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Looking for a Cross/Hybrid Bike

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Looking for a Cross/Hybrid Bike

Old 07-24-08, 10:17 AM
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alon
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Looking for a Cross/Hybrid Bike

I'm looking to get myself a nice birthday gift of a new or slightly used bike. At first I was thinking of going for a straight road bike, but after further consideration I realized I didn't want that limitation. I live in Philadelphia and want to ride to work (about 15 miles each way) and also be able to off-road it on the local paths.

The problem is I am not at all familiar with these types of bikes, since I've been riding road bikes exclusively for a while now. I want to get something mid-level, maybe ~$1000 or slightly more or less. I am leaning more towards a road frame geometry that will give me more comfort for distance riding. What kind of improvements do hybrid or cross-terrain bikes have over road bikes that makes them capable of handling off-road trekking? I have to imagine there's more to it than wider tires.

Any advice you might have would be great as well as specific models or brands. Thanks.
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Old 07-24-08, 10:32 AM
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ochizon
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Generally they come with knobby tires, a suspesion fork, and tougher rims to handle LIGHT offraod activities.

I have a Gray Fisher Kaitai, with is a cross-trail/hybrid, and it is versatile, but its no stump jumper.

I like it, though
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Old 07-24-08, 01:09 PM
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wyeast
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Heavier frame and fork. Flat bar gives you more stability over rough terrain (less likely to fly out of your hands than riding drops). Wider gearing for uphills (also handy for commuting w/ heavy loads) Depending on the nature of the off road trail, you can switch the knobbies for something more road-oriented like Marathons and still get decent grip over gravel and hardpack dirt.

You have to be careful tho'. Some hybrids aren't perfectly suited for commuting. My Fisher Utopia was a little tricky to fit full fenders and a rack because of the rear disc and tight clearance to the frame because of the bigger road wheels. (you can see it decked out here in the Foo Rides thread)

Otherwise it's been a good bike to me, and I don't have to worry about the odd curb hopping or riding over rough pavement.

You can see the range of hybrids going to the Fisher website under "Pavement/Urban". Stuff that's closer to road bikes, and others that are closer to 26" MTB's with slicks. Beyond that, the Trek Portland is also popular for commuting, tho' you'd have to find a previous year model on closeout as the new prices are closer to $1,500.

There are other great commuting bikes out there too, from Jamis, Surly, or Salsas. I'm just not as familiar with model specifics tho'. Good luck, and happy riding!
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Old 07-24-08, 01:58 PM
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miamijim
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You could always buy a Fisher 29'r (700c wheels) and a second set of wheels. When you commute throw on your city wheels and when you want to play throw on the mountain wheels.

I swap wheels back and forth with no gear or brake adjustments.
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