Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 23 of 23
  1. #1
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Utility vs. Road Bike Daily Decision Driving Me Nuts

    Two bikes in the stable, a road and a utility bike, and I thought this was a good thing when I bought my road bike a few months back. It is, in that I've taken it for longer rides and really enjoy it.

    But...I've lost my mojo when it comes to deciding which bike to take. I'm as conflicted as I was during the last election, when I wondered if my basic principals changed with my vote.

    I figured I'd ride my new Giant Rapid 1 bike to work once or twice a week, which I have. The road bike gets me there five to ten minutes faster, and that allows me to take the longer route, which is preferred. Plus, it's more sporty to ride.

    I don't ride it when there's a significant chance of rain, since it doesn't have fenders. Even on the dry days, though, I've got to use a pant leg strap and I've got to wear my bike shoes. I don't have a kickstand, so i've got to be careful where I leave it. Truthfully, it's been dry here and I could ride it most days, although I haven't.

    The issue is that I sometimes need to ride to the other side of the lab for meetings during the day, which is a half to 3/4's mile ride. It's not good to be stuck with the road bike for that, although I'm tempted to make it work for me. I could do it, even with the shoes. I could lock it to a street sign to make it stand up.

    But, the bottom line is I prefer the simplicity of the Breezer and I haven't really found a solution yet.
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  2. #2
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,992
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't know what road bike you have but you could commuterfy it some. Put a kickstand on it and some SKS Raceblade fenders. They're easy on and easy off and require no tools. They aren't however, full coverage so they don't protect the bike as well, but they'll keep the crud off you as well as any fender if you put a DIY flap on the front.

    As an alternative to a kick stand you could use a click-stand. I personally don't use either a kick or click stand and it doesn't stop me from running errands with my road bike. It's rarely a problem finding something to lean it against.

    If I'm riding my road bike with regular pants I typically just roll the right leg up. Don't have to carry anything extra like a strap that way.

    Until recently I was using pedals with SPD on one side and a platform on the other. I've been experimenting with some Crank Bros pedals but ultimately may go back.
    Last edited by tjspiel; 07-21-10 at 01:27 PM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Rob_E's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Surly Longhaul Trucker, Dahon Boardwalk, Raleigh 20
    Posts
    1,530
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Sounds like the utility bike fits all of your commuting needs and the road bike fits next to none. Why the dilemma? Just use the utility bike as your go-to commuter and use the road bike for other rides.

    I have thought that it might be nice to have a lighter, faster bike for occasional commutes. I started thinking about how I'd either need fenders, or would need to restrict myself to sunny days, and I'd either need racks, or I'd only want to ride it when I don't have to carry anything. After thinking about it, I realized that I'd either end up making this new bike a clone of my commuter, or I'd hardly ever ride it to work. That's okay. I can still see the appeal of occasionally wanting to be able to choose quick, light, and nimble for some trips, and I still may end up with a bike that fits that niche, but it won't be my commuter bike.

  4. #4
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Minneapolis
    Posts
    6,992
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
    Sounds like the utility bike fits all of your commuting needs and the road bike fits next to none. Why the dilemma? Just use the utility bike as your go-to commuter and use the road bike for other rides.
    Cause the road bike is fun?

    I understand his inner struggle but the dark side is patient. In a year or two he'll be wearing Radio Shack kit and shaving his legs. I'm just helping him down that path.

  5. #5
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    My Bikes
    Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL
    Posts
    6,455
    Mentioned
    17 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    I have the same issue to a lesser degree. I've got a touring bike that I use as my main commuter, plus 3 other road bikes that are lighter and more fun to ride. Since it is summer and I don't have to carry as much clothing and gear, I have been riding my faster road bikes more often. I've equipped one of them with removable fenders (Cruds), and I've got a large seat bag (Acorn med/large model) that can carry a fair amount of gear. That is a reasonable compromise. The problem I run into is on days with scattered thunderstorms. So far I have been lucky not getting caught in storms on days when I ride my bike without fenders, but I've had close calls a few times.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,385
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    1. You can get "clip on" fenders like the SKS Raceblades, or the Planet Bike ones have a good reputation as well. As tjspiel mentioned, they won't keep your feet totally dry (to be honest, I'm not sure that my full coverage fenders will either) but they'll keep your upper body from getting hit by water from the road (no skunk stripe).

    2. It's not easy to find, but I managed to put a chainring guard on my road commuter bike. I've ridden it at least 10 times - my jeans have *never* gotten caught in the chain after that, it's great. I never got any oil on them either before, though I recently discovered that if I actually use the big ring (which I only very rarely use) I can get a black stain on the cuff of the pants...it's not really a big deal for me, but I thought I should mention it. I highly recommend the chainring guard (a circular piece of plastic that's mounted just outside the biggest ring) if you can find it.

    3. Are you wearing "road" shoes or "mountain" shoes? You can walk around in mountain shoes, though I'm certainly not saying I'd want to spend hours walking around in them. With a mountain shoe with a carbon sole, the shoe sole is so stuff I don't know if cleat size really makes much of a difference any more. I like my Time ROC Atac "mountain" pedals so much I'm considering replacing the Speedplays on my road bike. On a side note, I find that if I put on the cleat covers my Speedplays are about just as easy to walk around in.

    The other thing is that if you keep regular non-cycling shoes at work, with most pedal systems you can really ride a half to 3/4ths of a mile without putting on the cycling shoes, it's just a little slower and not quite as comfortable (but it's just 3/4ths of a mile, right?). Shimano SPD's, Eggbeaters, Time Atac's, Speedplays, SPD-SL's all are ones that come to mind that either have a clip-in pedal with a platform around it that might work, or (for the latter two) are flat enough to ride shorter distance in regular shoes without changes.

    Do you keep regular shoes at work? What pedals do you use?

  7. #7
    Blocking your fire exits coffeecake's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    sa-saska-what
    My Bikes
    Xtracycle conversion, RM Sherpa 30, Opus Mondano, Omega mixte, Norco Sasquatch (early 80's)
    Posts
    641
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ha, I have the opposite problem in that my touring bike, which is quicker, has fenders and mudflaps, and the xtracycle has none. We did fight over who was going to ride the xtra at first, and it is more convenient for shopping, but I find myself turning more and more towards the touring bike. I am afraid to test-drive any road bikes as it may result in a detrimental effect on my bank account.

    Ride what you like. If it's been more than a year, and you haven't used the road bike, then you can re-evaluate and sell it, if necessary. Chalk it up to the learning process.
    Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
    ~ Oscar Wilde

  8. #8
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Chicago
    My Bikes
    --------------------------- - 2007 Dahon Speed P8 folder ------- - 2010 Motobecane leChampion SL Ti - 2011 Scott SUB 10
    Posts
    1,805
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    i've got three bikes in my stable and i use all of them for commuting depending on weather factors.

    - 17 pound titanium road bike - this is my go to commute bike whenever weather conditions are nice and dry. by far the most fun pony to ride in my stable; so light and so fast.

    - 28 pound steel MTB turned hybrid - this bike has fenders and it gets taken if the morning is dry but the forecast calls for possible rain afterwork. not as fast, but still fun to ride from time to time

    - 26 pound 20" steel folding bike - if it's raining in the morning, but the forecast calls for dry weather in the afternoon, i take this bike folded on the train in the morning then ride it home. i will also ride this bike in the morning if the forecast calls for truly nasty storms afterwork because then i can just fold it up and ride home on the train (CTA doesn't allow full size bikes on trains during rush hours). the least fun to ride, but by far the most flexible bike i own because i can always fold it up and duck into the nearest CTA station if bad weather arises anywhere along my commute.

    none of my bikes have racks because i prefer to commute with a backpack, so that issue never comes into play in deciding which bike to ride. and all of my bikes are outfitted with dual sided clipless/platform pedals, so the footwear situation is moot as well, i can wear any kind of shoe with any of my bikes.



    bottom line, i totally understand the allure of commuting on the fastest bike available. i commute on my road bike far more often than my two foul weather bikes, but it's very nice to have the flexibility of the other bikes because living in chicago, we have many days that are not "road bike days".
    Last edited by Steely Dan; 07-22-10 at 08:45 AM.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  9. #9
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Palisade, CO
    My Bikes
    Singular Gryphon fully rigid 29er multi-use. Nuvinci N360 IGH
    Posts
    4,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Cervelo with full Dura ace (or Record, or Red as you prefer) with an xtracycle kit.

    Problem solved.

  10. #10
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Two Rivers, WI
    Posts
    869
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I bought a Specialized Allez Sport last week Monday and I haven't touched my old commuter since. I am wondering what I'll do when it rains. Right now driving or getting a skunk stripe seem more attractive than riding my old bike

  11. #11
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    San Jose (Willow Glen) Ca
    My Bikes
    '89 Miyata 1400, '82 nishiski (current utilty/commuter project)
    Posts
    3,351
    Mentioned
    9 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Solution is easy..... N+1.

    you need a third bike..... maybe a folder or a simple single speed to keep at work.

    then you ride in fast and use the 'workbike" for errands at work.

    or you can convice your place of work to get some bikes to be shared, as it sounds like you have a big campus. Worksman perhaps http://worksmancycles.com/shopsite_s.../indbikes.html
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
    '83 Torpado Super Strada ... cafe commuter
    '89 Miyata 1400
    Soma rush Fixie
    '78 Univega gran turismo (son's Fixie/SS)
    06 Haro x3 (son's bmx)
    Electra cruiser (wife's bike)

    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  12. #12
    GATC
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    south Puget Sound
    Posts
    6,619
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I took the fenders off my fixie so I added non-dry days along with cargo/kid-toting days to the list of days I take the geared bike. I like them both equally. Feel bad that mtn bike lies fallow so often.

  13. #13
    Thread Killer
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    4,342
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Can you sport-ify the Breezer? Narrower tires, lightweight wheels, lower bar position...stuff like that?

    I wouldn't junk up the Rapid 1; you love it cuz it's svelte.

    Make--or get a new--sportier commuter. Keep the toeclips/Powerstraps, though.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  14. #14
    Allez means go. bengreen79's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Two Rivers, WI
    Posts
    869
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Today I learned that un-fendered road tires make a much less offensive skunk stripe than wide hybrid tires. I don't think I'll be putting fenders on my road bike.

  15. #15
    Senior Member wrobertdavis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    Houston, Tx
    My Bikes
    Cervelo R3, Surly LHT, Miyata Triplecross setup for commuting, Miyata 914, Univega Sprint
    Posts
    882
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I just finished "de-tuning" one of my road bikes for commuting. I added Ortlieb handlebar bag and small Carradice bag, both with quick release mounts to strip the bike back for fast group rides. I changed the pedals to flat pedals with SPD cleats on one side. Now I can hop on it with sandals and carry stuff and enjoy a sporty commuter or strip it down and ride it as an even faster road bike. I'm using it for all my knock about riding now.

    If I want to get serious about speed, I still have the Cervelo. :-)
    2008 Cervelo R3
    2011 Surly LHT
    1992 Miyata Triplecross set up for commuting
    1992 Miyata 914
    1980's Univega Gran Sprint
    I ride 5000 miles/year in Texas with wind, rain, heat, armadillos, and wild boars.

  16. #16
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicagoland
    My Bikes
    1997 Schwinn Searcher GS, 2007 Dahon Curve D3
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm with the guy who pointed out that the utility bike fits your needs better, so ride that. I ride my Simple City nearly every day on the bike part of my commute.

    The TriCross is just sitting there, even though it is nearly as well equipped. They have the same rack, the TriCross has the far superior saddle, not that it matters for my 1.7 mile one way commute. The TriCross is faster and more sporty. It has lights, fenders, and dual-sided pedals too. (one side clipless, one side flat) I just feel silly getting on it for such a short ride. Not to mention it is worth twice as much, and would probably not wear as well at the train station bike rack.

    If it really bugs you to ride the utility bike so often, you should sell or trade it for something more sporty. Keep your road bike nice & light; no fenders or any of that garbage. But whatever you do, have a dedicated commuter. The only problem with them is that they're so darned useful, they're easy to take for granted.

  17. #17
    Senior Member JeremyZ's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Chicagoland
    My Bikes
    1997 Schwinn Searcher GS, 2007 Dahon Curve D3
    Posts
    794
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Another thought: You could commute on the road bike, and leave the utility bike locked up at work!

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
    Posts
    4,385
    Mentioned
    20 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
    I'm with the guy who pointed out that the utility bike fits your needs better, so ride that. I ride my Simple City nearly every day on the bike part of my commute.

    The TriCross is just sitting there, even though it is nearly as well equipped. They have the same rack, the TriCross has the far superior saddle, not that it matters for my 1.7 mile one way commute. The TriCross is faster and more sporty. It has lights, fenders, and dual-sided pedals too. (one side clipless, one side flat) I just feel silly getting on it for such a short ride. Not to mention it is worth twice as much, and would probably not wear as well at the train station bike rack.

    If it really bugs you to ride the utility bike so often, you should sell or trade it for something more sporty. Keep your road bike nice & light; no fenders or any of that garbage. But whatever you do, have a dedicated commuter. The only problem with them is that they're so darned useful, they're easy to take for granted.
    Lol, with all due respect - the OP said his road bike gets him to work 5-10 faster. Your entire commute probably takes 5-10 minutes!

    If someone was only biking a mile and half, and was leaving their bike locked up at a train station, I would definitely agree with you about riding a real cheap bike as well! For sure.

    His route compared to your route, though, sounds a wee bit like comparing your route to - my route going to my mailbox.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    347
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    the obvious answer is a cross bike with two sets of wheels--one with slicks and one with fatties--so you can bomb whatever at your whim.

  20. #20
    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    Sacramento, California, USA
    My Bikes
    Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
    Posts
    30,256
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    Cervelo with full Dura ace (or Record, or Red as you prefer) with an xtracycle kit.

    Problem solved.
    Red. Definitely Red.

    Cyclists of the world, unite! You have nothing to lube but your chains!

  21. #21
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Thanks for the inputs.

    Because I have begun to take rides for other than commuting, I'm not ditching my road bike. Besides, it's too much fun.

    I've been changing into sandals at work from my Shimano sandals. That's works fine, as casual dress is the norm here.

    We have two bikes at my building at work, but many times they are being used.

    Bottom line, I find myself biking more slowly on my Breezer, and I don't like it. I'm not motivated to huff it anymore. Biked in this morning and I got to say my attitude needs a kick in the pants. It's still fun, but
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

  22. #22
    Thread Killer
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    4,342
    Mentioned
    14 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by thdave View Post

    Bottom line, I find myself biking more slowly on my Breezer, and I don't like it.
    Dude, seriously. Lose the Breezer and get an '80s vintage Fuji Sunfire. The quality will amaze you. I know where you can get one with good welds.
    Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi

  23. #23
    Senior Member thdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,236
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
    Dude, seriously. Lose the Breezer and get an '80s vintage Fuji Sunfire. The quality will amaze you. I know where you can get one with good welds.
    too funny!
    Cleveland, OH
    Breezer fan

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •