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Hybird bike tires?

Old 05-06-14, 07:50 AM
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canuck17
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Hybrid bike tires?

I'm looking to buy a hybrid bike this spring. I will be using it off the roads a bit, and also as a commuter bike. Our roads in my town are quite terrible as well, so I'm opting only to include models that have a front suspension fork with a lockout. My price range is about 700$ (and I'm in Canada if that effects anything to anyone).

So far I have it narrowed to 3 bikes I can get easily at my LBS.
-Specialized Crosstrail Disc
-Giant Roam 2
-Trek 8.3 DS

I haven't bought a bike in 10 years and my last one was a full on mountain bike, so I'm new to the hybrid bike world, but have done some research. The Giant seems to have slightly better components than the other two (a tiny bit better derailleurs and hydraulic instead of mechanical disc brakes). My one concern with it is that it has slightly wider tires and based on appearance they seem quite different than the tires on the other two. I was hoping someone could give me some notes on experiences with any of these bikes and the tires that come stock on them. I will be using them on wet/dry pavement and some dirt trails.

Thanks,

Last edited by canuck17; 05-06-14 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 05-06-14, 08:07 AM
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Wanderer
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You always get a lot for your dollar at Giant; but, I love my Crosstrail.
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Old 05-06-14, 08:16 AM
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There are some current threads on pretty much your topic, in case you missed them:
http://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bic...der-700-a.html
http://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bic...der-500-a.html

Also from Canada ... I tried the the Trek DS 8.3, nice bike. I ended up getting a 2013 Trek DS 8.4 on liquidation for the same price:
http://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bic...l#post16717286

The Hydraulic discs just feel so good, turns me on every time I use em Was not crazy about the feel of Mechanical disks ... modulation was good, but not as grippy as I would expect for how hard I had to squeeze the lever.

Can't find fault with my Trek DS 8.4, and enjoy it. To be devils advocate, many argue in above threads that there is no need for a suspension bike for types who claim "to want to use it offroad a bit".

As for the tires, they come with the Bontrager LT series in 38c. Optimized for neither road, nor trail, but a compromise. Looking at the Giant tires, although the tread looks different, they are trying to achieve the same thing: Smooth centre for road, and knobs on the side to gain traction for when sinking in a bit off road. You will feel the transition when turning on the road on this type of tire, when you start riding on the knobs.

I also noticed that the Giants offer good value, but I just subjectively liked the other better.

I suggest checking out the 2013 at this time of year (all the shops I went to 2 weeks ago had leftovers). They are almost identical, and you can get a level up for same price.

Last edited by steve_cay; 05-06-14 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 05-06-14, 08:22 AM
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At this point in my life, I am a lover of wider tires.

In general, the hybrid line goes from a mountain bike with smooth tires to flat bar road bike, and among the differences is tire choice.

As a point of reference, I tend to ride mostly crushed stone rail trails, with some road and a little dirt/gravel mixed in, and I am currently riding 35 mm cyclocross tires on my Trek 7.3 FX. I was riding 40 mm tires for a while, and depending on how my riding goes, I may go back to the 40s I had at some point. 40s barely fit on my bike... I switched to the 35s to see if I could pick up some speed on the road, and I did get a marginal improvement, but that could be related to increased fitness, since I am getting more comfortable on the bike.

My suggestion is to test ride, and see how you like the bikes. The tires can be easily changed if the bike you like best could be even better with a different tire. I don't know the tires on the Roam, and I didn't see any good pictures of the tread, but they look similar in intent to the 40 mm tires I rode, and mine rolled pretty well on a variety of surfaces. For my preferred tires, I like some sort of smooth center tread for good efficiency on the road, and something with a little bite on the rest of the tire so that it will handle in the loose stuff when I hit it. You may want to see of the tires on the roam would logically fit what you would like in a tire.

A 40 mm tire will not be as fast on the road as a narrower tire of the same construction, but I am obviously biased toward a comfortable ride.

In case you are interested, the following are the two tires I have used recently:

Kenda K1083 Happy Medium Cyclocross Tire at BikeTiresDirect

Clement XPlor USH 60 TPI Adventure Tire at BikeTiresDirect

My current feeling is that my next tires will either be to move back to the Happy Medium 120 tpi, or try the USH 120 tpi model. There are many other nice tires out there as well.
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Old 05-06-14, 08:24 AM
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Thanks for the tips! I'll admit right or wrong I am set on front suspension forks, but also with the lockout capability. I enjoy the added comfort and not a fast/die-hard enough rider for the bit of additional weight to be a major concern.

I did consider the 2013 models, the shops i went to didn't have much selection in that, but I could research further!
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Old 05-06-14, 08:31 AM
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I looked at pretty much those same 3 options last year. To what has already been said I'll just add that if you can swing an extra ~$200, I think that going one level higher across the board (8.4, Roam 1, SportDisc) is worth it.

As for tires, that is the absolute easiest (maybe even cheapest) thing to swap out so I wouldn't base a whole bike purchase on that vector (and if you really don't like what a bike comes with most good LBSs will give you a good deal on swapping them out before you leave).

Fair warning about the DS: they fit different from the other two in that they run a little large.

Last edited by Sunsanvil; 05-06-14 at 08:35 AM.
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Old 05-06-14, 08:32 AM
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This site has a pretty good look at the Giant Roam tires... they are quite different than both the Trek and Specialized options
ジャイアント(GIANT) ROAM3 2014年モデル

The Specialized looks like this
Specialized Bicycle Components

While this is the Trek tire
Bontrager: LT2 700C (Model #08633)
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Old 05-06-14, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by canuck17 View Post
So far I have it narrowed to 3 bikes I can get easily at my LBS.
-Specialized Crosstrail Disc
-Giant Roam 2
-Trek 8.3 DS
I tried the 2013 editions of all of these. (Maybe not the exact models but definitely bikes in those product lines.) Opinions are very subjective and even if I personally love the feel of a bike, the next guy might say it was poor and we could both be right.

Out of the 3 you mentioned, the Giant and Specialized definitely were the strongest from my perspective. Both felt quite solid and exciting in terms of the ride. I have to give the Giant the edge here, I just got more of that "Go! Go! Go!" kind of feeling. It may be due to the fact that its tires are more knobby only toward the edges but slick in the middle.

As for the Trek DS, it was certainly not bad, however, I didn't feel any excitement in riding it. Just a very neutral and vanilla experience.

Originally Posted by canuck17 View Post
My one concern with it is that it has slightly wider tires and based on appearance they seem quite different than the tires on the other two.
Don't worry about this. If the tires are too slow rolling for you, they are very easy to swap out.
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Old 05-06-14, 07:08 PM
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The specialized tires look a lot like the Happy Mediums that I like.

The other two look like they would be pretty good all surface tires.

And since, as others have mentioned the tires are real easy to change, I think you will be good with any of these bikes from a tire perspective.
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