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Old 10-10-11, 03:56 PM   #1
Violet
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What's the roughest terrain you'll go over on your hybrid?

I took my hybrid, a rigid aluminium trek with 35mm tyres, down to the various unpaved roads and paths near the river I live. Much of it was just gravel road with potholes, and depressions where muddy water had gathered, but some of it was some very deeply rutted forest paths, no roots sticking out though but still pretty bumpy. The kind of thing you'd need a 4wd to go over.

All 'n' all, I very much enjoyed this sort of mild off-road stuff. I thought it was just right for the sort of bike I was on (though I'm a heavy dude and did worry about the wheels...)

Anyway it got me thinking - what's the roughest stuff you'll tackle with a hybrid? Photos would be nice - I apologise for the lack of my own, might see if I can borrow a camera at some point.
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Old 10-10-11, 05:20 PM   #2
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Paved MUP completely covered with eucalyptus leaves and nuts wet by the morning dew. Not rough really, but vvery precarious. Wet leaves can slide around and rolling over a eucalyptus nut means the tire will make the nut shoot off to the side while sliding sideways off the nut.
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Old 10-11-11, 04:32 AM   #3
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My hybrid is custom built with little expense spared, there no place I wont take it "Its up to my riding ability really"
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Old 10-11-11, 08:23 AM   #4
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Paved MUP completely covered with eucalyptus leaves and nuts wet by the morning dew. Not rough really, but vvery precarious. Wet leaves can slide around and rolling over a eucalyptus nut means the tire will make the nut shoot off to the side while sliding sideways off the nut.
Hi there JSDavis!

Need I remind you that whiskey should never be taken on an empty stomach. Tends to go straight to the head without warning!

- Slim

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Old 10-11-11, 08:35 AM   #5
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Nobody should ever mistake their hybrid for a MTN bike. Hybrids were not intended to go down mountain sides, over large roots, rocks, and crevices. For that type of activity, you need a genuine, bonafide, authentic, MTB.
A double suspension MTN bike would be even better going downhill.

You would never practice DH MTN biking with a simple hybrid!

Now country trails and small country hills with slight inclines are fine, provided that the trails are fairly clear of roots, rocks, and crevices. You particularly don't want an aluminum hybrid continually jarring up and down, on a daily basis.

Hybrids were made for City/Country road terrain changes. Road bikes just don't feel right on gravel and dirt roads. They feel so much better on paved roads. Hybrids usually feel good on either one. Of course, tire size has much to do with that fact, as well.

- Slim
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Old 10-11-11, 03:54 PM   #6
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Nobody should ever mistake their hybrid for a MTN bike. Hybrids were not intended to go down mountain sides, over large roots, rocks, and crevices.
I don't do anything that extreme. Some sand, deep puddles and loose pebbles are pretty fun on 35mm tyres though
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Old 10-11-11, 04:00 PM   #7
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I had my Trek 7500 built up so it could handle rocky and rooty singletrack... and rode in places where one would only expect a mountain bike.

If the bike is tough enough to handle it, the rest comes down to skill and experience in riding off road.
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Old 10-11-11, 04:47 PM   #8
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Considering I've now got road wheels (Shimano RS10) on my hybrid, I won't take it off the pavement at all, even though it's got wider than road bike 28mm tires on it. Just not comfortable taking those low spoke count wheels off road at all.
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Old 10-11-11, 05:55 PM   #9
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+1 on what Slim says...
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Old 10-12-11, 02:33 AM   #10
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+1 on what Slim says...
1. Yep no alcohol on a empty stomach
2. True to a degree for stock dealer sold hybrids but all hybrids are not created equal "there many and varied"
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Old 10-12-11, 02:18 PM   #11
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I did some trail testing last week and I was surprised at how well my Hybrid held up (2012 Giant Roam 1). I tried to take some pics to show the difficulty level of the trails but they didn't come out too good due to being a 1.3 megapixel cell phone.

The most difficult aspect of these trails were the steep declines and inclines which I found the tires held up well. The rear tired didn't spin out when climbing the steep incline nor did they slide on the decline. The disc brakes worked great too and I found it really easy to control the decent.

The front suspension was put to the test riding some of the thinner trails that were covered in roots and slippery wet leaves. They worked great!

I tried to takes as much pics as possible but again due to the low quality, you can't really scale the level of the trails: http://imgur.com/a/Vo6yr#12

I plan to go with an GoPro HD or ContourHD next time (depending on which I decide to get).
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Old 10-12-11, 02:40 PM   #12
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Ive ridden a roadbike with 28mm tyres down scary steep MTB trails and a fully loaded touring bike on 32mm tyres up and down mountain trails.
The only limit to the terrain you can ride is your own skill. Of course you can ride more aggressively with a specialist MTB bike and hit roots and rocks hard, make big jumps etc. You cant do that on a hybrid but you dont need to.
The only proviso I would have is that the bars are a bit high on most hybrids for off roading and you will get better balance on steep descents with a cross-county style low flat bar.
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Old 10-12-11, 02:58 PM   #13
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Ive ridden a roadbike with 28mm tyres down scary steep MTB trails and a fully loaded touring bike on 32mm tyres up and down mountain trails.
The only limit to the terrain you can ride is your own skill.
Impressive :O I'm most worried about banging up my wheels tbh (I'm over 100kg).

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The only proviso I would have is that the bars are a bit high on most hybrids for off roading and you will get better balance on steep descents with a cross-county style low flat bar.
Yeah, that's how I have my bike set up. I've always found it more comfortable to have your bar lower than the saddle.
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Old 10-12-11, 02:59 PM   #14
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I did some trail testing last week and I was surprised at how well my Hybrid held up (2012 Giant Roam 1). I tried to take some pics to show the difficulty level of the trails but they didn't come out too good due to being a 1.3 megapixel cell phone.

The most difficult aspect of these trails were the steep declines and inclines which I found the tires held up well. The rear tired didn't spin out when climbing the steep incline nor did they slide on the decline. The disc brakes worked great too and I found it really easy to control the decent.

The front suspension was put to the test riding some of the thinner trails that were covered in roots and slippery wet leaves. They worked great!

I tried to takes as much pics as possible but again due to the low quality, you can't really scale the level of the trails: http://imgur.com/a/Vo6yr#12

I plan to go with an GoPro HD or ContourHD next time (depending on which I decide to get).
Good stuff. I very much enjoy mild off roading with skinny tyres.
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Old 10-12-11, 03:43 PM   #15
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My hybrid with 28mm tires usually stays on pavement. If I am feeling risky, I will take it on singletrack.
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Old 10-13-11, 06:56 AM   #16
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In Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood there are several quaint cobblestone streets. DC area has some in Georgetown and Old Town Alexandria.
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Old 10-13-11, 07:31 AM   #17
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My hybrid is custom built with little expense spared, there no place I wont take it "Its up to my riding ability really"
I guarantee you, that there are places in Canada and Utah, where even the most talented, skilled, free-riding, trickster, MTN bikers would have to take a second breath, just to prepare for the mountain descent.

Most likely, your hybrid would be received at bottom, with grave reviews...

- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 10-13-11 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 10-19-11, 09:20 PM   #18
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I limit my riding to city streets, country roads, decent trails and avoid dealing with very much water. I'm pretty fit, a mature lady who is tall with good muscle definition for a woman; I'd only take on the rougher stuff with a good MTB.

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Old 10-20-11, 11:01 AM   #19
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I ride my Quick CX Ultra on singletrack as much as I can. It has a 80mm headshok, which is made by Magura and was Cannondale's best suspension fork until the Lefty appeared around 2005. This fork was on tons of Cannondale MTBs from the late 90s until now.

The problem with it is narrow tires, which I'm attempting to address, and severe toe / front tire overlap due to my size 12 feet and the short wheelbase.

If my new 29er tires fit, I am literally going to HTFU and ride around the toe overlap issue. This only happens at extremely low speed when I'm damn near trackstanding and I haven't crashed because of it, but I'm sure that day is coming. On trails like Grecs80 posted I never have overlap problems because I'm not going slow enough to need big steering input.

If the tires don't fit... I'll be saving my pennies and buy (maybe) or build (most likely) a 29er next winter.

A third, minor complaint of the bike is that the 26/36/48 chainrings aren't that great for singletrack. They're ok but I don't use the big ring at all, and it is extremely rare I need the granny ring either. I would probably go 1x10 if I build a bike.
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