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Old 03-21-2017, 05:17 PM   #1
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Hybrid Bike Search

I am looking to replace my 30 year old heavy and not working very well bicycle with one of the new hybrid bikes that are designed for city streets, bike paths and some off street biking such as on gravel pathways.

The idea of having forks that absorb some of the shock of a bump or hole, and disk brakes and gears that shift easily and accurately is just to tempting.

What sources do you trust of information on bikes?
Any bikes you would recommend for what I listed above?
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:46 PM   #2
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I don't have disc brakes or a fork spring... but I love my hybrid. It is a Trek about five years old. I went from a 30 year old Schwinn Varsity 10 speed with hard narrow tires to a hybrid and couldn't be happier.
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Old 03-21-2017, 05:49 PM   #3
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We have 3 Trek bikes, and we ride them around the beach all the time. They are very comfortable and reasonably light weight. That's pretty much the only ones they sell around here, other than the Specialized brand, which are nice but a bit more expensive.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:03 PM   #4
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I have 2 trek hybrids and ride them on roads and paved /crushed stone trails. Dependable and comfortable.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:08 PM   #5
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I've had a Giant Sedona for a number of years and like it. The new ones don't seem to have disc brakes anymore, which is a feature that I like.
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Old 03-21-2017, 06:53 PM   #6
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I have a Trek hybrid that I use at the main house, mostly on paved or cinder paths. It does not have shock absorbers or disc brakes. At the mountain house, I ride a Trek mountain bike with shocks and disc brakes. I take that on gravel paths and trails through the woods (but not real serious single-tracking).

A hybrid is the right choice for the type of riding you mention. I don't think you need the shocks unless you plan to do a lot of riding on rough trails, in which case you'll want the fatter tires of a mountain bike. The disc brakes do supply more reliable stopping power, but are not really necessary on a hybrid.

Good bicycles are a pleasure to ride-- so much better than the cheapies from big box stores.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:23 PM   #7
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I'm not an expert, but I am somewhat knowledgeable. And besides running, my other passion is cycling. Within a given price range, you will do fine with any name-brand bike. This includes, Giant, Trek, Cannondale, Specialized.
I have a Specialized road bike, and a Cannondale hybrid. Once you know how much your budget is, check out a few different brands. First and foremost is fit and comfort.
I suggest you avoid the shock absorbing forks, unless you plan to do mountain biking. You just don't need that shock absorption on streets and bike paths, and they add unnecessary weight to the bike.
Check out bikeforums.net, and also bikeradar.com.
Finally, I strongly suggest you limit your shopping to bike shops. Avoid stores like Target or Walmart.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:53 PM   #8
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In the last few years the options for the type of bike you want have really exploded.

Sometimes they are called adventure bikes or gravel bikes. What they have in common is usually 1) disc brakes 2) a low bottom bracket and slack head tube angle to improve handling stability and comfort, and 3) clearance for wider than normal tires, and possibly fenders. Most of them do not have front suspension because, as mustang says, it isn't usually needed. I did quite a bit of research before settling on a Salsa. I love it. I would also recommend riding a few different brands - in addition to Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant there are dozens of smaller brands like Salsa that make great bikes. Just ask at your local bike shop, I'm sure you will find one you just love to ride.
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Old 03-21-2017, 07:54 PM   #9
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Good advice above from mystang52.
Suspension bikes are comfortable, but the extra weight gets old in a hurry. I rode a Marin full suspension for a while that weighed in at 33 lbs. I've since moved to a Specialized road bike.

Again, stay with name brands, and be sure the bike fits you. My daughter rides a Cannondale Quick hybrid and loves it. My granddaughter rides a youth size Giant. I once test rode a Trek FX 7.3 that was a slick riding bike. Hard to go wrong with any of those brands.
Visit some bike shops if possible. Do some test rides on various makes and models. If bike shops are few and far between, another option is REI. They're known to have a great return policy. They handle Cannondale among others and are fairly knowledgeable.

Best of luck.......
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:02 PM   #10
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hybird bike search

Try a recumbent bike or trike.
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Old 03-22-2017, 03:56 AM   #11
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Lots of good info at REI:
Bikes: How to Choose

I got a Ghost (German-made hybrid) last year at REI and I love it.
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Old 03-22-2017, 05:46 AM   #12
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Wide tires will give just about as much shock absorption as a shock fork without the weight and without the loss of forward energy absorbed by the shock. There are also suspended seat posts if you want more comfort. Also with saddles, less is more. The more contact area, the more pressure. Get a saddle that fits your sit bones and nothing more. Most important, get a bike that fits. Without the proper size, nothing will make the bike comfortable.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:22 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Persn View Post
In the last few years the options for the type of bike you want have really exploded.

Sometimes they are called adventure bikes or gravel bikes. What they have in common is usually 1) disc brakes 2) a low bottom bracket and slack head tube angle to improve handling stability and comfort, and 3) clearance for wider than normal tires, and possibly fenders. Most of them do not have front suspension because, as mustang says, it isn't usually needed. I did quite a bit of research before settling on a Salsa. I love it. I would also recommend riding a few different brands - in addition to Trek, Specialized, Cannondale and Giant there are dozens of smaller brands like Salsa that make great bikes. Just ask at your local bike shop, I'm sure you will find one you just love to ride.
This is what I have been hearing is the new "thing." About ten years ago I bought a cyclocross bike (these are still available) which is part way toward a gravel bike. Mine has 32mm tires compared to 25mm in many road bikes and 38mm or larger in gravel bikes. The main change I pay attention to is a move toward larger tires for everyday recreational riding. The rolling resistance isn't really much different than skinny tires but the ride is softer and can accommodate rough surfaces. The bikes will be a fair amount heavier than road bikes but, if you are just looking for recreational rides on varying surfaces you may be happier on wider tires. Try a few out at the local bike store to see what suits you.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:28 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by mystang52 View Post
I'm not an expert, but I am somewhat knowledgeable. And besides running, my other passion is cycling. Within a given price range, you will do fine with any name-brand bike. This includes, Giant, Trek, Cannondale, Specialized.
I have a Specialized road bike, and a Cannondale hybrid. Once you know how much your budget is, check out a few different brands. First and foremost is fit and comfort.
I suggest you avoid the shock absorbing forks, unless you plan to do mountain biking. You just don't need that shock absorption on streets and bike paths, and they add unnecessary weight to the bike.
Check out bikeforums.net, and also bikeradar.com.
Finally, I strongly suggest you limit your shopping to bike shops. Avoid stores like Target or Walmart.
As a long time and frequent cyclist, I think you have received some good advice. A local bike store (LBS) would be the place I would start. I am a Trek guy but the various brands mostly perform well.

Do not underestimate bike fit and the comfort of the saddle. One of the reasons for using an LBS vs. Wal-Mart is to get the best fit. I would focus more on reducing weight by selecting a frame that is light weight (but do not over pay for a gram here and there) and paying attention to the gearing vs the shocks, for example. Having said this, a steel frame with a wide base, like those used for touring, could be a comfort option. They keep you more upright and its longer wheel base takes bumps better. These bikes start at about $1,100 last I looked. Perhaps a bit expensive but safe bet you will not need another bike.

I have biked on/off road with 700/32 tires on my touring bike. Even with the extra weight, it made for a good ride. With the right tires, (I use Schwalbe Marathan Plus, you will not get a flat for thousands of miles.

Finally, think about the riding you may end up doing if you fall in love. Will you want fenders now or in the future? Will you want a rack to help you shop? If you have a flat, do you want quick release wheels (most upper end bikes come with them anyway), etc.

Good luck!
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:33 AM   #15
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This is what I have been hearing is the new "thing." About ten years ago I bought a cyclocross bike (these are still available) which is part way toward a gravel bike. Mine has 32mm tires compared to 25mm in many road bikes and 38mm or larger in gravel bikes. The main change I pay attention to is a move toward larger tires for everyday recreational riding. The rolling resistance isn't really much different than skinny tires but the ride is softer and can accommodate rough surfaces. The bikes will be a fair amount heavier than road bikes but, if you are just looking for recreational rides on varying surfaces you may be happier on wider tires. Try a few out at the local bike store to see what suits you.
Hehe. I am so old, that I remember when gravel bikes were called cross bikes. What's new is old, as they say.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:37 AM   #16
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I picked up biking again after 40+ years and knew next to nothing about what to buy other than was told not to buy something from Walmart. I went to a bike store and checked out Treks and Electra Townie's.... below is what I purchased. I've had it for over 2 years and it has been a great riding bike. I use it for street riding and paved biking trails that are mostly flat. Not sure how well it would perform on gravel. I believe Electra Townie's are now owned by Trek fwiw.

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Old 03-22-2017, 06:38 AM   #17
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We just freecycled a hybrid tool-around bike this week. Too many bikes in the garage and with the kids gone, no need to keep them around.

Craigslist is where one gets great bikes for a great price. You can buy 5 of them for price of a new bike at a LBS, so you can try out many if you want and sell the one's you mistakenly bought.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:42 AM   #18
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I picked up biking again after 40+ years and knew next to nothing about what to buy other than was told not to buy something from Walmart. I went to a bike store and checked out Treks and Electra Townie's.... below is what I purchased. I've had it for over 2 years and it has been a great riding bike. I use it for street riding and paved biking trails that are mostly flat. Not sure how well it would perform on gravel. I believe Electra Townie's are now owned by Trek fwiw.

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Back in the day, 10 years ago LOL, we 'd call that a cruiser or a beach bike.
The only issue with those is almost 100% of your weight is on your bum, which limits how long/far you can ride without discomfort. For shorter rides, they are fun though.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:47 AM   #19
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Back in the day, 10 years ago LOL, we 'd call that a cruiser or a beach bike.
The only issue with those is almost 100% of your weight is on you bum, which limits how long/far you can ride without discomfort. For shorter rides, they are fun though.
Yeah I would call it a cruiser type bike. I ride for around 2 hours a day when I'm at my condo. I'm there for a week at a time and my a$$ is ready for a break when I get home. Only use the golf cart around here.
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Old 03-22-2017, 06:48 AM   #20
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I traded in my Madone road bike for a Trek 7.3 FX last year, it's perfect for me. DW bought one a few weeks later. No disc brakes and no shock absorbing forks, I was going for simpler after my road bike. But you can buy an FX at almost any price point.
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