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Hi all I am new to the site. Hello. I currently ride a careers subway 2 hybrid and to fair I have had no problems whilst commuting to work on it. But I want to start to take riding a little more seriously with regards to fitness and weight loss. So here is the deal would I be better moving to a road bike? I ask because I will be starting some longer rides soon 20 klm plus at times.

Any helpful advice would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance

Mark

43 comments

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Argos74 [369 posts] 1 year ago
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20 kilometres... that's like 16 miles! Your current bike will do you fine for commuting, utility riding and even day long excursions into the countryside. People have ridden round the world on bikes like this. And I still keep up with and drop roadies on mine. Nothing stopping you from getting fit, losing weight and having oodles of fun on a hybrid.

Road bikes come into their own when you want to ride a bit quicker, and a bit further. The riding position's a bit more aerodynamically efficient, and you can switch hand positions around to give your arms a bit of a rest. On the downside, the brake position can take a bit of getting used to, and you may find a road bike slightly less agile or easy to maneuvre.

Where to start? Depending on how much you want to spend, heading back to Halfords for one of the Boardman road bikes isn't a bad idea. The Decathlon Triban bikes are also very good value. Or if you want to splash out the cash, work out what kind of riding you want to do, how far, where and so on, and do a lot more research, and asking around in your local bike shops. There's some very good guides in the Buyer's Guide bit of this site.

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bellowsface [7 posts] 1 year ago
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Thank you for the info.

So for now I think then carry on with the hybrid for now, I may upgrade the pedals then because I can always transfer those to any new bike I purchased. At the moment I ride alone but there is talk of a group of people starting a group ride at a weekend from my workplace. All of them are road bikers I was just a bit worried about keeping up with them.

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Jahmoo [22 posts] 1 year ago
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I have just changed back to a Road bike after 6yrs in the saddle of a Hybrid. Reason for me is so I can go faster and longer and have a bit more fun, working so far, keeping the hybrid for winter rides. Lower back issue forced me on the Hybrid in the first place.

I have pushed my speed from 13mph average to 16mph in a handful of rides, this going the same distance as my Hybrid, though I had become bored of this and have not really been out much, 3-5 times a month till now.

I am enjoying the road bike again, as did so in early days, so I had missed it, maybe hire a road bike for the weekend, or some LBS have demo's you can try, cost but if you decide to buy, that money is deducted of the purchase.

Give it a try and then you will know for sure...

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Matt eaton [733 posts] 1 year ago
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Road bikes are awesome - for the road. The thing to bear in mind is that they don't really do anything else particuarally well. I'd advise having a think about what you use your hybrid for and where you ride it. Gravel tracks, canal towpaths, byways with poor surfaces: all things that a hydrid handles with ease but where a roadbike is uncomfortable and possibly prone to damage. With the exception of these new 'all-road' bikes they really are only for the road. For commuting it's nice to be able to fit full mudguards too.

I always think that cyclocross bikes (the all-rounders with mudguard and bottle cage mounts) offer a really good compromise but in honesty I'd be inclined to advise that you keep on with your hybrid until you get the distance up a bit further, perhaps 40 miles or so, and then think about what your really want.

Edit - on the other hand, if shiny new stead is going to motivate you to put the miles in and get fitter then maybe it's a good investment, but perhaps some nice shoes and pedals would give you some extra drive anyway.

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Daveyraveygravey [365 posts] 1 year ago
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I'd be tempted to dabble on ebay and get a secondhand specialised or Trek. You'll soon know if a road bike is for you; if it is it will be ok for a year or two while you get fitter and learn more about what you want from your next bike, and will be easy to sell on, and if it isn't it will be easy to sell.

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bamilton wackad... [64 posts] 1 year ago
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Switching from a hybrid to road bike is an eye opener. You need to put in a bit of time and miles to get used to the change - but when you do, it's seriously rewarding. When I switched, I started riding distances and speeds I never would have considered on my old hybrid, which weighed a ton.

I agree with the sentiments above - a cyclocross bike could be the best transition for you. They do tend to cost a bit more, but it's sale season so keep your eye open and you might get a bargain.

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bellowsface [7 posts] 1 year ago
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Thank you all for the advice. Some good points made, I will be putting the miles in on the hybrid for now saving my pennies and keep watching eBay. Plus if I wait a couple of months it will give me time to see how dedicated to a more intense training programme I actually am. We all start off determined but I've noticed the enthusiasm can fall by the wayside when it rains a bit or its cold.

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Shades [285 posts] 1 year ago
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Have 2 bikes (road and hybrid), or perhaps one CX bike as a compromise. I have an old hybrid with mudguards, rack etc and a road bike. The road bike is for sportives, fitness and a bit of dry summer commuting. Winter, rain etc; out comes the hybrid. I have a 17 mile commute and after logging stacks of rides on both the hybrid and road bike, the difference between the average times is only 10 min. The middle section of the ride has minimal stops (lights, traffic etc) and that's where the road bike makes up the time over the hybrid. If it was half the distance, or there were stopping points throughout the whole ride, there wouldn't be much in it (bit of 'tortoise and hare'). I've often thought about changing the hybrid for a CX bike but by the time you've added mudguards, rack and a D lock, it isn't going to save a significant time over the hybrid and, being a new bike, will be more 'nickable'.

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Matt eaton [733 posts] 1 year ago
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bellowsface wrote:

Thank you all for the advice. Some good points made, I will be putting the miles in on the hybrid for now saving my pennies and keep watching eBay. Plus if I wait a couple of months it will give me time to see how dedicated to a more intense training programme I actually am. We all start off determined but I've noticed the enthusiasm can fall by the wayside when it rains a bit or its cold.

You've kinda made a very good point yourself. Keeping motivated through the winter requires, in my opinion, a bit of extra kit to keep comforatable. Tights, jacket, mudguards, lights, gloves etc. You might even want an indoor trainer, although they're pretty boring (great for interval training though).

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MKultra [394 posts] 1 year ago
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Arm your self with a decent set of 1.25 slicks and a track pump to keep them inflated at the right PSI, swap the risers for flats and bar ends and maybe invest in Shimano SPD pedals and a pair of shoes. This will make a world of difference.

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bellowsface [7 posts] 1 year ago
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Hopefully I will have SPD pedals by weekend. Not too sure about flat bars. Do you mean change my standard bars for flat ones to alter my ride position? Sorry I am a noob to the terminology

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cbrookes75 [30 posts] 1 year ago
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One difference I found was upping the pressure from about 55 PSI to about 75 PSI (tyre said 85 PSI max) made a massive difference to my performance, either that or I have gotten much fitter in the 1000 Km or so I have done since buying my first bike in about 17 years. I too have a carrera "hybrid" and am thinking will a road bike make me faster? The general concensus is yes you will be faster from everyone I have asked! SPD pedals also made a big difference to riding confidence, until my chain came off, I ground to a halt and the bike went wheeeeee over to the side with me on it! No harm done on a quiet back road! Apart from my cheap iphone bracket and annoying bar end mirror, they bought it in the crash!

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BBB [295 posts] 1 year ago
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Any bike (even a rigid MTB) with fast rolling tyres (not necessary narrow ones) and slammed stem will be as "fast" as a road bike, but drop bars are more comfortable on longer rides. Another vote on a CX bike.

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MKultra [394 posts] 1 year ago
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bellowsface wrote:

Hopefully I will have SPD pedals by weekend. Not too sure about flat bars. Do you mean change my standard bars for flat ones to alter my ride position? Sorry I am a noob to the terminology

Flat bars will lower your position slightly, you can alter this even more by swapping stem spacers around or even inverting the stem, it's up to you how far you go but as time goes on you will probably get used to being a bit more stretched out. It still won't be too radical a riding position. Bar ends add another hand position which is far better for climbing or cruising than simple riser bars.

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Binky [116 posts] 1 year ago
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You need a new bike.

Everyone knows that new bikes have magical powers that give the rider
a energy boost, enables them to travel further and faster than ever before, and make them look darn awesome to bystanders.

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CXR94Di2 [1021 posts] 1 year ago
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I have a kona mtb to which I fitted wide road tyres and used it for a year a put 1500 miles on it. I used it for off and on road. With a maximum of 68 miles in one outing. I then purchased a Boardman CXR9.4DI2 fitted it with initially 32mm road tyres, did my first 100 mile sportive this April. Lately I fitted 25mm durano tyres adjusted the stem(neck injury recovery) and did two more 100 mile sportives.

My Kona I average about 15mph, my boardman I average 17.5mph over sportive distance. I like the way I can have a highish average (for me) on my Boardman. I still enjoy 50 milers on my Kona mainly off road though these days.

You need two bikes.

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timtak [46 posts] 1 year ago
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I went from hybrid to road bike and lost 15kg (2 stone 5 pounds) in weight and counting.

There were a lot of factors.

Aerodynamics are better but as people say above, this can be achieved on your hybrid if you remove the spacers from under your stem, flip your stem so that it is downwards angled, get a stem that is more angled and point it downwards, (and as not yet mentioned) get some aerobars
e.g.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/triathlon-aero-bars-handlebar-extensions/dp/B000...
but I prefer
http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBCISPIN/cinelli-spinaci-bar-extensions
and get a longer stem perhaps (good for most other than downhill and being too strung out. When you look down your handlebars should obscure your front wheel axle), cut of 1/2 inch or so from each end of your handlebars so that your bars a little narrower than your shoulders or at least no wider, and get lycra on your legs.

The SPD pedals will make a difference too. Try not to fall off -unclip when you slow down even if you do not intend to stop. Shoes with a hard sole (ideally carbon) and a ratchet to pull your heal into a cup improve power transer.

And I upvote thin slick tyres and at least higher tyre pressure for reduced rolling resistance. Tyres are not the place to get a softer ride.

A hollow saddle (SPD Selle, Cobb, Ism) takes pressure off your perineum - the soft bit in your crotch. This is important when you are heavy and yet want to get forward and lower.

With your lowered more aero position, putting weight on your hands, bike gloves are a must.

But I think that the biggest difference for me was that my hybrid bike was made of aluminium and my road bike is made of carbon. Bike shops and this web site seem to suggest that the difference between aluminum and carbon is that the latter is lighter, but for me that was irrelevant. I was carrying two bikes worth of flab. The important point about carbon is suspension. When you are heavy then suspension is important. It was the choclately smooth flexibility of the carbon frame that made me want to ride and lose all that weight.

If you look at cyclists on the road you will notice that there are a lot of people (half?!) that are on mountain bikes. Do they ride trails? I guess few of them do. I used to think that they were wallies who liked the macho look of big tyres. But then I tried a mountain bike and got it. Mountain bikes with their big tyres and shock absorbers provide suspension too.

I am not sugesting you get a mountain bike (unless you are more than about 4 stone overweight) but a carbon bike will provide the suspension, and be lighter than your hybrid.

Finally, unless you are rich, I would recommend you stay away from local bike shops, who generally sell expensive famous named bikes, and get an unfamous carbon road bike online e.g. from Ribble, in your current hybrid bike size. When purchasing a carbon road bike (with Shimano Tiagra or pref Shimano 105 or above parts) the price differential can be pretty enourmous. When I decided to get back into cycling I wasted about a year and 1200 UKB on another harsh aluminium hybrid while being flattered and wowed by lBS jaron.

If you are mechanically minded you could swap your hybrid bike frame for a carbon frame, and even put road bike handlebars on in. You can get carbon frames from about 250UKP online.

PS
I see that your bike is well reviewed
http://reviews.halfords.com/4028/960138/reviews.htm
And if it is the "commuter" version it has an adjustable stem. As well as slamming (removing the spacers from below the stem to above the stem) try adjusting the stem so that it points downwards.

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bellowsface [7 posts] 1 year ago
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Still waiting for my SPD's to get here

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ydrol [44 posts] 1 year ago
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I too have the Carrera 2 subway(£150 off fleabay) - it's a good commuter bike. I put SPD, ChargeSpoon saddle and Schwalbe Kojaks on and it rolls quite fast on the flats and downhill. I'm 5'10" currently 232 lbs / 105 kg. So I'm a bit of a clydesdale. And the bike is not the lightest in the world. The ride is silky smooth on the tyres, which is good because I have lower back problems so like to keep shock to a minimum.

I will treat myself to a 2nd hand CycloCross bike when I lose another 14 lbs. and throw some wide slicks on it (looking to spend £300-400 on something originally priced around the £1K mark and has been well looked after).

I'm hoping that when I do I will get maybe 1-2 mph increase for the same effort.
although if I change bike now I might get some positive re-inforcement from going a bit quicker, and thus ride harder. It is a bit of a drag being last up the hills in my cycle club, but I suspect my weight is more of a factor than the bikes weight. But every little bit helps! Decisions decisions ....

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cbrookes75 [30 posts] 1 year ago
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Having just bought a road bike, a Specialized Roubaix Triple to run alongside my Carrera Crossfire 2, I can speak from personal experience and say it is a revelation! Whereas I used to be in the easiest gear possible on the hybrid, I look down at the Roubaix gears and think "yeah I still got plenty to go!!" apart from where I have just been this evening, where I dropped down to the 30:30 and still had to stop for three rests! At least I never walked as I did with the hybrid!! (I couldn't with my spd shoes on!) I am having great fun on Strava beating my previous hybrid based bests with the Roubaix, if you have gotten into cycling and am mildly competitive I think a road based platform is the only way to go! (IF you want to go faster)

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JeevesBath [155 posts] 1 year ago
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Just did a 60 mile sportive yesterday on a £500 Rapid 4 hybrid from Giant. Average speed was about 14 mph, which included quite a few uphill bits where I overtook some people on regular road bikes.
Unless you're obsessive about going as fast as you can at all times, I'd say a hybrid is just fine.

Avatar
MKultra [394 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
timtak wrote:

I went from hybrid to road bike and lost 15kg (2 stone 5 pounds) in weight and counting.

There were a lot of factors.

Aerodynamics are better but as people say above, this can be achieved on your hybrid if you remove the spacers from under your stem, flip your stem so that it is downwards angled, get a stem that is more angled and point it downwards, (and as not yet mentioned) get some aerobars
e.g.
http://www.amazon.co.uk/triathlon-aero-bars-handlebar-extensions/dp/B000...
but I prefer
http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/HBCISPIN/cinelli-spinaci-bar-extensions
and get a longer stem perhaps (good for most other than downhill and being too strung out. When you look down your handlebars should obscure your front wheel axle), cut of 1/2 inch or so from each end of your handlebars so that your bars a little narrower than your shoulders or at least no wider, and get lycra on your legs.

The SPD pedals will make a difference too. Try not to fall off -unclip when you slow down even if you do not intend to stop. Shoes with a hard sole (ideally carbon) and a ratchet to pull your heal into a cup improve power transer.

And I upvote thin slick tyres and at least higher tyre pressure for reduced rolling resistance. Tyres are not the place to get a softer ride.

A hollow saddle (SPD Selle, Cobb, Ism) takes pressure off your perineum - the soft bit in your crotch. This is important when you are heavy and yet want to get forward and lower.

With your lowered more aero position, putting weight on your hands, bike gloves are a must.

But I think that the biggest difference for me was that my hybrid bike was made of aluminium and my road bike is made of carbon. Bike shops and this web site seem to suggest that the difference between aluminum and carbon is that the latter is lighter, but for me that was irrelevant. I was carrying two bikes worth of flab. The important point about carbon is suspension. When you are heavy then suspension is important. It was the choclately smooth flexibility of the carbon frame that made me want to ride and lose all that weight.

If you look at cyclists on the road you will notice that there are a lot of people (half?!) that are on mountain bikes. Do they ride trails? I guess few of them do. I used to think that they were wallies who liked the macho look of big tyres. But then I tried a mountain bike and got it. Mountain bikes with their big tyres and shock absorbers provide suspension too.

I am not sugesting you get a mountain bike (unless you are more than about 4 stone overweight) but a carbon bike will provide the suspension, and be lighter than your hybrid.

Finally, unless you are rich, I would recommend you stay away from local bike shops, who generally sell expensive famous named bikes, and get an unfamous carbon road bike online e.g. from Ribble, in your current hybrid bike size. When purchasing a carbon road bike (with Shimano Tiagra or pref Shimano 105 or above parts) the price differential can be pretty enourmous. When I decided to get back into cycling I wasted about a year and 1200 UKB on another harsh aluminium hybrid while being flattered and wowed by lBS jaron.

If you are mechanically minded you could swap your hybrid bike frame for a carbon frame, and even put road bike handlebars on in. You can get carbon frames from about 250UKP online.

PS
I see that your bike is well reviewed
http://reviews.halfords.com/4028/960138/reviews.htm
And if it is the "commuter" version it has an adjustable stem. As well as slamming (removing the spacers from below the stem to above the stem) try adjusting the stem so that it points downwards.

You might struggle with that one as a Carrera Subway tends to use MTB/Treking components which are the wrong OLN, wheel size (26") and they use band on front mechs.

Unless you are suggesting a carbon MTB frame which will present problems with the suspension correction which tends to be based around a 100-150mm suspension fork these days.

Carbon is not the be all and end all and doesn't offer that magical leap in performance IMHO.

What could be done for rather less money is getting the wheels rebuilt on the same hub with 700c road rims. With 23mm tyres on they will slot straight into a 26" MTB frame, Cannondale in fact used to sell MTB's with two wheel sets at one stage.

I would also avoid drop bar conversions on what is a MTB frame as top tube length is always too great in comparison to a road frame with the same virtual top tube height.

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cbrookes75 [30 posts] 1 year ago
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JeevesBath wrote:

Just did a 60 mile sportive yesterday on a £500 Rapid 4 hybrid from Giant. Average speed was about 14 mph, which included quite a few uphill bits where I overtook some people on regular road bikes.
Unless you're obsessive about going as fast as you can at all times, I'd say a hybrid is just fine.

I see the Rapid 4 has a straight fork, whereas the Carrera hybrids generally have suspension forks, I assume this is where most the weight is added? Before getting a road bike I did contemplate replacing the Suspension fork with a normal one? Would that be possible?

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bellowsface [7 posts] 1 year ago
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Hi all. Some fantastic help from you all. I took the bike out for the first time with the SPD's on felt great just some minor adjustments to make.
My carerra doesn't have suspension forks.
Just ordered some of those aero bwrs

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JeevesBath [155 posts] 1 year ago
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cbrookes75 wrote:
JeevesBath wrote:

Just did a 60 mile sportive yesterday on a £500 Rapid 4 hybrid from Giant. Average speed was about 14 mph, which included quite a few uphill bits where I overtook some people on regular road bikes.
Unless you're obsessive about going as fast as you can at all times, I'd say a hybrid is just fine.

I see the Rapid 4 has a straight fork, whereas the Carrera hybrids generally have suspension forks, I assume this is where most the weight is added? Before getting a road bike I did contemplate replacing the Suspension fork with a normal one? Would that be possible?

I actually have both styles of hybrid, the Giant and also a Trek with suspension fork which I tend to use more for commuting and cycling with the kids etc. I am not technical enough to know if you can replace a suspension fork with straight fork, but have to say that the whole package between the two is completely different, not just the type of fork. The Giant Rapid is much more road oriented (imagine almost a low-end road bike with flat bars) in terms of frame and gearing, and the brakes are noticeably more effective.
Having said that, I use my Trek for the commute to work (15 miles each way) just fine.

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HalfWheeler [373 posts] 1 year ago
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The difference between cycling on a hybrid compared with cycling on a road bike is like the difference between running in a pair of Doc Martens and running in a pair of trainers.

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JeevesBath [155 posts] 1 year ago
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HalfWheeler wrote:

The difference between cycling on a hybrid compared with cycling on a road bike is like the difference between running in a pair of Doc Martens and running in a pair of trainers.

Fairly true, but I hate the false impression that people have to have the latest shiny kit in order to do something. If getting fit is your aim, then time on any bike is the important thing.

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BBB [295 posts] 1 year ago
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HalfWheeler wrote:

The difference between cycling on a hybrid compared with cycling on a road bike is like the difference between running in a pair of Doc Martens and running in a pair of trainers.

It's really all about tyres. A hybrid with GP4000s is more fun to ride than
any road bike with Marathon Pluses.
For anything other than racing and competitive fast clun runs road bikes are way overrated.

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edster99 [334 posts] 1 year ago
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BBB wrote:
HalfWheeler wrote:

The difference between cycling on a hybrid compared with cycling on a road bike is like the difference between running in a pair of Doc Martens and running in a pair of trainers.

It's really all about tyres. A hybrid with GP4000s is more fun to ride than
any road bike with Marathon Pluses.
For anything other than racing and competitive fast clun runs road bikes are way overrated.

Totally agree that tyres are the cheapest, most effective upgrade you can buy. I would suggest running tubulars but that might be a step too far right now.

Riding with a club would be a great idea though - you'll have access to a lot of people who'll be able to assist you, and the social side is good fun. Most clubs have a range of rides on a Sat/Sun for a range of abilities.

As someone said - if its fitness and weight loss you are after, its the amount of energy you burn cycling that matters, not the speed you do. A road bike makes it that little bit easier to work aerobically, which you'll be able to do for a more extended period than a very heavy bike that makes it more strength based, and will make you stop earlier. So I cant agree road bikes are overrated...

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Chris James [364 posts] 1 year ago
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BBB wrote:
HalfWheeler wrote:

The difference between cycling on a hybrid compared with cycling on a road bike is like the difference between running in a pair of Doc Martens and running in a pair of trainers.

It's really all about tyres. A hybrid with GP4000s is more fun to ride than
any road bike with Marathon Pluses.
For anything other than racing and competitive fast clun runs road bikes are way overrated.

I guess it depends what you are used to. I tend to the view that hybrids are pointless. I have ridden MTB blue routes on 25mm tyres on a steel winter road bike, and have done red routes on my cyclocross bike.

I have never owned a MTB but hired a hardtail in Mallorca. TBH the front suspension made a big difference going down rocky routes, but I find the handling of flat bars very strange and awkward.

My eldest lad (aged 8) has a Islabikes Beinn 24 and is usually around the podium in the Yorkshire cyclocross league, but got hammered out of sight in his sole appearance at the White Rose Track league. He was the only one who didn't have a road bike. I just pumped up his nobblies a bit. The upright position of a hybrid catches the wind badly at higher speeds, so makes it very difficult to go fast. (He now wants a bike with drop bars!)

I agree that tyres make the biggest difference, but most hybrids come with wide rims, and my (admittedly limited and historic) experience with narrow tyres on very wide rims wasn't great. To be fair that was before hooked rims, and I know the current fashion is for wider rims.

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