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Hello Everyone

Rada_RadaRada_Rada Posts: 10
edited March 2010 in Commuting chat
I've been lurking for a while just reading and trying to pick up as much information as possible. Really like the community here everyone wants to help and share, so I don't feel too embarrassed.

I've been commuting now for nearly nine months (only about eight miles there and back) and so far I've loved every minute.

I have two questions

At the moment I have a hybrid bike but now I want a decent road bike. I'm not too sure what to go for. I have been looking on eBay but I am really unsure what to go for. I am thinking about spending about £500. What are everyone thoughts?

As silly as this sounds and I feel stupid asking, the only thing that I am concerned about are the condition of the roads. Using a road bike is it likely that the numerous potholes will damage the wheels or cause punctures as the tires are thinner?

Thanks in advance!

Posts

  • downfaderdownfader Posts: 3,686
    Road bikes are built for the roads. Some have even been ridden on cobbles in races so I wouldnt worry.

    There are so many different choices and variable involved pretty much the best advice anyone can give you is to trawl the bike shops and try loads. Ebay can be limiting for bike buying in some ways, as you're not always able to check over the condition and fit.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 17,963
    There are many on here who are far more qualified than I to recommend bikes, especially as I am still riding the same bike as I was 13 years ago.

    Obviously a pair of low spoke-count lightweight wheels are more delicate than some 36spoke 2" MTB tyres, but with some care (maintenance and whilst riding) you shouldn't have any problems. I did write off both wheels recently on potholes (dents in the rims, not total wheel failure), but I am pretty much sure that this was due to letting the tyre pressure get too low. If you are careful about maintaining tyre pressure to at least 100psi (for 700x23C tyres), the tyre should take the impact instead of the rim. This also helps with puncture prevention. Obviously, it also helps to avoid the really big potholes if you can, but if you are forced to ride through them, then shift your weight to reduce the force of the impact (as you would riding off a kerb).

    There are lots of threads on here about different wheels for different budgets, rider size, amount of luggage carried, etc. as well as the 'best' puncture resistant tyre, so I won't repeat all that.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

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  • cjcpcjcp Posts: 13,345
    Rada_Rada wrote:
    I've been lurking for a while just reading and trying to pick up as much information as possible. Really like the community here everyone wants to help and share, so I don't feel too embarrassed.

    I've been commuting now for nearly nine months (only about eight miles there and back) and so far I've loved every minute.

    I have two questions

    At the moment I have a hybrid bike but now I want a decent road bike. I'm not too sure what to go for. I have been looking on eBay but I am really unsure what to go for. I am thinking about spending about £500. What are everyone thoughts?

    As silly as this sounds and I feel stupid asking, the only thing that I am concerned about are the condition of the roads. Using a road bike is it likely that the numerous potholes will damage the wheels or cause punctures as the tires are thinner?

    Thanks in advance!

    Welcome to the forum :) .

    If you're buying new, £500 will buy you a low-end road bike, but people commute on these every day, so don't worry about that. Go to your LBS and have a look at what's on offer for that price. Look at online retailers, too. As said above, you don't always know what you're getting if you buy off ebay.

    You could however look in the Road Classifieds section of this forum.

    As for the condition of the roads, road bikes can handle this, although you'll want to avoid pot-holes in case you damage the wheels or even come off. It's good to have robust wheels. 32 spokes front and back is a good starting point.

    Like RJS, I run my (23mm Schwalbe Durano Plus) tyres at 100psi.
    FCN 2-4.

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  • mikeyh54mikeyh54 Posts: 18
    Hello,

    You haven't really made it clear why you want to get a road bike. I have been commuting for a year now on a hybrid and I too wanted a road bike, but certainly not for the commute.

    I have a Trek 7.5 for the commute, 12 miles through London, and then for the weekends and club rides, I have a Bianchi c2c via nirone.

    There are several things to consider in commuting on a road bike. Firstly, the ride position is very different, you are less upright which is not always the best for keeping an eye out for traffic and can be very uncomfortable on your lower back to start off with if you're used to riding on the hybrid.

    Secondly you have no mudguards which will make a mess of your clothes and you when the weather is wet. Of course, you could put mudguards on your road bike, but it just doesn't look that great.

    Thirdly, you will have to wear a back pack to carry stuff to and from work. Having used a rucksack for a couple of months before getting a rear pannier, my opinion is the bag on the pannier is much more comfortable; your back doesn't get sweaty and your shoulders feel freer.

    For your money, I think you would be better off either upgrading your current hybrid, or get a brand new one if you fancy a change.
  • il_principeil_principe Posts: 9,146
    @ mikeyh54 The OP wants a Roadie - he's seen the light, don't try and talk him out of it!

    @ Rada_Rada Welcome to the Forum. I disagree with much of what Mikey says... I started on a hybrid and moved to a roadies when it was stolen, I've never looked back. I suspect that a £500 roadbike may well come with stronger wheels than a hybrid, I doubt they will be weaker, either way I've never broken a wheel commuting in London for 8/9 years, as others have said - keep tire pressure topped up, don't hop kerbs all day long and you will be fine.

    Roadbikes are pretty tough:

    hincapie-paris-roubaix.jpg

    FWIW I run a SingleSpeed roadie as a commuter in London with no mudguards, drops and a courier bag. I'm plenty comfy and able to see traffic. I wear cycling kit for the commute so the clothing can handle a bit of dirt and water + the courier bag keeps it off my back. A wicking baselayer & cycling jersey deals pretty effectively with the sweaty back issues. This year I've had one flat thanks to a pothole I just didn't see, aside from that, the occasionally awful road surface causes me little bother.

    I'd look to buy either from a shop that will fit you, or a local 2nd had, either way getting the fit right is key eps as this is your first roadbike. A decent shop should let you test ride as well.
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  • tgotbtgotb Posts: 4,714
    mikeyh54 wrote:
    Hello,

    You haven't really made it clear why you want to get a road bike. I have been commuting for a year now on a hybrid and I too wanted a road bike, but certainly not for the commute.

    I have a Trek 7.5 for the commute, 12 miles through London, and then for the weekends and club rides, I have a Bianchi c2c via nirone.

    There are several things to consider in commuting on a road bike. Firstly, the ride position is very different, you are less upright which is not always the best for keeping an eye out for traffic and can be very uncomfortable on your lower back to start off with if you're used to riding on the hybrid.

    Secondly you have no mudguards which will make a mess of your clothes and you when the weather is wet. Of course, you could put mudguards on your road bike, but it just doesn't look that great.

    Thirdly, you will have to wear a back pack to carry stuff to and from work. Having used a rucksack for a couple of months before getting a rear pannier, my opinion is the bag on the pannier is much more comfortable; your back doesn't get sweaty and your shoulders feel freer.

    For your money, I think you would be better off either upgrading your current hybrid, or get a brand new one if you fancy a change.

    Hmmm, not sure I agree with much of this. There are plenty of road bikes out there with slightly more upright geometry, and which will happily take mudguards and a rack; audax and touring bikes tend to have all these features, and are a quite good compromise for commuting. I ride an audax bike with mudguards and a pannier, and tbh I don't think I'd go measurably faster on a full-on race bike.

    Once you've used drop handlebars for a bit you'll never want to go back...
    Pannier, 120rpm.
  • alfabluealfablue Posts: 8,497
    Agree with TGOTB, flat bars = wrist ache for me, I have three road bikes (one tourer, one audax, one carbon/dura ace), the audax is the best all rounder and the weapon of choice for the commute, faster than the tourer, comfy, but has mudguards and rack. On fine summer days I minimise the luggage and take a bum bag and the carbon bike.
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Rada_Rada wrote:
    I've been lurking for a while just reading and trying to pick up as much information as possible. Really like the community here everyone wants to help and share, so I don't feel too embarrassed.

    I've been commuting now for nearly nine months (only about eight miles there and back) and so far I've loved every minute.

    Welcome! :D
    Rada_Rada wrote:
    I have two questions

    At the moment I have a hybrid bike but now I want a decent road bike. I'm not too sure what to go for. I have been looking on eBay but I am really unsure what to go for. I am thinking about spending about £500. What are everyone thoughts?

    Really shop around - you MIGHT find something new for around that money - shops can be getting fed up with last year's stock at this time of year. I'd suggest getting yourself to a large bike shop and test riding everything they've got in your size, ask about geometry on everything you ride, and you'll get an idea of what suits you. It's really hard to say what will suit because it's so personal.

    Also, you don't say where you are... would you consider a single speed? Reason being you can get a good one of those for £500.
    Rada_Rada wrote:
    As silly as this sounds and I feel stupid asking, the only thing that I am concerned about are the condition of the roads. Using a road bike is it likely that the numerous potholes will damage the wheels or cause punctures as the tires are thinner?

    Thanks in advance!

    Nah, I really wouldn't worry about it. For starters, people who make tyres are very clever, as long as you keep them pumped up and are a little bit careful, you'll be fine. Saying that, I've been doing neither of those things for years and rarely get visited by the fairy.

    As far as the wheels, again in my experience, they're pretty bulletproof. I got smacked sideways by a WVM in 2008, and hit a foot-high kerb at about 25mph, got a free flying lesson and some bumps but the bike was completely unharmed.

    Oh and despite what mikeyh54 says, you can have mudguards and panniers on a road bike, I do, and drops are much comfier than flats.
  • Canny JockCanny Jock Posts: 1,051
    Welcome!

    If you up your budget just a little you could get a new Ribble winter/audax bike which would be an ideal commuting road bike - I'll post a link later as I'm using a phone, or maybe someone else could help for now?
  • lost_in_thoughtlost_in_thought Posts: 10,563
    Canny Jock wrote:
    Welcome!

    If you up your budget just a little you could get a new Ribble winter/audax bike which would be an ideal commuting road bike - I'll post a link later as I'm using a phone, or maybe someone else could help for now?

    He's right y'know... £519.95... bargainous!

    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bikebuild ... BRW&bike=1
  • markshaw77markshaw77 Posts: 437
    Another +1 for the advice from Il Pricipe and TGOTB

    I started out commuting on a hybrid/flat-bar roadie (Spesh Sirrus) and even did several 80m+ sportives on it, but have recently got both a drop-bar SS (Kona Paddywagon) for sharing the commuting duties as I ride both ends of my train journey as well as a Carbon beauty (Scott CR1) for weekend rides!!

    I must admit that the drop bars have been a revelation. I was always a believer in the "higher position - more visibilty" argument for the hybrids - that was, until I actually got my weekend bike and realised that even in a moderately aggressive position, it felt very little different and the levels of comfort were much improved (more hand positions = no more achey wrists). The more upright SS is even better and is as good if not better than my hybrid (no barge-width handlebars to worry about either!) in traffic

    I now love the drops so much that I am setting about a little conversion project for the Sirrus so that I can run it as a drop-bar roadie for the commute and also use it as a winter trainer.

    Just go for it - for £500, you will pick up a more than half decent roadie/SS - just your choice whether to go new or 2nd hand.
  • prawnyprawny Posts: 5,408
    I never tried the flat bar option went straight for a roadie.

    It's got no rack or muguards mounts but I've fitted crud roadracers that keep me clean and I've got a rack and panniers on too. I changed the stock racey light wheels for some 32 spoke handbuilts but it was only the rear hub of the old ones needed replacing, I'll get them fixed at some point, no issue with potholes just bunny hop or go light over the ones you can't avoid.

    I fancy replacing this one with a proper audax bike, but I really don't need to yet. And besides, I really like the look of this years Cannondale Six.
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  • secretsamsecretsam Posts: 4,549
    Canny Jock wrote:
    Welcome!

    If you up your budget just a little you could get a new Ribble winter/audax bike which would be an ideal commuting road bike - I'll post a link later as I'm using a phone, or maybe someone else could help for now?

    He's right y'know... £519.95... bargainous!

    http://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/bikebuild ... BRW&bike=1

    Although be aware, this is a very dangerous site as it's easy to spend lots on a bike!! But the Ribbles are very good value and I have been tempted in the past...

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • Christophe3967Christophe3967 Posts: 1,200
    IP et al speak the truth, just don't forget to check whether your employers run a cycle to work scheme before you splash out...
  • Rada_RadaRada_Rada Posts: 10
    Thank you all for the replies. 8) Very nice reception people thanks!

    I work for the NHS and I know that my Trust have the C2W scheme and I've been thinking about that, I just like to buy outright and not have to worry about payments, still an option though.

    I cannot think when I have every ridden on any surface other than the roads, I'm not interested in MTB cycling. I will still keep the bike I have (Subway II), but would like a lighter more nimble bike.

    Another reason as to why I want the roadie, I'm always being scalped! I am no way a competitive person, I'd just like a fighting chance :wink: my legs are still (kind of) built up from jogging (my lungs are letting me down at the moment), but I feel that I could get more out of a roadie than I can with my hybrid.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 17,963
    Don't forget: you'll be upping your FCN when you switch to a roadie as well, setting yourself more of a challenge, which is of course to be applauded.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • Rada_RadaRada_Rada Posts: 10
    rjsterry wrote:
    Don't forget: you'll be upping your FCN when you switch to a roadie as well, setting yourself more of a challenge, which is of course to be applauded.

    I'm still trying to figure out how that works, I'll keep re-reading that thread on the forum, it will sink in.
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