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Hybrid Options

Old 09-08-21, 11:47 AM
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Chickenwings
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Hybrid Options

Hi everyone....I'm new....Sigh I'm getting tired of saying that...and I need some help. I've started cycling to get in better shape and lose some weight. Honestly I'd way rather do other stuff than cycle but I'll secretly admit that I'm starting to get into it....but keep that quiet okay?

I started with a low risk strategy...buy a cheap bike and if I don't like this cycling thing I'll be able to get out with a minimal cost. Strategy is good, I'll keep doing this for a while so I need a new bike. Not just a better one but one that FITS. Man there's a whole thread on it's own....okay if you've read this far thanks.

What I want to know is this: 3 LBS have recommended the Trek FX2 for me as a good starter bike. I see it, I like it and I'm pretty sure I'll be happy with it but what I'd like to know is what other brands and models would be comparable to the FX2? I'd like to shop for that 'deal' but I really don't know yet what to look for.

Thanks in advance!
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Old 09-08-21, 01:39 PM
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Welcome! I agree that the Trek FX 2 would be a great general purpose bike. Others in this category include the Specialized Sirrus, the Giant Escape, the Jamis Coda, the ... there must be a thousand different models in this market segment (one I usually call "fitness" hybrid, as opposed to a "comfort" hybrid or a "dual sport" hybrid), so you're fortunate in that nearly every brand makes a bike similar to the FX. They will not all fit and ride the same. As you may already know, or will soon come to find out, small differences in measurements and angles can have pretty large influences on the feel of the bike. So try as many bikes as you can find.

The other type of hybrid that is very popular, and should be common in bike shops, is the "dual sport" style, which is similar to the FX but which comes with a suspension fork. Trek calls theirs the DS, Specialized calls theirs the Crosstrail, Giant calls theirs the Roam, Jamis calls theirs the DXT, etc. Again, nearly everybody makes a "dual sport" hybrid. Opinions are mixed on whether a front suspension fork is an asset or a detriment to the bike. Suspension forks, like rigid forks, have pros and cons and you'll need to think about where and how you ride to determine what may work for you.
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Old 09-08-21, 03:18 PM
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Thanks for the info, it's appreciated. I had guessed on the Giant Escape and Specialized Sirrus but wasn't sure. That definitely gives me some options.

I secretly want a road bike but I'm old and decrepit so I'm starting off "easy"....grin. That's taken away suspension forks for me but I may open my mind a bit.

Thanks again!
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Old 09-08-21, 08:35 PM
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One thing to watch is what they do with the FX 2 for 2022. I was planning on an FX 3 when they arrive in the spring, but for 2022 Trek changed the gearing from 2x9 to 1x10. Having second thoughts now. They didn't change the gearing for the FX 1 in 2022 though, still 3x7. They haven't announced the 2022 FX 2 yet, but you might want to keep an eye on their website.

Mark
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Old 09-08-21, 10:45 PM
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Originally Posted by msalvetti View Post
One thing to watch is what they do with the FX 2 for 2022. I was planning on an FX 3 when they arrive in the spring, but for 2022 Trek changed the gearing from 2x9 to 1x10. Having second thoughts now. They didn't change the gearing for the FX 1 in 2022 though, still 3x7. They haven't announced the 2022 FX 2 yet, but you might want to keep an eye on their website.

Mark
The specs for the 2022 FX 2 are listed on the Australian version of Trek's site.

https://www.trekbikes.com/au/en_AU/b...rCode=greydark

It has a 2x 46/30 9 speed crank.
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Old 09-08-21, 11:51 PM
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In addition to what's been mentioned above, I'll also add Fuji Absolute and Cannondale Quick to the mix. Of the Trek, Giant, Fuji and Cannondale I don't think you can go wring with any of them. They offer good value at their given price points.
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Old 09-09-21, 06:45 AM
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Thanks for all the replies guys. I think I'm in a "can't lose" situation really but I really appreciate seeing all the options.
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Old 09-09-21, 08:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Chickenwings View Post
I secretly want a road bike but I'm old and decrepit so I'm starting off "easy"....grin.
Since that's in your mind, you ought to at least give it a try. You may find that it's not a matter of easy vs. difficult, but simply riding position and hand positions. I started off on a flat bar hybrid (Fuji Absolute) and got about four good years on it. But I never could completely eliminate the hand numbness, even using bar ends. Then one day I was at a local shop and noticed they had a gravel bike (Fuji Jari) deeply discounted. I took it out for a ride, and I was hooked. Haven't had numb hands since, riding position is more comfortable, and I enjoy riding even more than before. Not saying it's for everyone, but since you mentioned it you should at least try some out. As you've already learned, fit makes a world of difference. And for some folks, a drop-bar bike just fits better than a flat bar bike.

If you're not familiar with the terminology, road bikes have categories much like the hybrid categories hokiefyd described for you earlier. The two you'd probably be considering are cyclocross bikes and gravel bikes. A cyclocross bike is a road bike with wider tires than traditional road bikes (usually up to about 35mm) and racing geometry (more agressive). A gravel bike is a road bike with even wider tires (up to 42mm depending on the brand, and even wider than that with 650b tires) and endurance geometry (more relaxed than a traditional road bike... similar to a fitness hybrid). Since both of these use much wider tires than a traditional road bike, I still consider them to be hybrids - just not flat-bar hybrids. For example, I've settled in on 38mm tires, which is wider than what many folks run on their hybrids.

Last edited by AU Tiger; 09-09-21 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 09-09-21, 09:12 PM
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Thanks Tiger. I'm thinking that I'll start off with a flat bar and see where that goes...
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Old 09-12-21, 07:13 PM
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A few considerations.

What type of surfaces will you be riding on? If you'll be riding solely on paved roads and paths, I recommend that you not look at a suspension fork and stick with a solid fork. Suspension forks are heavy and can actually sap strength making the bike a bit less efficient. They also add cost. If you'll be on unpaved paths, then a suspension fork may make sense.

You didn't define 'old and decrepit'. Not every road bike requires an extreme bent over position and even if you add a stem riser and a longer steeper stem for current comfort, as you progress, they can be tweaked as you become more flexible. I have both a hybrid and a few road bikes and stretching out on my road bike actually helps my back most days. BTW...I'm 71 so I'm old and on my way to decrepit. In short, don't be scared of a well fitting road bike.

Also think about your needs in a few years. If you plan on riding solely for exercise, commuting or hitting local coffee shops and parks, a hybrid is perfect. If you're someday going to join a club and do group rides, you may need/want a road bike to keep up. Yes, there are those who will disagree and will tell you that they do group rides on a hybrid and keep up regardless of speed, but you'll find that on club group rides, most if not all ride road bikes. I'm sure that there are riders who can do well over 20 mph on their hybrid but personally, I couldn't do that if my bike and I were dropped from a plane and I was wearing a backpack full of cement. If you're okay buying another bike later on, no problem. I started with a hybrid thinking that it was a do all 'jack of all trades', got hooked, and now have a modest stable of bikes. Bikes are tools and different jobs (rides) require different tools (bikes).

I agree with the responses that you've received who said that you'll generally find equal quality if you look at established brands. The best advice is to test ride as many brands as possible and see which feels best to you. Different brands will have slight variations in geometry and feel. Just don't worry about the saddle or grips as they can easily be swapped out.

These are just my thoughts. Good luck.
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Old 09-12-21, 07:47 PM
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Thanks again guys. All very interesting and very much appreciated. Mak, and others, great questions too. My old and decrepit comment was mostly tongue in cheek. I'm both older, 56 and a bit overweight but neither really old nor decrepit but man, it sure feels like it sometimes. This biking thing for me is really about fitness and being able to enjoy life more. I've got a real bad knee and the surgeon said biking is the best thing I can do for it and stave off replacement too. Biking is also one of the few exercises I can do with it and that I'll tolerate.

To the more interesting stuff - yeah exclusively paved roads which is why I'm going into a 'road bike with flat bars' option first. I doubt, but hey, you never know, that I'll ever get into a bike club. I've already bought a starter bike that is very low cost and very low quality but it's proved I'll do this. I'm good with making the next step and even with building my own modest stable if that's what is called for. In fact, I also think it would be neat to get my old Sekine back from the 70's....grin.

You guys have helped tremendously. I hope to snowbird this winter if the border opens so I'm going to be looking for a used bike down south and now I have a MUCH better idea what to look for. Yeah I could have eventually figured this out but way easier and more interesting to get your background stories and tidbits. I'm very grateful, thanks again.
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Old 09-13-21, 06:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Chickenwings View Post
In fact, I also think it would be neat to get my old Sekine back from the 70's....grin.
There's a very strong Classic & Vintage subforum here that caters to "older" stuff, or at least old-in-heart. Anything from about the mid-to-late 1990s and earlier is discussed there, with a very high population of '60s, '70s, and '80s stuff. There is lots of talk about finding, restoring, and riding these older bikes. If you catch the bug to get something older, BikeForums has you covered!
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Old 09-25-21, 07:48 PM
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Luck..........as luck will have it a buddy of mine's daughter had an FX2 with a Large frame for sale - one year old so I got to save some money for accessories. I've only ridden it up the block but I'll go for a longer ride tomorrow. Thanks for all your help, I'm excited to give it a try!
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Old 10-05-21, 07:52 PM
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So how's your riding going? Do you like the bike? And pics; we need pics!
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Old 10-05-21, 08:08 PM
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Pretty good but not often enough...and now winter is coming....sigh. BUT The bike is really a significant improvement and I'm very happy with it!
- I don't run out of gears now
- the shifting! Oh the shifting is so much nicer
- It fits so much better, I'm not pushing back with my arms to sit on the back of a too close seat anymore.
- the brakes are brakier....grin
- it's so much better looking
- it's smoother and best of all
- I'm just about 2 miles an hour faster on average

From the needs improvement file, it's got a creak somewhere so I'm researching that now and looking at what the causes and solutions might be

All in all yeah it's motivating me, a non rider, to keep riding.
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Old 10-06-21, 08:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Chickenwings View Post
From the needs improvement file, it's got a creak somewhere so I'm researching that now and looking at what the causes and solutions might be
Glad to hear you're liking the new bike.

As for the creaking, the easiest thing to try first is to clean and grease the seat post. Before you remove it, measure the location so you get it put back in at the right height. Then take it out of the seat tube, wipe it down, apply grease, reinsert it into the seat tube, and tighten it back up again. I use white lithium grease that you can get at Lowe's or any home improvement or hardware store. Recently my bike was clicking, and greasing the seat post fixed it immediately. Such a relief!

If that doesn't stop the noise, it may need grease somewhere else. For instance, I also recently eliminated a creaking noise by cleaning and re-greasing the crank spindle, as well as the bearings and contact points on the derailleur pulleys. I would be surprised, though, if you already need to do that on a new bike. But I guess it could've been an oversight when it was assembled at the shop. In that case, though, they would probably take care of for you.

Hopefully one of those things will get ride of the noise - that can really get annoying after a while.

Last edited by AU Tiger; 10-06-21 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 10-06-21, 08:57 AM
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Thanks Tiger. No time to ride this morning and forest fire smoke this afternoon so I'll lube the post and chain this afternoon and hopefully get out again tomorrow.

I appreciate the suggestion.

Hey, it's nothing special but here's the bike:

Last edited by Chickenwings; 10-06-21 at 02:31 PM.
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Old 10-07-21, 02:10 PM
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A little update on my squeaky situation. First of all I now have a 'go to' LBS. I made an appointment with another branch but went to my closest branch in error. The mech still made time for me and fixed me all up. That kind of customer service for an unknown customer tells me they're happy to have customers.

First of all I guess my pedals were recalled so I got new ones. Wow...what an advantage....okay not really but hey, NEW PEDALS! After a ride and a little twisting and shaking of stuff in the back end the mech pulls out a tool, tightens something and declares "there, you're all set!". He did take it for a ride to confirm but yeah he fixed it. I had a loose rear derailleur. Since I wouldn't know what to look for it could have taken me two years to find that...anyway, now I have a freshly lubed seat post (thanks again Goldie), new pedals AND a tight derailleur.

Man I'm sittin on top of the world.........
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Old 10-08-21, 05:58 PM
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That's great to hear you've got it all sorted out!
It's a good-looking bike - now enjoy riding it!!!
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