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Old 08-13-02, 02:05 PM   #1
booey
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A second bike?

So I have a mountain bike and I ride mostly on the street in a major city. I grew up building my own bmx and mountain bikes. I have owned road bikes but I always get nervous on them, I feel like they will explode out from under me if I hit a rock or something. Does it make more sense to own a hybrid or something? Does it really make that much more of a difference riding the city with a hybrid or road bike?
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Old 08-13-02, 02:16 PM   #2
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Same here, mountain on the streets and other terrain, I am scared of the tires on road bikes.

I have been contemplating lately......

If I can go pretty fast on the streets with my mountain, how fast could I go on a road bike? Would I kill myself? I loooovvee speed and love the feeling that I could crash at any moment, hit the gravel wrong, hit a pot hole, rock, small or large animal, ect.

So past experience tells me that the mountain bike handles better on most terrain, so really, how does a road bike handle gravel? Does it really make that much of a difference? My greatest fear is loose gravel....
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Old 08-13-02, 02:19 PM   #3
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I like to ride a cyclocross bike in the city - the tiny little tires on a road bike rock for speed, but for where I live I'm always fighting with gravel streets, pot holes, debris, etc. If where your riding is smooth, and your style is smooth - go for a road bike. However, with your mtn bike and BMX history a cross bike might suit you better.
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Old 08-13-02, 02:23 PM   #4
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For general riding around a city, you wouldnt want anything much narrower than 28mm. Those skinny 23mm are for racing.
I take my 700cx28 on potholed roads, tracks and trails.
A 26x1.5" would give pretty similar performance.

The biggest real difference between a road and an MTB bike is in the forks. Quality road forks in carbon or steel absorb a lot of vibration. Fixed MTB forks are incredibly stiff and unyeilding, and the suspension ones are a lot heavier than fixed road forks.

It is possible to get proper steel forks for MTBs. 26" road touring bikes use them.

Last edited by MichaelW; 08-13-02 at 02:27 PM.
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Old 08-13-02, 02:33 PM   #5
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that is good to know about the forks. So do hybrids then have road forks?
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Old 08-13-02, 02:53 PM   #6
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Road bikes arent really that hard to ride on gravel. I've had to ride my road bike on a pea gravel trail when it was wet and it went fine, my friends dad has ridden on the same trail with even narrower tires than my road bike and the only problem he had was a flat from a thorn. If you worried about the handling then maybe a cyclocross bike might be good, you'll greatly appreciate the extra speed you get. But hey whatever feels good is most important so maybe getting a hybrid would be best.
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Old 08-13-02, 03:04 PM   #7
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whats a cyclocross bike?
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Old 08-13-02, 03:08 PM   #8
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If you commute for a ways, a road bike is the only way to go, but don't believe me, try one for yourself. The difference is hard to describe, but a road bike is the only thing I would ride on the road.

And no, the tires are not all that fragile. Just can't hit every rock and piece of glass out there.
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Old 08-13-02, 03:10 PM   #9
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POKEY? Are you reading this^?????
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Old 08-13-02, 03:24 PM   #10
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"What is a cyclocross?" That is a type of cycling some refer to as psycho cross. Most cases it is a modified road frame with semi knobies. and mtn gears. Interesting race to watch, on and off the bike alot.
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Old 08-13-02, 04:03 PM   #11
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So it is a beefy road bike then. It sounds to me like a hybrid would make more sense, but I still don't know enough about cyclocross.

I don't like road bikes because:

Thin rims feel weird on turns (to us uninitiates)
Handlebars, I could never understand those
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Old 08-13-02, 04:11 PM   #12
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Some things just don't make sense to some. At least they are riding what they like. There are some that prefer tricycles.
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Old 08-13-02, 04:30 PM   #13
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The main thing you are choosing between is if you like to ride more upright (hybrid ,mountainbike) or want drops to get down and boogie or fight headwinds (road,cyclo-cross) The rest you can set up anyway you want with different tire widths and whatnot.Just go with what you are comfortable with.
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Old 08-13-02, 04:37 PM   #14
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I ride a fixed road cycle with 700x23's around Boston - used to commute out to Watertown everyday for work -- the 23's worked well I think, I would upgrade to something a little bigger (28 maybe) but then I'd need new fenders... but anyway 23's are alright... they haven't busted yet or anything

Oh, anyway, I used to originally ride a Marin Muirwoods until was stolen, then for a while I rode a somewhat modified Raliegh hybird city bike thing... i like the road frame and tires MUCH better...

For strictly city use (not commuting long long distances) I also enjoy the Kronan army bike... which has BIG tires and upright sitting, quite comfortable for those trips grocery shopping or doing laundry (its so sturdy... I can fit my entire wardrobe on the back rack)

Last edited by robertsdvd; 08-13-02 at 04:44 PM.
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Old 08-13-02, 05:31 PM   #15
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wow
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Old 08-13-02, 05:33 PM   #16
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hey
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Old 08-13-02, 06:38 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by booey
Does it really make that much more of a difference riding the city with a hybrid or road bike?
From my experience, I would say "yes". Riding in the city I average at least 20% faster on my road bike than my mountain bike, probably more like 30% faster.

If you've never ridden a road bike, it may take some getting used to. I've always ridden road bikes. I never even owned a mountain bike until a few years ago when I figured it was time to find out what the mountain bike thing was all about. I like the mountain bike, and actually ride it about twice as often as the road bike. But, for speed, it doesn't come close to the road bike. When I ride the road bike, I pretty much stay on the pavement. A road bike is built for the road. Hence the name.

If I ride the road bike, then switch to the mountain bike (or vice versa), the difference is pretty startling.
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Old 08-13-02, 07:01 PM   #18
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I commute 22 miles round trip every day. My primary commuter started as a Giant Cypress comfort hybrid that has been through a total tranformation to something more like a cyclocross bike, sort of a heavy duty road configuration. Lately I have been riding my old lugged steel Bianchi road bike. I sometimes ride a lightweight steel road bike. Because I'm no lightweight at 210 lbs and my riding is 75-80% commuting on fairly rough trashy city streets I run 25 mm tires with thorn resistant tubes and Mr. Tuffy liners on 36 spoke wheels. I feel very confident in my bikes and frankly can't imagine riding a mountain bike any distance. Compared to even a good mountain bike a road bike will feel like it rolls by itself. Just use common sense and don't expect an ultralight bike with rock hard 20 mm tires on 14 spoke racing wheels to stand up for day after day commuting, and you will be fine on a road bike. Once you get used to the different riding position you will wonder why you waited so long.
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Old 08-13-02, 08:00 PM   #19
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so if I have like 200$ to spend on a road/cyclocross/hybrid, what sort of used bike should I shoot for. I want a good bike that looks trashy so it won't get stolen. There is a bunch of 1-2" gravel chunks on the way to school, would that pose a problem. I have noticed that my mountain bike is heavy, gets slowed down by wind, and is cumbersome. They do feel so much more sturdier, perhaps I just need to ween myself off them Everyone else says so.
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Old 08-13-02, 08:15 PM   #20
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I ride a rigid lightweight Cannondale MTB with 26x1.5 slicks for commuting, because the wider tyres give me a lot more confidence on wet hills roads, than my road bike. It also has lights and mud guards. The main reason I ride the MTB instead of the road bike to work is that the MTB is less likely to get flats, especially when I get to the city. It is quiet a fast bike only 15% slower than my road bike.

If you buy a MTB for commuting, try and get one without suspension. It really isn't necessary for bitumen roads.

CHEERS.

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Old 08-13-02, 09:16 PM   #21
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My mtb lacks suspension so that is good. I live in portland oregon so it rains all the time [which is partly why road bikes scare me, that and the fact that I always see people with road bikes injured] . Should I get faster tires or are knobbies better?
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Old 08-13-02, 10:20 PM   #22
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You will probably be slightly faster on a road bike, but there are other considerations. I can't imagine commuting by bike in your climate on a bike without fenders. For that reason alone, a touring or cyclocross bike would be far more practical to commute on than a pure racing bike, which is what most road bikes sold now are.

I use an old 7-speed MTB with old components because I often leave the bike locked outside all day. I don't find I am much slower on this bike than my 'road' MTB.

Quote:
Originally posted by booey
My mtb lacks suspension so that is good. I live in portland oregon so it rains all the time [which is partly why road bikes scare me, that and the fact that I always see people with road bikes injured] . Should I get faster tires or are knobbies better?
Knobbies will only give better grip in loose surfaces where they leave an imprint. If you are trying to avoid wiping out, you definitely need to avoid cornering in the wet on knobbies! On a commuter MTB - for both dry and wet tarmac - 1.5 'slicks' are about the best compromise (the slicker, the better), though larger slicks will provide somewhat more shock absorbtion and grip with slight penalties in rolling resistance and weight.
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Old 08-13-02, 10:21 PM   #23
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you think thats kool.. I ride 700x20 in Toronto. HEHE im nuts.. I try to stay outta the city though. I live north of it where the roads are good but every once in a while i need to enter the city on bike.
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Old 08-14-02, 12:54 AM   #24
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For city riding within the confines of traffic and all the hazards that go with it, I would suggest you stick with whatever bike feels most stable to you. I've got a road bike that I like to take out for long cruises with little traffic. But if I take that bike out into stop/start traffic, I just don't have the confidence factor that would make it a safe choice. Its drop bars and tuck position make visibility more difficult than a more upright ride IMHO. To me a road bike is best suited for the open road whereas an ATB is more appropriate for heavy traffic.

In Europe and Asia where cycling is considered more a form of transportation than the US etc., commuters are actually another named classification of bike. They have wider tires and step through frames with riser bars for an upright ride. They're built for safety, durability and stability of ride. If you look at them though, you wonder how they get anywhere at all. My compromise was to take my ATB with a step through frame and equip it with 26" x 1.25" invert slicks, road pedals and a lighter more streamlined saddle. It's incredible how much better the performance is. Next month I'm going for aero bars that I found which adapt to my risers. That will give me the option for the tuck. It's an alternative you may want to think about.

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Old 08-14-02, 01:30 AM   #25
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For city riding within the confines of traffic and all the hazards that go with it, I would suggest you stick with whatever bike feels most stable to you. I've got a road bike that I like to take
Precisely my thoughts. I found my road bike become intolerable to ride in city traffic. The squat position really gave me sore shoulders and the only compromise was to ride high up and only go for the brakes when I absolutely needed to, and that is dangerous in it's own right. If I were to go for a city bike, I'd rather get a ladies style step through frame to make it easier to stand comfortably when stuck in traffic, and I'd opt for the old style sit-up-and-beg handlebars. City riding should be about comfort and safety. Leave the speed work to those *******s who disregard safety for everyone - I think they are called bike couriers by another name.
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