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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-09-06, 01:00 PM   #1
Leonine99
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Road to Hybid/Commuter - HELP!

Hi all, I'm new to the Bike Forum and need to get some help from the vast sore of knowledge here, I'm not a bike expert, I spend too much time on BMW 2002's! I'm in the process of changing my ride, I've had an old (late 80's?) KHS Classic with Campy Record shifters and a butted steel frame that I've been riding for quite some time. All of my riding is road, with the far majority of it being between Santa Monica and Malibu along the Pacific Coast Highway (yes, I know its treacherous!) commuting back and forth about 12-13 miles each way, mostly flat, except a steep hill climb at the end of the ride going into Santa Monica. I recently had a seat post bolt shear off and fell quickly, and couldn't get my shoes out of the Look clipless' in time and got banged up, been off the road for a couple of months...ANYWAY.....I'm looking to get on something a bit sturdier, but will still have good roadabilty. I tried a Trek 7.2 FX, and it was ok, maybe changing the riding angle to less upright would help. I'm curious about the Scott Sub 30, the 700x32 tires seem better than the Trek's 700x35, but I've not found one around here to test out. I'm just trying to get the perfect ride of course, and something that will ride well through the always present stiff headwind that greets ridiers heading north in the afternoons. All ideas are welcome! Thanks, for your input, and looking forward to being part of the community.
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Old 07-09-06, 04:31 PM   #2
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If you've got a relatively smooth ride with a guaranteed head wind, it's tough to beat a true road bike. Just make sure you've got enough gearing to get up that steep hill. Is your concern about durability simply because of your seal bolt experience on the old bike?
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Old 07-09-06, 04:56 PM   #3
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2 double o 2 beemer was the best auto ever built outside the model A or Model T
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Old 07-10-06, 02:09 AM   #4
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Look for a light touring or CX style of road bike, one with clearance for wider tyres and fittings for full fenders and rack. Trek Pilot, Specialized Sequoia are 2 possibilities. You get the best combination of road bike speed and commuter utility. Most long distance commuters find that a tyre of 25-28mm is the best compromise but the ability to fit 32mm is useful in foul weather.
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Old 07-10-06, 09:32 AM   #5
Leonine99
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Great

Thanks for your helpful info.....yes, the bolt thing has me a little less confident in the bike, just an aging bike and who knows what key piece of hardware will wear out next....I'll just fix the seat and sell the KHS locally on Cl or what have you, or if anyone here is interested. The tires are a big thing...I tried a Trek FX and the 700 x 35 tires just seem to drag....I'm eyeing a 2005 Scott Roadster S2 on ebay right now that I think has the 700 x 28 tires...and I might go up to 30's to help with the Coast Highway rock slides Anyone have an opinion on this Scott? With a more comfy seat it could be the ticket. Thanks.
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Old 07-10-06, 09:32 AM   #6
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I just switched from a hybrid to a road bike and am much happier...and faster. Your distances and given that you are used to road bikes, stick with them. In your post, you are already suggesting that you are unhappy with your body position on the Trek Fx. Just wait 'till you are putting your hands on flat bars every day.
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Old 07-10-06, 10:11 AM   #7
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Newbo, I agree, hence why I'm looking hard at that Scott (S3, not S2) right now.....although I never dropped my hands on the drop bars on the KHS, I would either keep them side by side by the post, along the sides or around the brake rubber handles if I was pedaling hard.....hmm, maybe a flat bar has its limits....possibly those bull horns might help....?
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Old 07-10-06, 11:12 AM   #8
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I commute on a road bike with extra-durable 25c tires, and find they are fine. I haven't had a flat for the last 3,000 miles, in fact.

I like low bike weight for commutes that involve some serious climbing, which favors a road bike. I alwo like the drops for riding into the wind. Sometimes I am more tired at the end of the day, and don't want to have to kill myself getting home.
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Old 07-10-06, 11:53 AM   #9
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My beater/back up is a 05' Trek 7200 fx, it's really not a bad bike once you swap tires for a 25, fixed post & fixed stem since the original adjustable weights about a pound.

They are pretty generous about steerer tube lenght so you play with spacers about +- 3" where somewhere in the middle gets rid of the silly upright posture, add the correct seat height & you are ready to roll.
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Old 07-10-06, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonine99
although I never dropped my hands on the drop bars on the KHS, I would either keep them side by side by the post, along the sides or around the brake rubber handles if I was pedaling hard.....hmm, maybe a flat bar has its limits....possibly those bull horns might help....?
Drop bars are great. The trouble is that they are often placed too low. You might consider a Trek Pilot or other more "comfort" oriented road bike with bar position options that let you get the tops up to seat level and the drops in a usable place for ducking the wind or tucking in for speed. Sport touring bikes & cyclocross bikes tend to offer decent positioned drops. Ask about the Pilot at the shop with the FX.
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Old 07-15-06, 10:31 AM   #11
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I'd also say stick with the road bike if you are comfortable with the position; they are much faster than even the lightest hybrid. If you are getting a hybrid, I'd look at a "flat bar road bike" type rather than the Trek 7x series which are closer to mountain bikes. These will tend to have road bike gear ratios, components, and tyres around 700x25-28. I was having back problems with my road bike and so now have a Specialized Sirrus which I am very happy with but there are plenty of other options - Trek 1000/1200 flat bar, Giant FCR, Fuji Sagres, etc. As you mention the Scott Roadster I think you are on the right track with that. Definately get bar ends, they cost next to nothing and give you more hand positions as well as being a help for climbing.
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Old 07-21-06, 03:15 PM   #12
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Personally I'd go over your current bike replacing anything that looked worn or corroded. Then put 28mm Conti Gatorskins on the bike and continue to use it as your commuter. It sounds like a wonderful bike to me.
The fat CHEAP semi-slicks found on most hybrid bikes are slow, however it doesn't have to be so. Schwalbe makes the Marathon Racer, a fairly light tire with decent puncture protection in 30 and 35 mm. The afore mentioned Conti Gatorskins are available in 28mm and are also a good commuter tire.

You can probably improve the comfort of you KHS (or any other road bike you may purchase) by raising the handlebars some. This would give you a more upright position on the hoods and allow you to use the drops for headwinds or faster rides. If your current stem is already all the way up Profile stem with rise or a Nitto Technomic with extra long quill will allow you some additional rise.

Craig
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