Fast comfortable hybrid

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robbo400
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:38 am

Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby robbo400 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:24 pm

Just joined, so apologies if I'm in the wrong section.

I am coming back to cycling as a 49 year old after a 7 year absence and a 15kg weight increase! I still have one of De Rosa's early aluminium frames with carbon fork but am too heavy and out of shape to do this beauty justice , at least for a while. Coupled with that, I'll now be riding with friends of similar pathetic weight and fitness levels as me but the main driver for getting the bike which is riding with my young daughter as she develops the cycling bug. My rides with friends will be about 20-30 miles to start with working up to maybe 40 or 50 on flat easy roads given our condition. My rides with my daughter will start at 5 to 10 miles working up quickly. Some of these rides will be on paths/tracks - nothing to necessitate a mountain bike but a but jumpy. I also want to ride more demanding rides (distance not hills with my weight) on my own to get up to speed for hopefully some 50-60 mile Bike Events charity rides next year.

I was thinking of a carbon frame hybrid more geared towards road riding than all terain. A search of the internet has led me to a shortlist (all of which have carbon for their 2013 models) to try of:
- Trek 7.7 FX
- Whyte Montpellier
- Specialized Sirrus Limited
- Marin Highway One/Highway One Elite

I'd be grateful if you could share any views or let me know of other models I might consider. I am 7 years out of date on componentry and have never tried SRAM or any of today's Shimano groupsets having always been a Campag rider (unless anyone remembers Huret which I had on my early 1970s Raleigh Olympus!) so have no clue. Also, I've never ridden Carbon and am basing my selection of material on the old view that it has the weight of Aluminum, forgiveness of steel and is cheaper than titanium.

So, if the view is that I am being OTT choosing carbon, I will go aluminium although I remember that 6061 had a bad reputation in the road world years back as Bianchi's 6061 model was reputed to be a very unforgiving and hard ride, albeit that Pantani won the Tour and Giro on it (or at least Bianch said it was the same model being sold to the public!).

I had intended looking at a Ridgeback (quality on my daughter's kids bike is streets ahead of anything I had as a child), Trek and Chris Boardman (although the lack of knowledge on my visit to Halfords put me off) and spending max of £1k although I will not get the carbon models I list for that :(

Sorry for the long post and all advice and ideas welcome.

Thanks

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supersonic
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Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby supersonic » Sun Sep 16, 2012 12:57 pm

In many cases the carbon frame can be counter productive in weight terms. As they are more expensive to produce (usually), then for a given bike price the overall weight can be higher as the components fitted are cheaper. How it feels is down to the construction, testing is a good idea if you can.

For a grand the Boardman Pro hybrid is a sound buy. The triple butted frame is svelte and has a bit of give, the brakes are excellent and an all up weight of 9.3kg makes it very competitive.

robbo400
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Joined: Sun Sep 16, 2012 10:38 am

Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby robbo400 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 13:52 pm

Thanks for the reply. Would you rate it as a better bet than the Ridgeback Ultra Flight 04 and Trek and Whyte equivalents?
If so, does anyone know if there is a way I can get the Boardman from somewhere other than Halfords? I went to my local one which is a superstore and saw things happening which didn't inspire me with confidence. (I'm not anti-Halfords as I've seen poor workmanship at other so-called bike specialists too- always the chain stores. I generally prefer to buy from places where they are used to building up bikes from frames as their core business).

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supersonic
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Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby supersonic » Sun Sep 16, 2012 14:33 pm

The Ridgeback looks excellent for the cash - the Boardman is lighter and gets hydro disc brakes, put you pay more for that.

The Trek, Spesh and Whyte cost a lot more from what I can see.

Only Halfords stock Boardman, shouldn't be a problem though. I used to work there, you'd trust me I hope ;-).

robbo400
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Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby robbo400 » Sun Sep 16, 2012 14:40 pm

Indeed I would!

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apreading
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Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby apreading » Sun Sep 16, 2012 19:48 pm

If you want comfort and to go off the smooth tarmac then bigger volume tyres is probably as (if not more) important than frame. I know the boardmans can take 35s and generally come with 28s to start with.

The Whyte is an awesome bike but I dont think the tyre clearances are big enough to make it sensible off road and the frame is really stiff, communicating all the bumps - which creates a lively ride but not necessarily a comfortable one.

The Sirrus is a really comfy bike but less racy and again doesnt have clearance for bigger tyres but the frame is really supple and seems to absorb the bumps well.

Dont know about Trek or Ridgeback.

signs
Posts: 13
Joined: Wed Mar 23, 2011 13:47 pm

Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby signs » Mon Sep 17, 2012 08:50 am

hi
i was like you about halfords, when i bought my boardman hybrid pro from their, but you can only them from halfords great bike and i paid for the first service from my good local bike shop just to check it out, rather than the free first service from halford

keefyp
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Joined: Sat Jul 28, 2012 22:21 pm

Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby keefyp » Fri Sep 21, 2012 23:01 pm

I bought a Boardman Hybrid Pro about 8 weeks ago. Upgraded from a Scott Hybrid with front suspension and 35 tyres used for leisure rides on a combination of road and canal paths. The Boardman.... Fast.... Yes. Comfortable? Not if you are planning to ride tracks and canal paths, unless you fit wider tyres.

The BHP is also quite highly geared. It's actually harder work (for me) up a steep hill than my old Scott, despite the light weight and narrower tyres. Also suffered a puncture, first time out on the Boardman! I now carry a spare tube... Never bothered before.

If you are going to stick to smooth tarmac, the BHP is a great bike. But I've had to cut out the rougher canal path sections of my regular route...... Decide where 95% of your riding is going to be, and then choose the bike that suits.
If you go for the BHP, join British Cycling for the discounted membership via the TFL deal (around £12) and you get 10% off at Halfords with the BC discount. Wait for a week or two for the regularly appearing Halfords online discount (£70 when I bought) Then buy it on Reserve and Collect with a Quidco casback for another 3.5% off. Final cost for me was around £810.. Bargain!

My local Halfords (Hemel Hempstead) let me have a decent test ride out the back of the store, and have done an Ok job on the set up and the first free service.

garethjohn
Posts: 147
Joined: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:45 am

Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby garethjohn » Sun Sep 30, 2012 14:57 pm

FWIW I started cycling with a Sirrus Expert for my commute to work. Obviously not as quick as a road bike but still flew past other mtb / hybrid riders. Really comfortable with the 28mm armadillo tyres too and have ridden canal paths plenty of times with it. With SKS mudguards fitted this will be the bike of choice for the coming months.

BigLights
Posts: 411
Joined: Fri Jan 20, 2012 08:32 am

Re: Fast comfortable hybrid

Postby BigLights » Tue Oct 02, 2012 11:32 am

+1 on the Sirrus. That's also my commuter and it's great. i've put 23 wheels on it which are controversial but I like them.


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