I've been commuting on a GT MTB (slicks & bar ends fitted) for the last 6 months and the 40KM round trip is starting to show up the MTB's lack of road skills. Being 6'2" and riding a mix of road/pavement (sidewalk for the Americans on the forum) I thought using a road bike would be a bad idea. My weight and the fact the bike will be used daily in all weather conditions and on some pretty rough pavements seems unfair on a pure bred road bike. Those wheels/tires just wouldn't last?
I started looking at touring bikes but that slack geometry puts me off. I used to be a roadie so have no fear of a focused riding position. I also looked at flat bars but again my history with drop bars has me leaning in this direction. I then stumbled on the idea of getting a CX bike and sticking nice slick 32 tyres on it. Perfect I thought - A road bike built tough. Feel free to offer opinions here.
Anyway on calling a number of bike shops here in Sydney it would seem that the demand for CX bikes over this side of the world is thin to say the least. They can all order them in but how do I know I want the bike without a test ride?
I suppose I have a few questions here>>>
1. Commuter bike for a 40KM trip. I notice that when the word commuter is used people assume city riding. I ride 40KM but it is most certainly not through the CBD. A CBD courier style bike is not what I want. IE flat bars. Any thoughts?
2. Road bikes - Am I being over cautious or would a big guy on a daily tough commute (no offroad) kill a road bike.
3. CX Bikes - A good commuter in my particular case and where can I find them in Sydney. Trek, Cannondale, Kona??
I know I've thrown a lot of debates up here and people have different opinions on what makes a good commuter. I think what I'm trying to do is get your opinions on what makes a good commuter for me, in my circumstances.
CX is a good idea. I bought a Kona Jake just over a year ago for my 13mile roundtrip commute (soon to be increased to 20+ miles (~35km). The drops make a huge difference over a MTB/hybrid, and I'm happy with my 32c slicks, though will probably drop to 28s next time I buy tires- if you buy one, take the knobbies off immediately, unless you'll be on grass/dirt all the time.
The wider tires are a boon as compared to roadies- soaks up some chatter, less flats, and able to handle rougher roads that you'll encounter day to day.
I got my JTS at city bike depot but sadly wouldn't recommend them...pretty dodgy setup that's taken some months to dial in correctly. There's another Kona dealer in Parramatta IIRC...and then there's whoever deals in the brands mentioned. Plus ebay, and farkin eg http://forums.farkin.net/showthread.php?t=93244
hope that helps
Surly Cross-Check, '85 Giant road bike (unrecogizable fixed-gear conversion
Probably more people use cyclcross bikes as commuters than for actual cyclocross races. They are the perfect commute bike - just as fast as a road bike, yet you can put fat tires, racks, and fenders on nearly all makes and models.
A big guy won't "kill" a road bike. But you might be plagued with broken spokes and pinch flats since most road bikes don't fit much larger than a 25mm tire.
Basically, the smart commuter gets a cross bike and puts high-pressure, 28 or 32 mm tires on it.
Thanks for the replies. I had a chat with CBD and they called Kona who said there are no 2007 JTS bikes left and I'll have to wait until around September for the 2008 JTS. Boo Hiss. These things are like trying to find the old needle in a haystack it would seem. Yikes.