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  1. #1
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    Need advice on Hybrid Bike (500ish)

    Hi all,

    Haven't ridden a bike since I was around 14. 18 now. I'm looking to get into cycling as a way of keeping fit and for recreation (I'm also doing weightlifting so thought it would be good for cardio). I live in a rural village in the UK, so while the roads are mostly clean, there are some dirt paths that I would have to take some times. Nothing extremely off road though, so I thought a hybrid bike would be best for me.

    All in all, half of the time would be spent on road, the other half on marked paths/cycle paths.

    Now, since I'm a complete novice as to what 'is what' with cycling, I'd like to ask for your opinions on what the best hybrid bike for 500 or lower is. I know most of you guys are probably from America, but I thought it'd be best to ask for advice here since there will be a lot more experiences going around.

    For reference, the worst paths I'd take a bike would be these: (excuse phone quality )

    http://i.imgur.com/tj3sW.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/RZ6dT.jpg

    A couple of bikes that I've heard are good are the Specialized Sirrus and the Trek 7.3, apparently the Sirrus wouldn't handle those paths all too well compared to the Trek, is this correct?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    A Sirrus with stock tires would probably not be happy. I have 32c's with knobbys on mine and it does okay on crushed limestone and dirt rodes. Crushed stone (some people refer to it as gravel) or things which require suspension are more difficult.

    Either bike can probably cover what you are looking for, but the Sirrus is definitely road oriented. Know nothing about Trek 7.3, or any Trek for that matter, but many many folks ride them.
    Last edited by RollCNY; 08-11-11 at 06:32 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
    Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mithrandir's Avatar
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    Wow, a 500 pound bike! That's really heavy man! What's it made of, lead?

    I'd go with something lighter, like Steel or something.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    A Sirrus with stock tires would probably not be happy. I have 32c's with knobbys on mine and it does okay on crushed limestone and dirt rodes. Crushed stone (some people refer to it as gravel) or things which require suspension are more difficult.

    Either bike can probably cover what you are looking for, but the Sirrus is definitely road oriented. Know nothing about Trek 7.3, or any Trek for that matter, but many many folks ride them.
    Probably couldn't go with a Trek, as my LBS doesn't carry them. Just the Specialized & Giant. Of course, those two I thought of are just thoughts, if you think something else would work better while keeping speed (big point here) fire away.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mithrandir View Post
    Wow, a 500 pound bike! That's really heavy man! What's it made of, lead?

    I'd go with something lighter, like Steel or something.

    *smack*

    I'm the Hulk, obviously. Need heavy bike.

  6. #6
    Riding Heaven's Highways: In Memoriam justfitme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LC155 View Post

    ..For reference, the worst paths I'd take a bike would be these: (excuse phone quality )



    http://i.imgur.com/tj3sW.jpg

    http://i.imgur.com/RZ6dT.jpg
    What... you want to have it all .. beautiful path, nice bike..???

    If I would have such a nice, "fairy tale" scenery I would ride anything - Barbie bike, beach cruiser and would be already happy..

    Worst path, - you are saying... Could you show us the pictures of the Best path you are going to ride... ?
    Last edited by justfitme; 08-11-11 at 07:55 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    Jamis gets lots of praise on BF, don't know if you have access. The Giant Roam1 looks nice, has lock out fork, and SRAM components, which I like in MTB components, but it is totally personal preference.

    If I were you, I would really think about your blend of on road vs off road. Hybrids are okay at everything, but not excellent at anything. The Sirrus can be a nice fast road rider, but it is not a road bike, so if you have a speed jones, you'll end up wanting more. It is worse off road.

    A suspension front fork mountain bike hybrid, like the Roam1 or Spec Crosstrail, will be okay off road, but cheap suspension forks are just that, and won't necessarily be great mountain bikes. They will be one of the worst options on road. You can mount slicks but they still won't be super slick on the road.

    It is an incredibly tough choice, that we all wrestled. There is probably no wrong choice, but pick what best matches your goals. Realizing of course that your goals may change.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
    Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by justfitme View Post
    What... you want to have it all .. beautiful path, nice bike..???

    If I would have such a nice, "fairy tale" scenery I would ride anything - Barbie bike, beach cruiser and would be already happy..

    Worst path, - you are saying... Could you show us the pictures of the Best path you are going to ride... ?
    Haha, I took those pictures earlier this evening while out for a walk - one of the benefits for living in Scotland is the scenery.

    Don't have any pictures of the best path, but apart from the roads that'd probably be cycle paths - basically old railway lines that were dismantled and are now well trodden dirt paths, mainly. Free of the gravel of the aforementioned path though.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RollCNY View Post
    Jamis gets lots of praise on BF, don't know if you have access. The Giant Roam1 looks nice, has lock out fork, and SRAM components, which I like in MTB components, but it is totally personal preference.

    If I were you, I would really think about your blend of on road vs off road. Hybrids are okay at everything, but not excellent at anything. The Sirrus can be a nice fast road rider, but it is not a road bike, so if you have a speed jones, you'll end up wanting more. It is worse off road.

    A suspension front fork mountain bike hybrid, like the Roam1 or Spec Crosstrail, will be okay off road, but cheap suspension forks are just that, and won't necessarily be great mountain bikes. They will be one of the worst options on road. You can mount slicks but they still won't be super slick on the road.

    It is an incredibly tough choice, that we all wrestled. There is probably no wrong choice, but pick what best matches your goals. Realizing of course that your goals may change.
    Well, I'm not a speed junkie per se, so I'd be fine with a bike that was nippy and relatively quick whilst comfy. Don't like the position of real road bikes and I don't need to commute anywhere so have no real use for all that extra speed.

    And honestly, from the sounds of it, I'd probably prefer a hybrid that had a road preference like the Sirrus. I know the LBS near me stock the normal one (non sport) with 700x32s instead of the usual 28. Would a 32 cope well on a path like that? I've heard the 28s won't do the job well, but would a 32 be a nice compromise? I won't mind if it doesn't perform brilliantly off road, as it'll probably still be fine for me since I'm not an experienced rider.

    The LBS also stock bikes such as the Giant Escape, which is listed as a hybrid/speed and uses 35s, even better or too much?

  10. #10
    Senior Member RollCNY's Avatar
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    From a website check, the Giant Escape looks like an interesting choice. The fenders and rack are convenient, and 35's aren't unreasonable tires (caveat: spend all of your time on pavement and they are too fat). And the nice thing about tires is that they are easy to change. My Sirrus has a set of 32 knobby's and 28 slicks. For day to day, I ride whatever is on it. If I am doing an adventure with it, I change to the appropriate tires.

    I would stick with an 8 speed bike as the min. It gives you a smoother increment in your shifts vs. 7 speed. SRAM vs Shimano at that price point, is probably meaningless, or at least totally opinion based.
    Quote Originally Posted by Man in Black
    Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

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