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  1. #1
    That's disgusting! darkfinger's Avatar
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    One bike to rule them all...

    and I can`t decide which one

    So I`ve been searching for a wicked bike that I can use for my daily commute as well as something I can use for entry level road racing.

    Here`s what I`m thinking about getting:

    2007 Giant TCR
    Eggbeaters and mountain bike shoes

    however... I`ve also been looking at the Giant OCR3 (Cheaper but also way heavier and from what my LBS salesguy tells me, not worth spending lots of $$ on upgrades)

    and now I`ve been reading a lot about the Surly Cross Check, and while I realize it isn`t really considered a pure bred race bike per say, it looks like one could set a fairly aggressive seating position on it and with the addition of some killer road tires and some lighter parts could be good for both.
    However it`s steel so I imagine it`s pretty heavy.

    Does anyone have a commuter/racer and make a suggestion as to what direction I should be looking?
    Or does anyone use a TCR for both racing and commuting? or the other bikes I`ve mentioned?

    Please help me...I can`t make up my mind.
    "When I see someone commuting in a downpour on a touring bike with a pie plate and no fenders it makes me want to weep." - Bikesnobnyc

  2. #2
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    IMO, race bikes make poor commuters. They typically don't accommodate fenders, rear racks, or tires wider than 25cm, and they usually aren't built sturdy enough to withstand the daily rigors of commuting. I think your best bet is to go with a Surly Crosscheck or a Salsa Casseroll and keep your eye on Craigslist for a used race bike. It's good to have both. Just my 2-cents...

  3. #3
    That's disgusting! darkfinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    IMO, race bikes make poor commuters. They typically don't accommodate fenders, rear racks, or tires wider than 25cm, and they usually aren't built sturdy enough to withstand the daily rigors of commuting. I think your best bet is to go with a Surly Crosscheck or a Salsa Casseroll and keep your eye on Craigslist for a used race bike. It's good to have both. Just my 2-cents...
    I hear you, but the problem is that I can`t afford both, and I won`t really be doing any winter riding with the new bike. I have a beater frankenbike for that. Are road bikes really flimsy? I can see them being a little more prone to breakage due to their design (speed and light weigh over durability) but I would imagine that they are still pretty tough.
    The racks and bags aren`t too much of an issue either. If I have a heavy load I`ll just bring frankenbike instead of the fancy roadie.
    "When I see someone commuting in a downpour on a touring bike with a pie plate and no fenders it makes me want to weep." - Bikesnobnyc

  4. #4
    Senior Member greenstork's Avatar
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    As long as you can accept that your one bike is going to be a compromise. It will never be a great commuter nor a great racer. If you can live with that, then you're all set.

  5. #5
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    I'm not sure how much you are willing to spend but check out the Jamis Supernova. 18.5 pound cyclocross bike with sram rival gear. It would make a decent racer with some narrow street tires. It also has eyelets so adding a rack for commuting wouldn't be a problem.

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...supernova.html

    There is also the Nova Pro that is a little less money.

    http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/...08novapro.html

  6. #6
    That's disgusting! darkfinger's Avatar
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    abbynemmy,
    thanks for the links, I`m going to have to check those out more closely.
    First to find a Jamis dealer in the city so I can go for a ride.
    "When I see someone commuting in a downpour on a touring bike with a pie plate and no fenders it makes me want to weep." - Bikesnobnyc

  7. #7
    Senior Member Winter76's Avatar
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    I've been really happy with my 2006 Marin Lucas Valley compact. Light, speedy and has eyelets for fenders and panniers.
    http://www.marinbikes.com/bicycles_2...y_compact.html
    3 years commuting while there's no snow on the ground. 20km round trip.
    Quote Originally Posted by madfiNch
    What's the point of a bike if you can only ride it on weekends, and you can't even carry anything with you?!

  8. #8
    tsl
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkfinger View Post
    Are road bikes really flimsy?
    No, that's just a myth perpetuated by MTBers and fans of 50 pound Dutch bikes or gaspipe cruisers.

    You may want to watch the potholes and curb jumping with one of those 14 lb ultra lights, but who in real life would commute on one of those anyway? In the typical 17 or 18 lb range, as long as you're not using low-spoke-count wheels, you'll be fine.
    My two favorite things in life are libraries and bicycles. They both move people forward without wasting anything.
    The perfect day: Riding a bike to the library.—Peter Golkin


    Lucky for me, I work at a library and bike to work.

  9. #9
    That's disgusting! darkfinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    No, that's just a myth perpetuated by MTBers and fans of 50 pound Dutch bikes or gaspipe cruisers.

    You may want to watch the potholes and curb jumping with one of those 14 lb ultra lights, but who in real life would commute on one of those anyway? In the typical 17 or 18 lb range, as long as you're not using low-spoke-count wheels, you'll be fine.
    That`s kind of what I figured. I think the TCR comes in at around that weight, plus it doesn`t have a super low spoke count.
    "When I see someone commuting in a downpour on a touring bike with a pie plate and no fenders it makes me want to weep." - Bikesnobnyc

  10. #10
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    IMO, race bikes make poor commuters. They typically don't accommodate fenders, rear racks, or tires wider than 25cm, and they usually aren't built sturdy enough to withstand the daily rigors of commuting. I think your best bet is to go with a Surly Crosscheck or a Salsa Casseroll and keep your eye on Craigslist for a used race bike. It's good to have both. Just my 2-cents...
    I just got done with a race today. I also commute. I agree... and I'll add that commuter bikes make poor racing bikes too.

    If you are intent on one bike (I was forced into it too for financial reasons when I was a student, though I only did group rides, I didn't race), get a basic aluminum or steel framed road bike with decent components (anything over sora really) and ride with a backpack for your commutes. Find a bike that can accept fenders (most can with "a little" finagling) and take the fenders off when you race. Use 23mm tires (you'll need this for the fenders to fit) and get a set of 32 spoke wheels; they'll stand up to rigors of commuting better.

    But, if you are just going with one bike for aesthetic reasons, I'd recommend you not and get two separate bikes for the different purposes. Racing/training and commuting are really two different worlds and the bikes really do come out differently. You can get one to do both, but it will be optimized for neither and you might, in the end, actually end up spending more money trying to keep a race grade bike maintained in the face of constant commuting miles.

    Moreover, you are a bit late to the game for racing this season. Go with a road bike which is commuting oriented right now and start riding with a club. You can see where your fitness level is and what it's like to ride in groups, and you'll still get your commuting done. My commuting road bike is a bit of a mongral, but if I had to do it from scratch, I'd get the Surly Pacer. It is built like an "old-school" road racing bike, which means it has room for a bit bigger tire and fenders, but it will work for racing as well and it would probably make a good entry bike into both worlds.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  11. #11
    Senior Member Brian Ratliff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    No, that's just a myth perpetuated by MTBers and fans of 50 pound Dutch bikes or gaspipe cruisers.

    You may want to watch the potholes and curb jumping with one of those 14 lb ultra lights, but who in real life would commute on one of those anyway? In the typical 17 or 18 lb range, as long as you're not using low-spoke-count wheels, you'll be fine.
    1+ Yup. My racing bike is pretty sturdy.
    Cat 2 Track, Cat 3 Road.
    "If you’re new enough [to racing] that you would ask such question, then i would hazard a guess that if you just made up a workout that sounded hard to do, and did it, you’d probably get faster." --the tiniest sprinter

  12. #12
    That's disgusting! darkfinger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Ratliff View Post
    I just got done with a race today. I also commute. I agree... and I'll add that commuter bikes make poor racing bikes too.

    If you are intent on one bike (I was forced into it too for financial reasons when I was a student, though I only did group rides, I didn't race), get a basic aluminum or steel framed road bike with decent components (anything over sora really) and ride with a backpack for your commutes. Find a bike that can accept fenders (most can with "a little" finagling) and take the fenders off when you race. Use 23mm tires (you'll need this for the fenders to fit) and get a set of 32 spoke wheels; they'll stand up to rigors of commuting better.

    But, if you are just going with one bike for aesthetic reasons, I'd recommend you not and get two separate bikes for the different purposes. Racing/training and commuting are really two different worlds and the bikes really do come out differently. You can get one to do both, but it will be optimized for neither and you might, in the end, actually end up spending more money trying to keep a race grade bike maintained in the face of constant commuting miles.

    Moreover, you are a bit late to the game for racing this season. Go with a road bike which is commuting oriented right now and start riding with a club
    . You can see where your fitness level is and what it's like to ride in groups, and you'll still get your commuting done. My commuting road bike is a bit of a mongral, but if I had to do it from scratch, I'd get the Surly Pacer. It is built like an "old-school" road racing bike, which means it has room for a bit bigger tire and fenders, but it will work for racing as well and it would probably make a good entry bike into both worlds.
    Believe me, it`s just a financial issue. If I could afford both I would buy a nice roadie and a nice commuter...however, one has to do at least for this year and I`d rather go with a nice road bike and wear a backpack.

    Yeah, I`m talking more of doing club rides than actual races, however there are a couple of ``newbie`` events that come up in late August early September that I would like to take part in.
    "When I see someone commuting in a downpour on a touring bike with a pie plate and no fenders it makes me want to weep." - Bikesnobnyc

  13. #13
    VOTE FOR KEN WIND Ken Wind's Avatar
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    Many 700c bikes can accomodate fenders. I use SKS Raceblade fenders, which clip on to the bike thus negating the need for eyelets, on my Jamis Sputnik, and they work quite well for my short commute. I also use a nice, waterproof backpack (Ortlieb Flight) or messenger bag to carry stuff in.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkfinger View Post
    Are road bikes really flimsy? I can see them being a little more prone to breakage due to their design (speed and light weigh over durability) but I would imagine that they are still pretty tough.
    Road bikes flimsy? Not necessarily. But racing bikes tend to emphasize weight savings over durability. In general, you will find steel, non-racing road bikes to be more durable than carbon fiber and aluminum racing bikes. And a modern steel frame really isn't much heavier than an aluminum one.

    Maybe you should consider purchasing an inexpensive single-speed or fixed gear bike for commuting, and a racing bike too?

  15. #15
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    I like the idea of a cyclocross bike as a "do it all" type of bike. I have a Specialized Tricross Comp double and it works very well for commuting and could be used for road racing fairly easily. It's just under 20lbs, but I think it's a little pricey. I'd look at some of the other aluminum cross bikes out there that can be picked up cheaper. Most non-race specific cross bikes have rack & fender mounts. Pretty good components, fairly light and very, very tough.

  16. #16
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    The Cross Check is a great commuter, but there's no way I'd use it for a road racing bike. The geometry is too slack, and it's too heavy compared to the field of 853 steel, aluminum, and full carbon bikes out there.
    I've got a Cross Check and I use it for my all-rounder, except for me that means commuting, errands, and long distance. Racks, 45mm fenders, and I've run up to 35mm studded tires on it... But at a shade under 30 pounds, a race machine it ain't.

    Now, a full carbon cross bike might be a better choice for you for commuting and racing, although it's not going to give you the best of either world.
    The TCR is a good racer, but unless you're willing to go with raceblade partial fenders, you're not fitting anything on there (except maybe those carbon fiber Berthoud fenders which are about $250!) Race bikes aren't great for commuting, IMO, because of the steep angles and aggressive position plus you can't really put racks and fenders on them. But, if your commute is short enough and you're willing to do without racks or fenders, then I say go for it. The worst risk you're running is flatting out if you ride cruddy roads.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
    - Mandi M.

  17. #17
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    Sport-Touring or Club-Racing Bikes

    This type of bicycle was fairly common prior to the late 1980s (when racing frame angles were trending towards steeper angles and shorter chainstays).

    My first racing bike was a mid-1980s vintage Trek 640 with a Reynolds 531 lugged frame and Campagnolo Nuevo Record components. Trek called it a "Sport-Touring" bike because it was designed for anything from entry-level racing to light touring. It had enough clearance for fenders, and braze-ons for a rear rack. It had a shorter wheelbase than a loaded touring bicycle. I raced on it for several years until I decided to sell it so I could buy a used Sannino from another racer I knew. At first I thought the Sannino was a lot of fun with its 75-degree angles and super-short chainstays. It was great for criteriums, but compared to the Trek I felt like it absolutely hammered me on the longer road races. Later I switched to a Pinarello that was more comfortable, but I never have forgotten how great that Trek was for long distances. It had responsive steering and acceleration... definitely more flex in the bottom bracket; but I could still sprint and climb on it effectively (well...I never was that good a climber, actually).

    I stopped racing in my early 20s, but still enjoyed riding a racing bike for fun and exercise. I still ride the Pinarello today, but I would love to get another sport-touring bike. I've also seen them described as "Club Racers."

    Independent Fabrications makes such a bike:
    http://www.ifbikes.com/frames2/steelclubracer.shtml

    And Rivendell does too:
    http://www.rivbike.com/products/list...s#product=none
    (click on the link to the Rambouillet)

    As does A.N.T.:
    http://www.antbikemike.com/clubracing.html

    I'm sure there are less expensive alternatives out there (and hey...if it's going to be your only bike why not go big?), but these are all bicycles I covet... especially the Rambouillet because of the lugs. I have a Rivendell Atlantis that is their loaded/touring all-rounder frame; and even it is pretty fast and fun when I take all the bags off. Definitely not a racer though.

    I think cross frames have replaced the sport-touring/club racing frames for many manufacturers, and you could probably do well with one of them. My sister-in-law just bought a Jamis Nova cross bike that she is going to commute on. If you replaced the knobbies with skinnier road tires it would probably fit the bill.

    Whatever you buy make sure you can raise the handlebars to a reasonably comfortable level for commuting. You can always lower them for racing. By the way, you get extra style points for winning sprints and climbs if you leave the rear-rack attached while you're racing (just remove the commuter bags so they don't slow you down).

    Sean

  18. #18
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkfinger View Post
    Please help me...I can`t make up my mind.
    How about whatever you can find used, for a good price, in your size...

    With a 10 minute commute, it really doesn't matter what you buy from that standpoint. My only concern is that a race bike would likely spend quite a few months hanging on the wall where you're at.

  19. #19
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    I'll disagree with that. I ride a 2002 Trek 5200 with rack and full fenders. How could a bike that does the TDF not be sturdy enough for my humble commute? The carbon works...and it does rain.

    Quote Originally Posted by matthew_deaner View Post
    IMO, race bikes make poor commuters. They typically don't accommodate fenders, rear racks, or tires wider than 25cm, and they usually aren't built sturdy enough to withstand the daily rigors of commuting.

  20. #20
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    +1 Ever tried to haul a 65 lb fully loaded bike up a couple of flights of steps? OOOF
    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    No, that's just a myth perpetuated by MTBers and fans of 50 pound Dutch bikes or gaspipe cruisers.

    You may want to watch the potholes and curb jumping with one of those 14 lb ultra lights, but who in real life would commute on one of those anyway? In the typical 17 or 18 lb range, as long as you're not using low-spoke-count wheels, you'll be fine.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by vrkelley View Post
    I'll disagree with that. I ride a 2002 Trek 5200 with rack and full fenders. How could a bike that does the TDF not be sturdy enough for my humble commute? The carbon works...and it does rain.
    Heh... I also have a Trek 5200. And I have a couple of fixed gear bikes, a Salsa Casseroll, and a Surly LHT. The 5200 is my last choice for commuting.

    I don't know how you got full fenders on the 5200... there is very little clearance for that and it doesn't have eyelets. And how did you get a rack on there? It doesn't have eyelets. Are you using a seatpost rack?

    I, like many other posters, don't have the money to commute on full carbon. The replacement cost of the 5200 is quite high, and the frame seems fragile to me. The bike is a theft magnet. The race geometry is ill-suited for commuting. But I guess you can commute on most any bike. Plenty of folks make do with MTBs with knobbies because they don't know any better.
    Last edited by matthew_deaner; 03-02-08 at 08:55 PM.

  22. #22
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    Well, if you're okay with the idea of cantilver brakes, a light, aluminum, "Euro-style" cross bike might be a decent compromise. I'll be doing some road racing on my cross bike this spring and summer since I can't afford both a cross bike and a road bike for now. By "Euro-style" I mean it should take 130 mm (road) hubs in the rear, and shouldn't have a BB that is raised much beyond that of a road race bike. Cross bikes are pretty flexible machines, and there should be no problems keeping up with your local fast club rides/beginner races with one, provided the right gearing and tires. Then you could even give 'cross a try in the fall, and go off road for some real fun .

    However this may not be the best option for you. If I had to compromise it would be in the commuting direction. A commuting bike is simply one that you comute on, harder to make compromises with a race bike. And it sound sliek you already have a frankenbike for the really nasty days. The only concern then is locking up a really nice bike. Depends on your situation.

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    No cyclo-x bike

    Cyclo crossers make lousy road racers, fine commuters. The bottom bracket is placed higher to keep the pedals further from obstacles in a cyclo-x race. This creates a top heavy bike that always feels like you are in a rain rut. Like others have said a "sport-touring" bike would be fine for club rides and commuting.

  24. #24
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure the One Bike to Rule Them All would be the Pugsley with the 4" tires.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  25. #25
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    Sounds like you should get a Surly Pacer. Road geometry, but steel frame. That or an older steel race bike. They aren't hard to find used and steel will take more abuse than other materials.

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