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Old 10-03-17, 05:43 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Northern Shenandoah Valley
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Bikes: '18 Redline Zander MTB, '14 Surly Pugsley, '97 Trek MultiTrack 750, '70 Peugeot UO-18 Mixte

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Your cycling environment (bumpy off road) and stated desires (fast with thin tires) may not go together well. Shorter rides on bumpy surfaces seem like the perfect application for a suspension fork. I have two hybrids that I ride regularly, one with a suspension fork and one with a rigid fork. I enjoy both for different reasons. The one with the suspension fork is supremely comfortable, and I enjoy it for that. The one with the rigid fork feels more connected to the road and feels faster (even though my average speed on both bikes is similar), and I enjoy it for that. It's hard to get it all in one bike, especially at the price we're paying for entry to mid-level hybrids.

Have you had an opportunity to ride your top choices yet? I would do that -- go to your bike shops and ride what they have. Ride as many bikes as you can and keep your mind open to suggestions they might have for you. It may be a mountain style bike that is best for you. You can get a lot of comfort for your trails on a rigid mountain bike with 27.5" tires (584mm rims), vs. the 28" tires (622mm rims) found on most hybrids.
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