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Why did you choose a Hybrid over a MTB?

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Why did you choose a Hybrid over a MTB?

Old 05-08-19, 06:55 AM
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Jac of Hearts
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Why did you choose a Hybrid over a MTB?

Why did you decide to buy a hybrid instead of another type? I'm currently riding an entry level MTB, Gary Fisher Mako, and after years of not riding have really enjoyed getting back in the saddle. I'm looking at new bikes and am between a MTB and a Hybrid. (Trek DS vs. Marlin)

I never ride the trails but being a heavy guy am not a fan of the skinnier tires. My riding is road, sidewalk, bike trails and occasional gravel paths.

So why a Hybrid over a MTB?

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Old 05-08-19, 07:06 AM
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From what you describe a hybrid may be the better choice. Unless you're riding on trails that would specifically require a MTB setup I don't see any reason to have one and be riding it on the street. A front shock will add to the weight of your bike and if it's not really needed I see no use in having one. a MTB setup may offer lower gears that are more suitable for the trail but for getting up to speed on paved road you're going to want some taller gears.
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Old 05-08-19, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Jac of Hearts
Why did you decide to buy a hybrid instead of another type? I'm currently riding an entry level MTB, Gary Fisher Mako, and after years of not riding have really enjoyed getting back in the saddle. I'm looking at new bikes and am between a MTB and a Hybrid. (Trek DS vs. Marlin)

I never ride the trails but being a heavy guy am not a fan of the skinnier tires. My riding is road, sidewalk, bike trails and occasional gravel paths.

So why a Hybrid over a MTB?
I literally just had this same decision last week. There is a thread on here about it. I walked into the Trek store on Saturday, intending on buying either the Marlin or the DS 2, and I ended up with the DS 2.

I didn't think there were many differences between the two, and there's not really (in spite of what the sales person said). I didn't like the gearing on the Marlin, and I like the way the DS rode. For my use, I was looking for a commuter, grocery getter, and a fitness bike to use when I don't feel like riding my road bike.

If there were more trails and single track in my area, or even gravel roads or paths, I would have picked the Marlin.

Also, I went with the DS or something like the FX because I wanted the front suspension, and something a little more rugged. And I can put some decent sized tires on the DS.

Ride them both, one may fit you and just feel nicer than the other to you.
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Old 05-08-19, 03:32 PM
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The Marlin is an MTB shaped object. If you really need an MTB it will disappoint.
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Old 05-08-19, 11:34 PM
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I have been riding both off and on for the past 13 years. My main MTB of choice is a hardtail and with those I enjoyed the comfort with the front suspension and the thicker tires. You can take any trail be it paved, gravel, or dirt.
I like the hybrid for the lightness and the quickness. You are limited with the hybrid as far as the terrain. I prefer to ride paved rail trails so as of late, the hybrid is my bike of choice.
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Old 05-09-19, 05:06 AM
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MTBs will generally offer tire clearance that many hybrids do not. Modern "dual sport" hybrids can generally handle tires up to about 2", but most other segments within the hybrid category cannot. If you're a wide tire kind of guy, then a "dual sport" hybrid is probably the segment to consider if you're looking at hybrids. On the other hand, some MTBs offer similar geometry to "dual sport" hybrids, and either come with a nicer fork or can be upgraded to a nicer fork easier than with a hybrid. In these cases, a hard tail MTB might be the ticket for you. However, some MTBs don't have geometry that's similar to hybrids at all, focusing more on downhill or enduro or other types of geometry. In these cases, a hybrid might be best, as the MTB wouldn't be a very efficient or comfortable machine to pedal for long periods.

I have a Redline MTB that is very similar to a Diamondback Overdrive. I've sort of "hybridized" it with a nice rear rack for my trunk bag and I currently switch back and forth between it and my hybrid (a Giant Roam). My plans for the Redline were to upgrade the fork to a nice air fork, which I may eventually do one day. It has a longer travel fork than my hybrid, and is actually pretty comfortable to ride with the tires aired down. I have some cross country tires with a mostly solid center rib on this bike, and the thing rolls pretty fast.

As with most categories in the bike industry, though, many bikes defy labels, or push the definition to one extreme (either comfort, or performance, etc). The bottom line is the bike should be comfortable to you to mount, pedal, and ride for long periods of time. Visit a few bike shops and ride a few different brands of bike, and a few different categories within those brands (MTB, hybrid, etc). You may find that one of them really speaks to you.

Buy that one.
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Old 05-09-19, 08:28 AM
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I went by the Trek store yesterday and rode a Marlin 5 and a DS2. I went with every intention of buying the DS2 based on everything I read and my riding style. I actually liked the Marlin better once I got used to the wide as hell handlebars and SUV sized front tire. My dealer also made it clear that if I wanted to do ANY off road riding the DS2 was not an off roader.

I am not stuck with a Trek but I really like my local dealer and their service on my other bikes has been great.

So I'm thinking of Hybridizing the Marlin some. Better seat, slightly less aggressive tires. My question now is the lockout fork and Altus 8 speed vs Tourney 7 speed and losing the color I want worth an extra $90.00?
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Old 05-09-19, 10:48 AM
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I got one because I thought that since most of my riding is done on paved albeit not always very smooth roads, and I was getting into longer distance riding (than before), a hybrid would suit me better. Now I'd say that there really is not much reason in choosing a dual sport style hybrid over a hardtail MTB. In general there are very few differences between them, apart from narrower tires on the hybrid. And the advantages of a narrower tire on pavement are quite disputable, it mostly comes down to the tire in question (thread patterns, treads per inch etc. will affect rolling resistance more than simply width).
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Old 05-09-19, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Jac of Hearts
I went by the Trek store yesterday and rode a Marlin 5 and a DS2. I went with every intention of buying the DS2 based on everything I read and my riding style. I actually liked the Marlin better once I got used to the wide as hell handlebars and SUV sized front tire. My dealer also made it clear that if I wanted to do ANY off road riding the DS2 was not an off roader.

I am not stuck with a Trek but I really like my local dealer and their service on my other bikes has been great.

So I'm thinking of Hybridizing the Marlin some. Better seat, slightly less aggressive tires. My question now is the lockout fork and Altus 8 speed vs Tourney 7 speed and losing the color I want worth an extra $90.00?
Everyone's definition of off road is different. Mine is gravel roads, rail or canal trails. These hybrid bikes do really well on these. I'm betting your Trek Store guys were thinking single track, which realistically, the Marlin with beefier tires and wheels would be better. I personally think you would be better off with the 8 speed Marlin over the tourney version, for a variety of reasons, one being it uses a Cassette rather than a non upgrade-able freewheel system. If I remember correctly, it has a better brake system....would have to look it up to verify...Also...Red is a great color!!

Ok, all kidding aside, if it's a bike that you like and want to ride, get it. You need to be happy with it other wise you won't continue to ride it. Doesn't matter what others think.

Oh, you may not realize it now, but a lockout fork is nice when your on pavement.
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Old 05-09-19, 03:30 PM
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I'll second the lockout fork. I find myself using it a lot of the time. There are times I wish it had the remote on the bars, but still can reach down and adjust it.
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Old 05-09-19, 06:12 PM
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I would personally buy the 8-speed version with the lockout fork.
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Old 05-09-19, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by travbikeman
If I remember correctly, it has a better brake system....would have to look it up to verify...
The 4 has cable discs, the 5 and 6 have hydraulic discs.
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Old 05-10-19, 03:58 AM
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Originally Posted by 308jerry
I'll second the lockout fork. I find myself using it a lot of the time. There are times I wish it had the remote on the bars, but still can reach down and adjust it.
I am the opposite, I have locked the fork out only a couple times. On my daily commute there enough of bad roads, including a stretch of cobblestone, to make me feel uncomfortable with the fork locked out (in part due to the risk of damaging it this way), and when I get on better road, I just forget to lock it out. I probably would use it more if I had the remote, who knows.
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Old 05-10-19, 05:23 AM
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Test riding position on both carefully. An Mtb is less optimized to put you in a good position to ride for hours on a path. It is more build to position you for ascending and descending on rocky terrain. That may not apply to the Marlin, though.
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Old 05-10-19, 07:51 AM
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I was looking for a bike that would be Comfortable, Reasonably capable on both pavement and gravel trails, Have the gearing for both steep grades, and to take advantage gravity descending a hill. I choose the Giant Sedona for that purpose, Which it serves very well.

HerrKaleun's post #14 is correct IMO referring to a mountain bike seating position that is optimized for ascending and descending rocky terrain. My Comfort / Hybrid / X-Trail bike...What ever you choose to call it has an upright seating position with a tall stem and riser bars. It does have strong frame and room for 26 x 2.35" Mtb tires. I might be able make a decent Mtb out of it by using a low stem, Flat bars, a different seat, and fat tires.

On the other hand if you have a Mtb, Some might make a comfortable Hybrid bike if use hi-rise bars and a stem, 38 mm tires, and a different seat. Its gearing however will likely be on the low side, But even so for general purpose riding it might be fine. I would very seldom use the 44/14 sprockets if I had them. The highest I usually need is 48/16, which is lower.

Last edited by xroadcharlie; 05-10-19 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 05-10-19, 09:17 AM
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The thing is, everybody's idea of comfortable position varies. If you are going to spend several hours riding, one thing you cannot get around is saddle height: too high or too low, and your legs (knees in particular) will feel that after an hour or maybe even sooner. The optimal reach and handlebar height may vary wildly though, depending on personal preferences. Fitness level plays a role too: the more power you put through the pedals, the lower your upper body tends to go.

That said, my preferred position is handlebars a little lover than the saddle - about an inch or so. I had similar setup on my previous bike (a hardtail MTB) too.
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Old 05-10-19, 10:09 AM
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I ditched the MTB because 60% of my rides are on MUP's and the other 40% are on decomposed granite or gravel trails. My FXS6 handles them all at a speed much higher than I'd hit on any MTB. The carbon frame/fork soak up enough of the jolts that I find no need for a suspension fork. With 32c tubeless tires, I'm still surprised at the stuff on gravel this bike will power through with ease.

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Old 05-10-19, 10:16 AM
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Heavy, fat, slow tires with high rolling resistance = yuck.
Heavy, useless suspension fork = yuck.

If not actually riding trails, there's no real reason to be on a MTB.
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Old 05-11-19, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by HerrKaLeun
Test riding position on both carefully. An Mtb is less optimized to put you in a good position to ride for hours on a path. It is more build to position you for ascending and descending on rocky terrain. That may not apply to the Marlin, though.
It did seem strange that the Marlin ridden back to back with the DS seemed to have a slightly more upright position. The Marlin appeared to have lower bars but I think it was a relative thing. I did ride the Marlin then the DS then a Verge and then the Marlin again just to make sure. I do know if needed I can change the stem or bars on the Marlin if I need more up right. However I have always been a fan of bar ends so I have a variety of hand positions available and I use full wrap ends so I can get on top of the end if I feel the need to sit up.
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Old 05-11-19, 11:13 AM
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Ok so I ordered the Marlin. I went with the 6 over the 5 so I could get the lockout and 8 speed cassette. I am adding bar ends, a kickstand, a bottle cage, of course, and a more comfortable saddle. I already have a stem mounted rack I will transfer. I'm going to take delivery with the XR2 tires but may go to a less aggressive tire like a XR1 after riding it for a while. I did not like the skinny tires on the DS so I'm sure I'll stay with at least a 29x2.0. ( It comes with a 29x2.20˝ front, 29x2.0˝ rear. An odd seeming setup to me.)

Travbikeman I had to go with the black as red was on backorder. The dealer said since the 2020's are coming out the red may be impossible to get at the point. He did say if the color choices for 2020 change to a color I prefer he will let me order a 2020 instead.
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Old 05-11-19, 02:17 PM
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For a good all-around tire, I recommend the Vittoria Mezcal. I have a pair of these in 27.5x2.1 on my MTB and they stick like glue on dirt and also roll really fast on pavement.



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Old 05-12-19, 09:15 AM
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A new wrinkle

Just when I have decided on and ordered a Marlin 6 a DS 8.5 popped up on Marketplace. It looks brand new and has everything I've been looking for. Ugh.
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Old 05-12-19, 10:27 PM
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Well I bought the Trek DS 8.5 and I must say I really like it. I got her home and took her on a 5 mile shake down and other than a kickstand, different seat and bar ends I think I'm set. BTW I really do like the remote lockout.

So I guess you hybrid owners are stuck with me and I will not be relegated to hang with the bad boys on the MTB forum. LOL
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Old 05-14-19, 07:11 AM
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So bar ends and a new saddle installed on my DS. Waiting on a kickstand to come in. Since this is my 10th post I can post a photo after this.
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Old 05-14-19, 07:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Jac of Hearts
So bar ends and a new saddle installed on my DS. Waiting on a kickstand to come in. Since this is my 10th post I can post a photo after this.
What saddle did you get? Iím usually fine with the stock saddle but for some reason the saddle on my new DS is really uncomfortable for me.
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