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Old 06-26-12, 10:16 AM   #1
IANative
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Roadie and the hybrid

I bought my Roubaix last November, and haven't touched my Crosstrail since. However, last night my wife and I dusted off the the hybrids and did 12 miles on the crushed lime trails close to our house. I discovered 3 things by the end of the ride:

1. I miss a good ol' off-pavement hybrid ride. A very relaxing ride, no worries about cars and traffic issues.
2. Seven months on the Roubaix has made me a much stronger rider than the previous 18 months on the Crosstrail. I was easily powering up inclines w/out dropping a gear, the same inclines that would have required a downshift or two a year ago.
3. I definitely want to put some clipless pedals on my Crosstrail. And maybe, down the road, some narrower tires, but definitely some clipless pedals ASAP.

(cross-posted in the Road Cycling sub-forum)
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Old 06-26-12, 03:41 PM   #2
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It's funny isn't it, I took my Jamis Allegro 1 hybrid, put 700cX25 road tires on it, changed it to 11-28 cassette and larger chainwheels to have more of a "ROAD" bike but I don't care for drop bars. YOU have a Road bike and it seems you want to convert your hybrid to more "road work", humm.
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Old 06-26-12, 05:16 PM   #3
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YOU have a Road bike and it seems you want to convert your hybrid to more "road work", humm.
Actually, no. If I'm on pavement, I want to be on my Roubaix. I used to think I wanted a flat-bar road bike because of my back, but the Roubaix changed all that.

My desire for clipless pedals is because I've learned to appreciate the power and efficiency of being 'clicked in,' and I was fighting my ever-changing foot position on the regular pedals of the hybrid last night. The narrower tires would be to improve the bike's handling in the corners and turns of the trails- the 700x45 tires that come stock on the Crosstrail could definitely be improved upon. Something in the 35-40 width, maybe a front tire slightly narrower than the rear. Not entirely sure yet; more research required.
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Old 06-26-12, 06:47 PM   #4
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Actually, no. If I'm on pavement, I want to be on my Roubaix. I used to think I wanted a flat-bar road bike because of my back, but the Roubaix changed all that.

My desire for clipless pedals is because I've learned to appreciate the power and efficiency of being 'clicked in,' and I was fighting my ever-changing foot position on the regular pedals of the hybrid last night. The narrower tires would be to improve the bike's handling in the corners and turns of the trails- the 700x45 tires that come stock on the Crosstrail could definitely be improved upon. Something in the 35-40 width, maybe a front tire slightly narrower than the rear. Not entirely sure yet; more research required.
I paralleled your course pretty much. Only I bought a Specialized Ruby 'cuz I'm a girl, lol. Back issues had me starting out on a comfort bike. Then I bought a hybrid to set up as my flat bar "road bike"; that's my Quick 3. I still love riding my hybrid, it's my go-to bike for any gravel or dirt paths. I have 700x32 tires, and they handle the non-paved trails well enough. I could see going a bit wider with the tire on the Crosstrail, it's a stockier bike in general.
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Old 06-26-12, 07:52 PM   #5
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Adapt to the riding technique required by your hybrid's platforms. You really don't want to compete with your wife. You want to ride with her. Do that. Then, later, reap the rewards of the differing training technique when clipped in to your Roubaix. Actually, take advantage. Ride higher gears and lower cadences.

If you strive to live in your comfort zone, that's the only place you'll be happy.
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Old 06-26-12, 08:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by IANative View Post
The narrower tires would be to improve the bike's handling in the corners and turns of the trails- the 700x45 tires that come stock on the Crosstrail could definitely be improved upon. Something in the 35-40 width, maybe a front tire slightly narrower than the rear. Not entirely sure yet; more research required.
in most situations, but especially in gravel/ dirt, you want a wider tire on the front for more traction in the turns. you'll probably want to look at cyclocross tires if you want to improve your handling in gravel/ dirt and you're dead set on using skinnier tires. you can find them from 28 all the way up to 40. most of the 700 x 45 size tires are designed for hybrids that see mostly road use, not for going fast off road. you could always put a 29er tire on the front if you really want more front end grip.
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Old 06-26-12, 08:09 PM   #7
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Bunni, how do you like your Ruby? My wife tried the Ruby Apex, but after going through a compete fitting and trying different bikes, she went w/ the LBS's advice and got a 52cm Roubaix (she's 5'4", but has long arms and a long torso for a girl) Apex. She has the Specialized Ariel for a hybrid, and she was really enjoying herself last night, too. We've been all Roubaix, all the time since November. I'll definitely get skinnier tires eventually, but 32's might be a little narrow for my hybrid (it's an XL frame) and what I have in mind to do w/ it. Ironically, I'd like to get a little fatter on my Roubaix tires and move from the 23's up to 25's. However, since I've yet to be able to grow a money tree...

Dave, I rode the hybrid for 18 months before I ever threw a leg over a road bike. I understand the platform, and I don't compete w/ my wife. She kicks my butt when running, I can kick her butt when cycling. However, I like riding with her and always allow her to set the pace when we ride, as I want it to remain an enjoyable experience for her. Believe me, I ride at a whole different pace and intensity when riding by myself, regardless of which bike I'm on. I want to tweak my hybrid for all of the reasons listed above, but I'll still ride at my wife's pace when we're together, regardless of which bikes we're on.
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Old 06-27-12, 10:59 AM   #8
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Ok, LOL, I guess I was a bit off, totally understand 45"s are pretty wide tires, before I switched the Allegro 1 to be my puedo-road bike, I had Serfas Vida 700cX38's on the Allegro 1. A "treaded" tire but not "knobby" it seemed to handle up to a 1 inch or so of loose dirt pretty well, was excellent on hard pack dirt and didn't seem to loose to much when used on the "road" either. If your use to "clip in's", then yes, I'm sure reg. pedals seem strange, due to 2 forms of arthritis my ankles HATE to be locked in so the "squiggle" room of road pedals with "clips and straps" is MUCH better for ME! I too, have the wife set the pace when we ride!
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Old 06-27-12, 06:11 PM   #9
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Bunni, how do you like your Ruby? My wife tried the Ruby Apex, but after going through a compete fitting and trying different bikes, she went w/ the LBS's advice and got a 52cm Roubaix (she's 5'4", but has long arms and a long torso for a girl) Apex. She has the Specialized Ariel for a hybrid, and she was really enjoying herself last night, too. We've been all Roubaix, all the time since November. I'll definitely get skinnier tires eventually, but 32's might be a little narrow for my hybrid (it's an XL frame) and what I have in mind to do w/ it. Ironically, I'd like to get a little fatter on my Roubaix tires and move from the 23's up to 25's. However, since I've yet to be able to grow a money tree...
I absolutely LOVE my Ruby! Interestingly enough, I enjoyed the Roubaix too. I couldn't find a Ruby in stock in a 54cm to test ride - all the local shops only had smaller sizes, which I tried, so I knew I liked the ride. But I wasn't sure if the geometry would really suit me in the 54. One lbs had the Roubaix in my size so I rode it, and it was my favorite bike that I had tested. I was pretty comfortable too, and I could see it fitting your wife better if she has longer arms and torso. The fact that it was built with a stiffer frame had me seeking out a Ruby in my size. When I finally found a 54cm it was a color that I really liked, had a smooth and lighter weight Ultegra groupset, and after a proper fitting, felt like an extension of my body. The bike just has a glide-like ride which is hard to explain, but noticable when you see someone riding it. About the tires, my understanding is that the Roubaix/Ruby's stock tires actually measure 25 though they say 23, and is one of the reasons for the comfort of the ride.

And I agree, 32s would be too narrow for your Crosstrail...

You two sound like you're fans of Specialized, huh? They make some great bikes. I just finished helping a friend pick out a new road bike. After many test rides of different brands and models he chose the Specialized Tarmac (it was between that and the Roubaix as his two favorites). Just knew it was the right bike from the first ride.
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Old 07-05-12, 11:26 AM   #10
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Variety. It is the spice of life! Nothing like being able to change between the two, for a refreshing change of pace! I do my two-wheeling between my hybrid (road and MUPs), a MTB (MUPs), and a new road bike (road, of course)
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