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Hybrid vs Road Bike

Old 06-16-14, 10:41 AM
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Hybrid vs Road Bike

Hello everyone.

I'm new to commuting and I'm just looking for advice on what I should get. I've never bought a bike so I'm not sure on everything I should be looking for. From what I've seen a hybrid or road bike would be best for commuting. I also want to use this bike for exercise 50% of the time. My route would consist of mostly side walks and hilly areas between 3-5 miles between my school and job. I'm 6'2 and 265 lbs (trying to get back down to 225) and looking for something decent but not overly expensive. I'm 22 and a college student so hopefully no more than $400. Trying to avoid Walmart because I don't think they would have anything that would last but if anyone could recommend something that would work great.

Here's a link to the only bike shop where I live (Rolla, Missouri) and if anyone feels like looking and maybe recommending something or a site to order something from that would be very helpful. I figure that whatever I get, I can take to this shop to be fine tuned to fit me.

Route 66 Bicycles - Rolla, MO | (573)368-3001 | Trek, Bontrager, Saris

Thanks in advance,

Krispy
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Old 06-16-14, 11:11 AM
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You probably also want to look at a CX bike, like this:

Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

I wouldn't buy online unless you're mechanically inclined and have no problems finishing off your bike.

FWIW, $400 is probably about as low as you'd want to spend for a bike.
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Old 06-16-14, 11:21 AM
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The cheapest bikes in the commuting/hybrid ranges offered by that bike store (except for the single speed/fixies) start at about $420 so you might need to open your wallet a little more to get something from this store. Don't forget, you may also need to buy a pump, extra tube(s), patch kit, tire levers that will bump up the cost by a bit more.

You might want to consider Craigslist (CL) for a really inexpensive bike for this year and then, with some extra savings, get something better. You're not travelling far so something with a few gears (given the hills) would be reasonable. Furthermore, it has been said on this forum often that colleges are a theft magnet so an older, non-descript bike would be looked past to something newer and shinier. Nevertheless, get a decent lock: no matter what, you don't want to lose whatever you end up with.
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Old 06-16-14, 11:24 AM
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Is your commute terrain mostly flat?

If so, get the Nashbar Single Speed CX Bike @ $400

Find Bikes, Cycling Clothing, Bike Parts & Bike Shoes Or Your Local Bike Store at Performance.

Last edited by WestPablo; 06-16-14 at 11:30 AM.
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Old 06-16-14, 11:26 AM
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For a first bike, I'd suggest buying from a bike shop. Buying used is difficult, unless you know what to look for or have a friend whose opinion you can rely on. I'd suggest buying a $400-$500 hybrid - you should be able to get last year's models at a discount.

Last edited by treadtread; 06-16-14 at 04:35 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 06-16-14, 11:30 AM
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Yes. The routes I would take would be mostly side walks and streets. There maybe some gravel but very rarely.
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Old 06-16-14, 11:33 AM
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jrickards: Would the single speed/fixies be worth buying and good for hilly areas or would that be a good start and then eventually convert into a commuter?
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Old 06-16-14, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Krispy10 View Post
Yes. The routes I would take would be mostly side walks and streets. There maybe some gravel but very rarely.
If those sidewalks and streets are flat then get the Nashbar single speed cx bike.

Otherwise, get the Giant Revel mountain bike @ $400
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Old 06-16-14, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Krispy10 View Post
jrickards: Would the single speed/fixies be worth buying and good for hilly areas or would that be a good start and then eventually convert into a commuter?
I don't own a single speed bike so I'm not the best to answer this. However, you did mention hilly and if you're new to biking, then, because a single speed has only one gear, hilly terrain can be an issue for new cyclists without gears to adjust the effort. I've been cycling for years but you can't get around my city without having to go up a hill or multiple so I don't think I'd ever get a single speed.

However, there are many of us who do commute on single speed/fixies with either a backpack or messenger bag (or maybe even racks?) so it is entirely possible to commute with a single speed/fixie, just not for me and maybe not for you at first.
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Old 06-16-14, 12:03 PM
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If you have seriously steep hills, then do NOT get a single speed or a fixie!

Checkout the Giant Escape 3, instead! @ $330

Last edited by WestPablo; 06-16-14 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 06-16-14, 01:49 PM
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Thanks everyone for all the help
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Old 06-16-14, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Krispy10 View Post
Thanks everyone for all the help

So..What are you thinking about doing?
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Old 06-16-14, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
So..What are you thinking about doing?
I'm thinking about getting the Giant Escape 3 but I can't figure out where to order from. There isn't any locations near me in Rolla, MO (65401). Do you know where I can order one?
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Old 06-16-14, 02:40 PM
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Columbia or St Louis would be the closest Giant stores......... Yikes............

Thee is always the Marin Muirwoods on Amazon.
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Old 06-16-14, 02:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Krispy10 View Post
I'm thinking about getting the Giant Escape 3 but I can't figure out where to order from. There isn't any locations near me in Rolla, MO (65401). Do you know where I can order one?
Do you have access to a vehicle?

OR-

Can someone drive you about 80 miles away, without charging you?
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Old 06-16-14, 02:45 PM
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If you know you're going to be riding into a headwind a lot, I'd recommend the road bike. The more upright you are, the more you get punished by the headwind.

I didn't think about this, and was fine. Then the season changed, and the wind started again. And it SUCKS.
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Old 06-16-14, 02:47 PM
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I vote that you spend some time shopping used options. If no good deals are on CraigsList, then check local classifieds. A college town should almost always have something for a good deal. Also try garage sales and pawn shops.

For that short of a distance, pretty much any bike (mountian, hybird, road, cross) that is your size would work fine. If you do find a used bike that needs a bit of work, take it to the local shop for a tune-up. Then get a book or spend some time on YouTube watching repair videos. It's not that hard to learn basic bike maintenance. Much easier than a car.

After you've ridden a clunker for a while you will learn more about what you like and don't like and what may work for you long-term. Or you may also learn that cycling isn't for you, without having invested too much.

If nothing else, it can't hurt to have looked around only to learn that your best option is a new bike.
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Old 06-16-14, 02:52 PM
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Wait a minute!

How tall are you?
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Old 06-16-14, 02:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Krispy10 View Post
Hello everyone.

I'm new to commuting and I'm just looking for advice on what I should get. I've never bought a bike so I'm not sure on everything I should be looking for. From what I've seen a hybrid or road bike would be best for commuting. I also want to use this bike for exercise 50% of the time. My route would consist of mostly side walks and hilly areas between 3-5 miles between my school and job. I'm 6'2 and 265 lbs (trying to get back down to 225) and looking for something decent but not overly expensive. I'm 22 and a college student so hopefully no more than $400. Trying to avoid Walmart because I don't think they would have anything that would last but if anyone could recommend something that would work great.

Here's a link to the only bike shop where I live (Rolla, Missouri) and if anyone feels like looking and maybe recommending something or a site to order something from that would be very helpful. I figure that whatever I get, I can take to this shop to be fine tuned to fit me.

Route 66 Bicycles - Rolla, MO | (573)368-3001 | Trek, Bontrager, Saris

Thanks in advance,

Krispy
For the price you want to pay, the decision has ben made for the most part. There are few new road bikes that cost $400. Most start at more then $700 and $900 would be a very basic bike. Hybrids, on the other hand, cost about what you want to spend. Your bike shop can put you on a Trek Verve 1 or Trek 7.1 at your price point. Go ride some at that shop and buy one there.

Originally Posted by jrickards View Post
You might want to consider Craigslist (CL) for a really inexpensive bike for this year and then, with some extra savings, get something better. You're not travelling far so something with a few gears (given the hills) would be reasonable. Furthermore, it has been said on this forum often that colleges are a theft magnet so an older, non-descript bike would be looked past to something newer and shinier. Nevertheless, get a decent lock: no matter what, you don't want to lose whatever you end up with.
If Krispy has a friend who knows something about bikes or if Krispy had more experience in bicycles, Craigslist would be one way to go. However, if he has to ask the question of "which bike?", then I would suggest staying away from the used market. It's too easy for the inexperienced buyer to get burned because they don't know what to look for and they don't know how to size the frame. I also doubt that he will find much to fit his height.

Originally Posted by treadtread View Post
For a first bike, I'd suggest buying from a bike shop. Buying used is difficult, unless you know what to look for or have a friend who's opinion you can rely on. I'd suggest buying a $400-$500 hybrid - you should be able to get last year's models at a discount.
Yup.

Originally Posted by Krispy10 View Post
jrickards: Would the single speed/fixies be worth buying and good for hilly areas or would that be a good start and then eventually convert into a commuter?
Single speeds are what the word says. They are a single speed. If you start climbing a hill, you have one speed. If you start going down a hill you have the same speed. In to the wind, same thing. A "fixed" gear is a single speed that you cannot coast on. You turn the pedals and the bike goes. But you can't just stop turning the pedals And the hills aren't any easier. You may want to go that route later but, for some one just starting out, I'd suggest a multi-speed bicycle. They are a little more complicated...but not nearly as bad as the single speeders would have you believe...but they are better all around bikes.
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Old 06-16-14, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Single speeds are what the word says. They are a single speed. If you start climbing a hill, you have one speed. If you start going down a hill you have the same speed. In to the wind, same thing. A "fixed" gear is a single speed that you cannot coast on. You turn the pedals and the bike goes. But you can't just stop turning the pedals And the hills aren't any easier. You may want to go that route later but, for some one just starting out, I'd suggest a multi-speed bicycle. They are a little more complicated...but not nearly as bad as the single speeders would have you believe...but they are better all around bikes.
+1

A fixed gear bike is indeed a single speed. All fixed geared bikes are single speeds. However, not all single speed bikes are fixed geared bikes, or "fixies".

You can indeed, coast downhill on a single speed, but you can't coast downhill on a "fixie"...
You must continue to pedal downhill with a fixie. Something that you wouldn't have to do on a single speed!

Last edited by WestPablo; 06-16-14 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 06-16-14, 03:57 PM
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I'll also suggest going to a bike shop. Do not buy a bike on-line;you don't know yet how bikes fit you,and proper fit is critical.
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Old 06-24-14, 01:02 PM
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my 2 cents do some renting and riding
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Old 06-24-14, 01:47 PM
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Ah The linked shop sells Treks..

Hybrid and 'Cross' have similar types of wheels 700c ~32-35 ish. Flat Vs Drop Bars

Drop Bar Road has narrower wheel and the brake reach is shorter to limit the tire size to about a 28mm.. .

there are a parts pick mix that changes as there is more money on the table .

But even the basic stuff works adequately.

Go forth and Test Ride them all ..

but only the 7.0FX hits your near $400 price point @ $420.. their lowest price listed road bike a 1.2, is 2x that

perhaps the warehouse is sold out of the 1.1 .. then the restock for the 2015 year will be in the fall ~ winter..

You may ask at the shop if any other Trek dealers nearby, have any ? and sort out a dealer to dealer exchange..

Last edited by fietsbob; 06-24-14 at 02:00 PM.
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Old 06-24-14, 01:57 PM
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One thing to consider. One of the advantages of purchasing a bike at your local bike shop is that they'll help you out down the road when things come up. You might wait until you move to college to get a bike being as there'll be more shops and a better selection and you'll have warrant and free tune-up type services close at hand.
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Old 06-30-14, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by WestPablo View Post
+1

A fixed gear bike is indeed a single speed. All fixed geared bikes are single speeds. However, not all single speed bikes are fixed geared bikes, or "fixies".

You can indeed, coast downhill on a single speed, but you can't coast downhill on a "fixie"...
You must continue to pedal downhill with a fixie. Something that you wouldn't have to do on a single speed!
I saw somebody today with their feet perched on the rear axle, bmw/freestyle like. Pedals spinning away...

I wonder how he mangoes to get his feet mounted again, but I was headed the other way.
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