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Old 05-30-03, 03:36 PM   #1
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MTB w/slick tires vs hybrid

hello all, just wanted to say this is a great forum. searching through the various threads have answered the majority of my questions, however, now i need some opinions.

i am planning on purchasing a bike for mostly road use (maybe the occassional light trail). unfortunately, a road bike is well out of my range ($300-400). initially i was looking at hybrids, but after reading some negative comments regarding them (i.e. it's not a good road bike, nor is it a good MTB) and hearing other suggestions about putting slicks on an MTB, i was wondering if maybe i should go that route. i plan on riding a couple times a week for fitness purposes and the occassional 10-15 mile trip to the lake.

what suggestions do you guys have? should i go with a hybrid or find an MTB and put city tires on? i'm in the process of visiting some lbs, so hopefully they can clear up some of my confusion as well

btw, i saw the specialised sirrus, and although it's slightly out of my range ($450), the styling and feel is really drawing me towards it any opinions on that bike as well?

sorry for the long post :-T
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Old 05-30-03, 05:28 PM   #2
Rich Clark
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The best thing about the Sirrus is that it doesn't have a suspension fork. As hybrids go, I think it's one of the better designs for that very reason; it's closer to being a "flat-bar road bike" than other current hybrids, most of which seem to just be comfort bikes with slightly larger wheels.

A MTB with slicks is a perfectly good compromise if you think you may want to do more off-roading in the future, but the truth is that a $450 MTB probably won't stand up to much of a beating. Whereas a Sirrus, used on pavement, paths, and gravel, should last indefinitely.

Road bike prices are coming down: there's a whole class of entry-level road bikes in the under-$500 range now. But if that's not what you want, the flat-bar road bike -- or "fitness bike" as they're starting to be called -- is a reasonable compromise. Personally, I'd stay away from low-end MTB's, even with slicks.

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Old 05-30-03, 06:42 PM   #3
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Just to be contary I'll point out that for what you describe a low cost MTB with or without slicks would work fine and last a long time. I like the drop bars on my road bike, but I can live with the flat bars on my cheap mtb.

It seems like more money gets you lighter but for 10 or 15 miles who cares and if weight is a problem it is usually easier for the rider to loose weight.

Pay money for smooth components and quality wheels.

Consider a used bike.

You may not like the sport so start gentley both physical and monetry stress.

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Old 06-02-03, 01:01 PM   #4
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Fit comes first, everything else comes later. How you fit on the bike will affect your comfort, efficiency and fun every single minute that you are diring the bike. Nothing else even comes close in importance.

That's why I have a problem with most inexperienced riders buying a used bike. If you don't already know what a well-fitting bike feels like, how can you know if this is it? My advice is to go to the best local bicycle shop to get fitted for a bike, and try to find an old guy to wait on you.
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Old 06-03-03, 03:39 AM   #5
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$450 MTBs or hybrids can take a lot of beating. People do extended tours using them. The only weakness is potentially poor wheel-build, which any good bike shop can check.
Take a test rise on a hybrid and the best ridgid MTB you can find. The quality ofthe ridgid fork makes alot of difference. An fat hi-tensile steel fork will beat you up much more than a lighter chromoly one such as found on Kona bikes.
You can change the styres on any budget bike to get a huge improvement in performance. The difference between an MTB on 1.5 slicks and a hybrid on a 32mm slick is not so big.
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Old 06-03-03, 12:18 PM   #6
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I've been riding a cheap ($300) steel MTB with 1.5 slicks for a long time (the bike probably has about 20,000 km) and I'm very happy with it's durability.

Another advantage to using an MTB is the wider range of parts and accessories available (e.g. fenders).
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