hybrid or road bike

northturton Posts: 66
edited July 2007 in Road beginners
(sorry, originally posted this under MTB, didn't realise there was a road section!!)

I'm not a racer, and I'm not a commuter (as I work from home now!!), but I want something for 10 miles ride each morning and evening. I was initially after a new MTB but this would mean driving to get the best out of it, so for now, something for the roads will have to suffice.

Any recommendations for a 500-700 budget (maybe more for the right sale bike)? (anything in the current sales for a 6' average weight male?)

Any advice over tripple / double derailer - for example the spec allez?

How are rim brakes now adays, do they still squeal like a scared rabbit or have they been cured of this problem? (yes my current bike is an ancient decrepit rusting rigid mtb with rim brakes, and my prev bike to that was a Raleigh Winner when I was a teen !!)


  • Rich Hcp
    Rich Hcp Posts: 1,355

    I've been MTBing for years and had the same dilema.

    In the end I decided to get a road bike, a hybrid is what it is, neither good or bad on the road, but I'd say not great off road.

    If you have the room, do what I did, get a road bike and keep the MTB 8)

    I was going for an Allez Triple (£530) but because the 2008 bikes come out in July there were none left. However, I got a Allez Sport Triple for £699 from my LBS! :lol: 8)

    You are taller than me, (I'm 5'8") but there are deals to be had, just ask.

    So I have Tiagra instead of Sora. I love it, although I've not done many miles yet.

    I went for a triple because that is what I'm used to, I'd rather have it avaliable now than regret it later.

    If you're used to a MTB., I'd say get the triple.


    Giving it Large
  • popette
    popette Posts: 2,089
    I decided to get a bike in March and initially went for a hybrid - my initial aim being to get fit following having a baby. I found I loved cycling so much that I swapped the hybrid for a road bike (Giant SCR3) (there was a serious problem with the hybrid so the bike shop were more than happy to swap it) and i haven't looked back.
    Since then, I've cycled in the Manchester to Blackpool ride (68 miles in total) and I'm booked in for a century ride in September. Rather than cycling to lose weight, I'm now trying to lose weight so that I can cycle faster.
    As Rich said, get a road bike and keep the mtb. I'm sure you won't regret it.
  • Aidocp
    Aidocp Posts: 868
    Ive got two Hybrids and a Road Bike. But if you're not commuting like you say, IMO go for the road bike they're much more fun. On my Hybrids its triples and on the Road bike its a compact double. Personally I tend only to use the top chainring on all bikes 99.9% of the time but if you are new to it I'd opt for the triple.
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,098
    I find the word "hybrid" confusing, as to me the only difference between (say) a Specialised Sirrus and a Giant SCR3 is drops and brakes, other than that there's a lot in common...that's when "hybrid" applies to a real street machine, not the half-way house MTB jobs or the rack, guards, bell, chainguard, slack angles jobs that you can also get...

    And I have the same dilemma, basically, drops or straights?

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Max Weber
    Max Weber Posts: 183
    Go for drops. More hand positions = more comfortable, particularly on long rides. Riding on the hoods is easy on hands and wrists and keeps the brakes and gear shifters in easy reach.

    Also drops look better and allow you to live out your pro fantasies. It's less fun trying to climb like Pantani or time-trial it Cancellara style on flat bars.
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    Drops are more comfy - if you hold out your arms and hold your hands in a naturally relaxed position you will probably find they suit a grip position more vertical than horizontal (so mine adopt a position about 15 degrees in from vertical). Although I have been MTB'ing for years, I find on long rides the flat position feels like I'm twisting my wrists a bit too much, whereas when I am using drops, the position on the hoods feels natural straight away.

    Flats will give you slightly more control, but this isn't an issue when not riding singletrack twisty bits, so for the road I reckon drops are a clear winner. There will be a period of adaptation, but once used to them I am sure they will prove most comfy, and you get at least 3 riding positions.
  • dazzawazza
    dazzawazza Posts: 462
    "you get at least 3 riding positions"

    More importantly, drops look cool! :wink:
  • alfablue
    alfablue Posts: 8,497
    agreed - cool! and thats the main thing :)
  • alang498
    alang498 Posts: 9
    I have the same situation: I want to go from a Hybrid (triple) to a road bike but want comfort for long rides = I think I have narrowed the choice to a Specialized Roubaix or a Cannondale Synapse, both of which advertise comfort and a more relaxed riding position. Does anyone have some advice ?
  • mh130
    mh130 Posts: 19
    Get a road bike. I bought a hybrid in Feb as I was getting back into cycling and while this is fine for pootling an light trails / towpaths with the kids, on the road it's a bit slow and heavy. I'm test riding a couple of Allez bikes this weekend and fully expect to buy one.

    What a bike the Raeigh winner was though. 5 gears and I thought I was king of the road...
  • domtyler
    domtyler Posts: 2,648
    edited March 2011
    If you are going to be riding on the roads then buy a road bike, Hybrids are designed by the marketing men in order to sell more bikes to newcomers to cycling who then get bored with them after a few months as they don't do anything well and have to buy yet another bike.

    And riding flat bars on the road makes as much sense as poking yourself in the eye with a rusty needle, why purposefully deprive yourself of the more comfortable hand positions?
    Porridge not Petrol
  • drenkrom
    drenkrom Posts: 1,062
    road bike. not even a contest.
  • baudman
    baudman Posts: 757
    I commute on a (really old) hybrid. And I will continue to do so. When it dies, I will get another flat-bar. Why? I find them much safer in traffic. Yes, there's less hand postions - but you are generally much closer to the brakes, which is important.

    However, for you, I'd advocate a road bike - for all the reasons mentioned by other people. You don't know where your training is going to lead you - you'll probably get the bug like many of the rest of us and start doing longer rides - centuries etc. Then, you'll REALLY appreciate the drops.

    Oh... and don't bother with a triple - unless you're going to be doing heaps of hills. A double is plenty. Put your $ elsewhere.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • thanks for the advice, but there's plenty of hills around here :-)
  • If you get a hybrid and enjoy it, you'll only want to trade up a year later..

    Go whole hog now and get the road bike!!!

    I started commuting about 10 miles with a mountain bike, then hybrid and now summer and winter road bikes...buy it, you know it makes sense.
    17 years commuting up and down the King\'s Road and i still don\'t get faster...
  • cyclone
    cyclone Posts: 181
    It's an obvious choice... Road Bike.

    I have two MTB's.
    A full sus and a hardtail but only because that's what I'm into.

    If I had the money and space I would get a road bike as well, as I often do big rides on the Hardtail.
    I used to be undecided but now I\'m not so sure!?

    My Spesh
  • gpx001
    gpx001 Posts: 107
    I've got a hybrid and a road bike. The hybrid is great for light off road stuff, rutted horse paths, etc and I have found I tend to use it more than my road bike - which I tend to use on nice Sunny days and we haven't had many of those this year :( Have a look at the Dawes Discovery range.
    Fuelled by rage - I would rather it be by flapjack
  • paul.d
    paul.d Posts: 82
    I started with a Marin hybrid triple 48-38-28 12-14-16-18-21-24-28-32 cassette

    initially was hard work but got fitter

    fancied a road bike-got a Trek 1400 52-42-30 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25 cassette-at first seemed harder due to higher gearing but progressed!

    just changed to a 50-34 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-24-27 cassette and it really is better-much less shifting

    with hindsight I should probably have gone for this set up first time

    if you can afford to change or upgrade after a year or so then start small but my guess is you'll end up with a double chainset?
  • For the usage you describe, buy a road bike. If you get the hybrid you'll just spend your ride wondering how much faster / easier / fun the ride would be on a road bike.

    No to a triple. If your area is very hilly you can always change some of the rear sprockets and give yourself a get-out-of-jail 'great-granny' gear.
  • pw1brown
    pw1brown Posts: 243
    The double/triple debate is endless. I tend to use low gears as I'm more a tourist than a racer, so I like the triple. I wouldn't get a "great-granny" extra large sprocket, because it's an unnaturally big jump down in gears. My view is that you're better with an evenly spaced wide range of sprockets if you go for a double.
  • Mister Paul
    Mister Paul Posts: 719
    domtyler wrote:
    If you are going to be riding on the roads then buy a road bike, Hybrids are designed by the marketing men in order to sell more bikes to newcomers to cycling who then get bored with them after a few months as they don't do anything well and have to buy yet another bike.

    And riding flat bars on the road makes as much sense as poking yourself in the eye with a rusty needle, why purposefully deprive yourself of the more comfortable hand positions?

    don't listen to him :wink: . There's a huge market for hybrids, because a lot of people like them. And some find a road bike far more uncomfortable than a nice flat bar with ends on.

    Get the right flat-bar and it won't be much slower/ heavier than a road bike. And when you're amongst traffic you'll completely outshine with visibility and braking accessability.

    It's all about personal preference. You need to try a few out properly and see what suits you.
    <font>What we need is a new, national <b>White Bicycle Plan</b></font>
  • maxbass
    maxbass Posts: 64
    I have winter,best road bikes and have recently made up a hybrid of of old parts etc in the garage.I use the hybrid now for commuting as it gives me more options to and from work in heavy traffic -up and down kerbs (if needed) if i feel like a change it'll take the leeds /bradford canal tow path.(which i certainly wouldn't take my road bikes on).Also there is to consider where your storing your bike after commuting i personally aren't happy leaving my best bike at work.
    And if if fancy a long ride i just take the road bike instead.
    All in in all get both :)
  • mea00csf
    mea00csf Posts: 558
    There is a place for hybrids. My commute is only about 3 miles each way, but i often take the scenic route home on bridleways which while not needing my full suss mountain bike for, it would be impossible on a road bike.

    Decide where you're going to be riding, if it's all roads then the road bike. If your likely to go on bridleways the hybrid will give you more options
  • beckenham
    beckenham Posts: 242
    I had the same problem and was very tempted by the Specialized tricross but as has already been said, these bikes are going to be a compromise. In the end I went for a road bike and have kept the MTB for going out with the kids or for a bash through the woods.

    Unless you don't have room for more than one bike I'd say definately go for a road bike
    Beer, the reason my ambitions have not become my achievements
  • jswba
    jswba Posts: 491
    There's a theme emerging here that I'm going to echo....

    Bought a hybrid just over a year ago. Enjoy riding it loads, so much so that soon after my wife bought one. But recently my fitness improved enough for me to be a little frustrated at niggly little things on the hybrid (lack of positions on handlebars, sluggish speed etc) and so traded up for a road bike.

    I'm not saying don't buy a hybrid, but I will say that you'll *inevitably* end up with a road bike as well if you do!
  • in the wire
    in the wire Posts: 79
    edited October 2007
    get the roadie
  • wuming
    wuming Posts: 5
    Hybrid. No contest. If you buy a road bike, you'll start to buy lycra; it is a slippery slope. :D