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Longer distance commute: road bike vs. fancy road bike

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Longer distance commute: road bike vs. fancy road bike

Old 09-06-21, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice
The demographics of bike commuting in the USA are also completely different, which I think is important. Bike commuting in NL is normal. Everyone does it. In the USA, it's rare (0.6% of all commuters, per the above report), and the only people who do it are A) those who don't have a more convenient option, and B) those who actively prefer cycling. For those of us who prefer cycling, we'll probably tolerate longer distances because hey, we get to ride our bikes.
All True. I assume that Dutch riders who prefer or enjoy longer bike rides, probably also tolerate longer commute distances than the average Dutch cyclist.

I suspect that the long distance bicycle commuter is a relatively rare bird in both locations. The people who post of their commuting experiences and equipment (and especially those who post about their speed and distance metrics and equipment upgrades) on the BF commuting list are hardly representative of typical US bicyclists or US commuters.
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Old 09-06-21, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
I suspect that the long distance bicycle commuter is a relatively rare bird in both locations. The people who post of their commuting experiences and equipment (and especially those who post about their speed and distance metrics and equipment upgrades) on the BF commuting list are hardly representative of typical US bicyclists or US commuters.
Who cares if the OP is "representative" of the population at large? I certainly don't.
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Old 09-06-21, 10:43 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
Who cares if the OP is "representative" of the population at large? I certainly don't.
Not all responses in a thread address the original post.
You should read the post that is being quoted (which discussed cyclist demographics in the U.S) in a response, it might clear things up for you.

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Old 09-08-21, 01:00 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
Not all responses in a thread address the original post.
You should read the post that is being quoted (which discussed cyclist demographics in the U.S) in a response, it might clear things up for you.
My question was rhetorical. Don't let me get in the way of your irrelevant tangent about demographics.
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Old 09-09-21, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott
My question was rhetorical. Don't let me get in the way of your irrelevant tangent about demographics.
Since YOU asked the question about who cares about the demographics - three other posters (CrankyOne, satrain18, and adamrice) as well as myself cared to discuss this "tangent."

Several other posters chose to discuss the demographics of the people who live along their commuting route. You seem to have chosen to "get in the way" of this discussion because YOU are not interested in it and it therefore must be considered as "irrelevant."
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Old 09-11-21, 03:03 PM
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To correct some misinformation...

Originally Posted by satrain18
Outside of North America, that commute would be no more than 2-3 miles, and after that, they would take public transportation."https://www.statista.com/statistics/620169/average-biking-distance-per-person-per-day-in-the-netherlands-by-gender/"
"no more" ? Just like in many countries people in The Netherlands (and Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Germany...) have varying trip distances. Some a very short distance, some longer. For most people anything up to 2-3 miles each way will always be by bicycle. So a quick trip to the pharmacy that's 2 miles away will be by bicycle. For a work or school commute 5-8 miles is pretty much automatic bicycle. Beyond that some will bicycle and some will bicycle to/from train on each end. And a very few will drive.

But to my original point, someone riding even 20 or 30 miles each way on their commute, and there are thousands who do this, will usually ride an upright Dutch city bike.

Originally Posted by satrain18
It's more comfortable... But for very short distances, like I described earlier. The 90-degree bolt upright position is also the least efficient position. https://thomasthethinkengine.com/201...ealth-warning/
Not really. At speeds above 15-20 mph an upright becomes less efficient, below those speeds it is more efficient (and more comfortable and less sweaty). When you sit upright your spine supports your weight. When you lean forward on a hybrid or road bike then your back, shoulders, arms, wrists and hands are supporting your upper body weight which wastes a lot of energy and does this with no gain as leaning forward provides little to no benefit at lower speeds. A good way to know if you're efficient is if you can feel weight on your hands. The more weight you feel on your hands the less efficient you are.

Originally Posted by satrain18
Your round trip took well over two hours over flat terrain. Maybe the OP wants to cut that down to one hour over some steep hills.
Yes, about 1 hr each way. If the OP wants to go faster than 15-16 mph then a road bike would be a better option. But they will also arrive sweaty and need to shower vs arriving fresh without need of a shower. Both are valid options and I know people in The Netherlands and elsewhere who will do a 30 mile training ride to work. But that's not the norm.
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Old 09-11-21, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice
I don't have the statistics on this, but I do know that many cities in the USA segregate residential/commercial/retail much more sharply than do European cities, so if you're going to ride a bike at all, you probably need to ride at least a bit farther just to get out of your residential neighborhood.
IIRC, about 30% of car trips in the U.S. are under 2 miles, 40% under 3 miles and 55% under 5 miles.

The thing for all of us to keep in mind is that just because my neighbor's commute is 50 miles each way doesn't mean that I can't ride my bicycle 1 mile to the pharmacy or 2 miles to school.
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Old 09-11-21, 03:13 PM
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Originally Posted by adamrice
The demographics of bike commuting in the USA are also completely different, which I think is important. Bike commuting in NL is normal. Everyone does it. In the USA, it's rare (0.6% of all commuters, per the above report), and the only people who do it are A) those who don't have a more convenient option, and B) those who actively prefer cycling.
Why is this? Because people just don't think of it as an option? Because U.S. traffic engineers make walking and bicycling too dangerous? Because people think you have to dress up in lycra and pretend to be Lance Armstrong in order to ride a bicycle? Because people don't want to be associated with the former in any way? Because people think they have to wear a bit of helmet hair making foam on their heads? Other?

Originally Posted by adamrice
For those of us who prefer cycling, we'll probably tolerate longer distances because hey, we get to ride our bikes.
Yes!!!
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Old 09-11-21, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
People who do use bicycles to get about town includes more than bicycling enthusiasts obsessed with "performance" or "fitness" and broadcast their cycling metrics on BF.
When we got some pseudo protected bikeways along some of our busier county roads we began to see more and more people who simply use a bicycle as a good mode of transportation. No dressing up to pretend to race, no computer, no carbon fiber and <gasp!> no helmets.
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Old 09-11-21, 04:30 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne
Yes, about 1 hr each way. If the OP wants to go faster than 15-16 mph then a road bike would be a better option. But they will also arrive sweaty and need to shower vs arriving fresh without need of a shower. Both are valid options and I know people in The Netherlands and elsewhere who will do a 30 mile training ride to work. But that's not the norm.
OP here: yes, a certain level of sweat is okay by me, as long as I can fix it to be compatible in an engineering office.

My current contenders are a road bike or upgrading my hybrid commuter with an electric motor (32km/h max as per legislation here). The ebike upgrade seems a bit more promising as the commuter is a bit better equipped to handle foul weather better and I'd be less pressed to pack light. But it's an ebike then... *pride go away*. For years now, I have wanted to upgrade to a drop bar commuter. But just like this thread, the only valid reason is 'because I'd like to' - it doesn't make reasonable sense beyond that in my current situation.
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Old 09-12-21, 08:12 AM
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It really depends on your goals. For me I largely keep transportation, workouts and recreation rather separate. My opafiets and bakfiets are the best options for transportation so I nearly always use one of those for getting places or hauling stuff. My opafiets overwhelming gets the most trips every year but many are only perhaps 5 miles RT. I have a Scott Addict for outdoor road workouts, a couple of track bikes for track workouts and a Novara on a TACX for indoor workouts. I have a hybrid and a mtn bike for recreation. All kind of a right tool for the job thing.

However, reality isn't so cut and dried. All of my transportation riding increases my fitness so though not officially a workout I still get some benefit. I also enjoy it so a ride to/from the pharmacy or lunch is recreational. Similarly a mtn bike trail ride provides fitness as well as recreation. I can try to convince myself that a workout ride on my road bike is recreational but in reality it's not - it's simply the least unenjoyable option for the fitness benefit it provides :-)

If travelled 25 miles each way to work every day and had a shower there I might occasionally ride my road bike to get in a good workout but most days I'd stick with my opafiets.

I'd never ride my hybrid or mtn for transportation though. For that it'd be a very poor substitute for my opafiets (or the omafiets w/ studded tyres I ride in winter). It'd be less comfortable and less efficient. There would be no benefit and a lot of downsides.
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Old 09-12-21, 09:11 AM
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Yup, you are spot on. Each thing has its purpose and I'm trying to find the optimal new balance. Just because it's fun (and needed)!
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Old 09-12-21, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne
But to my original point, someone riding even 20 or 30 miles each way on their commute, and there are thousands who do this, will usually ride an upright Dutch city bike.
Again, they will park their bikes at a train station, catch a train to their destination city/town, then hop on either a second bike they left parked at the other station or a rental bike. At 20-30 miles, going 10 mph on a Dutch city bike will take at least 2-3 hours each way.

Last edited by satrain18; 09-12-21 at 07:23 PM.
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Old 09-12-21, 04:47 PM
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I commute 16 miles each way using either a orbea onix or a cervelo p2k. Takes on average 55-60 minutes but on good day have done it in 44.
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Old 09-13-21, 12:15 PM
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Yes, compatibility is very important, especially if you have very polite colleagues who suddenly don't want to sit next to you! haha. That literally is what happened when the office policy of bike commuters getting subsidized bikes. One guy lived further out, and at the the time, we didn't have shower facilities at the office, and his "odiferous emanations" or "man smell" as my assistant called it, was a little too strong as the day wore on, but he was oblivious to it. Once showers and change facilities were introduced, it made for a happier work environment.
It's also possible to just wet towel in the restroom to get rid of the perspiration and spray on a little cologne/perfume. I always have a change of wrinkle free clothes in zip lock in a backpack pannier.
An e-assist would alleviate quite a bit effort on the hill climbs, but I use my commute as my fitness ride to save overall time and keep the heart rate at 120-145bpm for most of the 30-35 mins ride. My ultimate dream commuter ride is a P1.18 with gates drive carbon folding bike that's under 24lbs. with a light rack and 32c tires. A guy can dream! haha
Originally Posted by alias5000
OP here: yes, a certain level of sweat is okay by me, as long as I can fix it to be compatible in an engineering office.

My current contenders are a road bike or upgrading my hybrid commuter with an electric motor (32km/h max as per legislation here). The ebike upgrade seems a bit more promising as the commuter is a bit better equipped to handle foul weather better and I'd be less pressed to pack light. But it's an ebike then... *pride go away*. For years now, I have wanted to upgrade to a drop bar commuter. But just like this thread, the only valid reason is 'because I'd like to' - it doesn't make reasonable sense beyond that in my current situation.
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Old 09-13-21, 06:22 PM
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Originally Posted by satrain18
Again, they will park their bikes at a train station, catch a train to their destination city/town, then hop on either a second bike they left parked at the other station or a rental bike. At 20-30 miles, going 10 mph on a Dutch city bike will take at least 2-3 hours each way.
Don't tell that to the tens of thousands who do ride these distances. They'll be disappointed to know that they're not doing what they think they are. 10 mph would also be quite slow. The average is about 11-13 and many of us will ride faster. You keep making ignorant statements and they don't help.

Many people do exactly what you've said and I've done it myself. But that's not what the OP asked nor what I answered. The OP wanted to know about options for a 26km / 16 mile each way bicycle commute, not should they bicycle or take the train or combo. As I said originally:

Originally Posted by CrankyOne
Outside of North America that commute would be a simple Dutch City Bike (City Bikes | LocalMile). More comfortable, more energy efficient than leaning forward, easier to carry stuff... And that would be all year regardless of weather. I've done a similar commute from Assen NL to Groningen NL and back. Nice ride. The exception would be someone who specifically wants to get a hard workout in.
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Old 09-14-21, 07:06 AM
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Originally Posted by Jedneck
I commute 16 miles each way using either a orbea onix or a cervelo p2k. Takes on average 55-60 minutes but on good day have done it in 44.
How much time elapses from your arrival at your commute destination until you are presentable and ready to work in the proximity of other people; i.e. lock up ritual, cool down, shower/washup, change clothes, store sweaty "kit", etc.?
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Old 09-14-21, 09:37 AM
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I usually get to work bout half hour earlier than employees. By time i have coffee pot going im done sweating n change clothes. Mornin commute is at a 16ish mph pace n most mornings not super sweaty. Trip home is usually different story. Usually takes while till get legs back. I treat as a time trial style race
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Old 09-15-21, 05:42 PM
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I would give consideration to a second set of wheels and tires that provide more shock absorption, puncture resistance, and traction on wet surfaces. Also add fenders to keep clean on the commute.

For my part I would never be out on city streets after it is dark and hoping that ALL the motorists are paying attention while driving home and do not hit me from behind or turn in front of me or open a car door along the roadway. A friend commutes every day and has been hit on average once every 6 months. But then he rides in the USA which is very hostile to bicyclists and to pedestrians.
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Old 09-18-21, 02:42 PM
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OP, have you made up your mind yet?

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Old 09-19-21, 01:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
OP, have you made up your mind yet?

Haha, yes ! Cheers

One thing that a fancier road bike isn't going to give me is consistent high performance in adverse and cold conditions. Rain, wind and cold is going to slow me down for a good amount of the year. So I am currently leaning towards putting a motor on my hybrid commuter that is much better equipped for year-round commuting already & using my road bike for some fun commutes in good conditions (maybe get a bikepacking bag for that purpose) & and use alternate modes of transportation as the ultimate backup.

But I'm still dreaming of a very nice dropbar commuter, just can't justify the expense. *sigh*. Drop bar, hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless tires, hub dynamo, B&M lights, stiff, light-weight, aggressive position (I like that), through axles
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Old 09-19-21, 01:46 PM
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People under estimate the cost of maintaining a car for commuting to work. The total cost of ownership including the cost of parking in cities which can be $600 a month or more. There seems to be little hesitation in spending $30,000 for a compact car but for an e-bike the idea of spending more than $1,000 seems a problem.

Range is based on how much one pedals and if one has a light e-bike it is practical to use the motor only for pedal assist and double the range of the battery. Unfortunately the laws are simplistic and classify a Class III e-bike much like a motorcycle in terms of access to bike paths and use. Often in city trafffic there are places where it is far safer for the rider to be in the "slow" lane and pedaling along at 20 mph and if a motor makes that practical then an e-bike adds a measure of safety. Often with any amount of traffic the maximum speed one can maintain in even in a car is 20 mph on average. Try to go faster and the result is more time spent stopped and waiting for a traffic light to change.

For a 50 mile commute I would be looking for a folding bike that could be easily carried on board a bus or train. One could bicycle to the nearest bus stop and then at the city one could bicycle from that stop to their place of work. A problem with cars is that most people are reluctant to drive to a bus stop and take the bus but instead they will stay in their comfy car will drive the entire way to work or school. There are folding bikes that weigh in at less than 30 lbs and one with motors like the Blix Vika+ that weigh 50 lbs.

What is often not appreciated is how much safer it is for bicyclists in much of Europe where there are bike only paths and often flat terrrain and accommodation for bicycles at businesses. In Vienna for example there are bike and pedestrian only bridges across rivers and major highways and that is something I have yet to see in the USA. Towns like Cologne have city streets that are for use by delivery trucks at night but during the day they only for for bikes and pedestrian use which makes them a lot safer and a lot more pleasant to use without the noise and exhaust fumes of vehicles.
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Old 09-19-21, 06:46 PM
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Calsun , most estimates put car ownership around $8,000 per year.
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Old 09-20-21, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by alias5000
Hi all,
I might be changing jobs soon. The new position would be a 52km commute roundtrip (2x26km) with a total elevation gain of 220m. 40% is good city trails, 20% somewhat busier roads and 40% is quiet roads or intercity trails. Only about 40% of the commute would be subject to occasional stop&go, the rest is straight and fast. Short, but steep climbs.

I would be doing this 2-3 times a week, 3-3.5 seasons of the year. Excluding SW Ontario winter, I am hoping to be able to do as much of it on bike, as overall feasible.
Originally Posted by Calsun
People under estimate the cost of maintaining a car for commuting to work. The total cost of ownership including the cost of parking in cities which can be $600 a month or more. There seems to be little hesitation in spending $30,000 for a compact car but for an e-bike the idea of spending more than $1,000 seems a problem.
Originally Posted by Korina
@Calsun , most estimates put car ownership around $8,000 per year.
Driving cost estimates like the often quoted AAA version https://newsroom.aaa.com/wp-content/...AL-12-9-20.pdf are based on the costs of buying a popular new car (not necessarily the most economical) every 5 years, and trading it in for a new one after driving only a total of 75,000 miles. Such a purchaser is taking a tremendous and unnecessary hit on depreciation, given that modern cars are good for at least double that mileage before major repairs become a financial problem. Note that someone who only intends to get 75,000 miles out of a modern car before trading it in hardly needs to incur all of the maintenance expenses as outlined by the vehicle manufacturer to have a serviceable car for its first 5 years.

Using such estimated costs for comparison to the costs of owning and using a bicycle for commuting may be entertaining but is hardly useful, especially for the OP's situation. Anyone needing transportation only for commuting 100 miles a week does not need to buy a new car every five years to do it reliably and comfortably.

OP apparently already owns and pays for a motor vehicle (or uses public transportation) for transportation when he does not ride, or plan to ride a bicycle due to preference, weather, health or other reasons. Even if he bike commutes the 100 miles/week all year long, 5000 miles a year will not add that much additional costs to the car he already owns.
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Old 09-20-21, 10:16 AM
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In the OP's situation I would buy/use the bicycle that I think would provide the most enjoyment of this bike commute and would not let the alleged estimated cost of commuting this distance by car enter into my calculations. Commuting long distance by bike is typically a labor of love, not done for the purpose of saving a few dollars.
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