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Trying to decide between Hybrid bike or Mountain Bike

Old 01-19-12, 08:32 AM
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jaslynn
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Trying to decide between Hybrid bike or Mountain Bike

I'll be mostly riding on pavements, roads and bike paths 99% of the time. There's a small chance that I might try out a light trail eventually, but I doubt I'll ever go into hardcore mountain biking with full suspension and jumping all over the place, etc.

For that reason I think a Hybrid bike would be more suitable for me over a Mountain Bike, but a lot of people still tell me to get a mountain bike instead and I'm stuck deciding between these 2 models:

Polygon Xtrada 5.0 (MTB)

Polygon Heist 5.0 (Hybrid)


From what I gather in general, there's pretty much not much of a difference between the 2 bikes other than the Heist having slightly better parts, and the Heist uses 700Cx35 tires while the Xtrada uses 26x2.1" tires. If needed, I could just swap the 700Cx35 tires for a thicker tire with more knobs as well and it would perform decently on trails right?

Anyone can give me some advice?


Edit: Actually it would be better to compare these 2 instead as these are in the same price range:

Polygon Cozmic 2.0 (MTB)

Polygon Heist 5.0 (Hybrid)

Last edited by jaslynn; 01-20-12 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 01-19-12, 12:11 PM
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If you're on pavement 99% of the time you should get a hybrid. Most would also advise that you skip the front shock. Yes, you can put knobby tires on the hybrid for off-road riding. If you get into trail riding you'll want to buy a dedicated mountain bike anyways.
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Old 01-19-12, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Dunbar View Post
If you're on pavement 99% of the time you should get a hybrid. Most would also advise that you skip the front shock. Yes, you can put knobby tires on the hybrid for off-road riding. If you get into trail riding you'll want to buy a dedicated mountain bike anyways.
Well you can lockout the front suspension so I think it shouldn't be too big a deal, right?
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Old 01-19-12, 12:56 PM
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A front suspension fork is more expensive, heavier, and requires more maintenance than a solid fork. If you are going to lock it out 99% of the time to ride on smooth surfaces, you may want to consider a bike with a solid fork to begin with.
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Old 01-19-12, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by EXCALIBUR View Post
A front suspension fork is more expensive, heavier, and requires more maintenance than a solid fork. If you are going to lock it out 99% of the time to ride on smooth surfaces, you may want to consider a bike with a solid fork to begin with.
+1 ^ This is your best advice!

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Old 01-19-12, 04:03 PM
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I would definatly go with the hybrid over the mountain bike. If you ever wanted to you could put wide 700c tires on it if there is enough clearance.
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Old 01-20-12, 05:41 AM
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Comparison between the two

I am a newbie here, currently have a 10 year old Ibex Alpine 450 mountain bike that I'm riding on the street... I put smooth tires on it to smooth the ride out- but it's a lot twitchier than I like for the street (due to the frame/steering geometry). I rode a new Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid a few weeks ago- and it was light years better on the street.. felt smoother, faster... resulting in my purchasing a Fuji Absolute 1.0 from Nashbar- I am having my lbs assemble it, will pick it up today.... can't wait! In other words, I agree with the advice here, a Hybrid would be a better choice for your 99% riding needs.
Wes
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Old 01-20-12, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by MarTay6 View Post
resulting in my purchasing a Fuji Absolute 1.0 from Nashbar
Wes
I'm looking forward to hearing your ride report. That should be one quick hybrid.
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Old 01-20-12, 07:25 AM
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Originally Posted by jaslynn View Post
I'll be mostly riding on pavements, roads and bike paths 99% of the time. There's a small chance that I might try out a light trail eventually, but I doubt I'll ever go into hardcore mountain biking with full suspension and jumping all over the place, etc.

For that reason I think a Hybrid bike would be more suitable for me over a Mountain Bike, but a lot of people still tell me to get a mountain bike instead and I'm stuck deciding between these 2 models:

Polygon Xtrada 5.0 (MTB):
Polygon Xtrada 5.0

Polygon Heist 5.0 (Hybrid):
Polygon Heist 5.0


From what I gather in general, there's pretty much not much of a difference between the 2 bikes other than the Heist having slightly better parts, and the Heist uses 700Cx35 tires while the Xtrada uses 26x2.1" tires. If needed, I could just swap the 700Cx35 tires for a thicker tire with more knobs as well and it would perform decently on trails right?

Anyone can give me some advice?

I took a look at both bikes that you posted links for, there seems to be quite a lot of difference in the quality of components. Enough that I would feel comfortable saying that one is an entry level MTB, and the other is more up scale HYBRID. ( Both very nice bikes for anyone ), much less starting off. With that said, The Hybrid would even double nice for a MTB under light condition just like it comes with 700 x 38c tires, If you can afford the price difference and ( LIKE ) the Heist, go for it. One more thing, use the forks as they are intended to be used, ( set the preload correctly ) and you do not have to worry about locking them out for road riding, as they will not move unless you hit that huge pot hole or something, where you would want them to work. Good Luck in your decision, Richard
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Old 01-20-12, 11:14 AM
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I do, and have done the same type of riding for the last 4 yrs; been riding a non-suspension MTB (1990 Specialized Stumpjumper in excellent condition w/ 26x1.85 semi-slicks) until last August, when I bought a hybrid (Trek 8.4 DS). No problems w/ that bike on the road; I just wanted a second non-road bike. Both bike are very versatile. The hybrid is faster and more zippy on the road (I use 700x40 semi-slicks) and the 40 tires are wide enough for the bumpy gravel rails-to-trails that I ride. Turning on the suspension smooths out the mostly flat trail rides that I do. For road riding, locked out fork is plenty stiff, even for out-of-saddle climbing.
Having done the roadie thing for many years (including racing for 10 yrs), and having no interest in true off road mountain biking. The 8.4 DS is a great multi-purpose bike for me. I'd strongly recommend a good hybrid for the type of riding you describe.
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Old 01-20-12, 11:21 AM
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I think i would lean towards the Heist...it has the DEORE system and really, if you want more dirt grip, you can just get some 29er tires that fit it and you have yourself a MTB. I also like that is has a 11-36 cog...excellent for climbing!
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Old 01-20-12, 12:58 PM
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Originally Posted by xoxoxoxoLive View Post
I took a look at both bikes that you posted links for, there seems to be quite a lot of difference in the quality of components. Enough that I would feel comfortable saying that one is an entry level MTB, and the other is more up scale HYBRID. ( Both very nice bikes for anyone ), much less starting off. With that said, The Hybrid would even double nice for a MTB under light condition just like it comes with 700 x 38c tires, If you can afford the price difference and ( LIKE ) the Heist, go for it. One more thing, use the forks as they are intended to be used, ( set the preload correctly ) and you do not have to worry about locking them out for road riding, as they will not move unless you hit that huge pot hole or something, where you would want them to work. Good Luck in your decision, Richard
Hello again guys Thanks for all the advice so far. I checked again and I realized that the previous MTB which I showed was actually in a different price range. If I were to compare at the same price point, these 2 would be the equivalent:

Polygon Cozmic 2.0 (MTB)
Polygon Heist 5.0 (Hybrid)

Sorry to bug you all again, but is there much of a difference between these 2 bikes? At the same price point, which would you get? Thanks!
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Old 01-20-12, 01:01 PM
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Originally Posted by EXCALIBUR View Post
A front suspension fork is more expensive, heavier, and requires more maintenance than a solid fork. If you are going to lock it out 99% of the time to ride on smooth surfaces, you may want to consider a bike with a solid fork to begin with.
Well there's just the "if" question in my head and I kinda prefer to get something that does it all.

Originally Posted by richard4993 View Post
I would definatly go with the hybrid over the mountain bike. If you ever wanted to you could put wide 700c tires on it if there is enough clearance.
Yup, I checked it and it does have enough clearance. But I have a question that lingers in my head. Why do most Mountain Bikes use 26" tires and very few of them use 29" tires? Is it much worst for mountain biking or something? I've read comments that talk about how 29" bikes are "overkill" for mountain biking. Yet 700C wheels are practically the norm for Road & Hybrid bikes.

Last edited by jaslynn; 01-20-12 at 01:20 PM.
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Old 01-20-12, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by MarTay6 View Post
I am a newbie here, currently have a 10 year old Ibex Alpine 450 mountain bike that I'm riding on the street... I put smooth tires on it to smooth the ride out- but it's a lot twitchier than I like for the street (due to the frame/steering geometry). I rode a new Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid a few weeks ago- and it was light years better on the street.. felt smoother, faster... resulting in my purchasing a Fuji Absolute 1.0 from Nashbar- I am having my lbs assemble it, will pick it up today.... can't wait! In other words, I agree with the advice here, a Hybrid would be a better choice for your 99% riding needs.
Wes
Originally Posted by WC89 View Post
I do, and have done the same type of riding for the last 4 yrs; been riding a non-suspension MTB (1990 Specialized Stumpjumper in excellent condition w/ 26x1.85 semi-slicks) until last August, when I bought a hybrid (Trek 8.4 DS). No problems w/ that bike on the road; I just wanted a second non-road bike. Both bike are very versatile. The hybrid is faster and more zippy on the road (I use 700x40 semi-slicks) and the 40 tires are wide enough for the bumpy gravel rails-to-trails that I ride. Turning on the suspension smooths out the mostly flat trail rides that I do. For road riding, locked out fork is plenty stiff, even for out-of-saddle climbing.
Having done the roadie thing for many years (including racing for 10 yrs), and having no interest in true off road mountain biking. The 8.4 DS is a great multi-purpose bike for me. I'd strongly recommend a good hybrid for the type of riding you describe.
Wow, is there really that big a difference in riding a mountain bike versus a Hybrid? I read a couple of forum posts around and most people said there wouldn't be much of a difference between both of them if they use the same type of tires.

Originally Posted by zerogravity View Post
I think i would lean towards the Heist...it has the DEORE system and really, if you want more dirt grip, you can just get some 29er tires that fit it and you have yourself a MTB. I also like that is has a 11-36 cog...excellent for climbing!
Haha I'm leaning towards the Heist too. But then again that would be expected as I'm posting in a Hybrid bike forum. Sorry but I'm still kind of a newbie, do you mind explaining to me what the 11-36 cog is? Thanks.
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Old 01-20-12, 01:45 PM
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Another good point about hybrids (if you like lots of road riding) is that the biggest chainring will be larger (usually 48, 50 teeth, compared to 44 on the big ring of a MTB). I think that the slightly larger big ring (which means a slightly larger gear) given nearly the same gears in the rear, is more suited for efficient, faster road riding.
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Old 01-20-12, 05:06 PM
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Originally Posted by jaslynn View Post
do you mind explaining to me what the 11-36 cog is? Thanks.
The 11-36 Cog is the rear gears. From the 1st link you gave on the Xtrada, the rear Cog had up to a 32 Tooth gear where the Heist had a 36 Tooth gear(better for climbing)
Basically 11-36 means the smallest gear has 11teeth(smallest for top speed) and the Biggest gear has 36 teeth(largest for most torque/climbing)
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Old 01-20-12, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jaslynn View Post
I'll be mostly riding on pavements, roads and bike paths 99% of the time. There's a small chance that I might try out a light trail eventually, but I doubt I'll ever go into hardcore mountain biking with full suspension and jumping all over the place, etc.

For that reason I think a Hybrid bike would be more suitable for me over a Mountain Bike, but a lot of people still tell me to get a mountain bike instead and I'm stuck deciding between these 2 models:

Polygon Xtrada 5.0 (MTB)

Polygon Heist 5.0 (Hybrid)


From what I gather in general, there's pretty much not much of a difference between the 2 bikes other than the Heist having slightly better parts, and the Heist uses 700Cx35 tires while the Xtrada uses 26x2.1" tires. If needed, I could just swap the 700Cx35 tires for a thicker tire with more knobs as well and it would perform decently on trails right?

Anyone can give me some advice?


Edit: Actually it would be better to compare these 2 instead as these are in the same price range:

Polygon Cozmic 2.0 (MTB)

Polygon Heist 5.0 (Hybrid)
I've got many bikes, but if I could only have one that would cover all the bases I must admit that it would be one of my mountain bikes.
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Old 01-20-12, 08:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jaslynn View Post
Yup, I checked it and it does have enough clearance. But I have a question that lingers in my head. Why do most Mountain Bikes use 26" tires and very few of them use 29" tires? Is it much worst for mountain biking or something? I've read comments that talk about how 29" bikes are "overkill" for mountain biking. Yet 700C wheels are practically the norm for Road & Hybrid bikes.
Time to let my ignorance known...

-26" tires won't roll over obstacles as easily as the 29er will, but will spin up faster with comparable effort and is generally more agile in handling characteristics. Plus, 26" is pretty much available globally, while the relatively new 29er seems to be concentrated in North America.

-29er tires holds momentum better, but requires more energy to get it up to speed. Also, the 29er differentiates from the 700c by not only width, but height of the tire.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:25 PM
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Just weighing in on the suspension versus solid forks debate. I grew up in the days before bikes had shocks and I live in a place where smooth pavement does not exist. I'll take front shocks every time.
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Old 01-20-12, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by Deathly Hallows View Post
Just weighing in on the suspension versus solid forks debate. I grew up in the days before bikes had shocks and I live in a place where smooth pavement does not exist. I'll take front shocks every time.
I don't blame ya...when i first got my 8.4..i thought i was in heaven with front suspension. Definitely a smoother ride for non paved roads.
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Old 01-20-12, 10:08 PM
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They only problem with suspended forks are the following:

1) When you buy a mediocre priced bike and you expect decent front shocks that will last. They usually don't!

2) It takes more energy to ride anywhere with them.

3) When you can least afford them, that's when they'll go bad and you'll have to replace them.

4) Good Suspension Forks are expensive to buy.

5) Good Suspension Forks are expensive to have installed.

Here's some forks to crave:

www.blueskycycling.com/cat-fork-accessories.htm

- Slim

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Old 01-21-12, 04:23 AM
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Cool

Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
They only problem with suspended forks are the following:

1) When you buy a mediocre priced bike and you expect decent front shocks that will last.

2) It takes more energy to ride anywhere with them.

3) When you can least afford them, that's when they'll go bad and you'll to replace them.

4) Good Suspension Forks are expensive to buy.

5) Good Suspension Forks are expensive to have installed.

Here's some forks to crave:

www.blueskycycling.com/cat-fork-accessories.htm

- Slim
+1^ GMTA! I originally got back into biking on a mountain bike w/suspension fork. I only rode in the city on relatively smooth roads. The suspension fork did smooth out the bumps, but sucked up a lot of my energy whenever I sprinted or climbed hills out of the saddle. For that reason, when I upgraded to my hybrid bike, I was glad it came with a solid fork.
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Old 01-21-12, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by jaslynn View Post
Haha I'm leaning towards the Heist too. But then again that would be expected as I'm posting in a Hybrid bike forum. Sorry but I'm still kind of a newbie, do you mind explaining to me what the 11-36 cog is? Thanks.
If there's one thing I would advise against ... it's that 11-36.
If you have 11-36 ... the gaps between the gears will be bigger than with, let's say, an 11-28.
Having big gaps between your gears could be a good thing for extreme mountainbiking I guess, but for roadriding it's definately not suited as it'll give you less useable gears to choose from to keep a desired cadence.
Then there is the question: do you need that 36? Ever?
Your smallest chainwheel in front is 26 ... are you ever going to need a 26/36 combo? That is just insanely low. Are you planning on doing 25% hills much?
To compare: the lowest gear on my hybrid is 30/28 and I ride up 20% cobblestone hills not even using it.
How old are you? What is your general fitness level?
If you are quite young and quite fit I advise you to get an 11-28 or 12-27 or the likes. You'll have much more useable gears for riding on flat and rolling terrain.
If you do want that bike and buy it at an LBS ... ask the guy to swap the cassette out for something like an 11-32 ... he should do that for you for just the pricedifference between the two components if you buy a new bike.
Good luck.
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Old 01-21-12, 06:51 AM
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Originally Posted by AdelaaR View Post
If there's one thing I would advise against ... it's that 11-36.
If you have 11-36 ... the gaps between the gears will be bigger than with, let's say, an 11-28.
Having big gaps between your gears could be a good thing for extreme mountainbiking I guess, but for roadriding it's definately not suited as it'll give you less useable gears to choose from to keep a desired cadence.
Then there is the question: do you need that 36? Ever?
Your smallest chainwheel in front is 26 ... are you ever going to need a 26/36 combo? That is just insanely low. Are you planning on doing 25% hills much?
To compare: the lowest gear on my hybrid is 30/28 and I ride up 20% cobblestone hills not even using it.
How old are you? What is your general fitness level?
If you are quite young and quite fit I advise you to get an 11-28 or 12-27 or the likes. You'll have much more useable gears for riding on flat and rolling terrain.
If you do want that bike and buy it at an LBS ... ask the guy to swap the cassette out for something like an 11-32 ... he should do that for you for just the pricedifference between the two components if you buy a new bike.
Good luck.
Hmm, 26-36 is 19.5 gear inches. I'm 46 years old, reasonably fit, and my lowest gear is 22-34 or 17.5 gear inches. I swapped the granny on a 28-38-48 crankset for a 22 tooth ring. The reason for doing so was that I buggered my knees (using the 28-34 combo) on a short, lightly loaded (10 kg of gear) tour in the UK. This tour did include some 20% grades. I recently did a tour in Spain, where the climbs weren't as steep but much longer. 8-9% over 3 km was quite common. I used the 22-34 quite a bit, and I thought it was great. Just spin your way to the top. You arrive tired, but not out of breath. Obviously, things differ for different people, but I wouldn't call a 26/36 combo insanely low. I'd call it sensible. I'm all for HTFU, but you can't train your knees.

I did my knees in on one steep (20-25%) climb on the first day of a four day tour. By day four I was in agony, and pedalling with one leg, trailing with the other. That was downhill. I had to walk up minor bridges. After that tour it took a month for my knees to clear up sufficiently to get back on the bike for my short commute that includes a 5% hillock. In my experience, you can't go low enough in gearing. Your knees (well, mine anyway) will thank you.

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Old 01-21-12, 07:54 AM
  #25  
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Try 'em out!

Wow, is there really that big a difference in riding a mountain bike versus a Hybrid?
Is there any chance you can find a LBS where you can try out a couple of MTB's and Hybrids- just to get a feel for how they differ? Sounds to me like you're at a point- and with all the different opinions- you simply need to hop on a few different bike types and find out for yourself what's best for you.
Wes
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