What bike......advice required!!!

Discussion in 'Touring and Adventure Cycling' started by wonderste, 8 Apr 2008.

  1. wonderste

    wonderste Guest

    I am doing a 120 mile ride for charity around the lake district in a few months. I presently have a GT MTB for general weekend use, but even with slick tyres, it is still hard work and inefficient on long rides.

    Therefore I was going to buy a bike that would be more appropriate for this ride. I don't want an out-and-out racing bike, because I think it would be too uncomfortable to ride, and I know I wouldn't get any use out of it after the ride itself. So I came to the conclusion that a hybrid would be a good idea.....a more comfortable riding position, plus the flexibility for using it on towpaths and trails in the future.

    I don't have a big budget, so I thought second hand would give me the best cost/specification trade-off.

    For the record I am 6ft, 14 stone.

    So far I've come accross the Specialised Sirrus

    Anyone got any other suggestions

  2. Tim Bennet.

    Tim Bennet. Entirely Average Member

    S of Kendal
    Hi there -

    Hybrids try to be 'jack of all trades' and run the risk of being 'masters of none'. A 120 mile ride in the Lake District is going to be a fair old ride. Just make sure you don't spend money on something that will be no better than you current machine.

    Do you have suspension forks on the mtb? If so for sixty pounds or so, you could have these swapped for a set of rigid ones (kona project 2) and this should lighten up your bike and make it much easier to ride. It also won't make it a lot less comfortable on canal paths and farm tracks either - cheap suspension forks are notoriously bad! Spending a little more of your cash on decent bar-end grips / saddle / shorts, etc would also pay dividends in the pursuit of comfort.

    A mountainbike with slicks and a rigid fork isn't a million miles away from a hybrid. If that helped you get 'more into cycling' you would then be better able to really know what sort of bike you really want at a later date.

    If you decide you do want to go ahead with a hybrid, check out the Boardman bikes at Halfords. All his range represent good value at each price point.
  3. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    It's possible (or even probable) that if you could try a road bike you would fall in love with it. Most of us did!
    Sorry I'm not an expert on hybrids but Tim's advice is sound. If you go for a hybrid or even a road bike I suspect you'd want a triple chain ring for the Lake District.
  4. urbanfatboy

    urbanfatboy Über Member

    why not try a 'crosser?
  5. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush

    There are some steep hills in the LD. 20-25% for Honister and 30% for Hardknott.

    Could a cross cope?
  6. xilios

    xilios Über Member

    Maastricht, NL
    Hybrids are fine to tour on, my wife and I have been touring on them for a couple years now without a problem. Last year I rode just over 6000kms and my wife 5000kms most of it loaded. If it fits good than you wont have any problems.
    For more details on the bikes you can visit our site below.
  7. HJ

    HJ Cycling in Scotland

    Auld Reekie
    Look for some thing that looks like a flat bar road bike with a triplet set...

    Question for xilios, how do you find the butterfly bars? I have read a lot of mixed comments about them recently, but I am not sure if all the people commenting have actually used them. Sorry for going off topic.
  8. xilios

    xilios Über Member

    Maastricht, NL
    My wife used them on our tour in '06 to Barcelona, but she didn't like them. She ended up having shoulder pain, and difficulties controling the bike in certain situations.
    But if you're interested in trying them out you will need to get a longer stem and one that you can adjust easily to find the right possition. (And it could take a while for all three possitions.)
    On a normal stem she found one possition to be too close and the other too far, the flat bar seems to be right in between.
    A lot of people swear by them, but I guess the butterfly bars are not for everyone.
    Ever since I switched the bar back to flat (with bar ends) she didn't have any more porblems.
    Hope it helps some.
  9. User482

    User482 Guest

    I once did 110 hilly miles on an mtb with suspension forks & slicks. My advice is buy a road bike!
  10. OP

    wonderste Guest

    Thanks for the advice everyone,
    to be clear, its 120 miles over 2 days, but it does include rhino/hardknott pass etc.
    My reasoning for a hybrid over a road and MTB bikes was, it was the best of both worlds. I take on board what your saying Tim, but i have been told that the difference between a hybrid and a MTB, is not just the forks/weight and tyres, but different gearing ratios, different riding position and dynamics, as well as overall frame/fork weight.
    I thought an out and out road bike would be going too far the other way. I thought the riding position and even thinner tyres would be tough on an in-experience rider, plus the roads around my village are pretty rough, so I figured I wouldn't get any use out of it after the event.
    Any further advice, bike suggestion more than welcome!!
  11. Chuffy

    Chuffy Veteran

    A few questions:-

    What chainset do you have, eg how many teeth on each ring?
    What cassette do you have? How many sprockets (cogs) and how many teeth on the largest and smallest?
    Does your bike have suspension and if so, what kind?

    Gearing isn't a problem, you can easily change the cassette to give you a better spread of gears. If you have a typical mtb triple chainset then I'd go for a touring/audax type cassette, say 12-32, which will give you a reasonably fast top gear and enough smaller gears for the hills. Swapping out the fork would also be a useful thing, as Tim Bennet suggests. A rigid mtb is easily good enough for long rides (I've done a century on my fully rigid Giant). A few small changes, like saddle position, bar extensions etc will take care of any other changes. For the ride you are suggesting (it is on road, yes?) your main concerns are gearing for the hills and comfort and I think you can achieve those without buying a new bike.
  12. MarkF

    MarkF Guru

    I disagree, I am not an experienced cyclist but I have owned MTB's and a Dawes Galaxy, I sold both for a hybrid and am glad I did. A a "jack of all trades" is not to be sneered at, it's just what I wanted. I ride it more than both the MTB and Galaxy combined! There are a lot of people out there for whom hybrids make perfect sense.

    Sorry Tim but my Dawes 501 is a zillion miles away from my previous MTB with slicks. I live very near a canal and river but like to road cycle too, the 501 is perfect for me and well worth a look, out of fashion, durable and cheap, very, if you buy a 2007 model.
  13. rikgrimsby

    rikgrimsby New Member

    i use a koga with marathon plus on and i go off road aswell as on road,with rigid forks.considering that the bike cost me £100 to start with.
  14. rich p

    rich p ridiculous old lush


    :tongue::biggrin: Great stuff, Steve! I take it you mean Wrynose!:blush:
  15. OP

    wonderste Guest

    Thanks for the correction rich_p, I assume your probably right, since I've only been told verbally by the biking experts in our office whose idea this ride is.....
    Using your obvious vast knowledge on the subject, do you have any pertenant advice to add to this thread.....other than sarcasm?????
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