Hybrid Bikes

Henry C

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I am in the market for a bicycle and it was recommended to me to buy a hybrid bike. Does anyone have any suggestions on brand/model that I should be looking at? I am looking to spend between $300-$400. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Also, are there particular features that I should be looking for?

Thanks,

Henry
 

Jay H

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Off the top of my head:

1)Comfort/fit, this includes getting the right saddle. This is the most important aspect of any bike, including hybrids
2)Effective top tube length. Some hybrids come with an adjustable stem (angle) so you can sort of adjust your position vertical.
3)brakes, does it have linear pull or old cantilever style brakes and how big a tire will it fit. You will want a wider tire if you plan on taking it off road more, like on rail trails where the surface might be dirt/ballast. You will be limited to X size tires by the fork clearance between the crown and the tire. You might want to find out by asking the salesperson.


Where do you plan on riding this? All on roads, rails trails?
Don't discount getting a MTB and then a set of slick tires.

Jay
 

Henry Gale

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Henry,
My recommendation is that you purchase from an actual bike shop. I have a hybrid and have been very happy with it.

Henry
 

dany

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Had a hybrid. Now i'm glad i have a reg roadbike. If your now sure cycling is for you i'd go cheap,used and see how it goes. Just make sure it fits,thats #1,fit.
 

Jay H

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Another kind of bike that you might want to consider, are the so-called "urban" bikes or city bikes, they are typically feature rich with mounts for racks, fenders, come in either 26" or 700c (larger diameter like a road bike) rims and is made for the abuse of city roads but with a more upright position than a mtn or road bike.

Take a look at the Trek SU100 or the SU200 series of bikes, they are Trek's new Urban bikes or perhaps look at the Soho for something more upscale but probably out of your price range.

You probably don't need disc brakes so the SU100 might be a good match, it'll go everywhere a basic "hybrid" would and has fender and rack mounts front and rear to allow for racks.

I'm looking at the SU200 for my winter commuter to replace my current commuter bike which has about 20k miles on it and is slowly showing it's age. I like to have disc brakes so when my rims freeze in winter (from going through puddles off road), I don't get braking dead spots.

But unless you plan on doing this in winter, a properly setup linear pull brakes is all you need, no need to spend more for heavier disc brakes, IMO for the average cyclist.

Jay
 

Jay H

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They are illegal on cyclocross bikes for UCI sanctioned races. I don't see a real benefit for road racers to need disc brakes for racing purposes, considering their weight penalty over dual caliper road brakes. In any of the grand tour races, you have to climb up too, not just descend. What I do see disc brakes being useful on the road side is perhaps tandem bikes with 2 riders and lots of mass and perhaps specialty touring bikes for the same weight factor. However, for a touring bike, a linear pull or even plain ole canti brakes are more practical for the expedition tourer. How do you fix/get parts for a disc brake in a third world country?

Disc brakes are great for

1)Winter use
2)mud
3)heavy weight bikes
4)where weight is not an issue.

which make them good for cyclocross, winter, downhill bikes.



There is a market for disc brakes on tandems though due to the better stopping power for the larger massed ride. And perhaps some specialty made touring bikes might be specced with disc brakes.

The SU200's disc brakes are mechanical discs vrs the hydraulics. Hydraulics have better modulation at the expense of the complexity of maintaining hydraulic fluid versus a cable.

Jay
 

WarrenL

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I've got a Cannondale that I picked up on Ebay for $95. I put another $45 into it at the bike shop...tuneup, brakes and wheel check..etc., and I'm on my second year with it and no problems. It's very light weight with wide tires. I commute about 10mi a day, sometimes more, and this bike has been extremely reliable.
 

Jay H

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WarrenL:
From a fellow commuter, I find a MTB to be the perfect commuter vehicle. Even for me with a 60/40 road/trail split, if I had an all road commute, I think I would still ride my MTB, I would just use full slicks or so. It's just more practical. Or if I had a road bike, try to get at least 700x28 or 700x32 tires because it's safer when it's darker out and you might not see every road object or pothole.

Henry C: Another thing you might want to consider, there are a lot more used/new MTBs out there versus Hyrbids so if you are on a strict budget, you might be able to find a cheaper MTB than a cheaper hybrid just because of the volume of bikes out there. Keep that in mind... If you're dead set on getting a hybrid, buying one from a bike shop is a good place, bike shops should be closing out their '06 stock now, especially now that it's mid october.

Jay
 

WarrenL

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I have 700x35 street tires that have great traction wet or dry. Mine is an all pavement commute..good tires are SO IMPORTANT as there is much glass on the streets.
 

dany

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If they offer disc,rider will be all over them,needed or not. Thats how it is with roadies. What non racer really needs a 190g saddle @200 bucks?
 

Jay H

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Those with iron b*lls?


Roadies also tend to be weight weenies. Remember when RockShox came out with a suspension fork for road bikes, I forget the name..ruby?? Don't know whatever happened to it but it didn't really catch on. I don't know what would happen if mfgrs would offer disc brakes, I think it might catch on with the roadies who feel they need every single toy, but I think the weight weenies would shun them like the plague. Especially the hydraulic discs.

The racing bikes are getting so light these days that teams seem to be adding weight to bikes to meet the UCI rules for minimal weight. I've seen a road single caliper brake with drilled arms recently. Like a basic dual caliper brake is too heavy.

Henry C: Sorry for the thread drift.... Don't forget to budget money for helmet, pump, tools, lube, a good pair of shorts, etc. etc..
 

MandyHan

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does anyone know how much a fold up bike costs? I saw one on the metro today and thought it would be very useful
 

Jay H

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Folding bikes can be cheap and they can be expensive... It's a whole new world.


www.bikefriday.com $$$$
www.dahon.com $$$
www.alexmoulton.co.uk $$$$ (also from the UK)

They can be anywhere from $500-$3000

There are also cheaper $150ish folding bikes with questionable pedigree but might be functional enough.

The market is fairly small for foldables so the volume is not there and hence, the prices high compared to full size bikes but it is certainly a nice option for commuters on a train.

Another thing to look at is S&S Couplers

www.sandsmachine.com

They can modify any bike to use these couplers. Definitely not as fast as a folding bike as it's made for world travelers but it might be cheaper to modify a bike you already own and love than the take a chance with a new frame or so...

Jay
 

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