Hybrid Bicycle tyres
Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres

Hybrid Bicycle tyres

Various dilemmas ago I'd an initial Ride on a Whistle Crow, which seemed just like a normal hybrid bike: it had flat handlebars like a mountain bike but thin tyres like a roadway or touring pattern. But contrary to our perhaps lazy view of a hybrid — a device according to a mountain bicycle with some changes meant to encourage life on asphalt — the Whistle had been actually a dedicated road bike, it just had the distinction of replacing its scary-for-some drop handlebars with increased novice-friendly straight taverns.

But it got united states considering just what scars out a hybrid bicycle — that will most likely spend the greater part of the life on roadway or towpath — from a passionate mountain bicycle that will invest its life glooping through mud and jumping over ruts.

Is it really just a case of bike manufacturers sticking on bigger or smaller wheels and thinner or fatter tyres depending on the market? Could you — particularly the cycle commuter — turn your own mtb into a viable hybrid, and vice versa, with a simple switch of rubber? Or are there more fundamental design differences at work — and should you really make sure you have a bike ‘fit for purpose’?

Equipment
To understand this I’ve selected two comparable bikes through the exact same mainstream, well-respected, cycle producer. The Scott Aspect 30 is a mountain bicycle that costs £549.99 while its relative, the Scott Sub 30, is a hybrid that costs £20 more at £569.99. In terms of the spec sheet they share many components: each has actually Shimano Altus RapidFire Plus shifters allied to Acera front side derailleurs, each features a selection of 27 gears, and each uses Tektro hydraulic disc brake system.

However, look in a little more detail and there are distinctions. The 3 chainrings from the Aspect 30 mtb (featuring 44, 32 and 22 teeth) are lower tailored compared to those on the Sub 30 (48, 38 and 28 teeth). The Aspect is fitted with a Suntour suspension fork as the Sub features a rigid alloy providing.

The Sub gets a somewhat higher quality Shimano Acera rear derailleur from the Aspect’s Alivio version. And of course you can find the tyres. Huge off-road certain, 2.1-inch wide Schwalbe Ebony Jacks comprise part of the Aspect’s 26in diameter wheel and tyre combo. Meanwhile (slightly) more svelte and surely less grippy 37c Schwalbe Citizen metropolitan commuting tyres feature on the Sub’s 700c hoops.

it is also at this point it’s well worth studying each bike’s frame and geometry. Both tend to be made of double-butted 6061 alloy, and both function an mtb-inspired sloping top tube. Once more, such as the spec sheet, a cursory glance indicate an in depth commitment. However if you appear closely you will notice some important distinctions.

The top pipe junction is probably the obvious here's an example: on Sub hybrid both joins tend to be divided as on a typical road bike, providing the head pipe a bit of respiration area and space to flex; whereas regarding the Aspect all three pipes converge in what appears an ultra-strong meeting of gussets. It’s equivalent aided by the profile of the tubes. In the Sub they appear a tad much more curved; regarding Aspect mtb they truly are squarer-edged and possibly even more rigid. When it comes to geometry, perspectives and pipe lengths also vary somewhat (see page 58).

So they're two distinct bikes.

Theory
What do we anticipate? Well, the Aspect 30’s powerful and compact front end should make it the greater amount of controllable bike over rough surface, and its reduced range of gears should ensure it is more practical when tackling difficult obstacles. It’ll additionally be interesting to observe how effective the suspension system hand are at aiding comfort.

Meanwhile, such could be the building associated with the Sub 30’s framework — as shown by the more rounded pipes and much more open-front end where the additional period of head tube should go some way to taking in under-tread defects — we expect the hybrid becoming the greater efficient bicycle on your way and its own higher gear ratios must also succeed quicker, definitely over everything nearing a smooth surface.

Eventually, we anticipate the effect of every bike’s units of tyres would be vital.

Method
I've developed a straightforward five-mile test course, split evenly into 2.5 miles of road riding and 2.5 miles of demanding off-road. In same conditions i shall complete a timed ride on the training course for each cycle to determine what is nominally quicker. However will test the bikes on a straight, level, four-mile roadway part.

More to the point, I will additionally capture the sensations thought on each stretch of terrain utilizing the different bikes. Because the Aspect additionally the Sub run the exact same Tektro disk brake system and practically identical rear cassettes, it must be feasible — at the mercy of tyre clearances and some gear tweaking — to swap over wheels. After that I’ll find out how each cycle performs using other one’s hoops.

Problems under tread: mainly dried out with dirty spots off road. Complete rise on route: 500ft.

Outcomes
Scott Aspect 30 mountain bike (standard spec)
Despite its wide tyres, the Aspect is clearly a fairly great road friend (for a hill bicycle) and it rolled pleasantly enough on asphalt, specially because of the front hand locked away. The large riding positioning in addition provides a commanding view associated with roadway. However, when off road the bike becomes much more receptive and satisfying. The chunky plastic keeps hold well through mud or over slippery surfaces as well as the suspension hand soaks up lumps well — it’s particularly effective when going at speed over free fire road-type paths.

Price £549.99
Frame 6061 alloy
Fork Suntour XCR 100mm
Crankset Shimano Acera
Gears Shimano Alivio/Acera
Shifters Shimano Altus
Brakes Tektro hydraulic disc 160mm
Wheel dimensions 26in
Tyres 2.1in Schwalbe Ebony Jack
Body weight 13.6kg
Size tested Medium (57cm)

Scott Sub 30 hybrid (standard spec)
The Sub instantly feels far quicker compared to Aspect and inspite of the taller head pipe i discovered myself obviously adopting a more hostile riding place. On your way the cycling experience was more rewarding than utilizing the Aspect — I thought like my feedback was being harnessed effortlessly. Off-road the real difference has also been considerable, but not for much better. Although the Aspect ploughed on, through or higher tough surface, the Sub ended up being left falling and sliding — the trunk end being specially keen to get rid of traction, specially when under braking, to the level in which I crashed heavily using one descent.

Price £569.99
Frame 6061 alloy
Fork 6061 alloy
Crankset Shimano Acera
Gears Shimano Acera
Shifters Shimano Altus
Brake system Tektro hydraulic disk 160mm
Wheel size 700c (28in)
Tyres Schwalbe Citizen 37mm
Weight 12.3kg
Size tested Medium (57cm)

Aspect 30 with 700x37c rims and urban hybrid tyres
Installing 700c crossbreed rims to a 26in-wheeled hill bicycle frame is not anything we’d recommend — you can get devoted 26in semi-slick tyres if you'd like to introduce your mtb into joys of asphalt — however for the objective of this test it had been only possible. Aided by the Sub’s larger wheels much less knobbly tyres the Aspect thought quite quick on roadway yet not especially comfortable. There clearly was a noticeable lifting of this rider’s center of gravity, which performed recommend a little less stability, and also the tight forward end which had believed fast and direct with all the hold of its regular tyres now became twitchy. Off-road the Aspect’s previous capabilities all but vanished — its nippy management had been now rather at chances with an unpredictable back.

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