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Road or hybrid?

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Road or hybrid?

Old 08-03-15, 05:46 PM
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morningskies
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Road or hybrid?

I apologize for posting yet another 'newbie' question thread. That being said...

I'm trying to decide wether to buy a road or hybrid bike.

First the back story. I currently have a MTB/hybrid with slick tires and no suspension of any sort but 26" wheels and MTB gearing. I use this bike for commuting (I am a college student so this is mainly back and forth to campus.) I also use it to buy groceries etc... On the weekend and whenever I have time I like to go for longer rides (70-100 miles) I also enjoy lightweight bike camping (carrying a sleeping bag and tarp but not more than 1 days worth of food). Unfortunately, this bike is too small which has been causing me to have a bad position that leads to my left hand going numb. I also find the bike to be slow especially on longer rides. I rode 800 miles this June and July to give you an idea of how much riding I do. T

I was thinking of getting a road bike I have a tight budget I was hoping to spend under $600. I went to my LBS and he has a used road bike in my price range (asking $375) . It is an iron horse (unsure of the model or year.) The bike is chromly steel but felt relatively lightweight. It has a triple with full Sora groupset. This is older Sora though (STI levers but no indicators of what gear you are in)



Talking to the owner he was pushing me to get a more expensive new or used hybrid with slightly better components.
Before this I had been set on a road bike but now I'm unsure. Given my tight budget what would you recommend? By the way I have been looking at my local craigslist for the past few months and everything is either way out of my price range the wrong size or total crap.

Thanks for bearing with my questions and for your help!
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Old 08-03-15, 06:42 PM
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If you do that much riding I'd recommend you getting road bike, but one with capacity for rack and fenders since you use it for pretty much everything. A drop bar road bike will allow you to have more varied hand positions, give you some advantage when riding under windy conditions.

Your budget of $600 is enough to get you something decent on the used market, but if you live in a small market area the selection might be somewhat limited. As an example, for $600 around these parts you might be looking at something aluminum with probably 9-sp Tiagra, but I've seen 10-sp 105's in that price range as well. As an example:

https://www.kijiji.ca/v-road-bike/cit...ationFlag=true

The bike your LBS is offering for $375 might actually be okay for your needs. Eight-speed Sora works fine, even without the indicators, which you don't need. I use this on my cross bike and it works great once set up properly. And a triple is great if you do a lot of touring. So don't dismiss this option so readily.

Last edited by mcours2006; 08-03-15 at 06:47 PM.
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Old 08-03-15, 08:18 PM
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Thanks for the advice. I am certainly not discounting the used road bike. The bike shop owner did say some things that worried me though. He mentioned that road bikes are not designed for carrying loads and especially at lower price points the wheels are not very durable. I always thought that cheaper road bikes had heavier more sturdy wheels than more expensive bikes with super light racing type wheels but presumably the bike store owner knows more than me.... He indicated that a hybrid would last longer than the road bike even if not as well suited to my riding. Do you think this true?
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Old 08-04-15, 07:46 AM
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Perhaps the shop owner knows something about those particular wheels that he doesn't want to tell you, or it could be that he's trying to push a hybrid on you because he has a glut of them in stock. I'm thinking the latter might be the case.

What he says about low-end bike wheels not being able to carry load is nonsense. Unless you're well past 200lb, I wouldn't concern myself with it.

Did you ask him why he thinks a hybrid would last longer than a road bike? That's also pure nonsense. He sounds a bit shady to me. Perhaps take your business elsewhere, if you have another option. If not, then keep looking on the used market. Craigslist, Kijiji, Pinkbike, etc. If you are patient you can usually find something good.
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Old 08-04-15, 08:51 AM
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Originally Posted by morningskies View Post
Thanks for the advice. I am certainly not discounting the used road bike. The bike shop owner did say some things that worried me though. He mentioned that road bikes are not designed for carrying loads and especially at lower price points the wheels are not very durable. I always thought that cheaper road bikes had heavier more sturdy wheels than more expensive bikes with super light racing type wheels but presumably the bike store owner knows more than me.... He indicated that a hybrid would last longer than the road bike even if not as well suited to my riding. Do you think this true?
Look for a late model Trek 1.2 or 1.5. They have rack mounts built in and have bomb-proof (although heavy) wheels.

I've seen one with 10K miles on it and still running strong.

$600 should get you a Tiagra level (1.5) in the 2012 year model range or a Sora equipped (1.2) in the 2013-2014 range.
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Old 08-04-15, 09:31 AM
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Originally Posted by 69chevy View Post
Look for a late model Trek 1.2 or 1.5. They have rack mounts built in and have bomb-proof (although heavy) wheels.
So would you recommend going with a hybrid over a ~2001 Sora road bike assuming both have rack mounts
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Old 08-04-15, 09:40 AM
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No. The 1 series Trek are drop bar road bikes.

I wouldn't recommend a flat bar for any serious amount of distance and I wouldn't recommend a 14 year old road bike unless you are a decent bike mechanic.

Getting in a "road" position allows you to ride much longer and faster than a hybrid. The Treks I mentioned are H2 fit, so they are a bit more upright than a racing bike.

They are a good compromise between hybrid/road and can be made fairly aggressive with low profile steerer bearing caps, ans 17 degree stems if you want a more aggressive position.
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Old 08-04-15, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by morningskies View Post
Thanks for the advice. I am certainly not discounting the used road bike. The bike shop owner did say some things that worried me though. He mentioned that road bikes are not designed for carrying loads and especially at lower price points the wheels are not very durable. I always thought that cheaper road bikes had heavier more sturdy wheels than more expensive bikes with super light racing type wheels but presumably the bike store owner knows more than me.... He indicated that a hybrid would last longer than the road bike even if not as well suited to my riding. Do you think this true?
I think maybe you need to look into a cyclocross bike. Its a bit beefier than a standard road bike, so it can haul stuff. I use my cyclocross bike for pulling a burley trailer that holds my son and a bunch of other stuff and it does a fantastic job. Cyclocross bikes also have the ability to put wider tires so if you want to do some trail riding you can put wider knobby tires. If you do road riding you can put road tires and its just like a road bike.
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Old 08-04-15, 02:06 PM
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Go for a road bike. If you can't find anything used, the Giant Defy 5 is very close to your budget.
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Old 08-04-15, 02:10 PM
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It sounds like you are leaning towards a road bike. The drop bars will be far better for you on those longer rides. Check with a couple of shops for a bike that you like. If you have a Performance bike near you they have some nice deals on Fuji's that are in your budget range.
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Old 08-04-15, 04:41 PM
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You already ride a flat bar, and do all of your riding on it. Hence, you could do all of your riding on a flat bar hybrid. They are cheaper, have typically more heel clearance for panniers and rear rack gear, and are easy to strap camping gear to the flat bar. A 700c wheel will be faster than a 26" wheel, and buying a bike that fits will be more comfortable.

And hybrids are generally less expensive. College campuses are not immune to theft, so a cheaper bike is an easier bike to replace.

So I say go hybrid.
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Old 08-04-15, 05:21 PM
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Thanks for the advice everyone!

A different LBS had a new trek 1.1 (last years model) discounted over $250 on closeout. I test rode the bike and loved it so I decided to purchase it. I know it is only entry level but the bike was so much lighter than my current bike and it felt great having the proper sized frame. I can't wait to do proper first ride tomorrow.

The bike shop owner had me flip the stem. I test rode it first and it felt great but he said given my experience with my hand going numb this would be better. I can of course always flip it back but was wondering what opinions people had about that.

Thank you all for steering me towards a road bike which I now realize is what I wanted in the first place.
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Old 08-04-15, 05:41 PM
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Congrats. The 1 series is a fine bike. I wouldn't worry about flipping the stem, ride it the way that feels comfortable to you, looking for a more 'racey' position can be left for later on.
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Old 08-04-15, 06:47 PM
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The question is wrong. I used to think it was between hybrid or road but the real question is road or adventure road. The latter is versatile while still retaining speed on the road. Imo hybrids are city bikes.
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Old 08-04-15, 07:07 PM
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Congrats on your bike purchase. Enjoy!!
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Old 08-05-15, 11:15 AM
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Originally Posted by morningskies View Post
Thanks for the advice everyone!

A different LBS had a new trek 1.1 (last years model) discounted over $250 on closeout. I test rode the bike and loved it so I decided to purchase it. I know it is only entry level but the bike was so much lighter than my current bike and it felt great having the proper sized frame. I can't wait to do proper first ride tomorrow.

The bike shop owner had me flip the stem. I test rode it first and it felt great but he said given my experience with my hand going numb this would be better. I can of course always flip it back but was wondering what opinions people had about that.

Thank you all for steering me towards a road bike which I now realize is what I wanted in the first place.
You will enjoy it.

As you move forward in road riding and want to get into a lower position, 5mm Top Caps and a -17mm stem will get you pretty close to an "H1" fit.

I wish trek made a 1 series H1 fit, but they save the fit for more $$$ bikes.
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Old 08-05-15, 11:56 AM
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congrats on the bike, 32 spokes is 32 spokes meaning you can make a road bike stronger by upgrading the rear to 36 spokes, just be sure to get them professionally trued and tensioned before riding it out of the box, then again after your 1st 100 miles, then yearly

love this question, though. my 2 cents is always: you'll wind up on a road bike anyway so save yourself the time and expense and just start with a road bike.

but often, like me, one is curious and wants to try the hybrid route first and for a couple years, that might be a good time and decision. but inevitably we seek speed and so our curiosity gets the better of us and we go roadie. I guess that's the beauty of the sport, there's lot's to enjoy. variety is the spice of life and while polygamy is frowned upon socially it's A.O.K. with bikes

Last edited by rumrunn6; 08-05-15 at 12:02 PM.
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