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road riding for exercise, is hybrid that much better than mountain bike ?

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road riding for exercise, is hybrid that much better than mountain bike ?

Old 04-14-14, 06:30 AM
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prime winner
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road riding for exercise, is hybrid that much better than mountain bike ?

I just bought a trek x-caliber 6 for trail riding, and have a fairly new diamondback wildwood classic (comfort bike) that I have used on road rides. now I have learned that I will have to cut out jogging for at least a couple of months so I need to fill the exercise void, and actually need more exercise.

so my question is, is there a huge difference between riding neighborhood roads on a hybrid and a mountain bike? my main areas of concern being cruising speed, and ease of reaching/maintaining the cruising speed. by comparison, Im looking at a trek 7.2 and have the treck x-caliber 6. also, my weight is about 220.

thanks !
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Old 04-14-14, 07:05 AM
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The biggest difference will probably be in the tires. A pair of slick tires will give you better traction on the road surface and make it easier to hold your speed. Much cheaper than buying a new bike too.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by LansingWes View Post
The biggest difference will probably be in the tires. A pair of slick tires will give you better traction on the road surface and make it easier to hold your speed. Much cheaper than buying a new bike too.
Knobby tires can easily slow you down a couple MPH.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:23 AM
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If you maintain the same average speed with both bikes, the less efficient bike will give you the most exercise. In this case, the mountain bike will probably be less efficient due to probably being heavier and the tires mentioned above. As both have you sitting upright pretty much, the aerodynamics will be about the same.

However you might not enjoy riding the less efficient bike and quit riding sooner. Personally I'd go with the hybrid if riding on the roads. It's more of the right tool for the job.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:23 AM
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I know the thinner, smoother tires have a big effect, but also the crank difference as well right? I see that the 7.2 has a 48/38/28 crank, while my MTB has a 42/32/22 crank.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:23 AM
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No. For exercise purposes the only thing that matters is the level of exertion and duration. On a mountain bike, you just won't go as far or as fast as on a road bike for the same amount of work, but the exercise value will be the same.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:46 AM
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I agree with Looigi. If you're wanting to use it strictly for exercise, then you want to pick the bike that's going to make you work the most. To maintain the same speed, you'll work more on the mountain bike than the hybrid. If you were using it for transportation, then you'd want the bike that makes you work the least to keep it at speed.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:22 AM
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thanks everyone. Im not looking for a bike to make me work hard, I know I can achieve that by working myself harder. like JerrySTL pointed out, i might not enjoy riding the less efficient bike as much. I like the idea of speed and distance, on a bike that would get me to speed easier.

so back to my main question, is there a huge difference between riding neighborhood roads/bike paths/open roads a hybrid and a mountain bike?
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Old 04-14-14, 08:40 AM
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Usually the hybrid will be a little faster because of smoother tires, which can be balanced by putting slicks on the mountain bike.... but there is also the factor of aerodynamics... if your hybrid is a comfort bike with higher handlebars, then the mountain bike could actually give you a more efficient riding position aerodynamically.

If either one has a shock, then it will slow you down a little...

As far as gearing, on the flats, a 42 tooth crank may not give you as high a speed, but depending on your cadence and capabilities, it could be fine. You would notice it more on a down hill stretch, or with a tail wind, but not much (if at all) on a windless flat. You also need to factor in the gearing at the wheel, because if the mountain bike has a 42 x 11 high, and the hybrid has a 48 x 13 high, it can make a difference... also 26" or 700c will impact the gearing as well.

There is no easy answer to be found in a forum, but if you want to know which is best without investing any money or making any changes, then just ride them on the same route (a route similar to what you want to ride on a usual basis), and see which bike is faster...

But, I think the true measure is after which ride were you smiling the biggest?
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Old 04-14-14, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by JerrySTL View Post
If you maintain the same average speed with both bikes, the less efficient bike will give you the most exercise. In this case, the mountain bike will probably be less efficient due to probably being heavier and the tires mentioned above. As both have you sitting upright pretty much, the aerodynamics will be about the same.

However you might not enjoy riding the less efficient bike and quit riding sooner. Personally I'd go with the hybrid if riding on the roads. It's more of the right tool for the job.
Jerry hits it right on the nail.

Going back to 2007 when I got back into cycling, I bought a used Giant Sedona from a thrift store that had knobby tires on it. I rode it around my neighborhood for a couple of weeks and was about "this close" to chucking the whole riding experience because I hated the way that bike rode on the street.It was about then when my brother told me what I needed was smoother tires. Didn't know such a thing existed for mountain bikes, so I went to a bike shop and asked. The salesman showed me a couple different types of tires. Going with his recommendation, I bought a couple and it's been a long running love affair with cycling ever since. If it wasn't for the slicks, I may have given up on cycling.

So, when folks suggest slicker tires, that definitely is the best, and cheaper, way to go rather than buying a whole new bike.

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Old 04-14-14, 08:43 AM
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This is a personal question and perspective, but in my perspective heck yeah.

A hybrid is lighter and more responsive. For me speed is addictive. I switched from a hybrid to a road bike so that I had a better ride, but I had a mountain bike in the 80s for a while, and I went back to road biking.
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Old 04-14-14, 08:53 AM
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I rode a steel frame mountain bike with smooth tires on city streets, long and short distances, for a couple of years. With bar ends, this set up served me well for exercise and fun over many, many miles. Just get street tires and bar ends and ride the darn thing.
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Old 04-14-14, 09:55 AM
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If you like speed, get a road bike with interrupter brakes and forget about a hybrid altogether!

If you're not riding on mountain tops and doing much off road cycling, why in the world would you want a mtb, (unless your streets are all screwed up)?

Last edited by WestPablo; 04-14-14 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 04-14-14, 10:31 AM
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Yes. I don't enjoy riding my mountain bike on the road as much so when I do it I quit sooner thus making for less of a workout. I use my road bike for long paved trips, My hybrid for local neighborhood riding, and the mountain bike for off road. With a bike for each occasion I can do whatever I choose for the day and never have an excuse for not riding something.
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Old 04-14-14, 11:23 AM
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More rim Diameter less tire width so the wheel rotating mass is less, and the tire PSI is higher..
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Old 04-14-14, 11:29 AM
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The X Caliber 6 is a 29er, so wheel size is basically the same as on the hybrid. So, we are talking about weight, tire width and tread pattern, and suspension. Put thinner tires on your mountain bike, and you have a hybrid with a suspension fork.

Last edited by MRT2; 04-14-14 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 04-14-14, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by knobster View Post
I agree with Looigi. If you're wanting to use it strictly for exercise, then you want to pick the bike that's going to make you work the most. To maintain the same speed, you'll work more on the mountain bike than the hybrid. If you were using it for transportation, then you'd want the bike that makes you work the least to keep it at speed.
But that depends upon whether you are riding for a consistent level of effort or a consistent level of speed. When I ride for a workout, I push myself to maintain a certain level of effort, regardless of how fast I am going. Being able to go faster for a consistent level of effort is more rewarding and motivating for me so a lighter, faster bike is better in that case. Just a different perspective on this.
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Old 04-14-14, 07:32 PM
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I have slicks for my 29er and it is quite a nice ride on pavement. A hybrid seems like a waste unless you don't intend to run on dirt any more. The hybrid has a very slight advantage on the road, maybe 1mph. If you want speed get a road bike. The slicks are the best if you are on a tight budget, if not get a new bike and stimulate the economy.
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Old 04-15-14, 03:25 AM
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mtb with 26x1.25 slicks will be more aero positioning and muscle/posture efficient than a comfort/hybrid bike. also better handling, more durable frame, superior tire clearance, great compatibility with racks and fender. hybrids are weak half breeds combining all the worst features of road/mtb and neither ones advantages save marketability to people who assume sitting upright equals comfort ( it does not)
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Old 04-15-14, 04:00 AM
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A big factor to consider, at least for me, is having bars that permit alternate hand positions. Two weeks ago we had a lot of rain leading up to the weekend, making me unsure of the road and trail conditions - if there would be mud or gravel or other debris on the road surfaces - so I chose to ride my mountain bike with the wide knobby tires. 5 miles into the ride my hands, arms, and shoulders were aching. Last week I rode my road bike on the same roads and MUP, in windy conditions, and went twice as long with no discomfort, and only stopped because I ran out of time - I could have easily gone farther. Being able to reposition one's hands means a lot.
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Old 04-15-14, 04:05 AM
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Weight play an part too. If your mountain bike has full suspension that adds a lot of weight to a bike, weight affects acceleration and the ability to climb. Some of the newer hybrids are pretty lightweight, some models even have carbon fiber forks.
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Old 04-15-14, 06:04 AM
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As a rider gets more "fit", he/she enters the "no spin zone". You notice how your conditioning has improved and you are now the master of the craft, so to speak. That influences which way you go as far as speed, efficiency, and everything else. Like Lance says, "its not about the bike".
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Old 04-15-14, 02:04 PM
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The difference between what you have and a hybrid will be minimal. Just stick with what you have. Regardless of what bike you use, workouts are only as good as the work you put into them.
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Old 04-19-14, 06:56 PM
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well the wife and I went to the LBS and ordered a Trek 7.2 FX. The plan is that she will use it when we ride together (I'll use my Excaliber 6), and I will use the 7.2 FX when riding solo. My Excaliber is a 18.5 frame, but we went with 17.5 on the FX to help her a little.

last week I took my DB wildwood (comfort bike, 26er) for a 10 mile spin and it took me 51 minutes. today on the same route my Excaliber shaved a little over 6 minutes off. cant wait to see the difference between the Excaliber and the FX over the same route.
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Old 04-21-14, 05:47 PM
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got the FX 7.2 today, ended up getting the disc version. below is a summary of (3) 10 mile rides, over the same course, on three different bikes.

trip 1 -
diamondback wildwood classic, comfort bike, 26in tires, 42/32/22 crank
10 miles, 51:06 total time, 11.8mph avg speed

trip 2 -
trek x-caliber 6, mountain bike, 29in tires, 42/32/22 crank
10 miles, 44:57 total time, 13.4mph avg speed

trip 3 -
trek 7.2 FX disc, hybrid bike, 700c tires, 48/38/28 crank
10 miles, 41:24 total time, 14.5mph avg speed

I know I enjoyed the 7.2 FX ride more than the x-caliber 6, but I also think the 7.2 FX found EVERY bump in the road. and I even had the suspension locked out on the x-caliber 6. after my 10 mile trip today, after about a 90 minute break, I took the wife out on a 7 mile ride to try the 7.2 FX, she loved it. I took the diamondback and had a hell of a time trying to stay with her.
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