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A few Q's from a noob

tnwoolleytnwoolley Posts: 114
edited July 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi all,

Hoping to get a new job soon that will entail a 36 mile round trip commute. No more motorway jams for me! Problem is I need a suitable bike and getting lost in the choices.

I suppose it needs fixings for pannier and mudguards. Plus I wouldn't mind using it for a blast around the Lakes of a weekend!

1. Was looking at the Cotic Roadrat but would SS kill me over that distance? (Some long hills but no overly severe gradients).

2. Is the Planet X Kaffenback just a tweaked Inbred frame coz damn they look similar!

3. Should I play it safe and go for the alu Ribble Audax/Winter frame with a good spread of gears even though I've got my heart set on steel?

4. Would a set of slicks on my On-One Inbred MTB suffice?

Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.

Posts

  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    SS and the LAKES??????????? :shock:

    My God Almightly. Have you got thighs like Thor, and titanium knees or something?

    In the words of Ghostbusters: Are you a God?

    18 miles each way means you cannot (honestly!) hope to get an efficient commute on any sort of MTB. You need to look at touring / road / cx bikes as a starting point. What sort of journey are we talking oh mr-legs-like-elephants ? (road surface / what sort of weekend riding as well)


    SS and the Lakes.... the mind boggles....
    Chunky Cyclists need your love too! :-)
    2009 Specialized Tricross Sport
    2011 Trek Madone 4.5
    2012 Felt F65X
    Proud CX Pervert and quiet roadie. 12 mile commuter
  • tnwoolleytnwoolley Posts: 114
    Hi K_B,

    Well I am endowed with fairly large legs (its a family thing) but I'm certainly no cycling deity!

    The route would all be on tarmac A and B roads; a mix of smooth new stuff and slightly shabbier older road, no dirt or towpaths etc so that prob counts out a CX.

    I guess weekend riding would be around various passes (road again) so lots of ups and downs. Not really fussed about joining a club just yet.

    I was drawn to the idea of SS due to its minimal maintenance and lower cost but I suppose you're just subjecting yourself to a slog on any up and spinning out on any down. Is that about right?

    Oh yeah, forgot to mention budget of ~£600 - 1000
  • DanielCoffeyDanielCoffey Posts: 142
    You could always try something like a Surly Cross-Check frame with an internal hub gear, say the Shimano Alfine 8-speed, mud-guards and a rack. You can easily get 700x38c tyres on that too, and if you are made of cash you could add in a Shimano front dynamo hub.

    The Cross-check is a good solid frame that can take quite a lot of punishment. The hub gear keeps the maintenance nice and simple and preserves the clean lines that a SS or Fixie shares.

    You will certainly find a Fixie or SS is a slog up the hills and the Fixie will spin like crazy on the way down (though the SS can coast of course).

    EDIT : you can fit all that in the budget too (apart from the dynamo hub) - http://www.sidewayscycles.co.uk/ built my Cross Check for me last year.
  • always_tyredalways_tyred Posts: 4,965
    tnwoolley wrote:
    Hi all,

    Hoping to get a new job soon that will entail a 36 mile round trip commute. No more motorway jams for me! Problem is I need a suitable bike and getting lost in the choices.

    I suppose it needs fixings for pannier and mudguards. Plus I wouldn't mind using it for a blast around the Lakes of a weekend!

    1. Was looking at the Cotic Roadrat but would SS kill me over that distance? (Some long hills but no overly severe gradients).

    2. Is the Planet X Kaffenback just a tweaked Inbred frame coz damn they look similar!

    3. Should I play it safe and go for the alu Ribble Audax/Winter frame with a good spread of gears even though I've got my heart set on steel?

    4. Would a set of slicks on my On-One Inbred MTB suffice?

    Thanks in advance for any help you can offer.
    No. 3, but you should have plenty of choices of similar bikes in steel.
  • Eau RougeEau Rouge Posts: 1,118
    The Cross-check is a good solid frame that can take quite a lot of punishment.

    Just what so you think he's planning on doing to it that it needs to take "punishment".
    "Good solid frame that can take punishment" is estate agent speak for "weighs far too much"

    18 miles each way, in the Lake District, on the road! That couldn't scream 'road bike' more if he said he was planning three weeks going from Monaco to Paris with his friends Lance and Alberto in July!

    Steel is still a great material, but it's all a bit "retro fashion" rather than any actual cycling logic, and the economy-of-scale factor means it's usually expensive too these days, at least, good ones usually are. You want a workhorse, so aluminium with carbon fork and somewhere above the very bottom as a groupset will see you well sorted. The ribble being a pretty good starting point, especially if you want mudguards.

    Wouldn't you like a lovely bit of Italian designed carbon fibre though...
  • If your set on a steel frame and can get to Leeds, check out Woodrup cycles. They will do you a custom built steel audax frame for £450
    http://www.woodrupcycles.com/frames.html
  • BikequinBikequin Posts: 402
    How about a Fratello? Its towards the upper end of your price range but they're great bikes and would be suitable for longer rides at the weekend.

    Theres a link below:

    http://www.condorcycles.com/fratello.html
    You'll not see nothing like the mighty Quin.
  • tnwoolleytnwoolley Posts: 114
    My those bikes from Sideways Cycles and Woodrup are nice. And the Condor is a beaut too but pushing the budget for a well specced one.

    Thanks for all the input guys, its really appreciated.
  • AidyAidy Posts: 2,015
    I'm not sure I really buy the SS thing for lower maintenance on a road bike
    Yes, there's going to be less maintenance, but seriously, road abuse just isn't going to knacker components enough for it to make that much of a difference.

    There is a certain elegance to them, though.
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