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From road bike to hybrid (neck issues). Recommend a great one for longer rides?

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From road bike to hybrid (neck issues). Recommend a great one for longer rides?

Old 07-29-15, 02:33 PM
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3940dxer
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From road bike to hybrid (neck issues). Recommend a great one for longer rides?

I've been riding a Specialized Allez Sport for about 2 years now and do around 100 miles a week. I've really enjoyed the bike but have developed neck problems and my osteopath (a cyclist himself) said I should switch to a hybrid, to keep my neck in a more neutral position.

Since I'll be dealing with more wind resistance, I'd like to trade up to a really nice lightweight bike, probably a better quality one, to kind of make up for it. I rarely go off road so would probably want to install skinny road bike tires, if I can. Disk brakes would be a big plus for me.

I mostly do urban rides of 30-60 miles, but will be riding from San Francisco to L.A. in October. I know it's a bit odd to do that on a hybrid, but…doctor's orders.

(I have wondered if I might be able to adapt the handlebars on my Specialized for a more upright riding position, but suspect that's not really an option. Maybe someone can comment on that.)

My budget is $1000-$1500. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
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Old 07-29-15, 02:50 PM
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Here is my 2014 Sirrus Comp Carbon Disc. Did a few centuries with it, longest was about 112 miles. I have Gatorskin 700x25 installed. Other than that it is pretty much box stock. After I have it professionally fitted, I just could not stop riding it. It might be $100-$200 more then your budget but worth it.



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Old 07-29-15, 02:53 PM
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You can replace a drop bar with a flat bar. A bike shop can do this quite easily and it will probably cost you about $150 - maybe less if they get to keep the old drop bar and brifters. I did this with a Cannondale CAAD 8 and was quite pleased with the result. You might want to try it.
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Old 07-29-15, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
I've been riding a Specialized Allez Sport for about 2 years now and do around 100 miles a week. I've really enjoyed the bike but have developed neck problems and my osteopath (a cyclist himself) said I should switch to a hybrid, to keep my neck in a more neutral position.

Since I'll be dealing with more wind resistance, I'd like to trade up to a really nice lightweight bike, probably a better quality one, to kind of make up for it. I rarely go off road so would probably want to install skinny road bike tires, if I can. Disk brakes would be a big plus for me.

I mostly do urban rides of 30-60 miles, but will be riding from San Francisco to L.A. in October. I know it's a bit odd to do that on a hybrid, but…doctor's orders.

(I have wondered if I might be able to adapt the handlebars on my Specialized for a more upright riding position, but suspect that's not really an option. Maybe someone can comment on that.)

My budget is $1000-$1500. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
I test rode allez and tarmacs extensively. Fantastic bikes but I feel A LOT more comfortable and generate far more power with roubaix/secteur geometry. Longer headtube, more upright position.

edit: a hybrid is not going to help you with wind resistance. Nor will a lighter weight bike.

I would recommend getting a pro fit to optimize comfort and power on your bike. For me, the two go hand in hand. A racing geometry is for racers. It doesn't seem like you are riding for fun and fitness, so check out bikes like the roubaix, secteur or sirrus (flatbar) instead.

Getting a shorter stem and/or higher rise stem could do the trick. I wouldn't experiment, get a proper fitting.

Also, go see your doctor and get some physical therapy. Proper strength and flexibility will help you both on and off the bike.

tl, dr: given your concerns (neck, wind resistance), I recommend endurance geometry: sirrus flatbar or roubaix/secteur with drop bar.

Last edited by sam_cyclist; 07-29-15 at 03:32 PM.
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Old 07-29-15, 03:56 PM
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OP,

I will comment from my own experience and research/reading on this matter. I nowadays ride mostly 'road', and have done for quite a few years. Typically, between 6-7000kms/year. I routinely do longer rides (50/60 miles) and have done three 'centuries'. I do this currently on a '10 Specialized Sirrus Comp (pic at the end of this post). I would use a drop-bar road bike (because I far prefer the aesthetics of them, and I'm a passionate fan of professional road cycling), but for various reasons personal to me and consequent medical advice I don't. A few points (Warning: what follows is very [and unapologetically] opinionated!).

1. By 'hybrid' these days one can mean many things. I suspect what you are looking for is a 'flat-bar road bike' like the Specialized Sirrus or Giant Fastroad. A budget of around $1500 U.S. will buy you a nice example -- including discs if that's what you'd like.

2. Assuming you are a recreational road cyclist (i.e. not racing), you will really not lose all that much in terms of 'speed' by making the switch. Seriously. Others will come along to tell you differently. They are wrong. I ignore them; so should you.

3. You could convert your Allez to flat bars. I'd suggest not doing so; your bike (geometry) was designed for drop, not flat bars. If you are going this route, why not make the switch to a 'road bike' properly designed for flat bars.

4. You can 'raise' your drop bars to give you a more 'upright' position. That's a) going to involve 'stem raisers' of various kinds, b) negate the point of drop bars, and c) look horrible (if that matters). Again, IF you are needing to make this switch, why not do it right?

5. Flat bars, even typical 'flat bars' are not inherently uncomfortable on long rides; this is especially true if you add bar ends (many flat-bar road bikes come with them stock). These allow you effectively to duplicate the hoods/tops positions on drops, which is all you need by way of varying hand positions to avoid any kind of discomfort on long rides. Others will come along to tell you otherwise. They are wrong. I ignore them; so should you.

Here endeth the sermon. A flat-bar road bike (mine):

Attached Images
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Sirrus 2014 1.jpg (100.3 KB, 75 views)
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Old 07-29-15, 06:13 PM
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Simplest solution is to swap out the drop bars for moustache bars and install a stem riser/adjustable stem.

This alone will make the bike a lot more comfortable.

Last edited by NormanF; 07-29-15 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 07-29-15, 06:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
I mostly do urban rides of 30-60 miles, but will be riding from San Francisco to L.A. in October.
No help with the bike, but assuming you're doing the coast road, sounds like a great ride
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Old 07-29-15, 06:40 PM
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I have a broken and fused neck, and I have set up a Sirrus for commuting and taking short trips. I love riding my road bike with drop bars, but my neck muscles only give me just over two hours on average. The Sirrus is slower, but I also have a rack and bags full of stuff on itt, plus much wider tires and different gearing.I think that the Sirrus could meet your needs, and I can say without hesitation that I really like mine.
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Old 07-29-15, 07:15 PM
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Thanks for all the replies, this is a lot of good info for me and I really appreciate it.

I'm going to start with NormanF's suggestion, I ordered an adjustable stem riser and will see how that goes. I've got to think that by bringing my arms up and back, riding will be more comfortable and easier on my neck. If that doesn't do it for me, I'll probably start looking at other bikes. I visited my LBS today and they told me that nearly all hybrids are really not very good bikes, and I might be stepping down. but not sure how true that really is. I assume that Nid would disagree with that.

I need to re-read the replies and digest a bit more, but thanks again, this really helps.
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Old 07-29-15, 07:26 PM
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
Thanks for all the replies, this is a lot of good info for me and I really appreciate it.

I'm going to start with NormanF's suggestion, I ordered an adjustable stem riser and will see how that goes. I've got to think that by bringing my arms up and back, riding will be more comfortable and easier on my neck. If that doesn't do it for me, I'll probably start looking at other bikes. I visited my LBS today and they told me that nearly all hybrids are really not very good bikes, and I might be stepping down. but not sure how true that really is. I assume that Nid would disagree with that.

I need to re-read the replies and digest a bit more, but thanks again, this really helps.
One more comment, and I'm out. If your LBS told you that (bold above), they are full of ****. I'd be looking for another shop -- one that attempts genuinely to work with average cyclists and their needs.
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Old 07-29-15, 07:38 PM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
One more comment, and I'm out. If your LBS told you that (bold above), they are full of ****. I'd be looking for another shop -- one that attempts genuinely to work with average cyclists and their needs.
+1
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Old 07-30-15, 09:15 AM
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I personally would keep the road bike and change the stem length, height and angle for more upright posture. The drop bar for me has so many hand positions that it is a huge boon for long rides.
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Old 07-30-15, 09:26 AM
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I have 2 Bikes with Trekking Bars .. both, the bars are a bit higher than the saddle

You have to buy new bars stem levers brake and shift and all 4 cables , perhaps the buying another bike will be better
A straight bar Hybrid to trekking bar conversion is a lot easier.

the trekking bar, figure 8 bend, has a near and far reach that offers a lot of the body posture changes of drop bars.
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Old 07-30-15, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
I have 2 Bikes with Trekking Bars .. both, the bars are a bit higher than the saddle

You have to buy new bars stem levers brake and shift and all 4 cables , perhaps the buying another bike will be better
A straight bar Hybrid to trekking bar conversion is a lot easier.

the trekking bar, figure 8 bend, has a near and far reach that offers a lot of the body posture changes of drop bars.
Moustache bars offer the same sweep and multiple hand positions as a trekking bar but you can keep your road bike shifter/brakeset. It would be positioned so you can easily shift and brake as you ride. Its kind of a north roads bar for a road bike.
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Old 07-30-15, 12:24 PM
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Originally Posted by 3940dxer View Post
Thanks for all the replies, this is a lot of good info for me and I really appreciate it.

I'm going to start with NormanF's suggestion, I ordered an adjustable stem riser and will see how that goes. I've got to think that by bringing my arms up and back, riding will be more comfortable and easier on my neck. If that doesn't do it for me, I'll probably start looking at other bikes. I visited my LBS today and they told me that nearly all hybrids are really not very good bikes, and I might be stepping down. but not sure how true that really is. I assume that Nid would disagree with that.

I need to re-read the replies and digest a bit more, but thanks again, this really helps.
Best of luck, I think it's a good start.

There may be other issues, however. There could be a whole host of factors. This is why I recommend a fitting. You don't necessarily have to do a full $350 pro fitting. Some shops offer a quite thorough fitting in the $150 to $200 range.

The key thing is to make sure that the bike fits you properly overall: that means proper saddle height, fore/aft, tt length, stem length and rise.

The process can be thorough or very basic, depending on your budget, but you are better off making sure the key measures are all in line.

For all we know, you may not even have the proper bike size.
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Old 07-30-15, 09:57 PM
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Originally Posted by badger1 View Post
one more comment, and i'm out. If your lbs told you that (bold above), they are full of ****. I'd be looking for another shop -- one that attempts genuinely to work with average cyclists and their needs.
absolutely correct!!!!
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Old 08-01-15, 03:21 AM
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The 7.7fx stock is in your price range. The one below is a wee bit more expensive but can show what can be done to blur the lines.
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Old 08-01-15, 05:38 AM
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I too have neck issues. I find that even riding in a more upright position is hazardous
because if i hit a pothole, curb, or similar obstacle, the jolt to my neck can cause
considerable pain that can linger for a few days or more.
That is why I only ride hybrids that have a front suspension.
A good flat bar road bike will smooth out road chatter, but when it comes to that unexpectd
'pow' ....a front suspension is what keeps me off the painkillers.
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Old 08-02-15, 11:15 AM
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Thanks again for the additional comments. I ordered the adjustable stem riser and am still waiting for it to come in. sam_cyclist, agree that bike fittings are very important. I went to a well known local guy soon after I bought my bike, and then went back for a small re-tune after my neck issues developed, so I think that is well covered.

avidone1, appreciate your remark about the suspension, I was thinking about that too. I'm not sure whether hitting bumps and cracks makes my neck stuff worse, but it might, and maybe it's better to smooth things out a bit. For 2-3 rides a week it may not matter that much but SF-LA will be 500 miles (exactly, according to the Strava routes I planned out) and that is more of a concern.

limbot, I plan to ride down the coast from SF to Morro Bay, then Santa Maria, Solvang, Santa Barbara via Refugio Road (!), Ventura, and home. Will have several rest days on route, and will be taking it slow compared to most who do the SF-LA route. (I've made reservations at the Army hotel on the Hunter Liggett base near Lucia, anybody ever stayed there? We'll have a shuttle ride over the big hill between there and Lucia.) Am super excited about everything, and expect it to be "trip of a lifetime" material!

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Old 08-02-15, 11:25 AM
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but you can keep your road bike shifter/brakeset.
Depends on the parts you intend to use .
It would be positioned so you can easily shift and brake as you ride
IF you have the Brake Lever separate and the shift Lever in the bar end , yes ..

But a Road STI type Brifter is really unweildy, if not Vertically mounted .


I have used a Nitto Mustache bar setup , old cable out the top road brakelevers + Bar End shifting.
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