New Bike - Hybrid, Racer or City Bike - Single Speed or not

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by agentbozo, 18 Jun 2008.

  1. agentbozo

    agentbozo New Member

    Hi All,

    I'm sure there are plenty of similar posts to this but I've got several question so thought I'd start a new thread ( apologize for the size and any waffling)

    I've been cycling on an old family mountain bike with road tires for a few years now, I only cover about 4.5miles a day to work and back and it has done the job fine up till now, although it is about 15 years old and starting to show signs that it may collapse from under me at any time.

    On top of this I tried a friends single speed trek soho and have started considering purchasing a more road friendly bike. My commuting distance will also be increasing to about 20 miles a day at some point during the summer. Intend on spending £250 -£300 on ebay and try to pick up a relatively new deal

    So enough jibber jabber here are my questions for you:

    1) Frame Size:
    How important is it? i.e. I'm between 6ft and 6ft 1 and have an inseam measurenment of around 33inches ( give of take an inch) making a 58cm frame about right for me. Would I be ok going for a slightly larger 61cm frame if I found a really good deal on ebay? what would be the impact of a larger frame size?

    2) Type of Bike: Hybrid, City Bike or Racer
    I intend to use it on roads, canal paths, tarmac paths in parks, etc and I have been looking at this link

    I'm starting to think that if I get a city bike I might as well go for a racer as there seems to be little difference ( catered for riding fast on roads but bad on not so smooth tarmac), would you agree with this?

    Bearing in mind that I will soon be cycling 20 miles a day would you recommend going for a racer or a hybrid? The way I understand it, the main difference is that hybrids have a more upright riding position and therefore are more comfortable but you get more wind resistance whereas racers are the other way around. I'll obviously been testing some out but some feedback would be good. How uncomfortable are racers anyway?

    3) Do I go Single Speed?
    Should I go single speed or not, I've had a go on one and found it extremely enjoyable but at the same time I'm moving to crystal palace soon which has some nasty hills to climb.
    What would be the requirements for going single speed or not bearing in mind the distance ( 20 miles ) I'm covering and the hilly terrain near home.
    I'm moving to crystal palace which has a few nasty hills.

    4) Converting Bikes:
    If I buy a hybrid with gears, how easy is it and how much would it cost to convert it to a single speed bike.

    Thanks for any help
  2. zimzum42

    zimzum42 Legendary Member

    1) it will be too big, most likely
    2) get a racer
    3) go for it, it makes hills easier, and maintenance is much easier
    4) it can be easy, but it can also be really really hard. I think there might be a FAQ in the fixed section of this forum....
  3. Maz

    Maz Legendary Member

    A sturdy hybrid might suit these conditions. Specialized Globe, Carrera Subway, for example.
  4. John the Monkey

    John the Monkey Frivolous Cyclist

    A frame that doesn't fit is going to niggle over short distances, and hurt over longer ones (I had a frame that was too small, and found that 8 miles was ok, and 10 miles plus painful...) If you're spending a fair bit of money on the bike, buy the right size.

    By racer, do you mean a drop barred bike? These come in all sorts of flavours, from mudguardless speed machines through to the relaxed geometry and rack and guard fittings of a tourer. My choice would be drops, because of the range of hand positions available - after that, it depends on where you ride (do you need clearance for cushier tyres?) and when (if you're out in all weathers, mudguards make sense)

    Hybrids tend to be lower geared and more sturdy, but that isn't always the case - similarly road bikes can be specced with low gearing (some Cross bike builds and tourer builds come with MTB gearing, for example).

    I wouldn't have the legs for it, personally...

    The key is to be honest with yourself about how you'll use the bike, and start from there, I think.
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