View Full Version : new rider; question about bike types

12-13-2004, 06:43 PM
Hi Everyone! I've enjoyed reading the posts in this group - helpful stuff! I am a new rider - just bought a Canondale hybrid this year and am interested in riding in some quarter and half centuries, working my way up to a century. Is a hybrid bike going to work for this? I haven't found road bikes comfortable and they scare me a bit. Also, what kind of bikes are used in triathalons? Thanks!

12-14-2004, 05:38 AM
hi, I too am a newish rider. I purchased a Trek hybrid for my first bike--I never expected I would ride more than 25-30 miles. Ha. I did several metric centuries and two centuries on it this past season so it's definitely doable. I am planning on getting a road bike in 2005 though.

12-14-2004, 07:17 AM

this FAQ on buying a bike describes the different kinds of bikes and their best usages pretty well


12-14-2004, 07:48 AM
thanks for the info!

12-14-2004, 12:55 PM
Go with what you feel comfortable on. When I bought my road bike, after years of mountain biking, I was terrified. I rode 23 miles and put it up for an entire year. The speed was too much for me, as was the traffic. This from a person who actually mountain biked in the desert mesas across...tadah!...mountains!

Ok, will a hybrid work? Let's see....are the tires aired up? Are your legs working? Is speed a factor at all or are you just interested in finishing? You should have seen some of the bikes we saw in the Hotter N Hell 100 this past August. A couple of boys actually rode unicyles!

The more you are out on the road the more confident you will become and you will know what works for you. Never arrive at at an event feeling inferior, as there will always be someone out there who has pulled out 1970's ten speed, or a K-Mart Huffy (not knocking these bikes at all) or even a tricycle.

Oh, and when I first started road cycling I rode one day with a woman who was on hybrid. Other than smoking her on the hills she just kicked my *** every way to Sunday on that ride.

Just remember, you are the engine the bike is the chassis. Don't ditch the new hybrid quite yet. Just get used to the whole feel of being out there on the road, and by all means, don't do what I did and chicken out after one ride and park the thing for an entire year. :D

12-15-2004, 07:52 AM
I purchased as my first bike a hybrid, husband also. Within a year we purchased a road bike because we wanted the speed of a road bike and the lightness of it. We didn't realize how much we were going to enjoy cycling! I still enjoy my hybrid when we cycle with slower people or to commute to work. I am attached to both of them!! Now we are thinking about a tandem!! So it just depends on who you ride with or what your intentions are for that ride. Like children, I guess a bike has different personalities and you love them all the same!

12-17-2004, 12:27 PM
Originally posted by Dottie
I purchased as my first bike a hybrid, husband also.

ROFL - I'm sry Dottie - I read this as "purchase my first bike a hybrid, husband also." I thought you meant you purchased a husband! Geez - the way we read things sometimes! I was all excited - wanted to know where I could buy a hybrid And a husband, wondered what type of LBS your store must be. Just in general having fun! Anyway, my "get back into cycling" bike is a commuter bike but I"m saving for a road bike. I will stay with the commuter - like you - for commuting and as a trainer! I want the road bike for the lightness and the speed. I did a 34 mile ride Wed on the commuter bike and enjoyed every minute of it. My avg spd including climbing back up the mountain was about 13 mph and when I got home my first thought was - gee...wonder what it would've been on a road bike! Anyway, at least we ride and Thats what counts more than What we ride no??!

12-17-2004, 07:32 PM
Like Dottie, when I got back into cycling, I got a hybrid (Cannondale, too.) I already had the husband.
After a year, I felt the need for speed, so bought a road bike. That was last year. I do still like to ride the hybrid, and did a couple of half centuries on it. I probably ride the road bike more frequently, but there are lots of times that the hybrid is the perfect bike.

12-18-2004, 04:40 AM
If you have a community college, bike shop or other such entity in your area that offers Effective Cycling classes - enroll. They teach you things like how to ride through traffic, how to change a flat, how to put an amazing amount of stuff in a little seat bag, etc. Here are a few things I learned:

Always wear the brightest clothing. Purples, greys and blacks blend into the pavement. Always wear a helmet and gloves. Bright gloves attract attention. Bright orange bands on your wrists also attract attention.

If approaching an intersection where you have the right of way, brake, shift into an easier gear and keep peddling. You will be going slower but you'll appear to be keeping the same speed because drivers will see you are still peddling. Drivers cannot judge our speed accurately. If some moron pulls out in front of you, you will be going slow enough to stop. If you have the right of way and you stop peddling - the motorist may expect you to stop and will take your right of way. NEVER insist on getting the right of way. They are bigger than you.

Always ride with traffic, not against it. People turning right are looking left. They do not expect a cyclist to suddenly appear on their right side.

Ride as close to the edge as possible *always leaving yourself some room to move more to the edge*. In other words, don't ride right on the edge of the road. Leave yourself room to move out of the way if a car with big mirrors gets too close.

If you're riding a road where the driver's view of you may be blocked by bushes, signs, etc. - ride a little more to the left so they can see you. Remember, drivers are looking for other cars, not cyclists. If you ride too far to the right, they may not see you.

NEVER NEVER ride with headphones. You need to listen to subtle car engine noises. For example, if you're coming up to an intersection and hear a car slowing down behind you - you can anticipate they'll be turning. That is the time you need to make sure they see you. Sometimes, I will signal "stop" to them (hand out, palm towards them) so they don't turn in front of me.

ALWAYS signal your intentions. Most drivers will be courteous if they know what we are doing. Make sure your signals are big and commanding - no limp wrists here! Also, you signal a right turn by a right outstretched arm - not the left arm bent at the elbow. You want the motorist to see you. If I need to move into the traffic lane, I'll turn, make eye contact and signal by pointing down at the traffic lane. Then WAIT for the guy to slow down. Be prepared to stop if he doesn't give you room.

Be courteous at stop lights. If you are going straight, get out of the right turn lane. You should be in the lane that will be going straight - right hand side. That way, cars turning right at the red light can get by you and when the light turns green, cars behind you can pass you.

All of this is probably reversed for our friends "across the pond"