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Old 12-27-12, 02:04 PM   #1
ExileXXX
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Hybrid vs Road Bike

How do I decide between a hybrid and a road bike?

Are hybrids more comfortable?

I'm going to be using this to get around in the suburbs of long island.

Some pleasure cruising but mostly treks to the library, to doctor's appointments,
to and from work.

Any advice?

Last edited by ExileXXX; 12-27-12 at 02:16 PM.
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Old 12-27-12, 02:09 PM   #2
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My standard advice for any newbie to cycling: Go to a bike shop, ride everything in your price range, and buy the one that makes you feel most like a little kid. Everything else will follow.
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Old 12-27-12, 02:13 PM   #3
ExileXXX
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The problem is I don't have the income to do that.

I have to buy a used bike or one that is in a certain price range.

I'll say, 200 and under. Most likely closer to 100.
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Old 12-27-12, 02:18 PM   #4
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At that price point, you're better off looking at rigid forked, mtb's from the '80s and '90s.
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Old 12-27-12, 02:34 PM   #5
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Exactly. Shop for a used mountain bike. Also plan on doing, or have a knowledgeable friend do some maintenance. Be especially careful of a road bike for that amount because it will either be a very inexpensive bike from some place like Wal-Mart that's broke or a very old bike needing lots of work.
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Old 12-27-12, 02:52 PM   #6
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definitely avoid any suspension components at that price.

when shopping for a used bike, the most important thing to check is the condition of the wheels. spokes should be stainless steel and not plated plain steel. rims should be straight and not have any dents or 'taco' flanges, their shouldn't be more than a millimeter or so of side to side when you spin the wheel (watch the rim to brake pads distance for an indicator of this). there should be NO up/down motion. smooth side to side motion of a few mm can be adjusted out by someone who knows how to tune a wheel as long as the spokes aren't corroded. wheel bearings should be smooth, with no play. as long as they aren't 'bumpy' from pitting, they can usually be regreased and readjusted very easily to fix minor problems. the 'bottom bracket' bearing between the crank arms should also be smooth, with no play (wiggle the two crank arms side to side, if you feel any clink/clunk motion, the BB will need some attending to, not at all hard if you have a couple speciality tools that will set you back maybe $40 total and tools last for a lifetime)

turn the cranks, and watch the front sprockets ('chainrings') relative to the front derailleur, there shoudl be NO side to side motion of any of the chain rings relative to the derailleur. ride the bike, and shift through all the gears (don't use both smallest cogs, and don't use both biggest, those two positions are called 'crossover'), and make sure the chain doesn't jump, especially in the tallest gear (big ring in front, smallest cog in back). a stretched and/or rusty chain can be replaced for $15 or so, but often a little cleaning and oil will do wonders.

quite common on a old used bike for the brake pads to be worn out, hard as rocks, and/or very badly adjusted, thats cheap and easy to fix, ditto corroded cables that don't brake and/or shift well, also really easy to fix.

worn out tires are easy to replace, figure $20 each for really cheap tires, $40 for much better ones. add $5-10 per wheel for new inner tubes. If its a mountain bike that you plan on using as a commutter, you'll want to get non-knobby tires in a relatively thinner size, like 26x1.75 slicks instead of the more typical 26x2.125 knobby

if the rear derailleur cage isn't parallel to the cogs, the hangar can usually be bent to fix that, and the gears will work much better.

MOST important thing that can't be fixed, the frame should be the right size for you. I"m 6' tall, and ride an "L" frame in most all bike styles and types.

on Lon'Gisland, there's likely a 'bike co-op' kind of place where for a very nominal fee, you can join and use their workshop and tools, and their experience.
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Old 12-27-12, 04:06 PM   #7
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Check with these guys:
http://times-up.org/index.php?page=bike-co-op/

They should be able to give you all the help you'll need.
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Old 01-01-13, 09:50 PM   #8
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Yep, scour craigslist for a solid, rigid, mountain bike in your price range. I've got an old (~1997) Specialized Rockhopper that's now my trails/hybrid, and it's a great bike. You can find these for $100 - $200 in decent shape. My wife's old Trek 820 from 1993 is fine as well. Yes, avoid suspension like the plague!

I'd find the best $100-$120 rigid, name-brand MTB I could find, then spend the money left over (from a $200 budget) to get some new, slick, 26" x 1.25" or 1.5" tires that will accommodate 100 psi. With this setup, you'll be 90% as fast as a real road bike. (I've got over 3000 miles on mine, and compared to my road bike, it's not any slower over most routes.)
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Old 01-02-13, 09:20 PM   #9
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Road slicks on a mountain bike is what I did before I moved to a Trek 7500 then a Trek 7.6.
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Old 01-03-13, 06:31 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExileXXX View Post
The problem is I don't have the income to do that.

I have to buy a used bike or one that is in a certain price range.

I'll say, 200 and under. Most likely closer to 100.
I would still go to the LBS and ride everything to see what you would like to have then buy one used but please keep in mind the shop so when you need your bike worked on or you need tires, tubes and parts buy them from the shop that helped you.
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Old 01-03-13, 09:51 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExileXXX View Post
The problem is I don't have the income to do that.

I have to buy a used bike or one that is in a certain price range.

I'll say, 200 and under. Most likely closer to 100.
Hi Exile and happy New Year. Yes, many LBS have used bikes for sale. I just got back in to biking last June and bought a used Jamis Explorer for $200 which included new tires (in my case 26 x 1.5" slicks vs the original 26 x 1.95" heavily treaded tires). I really enjoyed it, and after a few months bought myself an early retirement present of a new Trek 7.4FX.
The point is get a decent used bike from bike shop who can take care of any initial problems.
Good luck!

Best regards
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