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pbass 09-25-12 11:47 AM

First new bike in years--trying to decide on type
I've been riding a Trek hybrid for quite some time--about 8 years--and while up til now, I didn't ride much at all--mostly just relaxing cruising around town on rather rare occasion--I've been riding it quite a bit more lately, specifically using it as a main source of exercise, and want something new. Initially, I was thinking I'd just go with a new hybrid, like the Trek FX---my current one is more of the "comfort bike" variety--the FX looks to be a faster, zippier hybrid, but more versatile than a road bike, for those times when I want to go riding alongside my 7 year old in the park, or casual cruising around town.
However, now I'm wondering if I should be looking at a road bike, or maybe even a cyclocross?
As I say, my main intended uses are:
1. Exercise, and where I'm riding is right alongside plenty of roadies (who are of course flying past me!) on the lovely bike paths around Pasadena, CA, including the Rose Bowl, etc.
2. Casual riding with the family and exploring around town, sometimes hitting dirt or rough pavement (but I have no intention of anything resembling off-roading/mountain biking)
3. Climbing. I add this simply because, when I walk out my front door, I am faced with significant hills in every direction! I do it now on my "comfort bike" and I just can't wait to be on something more suited to the terrain...

So, does that still add up to a better hybrid than what I currently own being the best choice? I want it to be my sole bike, whatever it is--I will likely give my old hybrid to a nephew when I get a new bike. Or would a road bike or cyclocross make sense for my uses? I want to be able to go faster, take longer trips, and get a serious workout, but also want versatility.

Any 2 cents appreciated!

fietsbob 09-25-12 12:04 PM

May I recommend going into a Bike shop and seeing 1st hand, a few bikes..
test riding a variety..

in the slightly wider tire type there are hybrid, cross and 29er..
they share the same rim diameter .. 622/700c but the frame design is repurposed.

Generally straight bar 35 wide tire is 'a hybrid' drop bars same wheel type a 'cross bike'

fatter tire 50mm wide is a 29er

a road bike with narrow high pressure tires has been called a 'fitness bike'
when it has straight handlebars.
you can get a bike like Trek's Dual sport , and with smooth tread light tires
it will be a good mixed use rig.

pbass 09-25-12 12:11 PM

Yes, I will be heading out to shops soon to test ride as many as I can. So far, I've only tried the FX hybrid and it was VERY different from my current "comfort" hybrid. It felt great--faster, lighter, "racier", comfortable, etc.----but as I say, now I'm getting curious about other options!

bud16415 09-25-12 12:57 PM

You asked for any input and I will tell you what works for me. I have much similar uses for my bike including the climbing part. I have a few bikes and of different types and I never thought that my bike of choice would be my touring bike when unloaded as an all-around bike.

Old school road like frame with drop bars and modern brifters. High spoke count wheels like a mountain bike but modern 700 wheels that are wider and can handle a lot more than road bike tires with street tread. Crank is more like a road bike with a low granny triple. Cassette and RD is more of a wide spaced mtn bike range for amazing climbing gears. Frame has space and lugs for fenders and racks if needed. You won’t get the tight spacing on the cassette many road riders like but you will have lots of range. The geometry is a little more relaxed something I personally like.

It’s an idea that might not be for everyone but something to think about. I have a Windsor Tourist but there are lots of similar touring setups out there.

pbass 09-25-12 01:18 PM

A touring bike? Very interesting---time for more research........:)

pbass 09-25-12 01:21 PM


Originally Posted by fietsbob (Post 14772982)
you can get a bike like Trek's Dual sport , and with smooth tread light tires
it will be a good mixed use rig.

Thanks--I was looking at those on the Trek site---they look intriguing. That's where I saw the "Crossrip" which got me curious about the "CX" concept for an all-around bike too...

rumrunn6 09-25-12 01:41 PM

sounds like you might consider tossing the comfort bike and get 2 more! ;)

pbass 09-25-12 01:55 PM


Originally Posted by rumrunn6 (Post 14773410)
sounds like you might consider tossing the comfort bike and get 2 more! ;)

Ha! I WISH I could afford more than 1 bike! As I say, I'm giving the 'ol comfort bike away to a nephew once I get a new bike, so I'm looking for an all-around bike since for now I can only have one.

While something like the FX fits the bill pretty well, and I tried it and it felt really good, I'm starting to think I want drop handlebars--I love the idea of being able to alter my hand position (I get tendonitis in my wrist and forearm, and variety of movement and position is always a good thing...)

martianone 09-25-12 07:22 PM

imho - for pleasure and utility riding a road type bike with 28-32 mm tires provides more comfort (presuming it fits well) than a comfort bike, more pedaling efficiency than a mountain bike and better on trails or unpaved surfaces than a road racing bike. challenge is to find a road type bike that isn't focused at the go fast bunch. one choice is a surly pacer. soma smoothie is good, but only offered as a frame set. salsa casserole is another possible option, perhaps a little more touring leaning and a fair amount more $. gunnar sport would be a great choice, $$ compared to pacer or smoothie.

rumrunn6 09-26-12 06:55 AM

go drops, no question then

pbass 09-26-12 12:09 PM

Thanks for all the suggestions! I prolly should have mentioned I'm trying to stay under $1k, but that's give or take a little.....

So far I've tested the Trek FX and the entry-level Trek road bike, the 1.1 (my fave LBS is a Trek dealer obviously) I also rode a ss District S and while it was SUPER fun and comfortable and fast, and I came home all excited about it--practically ready to buy it---my rational mind tells me I need gears(those darn hills right outside my front door....).

The 1.1 was my first time on a road bike--ever. Felt really good. The FX was immediately more comfortable, but I expect with a road bike fitted properly I might really like going that route.

There's lots of bike shops in the area so I will continue to ride as many different bikes as I can...

Notso_fastLane 09-26-12 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by pbass (Post 14773311)
A touring bike? Very interesting---time for more research........:)

While you're at it, see if any of the LBS in your area carry recumbents. I don't have any street bikes anymore, except my recumbent. I still have a DF mountain bike, though.

rumrunn6 09-26-12 01:38 PM

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you don't have to have your hands down by your ankles. inquire about relaxed road bikes, like those with higher drop bars and sloped top tubes. I always raise my bars and there ain't no shame in it I tell ya ;)

pbass 09-27-12 04:28 PM

Thanks for all the tips and ideas everyone---I've decided on one thing at least, and that is I want to go with a road bike, and have found two at LBS's that I like and fit the budget, so I've started a thread in road bikes inquiring about thoughts on the two models (a Trek and a Fuji).


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