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Looking for a new road bike

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Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Looking for a new road bike

Old 05-02-10, 03:55 PM
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Looking for a new road bike

I will be starting my placement and riding 3miles each day to work (3 miles and back). I need a fast bike, the route is very flat, though at the end it is a very steep hill for 300m.

I have a budget of £500.

I was looking at the Specialized Allez 16 for £499 or the Airlite 300 for £429,
which is better and why?

Is a road bike what i need?

Jason
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Old 05-02-10, 04:10 PM
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There's nothing wrong with a road bike, but if it's only three miles it's not needed. I've commuted three miles on my singlespeed 29er mountain bike with 33x22 gearing. Most of it is on the greenway so I didn't have to worry about only going 10mph.

If you plan on using the bike JUST for commuting, I would probably get hybrid or possibly a single speed (depending on how steep that hill is).
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Old 05-02-10, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by ptle
There's nothing wrong with a road bike, but if it's only three miles it's not needed. I've commuted three miles on my singlespeed 29er mountain bike with 33x22 gearing. Most of it is on the greenway so I didn't have to worry about only going 10mph.

If you plan on using the bike JUST for commuting, I would probably get hybrid or possibly a single speed (depending on how steep that hill is).
any reason why?
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Old 05-02-10, 06:16 PM
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A road bike is kind of overkill for a short commute. If you had a longer commute (over 10 miles), I would consider getting a road/cross/touring bike because it would actually cut off some time from your commute and give you different hand positions.

Say I were to average 15mph on a road bike for a 3 mile commute. It would take me 12 minutes to get to my destination. On a hybrid I may average something a little slower like 12mph. It would take 15 minutes then. I only saved 3 minutes on my commute using a road bike. That's not very much, and the hybrid is probably going to more comfortable and allow for wider tires, fenders, and possibly a rack/panniers.

My commuter bike currently is a 1988 Bianchi Brava. For a while it's also been my road bike. It's fast and I can run a maximum of 700x32 tires. However the bars are about two inches down from my saddle and the reach far enough where I have to ride in a low position. That's fine because it's a road bike. However, I'm considering putting flat bars on it now since it's going to be my full time commuter. That way I can have a more upright position that's comfortable and not really sacrifice much speed.

I've also wanted to run a rack on it so I don't have to lug a messenger bag around. Even though my commute is only four miles, my back gets really sweat in the summer from carrying a bag. Enough so that I usually just bike in an undershirt and change when I get to my destination. This may not be such an issue if I had rack and could strap my bag to my bike.

It all comes down to comfort. A 3 mile commute is fairly short and you'll get used to it in no time. A road bike will be fast and you could also use it to do some actual road rides or even group rides. A hybrid will be nearly as fast, but give you more options such as running full fenders, putting a rack on your bike, running wider tires (more comfort), and giving you V-brakes which give you additional stopping power (helps in the winter/rain).

Some road bikes will give you that option. I run clip on fenders on my commuter (no eyelet holes) and they work fine in the rain. I can also run tires wide enough for me to consider them comfortable.
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Old 05-02-10, 06:24 PM
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I see, thank you. What bike do you recommend?
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Old 05-02-10, 07:36 PM
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Originally Posted by sharp910sh
I see, thank you. What bike do you recommend?
Try the commuting forum. You'll get a better response there.
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Old 05-02-10, 07:52 PM
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I commute fairly often on a hard tail mountain bike. I took the nobbies off and put on city slickers. Cheaper option than buying a road bike.
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Old 05-03-10, 12:03 AM
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for 3 miles, you can use almost anything. for a commute bike, the most important thing is dependability...every bike should fit you and be comfortable. if the road is good, there is nothing wrong with a road bike with narrow to medium tires. the other thing you mentioned is a steep climb at the end. a modern road bike with a triple is pretty reliable as commuter.
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Old 05-03-10, 12:12 AM
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a roadie might be overkill for the commute, but the allez sure is fun for everything else. ymmv, of course
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Old 05-03-10, 12:41 AM
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Have a look at the Scott SUB series ;-) amazing machines!!
https://www.scott-sports.com/us_en/product/8299/45416/sub_40
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