Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

To all those who regret getting a hybrid for commuting... what did you move on to?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

To all those who regret getting a hybrid for commuting... what did you move on to?

Old 06-13-09, 12:15 AM
  #1  
devtec
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
To all those who regret getting a hybrid for commuting... what did you move on to?

Hey all,

I was all set to get a Trek 7.5 FX or similar bike for my commute.

But then started reading the forums more in depth, and it seems a very significant number of people eventually regret getting a hybrid/flatbar bike for their commute. Either its unergonomic after a longer ride, or the wind is frustrating, or as people get more into the sport they want to move up to a real road bike anyway.

So it seems that if I want to purchase just one bike that I'll be happy with, that a road bike with drop down bars is the way to go (eg, a touring bike). So, in this category, what should I consider?

My budget is around $400-1000.

From reading the threads, my ideal commuter would be able to take 32c tires (like the Bontrager kevlar hard case) for durability across the city, and also have disc brakes (I live in Chicago). Only drop down bar bike I've seen that actually has discs is the Trek Portland, but it is out of my budget. But still, it would be nice if something else like this exists. Also, I'm not too concerned with all the storage options, since I'll really only be bringing one bag to work across my shoulder.

So, you get the idea... what do all you commuters recommend? If this really just simplifies to the best road bike for $1000, please let me know that. As always, thank you so much!!!

Last edited by devtec; 06-13-09 at 12:45 AM.
devtec is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 12:23 AM
  #2  
mijome07
Senior Member
 
mijome07's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: So Cal
Posts: 1,563
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
I went from this to this in less than a year. Bikesdirect is your friend.
mijome07 is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 12:30 AM
  #3  
uke
it's easy if you let it.
 
uke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: indoors and out.
Posts: 4,124
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went from this to this. I still have and ride both, but the second was a far better value than the first. I have no plans to ever buy another bike from a bike store.
uke is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 02:32 AM
  #4  
abstractform20
Senior Member
 
abstractform20's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 2,884
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
i have a road bike. wanted a single speed though, for fun...and so i would not get too far ahead of my gf.

i bought a Jamis Citizen (08?) commuter that was converted into a single speed, from some guy on

the UC Davis campus...got the deal on craigslist for 100 bucks.

he had replaced the flats with drop bars. its fun and i can go over rougher roads w/less problems.

oh shlt. i have to wake up in 5 hours. eh. but yeah, check craigslist.
abstractform20 is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 02:39 AM
  #5  
bugly64
Share the road.
 
bugly64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Marysville, CA
Posts: 1,245

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Fargo, Rocky Mountain Fusion, 2013 Santa Cruz Tallboy LTc, 2015 BMC Teammachine SLR03, Yuba Mundo, 2008 Brompton M3L

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
I went from my own MTB 700c hybrid


Then I went to this:
bugly64 is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 07:12 AM
  #6  
devtec
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks all for the responses so far...

After more research, it seems that cyclocross bikes might be good commuters since they are lightweight but durable road bikes with large clearances and thicker tires. Of course, they don't have all the brazing for utility attachments. But is anyone here using cyclocross as commuters? Too expensive, overkill? There are some sub-1000 deals out there though...

Of course, still interested in any of your other regular road bike drop down bar suggestions for commuters. Please keep them coming!
devtec is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 08:03 AM
  #7  
Tex_Arcana
Lone Star
 
Tex_Arcana's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Houston, Tx.
Posts: 561
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Uke! You so kwaaaaazy!

I went from an Ironhorse Urban to an SE Draft. Both bikes are near the same price range. Both bikes were bought when I got sick of dealing with the last bike I had and bought with the available cash I had on hand.
Tex_Arcana is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 08:05 AM
  #8  
DataJunkie
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 14,277
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Ignore any and all advice from the user regarding jamis vs the toy from target.

I started with a marin hybrid. Worthless.
Went from that to a Novara Randonee touring bike. Heavy and slow but a good bike overall.
Went from the Randonee to a langster and a hard rock.
Langster was ok but could not fit fenders or a rack.
The langster was ran over and I replaced it with a salsa casserole made up as a fg.
It is a light and fast road bike that can take fenders and a rack. I currently have it setup without the fenders and rack for summer.
DataJunkie is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 08:13 AM
  #9  
Jay D
Human Powered Vehiclist
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 255
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I started with a Specialized Sirrus Sport but then switched to a Bacchetta Giro 20 (recumbent bike).
Jay D is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 08:25 AM
  #10  
jewelthief
Bike me!
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 45
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I bought a Trek 7.3 and do absolutely love riding it. Besides adding fenders, a rack, and lights, I have moved on to a different pedals, saddle, and handlebars.

It now has Shimano 424 pedals which allow me to clip into either side or use it with street shoes if necessary.

My wife bought me a Brooks B17 for Christmas, which is still in its break in period (which isn't nearly as bad as some have said it to be).

I tired bar ends but didn't care for them too much, so recently I changed to Titec H-bars. They are much more comfortable than the riser bar that was original equipment.

Maybe you should just resign yourself to the fact that the customization of any bike is going to happen, because that is what will make it "your" bike. But start out with something that is basically sound for what you want to do with it. I like the hybrid because it is fast and light like a road bike, but also gave me options to help me on my daily commute.
jewelthief is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 08:28 AM
  #11  
daven1986
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 2,324
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went from a specialized globe sport disc to a giant scr1 road bike, I later converted my specialized to drop bars, but I am now gearing up to build a cross style bike with disc brakes and drop bars with a road bike geometry. I much prefer the drops and the position on the road bike.

My advice now to ALL new riders is "try drop bars, don't dismiss them without trying, it was my biggest mistake"
daven1986 is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 08:43 AM
  #12  
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,606
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 81 Post(s)
Liked 33 Times in 24 Posts
As I see it, the problem is that you won't really know what sort of bike you want/need for your commute until you have been riding a bike to work for a few months. Is thre any possibility of finding one of the many bikes that languish, unridden, in garages and basements?

Paul
PaulH is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 09:11 AM
  #13  
dwr1961
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by devtec View Post
Thanks all for the responses so far...

After more research, it seems that cyclocross bikes might be good commuters since they are lightweight but durable road bikes with large clearances and thicker tires. Of course, they don't have all the brazing for utility attachments. But is anyone here using cyclocross as commuters? Too expensive, overkill? There are some sub-1000 deals out there though...

Of course, still interested in any of your other regular road bike drop down bar suggestions for commuters. Please keep them coming!
My first commuting bike (11 years ago) was a loaner from a relative... A hybrid 21 speed from the mid-80's. It was fuchsia, had bartop SIS shifters, and weighed a ton. I "moved up" to another loaner - a '92 (or spo) Schwinn Woodlands rigid fork MTB with better spec. Those two machines got my through my commuting infancy.

One day I awoke to the idea that commuting to work was not enough. I wanted to ride a century! I bought a road bike (99 Schwinn Peloton) and rode that thing many thousands of miles including several centuries. It was my true cycling "first love." But it wasn't good in bad weather... So I added an MTB for winter / rotten weather commuting,

After all of this, cyclocross bikes became popular. I could see the advantages: Tire selection, fenders, long-distance comfort, drop bars... Just about the perfect bike. I wanted disc brakes, though - and at the time Cannondale and LeMond made the only two widely available CX frames that accomodated them. I didn't care for the geometry on either bike. So I built my own out from the cheap Nashbar frame and fork. It is now my favorite bike.

Today your choices are far more numerous. You can buy BikeDirect's CX with discs for $895 according to their website. It has Avid BB-5 discs which lack the slick adjustment on the BB-7's, but stop about as well, and some of the parts spec is definitely in the "upgrade" territory. Also, you'll have to be very sure of how you'd fit on the frame without a test ride... There are all sorts of opinions on BD around here.

Nashbar's CX frame and fork go on sale regularly. You should be able to get the pair for $250 or less if you hit it right. Depending upon how much stuff you have lying around, the build could still cost a lot. A decent pair of hand-built 700c disc starts at about $300. Avid Road BB-7's are about $150 per pair... I had some stuff to use on the build (Ultegra crank and rear derailleur, Brooks saddle, Thomson post) and still ended up spending $1500 or so.

If you are not going to run rack(s) and panniers, I think a CX is the perfect commuting / long-distance comfort bike. If you are ever going to ride centuries, etc. you will be glad for having drop-style bars, and you can run fenders and serious tires for bad weather and poor roads.

I still ride my MTB and road bike... Once in a while
dwr1961 is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 09:17 AM
  #14  
no1mad 
Thunder Whisperer
 
no1mad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: NE OK
Posts: 8,852

Bikes: '06 Kona Smoke

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 272 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Originally Posted by devtec View Post
Hey all,

I was all set to get a Trek 7.5 FX or similar bike for my commute.

But then started reading the forums more in depth, and it seems a very significant number of people eventually regret getting a hybrid/flatbar bike for their commute. Either its unergonomic after a longer ride, or the wind is frustrating, or as people get more into the sport they want to move up to a real road bike anyway.

So it seems that if I want to purchase just one bike that I'll be happy with, that a road bike with drop down bars is the way to go (eg, a touring bike). So, in this category, what should I consider?

My budget is around $400-1000.

From reading the threads, my ideal commuter would be able to take 32c tires (like the Bontrager kevlar hard case) for durability across the city, and also have disc brakes (I live in Chicago). Only drop down bar bike I've seen that actually has discs is the Trek Portland, but it is out of my budget. But still, it would be nice if something else like this exists. Also, I'm not too concerned with all the storage options, since I'll really only be bringing one bag to work across my shoulder.

So, you get the idea... what do all you commuters recommend? If this really just simplifies to the best road bike for $1000, please let me know that. As always, thank you so much!!!
Then you haven't seen the Kona Dew Drop, which is in your budget.
__________________
Community guidelines
no1mad is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 10:08 AM
  #15  
Jaeger
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Gatineau, Quebec
Posts: 347

Bikes: Rocky Mountain

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a hybrid with a rack that I set up with the intention of using it for commuting but I find myself using my road bike much more often. Even though I don't really like carrying stuff in a backpack and my road bike doesn't have a rack, I still seem to ride my road bike more often than not.

So I guess if were to set up another bike as a commuter I should get a cyclocross or touring bike - something that rides close to a road bike but has room for racks and larger tires.
Jaeger is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 10:17 AM
  #16  
Barrettscv 
Have bike, will travel
 
Barrettscv's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Lake Geneva, WI
Posts: 12,153

Bikes: Ridley Helium SLX, Canyon Endurance SL, De Rosa Professional, Eddy Merckx Corsa Extra, Schwinn Paramount (1 painted, 1 chrome), Peugeot PX10, Serotta Nova X, Simoncini Cyclocross Special, Raleigh Roker, Pedal Force CG2 and CX2

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 797 Post(s)
Liked 106 Times in 66 Posts
I also live in Chicago.

I went from This Giant Cypress



To this Soma Double Cross



The Soma fits your requirements with drop-bars, disc brake flange and can take 35 mm tires & fenders.

The cost of the build will exceed $1000. See https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/470912-soma-double-cross-commuter-build-finally-finished.html
__________________
When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.

Last edited by Barrettscv; 06-13-09 at 10:21 AM.
Barrettscv is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 10:23 AM
  #17  
rugerben
Senior Member
 
rugerben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,509
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I started with this:


Modified it to become this:


And am now phasing it out in favor of this:

(which by the way, now has had the handlebar tape shellaced so it actually matches the honey Brooks saddle on it, rather than looking like band-aid color.

So just to sum it up, started with a Giant TranSend DX and am now beginning to use my Cannondale T400 (I bought it on CL for $400. Woot.) more and more.


Hybrid--->touring bike.

Why would I pick a touring bike over a cyclocross bike?
Longer chainstays, and you know it has al the right brazeons.

I can use the touring bike without having to worry about heel strike, even with a standard (non-touring) rack. CX bikes have shorter chainstays, so you may need a touring rack. Not really a big deal, and they don't really cost any more than a normal one. But touring bikes are built to handle while carrying a load. CX bikes aren't.

Also, many times that you see CX commuters, they have one one set of braze-ons in the back. So you have to pick between fenders or rack. Or you could double up on one braze-on. Or you could use P-clamps. But honestly, if you have a touring bike with enough braze-ons for everything, then you never have to worry about it. Fenders? sure throw 'em on there. Rack also? Yeah, why not. We've got a braze-on for that too.

I love the geometry of touring bikes. just a tad more relaxed than CX bikes.

That being said, my next bike very well may be a CX bike and I may use it for commuting. Why? Because it's not that big a deal to put on a touring rack. I'm sure it'll handle just fine with a load, even if not quite as well as a touring bike. I can always double up on one braze-on. And the geometry will be just fine.

In return for the compromises, I'd get a bike that I could strip down and ride fast on weekends instead of having a separate road bike.

It's a tough call between CX and touring. Right now I prefer touring. But only time will tell where my preferences will go.

OK fine. One last pic (since we all love pics.) Here is the bar tape on my C-Dale T400 as it is now:

Last edited by rugerben; 06-13-09 at 10:26 AM.
rugerben is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 11:05 AM
  #18  
devtec
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks!

Ok, so just to keep a running list of drop bar road bikes with disc brakes, we have the following options:

2009 Lemond Poprad Disc
2009 Trek Portland
2009 Kona Dew Drop
2009 Novara Buzz
2009 Raleigh Sojourn
2009 Salsa La Cruz
2008 Cannondale Cross XR 7

The Lemond seems to be very popular among commuters and a good value...
devtec is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 11:14 AM
  #19  
rugerben
Senior Member
 
rugerben's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 1,509
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Remember there is also the Kona Sutra. Puts you $200 outside your price range, but the components are really good!
rugerben is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 11:25 AM
  #20  
BigDaddyPete
Senior Member
 
BigDaddyPete's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Pittsfield, MA
Posts: 633

Bikes: Motobecane Fantom Cross 2008 Schwinn Super Sport 1972 SS. Surly Pacer Rando bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My current commuter is from Bikesdirect.com, the fantom cx. I love it, but wish I'd spent the extra money on the Outlaw one. It comes with disc brakes.
BigDaddyPete is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 11:51 AM
  #21  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 34,623

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5540 Post(s)
Liked 1,274 Times in 669 Posts
Length of commute has some bearing on the situation, same with what type of non-commute riding you might be interested in. Personally,

If I was commuting 5 miles or fewer, I'd get an MTB with a spare wheelset with slicks so I could go trail riding on the weekend.

5-10 miles, I'd be less inclined to roll MTB.

11 miles plus, CX, touring or road bike, fer sure!

If it's a flat commute, I might consider Single Speed. Flat 2-mile commute, perhaps even a cruiser.

If you have to lug a lot of stuff, check for rack mounts on bikes.

I have a 3.8 mile commute, and take my Pinarello on most days. Take my Mongoose with cruiser bars and trailer on days when heavy hauling is required. Sometimes I'll take the Mongoose sans trailer when I just wanna cruise upright. It's kinda nice for when I wanna roll downtown after work and window shop, get coffee, etc.

My commute has a 60/40 paved/dirt option which I'll take my KHS with knobbies on.

Every now and then I'll pedal my HEAVY cruiser, just for fun.

Sometimes I even ride my skateboard to work and back.

For a while I rode a hybrid I found, but man, that thing was a dog.
LesterOfPuppets is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 11:55 AM
  #22  
LesterOfPuppets
cowboy, steel horse, etc
 
LesterOfPuppets's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Valley of the Sun.
Posts: 34,623

Bikes: everywhere

Mentioned: 56 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5540 Post(s)
Liked 1,274 Times in 669 Posts
One more thing, surely Chicago has some places to rent bikes of various types, I'd give that a whirl.
LesterOfPuppets is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 11:57 AM
  #23  
destikon
FNG
 
destikon's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Quarry Stone
Posts: 877

Bikes: Raleigh Special * Nishiki MTN Winter Commuter * Trek Soho 3 * Specialized Langster Seattle

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm a flat bar fan with out a doubt. I think getting down on the drops is kind of worthless unless you're racing or something. It's not comfortable for me at all. You can put flat bars on a road bike. You can put drop bars on a hybrid. Don't go into the buying process with an idea of what's better before you've tried everything first. Oh yeah and I'm not trying starting a debate on whats better either.
__________________
Originally Posted by powers2b View Post
time's up
destikon is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 12:07 PM
  #24  
Doohickie 
You gonna eat that?
 
Doohickie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Fort Worth, Texas Church of Hopeful Uncertainty
Posts: 14,682

Bikes: 1966 Raleigh DL-1 Tourist, 1973 Schwinn Varsity, 1983 Raleigh Marathon, 1994 Nishiki Sport XRS

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
I still have the hybrid. In fact, I had a backup commuter that is a drop bar bike, but just last night I decided I have enough commuters and took the rack off the Dumpster Queen. The other backup commuter I have that has drop bars, a 1973 Schwinn Varsity, will be refitted with Tourist bars.
__________________
I stop for people / whose right of way I honor / but not for no one.


Originally Posted by bragi "However, it's never a good idea to overgeneralize."
Doohickie is offline  
Old 06-13-09, 12:14 PM
  #25  
dwr1961
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: SW Idaho
Posts: 643
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by destikon View Post
I'm a flat bar fan with out a doubt. I think getting down on the drops is kind of worthless unless you're racing or something. It's not comfortable for me at all. You can put flat bars on a road bike. You can put drop bars on a hybrid. Don't go into the buying process with an idea of what's better before you've tried everything first. Oh yeah and I'm not trying starting a debate on whats better either.
I know you're not trying to debate, but you're missing a major point regarding drop bars...

It's not about being "in the drops"; it's about having multiple hand positions along the top of the bars and on the brake hoods. Most (non-racing) cyclists rarely use the drops unless they're really flying - or fighting the wind.

Flat bars lock you into one position - at the grips. Usually your arms are splayed out wider than your shoulders and your wrists are frozen in one position due to the brakes /shifters. That's a recipe for pain on longer rides.

Bar-ends and Ergons can help, but still don't give the same level of freedom and comfort. That's why touring rigs almost universally have drop-bars. Those guys aren't racing.

I'm just offering this in the spirit of education, destikon, not to make you wrong.
dwr1961 is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.