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  1. #1
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    How to toughen up my SS?

    I have been into mountain biking for a while and use to use my mtb to commute to school. I just won a brand new 2009 Jamis Sputnik in a raffle. I'm stoked about it. The SS was a challenge the first few days on some of the hills, but I'm zipping pretty good now. I have been using the Sputnik as a commuter (5 miles each way). I love reading about everyone commuting by bike to work and just want to be one of those guys.

    I'm use to mountain biking and being able to ride over anything I want, but I realize these skinny wheels and tires are a bit fragile. I was cruising downhill the other day coming up on a place in the sidewalk that I know had a raised block of cement. A person got in my way and distracted my and I hit that raised cement pretty good--double pinch flat.

    I've seen a lot of talk about the Surly Cross Checks. I hadn't considered a Cyclocross before, but it seems like a good idea. There are a lot of dirt trails around and I like being able to ride in the grass for a second or off a curb if need be. Do you think I could just pop some cyclo style wheels and tires on this bad boy? Thoughts? Recommendations?

    I added a mirror as everyone has recommended. Other than that, she's bones stock. I've been reading all over these forums like a madman and think i've picked up some of the general commuting concerns. Any thoughts or suggestions for this bike? I really like its style, but might need a bit more toughness/usability.

  2. #2
    Senior Member dsprehe89's Avatar
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    First off, congrats on winning the new bike, just looked it up and it looks sweet.
    Second, I am fairly new to road biking and do not own a SS or Cycloscross bike (really want a SS though). But I just recently switch my road bikes wheels from 27" to 700C and put 700x35C tires on it just to that they can go through dirt and take slightly larger bumps if I really need too. I haven't had a chance to try it since doing it (rear rim still hasn't came in yet, only front which fit and worked good), so iono how good of an idea it actually is or how well it actually will work. But in my opinion, if it fits, it should work.

    Like I said though, I am new to road bikes. I also use to use my MTB to commute and switched to a road bike.

  3. #3
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bawolf88 View Post
    I realize these skinny wheels and tires are a bit fragile. I was cruising downhill the other day coming up on a place in the sidewalk that I know had a raised block of cement. A person got in my way and distracted my and I hit that raised cement pretty good--double pinch flat.
    Learn to bunny hob, get weight off the saddle, and ,of course, get off the sidewalk
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member dsprehe89's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hairnet View Post
    Learn to bunny hob, shift your weight, and ,of course, get off the sidewalk
    I've had to learn the hard way that even though my MTB and BMX bike wheels will take pretty much everything I throw at them, my road bike becomes pretty untrue pretty quickly. Doing a bunny hop would just obliterate my road tires, however, I am 6'2" and 245lbs and being in college, can't afford wheels that can actually hold my weight. So I just have to be extra careful.

  5. #5
    Fresh Garbage hairnet's Avatar
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    I'm 6'5" 200 lbs and I have ruined several road wheels. Learning to bunny hop has been a useful skill (getting stiffer more well built wheels will help too)
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrodzilla View Post
    I'd rather ride a greasy bowling ball than one of those things.
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  6. #6
    Goes to 11. striknein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dsprehe89 View Post
    I've had to learn the hard way that even though my MTB and BMX bike wheels will take pretty much everything I throw at them, my road bike becomes pretty untrue pretty quickly. Doing a bunny hop would just obliterate my road tires, however, I am 6'2" and 245lbs and being in college, can't afford wheels that can actually hold my weight. So I just have to be extra careful.
    Get 28mm tires, have your wheels properly trued and tensioned for your weight, and you won't have to handle your bike with kid gloves. I'm 245 and curb-hop all the time. It's all about knowing where to put your weight, and making sure your bike is properly equipped.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nagrom_ View Post
    I actually just run calipers. Levers are for scrubs.

  7. #7
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    Road bikes aren't as fragile as they seem. I've done dirt trails on a Mercier Kilo TT with a carbon fork on 25s before. Now I am on a Bianchi San Jose with 32s and obviously I feel more confident riding over stuff, but suppose you had hit that ledge at speed on a MTB or BMX the results might not be so different.
    i won't deny it i'm a straight ridah

  8. #8
    Senior Member nuhtowel's Avatar
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    Every single road ride I've went on has had me ending up on gravel/dirt paths through the woods. I did a 1000 foot climb and decent (on rocks) on some flimsy alex rims with a broken spoke and they held up just fine. This was on 23's.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Steev's Avatar
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    What tire pressure were you running? Road tires need to be around 100psi (give or take depending on weight) to avoid pinch flats.

  10. #10
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    I think psi was the problem with my last incident. I have since been running 100psi. A guy at the LBS said running over 100psi makes the tires more prone to puncture from glass since the tire will have less flex. Interesting thought.

  11. #11
    Veteran Racer TejanoTrackie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bawolf88 View Post
    A guy at the LBS said running over 100psi makes the tires more prone to puncture from glass since the tire will have less flex.
    Nonsense.
    What, Me Worry? - Alfred E. Neuman

    Quote Originally Posted by Dcv View Post
    I'd like to think i have as much money as brains.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by TejanoTrackie View Post
    Nonsense.
    Nice. I didn't really like that guy anyway.

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