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  1. #26
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    So, don't get one of those.

    Get a cyclocross-style road bike designed for off-road use too.



    Exactly! And any decent bike shop will have such bikes.



    As do all the cyclocross-style bikes.



    You can add a clip-on aerobar to a drop bar bike too. The flat-bar hybrid is still behind in number and variety of hand positions.



    No one is saying otherwise.



    I'm sure people have done RAGBRAI on all sorts of bicycles. Even unicycles. That doesn't make them good solutions for what the OP wants to to.



    Or a cyclocross-style road bike that can do that too.

    I just don't understand where the push for hybrids comes from. If you like yours, fine. But hybrids have shortcomings - they're not really a road bike and they're not really a mountain bike.

    And the OP's stated use is that of a road bike. And no, gravel roads and bike trails do not mean a non-road bike is the solution because road bikes do just fine there.
    Man, I really can't stand these replys where someone takes each sentence and argues against it.

    I'm sure people have done RAGBRAI on all sorts of bicycles. Even unicycles. That doesn't make them good solutions for what the OP wants to to.
    The op is asking for opinions on her choices. I feel the hybrid is the best choice between those two for her goals.

    If I was going to offer a solution to the Op that wasn't one of her choices, I would say a Rivendell Sam Hillborne has everything she would need.
    "...this place is to trolling as salt licks are to deer hunting." - 3alarmer

  2. #27
    Senior Member bikejrff's Avatar
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    Here's my 2 cents. I have two flat bar road bikes that are equipped with road gearing. I've completed 5 or 6 centuries on these two bikes. One is an all carbon frame, the other is aluminum with carbon fork and carbon seat stays. They are both relatively light (20 and 21 lbs), and they feel quick and agile. I enjoy the comfort of their longer wheel base. I never really have had much issue with limited hand positions on either bike.

    My two "hybrids" were my first quality bicycles. In addition, I now have 7 road bikes and a cyclocross bike. The MOST noticeable difference that I find between my flat bar and drop bar bikes is when riding into the wind or riding very fast (for me)...ie over 20-25 mph. My riding position on my flat bar bikes creates a "parachute" type situation while riding fast or into a headwind. The more aero riding position on my drop bar road bikes is great when it is windy. I can average 2-4 mph faster for a 40-50 mile ride than when riding the flat bar bikes.

    My advice is to test ride a number of bikes, you'll know when you've ridden the one you want. If it's a tossup, get more than one.
    Don't worry about old age; it doesn't last that long.

  3. #28
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    I say, get a cyclcocross bike equipped with interrupter (inline) brakes. That will place you into an upright position when casually riding, just like a hybrid. Of course, you can always dig into the drops whenever a more streamline position is needed for faster acceleration.

  4. #29
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorig20 View Post
    And that right there is what concerns me. Right now 10 miles seems like a lot and it is. But my long term goal is more miles.

    Also, I am really looking forward to try a properly fitted bike.
    Being properly fit makes a huge difference. Bikes are like shoes in that if they don't fit properly, there's absolutely no way to get a good result.

    If your goal is to do longer rides, it is highly likely that a road bike (maybe touring rather than race bike) will meet your needs better than a hybrid. Given that you have a bit of gravel, a cyclocross bike might be a good choice, but it depends on what the gravel is like and how much you need to deal with. Whatever you do, get the bike that matches 95% of your riding and don't let fringe cases influence your decision too much.

    For 10 miles, the hybrid will be just fine. And while you can ride them for hundreds of miles, there's a reason why people rarely do that. Also, be aware that as you ride, your preferences will change as you become more conditioned. People who ride less are often drawn to huge padded seats, upright positions, and other choices that people who put on many miles almost never make.

  5. #30
    I'm doing it wrong. RJM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by achoo View Post
    If you start riding a lot, those shortcomings are going to force an upgrade to a real road bike.
    I loved my hybrid and if my co-worker wasn't looking for a cheap bike to ride with his wife I wouldn't have sold it. Trek 7.5fx....which I did my first century on.

    I honestly think "real road bikes" are the ones that have shortcomings as they are really designed around racing and you are limiting yourself to pavement riding. It's fine to be limited though, if that is what you are looking for. The op doesn't seem to be looking for that though.
    "...this place is to trolling as salt licks are to deer hunting." - 3alarmer

  6. #31
    Beer >> Sanity bikerjp's Avatar
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    +1 on a cross bike.

    As long as you are okay with the riding position of a drop bar bike, a cross bike is probably going to be a better do-all bike. Plenty of cross bikes are not pure cyclocross race bikes. Mine has fender and bottle cage mounts and the somewhat wide tires are great on gravel but seem to be nearly as good on the road as my road bike. So far, my longest road ride on the cross bike is 50 miles which ended up being not that different from riding my road bike. It's a bit heavier though. Two sets of wheels would really bring out the versatility - one set for gravel and other less than ideal conditions and one lighter set with skinnier road slicks.
    Climbs like a stone, descends like two...

  7. #32
    Administrator CbadRider's Avatar
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    I deleted all of the bickering posts. If you want to be helpful to the OP, please continue to post in the thread. If you want to fight over what kind of bike to ride during RAGBRAI, start another thread.
    Quote Originally Posted by toddles View Post
    So Tom only hires people that are nutty? Is part of the requirement to be a moderator on this site is that you have to be nuts??
    Forum Guidelines *click here*

  8. #33
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    One bright note to remember, and take some burden off choosing, is that whatever you get, if you don't like the handlbar restriction of your choice, you can get a different style of handlebar to replace it, or bar additions to extend your current bars. Flat and drop are not the only choices out there, and something like a mustache bar or butterfly bar may be a better choice for you. Just look around for a style that seems to alleviate whatever deficiency or problem you have with your current choice, then tweak it till you find that golden fit.

    For example, when I changed out my riser bar (because my hands were getting numb) for a butterfly bar, it's as if I'd bought an entirely new bicycle (after I dialed in the right position for me), because it changed the riding style of my bicycle so much. Now I'm not stuck in any one position, but can go from sitting straight up to being "ersatz aero", with my arms tucked in and resting on the near bars, while I grasp the inner elbows of the far bars near the stem. I can grab the far bars to lean into the wind, and the outer sides are great for normal riding with a relaxed wrist position. With all those elbows and angles, I can frequently change to many different hand positions, grips, and wrist angles. Just 30 dollars (US) made my rides more enjoyable, and made longer rides bearable.
    Last edited by David Bierbaum; 03-08-14 at 08:27 AM.

  9. #34
    Senior Member MRT2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
    One bright note to remember, and take some burden off choosing, is that whatever you get, if you don't like the handlbar restriction of your choice, you can get a different style of handlebar to replace it, or bar additions to extend your current bars. Flat and drop are not the only choices out there, and something like a mustache bar or butterfly bar may be a better choice for you. Just look around for a style that seems to alleviate whatever deficiency or problem you have with your current choice, then tweak it till you find that golden fit.

    For example, when I changed out my riser bar (because my hands were getting numb) for a butterfly bar, it's as if I'd bought an entirely new bicycle (after I dialed in the right position for me), because it changed the riding style of my bicycle so much. Now I'm not stuck in any one position, but can go from sitting straight up to being "ersatz aero", with my arms tucked in and resting on the near bars, while I grasp the inner elbows of the far bars near the stem. I can grab the far bars to lean into the wind, and the outer sides are great for normal riding with a relaxed wrist position. With all those elbows and angles, I can frequently change to many different hand positions, grips, and wrist angles. Just 30 dollars (US) made my rides more enjoyable, and made longer rides bearable.
    Or wider drop bars. Wood chipper bars look pretty cool as well. That said, narrow drops to wide drops, or drop to wood chipper bars us an easy switch. Drop bars to flat bars, or flat bars to drop bars is far more expensive because you also need to switch out brake and shift levers.

  10. #35
    Junior Member Lorig20's Avatar
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    Update...I've pretty much decided on a road bike. The Giant Avail 2. It finally warmed up enough to do a little test riding. I tried a Cannondale Synapse 6 at the LBS (where I bought my Schwinn 37 years ago!), but it just didn't feel right. I also test rode a Quick, and it was so much more comfortable, but didn't say "buy me". Went back today and tried it again, while Hubby tried the same in a men's. Still not right. Then to LBS #2 , and tried the Giant. So much more comfortable. Love just about everything about it. The only thing I like about the Cannondale (other than it coming from the same shop I bought my bike from so long ago) was the Cannondale felt a smidgen lighter. I drive a pick up and for the time being will be putting the bike in the back of the truck. I needed to be able to lift it easily. My old Schwinn was a struggle (even though it was Schwinn's "Super-lite" series!)

    Didn't buy it yet, I want to have a cooling off period. I actually rode it twice today, since hubby tried 2 different bikes. Just as nice the second time.

    Happy that the confused and frustrated stage seems to be over. Now hopefully I'll get it and on to the fun!!
    Last edited by Lorig20; 03-15-14 at 06:08 PM. Reason: addition

  11. #36
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    A cyclocross bike popped into my mind as I was reading your post and see many others agree. It seems to be a good blend for riding your gravel roads and doing longer rides. If properly fitted it should be as comfortable, if not more comfortable than riding a hybrid. Most gals I know that started out on a nice hybrid, including my wife, then moved to a road bike by the following year. They really aren't that comfortable when you start adding some miles, plus you'll be struggling more with the wind in the upright position . I'd suggest to do some research on cyclocross bikes and take one for a ride.

  12. #37
    Stand and Deliver FLvector's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorig20 View Post
    Update...I've pretty much decided on a road bike. The Giant Avail 2. It finally warmed up enough to do a little test riding. I tried a Cannondale Synapse 6 at the LBS (where I bought my Schwinn 37 years ago!), but it just didn't feel right. I also test rode a Quick, and it was so much more comfortable, but didn't say "buy me". Went back today and tried it again, while Hubby tried the same in a men's. Still not right. Then to LBS #2 , and tried the Giant. So much more comfortable. Love just about everything about it. The only thing I like about the Cannondale (other than it coming from the same shop I bought my bike from so long ago) was the Cannondale felt a smidgen lighter. I drive a pick up and for the time being will be putting the bike in the back of the truck. I needed to be able to lift it easily. My old Schwinn was a struggle (even though it was Schwinn's "Super-lite" series!)

    Didn't buy it yet, I want to have a cooling off period. I actually rode it twice today, since hubby tried 2 different bikes. Just as nice the second time.

    Happy that the confused and frustrated stage seems to be over. Now hopefully I'll get it and on to the fun!!
    My wife has the Giant Avail advanced and loves it. I'd suggest to put a few skewer mounts in the bed of the pick up if you'll be frequently hauling your bike around.

  13. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorig20 View Post
    Thanks for the wonderful discussion! I am finding this to be a great community. I enjoy the different points of view.
    Oh, we're just fattening you up for the slaughter.

    Road bikes are better for logging miles, and with a little more care (and a little bigger tire) can be fine on tight-packed dirt or gravel. So I guess I'm in the camp that says a road bike, meaning drop bars and brifters, with long-reach brakes and lots of frame clearance for bigger tires, might be ideal for you.

    BUT! There's really no "wrong" choice here. The only wrong thing to do would be to not ride a bike.
    Every time that wheel turn 'round,
    Bound to cover just a little more ground!

  14. #39
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    You seem like a thoughtful person.

    Your road bike likely did not fit you. Certainly wasn't fit to you either... The first is proper size and geometry for the person and purpose. The second is adjusting the properly sized bike to you, your individual body.

    My SO (when we first met) said she loved riding but it hurt, so she didn't. Her bike was in shed, so we looked at it. It was too big. In fact it is a bit too large for me! She's 5' 6'' and I'm 6'.

    She started riding seriously on a high end Giant that she was storing for a neighbor. fit her like a glove. A couple of adjustments to suit her and a few accommodations for the various insults we collect as time goes by... She put about 2000 miles on it. She loved it!

    She bought a Specialized Dolche. It's a women's endurance bike. A high rise stem and wide range cassette and derailleur and she has over 2,000 on it now. She loves it and doesn't ride the Giant. The only "shortcoming" is that it will only run 25's. A bit too narrow for loaded touring on loose gravel. Amazingly she does quite well, unless the grade is too steep, or the surface too loose.

    So the cyclocross bikes are road bikes of various geometries but are able to take wide tires. These are fantastic machines and would be very suitable for both you and the riding you mention.


    On a different note: We've noticed a reluctance of some bike fitters to accept that us older riders may want/need bars higher then a 20 year old. The really skilled fitters we've come across listen to your intended riding but also your physical capabilities.

    Example: I'm 48', 6' 265 a large muscular guy. I have no drop between handlebars and seat... I also have a lot of scar tissue in my back. MY So's dolche, has the bars a bit higher then the seat, due to shoulder and wrist issues... These are not an optimal fit from a 'fast" standpoint, but are all day comfortable even day after day...

    One fitter set up her bike in a optimum way for speed... She was beaming for about 5 miles, then in serious pain. She gave it a go trying to get used to it, but we had to alter that set up significantly.


    All that said, Hybrids can be great bikes. You can do 60 mile days on them quite comfortably if they fit properly and been fitted for you. You may want to ensure they have clearance for wider tires to.

  15. #40
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJM View Post
    I loved my hybrid and if my co-worker wasn't looking for a cheap bike to ride with his wife I wouldn't have sold it. Trek 7.5fx....which I did my first century on.

    I honestly think "real road bikes" are the ones that have shortcomings as they are really designed around racing and you are limiting yourself to pavement riding. It's fine to be limited though, if that is what you are looking for. The op doesn't seem to be looking for that though.
    Uhm,
    This is a weird statement.
    There are a lot of different road bikes. There are racing bikes. There are utility bikes.


    My road bike is NOT designed for racing. It is designed for touring. It is a marvelous commuter, great at grocery getting. But I don't think anyone would enter it into a race, except as either a joke, or an insult...

  16. #41
    Redefining Lazy Slackerprince's Avatar
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    I have a couple of the bikes that you've mentioned in the thread.
    I use them for different purposes.

    1) Giant Escape-I use it for cross-training, e.g., riding it to the gym to do weights.
    I also use if for riding with my wife and kid, just putting around the neighborhood.
    I have some Conti tires on it and it's a fast bike.



    2) Cannondale Synapse-This is my road bike and I ride it the most. It's about the
    most comfortable geometry you can get with a "full-on" road bike.
    As I've gotten in better condition and more flexible, I've dropped a few spacers on
    the headset.



    I like them both, but consider them appropriate for different types of riding.
    $1700 for both of them. Brand-new with warranty. I won't get into how much
    I've spent on saddles, pedals, cages, bar ends, etc.

    S
    Too fat for Castelli

  17. #42
    Senior Member Null66's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slackerprince View Post
    i have a couple of the bikes that you've mentioned in the thread.
    I use them for different purposes.

    1) giant escape-i use it for cross-training, e.g., riding it to the gym to do weights.
    I also use if for riding with my wife and kid, just putting around the neighborhood.
    I have some conti tires on it and it's a fast bike.



    2) cannondale synapse-this is my road bike and i ride it the most. It's about the
    most comfortable geometry you can get with a "full-on" road bike.
    As i've gotten in better condition and more flexible, i've dropped a few spacers on
    the headset.



    i like them both, but consider them appropriate for different types of riding.
    $1700 for both of them. Brand-new with warranty. I won't get into how much
    i've spent on saddles, pedals, cages, bar ends, etc.

    s
    drool! Drool! Drool! Drool! Drool! Drool! Drool!

  18. #43
    Texas Tornado copswithguns's Avatar
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    Gonna go in with all the others saying that a hybrid is a bad move. You're gonna want to do more and more miles and a road bike is the way to go.
    "Speed never killed anyone. Suddenly becoming stationary...Now that's what gets you." -Jeremy Clarkson

  19. #44
    Redefining Lazy Slackerprince's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Null66 View Post
    drool! Drool! Drool! Drool! Drool! Drool! Drool!
    Thanks.

    S
    Too fat for Castelli

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