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switch to road bikes?

j.higsonj.higson Posts: 28
edited January 2013 in Road buying advice
hey guys,

im currently have a hardtail mountain bike that i do all my commuting on. however since i bought the bike 6 months ago i have only been off road with it the once and spend all my time riding on roads. as i am starting to do 20 miles a day to university and back is it worth me switching to a road bike?

bit of a noob question i know but i thought i best ask some keen cyclists.

Specialized Allez 2013 Compact

Often found on the roads of the North West.....


  • IMHO, you'll definately feel the benefit of a road bike/hybrid for that kind of mileage. Much lighter and much free-er rolling.
    You've no won the Big Cup since 1902!
  • RiggaRigga Posts: 939
    Start off by putting some road tyres on it to really feel the difference if you haven't already.
  • rjkflyerrjkflyer Posts: 102
    I joined some chums road biking with my Cannondale hybrid. For a while I found that switching to skinnier tyres (28 vs the 37s i had) and going for cleated pedals helped.

    In the longer run (or ride...) I bought a road bike as I simply wasn't going to keep up - too much drag (no drops), too heavy a bike, fairly harsh ride (ali hardtail), and less free-rolling.

    The downside of making your hybrid/MTB more 'road' means it's less suited to any off road use (even I would say my 28 tyres are a good deal less than ideal when I took the hybrid back onto unmetalled cycle paths), and if you do then buy a road, you'll want to switch things like tyres on the mtb back...

    What I would say is that a proper road bike is brilliant and almost 'buys' you 2-3mph.
  • I used to do a 10 mile round trip to work on my tidy Diamond Back road bike in my early twenties.For 5 years I used that bike virtually every time, despite having a car parked outside.I have a 70 mile round trip to work now, so the bike isn't an option.I miss those days and feel you should jump at the chance of becoming a committed commuter.

    I think a drop handlebar bike will be your best option given the distance you are faced with.Lots of road bikes are built with a robust workload in mind and should suit your needs.For example-
  • ShutUpLegsShutUpLegs Posts: 3,522
    j.higson wrote:
    bit of a noob question i know but i thought i best ask some keen cyclists.


    Have you asked on the LFGSS forum :?:
  • Do you have a suspension front fork, if you could get a rigid fork cheap/easily for the front you could drop a good bit of weight
  • jordan_217jordan_217 Posts: 2,580
    If you have the cash, then what about a cycle cross bike? As capable as a road bike and very versatile so you can still head off road if you fancy it. They're ideal for commuting. If I could only have one bike, it would defo be a cross bike!

    If you have access to the C2W scheme then there's lots of good cross bikes around for below the £1k threshold. If you look around there may be a few 2012 models still available, with big discounts (you'll be lucky now though).

    If you don't have the cash or don't want to spend that much then try changing the tyres and if you have a suspension fork, lock it out, if possible.
    “Training is like fighting with a gorilla. You don’t stop when you’re tired. You stop when the gorilla is tired.”
  • passoutpassout Posts: 4,425
    With a sensible tyre choice a hardtail is fine for commuting but it will quite a lot harder work and or slower. Neither of those two things are necessarily bad though! If I were you I'd go for one of 3 options:
    1) 2 wheelsets - one with slick tyres, on with knobblies - good if off roading often - just quickly swap wheels & probably chain. Might be a good compromise solution. A hardtail with slicks is pretty fast.
    2) Change between 2 sets of tyres everytime you go off road on one wheelset - pain the censored if you have to do this often, get a track pump if doing this.
    3) Get a road bike - obviously better but at the same time pretty expensive. If commuting get one that takes full mudguards so you do not have to walk around covered in censored . Ribble Winter Trainer or maybe some of the Boardman bikes? I have a Genesis Aether which for this, I like it.
    'Happiness serves hardly any other purpose than to make unhappiness possible' Marcel Proust.
  • OuijaOuija Posts: 1,386

    If you don't want to spend large amounts of money then simply upgrade what you've already got. Stick some slick tyres on and pump them as hard as you can to get to lower rolling resistance and save weight (mountain bike tyres are HEAVY).....


    And/or optionally get rid of the suspension forks as well (shaves another KG or so of the weight of the bike)....


    Just make sure you get suspension corrected forks (with an axle to crown height of 44cm or above)

    And, lastly, think about putting larger touring crank rings on (need a new chain as well). All three upgrades could be done for less than £200 if monies on the tight side.
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