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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, all! Been lurking for a while, and am hoping to get some advice.

Bought a bike last year - Giant Cypress ST. I thought a comfort bike would suit me for riding in campgrounds and on bike paths with my DH and kids. But it is WAY heavy (over 36 pounds), and I think it's really a bit too big for me with a 16" men's frame.

This year, my boys decided mountain biking sounded like fun, so I bought a Myka Ht. Love this bike - fits me well in a 15" women's frame once I put an adjustable stem on it. Now I ride 20 miles at a time several times a week, and love it. I want to go farther, and I think I'd like a road bike, too.

There are a couple of places near me that have used bikes, so one option is to trade in the Cypress toward a used road bike. However, I live in a really really hilly area. I'm one hill over from the highest point in the state. So I question whether an older 10 or 12-speed will leave me groaning like my mountain bike on all these uphills. Also, after putting my measurements into a bike-fit site, it looks like I need a top tube of 50 cm, 51 at the most. Not sure I'll find a used bike that small - I've been looking, and I really don't want a step-through frame. Plus, would a "vintage" era road bike really be an improvement over my mountain bike?

If not, I can trade in my Cypress on a new Jamis or Fuji. I guess I'm asking if an older road bike could deliver enough improvement over a mountain bike on 20-30mile rides (on hilly roads), or should I spend more to get a new bike (and a triple crank)? I'm not afraid to change parts to improve fit on a used bike.
 

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Welcome to the Forum! I think most road bikes would be a big improvement over riding up hills on a mountain bike (especially if using knobby tires). You can certainly find some good deals out there on used bikes. If you can trade the Cypress on a new Fuji, I do believe that the Fuji Newest 3.0 road bike and the Fuji Absolute 3.0 fitness/flat-bar road offer good value for the beginner price range. I've reviewed both on my blog.

Happy riding!
 

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Another option would be to put road tires on your mountain bike. It's not going to be as fast as a road bike, but it will be faster and handle better on the road than knobbies. You will also have plenty of low gear for the hills.

The Cypress is a hybrid, which is kind of half way between a mtn bike and a road bike. You probably would have been much happier with it in the correct size. Any bike that's too big is going to be a problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I've thought about changing the tires...might still do that. I'm also wondering if I'd be able to get comfortable on a road bike - haven't ridden one since I was a teenager over 20 years ago!
 

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I've thought about changing the tires...might still do that. I'm also wondering if I'd be able to get comfortable on a road bike - haven't ridden one since I was a teenager over 20 years ago!
You could always get another hybrid. Just make sure it fits. The nice thing about hybrids is that they offer a more comfortable riding position and you can ride them on less than perfect paved, dirt, and gravel roads.
 

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Jen L,
I am in the same boat. I have an older MTB (See below). I am looking at a Giant Rapid 1 and Specialized Sirrus Expert. Not quite a full road bike but fast.
 

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Jen L,
I am in the same boat. I have an older MTB (See below). I am looking at a Giant Rapid 1 and Specialized Sirrus Expert. Not quite a full road bike but fast.
I have the Specialized Sirrus Elite and am very happy with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
One of the things I am looking at closely is top tube length. The length on my Myka is 535 mm (and I had to put in an adjustable stem to get comfortable). The hybrids seem to have a slightly longer effective top tube length than some of the road bikes. I think I may have to spend some time in a bike shop to try one out. One LBS rents road bikes - I may consider a day rental and take it for a 20-miler on the local path.

I'm also looking for more hand positions. I need to move around more during longer rides.
 

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Jen_L you seam to have the right thinking. All 15 in frames are not the same, the efecttive top tube lenth will make a difference on how the bike fits you, as you found out you can change the stem for a better fit. A Femme should have a top tube that is shorter than a reg 15 bike, but I would bring a tape. I have a cupple of hybrid bikes but then I got a touring bike with road bars and thay seam to be the most comfortable for me. Good luck on your bike quest
 

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Post #2 was a good one to consider. Check out a 15" Fuji Absolute in any of it's 1.0 to 3.0 variants. It is light, fast, more of a roadbike with the 700 x 28c tires, AND, it is geared a bit lower than a traditional road bike. I love to crank the hills (I live at the top of a very steep valley and work at the bottom and I commute by bike) and this one has low enough gearing for me to commute 3 times a day. If you have a dealer near you, check it out. They're relatively inexpensive but just the right blend.

Cheers,
Steve
 

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My Absolute 1.0 is not fast with me rideing it :D. The Absolute 3.0 was a best bike pick from AARP and all in all a verry nice bike :thumbsup:
¢¢
 

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Hey, all! Been lurking for a while, and am hoping to get some advice.

Bought a bike last year - Giant Cypress ST. I thought a comfort bike would suit me for riding in campgrounds and on bike paths with my DH and kids. But it is WAY heavy (over 36 pounds), and I think it's really a bit too big for me with a 16" men's frame.

This year, my boys decided mountain biking sounded like fun, so I bought a Myka Ht. Love this bike - fits me well in a 15" women's frame once I put an adjustable stem on it. Now I ride 20 miles at a time several times a week, and love it. I want to go farther, and I think I'd like a road bike, too.

There are a couple of places near me that have used bikes, so one option is to trade in the Cypress toward a used road bike. However, I live in a really really hilly area. I'm one hill over from the highest point in the state. So I question whether an older 10 or 12-speed will leave me groaning like my mountain bike on all these uphills. Also, after putting my measurements into a bike-fit site, it looks like I need a top tube of 50 cm, 51 at the most. Not sure I'll find a used bike that small - I've been looking, and I really don't want a step-through frame. Plus, would a "vintage" era road bike really be an improvement over my mountain bike?

If not, I can trade in my Cypress on a new Jamis or Fuji. I guess I'm asking if an older road bike could deliver enough improvement over a mountain bike on 20-30mile rides (on hilly roads), or should I spend more to get a new bike (and a triple crank)? I'm not afraid to change parts to improve fit on a used bike.
DH? Designated Hitter?

Okay seriously, welcome to the board. If you want to do some serious road riding and hill climbing, you are correct to be thinking about a road bike. If you want a bike that has road manners, but some off-road capability, think of a cyclocross bike.

I just bought a Jamis Quest road bike a couple of months ago and LOVE it. A couple of weeks ago I took it out on some paths that were a little rugged for it, and my friend was riding a hybrid. He was keeping a 12-13 mph pace. Since this was the first time on this trail (and because I knew I would set too fast a pace for him on that bike) I let him lead. This was our first time riding our "road" bikes together (we've done some MTB'ing and he kicked my butt...I am 5'9" and weigh 250 lbs). So I found out later he was a little cocky and worried about dropping me. About 5 miles into the ride, we hit a nice straight section of road and I knew where it was going, so I told him I needed to stretch my legs. I took off and hit 23.5 mph (on a straight, flat stretch of road) It took him awhile to catch up. Later in the ride on another straight stretch I kept a steady pace of 16-17 mph. His bike was just not capable of keeping up.

The Jamis and Fuji are great bikes. If I were you I'd give them every consideration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the great input! Glad to hear some votes for Fuji and Jamis, since I have no experience with these brands.

I'm certainly not giving up my mountain bike - I don't want to take a nice road bike camping, and since my kids are 11 and 9, it will be awhile before they could keep up on the road. The Myka will be my camping/family ride bike. But neither my husband nor I (and DH means "dear husband", btw) want to ride the Cypress, so it makes sense to use it towards a bike I do want.

Since I have the mountain bike, I'm leaning toward a road bike. If I didn't, I'd lean toward a hybrid or cyclocross. But comfort in riding and climbing hills are big factors. So perhaps a fitnesss-type hybrid (later outfitted with road or trekking bars) is best. I need to get a free day to check out the Fuji and Jamis bikes.

The shop I bought the Myka from is very good, and I'd be happy to go back to check out the Trek FX or Specialized Vita (in addition to the "pure" road bikes), but they will not take my Cypress in trade, and selling used bikes is not an instant process, if the bike is over $50.

The last factor - I really hate the traditional downtube on women's bikes. I don't ride in a skirt, and I want a strong frame that goes on a rack without fuss. And at my height, there are few used men's road bikes around. I see a lot of bikes in the 54-58 cm range, but no 48-49 cm. Except for the occasional carbon bike - too pricey for me!
 

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And here I thought it meant Dumb%$# husband, but I guess most married men here would consider that redundant and no need to take the time to write the extra few letters.
 

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And here I thought it meant Dumb%$# husband
and I thought it meant damn hubby, that's why i went with the most common usage of DH in the past 38 years, designated hitter.
 

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Jen L
Since you have a mb, getting a hybrid is kinda pointless. Get a road bike for the road, you will be happier in the long run. You might want to try a diff cassette for the rear if you cant find a road bike to fit.
 

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Jen L
Since you have a mb, getting a hybrid is kinda pointless. Get a road bike for the road, you will be happier in the long run. You might want to try a diff cassette for the rear if you cant find a road bike to fit.
I 100% agree. My 29" hardtail kicks butt against my friend's hybrid on paved trails, and my road bike completely smokes it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I'm sorta leaning that way - the Jamis website shows a lot of good options for me. If I were to get a hybrid, it would be more along the lines of a flat-bar road bike or fitness bike, like the Coda or Allegro. But again, multiple hand positions are part of what I'm looking for. Now I really need to take some test rides! I want to avoid carbon fiber, even in forks, 'cause I like durable (I can just see a CF fork getting whacked while loading my bike on a rack).

I'm in no particular hurry. We're off to camp for 2 weeks in Narragansett, and the Myka will be my camping bike in the foreseeable future. Camping is tough on bikes!
 
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