Hybrid or Flat Bar Racer..

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by Boon 51, 21 Aug 2012.

  1. Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
    Just a bit confused and I might of read things wrong but what is the difference between a flat bar racer and a hybrid...

    Cheers..
     
  2. Hybrid is a stupid lazy all encompassing term used by the industry to describe a range of completely different bikes. 26" or 700c wheels, hub or derailleur gears, flat, riser or 'butterfly' bars. And includes, depending on who you talk to, flat bar racers.
     
    HLaB and Norm like this.
  3. OP
    OP
    Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
    Cheers Mickle..
    Thats a loads clearer..
     
  4. Cyclist33

    Cyclist33 Guest

    Location:
    Warrington
    I'm prepared to be roundly rebutted on this, but a flat bar racer is a road bike frame (of which incidentally there are several sorts though road bike riders wouldn't dream of admitting the term "road bike" is as lazy as "hybrid"), possibly with a slightly stretched geometry (to compensate for the shortened reach owing to not having a drop handlebar). In other respects you can think of it as a road bike, with slim frame clearances limiting you to road bike tyres; the same derailleurs and gearing you'd get on a "pure" racer, same sort of weight, same wheels, same calliper brakes that attach to the soffits of the rear frame triangle and front fork.

    A hybrid is a lazy generic term for any of several configurations that combine some of the aspects of mountain bikes and some from road bikes, although one thing that's universal about hybrids is the non-dropped handlebar. I guess you could define hybrid by the range within its two limits: it's obvious what is a hardtail mountain bike and obvious what is an out and out road bike, and anything in between those two is a hybrid. Obviously excluding tourers, cyclocrossers, flat bar road bikes, and other specialist forms. While purists baulk at the term, I actually find it rather fascinating to consider the grey areas, and pleasing that there is now a sort of sliding scale of bike types so that the question asked of you by the shop - what sort of riding do you want to do - can, or should, be more comprehensively catered for.

    My hybrid is definitely a hybrid by by these terms, as it's got a lower gear range than a racer, clearance for at least 40mm knobbly tyres, and relatively wide flat bars with a rise to them. (though I switched those for true flat bars.) but I go as fast on it as on my previous racer, and ride it almost exclusively on the road. It's very flexible in usage though, which is a Good Thing.

    Stu
     
  5. OP
    OP
    Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
    Thanks Stu.
    That was very interesting to read.. :smile: and to answer your question of what I want to do is this..

    I dont want to do MB or any off road stuff at all and in an ideal world I think I would like a race bike because of the speed.. but being the wrong side of twenty in age (60 in fact) I think flat bars would be the way to go.
    So it seems my options are..Get a hybrid bike that is road bias or get a road/race bike and then put flat bars on it..
    Lots will frown at the second idea I'm sure.. and I'm not sure if indeed its practical to do.

    Laters..
     
  6. xpc316e

    xpc316e Senior Member

    Decathlon used to sell a range of bikes called Fitness, and a couple of years back I bought a Fitness 3. It was a flat-barred road bike with aluminium frame, carbon seat stays/forks, caliper brakes, 23mm tyres and a triple chainset. It was only £499, and I still have it. Flat-barred road bikes are not common, but they are around if you look carefully, and one could well suit your needs.
     
  7. xpc316e

    xpc316e Senior Member

    The Ridgeback Flight range might be what you are looking for.
     
  8. OP
    OP
    Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
    Are there any other makers that do this type of bike apart from decathlon.. Canondale,.. etc..
     
  9. OP
    OP
    Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
    Just had a look at the Ridgeback Flight 2.. that looks good..
     
  10. Cyclist33

    Cyclist33 Guest

    Location:
    Warrington
  11. OP
    OP
    Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
    Hi Stu..
    Thanks for this, its something I will look at tonight. At first glance I would say the bottom bikes are as you say casual, and I would like more of a fast road bike.. but I did have the Canondale quick 3 on my list but I think there could be better ones for the fast road use..
    I did have as well the Canondale quick SL 2 but I'm not sure where that one stands.. I did sort of have a budget of £650 ish.. so it looks like they could be in budget area..
    On my list to add to yours I did have the..
    Specialized... Sirrus Elite
    Ridgeback... Flight 02
    James Allegro.. Elite
    Dont know what you reckon on them..
    PS.. I did press you ' like' button but I'm not sure if it worked let me know?
    Right talk laters..
    Paul..
     
  12. OP
    OP
    Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
  13. OP
    OP
    Boon 51

    Boon 51 Veteran

    Location:
    Deal. Kent.
    FAO.. Stu..
    Just been doing some research and what you have picked out with the flate bar road bikes is spot on, so I will pick one of them I think.
     
  14. Cyclist33

    Cyclist33 Guest

    Location:
    Warrington
    I'm on me mobile atm but will comment later!
     
  15. Cyclist33

    Cyclist33 Guest

    Location:
    Warrington
    Hi Paul, no direct experience of any of those bikes, but... was about to buy the Sirrus Expert I linked to before getting the Cannondale, not entirely sure why I changed my mind but in retrospect I'm glad I did coz I wuv my little Quick like I've never loved a bike before. I lifted the Expert and it was bloody light for a "hybrid" - it had carbon seatstays if that matters to you. The Jamis bikes have had really good press since they appeared a couple of years ago in the uk. Although a mate of mine was advised against them by Evans themselves! Great sales pitch, I thought - Not. Another workmate's got a Flite 02, he bought his in 2010 and seems pretty happy with it. To some degree they're all much of a muchness, I always recommend try-before-you-buy as geometry, saddle, reach, comfort vs "surge factor", can vary dramatically from bike to bike.

    The Rapid has always seemed like a good option - some reviews suggest they're not great for 30-mile-plus rides but since I haven't ever ridden one, I can't comment on that. What I would say, as before, is that a well set up bike that's right for your own anatomy will let you go as far as you want to. Note on Giants - I recently bullied my sister into buying one, and whilst she ended up getting a ladies' Escape pootling bike, it is blody light for the spec, and there were some really nice road-oriented Escapes for blokes around the 60-700 quid mark, so worth a look maybe.

    Regards the Quicks - I'm biased coz I've got one, but it seems from reading the ads, that the current SL2 is, framewise, no better than the Quick 3, it's a case of slightly more road-ish components. Saying that, The current SL2's frame design and marketing is the same as what it was for my Quick 3 (2011), whilst the current Quick *3* design mirrors the design of the 2011 Quick 4. So that suggests the 2011 ones are a little better... but not so you'd really notice, I suspect. Of note, the 3 has a 48/36/26 teeth front chainrings (front cogs) setup, whilst the SL2 has 50/40/30 - I think. This basically means you have a higher top speed on the SL2 but it is harder to achieve. So maybe something to consider if you are fit/unfit or live in a flat or hilly area. TBH, I don't think there is a great deal of difference as I can hit the same hot-cruising speed on a 48 as on a 50 tooth chainring, by using a different cog at the back. It will come down to personal preference - so try before you buy!! It doesn't take long at all on a test ride to find out if the gearing works for you.

    Also worth noting that, for example, you can buy a 52/42/30 chainset (front rings plus pedal arms) for about 25 quid on discount from chainreactioncycles right now, and it would fit a Quick 3, so if you *did* want to turn a hybrid into a superfast machine, it can be done.

    Tyres - I recently found out to my dismay that the wheels on my Quick are really to wide to safely fit proper road tyres on. Shame. The advantage is you get more comfort from wider tyres and unless you're racing, it doesn't really make too much difference. Some of the bikes I linked to might have wider-rimmed wheels so may not be able to take pure road tyres, if you are looking for real speed!

    Taking everything into account, and based on your rough budget, if you could still get one that fits, I would pick the Sirrus Expert 2011. Incredible bike for the money, turns heads, versatile but very fast, and lots of support available for the brand.

    Disclaimer: none of the above necessarily will work for you personally, and I may have omitted any number of fantastic options!

    Cheers

    Stu
     
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