My Dilemma: Road Bike or Hybrid?

So I’ve been seriously, seriously considering buying a bike. I thought I’d maybe blogged about this before, but a quick search of my blog tells me that I’ve only made very brief mention of it. I guess I’ve just been chatting with peeps about it IRL. Imagine that.

Anyway, I finally progressed past the Contemplation Phase and actually went to check out some bikes this weekend. I had gone to a bike shop a few weeks ago, but the salespeople there were talking *waaay* over my head, even though I’d told them that I knew pretty much nothing about bikes. This time, on the advice of my friend Danielle, I went to Dunbar Cycles1, back in my old ‘hood. I walked into the store and said, “I want to buy a bike and I know nothing about bikes” and the salespeople there were super helpful and patiently explained ever little detail to me, without even laughing when I asked really basic questions. They even let me test drive a few AND took the wheels off them to see if they would fit in the trunk of my Smart car! Which was my big exciting discovery today – rather than having to pay $1000 for a freaking bike rack on my Smart car, I can actually fit a bike into my trunk! I have to take the tires off, but I can get “quick release” tires that pop off and on in a few seconds. Of course, if I were bigger than 5 ft tall and thus needed a bigger bike, I’d be hooped with trying to put it into a Smart car trunk, but I am, in fact, 5 ft tall and thus only need a teeny tiny bike. Being short FTW!

But I digress. The point of this blog posting is actually to solicit your opinion on what type of bike I should get: road bike or hybrid?

My problem is that I want to do a few different things with my bike. Namely, I want to:

  • bike around for fun
  • bike to work on days I don’t need my car to get to meetings
  • do a triathlon

A hybrid bike would be good for commuting to work (whereas with a road bike, you aren’t going to want to, say, put a rack and panniers on it) and riding around for fun, say, on the Stanley Park seawall. But a road bike would be better for triathlons. Then again, I don’t want to buy a road bike just because they are good for triathlons, in case it turns out that I don’t really like triathlons. But then the road bike I tried out felt really good and would go faster – and faster is always better, right? But the hybrid bike I looked at is ~$250 cheaper! See why I’m having such a hard time choosing?

Here are the two bikes I liked the most:

1. Hybrid Bike: Norco Indie 2

Norco Indie 2

2. Road Bike: Giant Avail 3

I’ve asked Dunbar Cycles to get the Norco Indie 2 in a small size for me to test ride, as the only one they had was a medium, so I couldn’t get a true sense of what riding it woud be like. I mean, it felt good to ride, but it was definitely too big so I wanted to see what it would feel like to ride the proper size. As well, I need to make sure that it will fit in the trunk of my car! Norco is a local company, so it will only take a few days to get in. Conveniently, this also gives me a few days to think about which to buy. Because I really am torn about which way to go!

Tell me what to do, Internet!

  1. as per usual, I have no vested interest in this company. They didn’t pay me to blog about them or anything. I’m not nearly important enough for that sort of thing! []