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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 12-03-07, 09:38 PM   #1
gordosk
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Previous Bike purchase Quandary

Hello all,

Year ago October I had a bug up my butt and purchased a Trek Pilot 2.1 roadbike. My justification then was for fitness and possibly starting to do duathalons for I was doing 10k running races and wanted to try something different. Spring of 2007 came along and I found myself commuting to work part way by biking. I would rack the bike and drive to a co-worker's house who lived on a decent bike route 10 miles from work. The route consisted of residential streets, bike lanes, and bike paths. I was riding in the rain and what not, dodging pot holes and going over railroad tracks, needless to say I was getting a little beat up on my road bike, but when the road was smooth and straight, I was moving. So as I reflect back to why I originally bought a roadbike and what I was actually biking, I find myself wondering if maybe I should craiglist my roadbike and get something more appropriate.

I am asking the forum if any of you experienced something similiar and can offer thier experiences. If I were to get a different bike I would want something that can handle commuting better but I dont want to lose all the performance I enjoyed with my road bike. I would also like something that can handle gravel bike trails. I dont know if such a bike exists, just thought I would ask.

thanks for your time
chris
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Old 12-03-07, 10:10 PM   #2
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It all depends on how hard you want to push the bike. I am not able to commit to a road bike because I deem it too fragile for my size and mostly for the wear and tear I put it through. My rides are much better when I know I can go off road whenever I want without worrying about tires, rims, or other parts of my machine breaking, snapping, cracking, whatever. Sure, she weighs a ton, but she is solid. Not to poo poo any road bike commuters out there, it truly is up to you and how you use your ride on your route.

You might look into a flat bar road bike. I have a Fuji Sagres (lower-end, but still rides nice) to which I added bar-end handlebars and fatter, more durable tires, and she can go off road for short spurts.
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Old 12-03-07, 10:15 PM   #3
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Keep the road bike, nothing beets a road bike on pavement. I started out with a Trek 520 for gravel paths but decided I wanted a full blown road bike for pavement. For gravel paths I'd suggest seeing if you can fit cyclocross tires on your pilot. Many road bikes can fit 28c tires. If not start saving for a cyclocross bike in addition to your road bike.
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Old 12-03-07, 10:43 PM   #4
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send your road bike to me and buy something new, lol. im just playing why don't you just buy another bike and add on to your collection.

hell right now I have a hybrid commuter and ordered a 29er mtn bike (for racing). and I have plans to buy a ss mtn bike a road bike and build a fixed gear bike. not to mention im buying my gf a hybrid also and both of my kids bmx bikes. (and all of those bikes together will cost less than a good car)

nobody said you could only have one bike
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Old 12-03-07, 10:44 PM   #5
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I commuted on a road bike for 3 years and still have it. I'll probably do all my commuting in 2008 on a folder or a recumbent, but I'll ride the road bike to work a few times just for old times sake.

If you have the room use some slightly wider tires and add some clip on fenders to your road bike.
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Old 12-03-07, 10:55 PM   #6
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700x28c tires should be good to handle gravel bike paths, and will give you a bit more cushioning from bumps on the road. Will your bike fit them? Also try running at lower tire pressure. A sport touring bike will combine features of a road bike (and easily add fenders, rack etc) but trades off some performance for more durability. I think the sport tourers as opposed to classic touring bikes tend to be lighter weight so zippier to ride unloaded, and have higher gearing, while perhaps not being quite as well suited to very heavy loads.
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Old 12-04-07, 12:17 AM   #7
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Sounds like you want the addition of a cyclocross or touring bike to your stable. Plus it's good to have a backup bike.
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Old 12-04-07, 01:26 AM   #8
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Sounds like you want the addition of a cyclocross or touring bike to your stable. Plus it's good to have a backup bike.

+1000

The more toys, the merrier.
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Old 12-04-07, 07:16 AM   #9
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I'd consider a well equipped commuter bike to add to your road bike, or to replace it.

There are several well equipped new models out there--looks like the Raleigh Detour Deluxe is nice, as is the Specialized Globe.

A Breezer Liberty is also a nice bike that's well equipped. Their Town bikes, like mine, can't compete with a road bike so I won't mention them.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:39 AM   #10
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If you like riding a road bike (and who doesn't?) I'd suggest holding on to the Pilot and finding an older road bike that you can outfit for the commute with a rack, fenders, and 28mm tires. Think 80s lugged steel.
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Old 12-05-07, 06:38 PM   #11
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Great responses, thanks for your time.

If I went with another bike, I would probably have to get rid of the roadbike. I also have a Mtn bike, which doesn't fit me very well. So I am learning about "Flat bar" bikes, been looking at the Trek FX series and the Gary Fisher Fast City Series. I will check into the 28c tires, for my fear is that I will miss the performance of a roadbike, if I went with something else.

The gentleman that I have been riding to work with rides a Trek hard tail Mtn bike with slicks, he's ok fast, but I do have to ride the brake a little when we ride together.

Also, I would like to be able to carry my work clothes on a rack instead of my back, so is putting a rack with panniers on a road bike feasible?

chris
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Old 12-05-07, 06:53 PM   #12
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Is cost what's prohibiting you from getting a second bike? Because if it is I'd second the suggestion of a previous poster: get an older road bike. Bikes that were high quality in the mid 80s can often be had for under 200 dollars now, plus the cost of a tune up at a shop (if you don't want to do the work yourself). Also, older road bikes tend to have larger clearances for tires than modern bikes, and eyelets for racks/fenders.
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Old 12-05-07, 06:53 PM   #13
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Great responses, thanks for your time.

If I went with another bike, I would probably have to get rid of the roadbike. I also have a Mtn bike, which doesn't fit me very well.
chris
Okay, then that's the one you should get rid of.
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Old 12-05-07, 09:50 PM   #14
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A steel frame touring bike with 28c tires sounds like a good fit for you. Sleek enough for a quick commute but also sturdy and practicle with a more relaxed geomety. Perhaps the Jamis Aurora , Fuji touring, or Surly LHT may interest you.
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