They look like a pretty good set of options to me. How far do you have to go?
Plenty of people will swear that commuting on knobbies is like totally the worst thing in the world omg, but I don't understand the fuss. Maybe at 15km+ each way I might start worrying about it, but for anything below that it's just a little bit of extra exercise.
The furthest place I have to go is about 6 miles. For me I like knobbies, gives a little more separation from puncture causing debris.
Look fine to me, I think the main thing is tire choice with commuting and that is dependent on environment as much as anything.
I am in the knobbies suck camp but then my 13km commute is in a city on very well maintained, fast, busy roads where the temp never drops below 60'F. I generally ride a CX bike kitted out with 700x23c GP4000s road tires and a 52/39 - 11/23 cassette. Reletive to those knobbies do seem like I am pedalling through semi wet concrete.
I do have a couple of trail options which make the commute about 4 times longer so do occasionally take a Karate Monkey with crossmaks but it is still a pain as 30km of this is still on tarmac roads. Also crossmarks are not ideal for our trails which are rooty and a little muddy at times.
Also If you have ever had to ride through a city centre with stop lights every 100yds having to stop and start on knobbies becomes soul destroying darn quickly.
My long commute is 21-22mi-ish depending on the route I take. I would not consider it on knobbies. I currently have 700x38 hybrid tires with a bit of tread on them and I certainly wouldn't want to go any slower. I average about 16mph on them so the commute takes me about an hour and a half. The only reason I haven't gone narrower is because the extra cush is very nice on rough pavement I encounter on a significant portion of the ride for my long commute.
My short commute is more like 7mi. Knobbies aren't such a chore on that one, and the bike lanes on that commute are VERY debris-filled. A faster, skinnier tire would be a flat magnet. As it is, I get the occasional flat with the hybrid tires I currently run.
All look like good choices....I would rank them:
1. Rocky Mountain Vapor......the design is like my bike
2. Raleigh Century.......it looks lighter than the third choice
3. Rocky Mountain Whistler....it is just good to ride something and it is not a bad bike.
Just to be out there riding is the best thing. I put everything in my backpack so I really do not know much about the bike rails and how they effect a commute or ride especially if loaded with gear. Therefore, I am personally unaware of the weight or adjustments required during a ride. Tires make a big difference but should never be the reason one cannot get out there and give it a whirl....
Actually the whistler is the lightest of the bunch. The Raleigh is gonna be my winter beater, just have to get some studded tires. Funny thing is I was jumping curb and stuff with the Raleigh and the wheels stayed true. My Whistler I drove over a few bumps in the road it was out of true by a fair margin.
My Commuters Opinions please
I was going to get a whistler but i got a rocky mountain trailhead 29er. Alot beefier, can put 700c tires on it. Been running the continental race kings for 1600 km, still like new, they are quiet and grip in gravel and dirt. They are rated for hard pack and dirt. So far just a chain at about 1000 km and a rear derailer hanger and its been trouble free. Im 270 and jump curbs and such and trail ride rooty rocky single tracks as lunch too.
2014 Rocky Mountain Trailhead 29er
2015 Trek Farley 6
2016 Specialized Diverge Sport
I'm 150 and with my whistler the wheel went untrue after a few weeks of riding. My Blue vapor I've gone over potholes at speed and its just a wee bit out, but not enough for a true.
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