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Using Italian Made Steel Roadie For Commuting?...

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Using Italian Made Steel Roadie For Commuting?...

Old 08-15-10, 01:17 PM
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Using Italian Made Steel Roadie For Commuting?...

So I'm moving closer to work, and cutting my commute down to 16 miles (8 miles each way). This is the perfect distance to start riding to work; but I'm debating about using my current bike for this.

Expected Road Conditions:
50% Smooth concrete
25% Gravel
25% Potholes

Here's my current roadie...

My planned modifications:
1) SPD shoes + pedals
2) 32/24 spoke none deep-v wheelset
3) slick 28mm tires

I'm kind of worried about the frame though. I really don't want to 'abuse' it.
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Old 08-15-10, 01:26 PM
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Being durable steel the frame should hold up well enough, but do you plan on riding in bad weather as well as good? (Think fenders.) Will you be carrying anything? (Think bags.) Will you be riding in early morning/late evening? (Think lights.) Will you ride in street shoes? (Think old-school quill pedals with toe clips and straps.)

Edit: Come to think of it, you may not be able to fit fenders on your road bike.

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Old 08-15-10, 01:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Servo888 View Post
Expected Road Conditions:
50% Smooth concrete
25% Gravel
25% Potholes
4 miles of gravel riding a day? I'd be inclined to ride one of my MTBs with semi-slicks most likely. I do take my Italian steel out on the occasional dirt road jaunt, but every day? especially rainy ones, uggh.
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Old 08-15-10, 02:38 PM
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Depends on the gravel. If it's hard packed, 23 or 25mm is fine. If it's really loose or rocky, or both, then 28mm may not be enough.
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Old 08-15-10, 02:48 PM
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can you not get around the gravel?

if its anything but densly packed finer stuff, i would be thinking pretty hard about a cx bike with 30something tires.
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Old 08-15-10, 02:54 PM
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Sounds like an awesome excuse to get another bike, to me!

I have an Italian touring/road bike that came with 700x28c tires and as you'd expect it can do gravel, etc no problem, but it's still fast enough.
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Old 08-15-10, 02:57 PM
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I may as well answer, since when I used to commute I did it on my steel Gios. You may also want to check on the commuting forum on this board - although I always found that they were too quick to tell people that they needed a special "commuting" bike. I always felt any decent road bike with reasonable components was ok for commuting, but that sentiment was not shared by the other folks on that forum.

My only concern is the gravel you say you will be riding on - do you mean that literally? You said "25% gravel", but you also said "25% potholes" so maybe you are just saying that the roadside where you live is potholed and littered with gravel? If you are just dealing with gravel on the roadside, I think the bike is ready to go as shown. Also, I can't see why you would want to replace the Deep-V's that are on there now - those look like ideal commuting wheels to me.

If your commute really includes 2 miles each way of unpaved gravel road/path, you may want to go with 28 or 32 mm tires, provided you have the clearance for them.
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Old 08-16-10, 07:43 AM
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When I commute to work, the last 2 miles are on hardpack gravel paths. It is okay on the 23mm tires, but if it were any looser, or less hardpack I think it would probably suck. Also I have never done it in the rain, so I don't know how that would affect the gravel. The only other thing I have noticed is that I get the ocassional scratch right near the bead edge on the rims from shooting rocks out from under the tire. It's not an everytime thing, but it does happen, and it doesn't seem to affect the rim at all.

Also the "25% Potholes" made me laugh, I could say the same thing about Baltimore in general
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Old 08-16-10, 08:06 AM
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Not Italian per se but Kona sourced the frame from Cinelli if you look at the bottom bracket. Columbus genius tubing, campy chorus, only the pedals and the stem are not Italian this bike and I've used this bike for everything including commuting to work at least 4 days a week. I had to ride at least 1/2 mile of river rock gravel to get on paved road. 23 mm tires no problem. I ride with my kids in the dirt trails with it. I stop a few times when my tire sinks. I got a better bike in Jan 2008 but this bike has been though a lot of miles and bad weather. I am not a fair weather cyclist and I moved to NM from Vermont.

I still ride it but maybe not for long as I have just source a small frame for my daughter to use. Components are moving to that frame.

BTW the Bianchi in the OP, is that a Italian made frame or was it much later when Bianchi frames were made in Japan or Taiwan. Not that it matters.

I have a big dummy now.

PS the wheels are Mavic French and the tires Continental (German) and I have gore cables on this pic -- just in case people nit pick.

Last edited by logdrum; 08-16-10 at 08:23 AM.
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Old 08-16-10, 08:33 AM
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+1 on fenders and lights. If you cant fit full fenders in there, get something like SKS raceblades or planet bike SpeedEZ Road
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