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10 mile limit?

Old 04-05-19, 11:46 AM
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Helderberg
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10 mile limit?

I have been off a bike for many years and about three years ago, now retired, I decided to get back on a bike. I have been riding a Hybrid, Quick 7 & 3 now for about a year and a half of the three as it is about the only style I can ride due to my physical limitations and am enjoying it tremendously. I just finished reading through the thread "First bike need some pointers" and the recurring theme of "they are OK if you are only going to ride ten miles or less" was said over and over. What is the reason for this milage wall that has been imposed on this style of bike and why doesn't it, the bike, do anything good? I ride 15-18 miles and the only limiting factor are my legs. Being 70 I have a limit to my physical strength but I am working on that. Not trying to be confrontational but seriously curious as to why the imaginary 10 mile limit?
Frank.
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Old 04-05-19, 11:55 AM
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The only mileage wall is in someone's head...
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Old 04-05-19, 12:06 PM
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I also did 20 miles on a hybrid last week and plan on using one for the 5-boro tour next month.
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Old 04-05-19, 12:16 PM
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It's not like a hybrid can't go past 10 miles.

I have ridden my hybrid 40+ and managed to survive.

But I find that above 10 miles I'm happier on a more efficient bike.

While I like the upright riding position of the hybrid, longer than 10 miles starts to hurt my back from sitting up. The upright riding position also has more aerodynamic drag. Not enough that I notice in 10 miles but I'll notice in 50. And the weight distribution is more on my butt which starts to get sore after longer rides. And the gearing on my hybrid just isn't maximized for speed so I have to pedal harder to keep moving.

On my gravel bike I'm more hunched over which kind of feels weird for that first 10 miles. But I'm more aerodynamic so I'm not using more energy to push my body through the air than I need to. Again over short distances this is a non issue. Over long distances an extra watt here and there adds up. Also leaning forward more gives me better weight distribution between my hands and butt so my butt isn't as sore. And the gearing is just more efficient for keeping moving at cruising speed (though not as good at getting going from a dead stop as the lower geared hybrid)
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Old 04-05-19, 12:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I have been off a bike for many years and about three years ago, now retired, I decided to get back on a bike. I have been riding a Hybrid, Quick 7 & 3 now for about a year and a half of the three as it is about the only style I can ride due to my physical limitations and am enjoying it tremendously. I just finished reading through the thread "First bike need some pointers" and the recurring theme of "they are OK if you are only going to ride ten miles or less" was said over and over. What is the reason for this milage wall that has been imposed on this style of bike and why doesn't it, the bike, do anything good? I ride 15-18 miles and the only limiting factor are my legs. Being 70 I have a limit to my physical strength but I am working on that. Not trying to be confrontational but seriously curious as to why the imaginary 10 mile limit?
Frank.
Why the alleged 'limit' -- and it is a common meme here on teh Biek Forms -- ? I think you can work that out; hint: has nothing to do with matters of fact.

67 here. Re-started cycling at age 50 in '02. Been riding an average of 6/7000 kms/year since, a mix of daily rides to/from work, longer weekend rides (40+ miles routinely). Done three true 'centuries' over that period, just to see if I could; didn't have any issues at all. All of my riding has been on either a roadified mtb w/riser bars ('02 to '09), or a flat bar road bike ('10 to present). Both are 'hybrids' according to teh BF hive mind.

My arms still haven't fallen off.
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Old 04-05-19, 01:06 PM
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Thank you all for your responses. For my physical abilities and limits the flat bar bike is perfect. Also, and this is a big difference, my 3 has a two gear crankset with Sora hardware and that is what many, Giant, etc, use for their entry level road bikes so the gearing is the same. My 7 has the MTB oriented hardware and that is the bike I do my unpaved road and such as the tires and gearing is better suited to that. The top speeds of the two bikes definitely reflect the gearing limits. I would like to have a true road bike but my back surgery has left me with what I have and I am fine with what I have and can ride, flat bar. hybrid, so I guess I will just shut up and go ride.
Be safe all, Frank.
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Old 04-05-19, 01:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Skipjacks View Post
It's not like a hybrid can't go past 10 miles.

I have ridden my hybrid 40+ and managed to survive.

But I find that above 10 miles I'm happier on a more efficient bike.
I agree,

No hard limit, but a lot will depend on one's actual riding. I would put 20 miles within an order of magnitude of 10 miles.

But, start hitting say 50 miles? 100 miles? 150 miles (in a day)? etc... And one might start looking at other choices.

After years of riding road bikes, I've started expanding to riding Cross bikes (including a hybrid converted to Cross). I put drop bars on everything.

The appropriateness of a bicycle choice may well depend on the task given.
  • Distance
  • Hills
  • "Comfort Riding"
  • Pace
  • Hauling Cargo
  • Rider weight and characteristics.
  • Riding companions
  • Touring
  • On Roads, Off Roads, Trails, Gravel, Dirt, etc.
  • etc

I buy primarily used bikes, and the hybrids I see are typically cheap department store bikes > 10 years old.

There have been a lot of recent development in "hybrids", or "flat bar road bikes", that may well be closing the gaps between the traditional hybrids and the road bikes, including much higher quality bikes, and better tires and wheels.

At the same time, road bikes are also improving including much more puncture resistant tires, and a growing emphasis on larger "comfort tires".

Anyway, ride what works for YOU.
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Old 04-05-19, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by camjr View Post
The only mileage wall is in someone's head...
Indeed. Here's Sophie Matter riding a Dutch bike 1240km on PBP 2011. She made it, of course.

__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
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Old 04-05-19, 03:50 PM
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I regularly ride my Quick CX3 with road-oriented tires farther than that, and sometimes my brother will borrow it to tag along on rides where I prefer my road bike. Two days ago he did 28 miles on it and our ride had about 1500 feet of climbing, if i recall.

On longer rides I really prefer my road bike: I'm able to take a more aerodynamic position, which conserves energy, and the handlebars provide more hand positions. I simply find the road bike more comfortable after about ten to fifteen miles. But that doesn't mean you can't ride a Quick 20, 30, even 50 miles. But you will probably be expending more energy than on a road bike, and if you are anything like me you'll get some tingling in your fingers on longer rides with the fewer hand positions.
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Old 04-05-19, 06:18 PM
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Drop bars have been the Thing To Have in North America for quite some time, but it's easy to overlook the fact that many people around the world ride VERY long distances (like, actual bike touring) on flat bars or butterfly bars or others that give the bike a rather upright riding position. More on that here.

I've done 30 miles on my Giant Roam (with a suspension fork <gasp!>), but I'm personally usually limited by time rather than by distance. I average about 12 mph when I ride, and I just don't have 4-5 hour blocks of time to devote to uninterrupted riding. Accordingly, most of my rides are in the 10-12 mile range, keeping it to the hour I might have available after supper or at lunch, etc. I did 12 miles touring cherry blossoms in DC last weekend -- on my mountain bike. My folks were in town and I let my dad ride my Roam and I took my mountain bike. It's got tires for hardpack, so it wasn't too bad. We rode another 10 miles or so around home the following day.

The bottom line: ride what you like! I don't like drop bars, and I ride what is comfortable to me. If you like drop bars, then go for it! We're all on the "same team"...being positive ambassadors for the cycling community...no matter our choice in handlebar or bicycle type!
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Old 04-05-19, 06:41 PM
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You may have misunderstood and people referred to up-right bikes when they mentioned the 10 mile limit? Obviously it isn't a physical limit.... but for practical reasons riding more than 10 miles on an upright bike will make you feel uncomfortable. Ironically those bikes often are called comfort bikes. Probably because they appear comfortable for non-riders that just ride around the neighborhood.
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Old 04-05-19, 07:34 PM
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It depends on you. When I returned to biking I did about 2K miles in a year on a hybrid but my max was roughly 30 miles and over time was not getting much better. I've done longer a few times but it was well beyond comfort for me. I'm sure if I kept at it I would have got used to it. My desires and goals changed and I swapped the hybrid for a gravel drop bar and a flatbar XC hardtail. Both I can go much further and faster on. If you were on a single speed beach cruiser and it was meeting your needs, I wouldn't switch because of someones experience.

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Old 04-06-19, 11:38 PM
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My hybrid is my go-far bike. Many of my 40+ mile rides are on the hybrid, usually about one a week, sometimes more. Depends on the weather and how much time I have. Usually a leisurely pace, often combined with group rides and generous rest stops.

My road bikes are my go-fast bikes. I have a couple of road bikes but seldom ride farther than 20-30 miles on those. An old neck injury and more recent shoulder injury limits my comfort on drop bars. I can make lots of little adjustments here and there to bike fit, and do physical therapy and exercises, but there will always be limits to how much fun I can stand on a road bike.

The trick to enjoying longer rides on a hybrid is finding a reasonable compromise between immediate comfort and long range comfort. As other folks noted, that distinction tends to show up around the 10 mile mark or after about an hour of continuous riding. Over the past few years I've made little changes to my hybrid to suit my fitness and preferences. It started with a flat bar and thickly padded, wide saddle. The reach was uncomfortable so I switched to riser bars, which was comfortable for about a year. I wore regular clothes, no padded skin tight Lycra shorts (I do wear those on the road bikes).

After the shoulder injury last spring I had to make some compromises. I switched the hybrid to albatross bars, which reduce reach even more and provided more hand positions than flat or riser bars. I was hooked. As the injury healed I wanted to lower the bar a bit to provide a more aero riding position when appropriate. I swapped stems from an upward angled stem to a horizontal road bike stem.

That made the original wide padded saddle a bit too much. So I switched to a road bike saddle, the same narrow type I use on my road bikes but with a more flexible shell and minimal padding. This relieved the perineum pressure caused by the excessively padded saddle, a problem that can occur with a more forward leaning, aggressive or aero position. That saddle is comfortable for 10-20 miles with regular clothing but for longer rides I'll often wear lightly padded liner shorts under my jeans or baggy shorts. The padding is so thin it doesn't add any bulk under normal pants. But it helps wick perspiration and minimizes chafing from the thick seams in jeans and some pants.

Tires make a big difference too. For a couple of years I rode Continental Speed Rides, the perfect hybrid tire in my opinion -- reasonably light, supple, wide and grippy enough for dry gravel and grass, smooth and fast enough to be satisfying on pavement, good in the rain and even light dustings of powder snow. At the right pressure they smooth out chipseal and rough roads without feeling sluggish.

But as I was healing from the shoulder injury and couldn't ride my road bike for a few months last year, I wanted to try some narrower tires on the hybrid, thinking it would be faster. It wasn't. It was just harsher. And some felt more sluggish. After trying a few sets of tires I went back to the Conti Speed Rides. Should have stayed with them. If I ever get a gravel bike I'll put Speed Rides on it.
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Old 04-08-19, 05:20 AM
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I routinely do 30+ mile rides on my hybrid with suspension fork, have done also 60 mile rides without any issues worth mentioning. I usually like to include gravel, fireroads and other non-smooth surface stretches into my rides, as just pedalling along a highway gets boring quickly for me. Yesterday I hit a couple km's of a road 'paved' with construction debris, I'm sure that would have been immense fun on skinny tires and drop bars
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Old 04-08-19, 07:28 AM
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Thanks all for your responses. I am happy to hear that the flat bar bike can get some respect here. I enjoy mine and spend as much time on it as I can or as long as my legs will allow. I don't and never have understood the "My bikes better than your bike" mentality as I support anyone that has the desire to ride and enjoy this sport.
Thanks again, Frank.
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Old 04-08-19, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
Thanks all for your responses. I am happy to hear that the flat bar bike can get some respect here. I enjoy mine and spend as much time on it as I can or as long as my legs will allow. I don't and never have understood the "My bikes better than your bike" mentality as I support anyone that has the desire to ride and enjoy this sport.
Thanks again, Frank.
My bike is better FOR ME than yours.

That's more realistic.

I ride a certain way. I am comfortable in a certain position. So I have bikes that are tailored to my needs. Your bike probably wouldn't be as good for me as mine. My bike probably wouldn't be as good for you as yours.

It's one of the cool things about biking. There is no shortage of options and styles for everyone to find the right bike for themselves. And no one is wrong for their choices.

If you like a flat bar on distance rides, great! No point in having drop bars that you don't like just because other riders prefer drops.

I've also noticed that in the real world, MAYBE 5% of people you pass on a bike would even notice flats vs drops or that yo're riding a mountain vs road bike or anything else the people on those forum would call MAJOR OBVIOUS differences. Most people who ride a bike (I'm talking everyone from the families riding with the kids to the people who ride centuries every other weekend) don't know much about bikes. On this forum, 95% of people know these differences and what they are used for. But that is not representational of the bike riding public in general. Most people won't judge you for how your bike it set up because most couldn't tell the difference between a Wal Mart mountain bike and a hand crafted carbon fiber racing bike.

And anyone who does judge you on your handlebar styles is an ass.
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Old 04-08-19, 01:18 PM
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Skipjacks-"And anyone who does judge you on your handlebar styles is an ass"
This is my point exactly and thank you for summing up my feelings in one sentence.
Be safe all, Frank.
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Old 04-08-19, 01:52 PM
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Cool goal - reward

6 miles before lunch, then ride back & you have done 12 ..

Then find a lunch spot a little further away next time ..






...

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Old 04-10-19, 03:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I have been off a bike for many years and about three years ago, now retired, I decided to get back on a bike. I have been riding a Hybrid, Quick 7 & 3 now for about a year and a half of the three as it is about the only style I can ride due to my physical limitations and am enjoying it tremendously. I just finished reading through the thread "First bike need some pointers" and the recurring theme of "they are OK if you are only going to ride ten miles or less" was said over and over. What is the reason for this milage wall that has been imposed on this style of bike and why doesn't it, the bike, do anything good? I ride 15-18 miles and the only limiting factor are my legs. Being 70 I have a limit to my physical strength but I am working on that. Not trying to be confrontational but seriously curious as to why the imaginary 10 mile limit?
Frank.
I ride more than 10 miles regularly on my hybrid without any issues. I even rode that thing up the Mont ventoux, 17 miles of climbing at a 7.5% average gradient (and yes, i did get a lot of funny faces because i was literally the only one who didn't ride on a roadbike but hey) and i've done bike holidays with it where i rode it 40-50 miles a day.

.It might require less energy if you ride on a roadbike but a hybrid is usually more comfortable and a hybrid is not afraid of some light offroading so it all depends on what you want.

Last edited by metro2005; 04-10-19 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 04-19-19, 02:07 PM
  #20  
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Oh man. I should have read this thread much sooner. I rode my Sirrus 40 miles just two days ago. I wasn't aware I couldn't do that. Now that I know, I'll be more careful.
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Old 04-20-19, 12:55 PM
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hybrid

It's all about comfort and physical capabilities. you can take your bike to a local bike shop to be "fitted". They can make appropriate adjustments to make you more comfortable and more efficient on your bike! Happy Riding!
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Old 04-20-19, 01:06 PM
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I am also about to hit the 70 mark. I ride in “The Mountain Bike Capital of Georgia”, translation lots of steep hills and tight turns, even on community roads.

I am also interested in this topic. I switched to a Carbon Riser bar on my Focus Mares CX, modified Cyclocross bike. I had a 72 yr old poster post on one of my posts and explain that he was more comfortable riding drop bars.

I have permanent nerve damage in my neck. I work with dumb bells regularly and do bending and stretching too. I may be transitioning back to drop bars. Down hills here can get fast,fast causing extra wind issues. I have been working on how I flex at the hips/stomach too, which I have read is often the origin of back & neck & hand issues. So much to learn, which is why we are all here, right?
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Old 04-24-19, 02:24 PM
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Not everyone is cut out for racing through a century. I've heard of people riding Ragbrai on a hybrid. If people can ride 468 miles over 7 days on a hybrid you can ride 10 miles a day. Ignore the haters and do what works best for you.
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Old 04-24-19, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by HeatherIL View Post
I've heard of people riding Ragbrai on a hybrid. If people can ride 468 miles over 7 days on a hybrid you can ride 10 miles a day.
There is, in fact, a picture of a female rider hoisting a Giant Escape in the air, presumably after finishing the event...on the Wikipedia page.
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Old 04-25-19, 02:34 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Helderberg View Post
I have been off a bike for many years and about three years ago, now retired, I decided to get back on a bike. I have been riding a Hybrid, Quick 7 & 3 now for about a year and a half of the three as it is about the only style I can ride due to my physical limitations and am enjoying it tremendously. I just finished reading through the thread "First bike need some pointers" and the recurring theme of "they are OK if you are only going to ride ten miles or less" was said over and over. What is the reason for this milage wall that has been imposed on this style of bike and why doesn't it, the bike, do anything good? I ride 15-18 miles and the only limiting factor are my legs. Being 70 I have a limit to my physical strength but I am working on that. Not trying to be confrontational but seriously curious as to why the imaginary 10 mile limit?
Frank.
10 mile limit is nonsense. I regularly ride solo centuries on my FX 3. I've done centuries on bikes that were more upright than that.

The limitation is when you find yourself getting uncomfortable, and that's a different number for everyone.
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