Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Taiwan is a cyclist's paradise, and here's the place to share your experiences, questions, and pictures!

Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby urodacus » 17 May 2012, 07:21

Most touring tires tend to be, as you put it, 'effin heavy', as they're built like a tank to withstand punctures and to have a long, long tread life.

and yes, worrying about another few hundred grams in a build with a spare seat and a kid is a bit over the top.

Just ride, man.


Slicks front and back are fine. I have often taken my race bike many many miles through rough gravel roads in the hills here on 21 mm slicks and lived to tell the tale. My wheels survive too, though the tires do get scuffed up a bit (Vittoria Evo CX tubulars). With sport contacts front and back you'll be fine, or with a tire with slightly knobby edges on the front if you go anywhere that's sandy or muddy or rooty (not the place to ride with a kid)...
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 19 May 2012, 18:03

urodacus wrote:Most touring tires tend to be, as you put it, 'effin heavy', as they're built like a tank to withstand punctures and to have a long, long tread life.

and yes, worrying about another few hundred grams in a build with a spare seat and a kid is a bit over the top.

Just ride, man.


Slicks front and back are fine. I have often taken my race bike many many miles through rough gravel roads in the hills here on 21 mm slicks and lived to tell the tale. My wheels survive too, though the tires do get scuffed up a bit (Vittoria Evo CX tubulars). With sport contacts front and back you'll be fine, or with a tire with slightly knobby edges on the front if you go anywhere that's sandy or muddy or rooty (not the place to ride with a kid)...


Well, I still don't know exactly what kind of conditions I'll be getting into. My main priorities are safety and less rolling resistance.

I did 50k on the bike trails this morning and felt like those knobbies were going to kill me riding back home against a headwind.

Maybe I should just get the Travel Contacts and have something that is pretty decent for everything. They will doubtless be lighter and roll better than the knobbies, at the very least.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 21 May 2012, 12:56

I did my first proper set of nasty hills last night. I found the lowest gear to be a bit higher than I expected. On one particularly steep part, my front wheel was actually starting to pop off the ground.

My question is this - do I need to find a way to get lower gearing in order to be able to get up those kind of hills or am I somehow overcompensating for my legs by pulling up on the handlebars? It didn't seem like the latter as I was keeping the same posture but who knows. This only happened on one very nasty stretch so I didn't have a chance to try it again.

Never had this happen on a MTB so I'm curious if it's just the road bike gearing...
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby Feiren » 21 May 2012, 13:10

There's a reason most of the fancy road riders are confined to the provincial highways and the like...

Where were you riding (so I can have an idea of the grade)
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 21 May 2012, 13:44

Feiren wrote:There's a reason most of the fancy road riders are confined to the provincial highways and the like...

Where were you riding (so I can have an idea of the grade)


Maobu Rd in Sanxia. It's your typical little hill country road - steep and narrow.

http://maps.google.com/maps?q=maobu+Rd+ ... 7&t=m&z=14
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby the bear » 21 May 2012, 17:18

PaddyB wrote:I did my first proper set of nasty hills last night. I found the lowest gear to be a bit higher than I expected. On one particularly steep part, my front wheel was actually starting to pop off the ground.

My question is this - do I need to find a way to get lower gearing in order to be able to get up those kind of hills or am I somehow overcompensating for my legs by pulling up on the handlebars? It didn't seem like the latter as I was keeping the same posture but who knows. This only happened on one very nasty stretch so I didn't have a chance to try it again.

Never had this happen on a MTB so I'm curious if it's just the road bike gearing...


I've been studying this recently too: Lowest gear in standard road bike gearing just isn't as low as MTB's. This means that on some of Taiwan's steeper roads there'll be occasions when you'll really have to grit your teeth and push hard with your legs. Short stretches of 12% to 15% gradient are not that uncommon in some areas here so you need strong legs and lungs to get up them. Standard compact gearing means your lowest climbing combo is a 34 cog gear in front and a 25 cog gear in back. I'm curious myself how much easier a 28 or 29 option would be....People who ride road bikes in hellishly hilly areas have been known to use MTB type set ups on a road bike as a solution.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby circleback » 21 May 2012, 18:44

I'm curious myself how much easier a 28 or 29 option would be....People who ride road bikes in hellishly hilly areas have been known to use MTB type set ups on a road bike as a solution.


I'd like to know what people's experience with this too. Maybe having a 105 or Ultegra compact setup then realizing they need a lower gear. What was done, etc.? I suspect though it's highly subjective according to how strong and experienced the rider is.

On that note though SRAM Apex's WiFli setup seems pretty promising for some of Taiwan's steep climbs. Lowest is 34 in front and I believe 32 in the rear.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby urodacus » 21 May 2012, 22:29

the geometry on a road bike is shorter than a mountain bike, and the front end is always MUCH lighter than on a MTB, so even with some higher gearing, you're more capable of pulling the front wheel off the ground.

That's when you need to stand and lean forwards and keep your head over the front hub, to keep the front wheel on the ground even though you're cranking out more usable power than on any MTB (road bikes being lighter than equivalent MTBs, more usable power for climbing or sprinting). in the steep stuff, you really need to move your weight around on the bike, regardless of whether its an MTB or a road bike.
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby PaddyB » 03 Jun 2012, 15:17

I went back to that Merida store on Ruiguang road to load up on some clothes and accessories and what did I notice? That Cyclocross 4D they have is a 55cm and it *does* in fact have rack eyelets, unlike the pictures on the web! :doh:105 and disc brakes! $35,000 sticker price! :doh:

Apparently it's export only and they can only order them at the beginning of the model year. I'm kind of glad I didn't spend that much on my bike, and I like having a triple (even if it's a crappy one) but damn what a cool bike. Beats the hell out of a Cross-Check for the same price (unless comfort is your main priority). Someone should snatch it up!
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Re: Getting started in Taiwan: hybrid or full-on trail bike?

Postby samsonisfurry » 02 Dec 2012, 19:35

Hey Paddy - how is that TCX treating you? Have you used panniers? Decent heel clearance? I'm sorting through many of the same options you considered.

- Surly
- Salsa
- Bianchi
- Jamis

All hard to find in my size and/or budget.

Found this beauty at 7-park, but it's too small for me.

http://www.7park.com.tw/showroom/view.php?C=5526969

Cheers,

M
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