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  1. #1
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    Probably gonna take the plunge... recommend a roadie!!!

    Alright, so nearly $5 a gallon gas has me really considering taking the plunge to bike commuting.

    It is a 13 mile ride to work.... however, a lot of it is pretty safe.... I can cut over to the American River trail and that will put me pretty close to work... plus we have showers at work, which is a bonus. In the next couple of days I'll be making the ride on my mtb on one of my days off soon just to figure out the timing and route.

    So.... basicly, I am looking for bike recommendations.
    1. I want a road bike....
    2. something pretty decent... probably 105/ultegra
    3. although, durability is important (as I am sure some of the roads are a little rough) I want super strong wheels that stay true even on rougher roads.

    so... a middle - high end extremely durable road bike??? anyone?

  2. #2
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    Unless you are going to be a dedicated roadie, I'd suggest a Surly CrossCheck. You have the strength and feel of steel and the option to ride with fatties when the urge arises. That's the path I took after alot of researching and haven't regretted it.

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  3. #3
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    Agreed....

    A cross or touring bike like the Long Haul Trucker are probably your best options. The problem with full on performance road bikes is they are built for speed, handling, and light weight. Many don't have attachment points for racks or fenders, nor the ability to use a tire much wider than a 28c if your lucky. Cross bikes are designed to handle off road as well as road riding, fit wider tires if needed or desired and usually have all the attachment points you would need for racks etc. Touring bikes are the same way but more so in the attachment department. The Surly Cross Check is probably my favorite cross bike. They handle well, ride very comfortably when compared even to a full carbon performance road bike, and are extremely durable. Just make sure you treat the frame with "frame saver" if you intend to commute all weather.

    For a touring bike the Trek Portland is a great example of what a road bike can be if thought out properly. My favorite feature of the portland is disc brakes! The bike comes stock with Avid BB7 road brakes, and Trek did their home work in the mounting department in the rear. The brake caliper is mounted in what would be considered a reverse direction between the seat and chain stay. This gives clearance at the drop out for the mounting of racks and panniers, unlike the more traditional mounting location on the outside of the seat stay. A very nice bike that works for touring or commuting admirably.

    Just one work of advice if you should go with the cross check. Try to steer clear of peformance type road wheels. You'd be amazed at how harshly a low spoke count, paired spoke road wheel rides. My son has a Check that he commutes on that he used a set of Bontrager Race Lite wheels on. His only complaint was how rough the ride was at times. A budy of his suggested a different wheel. So he tried out a set of Mavic Open Pro hoops laced up to regular old Shimano XT hubs, with DT Comp spokes. He couldn't believe the difference in ride. The more traditional wheel is plenty stiff but yet more compiant when it comes to vibration and road chatter. I know, I've ridden it with both wheels, it makes quite a difference.

    Your choice of course, but I'd deffinately look into a cross or touring bike for commuting. Most full on roadies are designed with racing/peformance in mind, comfort is secondary. With cross and touring bikes comfort and durability play more heavily into the mix, and it shows in the way they ride.

    Good Dirt
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urnicus
    Alright, so nearly $5 a gallon gas has me really considering taking the plunge to bike commuting.

    It is a 13 mile ride to work.... however, a lot of it is pretty safe.... I can cut over to the American River trail and that will put me pretty close to work... plus we have showers at work, which is a bonus. In the next couple of days I'll be making the ride on my mtb on one of my days off soon just to figure out the timing and route.

    So.... basicly, I am looking for bike recommendations.
    1. I want a road bike....
    2. something pretty decent... probably 105/ultegra
    3. although, durability is important (as I am sure some of the roads are a little rough) I want super strong wheels that stay true even on rougher roads.

    so... a middle - high end extremely durable road bike??? anyone?
    It reads like you want more than a commuter. For real commuting and utility I suggest a real commuter where the bike can be less money than parts for a better bike and where your cares are minimal. Minimal if it's stolen or damaged, and minimal where you hose it off once a year or every few years and just dribble oil on the chain. I think we paid $360 for our bike with internal gear hub.

    A friend got a cyclo cross bike to accommodate durable, road and light trail.

    There's other hidden value in the cheap commuter if you can ride a bike. My wife says the men worth thousands on the hoof are quite impressed with her when she kicks their butts or gives them a run for their money on her commute. Inner tubes and chain oil are probably the only things on the bike bought at retail or new and she puts some expensive threads and exotic materials to shame.

  5. #5
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    Me too!

    Quote Originally Posted by Urnicus
    Alright, so nearly $5 a gallon gas has me really considering taking the plunge to bike commuting.

    It is a 13 mile ride to work.... however, a lot of it is pretty safe.... I can cut over to the American River trail and that will put me pretty close to work... plus we have showers at work, which is a bonus. In the next couple of days I'll be making the ride on my mtb on one of my days off soon just to figure out the timing and route.

    So.... basicly, I am looking for bike recommendations.
    1. I want a road bike....
    2. something pretty decent... probably 105/ultegra
    3. although, durability is important (as I am sure some of the roads are a little rough) I want super strong wheels that stay true even on rougher roads.

    so... a middle - high end extremely durable road bike??? anyone?
    with the gas prices inevitably going over $5/gallon, I too will take the plunge. I don't want to commute on my All Mountain bike, it's too big and heavy, expensive nor do I want to use my steel roadie, to expensive and small tires. it rides to hard. and tires are kinda fragile.

    I decided on a KHS Flite 300, link:http://www.khsbicycles.com/05_flite_300_08.htm, My lbs is going to give me a killer deal on it. he has insiders at KHS and get a really good price. it has all alloy 7005 frame, carbon forks, full shimano, crankset is I believe FSA alloy, 700 26c tires. The main feature, it has braze on attachents for a rear rack. I test rode it yesterday, it was lighter than my steely, faster and it felt very solid and rode like a Caddy with the big 26c tires. I seemed climb better to, maybe frame geometry and light weight. With the big tires I can take it over some pretty knarly roads with pot holes, buckled asphalt from buses, and tree roots. I can always go to xc tires. I will initially add the rear rack, panniers, a speedo, platforms, w/spds and later lights. and maybe body armor, just kidding.

    I have commuted before and relied upon mt. bike f/s frame. with rack and lights and heavy niccad battery pack.. It was a heavy bike 33 to 38 lbs. with rack, lights and batteries and could take the hits. however, It had too much bob. I think the 300 will be more ideal. I may even be riding it for my weekend rides.

  6. #6
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    +1 on the surlys. For really strong wheels try to get some Mavic Open Pro/Velocity Aero rims with 105/ultegra/dura-ace hubs.

    I'm getting rid of my cross bike for commuting though. Replaced by a 80s steel road bike (Univega Arrow Pace) and a Cannondale System Six when I feel like flying.

  7. #7
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    I have seen the cross check and other cyclocross bikes.... the thing is I really want a light/fast road bike.... so I can pretty much haul butt on my way to work and home.

    it will be a 100% road and bike path commute..... so, I am not looking for the more relaxed geometry of commuters.... or wide tires of cyclocross....

    just durable enough where I can count on it.

    I figure I can fit all my work stuff easily into a sealline urban backpack.......

    Lets say I want a Road bike (not cross, not 'commuter')... just a straight road bike... any recommendations?

    any disadvantages to a bike like a Specialized Tarmac Elite or Bianchi Nirone?

  8. #8
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    I picked up a 3 year old Salsa Campeon sporting a mostly Sram Rival group about 6 weeks ago on Ebay, about $800 including shipping. Had been considering a cross bike but am glad I went roadie as I have a 33 mile one way commute with a lot of climbing both ways (across a valley).
    Really glad I went with a road bike and appreciate the bit of carbon for dampening the road noise.
    Stick with your guns and go road bike. Not as versatile as a cross but for this dedicated purpose it's been worthwhile in my experience.
    Good luck shopping.
    Matt

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Urnicus
    I have seen the cross check and other cyclocross bikes.... the thing is I really want a light/fast road bike.... so I can pretty much haul butt on my way to work and home.

    it will be a 100% road and bike path commute..... so, I am not looking for the more relaxed geometry of commuters.... or wide tires of cyclocross....

    just durable enough where I can count on it.

    I figure I can fit all my work stuff easily into a sealline urban backpack.......

    Lets say I want a Road bike (not cross, not 'commuter')... just a straight road bike... any recommendations?

    any disadvantages to a bike like a Specialized Tarmac Elite or Bianchi Nirone?
    I guess I'm in the same boat as you. Your looking for a race bike to commute on. I have a Cannondale System Six frame(won on ebay for $600, everyone is upgrading to the super six) that I'm going to build up for nice day commuting and racing. I'm selling my cross bike and keeping my old steel bike for rain days and hauling food and clothes once a week. Haven't done it yet so I don't know how well it'll work in the long run. If I needed 1 bike to do it all, I would've gone with titanium.

    Try asking on roadbikereview or the roadie section of bike forums. I doubt you'll get too much useful input here because most people here commute on 8 inch downhill bikes with 2.6 inch knobbies and still average 20 mph passing roadies all day.

  10. #10
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    If you've been mountain biking for a while and are serious keep in mind the addiction factor. Riding a road bike is as much fun as a mountain bike so if you start commuting you may end up doing long, fast road rides too. For this reason I'd stay away from a cross bike as they aren't as fun on long rides (of course I have a road, cross and mountain bike) nor are they as fast.

    The other issue to keep in mind is frame material. I just bought a Cannondale CAAD 9 road bike, all aluminum, which was essentially C-dale's top road bike 3 years ago, now with carbon fiber it is less expensive and hidden in their line-up. Unless you are racing cat 1/2 on the road an aluminum bike with Ultegra/Force/Veloce will be great and cost less (by $500 or so) then a similar carbon fiber bike.
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  11. #11
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    Carbon Fork was the ticket for me

    I just got a new commuter bike to replace my super relaxed / stretched out Novara Big Buzz which always felt kind of slow with a harsh ride. My new ride is a super basic 17 pound Felt Dispatch running 44/16. I can't beleive how much faster this bike "feels" - even though its actually slower because of the gearing. I can't stop riding it, and can't wait to ride it again, even after riding 100+ miles per week for the last three weeks. The carbon fork is great.
    Just Ride!

  12. #12
    jrm
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    Felt and Specialized

    offer some nice bikes with good value in terms of components. More important is getting yourself fitted-sized. i like the semi compact geometry spec'd bieks because it allows me to ride a larger frame with a longer ETT.
    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  13. #13
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    Honestly I got a Fuji Roubaix last month to replace my hardtail for commuting. I've ridden dirt once since then, however I've put over 500 miles on my new bike.

    It's nice being able to tack 20-30-40 miles onto my ride home, I don't have dirt within 20 miles which makes it hard to ride on work days. Also flying down the road or MUT at 25+ mph is almost as a nice piece of single track

  14. #14
    viva la v-brakes!
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    If you want a durable road bike then what you are looking for is a sport touring bike like those made by Trek, Cannondale, Fuji and others. These bikes have all the braze ons for all the gear you will attach to it but are a bit more performance oriented then full loaded touring bikes (like Bruce Gordon, Surly LHT, etc). Basically they are designed for people who want to do supported rides like RAGBRIA and be pretty efficient riding their bike all day. They cross over well to longer distance commuting.

    There are a few road sport bikes that might be up to the task, such as the Salsa Casseroll, Surly Pacer, among others, but you will have to shop carefully as many of these bikes will not be as durable as you are looking for (and it is indeed smart of you to look for a durable bike).

    A few critical accessories include fenders (you will get rained on no matter how you plan it out, so be prepared!) and a rack with a pannier or rack-top bag (get the weight off of your body and prevent the sweaty back syndrome). I like Planet Bike and Arkel for these accessories.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473
    A few critical accessories include fenders (you will get rained on no matter how you plan it out, so be prepared!) and a rack with a pannier or rack-top bag (get the weight off of your body and prevent the sweaty back syndrome). I like Planet Bike and Arkel for these accessories.
    Your last point prompted me to wonder: how do racks/panniers/etc. affect handling?

    I've never mounted one on any bike I've had. My cargo has always been kept in my mighty, nigh indestructable backpack which can comfortably hold a fair amount of groceries as well as my work ir school materials. Over the years, I've gotten pretty used to riding fully laden. Then again, I get "sweaty back" somethin' fierce. To offset this I generally ride wearing a wicking shirt or an old t-shirt. Nevertheless, it's not real comfortable when I go into an air conditioned building after a ride.

    Anyway, what's the story - do racks take a lot of getting used to? I assume they are more handling neutral than backpacks, which can definitely throw you off balance if you have to turn to check behind you.

  16. #16
    viva la v-brakes!
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    For lighter loads you'll hardly notice they are there. I would say if you had a change of clothes and lunch in a pannier or rack bag, you might notice the extra weight a bit when you are standing up and pedaling up a hill, as you swing the bike side-to-side below you, but when empty they might as well not be there. If you have a lot of weight back there, say you go pick up a weeks worth of groceries, then you will definitely notice it and the bike will be slower and somewhat awkward, so best not to carry a full load of groceries around with you everywhere you go.

    No matter where or how you add things to your bike, you eventually get used to the weight and feel of the bike. I've done several tours with 40-50 pounds of gear on my bike. When you take the weight off to go ride for a while it feels strange, whippy awkward, and you almost can't wait to put the panniers back on!
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by scatteredshadows
    Your last point prompted me to wonder: how do racks/panniers/etc. affect handling?

    I've never mounted one on any bike I've had. My cargo has always been kept in my mighty, nigh indestructable backpack which can comfortably hold a fair amount of groceries as well as my work ir school materials. Over the years, I've gotten pretty used to riding fully laden. Then again, I get "sweaty back" somethin' fierce. To offset this I generally ride wearing a wicking shirt or an old t-shirt. Nevertheless, it's not real comfortable when I go into an air conditioned building after a ride.

    Anyway, what's the story - do racks take a lot of getting used to? I assume they are more handling neutral than backpacks, which can definitely throw you off balance if you have to turn to check behind you.
    Well racks and panniers will mount your cargo lower improving your center of gravity in that way. Overloading the rear of the bike then trying to power up a hill while staying in the saddle can lead to unexpected wheelies. Overloading at the front wheel will lead to sluggish and very weighted steering. Overloading the top of the front wheel will make steering tend to snap from one direction to another. The key is to try and balance your load from front to back and keep it as low as possible.

    Personally I just use a messenger bag if I need to take stuff to work. I use my car for trips that require larger items to move back and forth but that's pretty rare.

  18. #18
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    On my f/s mt. bike I had to use a top mounted rear rack, I increased the rear shock preload. I never carried heavy items and didn't notice rear weight bias handling issues.. This time I will use a compact frame road bike with panniers. Carrying the weight lower should improve handling. Ideally would like to load frame top tube, but no one currently makes a top tube mount panier or saddle bag.

    I may look into the Ergon back packs, they are design to allow back ventilation. the pack has a frame that allows air to flow between frame and your back.. The frame mounts to your hips and has a pivot/ball joint that allows the top of the pack to move with your body.

  19. #19
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    really pleased with my Trek Soho S for my 8mi round trip urban commute.
    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...an/soho/sohos/
    doesnt break the bank, durable, fast, and fun to ride

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