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  1. #51
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    I only meant 3/4 or 0.75 mph! Modest but still appreciable.
    Trek Valencia, 2010
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  2. #52
    Senior Member Jaeger99's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FrankHudson View Post
    Not everyone that wants to go further or faster is looking for road bike performance. The experience, conditioning, and usage for riders varies. Better tires, bar ends, adjusting handlebars are all worthwhile suggestions for some riders, and at reasonable costs too.

    For some of us out of shape older riders it's just a question of extending our enjoyable riding range from something modest like 10 miles to 20 miles (substitute your own numbers if these seem laughable).

    This is the hybrid section, so I'm not going to rail against hybrids as such here. As an old, out of shape rider getting back into more bicycling a few years ago I bought a hybrid as a lighter bike that fit my budget from among the choices at my LBS. Learned a lot. One of those things I learned from my usage, my needs, and my condition was that a touring bike was better for me. That LBS had zero touring bikes a few years ago, and I wasn't touring, so why would I ask for one? In the mean time, tires, bar ends and handlebar tweaks helped me get more usage and enjoyment out of my hybrid.
    Spot on in every respect.

  3. #53
    Senior Member John Redcorn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vert02 View Post
    hi guys...i am going all out to upgrade my 2013 Fuji Absolute 1.4...i do hope it can rival the road bike setup and cruise at 40kph.will upgrade everything from the original bike,leaving just the frame...hopefully it works
    For true. I'm going another route with my crosstrail and instead of stripping the frame and rebuilding, I'm doing it in one shot, saving for the biggest most expensive single RACE PROVEN upgrade, shimano electric derailleurs. Gonna be seeing SO MUCH spandex and curly bars in my mirror instead of me in their mirror, it'll be unreal. (When I get a mirror)
    Last edited by John Redcorn; 07-16-14 at 04:46 PM.

  4. #54
    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    A MIRROR would make me faster?

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
    A MIRROR would make me faster?
    Yes. It would make you more confident about taking the lane and knowing when a car is coming, etc. So yes, yes yes.

  6. #56
    Senior Member 2702's Avatar
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    Finally went 23mm front and rear tire. Was worried about comfort and harshness and its just not the case. The bike feels easier going fast, turning, less effort. I weigh 135pds if that matters. On both my bikes its 23mm all around.
    I know the in thing is 25mm tires a balance between 23 and 28 but I found them sluggish in the rear.

  7. #57
    Senior Member camjr's Avatar
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    If I wanted a road bike, I would have purchased a road bike. As stated in my prior post in this thread, I knew that my situation required a hybrid to get back into AND STICK WITH cycling as part of a fitness plan. A road bike would have been an entry back into it, but I would have not stuck with it because I wasn't physically ready for a road bike. I may get a road bike at some point, but I see them as different tools with different purposes. For my purposes, my Fuji Absolute is the right tool for the job and it's working great.

    The thing that frustrates me the most about these tired arguments is when anonymous posters tell other anonymous posters they've never met before that they made a mistake and should have bought this or that. That assumes two things -- First, they assume that the person that doesn't agree with them wasn't perhaps intelligent enough to do the research to decide which type of bicycle was best for them (granted, some people readily admit that's the case, and good on them), and second, that we're all the same and therefore what works for them works across the board.

    I'm just a 47 year old diabetic clydesdale trying to get to the point of no longer meeting the clydesdale criteria. So far, my hybrid is one of the tools helping me towards that goal.

    The only tip I will include that will improve your hybrid performance is to RIDE THE BIKE. My hybrid's performance has increased an average of 2.5 mph over 25 mile courses as I've become more fit from riding the bike. As I became more fit, the bike is easier on my body over longer distances. I tuned up the motor and the bike responded.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by camjr; 07-17-14 at 07:39 AM.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by camjr View Post
    The only tip I will include that will improve your hybrid performance is to RIDE THE BIKE. My hybrid's performance has increased an average of 2.5 mph over 25 mile courses as I've become more fit from riding the bike. As I became more fit, the bike is easier on my body over longere distances. I tuned up the motor and the bike responded.

    Cheers!
    The best and most important tip yet.

  9. #59
    Senior Member 2702's Avatar
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    All this talk about how road bikes improve comfort with hand positions and such or hybrids are better for people with bad backs and neck is BS. I get equally tired at the same time and distance with both style of bikes. I guess I am lucky or unlucky that way.

  10. #60
    Senior Member loimpact's Avatar
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    I will give the most honest feedback I can after having ridden my Quick4 for about 9 months and now having gone to a SuperSix Evo Ultegra, carbon everything, blah, blah.

    Engine is first and foremost!!!

    - I went from platform pedals to clipless (Shimano Click'rs which I highly recommend for beginners and I'm still using them today on all my bikes) I can't say what net gain was but it helps all around. Maybe 1 to 2mph but this was earlier in my riding career too so who knows.

    - I went from 32mm tires down to 28mm (although they measure 26.6 so even skinner, still) and I probably netted MAYBE a half-mile an hour.

    - After months of riding harder & longer, steeper & faster, I finally flipped my stem as I knew I was going to get a road bike soon. That probably netted MAYBE 1mph.

    Now that I have a road bike, I'm finding that I'm not AS MUCH faster as I thought I'd be. I used to wow the group ride folks w/ how I'd hang with them (mostly) on my flat-bar. Now, I'm just another Fred and I'm still not pulling the peloton like I thought I might.

    I'd say I gained anywhere from 2 to 4mph on the flats. 1mph on the climbs and I'm about the same on the descents. (I can really fly downhill on my hybrid)

    I'm still tweaking the engine daily and practice exactly the way I did before on my hybrid. Ride fast, longer, hard, steep and, well, safe. Assuming you're here on this forum & bought a decent hybrid, the engine will be your biggest tweak, for sure!!

    I hope that gives some insight from my experience!

  11. #61
    Senior Member camjr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2702 View Post
    All this talk about how road bikes improve comfort with hand positions and such or hybrids are better for people with bad backs and neck is BS. I get equally tired at the same time and distance with both style of bikes. I guess I am lucky or unlucky that way.
    Grips with integrated bar ends to allow more hand positions did nothing for my back but were a huge improvement on how my hands feel (or don't feel when they were going numb) on longer rides.

    The more upright position on a hybrid is more comfortable for me since I can breathe more efficiently because my ample (but less ample than before) gut isn't compressed by bending way over like I might on a road bike and limiting my air intake .

  12. #62
    Ha ha ha ha ha giantcfr1's Avatar
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    A 1/4 turn counter-clockwise helps improve performance.
    Road Bike: 2004 ORBEA Mitis2+Carbon, Freekin' groovy Urban / Mountain Road Cruising Bike: 2007 CANNONDALE Bad Boy Disc, MTB: 2012 Trek Gary Fisher Collection Marlin WSD 29er

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Redcorn View Post
    For true. I'm going another route with my crosstrail and instead of stripping the frame and rebuilding, I'm doing it in one shot, saving for the biggest most expensive single RACE PROVEN upgrade, shimano electric derailleurs. Gonna be seeing SO MUCH spandex and curly bars in my mirror instead of me in their mirror, it'll be unreal. (When I get a mirror)
    DI2?for real?dats cool...keep us updated ok mate.

    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    The best and most important tip yet.
    Second with that. As long as i live to ride,gonna enjoy riding hybrid. A road bike is fun only for speed...but taking me to places,hybrid is my choice. Sort of like choosing a bus trip or drving a 100mph race car,haha.

  14. #64
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    Boy, Sounds like My Summer....

    Thanks, OP, or the tips on making my hybrid 'mo betta' for me. In fact, I bought a DB Trace in July and have been tweaking it into a more road-touring-commuting type - mainly by just messing around and making some strategic moves:

    1. I replaced the DB oem saddle. I hated it - even after hte so-called break-in, I didn't like that hard tupperware shell covered with gel and naugahyde. I actually bought a couple of other saddles - a Selle and an MTB, but wasn't impressed with either. Finally got tired enough to chuck the saddle and install a Brooks B17. I'd ridden a Brooks back in the 70's (that's 'B.C.' - 'before cable' - for you millennials out there). Anyway, it made everything much better.

    2. Bar ends - Yeah, I got some. First I chopped two inches off of each end of my mtb bars, then installed the horns and wrapped 'em. Gives me more hand variability when riding a longer time. I'd like some more options, though....

    3. Rear Rack - Topeak - works great, very useful, and pretty cheap on Amazon. I also got an MTX Trunk bag that goes with it. Now it goes everywhere with me.

    4. Lastly -- and this is scary, so please sit down before reading....... I was on a ride with my stock Kenda 40c's, and had a blowout for no apparent reason.... So I walked the beast back to the car (fuming...), then in retaliation I went to the LBS. Went in to get a tube, and came out with.....drum roll please.....some Continental Gatorskin 28's. My Wienmann rims will take 28-39c tires, and I've read that you can even stretch THAT range a tad, so I figured what the hey, I'll just do some science. Put 'em on, and man this is a different bike now! Easy to get up to speed, Easier to maintain speed, More nimble and quicker on turns, etc.

    Would I take the gatorskins on a touring trip? Probably not, but I think I WILL stay with no bigger than 32c's or so (only go fatter for light offroad stuff) for any trips, maybe a Schwalbe Marathon with a slicky center or some Continental Contacts. But these gators add a lot of fun to my daily 15-20 milers.

    Next up? Evolve my bars. Either I evolve to drops (but that's gonna require a pretty healthy investment in new upfront componentry), or I go with Trekking (butterfly) bars which will let me keep my stock shifters. I really cannot decide right now. The drops have that 'cool' factor of course, but from a practical and touring standpoint, I just canot see any disadvantage to the trekking bars.

    Any thoughts on this idea? My goal is to have a strong bike that's pretty nimble for local rides, and will act as a Tourer with reasonable speed and load capacity.

    Enjoy the pictures, and somebody PLEASE tell me where to go next! Drops? Trekking? Nothing? Thanks All!


    20140907_130640.jpggatorskins2.jpggatorskins3.jpggatorskins4.jpg

  15. #65
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    I bought my Trek 7.4 for its versatility, price, and because I was sure an hybrid was what I needed most. Mind you I always had generic mountain bikes prior to that... A road bike was somewhat out of the question at the time - I am not an "experienced" cyclist, I may need to ride various surfaces, haul the kids in a trailer, and do general slower commuting (with the family, when the kids will be able to ride), get to work (I work night shifts, so have to lock the bike in the dark), do small errands. As a sole all-around bike, it's perfect.

    But I kinda regretted it after a few dozen miles of riding, because I noticed I liked to ride flat out, and for medium distances (20-50 km, 10-30 miles) and I'm hungry for more distance and speed as I get more in shape. Oh it's still fun to ride, but a road bike would be more appropriate for these outings... Now I want a road bike badly , but wouldn't ditch my hybrid even if I get one someday. In a perfect world I would have both.

    In the meantime, I'm upgrading my 7.4 to get more out of it... Even if it's a *great* bike out the box, some upgrades can go a long way to improve the experience - it all depends on your uses and needs.

    On the "performance" side:

    Got a cadence enabled computer, to help control my rythm. I've learned a lot from it!

    I want padded shorts!

    New grips (Ergon GP2 or GP3) are on my shopping list, to prevent wrist numbness on longer distances. Bike is well fitted, so it may be my carpal tunnels acting up.

    I'm also considering clipless pedals (the platform/clipless kind). I was afraid to look stupid when I mentionned this potential upgrade at my LBS (hey, look at this guy upgrading an hybrid!), but the idea was welcomed warmly, and I was assured that as soon as I would ride clipped, I would never look back.

    I'm also upgrading myself, physically as well as mentally. I've learned quite a lot, on the interwebs as well as by myself.

  16. #66
    Senior Member mcours2006's Avatar
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    Pretty interesting thread. I will share my experience with hybrids. I started riding to work on my nearly-30-pound Bianchi hybrid as a hand-me-down from my older sister. Got treaded size 32 tires on it. Got to about 23km/h average on the commute.

    Put on my old 'clip on' pedals from my 80's road bike and old riding shoes. Got to 25km/h. So pretty good right?

    Then purchase a Giant Rapid 2 hybrid, with bar ends, cut-down and lowered handle bars, SPD pedals, lightweight shoes, slim 25 slick tires, and 10 pounds lighter. What did I gain? I got to 27.5km/h. Pretty good right? But wait...

    I've been riding both on a consistent basis, both bikes with SPD pedals and the difference in speed now, with over 2000km under my belt, is a mere 0.5km/h.

    My fitness has improved greatly. The Bianchi has a nice wide saddle and more upright position, and is incredibly comfortable, even without padded shorts.

    The lesson for me here: the engine is the most important part of going fast/far. I am constantly shifting gears to get to one where I can spin in my comfort zone, which for me is well over 90 rpm. That's my engine's power band.

    I ride the Rapid because it's a cooler looking bike. The Bianchi is more rugged and robust and handles more diverse road conditions, which I also like. I still want a 'real' road bike, but I don't think I will be going much faster on it, if at all. It'd just look cooler.

  17. #67
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeece View Post
    New grips (Ergon GP2 or GP3) are on my shopping list, to prevent wrist numbness on longer distances.
    You can't put those grips on the IsoZone handlebar, which uses a proprietary design. Bontrager makes an adapter that lets you fit bar ends to the stock Satellite grips, which are better than the Ergon's anyway.

    You'd have to swap the handlebar to put different grips on it.
    Last edited by Grey.; 09-09-14 at 05:31 AM.

  18. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
    Buy a new bike! If the intention is to go fast, you will find that air resistance will have the biggest impact on speed. Drop bars will help with that.
    I have heard this conventional wisdom often and used to accept it as true, but lately I've started to question it. On my flatbar hybrid I go as fast as riders with drop bars on flats and downhill, but they outpace me going up hills. It seems to me that wind resistance would be greatest on flats and downhills and the least when climbing. Do others have similar experiences? If so, does this experience challenge the notion that the greatest advantage of dropbars is reducing wind resistance?

  19. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    I have heard this conventional wisdom often and used to accept it as true, but lately I've started to question it. On my flatbar hybrid I go as fast as riders with drop bars on flats and downhill, but they outpace me going up hills. It seems to me that wind resistance would be greatest on flats and downhills and the least when climbing. Do others have similar experiences? If so, does this experience challenge the notion that the greatest advantage of dropbars is reducing wind resistance?
    At the speeds pros climb, even on 6+ percent grades, there is an aero factor, though pretty minimal. That, however, is totally irrelevant to anyone posting on these boards or whom you are likely to run into during your rides.

    It was also irrelevant to the testers who ran a comparison for Cycling Plus (UK road mag.), published February this year. They were interested in this whole question, and so ran a test over a 50 mile typical 'sportive' course -- lots of flats, some climbs and descents, including the Boxhill climb used in the Olympic road course in 2012. They compared two typical road bikes against two flat-bar road bikes -- all full carbon, equivalent quality. They tried as best they could to keep HR/wattage (total effort) the same. What they found was that the flat-bar bikes lost time on the flats/descents, as one would expect, but somewhat counter-intuitively consistently gained some of it back on the climbs.

    They reasoned that even for pretty fit/experienced non-pro cyclists like themselves the wider/more upright position on the flat-bar bikes placed less strain on the back and opened up the chest for more efficient breathing. Their overall results: the flat-bar bike loses around 5 minutes total to the equivalent drop-bar bike over that 50 mile course, for the same amount of work, for non-pro level riders who aren't racing but who are trying to get around the course as quickly as their fitness will allow.

  20. #70
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    Thanks for the research and I find it fascinating. I wonder why my experience is the opposite. I ride a flatbar and the folks I ride with ride dropbars. We're all on our mid to late 50s but we're doing the flats at between 15-17 mph so we're going right along (at least we're proud of that pace.) I ride a Giant Escape 1 and the other bikes include Treks, Specialized, Cannondale, etc. in the $1,000 range. So that's the context of my experience and maybe it's significantly different from the study's context.

  21. #71
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    Sounds like the summer has been a real education for you. I like the handlebar setup that you have. Glad you prefer the 28 tires. I doubt you'll take them off.

  22. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    and nothing makes a hybrid rider feel better than going by a road bike wannabe with skinny tires and lycra shorts.
    HAHAHA! I agree, if only to avoid looking at some skinny guy's hairy butt wearing those shorts in a worn out condition and no underwear. BARF! Road bikes may be designed to go faster, BUT I see an awful lot of them fixing flats on the road side.

    It's funny; as kids we never thought about any of this stuff. It was only, "hey let's go for a ride". Wash a bike? why? Looney Tunes are on, man.


    I began refitting a hybrid for touring and through the power of YouTube did most of these things already.

    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    1. Shorten your handlebars. Move the shifters, brakes and grips in so that your hands are as wide as your shoulders. Cut off the excess.

    2. Lower your handlebars. This will put you in a slightly more aggressive posture and slightly cut down on wind resistance.

    3. Consider adding bar ends. It can give you greater hand position variety to reduce hand fatigue and better leverage when climbing hills while standing.
    I went with trekking or butterfly bars; fulfilled the same ends.
    Attachment 404967

    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    4. Use toe straps or clipless pedals. If you go with toe straps, make sure you have a good shoe - one with a stiff and smooth sole, pointed toe and reinforced top. If you just wear sneakers, you wonít be happy.
    I go with low top hiking shoes from Merrell. just in case I have to hoof it. The shoes look like sneakers, but don't disintegrate after their first exposure to water.

    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    5. Go with narrower smooth tread tires. Your LSB will probably switch out the wider tires (32 or 35) with 28ís at time of purchase for free. If not, itís a worthwhile investment. If you never go on dirt roads or trails, then try the 25. Inflate your tires - go with a tire with a 100 psi or higher.
    I went sort of the other way. Because of the extra weight of panniers, I put a puncture resistant 1.75 tire on a 1.50 rim. The proper tire pressure sure does make a difference though.

    Attachment 404971

    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    6. Get a mirror. It will make you faster because youíll ride with a lot more confidence. And it will make riding safer.
    Oh, yes. I, at first, felt like Pee Wee Herman, but after the 3rd car passed me... I was hooked. A great suggestion.


    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    9. Wear padded bike shorts and gloves. It will let you ride further. Your butt will thank you. If youíre like me, tight bike shorts are not flattering, so I wear gym shorts over the bike shorts.
    I padded the bike seat. There is no WAY I will parade around in something that makes me look like a Mandrill. OP, smart move wearing gym shorts, Kudos. File:Mandrill at Singapore Zoo.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    10. Keep your bike clean. Clean the cassette, cranks and chain. Donít over-lube.
    Yes. Again, one of those things we never learned as kids. I had uncountable layers of crud on my gears... never even crossed my mind, before. (sarcastically) Thanks GCN!

  23. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by practical View Post
    Have you tried narrower high-pressure tires with a smooth tread? If you want better performance on pavement (which is what this post is all about), then I strongly recommend them (as other posters with experience doing this). If you want comfort and stability on rough terrain, then obviously keep the fatter tires.
    The main advantage to skinny high pressure tires is aerodynamics. This really only comes into play at speeds in excess of about 22mph or so. They feel different and handle differently but will offer no discernable speed advantage until the aerodynamic aspect comes into play. Rolling resistance of smooth tread tires is really a non factor at any speed or normal tire sizes .
    In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. - Yogi Berra

  24. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by schlopartist View Post
    HAHAHA! I agree, if only to avoid looking at some skinny guy's hairy butt wearing those shorts in a worn out condition and no underwear. BARF! Road bikes may be designed to go faster, BUT I see an awful lot of them fixing flats on the road side.

    It's funny; as kids we never thought about any of this stuff. It was only, "hey let's go for a ride". Wash a bike? why? Looney Tunes are on, man.


    I began refitting a hybrid for touring and through the power of YouTube did most of these things already.



    I went with trekking or butterfly bars; fulfilled the same ends.
    Attachment 404967



    I go with low top hiking shoes from Merrell. just in case I have to hoof it. The shoes look like sneakers, but don't disintegrate after their first exposure to water.



    I went sort of the other way. Because of the extra weight of panniers, I put a puncture resistant 1.75 tire on a 1.50 rim. The proper tire pressure sure does make a difference though.

    Attachment 404971



    Oh, yes. I, at first, felt like Pee Wee Herman, but after the 3rd car passed me... I was hooked. A great suggestion.




    I padded the bike seat. There is no WAY I will parade around in something that makes me look like a Mandrill. OP, smart move wearing gym shorts, Kudos. File:Mandrill at Singapore Zoo.jpg - Wikimedia Commons



    Yes. Again, one of those things we never learned as kids. I had uncountable layers of crud on my gears... never even crossed my mind, before. (sarcastically) Thanks GCN!
    Ouch -- that hurt. The combination of rapier-like wit with clever verbal and visual imagery ... very droll. Oh well; in the interests of full disclosure, this is how "we" see "you":

    Cycling tour I - YouTube

  25. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
    Ouch -- that hurt. The combination of rapier-like wit with clever verbal and visual imagery ... very droll. Oh well; in the interests of full disclosure, this is how "we" see "you":

    Cycling tour I - YouTube
    imagine how much that means to me

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