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BethesdaRider40
07-29-2011, 08:42 PM
I am a novice female cyclist looking for my first hybrid bike for commuting (appx. 12 miles each way). I am 5'4" and prefer a WSD. I am looking at a new Trek 7.2, 15" frame, which would cost $550, or a used Marin - don't know the model number but its 17", aluminum, and being offered for $400. Any opinions, and are these generally good prices or should I keep shopping around? TIA!

CCrew
07-30-2011, 12:42 AM
I am a novice female cyclist looking for my first hybrid bike for commuting (appx. 12 miles each way). I am 5'4" and prefer a WSD. I am looking at a new Trek 7.2, 15" frame, which would cost $550, or a used Marin - don't know the model number but its 17", aluminum, and being offered for $400. Any opinions, and are these generally good prices or should I keep shopping around? TIA!

At 5'4" I think the Marin is going to be too big. I'm a 5'9" male and can ride a 17> (touch on the small side, but only a touch) Are we talking new or used on the Trek? New that price isn't too far out of line but that's high for used. WSD bikes are hard to pick up on the used market though.

BethesdaRider40
07-30-2011, 11:48 AM
You're right - the 17" frame did feel too big. Its been so long since I've been on a bicycle, I didn't think I knew what it should feel like. I thought the seat was just too tall, but now that you point it out, I should definitely get the 15". The $550 for the Trek 7.2 is for a new WSD.

DismalScientist
07-30-2011, 12:10 PM
Have you considered a road bike? 12 miles each way in an upright position seems a bit long. Furthermore, I would look into narrower, higher pressure tires.

BethesdaRider40
07-30-2011, 03:58 PM
Why is riding upright bad? At this point, I prefer it. I realize all the speed racers ride bent over (i'm sure that's not the cycling term) but I don't need to go super fast, just to ride to work 2 or 3 times a week, and enjoy it enough to keep doing it.

CCrew
07-30-2011, 06:32 PM
It's not "bad" as much as it is inefficient. And many of the folks here have been riding long enough to know that the people that buy hybrid bikes tend to run in two classes. First are the ones that buy it and find the inefficiency to be unbearable and give it up, and second are the ones that realize the inefficiency and move on to something more efficient. Hybrid's do tend to be a "gateway drug" to cycling. You love it and go on to something harder or you realize it's not for you. DismalScientist's comment I'm sure reflects that experience and really isn't off base.

http://washingtondc.craigslist.org/nva/bik/2521456885.html

Nice starter road bike that might fit. I'd offer $550-600 for it were I trying to buy it but it will last for a while...

Greenbelt
07-30-2011, 08:09 PM
Hi BR40 -- glad to hear you're taking up longer distance commuting. I think the hybrid vs. road bike issue is a question of trade offs between comfort and efficiency. I generally think what happens is that riders gradually get faster over time, and they tend to make tradeoffs for more efficiency. As you get faster, wind resistance becomes a bigger issue. Likewise, the more aggressive posture of road bikes or cyclocross bikes helps me put more force on the pedals than an upright position like on my mountain bike, where I feel like my legs are doing most the work and I'm not putting my whole body into the pedal motion. Finally, wider lower pressure tires are more comfortable, have great traction, and are less prone to flats, but also are heavier and have more rolling resistance than narrower, higher pressure tires. I think the main thing at first is comfort, but if you find that you're really tiring yourself out as you get faster, maybe an upgrade to a road bike or a cyclocross-style bike would make sense. I started a thread a while back asking what would be the perfect bike for a long-distance commuter, and got some great comments -- the only problem is that when you start thinking about the perfect bike, you can get in to the fantasy price range pretty quickly! http://bikearlingtonforum.com/showthread.php?834-Ultimate-longer-distance-commuter-bike

Joe Chapline
07-31-2011, 01:19 PM
My two cents: I've been riding a hybrid for at least 20 years and still prefer it. I don't have any statistics, but I know that not everyone follows the same progression to road bikes and racing gear. It seems that those that do go down that path end up upgrading their bikes anyway, plus buying additional bikes, so I don't see any harm in starting with the hybrid.

DismalScientist
07-31-2011, 07:53 PM
Just because you have a road bike doesn't mean you have to progress to racing gear. The newest bicycle I own is over 20 years old. Before the days of integrated brakes/shifters, an easy fix would be to put a flat handlebar on a road bike. If you wanted to move to drop bars, you would only have to get new bars and brake levers and just recable the brakes. (This is just one reason why shifters should be on the downtube, as God intended....:p) Unfortunately, with integrated levers/shifters, this gets expensive.

brendan
08-08-2011, 12:27 PM
It's not "bad" as much as it is inefficient. And many of the folks here have been riding long enough to know that the people that buy hybrid bikes tend to run in two classes. First are the ones that buy it and find the inefficiency to be unbearable and give it up, and second are the ones that realize the inefficiency and move on to something more efficient. Hybrid's do tend to be a "gateway drug" to cycling. You love it and go on to something harder or you realize it's not for you. DismalScientist's comment I'm sure reflects that experience and really isn't off base.

I'll disagree a little here. I've done all of my century rides on a hybrid (2009 Gary Fisher Kaitai). I bought a road bike this spring primarily for time-limited endurance rides (e.g. the total 200 in june), paceline work (you can't draft *all* the time), and for hill training with shop rides. I ride my cargo bike (which is hybrid-esque) almost all the time now for general transport, solo weekend rides (e.g. arlington->C&O->leesburg->W&OD->Arlington loop) and non-shop group rides. Took it to Iowa last month and rode RAGBRAI with it. It even got it's first official century ride on the third day of RAGBRAI (I'm so proud of it!).

It might be just me, but I find the upright position much more comfortable for long riding, even though it's less efficient. Besides, a bit more work per mile is better for my health targets. :)

Oh and lastly: I'm still not entirely comfortable with the road position while navigating in urban traffic. I feel like, and this may just be psychological, a higher position make me more visible and/or gives me better views around me.

Brendan

baiskeli
08-08-2011, 12:35 PM
Why is riding upright bad? At this point, I prefer it. I realize all the speed racers ride bent over (i'm sure that's not the cycling term) but I don't need to go super fast, just to ride to work 2 or 3 times a week, and enjoy it enough to keep doing it.

I rode a hybrid for a while and now I'm a roadie. It's not only more efficient, but it's more comfortable when you're riding longer distances. In an upright stance, your spine and rear end are pressing straight down on that seat. On a road bike, your weight is a little more on your arms and your legs. It's worth a try. It will feel strange when you first do it, if you're not used to it, but get it adjusted right and you may like it better.

baiskeli
08-08-2011, 12:37 PM
Oh and lastly: I'm still not entirely comfortable with the road position while navigating in urban traffic. I feel like, and this may just be psychological, a higher position make me more visible and/or gives me better views around me.

Yes, that's true. I commute with a road bike, but my handlebars are a bit higher than most for both comfort and handling. It came with an adjustable stem.

SONEPHETH
08-10-2011, 02:00 PM
In my opinion, bike with suspension and comfortable riding position is the best for commuting. I ride full suspension mountain bike with road tire and when the road open up I lean over and put my elbow on the handle bar and hold onto my front basket. I commute with my road bike a couple of time but too harsh of a ride and I don't like riding in the drop, I stay on the hood or on the aerobar.

I much prefer my mountain bike riding position and shock absorbing.

CCrew
08-10-2011, 06:46 PM
Cross bike. Road geometry with larger tires to absorb the bumps.

Greenbelt
08-10-2011, 07:12 PM
Cross bike. Road geometry with larger tires to absorb the bumps.

My feeling also. Most fun, best combination of speed, comfort, handling. But need better brakes than what come standard on many cross bikes in my opinion.

Joe Chapline
08-10-2011, 07:25 PM
At 5'4" I think the Marin is going to be too big. I'm a 5'9" male and can ride a 17> (touch on the small side, but only a touch) Are we talking new or used on the Trek? New that price isn't too far out of line but that's high for used. WSD bikes are hard to pick up on the used market though.

I want to throw out kudos to CCrew for this reply addressing the original poster's question. I hope she's long gone and used her own judgment about what to buy, as most people do. But, if not, I'll throw some more ideas out -- Pennyfarthing! Dutch Bike! Electric Bike!