Long commute - which bike?

Madmaid Posts: 3
edited March 2010 in Road beginners
My commute is just about to increase from 10 miles to 30 miles round trip.

For past 8 years ridden a hybrid, nothing special.

Now can't decide whether to but a fast hybrid or go for a road bike.

So far considering 2 options:

Pinnacle Borealis 4

Specialized Allez Sport 2010

Final choice needs to be robust enough to stand up to 600 miles a month, but, light :) & good enough to get me there quickly.

Grateful for any advice - don't want to spend more than 850


  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Posts: 79,667
    I have a £500 scott S50 that has kept me commuting for 4 years on and off. Just keep it clean, lubed and try to look after it and a road bike will suit you fine. Crudcatcher lightweight mudguards for crappy weather and a saddle bag , decent lights should be very doable on a budget of £850. :D
  • laughingboy
    laughingboy Posts: 248
    There is never a single answer to what bike to buy, so I am not going to advise you on the two bikes you have in mind. The bike you choose will depend on the factors that bother you. But, to give you a handle on some of the things to think about, here is my reasoning for my choice: a steel-framed, second hand fast tourer.

    Firstly, I don't care what anyone else thinks of my bike. In fact I'd prefer it if people thinks it looks unappealing, so no-one nicks it.

    I live in Britain. It rains and the roads are wet. I want full mudguards. With flaps.

    I want to get there fairly fast. A road bike or a fast hybrid will do, here.

    I want fairly voluminous tyres (25 or 28c minimum - that way I can run slightly lower pressure and cope with the shocking road surfaces), so the bike needs clearance for wide tyres as well as mudguards.

    It's mainly for commuting. I carry stuff to work, and don't want a bad back. So, I want a rack. That means braze-ons to fix a rack properly.

    I cycle over 31 miles a day, so I want to be comfortable, so the geometry has to let me have the handlebars at around the same height as the saddle.

    Staying with comfort, a steel frame is good with me. A decent double butted steel frame is heavier than the lightest bike, but it is robust. Wheels and tyres (and beer belly) are better places to save weight - rotating mass counts for more than static mass. Mind you, there are plenty of robust and comfortable aluminium bikes, but I'd have to test ride them first.

    I want to be able to get out of the wind, and I don't want sore hands. That means drop handlebars, for their many hand positions, etc.

    I want a really low climbing gear so that I actually cycle up that steep hill near my office. In that case I need a compact or a triple chainset.

    I am not hung up on the number of gears. I can get by with fewer gears. In fact, there's not much wrong with an old six-speed set up (so I can buy second-hand really easily). The chains last longer too, because, 8, 9 and 10-speed chains have thinner side plates.

    I want to use it on short breaks, towpaths, and for light touring.

    So, I end up with a choice of say, a steel framed road bike (audax-style), or a cyclo-cross bike, or a tourer.

    I hope that helps.
  • zedders
    zedders Posts: 509
    I think laughingboy makes some good points.

    IMO I would say a road bike of some sort would be better than a hybrid. Drop bars and speed would be my reasoning? How long do you want to take to get to work?
    "I spend my petrol money on Bikes, Beer, Pizza, and Donuts "

  • huuregeil
    huuregeil Posts: 780
    laughinboy is spot on, I couldn't have put it better myself.
  • Moaner
    Moaner Posts: 117
    I did a similar commute using a hybrid initially. Switched to a fast tourer and was glad that I had - quicker and more comfortable over distance.
    So fully agree with laughingboy
  • Madmaid
    Madmaid Posts: 3
    Thanks for the advice laughingboy, you made some really good points!

    Now off to try a few more bikes with your thoughts in mind.

    Cheers! :D