Hybrid Recommendations

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by ShinyF1, 20 Apr 2010.

  1. ShinyF1

    ShinyF1 New Member

    SW London
    Am new to the forum and am about to sort myself out a new bike using a cycle to work scheme.

    I have an old 1997 Trek 830 and a ride from Windsor back to London on Saturday has proved it is past its best, so am looking for a hybrid to commute to work in London [about a 15 mile round trip] that can handle tracks [New Forest, Richmond Park, Towpaths etc].

    Not the greatest bike expert, I think I have narrowed the basics to the following:

    Budget up to £1,000
    Light weight
    Front suspension
    Hydraulic disc brakes
    Upright riding position
    Decent mechanicals

    Was recommended a GT Transeo 2.0 Disc in a local small bike shop - any thoughts on this or other suggestions appreciated. My company's cycle scheme is affiliated to Halfords, but they have confirmed that they can obtain any brand, not just what is normally stocked. Have also looked at Specialized Crosstrail Pro and a Scott P1.

    All advice much appreciated

  2. XmisterIS

    XmisterIS Purveyor of fine nonsense

    The best thing to do is to find a large LBS which will allow test rides and have a scoot round on a few bikes; see which one feels best for you.

    Are you sure you want suspension forks?

    IMHO they're unnecessary unless you plan to go madly hammering down single-track (which is not what hybrids are for anyway).

    Absorbing bumps is all about body position rather than relying on technology.

    Unless you're prepared to shell out a few hundred squids for a pair of high-end forks (e.g. Fox), they will only add weight to your bike, absorb the energy of your pedalling (i.e. make the bike less efficient) and be a general pain in the arse! I only unlock the forks on my MTB for insane off-road downhills with lots of lumps, bumps, tree-roots, etc.
  3. OP

    ShinyF1 New Member

    SW London
    My arms are still aching after Saturday's little jaunt - I did my best with 'body position'....
  4. XmisterIS

    XmisterIS Purveyor of fine nonsense

    Your arms will get used to it! I'd go for something with compact frame geometry and use a setback seatpost, if necessary. That shifts your weight backwards and gives you more control over the front without being too stretched out. You may have achy arms from over-reaching on your old bike. I am 6'0" tall yet I ride a 19" frame on both my bikes, including the hybrid.
  5. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
  6. Howard

    Howard Senior Member

    If you are going to be riding on roads and light-medium trails you may want to look at Cyclo-cross bikes (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclo-cross_bicycle) rather than hybrids.

    To me, these days hybrids seem to come in two flavours:

    The MTB hybrid: basically a MTB style frame with skinnier tiers and some road specific components (crap suspension forks). Too heavy for the road and not suited to medium heavy off road. Why bother carrying all that weight around?

    The road hybrid: a road bike with tweaked geometry and a flat bar. Comfortable, responsive and quick but a stiff frame designed for lightness makes them pretty unsuitable for medium-heavy trails.

    As said, make sure you try as many rides out as you can.

    As an asside, I ride my Charge Mixer on towpaths and cannal paths from time to time with no complaints.
  7. gouldina

    gouldina New Member

    Isn't that true for cross bikes too? I know mines bloody light and pretty damned stiff.
  8. Howard

    Howard Senior Member

    Yes, but there are some trade-offs with the cross frame to make it behave better on the trails, right? Thicker tubes, more clearance for mud and cruft, high riding position...I would also expect a cross frame to have more vertical flex than road or hybrid frame at the back?

    Happy to be corrected though ;)
  9. twowheelsgood

    twowheelsgood Senior Member

    Zurich Switzerland
    Knowing what I know now I would have bought a flat-bar tourer and not a hybrid for commuting.

    I'd definitely avoid both suspension and hydraulic disks, you simply don't need either and both are a pain to service compared to the alternatives.

    People often argue about the inherent properties of certain materials or bike types, really most of that pales IMHO. Really only 3 thing determine comfort; the right adjustment of bars - quite often you will need to change the stem length; tyres - puncture-proof tyres simple wreck the ride, it's the price you pay, I use 28C Panaracer Paselas - nothing seems to match the light weight and comfort; saddle - you will almost never like what ships with the bike..
  10. summerdays

    summerdays Cycling in the sun Moderator

    I'm not going to help on your choice of bike - but I like my hydraulic brakes for my commuting ... (agree with the suspension comments though).
  11. Moodyman

    Moodyman Guru

    Hello again Howard,

    Am collecting my Charge Mixer at the weekend - black

    Can you tell me if there's enough room to add a rack and tyres with a taller profile than the Sport Contact that come with it. I'm thinking a Marathon Plus on the rear in 32mm, but the M+ is slightly taller than the Sport Contact.
  12. Norm

    Norm Guest

    Hybrids! Pah.

    +1 to what Howard said, especially the recommendation of a CX bike.

    I have ridden long days on a hard-tail MTB and I do understand the benefits of front suspension for road use as well as trails. Disk brakes are also considerably better, IMO and IME, in the wet. I reckon they will last better in mucky conditions because, if mud and grit wear out the braking surface, you just need to replace a disk not the whole wheel.

    But I have found a cyclo-cross (psycho-cross) bike is soooooo much faster on the road whilst still being able to eat up off-road trips like grass, canals and tow paths without a worry. Riding on the tops gives a similar position to riding on a flat-barred bike but I greatly appreciate the hoods and drops when riding on tarmac.

    I rode to Windsor twice on Saturday, I can recommend a bike shop if you want to have a few test rides. :evil:
  13. My ride has improved 100% with the addition of Armadillos. but i did step up from MTB knobblies so the comparrison was a little unfair.

    That said, I would prefer to trade the ride loss (which I really cant feel if indeed it exists) for the agro of constantly fixing punctures...my journey is just too long to have the hassle...one friend rode with me and picked up 3 punctures at 1, 9/10 and 16 miles on ONE ride

    I also have sus front forks, but by default as Chitty has always worn them (as an ex MTB)...I wouldn't spec a bike with them by choice (for road use) so I agree with that
  14. OP

    ShinyF1 New Member

    SW London
    On the Charge Mixer, what is the Alfine gear system like - are there enough ratios?
  15. Moodyman

    Moodyman Guru

    What is the Alfine gear system like - are there enough ratios?

    Having spoken to many Alfine users, the general feeling is that the ratios are enough for around 90-95% of riding. It's only on the very biggest hills that your lowest & highest gears will be lacking.

    I did a gear inch conversion from Sheldon's website and found that the cassette and chainring on the Charge Mixer (18 and 39 tooth), will give me about 95% of the gears that I actually used - I have some big hills to climb and descend.

    A few people have said there is a big jump between some gears.
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