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  1. #1
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    Looking for "Urban" Trek Bike

    Here's the deal. I got back into biking after a 10 year break from childhood when I got a Giant Sedona for Christmas last year. My dad told me it was a "hybrid" - I could bike around town on it and hop on dirt trails with it as well.

    I had never heard of such a thing, I always knew bikes to be either Lance Armstrong with the tires the with of my thumb, or mountain bikes. I started riding around on my Sedona and loved it. Some of my friends followed suit soon after and got bikes as well but they all got mountain bikes. So we started to hit more and more dirt trails. The more advanced the trails got the more I realized that my Sedona was not made for the real courses, almost dangerous with the handlebar setup.

    So now that biking's became an almost daily thing, I decided it was time to invest in a higher end product. What is confusing while I've been looking online is that "hybrid" bike is a very loose and varying category. I've seen urban, comfort, hybrid, etc, etc, all used on different sites to label bikes from the Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra to these crazy looking single speed cruisers. It's a very diverse and loosly labeled category.

    But with gas prices and the environment I see this category of bikes becoming increasingly important. Recreational mountain trails are awesome but having a bike you can swap tires out and commute with seems like the best approach.

    I had been looking very seriously at the Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra by a couple friends when I told them the type of bike I desired. Mountain frame, but road tires for commuting that I can swap out with a mountain wheelset. Then I found this site, and the more I read reviews it seemed that the Bad Boy is overpriced for what it is and I'm not looking to spend more than necessary just for a brand name.

    And just this morning I was hit with a bombshell. Apparently my company has some partnership with Gary Fisher and Trek (don't know how we're an auto supplier) and we get like 25% of their bikes.

    Soooo....
    Could anyone recommend a bike from either company similar to the Cannondale BBU that's a good "hybrid"?

    Thanks much and sorry to be so long winded - but god I love biking it's freaking great I wish I'd never stopped when I was younger!!!

  2. #2
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    What you're asking is difficult, because you are already on a hybrid, and you are already in your riding moving towards the "mountain" end of the spectrum.

    Do you want front-suspension? Fisher has a "Dual sport" series that comes with a low-end suspension fork. Trek has a "Sport Urban" (called SU) series with no suspension. Take a look on their respective websites.

    What you might do is buy a full-on mountain-bike to use when riding with your friends, and then keep your current Sedona for riding about town. Having two bikes like that is nice, because each is appropriate to its use.

  3. #3
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    Deffinately go full....

    mountain bike. A hybid is NOT intended to do the types of things that an MTB is capable of! A hybid is fine for hard packed and realatively smooth dirt paths, it is not designed for fun in the rough stuff! An MTB frame is much stronger than a hybrid frame, as are the wheels, fork, etc. The frame geometry and cockpit components are also quite a bit different as well.

    I would highly suggest a mountian bike and a set of tires or wheels that can be swapped out for commuting. If you like the bigger wheels (700c) that most hybrids come with then look at the Fisher 29er's. If it doesn't matter then a regular 26" wheeled bike will do. Your choice on that one.

    Another option that I would highly recommend is keeping the sedona for commuting and around town use, and picking up a mountain bike for off roading! I did the switch tire routine for quite a while, and it's a pain in the butt! I now have a commuter that I built up specifically for town use, and I have my off road bike. Every now and then I'll ride my MTB to work, but for the most part it only sees dirt duty. This is actually the best option if you can swing it.

    The bottom line is, if you are really getting into off road riding go with a mountain bike. Real off road riding on technical or rough terrain will kill a hybrid in short order. That's besides, as you've noted, the geometry of a hybrid doesn't lend itself well to advanced MTB. And it's not just the handle bar set up either. There are considerable differences between the frame angles etc. between an MTB and a Hybrid that make a huge difference as well.




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  4. #4
    Frt Range, CO
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    I can ride to work on my MTB, I can't MTB on a hybrid. I don't get hybrids. They look like they'll taco on the first pothole. I built a dedicated 29er commuter with an internal 9 speed hub. Started with a single speed MTB frame:
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  5. #5
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    My two cents would be to keep the Sadona for running around town (a few small mods may not hurt), and then pick up a full on mountain bike for recreation. If you must have just one then i would recomend the mountain bike with a seperate wheel set that can be quickly swapped out for your different riding needs.

  6. #6
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    You cannot switch out to a MTB wheelset on an Bad Boy. I have one and there is only about a quarter inch clearance with the stock 700x28s. You would be lucky to get a tiny tiny cyclocross tire on there at about 700x32 from the research I have done on it. It is a sweet sweet bike though.

  7. #7
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    Gary Fisher Utopia has room for big tires, and the fork is better than other hybrids I've seen, but it probably is a little light duty for any downhill type riding. I'd say buy a MTB that will take the worst conditions and get a 2nd wheelset to commute. If you get a bike that can handle 26X2.3" tires and has disc brakes then 700c wheelset becomes an option.
    Mavic Crosrides make a nice 26'' wheelset for commuting. Schwalbe Big Apples, or slicks work well. Or a 29er with Big Apples.
    You already have a good commuter, why not keep it and get a dedicated dirt bike?

  8. #8
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    Word of warning, if you plan on doing the dual wheelsets on a a linear pull or canti brake bike make sure the rims on each wheel are the same and extremely close. I had to re adjust not only the cable but the pads themselves when I switched to my dt revo/comp laced maverics from the stock camino's on my tassajara.


    Oh, and keep on top of chain wear if you will be using two seperate cassettes
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  9. #9
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    Good Advice Buck268

    I was about the pull the trigger on a new purchase. I was thinking of the model without the disc brakes, that I could get an extra set of wheels cheaper. However, I didn't think about the wheel width affecting the brake adjustment. Good advice. I will just get disc brakes.

  10. #10
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    I actually have a BBU, and they may be a little over priced if you're just going to ride it as a commuter or as a mtb. If you're going to use it for both (which it will do) they aren't over priced. A bbu is a MTB frame....maybe not as hardcore as a fully suspended, but a mtb frame. It can be used for commuting with wide open roads, it's got a great top end and it does handle well. If you actually do both, you wont waste money. If you are only going to do commuting with the occasional dirt road or mtb you may want to look at something else. FWIW I dont feel as though I wasted a dime on mine, and I was coming from a bike I dearly loved...one I put more miles on that the first two cars I owned.

  11. #11
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    Get a scott sportster. MTB shifting , comfortable rding position and 700c wheel roll fast than 26 wheel.Plus, it has a front suspension fork to give u more comfort riding on road and pavement. It has disc brake on a 700c wheel too.



    But if for me, will take a V-brake or caliper brake over disc. Cos I want to keep my wheel as light as possible...

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