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Thread: Upgrade Help

  1. #1
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    Upgrade Help

    I ride about three times a week, from an hour to an hour and a half. I go as hard and fast as I can for the duration of my ride.
    My bike is an older Trek 7200 with some minor upgrades that have helped a lot; trigger shifters, good platform pedals and decent tires. I'm running the narrowest tires that are recommended for my rims, 700 x 32, I'm using Schwalbe Marathon Plus. I noticed an improvement in rolling resistance right away.

    I track my average speed during the ride including stops and everything, I usually ride late at night or early early am so the traffic delays are really very minimal.
    I can't break through 16 mph as an average for the ride. That and I hate it when full on road bike guys blow by me. LOL

    So I want to step up and go faster but I really like the flat bar and frame geometry of a hybrid. I want a significant improvement over my current bike, and certainly one that I will be happy with for years, but I have a tendency to overkill things so I'm asking for some input here on what more experienced folks like yourselves might consider a reasonable upgrade.

    I've narrowed it down to four models of interest but if I'm overlooking any others please correct me:

    Cannondale Bad Boy 5

    Fuji Absolute 1.1 D

    Giant Escape RX

    Specialized Sirrus Comp

    Thank You for your input.

  2. #2
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    I have a Sirrus Comp and it is a very fast and nice bike. I highly recommend it.

  3. #3
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Escape RX Composite (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States A major step up, at a "reasonable" price.... reports of getting it cheaper are common.

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


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  4. #4
    Senior Member camjr's Avatar
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    I went with a Fuji Absolute 2.1 after riding the equivalent models from Specialized, Kona, and Giant. I did not ride the Trek or Cannondale. To me, it just "felt" better than the Giant or Specialized. That is ENTIRELY subjective. Another factor was that I was able to pick up a heavily discounted 2013 model for less than a lesser equipped 2014 model from either Fuji or the other brands.

    You're looking at great brands and will find a great ride from your pool. How well does it fit your build and budget. They're all quality.

  5. #5
    The Improbable Bulk Little Darwin's Avatar
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    First 16 mph is a bit faster than my cruising speed on flat terrain, so to average that with stops is not bad at all.

    However, if your reason for upgrading is as you stated, you need a road bike. However, what you want to ride over-rides comments by me or any other relatively anonymous forumite.

    While there are things that a lighter bike will help with, like acceleration and climbing, if you are on relatively flat terrain when you are getting blown away, then there are 2 significant elements that are potentially allowing roadies to blow by...

    1) Aerodynamics (this may be difficult to change with the relaxed geometry of hybrids, other than possibly full on flat bar road bikes).
    2) Difference in fitness level.

    1 can be accomplished on any bike with more saddle to bar drop, whether a new bike, or going from a riser bar and stem to a flat bar and negative rise stem

    2 doesn't depend significantly on which bike you are riding.

    There are minor improvements possible with rolling resistance as well, but the two above are the main factors for maintaining a high speed.

    With your personal objectives, I would mix things up, like doing intervals etc. Doing something different than just riding hard can give you benefits. You might want to read for a while in the training forum, and see what performance cyclists do to increase speed, acceleration and endurance.

    And, just to be clear... While I do believe the above are valid points. There is very little that can compete with a new bike related to motivating you toward whatever your goals are.
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  6. #6
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    Well I test rode a bunch of bikes tonight. Could not find any of the exact models I want. I did find out that Endurance geometry bikes felt ok but drop bars of any kind are definitely out. Tempted on closeout pricing of a Raleigh Carbon 3 but unfortunately shifters and brake levers for a flat bar that work with the Ultegra are impossible to find so that one is out. I cannot find a Cannondale Bad Boy 5 anywhere in Phoenix. The Specialized Sirrus in the base model feels and rides nearly identical to my Trek 7200. I may have to modify search parameters to find a flat bar endurance bike if such a thing exists. Looks like this is going to be quite the ordeal.

  7. #7
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    BTW did not mean to sound so negative! Here are some more positive observations. New bikes are sooooooo much lighter. The Raleigh was the lightest. Trigger shifters rule. First time I have tried drop bars with the shifters as part of the brake levers... ahhhh not my favorite. Base model triggers felt way better than upscale drop bar shifters IMO.

  8. #8
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
    First 16 mph is a bit faster than my cruising speed on flat terrain, so to average that with stops is not bad at all.

    However, if your reason for upgrading is as you stated, you need a road bike. However, what you want to ride over-rides comments by me or any other relatively anonymous forumite.

    While there are things that a lighter bike will help with, like acceleration and climbing, if you are on relatively flat terrain when you are getting blown away, then there are 2 significant elements that are potentially allowing roadies to blow by...

    1) Aerodynamics (this may be difficult to change with the relaxed geometry of hybrids, other than possibly full on flat bar road bikes).
    2) Difference in fitness level.

    1 can be accomplished on any bike with more saddle to bar drop, whether a new bike, or going from a riser bar and stem to a flat bar and negative rise stem

    2 doesn't depend significantly on which bike you are riding.

    There are minor improvements possible with rolling resistance as well, but the two above are the main factors for maintaining a high speed.

    With your personal objectives, I would mix things up, like doing intervals etc. Doing something different than just riding hard can give you benefits. You might want to read for a while in the training forum, and see what performance cyclists do to increase speed, acceleration and endurance.

    And, just to be clear... While I do believe the above are valid points. There is very little that can compete with a new bike related to motivating you toward whatever your goals are.
    I agree with this. The faster you go, the more you are fighting the upright position of your hybrid. There is a reason you don't see racers in the Tour de France riding hybrids. That said, you are the one who has to ride it, so maybe seek out a true flat bar road bike if you really hate brifters and drop bars.

  9. #9
    aka Phil Jungels Wanderer's Avatar
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    Performance Bike also has a carbon Diamondback that has flat bars, and gets very good reviews, with nice componentry.. It's even on sale, with a bonus of about 100 bucks in points for future purchases.

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


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  10. #10
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    I don't think 16mph is too shabby as an average for that bike at all. A more road-oriented performance hybrid will see an improvement, but not enough to keep pace with someone of similar abilities on a full-on road bike.

  11. #11
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    All right, the drama is over. Got a Sale email again from Performance, not exactly what I wanted but a real sweet deal. Fuji Absolute 1.3, sale price plus I found a coupon code I M B A 1 5 (no spaces) if anyone is interested. $569.00!!!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jaeger99 View Post
    I don't think 16mph is too shabby as an average for that bike at all. A more road-oriented performance hybrid will see an improvement, but not enough to keep pace with someone of similar abilities on a full-on road bike.
    Ya but I would like to be able to sprint a little ways to keep it interesting ;D

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copper_head View Post
    All right, the drama is over. Got a Sale email again from Performance, not exactly what I wanted but a real sweet deal. Fuji Absolute 1.3, sale price plus I found a coupon code I M B A 1 5 (no spaces) if anyone is interested. $569.00!!!!
    YES I BOUGHT IT .... should be here next week, free shipping to the local store

  14. #14
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    Finally ready for pickup at Performance...

  15. #15
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    Well after a couple weeks of excess drama and my second new Fuji Absolute 1.3, Performance Bike got it right.
    I've went riding with other people a couple times the last week so for the first 40 miles I haven't pushed it more than a few sprints.
    Last night even though it was very hot and humid I went out alone at 10:00 and just tried to keep a good pace and cadence.
    Crushed my goals, averaged 16.90 mph for the ride!!
    Much thanks to Lance Vett at Performance Bike for setting up everything perfect.
    Looks like now I can start looking to go further distances and continue to improve my average speed.
    Just a little bit of better geometry, lighter weight and thinner tires made a huge difference for me.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copper_head View Post
    Well after a couple weeks of excess drama and my second new Fuji Absolute 1.3, Performance Bike got it right.
    I've went riding with other people a couple times the last week so for the first 40 miles I haven't pushed it more than a few sprints.
    Last night even though it was very hot and humid I went out alone at 10:00 and just tried to keep a good pace and cadence.
    Crushed my goals, averaged 16.90 mph for the ride!!
    Much thanks to Lance Vett at Performance Bike for setting up everything perfect.
    Looks like now I can start looking to go further distances and continue to improve my average speed.
    Just a little bit of better geometry, lighter weight and thinner tires made a huge difference for me.
    I think your speed is really good. I know of a bike club near me that holds weekly rides. They divide into three groups: Group 1 20-plus mph; Group 2 18-20; and Group 3 15-17. All groups are pretty good riders. I'd be happy with 16.9. I usually do closer to 15 overall.

  17. #17
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    Thanks!
    I do really want to participate in group rides hosted by some of the local LBS around, but by looking at their average speeds I know I would not be able to keep up. Long range goal is to keep working at it until I can be a part.

  18. #18
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    Pics of your new bike are obligatory.
    You can have my Disc Brakes, when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by ColonelSanders View Post
    Pics of your new bike are obligatory.
    Sorry this took so long!
    In the dark with a flash and it's really dirty, but here it is:



    It was supposed to hit 107 today, and it's going to rain the rest of the week so it's getting fairly humid.

    Hope I can catch a break in the weather and that it cools off some at night.

    Just rode 14.93 in 54 minutes.
    Last edited by Copper_head; 08-11-14 at 10:01 PM.

  20. #20
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    wow....i can never get tired looking at fuji absolute.any upgrades made?

  21. #21
    Senior Member ColonelSanders's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Copper_head View Post
    Sorry this took so long!
    In the dark with a flash and it's really dirty, but here it is:



    It was supposed to hit 107 today, and it's going to rain the rest of the week so it's getting fairly humid.

    Hope I can catch a break in the weather and that it cools off some at night.

    Just rode 14.93 in 54 minutes.
    That bike looks gorgeous.

    What a great colour.
    You can have my Disc Brakes, when you pry them from my cold, dead hands.

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    Congrats Copper_Head! great looking ride. I see you've already implemented 2 of my favorite mod's. I installed bar ends and clipless pedals and picked up on average a full mile per hour. I find that the bar ends allow me to flatten out my upper body just enough to help aerodynamically. In spite of having Treks top of the line full carbon hybrid, I still can't compete with those riding higher-end full-on road bikes. But I'm way faster than I was on my old Trek 7500 Multitrack.
    1995 Trek 750 Multitrack (Sold) :-(
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  23. #23
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    Thanks guys!

    Just put the bar ends on. Replaced the saddle right away. The pedals are platform, kinda heavy duty all metal and very spikey on top. The only problem is that when you take your foot off they flip over upside down. Tradeoff is that they grip your shoe very well and do not slip ever. Simple Cateye wireless computer.

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