I'm 61 years old and started riding about 6 monthe ago just for the exercise. The bike I started with is a 2011 Marin Stinson comfort "hybrid". All riding is on paved roads. I feel like I'm ready to move up to something better but I really like the way the Stinson feels and rides. Any thoughts on upgrading the components to improve the performance and longevity of the bike? Willing to spend up to $500. Thanks for any help.
Basically, I want to experience the "feel" and ride of a high end, high quality bike and I want the confidence of knowing that the bike is safe, reliable, and durable.
I don't see any point in putting money into upgrades if you are happy with how your bike rides. If you really wanted, I would say switch from 7 speed to 8 speed, which would mean changing out the back wheel, switching from a freewheel to a freehub, and upgrading the shifters. But it wouldn't really make your bike all that much better.
If you just want something different, do some research and buy another bike.
I always say, "Hey! If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"
If the time comes that you need a new fork, then get a rigid fork, unless you're satisfied with the fork you have now. In that case, just get a replacement suspended fork. If you need new tires, then just get new tires. That Marin Stinson is a nice riding bike!
Just take it to the friendliest bike shop and have them give it a tune up. That's it! That's all you need to do!
High end aint cheap the word Hybrid tells me that bike will never give you the expereince you seek. If you have $ buy a new better bike or just enjoy what you have.
Some Performance hybrids can approach the speeds of their drop bar road bike rivals. Many other hybrids come equipped with wider wheels and tires. They're quite capable of not only serving best as commuters, but light off road duty, as well. Some, like the Marin Muirwoods, are quite up to the task of doing mild single tracking, as well as some credit card touring to boot. That's in addition to serving as a commuter.
Therefore, I've found that at opposite ends of the spectrum, bikes do specific things very proficiently. However, the hybrid tends to hover about the middle of the spectrum. It can usually perform most tasks that either bike at the opposite ends can achieve, but just not quite as well. The Muirwoods beats a race road bike, with the need to cycle upon a gravelly road. The Performance hybrid beats a mountain bike, when the need for speed on a nicely paved road is required. That goes double for a mtb with full suspension!
08 Spec Sequoia Elite, 98 Spec Hardrock Sport, 04 Spec Stumpjumper, 93 Burley Rock n Roll, 11 Trek Transport
I think the weak point in most hybrid bikes is mediocre (at best) suspension forks. Mostly the manufacturers just throw some kind of suspension fork on there for marketing reasons because it looks cool on the showroom floor. If I bought a good quality hybrid bike, I'd try to get one with either a steel or carbon rigid fork.
Well, now I'm only slightly less confused than when I started out. Thanks for all of your imput. I think I'll hold off on any major upgrades for now and just replace/upgrade components on an as needed basis.