Forum home Commuter cycling forum Commuting general

Cyclocross Vs Hybrid

Stephen_JStephen_J Posts: 5
edited April 2018 in Commuting general
Looking for some advice please. I'm a newbie, having last been on a bike when I was 15 and am pretty clueless. I'm looking to get a bike to commute into work a couple of days a week, it's about 10 miles each way. I'm torn between a Hybrid and a Cyclocross and was hoping for some advice please. My thoughts behind the Hybrid was that it'd perhaps be more comfortable, where the Cyclocross would get me there quicker.

The bikes I'm looking at are:

Cyclocross

Pinnacle Arkose 2 2018 - https://www.evanscycles.com/pinnacle-ar ... e-EV306245

Boardman CX Team - http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/c ... 5cm-frames

Hybrid

Boardman Hybrid Bike Pro - http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/h ... 4cm-frames

Specialized Crosstrail - https://www.evanscycles.com/specialized ... e-EV306284

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated

Posts

  • oxomanoxoman Posts: 9,426
    Personally I wish I'd had not started with a hybrid as it would have saved me the money I lost on it when I sold it for a road bike. The road bike / crossbike would be the best option in my opinion and I'd go for the Boardman out of the 2. My own view though is that a crossbike should be used for off road and not commuting but that's my view.
    Too many bikes according to Mrs O.
  • greenamex2greenamex2 Posts: 272
    I have two bikes. Yep, a hybrid (Merida Crossway XT) and a cross bike (Trek Crockett).

    The hybrid is about 3.5Kg heavier as standard than the CX. It is generally about 3-4 minutes slower over a 13 mile commute.

    The route is tow path, cycle path, road and forest track.

    The hybrid is fun for one or two days, but always happy to get back on the CX.

    The hybrid is slightly more comfortable (longest trip in a day is a 56 mile Sportive with my daughter) but then you are on it for longer.

    If I had to choose one it would be the CX. The hybrid is mostly reserved for family rides where speed isn't an issue.
  • Given your apparent lack of recent bike experience, I would choose a hybrid, unless you have at least one viable commute route that is relatively free of traffic. A drop bar bike will be quicker if you can hold ~15+mph because it should put you in a more aero position, but ~42cm wide drop bars are less stable than ~750mm wide flat bars, plus IMO it's far easier to see and be seen around traffic in the more upright hybrid position.

    The Boardman Hybrid Pro is a great spec hybrid for the money, especially if you have British Cycling membership, now making it £675 for a very rare ~9Kg hybrid (the weight of my Cube road bike, my commuter Voodoo is ~12Kg with road wheels on).

    The Boardman CX Team is a nice bike, the large fitted me nicely on an indoor turbo test ride last year, but I found SRAM double-tap gearing very odd (couldn't reliably select a lower gear in one swipe) and so bought the Cube a little later.

    In terms of tyres clearance, DanielB on here recently bought the Hybrid Pro (but has been very quiet about what the ride is like :) ), I think he reckoned it would fit at least 45mm tyres. The CX Team just about has clearance for ~38mm slicks, wider tyres improve comfort potential.

    If you didn't want to spend £600+ on a hybrid, http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/h ... -20-frames Voodoo Marasa is a great bang for the buck starter bike. It will take 50mm tyres, but it's ~13Kg (a more typical hybrid bike weight) and lacks a carbon fork.

    If I was buying a commuter now, it would almost certainly be the Hybrid Pro, but I do like http://www.wiggle.co.uk/charge-plug-gri ... road-bike/ (which could be converted to a multi-gear bike)
    ================
    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • weezyswissweezyswiss Posts: 123
    I hated the wide bars on a Hybrid when I last had one. This time round my N+1 became a Merida 500 CX from fleebay. Seems to have hardly been used, over half price as of new and still needs disks bedding in. There are some bargains out there to be had!!
  • I own the Boardman Hybrid Pro in the link in the original post. The only difference is mine is the old black/platinum colour scheme, it's exactly the same bike other than that.

    The Hybrid Pro is an excellent commuter bike. It's very light, comfortable and fast. Personally I like the riding position and feeling of control given from flat handle bars over drop bars. The Hybrid Pro is more like a flat bar road bike than a true hybrid. The tyres are road specific and the 44t chainring make it easy to carry a very respectable crusing speed. I regularly average between 16 - 18 mph on my Hybrid Pro depending on the wind and traffic. I don't think I'd be much quicker (if at all) on a drop bar cross bike.

    If you want to ride a more off road type route to work the Hybrid Pro might be a touch harsh of a ride and the tyres will not provide any grip on grass or in mud. Saying that it's great on gravel tracks.

    The 1x gearing is excellent with a good spread of gears and I always find a consistent cadence with it on the road. I fully recommend it.
  • flat bar bike is easier to ride first time after a long time away but eventually you will realise that there are very good reasons why most people on long commutes have a drop bar bike. cx every time for 10 miles, faster, narrower bars for traffic, more hand positions, no need for suspension forks, more secure on the drops. And you could cyclocross race with it! or do a 100 mile road ride which would be dreadful on a flat bar bike. You sit more upright on a drop bar bike with your hands on the tops than spread out on a flat bar, catching the wind. Drop bar is more comfortable because your hands are not fixed in pronation, you can move them around.
    But really so long as you're riding then that's the main thing. 10 miles is a great work out.
  • milemuncher1milemuncher1 Posts: 1,472
    I’ve got a couple of Hybrids, and a few road bikes, and a mountain bike. The Hybrids work better than the road bikes on routes that are mostly canal path / cycle path / Park / trail in nature, and the road bikes are far more appropriate for rides that are road biased, or longer / hillier routes. The MTB is for very rough / XC rides. I had a ‘gravel / adventure’ bike for a short while, but it was too much a ‘jack of all trades, master of none’ for my liking. It didn’t do either type of ride well, and was marginally better than a road bike on the rougher stuff, so I sold it. A CX bike, really is only worth it now, if you are riding CX events, and you need the ‘quirks’ of a dedicated CX bike, that won’t be found on a ‘gravel/ adventure’ bike, which are a better compromise than a full on CX bike. My rough stuff / short ride bike is a Boardman MX Comp, and has been a very good servant for rough / short / commute type rides.

    http://www.halfords.com/cycling/bikes/h ... 4cm-frames
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    Just to buck the trends, I've been using a Hybrid for 9 years, commute is between 7 and 9 miles depending on route and am more than happy to stay on it/

    My Hybrid is fairly light (sub 9kg before adding rack and guards) and I have low set bars (about the height of the hoods on a drop barred bike), I prefer the control from wider bars but am using some older XC width 580mm bars so not silly wide like some modern mountain bikes. Can easily hold 15+mph (running on 28mm road tyres) and have clocked 30mph on a pretty much flat (slightest of downhill gradient) road when in the mood.
  • A friend of mine has the (female) Arkose 2 and absolutely loves it. It's a great "do it all" bike - endurance road style geometry, but with the clearance for nice big comfy tyres, full rack and mudguard mounts, hydraulic discs etc.

    If I had to get a new commuter bike today it's the one I'd go buy.
  • karlmcrkarlmcr Posts: 16
    I was in a similar enough situation a few years ago.

    I opted for hybrid, as I had only used mountain bikes when I was young so wasn't too different. Loved Loved loved it.
    This got nicked from my rear garden, so I got a road bike as I was going to be storing it indoors, and the width of the handlebars was an issue in the hallway.

    I hated the road bike, 23mm wheels were too narrow for my commute, felt every bump & wasn't enjoying it at all. So many punctures. The new position was fine for me, but I never use the drop bars. Gear levers needed a bit of getting used to though.

    I'm currently on a CX bike & its a real problem solver for me ... Can be stored in the hallway & the 35mm wheels can definitely handle my commute.


    Given the option, I would stay with a CX next, rather than a Hybrid. The narrow handlebars are much better when traffic filtering too.
  • My commute use to be 10 miles and I did that on a road bike. Couldn't imagine doing it and being able to enjoy it on a hybrid.

    My commute is now 16.5 miles and I do that on a cyclocross bike (CAADX). Very good as a commuter, disc brakes are fantastic in all weather, the bike feels sturdy and less twitchy than my road bike and the bigger volume tyres make it comfortable too.

    As someone above has mentioned you get more hand positions to use on drop bars, it's quicker and with the bike not being as wide it's easier when riding in traffic too. Plus with a cyclocross bike if you do choose to go off-road it will be very capable too on the right terrain.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    If you get the right bike from either camp and set it up the same, there is really no difference between the two outside of competition - it just comes down to personal preference. And anyone who tells you otherwise is ill informed.

    Yes you get several hand positions on drop bars, but most people use one of them 80-90% of the time. You get multiple hand positions on flat bars with bar ends too but you will likely use the main ones maybe 60%/40%.

    Drop bars tend to be narrower yes - but flat bars can be cut to that width too if you really want that. Many people actually hold the wider bars up as better around traffic because they give you more leverage and they also make the bike more stable, but yes they might restrict you from going through the narrowest of gaps.

    Most of the bias against hybrids stems from the fact that it is such a broad spectrum of bikes lumped in together - people often tried a heavy hybrid with suspension forks and a very upright position before buying a 'serious bike' with drop bars and somehow dont realise that some hybrids are really just the same as the drop bar bike they bought but with flat bars. The Specialized you link to would fall into the category that puts people off long rides but the Boardman would be excellent - the suspension on the Specialized wont be that good and is very heavy - better to fit wider tyres on a lighter bike with carbon forks and run them at lower pressures.

    I have ridden 100+ miles per day for a week on a boardman hybrid and loved every moment, feeling fresh and comfortable at the end. I have done the same on a road bike with drop bars too. I am on the drop bars at the moment because I got them to replace my boardman after an arguement with a minibus and the new bike is great - technically far better because its full carbon and cost three times as much as the boardman but I actually had a little more fun on that hybrid and still kinda miss it. Climbing on the bar ends on the hybrid was actually much better than the drop bars I have now but steep descents are better in the drops as its easier to get a lower CoG.
  • The RookieThe Rookie Posts: 27,748
    apreading wrote:
    people often tried a heavy hybrid with suspension forks and a very upright position before buying a 'serious bike' with drop bars and somehow dont realise that some hybrids are really just the same as the drop bar bike they bought but with flat bars.
    Indeed, and Planet-X have done the London Road frame in flat and dropped configurations (currently only dropped available) with most the components exactly the same.
  • If you are cycling forty miles a week then you may want to eventually join a bunch or club to extend your range and enjoyment in which case you will really need drops to ride in a group.
  • matador86matador86 Posts: 2
    edited April 2018
    The reason I want a bike is primarily for fitness - I am into weightlifting, but figured I should find a bit of cardio to do as well. Biking sounds like a good choice since it can be fun and also may help tone my legs outside the gym. I will probably ride about once a week (or every other week, depending), and I have no desire to ride on the road (or more specifically, where there are cars). The type of riding I expect to do will probably be light trails and parks (probably a combination of paved and dirt roads). Speed is not important to me - I do not plan on racing or riding for very long distances.
    ____________________
    ShowBoxVidMateMobdro
  • greenamex2greenamex2 Posts: 272
    matador86 wrote:
    The reason I want a bike is primarily for fitness - I am into weightlifting, but figured I should find a bit of cardio to do as well. Biking sounds like a good choice since it can be fun and also may help tone my legs outside the gym. I will probably ride about once a week (or every other week, depending), and I have no desire to ride on the road (or more specifically, where there are cars). The type of riding I expect to do will probably be light trails and parks (probably a combination of paved and dirt roads). Speed is not important to me - I do not plan on racing or riding for very long distances.

    For this type of riding I tend to use my hybrid. Front suspension, hard tail, disc brakes...perfect for light off road. Just got back from the first ride with the dog....tow paths and across fields at around 10MPH, great fun.
  • apreadingapreading Posts: 4,532
    I riding a bike purely for fitness then, arguably, the heavier the bike the better as it will get you fitter...!

    For what you describe, pretty much any bike that will take reasonably large tyres and/or have front suspension sounds like they should be fine. You dont say how long for/how far you are thinking of cycling on this weekly ride though - it could be half a mile or 20 miles, we dont know. If its at the longer end of this then make sure the bike is the right size for you, set up properly with saddle/bar height etc and the saddle is right for the shape of your bum. But dont judge a saddle for the first few weeks as your bum will ache until it get used to sittling on a saddle and toughens up a bit. Do NOT buy a gel cover for a saddle thinking it will make it more comfortable - if you dont get on with the saddle you have, try another one - something like the Charge Spoon might be a good start as it is cheap and lots of people find it comfy. Just remember that soft doesnt = comfy over long periods - a hard saddle that fits you will be better than a really soft one any day.
  • edited January 2020
    A cyclocross bike shares some features with road bikes, making them primarily a ride for pavement. A hybrid model has some elements of a racing steed along with a mountain bike. ... Tires in a hybrid lean toward the wider side unlike that of the cyclocross unless it's designed for off-road racing https://get-shareit.com
    https://get-vidmateapk.com
  • LongshotLongshot Posts: 935
    The answers above highlight the point that this is a very subjective question and there is actually no right answer in that sense.

    I bought a hybrid bike when I got back into cycling - a Specialized Sirrus with 28mm tyres and far more road-y than many other hybrids. I did the original RideLondon 100 on it with no issues and commuted 25 miles at a time on it again in plenty of comfort and at a decent pace (for me). I dropped the bars a bit and put the saddle up to get a slightly more aggressive position.

    After a year I'd switched to a road bike and have never looked back.

    Have you ridden a drop bar bike at all in recent years? I would definitely do that just to make sure you're happy with the position - some people don't feel comfortable with it. Other than that, I would look at gravel or all-round bikes as they are suitable for a mix of riding and surfaces. Someone mentioned the Planet X London Road - I recently bought the drop bar version for some touring and light gravel use - it's a really good bike for the money.
    You can fool some of the people all of the time. Concentrate on those people.
  • singletonsingleton Posts: 1,961
    Lots of opinions - but for me I'd get a CX bike. In fact, I've got a CX bike.
    I went for a Cube Cross race pro, about £1k with 105 and hydraulic discs. I have road tyres and full mudguards fitted and it's ace.
    Not as quick as my Tarmac full road bike, but more comfy and great for winter etc.
  • A cyclocross bike shares some features with road bikes, making them primarily a ride for pavement. A hybrid model has some elements of a racing steed along with a mountain bike. ... Tires in a hybrid lean toward the wider side unlike that of the cyclocross unless it's designed for off-road racing

    When choosing between the two, it boils down to decisions between comfort, aerodynamics, and versatility. Other factors to consider are stability and maneuverability. It’s safe to say that the lines are blurred between the two.

    The specs offer an excellent way to see how the design affects your ride. Answering these basic questions will guide you toward the best bike for you. 9apps cartoon hd
  • My daughter has switched from a hardtail hybrid (Trek DS) to a "fitness" hybrid (old Trek FX). By swapping some bits around we have got it down to 4.5Kg+ lighter than her old bike. Still a little heavier than my road bike (err...before it got most of the decent bits robbed off it) but much faster and better on the road than her old hardtail. A pretty good compromise.

    Her average speed is up from 10.5MPH to about 12MPH. Partly down to the weight but also "aero" and rolling resistance.
  • edited January 2020
    Flat bar for commutes
  • I am currently riding a rigid mountain bike with a crate on it to/from work. I own a road bike and feel like the ride is a little stiff for the commute. Our roads are less than perfect and we don't have bike lanes on my commute.

    I have tires on my mtb that are smooth in the center and knobby on the outside so I have an advantage there.

    I like the maneuverability of the mountain bike and somehow feel more visible on it. (Maybe because I am riding a tank and because I am really familiar with the mtb - I've had it since around 2003.)

    It is just me, or do others feel meh about hybrids? It seems a reasonable way to go but I might want something a little more durable than a hybrid for commuting. I've been thinking about the cyclocross bikes but I really like the upright stance of the mtb and I like the straight bar.

    I have not ridden either a cyclocross or a touring bike. Touring bikes look pretty classy moving through town with fenders and bags... a lot nicer than a mtb with a milk crate sitting on a rack. However, looks aren't most important for me. I would like to commute to work more efficiently, might like tires with a little less drag than the mtb smooth/knobby tires, and maybe some panniers instead of a milk crate.

    Has anyone else had this dilemma? If so, which want/desire outweighed the other and how did you ultimately decide what you wanted to commute with? What was your highest priority?
  • How far is your commute?

    For me personally I if carrying a big load all the time then I'd look into getting some panniers and stick with the MTB as it seems to work well for you other than the milk crate.

    I've commuted on MTB's, Cross Bikes and Road bikes over the years and must admit I do prefer the Cross/Road bike but wouldn't want to with a heavy load.

    What type of loads are you carrying too? As you could always look at the massive under the saddle bags that ae popular in the bike packing scene and a bag for your handlebars maybe?
Sign In or Register to comment.