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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 09-18-09, 11:19 PM   #1
thenomad
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Too many potholes on my commute - Stick with 700c or go to MTB?

I had to stop and retrue my rear, it went wonky with all the rattling and one big surprise hit. The road I ride back on is falling apart in places and I have to really be on my toes to keep from slamming some good holes.

So I'm thinking about tires and rims. I have a cheap $100 set of rims I may switch over to and I'll see what the largest tire is that will fit. I'm not convinced this will keep me ok though.

I like road bikes and the speed I can carry. But I've been thinking now of the Hardrock Sport sitting in the garage. It's heavy and upright so I'm not totally set on using it but I can't afford to break a wheel, or be late for work due to a pothole.


So will I have that much of a difference in protection from a larger 700c tire? Or would the safe bet be to outfit the MTB with narrow commuter 1.25 tires?
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Old 09-18-09, 11:27 PM   #2
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If you can race cyclocross on 700c, then potholes should be nothing. It's all about the tires and wheels you choose. Try a 700c cross wheel, it's much stronger than lightweight road rims.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:30 PM   #3
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I've been thinking of selling my Trek if I find a touring or cross type frame. I'll see what width will fit on this frame and see if that helps.
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Old 09-18-09, 11:32 PM   #4
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Just put cross wheels on your current frame... unless you are switching frames for another reason. Cross bikes brakes (canti's) are a huge pita.
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Old 09-19-09, 02:45 AM   #5
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My Long Haul trucker came with 700c and takes potholes like there not there. I even go off sharp curves every once in a while. I guess it really depends on what size tire your running also.
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Old 09-19-09, 03:48 AM   #6
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I find the crap they fill cracks in the road far more irritating than the pot holes. Maybe another rout option might work.
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Old 09-19-09, 08:22 AM   #7
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Isn't there a local agency you can report the bad road surface to? Include pics of the worst offenders.
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Old 09-19-09, 08:39 AM   #8
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Isn't there a local agency you can report the bad road surface to? Include pics of the worst offenders.
Ha ha ha ha ha! LOL. That's a good one...




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Old 09-19-09, 09:41 AM   #9
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If you've got the clearance, i love my 700x40 marathon Supremes, pricey though.
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Old 09-19-09, 10:22 AM   #10
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I guess it was inevitable to have to buy tires for the commute since all I have around are small 700x23's

As for the swap of the frame, mine is a 760 pro series race frame from '86 so no eyelets and a short wheelbase. I like it but it's also a 56 and I really would be better on a 54.

Of course, I'm a gear head so I love to tinker and swap parts instead of just riding! ha!
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Old 09-19-09, 12:33 PM   #11
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The real question is: what size tire can your bike clear?

The problem isn't the wheel...it's the tires that will clear the frame. Consider in MTB circles that "29-er" is just another word for "700c". But that wheel size is effective for the rough terrain because they can run 2" wide tires if necessary.
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Old 09-19-09, 12:41 PM   #12
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Ha ha ha ha ha! LOL. That's a good one...
Indianapolis is pretty good about filling potholes if they are reported.
But that doesn't do much good in SoCal.
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Old 09-19-09, 12:43 PM   #13
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If they fit, there is a huge difference in the harsh absorbing ability of a 40 on the rear. 35s seem to be sufficient on the front.
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Old 09-19-09, 03:00 PM   #14
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Used to have 25's but had alot of trouble with pinch flats, now I run 32's and have no problems. I true my wheels occasionally(rear more often) but never have a big problem with them.
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Old 09-19-09, 03:13 PM   #15
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I run 700:28 Marathons on Mavic Ma40 rims laced to a Sansin 40 spoke hub (front) and a 32 spoke Deore in the rear.

These are solid wheels and at 90 psi the Schwalbes such up the bumps really well and the wheels have been bombproof... the MA40's were the preferred choice for many tourers as they are such a solid rim.

And I can still roll out at some pretty decent speed... I run 700:35 Schwalbe Cx Compes on another wheel set for winter riding and these are downright plush.
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Old 09-19-09, 04:31 PM   #16
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I weigh around 270 and run 36h mavic a319s on surly hubs(fixed) w/specialized 28mm armadillos (@100psi) and haven't had a problem yet. I've had them about three weeks and have been riding fast around the brick roads and huge cracks in the road around my new neighborhood. I hit big cracks/holes in the road 15-25mph going down some of the hills. Sometimes the tires feel flat, but the suspension they provide is sweet. I bought them from universalcycles.com (my new favorite online retailer), they were maybe around $230.
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Old 09-19-09, 04:54 PM   #17
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Since you are not using the Hardrock why not put some slicks on them and see how they roll. I have Specialized FatBoys on my hardtail (26x1.25 up to 100psi.) and love them. I commute on the hardtail as often as I commute on my LHT. Both bikes use the 26 inch rim size but each rides differently. Or perhaps you need to convince your significant other about needing another bike .

However if you have a relatively long commute you might want to swap out the tires on your current bike to something wider like others have suggested.
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Old 09-19-09, 08:55 PM   #18
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10-13 miles each way, is that a 'long' commute? I'm trying to maximize my $. I've got to decide what will be the best investment for now.

I'll have to measure the road frame.


I will be putting on a rear rack on to carry all my stuff so I might give the Hardtail a try with some narrow slicks. If its far worse than a road bike then I'll have to consider a different set of road tires.
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Old 09-19-09, 09:06 PM   #19
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going to 700x32 really improved my comfort level with bad road surfaces and curbs. A 700x23 is just asking for a pinch flat on most commutes.
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Old 09-19-09, 09:44 PM   #20
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10-13 miles each way, is that a 'long' commute? I'm trying to maximize my $. I've got to decide what will be the best investment for now.

I'll have to measure the road frame.


I will be putting on a rear rack on to carry all my stuff so I might give the Hardtail a try with some narrow slicks. If its far worse than a road bike then I'll have to consider a different set of road tires.
Why narrow slicks? if serious potholes you want fat slicks.

You ask 28" or 26", that is not the main issue. I run 622-47 on one bike and that would be much better than a narrow MTB tyre. I do not understand this obsession with narrow tyres, especially on such roads. 622-32 is narrow "in my world". Fat tyres = suspension = more comfort for you = less beating for the bike.
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Old 09-19-09, 10:07 PM   #21
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I suppose that's true. I guess I only know the road world and that's why I don't trust anything other than narrow slick hard tires for speed on asphault...

Fat slicks does make sense, I'd love to avoid that molasses feel of riding on knobbies. It's like a 5mph wind...
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Old 09-20-09, 08:51 AM   #22
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I suppose that's true. I guess I only know the road world and that's why I don't trust anything other than narrow slick hard tires for speed on asphault...

Fat slicks does make sense, I'd love to avoid that molasses feel of riding on knobbies. It's like a 5mph wind...
Exactely. For years and years now MTB`s with knobbyes has been the rule around here, also for peopel who do not ride on dirt at all. On some group rides you can hear a terrible noise from some tyres, and I know from before I started thinking for myself that they really suck, lots of speed and power is lost.
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Old 09-20-09, 05:18 PM   #23
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In your case thenomad I think it's worth having two bikes ready to go, especially since it sounds like you are not using your hardtail. I like the slicks I have on my hardtail but my commute is only 3 miles each way. Also I think tires would be the cheapest upgrade before deciding to change out rims. You could probably upgrade both bikes with tires (depending on what you buy) cheaper than getting new rims and/or tires. A lot of the 700cc tires i've seen have a 26 inch equivalent.
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Old 09-20-09, 05:46 PM   #24
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I'll never know how the MTB feels until I ride it so I'll get slick tires for it and run it. If it's too doggish then I know what I have to do.
Thanks for the advice all!
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Old 09-21-09, 06:38 AM   #25
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Or would the safe bet be to outfit the MTB with narrow commuter 1.25 tires?
For the record 1" tires are 32mm. If you can fit 32s on your current bike, problem solved.
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