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  1. #1
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    questions about commuting on a road bike

    Hi guys,

    I am thinking of changing my hybrid bike to a road bike for commuting (as I want a lighter bike!!). I have a few questions though:

    Do the tyres which claim to have different compound on the sides to help with cornering, actually help with cornering?

    What is it like riding on bad roads? My current bike has no suspension but a suspension seat post, how much harder do the thinner tyres make the ride? Will the bike get damaged if I take it regularly on bad roads?

    How do road bikes handle in the wet - would the above tyres help?

    Would adding a pannier ruin the point of getting a road bike?

    More questions to follow!

    Thanks

    Daven

  2. #2
    RacingBear UmneyDurak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    Hi guys,

    I am thinking of changing my hybrid bike to a road bike for commuting (as I want a lighter bike!!). I have a few questions though:

    Do the tyres which claim to have different compound on the sides to help with cornering, actually help with cornering?
    I seriously doubt you will be cornering hard enough on your commute for it to make a difference. So it's none issue.
    What is it like riding on bad roads?
    Without knowing which bike you are getting this one is hard to answer. I had aluminum CAAD8 frame. A bit harsh on crappy roads. Now I ride carbon Ridley, ride is nicer. Again answer will depend on bike frame geometry, material, and your tolerance for bumpiness.
    My current bike has no suspension but a suspension seat post, how much harder do the thinner tyres make the ride? Will the bike get damaged if I take it regularly on bad roads?
    Well define bad. In general people seriously under estimate how durable road bikes are. I put 4k+ miles on my road bike this year on various roads. Still in one piece...
    How do road bikes handle in the wet - would the above tyres help?
    It will handle fine enough.
    Would adding a pannier ruin the point of getting a road bike?
    Thats for you to decide. Although mounting panniers on a road bikes is more problematic since they usually don't have eyelets.
    I see hills.... Bring them on!!!
    Stay calm and bring a towel.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by UmneyDurak View Post
    I seriously doubt you will be cornering hard enough on your commute for it to make a difference. So it's none issue.

    Without knowing which bike you are getting this one is hard to answer. I had aluminum CAAD8 frame. A bit harsh on crappy roads. Now I ride carbon Ridley, ride is nicer. Again answer will depend on bike frame geometry, material, and your tolerance for bumpiness.

    Well define bad. In general people seriously under estimate how durable road bikes are. I put 4k+ miles on my road bike this year on various roads. Still in one piece...

    It will handle fine enough.

    Thats for you to decide. Although mounting panniers on a road bikes is more problematic since they usually don't have eyelets.
    well I was looking at a bianchi via nirone 7: http://www.evanscycles.com/product.jsp?style=87037
    bad as in, very uneven surface and lots of holes - which i try to avoid!
    I thought it might be more difficult to mount them on road bikes, but I would buy a bike which had the holes.

    Thanks for the reply

  4. #4
    King of the Plukers Spreggy's Avatar
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    Daven, will a seatbag or handlebar bag hold what you need? I used to use a rack and panniers on a road bike, but have weened myself from them by planning smarter and occasionally using a handlebar bag.

    When you switch bikes, you will love the speed.
    “Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they've been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It's an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It's a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
    ― Muhammad Ali

  5. #5
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    unfortunately not i have to carry my clothes and I have a pack-it folder which is quite large, but very useful!

    When I go back to uni, I will have books etc. to carry.

    I'm very tempted by a road bike!! Do you have any personal recommendations in the £600 range? I want a decent, light bike that will last ages!

    Thanks

  6. #6
    In the wind mercator's Avatar
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    I have a rack and panniers on my giant OCR, it makes an excellent commuter bike.

  7. #7
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    I prefer commuting on my road bike than on my "commuter-friendly" bike. I use a commuter bag as there is no hole on my frame to mount a rack... and I would not mount a rack on that bike even if there was holes! However, I use my other bike when it's raining, since it has fenders.
    Also, I totally agree with what UmneyDurak said!

  8. #8
    Senior Member KZBrian's Avatar
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    I'm commuting on a road bike with 25c tires. I love the speed, when I hit a rough patch that I can't avoid (not often) I get my butt off the seat and let my legs absorb the beating.

  9. #9
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    I used to commute on a vintage Raleigh Team with 28C tires and a seatpost-mounted rack. Route was about half unpaved roads which often included washboards and soft spots, and one area which was "paved" with white rock with about 3" avg grain size. I started out using my MTB, but since the distance was around 12-15 miles, I really hated being so slow. The road bike worked out just fine and is still in use today.

    However, I only did that for a year or two and didn't put thousands of miles on. Still, the road bike didn't suddenly fall over when it left the pavement or hit loose gravel, and didn't fall apart under the rough treatment. Ride quality was not much different than with the MTB (both unsuspended)--maybe because the road bike was lighter, and yes I knew when to stand up and I'm not afraid to "hop" either of them.

    The only issue I had with the rack on the road bike was that the weight (CG) on the rack actually resided aft of the rear tire's contact point with the road, which made the front end a little light.

  10. #10
    The Haberdasher BroadSTPhilly's Avatar
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    I commute on an aluminum Panasonic Road bike with 700 X 23's. I rode over about a half a mile of cobblestones this morning. Is it smooth? No. But I don't think it hurts the bike and if you stand up when going over rough stuff it helps alot. Also when you are riding a road bike you will probably find yourself going around bumps and rough pavement more often because you are more manouverable.
    Quote Originally Posted by Grumpy McTrumpy View Post
    pancake theoretical physics is a good new direction for this thread.

  11. #11
    My bicycle is fixed Brian Sorrell's Avatar
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    It sounds like a light touring bike might work for you. I use my Fuji Touring when I need to carry lots of stuff, but it's a plenty capable road bike on its own. Other bikes that come to mind are the Surly Cross Check and the Bianchi Volpe. Search for light touring bikes and you might find something that will suit your all your needs with little compromise.

  12. #12
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    Get a road bike with rack eyelets, slap 28 tires and a rack on it and ride. You'll be fine. No worries.

  13. #13
    Banana seat Captain Slow's Avatar
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    I've always commuted on entry-to-mid priced roadbikes. I prefer all-alloy frames, so I can clamp on a rear rack without crushing CF tubes. Then I add lights and those retro-clever feet belt pedals, and I'm off...

    Attached Images Attached Images

  14. #14
    Senior Member nick burns's Avatar
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    I commute on lunar-like pavement on 700x23 Conti Gatorskins in all weather (aside from snow or ice) with no problems. You'll learn to post over harsh pavement and bunny hop obstacles like potholes pretty quickly I'm sure.
    I don't like to load up my bike with accessories so I carry all my gear, clothes, and food in a messenger bag.

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    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    In the last year for various reasons I've commuted on 4 different road bikes and a rigid frame mountain bike.

    Except for one road bike (a combination of aluminum and carbon frame bits) the bikes were all steel. Tire widths on the road bikes varied from 23C to 32C. The geometry varies from aggressive to a more relaxed "sport touring" setup.

    As far as rain goes, I don't think you'll have a problem. I think the knobby tired MTB is probably worse on the streets in the rain than any of the road bikes. One of the road bikes gets very little braking action out of the rear tire, - it just skids. Not sure if that's due to the tire or the "compact" geometry of the bike.

    The roads here a pretty good overall but in early spring there's a lot of potholes. I've had one pinch flat on one of the road bikes hitting a pothole at speed. The flat was on the rear wheel which was probably underinflated. I've never damaged a rim, or anything else, even in a light collision with a car.

    The feel of each bike is very different. The sport touring one is probably closest to your hybrid. It can move fast when you want to but it's not a racing bike by any stretch. It's got a long wheelbase and would be a good bike to have panniers on.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

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    Senior Member daintonj's Avatar
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    I ride a cyclocross bike with 25 Bontrager Hardcases and the roads around my area are bloody awful. Aluminium frame and a carbon fibre fork and it's pretty good and a fair bit faster than my slicked up MTB. As for commuting I've got full mudguards and a rack but rarely use panniers, mainly I just bungee cord stuff onto the rack.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for all the replies.

    I have been looking at the Giant SCR range, and quite like the look of the 1 and the 1.5 models. They appear to have mounts for racks, and I was wondering if anyone knew if they provide enough clearance for big panniers?

    The bikes are the top two here:
    http://www.devercycles.co.uk/buy-roa...aram=XB/GNT/08

    Can anyone tell me if the difference in components is worth the extra price going from the 1.5 to the 1?

    Would 23mm tyres be very different from 26mm?

    Sorry for all the questions,

    Thanks

  18. #18
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    I commute on an old steel race bike that I converted to fixed gear. 25mm tires and fenders in the winter. Personally, I can feel the difference between 23 and 25. I think most of that has to do with running the 25mm tires at 20 psi less than the 23s.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    Would adding a pannier ruin the point of getting a road bike?
    Daven
    I'd say it does turn down the fun level a notch, the more stuff you carry the heavier you are. The wider you are, the more wind resistence you will deal with. I started off commuting with panniers everyday but now I only carry them twice a week.

    The Specialized Allez has the eyelets for a rack btw, nice price too.

  20. #20
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    I saw the allez in the LBS today. didnt think too much of it, had no carbon fork!

    Can get the giant scr 1 for £675, which seems to me a slightly better deal.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    I saw the allez in the LBS today. didnt think too much of it, had no carbon fork!
    Take it for a ride my friend.

  22. #22
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    that i will definately do, but they didn't have one in stock in my size!

    will build up a shortlist of about 3 bikes and test them all.

    1) Giant SCR 1
    2) Specialized Allez

    Are there any other bikes I should add to this?

    Thanks

  23. #23
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    A coworker just bought a Trek 1.2. I noticed that it had rack and fender bosses. So there's another you might consider.
    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  24. #24
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    Excellent, thanks. Will check them out

  25. #25
    Senior Member daintonj's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
    I saw the allez in the LBS today. didnt think too much of it, had no carbon fork!

    Can get the giant scr 1 for £675, which seems to me a slightly better deal.
    If you're willing to spend that much you could also consider the Genesis Vapour or Rocky Mountain Solo CX

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