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Mad Scientist
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# 99371 18-Mar-2012 08:47
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I've decided to make a lifestyle change and force myself to gym just by going to work and esp - returning home.

I live on the hills in dunedin urban, and in winter it is gritted.

Should I -

1) get hybrid bike ($599, disc brakes, down from $999) and not ride in winter
2) pay $950 (down from $1900) for a good MTB and try to ride on the grit down the hill

Which one will climb hills better - the forward leaning position of the MTB?
Is it safe to ride a MTB or even a hybrid with semi slicks down the hill when gritted?
Is the MTB safer in wet weather?

I've actually bought the hybrid but had these questions after googling - and my bum is super sore! might need new seat :)     




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  # 596679 18-Mar-2012 08:49
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to add - the hybrid has cable disc brakes
the MTB mentioned has hydraulic disc brakes

ONE MORE question -
the MTB has "upgraded" shifters - do they actually shift better than my trigger shifter which doesn't shift properly when under tension pedalling up hill? on the flat seems to be fine but going uphill doesn't downshift properly




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  # 596753 18-Mar-2012 14:29
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It's a bit confusing as to what you mean by Hybrid. I assume you mean a bike that is more in the style of a comfort bike? i.e. a more upright position, with higher handle bars, and with tyres that have a slick strip in the middle of the tyre?

Can you provide a link to the model you have bought?

Slick tyres are generally more suited to urban environments, and will be fine on urban hilly roads in dry weather, and probably also in rain as well. However, in icy conditions, both styles of tyres (slick and MTB style knobbly tyres) aren't going to fair all that well. The MTB style tyres will most likely do slightly better than the slick tyres, but only marginally. Icy conditions are just so damn dangerous on a bicycle, mainly because if you lose your centre of balance, it's all over; but also because if a nearby car loses control, a cyclist has little chance against a car.

Again, what do you mean by "upgraded" shifters. What style shifter are they?

I have hydraulic disc brakes on my MTB, and they perform really well. I've also used a bike that has cable disc brakes, and they also worked really well, maybe only slightly less sensitive than hydraulic.
The most likely difference between cheaper cable disc brakes, and more expensive hydraulic disc brakes is that you are likely to find the cable disc brakes only have one side of the disc calliper that actually moves. That is to say, one side of the disc pad is stationary, whilst the other side moves and ever so slightly bends the disc to "sandwich" the disc the between the two disc pads to enable the friction for braking.

Seat wise: I actually found the stock seat that came with my MTB to be the best. It's actually quite a "hard" seat, also quite narrow as well. I tried a few different seats, including quite a wide gel seat, and also a medium wide/medium hardness seat, but they just didn't seem all the comfortable. But that is probably because it is a mountain bike with a more "forward" position. The wider style seats probably weren't conducive to that style of "forward" seating position. For a more upright bike, it might be just fine.

Just by the very physics of the leaning forward position of a MTB, it will probably be easier than an urban bicycle to climb hills, but it shouldn't be too much harder than on a MTB.

 
 
 
 


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  # 596758 18-Mar-2012 14:39
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Some MTB's are suited to hill climbing some are not. IMHO a good hybrid will outperform most MTB's climbing road hills and the seating position is more comfortable for road use.

http://www.icebike.org/ has a section on tyres.



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  # 596760 18-Mar-2012 14:42
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I think its this one http://www.bikebarn.co.nz/Product/ME000/Merida_2012_Crossway_20-MD

I've been back to the shop decided to stick with this ... A shame i didnt check out the koni bikes but for $599 i think mine is pretty okay. Will get the shifters retuned to see if i can get some gears to shift better but raining today so i drove and didnt bike. Apparently rhere arent many bette seats than mine so hoping the bum will get used to it!

Have decided not to bike when frosty, but miht gove rainy mornings a go




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  # 596761 18-Mar-2012 14:43
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Also i think the ride is too firm because the tyres are over pressured to rock solid




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  # 596763 18-Mar-2012 14:45
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gzt: Some MTB's are suited to hill climbing some are not. IMHO a good hybrid will outperform most MTB's climbing road hills and the seating position is more comfortable for road use.


Yeah and a bit lighter too! 




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  # 596956 19-Mar-2012 02:34
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Having ridden bikes as a sport since I was 14 (downhill MTB, road and MTB XCountry) and having then worked in the bike industry for around 6 years...
The best bike for you is the mot comfortable, best handling ride.
In your case, for hitting up the hills of Dunedin - the mountain bike would be heads and shoulders above the hybrid. Forgiving geometry will allow for slightly safer handling on the way down the Dunedin streets - and semi-slick MTB tyres will be fine on gritted hills as long as you're not pulling on the front brake mid-corner!
I used to live in Dunedin and the only grief I had was with black ice... mid corner... on Serpentine Ave.
That hurt!

Oh yeah, if you've got a sore butt, grab yourself some bike shorts, maybe some baggy mountain bike versions?

 
 
 
 




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  # 597029 19-Mar-2012 10:44
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thanks!!!

i've decided not to bike in the grit. going down hill is SO scary when it's wet let alone frosty or icy or gritted!

i've also decided not to pay 50% more for a MTB which is heavier, as I'm only using this as an alternative compulsory gym (on okay weather days) ...

but thanks for the bike shorts tip! bum feels a bit better today (2nd time, first time going down the hill) let's see if it will improve ...

thanks




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