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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 01-29-08, 02:07 AM   #1
bragi
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Hybrids are dorky

Hybrids are easily the most unattractive, most unfashionable bikes in existence at the moment. Many of them are very poorly made, they tend to be a bit slow, you can't take them offroad, really, and even the good ones are sort of ugly. If you ride a hybrid, you know that roadies will view you with utter disdain, cool urban fixie-riders will be more polite and pretend you're not there, more because of your attire than because of your bike, and mountain bike riders will blow past you in their SUVs on their way to, well, the mountains. A hybrid rider is clearly at the bottom of the (ill-defined) bicyclists' social hierarchy.

The thing is, hybrids are possbily the most practical car-free invention ever, at least in urban environments. You can put fenders and racks on them, and do no significant damage to their performance. They're not as fast as a road bike, but on pavement anyway, much faster than a mountain bike. If you buy one with a good frame, they're indestructable. You can mange steep hills on them, even if you're old and fat- try that on a fixie. They're a lot cheaper, and a lot lighter, than one of those nice Dutch bikes. Finally- and this is not insignificant- no one will steal it. If you're going to the store, or the pub, in other words, if you're using your bike as urban transportation rather than making a statement or amusing yourself, they're just right.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:36 AM   #2
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I have two, one for winter and one for summer, and I agree they're great! I even tour on my summer hybrid, because that's what I have, duh. Touring with a hybrid has so far been nice enough not to start looking around for a "real" touring bike.

Sadly though, the "no one will steal it" -part is incorrect where I live. They get stolen just like any other bikes.

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Old 01-29-08, 03:53 AM   #3
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About town they are ok. Local errands, etc. I have one and use it. Don't think its ever strayed more than 10 miles from town. For distance, I like riding in the drops.
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Old 01-29-08, 03:58 AM   #4
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I think I'll agree with your paragraph, but not so much on your second. I believe that, for the uses hybrids are actually intended for (viz. roads/paths, not offroad) one can do much better on a relaxed geometry, appropriately geared road bike. And even with an old race geometry road bike, one can fiddle with stems and seatposts to make a good commuter or weekend runabout. Even a serious racing bike can take mud guards of one sort or another.

I do have a 'hybrid' myself, but really the moniker is just a guise for a cheap bike with poor componentry and frame. But then I got it for free when my company cleared out its bike racks. The 'no one will steal it' plan probably can't be completely relied upon, but I'd lament its loss less.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:07 AM   #5
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I have two, one for winter and one for summer, and I agree they're great! I even tour on my summer hybrid, because that's what I have, duh. Touring with a hybrid has so far been nice enough not to start looking around for a "real" touring bike.

Sadly though, the "no one will steal it" -part is incorrect where I live. They get stolen just like any other bikes.

--J
Around here if it is has wheels....it will get stolen, even a rusty old POS Huffy 3 speed.

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Old 01-29-08, 06:14 AM   #6
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I ride a mountain bike converted to what you could call a wacky sort of hybrid. It's uglier than a purpose-built hybrid (guaranteed!) but I love it.
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Old 01-29-08, 06:42 AM   #7
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Hybrids are easily the most unattractive, most unfashionable bikes in existence at the moment. If you ride a hybrid, you know that roadies will view you with utter disdain, cool urban fixie-riders will be more polite and pretend you're not there, more because of your attire than because of your bike, and mountain bike riders will blow past you in their SUVs on their way to, well, the mountains. A hybrid rider is clearly at the bottom of the (ill-defined) bicyclists' social hierarchy.
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Old 01-29-08, 07:05 AM   #8
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Hybrids are easily the most unattractive, most unfashionable bikes in existence at the moment. Many of them are very poorly made, they tend to be a bit slow, you can't take them offroad, really, and even the good ones are sort of ugly. If you ride a hybrid, you know that roadies will view you with utter disdain, cool urban fixie-riders will be more polite and pretend you're not there, more because of your attire than because of your bike, and mountain bike riders will blow past you in their SUVs on their way to, well, the mountains. A hybrid rider is clearly at the bottom of the (ill-defined) bicyclists' social hierarchy.
It can be argued hybrids and their riders are at the top of the social hierarchy. No one would ever mistake us for a bike messenger, for instance, or for those sorry 'posengers' who ride fixies because they are 'in'. And why would we want to be one of those silly people who get bikes that can't carry anything, bikes that need to be driven 25 miles to be ridden 25 miles? As for mountain bikes and their riders, they don't ride in the same areas we do, so their off-road machines can't be compared to our performance multi-task bike. As for some hybrids being poorly made, the same statement could be made about any type of bike. Remember the Tour de France, and the carbon-fiber wonderbike that fell apart when it hit a dog?

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Old 01-29-08, 07:55 AM   #9
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Well, in the spirit of "one upmanship", I will suggest that folding bikes are even less attractive, and more convenient, and so on. And the disdain one gets from roadies is... well... look at it this way: if you're on a folding bike, even the guy on the hybrid ignores you.
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Old 01-29-08, 08:00 AM   #10
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I think my hybrid (Trek 7500) looks pretty cool although I am pretty dorky.



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Old 01-29-08, 08:38 AM   #11
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It can be argued hybrids and their riders are at the top of the social hierarchy. No one would ever mistake us for a bike messenger, for instance, or for those sorry 'posengers' who ride fixies because they are 'in'. And why would we want to be one of those silly people who get bikes that can't carry anything, bikes that need to be driven 25 miles to be ridden 25 miles? .
I bet the average net worth of a top line hybrid owner exceeds the average net worth of a high end road bike owner. More of the former are gainfully employed part time riders who don't ride enough to become fanatics.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:13 AM   #12
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Finally- and this is not insignificant- no one will steal it.
Nope. Wrong. My 2006 Giant Cypress DX was stolen earlier this month.

It was locked inside my storage locker in the locked basement of my building. Before you ask, the storage locker has solid walls you can't see through, and it was locked. So we have locked bike, in locked locker, in locked basement. Gone.

They took the bike (complete with lights, cyclometer, Incredibell, clipless pedals, rack and fenders) and my box of spare parts. They left behind the spare wheelset and four tires for my roadie. I guess they didn't want that sissy skinny-tire stuff.

My roadie and my commuter rig sleep in my living room and are fine.

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Old 01-29-08, 09:52 AM   #13
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I have to put my two cents worth on this one, since I own a hybrid myself. I have hardly rode mine, not because of looks, but because of a small disagreement I had with a Chevette (Shoveit) on aforementioned hybrid my senior year in college. Saw the world spinning round, didn't hit my head on the ground, but did break my right wrist. Afterwards, riding caused pain in my wrist and where I was living and working the past 12 years didn't give me much time to ride. Having said that, I still love my hybrid and hope to revive it starting this year.

As for the argument that hybrids are "dorky", I have heard a similar argument about another bike: the Sportster (I own one of those, too). Point being, if it's got two wheels and it works for you, who gives a flying rat's butt what other people think? If you enjoy it, get saddle time and silently snicker at the nay-sayers, then great. If you're more worried about what people think when they see you, well, that's the definition of a "poser" in my book.

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Old 01-29-08, 09:55 AM   #14
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The thing is, hybrids are possbily the most practical car-free invention ever, at least in urban environments. You can put fenders and racks on them, and do no significant damage to their performance. They're not as fast as a road bike, but on pavement anyway, much faster than a mountain bike. If you buy one with a good frame, they're indestructable. You can mange steep hills on them, even if you're old and fat- try that on a fixie. They're a lot cheaper, and a lot lighter, than one of those nice Dutch bikes. Finally- and this is not insignificant- no one will steal it. If you're going to the store, or the pub, in other words, if you're using your bike as urban transportation rather than making a statement or amusing yourself, they're just right.
Exactly.
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Old 01-29-08, 02:08 PM   #15
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My hybrid isn't as fast or as pretty as my road bike, but its set up with everything I need to commute and the tires are just wide enough, but not too wide. I have a Trek 7.2FX and if I could only keep one bike I would have to keep this one, because I ride it the most.

I have been considering the idea of putting a rack on my peugoet so that might give the trek some competition.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:32 PM   #16
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Hybrids are easily the most unattractive, most unfashionable bikes in existence at the moment.
I couldn't disagree more! Look at that beautiful beast! Graceful, elegant, quick and agile. I love her.

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Old 01-29-08, 04:37 PM   #17
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Nice ride, Haunted.
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Old 01-29-08, 04:47 PM   #18
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I can't say I agree with much of anything about that rant...
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Old 01-29-08, 04:48 PM   #19
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I love my hybrid too. It's good for commuting to work, grocery trips, fun trips with a kid on the freeloader, or any other trip I am likely to make. They also seem to be relatively popular here.
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Old 01-29-08, 05:00 PM   #20
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I bet the average net worth of a top line hybrid owner exceeds the average net worth of a high end road bike owner. More of the former are gainfully employed part time riders who don't ride enough to become fanatics.
to build off that, the hybrid owners might even be better cyclists!! I used to go down to the local MUP on my 35 pound hybrid (wearing basketball shorts, running shoes, and a cotton t-shirt) and dust all those fools riding high end carbon bikes and dressed like superheroes.
a lot of people buy nice bikes to cover up for their lack of a powerful engine. those with hybrids often have great engines and therefore have nothing to compensate for.

alas, I now have a surly LHT, which at leasts looks like a road bike and doesn't give me quite the ego trip I got on the hybrid. The other advantages of the surly greatly outweight this one disadvantage though, and I am very happy with my purchase.
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Old 01-29-08, 05:24 PM   #21
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I couldn't disagree more! Look at that beautiful beast! Graceful, elegant, quick and agile. I love her.

Very nice looking bike.
IMO I consider it a comfort road/commuter bike with flat bars rather than the typical hybrid.
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Old 01-29-08, 09:56 PM   #22
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It can be argued hybrids and their riders are at the top of the social hierarchy. No one would ever mistake us for a bike messenger, for instance, or for those sorry 'posengers' who ride fixies because they are 'in'. And why would we want to be one of those silly people who get bikes that can't carry anything, bikes that need to be driven 25 miles to be ridden 25 miles? As for mountain bikes and their riders, they don't ride in the same areas we do, so their off-road machines can't be compared to our performance multi-task bike. As for some hybrids being poorly made, the same statement could be made about any type of bike. Remember the Tour de France, and the carbon-fiber wonderbike that fell apart when it hit a dog?

Neil, proud rider of a Trek 7.5 fx.
Hehe have to agree with that.
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Old 01-30-08, 12:49 AM   #23
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Well, yes, there's always that. I actually got my hybrid -the only bike I own, used, $75, and a tough bike, too- because I was newly car-free and got tired of walking. It was a good compromise between wanting to live a bit more lightly and having to get to work on time. It was only later, when I started encountering other cyclists, that I discovered the odd, somewhat silly balkanization of the cycling community. Personally, I don't believe you should ever judge someone based on what they have, and that includes their bike, but I'm not very surprised that it turns out this way.
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Old 01-30-08, 12:57 AM   #24
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Well, in the spirit of "one upmanship", I will suggest that folding bikes are even less attractive, and more convenient, and so on. And the disdain one gets from roadies is... well... look at it this way: if you're on a folding bike, even the guy on the hybrid ignores you.
Trust me, the guy on the hybrid ignores no one; he's thrilled just to have someone to talk to.

I'm thinking about getting a folding bike for travel use (planes, boats); any suggestions?
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Old 01-30-08, 04:28 AM   #25
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Trust me, the guy on the hybrid ignores no one; he's thrilled just to have someone to talk to.

I'm thinking about getting a folding bike for travel use (planes, boats); any suggestions?
Depending on your budget...I would suggest Brompton or Bike Friday. I have been researching for the past year and trying various bikes. The Brommie is my first choice. Expensive but from what I can tell well worth it in the long run. If you are below 6' in height and not over 200# you probably can get a way with a Dahon or Downtube. Those are less expensive than the Brompton but this is one of those cases where I feel you get what you pay for.

As far as Hybrids are concerned...what constitutes a true hybrid? I have an aluminum framed, upright bike with 700c wheels that was sold as a Trekking bike in Germany, I have a steel framed former MTB that has skinny 26" wheels and butterfly bars on it set up for expedition touring. I have another steel framed bike with 700c wheels on it that used to have flat bars that now has drops on it...does that automatically make it a roadie (actually a tour bike because of the racks, fenders and lights)? To me a bicycle is a bicycle and as long as it is being ridden it is a good bicycle

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