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New Commuting Bike Thoughts ???

AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
edited August 2009 in Commuting chat
Hi All,

I've been commuting for nearly 20 years now and I'm due a new bike soon.

I started on MTB with nobbies, then moved to an MTB with skinnies.

After a while at that, I tried a Trek Hybrid (can't remember the model) but didn't really like it so went back to a MTB with skinnies.

I then moved house to a really hilly area and having front sus was killing me so I bought a Scott Sub30 (with 26" wheels) about 4 years ago.

That bike has been awesome, but I consider myself to be a lot fitter now and cycle to work pretty much flat out now against the clock - it's about 10 undulating miles either way. I've got it to under 40 minutes now which I'm quiet proud of.

Anyway, back to the bike choice....

As my route is all road and I never ride off road or on pavements (unless forced there), I'm wondering whether to buy a road bike. a flat bar road bike or a cyclo cross type bike.

I definately want to move up to 700cc wheels, but just can't decide on the bike.

I really want something lighter and even the new Scott Sub10 is 12 and a bit kg's which is about the same weight as my old Sub30.

I've been looking at the Scott Speedsters and Scott CX's, both under 10 kg's

My main concern would be damaging 700cc wheels if I hit a pot hole or something so I was wondering if going the Cyclo Cross way would be a better option - stronger wheels ???

Any thoughts / ideas anyone?

Budget about £1k with the cycle to work scheme.

Thanks,

Pat...
"Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"

Posts

  • doog442doog442 Posts: 370
    If you pop over to the road bike beginners forum plenty of people will tell you that a road bike can take a fair bit of abuse

    Surely the big decision is that you may be contemplating going to drops after 20 years?

    You could try a CX....drops and strong wheels but still quite heavy compared to most road bikes but a decent commuting bike that will take the abuse of wet winter roads and potholes etc

    Also a CX will take mud guards etc without any problem...
  • ride_wheneverride_whenever Posts: 13,279
    A road bike will be fine for what you need. The wheels will be plenty strong enough, alternatively you might be best getting one built up with handbuilt wheels, as they'll be a bit stronger, but you really don't need the extra strength of a cx frame.
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    +1 for road bikes being able to take a lot of abuse. Carbon forks will dampen the buzz from the road to the bars.

    See the separate thread regarding custom built wheels, but you can get perfectly good strong wheels for road bikes. I use wheels with 32 spokes and they're fine; the spokes don't need to be tensioned as much as a lower spoke combination, so they don't feel hard. I think you risk damaging any wheel if you hit a pot hole.

    One thing it would be worth knowing from the 'cross crowd is how cantilever brakes perform in the wet; they're reputedly not as powerful as the caliper brakes you find on road bikes.
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    Cheers guys.

    I think my main criteria was getting the overall weight of the bike down and upping to 700's.

    I think it's kind of narrowed down to flat bar road or drop bar road now.

    I really like the look of the Scott Speedsters and I'm quiet a Scott addict after having 3 very reliable Scotts in the past.

    Pat...
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
  • doog442doog442 Posts: 370
    cjcp wrote:

    One thing it would be worth knowing from the 'cross crowd is how cantilever brakes perform in the wet; they're reputedly not as powerful as the caliper brakes you find on road bikes.


    the brakes on my cx are pretty poor...if i didnt have a messy 3 mile trailway on the commute i would go for the road bike
  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Without wishing to hijack the thread, which brakes do you have?
    FCN 2-4.

    "What happens when the hammer goes down, kids?"
    "It stays down, Daddy."
    "Exactly."
  • doog442doog442 Posts: 370
    canti's on a 08 tricross sport
  • vinnnvinnn Posts: 62
    Cyclo cross bikes are for cyclo cross and trails, road bikes are for the road.
    If your going to be riding just on roads, get a road bike. They're faster, more aero & efficient, simple as that.
  • Kieran_BurnsKieran_Burns Posts: 9,757
    My 09 Tricross brakes have koolstop pads and are very good - never ever had cause to worry about stopping.

    If you go for a road / cx bike I would recommend going for drop bars - having used both I find the drops more flexible with arm positions, and you have the option of getting down on them when you really want some speed :)

    The thing you DO need to consider for a commuting bike is the ability to carry mudguards (and a rack if you need it)

    For me, the CX bike is perfect but I do have a 4 mile stretch of bridleway to consider
    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
  • Rich158Rich158 Posts: 2,348
    I'd go for a road bike, the 700cc wheels really aren't a problem, I've only had to have mine trued once, and broken one spoke in over 12000 miles of commuting over the last 18 months or so. My old Trek 1.5 had mudguard eyelets on the frame so fitting them was never a problem, I couldn't comment on a pannier though, personally I use a rucksack, but then I don't carry very much anyway.

    I'd have a look at the Treks, and Giants as well, they've got some very good bikes on your price range.
    pain is temporary, the glory of beating your mates to the top of the hill lasts forever.....................

    Revised FCN - 2
  • Christophe3967Christophe3967 Posts: 1,200
    Depending on who's running your CTW scheme, you could find a good bike shop and try some bikes out. If you can get Wiggle on your scheme then its worth looking at their bikes too - Focus and Kiron both have excellent reputations. Ribble are worth considering as well, although the customer service isn't as good as Wiggle. You can get a lot of bike for £1,000 :)
  • Paulie WPaulie W Posts: 1,492
    Although I recognise that wheels on a road bike are more robust than a lot of people think, the roads on parts of my commute can become very treacherous particularly after heavy rains - mud and all kinds of detritus is washed from the surrounding fields, hedges into the roads - and I'm much happier using the MTB than the road bike in these conditions.

    I think that a road bike is normally the answer if you are riding on the roads but you do have to consider the types of road that you are riding on.
  • vinnnvinnn Posts: 62
    Very well...

    That being said though, on muddy wet roads MTB tires with deep treads will give less grip and worse handling than slicks. I often ride through similar terrain, wet & slimy country back roads were tractors have dumped the muddy contents of their tyres all over the place.
    What you generally do when you know you going to be riding in such conditions is to bring the tyre pressure down to about 80psi instead of the usual 100-120psi thus increasing contact with the road surface.

    my 2p
  • jjojjasjjojjas Posts: 346
    Don't worry about the wheels. My bike history is all xc and down hill racing as well as the usual commuting. Up until about 3 year ago I always used 26" wheels everywhere with a variety of tyre choices. When I got a tourer I was amazed at the grief the 700 wheels took on some pretty bad tracks, I even bought a road bike for a while and I still didn't manage to bend the wheels.
    My main challenge was adjusting to drop bars. After several stems, bars and seat purchases I changed the tourer (every day commuter) to flat bars. I just wasn't fond of drops. It put me off riding the road bike, then I damaged my back last winter so drops were out for good. Sold it.
    I will state the obvious though, you get a road specific bike and you'll be amazed at the speed you hit, and how quick you get there...but they are limiting as in you will really only want to go on the road...not the muddy rocky shortcuts across the field that I can on the tourer with its fat lazy (slower) tyres.
    Good luck with the purchase. If the drop bars don't work out, you can always swap to a flat one like I did.
    Jas
    it looks a bit steep to me.....
  • bigmatbigmat Posts: 5,132
    If you get a road bike, you could just make sure it has clearance for slightly chunkier tyres, say 25mm or even 27mm. Problem solved!
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    Hi All,

    Cheers for the continuing advice.

    You'd think that working for the Ministry of Justice, they'd have chosen a better supplier than http://wheelies.co.uk/ but hey hoy!

    It's proving hard to find a road bike that's good for mudguards which pushes me back in the direction of a road bike with flat bars (that all seem to have eyelets) like the Scott Speedster FB.

    Staying with road bikes for the moment though and I started another thread in the road section http://www.bikeradar.com/road/forums/vi ... t=12639777 but for a quick summary, these seem to be the best options:

    Claude Butler San Remo 2009
    Claude Butle Roubaix 2009
    Giant TCX 2 2009
    Raleigh Airlight 300 2009
    Specialized Tricross Sport 27 2009

    Still not sure whether to go cheap (sub £500) and see if I get on with drops or just to dive in the deep end at around £1k.

    Pat...

    P.S. I could simply just end all my fried brain woes and just buy another Sub 30 with 700's as it's been a great bike, just a tad heavy.
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
  • starsevenstarseven Posts: 112
    Trek 1.7 or Condor Fratello
  • starsevenstarseven Posts: 112
    by the way my commute is about 10 miles half dirt track half road, Ive used a roadd bike with 25mm tyres without problem for the last 2 years. Both the trek and condor will take mudgaurds.
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    Yep - but wheelies don't sell Trek or Condor!

    Pat...
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
  • starsevenstarseven Posts: 112
    Sorry missed the wheelies only bit.

    I,ve had several bikes from wheelies and seem to remember them saying they can supply anything as there main business is insurance rplacment. Could be worth a call.
    Otherwise the speedster they have on offer looks good value but you'll miss the mudgaurds come winter or a CX bike. Tricross, Vapour etc. I would go with drops they are much more aero and make a considerable difference to speed.

    Good Luck
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    Cheers for that and I forgot to add a smiley to the end of my wheelies post.

    Sounded a bit sarcy!

    Pat...
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    After some careful though and a trip to my LBS - I really think CX is the way to go for me - more daily / winter / all year round road commuter (once fitted with 28's).

    I've also discovered Ribble and can get something half decent and better than my Scott Sub30 for around £500.

    Any thoughts on this?

    Cheers,

    Pat...
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    Visited another LBS today and i've made a desicion......

    I'm going to go for a Giant Defy 2 or 4 as a last resort.

    And for info, I'm 5'6" and a SMALL frame is spot on.

    Will update when I get it.

    Pat ;-)
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    Excellent choice sir :D

    Also if the drops don't work out for you in the end, you can sell the bars and shifters on ebay, but some flats and you've got an FCR 8)
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • biondinobiondino Posts: 5,990
    prawny wrote:
    Also if the drops don't work out for you in the end

    Won't happen :D
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,426
    biondino wrote:
    prawny wrote:
    Also if the drops don't work out for you in the end

    Won't happen :D

    Good point :P
    Saracen Tenet 3 - 2015 - Dead - Replaced with a Hack Frame
    Voodoo Bizango - 2014 - Dead - Hit by a car
    Vitus Sentier VRS - 2017
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    Hi All,
    Went for the Defy 4 2009 in the end (has Carbon forks unlike the 2010).
    Got it on Monday - within 2 weeks of applying for the scheme.
    Done a few miles and it's really stange, especially after 20 years on an MTB and Hybrid.
    The shifting and brakes are really alien to me at the moment, but I'm sure it will come in time.
    Anyway, took some pics of my old Sub30, the new Defy 4 and an arty farty shot:
    Pat...
    sub30.jpg
    defy4.jpg
    defy4arty.jpg
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,152
    Dive in at the deep end and go £1k if you can. You'll get a much better frame at that price point.
    2015 Canyon Aeroad CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Ultimate CF SLX
    2020 Canyon Inflite SL 7
    On the Strand
    Crown Stables
  • AvoneerAvoneer Posts: 525
    I've done it - and have the bike!

    I was looking at £1k bikes, but the MOJ (Ministry Of Justice - my employee) appears to look differently at what happens at the end of the 12 months contract, so therefore I got something I could afford to give back after 12 months.

    I can justify this as my current monthly payment is less than the petrol and parking that I would be saving.

    This is also my 1st road bike, so if I get on with it, I'll consider buying a £1k bike myself after 12 months and just handing this one back!

    Pat...
    "Campagnolo has soul, Shimano has ruthless efficiency and SRAM has yet to acquire mystique. Differentiating between them is a matter of taste"
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