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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Later this year I'll be doing a few 25-50 mile road rides (not races) with family.

My current bikes are:
1) Giant Escape 2 (basic hybrid)
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/escape-2-2018
2) Salsa Timberjack (Deore, 27.5)
https://salsacycles.com/bikes/timberjack/2019_timberjack_deore_27.5

I use the Escape for short errands around town (quick grocery trips, post office, etc) and that's about it. It tends to get uncomfortable though, even after short distances (maybe 6 miles?).

I find the Timberjack to be quite a bit more comfortable/enjoyable in general -- likely because it's just a nicer bike (better brakes, better saddle, better drivetrain, I've put better grips on it, etc).

Neither my budget nor my spouse would appreciate me buying a third bike in < 12 months, especially for just a few rides.

What would you do in my place?

1) Suck it up and ride the Escape, even if it's less comfortable?
2) Ride the heavy MTB with its plus-sized MTB tires, because it's more comfy?

I've pondered buying skinnier/slick tires for the Salsa.

Or maybe buy an inexpensive 29er wheelset and slick tires to go with?

Any thoughts/suggestions would be appreciated.
 

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since 4/10/2009
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I'd bet you can get the Escape to be significantly more comfortable than it currently is with some adjustments to fit.

Squishy saddles are designed to be comfortable for short distances, and ONLY short distances. I bet you'd do better with a better saddle more like what your mtb has. Stem/bars/grips to get your hands into a more comfortable position.

If all you had was the mtb, I'd say go for it and put some slicks on it for your road rides.

With that said, switching a bike from mtb mode to pavement mode too often just gets annoying. I've done it in the past, and just ended up using a sort of compromise tire that I didn't have to change all the time. It was less good for either type of riding, but not changing tires all the time was better than changing them.

But you've already got a bike that should be pretty functional for those sorts of rides, assuming that all it needs are some fit adjustments to make it more comfortable.

I use a Salsa Vaya as my pavement bike. I used to commute and run lots of errands on it when I lived in town. I've even done a century on it. Nowadays I live outside of town and I tend to avoid riding the twisty suburban mtn roads. But I'll take my Vaya and ride it on the Blue Ridge Parkway (especially when it's closed to cars at times in the winter) or on greenways, or occasionally on gravel.
 

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I guess you ended up going with the Timberjack!

Since a lot of people go on bikepacking trips with their timberjacks, maybe it won't be so bad? what's the longest you've ridden on it? Maybe go on a semi long ride and see what you don't like about it first? maybe pump more air in the tires?

P.S. have you tried chamois?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the input, everybody!

Harold's idea to fiddle with various fit adjustments on the Escape seems like a good first step. We'll see how that goes.

I guess you ended up going with the Timberjack!
Yep! Love it so far.

Since a lot of people go on bikepacking trips with their timberjacks, maybe it won't be so bad? what's the longest you've ridden on it? Maybe go on a semi long ride and see what you don't like about it first? maybe pump more air in the tires?
Not super far at all. Still very new to all of this. (Basically a few times around my favorite singletrack, with about 1 mile of pavement to and from each way. Maybe 15 miles total? It's been plenty comfortable through a ride of that length though.)

If I can't make the Escape more comfortable, I'll try this next. If it goes well, maybe I'll just get some slick tires and say that's good enough.

Salsa Warbird :D
Holy moly, believe me, I would love to. Probably not a good idea though. Maybe someday in the future. :)
 

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You should be able to get that Escape where you need it to be. Maybe it is just more saddle time to get your butt in line. Good shorts help too. A new saddle may work wonders, as would some cockpit tweaks. Prior to my Crosscheck I rode a Trek 7.3 FX hybrid on the pavement. I gave it up for the versatility and better performance riding position of the Crosscheck, but while I had it 20-50 mile road rides were not an issue.
 

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A ‘14 Stache is my do it all bike...30mm wheels with 2.6 AM tires for rocky downhills, 25mm wheels with 2.3 XC tires for flow singletrack, and 21mm wheels w/32mm gravel tires for low resistance on gravel/pavement. 80mm riser bar and Thudbuster seatpost make it mucho comfortable.
 
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