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  1. #1
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    hybrid = faster?

    Hi I have been riding a trek 3700 about 3 miles each way. It's all on asphalt.
    I think I am starting to outgrow it, I barely coast the whole trip and just crank and crank.
    The low gearing makes me go about 13 miles per hour.. I am always on the tallest 3 or 4 gears.. front is always on the large sprocket.

    If I get a hybrid with skinny tires can I break into 20mph or more with the same effort?

    I got a MTB because I thought it is most versatile if I only keep just 1 bike, but I am starting to want to go faster.

    On part of the commute has minor cracks in the asphalt perpendicular to travelling direction, and was wondering if the rims will hold up.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist
    Hi I have been riding a trek 3700 about 3 miles each way. It's all on asphalt.
    I think I am starting to outgrow it, I barely coast the whole trip and just crank and crank.
    The low gearing makes me go about 13 miles per hour.. I am always on the tallest 3 or 4 gears.. front is always on the large sprocket.

    If I get a hybrid with skinny tires can I break into 20mph or more with the same effort?

    I got a MTB because I thought it is most versatile if I only keep just 1 bike, but I am starting to want to go faster.

    On part of the commute has minor cracks in the asphalt perpendicular to travelling direction, and was wondering if the rims will hold up.

    A new cassette/rrank with more appropriate gearing and some more well suited tires will make a huge difference and will be much less expensive than a new hybrid bike. If you want a bike for MTB and a bike for the pavement, buy another bike

  3. #3
    conjoinicorned
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    most hybrids use MTB gearing, and because the riding position is very upright you'll actually go slower on a normal hybrid bike.

    you can put a larger front chainring on your Trek, but many MTB won't accept more than a 48t. your cassette is fine, the lowest gear available is an 11t anyways.

    if you really want to go fast you'll need a road bike.
    what would rainbow unicorn do?

  4. #4
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    Road bikes are usually good for a 2-3 mph speed increase*. Gearing is going to be more suitable on a road bike but that alone won't get you suddenly to 20mph. You're gonna have to sweat and work for it

    With a road bike, maybe you'll ride more for recreation too. I love my road bike.



    * Your results may vary, no warranties expressed or implied.
    :wq

  5. #5
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    I don't know what defines a hybrid
    I think like MTB geometry but with thinner tires and frame.. (not a comfort bike)
    I am curious about something along the lines of Cannodale Quick 3 / 4, Trek 7.5
    http://www.rei.com/product/777320

    http://www.rei.com/product/796469

    or novara big buzz

    http://www.rei.com/product/775488

    Are these good choices?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist
    Hi I have been riding a trek 3700 about 3 miles each way. It's all on asphalt.
    I think I am starting to outgrow it, I barely coast the whole trip and just crank and crank.
    The low gearing makes me go about 13 miles per hour.. I am always on the tallest 3 or 4 gears.. front is always on the large sprocket.
    Sometimes my mind is a little backwards, but by "tallest 3 or 4 gears" do you mean the largest cogs (lowest gears)? Or do you mean the smallest cogs (highest gears)?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by s0ckeyeus
    Sometimes my mind is a little backwards, but by "tallest 3 or 4 gears" do you mean the largest cogs (lowest gears)? Or do you mean the smallest cogs (highest gears)?
    What I meant is the biggest gear up front and smallest in back (hardest to pedal, highest road speed)

  8. #8
    Are we there yet?
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    Gearing is only an issue if you are regularly spinning out on your highest combination. On most mountain bikes this would be well over 20 mph.

    Also, the category “hybrid” includes a very wide field of much different bikes. Some of the sportier ones are more similar to road bikes and practically as quick.

  9. #9
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    How fast are you pedaling? At 90 rpms you should be going around 22 mph on the big ring (42T) and your small cog (13T). If your cadence is slow, you need to shift into an easier gear and spin faster.

    This is the sentence that is tripping me up:
    "I think I am starting to outgrow it, I barely coast the whole trip and just crank and crank."

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    MTB gearing should be good to well above 20 mph... if you can spin instead of mashing.

    If you want easier/faster, take a look at your tires. Do they look like they'd roll well in the streets?

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  11. #11
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    I can pedal faster but just think that I prefer a taller gear and lower RPMs..
    For a commute is it the norm to pedal at 90 RPM.. I think I prefer to keep the friction down and as I wear my regular clothes to ride..

    I want to install a speedometer so I can get some ideas of actual speed. Maybe once I consistently hit 20s I will reconsider a road bike idea. Tires are loud for sure (almost 60 PSI).. I had a road bike 20 years ago and I couldn't get the same feeling on this MTB.

  12. #12
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    Here are the specs on my bike

    Wheels
    Wheels Formula Alloy FM31 hubs; Bontrager 550 rims w/brushed sidewalls
    Tires Bontrager LT-3, 26x2.0"
    Drivetrain
    Shifters Shimano EF50, 7 speed
    Front Derailleur Shimano C051
    Rear Derailleur Shimano M310
    Crank Shimano M151 42/34/24
    Cassette Shimano TZ31 13-34, 7 speed
    Pedals Wellgo nylon platform

  13. #13
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    Seems like you have some funky gearing. I know it's hard for me to even pedal my hardest gear at 12 mph. Coasting on that is easily 23-24 mph. And even that's not 90 rpm (I don't think anyways).

    Are you sure your derailleurs are engaging the correct gear? I had a Trek 3700 and it was scoot right along easily. Might be something as simple as tightening a cable? (I hope for $ sake anyways )

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist
    I can pedal faster but just think that I prefer a taller gear and lower RPMs..
    For a commute is it the norm to pedal at 90 RPM.. I think I prefer to keep the friction down and as I wear my regular clothes to ride..

    I want to install a speedometer so I can get some ideas of actual speed. Maybe once I consistently hit 20s I will reconsider a road bike idea. Tires are loud for sure (almost 60 PSI).. I had a road bike 20 years ago and I couldn't get the same feeling on this MTB.
    A quicker cadence is good form. It's better for your knees, and it allows you to go faster. You don't have to quite hit 90rpms, but like Pertime said, you want to spin rather than mash.

    You might try changing your tires to something less knobby, especially if you mainly ride on the road.

  15. #15
    jfk
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    Quote Originally Posted by perttime
    If you want easier/faster, take a look at your tires. Do they look like they'd roll well in the streets?
    This seems to be the critical information missing. If you are running 2" wide knobbies at 40 psi you have to put in a lot more effort then say a 1.4"ish tire running 80 psi. That would be the first step for a short commute. The ride is going be brutal compared to a nice wide tire, but you'll get used to it after a couple of rides.

    Personally, I went through the same basic steps, started MTB 2", went to a 1.4" slick, now I have a "hybrid" commuter running 700c (can't recall the width, but its narrower then 1.4"). I can cruise faster, about 17 mph, whereas before I was down in the 14 mph (as measured after 10 miles of riding). However, I am running an internally geared hub, so I can a dérailleur setup being a little faster. I'm also a pretty mellow rider most of the time.

    If you want a new bike, don't let us dissuade you, especially if it will keep you riding. But let's say you go from running 13mph average to 17mph, you save 5 minutes a day with your commute. Is it worth for you? It might very well be.

    I test road the big buz when I was looking for a bike. I found them to be a little unstable with the narrow tires, seating position, and narrow handlebars. You may not, but definitely ride it first.

    Having a short commute as well, I skew toward a comfortable ride at a slow pace. I find the lack of "cool down" and shower time more then make up for my casual ride.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by pointerDixie214
    Are you sure your derailleurs are engaging the correct gear? I had a Trek 3700 and it was scoot right along easily. Might be something as simple as tightening a cable? (I hope for $ sake anyways )
    I think it comes down to technique and gearing choices. It's most definitely not a derailleur or cable adjustment. Unless the brakes are dragging, but the OP would probably realize that.

  17. #17
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    I do have a very slight rear brake rub,
    I don't think it was enough to cause a noticable slow down.
    I think that wheel needs to be trued. Or I can move the pads futher which I didn't mess with yet.

  18. #18
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    BTW thanks for the very good advices, like cadence and other things I didn't realize.
    I will keep at it perfecting the techniques first.

    eventually I do want better effeciency, not just reaching top speed on my MTB.

    I will go check out some road bikes sometime and I think I know in the first 15 minutes it is faster or not.

  19. #19
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    so, curious about my speed took my garmin GPS for a ride..
    avg speed about 14-15mph
    max 20mph was reached when I pedalled like mad, I am guessing about 100-120 RPM.
    Using the 20th gear or 1 gear from the tallest.

    There is no way I can sustain that
    but it is clear the tires are creating incredible drag.

  20. #20
    weirdo
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    If it IS a cassette and not a freewheel, you can get a new one with a 12t tooth small sprocket. I`m pretty sure Shimano even has a 7 speed cassette that goes down to 11t now. If you have a freewheel, you`d need too much new stuff to bother with. That would be the cheapest way to raise your gearing, but I the other guys are right about it being high enough for 20MPH already. Smooth tires sound like a better idea.
    Recalculating....

  21. #21
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    Yes looks to me Shimano TZ31 is a freewheel

  22. #22
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    I used the parts off a roadbike for a cyclocross bike, the bigger heavier tires were a bear they raise the gearing and there is a maintenance wattage that it takes to keep heavier tires in motion. The knobs don't help either i switched to a smaller cross tire and smaller chainrings, and some of the heaviness went away. Very fast and fun on cinder trails and even light mtb trails,much faster that a mountainbike. "Roadbikes are only 3 mph faster" three miles is 5280 yards that's almost 100 yards every minute 25 yards every 15 seconds. That difference could very easily keep you from drafting roadbikes ,that's another 10% at least. I've ridden with people that hang with decent roadies on their 29ers or even an carbon ibis 26er, but these were not your ordinary roadies ,big strong guys (190lbs+) that live with extra weight all the time ,then a (relatively) little bit more weight on the bike doesn't slow them all that much.

  23. #23
    Ride Responsibly
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    have you considered a 29er?

  24. #24
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    I'm in a similar situation. The difference is that I'm not replacing my mnt. bike because I want to, I'm replacing it because the bike is pretty much trashed from a run in with a pickup. I'm fine but the front end of the bike is in bad shape after the truck ran over it (I bailed off just before impact. Anyway, back to the hybrid bike question. I'm not going to plunk down 500 or 600 $ for a mnt. bike that never see's the dirt. I've pretty much decided on this Marin , they call it a hybrid. All I know is it feels a lot more like the correct tool for the job, considering how I use it (commute to work , run errends, and basically ride it everywhere I need to go within about a 4 mile radius of my house). My short test ride I could esily tell it felt slightly lighter and livelier. As far as speed, I have no idea but I do know that 700c x 35 @ 60 psi will have a lot less rolling resistance then 26 x 2.1 @ 35. Road bike guys may scoff at this but for me it'll do just fine.
    Perhaps the OP isn't near as concerned about going from 14 mph to 16 or whatever, maybe he just wants a new bike because his current one just isn't what he really needs. I say if you want and can afford a new bike then by all means buy one. I really like Marin, they have one of the best selections of what they catagorize as "street bikes" as opposed to "road bikes "

    http://www.marinbikes.com/2011/bike_...?serialnum=205

    Happy Riding

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright
    have you considered a 29er?
    What are the benefits, isn't it heavier?

  26. #26
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    If you are not using that as a mountain bike (I didn't read the whole thread because my eyes are lazy.) you need to just buy a slick tire. My opinion is that if you are doing 13mph on a mountain bike with knobbies, getting a hybrid or road bike is not going to speed you up and the difference is fairly marginal in any case.

    Also, 26" v 29".... 26" spins up faster, so there seems to be a real use for urban riding right there.

  27. #27
    weirdo
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    Of course, nobody here would ever dream of trying to talk anyone out of getting another bike. N+1, ya know!

    Hey, you guys- don`t forget about the possibility of picking up a 15 year old rigid Trek/Diamondback/KHS, or whatever, and refurbishing it. They make great "street" bikes and won`t break the bank provided you do the work yourself and you don`t go crazy buying bling parts. Not for everyone, but definitely worth considering.
    Recalculating....

  28. #28
    Cthulhu fhtagn
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    i can do nearly 30 mph on my 29er on the 42/11 gear. kind of scary though lol

  29. #29
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    Hi one more question, if I convert this to become my commuter bike,
    how much lower overall can the bike get with road tires compare to, because the standover height is same as my leg and I was wondering if I can gain at least 1" clearance by using road tires.
    Looks to me the stock tires are about 2" sidewall give or take.

  30. #30
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    "Hybrid" does = faster

    I was commuting to work on my Giant ukon MTB with 2.1 tires. I made a 16 mile communte in about 1hr 15min depending on wind. while at my LBS, the clerk recommended putting some slick tires on it and showed me a Giant Seek3. the Seek is a marketed as a commuter bike, so it has mtb geometry, but 700c tires. I am not enough of a gearhead to give specifics about the gearing.. I ended up buying that and shaved 20 minutes off my commute. I am about 20% faster.

    Plus, after pulling all my lights, reflectors, and rack off my MTB that I had on it for commuting, It was faster on my favoite singletrack. win win.

  31. #31
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    If you are not in your HIGHEST gear combo already, than I do not understand why there is even a discussion about your gearing Clearly the gearing is not the issue.

    Look at your tires. I do not know what those tire you listed are, but is they are not slicks, then get some slicks.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  32. #32
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by PoorCyclist
    Hi one more question, if I convert this to become my commuter bike,
    how much lower overall can the bike get with road tires compare to, because the standover height is same as my leg and I was wondering if I can gain at least 1" clearance by using road tires.
    Not very much. A half inch, maybe.
    Recalculating....

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