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Long Distance Competition/Ultracycling, Randonneuring and Endurance Cycling Do you enjoy centuries, double centuries, brevets, randonnees, and 24-hour time trials? Share ride reports, and exchange training, equipment, and nutrition information specific to long distance cycling. This isn't for tours, this is for endurance events cycling

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Old 04-16-07, 11:02 PM   #1
b-w
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First Time Long Distance Biker, Need help and a Bike Recommendation!

Hey guys! (and girls)
I'm currently in High School (sophmore year) right now and my friends and I have decided to go crazy and do the Seattle to Portland Bike Ride (200+) miles. Currently I'm still chugging along in my excellent mountain bike but most of my friends have converted to zippy road bikes. So I have a few questions that I'd appreciate being answered.

1.) How much easier is it to bike (on pavement) with a road bike when compared to a mountain bike? On a mountain bike I lead our biking path but our recent road bike convertees are now zipping past me like Sunday Morning on steroids.
2.) Is it really easier to go up hills on a road bike?
3.) Compared to mountain biking, how much maintainence does road biking have?
4.) What are the main differences between a road bike and hybrid?
5.) And finally, the bike recommendation.

So I have decided to get a road or hybrid bike to do this Portland bike ride. However, I'm not too sure which one to get! I have a $600 budget and have been looking at the Ibex Classic 4400 (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/06-CLS-4400-Details.html) I know alot about mountain bikes but road bikes are new ground for me. What are the differences in road bikes like the previously mentioned Classic 4400 and say the flat-bar Corrida CT? (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/COR-CT-Details.html)

Thanks for all your help!
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Old 04-17-07, 07:08 AM   #2
GamecockTaco
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try the search function in this forum, but, more importantly the road cycling forum and the general forum.

Good Luck!
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Old 04-17-07, 07:34 AM   #3
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1.) How much easier is it to bike (on pavement) with a road bike when compared to a mountain bike? On a mountain bike I lead our biking path but our recent road bike convertees are now zipping past me like Sunday Morning on steroids.

...I think you answered your question there ...

2.) Is it really easier to go up hills on a road bike?

Depends on the gearing. That Ibex is a triple, and shouldn't be too bad.

3.) Compared to mountain biking, how much maintainence does road biking have?

A lot less... But you still need to clean it up weekly

4.) What are the main differences between a road bike and hybrid?

Mostly the riding position. They aren't cut and dried categories, either. I ride
something in between a roadie and a hybrid.

5.) And finally, the bike recommendation.

It's more money, but the first bike I suggest to almost everyone is
a Specialized Seqouia. About the only thing I don't like about that is
the tires, they give a hard ride for their size.

But what you need to do is to go to a few bike shops and test ride some
bikes. Right now you prob don't have a good idea what size you need.
I would also suggest buying the bike from a shop. There is a bunch of little stuff
you can't do over the phone, like find the right size, get things tightened up a week after you buy it,
and take care of anything unexpected that crops up.

...get a helmet.
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Old 04-17-07, 07:59 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-w
1.) How much easier is it to bike (on pavement) with a road bike when compared to a mountain bike? On a mountain bike I lead our biking path but our recent road bike convertees are now zipping past me like Sunday Morning on steroids.
road bikes will be faster, hybrids less so. The main advantages that a hybrid has over a hardtail mountain bike on pavement is that they are occasionally lighter, have faster tires, and larger gears on the crank. Hybrids still have the mountain bike disadvantage of a less aerodynamic posture (which makes it more difficult to maintain a high cruising speed) but they can also be more comfortable than a road bike; which is important for noncompetitive distance events.

My suspicion, though, given the thrust of your questioning, is that you want to be fast. In that case, a hybrid will make you faster than your mountain bike, but you will still be making faces at all of the roadies who will pass you. If you're really in shape, you can usually draft roadies with a hybrid, as drafting eliminates a lot of the aerodynamic weaknesses of a hybrid, but you can never pull a peloton at sustained speed with a hybrid. That was my experience when I did my first century rides on a Trek hybrid.

Quote:
2.) Is it really easier to go up hills on a road bike?
depends on the hill and the terrain and the bike. Hills are conquered by a combination of weight, strength, constitution and proper gearing. Some light road bikes will fly up hills, but 180 miles into a ride, when all of your energy is tapped, you might be better served with the granny gears and triples that are usually on most mountain bikes.
Quote:
Compared to mountain biking, how much maintainence does road biking have?
bike's a bike. Most of the components are the same. You still have to clean your chain and check your brake pads and examine the trueness of your wheels. I think that caliper brakes are easier to adjust than cantilevers, but you're likely to get cantilevers if you buy a hybrid or cyclocross bike. Shifters can be a whole new mysterious world if you go from grip shifters to STI, less so if you go from gripshifters to bar ends.
Quote:
What are the main differences between a road bike and hybrid?
see previous answers.
Quote:
And finally, the bike recommendation.
with a $600 budget and some time to shop, I would go used and trawl craigslist. If you want to buy new, as you've probably already seen, $600 will buy a pretty nice hybrid or a barebones entry level roadie. If you go used, you're likely to get more bike for your money, but you just have to be more savvy about shopping.
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Old 04-17-07, 10:22 AM   #5
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First question: Do you want to be a roadie ? Do you want to go as fast as possible (for you) on tarmac and cruise along in 20+miles an hour with 25 other guys(and some girls) ?
Second question: Will you be able to afford buying more bikes in the next few years?
If no on either my advice is to consider a touring bike on Ebay or Craigslist. A Trek 520 or Surly Long Haul Trucker is a very nice compromise that can be "raced" with a change of tires but still can be your around townbike with fenders and take you on some really exciting long tours in the years to come.
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Old 04-17-07, 02:21 PM   #6
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This is an interesting touring bike that probably won't end up so very high. Look at the conversion to a long distance bike on the website mentioned in the ebay ad.

http://cgi.ebay.com/Maruishi-Wandere...QQcmdZViewItem

http://www.johnpiazza.net/mybike.htm
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Old 04-18-07, 04:01 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plodderslusk
First question: Do you want to be a roadie ? Do you want to go as fast as possible (for you) on tarmac and cruise along in 20+miles an hour with 25 other guys(and some girls) ?
This is an excellent point. Are you looking at a bike just for this one ride? If you do not intend to be a roadie, then, I may even consider simply putting on slicks for that mountain bike and just do the ride. It's not that far after all.
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Old 04-18-07, 10:16 AM   #8
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b-w,

I think you should look at what you will be doing with the bike in the long run. If you want to do long distance racing or touring, build or buy a touring bike or Randonour bike. But if you think you want to supplement your mountain bike riding with road riding, an entry level road bike would be advised. Road riding is a good way to supplement your mountain bike riding activities for fitness. IF you want to cover the longest distance at the fastest speed a road bike can't be beat for up to five hours or so in the saddle. Assuming you are not carring a lot of gear.
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Old 04-18-07, 11:34 AM   #9
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To answer your questions:
1) Road bike is much faster than MTB on pavement. No comparison. You won't believe the difference.
2) The road bike is lighter and easier to move, so in that way climbing is easier on a road bike. A road bike will not have as low gears as an MTB, however. But you won't need those low gears on a road bike anyway, because it is so much easier to move.
3) On pavement, maintenance is the same, unless the MTB has suspension, in which case you have to mess with that on the MTB.
4) The hybrid has a more upright riding position. Usually the top tube is shorter. Hybrids don't have road style drop bars or road style shifters.
5) I looked at the two links you provided. The Ibex Classic 4400 looks like a fine bike. I would not hesitate for a moment to ride STP on it. It's three times the bike I used for my first STP one-day. It's a much better bike for the purpose than the Corrida because it has a carbon seat post (less vibration), carbon forks (better control, less vibration, lighter weight), but most importantly because it has road bars and shifters. This combination will give you more hand positions and more comfortable hand positions than a flat-bar bike. You ride a road bike mostly with your hands on the shifter hoods. That will become very comfortable.

Not that this is a perfect bike. It isn't. The shifters are cheap, not particularly easy to shift, and will wear more quickly than higher quality. The bike saddle will almost certainly go into the garbage can in favor of something that fits your butt better, but almost all new factory built bikes are like that. They put on cheap crappy saddles because they know that whatever they put on, it's going to get tossed. Too many butt shapes.

Also check out the sticky Under $750 Road Bike thread in the Road Cycling forum. The only thing I saw on the Ibex Classic that I really didn't like were the bars. I like bars that are flat on top, just behind the shifters. Look at the bars on the Raleigh, Fuji, and Specialized bikes on that thread and compare to the Ibex bars. You'll want to kind of lay your wrists on the bar tops some of the time when you're holding the hoods.

You probably won't need a triple crankset to do STP. It's a very flat ride. However, you're young and you'd do better not to stress your joints too much, so a triple will be good for your general riding. There are hills in Oregon. So a good thing about the Ibex is that it has a triple.
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Old 04-21-07, 12:03 AM   #10
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With a budget of less than 800, I wouldn't even consider buying a new bike. $600 (or much less) will buy a very nice used bike, or a very crappy new bike.

About hybrids- I rode a 90's trek hybrid for a very long time. When I finally got a road bike it was a revelation. I would never go back to riding a hybrid. If you want something like a road bike but burlier, and with the option of going off road, look at a cyclocross bike like the surly cross check or jamis nova.

Last edited by garagegirl; 04-21-07 at 12:26 AM.
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Old 04-21-07, 01:04 AM   #11
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I trained for my first double century on a MTB with drop bars and thin, slick tires. I could crank out 130, 140 miles with little trouble. A lot of the STP riders take two days to do the ride. A good idea if you and your buddies are not experienced riders.
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Old 04-21-07, 01:13 AM   #12
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Everything else seems answered, but here's something for you to ponder: on pavement my max speed on a full road bike is almost 30mph, but on a hardtail mountain bike it is in the low twenties (I use 2.1" tires). The ratio might not be typical, but it definitely is substantial.
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Old 04-21-07, 01:53 AM   #13
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I think the Adventure Cycling has put on their web site information they include in the magazine. Each Spring Adventure Cycling Magazine reviews all current touring bikes for sale on the market.
A good source. Used it to buy my touring bike.
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Old 04-23-07, 01:02 AM   #14
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Thanks alot for all you're guys help, its been invaluable. I inteend to bike both the mountains and distances. I'm not a new biker, but I've never done rides exceeding 300 miles before. But I do have alot of eperience going up and down Seattle's hills on a fairly high gear on my mountain bike. Unfortunately the Ibex Classic 4400 I mentioned earlier is sold out, so I'm waiting on the soon-to-be released Aprisa 4500 (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/APR-4500-Details.html) I have one final pestering question for you guys.

I've heard a bunch of terrible stories about the back and wrist pain mountain bikers who convert to road biking get because of the different biking position. Is this true? I've always thought that the road-biking position looks very painful, can you guys offer some insight in to this?
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Old 04-23-07, 07:33 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-w
I've heard a bunch of terrible stories about the back and wrist pain mountain bikers who convert to road biking get because of the different biking position. Is this true? I've always thought that the road-biking position looks very painful, can you guys offer some insight in to this?
I switched from riding a hybrid to a road bike about three years ago. I didn't have back and wrist pain, per se, but I did have sore shoulders and delts because more of my weight was being placed on my arms due to the more forward, aero position of a road bike. The soreness went away after a couple of weeks ... and I got some pretty nice shoulder definition out of it, too

One thing to keep in mind -- if you can afford it, get your shop to fit you to your bike. It doesn't have to be some $100+ laser-guided fit system deal, and some shops might throw a basic fitting in for free if you buy the bike through them. That will go a long way towards pre-empting any pain issues. The forward road position feels very different from mountain biking, and if you think that you can just intuit a fit by applying your mountain biking knowledge, you'll probably wind up doing more harm than good. This goes double if you're planning on riding clipless.
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Old 04-23-07, 09:51 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by b-w
Hey guys! (and girls)
I'm currently in High School (sophmore year) right now and my friends and I have decided to go crazy and do the Seattle to Portland Bike Ride (200+) miles. Currently I'm still chugging along in my excellent mountain bike but most of my friends have converted to zippy road bikes. So I have a few questions that I'd appreciate being answered.

1.) How much easier is it to bike (on pavement) with a road bike when compared to a mountain bike? On a mountain bike I lead our biking path but our recent road bike convertees are now zipping past me like Sunday Morning on steroids.
2.) Is it really easier to go up hills on a road bike?
3.) Compared to mountain biking, how much maintainence does road biking have?
4.) What are the main differences between a road bike and hybrid?
5.) And finally, the bike recommendation.

So I have decided to get a road or hybrid bike to do this Portland bike ride. However, I'm not too sure which one to get! I have a $600 budget and have been looking at the Ibex Classic 4400 (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/06-CLS-4400-Details.html) I know alot about mountain bikes but road bikes are new ground for me. What are the differences in road bikes like the previously mentioned Classic 4400 and say the flat-bar Corrida CT? (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/COR-CT-Details.html)

Thanks for all your help!
1) Road bikes are considerably faster, especially if you're running knobbies at low pressure.

2) Hills - well road bikes are lighter, which helps, but the gearing may not be as low. Hills are hard on any bike.

3) Less maintenance. Road riding isn't as hard on equipment.

4) Road bikes generally have racier handling (except for touring bikes), and higher-end components.

5) You already have a mountain bike, so I think a real road bike is a better choice. You will have more variety with drop-bar bikes than you will with flat bar bikes, so you have more fit options.

Let us know if you have other STP options. Many here have done it - I did one-day last year.
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Old 05-31-07, 02:51 PM   #17
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IMHO...Ibex has a GREAT product. I own 2 of their bikes, a hardtail MTB and a Roadbike. Personally I own the 05 Aprisa 6500 ( http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/2005/APR-6500-Specs.html) and the 05 Alpine 550 (http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/2005/ALP-550-Specs.html)
I've put on about 4000 miles/yr on my roadbike and it's performed flawlessly. Money is money, and you cannot beat these guys when you compare to the local shop. Their customer service is great if you have questions on fit or whatever. I've sent many a friend to them, and every one has been 100% satisfied.
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