Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

Hybrid vs. Cyclocross

Notices
General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

Hybrid vs. Cyclocross

Old 05-08-16, 10:47 PM
  #1  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hybrid vs. Cyclocross

Hi everyone,

I am looking into buying my first bike (haven't ridden a bike in years). I am trying to determine what kind of bike I should buy, based on the type of riding I want to do. I have a good friend who is very into biking, and he is trying to push me into getting a cyclocross bike, although I initially thought a hybrid sounded like what I wanted.

The reason I want a bike is primarily for fitness - I am into weightlifting, but figured I should find a bit of cardio to do as well. Biking sounds like a good choice since it can be fun and also may help tone my legs outside the gym. I will probably ride about once a week (or every other week, depending), and I have no desire to ride on the road (or more specifically, where there are cars). The type of riding I expect to do will probably be light trails and parks (probably a combination of paved and dirt roads). Speed is not important to me - I do not plan on racing or riding for very long distances.

My friend is more into road biking, and I have a feeling the reason he wants me to get a cyclocross is so that I can ride with him on the road and keep up (although that's not really the type of riding I want to do). Maybe I have a misunderstanding of what a cyclocross bike is meant for, but I was under the impression they were meant more for roads, while hybrids were better for things like trails. From the fitness perspective, I also am under the impression that a cyclocross is easier to go fast on, and as I mentioned I don't care about speed, but would like my legs to get a good workout without the bike doing all the work. Overall, I would like something that doesn't limit me, and I would also like to get something that isn't crazy expensive until I see how much I actually get into it. Biking is very new to me, so and advice would be greatly appreciated!
Jahlon is offline  
Old 05-08-16, 11:06 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
SouthFLpix's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Miami, FL
Posts: 1,230

Bikes: 2007 Giant Cypress DX, Windsor Tourist 2011

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
A hybrid, sometimes called 'dual sport hybrid' can be good for off-road trails. It's pretty similar to a hard tail mountain bike, but it accepts thinner tires, which also work well on the road.

A cyclocross bike is a racing bike that is used in off-road races called 'cyclocross' races. It promotes a more aggressive and aerodynamic position and can be ridden faster. It's somewhat similar to a road bike, but has wider tires, lower gearing, and a higher bottom bracket. Riding off-road with this bike is bumpier than with a bike that has suspension.

In my experience, most non-cyclists would probably feel more comfortable with the upright position that a hybrid gives you, especially if you have not ridden a bike in a long time. The main benefit of the cyclocross bike is more hand positions due to the drop bars, and a more aggressive riding position that encourages riding at faster speeds. The extra hand positions are nice for longer rides, but again, riding on rough terrain is not a smooth experience.
SouthFLpix is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 05:46 AM
  #3  
Full Member
 
kuroba's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Chile
Posts: 498
Liked 22 Times in 13 Posts
I have no specific advice. I'd read a lot and go with my gut. I was a newbie not too long ago and when I wanted to upgrade my bike, from a steel dutch one, I didn't do my homework and went with my SO's suggestion of a hardtail MTB. It's served its purpose but after some research I've decided that I want to get a gravel bike, but I'm stuck with my current bike for the time being so I don't feel like riding that much. Get the bike that you'll enjoy riding.

Good luck!
kuroba is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 06:24 AM
  #4  
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 32
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sounds like a mountain bike would best fit your needs.
SKunKWerKs is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 06:35 AM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
Garfield Cat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Huntington Beach, CA
Posts: 7,086

Bikes: Cervelo Prodigy

Liked 88 Times in 68 Posts
Where do you do your weight lifting? At a gym? Then skip the bike purchase for now and maybe go to the gym that might have a spin class. Try that first. That will get you that aerobic conditioning and you will save time, money.
Garfield Cat is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 06:58 AM
  #6  
Ride On!
 
deapee's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Posts: 971

Bikes: Allez DSW SL Sprint | Fuji Cross

Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
Get the cyclocross bike. You'll have multiple hand positions with the drop bars for long rides. The tires that it comes stock with (probably 32's) will handle just about everything you can throw at it. It will be rugged enough to handle gravel / single track (no jumping) and nimble enough to handle road riding. Then tailor it to suit your needs. If you do more off-road, then get a wider, more knobbie tire in the future. If you're doing primarily road riding, get a 28mm road tire to replace, etc...

I went from mtb to cyclocross to full road bike...Some day, I will have another mtb to compliment my current road bike...I found the cyclocross bike to be a jack of all trades, and think it would be a great first bike for most people who are unsure where they will ride mostly. I will use the mtb for gravel/dirt paths...the cyclocross bike, to me, was a jack of all trades, master of none...So while I'd be perfectly ok with just a cyclocross bike, I just want a road bike and an mtb. I never even considered a hybrid.
deapee is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 07:23 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,319

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast

Liked 208 Times in 146 Posts
Originally Posted by Jahlon
Hi everyone,

I am looking into buying my first bike (haven't ridden a bike in years). I am trying to determine what kind of bike I should buy, based on the type of riding I want to do. I have a good friend who is very into biking, and he is trying to push me into getting a cyclocross bike, although I initially thought a hybrid sounded like what I wanted.

The reason I want a bike is primarily for fitness - I am into weightlifting, but figured I should find a bit of cardio to do as well. Biking sounds like a good choice since it can be fun and also may help tone my legs outside the gym. I will probably ride about once a week (or every other week, depending), and I have no desire to ride on the road (or more specifically, where there are cars). The type of riding I expect to do will probably be light trails and parks (probably a combination of paved and dirt roads). Speed is not important to me - I do not plan on racing or riding for very long distances.

My friend is more into road biking, and I have a feeling the reason he wants me to get a cyclocross is so that I can ride with him on the road and keep up (although that's not really the type of riding I want to do). Maybe I have a misunderstanding of what a cyclocross bike is meant for, but I was under the impression they were meant more for roads, while hybrids were better for things like trails. From the fitness perspective, I also am under the impression that a cyclocross is easier to go fast on, and as I mentioned I don't care about speed, but would like my legs to get a good workout without the bike doing all the work. Overall, I would like something that doesn't limit me, and I would also like to get something that isn't crazy expensive until I see how much I actually get into it. Biking is very new to me, so and advice would be greatly appreciated!
For this type of riding, a dual sport hybrid would probably work well for you. However, if you change your mind and want to go further or faster, a cyclocross or gravel grinder type bike might be better.

Your friend isn't necessarily steering you wrong. Plenty of folks start out with a hybrid and find themselves shopping for something better in a year or two. Of course, the opposite is true. Plenty of folks buying road bikes or dual suspension mountain bikes and finding them mostly sitting in a garage.

You need to know yourself. Are you the sort of person who dips a toe in, then catches the bug and dives in, or do you really just want to ride on a MUP maybe a couple of times a month?

Last edited by MRT2; 05-09-16 at 07:37 AM.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 07:36 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,094

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A cyclocross bike is essentially a road bike with wider tires. It CAN be ridden off road, but it is certainly not COMFORTABLE to do so. A hybrid is, in itself, it's own style of bike. It's somewhere between a mountain bike and a comfort road bike. It's better suited for people who haven't ridden in a while and would prefer a more upright geometry. Since speed is not a priority for you, a hybrid would DEFINITELY fit your needs better. More comfortable, wider tires, better bike for you.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 07:44 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,319

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast

Liked 208 Times in 146 Posts
Originally Posted by corrado33
A cyclocross bike is essentially a road bike with wider tires. It CAN be ridden off road, but it is certainly not COMFORTABLE to do so. A hybrid is, in itself, it's own style of bike. It's somewhere between a mountain bike and a comfort road bike. It's better suited for people who haven't ridden in a while and would prefer a more upright geometry. Since speed is not a priority for you, a hybrid would DEFINITELY fit your needs better. More comfortable, wider tires, better bike for you.
The operative word here is light trail. OP should stop by to clarify what he or she means. In my home state, most of the MUPs and bike trails within 40 miles of my house are paved or hard packed dirt or crushed limestone. So if a friend or acquaintance asks me what sort of bike to get for riding the local bike trails, I say without hesitation to go with either a sport hybrid like the Jamis Coda, Specialized Sirrus or Trek FX or alternately, a sport/touring bike if they aspire to ride something with drop bars.

Now, 6 or 7 hours away in the Northwestern part of the state, there is a network of somewhat more rugged dirt and limestone trails where I would suggest a dual sport or even hard tail mountain bike.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 10:45 AM
  #10  
Senior Member
 
JonathanGennick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Munising, Michigan, USA
Posts: 4,131

Bikes: Priority 600, Priority Continuum, Devinci Dexter

Likes: 0
Liked 55 Times in 37 Posts
Don't let your friend talk you into something you don't want. It sounds like you want a simple, flat-bar hybrid without suspension. The Coda, Sirrus, and FX that MRT2 mentions in his post are all good choices.

Are you able to visit any shops and get in some test rides? Even just an around-the-block ride can help, and what matters is to buy the bike that feels fun and comfortable when you get on it and ride it. Maybe test ride your friend's bike to see whether you like the drop-bar arrangement. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
JonathanGennick is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 11:22 AM
  #11  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 54
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by deapee
Get the cyclocross bike. You'll have multiple hand positions with the drop bars for long rides. The tires that it comes stock with (probably 32's) will handle just about everything you can throw at it. It will be rugged enough to handle gravel / single track (no jumping) and nimble enough to handle road riding. Then tailor it to suit your needs. If you do more off-road, then get a wider, more knobbie tire in the future. If you're doing primarily road riding, get a 28mm road tire to replace, etc...

I went from mtb to cyclocross to full road bike...Some day, I will have another mtb to compliment my current road bike...I found the cyclocross bike to be a jack of all trades, and think it would be a great first bike for most people who are unsure where they will ride mostly. I will use the mtb for gravel/dirt paths...the cyclocross bike, to me, was a jack of all trades, master of none...So while I'd be perfectly ok with just a cyclocross bike, I just want a road bike and an mtb. I never even considered a hybrid.

Just went through this decision myself, and really wanted the cyclocross, but ended up with the hybrid based on the advantages already mentioned, and the fact that the cyclocross was much more expensive, just getting back into riding, comfort etc.

Really wish I would have splurged on it now, primarily because of the bolded reason above. I never imagined I'd be riding this thing as much as I am now, and would love to have been able to move my hands around on different positions of bars like that. I've already upgraded to fancy grips, but am still looking at the kind with extra bars coming off the ends so I can hold it differently, chasing something that's not going to be a substitute.

Every situation & use is different though. Hopefully you can give something an extensive try out, not just a quick test ride, which didn't tell me what I needed to know.
Lupine is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 11:27 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,094

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by Lupine
Just went through this decision myself, and really wanted the cyclocross, but ended up with the hybrid based on the advantages already mentioned, and the fact that the cyclocross was much more expensive, just getting back into riding, comfort etc.

Really wish I would have splurged on it now, primarily because of the bolded reason above. I never imagined I'd be riding this thing as much as I am now, and would love to have been able to move my hands around on different positions of bars like that. I've already upgraded to fancy grips, but am still looking at the kind with extra bars coming off the ends so I can hold it differently, chasing something that's not going to be a substitute.

Every situation & use is different though. Hopefully you can give something an extensive try out, not just a quick test ride, which didn't tell me what I needed to know.

I'm sorry, but changing bars and grips is MUCH cheaper and easier than buying a bike that will be uncomfortable. A hybrid is still the best option. Bar ends are easy to attach, different types of bars are easy to install (as long as they're a variant of the straight bar.) If you want bars that have many hand positions, you want trekking bars, which are a straight bar variant meaning they use straight bar levers/shifters, etc.

Getting a cyclocross bike is essentially asking someone who hasn't ridden a bike in YEARS to adopt the bent over road biking position on potentially uneven surfaces. It's a good way for that person to ride the bike a handful of times and never look at it again.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 11:43 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,319

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast

Liked 208 Times in 146 Posts
Originally Posted by corrado33
I'm sorry, but changing bars and grips is MUCH cheaper and easier than buying a bike that will be uncomfortable. A hybrid is still the best option. Bar ends are easy to attach, different types of bars are easy to install (as long as they're a variant of the straight bar.) If you want bars that have many hand positions, you want trekking bars, which are a straight bar variant meaning they use straight bar levers/shifters, etc.

Getting a cyclocross bike is essentially asking someone who hasn't ridden a bike in YEARS to adopt the bent over road biking position on potentially uneven surfaces. It's a good way for that person to ride the bike a handful of times and never look at it again.
Something to be said for both choices. When I first got back to cycling after a long hiatus 20 years ago, I went right for a hybrid. I was buying the bike for a single event that my fiancee, now my wife, and I were planning to ride. It was no big deal, just a 25 mile supported charity ride. But I didn't have a bike so I had to get one quickly as the event was coming up in a couple of months. Beyond that event, I really didn't picture riding more than 10 or 15 miles at a time.

The upright handle bars, the ease of shifting and braking, and the price all seemed to favor a hybrid. I picked the venerable Bianchi Advantage, which I still own. Over the years, I eventually found out the limitations of the bike, particularly for rides longer than 20 miles and in the long run, I might have been better served with something more roadish, like the Bianchi Volpe, which was sitting on the sales floor right next to the Advantage. But the Volpe cost $300 more at the time, and I was unsure how much I would ride my bike after the event was over, and was likely intimidated by integrated shifting, which was fairly new at the time. Long story short, over the years, I modified my Bianchi, adding bar ends, changing the shape of the bars, putting narrower tires on, but I couldn't change the geometry of the frame, which was more mountain than road bike. After that, I tried several other bikes before eventually buying a Salsa Casseroll, which is quite similar to the old Volpe.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone with the Volpe 20 years ago.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 11:43 AM
  #14  
Full Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Bay Area, CA
Posts: 427
Liked 31 Times in 17 Posts
Originally Posted by Garfield Cat
Where do you do your weight lifting? At a gym? Then skip the bike purchase for now and maybe go to the gym that might have a spin class. Try that first. That will get you that aerobic conditioning and you will save time, money.
I'll just add my $0.02 here... I like this idea and maybe do this first while test riding a few bikes at the same time. After a few weeks of spin classes you can decide then if really want to invest in a "real bike" or not. It could be just a phase you are going through since your friend is encouraging you to get one too. After a few weeks of spinning, if you really don't like it then you just saved yourself a bunch of money.

But if you do like it then my vote would be to get a hybrid/flat bar type of bike. These are pretty comfortable and can go fast enough for most people who only want to ride occasionally on light trails. Look for a good used one to start and once you get hooked then you can sell that one a get yourself a bike of your dreams...
RockiesDad is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 11:52 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bozeman
Posts: 4,094

Bikes: 199? Landshark Roadshark, 198? Mondonico Diamond, 1987 Panasonic DX-5000, 1987 Bianchi Limited, Univega... Chrome..., 1989 Schwinn Woodlands, Motobecane USA Record, Raleigh Tokul 2

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MRT2
Something to be said for both choices. When I first got back to cycling after a long hiatus 20 years ago, I went right for a hybrid. I was buying the bike for a single event that my fiancee, now my wife, and I were planning to ride. It was no big deal, just a 25 mile supported charity ride. But I didn't have a bike so I had to get one quickly as the event was coming up in a couple of months. Beyond that event, I really didn't picture riding more than 10 or 15 miles at a time.

The upright handle bars, the ease of shifting and braking, and the price all seemed to favor a hybrid. I picked the venerable Bianchi Advantage, which I still own. Over the years, I eventually found out the limitations of the bike, particularly for rides longer than 20 miles and in the long run, I might have been better served with something more roadish, like the Bianchi Volpe, which was sitting on the sales floor right next to the Advantage. But the Volpe cost $300 more at the time, and I was unsure how much I would ride my bike after the event was over, and was likely intimidated by integrated shifting, which was fairly new at the time. Long story short, over the years, I modified my Bianchi, adding bar ends, changing the shape of the bars, putting narrower tires on, but I couldn't change the geometry of the frame, which was more mountain than road bike. After that, I tried several other bikes before eventually buying a Salsa Casseroll, which is quite similar to the old Volpe.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone with the Volpe 20 years ago.
Sure, we all SAY that, but would you have been comfortable enough on the other bike to continue riding? You were on a hiatus, and had experience riding bikes before. For you, I would recommend the cyclocross bike, but for someone who likely hasn't ever ridden bikes for exercise, I recommend a hybrid. You rode the hybrid enough to WANT another bike, that's the point. It's not a forever "keeper" bike. It's a "I'm getting into the sport and I want to see if cycling is for me" bike. If you decide you want to go faster, you sacrifice a bit of comfort for speed and buy a road bike. If you want to go faster off road you do the same with a mountain bike. In the end, hybrid bikes generally aren't expensive enough to really make that big of a dent in your finances and if it gets you into biking, it was well worth it.
corrado33 is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 12:00 PM
  #16  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 5,737
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 8 Posts
I'd recommend a gravel road/adventure bike.

Lighter and faster than a MTB, more stable than a road bike, more comfortable geometry than a CX bike and you can ride practically anywhere with it.
NormanF is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 12:02 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
MRT2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 6,319

Bikes: 2012 Salsa Casseroll, 2009 Kona Blast

Liked 208 Times in 146 Posts
Originally Posted by corrado33
Sure, we all SAY that, but would you have been comfortable enough on the other bike to continue riding? You were on a hiatus, and had experience riding bikes before. For you, I would recommend the cyclocross bike, but for someone who likely hasn't ever ridden bikes for exercise, I recommend a hybrid. You rode the hybrid enough to WANT another bike, that's the point. It's not a forever "keeper" bike. It's a "I'm getting into the sport and I want to see if cycling is for me" bike. If you decide you want to go faster, you sacrifice a bit of comfort for speed and buy a road bike. If you want to go faster off road you do the same with a mountain bike. In the end, hybrid bikes generally aren't expensive enough to really make that big of a dent in your finances and if it gets you into biking, it was well worth it.
In 1997, I hadn't thrown a leg over a bike since I graduated high school in 1983. So my experience as a cyclist was riding my old 10 speed around town as a middle school and high school kid. I doubt I had ever ridden more than 10 or 12 miles in a day my entire life when I hung up my old 10 speed for good in 1983. That said, I suppose I shouldn't discount the importance of learning to ride as a child.

I am still mostly about comfort rather than speed. Though faster than some, I am mostly about riding for fun and increasingly my mileage rather than going fast.

My point is, the hybrid, though more comfortable for shorter rides, was less comfortable on longer rides. My current bike is the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden.

That said, I understand that those who haven't ridden in a long time, or ever, might feel more comfortable initially on flat bars than drop bars.

Last edited by MRT2; 05-09-16 at 12:18 PM.
MRT2 is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 12:07 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
DarKris's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2015
Location: Buffalo, NY
Posts: 619

Bikes: Kona Kahuna DL Drop Bar - Sensah SRX Pro 1x11 (2012 Frame), Giant Toughroad GX 1 - Shimano Road Hydro + SLX 1x10 (2018), Diamondback Sync'r - SRAM NX 1x12 (2020)

Liked 97 Times in 54 Posts
Originally Posted by Jahlon
Maybe I have a misunderstanding of what a cyclocross bike is meant for, but I was under the impression they were meant more for roads, while hybrids were better for things like trails.
I can help you out since I've ridden both:

Hybrids have multiple classifications - Sport, Dual Sport, Comfort. Sport hybrids are basically flat bar cyclocross bikes because they can usually take wider tires than a typical road bike. Dual Sport hybrids have a suspension fork and wider 700c tires. Comfort hybrids are self explanatory, designed for comfort rides, not really for speed/performance.

Cyclocross bikes are road bikes that can fit wider tires. They're are some differences in geometry, but the main difference is the ability to accommodate wider tires.

This is what you need to know: if you're doing road/light trail riding and you are keen on speed/performance a Sport/Cyclocross bike will be fine. I don't generally reccomend Dual Sport bikes because I have personally never been able to utilize a front suspension fork, and a rigid fork is generally better for any type of extensive road riding. A Cyclocross bike will allow you to go faster, but it will also cost the most out of the 3 depending on where you buy from.

If you don't want to spend a lot or don't want drop bar handlebars, a Sport hybrid will be fine. If you want a drop bar bike and are willing to pay a bit more, go cyclocross (or gravel/adventure bike).

Originally Posted by MRT2
The upright handle bars, the ease of shifting and braking, and the price all seemed to favor a hybrid. I picked the venerable Bianchi Advantage, which I still own. Over the years, I eventually found out the limitations of the bike, particularly for rides longer than 20 miles and in the long run, I might have been better served with something more roadish, like the Bianchi Volpe, which was sitting on the sales floor right next to the Advantage. But the Volpe cost $300 more at the time, and I was unsure how much I would ride my bike after the event was over, and was likely intimidated by integrated shifting, which was fairly new at the time. Long story short, over the years, I modified my Bianchi, adding bar ends, changing the shape of the bars, putting narrower tires on, but I couldn't change the geometry of the frame, which was more mountain than road bike. After that, I tried several other bikes before eventually buying a Salsa Casseroll, which is quite similar to the old Volpe.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have gone with the Volpe 20 years ago.
Funny story: My last bike was a Sport Hybrid and after a few months of riding and looking around I wanted to get a cyclocross bike just to try drop bars. I wanted to convert to drops bars which I ultimately did, but before that I bought bar ends and even a touring handlebar. The problem with those options was that I was only able to brake/shift in a relaxed riding position which made bike handling awkward for me.

My favorite thing about drop bars now is the the fact that I have multiple riding positions in which I can maintain full control over my bike. Added with having wide tires on my cross bikes I can't see myself riding anything other than a drop bar bike for any type of serious riding.

Last edited by DarKris; 05-09-16 at 12:29 PM.
DarKris is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 02:01 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Retro Grouch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: St Peters, Missouri
Posts: 30,225

Bikes: Catrike 559 I own some others but they don't get ridden very much.

Liked 644 Times in 365 Posts
Have you been to a bike shop yet? I think that your smartest first step would be to shop for a bike shop. audition all of the shops in your area until you find the one that has the people who you can identify with and who ask you the "right" questions. Only after you have identified the right shop can you be properly prepared for the plethora of incrementally different bike styles that are available today. Trust me, there are a BUNCH of them.

1. Select a bike shop.
2. Select a style of bike.
3. Pick a brand.
4. Find a model in the price range that you are comfortable with.
__________________
My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.
Retro Grouch is offline  
Old 05-09-16, 02:19 PM
  #20  
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,464

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Tilt, Samba tandem

Liked 2,116 Times in 1,379 Posts
See if you can borrow a bike. Try it and decide if you even want to keep at it. I think based on this description of the riding you want to do, that you will very quickly find it boring, and it's not going to contribute much to your fitness. You will either want to go harder in a bigger space, or just quit. Bikes are very versatile and it's likely any bike except a dedicated road racing bike will do this ride just fine. You'd have to ride any of your choices quite a bit find its limitations.

The type of riding I expect to do will probably be light trails and parks (probably a combination of paved and dirt roads). Speed is not important to me - I do not plan on racing or riding for very long distances.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 05-10-16, 07:06 PM
  #21  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by MRT2
Your friend isn't necessarily steering you wrong. Plenty of folks start out with a hybrid and find themselves shopping for something better in a year or two. Of course, the opposite is true. Plenty of folks buying road bikes or dual suspension mountain bikes and finding them mostly sitting in a garage.

You need to know yourself. Are you the sort of person who dips a toe in, then catches the bug and dives in, or do you really just want to ride on a MUP maybe a couple of times a month?
It’s not that I think he’s trying to steer me wrong; I just think the type of riding he does is different than the type of riding I want to do. I don’t foresee myself getting as serious about it as he is. I’m busy enough and have other hobbies, so this is just really something to do on a weekend for some extra exercise and a bit of leisure.

Originally Posted by MRT2
The operative word here is light trail. OP should stop by to clarify what he or she means. In my home state, most of the MUPs and bike trails within 40 miles of my house are paved or hard packed dirt or crushed limestone. So if a friend or acquaintance asks me what sort of bike to get for riding the local bike trails, I say without hesitation to go with either a sport hybrid like the Jamis Coda, Specialized Sirrus or Trek FX or alternately, a sport/touring bike if they aspire to ride something with drop bars.

Now, 6 or 7 hours away in the Northwestern part of the state, there is a network of somewhat more rugged dirt and limestone trails where I would suggest a dual sport or even hard tail mountain bike.
Good point. I’m not exactly sure what is classified as a “light trail”. I live in Philly, so obviously there aren’t a lot of crazy off-road trails or mountains or anything (I think a MTB would be overkill). But there are trails and parks, especially if I wanted to drive somewhere outside the city. I would say my definition of “light trails” would be partially paved and partially flat dirt roads, but I don’t want to limit myself. Basically, I don’t want to end up with a bike that’s really only good for riding on smooth roads.

Originally Posted by JonathanGennick
Don't let your friend talk you into something you don't want. It sounds like you want a simple, flat-bar hybrid without suspension. The Coda, Sirrus, and FX that MRT2 mentions in his post are all good choices.

Are you able to visit any shops and get in some test rides? Even just an around-the-block ride can help, and what matters is to buy the bike that feels fun and comfortable when you get on it and ride it. Maybe test ride your friend's bike to see whether you like the drop-bar arrangement. If you don't like it, don't buy it.
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Have you been to a bike shop yet? I think that your smartest first step would be to shop for a bike shop. audition all of the shops in your area until you find the one that has the people who you can identify with and who ask you the "right" questions. Only after you have identified the right shop can you be properly prepared for the plethora of incrementally different bike styles that are available today. Trust me, there are a BUNCH of them.
I actually did visit a bike shop (with my friend), and tried out a cyclocross bike and 2 hybrids (one was more road oriented, the other closer to a MTB). Honestly, it is very difficult to get a good idea from just test riding them for a few minutes. The hybrids felt more comfortable and easier to ride, but that’s not to say the cyclocross was all that uncomfortable (it might take a bit of getting used to the seat position, but it wasn’t like I immediately hated it). One thing I did notice was that the cyclocross felt a lot bumpier when going over uneven road - I just rode it in a paved parking lot (basically a road), but every once in a while if I hit crack or bump in the pavement I felt it a lot more.

Originally Posted by corrado33
Sure, we all SAY that, but would you have been comfortable enough on the other bike to continue riding? You were on a hiatus, and had experience riding bikes before. For you, I would recommend the cyclocross bike, but for someone who likely hasn't ever ridden bikes for exercise, I recommend a hybrid. You rode the hybrid enough to WANT another bike, that's the point. It's not a forever "keeper" bike. It's a "I'm getting into the sport and I want to see if cycling is for me" bike. If you decide you want to go faster, you sacrifice a bit of comfort for speed and buy a road bike. If you want to go faster off road you do the same with a mountain bike. In the end, hybrid bikes generally aren't expensive enough to really make that big of a dent in your finances and if it gets you into biking, it was well worth it.
That pretty much sums up what I want. I have no idea how much I’m going to get into it, so I really just want something to get started on. Maybe eventually I will become really involved and want a road bike and a mountain bike. But until then, I’d rather spend a bit less money and just get something to try out.
Jahlon is offline  
Old 05-10-16, 07:28 PM
  #22  
On Your Left
 
GlennR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Long Island, New York, USA
Posts: 8,373

Bikes: Trek Emonda SLR, Sram eTap, Zipp 303

Liked 2,434 Times in 1,187 Posts
I have both a Trek Dual Sport which is a "trail bike" and a Cyclocross bike.

The Dual Sport has flat bars, a front suspension with 38mm tires and hydro disc brakes. It's good for single track, gravel trails and casual riding.
The cross bike has drop bars, carbon frame, 32mm tires and hydro disc brakes. It's good for non-technical trails, gravel and road.

I use the dual sport as a casual bike with some trail riding. I use the cross bike as a "foul" weather, beefed up road bike that I can ride in the rain, on roads that have sand, gravel and potholes. So it saves my expensive road bike for better conditions.

The cross bike is perfectly capable to handle trails.


You can see closeup pics in the links in my signature.
GlennR is offline  
Old 05-10-16, 07:41 PM
  #23  
Senior Member
 
ddeand's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Twin Cities
Posts: 927
Liked 102 Times in 46 Posts
My opinion (which all the recommendations are): I sold my fairly aggressive hybrid and bought a cyclocross bike (Cannondale CAADX). I feel the CX bike effectively covers a greater range of bicycle styles than any other, although a good, aggressive hybrid will be close. It's not a full-blown road bike, but it can get out and roll on the pavement for miles and miles. It isn't an all-out mtb, but it can do gravel, crushed rock/packed dirt really well, and the gearing is aimed at the more rugged riding. Many CX bikes have a more relaxed geometry (shorter top tube) than road bikes, so they are more amenable to commuting. I really haven't found that my CX bike lacks in any areas with the exception of the hard core road or mtb uses.
__________________
Some days, it's not even worth gnawing through the restraints.
ddeand is offline  
Old 05-10-16, 08:02 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Norboo's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Northern VA
Posts: 190

Bikes: Trek 5200 and Trek D.S. 8.6

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Pick few recommendations and test ride them all. Ask your. Ike shop if you can take the bike out for an hour ride. Most bike shops here lets me test ride for long periods of time.

I recently bought Trek Dual Sport and I really like it. Very comfortable with some speed and has front shocks.


Dual sport bikes | City bikes | Bikes | Trek Bikes

Last edited by Norboo; 05-10-16 at 08:11 PM.
Norboo is offline  
Old 05-15-16, 10:10 AM
  #25  
Newbie
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2016
Posts: 3
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
So after going through everyone’s suggestions, these are my thoughts: something like a gravel bike might be ideal for me - but the keyword is “might". I really won’t know what kind of riding I want to do until I start doing it. Since cyclocross and gravel bikes seem to be a bit more expensive than hybrids, I think it would be best to get a cheaper hybrid to play around with for a while, and when I feel like I’m being limited one way or another (maybe I’ll want to go faster on the road, or maybe I’ll want to ride on rougher terrain), then I can look into upgrading according to what I want. I don’t know how serious I will be about riding yet, and I don’t want to spend a ton of money on something I won’t use very often.

The 3 bikes I rode at the bike shop were about $1000 each. I don’t think I want to spend that much. The Trek Dual Sport looks like a pretty good starter choice, so I might check that one out. It looks like the cheapest Dual Sport is about $550. Is that a pretty reasonable estimate on what I should spend to at least get a decent bike? I have a friend who bought a hybrid bike for a little over $300 from Target, and he seems to be happy with it - I’d rather buy from a bike shop so I know the bike fits properly and is in good shape. What is a reasonable amount to spend on a beginner (not a “keep forever”) bike while still getting a decent quality bike that I will actually want to ride?
Jahlon is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.