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Suggest road-orientated hybrid please

Discussion in 'Beginners' started by mjpg, 8 Mar 2008.

  1. mjpg

    mjpg New Member

    Hi, I'm new to the forum and would appreciate views on the bikes in this short-list. I have a short (5-mile) commute, longer leisure rides at weekends, looking to do more cycling on holidays. Budget about £400-£600.

    Trek 7.5 FX
    Nice ride, worries are the narrow wheels on rough cycle paths, durability of carbon forks and the low spoke count (any views on this?)

    Trek SOHO 1.0
    2-3kg heavier than the others I looked at, but doesn't feel it. Not sure about disk brakes at this price.

    Cube SL Road Comp
    Again rides nicely - not sure about Cube as it's a new make to me. Paint job says 'nick me' more than grey does.

    Ridgeback Flight X3
    I've not ridden this yet. I've heard moans about Ridgeback and their frames - views?

    Ridgeback Rapide Supernova
    Nice ride - again is Ridgeback OK?

    Specialised Sirrus Comp
    Had Specialised before and liked them - however heard bad things about these carbon forks (vibration) - views?

    Finally - any overall views on best compromise tyre width for bad British roads and stone cycle paths. I've ridden old wide mountain bike tyres for so long that the hybrid narrow, or even narrower road hybrids seem 'skittish', less secure, less strong. Or are they fine, once you get used to it? (I do like the speed/ease of peddaling of smoother, narrower tyres).

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    Not a complete answer, but might help (or make things more confusing)

    The Sirrus would be my chioce from that list. I don't like Trek -nothing specific, they've just never felt great when I've ridden them. And I don't know much about the Ridgeback or Cube.

    You need to decide exactly what you want the bike for. If it's just roads and the odd well-surfaced towpath/cycletrack, then something near to the road-bike end of the scale like the Sirrus would be fine.

    If you're talking about carrying/towing weight/children, or venturing off the smoother tracks, then the Sirrus-type isn't so fit for purpose. The tyres are too skinny, and I'm not sure the wheels would manage.

    A good compromise would be to look at something like the Specialized Globe. It's a sturdier bike and so more capable on rougher surfaces. Then you have the option of fitting skinnier tyres and being much faster. I have a Crossroads (which the Globe replaced). It came with 700x35 tyres, which are good enough. But last summer I stuck some 700x28 slicks on and was much quicker, while still capable on rougher tracks.

    Now I have a road bike with flat bars for faster/longer trips, and the Crossroads has 700x32 slicks on, which are a fair compromise. I use the Spesh 90% of the time.

    If you want Sirrus alternatives, then you should also look at the Giant FCR, and the Genesis bikes.
     
  3. simonali

    simonali Über Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    What about the Soho 3.0? It's still within budget. I tried one of these and found I was in between sizes as the frame jumps from a 17" to 20", which is a big gap in sizes. The 17 was too small and the 20 fitted, but the seat was very low which looked naff!

    I don't want to muddy the waters but don't forget there are a few other makes you've not listed such as Scott, Giant and Marin. Also, the Boardman hybrid range is very well regarded, I believe. You just have to find a Halfords with some savvy staff!
     
  4. mjpg

    mjpg New Member

    Thanks for the replies - helpful.

    I think you're right about being clear about use. Today might be a kind of typical 'average'. I did a 15-mile circuit up the Avon Gorge. More than half was on stoney/soil cycle path. Most of the roads were in typically poor condition - pot holes, hard bumps etc.

    I'm guessing from what Mister Paul says that the trek 7.5/Sirrus would have been less stable on that ride?

    The Soho 3.0 is nice. The disc brakes put me off becasue I don't see myself servicing them like I do my V brakes - as did the rubber bumpers on the top tube. They look like they'll be hanging off in a couple of years.

    (I ruled out the Scott Sportster range - at this level the P2 has shocks - lockable, but I don't need that).
     
  5. simonali

    simonali Über Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    Another make I've thought of that do some hybrid bikes is Gary Fisher. Some similarities with Trek as that's who owns them now, but quite a good range of dual purpose bikes.

    http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/mendota

    Another option is a 26" wheeled machine? More limited choice includes Scott SUB, Giant Escape and Marin Urban ranges. I know of these as that's what I went for, as you can always stick some full on knobblies on the wheels.

    http://scottusa.com/gb_en/category/196/urban
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-GB/bikes/lifestyle/2142/31767/
    http://www.marin.co.uk/2008/bikedetail2.php?ModNo=3818
     
  6. mjpg

    mjpg New Member

    Thanks - I'll take a look at these.

    Any thoughts on the tyres vs. surface question?
     
  7. simonali

    simonali Über Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    I would think that the rougher the terrain the fatter the tyre required, as you seem to be against suspension forks.

    As I assume you're near Bristol a trip to AVC in Bath might be an idea as last time I was in there they had quite a few hybrid type bikes in stock.
     
  8. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Location:
    Auld Reekie
    I would recommend that you try riding as many of the bikes as you can before buying and then go for the one that feels right for you.

    As to tyres, I use 700 x 23 Conti GatorSkins on my hybrid (a Norco with an Aluminium frame). I ride on a daily basis on less then perfect roads and have taken it along forest tracks (although I don't recommend this bit) without problems. I would suggest that a 700 x 28 would be a good compromise between speed and comfort, if you are a reasonably confident rider.
     
  9. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    Ooooh....26"....look at the Marin Muirwoods. A lovely, steel-framed bike.
     
  10. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    I've had a think about it, and 'm not sure i'm really that sure about hybrids at all any more you know.
    What mileage are you doing, that's the basic crux of the question. Answer that, and that tells you what sort of bike you should get. And where does hybrid fit into the answer to that equation. I can only see that it does if your commute is literally a 20 mile long, slightly gravelly canal towpath or disused railway line.
     
  11. Mister Paul

    Mister Paul Honky

    Location:
    North Somerset
    Naahh...I've cycled to Amsterdam on a flat-barred bike.
     
  12. simonali

    simonali Über Member

    Location:
    Wiltshire
    If you're riding on a mixture of road and off-road the sort of bike you'll need is something that combines elements of a road bike and an MTB. Hmmm, what sort of bike would that be? :evil:
     
  13. Steve Austin

    Steve Austin The Marmalade Kid

    Location:
    Mlehworld
  14. mjpg

    mjpg New Member

    Thanks again for the replies. A bit to think about. My mileage is low now - but I'd like to be doing more - but not enough to go for a road / road oriented hybrid.

    I've tried several of the bikes I listed. It's quite tricky on a short test ride to get a feel of the bike. I think I might try to borrow a bike for a longer ride then go back to a couple of the shops.
     
  15. bonj2

    bonj2 Guest

    a) yeah, ONCE, and I'm guessing that was probably on a touring expedition.

    :biggrin: flat barred != hybrid.