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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all! I'm brand new to riding and have managed to inherit an older Giant Innova hybrid (1999 or 2000 maybe). The bike's in great shape (almost never ridden). It probably needs new tires and tubes. No big deal, but there's some things that I would like to change. The reason? I really want to get into touring and hope to do a century by November. I know the hybrids are a bit heavy and slow, but I'm gonna work with what I've got. Here are the specs:

Frame & Fork
Frame Construction: TIG-welded
Frame Tubing Material: Giant ALUXX 6061 T-6 aluminum
Fork Brand & Model: RST 801, 1.6" travel
Fork Material: Aluminum/chromoly, triple-clamp crown
Rear Shock: Not applicable

Components
Component Group: Hybrid Mix
Brakeset: Aluminum linear-pull brakes, aluminum linear-pull levers
Shift Levers: SRAM Attack
Front Derailleur: Shimano Deore top-swing
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Deore SGS
Crankset: SR MD304, 22/32/44 teeth
Pedals: Steel cage, aluminum body w/clips & straps
Bottom Bracket: Cartridge
BB Shell Width: Unspecified
Rear Cogs: 9-speed, 11 - 32 teeth
Chain: 1/2 x 3/32"
Seatpost: Aluminum, suspension, 30.8mm diameter
Saddle: Giant Spring Comfort
Handlebar: Aluminum, rise
Handlebar Extensions: Not included
Handlebar Stem: Aluminum, adjustable
Headset: 1 1/8" steel

Wheels
Hubs: Alloy
Rims: Weinmann Zac 19, 36-hole
Tires: 700 x 40c Cross Comfort Anti-Puncture
Spoke Brand: Stainless steel, 2.0mm straight gauge
Spoke Nipples: Brass nipples


I'd like to know what kind of tires to put on the rims I have for the road and I'd like to know what I can do about that straight handle bar. I don't know if I can put drop bars on that or not with my SRAM Attack twist shifters. Could I put the end bar drop bars on there. I've got a set of aerobars as well that I'd like to put on. I'll worry about the panniers and stuff later. I just want to get on the road and get some miles under me first.

At some point I'll buy a nice new road bike but in the meantime this is the bike I'll be training for my Century ride on. I'll take any advice on equipment and ways to mod the bike to work for distance.

Thanks in advance.

Read more: http://www.cyclingforums.com/cyclin...and-new-riding.html#post3949494#ixzz0r4aBdoRr
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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I could find little in the way of geometry specs for your bike, but just from looking at the frame design IMO trying to make this bike into more of a road bike by installing drop/ aero bars isn't going to work very well. The design is just too different from road bike geo for that type of conversion.

That said, I would replace tires, tubes and rim strips (cheap insurance) and go with 32c tires. For longer rides like the century you've got planned, I'd either drop the adjustable stem to (at least) level the bars with the saddle or get a new stem of suitable length/ angle. I suggest working with a reputable LBS on this part because it's fit related. The idea is to get your weight more balanced f/r, because you don't want too much weight on your lower back/ sit bones on long rides, so the idea is to move your upper torso down (which will also move it towards the front). Not a lot and not to the point of creating neck/ shoulder discomfort, but enough to shift weight forward a little.

I think tha bike will accomodate racks, etc., so this is the point I'd leave things. Better to taylor the bike for your intended purposes (but not try to make it what it isn't) and save for the real road bike down the road, so to speak.
 

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PJ always has good advice.

I would add that for a longer ride like a century, you will want a more aerodynamic riding position, so maybe get the bar a tad lower than your saddle. Pushing your body though the air for a hundred miles is gonna be pretty tough with an upright riding position.
Adding a drop bar to a bike that isn't designed for ine will make the front end feel a bit heavy. I did this to a mountain bike, and it's definitely got a "floppy" feeling front... meaning it kind of wants to turn one way or the other. I sort of have to "steer it" straight.

As for tires, 32's will certainly be comfy, but 28's might be a bit better for the century.

Adding racks and panniers is going to add to the weight. This is something you don't want to do unless you NEED it, like for touring where you pretty much have to carry stuff with you. Let's say you can average 15MPH for the century... that means if you don't stop for anything, you're going to be in the saddle, pedaling for 6.6 HOURS. The more weight you add, the slower you're going to go. If it's an organized century, there should to be stations set up for water, snacks, etc.

Just stuff to keep in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, guys.

I was a little concerned about the geo of that bike with the sloped top tube and everything. What about bar ends. I just want to be able to extend my body forward a little bit for 1) just being able to change positions from time to time for comfort, and 2) to get down in the seat a bit for aerodynamics.

I guess the panniers can wait for the touring bike. Hopefully I can get one sooner than later. For the time being I'll just tuck a bunch of power bars in my shirt and work with my two water bottles to see how far they get me. I'll make adjustments as my distance increases.

Either of you have a good line on a starter touring bike, too. I keep seeing those REI bikes pop up, but I don't know enough to tell if they would be worth it or not.

Thanks again. It's pretty cool that you guys jumped in to help the noob rider so quickly. I really appreciate it. Just a little foot note - I'm getting into this not just for the joy of riding (which I loved in my younger years) but to do a lot of rides to raise money for Arthritis. So, all the help I can get really means a lot to me. Thanks.
 

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All excellent advice—just a brief add-on on the tires: stay away from "cross" tires. On the road, the lugs and/or pronounced tread patterns will produce a lot of rolling resistance. Get 700 x 32 or 700 x 28 "road" tires, with as little tread as possible. So-called "slicks" (no tread at all) roll best, but they're hard to find in 700 sizes. Tread on road tires is for marketing—it has zero usefulness on hard surfaces.
 

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frpax said:
Adding a drop bar to a bike that isn't designed for ine will make the front end feel a bit heavy.
But it can be OK. In May, I rode for two weeks through Provence and Tuscany on a hybried with drop bars and I found the riding position to be superior to straight bars. The front end was already heavy from the handlebar bag so I, surprisingly, didn't notice much problem (if anything it was less "twitchy" than my usual road bike. The shifters (German) were located in the head tube.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I thought the 40's on there would be a bit wide (and cross nonetheless). They'll be replaced with slicks for sure. I'm doing solely road riding anyway. I'll experiment with the bars. I've seen the drop bar end bars that are fairly cheap. If it doesn't feel right then I'll just pop 'em off. I've got a set of aeros already and a few saddles to try out.

Anyone have advice on a trip computer or GPS for bikes. I find it helps me ride if I set a goal and can track the progress along the way.
 

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I just browed the OP and haven't read all the responses or so sorry if I'm missing the point.

But I'd suggest not spending any money on this bike other than tires.
It's a hybrid that will never be a road bike and any investment trying to do so will just delay you're getting the real thing. You said you want to get a road bike someday and the less you spend on this the sooner you'll be able to do that.

I'd just enjoy the bike for what it is while saving for what you really want.
 

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Cycling induced anoesis
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If I'm thinking what you're thinking, bar ends (attached to your flat bars) are worth a try. And as you say, if they aren't to your liking you can remove them.

Re: a computer, IMO as a noob to road riding you would do well to consider a unit with a cadence function. Since I'm ok with the wired variety, I recommend the Cateye Astrale 8. You can find it for about $30, but you may be looking for something more 'high end'. Either way, monitoring cadence is important. The topic has been discussed frequently here, so if you're unfamiliar with the term, a search will yield several results.

And for the future, some touring bikes that might interest you:
Jamis Aurora
Fuji Touring
Surly Long Haul Trucker... among others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hank, you're absolutely right. I won't spend a whole lot of money at all on this one. The wheels first and then maybe the bar ends. That'll be it. I've already inherited a couple of different saddles and a set of aeros to try out.

PJ, thanks for the info. Mid-grade on the computer for now probably. I'll keep an eye out for the cadence function and I'll make sure to read up on it. Also, I keep seeing that Surly LHT come up in discussion, too. I'll take a look at the others as well and find a shop to sit on a few different bikes to see how they feel.
 
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