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  1. #1
    Will ride anywhere cyclist5's Avatar
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    Road, Touring, or trusty old hybrid?

    I currently drive my Trek 7000 hybrid 13-14 miles each way across roads in fairly decent condition over hilly terrain. I'll possibly be riding over downtown streets at night to work.

    Quick question, I'm thinking of changing my bike for my commute. It's a little under 14 miles each way and has some pretty hilly terrain and I carry about 30lbs on my rack. Roads are so-so. Some are worse than others. Should I go ahead and upgrade to a touring bike? But those are pricey. My LBS has Trek 1.1s for around $600, do road bikes work? Or should I just stay with my trusty hybrid? I definitely can't afford to buy new racks, lights, etc for a new bike so all my accessories are carrying over to a faster bike if I get one. I'm trying to see if upgrading a bike will cut my time commuting as so far it takes me about 1hr10min to get from home to school and vice versa.

    And yes, it's a night commute home, sometimes through rain. When I start working again (job starts in a few weeks) I'll upgrade to a proper 600 lumen bike light.

  2. #2
    nashcommguy
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    Maybe a CX bike would serve you better?

    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/..._cross_cx2.htm

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/road/1_series/11/

    Side by side the MB stacks up nicely w/t Trek. Same frame except for the TT, but better comps. Rack bosses, and a better fork for distance commuting. Clearance for full coverage fenders. Similar gearing. MB's probably a little heavier.

    I have the MB and have over 15,000 miles of commuting/utilitarian miles...mostly loaded/semi loaded. Would recommend swapping out the stock tires for some Schwalbe Marathon Plus' or Specialized Armadillos. 28mm for commuting.

    The only thing about the BD experience is one has to self-assemble the bike upon arrival. There are benefits in terms of service agreements, etc. w/one's lbs, though.

    Btw, my rt commuting daily is 40 mi.
    Last edited by nashcommguy; 03-01-11 at 06:59 PM.

  3. #3
    In the right lane gerv's Avatar
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    Your Trek hybrid looks reasonable enough, but I wonder about the quality of the components. If you are unsure about a touring or road bike, maybe a light tourer or a cyclco cross would work. Something like a Surley Cross Check... good components, faster than the hybrid, lighter than a tourer... a good all-purpose bike.

  4. #4
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    You haven't mentioned why you want to change out your bike. Since you haul 30 ibs changing to a lighter bike would be feudal. If perchance your just concerned about the components on your ride and your on a budget, maybe just upgrade components. I rode my 7300 for 8yrs. I don't know how many times I was told suspension slows me down, but yet I never sensed that at all and really liked it. I got new bike-itus about the time my wheelset needed replacement, otherwise I probably would've got a new wheelset and ran it another 8 years. Anyway if you like what you got, hybrids appear to be the best dollar for dollar value. I am not sure if I'd want to run 30 Lbs of gear on the 1.1, and you're right, touring bikes are pricey. Bike Direct has those cheap as well. Cyclocross bikes will have a high bottom bracket compared to a touring bike. Until I can swing a 520, I'll be sticking with hybrid bikes, just hard to top those for the money.

  5. #5
    tsl
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    There's a whole lot of "It depends" stuff in this one.

    First and foremost, is it depends on how you're arriving at your 1:10 time. Is that total real time or cyclometer ride time? No bike can make you faster at a stoplight. Hell, I'm just as fast as cars at a stoplight.

    It also depends on your level of fitness and how hard you work for your current speed. When I switched from a hybrid to a road bike (a Trek 1000, forerunner of the 1.1) I didn't get a lot faster immediately. When did happen was that my ride got easier, then over time I got faster. The hybrid seemed to take a lot of effort for little forward motion. The road bike is hugely easier to pedal, especially over hills.

    The load you intend to carry is another factor. My Trek 1000 is skittish with that much load. Just because it can fit a rack doesn't mean it's happy with a load. My main commuter, a Trek Portland, has a longer rear end like a touring bike. It seems to get even more stable with a load, and the more the better.

    Still, 30 lbs is a lot to carry back and forth every day. Is there some way to reduce that? You're a student? Do you need to carry every book for every class every day?
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  6. #6
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    What size tyre do you want to ride.
    Do you need lower gears of an MTB chainset

    30lbs is very heavy for a commuting load. My ideal commuter for 2x14 would be a light-touring bike such as Soma ES, good for 28mm, possibly 32mm tyres with full set of threaded eyelets. A std road bike would not be ideal.

  7. #7
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    You will want a front dynamo hub, for lights, disc brakes for foul weather stopping daily .
    or a rim replacement budget. an IG hub will be better in the long run..
    counting up cassettes not replaced as they wear out ..

  8. #8
    Very, very Senior Member JPprivate's Avatar
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    I personally think that your time of 1h10min is pretty good. I am not sure what you're shooting for as far as reducing the time. You may be able to get it up 15 mph getting your time to 56 mins. But this will come at a price no matter what bike you use (as in you'll be more sweaty, exhausted etc when you get there).

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist5 View Post
    I'm trying to see if upgrading a bike will cut my time commuting as so far it takes me about 1hr10min to get from home to school and vice versa.
    .
    Changing bikes won't change your time. The biggest issue is carrying 30lbs and after that is changing your posture and getting clipless pedals for greater hp output. I'd just make sure there was sufficient air in the tires , seat at proper height and bars at a comfortable position. Commutting isn't exactly a place for setting speed records.

  10. #10
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    Agree with others who have said that changing bikes won't make you faster. My two cents:

    - lighten the 30 lbs if you can. This is _definitely_ hurting you on the hills (you said you have hilly terrain).

    - climb the hills faster. You lose more time on hills than descending. This could could consist of a combination of optimized gearing for your level of fitness, improved physical conditioning.

    - optimize your bike fit. By this I mean changing handlebars to achieve a more aero position on the flats and better climbing leverage on the hills. Optimize how the cargo is being carried on the bicycle.
    __________________________________________
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  11. #11
    Noobie of the year :) MijnWraak's Avatar
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    +1 for checking air pressure in tires. For quite awhile I didn't have a gauge, and just did the finger push test. After I got a new pump, I found out they were at around 40 PSI (in 700x23mm tires!) and put them to 100 PSI since I don't weigh a lot. After that every ride seemed to need 1 gear lower than it used to. I can't compare speeds since I got my cyclocomputer when I got my pump.

  12. #12
    Seņior Member ItsJustMe's Avatar
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    I'd be surprised if it made that much difference if you bolt the rack and lights on and load the same 30 pounds of stuff on the bike. You'll be going from a 60 pound bike+stuff to a 45 pound bike+stuff. Add in your weight and I doubt you'll see significant difference.
    Work: the 8 hours that separates bike rides.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by puppypilgrim View Post
    - climb the hills faster. You lose more time on hills than descending. This could could consist of a combination of optimized gearing for your level of fitness, improved physical conditioning.
    .
    and this is where one has to be realistic because sprinting up a hill with an extra 30lbs just isn't likely to occur. The hp requirements to go significantly faster uphills are huge.

  14. #14
    Come here often? <wink> exile's Avatar
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    Before going the new bike route, how have you outfitted your current bike? I would first replace the suspension seatpost if your bike has one. The next thing would be to change the tires. Both shouldn't be that expensive.

    If you still want to try something new, then go the used bike route. I do think a road bike would be faster, but as others have mentioned, it does have its drawbacks. Look around your area and go on some test rides and see for yourself.
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  15. #15
    Junior Member kazpaacykel's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=kazpaacykel;12304240]I ride a 1980's Schwinn World Sport as my commuter, which is certainly more style than speed, but I feel like chiming in on this:

    I rode a cross-country Redline Conquest (which is certainly the lower end of the commuting line, but I'm a college student so I'm allowed) and packed it with books, papers, folders... you name it. I traded it in after realizing that although you could pretty much carry everything on it - including a kitchen sink - it needed constant maintenance in the form of crappy components. I swapped to a single speed that weighed about as much as a cat and found that riding that while carrying a backpack was, in the end, a lot less hassle, as I knew how to fix everything on it but rarely had to.

    So I'll have to agree with most of the other responders here; components and maintenance are going to be your deciding factors, really, as opposed to weight if you're still planning on packing the heck out of it. Replacing existing components with nicer ones (and learning how to tune/fix them) would be a lot more beneficial and ultimately cheaper than replacing the entire bike.

    Hope my newbie insight helps.
    When in doubt, weld.

  16. #16
    Will ride anywhere cyclist5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tsl View Post
    There's a whole lot of "It depends" stuff in this one.

    First and foremost, is it depends on how you're arriving at your 1:10 time. Is that total real time or cyclometer ride time? No bike can make you faster at a stoplight. Hell, I'm just as fast as cars at a stoplight.

    It also depends on your level of fitness and how hard you work for your current speed. When I switched from a hybrid to a road bike (a Trek 1000, forerunner of the 1.1) I didn't get a lot faster immediately. When did happen was that my ride got easier, then over time I got faster. The hybrid seemed to take a lot of effort for little forward motion. The road bike is hugely easier to pedal, especially over hills.

    The load you intend to carry is another factor. My Trek 1000 is skittish with that much load. Just because it can fit a rack doesn't mean it's happy with a load. My main commuter, a Trek Portland, has a longer rear end like a touring bike. It seems to get even more stable with a load, and the more the better.

    Still, 30 lbs is a lot to carry back and forth every day. Is there some way to reduce that? You're a student? Do you need to carry every book for every class every day?
    I don't always carry 30lbs but often. See I have 4 classes two days a week and the two days a week I have just one class I stay late studying (don't start riding to work till April when the job starts 11pm-7am). So to make the effort worth staying late (driving or riding) I take all my subjects and spend a couple hours on each. The road bike was a lot easier to get started on, oh so much easier

  17. #17
    Will ride anywhere cyclist5's Avatar
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    Thanks for all of your help guys. I actually posted this twice somewhat and ended up with a cycloscross Trek XO1.

    Gerv: My components were very low end and got stuck shifting, slipped gears, and the bike overall was heavy. The wheels + tires of the XO were half the weight of the 7000.

    bt93: I want a newer bike because my commute so far kills me and yes I know i'll get stronger over the next few months but idk, I just get demoralized when I see all the road bikes around and if I see a mountain bike it's like a trek 800.

    As for all the people saying "used bike" yes the 520 I looked at was from 1980's but honestly I learned not to skimp on bike stuff. Hence I just plopped down the money for a new XO1. I will say from what I remember my hybrid was the first time: hybrid was 3x as easy to ride as my walmart rusted mountain bike. My cyclorcross is about 2.5x as easy as my hybrid but will be less because of the rack. When comparing the weights I couldn't believe how heavy my 7000 was! I'll look into lessening the weight. Maybe a Bob trailer? So far the cyclocross is fast and way more agile than the 7000 and worth the investment. With gas being $3.7/gal here it's now $8/day to drive to school.

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