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speed difference between road bike and city/hybrid bike

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speed difference between road bike and city/hybrid bike

Old 01-26-09, 08:00 PM
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xxgrzesx
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speed difference between road bike and city/hybrid bike

My mountain bike which I recently used almost exclusively for commuting was stolen, so I am looking into new bike. At first I wanted to get a road bike, but a guy in the store suggested me to buy hybrid bike. His point was that roads in Los Angeles have a lot of potholes, and that I will damage wheels on road bike quickly. Actually the price of the hybrid bike is $200 less than road bike, but I am not sure which sale is more profitable for him. The bike he suggested is Gary Fisher Wingra for $470. I would like to know what is the approximate speed difference between road and hybrid bike. I ride to work around 13 miles one way, and trip to work takes me 35minutes to 40minutes. So I average around 20mph. About 1/3 of the trip is downhill, the rest is flat and no traffic as I start at 5:30am. The store offers free life time maintenance (if it stays in business), but damage to wheels would not be covered . Any suggestion, comments appreciated.

https://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/wingra
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Old 01-26-09, 08:04 PM
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Originally Posted by xxgrzesx View Post
My mountain bike which I recently used almost exclusively for commuting was stolen, so I am looking into new bike. At first I wanted to get a road bike, but a guy in the store suggested me to buy hybrid bike. His point was that roads in Los Angeles have a lot of potholes, and that I will damage wheels on road bike quickly. Actually the price of the hybrid bike is $200 less than road bike, but I am not sure which sale is more profitable for him. The bike he suggested is Gary Fisher Wingra for $470. I would like to know what is the approximate speed difference between road and hybrid bike. I ride to work around 13 miles one way, and trip to work takes me 35minutes to 40minutes. So I average around 20mph. About 1/3 of the trip is downhill, the rest is flat and no traffic as I start at 5:30am. The store offers free life time maintenance (if it stays in business), but damage to wheels would not be covered . Any suggestion, comments appreciated.

https://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/wingra
Oh Lord! Here we go again. All the hybrid-haters come forward please lol.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:07 PM
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Go road bike. If you need sturdier tires, go touring bike or cyclocross. But you probably don't need sturdier tires, just don't jump or slam into things. I am 6'1" and over 250 lbs and run, among others, a carbon fiber race bike without worry.

I would put the speed difference at around 20 percent. So if I can do 14mph on a hybrid, I am doing 17 mph on a cyclocross.

No hybrid bashing here, they just are slower and more work, but not bad in any way. They are often more comfortable.

Last edited by Hot Potato; 01-26-09 at 08:14 PM.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
Go road bike. If you need sturdier tires, go touring bike or cyclocross. But you probably don't need sturdier tires, just don't jump or slam into things. I am 6'1" and over 250 lbs and run, among others, a carbon fiber race bike without worry.

I would put the speed difference at around 20 percent. So if I can do 14mph on a hybrid, I am doing 17 mph on a cyclocross.

No hybrid bashing here, they just are slower and more work, but not bad in any way. They are often more comfortable.
Stick around Mr. Potato. They'll be along soon lol.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:16 PM
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For me, and I am sure this varies, I am right at 3mph faster on my road bike than I am on my mountain bike. Some of that may be skewed by the fact that I only ride the mountain bike when road conditions make me not want to ride the mountain bike, but there are days when the morning is nasty but the ride home is clean and clear and it still works out the same.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:19 PM
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It wasn't that long ago that I was in the same position. Because I only had enough money to buy the hybrid, I did. The salesman had a pretty good pitch too. "Less than perfect roads, go with the hybrid." If I could go back and do it all over again, I would've kept saving my money and got a road bike. I love my hybrid, but I like the more aggressive geometry of road bikes. You're pretty much in an upright position on a hybrid, which means more wind resistance. They're comfortable and ideal for leisure rides; however, I'm usually booking it on my way to and from work.

Anyway, either way you go, it'll probably be faster than your mountain bike.
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Old 01-26-09, 08:26 PM
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If 1/3 of your trip to work is down hill then doesn't mean 1/3 of you trip back home is uphill? That like 4 miles uphill....

If I were you I would look into getting a electric power assist bike.
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Old 01-26-09, 09:25 PM
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Get one of these!



Seriously though...try out a touring or cyclocross bike. I ride on a cyclocross race bike and I couldn't be happier. I have also ridden a bunch on a Giant FCR3 Hybrid bicycle and that was a lot of fun too. Actually, riding that bike is what got me to start looking at upgrading to a nicer bike. I used to ride an old Specialized Hardrock mountain bike and got the upgrade itch after riding my roommate's FCR3. I finally ended up choosing a Cross-Check and I couldn't be happier. And yes, I do notice a difference when riding my bike over riding the hybrid. I am much more aerodynamic and so not only can I bicycle faster but also in a more comfortable position at that speed. In order to get up to that speed on a hybrid I would have to be uncomfortably hunkered down on the bike. I live about 10 miles outside of town so that gives you an idea of how far I bicycle. Regardless, either style of bike is probably going to be an upgrade in speed over your former bike.
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Old 01-26-09, 09:40 PM
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Not all hyrids are the same, so there's no way to say how much faster a road bike will be over a hybrid without controled tests. That GF looks plenty speedy to me, and as long as you set the bars in a reasonable position it won't have you anywhere near "bolt upright in the wind".
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Old 01-26-09, 10:19 PM
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Not much difference in speed between hybrid and road, maybe 1 mph, but a road bike will feel a lot faster and if it is lighter will be a lot easier going up the hill. I commute on a cyclocross with 28 mm tires and 30 mm deep rims to cope with potholes, crushed stone paths and my 235 lb. If you only weigh 160 lb you should have no trouble with 25 mm tires. Use a rack for carrying your things. You might want a triple for the hill.
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Old 01-26-09, 10:28 PM
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What kind of roads are you riding on? I would go with whatever you will be more comfortable with.

Some people just like to cruise, maybe sit more upright and aren't in it for the speed. Some people like to get in to different positions, and max out their speed once in a while. It's really up to you.

Road bikes aren't for everyone. I personally love the way road bikes ride. If you are used to Mtn. Bikes and cruisers then it will take a bit to get used to the feeling of bigger wheels, skinny tires and different bars.
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Old 01-26-09, 10:30 PM
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Thanks a lot for all replies. It has been a long time since I had a road bike. I guess I will call around to see if I might rent it for a day. Or maybe I will find a store which will let me ride it around a block. I will pass on the electric bike option, as I treat that "uphill" as conditioning for karate. Thanks again for all suggestions.
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Old 01-26-09, 10:35 PM
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Depends on a lot of things. The hybrid isn't inherently slower, but presumably you're buying the thing to use wider tires, and the wider tires at presumably lower pressures will create more rolling resistance. Also, the hybrid will probably have a more upright position for you, which creates more air resistance - though, again, either bike can be adjusted via change in stem or bars to modify the posture to whatever you want, pretty much.

I'd say a 3mph drop assumes a good bit lower tire pressure. I lose about 3mph on my hybrid with 50psi vs. 90psi on my road bike, and that's with probably an extra 15 lbs of iron on the hybrid. Comparing two modern bikes (which you're looking at), and more comparable tire pressures and posture I'd say 1-2 mph.

As mentioned earlier, a cyclocross bike would be a great option that would let you use wider tires, up to 32-37mm depending on the model. With a cross bike, it pretty much *is* a road bike if you put narrower tires on it, and that would give you a chance to dial in your ride by getting a couple different widths of tires.

As to the shop - if the guy's steering you away from a shiny expensive road bike to a $400 hybrid, he's not doing it with his own interests at heart. Definitely trust the guy as far as his motives, he's not making as much with the cheaper bike.

Regarding the roads - consider alternate routes, and take a good look at the road conditions to see if you really need anything more than a road bike anyway.

Good luck!
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Old 01-26-09, 11:54 PM
  #14  
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Originally Posted by Hot Potato View Post
Go road bike. If you need sturdier tires, go touring bike or cyclocross. But you probably don't need sturdier tires, just don't jump or slam into things. I am 6'1" and over 250 lbs and run, among others, a carbon fiber race bike without worry.

I would put the speed difference at around 20 percent. So if I can do 14mph on a hybrid, I am doing 17 mph on a cyclocross.

No hybrid bashing here, they just are slower and more work, but not bad in any way. They are often more comfortable.
I hate to break it to you but many hybrids are nothing more than touring bikes with flat bars. My '07 Specialized Sirrus has similar geometry to my road bike an '88. The only difference is Specialized loosed it up just enough for fatter tires and a set of fenders and added rack braze-ons as my '88 has none.

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Old 01-27-09, 05:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I hate to break it to you but many hybrids are nothing more than touring bikes with flat bars.
And front suspension.

Not bashing either, but slapping a rack and panniers on a road bike if you have to carry stuff is like putting a luggage rack on a Ferrari. Yeah, my road bike is about 3mph faster, at the cost of having to carry stuff in a backpack, and a much harsher ride on 23mm versus 36mm on my commuter.


-Roger
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Old 01-27-09, 06:21 AM
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i agree i have a "hyrid" but the only thing different is the bars..it's the same geo as a road bike and everything just flat bars...when comparing it to my SS/fixed gear it's heavier of course and faster..but that's kind of a hard comparison. I wish i would have gotten it with the drop bars though.
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Old 01-27-09, 08:50 AM
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For my commute, the flat bars are quite practical. I've got 16 stop signs and 11 stop lights (and a gazillion driveways/side streets). If I had drops I'd only be able to use them maybe a quarter of the distance. I need to be heads up.

I love all the braze-ons and eyelets for my rack and fenders.

(I've got an '01 Sirrus).
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Old 01-27-09, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
And front suspension.

Not bashing either, but slapping a rack and panniers on a road bike if you have to carry stuff is like putting a luggage rack on a Ferrari. Yeah, my road bike is about 3mph faster, at the cost of having to carry stuff in a backpack, and a much harsher ride on 23mm versus 36mm on my commuter.


-Roger
Not all hybrids have front suspension (including the one the OP is asking about) and not all "road bikes" have to run 23mm tires.
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Old 01-27-09, 09:24 AM
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Originally Posted by xxgrzesx View Post
Thanks a lot for all replies. It has been a long time since I had a road bike. I guess I will call around to see if I might rent it for a day. Or maybe I will find a store which will let me ride it around a block. I will pass on the electric bike option, as I treat that "uphill" as conditioning for karate. Thanks again for all suggestions.
What road bike were you thinking of?

Does the LBS have a 30 day free exchange policy? If they do then you might try out the hybrid and see how it works for you.

If the road bike you were looking at has the brifter setup then that will help with your commute if you decide to later go with the road bike over the hybrid.

Some hybrids have nice sturdy wheels, some have very weak wheels, some road bike have very sturdy wheels, some have very weak wheels, kind of the same situation without knowing specifically which bikes you are comparing. Some hybrids are in reality set up as neighborhood casual bike path bikes and don't hold up well to daily commuting needs, same with other formats of bikes.

And a touring bike is technically a road bike, and touring bikes handle racks and bags quite nicely.

It is hard to tell from the link if that Fisher MTB/CityBike has eyelets for racks or fenders on it.

If you like Gary Fisher bikes then what do you think of this Triton?
https://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/triton
Again, though, it is hard to see if it has eyelets for racks or fenders.
Uh, wait, https://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/triton/fullspecs , it appears to have a flipflop on back so it is a SS/FG bike and I don't know if you'd want a single speed bike for your commute. I've used my Lemond Fillmore on my 22 mile each way commute and it worked fine, but multiple gears would have made the ride easier at times.

Looks like you'd have to step up to the $1,000 range to get gears on a Fisher road bike, and that would also put you on a low spoke count wheelset which might not be so great on a daily commuter bike.

Basically I'm probably no help at all in this thread so I'll meander back to the C&V area....

If it were me however, I'd try to find something along these lines:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/wst...009515951.html
or this:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/sgv...009352126.html
or one of these:
https://losangeles.craigslist.org/lgb...009338279.html
as long as one of them fits your sizing needs.

Okay, I'll go back now, ...
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Old 01-27-09, 09:27 AM
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In Texas, I need the drops because of all the wind. I'm either into the wind on the way in or the way home, but it's always windy here. Not sure how your ride is. I'd decide it solely on that, personally.
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Old 01-27-09, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sirrus Rider View Post
I hate to break it to you but many hybrids are nothing more than touring bikes with flat bars.
Not really, take it from someone who has far too many touring bikes, there are substantial differences. The chainstays on my trek 620 are something like 6 cm longer than a Sirrus, with the corresponding increase in wheelbase. It also has a lot less trail, making it a much more stable ride. Also, a shorter top tube, allowing for a more comfortable fit doing long distances, or maybe just the ability to run drop handlebars.

Sorry, different beasts entirely, but your right, they do both have braze ons, an big tires.

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Old 01-27-09, 11:47 AM
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If you are comfortable with flat bars and not into road racing or long distance cycling, save your money and go with the hybrid.
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Old 01-27-09, 11:57 AM
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i got a hybrid first, but then went with a road bike for my second bike. i far prefer the road bike, it is noticably faster off the block, and the drop handlebars are really nice to ride in.

take a decent test ride in both, and see the difference in weight and speed and judge for yourself. for me i'd never go back to a hybrid.
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Old 01-27-09, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
i got a hybrid first, but then went with a road bike for my second bike. i far prefer the road bike, it is noticably faster off the block, and the drop handlebars are really nice to ride in.

take a decent test ride in both, and see the difference in weight and speed and judge for yourself. for me i'd never go back to a hybrid.
+ a bajillion
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Old 01-27-09, 12:38 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by CCrew View Post
And front suspension.

Not bashing either, but slapping a rack and panniers on a road bike if you have to carry stuff is like putting a luggage rack on a Ferrari. Yeah, my road bike is about 3mph faster, at the cost of having to carry stuff in a backpack, and a much harsher ride on 23mm versus 36mm on my commuter.


-Roger
The Sirrus has no front suspension.
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