city, cross-training or fitness bike) looks
like a mountain bike, featuring upright
handlebars, fat tires, and hefty brakes,
gears and derailleurs. Most important-
ly, the hybrid rides like a mountain bike.
But up close, you can see the differ-
ences. Hybrid bikes sport thinner and
smoother tires and, because of less
rugged components, don't weigh as
much. This makes them ideal for riding
on city streets as well as for moderate
These three bikes are the most pop-
ular styles you'll find in bike shops to-
day. But how do you narrow the choices
to the one bike that's right for you?
"The hybrid is for the person who's
never going to ride off of pavement, but
wants to go on rides of ten to 20 miles,"
says Mr. Riege. "Hybrids, with larger
wheels than mountain bikes, go farther
with each pedal stroke, and are
equipped with narrower, smoother
In fact, the hybrid's versatility is
prompting many experienced cyclists
"It's a category of bike that fills the
gap between racing bikes and moun-
tain bikes," Mr. Riege says. "It's got half
the rolling resistance of a mountain bike
— which simply means it's easier to ped-
al — but it's got the comfortable, upright
riding style of a mountain bike."
Even though hybrid bikes have only
been on the market for five years or so,
there's plenty to choose from. And no
easy answers to which brand to buy.
When it comes to quality adult bikes,
it's price, not the manufacturer, that's
But here's some solid advice: Test ride
bikes in your price range until you find
one that feels right. Listening to a sales
pitch isn't enough, according to Bill
Freund, owner of Olympic Schwinn in
"The best way to learn about the dif-
ferent styles is to test ride," he says. "You
can talk and read about bikes until
you're blue in the face, but the only
thing that will help you make a deci-
sion is take it around the block."
To get your search started, here's a
sampling of hybrid bikes that local re-
tailers say offer a combination of good
value and high quality: Schwinn Cross
Fit ($270), Giant Nutra ($300), Trek 700
($350), Specialized Crossroads ($450),
Schwinn Cross Cut ($450) and Can-
nondale 800 ($1,100).
to get one.
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Dorothy's not the only one
who can click her heels and
The week of May 4th you can
too! See 3 local fairy tale houses
designed by 3 truly magical people.
Just click your heels and repeat .. .
HOME Magazine coming the week of May 4th
Continued on Page 64