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  1. #1
    Clipless Crash Clutz Bbmoozer's Avatar
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    tour vs hi-bred/road?!?

    What exactly IS the difference between these bikes?????
    speed/comfort/wheel size???
    :confused:
    Sarah

  2. #2
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by Bbmoozer
    What exactly IS the difference between these bikes?????
    speed/comfort/wheel size???
    :confused:
    Sarah
    Touring bikes are designed to carry racks for panniers, and to be able to mount fenders and wide tires. Historically, almost all touring bikes are road bikes, since the drop handlebars are most comfortable for long hours in the saddle. A classic road bike currently available is the Trek 520 or the Bruce Gordon BLT.

    A road bike, historically, is any bike designed primarily to be ridden primarily on pavement. The term today is usually applied to bikes with 700c wheels (rather than the 26" wheels found on mountain bikes) and drop handlebars, but there are exceptions to both.

    There are touring bikes with 26" wheels. There are road bikes with flat handlebars. There are no laws that dictate how a manufacturer must label a bike, and there are so many variations in bike design that it can sometimes be difficult to categorize them.

    A hybrid is a bike with some characteristics of a road bike (often just the size of the wheels, 700c) and some characteristics of a mountain bike (lower, wider gearing, flat or riser handlebars). Again, the distinctions often blur from one manufacturer to the next.

    But usually, today, the term "touring bike" is applied to a bike like the Trek 520. The term "road bike" can mean any drop-bar bike with relatively thin, high-pressure tires (including racing bikes, sport bikes, touring bikes, etc.). And "hybrids" are a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike.

    RichC

  3. #3
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    They both have fairly strong frames, threaded mounting for luggage etc, and low gears.
    The biggest difference seems to be in bottom bracket height. Touring bikes have fairly low ones for stability, hybrids tend to use MTB style high ones for (unneccessary) clearance.
    Touring forks are usually more comfortable than hybrid ones and come with rack mountings.

    Expedition touring bikes also have components which continue to work when the break, such as gear levers with friction overide, horizontal dropouts which can be used to run a one speed when your derailleur snaps. They also tend to have more braze-on attatchemenst for 3 bottles, generator lighting system, pump pegs, chain peg. They are generally more sophisticated, better integrated and built to a much higher standard than hybrids.

    It is quite common for older riders to fit flat bars to touring bikes, or to use hub gears, or any other components they feel like. Touring bikes are pretty individual things, whereas most hybrids are designed by the marketing dept.

    People have done world touring on hybrid bikes with no problems.

  4. #4
    Clipless Crash Clutz Bbmoozer's Avatar
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    thanks Rich and Mike... I'll check out that Trek

  5. #5
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    Historically, almost all touring bikes are road bikes, since the drop handlebars are most comfortable for long hours in the saddle. A classic road bike currently available is the Trek 520 or the Bruce Gordon BLT.
    Sorry, but a touring bike is not a road bike-they have completely different geometries. Then seatpost on a touring bike is more upright, the headtube usually has less angle, the trail is often less than that of a road bike, and the chainstays are longer. I can't speak for the BLT, but the Trek 520 is not a road bike, either, but a classic example of a touring bike. There is a difference.
    Je vais à vélo, donc je suis!

  6. #6
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by D*Alex
    Sorry, but a touring bike is not a road bike-they have completely different geometries. Then seatpost on a touring bike is more upright, the headtube usually has less angle, the trail is often less than that of a road bike, and the chainstays are longer. I can't speak for the BLT, but the Trek 520 is not a road bike, either, but a classic example of a touring bike. There is a difference.
    You seem to mean "racing" when you say "road." It's semantics, and I'm not going to argue the point, but not all road riding requires aggressive geometry.

    Everything you say about touring bikes is true. I know it's true because I said it myself, right there in that same post. Touring bikes are a variety of road bike. The differences are in geometry, clearances, tires and wheels.

    Like most bike categories, this one spans a spectrum. My old Gitane sport-tourer that was stolen in 1972 was a road bike. Schwinn Varsities were road bikes. Audax bikes are road bikes.

    If you want to have a real argument, try this one: cyclocross bikes are road bikes, too.

    RichC

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    A road bike is for speed : high gearing, narrow camber, drop bars.

    Touring bike for touring : lower gears, more camber, drop bars.

    A hybrid is a touring bike with flat bars and wider tyres (to make it more 'stylish', as MTB is current style).

  8. #8
    A Heart Needs a Home Rich Clark's Avatar
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    Originally posted by john999
    A road bike is for speed : high gearing, narrow camber, drop bars.

    Touring bike for touring : lower gears, more camber, drop bars.
    Disagree.

    A road bike is for riding on roads. A (road) racing bike is for speed. A (road) touring bike is for touring.

    This trend towards co-opting the term "road bike" to apply only to road racing bikes is one of the things that has made tourers disappear from bike shops, and that's a crying shame.

    RichC

  9. #9
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    Hybrid bike

    Although derived from a mountain-bike and a touring bike, this sturdy mongrel occupies the middle-ground of bicycle design. That makes it a good starting point for a cycling beginner, and for us to describe how other bikes are different.

    A hybrid, or general-purpose-bike has large wheels and medium width (32 – 42mm) tyres so it rolls easily and comfortably on roads and decent tracks without needing suspension (though some hybrids now have this too). It has three front chainwheels to provide a wide range of derailleur gears: some high ones (over 90in) because beginners don’t have the knack of pedalling quickly and low gears (under 30in) because that’s what anyone can do with to get up steep hills (even if they think they don’t need it!). I should say it has effective brakes, except that’s true of all new bikes. Nowadays only cheap and old bikes have bad brakes. It has flat handlebars with all the gear and brake controls at your fingertips, positioned quite high and close to the saddle for a fairly upright body position befitting a beginner and/or not-too-energetic riding. This jack-of-all-trades will do most things well enough, until and unless your cycling interests broaden to require another more specialised bicycle or two.




    Trekking bike

    This variant adds to the basic hybrid, all the accessories you’d otherwise have to buy separately in order actually to do most of the transport and recreational things described above. You could do without and many do: get their clothes dirty without mudguards, lug a sweaty backpack without a carrier and dodge the police without lights. It’s cheaper and better overall to have these things already on the bike and under the manufacturer’s guarantee. Some trekking bikes have a curly kind of flat handlebar which provides a variation from the in-line hand position – welcome on longer rides.




    City bike

    It’s what we now call a roadster, brought up to date with better brakes etc. The city bike differs only from a hybrid or rather a trekking bike in having enclosed hub gears and possibly hub brakes too, so the bike doesn’t need too much maintenance – perfect for everyday transport. You don’t get the number of gears a derailleur can provide, although 7-speed hubs are now available that can deliver the overall range mentioned above. This kind of bike generally has a chain cover, plus a propstand and maybe an integral lock, making it most convenient to use. The handlebar grips are angled more, so your wrists adopt a relaxed position (like the “quarter to three” or “ten to two” we are told to use on a car steering wheel) and the riding position is generally a bit more upright, assuming you don’t want to pedal hard enough to get sweaty on your way to work or the shops! Despite the name, these bikes are just as good for transport in the countryside or low-key recreation.




    Touring bike

    This ancestor of the hybrid/trekking bike differs only by handlebar shape and by using a slightly slimmer tyre (in the 28 to 37mm range) that’s more efficient on tarmac but still usable on gravel: same low gears, sturdy frame and powerful brakes. A dropped handlebar takes the handgrips further from the saddle, putting more bodyweight over the pedals and slightly reducing wind resistance without even using the drops. This helps you go a bit faster, whilst the choice of hand positions relieves fatigue over long distances. However the controls are not so handy. You have to be keen to appreciate these features, so touring bikes tend to be more expensive, higher quality and generally lighter than most hybrid/trekking models. It does everything they can do – just a bit quicker.




    Mountain-bike

    Mountain-bikes are the other hybrid parent, with fatter, knobblier tyres (40 to 60mm), even lower gears (down to 20in), straighter handlebars (wrists in-line maximises leverage), stronger frame (in case of accidents) and nowadays almost all have front suspension at least. All these features help you deal with challenging terrain; the wheels are a bit smaller however, which confers strength and extra clearance for suspension. Although people increasingly realise they don’t want these features for other kinds of riding, mountain-bikes still dominate the UK market. The cheapest ones are usable but not good for any purpose. The economies of scale make mid priced mountain-bikes best value for money and they come in a great range of sizes. In the higher price brackets mountain-bikes specialise according to different kinds of racing, look for “cross-country” if you want top quality but your demands are more recreational. Downhill bikes are too heavy and soggy to pedal up again, but “freeride” models provide just enough extra suspension and upright seating comfort to suit less speedy and longer distance riders.




    Expedition tourer

    This hybrid inherits opposite genes: the mountain-bike’s super-low gears, smaller, stronger wheels and frame, plus the tourer’s luggage carrying facilities, mudguards and (not always) it’s dropped handlebars. It’s what you need for a camping tour in remote places. They are an expensive specialist item, or you can make one from an old (pre suspension) mountain-bike.




    Road bike

    Road bikes are becoming more popular as people take to cycling for fitness. In general this implies a road racing bike, with low dropped handlebars, very narrow tyres (20 to 25mm) and high gears (40 to 110in). It’s good for maximum speed on smooth roads – and nothing else! You must pedal hard or else the crouched riding position throws too much weight on your arms, and you’ll stall on hills. There will not be enough space between the brakes and the tyres to fit mudguards safely and the frame will be too light and flexible for a luggage carrier. Some road bikes are available with a triple chainset however, so ordinary mortals can ride them up hills, and there’s a new variant that comes with flat handlebars for a much more upright position. These models blur the distinctions between road, touring and hybrid.




    Audax bike

    Sometimes called a “fast tourer” this variety of road bike does have space for mudguards – only just – lower gears and a stiff enough frame to carry some luggage. In addition to Audax rides, it is good for long-distance commuting and light touring exclusively on roads.




    Other varieties

    There are so many other kinds of pedal cycle: tandems, folding bikes, tricycles, recumbents, electrically assisted, delivery cycles … there wouldn’t be space to describe them all here. Each has it’s own special purpose and as with every type of bike, a band of devotees who use them for other things too!

    Chris Juden – 2002.01.31

  10. #10
    Clipless Crash Clutz Bbmoozer's Avatar
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    wow chris! you know bikes! don't quiz me on all this stuff any time soon
    What I've done is tweaked my hybred as best I can... added extensions on my handle bars , added a backend carrier, had it tuned up etc... and I think it will work for me for a while anyhow.
    Thanks for the info.
    Sarah

  11. #11
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    That was a quote from Chris Juden, technical advisor to the UK Cyclists Touring Club. If you want to ask Chris a question , you have to join the CTC and get their magazine, but its a fairly good read.

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