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

Road Bike Limitations

Old 06-16-11, 11:02 PM
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Road Bike Limitations

Hey, Im getting my trek madone 4.7 in a week, it will be my first road bike. i only have ridden good mountain bikes before. What are the limitations on the road bike? like can i ride on the sidewalk? or will that damage or bend the rims, crack the carbon, or just break the bike? Im scared that if i go on anything other than a REALLY smooth road i will damage the bike. Even little cracked lines in the road scare me. i really need to know if i can bike on sidewalks without damaging my bike beacuse if i could i would take them alot.

Last edited by CATS; 06-16-11 at 11:11 PM.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:05 PM
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Road bikes are a lot stronger than you think. Don't ride on sidewalks, but that's because it's a bad idea, not because it'll damage your bike.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:08 PM
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I regularly bunny-hop roads with this:



....I'm 230 pound... you'll be fine!
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Old 06-16-11, 11:09 PM
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I'm a heavier rider, so I don't ever jump bikes off a curb or stuff like that.

If you carefully avoid all the potholes and stuff, you'll still hit some crap accidentally, usually without ill effect. Riding right behind other people is a good way to do this.

You can get tires in cracks running lengthwise, and I've seen a fall due to railroad tracks skewed relative to the road, but it's not usually that big of a problem.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:17 PM
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The bike it self is a lot stronger than you think. If you hit a really bad pothole, you might knock your wheel out of true and you even damage the wheel but the frame will be fine. I bent a frame on a steel bike by hitting a concrete parking block at probably close to 20 mph. I think my carbon bike would have survived it but I am going to try it to find out.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:17 PM
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Limitations??? Don't take them off road and use common sense. The roadbike is not a fragile thing that you think it is.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Beaker View Post
Road bikes are a lot stronger than you think. Don't ride on sidewalks, but that's because it's a bad idea, not because it'll damage your bike.
so sidewalks are okay to ride on and wont damage your good bike?
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Old 06-16-11, 11:30 PM
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No, the sidewalk itself won't damage your bike. But your bike is likely to be damaged by the car unexpectedly coming out of the alley or parking lot. Or it'll get scratched up when you get clotheslined by the pedestrian justifiably annoyed by your riding on the sidewalk.
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Old 06-16-11, 11:33 PM
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I'm 200 lbs. I regularly bunny hop, go thru pot holes etc. Haven't had any problems. I ride on Aksium wheels and never done any of that stuff on the stock DA16s (which I dont think would have handled my new riding 'style' as well).
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Old 06-16-11, 11:43 PM
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Originally Posted by CATS View Post
Hey, Im getting my trek madone 4.7 in a week, it will be my first road bike. i only have ridden good mountain bikes before. What are the limitations on the road bike? like can i ride on the sidewalk? or will that damage or bend the rims, crack the carbon, or just break the bike? Im scared that if i go on anything other than a REALLY smooth road i will damage the bike. Even little cracked lines in the road scare me. i really need to know if i can bike on sidewalks without damaging my bike beacuse if i could i would take them alot.
Also, check out this obscure race in Northern France. The roads are not particularly smooth. And yet they ride road bikes on them.

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Old 06-16-11, 11:49 PM
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interesting video, you think they are using wider tires? than the 700/23 standards?
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Old 06-17-11, 12:20 AM
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I think they might be using 28 or 32mm tires if their frames are special and some may possibly be on CX bikes.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:32 AM
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Originally Posted by CATS View Post
interesting video, you think they are using wider tires? than the 700x23 standards?
Most are 700x25 with a smattering of 700x28. Many road frames won't accommodate 700x28 let alone 700x32.

I've ridden my road bikes through double track as long as it wasn't too rutted. No problems.
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Old 06-17-11, 12:50 AM
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The video shows racing on Pave (the e has a / on top in the french style but my keyboard won't do it). The word is pronounced parvay and it means a cobblestone pavement, the bikes are slightly different but still essentially road bikes.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:21 AM
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Road bikes do fine on the sidewalk, but it's foolish to ride on the sidewalk. It's dangerous, and in many places, out right illegal. Vehicles (motorized or otherwise) belong on the road, and that is for safety reasons.

I only occasionally ride on the sidewalk, and that's within 1 block of where I live, during heavy traffic hours. I'd get on the sidewalk at the very last intersection, so I'm no trying to fight traffic and get to my driveway. Other than that, I'm always either on the road, or on dedicated trails.
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Old 06-17-11, 01:46 AM
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LOL, can I ride over cracks.


Once your body has adapted to the machine, pretty much all you have to worry about is getting your front tyre caught in grooves that will drop you.
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Old 06-17-11, 02:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
Most are 700x25 with a smattering of 700x28. Many road frames won't accommodate 700x28 let alone 700x32.
I think the ex-cyclocross rider Lars Boom from Rabobank was riding 32s with canti brakes at this year's Paris-Roubaix. You're spot on, of course, as his is a cross bike, but I just thought the guy was an interesting exception.



My favorite Paris-Roubaix video, beautifully done:

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Old 06-17-11, 02:15 AM
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Sweeet
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Old 06-17-11, 05:31 AM
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The teams generally ride 25c tubular tires in those cobbled road spring classics.
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Old 06-17-11, 05:48 AM
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I used to think the same way. But I picked up my Raleigh and man that thing's a beast. I've hit potholes at speed commuting(new route/didn't see) and no flats, didn't tweak the rim at all. Their not anywhere near as delicate as they 'look' to an outsider. I'm not saying beat the heck out of your bike, but don't be afraid of it. You'll be fine.
 
Old 06-17-11, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Bob Dopolina View Post
.

I've ridden my road bikes through double track as long as it wasn't too rutted. No problems.
Taking a road bike on MTB trails, even easy single track, is a lot of fun for a change of pace, and does a lot for bike handling skills.
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Old 06-17-11, 07:13 AM
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CATS, in case no one has told you, do not ride on the sidewalk

(as for bumps, I've flown off curbs onto the street but wouldnt do the reverse of that move)
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Old 06-17-11, 07:48 AM
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One more vote for never ride on the sidewalk...has nothing to do with damaging the bike. I regularly ride my bikes with 23mm tires on dirt/gravel roads...haven't hurt a bike yet.
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Old 06-17-11, 08:57 AM
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I can understand your concern having coming from a mountain bike background, but road bikes aren't as fragile as they might look. I've damaged more mountain bikes than road bikes. I even had a pro mountain biker as a neighbor who didn't like road biking, so when Cannondale sent him an R600 to "do some cardio training", he rode it on fire roads. I don't hop up on curbs, and riding on the sidewalk is not smart for other reasons, but I have hopped over debris in the road without issue.
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Old 06-17-11, 09:47 AM
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My brother in law rides his road bike mostly on crushed limestone & gravel.
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