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Speedy Hybrid Bicycle

Old 03-01-09, 03:41 PM
  #1  
Speedywheels
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Speedy Hybrid Bicycle

I currently own a Claud Butler Classic hybrid from '06 and travel ten miles on it every day, but I am considering changing some of the bits to make it a little quicker. Specifically, I was considering road/racing wheels and tyres. I have a few questions.

If I were changing the bike to improve its speed, what would be the best part/parts to replace?

Assuming changing the wheels and tyres is the best thing for me to do, what should I look for?

Should I consider changing anything else (e.g. making it a fixie)?

The specs of the bike and picture can be found here: https://www.falconcycles.co.uk/CORP/cb06/classicM.html

Thanks
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Old 03-01-09, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedywheels View Post
I currently own a Claud Butler Classic hybrid from '06 and travel ten miles on it every day, but I am considering changing some of the bits to make it a little quicker. Specifically, I was considering road/racing wheels and tyres.
Once you get up over around 12 or 15 MPH almost all of your energy goes to pushing your torso through the air. Compared to your body position on the bike everything else is small potatoes. If your objective is to go faster, I'm thinking the biggest improvement would result from a handlebar/stem change.
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Old 03-01-09, 04:15 PM
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Ah, thanks. Would that require the current brakes/gears to be replaced? Do you think I should consider just getting a second bike?
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Old 03-01-09, 05:05 PM
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Specs show an adjustable stem. What position do you have it in? You should work at getting comfortable with the stem angled lower and lower which will help get your body lower. Changing wheels probably won't help much with that set up. You could try going to a smaller tire like a 25/28/32 but I doubt there will be that much savings in a tire swap.
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Old 03-01-09, 05:53 PM
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The adjustable stem is set quite low and angled normally. It looks very similar to the picture in the link. What would need replacing if I went with a handlebar/stem change? Breaks and gears?
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Old 03-01-09, 06:13 PM
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I absolutely swear by my aero bars on my trek roadie. I have heard of some here mounting them on bikes with straight bars.

It is by far, quicker and cheaper than fussing around with changing out handlebars. They bolt on in minutes.

Your LBS might have a set kicking around that they'll let you borrow to see how it works.

One word of caution. Have plenty of room on both sides, the first time you drop into them. I damn near killed myself almost going over a guard rail on a long fast downhill, the first time I attempted to get into them. Now, I can do it in my sleep.
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Old 03-01-09, 06:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Speedywheels View Post
The adjustable stem is set quite low and angled normally. It looks very similar to the picture in the link. What would need replacing if I went with a handlebar/stem change? Breaks and gears?
You need to determine what you want first. Drop bar conversions can be expensive and not worth it. You can get a new stem and flat bars and re-use your existing hardware. But, based on your answer maybe I was unclear. Have you angled the adjustable stem to look like this?
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Old 03-01-09, 06:57 PM
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Thanks for clarification, Bill. The handlebars aren't angled like they are in your picture. They're angled further back like in the original.
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Old 03-02-09, 07:54 AM
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My thoughts are to change the angle of your stem. Do it in small increments so you give your body time to get used to the change. Once you get the stem so it is almost horizontal then you can look at other changes. Based upon the components and the base price of the bike you could easily spend more in upgrades then the bike costs. Maybe tires, yet I don't know if you will see that big of an improvement in speed but you will give up some comfort.
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Old 03-02-09, 11:11 AM
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Lower handlebar height and narrower tires like slicks.you might feel back pain after the mods.
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Old 03-02-09, 11:38 AM
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I did this to my specialized hybrid:

https://www.bikeforums.net/bicycle-mechanics/513356-completed-flat-drop-conversion.html

makes the bike feel a lot faster but can be expensive if you don't go for bar end shifters.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:10 PM
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Wow that's some nice modding you did. Do you have any idea how much it would cost me to, for example, put on drop bars (and change anything else that needs to be changed with them)? I'm considering having a quick look on ebay for local second-hand road bikes.. Aero bars are another option, but perhaps a bit extreme to jump straight into them? Thanks for all the feedback.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:23 PM
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Just converting to drops would require a new bar,stem,shifters,brake levers,and adapters to allow the V brakes to work with standard levers. Assuming you went mid quality,used bar con shifters,bought new,and installed evrything yourself,I'd say you'll drop at least 100 quid. For the amount it would cost to genuinely make that bike fast,you could just buy a used road bike. Then you'd have a fast bike and a second bad weather/beater/backup.

Prolly the easiest thing you could do would be to swap the tires. Those 40mm's take alot of oomph to spin up. Swap them for some higher pressure,lower weight 28's or 32's and I think you'll notice a nice difference.
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Old 03-02-09, 01:43 PM
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Ok, thanks for the info. I think I'll try dropping the handlebars as much as possible and then contact my LBS to see what they recommend in terms of tyres. I'd change the bars to drop ones, but I think it may prove too expensive (and I could probably get a decent road bike for the price of the conversion). If the change will not really be that noticeable, I may just go for a second bike. Keeping this as a backup would always be fine for me, as it's a good bike for almost all weather.
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Old 03-02-09, 02:59 PM
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I second on the second bike. I still have my hybrid but even though I tried to trick it out for speed, its no comparison with the real McCoy. I go to the local grocery store or the the local ATM machine with the hybrid.
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Old 03-02-09, 03:08 PM
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for me it was:

handlebars 25ish
bar cons 38ish
cables and housing 10ish
brakes 17ish
bar wrap 5

I did it for 3 reasons, a more aero positions, I am more comfortable with drops and flat bars hurt my wrists.

Wouldn't recommend it unless you really want to do it, it has taken me a long time to get around to it, but I say it is worth it for me it wasn't financially viable selling my bike then buying another.
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Old 03-02-09, 03:49 PM
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Garfield, what did you buy as your main bike in the end? I was thinking maybe 100 on a second hand bike might do it.. I know what you mean about the grocery store thing - it's perfect for that, but when it comes to 10 miles a day I guess that's the point where you want a road bike/something a bit faster if possible. Though to be honest I like the idea of a small project - make or modify a bike with some custom stuff. It's a tough call: from what Daven said, I could do it for 95..
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Old 03-02-09, 04:36 PM
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Lower the stem and put on straight bars, with bar ends to give a different hand position. Add clip-on aero bars for when you have a head wind and are not close to any other riders.
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Old 03-02-09, 05:14 PM
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Get a second bike. A fixed gear bike to be exact. Great workout, lots of fun, and you can go quite fast becasue even inexpensive fixed gear bikes [BikesDirect bikes] are very light weight.
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Old 03-03-09, 04:06 PM
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I might look into getting a fairly cheap second bike and for the short term do the handlebars thing. Thanks
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Old 03-03-09, 05:46 PM
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get some trekking bars. use your stock brakes and shifters and stem. You can adjust them the get you in a more aero position.

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Old 03-03-09, 05:51 PM
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I would still put thinner tires on it. I use 32c on my hybrid and they are considerably faster than the 38's I have ridden. I can go down to 25 and may very well do that for some group rides.
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Old 03-04-09, 05:33 PM
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Thanks. This is really helpful. I have a great local bike shop, so I'll need to take a trip down there
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