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road bike or cross bike(14 posts)

road bike or cross bikedrew
Mar 21, 2001 4:45 PM
I am looking into two options for a bike but I am unsure as to which one. First a little background. I am currently 6' 225 pounds. For the past 3 years I have been faithfully doing the gym for cardiac work outs since suffering 2 massive heart attacks. I'm just about burnt out on that routine though. I'm 43. I have been looking at a cross bike (Raleigh C40) or a road bike (KHS Flite 300). I'm not sure which one I should choose. I'll probably be riding mostly on my own or with my 18 year old. She has a road bike. The last time I really was serious about biking was 20 years ago and that was on Peugeot 10 speed. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
re: I'd suggest a road bikemichaelc
Mar 21, 2001 7:50 PM
When I bought my first bike in 15 years I went with a hybrid. It seemed better in traffic and was a lot more comfortable than a road bike. But less than a year later I'd outgrown the thing and bought a road bike. It took some adjusting, but not much, and the dramatically improved speed and handling was worth the loss in comfort. If I'd bought a road bike to start out with I would have saved some money in the long term.

Of course, your experience may differ. I got hooked on road miles. Went from a 10-mile-a-day hybrid commuter to a bike geek who averages 125 miles a week and is waiting for delivery of a second road bike. Guess that hybrid was a gateway drug, er, bike.
Heavyweight Riderno excuses
Mar 22, 2001 4:14 AM
At 6'3" - 280lbs, I recently upgraded from a Trek Hybrid to a Lemond Zurich. I think the KHS is a steel frame and should give you plenty of support.
The real question on hybrid vs. road is what type of riding are you planning. Maryland has a few railroad trails on hardpacked dirt. Hybrids are better for that type of riding.
If you plan to be riding the road, I agree with previous comments; skip the hybrid, proceed directly to a road bike. Let your LBS work with you on a comfortable set-up to ease into the different riding style.
re: road bike or cross bikefuzzybunnies
Mar 21, 2001 7:54 PM
You might want to look at something in between like the Kona Yehaa which has some road geomitry but is built similar to a cross bike with narrow tires. Otherwise I'd say go with the khs for trying to stay with your daughter, the c40 is more for relaxed riding. TTFN
re: road bike or cross bikeGregJ
Mar 21, 2001 8:05 PM
You may want to take a look at the Schwinn Super Sport line.
re: road bike or cross bikeStew
Mar 22, 2001 2:03 AM
My experience is similar to Drew's. I started riding last year with a Giant hybrid. I wasn't even into riding, just got a bike because my neighbor wanted to get together and do something healthy.

Now I'm a road junkie and waiting for my first road bike to be delivered. I don't regret getting the hybrid. It was a good first step, and got me in shape for riding (over the year my bars got lower and further away from the seat), and it was only $300.

Only you can decide what's appropriate for you. But my guess is that if you start riding regularly, you're going to eventually want a road bike.
re: road bike or cross bikedrew
Mar 22, 2001 3:40 AM
Do you think my 225 lbs will be a problem for a road bike?
Cross bike.Peter Rhodes
Mar 22, 2001 4:12 AM
I'm probably going to be a little bit off then everybody else. I honestly think you should go with a Cross bike. the gearing is going to be easier, you will be in a more up right position, and the angles on the frame will be a little more relaxed.
I do suggest trying both bikes you are looking at. The nice thing about a cross bike is you can ride fatter tires, and even throw on a knobby if you want to ride in less then desirable weather. Here in NH we all ride out cross bikes in the early season because of the amount of snow/sand/salt that is on the ground in late winter/early spring.
In a road bike you're going to get more aggressive angles. This will give you faster steering, tighter cornering, and a "racer" feel. Some how I don't think this is where you might want to start off. You say you've not been on a bike for 20 years.
It's not like you are going to start racing this thing in the near future. I would go for comfort. Which I think that you'll get on a cross bike more then a road bike. Just my humble opinion.
I used to work in a shop, and fitting a person to a bike is secondary to fitting the bike style. What do you want to do with this thing? Do you want to ride dirt roads? Most Paved? is you area hilly? I don't think you're going to want to go with the skinny tires on a road bike at first. A cross bike with come with anything ranging from a 28-35C width tires. While most road bikes will come with a 23-25C tire width.
If you get the bug to start some serious riding, then it is easier to convert a cross bike to a "road" bike with skinnier tires. Most road frames will not accept the wider tires used on a cross bike.
I also think you'll like the ease of Cantilever brakes.
You're also more apt to get rack eyelets on a Cross bike. In case you ever wanted to go that route.
These again are just some things to take into consideration. You're 225lbs shouldn't pose a problem on either bike you choose.
re: road bike or cross bikeTurtleherder
Mar 22, 2001 6:46 AM
I also started with a hybrid for riding on the crushed gravel paths. My wife wanted us to buy bikes, so we both got Trek hybrids. After the second year I was hooked and bought a road bike. I still use the hybrid for slower more social rides and for the unpaved trails. Your solution in deciding between the two types of bikes may be with the new Bianchi Strada. It is a Bianchi mega pro frame with a straight mountain bike handle bar set up. The frame is made from Reynolds 520 steel so it should easily handle your weight. The bars have thumb shifters for easy use and you have a more upright riding position. It comes with Mavic Ma3 rims, 32c Vittoria tires but will take regular narrow road tires. If you want a bike for exercise, some speed, but not racing the Strada may be the ticket. Check it out at, go to u.s.a section and then What's New section for the Strada details.
your weight's not an issue; I vote hybrid, and here's why...Cory
Mar 22, 2001 7:30 AM
225 isn't going to overload any decent road OR hybrid. I don't blame you for wanting to get out of the gym--I never have understood why people ride exercise bikes or run on treadmills when the whole world is out there.
I agree pretty much with what everybody else said--suit the bike to the kind of riding you plan to do--but I think I'd go for a moderately priced hybrid first. It's a lot more stable and easier to ride, and somewhat more versatile than a pure roadie. If you decide you want to get serious about road miles, just changing the tires and handlebars on a hybrid will let you go faster and farther (there isn't THAT much difference in geometry, and not all of what there is is good). When you reach the point that the bike is holding you back from what you want to do, you'll know more and be able to choose a bike that suits you. Plus you'll still have the hybrid for rides in the park.
Road bike or Hybrid/Cross.Ken
Mar 22, 2001 11:37 AM
I agree with Cory, get the hybrid. I had the hybrid as my only bike for 8 years before I finally decided to get a road bike. The difference isn't all that dramatic. I cruise at about 18-19 mph on the hybrid (Cannondale H600), and around 22-23 on the road bike. I use the hybrid now as someone else said above, for social rides, usually with my wife, and for the unpaved trails that run along the canals. It's nice having the option with two bikes. But the hybrid is more comfortable and with the upright position, you can see more of the countryside if you're just touring. If you haven't ridden in 20 years, the extreme position of the road bike might be a little too much to get used to so quickly. Hybrids are often maligned because they can't do what mountain bikes can do, and they aren't as fast and maneuverable as road bikes. But I've always enjoyed mine and found it to be very versatile. If you find that you really like riding the paved roads and you want to go faster, then you can always get a good road bike in a few years. Good luck.
re: road bike or cross bikedrew
Mar 22, 2001 12:06 PM
OK everyone. Looks like 50/50 or there abouts. Which one would give a better cardiac workout assuming most use on paved surfaces, up and down hill. Keep the responses coming. They're all really helpful.
re: I'm reconsidering my suggestion to go road bikemichaelc
Mar 23, 2001 7:01 AM
Now that I've thought about this more, maybe the hybrid/cross bike is a better choice. When I bought my hybrid I went with a fairly expensive one, but if I'd chosen a low- to mid-range hybrid I wouldn't have felt as dumb about later buying a road bike. So if you go for the hybrid you're considering, it'll give you a chance to see if you like riding and what kind of riding you want to do. Then, if you decide later you really want a road bike, you can more easily justify blowing a big chunk of cash on something good.

The key is to get something you'll ride. If you get a bike you're not comfortable riding, you won't ride as much and won't get any health benefits at all :)
re: road bike or cross bikedrew
Mar 25, 2001 10:04 AM
Thanks for everyones suggestions. I have decided to go with a road bike, the KHS 300. All the reviews I have read on it give it a thumbs up. I should take delivery in the next week or two and I am looking forward to it since the weather here in North Georgia is starting to look real good. Anyone have any opinions on the KHS 300?
By the way I have been working with Reality Bikes in Cumming Georgia. They have been real helpful.