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Old 10-24-04, 03:56 AM   #1
Richard W
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Where can a Hybrid go?

I was wondering what kind of surfaces are suited to a hybrid? I'll be cycling mostly along roads, but from time to time I will probably go down a trail of sorts. I know it probably sounds like a dumb question, but I've been unclear to what surface they can actually go on.
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Old 10-24-04, 04:35 AM   #2
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Anywhere you can.
I ride my touring bike (700c x 32mmtyres) on mountain trails, mud, steep technical descents. It takes more skill than on an MTB and the descent is slower but its just as much fun.
Tourists have used hybrids for expeditions across S America and India.
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Old 10-24-04, 01:33 PM   #3
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I ride a hybrid (700x35C). They are excellent bikes in my opinion, much lower in cost than a road bike in a lot of cases. I also use mine for tourning.

Now in saying that, hybrids are a compromise. They aren't the fastest road bikes nor the best mountain bikes on loose dirt/sandy conditions. I mostly ride on the road also and find them to be a smoother ride because of the larger tires.
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Old 10-24-04, 05:27 PM   #4
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My LBS told me long ago that with a hybrid/comfort you can go anywhere where the tires won't go over 2 inches off the ground.
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Old 10-24-04, 06:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W
I was wondering what kind of surfaces are suited to a hybrid? I'll be cycling mostly along roads, but from time to time I will probably go down a trail of sorts. I know it probably sounds like a dumb question, but I've been unclear to what surface they can actually go on.
About anywhere a cyclocross bike can go.
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Old 10-28-04, 07:05 PM   #6
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Different manufacturers seem to have different ideas about exactly what a hybrid is. Mine has 700x28C "all purpose" tires.

Most of my rides are in traffic and parks. So far the bike has handled well on paved surfaces as well as gravel, some loose dirt, and some sand, but I decided not to actually ride it on the beach last weekend.

My guess is, the rougher the surface the smaller you might want the frame to be. Most MTBs have fit to give more clearance over the crossbar. Also lower geats seem to work better off the pavement.
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Old 10-28-04, 07:16 PM   #7
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A well built hybrid, such as the Trek 7500 FX can go anywhere. The sloping top tube hides the geometry, but the 7500 has the geometry of the classic "fast" touring road bikes of the 1970's and 1980's. The combiantion of stable geometry, fat tires, and a "hands higher than saddle" riding position makes even off road riding on a smooth trail quite pleasant.

My "beef" about hybrids is that many companies treat them as 2nd cousins to road bikes. So, they are often "speced" with lower grade frames and components than a road bike in the same price range. Twenty years ago, "fast tourers" were considered premium quality bikes, and often combined a company's best frames and best components.

Likewise, in the USA, the selection of tires in sizes such as 35mm or 38mm is often limited. Yet, a store might stock ten different tires in a silly size, such as 23mm.

No one should own just ONE bike. But, if someone had just one bike, a high quality hybrid is the one bike that can be used for commuting, fast touring, and recreational riding, both on pavement, and on dirt.
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Old 10-29-04, 01:00 AM   #8
Richard W
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Thanks - I'll be riding mainly on road as I said but sometimes it may be nessecary to take a detour. Your point about owning more than one bike - I plan to start on the hybrid for a good few years, and once I am ready move to the road bike. I also need to get my fitness levels up before getting a proper road bike. I'll let you all know what I think of the bike when it arrives...
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Old 11-01-04, 11:32 PM   #9
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Richard, the 7500FX is a great hybrid and will serve you well. I have a Gary Fisher Utopia, which is essentially the 7500FX but has a suspension fork (which I've found I don't really need). I've ridden a lot of miles of dirt roads with potholes as well as smooth pavement with it and it's really quite bomb-proof. As long as you're not riding singletrack with it, you'll be OK. Good luck on waiting a few years for a road bike - it took me only one season. It's great having 2 bikes. I use the Utopia for my bad weather bike and for slower rides with my wife. I hop on the road bike when I want to fly!
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Old 11-02-04, 09:16 AM   #10
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My gf has a giant cypress LX, we took it onto a rocky dirt trail once and it held up just fine with her 700x38 tires. I reckon you can go down to like 28c with no problems assuming there's a little tread to grip the dirt with.
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