/ MTB or Hybrid? gravel/woodland

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alex.serban on 19 Apr 2019

Hi. I'm pretty new to cycling. Picked up a bike after 20 years and a lot has changed since then. I'm a bit clueless.

Initial purchase was mostly for city/road riding but now I find myself enjoying more the offtrack. 

I currently have a Trek 7.6 FX with a FIZIK Aliante R7 Manganese Saddle and 25c tires. 

Today I went for a 22km ride in the Epping Forrest on both gravel and forest trails and while I was expecting it not to perform very well, I struggled too much. My wrists and pelvic bones are very sore. Uphill the tires would just spin with no traction.

 I am not sure what to do. Change my tires and saddle, get a Hybrid that is more trail than road oriented or get a MTB.

My use for now would be mainly gravel and forest tracks ( 80%) and city roads (20%). Not planning to tackle any mountains but also wouldn't want a heavy bike with fat tires for the road. I wish I could afford both. 

I was looking at Trek DS series. I've also been recommended Scott gravel/cyclocross series. 

I'd be happy to get some advice. My budget would be max £300 used. idk if that would be enough for a decent bike. Thank you

Post edited at 21:43
routrax - on 20 Apr 2019
In reply to alex.serban:

Stick the widest tyres with a bit of tread  you can on and run them at less than normal road pressure, that'll give you some more traction. Thick bar tape also helps the wrists. 

I've got a gravel bike with 38mm tyres on and it copes better than you'd think, but also have a hard tail for trails and much prefer it off road. 

It's hard to find one bike that can do it all!

abr1966 - on 20 Apr 2019
In reply to alex.serban:

I bought a hardtail recently for what you are describing although I've used it on more technical stuff aswell. I've been riding road bikes for 40 years but I really love this mountain bike, the tyres roll pretty well on the road and have good traction on steeper forest trails etc.....

Its a fine line between a 'gravel' bike as they are referred to now and a hard tail as there is a range where both perform well but I've certainly found that I've done more than I expected to on the mountain bike and a gravel bike wouldn't have been the right thing.

The mountain bike is very comfy also....a real pleasure!

Post edited at 09:49
duchessofmalfi - on 20 Apr 2019

Get a MTB

Unless you want to be a roadie in which case a road bike.

Hybrid == bad road bike for people who want to sit up and look like they are being casual

ChrisJD on 20 Apr 2019
In reply to alex.serban:

Go hardtail MTB, it'll be more fun than a gravel bike (as an owner of Fullsuss/Hardtail/Gravel bikes)

Have a look thru the under £500 hardtails here and search for a new/used bargain:


alex.serban on 20 Apr 2019
In reply to alex.serban:

Thank you for advice. I will sell the current one and go for a hardtail


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