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I'm curious - why frame bags versus water bottle cages?

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I'm curious - why frame bags versus water bottle cages?

Old 05-03-24, 05:39 PM
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Yesterday I was riding the Arakawa river trail, which has occasional barriers to keep out motorcycles and motor scooters, but will allow bikes. Unfortunately, bikes with panniers will not fit through, and have to be lifted over. I saw a loaded-down bike yesterday with panniers on the front and rear being manhandled over one of these barriers. If this guy was riding the entire trail, he would have to lift his bike over at least half a dozen of these barriers. In addition to this there are other barriers around parks and such which are also difficult to get bikes through if they have panniers. A frame, seat, or handlebar bag makes life much easier when navigating these barriers.
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Old 05-03-24, 05:48 PM
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Originally Posted by 50PlusCycling
Yesterday I was riding the Arakawa river trail, which has occasional barriers to keep out motorcycles and motor scooters, but will allow bikes. Unfortunately, bikes with panniers will not fit through, and have to be lifted over. I saw a loaded-down bike yesterday with panniers on the front and rear being manhandled over one of these barriers. If this guy was riding the entire trail, he would have to lift his bike over at least half a dozen of these barriers. In addition to this there are other barriers around parks and such which are also difficult to get bikes through if they have panniers. A frame, seat, or handlebar bag makes life much easier when navigating these barriers.
There are those natural barriers too.

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Old 05-04-24, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
"Hybrid" started life as a marketing term for a drop bar bike that was neither road nor mountain, eventually it came to refer exclusively to flat bar bicycles. At which point "drop-bar hybrid" had to be developed to compensate for this "third" type of bike. This happened fast, 1988/89 and by 1994 "Hybrid" was known to exclusively refer to flat bars. Drop bar bicycles blending road and mountain wandered homeless of marketing category from Cross Terrain, to Cross, to eventually Cyclocross as a generic term - eventually turning into Gravel/Adventure/Etc in the early/mid-2010s.
No, “hybrid” did not “start life as a marketing term for a drop bar bike”. Hybrids were first introduced as flat bar bikes that had the capability of being used as mountain bikes or road bikes. The Specialized RockCombo was a very rare duck in that it had a drop bar and 26” wheels. Most hybrids have come with 700C wheels which, at the time, didn’t offer much in the way of off-road capability which is why the hybrid split off from mountain bikes in those days because they were less capable. There are even a number of current articles on-line about RockCombo being (possibly) the first “gravel bike”.

”Hybrids” did not have anything to do with cyclocross bikes and, in fact, cyclocross as an event and a bicycle has very deep roots in bicycle history. The French National Cyclocross Championship race was organized in 1902! The Wikipedia page on cyclocross has pictures of dropbar bikes being used in cyclocross events in 1947. Cyclocross bikes were offered long before hybrids and/or gravel bikes.

You'll note that Mr. Overend does not refer to this bike as a "drop bar hybrid" because that phrase didn't make any sense in 1989.


No, he doesn’t specifically refer to it being a “drop bar hybrid” but he does refer to it as a “hybrid” and it does have a drop bar. Fill in the in the blanks.

The drop bar on a “mountain bike” concept wasn’t that popular. Specialized was the only manufacturer of drop bar hybrids and the bike didn’t sell that well. They only made, and sold, 500 units over about a 2 year period (I owned one, albeit with flat bars). In fact a few mountain bike riders of the same era used drop bars…most notably John Tomac and Jackie Phelan…but they weren’t very popular


​​​​​​​Hybrid is a deprecated marketing term when referring to drop bar bicycles blending road and mountain bike features. Useless to use today, in 2024.
With regard to drop bar hybrids, you have a point. But those were never very popular anyway. “Hybrid” is a very strong part of the bicycling market with every company offering many models of both fast hybrids and comfort hybrids. Many offer more models in terms of hybrids than they do of true mountain bikes. Most people would probably be better served by a flat bar road bike…a more appropriate name for many hybrids.

​​​​​​​Drop Bar Hybrids is an even less relevant term, a creation subsequent to the term and category of Hybrids and referential to a class of bicycles after their original marketing category was discontinued.
It might offend you but that’s what “gravel” bikes are: A bike that blends the capability of mountain bikes and road bikes. It’s not that the category was “discontinued”…putting drop bars on hybrids never got off the ground to begin with…it’s just that bicycle companies figured out how to market bikes with drop bars for off-road use. And they found out how to put a road bike price tag on them. A Specialized Sirrus could easily be made in to a “gravel bike” by the addition of drop bars at a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest gravel bike

​​​​​​​Irrelevant. There were no great selection of 700c drop bar bikes designed for off-road unpaved riding, nor were there any selection of demi-balloon or balloon 700c tires to go along with such. What sort of 700c Gravel bikes were around in 1984? What sort of tires would our hypothetical Gravel rider be using in 1984? Remember, Gravel bikes are universally NOT 26" wheeled machines and do not use 26" tires. They use 700c tires, and drop bars. Can you name any bikes from 40 years ago that fit the bill? The Bianchi Volpe didn't come out until 1986.
Ever heard of a “touring bike” or a “cyclocross bike”? Specifically built cyclocross bikes have been around since the 60s. Alan has been building cyclocross bikes since 1970. Cyclocross tires have been around for a very long time as well. Hybrid bikes have also been around since the 80s and have had tires made for them that were knobby. The size of the tire is also irrelevant. Just because modern gravel bikes use 700C tires doesn’t mean that bicycles with 26” balloon tires with knobs of various sizes isn’t capable of being ridden on gravel. Nothing keeps a mountain bike from being ridden on gravel.

I also didn’t say 40 years ago exactly! 1986 is close enough to 40 years ago to be “40 years ago”.

​​​​​​​The Gravel trend is a continuation of what came before in the same way that bicycles were used in both the first running of the Tour De France in 1903 and in 2024 - it does no make them the same and there's no point in undercutting the technological development that has occurred since then.
Oh, please! Modern mountain bikes are not much like mountain bikes of 1982 (or 83 or 85 or even 1990) but they are still “mountain bikes” that share the DNA of those early models. The manufacturers didn’t throw out the plans and say “we are going to build something entirely new that the world has never seen before” in 1998. The gravel trend is, just like everything in bicycling, an evolution based on what came before. The bicycles of today’s Tour de France still have many elements that came from the bikes used in the first Tour de France.

​​​​​​​What is your argument? Mine is that Gravel bikes, today, are something new and not rejected 1980s MTB standards, and not rejected Road standards. Hybrids, today, as a bike class are wholly different than Gravel bikes and the phrase "drop-bar hybrid" is meaningless. A Hybrid is designed for a specific type of riding and has specific geometry and design features that a gravel bike generally does not.

The category definition of Gravel bikes acting as a hybrid-type of bicycle between road and mountain is fine but needlessly confusing, as the industry and enthusiast preference for "gravel" has revealed. It used to be "Cyclocross" but then those bikes became too specific and the sport itself became to popular, maybe if one wonders to look, the same thing happened even earlier to Mountainbikes?

In 30 years we will look as silly as Chris Kostman fighting our imaginary battles against theoretical and conceptual encroachment on our preferred territory.
My “argument” is that gravel bikes (no need to capitalize) are not “something new”. They are an out growth of the original idea of a “hybrid” bicycles of the 1980s or cyclocross bikes of the very early 1900s. They provide exactly the same idea that hybrids of that era offered…a do it all bicycle. The original idea was to ride something that didn’t have suspension so that it was a “more pure”, harkening back to the days of mountain bikes before the development of suspension. It’s very much a silly designation and many people make Frankenstein “gravel bikes” out of hybrids and hard tail mountain bikes.

We are also seeing the same thing that happened with mountain bikes in that the bikes are becoming more and more specific which seems to happen when racing gets involved. Hybrids never went through that seem splitting because no one really ever raced hybrids.
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Old 05-04-24, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
No, “hybrid” did not “start life as a marketing term for a drop bar bike”. Hybrids were first introduced as flat bar bikes that had the capability of being used as mountain bikes or road bikes. The Specialized RockCombo was a very rare duck in that it had a drop bar and 26” wheels. Most hybrids have come with 700C wheels which, at the time, didn’t offer much in the way of off-road capability which is why the hybrid split off from mountain bikes in those days because they were less capable. There are even a number of current articles on-line about RockCombo being (possibly) the first “gravel bike”.
Honestly it's hard to have a conversation with you if you keep changing what you are saying.

The first evidence you provided was a Hybrid shown with drop bars from 1989. Can you source the bold claim above? Unless you can provide any evidence contrary, Hybrids as a marketing bicycle category was primarily drop bars with some flat bar models as well. Until 1990/91 there were significantly more Hybrids featuring drop bars than flat bars. The marketing sentiment was changing rapidly - ATB and Hybrid seemed to be fighting for space and the latter won out until it too was displaced.

The Rock Combo wasn't "very rare" as drop bar 26" bikes were around and had been present in enough numbers for years before it's release that we can see them consistently in the fossil record. How many drop bars here in 1985?



How many races did Steve Cook compete on drop bars and 26" in the mid-1980s on a bike Charlie Cunningham had been iterating since 1979? What year did the drop bar 26" wheel MB-1 come out?

WRT the rest of your post, your incredulity hides much ignorance about the history of drop bar bikes designed around demi-balloon tires.

This claim alone shows you know very little about what we are discussing:

Specialized was the only manufacturer of drop bar hybrids
Bianchi, Bridgestone, Fisher, Miyata, Serotta, Bruce Gordon, and others produced drop bar Hybrids - before and after Specialized.

Lots of people raced Hybrids - as you can see from the screenshot I posted above as well as the image from an ad in Winning magazine. We just don't have instant access to their stories. People have commented on Facebook and elsewhere about racing on their proto-29ers as well as their dropbar 700c hybrids, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There was no big marketing spend to create a racing category like there has been with gravel but it did exist, it was just massively overshadowed by 26" MTB racing.





Lets not forget, John Tomac didn't just pull this idea out of the ether in 1990.


Tilting at the windmill of a modern marketing category does nothing for anyone. Half your post is making statements that are incorrect, half is agreeing with me. I'm not sure what we are doing here right now. I have no issues with continuing education on historical interested re: "gravel" bikes but I'm not sure this is an effective use of our time.

Last edited by Spoonrobot; 05-05-24 at 06:27 AM. Reason: typo line 18
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Old 05-04-24, 11:07 AM
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I would ask simply, is your contention that Hybrids were introduced as flat bars;
earlier than 1989;
And that in 1989 Bicycle Guide - a leading periodical with circulation of 800,000+ - was attempting to change the marketing category with this article?
An article that features 7 Hybrid bikes, 6 of which are drop bars and 1 of which is flat bars?



Road Test/Bike Review (1989) Seven Hybrids -- Intro / BIANCHI Tangent
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Old 05-04-24, 11:30 AM
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”Hybrids” did not have anything to do with cyclocross bikes
Yes, they do. Bianchi, probably the most invested in hybrids from the 1980s through 1990s until Cyclocross in America actually took off, developed their bicycles directly along the line from road/touring to "third category" ATB/Hybrid (drop bars) which they christened Cross Terrain and which eventually turned into actual Cyclocross in the late 1990s. The Bianchi press for their Volpe also mentions this directly in 1986:


Bianchi has long made the unchallenged claim that they invented the Hybrid bicycle in 1986 when they released their Volpe:


Oh and there's the Fisher Sphinx, which started off as a Hybrid with drop bars in 1990 and by 1992 was flat bars:

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Old 05-04-24, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
I haven't seen any 86 or 87 GT catalogs with multispeed bikes even though GT released their first multispeed bike in 1984.

Word on the street has it that they didn't even make an 85 catalog at all. I would guess the same could be said for 84.
I've been trying to find anything in the historical record about this bike and there doesn't seem to be much at all. I'm not making a claim to status but it does seem the industry at large was interested in combining aspects of road and mountain anywhere they could and the GT BMX Hybrid model seems more like a small bud that didn't pan out or make waves than something that moved industry and customer.

I feel the same about the Rock Combo and other contemporary (and earlier!) drop-bar 26" bikes. They were there and made ripples but were (almost?) entirely an evolutionary dead end as people who wanted 26" didn't want drop bars and people who wanted drop bars didn't want 26" - once the initial enthusiasts moved on from them. If Specialized hadn't brought it back into the spotlight for their Unbound campaign a few years ago I suspect it would be relegated to niche interest like the MB-1 and drop bar Stumpjumpers.

Bianchi pumped it's 700c drop bar Cross Terrain line for a few years before giving up to focus on road, MTB and 700c flat bar hybrids but eventually came back with CX bikes. 26" drop bar bikes died and never found purchase until much later as a small run nostalgia curiosities.

They didn't generate anything into the future and I'm of the opinion that perhaps the GT Hybrid didn't either?
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Old 05-04-24, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
My “argument” is that gravel bikes (no need to capitalize) are not “something new”. They are an out growth of the original idea of a “hybrid” bicycles of the 1980s or cyclocross bikes of the very early 1900s. They provide exactly the same idea that hybrids of that era offered…a do it all bicycle. The original idea was to ride something that didn’t have suspension so that it was a “more pure”, harkening back to the days of mountain bikes before the development of suspension. It’s very much a silly designation and many people make Frankenstein “gravel bikes” out of hybrids and hard tail mountain bikes.
You mentioned this before, I'm not sure that was the idea and haven't seen much in the magazines and catalogs I've found to support such a statement. Please source with the earlier request.

Hybrids were on the scene prior to the big push for suspension on MTB - 1991/92/93/94 and into 1995 there was still much discussion on suspension and whether it was worth it. I find it hard to believe that in the mid-1980s the original Hybrid idea was against MTB suspension in pursuit of purity - when such didn't exist, yet.

The year Trek introduced it's flat bar Hybrid line there were no MTBs offered in their catalog with suspension, in 1991 there was only 1 MTB with suspension. Schwinn was even worse - they introduced their flat bar Hybrids in 1990 but didn't have an MTB with suspension in the catalog until 1993.

Let's address this too:


There were almost no Cyclocross bikes readily available for sale in the USA in the mid-1980s. The number produced and sold in the USA until the mid-1990s was tiny and most CX tires were hardly wider than road tires - 27/28/29 were common sizes for CX with clearances in the frame and fork for such tires. There were no bikes and there were no tires, it's why Bruce Gordon's Rock n Road had such a huge impact and major companies see the IT as well sales success set about making their own larger tires to go with the Hybrid bikes that were being made.

Gravel bikes are not 26" bikes, 26" was already almost completely dead by the time the marketing category was spun up. There is no argument about what can and cannot be ridden on gravel, the argument is that 26" bikes were and are not relevant to the construction of the Gravel bike identity.

Another point, Alan itself says they were founded in 1972 ("I didn't mean exactly 1970"), a quick browse seems to indicate they weren't making Cyclocross bikes until 1975. Regardless of when they started building CX bikes, the info is sparse and doesn't appear in their initial catalogs or is not easily found today. Which is the point I made earlier - if Alan was making CX bikes in 1972 but they weren't in official catalogs, and didn't have distribution in the USA until the mid/late 1970s (or later? When did Mel Pinto start bringing them in?) - is this relevant?

Dave Moulton has mentioned often that he had specifically designed and built Cyclocross bikes in the early 1950s England. I've seen some reference in Cycling Magazine (the British one) to Cyclocross bikes designed specifically as such pre-WW2. Also of questionable relevance to the trends of the USA.

Last edited by Spoonrobot; 05-05-24 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Some overnight updates re: Alan time frame, etc.
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Old 05-04-24, 05:57 PM
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I have a quality brand 700c hybrid with flat bars, with about a mile on it, bought for someone and never used. Sounds like if I put drop bars and shifters on it, it'll have better resale.

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Old 05-05-24, 12:28 PM
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I am amazed that in a thread titled "I'm curious - why frame bags versus water bottle cages?" if you do a word search for the word "water" there are only two hits (posts 98 and 99) for that word in the last 39 posts. And one of those two hits refers to "muddy the water or add confusion" which has nothing to do with drinkable water.
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Old 05-05-24, 02:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I am amazed that in a thread titled "I'm curious - why frame bags versus water bottle cages?" if you do a word search for the word "water" there are only two hits (posts 98 and 99) for that word in the last 39 posts. And one of those two hits refers to "muddy the water or add confusion" which has nothing to do with drinkable water.
The gist of the OP is why NOT water, so maybe that's why

I think the photo in the OP kinda answers the question. why put bottle cages in the main triangle when you have room on your fork.

Me? When I'm backpacking I keep most of my water in hydration reservoirs. The only "water" bottle I carried throughout the whole trip was a filter bottle in case of emergency. I don't care for filtering much so didn't use it. There were some long distances without supply points so I had a total water capacity of 12 litres. Man was that bike heavy after refill stops!
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Old 05-05-24, 08:25 PM
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Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets
The gist of the OP is why NOT water, so maybe that's why

I think the photo in the OP kinda answers the question. why put bottle cages in the main triangle when you have room on your fork.

Me? When I'm backpacking I keep most of my water in hydration reservoirs. The only "water" bottle I carried throughout the whole trip was a filter bottle in case of emergency. I don't care for filtering much so didn't use it. There were some long distances without supply points so I had a total water capacity of 12 litres. Man was that bike heavy after refill stops!
I never went reserviors because they're a pain to clean and prop open to dry to avoid mold. However I was not drinking enough with bottles in cages. Finally got an aero bar with matching drink bottle and straw, that's perfect.

12L is a lot of water, that's almost as much as my bike weight sans all accessories. But I can easily see the need, for hydration, cooking, washing, and for me a bottle shower before sleeping, I try to keep my sleeping bag and liner clean.
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Old 05-06-24, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
Honestly it's hard to have a conversation with you if you keep changing what you are saying.

The first evidence you provided was a Hybrid shown with drop bars from 1989. Can you source the bold claim above? Unless you can provide any evidence contrary, Hybrids as a marketing bicycle category was primarily drop bars with some flat bar models as well. Until 1990/91 there were significantly more Hybrids featuring drop bars than flat bars. The marketing sentiment was changing rapidly - ATB and Hybrid seemed to be fighting for space and the latter won out until it too was displaced.

The Rock Combo wasn't "very rare" as drop bar 26" bikes were around and had been present in enough numbers for years before it's release that we can see them consistently in the fossil record. How many drop bars here in 1985?
You just can’t seem to get the point. Yes, I provided the Specialized RockCombo as a “hybrid” because that is how Specialized marketed it. But it was a very rare example of a drop bar hybrid that was available as OEM. I can think of no other company of that era that offered a hybrid bike with OEM drop bars. They were almost exclusively…with the exception of the RockComb…flat bar bikes that were built to be more like mountain bikes. Some came with 26” wheels but most were using 700C.

How many races did Steve Cook compete on drop bars and 26" in the mid-1980s on a bike Charlie Cunningham had been iterating since 1979? What year did the drop bar 26" wheel MB-1 come out?
Again, I said that a few people rode drops on mountain bikes. Not many. Your picture shows only a few at that starting line. The Bridgestone MB-1 didn’t “come out” with drops. It could be made available with drops by dealers as per the customer’s request. I owned a RockCombo and I, as the customer, requested a change to flat bars.

​​​​​​​This claim alone shows you know very little about what we are discussing:

Bianchi, Bridgestone, Fisher, Miyata, Serotta, Bruce Gordon, and others produced drop bar Hybrids - before and after Specialized.
I think you have called out others to back up their statements. I’ve already addressed Bridgestone. Serotta and Bruce Gordon are special cases (if they produced anything that they called a “drop bar hybrid”) since they are boutique, mostly custom, makers. Fisher and Miyata didn’t make a drop bar hybrid at any time in their line. Bianchi didn’t really make mountain bikes until late in the mountain bike craze.

​​​​​​​Lots of people raced Hybrids - as you can see from the screenshot I posted above as well as the image from an ad in Winning magazine. We just don't have instant access to their stories. People have commented on Facebook and elsewhere about racing on their proto-29ers as well as their dropbar 700c hybrids, in the late 1980s and early 1990s. There was no big marketing spend to create a racing category like there has been with gravel but it did exist, it was just massively overshadowed by 26" MTB racing.





Lets not forget, John Tomac didn't just pull this idea out of the ether in 1990.
Those aren’t “hybrids” by any stretch of the imagination. All of your “examples” are mountain bikes that happen to be fitted with drop bars. A “hybrid” was marketed as something between a mountain bike and a road bike that was capable (but not really) of doing both. No one was racing hybrids of any kind. Putting a drop bar on full on mountain bike does not make it a “hybrid”.
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Old 05-07-24, 08:24 AM
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It's not up to what you think. We know, as I have proven, multiple companies offered "hybrid bike(s) with OEM drop bars."

Road Test/Bike Review (1989) Six Hybrid Bikes
Road Test/Bike Review (1989) Seven Hybrids -- Intro / BIANCHI Tangent


Originally Posted by cyccommute
You just can’t seem to get the point. Yes, I provided the Specialized RockCombo as a “hybrid” because that is how Specialized marketed it. But it was a very rare example of a drop bar hybrid that was available as OEM. I can think of no other company of that era that offered a hybrid bike with OEM drop bars. They were almost exclusively…with the exception of the RockComb…flat bar bikes that were built to be more like mountain bikes. Some came with 26” wheels but most were using 700C.



Again, I said that a few people rode drops on mountain bikes. Not many. Your picture shows only a few at that starting line. The Bridgestone MB-1 didn’t “come out” with drops. It could be made available with drops by dealers as per the customer’s request. I owned a RockCombo and I, as the customer, requested a change to flat bars.



I think you have called out others to back up their statements. I’ve already addressed Bridgestone. Serotta and Bruce Gordon are special cases (if they produced anything that they called a “drop bar hybrid”) since they are boutique, mostly custom, makers. Fisher and Miyata didn’t make a drop bar hybrid at any time in their line. Bianchi didn’t really make mountain bikes until late in the mountain bike craze.



Those aren’t “hybrids” by any stretch of the imagination. All of your “examples” are mountain bikes that happen to be fitted with drop bars. A “hybrid” was marketed as something between a mountain bike and a road bike that was capable (but not really) of doing both. No one was racing hybrids of any kind. Putting a drop bar on full on mountain bike does not make it a “hybrid”.
https://www.sheldonbrown.com/bridgestone/1987/index.htm

Are you stating that the 1987 Bridgestone consumer catalog is not OEM and the model was not offered for sale with drops?

They included an entire page in the 1987 catalog showing how to effectively use drop bars on the MB-1, but we are to believe this was a special request?



Bridgestone extolled the virtues of drop bars for their MB-1 in catalog and advertisement, but the bike was supposed to be stock with flat bars and drops as a special request?



Are you stating that this bike, a drop bar hybrid made and released by Fisher, does not exist? It was reviewed in both Bicycle Guide and Bicycling.



Road Test/Bike Review (1989) FISHER Hybrid

Here's one from 1990 (which I also linked above) for sale on Facebook:
Facebook Post

"Hamilton" is Greg Hamilton, Miyata product manager and the bike under discussion is included in a spread of 6 hybrids (3 with drop bars) reviewed here.


Are you able to address this question?


26" drop bar bikes are hybrids, just because they were used mostly as MTBs doesn't change the fact. Lots of people raced on hybrids, both flat and drop bars - those flat bar hybrids became 29ers and those drop bar hybrids died, were eventually reborn as Cyclocross bikes and slowly evolved into Gravel bikes.

You're wrong, and you can't admit it. While at the same time compelled to post. Unless you are able and willing to address the posts left unanswered here and here and here, as well as the points in this post; I think this discussion has run it's course.
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Old 05-07-24, 08:31 AM
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cyccommute

You would have us believe that the MB-1 was stocked with flat handlebars and drop bars were a special request? Despite the catalog and advertisements stating the stem and handlebar (drops) were designed specifically and specially for the MB-1?



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Old 05-07-24, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
cyccommute

You would have us believe that the MB-1 was stocked with flat handlebars and drop bars were a special request? Despite the catalog and advertisements stating the stem and handlebar (drops) were designed specifically and specially for the MB-1?


It is interesting that the front granny gear is adequately small but the rear does not have much in the way of large tooth sprockets.
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Old 05-07-24, 10:55 AM
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Miyata provides an interesting viewpoint of the speed of the product category development as well as the struggles with differentiation.

IIRC due to trademark or copyright issues with the term and derivatives "Mountain Bike(s)" - companies for many years released their MTBs as ATBs - All Terrain Bicycles. Miyata introduced their first Mountain Bike/Mountain Bicycle in 1983 but in 1984 had changed the designation to "All Terrain Series" and never used "Mountain Bike" or "Mountain Bicycle" in their catalog.

1983:


1984:


In 1985 Miyata expands and includes "City" bikes in their ATB line-up and gives some more clarity to the ATB definition with these models. These two pages are facing in the catalog.




1986 and 1987 catalogs doesn't expand our understanding much but does offer a timeless insight into who likes these sorts of all terrain jack of all trades bikes:


The next three years 1988, 1989, and 1990 mimic the basic industry patterns and sentiments around the differences between Road, MTB, ATB, Hybird, and 1980s "Cross" - the "smoking gun" of this argument.
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Old 05-07-24, 11:07 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
”Hybrids” did not have anything to do with cyclocross bikes and, in fact, cyclocross as an event and a bicycle has very deep roots in bicycle history. The French National Cyclocross Championship race was organized in 1902! The Wikipedia page on cyclocross has pictures of dropbar bikes being used in cyclocross events in 1947. Cyclocross bikes were offered long before hybrids and/or gravel bikes.
Cyclocross was a distinct marketing image and inspiration for some Hybrids - the Fisher I already posted above, as well as the Miyata Cross series. The AlumiCross invoked Cyclocross imagery throughout it's entire run while balancing Hybrid sentiment at times.



Relevant:
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Old 05-07-24, 11:20 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute
There are even a number of current articles on-line about RockCombobeing (possibly) the first “gravel bike”.
There may be, regardless they're all historically illiterate and incorrect. To uncritically repeat such sentiment is helpful to illustrate the discussion gap we are having here.

The Rock Combo has no claim to the "first gravel bike" - it's at least 3 years too late and by some estimates, 10 years too late. I've made a number of posts about the Rock Combo coming along much too late to be in consideration. Charlie Cunningham, Bridgestone, Bianchi, and even Specialized itself all have earlier claims as to the hypothetical progenitor of "first". Even earlier there are probably dozens of French of United Kingdom builders who could make that claim, and then of course we eventually end up back when there was no pavement or macadam so we have the Rover safety bicycle as our "Lucy" of gravel bikes.
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Old 05-07-24, 01:56 PM
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Once upon a time gravel bike was the default bicycle because gravel was about as good as you got for a road in most places. Some specialty bikes were made, like board track racers, etc.
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Old 05-07-24, 02:28 PM
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Cages and Bags

I have a frame bag on my flat bar gravel bike, which also serves as my daily commuter, when I commute. I do have 2 snack bags on the bars. I have cages on my road bike. I like the frame bag because I can put several items in there without having to carry a backpack or a seat bag and with the 2 snack bags I still have two bottles on board. On my road bike there is no need for all the other things I like to carry or what I need for work when I commute so I just use the cages.
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Old 05-07-24, 05:53 PM
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Road Test/Bike Review (1989) FISHER Hybrid

[/QUOTE]

"Hamilton" is Greg Hamilton, Miyata product manager and the bike under discussion is included in a spread of 6 hybrids (3 with drop bars) reviewed here.
And what is your point? Miyata billed the Alumi-Cross as a cross bike, not a hybrid.

Are you able to address this question?

[/QUOTE]

Did you miss the part where the article said

​​​​​​​That, at least, is the route taken by the Bianchi Tangent, Miyata Alumicross,
Fisher Hybrid, and Serotta Slicker Cross.
It’s a trend that didn’t last. Prior to gravel “hybrids”, hybrid have had flat bars for since 1990s despite those early experiments.

​​​​​​​26" drop bar bikes are hybrids, just because they were used mostly as MTBs doesn't change the fact. Lots of people raced on hybrids, both flat and drop bars - those flat bar hybrids became 29ers and those drop bar hybrids died, were eventually reborn as Cyclocross bikes and slowly evolved into Gravel bikes.
That’s casting way to wide of a net. The few people using drop bars on their mountain bikes would never have said they were riding a “hybrid” or, rather, a bike that can be ridden on light dirt and pavement. The mountain bikes that had drop bars were being used in competitions and were almost exclusively off-road races. They weren’t even cyclocross events, although some people raced mountain bikes (with flat bars) in cyclocross events.

​​​​​​​You're wrong, and you can't admit it. While at the same time compelled to post. Unless you are able and willing to address the posts left unanswered here and here and here, as well as the points in this post; I think this discussion has run its course.
We are just going to have to disagree on who is wrong (and who is muddying waters) here. I have answered most of those posts in other posts. Cyclocross as an event with dedicated bikes existed before hybrids by decades. Perhaps not in the US, although cyclocross events were being held before mountain bike events, but they were a “thing” in the rest of the world. Even in the US, the championships go back to at least 1963 for men and 1975 for women.

As to flat bars vs drop bars on hybrids, just check the catalogs. There were many manufacturers offering hybrid bikes with drops and even fewer manufacturers offering mountain bike with drops…not that those are “hybrids”.

And, finally, you keep changing the definition of “hybrid”. I mean it as a bicycle that can do light dirt and pavement. Not one dedicated to off-road riding while being built to take the rigors of off-road riding. Nor a road bike dedicated to smooth pavement. But perhaps something in between that can ride light trails, gravel roads, and even pavement. Kind of like today’s gravel bikes but ones with flat bars.
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Old 05-07-24, 08:46 PM
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Did you miss the part where the article said:


Flat bar hybrids came after drop bar hybrids, that is proven by historical record. Many existed at the same time but overall, hybrid meant drop bars and then almost immediately the next model year or two meant flat bars. This is clearly documented in the Miyata catalogs, Bianchi catalogs, Bicycling and Bicycle Guide.


Recalling the last time I bested you in mutual debate, I know this is going to be the best we'll get. Walking back your statements and dissembling the rest. See you next time.
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Old 05-07-24, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
Flat bar hybrids came after drop bar hybrids, that is proven by historical record. Many existed at the same time but overall, hybrid meant drop bars and then almost immediately the next model year or two meant flat bars. This is clearly documented in the Miyata catalogs, Bianchi catalogs, Bicycling and Bicycle Guide.
This may clear up something that's been bothering me while listenening to you to. Both myself and my wife at the time bought Myata bikes to replace our "ten-speed" road bikes somewhere around late-eighties, early nineties. This happened during the time when the new thing was 'hybrids' and they were all flat-barred with thicker-tubed frames and slightly wider tires. Sold as more comfortable, go-anywhere bikes.
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Old 05-08-24, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Spoonrobot
Did you miss the part where the article said:


The RockCombo didn’t just have a drop bar to make it a “hybrid”. Like other hybrids of the era, the geometry was far more road bike like than mountain bike. I owned one. It had a 72° head angle while other mountain bikes of that era were more likely to sport a 69° to 70° head angle. It was a bit frightening doing downhills on the bike as it was quite a bit more twitchy than other mountain bikes. The long reach of the drop bar and the steep head angle made for a bike that was a terror. That’s why I swapped out the bars for flat ones. It was also why drop bars didn’t really catch on in mountain bikes.

Flat bar hybrids came after drop bar hybrids, that is proven by historical record. Many existed at the same time but overall, hybrid meant drop bars and then almost immediately the next model year or two meant flat bars. This is clearly documented in the Miyata catalogs, Bianchi catalogs, Bicycling and Bicycle Guide.


Recalling the last time I bested you in mutual debate, I know this is going to be the best we'll get. Walking back your statements and dissembling the rest. See you next time.
No, they did not. No, the “historical record” doesn’t show that. Miyata, for example, introduced their mountain bike, the Ridge Runner, in 1983. In 1984, they added a City Runner which was not called a “hybrid” but definitely was not set up as a mountain bike. By 1985, they had added the Beach Runner (a 1x) to the mix. No where in any of those catalogs are there listed a bicycle that could be called a cross bike nor a drop bar hybrid unless you want to further expand your definition of “hybrid” to include touring bikes.

Trek didn’t introduce a mountain bike until 1984. Their road catalog included full road bikes…both sport and racing…and touring bikes. There were no hybrids nor anything resembling hybrids nor even cyclocross bikes in their catalogs from 1984 to 1990 when they added the multi-track line which all had flat bars.

Your articles are from 1989 which is 5 years after the City Runner was introduced. Even you have said that cyclocross bikes were difficult to find in those years.
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