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Help with a commuting bike, please!

robeekay10robeekay10 Posts: 5
edited August 2010 in Commuting general
Hiya everyone.

So far have been doing a 24 mile round turn commute on my boardman pro mountain bike and i think it's time to change to something more suitable to the job!

have been reading all the usual reviews, etc and seem to have narrowed it down to three main bikes (some of my lack of choice caused by me trying to buy a bike at the end of the season meaning my choices for frame size is limited:

van nicholas yukon, 105 gears: @ 2.5k
specialized roubaix 105 gears: 1.7k
felt z2 Di2 equipped: 2.9k

i would have happily bought a cannondale six 105 but they are sold out. the felt z5 is also sold out so, my choices have got less and less. i am also trying to put it through the accounts before my tax year end 31st august so there is a bit of pressure to stop me paying cash into labour's black holes and keep it for me instead!

i am sure this forum will fall into 2 camps using Di2 for commuting but any words of wisdom would be gratefully received.

also, when considering frame sizes, I'm 6ft3, with a 34 inside leg, any feedback on which brand maybe most suitable would be useful feedback.

many thanks, rob


  • sc999cssc999cs Posts: 596
    I have no experience with any of these bikes but I intend (once I'm rich and famous) to buy a Van Nicholas so that gets my vote. :)
    Steve C
  • Out of those three, I'd plump for the most versatile: the Van Nicholas (sold here for £1786 - disclaimer: I have no connection to any cycle companies). The others are out-and-out racing bikes, which is fine, but it makes racks, mudguards and the like a bit trickier. I like to commute in comfort, which for me means panniers, racks and full-length mudguards.

    I haven't looked at the geometry of the frames you are considering, but the VN is marketed as a road/audax bike, which means that it is sold for long rides - so I'd guess that the design and geometry might make it a tad more comfortable than the carbon race bikes.

    Also, I'd fancy the titanium frame (if it fits you) to be a good idea, as it will probably retain more of its value than a carbon fibre frame if you end up selling it in, say, ten years' time.
  • rjsterryrjsterry Posts: 22,342
    I'd agree a lot of what laughingboy said. For commuting, durability is an important quality, so a titanium frame with rack and mud guard mounts is a very good start. I've no idea how reliable Di2 is when used day in day out, in all weathers, but I doubt any problems can be fixed by the roadside with the tools in a saddle pack.
    1985 Mercian King of Mercia - work in progress (Hah! Who am I kidding?)
    Pinnacle Monzonite

    Liberal metropolitan, remoaner, traitor, "sympathiser", etc.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,973
    wow, >1.5k on a bike that you will ultimately end up trashing or being stolen. I've been doing most of my miles on a 15 year old hybrid that still takes the abuse I give it and I can leave most places with a reasonably cheap lock, without too much thought or worry.
  • gbsahne wrote:
    wow, >1.5k on a bike that you will ultimately end up trashing or being stolen.

    I don't have to worry about my bike being nicked because it lives in the office and in my living room, but you should definitely consider the abuse it will take on the daily commute! IMHO 1.5k+ is crazy money for a commuter, unless you plan only to ride to work in nice weather and the bike lives indoors.

    Mine is a composite framed, Ultegra equipped Giant road bike with no clearance for proper guards, and it's just too good to be used as a work hack. This week I even had to ride it through a flood so deep the water came up PAST the wheel hubs! Not good. 150 miles a week for the last year results in a big maintenance bill! Obviously the 105-equipped bikes you're looking at use slightly cheaper bits, but you're doing a similar distance to me, and it gets expensive when you add the cost of a new drivetrain and bottom bracket (and hub stripping, etc) periodically.

    Each to their own, but I'm going the opposite way to you! my Giant will be rebuilt with all new bits and kept as a Sunday best job. The commuting bike will be an old 80's steel framed thing with downtube shifters. Rock solid drive train, super cheap, and I won't worry about scratching it.
  • hello everyone.

    ty for your feedback. i appreciate the bike will get ruined over the winter if i chose to ride on really salty bad days but it's still a better work out than been down the gym 3 times a week!

    i also appreciate the fatburds link. ive had mixed reviews about their service but realise they are the cheapest prices by a long shot.

    the one thing i am picking up on is to get a bike closer to 1k than 2k though. sensible advice really.

    have just noticed this week colnago ace trading 1.4k so may have a look at that too.

    the most sensisble alternate, and the cheapest option by far, is probably to keep hacking the 24 miles on my boardman pro everyday...and think of the good that it does me riding a heavy frame with all that drag!!

  • supersonicsupersonic Posts: 82,708 Lives Here
    Buy bar ends and lightweight slicks on the boardman, and maybe rigid forks an you'd have a near 20lb bike for about 130 quid outlay.

    The boardman frame aint that heavy.
  • gbsahne001gbsahne001 Posts: 1,973
    +1, use what you've got, I do a 30 mile round trip on a bike far less equipped than the boardman and if it fails then I'll look on ebay and get something for £300 or so.

    The CX I have is much nicer (and faster) but the look on peoples faces, as you take them on a 15 yo bike is priceless. Plus if it's the workout you're after then stick with a bike that's harder to move, it's a much better workout than one that weighs nothing
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