how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
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how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby hondated » 20 Jan 2011, 3:05pm

just how comfortable hybrid bikes are because never having ridden one before, and having mistakenly, it only had several minutes to go before the auction ended on Ebay when i saw the Specialised Cross Roads for sale and won it, I have subsequently built it up and I have just returned from its maiden ride and it felt great to be in a more upright position.I will however buy some bar ends for riding up hills.
I much prefer the looks of a drop bar touring / racing bike still but I can now see why hybrids are so popular for leisure cyclists and yet again it proves that you are never too old to learn.

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Re: Does anyone know...

Postby BigG » 20 Jan 2011, 3:36pm

Drop bars are preferable to the straight bars on a hybrid because of the varied hand positions they offer. However, many of us like you find a more upright position better as we get older. All that is needed is to raise your drop bars to the right height probably with the tops a little higher than the position of your hybrid bars and the drops a little lower. The manufacturers - or their marketing men - are still obsessed with racing and often make raising drop bars high enough difficult. However, the cost of a new riser stem or a stem extender is well worth it.

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Re: Does anyone know...

Postby nirakaro » 20 Jan 2011, 6:47pm

When I'm on my hybrid, with the straight bars and bar ends, I think, Ah, this is the comfortable way to ride; but then when I get on the road bike with the drops, I find myself thinking, Ah, this is the comfortable way to ride. Happy either way...

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Re: Does anyone know...

Postby horizon » 20 Jan 2011, 7:35pm

This is what Evans say about hybrids:

Hybrids combine all the sexy bits of mountain bike construction with a more practical road set-up for easier cycling.

Hmmm. I suppose they mean the .... no, I give up. :(
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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby IanH » 20 Jan 2011, 8:19pm

It all depends on your route and your riding style. I wouldn't be without my (hybrid) Kona Dr Dew. I use country lanes and the occasional main road. So I need a good gear range and its excellent disc brakes. I have little need for dropped handle bars, despite a daily 10 mile commute. If it's really windy, I drop down a gear, relax and focus on my retirement/IPOD.

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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby 531colin » 20 Jan 2011, 9:40pm

Compact drops......try them!

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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby Gearoidmuar » 21 Jan 2011, 7:55am

I used drop bars for years and years and still have 'em on my racer. I also road MTBs with straight bars and bar ends, but due to a hand injury about two and half years ago I could not manage STIs (I can now) and I got bullhorn bars. Revelation! These are without question the best bars on a touring bike. My tourer now has them as a fixture. They are so comfortable in the greatly variable reach they give that I no longer even think of my hands on a long trip. I've done Lejog twice with them.
Try them if you haven't.

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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby aide555 » 21 Jan 2011, 8:52am

I've got a Ridgeback Velocity and a Dawes Galaxy. For town riding the more up right Velocity gets my vote. For long days in the saddle the Galaxy is my choice

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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby al_yrpal » 21 Jan 2011, 10:47am

Hybrids can be more comfortable particularly for older cyclists. Flat bars are often much wider and this and the more upright position is much friendlier to an ancient back. Another thing is 26" wheels with wider tyres which offer a huge reduction in transmitted vibration. Hybrids are often fitted with wider softer saddles and again this reduces vibration and increases comfort. On my current hybrid I have SRAM MTB gearing which offers far slicker gear changes than the fernikity Shimano gears on my last two road bikes. I find that its just as quick as my crouching friends when riding in company.

In all a much more comfortable riding experience. On the odd occasion that I exceed 20mph its easy to crouch for a while to reduce wind resistence.

Touring on a bicycle is a great way to explore and appreciate the countryside and towns you pass through. Make a difference...

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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby Steve Kish » 21 Jan 2011, 12:48pm

My hybrid is actually an old Marin Pine Trail with Conti 26 x 1 1/8 super-slick Grand Prix tyres, narrowed straight bars, sweated-on 700c mudguards and 3 x 8 touring gears between 99 and 26 inches. It also has a pair of the old Onza ski bends on there that give an 'almost butterfly bars' forward position and all things considered, it's more cumfy that both my off-road bike and road bike.

Any long and unknown ride, I always choose this one!
Old enough to know better but too young to care.

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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby Vorpal » 21 Jan 2011, 1:09pm

My oldest and most trusted bike is a hybrid. I've toured on it, commuted on it, and ridden it off the road and on through a huge variety of conditions. I've worn out a saddle and a variety of other parts. These days, it's my utility bike, used for shopping and child transport. There are any of a number of things for which a hybrid is not ideal (a tourer is better for touring, a road bike for speed, etc.). In fact, I can't say that it is the best bike for anything , but, IMO, it's the best bike for everything.

I'll wait, now for all the posts that say a tourer can do all the stuff that a hybrid can & do it better :)
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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby swansonj » 21 Jan 2011, 3:10pm

As BigG says upthread, you need to separate the handlebar design from the handlebar position. A more upright position reduces the strain on both my lower back and on my neck and I couldn't cycle longer distances without such a position. But logically I could achieve that with either flat or drop bars. I, like many people, find the variety of hand positions on drop bars is very desirable. But none-the-less, I have flat bars, because for commuting, I want both the gear control and the brakes to be always under my fingers in the normal riding position.

Is the distinction between touring bikes and hybrids helpful anyway - aren't they just points on a continuum?

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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby Steve Kish » 21 Jan 2011, 9:28pm

I'll wait, now for all the posts that say a tourer can do all the stuff that a hybrid can & do it better

With mine, 26 x 2.1 tyres and a 11-32 cassette will allow it to ride any off-road trail out there. Wouldn't fancy many tourers having much success with that. :mrgreen:
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Re: how comfortable are hybrid bikes ?

Postby sea lion » 22 Jan 2011, 8:40pm

You could alway fit butterfly bars. You wouldn't have to replace any of the contols and you still get the varied hand positions.