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Hybrid bikes (dirt road tourers)

We like to think in terms of the hybrid use (some pavement, some dirt) rather than the hybrid bike. Why? Simply because there are lots of acceptable ways to make an all-around bike.

Common name Characteristics Best use




700x35 to 42 tires, upright handlebars, usually $350-$600. These are very upright -posture bikes that carry most of your weight on the saddle, so the saddles are wide and cushy and often have spring seatposts. Hybrids also have spring front forks, so they are good for poor roads and dirt roads. Short (<10 mi.) hops on paved roads and the occasional dirt road. Never trails in the woods. 700c wheel bikes have one or two higher (faster rolling) gears than 26" wheel bikes have, but often don't work for smaller riders (under 5'3").

Trail Hybrid




We are excited about these because they are the REAL hybrids for Windham County. Essentially a mountain bike frame with touring bike wheels. Lighter and faster than a trail bike, better balanced and sturdier than regular cushy hybrids. Fisher calls them dual sports, Fuji calls them trail hybrids, we call them the one bike that almost does it all.

Light trail use (like the Marina trail by the West River, or the paths at Acadia), road touring with the right tires and bar ends, commuting, all-around pleasure riding.

Really, anything that's not technical trails or performance road riding.

Mountain bike



Entry-level bikes ($300-500) are good for this purpose, as long as you choose tires with a smooth center tread. They always have stout frames and spring forks, and will likely be heavier than dual sports. Bikes over $400 have cassette hubs (don't suffer bent back axles) and disc brakes (lower maintenance costs over time). Before there were hybrids and comfort bikes, we just took the lower priced mountain bikes and fitted higher handlebars and faster rolling tires and voilà, a "hybrid". This is the way to go if you like balloon tires and stronger wheels. If you want a street bike and it doesn't have to roll fast, and you like being able to bang around on Class 4 roads and Town Trails, choose this type.

"Hybrid" in a few words.

"Dual Sport" in a few words.








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