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Hybrid or Mountain Bike?

Old 04-08-21, 06:00 PM
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ccollins3890
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Hybrid or Mountain Bike?

Hi everyone. This is my first post outside of my introduction, so forgive me if I should have posted somewhere else.

I am looking at getting back into biking after more than 10 years of not owning a bike. I live on a farm and live near a city with many parks and trails in Michigan. I know I will be riding on the road at times and on park trails at times, as well as on grass around the farm. I have been looking to buy something for around $600 or less (a little flexible) but am not sure where to start. There is so much out there, and I'm not even sure if a hybrid is the way to go or a mountain bike, so I guess that's my first question. What would you all do in my shoes?

Thanks,
Chris
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Old 04-08-21, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by ccollins3890 View Post
What would you all do in my shoes?
If your use is as mixed as it sounds, then I'd buy a basic hard tail mountain bike, something like a Trek Marlin, Giant Talon, something like that. Here's my MTB that I mostly use as a hybrid.



I currently have it in a slightly different configuration from what you see in the photo. I've swapped the handlebars for some swept-back ones. The tires are Continental Ride Tours in 54mm size (on the stock 27.5" wheels)...those are proving to be very nice mixed surface tires. I replaced the stock 3x8 drivetrain with a 1x9 with an 11-40 Sunrace cassette. I removed the front derailleur and large chain ring and I'm just using the middle 32-tooth chain ring for now. But you get the idea. It can host a rack, mud guards, and all the other things that you typically associate with a hybrid bike. But it also has some skills at doing reasonably well off road on light single- and two-track. We have a local bike park now and this is my bike park bike (I usually take the mud guards off for that).

It's the most versatile bike I have and the one that I ride the most. It cost me $155 on clearance on Walmart.com a couple of years ago. It's a re-badged Diamondback Overdrive bike. I have a few hundred dollars' worth of upgrades on it (the stuff I mentioned above, plus hydraulic brakes), and it's been a really solid and fun bike for less than $400 all in.
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Old 04-08-21, 07:42 PM
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Might be a good idea to go visit the bike shops and look and compare to see what you would be comfortable with. That is if the shops have any bikes in stock.

Michigan has many nice rails to trails, of which I believe they have the most of any state in the country. So depending how much or what you want to ride on, a hybrid or a bike like Hokiefyd shows should do well.

But if you want to do some more lively mountain biking on your farm, well, that's where you need to talk to the LBS to really find out what is a good fit.
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Old 04-09-21, 09:01 AM
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Hello and welcome,
I think the previous advise about visiting your LBS is good. One thing you might not be aware of is the newer geometry of some hybrid bikes. They might not be the best choice for pulling a bike trailer with your kiddies on board. The simple hardtail mountain bike may perform better in that role. A good way to compare the performance would be to demo both types climbing a steep hill. Some hybrids are more cruise oriented and might not climb as well. Pulling kids in a trailer might seem simple, but it is more work than you think, especially up hill.
Good hunting!
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Old 04-09-21, 06:30 PM
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Something like a Marin fairfax 1, 7 speed for $500 or the Presidio 1 which is 8 speed for 539.

Last edited by dr1445; 04-10-21 at 05:10 AM.
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Old 04-10-21, 07:59 AM
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Thanks everyone. I will stop by my LBS for sure. I am fully expecting to buy a used bike at this point, but it's difficult to know what is a good deal and what's not. I also don't know what a good brand is vs a no named brand yet. Searching Craigslist and OfferUp is forcing me to do research though, which is good. I saw a 2016 Giant Roam 2 for $390, but it was sold before I could get it. There is also a Specialized StumpJumper that looks like it must be from 1997 based on the frame that is listed for $800. That seems way too high to me, but I am new to all of this. know new Specialized bikes are amazing and will cost a couple grand. Anyway, I will keep watching the classifieds and wait until something good pops up. Any advise for doing this? Also, thanks hokiefyd The breakdown you gave is super helpful!
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Old 04-10-21, 03:07 PM
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One YouTube channel you may be interested in, ccollins3890 is KevCentral. He reviews a lot of big-box bikes and these genre has really come a long way in the last few years. The newer Schwinn mountain bikes are coming with 1x setups, sized frames, dropper seat posts, and even tapered head tubes (which means you could upgrade with really high quality forks over time). The components are, of course, pretty basic to begin with, but these bikes look like they could be very good platforms to start on and upgrade down the road. KevCentral will never push a big-box bike over a bike shop brand if you have the budget up front for a nicer bike. But if your budget is lower and/or feel more comfortable with a lower up front cost, he's reviewed some pretty nice looking bikes for well under $500 that could get you on the road.
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Old 04-11-21, 02:16 PM
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How big are you, and what part of Michigan are you in? I know of a couple bikes in the Chicago area which might fit the bill.
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Old 04-11-21, 03:13 PM
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5'8 so a medium bike size. I've heard it can depend on the brand though. I'm 2 hours and fifteen minutes from Chicago on a good day. Near Kalamazoo. It depends on where in Chicago of course. I am from the area actually. PM me if you want to.
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Old 04-12-21, 04:08 PM
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I own both a hybrid and a mtb
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Old 04-17-21, 10:32 AM
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Thanks everyone for the replies and the advice. I ended up with a great bike for me and another for my wife and was able to stay just within our budget when the two were combined thanks to the help and kindness of an experienced rider in the greater area. The Verve 3 for me and the FX3 for my wife. We went out on our first family ride yesterday (me pulling the kids in a bike trailer) and it was a blast! And I even got to meet a great guy on top of it! Happy riding everyone, and I'll see you around!
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Old 04-17-21, 01:02 PM
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Great to hear you found 2 awesome bikes wish you the best on the bike trips
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