Hybrid or drop bar bike advice please


Active Member
Hi all I have been looking for a while to try and get back into cycling but priorities change due to family issues and has not happened to date.
Now looking for a basic bike to try and gauge if cycling after all this time is for me. I did enjoy cycling many years ago.
I am over 50, I would say completely unfit and have zero flexibility, can just reach pass my knee! 10 minutes hard gardening = 30 minutes rest with a cup of tea!
6' 3'', inside leg 32'', long body, short legs, 12 stone in weight.
I would love to own a beautiful steel, comfortable machine, that fits, with 46-38-24 but just not ready to buy more expensive machine at this early stage,

I have been looking at basic entry bike that is able to accommodate mudguards & pannier, I 'm older these days so comfort makes sense!
Giant Escape 3 https://www.giant-bicycles.com/gb/escape-3 L
Trek Fx 1 Evans FX 1 XL
Both with 48/38/28
as well as Triban RC 120 XL I think
with 50/34

Why the question for help, well I bought a 2nd hand wrong size bike, M , that was a pain, saddle height was fine but felt scrunched up on top. Needed every gear expect the high ones.Huffing & puffing on assent not even a hill, hated it , ended up given to my daughter. Now looking for a bike that feels comfortable, that fits, thats enjoyable, wanting to be used every week, something to put a smile on my face as I slowing use it, and slowly get fitter.

The hybrids seem fine as starter bike but mates who use drop bars have offered invite for rides. They are much fitter than me & they travel far on drop bar bike!
So what do I do, buy a hybrid and build up road strength/ fitness slowly & at some stage buy another bike, a drop bar,
or do I jump in and try drop bar bike to match the mates ?

Any advice would be very much appreciated. Living in Wiltshire, which seems to be lots of assents & bloody hills (for me) Thanks.


Legendary Member
Maybe @biggs682 can help you out with a used retro steelie


Accra, Ghana
If you can try a few different bikes and see which ones you get on with. Biggsy will have a few suitable drop bar bikes but try a hybrid which may suit you better.
I personally like a vintage steel bike but also have a modern steel frame adventure bike which I love and find both very comfortable to ride. I'm quite a bit older than you. Mike sure the bike you choose has a low enough bottom gear, vintage bikes might not but you can usually sort it by a change of cassette or freewheel quite easily. Something with a triple chainring up front would do fine, perhaps a Dawes Galaxy or similar.
When you start out don't be too ambitious with distances, build up the miles slowly, it will be tough at first but it will get easier I guarantee. Diet will also help you so sort out something that suits you, it will given you more energy.
Good luck.
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Suggest the hybrid, many are capable of a fair turn of speed and you can wear normal clothes, mtb kit or road bike kit without looking out of place. Once you have got some miles under the belt and fitter as a result consider getting a road bike in addition and use either as appropriate. My hybrid, now ebiked, largely gets use for work and shopping and the road bike for leisure, if it's particularly windy the ebiked hybrid may get a longer run instead of battling the wind for too long on the road bike. For example on the last Saturday of the UCI championships it had a run to Norwood Edge instead of the head/cross wind battle that I would have had on the road bike.
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Über Member
I guess it depends on how hilly it is where you live. I have a 1980 Raleigh record ace with a megarange to help with the hills. Very comfy, cheap to buy and a dose of feel good about it. Alternatively I have a 1990s Raleigh pioneer with the deore groupset off an old mountain bike. Quite comfy, cheap as chips, will climb a cliff face but lacking the figura.

Alternatively shell out a wad in the hope that the dent in your bank balance is enough of a motivator.

ETA: I've recently done the latter and it didn't quite work out as planned. I just love my new bike, not cos it cost a bit but because it's great to ride. Busted through my annual mileage goal in September.
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Über Member
Have you considered butterfly bars - ? After my dropped bar tourer was trashed in an accident last year, I had another of my bikes adapted for the all weather work commute and decided to go for butterfly bars instead of leaving the 'straight' bars that were already on. Plenty of hand positions to choose from, the only downside really is that you can't adopt a low 'aero' pose. :whistle:
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