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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-12-13, 12:47 PM   #1
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Is there a time to go from Hybrid to Road Bike?

So I've been riding a little under three months now. I had no idea when I bought my first bike how into it I was going to be. I started off around 375lbs and now I'm down around 325lbs and steadily dropping. (Diet changes more than biking)

At this point, I'm riding 18-20 miles every morning on a multi use path. The path is straight in some parts, but there are other parts that it is extremely curvy and if you go over 15 MPH, you end up going off the path in a tight curve and ending up in the grass/rough.

On the weekends, I like to make trips to Dallas to ride their bike trails. They are typically much longer and much more straight paths and have tons of road bikers on them going fast. When I go up there, I try to do 20-40 mile runs and go fast, trying to keep up with the road bikes. Most of them I can,'t but some of them I can. (I relish the moments when I pass a skinny guy on a road bike btw ) This puts me at doing 100-125 miles a week right now.

That said, I've had problems with broken spokes on the stock rear wheels of my Hybrids. To the point I'm looking at new, beefier rear wheels. Right now I don't have a lot of interest in actually riding on the roads. I enjoy not having to worry about cars or dogs on the bike paths, but I do enjoy tracking my rides and going further and faster each time. I know I haven't maxed out my current hybrid, but I have to wonder as I'm getting passed on the fast trails, would a road bike make more sense here. Especially since I am starting to do 30+ mile rides more frequently.

The flipside is I love my Hybrid. The ergonomics feel just right to me. Granted my hands go numb and my wrists hurt after a long right, but I would be surprised if that didn't happen on every bike.

So the questions that pop up:

Is there a time to make the switch from hybrid to road bike?
Have I reached that time?
Is it possibly to continue to rack up long mile rides on a hybrid?
Is there a road bike that can handle my weight/power?
How much do I have to spend to get into a road bike that works for me?
Would some of my problems be solved with a road bike?
Would it just create new ones?
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Old 08-12-13, 12:54 PM   #2
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Keep working on improving your motor. Three months is just a beginning.

You might go to narrower tires. That helped me when I went from 35's to 28's on my 32 lb touring bike.
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Old 08-12-13, 01:14 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels View Post
Keep working on improving your motor. Three months is just a beginning.

You might go to narrower tires. That helped me when I went form 35's to 28's on my 32 lb touring bike.
Good advise here ... maybe when you drop below 300, or hit 275, you can reward yourself with a road bike
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Old 08-12-13, 01:15 PM   #4
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wheels should always be trued tensioned by a pro even on new bikes, then after 100 miles it should be done again. touring wheels with more spokes hold up better. if you're thinking about buying a new bike, then it's time to buy a new bike ... N+1 applies immediately upon the new thought occurring
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Old 08-12-13, 01:22 PM   #5
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I bought my 'performance hybrid' last November and then bought a road bike a few months ago, so I would say there isn't a time frame for upgrading. As far as being able to go on longer rides, I take my hybrid (most of the time) when my gf and I go on 40 mile rides - she's a slower rider, so there's no point taking my road bike (I use that during the week when I go out for faster rides alone) - and have not had a problem riding that long on it.
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Old 08-12-13, 01:48 PM   #6
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Normally I tell people don't bother with the hybrid... I think it's generally only good for cruising along on bike paths however, you say you love your hybrid and it suits what you are doing so that said, why switch? Keep it and just invest some money in building up some stronger wheels. If at some point you start getting really serious about riding - routinely doing distances over 30+ miles, then consider getting a road bike but for now just keep plugging along you are doing great!

Basically when you are ready... you will know. Your weight should not be a concern - the fame will be OK - but you will probably need to build up some stronger wheels. That's generally the first thing I do with a bike - have good wheels made.

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Old 08-12-13, 03:46 PM   #7
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I bought my bike back in April, and a couple times since (around the 500 and again at the 700 mile mark) I've thought I made a mistake buying a Hybrid opposed to a road bike since I ride mostly roads. Like you, I was just starting out and wanted something comfortable to ride and was assured Hybrids can go on long distance rides just like road bikes. Unfortunately the thing I didn't consider was speed. I'm not sure if it's the wider tires or weight of the frame, but I'm realizing Hybrids aren't built for speed. I finally made a decision to stick with the Hybrid for the next couple years, ride a couple anticipated organized bike tours on it and if I'm still into biking at the start of the 2015 season I will definitely look into buying a road bike. For some reason I can't justify a $500 purchase just for one summer, even though I've rode nearly 1,000 miles already and feel I've gotten my money's worth on it.
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Old 08-12-13, 04:19 PM   #8
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A little off topic, but responding to your comment about speed and riding off into the grass - first, always ride within your ability (legal disclaimer! ) But you've only been riding for a few months, thought I would share this. Don't watch where your wheel is going and DON'T look at the thing you're trying to avoid (the grass). You are GUARANTEED to hit it! It's called target fixation. Look at where you want to go. You'll be amazed at what you can do if you follow this rule.

And again, only within your limits.

As far as road vs. hybrid - you're doing great. If the hybrid is cofortable, reliable and you like it - ride it. However, we all like new stuff so I agree with something nice as a reward for hitting milestones!
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Old 08-12-13, 04:19 PM   #9
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[QUOTE=Jarrett2;15952760] snip . Granted my hands go numb and my wrists hurt after a long right, but I would be surprised if that didn't happen on every bike.


My personal experience is that is what happens with flat bars. you can reduce this by putting barends on so that you can ride with palms parallel-is to the frame. and of course YMMV

I think that anyone who starts putting miles on with rapidly outgrow a hybrid. but remember the rule on bikes is n+1 keep the hyrbid, put racks and baskets on it and you have your grocery getter
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Old 08-12-13, 07:55 PM   #10
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I think N+1+1 is just about right... unless you MTB in which case you need N+1+1+1

road bike for faster group road rides, a cruiser for those slower "enjoy the scenery and your company" (I steal my wife's electra townie when I ride with my kids... it's slow which is perfect when riding with my 8 and 10 y/o though the neighborhood or the bike paths... a comfy touring bike for exploring and a MTB for trail riding...

that being said... keep riding... when you get a chance to ride a road bike do so and see how you like it, until then get some bar for some more hand positions... I LOVED my cane creek ergo II bar ends on my MTB, you might even look into some of the options ERGON has with the integrated bar ends and ergo grips.

I personally love "alt" bars... lots of sweep keeps my hands comfy and I can move up and down into the bar for a more or less upright seating position... they can put your hands into a much more comfy position vs a flat bar and give you a few more grip options.

been using these for a while now

I ran these type as well (on one mary, although mine was a knock off) I used them on my commuter bike with both gripshift and sram triggers, the grip location was comfortable and great for standing and mashing but I could slide forward into the crook of the bar when I wanted to get low.
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Old 08-12-13, 10:51 PM   #11
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True story: I currently have two working bikes in the stable. A heavy hybrid and a carbon fiber road bike. In a short timetrial I am just as fast with either. In my first year of serious riding I put on over 2K miles on the hybrid. That included a nice moderately hilly metric century. These days I prefer the road bike but the hybrid is still pleasant to ride, not as much fun to lift.

If you think you are ready for a road bike and have the funds then give them a look but with both eyes open. It is not the bike that will make you faster it is you and you can do that up to a point with what you have. If you do buy a road bike do plan for a wheel upgrade, in the long run it will be worth it.
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Old 08-12-13, 11:05 PM   #12
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I had a hybrid and wish I had never gotten rid of it. There are times I would just like to poke around the hood without having to get suited up etc.

As far as hybrids not being fast, I say maybe not considering all thing equal. Me on a roadie vs Me on a roadie but hybrids can be fast enough depending on the rider. I remember one of my first organized rides as a MS Ride. First day was a metric. (Rancho Cucamonga through San Bernardino, Redlands to Yucaipa Regional Park. Some hills but nothing too tough.

I rode alone, mass start about 200 riders. I got to the finish line and there were not many people there. I thought I was in the wrong place. Later after the meal was served 4 guys were sitting next to me at the picnic tables. They were talking about their pace line and their ride. Cool but then they started in on me, what kind of bike you riding? Me, a Miata hybrid. Oh no, you have to get a road bike, so much faster and efficient. Ride in a pace line and get some better sunglasses, you'll do a lot better on the rides. Like us, the four of us worked together and kicked ass on the ride. We got here about 1 pm. What time did you get here Mr Beanz?........................12 pm and I rode solo!

Man, I miss that bike!
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