Worth upgrading from a hybrid to a road bike?

Twilkes

Veteran
I've commuted on a Kona Dew for the last few years, with butterfly bars to extend the reach and drop, and 32C Marathon Plus tyres to eliminate punctures (I used to get a puncture every 150 miles with Conti 4 Seasons).

I've started doing longer distances for leisure again, and am toying with the idea of a road bike, but only if it would make a significant difference, e.g. if it would mean I could turn a tough 100 mile journey into a less tough 120 mile journey in the same amount of time, or maybe take half an hour off that same 100 mile journey. A few minutes here or there isn't really worth the money. To get an idea of the bike (and I guess my legs) I did the 102 mile Pedal For Scotland event in 7.5 hours including breaks, and 38 miles from Glasgow to Ayr(ish) in about 2.5 hours with no real breaks apart from traffic lights.

The bike is about 12kg plus a rack, plus the Marathon Plus penalty weight, and I'm 95kg, so would a 9kg bike with lighter tyres really make much difference?

Similarly, the pic below shows my riding position - would I get much more aero benefit on the hoods of a road bike?

This really isn't a 'give me permission to buy a new bike' thread :smile: I'm happy with my bike and would only buy another if it would let me travel significantly further for the same effort.

488092
 

OldShep

Well-Known Member
Lighter tyres will certainly make a difference. Also getting a good position will help with distance. You look extremely uncomfortable in that picture. Looks like saddle is too high and not enough setback as you look to be bracing yourself against the bars.
This might be because you aren’t riding but leaning against the fence? I can’t quite decide.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
Yeah that's probably the fence, there's no force on the pedals - when I'm actually cycling there's not very much pressure on the handlebars and I'm generally quite comfortable.

The saddle is at a height so there's a slight bend in the knee when the pedal is at 6 o'clock. Surely moving the saddle back would put more pressure on the bars?
 

nickyboy

Norven Mankey
1) Slightly narrower, higher pressure, no tread tyres will reduce your rolling resistance a bit (it varies but maybe 10-15 Watts which would probably result in an increase in speed of about 5%)

2) 3kg off the bike weight will help if your rides are hilly. If they aren't it would be a waste of money

3) Your ride position is fairly similar to a road bike position. Usually this is the big improvement in speed when switching from hybrid to road bike so I wouldn't think you will see much improvement there

So in summary you will be quicker on a road bike, but not much. I'd just stick some quicker tyres on the hybrid
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
Thanks, #3 was probably what I was unsure of. Will check out some tyres for weekend rides.
 

Slioch

Guru
Location
York
Yebbut, one of the advantages of drop bars is the ability to vary the position of the hands, which comes into play during a long ride. You can also go down onto the drops when faced with a headwind which can be a help.
 

swee'pea99

Legendary Member
I don't really get why changing from a hybrid to a road bike is 'upgrading'. It isn't, they are different bikes, you choose a bike that suits where you mostly ride and/or what you prefer.
Or just have both.
My thoughts absolutely. Having said which, if you're thinking about 100 mile +/- rides....there's a reason people who do those sorts of distances overwhelmingly ride road bikes. Can you borrow one, to try? I seriously think that if you did, you'd pretty soon decide it was the way to go.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
The upgrade would be from a £250 bike to a £700+ bike which is lighter and with better quality components. I could try borrowing a bike, or maybe hire one for a day to get the correct size (would likely need 63cm).
 

OldShep

Well-Known Member
Yeah that's probably the fence, there's no force on the pedals - when I'm actually cycling there's not very much pressure on the handlebars and I'm generally quite comfortable.

The saddle is at a height so there's a slight bend in the knee when the pedal is at 6 o'clock. Surely moving the saddle back would put more pressure on the bars?
That’s a very common misunderstanding.
Stand with your back plumb against a wall and lean forward and you’ll need to lean on something or fall.
Now step away from the wall and lean forward your backside can now stick out and you won’t need to lean on anything and you won’t fall over. Think of the cantilever effect.
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
Just make sure it's the right size and geometry as I think you recently posted about neck/back pain cycling.

https://www.cyclechat.net/threads/lower-back-and-neck.253420/

63cm is a fairly rare size, how tall are you?
Think my bike is 61cm, I thought I'd seen the Specialized Allez in 63cm but apparently not. I would get it checked at a bike shop anyway

The back pain was from trying to climb stretched out, for proper climbI've switched to the top of the bars and it's much easier now. :smile:
 

vickster

Legendary Member
Guessing you’re 6’6+ . Canyon and Rose sell big frames but you’d not be able to try as mail order from Germany only

Flatbar and road drop bar frames aren’t directly comparable. I had a 54cm drop bar bike which I converted to flats and it was far too small even with another 3cm of stem (as the drop handlebars add to the reach)
 
OP
Twilkes

Twilkes

Veteran
Yes 6ft5 with a lot of that in the upper body. Not sure what my ape index is but I do like a good banana.
 
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