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Hi I'm looking for a cycle for long distance(50-60 km) riding in Delhi, India. I'm confused to choose between Road and Hybrid bike. If we consider roads then Hybrid is best option and if we consider distance then Road bike is best option so I'm confused between these two.

PS: I'm a beginner for gear bicycles. I used to ride non-gear bicycles for 30 kms.

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    Does it need to be either one of these, or are cyclocross and touring bikes an option? – ojs Dec 21 '19 at 23:09
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    Used (or borrowed). Then when you're more familiar with cycling buy a new bike that suits you better. – Daniel R Hicks Dec 21 '19 at 23:29
  • @Ashish Siwal have you managed to find a suitable bike yet? If so which one? Thanks – Maarten -Monica for president Jan 18 at 1:12
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There are pros and cons to each type of bike:

Road bike advantages (imo):

  • Light weight

  • Less rolling resistance/easier to maintain higher top speed

  • Easier maintenance in some cases (less paniers, fenders etc. That can get in the way of things

  • better looks?

Hybrid bike advantages:

  • Pre installed fenders (you won't get dirty when riding)

  • More mounting points for locks, lights etc.

  • Wider tires meaning less pinch flats (especially on rougher roads)

  • More options for mounting racks for carrying luggage (often these racks are pre installed)

  • Dynamo mount or hub dynamo (on some models) meaning you won't need batteries for your lights

  • bigger tire clearance (distance between tire and frame) which is useful for mounting fenders but also to prevent the space between frame and tire getting filled up with mud when riding on dirty roads +option to install wider tires due to frame clearance

  • more comfortable riding position

  • some hybrid bikes come with belt drives/internal gear hubs which require less maintenance/cleaning and internal gear hubs will have a longer lifespan than a derailleur system, It is said that belt drives also last longer than chains (but I have no personal experience with this)

It all depends on your situation...

do you use the bike for cycling to work (if so can you chainge clothes at/near work?)?

Have you ridden road bikes before/are you comfortable with the riding position (bent over to the front; which is more aerodynamic than the position on for example a hybrid bike)?

How rough are the roads you ride on? Are there many potholes and such? Will you risk getting pinch flats when riding on narrow (road bike style) tires?

Do you often ride in the rain/muddy roads? If so fenders would be a good thing to have on the bike.

Where do you store the bike? Do you need to carry it up stairs (if you store it inside)? If so weight is important. How many hills you climb is also important regarding this (the bike's weight)

If the roads are muddy then if you use rim brakes you might risk wearing the pads/rim brake surfaces very fast due to the sand acting as a sandpaper in between brake pads and rims. When using disc brakes (which are present more on hybrid bikes than on road bikes) this problem will be greatly reduced or even illiminated (much less mud will get on your brake disc than on your rim wall, also brake discs can be easily replaced without rebuilding the wheel(s) and if you have to rebuild the wheel or replace the wheel it will most likely cost you a lot more money/time.

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We often read here that where cyclists may ride in Delhi road surfaces are very rough. If that is indeed the case, take a road bike only if it can mount wide tyres. At least 28 mm wide, better 35 mm. If the road bike cannot, take the hybrid. Don't forget to consider the cost of such tyres in your decision.

Pot holes and sharp edged debris otherwise cause many punctures. Wider tyres are less susceptible to pinch flats when rolling over sharp edges. Tyres with protection belt help against glass and other sharps. Moreover, narrow tyres do not roll efficiently on coarse tarmac.

Confer to Maarten's answer fort further reasons for, or against, road bikes.

  • “Wider tyres are less susceptible to pinch flats when rolling over sharp edges.” That’s just a matter of pressure, but it can be uncomfortable. – Michael Dec 22 '19 at 10:21
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I would suggest a cyclocross or a comfort road bike with the capacity for larger 700c tires. A bike that can take a 35c or larger tire will be nice if you want to run fenders.
Most important factor is that road bikes with drop handlebars will be more comfortable during longer rides, of 90 minutes or more. The drop style bar provides multiple hand positions which allows you to move around to relieve pressure on hands and stress on your neck and back.
Hybrid bikes will allow only one hand position, which is especially problematic on rough roads during long rides Good luck!

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    Good suggestion regarding the multiple hand positions on drop handlebars. However the poster must keep in mind that most road bikes have a less upright riding position which could be considered as less comfortable to riders who are not/less used to this more 'agressive' position – Maarten -Monica for president Dec 22 '19 at 15:25
  • I disagree with your statement that most road bikes have less upright riding position. 20 or so years ago, your statement would be accurate. The recent model years most popular entry level road bikes, for example a Trek Domane S have similarly relaxed stack and reach geo as well as multiple spacers underneath the stems that are designed to mimic the relaxed position of a “road hybrid” model, which in this example is the Trek FX series. – Velobuck Dec 22 '19 at 19:12
  • Need to clarify models and spec. The Trek Domane AL 2 has taller stack and shorter reach in most sizes when compared to the geometry of a trek FX2. – Velobuck Dec 22 '19 at 19:18

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