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  1. #1
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    Mountain vs Road gears on a hybrid (Avanti Blade 3 vs Specialized Vita Elite)

    Hi,
    I've been off my bike for a couple of years and am looking to buy a womens hybrid to ride to work and eventually for longer rides. I've narrowed it down to the Avanti Blade 3.0 and the Specialized Vita Elite DS. Both lovely bikes, but the Avanti has a Shimano mountain bike gear system on it and the Specialized has a Shimano road gear system. Does anyone have any advice on the differences, or any experience with either of these bikes? I imagine the road gears will be smoother? Iím after a smooth fast ride, I won't be in too much traffic and will eventually be riding over a huge hill!
    Thanks

    Avanti Blade 3
    http://www.avantibikes.com/au/bikes/...mpare#tab_menu

    Specialized Vita Elite DS
    http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bik...eq#tech-design

  2. #2
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    If it's a really big hill, I'd go for the triple.... that's the only real difference in the drivetrain.

    "Retirement is the best job I ever had!" Me, 2009


    Specialized Crosstrail Sport - '08
    Nishiki Sport - misappropriated from my youngest son (circa 1984)
    Marin Stinson - misappropriated by my youngest grandson - '01
    "The Beast" - 1990 Schwinn Airdyne (in the basement for winter torture)

  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Which one feels more comfortable in terms of fit? Buy that. If its the Sirrus, and you have to climb hills a lot, just go one lower and get the Sirrus Elite (unless you really, really want disc brakes). Personally, I'm really happy with my triple. The 38 teeth middle chainring allows me to stay in one gear in the front for most rides, only shifting at the rear. Still allows me to go up to 18-20 mph comfortably. I shift to the 48 if I'm going faster (rare, unless I'm coming down a hill) and shift to the 28 if I'm climbing a long hill.
    http://treadrightly.blogspot.com/

  4. #4
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    Katarazzi, greetings from southeastern Pennsylvania, USA.

    The Blade 3.0 with its 48/36/26 crankset in conjunction with its HG20 11-32 cassette (cogs: 11, 13, 15, 17, 19, 21, 24, 28, 32) provides a far better selection of gearing combos over the Elite’s limited gear combos as well as provides far lower gearing (26/32 which equates to 21.9375 gear inches per 27” diameter 700 x 28 tires) for the longer steeper ascents which is particularly appreciated on longer distance rides when one’s legs are a bit energy-depleted or if it’s simply a very long steep ascent with fresh legs.

    Conversely, the Elite’s low gearing (34/30 which only equates to 30.6 gear inches per the same 27” diameter 700 x 28 tires) totally sucks by comparison to that of the Blade’s superior low gearing. By comparison while the Blade 3.0 is in its lower gearing, the Blade 3.0 will feel much lighter than the Elite while making the same steep ascents due to its far greater mechanical advantage.

    The Blade 3.0 also provides Shimano M395 hydraulic disc brakes which also tend to fair better than Novella’s Draco hydraulic brakes (the Novella’s tend to be more prone to premature seal leakage).

    Even the Kenda Kwick Roller 700 x 28 tires provided by the Blade 3.0 are lighter (360~300 grams, iron cap vs. non-iron cap) tire with a higher 60 TPI count than the heavy (640 grams) Specialized Nimbus 700 x 28 tires provided on the Elite. The Blade 3.0’s lighter tires will allow you to accelerate to cruise speeds with slightly less effort thereby making it the slightly faster of the two bikes. I’ve conducted numerous tests as concerns tires that present greater or lesser rotating mass and the lighter the tires, the easier they are to accelerate up to speed and this is a physics related certainty. The rotating wheel mass isn’t such a big factor when you’re only going for a fairly short ride, but on longer rides, lighter tires are most definitely less fatiguing per the same routes and distances.

    In August of 2013, I rode my 35 pound Trek 29er hardtail––which had 29 x 2.1 street tires mounted at that time––on my first 200-mile ride (to and from Jim Thorpe, PA) and I purposely took the longer more mountainous and scenic route home. Prior to that ride, I attempted to acquire a set of lighter 700 x 42’s (660 grams) or even a set of 700 x 38’s (595 grams) to make my ride a bit less fatiguing over those 200 miles. Unfortunately, the LBS only had one of those tires in stock and there was no time remaining for ordering them, so I rode the heavy (915 grams each) 29 x 2.1 (700 x 54) street tires on that ride. I still immensely enjoyed that long distance ride, but over 200 miles, those heavy 29 x 2.1 tires sure were energy demanding (but they provided a very comfortable ride even at 70 PSI).

    For comparison purposes, the Elite’s HG50 11-30 9-speed road cassette provides the following cogs:

    11, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 23, 26, 30

    Naturally, the decision is yours, but I’d go with the Blade 3.0. Whichever you go with, enjoy your riding adventures.

  5. #5
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    YMMV,but I would go for the Blade for the carbon fork. The Vita's straight blade alloy fork isn't going to ride as well.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

  6. #6
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    Forks don’t provide ride comfort; larger volume tires do.

    My 2011 Trek 2.1 road bike came equipped with a carbon fork and 700 x 23 tires. The ride was so harsh (regardless of variations made to tire pressure) that after 3 weeks I stopped riding the bike for the next two months, as I absolutely detested its harsh ride and it made me regret having purchased the bike.

    I eventually decided to give a larger set tires a chance to potentially remedy the ride comfort issue, so I mounted a set of 700 x 28 tires (inflated to their max of 120 PSI). Though I presumed they wouldn’t make a significant enough improvement in ride comfort, I was pleasantly surprised when it did (28’s over 23’s provide roughly 48% greater air volume). The 28’s transformed the ride comfort of my road bike and restored my former joy in having bought the bike.

    An aluminum bike frame and carbon fork is only a miniscule factor of the “ride comfort” equation. Tire volume is a significant factor.

    Moral of the story: If you seek ride comfort, make certain the bike can accommodate tire sizes of at least 700 x 28 (or potentially larger). I’d have gone to 700 x 32’s if my bike allowed such, but 28’s were its limit.

  7. #7
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gnosis View Post
    Forks don’t provide ride comfort; larger volume tires do.
    Incorrect. Larger tires and lower air pressure will provide a better ride,but so will fork material and design.

    I had a Fuji Absolute with a straight blade alloy fork. It rode horribly. I swapped the stock fork for a curved carbon cross fork and it made a noticeable difference,enough that I didn't bother to swap out the 26mm 100+psi tires. I also had a Novara Road Buzz with a pinpoint alloy fork. Swapped the stock 28mm Randos for 42mm Conti's and it still caused my carpel tunnel to flare after a couple days. Didn't want to spend the effort/money to swap the fork,so back it went.

    C'dale BBU('05 and '09)/Super Six/Hooligan8and 3,Kona Dew Deluxe,Novara Buzz/Safari,Surly Big Dummy,Marin Pt Reyes,Giant Defy 1,Schwinn DBX SuperSport/Qualifier,Brompton S6L,Dahon Speed Pro TT

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