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First hybrid bike

Old 05-12-20, 08:23 AM
  #26  
sdowen
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
I agree with this, and I suspect the reason is mostly marketing. Most consumers probably think aluminum is an "upgrade" over steel (after all, the rest of the frame is made from it, right?). They see the progression as you go more expensive up the line: steel is on the 1, aluminum is on the 2, carbon is on the 3.
Trek and other companies are getting people to obsess about the weight of the frame. For most commuter bikes the difference of 1-2lbs isnít going to make much of a difference in performance for the average rider.

The FX 1 will be as fast as the FX 2 in most normal riding conditions for the average rider.
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Old 05-12-20, 09:12 AM
  #27  
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For sure, to the average person off the street, steel is a hard sell for bike frames.

Weight is an issue, but there might be another factor combined with it.

Simple, high impact visuals are important. The ongoing trend (onslaught?) of oversized everything has created a massive headtube. To visually match, the crowns of forks are of the same diameter. Steel does not like large, steel likes dainty. Large makes steel too stiff and too heavy. Al and crabon like Large, Al and crabon do not gain much weight from upsizing and gain massive stiffness. The upper models have wide crown crabon forks so the lower end models have to match the visuals as much as possible. A light and compliant steel fork would look silly on that fat head tube IMO; a fat steel fork would ride like an Al fork but weight 3x as much.

Interestingly, the oversized (bigger, more logos) trend was largely started by Cannondale, who were a pioneer of the Al fork. Below is a picture of someone else's beautiful Cannondale with a compliant and light steel fork as well as a pic of my Cannondale with fat Al fork.



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Old 05-13-20, 08:50 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
Steel does not like large, steel likes dainty. Large makes steel too stiff and too heavy. Al and crabon like Large, Al and crabon do not gain much weight from upsizing and gain massive stiffness. The upper models have wide crown crabon forks so the lower end models have to match the visuals as much as possible. A light and compliant steel fork would look silly on that fat head tube IMO; a fat steel fork would ride like an Al fork but weight 3x as much.
I am learning a lot, and this is an important point. As a newbie looking to buy my first bike in 20+ years, I was confused about the shapes, materials, and multitudes of styles of bikes. Simplistically thinking that steel < aluminum < carbon, I tried an aluminum hybrid (Trek FS3) but felt that the suspension is unnecessary and adds weight, and ultimately settled for a Sport FX4 Carbon. This bike practically flies down the road, but I am learning now that carbon has its downsides too. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, I suppose.

Choosing a first bike is unnecessarily complicated.
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Old 05-14-20, 07:35 AM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by koenbro View Post
I am learning a lot, and this is an important point. As a newbie looking to buy my first bike in 20+ years, I was confused about the shapes, materials, and multitudes of styles of bikes. Simplistically thinking that steel < aluminum < carbon, I tried an aluminum hybrid (Trek FS3) but felt that the suspension is unnecessary and adds weight, and ultimately settled for a Sport FX4 Carbon. This bike practically flies down the road, but I am learning now that carbon has its downsides too. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, I suppose.

Choosing a first bike is unnecessarily complicated.
Here are some fork weights, pics, and impressions:

This is a 600 gram skinny steel fork on a 1" steerer and skinny Tange Prestige frame tubes; very plush and lively


This is a 900 gram fat steel fork on a 1-1/8" steerer and chunkier Tange MTB tubes; super harsh. Im running a larger tire to compensate.



This is an 850 gram carbon legged/Al steerer and crown fork on a 1-1/8" steerer and skinny Tange Ultralight tubes; plush and non buzzy but not too lively


As for bike weight, back when high end was offered in steel and Al, the difference was not alarming. What is not measurable is ride comfort and "feel" (whatever that means); here steel wins all day every day over Al*




*YMMV
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Old 05-14-20, 07:10 PM
  #30  
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My '97 750 is about as lively a bike as I've ever ridden (some would call it "flexy"). You can visually see the flex in the fork blades when compressing the front of the bike. The rest of the bike frame is fairly flexible as well (relatively speaking, I guess). It's probably my favorite bike to ride as far as bike "dynamics" go.
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Old 05-14-20, 09:35 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by DorkDisk View Post
Here are some fork weights, pics, and impressions:

This is a 600 gram skinny steel fork on a 1" steerer and skinny Tange Prestige frame tubes; very plush and lively
That skinny fork looks retro cool!
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Old 05-24-20, 06:46 AM
  #32  
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I couldn't find the bike I was looking for
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Old 06-28-20, 10:54 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by koenbro View Post
I am learning a lot, and this is an important point. As a newbie looking to buy my first bike in 20+ years, I was confused about the shapes, materials, and multitudes of styles of bikes. Simplistically thinking that steel < aluminum < carbon, I tried an aluminum hybrid (Trek FS3) but felt that the suspension is unnecessary and adds weight, and ultimately settled for a Sport FX4 Carbon. This bike practically flies down the road, but I am learning now that carbon has its downsides too. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch, I suppose.

Choosing a first bike is unnecessarily complicated.
This!
Some great info in this thread. I'm in pretty much this same situation. But I've recently been seeing some steel-frame hybrids and wondering what sort of riding situation this would be best for? Who is the ideal rider for a steel hybrid?
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Old 06-29-20, 06:37 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by MrPeabody View Post
But I've recently been seeing some steel-frame hybrids and wondering what sort of riding situation this would be best for? Who is the ideal rider for a steel hybrid?
If you're talking about steel-framed hybrids from the 1990s era, they're very similar to an aluminum-framed hybrid you'd find today, like a Trek FX, Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, etc. The older bikes will have rim brakes (either cantilever or linear pull), so they'd be best compared (in terms of riding experience) to a lower-trim FX/Escape/Sirrus with rim brakes today. These steel hybrids, especially the nicer ones, won't weigh much or any more than a lower-end aluminum hybrid today. Steel bikes can have a softer, more compliant ride feel than aluminum. I find that steel "soaks up the road grain" better than aluminum.

There are still some very high quality bikes made from steel. The easiest to find (in terms of something in stock at a local retailer) would be something from Jamis, like a Coda or Sequel. There are many others, though...but usually from smaller brand names.
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Old 06-29-20, 08:34 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by hokiefyd View Post
If you're talking about steel-framed hybrids from the 1990s era, they're very similar to an aluminum-framed hybrid you'd find today, like a Trek FX, Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, etc. The older bikes will have rim brakes (either cantilever or linear pull), so they'd be best compared (in terms of riding experience) to a lower-trim FX/Escape/Sirrus with rim brakes today. These steel hybrids, especially the nicer ones, won't weigh much or any more than a lower-end aluminum hybrid today. Steel bikes can have a softer, more compliant ride feel than aluminum. I find that steel "soaks up the road grain" better than aluminum.

There are still some very high quality bikes made from steel. The easiest to find (in terms of something in stock at a local retailer) would be something from Jamis, like a Coda or Sequel. There are many others, though...but usually from smaller brand names.
Thanks. I was concerned about the weight issue of a new steel hybrid vs. Al but if itís negligible, thatís good to hear. I had visions of pedaling this relative anvil up and down hills.
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