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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 03-02-11, 08:03 PM   #1
flattie
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Thoughts on new Jamis Bosanova as a commuter

Hi - long time lurker here. I began biking @ 6 yrs ago in an effort to get in shape. I bought a Raleigh M20 hardtail MTB at that time and have ridden it in a few charity rides like the Bike MS 30 mile around NYC the last few years. That's pretty much the furthest I've ridden in one go and last year I managed to complete that ride with an average speed of 12.13 mph. That said I get frustrated on it when the wind picks up because I'm on the larger side (6'2 260lbs) and about as aerodynamic as a sheet of plywood on the MTB when I'm heading into the wind - which is not an uncommon situation near the beach on the south shore of Long Island which is where I do most of my riding - usually a 20 mile out and back on weekends and some weeknight rides of the same length.

Will moving to a road bike yield a few more mph due to the larger wheels and potentially more aerodynamic positioning?

Is this bikehttp://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik..._bosanova.html a good candidate for a road bike that can be potentially used for commuting one day? My concern is will it handle potholes and the occasional curb or am I expecting too much from a road bike? I emailed Jamis and they indicated that it will handle tires up to 35 mm wide which to me seem like they should offer some more durability or is that a misconception on my part?

I'd be looking to hopefully commute once a week given the distance involved - the routes I would take would range from 25 to 30 miles one way starting in Oceanside, NY and ending in lower Manhattan. Should I be looking at a different bike if this is a goal I'm shooting for? The same shop that had the Jamis also had a Masi CX Uno which appealed to me since it too was steel framed and featured some wider tires. The Masi was cheaper $850 vs $1100 for the Jamis, but had Sora vs Tiagra components and canti's vs disc brakes - I've had a few "oh @#$#" moments in wet weather on my MTB so the disc brakes were very appealing to me. Are there other steel framed bikes i should consider (my preference for steel stems from reading here about the ride difference between steel and aluminum - I'm not worried about losing power to the steel flexing - I am not racing just trying to get in shape and get from point a to point b).

Sorry for rambling on - anyway what I'd like to hear are peoples thoughts on the Jamis Bosanova as a commuter capable of handling 60 mile rt commutes once a week through Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan. And also if there are other bikes I should consider as I begin looking in earnest for a road bike.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:12 PM   #2
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25-30 miles one way is a lot for communting. I would normally steer people towards V-brakes since they are lighter and stop almost as well, but you mention that you ride when wet so the disc brakes will serve you well. Go get the Bosanova.

Since you will only be doing this once a week. you should be able to handle it. Get good lights like Dinotte if you will be riding in a dark a lot.
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Old 03-02-11, 08:35 PM   #3
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Thanks for your thoughts. I have a planet bike superflash and a cateye headlight on the MTB right now. I don't plan on commuting except in the nicer weather when the days are long enough to avoid the dark but I'll be sure to mount lights anyway since I use them in flashing mode during the day anyhow. My commute now is around 1hr 20 minutes each way so 2hrs 40 minutes round trip plus I usually go to the gym for 45 minutes to an hour most days. I'm thinking if I can replace that time with 4 hours to 4 1/2 hours on the bike once a week it's almost a wash time wise and it will hopefully give me a chance to build some stamina and lose some weight.
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Old 03-02-11, 09:11 PM   #4
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Looks great but lose those stock fenders and get a set of real fenders from Planet Bike or SKS. I see disc brakes as a plus. $1100 for that bike doesn't seem bad at all. The 28c tires are probably okay, but maybe check with the shop if they would swap out for 32c Randonneur tires as that might give you a bit more cush for your weight and road conditions. Make sure whatever fenders you have can accommodate tires up to 35-38c for good coverage.
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Old 03-02-11, 10:36 PM   #5
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Your mountain bike probably offers a riding position that's nearly aerodynamic as what you could get on that Jamis bike. Overhauling your bearings, installing a more aggressive stem, using thinner slicks for tires, and pumping up your tires to optimal pressure will probably get you nearly as much speed increase as buying a new bike would. If you want a new bike, get the new bike. But, it probably won't be much faster in any practical sense.
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Old 03-03-11, 09:08 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Scheherezade View Post
Your mountain bike probably offers a riding position that's nearly aerodynamic as what you could get on that Jamis bike. Overhauling your bearings, installing a more aggressive stem, using thinner slicks for tires, and pumping up your tires to optimal pressure will probably get you nearly as much speed increase as buying a new bike would. If you want a new bike, get the new bike. But, it probably won't be much faster in any practical sense.
I already replaced the knobbies with some 1.5" slicks (serfas drifters) that are inflated to 70psi. I've noticed repeatedly that those that are on road bikes seem to exert less effort to maintain the same pace. While they would pedal a bit and coast I would find myself pedaling continually just to keep up. I suppose this could be a question of overall ability but in one case the rider had at least 50 lbs on me and was a bit shorter - the only apparent difference was the road bike vs a MTB with a suspension fork.
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Old 03-04-11, 06:17 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by flattie View Post
I already replaced the knobbies with some 1.5" slicks (serfas drifters) that are inflated to 70psi. I've noticed repeatedly that those that are on road bikes seem to exert less effort to maintain the same pace. While they would pedal a bit and coast I would find myself pedaling continually just to keep up. I suppose this could be a question of overall ability but in one case the rider had at least 50 lbs on me and was a bit shorter - the only apparent difference was the road bike vs a MTB with a suspension fork.
If you could only average 12.13 mph on a 30 mile trip, your problem is physical conditioning, not your bike. A road bike may add 1-2 mph, tops.

That said, a road bike is more fun to ride on roads than an MTB. I ride a Jamis Aurora which is similar to the Bossa Nova, and I like it alot.
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Old 03-04-11, 06:24 PM   #8
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Go get the Bosanova.
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