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Help me choose my first serious hybrid bike

Old 02-24-14, 09:54 AM
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Longhornet
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Question Help me choose my first serious hybrid bike

Hello, I need your help.

I ride on asphalt and unpaved hardened forest trails/gravel etc. mostly. I don't do and I don't like dirt, swamp or serious MTB biking. I won't do serious race events. I like speed, lightness over going extreme with heavy bike. I will travel around 30 to 80 km per day (3-4 times per week). I'm 190cm tall and weight about 65kg.

For now, I can't choose between hybrid/Fitness vs hybrid/Cross .

I chose either Centurion Cross Speed 500 (which is hybird/fitness, i guess), either more mtb-style Centurion Cross Line 500.
Also, for fitness I have found alternative like Specialised Sirrus Sport.

Now I have serious dilemma here. As I now own old MTB with knobby tires, it's hard to pedal on asphalt, plus it's very heavy and not suited for me anymore. So with fitness bike I'm very very very afraid I wont be eligible to drive over gravel, I will always get flat tires, I will break it, it will be harsh/uncomofortable to drive on gravel with fitness bike. Does it really like this and i should get hybrid/cross bike or quit crying and get hybrid/fitness? Which should be the best for me? Please, help, I'm starting to panic...

I know it's best to get real CX bike or even light 29er, but they are way too expensive for me.

Sorry for my grammar. I'm from Europe.

Last edited by Longhornet; 02-25-14 at 08:49 AM.
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Old 02-24-14, 11:03 AM
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BruceHankins
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A hybrid with 700x32 or 700x35 tires will handle most crushed stone paths and fire roads no problem. I would look at the Sirrus, but go test ride lots of them in your price range and go with what's the most comfortable. You could also put some city tires or 26x1.5 slicks on your mtb and make it easier on the roads.
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Old 02-24-14, 11:29 AM
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Hello.

You probably dont want to hear this but: cyclocross bike is right

In any ways, look for a fast + comfortable position since youre planning on quite a bit of riding. A short test ride around the parking lot might not be too revealing. This is where a cross bike with drop bars may be better for you than a flat bar bike with bar ends. Good luck!
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Old 02-24-14, 05:56 PM
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There are hybrids which are more suited to light off-road/gravel kinds of riding than others, without being really beefy, heavy bikes, such as Trek's Dual Sport or Crossrip lines. Other brands have some similar offerings, though I'm not too familiar with them (I work with Treks, so that's what I know best). A dual-sport-style hybrid or something akin to a cyclocross bike would likely fit the bill for ya.
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Old 02-25-14, 08:48 AM
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Red face

Thanks for responding. I meant 30-80 km, including trip back to home. So it's 15-40km one way and 15-40 km back to home. Just to be clear . Maybe it isnt so long distance to have drop bars as primary spec., while choosing bicycle. Well, I just measured my "full-sus" "MTB" bike. OMG. Almost 20 Kg . So upgrading it with slick tires is not an option for me. I now seek light weight. Also, CX bikes are really expensive here in my country. Like 2-3 times more than my budget. I just can't afford them. And bikes with drop bars are also very rare. Mostly it's on expensive CX and Roadies only. So it also is not an option for me ;(. I deleted Merida Speed as there is a 16speed and 24speed lowest level in hierarhy Claris (Ex-shimano 2300) varriants only in my country for the same price as 27 SLX/Deore centurions . That's no no to me, cause there are hills and i need much wider range derailer. So, anyways, can you tell me which are better suited for my riding situation I described earlier? I got a links here with pictures and specs. of both bikes i have in mind, so you could get idea what are those bikes look like:

https://www.centurion.de/en_int/bikes...Cross+Line+500

https://www.centurion.de/en_int/bikes...ross+Speed+500

Is there any real difference in 700x32 and 700x35? In worst scenario I could change tires to more rough on sides, ofc. Sooo which one you recommend?
Sirrus will be my B plan if there wont be no well fit Centurion for me.

Last edited by Longhornet; 02-25-14 at 08:54 AM.
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Old 02-25-14, 09:31 AM
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My choice out of the two would be this one: https://www.centurion.de/en_int/bikes...ross+Speed+500 ,as my guess is you don't need suspension forks. Swap the tyres to Kenda Small Block Eights in 32mm and you've got yourself a flatbar cyclocross bike.
I personally can't imagine doing 80 KM a day, 4 times a week on a flatbar though. I'd save a bit more and reward yourself with this... https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/j.../rp-prod107017 .
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Old 02-25-14, 09:33 AM
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Longhornet,

BruceHankins gave some good advice above. Given what you say about your riding (surfaces, distances), either of the Centurion bikes you link, or indeed a Specialized Sirrus, would work very well. By the way, there's absolutely no need for drop-bars, or for a cyclocross bike for that matter, for what you want to do -- unless you prefer drop-bars.

As to the question of rigid or suspension fork, I think this can go either way depending on what you find most comfortable. My riding is much like yours; I'm old (62) and ride a Sirrus (with carbon fork) on either 25c or 32c tires; never had a problem on mixed surfaces. However, I understand the uses of active suspension and many cyclists do find suspension more comfortable on the road and mixed surfaces; it's purely a matter of personal preference. I prefer to get my 'suspension' by using wider tires at lower pressure if at all possible. For what it's worth, though, the suspension forks on the Centurion cross bike you link are pretty good; probably coil spring but with proper hydraulic damping. The negative attitude toward the use of suspension on-road that one often sees expressed on these boards is to my mind simply a silly prejudice. The trade-off is obvious: the rigid bike (all else being equal) will be a bit lighter, and a bit quicker accelerating and when climbing -- especially out of the saddle; the suspension bike will provide a bit more comfort over genuinely rough surfaces.

Ultimately, only you can decide what will work best for you! I'd perhaps add one thing to consider: if you do choose a rigid bike, you might want to try for one (budget permitting) with a carbon fork; an example in your country would be the Specialized Sirrus Comp rather than the Sport or Elite, both of which have aluminum straight-blade forks. The latter forks do tend, in my experience, to give a slightly harsher ride -- though this can be mitigated somewhat by using wider/lower pressure tires. However, perhaps the forks on the Centurion you link (or on the current Sirrus Sport/Elite) have been improved in this respect through the use of tube shaping etc.
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Old 02-25-14, 12:54 PM
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Thumbs up

Thank you very much all for your honest answers.

Very useful information and opinions . Will use it, when riding rigid. So finally got a decision made. Gonna get rigid Centurion Speed 500. And for Plan B - Specialized Sirrus Sport. Will have in mind to upgrade bicycle with carbon fork in a future and tires if needed. Will upload live pictures of bike and short review in several weeks or so in that sticky thread above )).
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Old 02-25-14, 01:14 PM
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I've got a Giant Seek (8 spd. internal gears & disc brakes) and love it.
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