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choosing hybrid or road bike

pessimalpessimal Posts: 58
edited September 2013 in Commuting general
bit of advice please.

I'm starting to think about a new bike to replace my dawes discovery 201, with a budget of around £500 give or take a good deal

I am defaulting to another hybrid at the mo, but other than "lighter/faster" are there any other reasons to choose a road bike?

i get a bit of back ache on rides over 20 miles as it is, so i worry that a road bike would just make that problem worse, and when i have used bar ends i end up with wrist ache, so i'm really unsure if i road bike with drop bars would just be really uncomfortable for me.

any advice please?

Posts

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Road bikes are not always lighter, nor faster - depends on exactly the type of bike you are looking at really!

    Geometry varies quite a bit, even on road bikes, so ensuring a good fit is paramount here.

    I'd drop into a few shops and have a sit on a few different machines to get a feel for things.
  • pessimalpessimal Posts: 58
    this took my fancy at evans

    http://www.evanscycles.com/products/kon ... e-ec034478

    i think ideally i would need a 53cm (being 5'7"), so a 49 may be a little small, but i figured it was worth a try

    not really fussed on speed, want some comfort and just to enjoy a nice ride out
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    The correct bike size is more a function of the effective top tube length (horizontal) to your torso/arms than seattube length (easily adjusted over a large range using the seatpost!) so try it and see.

    For comfort many prefer flat bars to drops, but it is personal.

    Have a look at the Voodoo Marasa at Halfords, about £150 less for a very similar bike to the Kona.
  • daddy0daddy0 Posts: 686
    My BIL has a Voodoo Marasa - its a bit heavy if you ask me. His was a death trap when he rode it out of Hellfords too - but thats another story. He's had it less than a year and now he wants a road bike...

    As said previously, whatever bike you go for make sure it fits. Also, you might be "doing it wrong" - if you're gripping too hard on the bars then this might cause wrist ache. Try some new padded gloves. Riding on the hoods on some drop bars could help your wrists too - its the most natural riding position IMO. Riding flat bars feels uncomfortable to me now I've ridden drops for a few months, and thats after riding flat bars for about 20 years.

    (get a road bike)
  • asprillaasprilla Posts: 8,440
    The Rookie wrote:
    The correct bike size is more a function of the effective top tube length (horizontal) to your torso/arms than seattube length (easily adjusted over a large range using the seatpost!)

    Hmmm. There is a lot more to it than that.

    Seat post can be adjusted over a large range but handlebar height is more limited. Consequently if you raise the saddle you may end up with a massive drop between saddle and bars. Besides the measurement of reach that counts is from saddle to bars and raising the saddle increases that.

    Upshot is that there is no substitute for actually riding a bike to decide if it fits.
    Mud - Genesis Vapour CCX
    Race - Fuji Norcom Straight
    Sun - Cervelo R3
    Winter / Commute - Dolan ADX
  • DM222DM222 Posts: 90
    Drop bars give you more options for hand positioning than flat bars
  • skooterskooter Posts: 293
    edited August 2013
    I've just sold my road bike and got two hybrids.. both of which I use on the road and both better than the road bike.

    More comfortable to ride.
    Better gearing for the hills.
    More stable on down hill rides
    More stable in side winds.
    Flat bars are just as good as riding on the hoods ( I never used the drops anyway as I though it was an uncomfortable position but that might be just me)

    PS.. Yes the road bike might be faster in a sprint but I dont know many people that can sprint for a 60 mile ride..
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    DM222 wrote:
    Drop bars give you more options for hand positioning than flat bars

    Get bar ends and this need not be the case - with mine I have 3 (or at least 2.5) positions. Most road bike users (unless racing) spend 90% of their time on the hoods anyway.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    DM222 wrote:
    Drop bars give you more options for hand positioning than flat bars
    And non of them comfortable!

    Seriously some prefer drops and some prefer flats.

    My Hybrid has low mounted flats giving a similar riding poistion to being on the hoods.
  • I switched to a road bike after 4 months of a hybrid when I first started cycling.

    I found:

    - road bike was lighter, and faster to start from a stopped position because of this (i.e. from traffic lights). also better on hills - does depend on what gearing you have also!
    - road bike was much better in the wind - I used to get some neck/shoulder/back ache on the hybrid due to straining in windy weather, even when I lowered my bars - this is a real biggie for me.
    - never had wrist ache or hand tingling on the road bike after a hour or so, I used to get this sometimes on the hybrid
    - hybrid probably better in traffic as your sat up more and its easier to steer at low speeds with flat bars. Not a biggie but a plus for the hybrid.

    Basically I got no problem with hybrids, for journeys under 8 or 10 miles they're great...higher than that I would seriously consider a road bike.

    99% of my rides are an 18 mile commute each way, so an hour to hour 10 mins usually, in traffic and open roads/cycle paths etc, in all weathers (just to give you context)

    Try a few test rides and remember as mentioned above - there are many different geomentries of road bike - from back killing race machines to relaxed sportive/tourer types (and dont forget cyclocross), so remember that when considering which to try out...and a good bike fit from the shop you buy one from would help stop any back problems!
  • notnotnotnot Posts: 284
    The Rookie wrote:
    DM222 wrote:
    Drop bars give you more options for hand positioning than flat bars
    And non of them comfortable!

    Seriously some prefer drops and some prefer flats.

    My Hybrid has low mounted flats giving a similar riding poistion to being on the hoods.

    Indeed - a 20-odd mile round trip on my flat bar MTB yesterday and I could hardly feel my hands. I find it more comfortable with drop bars - think it is personal preference!

    If back ache's an issue, try a few different bikes. Likely to be more about finding a position that's right for you and a bike that fits well rather than a universally comfortable bike.
  • Have you considered a cyclocross bike? Best of both worlds (or a horrible compromise, depending on your PoV).
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,533
    - road bike was lighter, and faster to start from a stopped position because of this (i.e. from traffic lights). also better on hills - does depend on what gearing you have also!

    Guess what - a better bike is lighter, not because of the bar type but because it is lighter...
    I used to get some neck/shoulder/back ache on the hybrid due to straining in windy weather, even when I lowered my bars - this is a real biggie for me.

    Sounds like just a bad bike fit/setup to me - dont get that on mine.
    - never had wrist ache or hand tingling on the road bike after a hour or so, I used to get this sometimes on the hybrid

    Again - this probably indicative of bad setup.
    Basically I got no problem with hybrids, for journeys under 8 or 10 miles they're great...higher than that I would seriously consider a road bike.

    Funny - just rode mine for 106 miles today and felt far better than many of the other riders on drop bar bikes!
    Try a few test rides and remember as mentioned above - there are many different geomentries of road bike - from back killing race machines to relaxed sportive/tourer types (and dont forget cyclocross), so remember that when considering which to try out...and a good bike fit from the shop you buy one from would help stop any back problems!

    Dont disagree with any of that!
  • skooterskooter Posts: 293
    edited August 2013
    Due to work I've not been out much but my last longer ride was 90kms and 1116 metres of climb on my hybrid and no problems at all..
    Just a vote for the hybrid really.

    PS.. The two hybrids I have are the Specialized Crosstrail and a Cannondale Bad Boy 2
  • tianuk3tianuk3 Posts: 13
    I have the Sirrus Comp (which I am selling) which I feel is ideal for commutes. It is shaped like a hybrid (same geometry). You can use the handlebars as a road if you wish, and has the wheels of a road bike too. So it's perfect for urban areas aswell as longer commutes! I would recommend a bike in this range.
  • Depends how many hills round your way, but if not many you might want to think about a single speed.

    Just got a Specialized Langster for my 13 yo for the same money as your budget (after CTC discount). For use to school, around town, 10m TTs and intro to track shortly (have to take the brakes off for that, though).

    Excellent well-specced bike and looks great.

    Has a flip-flop hub but no ring for SS (£20 and 5 mins to fit).

    FWIW he's also 5' 7" and I got him size 56 to allow some growing room and he's fine on it. 54 would probably be ideal but would only last a short while.
  • skooter wrote:
    I've just sold my road bike and got two hybrids.. both of which I use on the road and both better than the road bike.

    More comfortable to ride.
    Better gearing for the hills.
    More stable on down hill rides
    More stable in side winds.
    Flat bars are just as good as riding on the hoods ( I never used the drops anyway as I though it was an uncomfortable position but that might be just me)

    PS.. Yes the road bike might be faster in a sprint but I dont know many people that can sprint for a 60 mile ride..


    Couldn't agree more, bang on!! :lol:

    I've just sold my road bike after realising just how much complete rubbish is spouted about "proper" road bikes! :roll:

    I'm faster & more comfortable on a 15kg MTB with slicks on than a 10kg Triban 5a with carbon fork & 23mm tyres!! :roll:

    Looking for a nice flat bar road bike now. :wink:
    B'TWIN Triban 5A
    Ridgeback MX6
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