39-24 chain rings and a 11-34 cassette, i decided to add drop bars to the Fisher. I managed to pick up some bars for $15, brakes compatible with V brakes for $20, and New cables for $7. This gave me a sort of hybrid of a hybrid bike.

  8. #8
    Member dbshabo's Avatar
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    I have the same situation as you and your wife. I just bought a Roam 1 as well. I really like the bike but I also have come to the conclusion that I will be doing a lot more road riding than trail riding.

    I could have done without the front suspension for sure. That would have reduced cost and weight. This bike is still much lighter than the steel framed beach cruiser I have been riding for a long time. I'm gonna wear the tires out and put some thinner street tires on it next. Someone told me I should be able to get 35cm tires on the stock rims. I also have a set of Ergon GC-3 grips on order. That will allow me to sit upright in the seat and maintain control of the bars when I want to take a break from my workout. I may even swap out the forks in the future for solids if I think it'll improve my rides. We'll see.

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do with your situation. I agree with the poster who said that your fitness level will improve some of the perceived drawbacks you see in the Roam now.

    Shabo

  9. #9
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    Yeah, no question about plenty of upside potential on fitness to make the hills easier. We spend about 6 months a year in Florida and I'm planning to make the Roam my "Florida" bike and get something more hill friendly for Tennessee. Hope to test ride a Specialized Secteur, Giant Defy, Trek 2.1 (H3), and Cannondale Synapse before I make my decision.

    Thanks for the input.

    Roger

  10. #10
    don't try this at home. rm -rf's Avatar
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    You already have a triple 28/38/48 with 11/32. So you have low enough gears to climb most hills. Try a faster cadence, so that you are pressing very lightly on the pedals. Faster cadences take some practice, but it should help a lot.

    If the tires are knobby, like mjwithtwins said, try some narrower slick tires. They are a lot more efficient on roads.

    If you want to ride longer distances, a road bike is good.
    Last edited by rm -rf; 07-07-11 at 02:30 PM.

  11. #11
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    yeah, i feel you bassplyr, i guess were in the same boat with most who have bought a hybrid with suspension, can prob do without. i recently bought the roam 1 myself and cant help feeling the same way, ive only ridden on streets thus far but on the bright side we do have the option of some off road ridding. as mjwithtwins mentioned, i am going to have 2 sets of tires, best of both worlds. i know its not a road bike but im starting to really dig that bad boy, anyways good luck road bike shopping
    Last edited by sincityrider; 07-08-11 at 12:53 PM.

  12. #12
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    anyone know how skinny you can go on the stock rims?

  13. #13
    Senior Member John_V's Avatar
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    To the OP.... If your goal here is to use the bike for fitness, the Roam will do that better than a road bike will. If you are healthy and your goal is to loose weight and get a better cardio workout, the harder the effort, the faster the results. I have a hybrid and a road bike and ride the hybrid when I want a really good workout because it is heavier and the upright position makes me work harder to maintain a constant speed. The road bike is great but I use that for when I want to ride further and faster, which doesn't necessarily mean a better workout. I can certainly tell the difference between the two rides from the data on my heart rate monitor, blood pressure and bike computer.
    HCFR Cycling Team
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  14. #14
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    John,

    You are right and I keep struggling on the horns of that dilemma and I am continuing to ride the Roam and hopefully getting in better shape. I would like to ride further, longer and yes faster though.

    Thanks,

    Roger

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by tchen510 View Post
    I was ina similar situation with my Gary Fisher Monona, but since the gearing was 50-39-24 chain rings and a 11-34 cassette, i decided to add drop bars to the Fisher. I managed to pick up some bars for $15, brakes compatible with V brakes for $20, and New cables for $7. This gave me a sort of hybrid of a hybrid bike.
    Sorry for the slight derail, but how did you make out with this. I was thinking of doing the same thing to my QUICK4.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Exit3 View Post
    anyone know how skinny you can go on the stock rims?
    "A general guideline is that the tire width should be between 1.45/2.0 x the inner rim width" - Sheldon Brown

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