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Old 02-24-03, 12:40 PM   #1
kindbud
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heavy hybrid vs. road bike

when i'm getting my exercise around the loop in the park, i see people on road bikes having conversations with each other blowing past me. seemingly with no effort. it's good exercise trying to keep up.

so how many miles would i have to do on my heavy entry level hybrid (trek 7300) to equal a road bike century? to those roadies who would answer 100, i challenge you to do it on my 30 pound bike (30 pounds with no accessories)

and remember how much more wind resistance there is on the upright hybrid, not to mention fatter tires blah blah blah.

without ever having been on a road bike, i'm gonna say 1 road bike mile = .7 clunky hybrid mile

Last edited by kindbud; 02-24-03 at 12:46 PM.
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Old 02-24-03, 01:05 PM   #2
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Old 02-24-03, 01:05 PM   #3
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i think i can go as far on my mountain bike as i can on my road bike... it's just how long it would take me to do it. i was riding my MTB on the road all last summer...
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Old 02-24-03, 01:11 PM   #4
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I looked at the trek website, and the 7300 is a couple steps above "entry-level".

I've ridden hybrids, MTBs and road bikes. Yes the road bike is faster, but it's not 10mph faster, not even 5mph (for long rides) in my experience.

If you want to make your bike lighter, try getting a standard saddle instead of the heavily cushioned thing with the springs.
Those cushy, sprung saddles weigh a lot.

But most importantly, get narrower tires. If you have the stock tires those are 700x38 and look semi-knobby. Try to get some slick 700x28s. It'll make a lot of difference by reducing weight where it really counts - the wheels. Easier to accelerate and climb with.

You can alter the handlebar setups in a number of ways to improve aerodynamics. Lower the stem, add some kind of aerodynamic clamp-on bar. Maybe even switch them out for drop handlebars.

But the main thing is that a heavier bike isn't going to be that big a deal unless you are climbing serious hills. And if you are riding around the park (Central?) there probably aren't too many big hills.

The above are just suggestions if you want to spare yourself the cost of buying another bike. My bikeshop has a bin of saddles for $5 each. And tires can be purchased for $10-$20 each if you shop around. All much cheaper than a new bike. Entry level bikes seem to start at $500 and go up dramatically.

I've found that the main reasons I can't keep up with people are:

1) Lack of conditioning
2) I'm overweight
3) I wasn't much of an athlete when I was young, and now I'm 45, fer gawdsakes.
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Old 02-24-03, 01:23 PM   #5
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I often ride my road bike with 10-20 lbs of extra weight strapped to it for my commute. I can say, a mile is a mile is a mile. Sure hills are a little bit more difficult w/ the added weight, but range as a whole doesn't change. I just go a bit slower. As for aerodynamics, I can assure you panniers sticking out 10 inches on each side of the bike, loaded with gear are not aerodynamic. Neither is the fact that rarely ride in my drops. (I do find myself doing this more and more as I lose my gut and can breathe easier).

The best thing you can do for miles and increased range is to ride. The bike does not make the cyclist go faster. This is especially true for bikers that have lots of room for improvement on their own person. Once that is max'ed out, then look to the bike.

That being said, I am looking into buying a touring bike to make my commute more comfortable. This means even more weight and added rolling resistance, but it won't effect my range. In fact the comfort level may increase it. But I won't do it as fast as I can on my road bike.

Ride, Ride, Ride, soon you will see that having a conversation while cruising at 16-20 mph in the flats isn't too bad. Lord knows I wasn't able to do this back in September.
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Old 02-24-03, 02:31 PM   #6
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I have a road bike and a Trek 7500. There is a big difference between the two, although, I have replaced the stock tires on the hybrid to semi-slick 700x25c. This made a huge difference in the speed and effort departments. In fact, I get roughly the same average mph from both bikes even though the road bike is significantly lighter.
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Old 02-24-03, 03:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by kindbud
when i'm getting my exercise around the loop in the park, i see people on road bikes having conversations with each other blowing past me. seemingly with no effort. it's good exercise trying to keep up.

so how many miles would i have to do on my heavy entry level hybrid (trek 7300) to equal a road bike century? to those roadies who would answer 100, i challenge you to do it on my 30 pound bike (30 pounds with no accessories)
I've done centuries with others who were riding a "heavy" mountain bike. They worked harder than me but finished the ride.


Quote:
Originally posted by Sailguy
I often ride my road bike with 10-20 lbs of extra weight strapped to it for my commute. I can say, a mile is a mile is a mile.
Sounds like my commuter setup so I must agree.
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Old 02-24-03, 03:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by kindbud
.......so how many miles would i have to do on my heavy entry level hybrid (trek 7300) to equal a road bike century? to those roadies who would answer 100, i challenge you to do it on my 30 pound bike (30 pounds with no accessories).....
I think the question is mote until you have pasted the 70 mile mark of a century. All the rules change in the last 20-30 miles.
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Old 02-24-03, 04:00 PM   #9
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If you have the stock tires those are 700x38 and look semi-knobby. Try to get some slick 700x28s.
Not a good idea. If the bike originally took 38's, then 32's are probably the skinniest tyres you should put on. anything that is narrower than the rims will result in damage to the braking surface of the rim over time.
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Old 02-24-03, 04:29 PM   #10
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As a proud new owner of a 7300 myself, I'd say if I were really worried about weight I'd replace the suspension fork with a rigid fork (which will happen anyway when this fork wears out as I'm simply not a fan of suspension forks) and replace the saddle and suspension seatpost with lighter weight components.

That said, this bike is probably lighter than my old steel Schwinn road bike was and I rode that thing all over the place!

However, I'm not that worried about weight, myself. I'm not in terrible shape, but even so I could easily stand to lose 30 pounds. So, I won't worry about saving five or ten pounds on the bike until I've lost thirty pounds on the bod!

As someone has said, weight doesn't much matter on the flat, while rolling resistance matters everywhere. I'd add to that gearing. On the flat the road bikes will leave us eating dust because we don't have the high gears to keep up even if our bikes were lighter. On long, extended grades we'll probably make up the difference on them because we don't have to pull those hills in steep road gears. We can shift down to granny and just putter along barely breaking a sweat even if our bikes do weigh more

I plan to ride a couple of centuries this summer. I'll be quite content to "sweep the leaves" on my 7300 while the young bucks ride on ahead

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Old 02-24-03, 04:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by D*Alex
Not a good idea. If the bike originally took 38's, then 32's are probably the skinniest tyres you should put on. anything that is narrower than the rims will result in damage to the braking surface of the rim over time.
Sorry, I should have stated that I trust that the original poster will exercise good judgement and not purchase an item that will cause damage. I guess my mothering instinct isn't working.

Wow, I wonder how I avoided instant death when I replaced those 700x40s with 700x28s
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Old 02-24-03, 07:21 PM   #12
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I have a Trek 2000 road bike and an older model Trek mountian bike, 350 I beleave, with a ridged fork. I find I make about 3 mph less average speed on the mb even though it is outfitted with semi slick 1.25 inch tires. In the wind the speed difference is even more pronounced a difference because of the riding posistion. I also have a 7300 that my son rides and I have ridden it 25+ miles and can't see myself doing 50+ on it at all.
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Old 02-25-03, 04:06 AM   #13
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Fitting a high pressure slick tyre, the narrowest which your rims can safely take, will increase your efficiency more than anything else.
Aerodynamic positions are only useful when you go fast. Century rides are not particularly fast, and many specialist century bikes use drop bars in a more upright position, for comfort rather than aerodynamics.


If you want to compare various types of excercise on bikes, you need to know 2 factors:
1. Your power output. This is not going to change as you swap bikes. 200 watts is 200 watts (typical non-athletic cruising power), whether you ride a heavy hybrid slowly, or a lightweight road bike quickly.
2. The duration of the ride.

Success in a century ride is more about comfort and conditiong (being able to sit on the bike for hours), than about strength or athletic fitness.

I have hybrid/touring type 700c rims and use 28mm tyre (Vredenstein) on the rear and 32mm (Panaracer) on the front. They are both the same size. The 32mm slick is a lot narrower than the 32mm (Continental) touring tyre on my other bike.
I never judge the width of a tyre by its designation, and avoid buying unkown tyres from mail order. I want to see if its wide enough for my rim. Most 28mm tyres are closer to 25mm, and are too narrow for typical hybrid rims.

If you want a good, cheap alternative to drop bars, some companies (Cinelli) make small clip-on bars extensions for road bikes, called Spinnacci. These clip on near to the stem, not at the ends, and are very effective at making you more aerodynamic.
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Old 02-26-03, 09:33 AM   #14
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Well I have done a century on a fully loaded touring bike. Bike, water and tools weighed about 28 lbs and had 30 lbs of gear on it. To me, it felt like adding on another 20-25 miles.

Of course, that is just the weight effect. And figuring for weight is complex. If you are doing a lot of climbing the weight really, really, really hurts. Also if you are stopping frequently or slowing and accelerating. Getting back up to speed is hard. I remember I had to down shift much more than normal to get started from a stop. Once you get a heavy bike going, on flat terrain, the weight effect is pretty low.

However, mountain bikes and hybrids put have another effect on top of the weight effect and that is the aerodynamic effect. A mountain bike puts the cyclist into a much more vertical posture. If you are going say 14 mph in still air, the aerodynamic effect is probably minimal, but if you are riding 19 mph, well I bet it is considerable.

Finally, mountain bikes have the problem of greater rolling resistance if you are running big ol nobby tires.

But even with all that, I bet the effect is not as bad as self contained touring.

I suggest you just do a century and then you can say, "I did a century on my heavy old mountain bike". That way the roadies will not ask you for your time.
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Old 02-26-03, 11:15 AM   #15
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I just switched from my cannondale hybrid to a felt,much more road bike like and the difference is this.I could do a 20 mile ride with guys on road bikes,no problem and do the same ride on my new bike and the difference is i am not as tired at all,the ride was easier and the higher speed was easier.6 pounds difference but the tires,23 vs 28's and areo rims and all that helps.
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Old 02-26-03, 11:55 AM   #16
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Getting back to the original post...
Quote:
Originally posted by kindbud
... so how many miles would i have to do on my heavy entry level hybrid (trek 7300) to equal a road bike century?
... remember how much more wind resistance there is on the upright hybrid, not to mention fatter tires blah blah blah.
... without ever having been on a road bike, i'm gonna say 1 road bike mile = .7 clunky hybrid mile
I think Mr kindbud has a point, that a mile on a hybrid does take a skosh more effort than a mile on a bona-fide road bike. It's hard to say how much, what with all the variability between hybrids and road bikes.
Take my (customized) Specialized Sirrus for example; the effort to ride it .9 miles is, by my guesstimate, the same effort that would get me 1.0 miles on, say a (stock) Specialized Sequoia.
Does this mean that hybrid riders are some kind of long suffering breed that secretly yearn to be roadies? Not necessarily. I would certainly like the extra speed/distance that a real road bike would provide, but I also enjoy the comfort and commanding view from my Sirrus. My favorite ride thru the Skagit Valley is a little over 20 miles, so a road bike would only shave a couple of minutes off my time. And I ride to have a good time, not to get a good time.
IMO, the only way to measure which bike is the way to go, is to measure the smiles-per-gallon aspect of a road vs hybrid.
My Sirrus gets great smileage!
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Old 02-28-03, 09:13 AM   #17
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When I switched from my Raleigh C200 last year to a road bike there was definitely a noticable difference, but I wouldn't think .7 to 1, not even close.

But it really depends on speed. The advantages of a road bike become more significant the faster you go. It is definitely way more difficult to maintain 30 mph on my hybrid than it is on my road bike. But if you're riding in the high teens, then I would say that 15-16mph on my hybrid equals the effort of about 17-18 mph on my road bike.
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Old 02-28-03, 09:22 AM   #18
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I think thats about right depending on the hybrid tires.Kindbud,my hybrid isnt clunky,hell its smother then a road bike with its front shock that most likly doesnt add much more than a pound to the bike.Total weight with bag,2 cages and a pump,28 pounds.
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