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Rank newbie... road, hybrid or other?

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Rank newbie... road, hybrid or other?

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Old 07-30-08, 04:03 PM
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steve-in-kville 
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Rank newbie... road, hybrid or other?

I just started a lean fitness program to lower my blood pressure and loose a few pounds. I am currently involved in a walk/run program that is going well. I want to also cross-train to cycling to reduce the stress on my knees and feet. I am 30 y/o.

I would like to ride to work at least two days a week (9.8 miles one way w/ hills). I've been to three shops looking at bikes. Two of those shops pushed the hybrid bikes, while the third recommended a straight road bike. I am not against either, but the road bikes would be a faster bike all around. But the drop bars don't always take kindly to manuvering in traffic do to the rider's stance.

So I was looking for suggestions from those who have experience. Whatever I choose will be stricly for road use. If I do trails, I'll save and buy a straight mtn bike down the road.

Many thanks in advance.

steve
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Old 07-30-08, 04:10 PM
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Cyclocross Bike. Best all around bike lets you have many diverse riding options.
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Old 07-30-08, 04:27 PM
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I agree that a cyclocross bike is a great option.

Hybrids want to be road bikes. Their biggest advantage is that they are cheaper. The upright riding position wears thin by the 10 mile mark. It might be OK for you, but it won't be great. On a 10 mile ride, the road bike riding position is generally preferable because it gets you off your rear.

When you look at road bikes, be sure to consider whether or not you can easily add a rack and fenders. On a lot of road bikes it isn't easy. Cyclocross bikes tend to have the mounting points and clearance to make rack and fenders easy.

Other than budget, the biggest tipping point in this decision is what you might use the bike for besides commuting. If you think you might want to sign up for a 60- or 100-mile ride, definitely get a cyclocross or road bike. If you're more likely to hit the bike path with the spouse and kids for a 5-miler, the hybrid will be good.
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Old 07-30-08, 04:28 PM
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Typically, people are going to feel more comfortable on a hybrid initially. As they ride more, the idea of a drop-bar bike starts to appeal to them.

Don't assume that a drop-bar road bike is faster than a hybrid. For many people, and especially new riders, that's simply not the case. The only reason it could be would be a) weight and b) reduced wind resistance IF you use it to reduce your frontal area. Weight difference is minimal and wind resistance doesn't mean as much if you're not riding too fast.

Of course, it depends on what you're talking about when you say hybrid too... that word is used to describe a very wide range of bikes. For right now, I'd wager that you'd be happier on the hybrid. A year from now, if you're still riding, there's a good chance you'll want some form of road bike.


----------

One thing to think about is how much stuff you realistically see yourself carrying to work with you.
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Old 07-30-08, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
Don't assume that a drop-bar road bike is faster than a hybrid. For many people, and especially new riders, that's simply not the case. The only reason it could be would be a) weight and b) reduced wind resistance IF you use it to reduce your frontal area. Weight difference is minimal and wind resistance doesn't mean as much if you're not riding too fast.
There's also rolling resistence of the tires. Obviously, you can change the tires on either bike within certain limits, but a typical hybrid is going to come with fattish tires that take around 60 psi, and those will be 1-2 mph slower than a skinny tire at 100 psi, which is typical stock on road bikes (though not cyclocross). More comfortable to ride, but slower.

Then there's gearing, but, of course, for a new rider higher gears are likely to mean sore legs more than fast bike.
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Old 07-30-08, 05:07 PM
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Ten miles each way is going to hurt like heck for awhile. It will take you a solid hour each direction, and that doesn't include ten-minute breaks. You can stop for a minute to catch your breath, but that's it.

One hour each way.

By K-Ville, I'm assuming you live in Knoxville. What a coinkidink. I'll be there all weekend from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. You're welcome to try my hybrid, the Trek Soho 1.0.

I just got it.

A word about hybrids. Hybrids, as someone else explained, are part road bike/part mountain bike.

Here's a full-on mountain bike:


This thing cost about 2500 bucks.

Here's a full-on road bike:



So a hybrid is somewhere in between.

If you ride the above mountain bike to work, you'll be incredibly comfortable and won't feel hardly any bumps at all. Of course, it will take you for darn ever to get there, as the mountain bike will be slow with a capital S.

Now, the road bike will get you there a lot more quickly, but you'll be less comfortable and in the case of sudden obstacles (like cars, potholes, cute college girls), you'll have a hard time averting disaster quickly. Road bikes are better for going in a straight line and through long, planned-out turns.

So, you want something in between.

Ten miles is a long commute (in my bumble opinion), unless you're in outstanding physical condition. If it were flat that'd be a different story, but Knoxville is anything but flat. Holy smokes, that town has a lot of hills. Heck, it has CLIFFS! (and great parties on the yachts).

Okay, so in my opinion, you should get the Soho. Yep, that's the ticket. Upright handlebars, disc brakes, cool looks, internal cables, looks from the girls. All that.

Or a Trek fitness bike (or something similar).

In your case, I'd say more roadbike than mountain bike. Don't go for anything resembling the Trek 7000 series. You just can't get the leverage you need.

I'd say get something that is mostly road with upright handlebars (for quick maneuvers around drunken frat boys who wander into the road).
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Old 07-30-08, 06:09 PM
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Some brands sell hybrids that are essentially flat bar road bikes. i know trek does, and Scott and Jamis, among others. This would be a good option, the price is usually better, and you do get an upright position. a cyclocross bike would be great too. some bikes to check out (not to advertise): Surly Crosscheck, Trek Soho, and Scott SUB series. and if you're working on an awesome budget check out the Trek Portland.
oh. and a last note. IMHO, many Trek bikes are expensive for what you get.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:13 PM
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Old 07-30-08, 06:18 PM
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Thanks for the great replies. The model I was leaning towards is the Trek 7100 series. IIRC, this model had thin tires, shock absorbing forks, hard tail, but did have a shock absorbing seat post. Price was around $500 I think.

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Old 07-30-08, 06:20 PM
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BTW- K-ville stands for some little po' dunk town in rural Pa.

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Old 07-30-08, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
Thanks for the great replies. The model I was leaning towards is the Trek 7100 series. IIRC, this model had thin tires, shock absorbing forks, hard tail, but did have a shock absorbing seat post. Price was around $500 I think.

steve
I had a similar bike.

I hated it

Went for a 25 year old 10 speed, and it was more comfortable and faster ... hard to believe?
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Old 07-30-08, 06:27 PM
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Don't know what your budget is like, but you might also check out touring bikes. They tend to have a wider range of gearing than the cyclocross', which will be a blessing if there any hills on your commute.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:35 PM
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What's your budget?
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Old 07-30-08, 06:36 PM
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Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
Thanks for the great replies. The model I was leaning towards is the Trek 7100 series. IIRC, this model had thin tires, shock absorbing forks, hard tail, but did have a shock absorbing seat post. Price was around $500 I think.

steve
Since you plan on sticking to the asphalt, then avoid anything with a front suspension fork, even if it has lock out. They are heavier, and if you can't lock out, then they will rob you of efficiency.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:40 PM
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Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
Thanks for the great replies. The model I was leaning towards is the Trek 7100 series. IIRC, this model had thin tires, shock absorbing forks, hard tail, but did have a shock absorbing seat post. Price was around $500 I think.

steve
I'd seriously re-consider the shocks. All they do is rob power and give the LBS guy another talking point. Rural Pa. as in really hilly rural Pa.? If so, I'd be looking at efficient road bikes with triples for your riding.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
Thanks for the great replies. The model I was leaning towards is the Trek 7100 series. IIRC, this model had thin tires, shock absorbing forks, hard tail, but did have a shock absorbing seat post. Price was around $500 I think.

steve
Get the cheapest in the 7000 series. Ride it for a year. Consider it a $300 lesson in why you want a road bike.

At least, that is how it worked for me.
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Old 07-30-08, 06:47 PM
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http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...estore_ID=1791
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Old 07-30-08, 06:55 PM
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Started a new thread with more specifics. Thanks for the help.

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