Can hybrid bikes be as fast as cyclocross bikes if we use an aero position instead?
There's quite a lot in common for both bikes. People claim that CX bikes are faster. It seems like the main reason is because they're more aerodynamic from the rider's posture. To have a more aerodynamic position on the hybrid bike, my guess is that the stem needs to be longer and have a lower angle.
Advantages of using a hybrid bike include not having to buy another bike if you already have the bike, lower cost for a bike with similar features such as brakes and drivetrain, better leverage for braking compared to that of the hoods position, more room for accessories on the handlebar compared to that of a drop handlebar, possibly more room for a front basket, more options for mirrors, less expensive combo shifters, etc.
On my hybrid bike, When I rotated my hips forward, I found it easier to pedal smoothly just like on my road bike. It looked more like the posture used for road bikes. When I was more upright, I found it harder to pedal smoothly and had to remind myself to do it more often. My heart rate seemed to be higher and I felt slower. Maybe smoothness of pedalling allows more power to be produced at a given heart rate.
On my road bike, my preferred position is on the hoods. I rarely use the tops or drops position. I find the drops position awkward. It's possible because my bike is one size too large. I'm 5'7" and my bike's 56 cm. Also, my commute is almost 9 km.
If a hybrid bike was fitted so that the posture was similar, wouldn't it be almost as aerodynamic? Is that not a popular alternative because with an aerodynamic position, our core and arms can get tired or stiff, and we don't have alternative positions available? For a properly fitted hybrid bike, is it supposed to be harder to pedal smoothly compared to using a properly fitted CX or road bike?
Update: I got my hybrid bike performance fitted. The fitter mentioned that the geometry was like a cyclocross'. My posture's more like a road bike's and was optimized for both aerodynamics and power transfer. Since there was a basket, it could only go so low. It's good to be able to have proper form. The next time I commute, I'll see whether I'm faster. A benefit of a longer stem is that there's more room for accessories.
Here are the details: SH: 737mm OS: 30mm Reach 545mm Drop: 75mm Handlebar: 45mm riser bar, 600mm wide Stem: 130mm +/-10°