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Bike choice, confused... Again!

WhizWhiz Posts: 28
edited February 2014 in Commuting general
You guys and girls will get bored of me soon but I'm really having doubts about bike choice for c2w.
I first thought about hybrid (because I might have gone to park to ride with dog) , then lbs mentioned cyclocross as another in between option and then another very helpful lbs suggested full road bike as vast majority will be road riding.
So I have processed an order for Tarmac 2013 because it is supposedly a great bike, I'd only end up paying £550 for it on c2w compared to full price of £1200!
But now I'm not sure if really suitable as a commuting bike, regardless of quality. So if I apply same logic between Road bike and hybrid to between good Road bike and good commuter bike, it would fall at being good commuter for the 5 mile each way ride... Bearing in mind I don't ride and haven't ridden for double figure years. I'm 32 now.
So, rather than just ask for more opinions on bikes, here is some context of my commute...
I recorded my car journey this morning so you can see what I'll be riding ... ata_player
And I recorded on strava so you guys can see the elevation changes. As you can see, there's not too much flat!

So, will Tarmac be ok and just look forward to having a great carbon bike for £550, make it as commutable as poss and make most of the 'racing nature' during evenings / weekends?
Or seriously consider a different bike that's more leisurely midweek?


  • I haven't watched your clip, but here are my initial thoughts on this.
    Personally I wouldn't use a lightweight road bike as a commuter, many do, but I wouldn't however, if you are not planning to carry much or anything on the commute then fine. Quite simply, frame and wheels won't like to be over loaded.
    I have spent along time riding lightweight road and mountain bikes, and have now got rid off all and settled for a one bike does all, with the emphasis on strong. A Tricross. Perfect for commuting with load, road rides, touring and some light off road use.
    There are many options out there, but if its going to get loaded then don't go too Racy, IMHO of course :)
    p.s now just watched clip. Nice stretch of road, good for a roady but my opinion remains if bike is going to be heavy.
    “If you do what always do, you'll get what you always get.”
  • WhizWhiz Posts: 28
    Ok so tricross, will a newbie notice difference between the reduced £750 2013 version with bb5 brakes compared to the £1000 2014 version?
    As I'm completely new to cycling I need to buy everything so the c2w budget of £1000 wouldn't allow me to buy anything else if changed to newer tricross. And I don't really have cash to throw around either :-(
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    Watched most of the clip - the only bit that would put me off (if I was a beginner) is some of the narrower sections in what I assume to be a delimited area - at the very least I'd want to ensure I was well lit and visible!

    your age is nothing - I started a 10 mile commute with 500' of elevation gain in my late 30's ... and there are plenty of cyclists older than me who can out ride me - we all have to start somewhere and starting now is better than never starting!

    On to the bike - would I ride my Tarmac along that route? Yes, I would - no issues with it as a ride. Would I ride it in the conditions you filmed? No, I wouldn't - because I've got 2 other bikes I can use for wet weather. I'd save the Tarmac for nice sunny days :)

    But - you're getting a Tarmac for £550 - put some suitable mudguards on that and it's still a good bike and will be excellent for the weekend. Bear in mind, my Tarmac is my best bike - it's got some S-Works kit on it, Ultegra levers and some (IMHO) decent wheels - whilst I could afford to replace it like for like, I'm happy wearing out my lesser kitted bikes.

    Bits that take a hammering - especially in the wet - are wheels (rims when braking) and the chain/gears.

    As for weight loading - I've no idea how heavy you are, but I doubt you're going to be carrying a significant proportion of your body weight in kit - if the bike can cope with you on it then the odd kilo or two of extra kit isn't going to overload the frame - heck, if you're worried, just don't carry 2 full bottles of water! ;)

    I wouldn't have suggested a Tarmac as an entry into cycling - and certainly not for commuting - but at that price you'd be paying out about the same for a much "lesser" bike.

    Leisurely is as much or more how you're riding than the bike itself - I assume you've sat on a Tarmac or Allez (same geometry) - if that's comfortable to sit on then it'll be fine. :)
  • MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,226
    You may need clearance and eyelets for full length mudguards. A rear luggage rack eyelet enables you to carry a bigger load. Unused eyelets carry no penalty. Long drop caliper brakes give better tyre clearance for winter riding.
  • WhizWhiz Posts: 28
    To update, the sensible person in me has been locked away and the tarmac remains the bike on order. 
    Maybe it's a secret desire to be a weekend MAMIL but I have gone all out so hopefully next week will be my first commuting adventure. 
    So I'll pay back about £600 over 12 months for ;
    tarmac 2013
    Sks race blade long mudguards
    Hi vis jacket
    Endura Fs260 bib shorts
    Shimano m520 spd pedals
    Track pump
    Trouser clips
    Onguard pitbull d-lock and cable
    Bike id kit

    Not bad for a beginner ride I don't think. 
    Plus I get a survival kit worth £20 as free gift and £100 voucher for lights and helmet. Just need to buy spd shoes out of my own money :-)
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,496
    What's in your survival kit?

    You need a pump, 2xspare inner tube & tyre levers with you as a minimum...

    Carrying the d-lock and cable will be an censored - see if you can leave it where you need to lock the bike up.
  • My two pence - there's a lot of solid white lines on that route. You'll get a few close passes by impatient drivers. Difficult to know if it's busy in the direction you're going though.
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