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Own Hybrid, Looking to Upgrade, Need Suggestions

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Own Hybrid, Looking to Upgrade, Need Suggestions

Old 05-31-12, 06:05 PM
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jbfatcats
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Own Hybrid, Looking to Upgrade, Need Suggestions

Hello everyone,

I bought a Specialized Sirrus...which I LOVE...to get into cycling. I'm still very new to the sport. In fact, it's only been a few months.

When I bought that bike I really didn't know what sort of riding I might enjoy...if I would at all to be honest. However, I'm really enjoying it. In the few months since I started, I've really grown fitness wise. So I feel like this is something I will stick with and continue to enjoy.

However, here is my question.

I LOVE the bike that I bought. I would buy it again in a heartbeat. It's a great start for me. But I look ahead to a year (or so) from today is that bike going to continue to be "enough". It's hard to say. :-) But I do watch other people on the trails riding road style bikes and I think to myself...it's that more the direction I would like to go after spending a while on this hybrid style bike.

Okay this is really my question... :-)

I have the Specialized Sirrus... BUT thinking ahead to next spring... would I be more happy with a "road" style bike. If so what would be a good transition bike?

Bottom line I'm never going to be interested in racing. But I might be interesting in signing up for a long-ish charity ride of some sort.

Any suggestions or thoughts or past experience?

THanks all!
JB
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Old 05-31-12, 07:05 PM
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Pluto
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I too bought a Sirrus in the fall of 2010 and really enjoyed it but eventually got the urge to move up to something faster. In July 2011, I purchased a Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 and have never looked back. I've got almost 3500 miles on it as of today. At 63 I don't race and don't care about keeping up with the younger bucks. I typically average 15+ mph on my rides (I'm old and slow, too) but on a recent 30 mile charity ride, I averaged 17+. Cycling is a good sport and get what you want if you feel the urge to move up.
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Old 05-31-12, 07:21 PM
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AlmostGreenGuy
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I also used a Specialized Sirrus (Sport) as a gateway bike. When it came time to upgrade, I tried out a few road bikes. I was very intimidated by the extremely aggressive forward position, leaning way over the handle bars. I also wasn't thrilled with brifters, after a lifetime of downtube friction shifters, and then mountain bike trigger shifters. So I did A LOT of home work in the offseason.

I bought my next bike in mid-February. It's a Salsa Vaya3. It's sort of a cross between a cyclocross bike and a touring bike. It can do some light offroad, lots of gravel and dirt road riding, as well as road riding. Cycling has kind of become a lifestyle for me, so I enjoy the ability of the Vaya to transform into a commuter or utility bike. Lots of bottle cage mounts, will accommodate very wide tires, and will take fenders and front and rear racks. Disk brakes too, which are awesome in the wet.

The sitting position of the Vaya is more like a being on a hybrid. A bit more forward, but not nearly as aggressive as a straight road bike. It's a much smoother ride than either a road bike or a Sirrus. The steel frame is very supple. After hating the rough ride of my Armadillo Infinity tires on my Sirrus, I noticed how smooth the ride was with the same Armadillos on my Vaya. Talking to Bryan Hunter, owner of Catskill Cycles, he said, "Now you're riding the bike, instead of riding the tires." He was sooooooo right. The Vaya has the frame of the gods.

The Vaya3 uses bar end shifters instead of brifters. I'm pretty happy with them. After an early life of downtube shifters, the bar ends are like going home again. Friction in the front. Indexed in the rear, like my mountain bike trigger shifters. You can make big sweeps across the range of gears, just like grip shifts.

I did 46 miles of grueling hills on the Vaya with Brooks B17 saddle today, and was comfortable the whole trip. I'll be doing a full century this summer. This is THE BIKE for me. I want to be buried with it.

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Old 05-31-12, 09:51 PM
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jbfatcats
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Thanks guys,

Nice to hear from others that had the Sirrus. Like I said I'm very happy with mine. I think for me it is the right choice for me today.

My neighborhood is sort of up in some hills but they are all short and steep. But where I ride on the paved trail its pretty flat. I haven't really had a chance use the bike on some long-ish climbs. Honestly I probably wouldn't be fit enough to mange too much NOW.

But I have goals! :-) The first week I had the bike I thought I was going to die climbing back up the hills in my neighborhood after just a 6 mile FLAT ride. Fast forward about 5 weeks and it's easy to climb those hills after my little 15 mile loop. I hope to continue to add a few more miles each week and get up about a 2 hour round trip ride. I think for me that would be just about right.

Anyway. It's interesting you mentioned the Vaya. Today I went over to look at some options and the guy suggest that bike (but they had the Vaya2 in stock - not that I'm buying yet!).

I was a little worried that it wouldn't be enough of a difference between the Sirrus and Vaya to feel like I was making a change. Obviously if you went from one to the other and love it...sounds like it a good option to think about?

I've been told (you guys can tell me if its right/wrong) that one difference going from the Sirrus to road bike would be that I could go faster/longer distance with the same effort? Like I said I'm not interested in racing but if I got to the point physically as other riders with road bikes...well I'd like to be able to keep up.

For instance I have a friend with an vintage bike from the 70s. We went out for a ride. I would say we were probably pretty equal in terms of our fitness. BUT I was really having trouble staying at a pace he could keep up with. I think it was because I had a better bike! Maybe I'm wrong but I do think the bike had a lot to do with it too!


Anyway thanks all!
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Old 05-31-12, 10:30 PM
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AlmostGreenGuy
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Originally Posted by jbfatcats View Post
I've been told (you guys can tell me if its right/wrong) that one difference going from the Sirrus to road bike would be that I could go faster/longer distance with the same effort?
Eh..... Not really. You might shave a few minutes off of an hour ride, but that's about it. That's a big difference for somebody that races or does group rides. It's the difference between keeping up with the pack or getting dropped. For average people, not much of a difference.

The big difference, for me at least, is in the comfort. No more numb hands on long trips. Riding into a headwind is easier with the drops. The more forward position makes my butt hurt less on long rides. Stuff like that. The rides are just more enjoyable now.

In the case of the steel Vaya, there's a lot less road vibration transmitted to my body. After an hour ride, that vibration can be stressful and tiring. The Vaya can also handle gravel and dirt far better than the Sirrus.
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Old 05-31-12, 10:41 PM
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You'll will get every conceivable recommendation, from "keep your hybrid" to buy an XYZ road bike with DI2. You need to supply basic information: age, experience, conditioning. general location (terrain), types of roads/trails (any unpaved?). You will still get the same range of recommendations, but with a bias toward the reasonable.

You're not going to get on a road bike and feel as comfortable as on your hybrid. The position, even on a relaxed geometry, will be different and increasing comfort will require a good fit, increasing your core strength and probably using your leg muscles are somewhat differently. Do you have any friends with a spare road bike you can try; this is a risk since you'll jury-rig the fit, but it may give you a feel. Or rent a road bike for a few days from a shop that will do a quick fit.

If you're riding on anything but paved surfaces you'll want a bike that will take at least 28mm tires depending on your weight. If it rains where you live you'll no doubt want to be able to install fenders .

Take your time, find a few LBS that are interested in more than a quick sale. Whatever the bike fit is everything.
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Old 06-01-12, 01:38 AM
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My suggestion would be to look into something like a cyclocross bike. They tend to be tough, can take a wide range of tire sizes, some have more race oriented geometry while others a more upright one, are starting to come with disc brakes, usually have eyelets for fenders and rack mounts and are the best all around bicycle. A sort of jack-of-all trades if you will. If you are happy with your Specialized sirrus you may consider the Specialized Crux or Tricross.
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Old 06-01-12, 01:46 AM
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I think I would first focus on the gearing of your hybrid vs the gearing of a road bike. For most road bikes, you'll probably find the lowest gear is going to be less hill friendly. http://www.gear-calculator.com is the best gear calculator I've found. You can easily compare different chainring/cassette combinations.

If you want good advice here, you could consider asking your question in the road cycling forum, but you'll have to provide more information. Your budget, type of riding you want to do and style of bike you are looking for. I recommend reading through the "what bike should I buy" threads and you'll learn more about what people like and don't like about bikes.

You can hit up your LBS and ride a variety of bikes and see what you like. You might also be able to rent a road bike for a day (or borrow one from a friend if you are willing to assume risk) to take it on the roads you are familiar with for a good comparison.
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Old 06-01-12, 03:28 AM
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After being away from the sport for many years, I re-entered it (about 6 years ago) with not really knowing what type of riding I would be doing. I purchased a hybrid bike (Trek) and started riding. I soon realized that I was looking to expand my riding experience and after much thought (and riding MANY different types of bikes), I made the decision to purchase a road bike. Best decision I ever made!!!! For me, there is nothing like riding a road bike. The position that you ride, the feel, the lightness of the bike....... that was definitely for me.

I ride mainly on paved trails, not on the road (well, 85/15). I have what might be considered an "entry level" road bike (Giant OCR-2) and love this bike!!!!!

The only advise I could give, is to ride as many different types of bikes as you can (road, cyclocross.....) and then decide which type (and brand) "feels" right for you.
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Old 06-01-12, 04:52 AM
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I have been riding a Sirrus for about a year. I agree that it is a great bike. I have been considering the Specialized Secteur and Roubaix as a transition to a road bike.
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Old 06-01-12, 12:08 PM
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Lots of riders pick cyclocross style bikes because they have certain things as a set,
drop bars, brifters, and wider tires ..

so now every major bike shop brand has a bike like that.
several at different price points, often.

you can change tires and it's a street bike , use the
added clearance around the wheels for Mudguard installation.
add some racks , and it's a reasonable all around bike..

Also there are Hybrids with same wheel, but straight bars and levers ..
if you don't want the bent over posture, that race bikes promote..

so you are presenting less Body frontal area ,
your Shoulders rather than the Chest, into the wind.
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Old 06-01-12, 06:12 PM
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^^+1

I agree with Fietsbob I currently ride Specialized Crux and absolutely love it. Cyclocross bikes are great all around bikes. They tend to have a lower top gear but are also a little more hill friendly than a regular road bike from what I have noticed.
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