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Hybrid to Road Bike Upgrade

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Hybrid to Road Bike Upgrade

Old 07-19-09, 09:33 PM
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tenrec
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Hybrid to Road Bike Upgrade

I've been riding a Trek 7500 hybrid since 1998, 99% of the time on the road, and I'm considering upgrading to a road bike. The problem, and the main reason I got the hybrid to begin with, is that I prefer a rather upright riding position, rather than hunched over and leaning forward. I'm 6 feet 3 inches tall and I'm not comfortable in the hunched over position. I'd like something lighter and faster than my hybrid. I'm considering a more "roadworthy" hybrid, like the Trek FX series or the Specialized Sirrus. Another possibility might be a road bike with the dropped bars replaced by flat handlebars, if that's possible. Any suggestions? Thanks!

Last edited by tenrec; 07-19-09 at 09:36 PM. Reason: I left out an important point.
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Old 07-19-09, 09:42 PM
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So here's what I hear:
1. You like the geometry of your hybrid.
2. You want a lighter bike.
3. You want it to be faster.

Here are my suggestions:
1. Keep the frame if you like the riding geometry.
2. Look for lighter components. I'm not too familiar with hybrid sized wheels, but wheels are often a good place to upgrade for lightness.
3. Your bike has something like a 42/34/24 crankset on it. A typical roadbike triple is something like 52/39/30 or 52/42/30. If you upgrade to that, you've got an extra chainring upfront to get your speed up.
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Old 07-20-09, 04:56 AM
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I hadn't considered rebuilding the bike from the frame up. I suspect it might cost pretty close to what a new bike would cost, and still leave me with something heavier than I would like. You're definitely right about the wheels, though -- they're pretty massive!
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Old 07-20-09, 05:13 AM
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Trek Hybrid

Sir - I ride a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid so I think I can answer some of your questions. First the FX is a lite bike weighing in at 20#. I have the 24 speed model and it climbs nicely, rides like a dream and I have some add ons for utility use. It is an all around bike. Now, it comes with all Bontrager equipment like wheels, stems, bars, seat etc. so you have to buy nothing. All the rest is Shimano. And mine cost $600.00 off the floor with no add ons. Check it out, I think you will love the bike. And they come in some pretty big sizes. Hope that helps.
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Old 07-20-09, 05:51 AM
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Can you put on lighter, skinnier, higher pressure tires ? That could make a big difference
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Old 07-20-09, 06:17 AM
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Perhaps you can have a proper road bike without being 'hunched over'. There are a whole slew of comfort oriented road bikes.
The first two examples that come to mind are the Giant Defy, and C-dale Synapse.

These offer more upright positioning with handlebars closer to seat height, so you are not bending over that far as you ride. At the same time though, you can get into the drops and really crank when you want to.

Defy

Synapse

Specialized Sequoia

Last edited by rugerben; 07-20-09 at 06:29 AM.
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Old 07-20-09, 07:35 AM
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I'm in the same boat as the OP - I've been riding a Trek Multitrack for a number of years after getting back into cycling. It's a great bike if somewhat heavy and was perfect for me to start out on but I want to get my speed up so I can participate in longer rides. I won a new bike in a drawing through a benefit ride I did, which was a Cannondale Quick 5 hybrid. The bike shop let me use the value of that bike toward a road bike and I just placed an order for a Cannondale Synapse 5 with the triple chainring. Can't wait for it to come in!
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Old 07-20-09, 09:35 AM
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There's hunched over, and then there's hunched over. At my age (58), I don't want to ride a bike where the bars are 8 inches lower than the saddle. However, I really love drop bars. I like all the hand positions. I think riding on the hoods or just behind is really comfortable, and I like being able to get down to the drops - partly for something different, but usually to make it easier to ride in a headwind.

I also think that sitting upright shifts your weight back onto your butt, leading to a sore butt quicker.

I concur with the post about getting a "comfort-oriented" road bike. I also recommend exploring the different stems available. I found one for my Specialized Allez that raises the bars up just enough. It's now a very comfortable bike, and it's fast!
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Old 07-20-09, 09:47 AM
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Originally Posted by tenrec View Post
I've been riding a Trek 7500 hybrid since 1998, 99% of the time on the road, and I'm considering upgrading to a road bike. The problem, and the main reason I got the hybrid to begin with, is that I prefer a rather upright riding position, rather than hunched over and leaning forward. I'm 6 feet 3 inches tall and I'm not comfortable in the hunched over position. I'd like something lighter and faster than my hybrid. I'm considering a more "roadworthy" hybrid, like the Trek FX series or the Specialized Sirrus. Another possibility might be a road bike with the dropped bars replaced by flat handlebars, if that's possible. Any suggestions? Thanks!
I used to have a Trek 7200. I upgraded the tires to 700x28's, swapped out the suspension fork for a solid aluminum one as well as other upgrades to make the bike more efficient and lighter. In terms of getting up hills and efficiency, the 7200 never came close to my Jamis road bike. My question to you is have you ridden a properly fitted road bike for an extended period of time? You do not have to be all hunched over if you ride on the hoods. There are more relaxed road bikes like the Felt Z series, Specialized Sequoia and Cannondale Synapse as well as many others that you may want to consider.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:09 AM
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Tenrec, I have a trek 7.5FX for commuting which I love. However, based on what you've told us, I would avoid buying an FX series bike. You will like it at first, but since it is a little zippier than most hybrids you will get a taste of speed that will leave you wanting a road bike a couple of months down the road. I'd suggest looking instead at the Trek 1 and 2 series, or the Cannondale Synapse. Both have a more relaxed geometry, but with most everything you'll want in a road bike.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:19 AM
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I would go to some LBS and check out road bikes with relaxed geometries. I don't think I would get another hybrid bike. Just do a few upgrades to the one you have right now and I don't think you would see much of a difference from a new bike.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:29 AM
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I did the same thing three years ago. I'm 6'3" and 235lbs and decided to get back into riding. Bought a Trek 7300 and after six months and about 1,000 miles, found that I was able to hang onto the wheel of some of the local roadies doing +/- 20mph average. Decided to see about picking up a comfortable road bike as I, too liked the more upright position, etc.

After many visits to several LBS' here and multiple fitting sessions, I ended up with a Specialized road bike that I still love to this day. Based on all the reading I did, I thought I would end up on a Roubaix due to its more relaxed geometry, but it just didn't feel "right" to me nor was the LBS satisfied with the fit. I ended up on a Tarmac with a short but elevated (+10 degree anngle) stem and I love it.

Now I ride 120+ miles per week, ride with the local club(s) regularly and am as comfy as can be. It can't be said too many times... it's ALL about the fit.

Hardly ever use the hybrid anymore...
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Old 07-20-09, 10:36 AM
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I went from a MTB to a FX7.2. This was ok for a few months, but I quickly wanted a road bike not a hybrid. I finally purchased a Trek 2.1 nine months after getting the 7.2 . Since purchasing the 2.1 back in May, the 7.2 has been used twice.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:41 AM
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Check out one of the more relaxed position road bikes out there. The Specialized Roubaix or Cannondale SYnapse both fit in this category.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:54 AM
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This is a similiar story and I am open for suggestions:
I Drive a 2003 Trek FX 7700. Shimano Deore XT 9spd Triple Crank. My other bike is a 1986 Cilo 12 speed. I did have a mountain bike for about 5 years in the late 90's and got rid of it when I got the Trek. I too wanted something that was upright, but sportier and faster than a hybrid and easier to pedal/ride than my older road bike.
I have since put several thousand miles on the Trek and it has been very very good to me. I have lost 65 lbs this year alone and have now dusted off the old Cilo Road bike and am back into the swing of things and biking 12-15 miles daily - I have struggled with the following:
Upgrading the Trek (don't really want to as it is perfect the way it is)
Upgrade the Cilo with a Megarange Rear Freehub to handle the massive hills around me
Buy a new Road bike and sell the other ones.

The nice thing about the Trek is that I can ride on cinder paths if I want or pull the Burley D'Lite - This is what is was used for on many ocassions. Much as I want to be that guy with a dozen nice bikes in the garage, I do not want to be that guy who ties up all his money in bikes.
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Old 07-20-09, 03:33 PM
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Originally Posted by rugerben View Post
Perhaps you can have a proper road bike without being 'hunched over'. There are a whole slew of comfort oriented road bikes.
The first two examples that come to mind are the Giant Defy, and C-dale Synapse.

These offer more upright positioning with handlebars closer to seat height, so you are not bending over that far as you ride. At the same time though, you can get into the drops and really crank when you want to.

Defy

Synapse

Specialized Sequoia
Ditto to what this guy said. A Specialized Sequoia, for example, actually has the curly handlebars above the level of the seat -


I own one. It's pretty nice - I also own a flat bar bike and I find the Sequoia more comfortable to ride. The curly bar just seems more ergonomic, and on a longer ride it's nice to have more hand positions (I has 2 fingers go numb for the next 1.5 months after riding 70 miles in one weekend on my straight bar bike, though to be fair I think a better pair of grips would have helped a great deal).
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Old 07-20-09, 08:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Oo-v-oO View Post
The bike shop let me use the value of that bike toward a road bike and I just placed an order for a Cannondale Synapse 5 with the triple chainring. Can't wait for it to come in!
Scratch that, they now tell me that the 2009 Synapse 5 in 54cm is sold out. I'm extremely disappointed - I wanted a made in USA Cannondale and from what I hear the 2010 models will have frames made in Taiwan.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:26 PM
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Originally Posted by oldguy387 View Post
Sir - I ride a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid so I think I can answer some of your questions. First the FX is a lite bike weighing in at 20#. I have the 24 speed model and it climbs nicely, rides like a dream and I have some add ons for utility use. It is an all around bike. Now, it comes with all Bontrager equipment like wheels, stems, bars, seat etc. so you have to buy nothing. All the rest is Shimano. And mine cost $600.00 off the floor with no add ons. Check it out, I think you will love the bike. And they come in some pretty big sizes. Hope that helps.
I am actually looking at the FX series. I just bought one for my girlfriend and she loves it! I was just wondering if an FX might be so similar to my 7500 hybrid that there would not be much of a difference, compared with what I could get by switching to an all-out road bike. But the FX is definitely in the running!
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Old 07-20-09, 10:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Homebrew01 View Post
Can you put on lighter, skinnier, higher pressure tires ? That could make a big difference
I do use lighter, narrower, higher-pressure tires, but I still use the original rims, and they limit how small I can go. They're not really very lightweight (although they have proven very durable!)
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Old 07-20-09, 10:30 PM
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Originally Posted by rugerben View Post
Perhaps you can have a proper road bike without being 'hunched over'. There are a whole slew of comfort oriented road bikes.
The first two examples that come to mind are the Giant Defy, and C-dale Synapse.

These offer more upright positioning with handlebars closer to seat height, so you are not bending over that far as you ride. At the same time though, you can get into the drops and really crank when you want to.

Defy

Synapse

Specialized Sequoia
It's good to hear that there are bike models that address the problem I'm experiencing. Now the trick will be to find a dealer for those brands. It seems that every LBS around here is a Trek dealer! Thank you for those suggestions -- I'm going to look into them.
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Old 07-20-09, 10:33 PM
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Originally Posted by joe_5700 View Post
I used to have a Trek 7200. I upgraded the tires to 700x28's, swapped out the suspension fork for a solid aluminum one as well as other upgrades to make the bike more efficient and lighter. In terms of getting up hills and efficiency, the 7200 never came close to my Jamis road bike. My question to you is have you ridden a properly fitted road bike for an extended period of time? You do not have to be all hunched over if you ride on the hoods. There are more relaxed road bikes like the Felt Z series, Specialized Sequoia and Cannondale Synapse as well as many others that you may want to consider.
No, I've never really ridden a properly-fitted road bike. That's something I'm hoping to do this time around. I'm not impressed with the way most bike salesmen "fit" a bike -- it's usually just a version of standing over the top tube, and making sure that your legs are slightly bent with the pedals at bottom dead center. I'm sure there is more to proper fit than that!
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Old 07-20-09, 10:51 PM
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Until this year I rode a wonderful custom hybrid, which I love. I didn't want a road bike because I didn't want to be stretched out. But then I decided I wanted to try one, and I did, and I was really impressed with how comfortable it was, and how much easier it accelerated. I got a Trek 2.3, which has relaxed geometry and mainly 105 components. It's more expensive than the 2.1, which has the same geometry but Sora components. It's a wonderful ride.
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Old 07-21-09, 02:20 AM
  #23  
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1. if you like your current frame
2. if "buy another bicycle and keep the TREK as well" does not apply to you

why dont you buy a carbon fork and a set of road whells? I guess you can find carbon forks for 150 USD

(https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/C...sion=PRICE_ASC)

and cheap road wheels (i.e shimano R500 or the new RS10) for another 150 USD. Also put 700x25 tires and light tubes and you 'll be OK.

If you like the upright riding position, use lots of spacers on the new fork or even an adjustable Stem.

And if someone thinks that a bike like that would look hideous just look at an Orbea Spatios
(check at their website: road -> fitness -> spatios)
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Old 07-21-09, 02:51 AM
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Why am I the only person on earth to find flat bar road bikes way more uncomfortable than regular road bikes? One hand position and your back is in the same place all ride. Sounds horrible to me.

Don't look for a comfortable bike.... look for a comfortable fit. Hell, a Tarmac feels awesome after lots of miles. May as well make them "faster miles."
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Old 07-21-09, 04:57 AM
  #25  
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Check out the Trek Madone. It is a more relaxed frame and made in Wisconsin.
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