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Old 07-16-09, 06:14 PM   #1
gepilling
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Need help choosing a hybrid bike

I am looking for a bike to be used mostly on roads but I also want to be able to go on gravel/stone paths every once in a while. Hybrid bikes seem to be the best option so I have tested a few by different companies over the past few days, but there are so many variations that I am having some trouble figuring out what I really need. I have a few questions that I'm hoping to get some help on... Also, I'd like to stay somewhere around the $400 to $550 range if possible.

Are there any brands or models you recommend? Any you would avoid?

What tire size (width) would be best to handle mostly road but also some bike path use? I've tested everything from 28c to 45c and I'm getting the feeling that 32c or 35c is about the minimum for paths... is that accurate in your experience?

What brands tend to have decent components for the money? I don't need anything too high end but something a little above the bare minimum would be nice.

And a more specific question: I've seen the Specialized Crosstrail, but I'm concerned that the tire is 45c and that seems kind of wide since I want to be doing mostly road riding... How is a 45c tire riding on the road?

(I've looked at the Trek 7100 or 7200 and the Trek 7.2FX, Globe Vienna, Giant Cypress, Bianchi Verona and Iseo, and Specialized Crosstrail and Sirrus.)

Hopefully someone can offer some advice, thanks!
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Old 07-16-09, 06:50 PM   #2
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I have the Trek 7.2 FX and love it. I can't comment on the other bikes.
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Old 07-16-09, 06:50 PM   #3
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I had a small list of hybrids I put to a test before choosing a Specialized Crossroads Elite.....see linky:
NEW BIKE....Finally!!!
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Old 07-16-09, 09:17 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gepilling View Post
I am looking for a bike to be used mostly on roads but I also want to be able to go on gravel/stone paths every once in a while. Hybrid bikes seem to be the best option so I have tested a few by different companies over the past few days, but there are so many variations that I am having some trouble figuring out what I really need. I have a few questions that I'm hoping to get some help on... Also, I'd like to stay somewhere around the $400 to $550 range if possible...

(I've looked at the Trek 7100 or 7200 and the Trek 7.2FX, Globe Vienna, Giant Cypress, Bianchi Verona and Iseo, and Specialized Crosstrail and Sirrus.)

Hopefully someone can offer some advice, thanks!
I test rode the Trek 7100, Trek 7.2 FX and Giant Cypress among others. Ended up getting the 7.2 FX simply because it felt lighter and more responsive than the other regular hybrids. I ride on the road and will also get on local gravel bike paths. The 7.2 FX is just as smooth on both surfaces. But I basically just went to every bike shop in the area, talked to the staff and hopped on each of their hybrid bikes.
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Old 07-17-09, 09:24 PM   #5
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Thanks for your advice everyone. I have been getting a lot of recommendations for the Treks so I'm not surprised they were recommended here also.
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Old 07-17-09, 09:28 PM   #6
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Check out the Raleighs as well. Yes, I'm a Raleigh dealer. No, I doubt you'll be buying it from me. So it evens out.
Raleigh has some VERY cool bikes for 2009 and 2010.

Avoid Fuji.
They have crappy SunRace stuff on them. (Another reason we're dropping Fuji)

Rocky Mountain has some awesome hybrids, and they're made in North America (Canada). IF you can find a Rocky Mountain dealer....
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Old 07-20-09, 10:57 PM   #7
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I decided to go with the Specialized Sirrus Sport, in case anyone was wondering. It is easily the lightest bike out of about a dozen different models I test rode, the components seemed to be very good, it is very comfortable (even for a non-comfort, more performance-oriented bike), and I think it also looks the best with its matte black paint. I am very pleased so far.
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Old 07-21-09, 02:11 PM   #8
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Very cool, my man. Enjoy and stick a picture when you can!
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Old 07-22-09, 02:56 PM   #9
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I'm a noobie so my experience with my Specialized Crosstrail won't mean much other than its a great bike. Since I'm inexperienced I can't say whether or not the 45c tires are too wide or not. Seems like the bike does really well on both the pavement and hard packed dirt/gravel roads. Best of luck to you!
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Old 07-22-09, 02:58 PM   #10
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Oh, and I got a nice deal at $529 because the dealer said the size frame I needed (53) was not selling well? It fits me perfectly and saving $200 off the price tag made me smile...........
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Old 07-23-09, 12:10 AM   #11
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Just purchased an 09 Marin Point Reyes from REI recently. Great components, very light and sturdy. They retail for over $900 however REI has them on sale for $739, not bad for a well equipped hybrid with disc brakes.
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Old 07-28-09, 12:57 AM   #12
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edster63:
I had been considering a Specialized Crosstrail and was looking around a number of stores to find one to test. When I finally found one to test ride, I found it to be very heavy for my taste (presumably because of the front shocks). The first thing that I thought of when I rode it was "this feels like I am driving a truck" because of the wide tires and the weight of the bike. It is probably a good choice if you are going to be doing a fair bit of offroad riding, but I was mostly planning on staying on the road.

---

I am loving my Sirrus Sport very much. The weather has not been very good lately, but I have managed to ride it for about 25 miles in total so far, including my longest ride so far of 10 miles, and it is just really fantastic. Definitely a great bike to get me back into riding again.

I will take some photos of my bike soon...
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Old 07-31-09, 10:37 AM   #13
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Congratulations on fantastic choice. That bike is highly upgradeable and will grow with you all the way. Essentially it is a flat-bar roadie, or one of the fastest uprights out there, and takes racks too. Plus a lot of real estate in the cockpit for comp, light, bell, whatever.

Enjoy

SF
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Old 07-31-09, 02:26 PM   #14
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Good site for returning bikers

If you're just getting back into biking, check out this site - goes much beyond just getting a bike.

http://www.biketoledo.com
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Old 07-31-09, 02:30 PM   #15
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Sorry, my error...

Sorry, in the last post I erred - should be:

http://www.biketoledo.net
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Old 08-01-09, 06:57 PM   #16
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I have a Specialized Sirrus too! But I don't use it on trails or gravel. I have a Trek mt bike for that. How does your Sirrus handle on the gravel or are you staying on the roads? - I love my bike and I tried quite a few.
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Old 08-02-09, 09:08 PM   #17
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alentric:
So far, I have stayed on the pavement so I couldn't tell you how the Sirrus handles on trails yet. The guy at my local bike shop said I could switch the tires up to a 32c or possibly a 35c (that seems like the widest tire that would be able to fit) to handle trails a little bit better, but I've stuck with the 28c tires for now since I will probably only do maybe a maximum of 10% non-pavement riding in the long term.

I'm still doing fairly short rides, averaging between 4 and 6 miles each ride. I am still a bit intimidated to head out onto some of the "bigger" roads (main routes through my area with speed limited typically 45 or 50 mph) which would allow me to go further distances.

sci_femme:
You consider the Sirrus to be an upright riding bike? I would disagree. My handlebars are basically at the same height as my seat. That riding position may not be quite as aggressive as a road racing bike with the bars lower than the seat, but it is certainly not upright with the handlebars much higher than the seat like a comfort bike.
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Old 08-04-09, 08:23 AM   #18
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I decided it was easier to get a good used mt bike for the trails by my house then switching tires, etc. So I use the Trek mt bike I purchased for $100 on craigs list on the trails -maybe 10% of the time and my teenage daughter uses it. So I use my Sirrus exclusively on the roads-after getting a lot of flats with the stock tires, I upgraded at no charge from Specialized to Mavic rims and with a charge to Armidillo ( kevlar) tires at a smaller size 23c which work out great on the roads.
And you are right the Sirrus is not an upright bike--it is much more agressive position than the uprights and that is why when you tired it -you noticed a big difference than the other bikes you tried-you probably felt much faster-I know I did when I tried mine-and it is true - I have been on rides with road bikes in the mts. and kept up with younger riders on my Sirrus.
Good luck and enjoy...
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Old 08-08-09, 12:29 AM   #19
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What benefit did you get by changing rims?

I just got my first flat on the stock tires (Specialized All Condition Sport) after just 60 miles. I'm thinking about upgrading to Armadillos after reading this and a lot of other reviews and comments.
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Old 08-12-09, 01:53 PM   #20
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the rim change was something the bike shop reccomended--
because all my flats were occurring in my rear tire, they thought
Specialized should get me a new rim--when they sent the stock rim in-
the factory was out of them--so they sent 2 new Mavics that come on higher end
Specialized bikes --they didn't send one because it wouldn't have matched-
so I ended up with them for free--not sure if it has helped on the flats or not,
but I do like the Armidillos--@ 23 the bile seems faster ,too
how are your bars working out and how much did they cost?
my sirrus is black, too
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Old 08-13-09, 01:07 AM   #21
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Oh, ok so there wasn't really any advantage by getting new rims. I decided to just get a new tube in my tire and stick with the stock tires for now. I'm going to wait a bit to see if flats become a big enough problem or not to merit spending money for Armadillos. I have heard that Armadillos and similar puncture resistant tires slow the bike down a bit, but if going for a thinner size tire will make it a bit faster, I'm thinking that they will balance each other out if I get a thinner Armadillo and I will feel no big difference in speed.

I am using the standard handlebars that came with my bike, which I like a lot, so they didn't cost anything. I don't think I am ready for drop handlebars yet.
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Old 08-14-09, 03:22 PM   #22
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Devinci makes some really nice hybrids.
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