Newbie - Flat Bar or Hybrid

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Newbie - Flat Bar or Hybrid

Postby hoich » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:12 am

Hi,

I am looking at buying a new bike as my current bike is a cheap one. I only ride on bike paths and the road and I am trying to decide between 2 bikes as I don't have a lot of money to spend. The bikes I am looking at are:

Apollo Fiamme and GT Timberline.

Which would people recommend.

I when I go riding on my cheap mountain bike I normally ride between 40 to 60km each time.

Thanks,

Michael
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by BNA » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:23 am

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Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:23 am

Hi Michael

Welcome to the forums. Personally, given the distances you have indicated you ride, I would go with the flat bar over the hybrid as it will be faster and just that bit better in the into the wind, designed more for commuting (its called a hybrid for a reason) and normally with 28 mm tyres is still sort of comfortable. However I suspect that the suggestion will be to go with a low end road bike, maybe with a more relaxed feel to it.

Search the forums. Lots of advice on this very topic.

BTW does the flat bar you are considering have carbon forks? Carbon seat post? This makes a difference too.

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Postby sogood » Tue Sep 04, 2007 9:40 am

CF fork is worthwhile. As for CF seatpost, well, it'll be more trouble than it's worth unless one needs the bling to make it consistent with a CF frame. Troubles include cost, risk of clamp damage, stress damage, marginal weight benefit and tiny to imperceptible ride difference. Importantly, it most likely won't fit into OP's budget range or the money is much better spent on other components.
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Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:20 am

sogood wrote:Troubles include cost, risk of clamp damage, stress damage, marginal weight benefit and tiny to imperceptible ride difference.

Well I can only comment on my experience. It came with the bike so "cost" was part of the bike and given the cost of the bike compared to other models in the price range it was the best package on offer at the time that I was aware of.

So far I have had no trouble with same, no clamp damage, no stress damage and as to ride difference, I find it comfortable. Maybe it is not worth it, I don't know, but given it came as part of the package I am not throwing it out.

Furthermore my biggest problem has been a Shimano component not the seat post.

Of course YMMV.

Also I asked the question given that the OP was comparing a hybrid against a flatbar, therefore components such as carbon forks and maybe a carbon seat post may come into play unless the tires on the flat bar being considered are say 32 mm. So given the OP's focus I consider my question quite relevant. Of course it maybe outside the price range at the moment, which again can be relevant as so often it has been suggested by others whom I respect for their advice to hold off buying a new bike until one can afford to purchase a better spec of bike.

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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:23 am

Hi Michael,

Probably the flat bar would be more suitable for the bike paths you are riding on. But it really depends on the riders personal preference.

Bike paths tend to be a bit more bumpy than the road, so you would benefit from the carbon forks giving a smoother ride and 28mm are typically a favorite for bike paths.

Couple of questions;
- Where do you live
- How much do you weigh
- How fast do you ride on your current bike
- What are your fitness goals
- What are your local bike paths like and how crowed are they with walkers, dogs etc

Cheers, Michael.
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Postby europa » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:39 am

Have a look at the Felt range - Dave rides a Felt flat bar that is a delightful piece of machinery.

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Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:51 am

mikesbytes wrote:Bike paths tend to be a bit more bumpy than the road, so you would benefit from the carbon forks giving a smoother ride and 28mm are typically a favorite for bike paths.

Oh yeah, well at least going by some of the bike paths I ride on .... vibration hell :)

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Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:52 am

europa wrote:Have a look at the Felt range - Dave rides a Felt flat bar that is a delightful piece of machinery.

Richard suggesting a flat bar! Is the sun shinning? :lol:

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Postby hoich » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:53 am

Hi Michael,

I live in Northern suburbs of Melbourne. I current weigh about 97 kg. My fitness goal is to loss weight before I get married in September next year.

When I ride I normally average about 20 km/h for the enitre ride and as I ride early in the morning the bike paths aren't that busy.

Thanks,

Michael
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Postby sogood » Tue Sep 04, 2007 10:54 am

Aushiker wrote:Well I can only comment on my experience...

That's a better qualification.

Given,
1) OP's tight budget,
2) Well known knowledge that CF seat posts are more prone to damage than alloy,
3) CF is significantly more expensive than alloy.
4) Lack of consistency in the reporting of CF seat post benefits.

OP is much better advised to invest the limited fund on a CF fork and other well acknowledged components or accessories than a CF seat post.
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Postby Aushiker » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:13 am

sogood wrote:
Aushiker wrote:Well I can only comment on my experience...

That's a better qualification.

I am impressed. I said something right :roll:

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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 04, 2007 11:40 am

hoich wrote:Hi Michael,

I live in Northern suburbs of Melbourne. I current weigh about 97 kg. My fitness goal is to loss weight before I get married in September next year.

When I ride I normally average about 20 km/h for the enitre ride and as I ride early in the morning the bike paths aren't that busy.

Thanks,

Michael


Flat bar fitted with 28mm tyres should be fine. At a guess average speed would go up about 3kph over your mountain bike.

Enjoy your riding.
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Postby Dave A » Tue Sep 04, 2007 12:50 pm

europa wrote:Have a look at the Felt range - Dave rides a Felt flat bar that is a delightful piece of machinery.


Right on Richard :D

I think a hybrid is ideal for the urban cyclist, and ill bang on about this all day, unfortunately really good hybrids ( not comfort bikes ) are thin on the ground.
The Felts are the best ive seen, and i cant believe how good they are for the money.

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http://www.southcottcycles.com.au/southcott/?id=news
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Postby rider06 » Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:36 pm

As far as the flat bar roadie's go, I have a Giant CRX 4, giant's base model which cost me about $550 - which came with alloy forks & suspension seatpost (changed the seatpost for an fsa carbon one - also changed shifters, derailleur, brake levers, cassette but that's another story). I am over 100kg and ride with the tyres at 120psi and don't notice the bumps much at all - riding on bike paths in homebush in sydney which have tree roots growing under them. Have had no problems with the seatpost having used it for 6 months, but i did install it with some torque gel (which means you don't have to have the clamp as tight). Best advice is to spend as much time as possible looking around and ride anything and everything you can. I will admit, though having had this bike for about 8 months am now thinking of switching over to a 'proper' road bike :oops:
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Postby sogood » Tue Sep 04, 2007 1:44 pm

How do you define hybrid? My experience suggests that people use it quite widely to cover a myriad of styles that sits b/n road and MTB bikes. So that "flat bar road bike" seemed to be a subset of this hybrid group. At least that seemed to be how a lot of people use the term.

So does a hybrid necessarily have to have front shocks?
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Postby MJF » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:28 pm

Hybrid pretty much means road bike rims (700C) but with MTB running gear and frame. The current range of hybrids seem to come with locking front suspension as well.
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Postby sogood » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:31 pm

MJF wrote:Hybrid pretty much means road bike rims (700C) but with MTB running gear and frame. The current range of hybrids seem to come with locking front suspension as well.

That's the problem, "pretty much" implies that this is not a hard definition and is subject to interpretation and variation.
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:32 pm

sogood wrote:How do you define hybrid?

A bike with an identity crisis? :lol:
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Postby sogood » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:36 pm

Kalgrm wrote:A bike with an identity crisis? :lol:

Leads to irrational behaviours on the road. :shock:
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:41 pm

sogood wrote:Leads to irrational behaviours on the road. :shock:
... or off the road, as the case may be ....
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Postby MJF » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:47 pm

Sheldon Brown has a defn for Hybrid bicycles here. And, no, I didn't read this before my previous post - and it mentions a major sin with my bike, that being that the bottom bracket is up too high. The seat post in the metro is way up for correct leg geometry, but I can only just stand over the top tube.

Edit : grammatical correction.
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Postby sogood » Tue Sep 04, 2007 2:50 pm

Interesting SB is using touring bike at the other end of the scale.
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Postby Kalgrm » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:00 pm

sogood wrote:Interesting SB is using touring bike at the other end of the scale.


Makes sense to me, but my vision of a hybrid bike is NOT a flat bar road bike. For me, that's another type of bike altogether. Hybrids offer a riding position more akin to the upright riding position of a touring bike but without the utility offered by tourers. This forum is the only place I've seen flat-bar roadies referred to as hybrids.

For me, hybrids are those very upright bikes you see newbies or older people getting around on. They are also called "comfort bikes" by some. They usually have cheap, heavy suspension forks, a cheap and nasty suspension seat post and wide saddles. That's in addition to the wide knobby tyres and the high BB SB was referring to. Basically, a hybrid is a bike that's not good at anything in particular - too slow for commuting, not built for off-road use and too ungainly for touring.

They are comfortable for newbies though .....

Cheers,
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Postby mikesbytes » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:07 pm

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Postby MJF » Tue Sep 04, 2007 3:13 pm

Kalgrm wrote:Basically, a hybrid is a bike that's not good at anything in particular - too slow for commuting, not built for off-road use and too ungainly for touring.

They are comfortable for newbies though .....

Cheers,
Graeme


Oi! I don't pick on your bike...
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