I only meant 3/4 or 0.75 mph! Modest but still appreciable.
I only meant 3/4 or 0.75 mph! Modest but still appreciable.
Trek Valencia, 2010
Marin Highway One, 2010
Last edited by John Redcorn; 07-16-14 at 05:46 PM.
A MIRROR would make me faster?
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.
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.
Last edited by camjr; 07-17-14 at 08:39 AM.
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.
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!
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 .
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
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!
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.
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.
You'd have to swap the handlebar to put different grips on it.
Last edited by Grey.; 09-09-14 at 06:31 AM.
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.
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.
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.
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.
File:Mandrill at Singapore Zoo.jpg - Wikimedia Commons
In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is. - Yogi Berra