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Change wheels on hybrid or buy road bike?

LycleLycle Posts: 7
edited April 2013 in Commuting general
Hi all,

I currently own a Ridgeback Velocity, a mountain-city hybrid to commute back and forth from my college, which is about 7 miles in total. I've had it for about a year now, but I'm now having to do a lot more travel (as I moved, got a part time job etc, maybe 15miles in total) and finding the heavy ridgeback a bit taxing to use, especially on hilly places and I want to cut down travel time as much as possible as my schedule is very constrained between my university classes i have to attend, part time job, and also my committment to college sports clubs! >.<

So I was wondering whether it would make sens to upgrade to an entry level road bike? I looked at the Specialized Sirrus Sport or one of the Giant Rapid models (both flat handlebar road bikes I think) which looked quite appealing.

But then the shopkeeper also suggested I could instead opt for replacing my wheels on the Ridgeback to a skinnier, road-bike style wheels and that would add a lot of speed?

That would cost about 250-300 pounds, and either of the Specialized Sirrus or Giant Rapid bikes would cost 500.

What do you think would be the best option to get the increase in speed and cut down travel time? Replace my wheels or make the whole bikem lighter?

Thanks!

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    New bike over new wheels - the Ridgeback still has heavy parts.

    This would be my choice:

    http://www.decathlon.co.uk/fit-5-road-b ... 39798.html

    Carbon fork, 27 speed, sub 23lbs weight - amazing buy.
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,356
    Plus 1 for the fit 5 hybrid or go for a Triban 3 road bike with carbon forks. Having owned a Sirrus up until recently i couldn't fault it but i wouldn't get another.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • LycleLycle Posts: 7
    I see, thanks for your replies!

    Are there any good range of entry-level roadies you can recommend? Whats the difference between say the £500 models and the more expensive ones?
  • davidmt83davidmt83 Posts: 218
    oxoman wrote:
    Having owned a Sirrus up until recently i couldn't fault it but i wouldn't get another.

    What makes you say that? I assume the increase from £370 to £400 for the same spec'd bike from 2012 and more value available elsewhere.
    Cannondale Synapse 105 Disc
  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 8,356
    I purchased the Sirrus on the spur of the moment after commuting for 6 month on a heavy MTB. I didn't do either Bike radar or my homework back then. Several lads at work suggested trying a roadbike as it would be quicker and lighter for the 11 mile each way commute. I managed to get a Dawes Giro roadbike which i tried and have been using it the last year or so. The other thing with the Sirrus is that for the money there is better out there if you look.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • small_blokesmall_bloke Posts: 222
    The geometry difference makes a hybrid bike much slower due to a more upright riding position.
    I have both types (road bike and hybrid). I'm selling the hybrid because its too slow, both have identical 28mm slick 700c tyres.
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    it depends on the geometry though - hybrids vary massively.
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    Also physiology. I only ride hybrids because i wear glasses. Even in a "sit up and beg" position, with the seat and handle bars level, i find i'm still looking half over the top of my specs if i look anywhere but a few feet in front of me (and tilting your head back for prolonged periods of time doesn't do wonders for your neck). On a road bike, with the bars lower than the seat, i'd only really be able to see a foot in front of me which isn't a good idea.
  • LycleLycle Posts: 7
    I think a road bike with a flat handlebar would be a good choice?
    I looked around a few shops today around town, and found some quite nice ones. the above mentioned specialized sirrus sport and giant rapide 3 (both roughly 550 quid) look and feel the best for me when I tried them. There were other models but those get quite expensive. Would these two be good entry level road bikes for me to get started with?

    And also, how much impact does tyre size have on speed? the specialized got 28c and the giant 25c. Would the thinner one on the giant be better? I think they both weigh roughly the same, though the giant seems a tiny bit lighter.

    And what about tyre surface? The specialized has the usual grooves in them, but the giant's are totally slick. Would the giant go faster?
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    The thinner, slicker and harder they are pumped up the faster they will go as they will have less rolling resistance. Weight at the rim also plays a huge part in how fast a bike feels. Heavier tyres and heavier rims will make the bike feel slower. Hence the reason people will pay hundreds of pounds for a set of lightweight wheels with lightweight rims,spokes and nipples. Luckily, lightweight tyres are pretty common and cheap for 700c road bikes (can be a bit expensive for mountain bikes though).
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The Sirrus and Rapide are good bikes - but better can be had for cheaper. Do you have Decathlon nearby?
  • LycleLycle Posts: 7
    supersonic wrote:
    The Sirrus and Rapide are good bikes - but better can be had for cheaper. Do you have Decathlon nearby?

    Yep I do! Do they sell better bikes for cheaper price? Any recommendations?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
  • LycleLycle Posts: 7
    Hmm, they only sell bikes from a brand called BTwin...are they really good? I've never in my life seen a road bike being sold for less than 500 pounds. Are they really better? Im a bit skeptical as Ive never heard of this brand, but Im open to be convinced :P
  • EvZ67EvZ67 Posts: 4
    Lycle wrote:
    Hmm, they only sell bikes from a brand called BTwin...are they really good? I've never in my life seen a road bike being sold for less than 500 pounds. Are they really better? Im a bit skeptical as Ive never heard of this brand, but Im open to be convinced :P

    Look up reviews on there bikes I have a Triban 3 as my second bike it's great for the money Btwin have some very high end bikes too I would go for one of their bikes unless brand matters to you that much. By the way they do come with decent warranty as well not life though.
  • Big_PaulBig_Paul Posts: 277
    Lycle wrote:
    Hmm, they only sell bikes from a brand called BTwin...are they really good? I've never in my life seen a road bike being sold for less than 500 pounds. Are they really better? Im a bit skeptical as Ive never heard of this brand, but Im open to be convinced :P

    I have a B'twin MTB and after a couple of teething niggles it's been great, I looked at the Triban 3 but couldn't get one in my size, I'd like the Fit 5 but as usual, my local store doesn't have them. If you look at the actual spec of the bikes, you usually find similar specced bikes from the mainstream manufacturers are much more expensive.

    FWIW, I'm running 700c disc wheels on my 26' MTB with 28mm tyres, I wouldn't like to go any thinner with the state of the roads round here.
    Disc Trucker
    Kona Ute
    Rockrider 8.1
    Evil Resident
    Day 01 Disc
    Viking Derwent Tandem
    Planet X London Road
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Lycle wrote:
    Hmm, they only sell bikes from a brand called BTwin...are they really good? I've never in my life seen a road bike being sold for less than 500 pounds. Are they really better? Im a bit skeptical as Ive never heard of this brand, but Im open to be convinced :P

    The Spesh and Giant are just names on a frame - and in the case of the former, they don't even make the frame. Merida do - who also make some BTwin frames ;-)
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386
    edited April 2013
    +1

    Very few of the big bike manufacturers actually manufacture the bike. They just assemble bikes from stock components, including the frames (Giant and Merida being the two largest companies that seem to make the frames for every other bike company you've heard of). Companies like Rockrider as well as some German ones i can think of essentially assemble the same bikes but cut out a lot of the middle men in order to cut the costs. Buying any of the big name brands often involves paying over the odds for a spec that can be gotten elsewhere for a lot less, provided you can get over the brand snobbery and ignore whats written on the frame.

    Always look at the specs, not the label.
  • LycleLycle Posts: 7
    Just tried out some of the btwin triban roadbikes and they blew my mind! I only tested them over a short distance (maybe 2 miles) but it was so much faster and I could feel so much less air resistance! I cant believe the massive wall of air I've been pushing on my ridgeback so far!

    the only gripes I have are

    1. The drop bars. Well of course all road bikes have drop bars but I found I had a lot less control and harder to balance with the different position. It was also harder for me to look back/around traffic and make hand signals while in that position. Also, I got so many hand cramps when I tried to apply the brakes! Its prob just a matter of getting used to but would this be unsafe for a beginner like me who never used a road bike before?

    and

    2. Tyres seem too thin? They seem to have the 700 x 25c slick tyres. I'm going to be selling my current hybrid when I get this, and want to use it all year round, in all weather conditions (and the UK has a lot of rain, and some snow in winter), and I'm afraid it'll be unsafe with these as they're so thin and have no grooves!

    Would it be safer to go for eg the btwin fit models? which is more like a hybrid road bike with a flat handle bar instead of drop?
  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    The FIT was the one I linked to, ideal if you don't want drops.

    The best tyres for the rain are slicks. Grooves and knobbles do very little.
  • EvZ67EvZ67 Posts: 4
    Lycle wrote:
    1. The drop bars. Well of course all road bikes have drop bars but I found I had a lot less control and harder to balance with the different position. It was also harder for me to look back/around traffic and make hand signals while in that position. Also, I got so many hand cramps when I tried to apply the brakes! Its prob just a matter of getting used to but would this be unsafe for a beginner like me who never used a road bike before?

    Takes a little time and you would get used to it as for the brakes on my Triban 3 I found them very hard to use but you get shims for the brake levers to make them closer to the bar this makes it much easier for people with smaller hands.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    Get a road bike with slicks. I run a road bike with 23mm tyres, have no issues going 25mph in very wet conditions (as long as I don't have to do much turning). Keep the old MTB for really bad weather, i.e. snow. If you're really worried about tyres then get 25mm but don't go wider - you'll slow yourself down. Get slicks.

    RE riding position, you just need to get used to it, or adjust the bike to fit you. Look up "bike fit" read some articles and watch some youtube clips. After riding a road bike for a few months going back to a hybrid or MTB will probably feel clumsy.

    Go hard or go home and remember rule number 5.
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