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Hybrid Help!

Old 05-29-20, 09:43 AM
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kld182
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Hybrid Help!

I am in the market for a new bike, but I'm not sure what to get. I am a (reasonably fit) 40 year old female who wants to go on family bike rides with my husband and kids. We live in an area with many wonderful bike trails. Most of them are paved, but often they abruptly switch to packed dirt or gravel, so I need something that can handle multiple terrain. (My kids' Trek Wahoos handle the terrain just fine.) I won't be doing any real mountain biking and don't care about going especially fast when I'm riding on pavement. Hybrids seem the best option for me. But what to get? I'm not looking to spend much more than about $800. Would love to keep it closer to $500-600. I am looking at:

Trek FX 1 but wonder if the tires could handle dirt/gravel. If not, could I switch the tires? To what?
Specialized Sirrus X 3.0 - this looks fabulous but is maybe more bike than I need?
Cannondale Quick - again, the tires look like they might not be a good fit for dirt/gravel. Could they easily be switched out?

I'm open to other suggestions. I live in Europe, so if you have European makes/models to suggest, they might be easier to find here. Thanks for the advice and suggestions!
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Old 05-29-20, 10:03 AM
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MRT2
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Get the best bike you can reasonably afford. It is money well spent. So if the Specialized is calling to you, a couple of hundred of dollars extra spent now will reap dividends years into the future long after you forget what you paid for it.

As for tires, I would start with the stock tires and see how you do. Later, you can always play around with tires a bit. If you are riding mostly pavement or roads, a slick tire is best. Even groomed trails, as long as the tire is 32 mm wide or so you should be fine. That said, if you are going some light gravel, a semi slick or semi knobby tire might work better. Maybe keep the slick tire on the back and put a semi knobby tire like the Panaracer Gravel King on the front. I do that sometimes when I ride crushed limestone trails and want a reasonable compromise for both paved and unpaved surfaces.
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Old 05-29-20, 01:29 PM
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Originally Posted by kld182 View Post
We live in an area with many wonderful bike trails. Most of them are paved, but often they abruptly switch to packed dirt or gravel, so I need something that can handle multiple terrain. (My kids' Trek Wahoos handle the terrain just fine.) I won't be doing any real mountain biking and don't care about going especially fast when I'm riding on pavement.
Given what you said here...remarking about how well the MTBs handle the mixed terrain and commenting that speed isn't your highest priority...I would recommend the largest tire you can fit on the bike. With a modern hybrid frame like those you're considering, you can usually go up to about 38-40mm. Check with your local bike shop to be sure. I suspect the Continental Speed Ride would suit your needs quite well. It's marked 42mm on the sidewall, but it inflates up to about 38mm on the rim. Several members here (including myself) have these tires and can attest to their positive attributes. They're inexpensive, smooth (a file tread), moderately wide (for good stability on mixed surfaces), and very light for their size (meaning they'll "feel" quick and lively to you). Their biggest drawback is their relatively thin construction. They're not thick, puncture-proof tires. I've never had a puncture in mine, but they're also not designed to be bomb-proof like that. Tires that are strong and resist punctures will be heavy and will feel "dull" to you as you ride. Tires that feel light and lively will also not have the resistance to thorns and debris that a heavier touring/commuting tire will.
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Old 05-29-20, 01:35 PM
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I just looked, and the Specialized already has you setup well with 42mm "gravel" tires, so you wouldn't need to change tires with that one. They also offer the Sirrus X 2.0, which is a full $250 less than the 3.0 (MSRP). It's a little more comparable to the others in your group in terms of price.

Giant Escape is another bike in this category. The Escape 2 is about on par with these in terms of price. It has 38mm tires that would should handle mixed surfaces well.
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Old 05-29-20, 09:31 PM
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Check out the Cannondale Quick CX line too. Or the Cannondale Althea, which is the womens version of the CX line.. its essentially a Quick but with a front suspension and gravel-ready tires.
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Old 05-31-20, 12:41 AM
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Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll see what my LBS is able to order. No one has any of these models in the store to test.

I really like the Specialized Sirrus X line. I have read a few reports about the pedal/crank falling off. Anyone know anything about this?
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Old 05-31-20, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by kld182 View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll see what my LBS is able to order. No one has any of these models in the store to test.

I really like the Specialized Sirrus X line. I have read a few reports about the pedal/crank falling off. Anyone know anything about this?
Don't let a few people who have had problems with a particular bike and are posting thier woes all over the internet scare you. If you get it from a reputable LBS and something does happen to go wrong, they should make it good. When you make your pruchase make sure they offer a free 30 day tune-up policy. In the first 100 miles or so cables can stretch, some things can loosen etc. Be able to take it back and have them give it a free 30-day checkup/inspection. If at that point (after 100 miles) you feel you'd like to go to a wider tire, mention it to them. I'm a huge advocate to keeping a bike "stock" until you actually know what you have and how it handles once you're comfortable with it. Don't start chasing "fixes" right away.
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Old 05-31-20, 02:22 PM
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And don't be afraid to ask the shop to raise the stem for you; a more upright position is more comfortable and practical for everyone who doesn't race.
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Old 06-09-20, 05:08 PM
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I have had a Trek FX2 for like 4 years now I think. I have ridden it on paved, dirt, gravel, grass and sand. It rides on all those surfaces fine.

I wouldn't take it on a very bumpy rigorous mountain bike path or on gravel where the the gravel looks more like rocks, I had no issues with most gravel paths I been on.

even with the thinner tires they seemed to ride just fine.

I will add that I love this bike no issues in 4 years except 1 flat tire thats it.

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Old 06-11-20, 08:37 PM
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What about the Jamis Coda? The S2 runs $599 and it's steel, baby!

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