Hybrids - final 3

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mr97
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Hybrids - final 3

Postby mr97 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 00:50 am

Hi guys, this is my first post since registering this week.
I've been driving myself nuts researching and weighing-up pro & cons of numerous sub £1000 hybrids. Finally I have narrowed my choice to 3:
Giant Seek 0 - Local Bike shop
Giant Seek 1 - Local Bike shop
Boardman hybrid Team - Halfords

Here's the thing, I love the look of the Giant Seek 0 and the idea of having an apparently maintenance free Alfine 8 hub. The bike looks very strong and sturdy which is a big plus as I'm a big lump and will be using the bike mainly for getting around town - hopefully pot-holes too! The only negatives about this bike are that when the hub does need servicing, its quite a complex process and I have read somewhere that rear wheel punctures can be a nightmare to repair if outdoors, due to this hub.
The seek 1 ticks all the right boxes too re. looks and build. In fact, the only thing I can find by way of a concern re. the seek 1 is that it has a derailleur :? My only reason for calling this a concern is that whenever I start reading about the Alfine hub and its maintenance free, rapid gear changing (even when stationary) attributes, is that I can't help but view a derailleur as a poor second, maintenance needy, old fashioned device. I'm also a sucker for clever marketing :roll:
The above can be purchased from my local bike shop, that I have been informed are 'a good bunch, but a bit pricey'.
I like the idea of a local shop for help re. upgrades maintenance etc even if I have to spend a bit more for it :!:
Lastly, the Boardman hybrid Team looks good and seems to have a good spec to £pounds ratio, but for some reason I don't see this bike being as sturdy as the seek bikes. The carbon forks and general light weight of this bike can not convince my old fashioned view point that it is as strong as the seeks - :?:

Any guidance and advice will be gratefully accepted re. helping me reach a decision.

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supersonic
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby supersonic » Thu Nov 08, 2012 16:26 pm

MTBers still use derailers, and they get put through far more than a commuting bike! Sure, they are a bit more maintenance, but last well when looked after.

Light doesn't mean weak - heavy usually means cheap though, there is no doubt the Boardman is the best value bike here. See what fits best.

mr97
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby mr97 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 17:33 pm

Thanks supersonic, good point.

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corshamjim
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby corshamjim » Thu Nov 08, 2012 18:55 pm

Some hub gears can make fixing a rear wheel puncture a right faff, but in my experience (on a Charge Mixer), the fact that you have vertical dropouts there and disc brakes means it's actually really easy - especially as decoupling the gear cable on the Alfine 8 is easy (search youtube for a video). I confess I've not had to fix a puncture by the side of the road with mine yet, but certainly on the workstand I'd say it's just as easy as with a deraillered bike.

p.s. Welcome to the forum!

mr97
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby mr97 » Thu Nov 08, 2012 21:52 pm

Thanks corshamjim,
I've just checked-out the youtube video re. Alfine 8 + rear wheel removal. A very helpful video and has certainly put-to-bed any fears I had about the Alfine 8 and rear wheel punctures.

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CookeeeMonster
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby CookeeeMonster » Tue Nov 13, 2012 16:26 pm

+1 on the hybrid vs road bike - I changed within 4 months after being quite adamant that a road bike wouldn't be right for me :)

The difference? Comfort, less effort, hands and so on that don't ache after a long, tiring ride and it's much better in the wind
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supersonic
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby supersonic » Tue Nov 13, 2012 17:16 pm

It depends on the 'hybrid' - mine has bar ends and tri bars, so is even more efficient in the wind than a road bike. Hybrid is a bit of a poor term given that they vary so much All about what getting what suits, whether a road bike or whatever. Sometimes a bit of customisation is what is needed.

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supersonic
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby supersonic » Wed Nov 14, 2012 00:32 am

Road bars can't offer me a 635mm bar width.

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supersonic
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby supersonic » Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:07 pm

I prefer the handling in slow speed situations, especially heavy traffic. I often the bike for light off road duties too, where it also helps. So a true hybrid I guess!

jimmypippa
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby jimmypippa » Thu Nov 15, 2012 18:57 pm

Supersonic, am I right in thinking that your background is as an MTB rider.

Do you think that makes a difference.

Oddly enough I like drop handlebars for many of the bridleways in Derbyshire, as there are several narrow gaps put in to prevent motocross bikes, but which are *just* wide enough for me to cycle through on my tourer.

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Daddy0
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby Daddy0 » Thu Nov 15, 2012 21:03 pm

CookeeeMonster wrote:+1 on the hybrid vs road bike - I changed within 4 months after being quite adamant that a road bike wouldn't be right for me :)

The difference? Comfort, less effort, hands and so on that don't ache after a long, tiring ride and it's much better in the wind


This.

Hello BTW!

I did exactly the same. Coming from a BMX background I thought the flat bars were for me. I was also a little intimidated at the thought of moving to clipped in feet, 105 levers and skinny slick tyres - was worried that I'd get caught out with my hands not on a break lever and wouldn't be able to put a foot down if I needed to. However, the road bike is sooooo much better in pretty much every respect. I spent about 4 months commuting and not getting much faster/fitter. Had my road bike now for about 2 weeks and I've seen vast improvements in my fitness already. I've lost more weight and more quickly too.

Straight away I noticed that I went about 5mph faster all the time, but when I wanted to go fast I could go about 10mph faster than before. My top speed down the same downhill has gone from 43mph to 53mph - the 43mph took a lot more effort than the 53, and I felt more in control on the road bike doing 53 than on the hybrid doing 43. I'm still waiting for the right conditions to really go for it on the road bike, should be able squeeze a few more MPH out of my old legs.

I'm also zooming up hills now, was always a struggle even with the easier gear ratio on the hybrid. I'd regularly get overtaken by a few roadies going up the 10-13% gradient on my commute, now I do the overtaking :-)

People say its not the bike, its the rider. This is true to some extent, but if you're getting into riding then I've found that it helps to not have to fight the bike/riding position.

Every day over the past two weeks I've had a bunch of personal records on Strava. I am about 30% faster than I was 2 weeks ago and still improving.

I guess what I'm trying to say is ***get a road bike***. :wink:

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supersonic
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby supersonic » Thu Nov 15, 2012 23:34 pm

jimmypippa wrote:Supersonic, am I right in thinking that your background is as an MTB rider.

Do you think that makes a difference.

Oddly enough I like drop handlebars for many of the bridleways in Derbyshire, as there are several narrow gaps put in to prevent motocross bikes, but which are *just* wide enough for me to cycle through on my tourer.


It is. But I ride more miles on the road! In the end it is what suits, but all this talk about 'hybrids' being a poor second, or 'you'll upgrade from a hybrid' is just nonsense. A 'hybrid' can be made to be the perfect tool for the job you have in hand.

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Ouija
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby Ouija » Fri Nov 16, 2012 00:15 am

supersonic wrote:
jimmypippa wrote:Supersonic, am I right in thinking that your background is as an MTB rider.

Do you think that makes a difference.

Oddly enough I like drop handlebars for many of the bridleways in Derbyshire, as there are several narrow gaps put in to prevent motocross bikes, but which are *just* wide enough for me to cycle through on my tourer.


It is. But I ride more miles on the road! In the end it is what suits, but all this talk about 'hybrids' being a poor second, or 'you'll upgrade from a hybrid' is just nonsense. A 'hybrid' can be made to be the perfect tool for the job you have in hand.


+1

Been racking up to a thousand miles a month for the last few years, mainly on the road but i still wouldn't be tempted to get a road bike. Yes, i know i'd go quicker and have an easier time dragging my sorry old ass up all those hills but i just prefer the handling of straight bars and smaller wheel sizes and the extra versatility of a bike than can do a little of everything. Owned two road bikes (a Dawes and a Giant Defy) but just found them too awkward, uncomfortable and 'tottering' and uncontrollable. It was part of the reason i stopped riding for a few years. It was when i got rid of the defy and started building my own hybrids from mountain bike frames that i really got into cycling in a big way and moved up from 50 miles a month to 50 miles a day. Being upright and more comfortable and in control makes me want to spend more time in the saddle (couldn't wait to get off my road bikes).

beverick
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby beverick » Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:56 am

Can we just clear up this 'hub gears don't need maintenance' myth. They do. The chain still wears and stretches with use and needs periodic cleaning and eventual replacement, as does the rear sprocket. The hub itself needs stripping, checking and lubricating every few years/000's miles and the internals (especially the pawls and bearings) wear out; especially if you don't lubricate it.

Basically, the maintenance routine is different, not non-existent.

That said, hub gears do make sense in city commuting traffic especially if you happen to stop in the wrong gear. You can simply select the correct gear and the hub will change almost seemlessly as you move off - so no more standing on the pedals to set off up hill in top!

Regarding flat bar and drops, I think that's up to personal choice. I ride both througout the week (road bike, MTB and hybrid) and I have no real preference. Flat bars do allow slightly better low speed steering but as the majority of faster, and "routine" steering comes from leaning the bike it isn't that much of an issue. Also, the road bike's much more 'flickable' once up to road speed. Both flat bar bikes carry loaded panniers better than the road bike but the road bike is more comfortable. The road bike climbs faster than either flat bar bike but I can get the MTB up a 30% incline on a muddy and rough woodland track.

The benefit of flat bars is that they generally allow better and more direct braking (especially if matched with v-brakes or discs) whils "drops" allow different hand positions (which is handy on longer or cold mornings as you can reduce the stress or wind chill). Flat bars generally have more space for accessories such as lights and computers but narrower drops are better for filtering and getting through the increasingly frequent 'A' frames.

Basically, the choice comes down to geometry and configuration. My hybrid has the expected high crank line and 172.5 cranks so the pedalling stroke is compressed. This makes pedalling harder and means you may spend more time stood on the pedals. With MTB 48/36/26 chainset and an 11-32 cassette the gearing is lower than the road bike but, ironically, the top speed isn't really that much slower (33 v 35mph on city roads).

Regarding speeds, I've just checked my commutes across Leeds for the week and the results are interesting. The distance is logged at an average of 8.92miles. The timings for the MTB on Monday, with its 26x2.5 knobbly tyres was 39 mins at an average of 13.6mph and a top speed of 31.9. Wednesday's road bike run (700/25c) was 36 mins at 14.7mph average and 31.3 max. Tuesday and Thursday's combined hybrid timings (700/28c) were 37 mins, at 14.3 average and 29.9 max.

Ironically, I spent nearly 3 minutes stationary at various junctions this morning so that probably has more of an impact on the total and average speeds than pedalling!

Personally, with that budget, I'd be looking at the Specialized Sirrus disc models.

Bob

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passout
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Re: Hybrids - final 3

Postby passout » Wed Nov 21, 2012 09:59 am

Out of these three, Boardman all the way.
'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.


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