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  1. #1
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    New question here. How hard can I ride a road bike? Come on I can't be the only one considering one?!

    So I'm considering buying a road bike to try and get some extra miles in but I'm worried, I've never ridden one before and they look all flimsy! So how hard can I ride one, do they take being ridden off kerbs ok for instance. Can I rail them round corners like I would my MTB?

    My riding will be between cycle paths and roads with a bit of pavement too. I'm just worried this thing is going to self-destruct under me as a mtb rider who enjoys to ride hard?

    Any help and advice would be very much appreciated...

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    So I'm considering buying a road bike to try and get some extra miles in but I'm worried, I've never ridden one before and they look all flimsy! So how hard can I ride one, do they take being ridden off kerbs ok for instance. Can I rail them round corners like I would my MTB?

    My riding will be between cycle paths and roads with a bit of pavement too. I'm just worried this thing is going to self-destruct under me as a mtb rider who enjoys to ride hard?

    Any help and advice would be very much appreciated...
    Pretty damn hard....however the wheels will fail and that hurts...so you will need to be gentle and light on the bike, until you become smooth....

    Curbs even the driveway bump can taco a road wheel....now anyone with skill is gonna float over those type of bumps without a twinge.

  3. #3
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    Avoid the really fast ones - a road touring bike will be much more durable (and less twitchy hopping off stuff)

  4. #4
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    Ride it as it was intended to be ridden and it will last a very long time.

  5. #5
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    Thanks guys.

    This is the bike I am interested in:

    Orange Carb-O



  6. #6
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    You might want to look at cyclo-cross bikes. I got a KHS CX300 with two wheel sets (stock with cross tires, lighter DTSwiss with road tires) so I could swap easily.

  7. #7
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    I'm looking for a distinctly different bike though, not a road bike that I can ride off-road as I'd have more fun taking one of the MTBs instead

  8. #8
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    My school's road team is wholly considering making our crit course this year with many corners and speed bumps. Ever taken a speed bump (or any surface crap) on a road bike at 30 MPH? You gotta bunnyhop it if you want a chance. And I fully intend on racing this road season.

    If you're riding a full carbon, sub 15# road bike, you'll probably want to watch where you ride it. But for the most part, road bikes can take a lot. I have a Raleigh Grand Sport with the stock Alex wheels, and I ride it pretty roughly for a road bike. I bunnyhop stuff for fun, and I'll occasionally take it on rough dirt paths instead of the pavement. I once took it along a dirt path that parallels a paved bike path, and as I rejoined the pavement, I caught up to another cyclist who had been riding the pavement on a mountain bike. That was a bit confusing.
    Sometimes, I question the value of my content.

  9. #9
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    LOL sounds like fun, I think I should make the move and add it to the stable! I don't intend to fully move to the dark side, but I don't think Anakin would argue that a bit of a dabble could be fun!

  10. #10
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    This pretty much answers your question.
    Amazing stunt riding...on a carbon road bike - YouTube

  11. #11
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    If you want to ride a road bike hard, I suggest making you change to more durable tires. I own a road and mtb and my road came with racing tires. Great for smooth tracks, but sux for urban streets with pot holes, glass pieces, etc. I ride my road bike somewhat hard, though not as hard as my mtb and ever since I change to kevlar lined tires, I've been able to take it almost everywhere.
    - Ed

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  12. #12
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5z1fS...e_gdata_player

    If your worried watch this. I do wonder how many sets of wheels he went through.

  13. #13
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    LOL I can't do that on my MTB so I doubt I'll manage on the road bike!

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    So I'm considering buying a road bike to try and get some extra miles in but I'm worried, I've never ridden one before and they look all flimsy! So how hard can I ride one, do they take being ridden off kerbs ok for instance. Can I rail them round corners like I would my MTB?

    My riding will be between cycle paths and roads with a bit of pavement too. I'm just worried this thing is going to self-destruct under me as a mtb rider who enjoys to ride hard?

    Any help and advice would be very much appreciated...
    I probably spend more time on my road bike then I do my mountain bike(s).

    Riding off curbs might be an issue, I do it, but I've also gone through two rear wheels and maybe six spokes in the last two years. I'm a bigger guy running between 200-220 most of the time.

    As for railing corners, it's easier on a road bike. At 20mph you can get a road bike over enough where the inside pedal is scrapping pavement, it's fun

    Personally I'm fairly hard on my bike, I don't avoid running over things on my road bike. I just try to stay lose when I hit them.

  15. #15
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    I'm around the same weight as you hence another worry. Do you guys actually think road bike help with the mountain bike riding in terms of technique as well as fitness?

  16. #16
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    Your not the only one considering a road bike. I hardly ride off road these days so I am thinking about getting a road bike as well.
    My Bike: '15 Trek FX 7.2
    My Blog: http://http://kona0197.wordpress.com/

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    A MTB 29er rigid with slicks on likely 2" area tyres 38mm min pretty much would take that kinda abuse and with disk brakes you don't have to constantly fix slight buckles like on a road bike.

    I bought a GT Zum S2 for the above duty but liked it off road so kept upgrading it.

    Forget once on a road bike and screw up going up a small kerb and wrecked rear wheel, or hit a large pot hole at speed and wrecked.

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    I've ridden my full race fit road bike off road considerable distances on single/double track, have jumped it, onto curbs, off of curbs/steps, as well and blown through the occasional pothole (though it's much better to bunny hop them), all on race tires (23c). I find road bikes to be pretty resilient.
    Looking for a RockShox Tora 302 U-Turn fork, any condition. PM me if you have one.

  19. #19
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    I love my road bike, I don't rail burms nor jump off curbs. However flying down descents at 45 mph can get a bit as scarey until you get use to the speed. My bike is 15lb full carbon. it is as much fun if you can find some switch back to ride. The cross training and will help also. You can really work o your endurance, just try keeping the speed above 20 mph for over 20 miles. I can't but it can be done.
    Road bikes are a whole new ball of wax, new riding position, new muscle groups, new areo issues, new tire compounds and component upgrades. So much fun.

  20. #20
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    If by hard you mean aggressive acceleration or hammering up hills, you can ride as hard as you can stand. I jacked up my ankle hammering too hard on my rode bike. The bike was fine. If you mean how fast can you go, you can go as fast as you can. I've gotten up to 55 mph on my road bike. There are plenty of people who have gone faster. You can corner as hard as you can too. That being said, you need to get a quality bike and make sure it is in good working order. If you want to actually hit bumps hard and bang the bike around, a cross bike would be a good choice. I baby my road bike in that I avoid or bunny hop pot holes, bumps, and debris.

    Getting a proper bike fit is very important on a road bike due to the repetitious nature of riding one. You can really injure yourself with a poor bike fit.

    I recommend carbon if you can afford it. Carbon can be made very stiff or can be constructed such that it absorbs road chatter for greater comfort. Steel and Ti have similar abilities. Aluminum is less expensive, though I don't care for the harsh ride.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    So I'm considering buying a road bike to try and get some extra miles in but I'm worried, I've never ridden one before and they look all flimsy! So how hard can I ride one, do they take being ridden off kerbs ok for instance. Can I rail them round corners like I would my MTB?

    My riding will be between cycle paths and roads with a bit of pavement too. I'm just worried this thing is going to self-destruct under me as a mtb rider who enjoys to ride hard?

    Any help and advice would be very much appreciated...
    When I started cycling again a few years ago, I came back in on MTB's.
    I found a road bike someone was tossing out in great shape.
    I put some miles on it and it helped me out so much on trails.
    I was able to climb much better and last much longer in between breaks on the trails.
    A road bike DEFINITELY will improve your MTBing (endurance, speed, conditioning, etc...).

    Living in the suburbs of NY, it was far easier for me to hit the road than to hit a trail.
    So, I found myself road biking much more and I ended up with this...


    [2009 CAAD9, 16lbs., Mavic Ksyrium Elites, Full Dura Ace + Dura Ace Pedals, Fi'zi:k/FSA Cockpit]

    Like you, I too was worried about their skinny tires and wondered if they'd hold up to the NYC streets and rough roads,
    BUT I put on an average of 25-30 miles per ride and have only had 2 flats in thousands of miles
    (1 was my fault, a pinch flat...I didn't air it up enough and the other was a tube failure).

    Now, I'm addicted. It's my main form of cycling. Once you get a good bike up to 40mph,
    it's something you tend to enjoy and to want to do more. At half that speed it's fun.

    Don't get me wrong, I LOVE trail riding. Now that I've moved to the wilds of West Virginia and
    literally have some of the best trails around within minutes of me, I'm going to hit them again.
    But, I also have miles and miles of beautifully kept roads here with some nasty climbs and
    some wicked hills, so I'm definitely going to swing both ways.

    Right now, I'm about 230 at 5'9" (a lot of that is muscle). I HAMMER my CAAD9 and I beat the living daylights out of it.
    Granted, it's a very custom and expensive (for me) rig, but you can get an EXCELLENT steed in the $1,200. range
    (like a CAAD10 105) and on occasion, you can pick up a well equipped carbon bike from a great manufacturer like Litespeed or Cannondale.

    I'd say go for it! IMO, one can never have too many bikes and
    a road bike will compliment your MTB riding without a doubt.
    Last edited by 2ndgen; 10-17-2011 at 09:11 PM.

  22. #22
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    $2,800./US is a lot of money for a first bike (based upon your example of that Orange).
    Excellent way to step into the game!

    For that much money however, you can get an Ultegra equipped bike (think XT-level)
    that'll essentially need no upgrading for years (besides possibly contact points like bars,
    saddle, etc...).

    Not knocking your choice at all, but ride every brand you can get your hands on.
    Treks, Cannondales, Specialized, etc...then get the one that fits your budget
    and that fits "you" as a rider as well.

    But personally, I prefer more "frame" than components so I'd suggest an entry level of the best frame
    you can afford and upgrade as needed. I did that with my CAAD9 and ended up with a monster
    of a rig and saved $1,500./US + I have a much better bike than the manufacturer offered stock.

    For your budget, I'd get a Cannondale Supersix Rival if you're a Sram guy.
    It's an excellent frameset and it's a frame you can keep for years & upgrade.
    For about $250./US "less", I'd get the Supersix 105 (for me, the preferred choice):

    Last edited by 2ndgen; 10-17-2011 at 08:58 PM.

  23. #23
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    double post
    mods; feel free to delete please.

  24. #24
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    My carbon road bike is my favorite! On the plus side; light, fast, fun & comfortable. I have riden several centuries with out fatigue or my hands getting numb. On the minus side; no repairing a damaged frame -"replacement", have to be careful, esp transporting. 23c or 25 c tires are great on pavement, suck on everything else, even loose gravel.

    You can ride a road bike hard, just have to watch for the potholes and lips. I've knocked a few MTB rims out of wack over the years as well. Hit anything to fast and to hard, somthing is going to give. If you want a road bike that you can bang around, the cyclocross bikes might worth a look.

  25. #25
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    Jobst Brandt says you can, so it's ok.
    http://yarchive.net/bike/mountain_bike.html
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  26. #26
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    Thanks for all your help guys

    2ndgen - really useful information there thank you. I can get a nice big discount on the Orange, Cannondale and Scott, so these are definitely in my mind. What do you think to the Synapse?

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    The shimano tiagra group set works just the same as 105 but is cheaper and heavier. You can get a aluminium frame with tiagra gear for under $1000. Ever time you break it, it won't cost as much to fix. Sram costs more but I really like the double tap shifting.

  28. #28
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    I just got a Specialized Tarmac Comp Rival, I love it. I ride a Giant XTC with an 80mm Recon, so I have been forced to ride pretty smooth on my MTB which made the transition to a road bike a little easier. But, I do ride off curbs, bunny hop up them and ride a light gravel trail every once and a while, so I might have a taco-ed rim in the future, but right now it is working fine.
    Bottom line, road bikes are fun and they can take some abuse.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    Thanks for all your help guys

    2ndgen - really useful information there thank you.


    I can get a nice big discount on the Orange, Cannondale and Scott, so these are definitely in my mind. What do you think to the Synapse?
    All great bikes. The Synapse is a bit more comfortable than the Supersix Cannondales, but in no way cruisers.
    They are still stiff enough to be raced in Grand Tours over rougher sections (cobblestones).
    The Supersix is a more aggressive (stiffer, more responsive) bike.
    If you ride to train, the Supersix is your bike.
    If you ride to cruise, then The Synapse.

    Can't go wrong with either of the brands you're considering. Remember, ride them all
    and see which one fits you the best and which puts the biggest grin on your face.

    Last edited by 2ndgen; 10-18-2011 at 06:01 AM.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by maxforce View Post
    The shimano tiagra group set works just the same as 105 but is cheaper and heavier. You can get a aluminium frame with tiagra gear for under $1000. Ever time you break it, it won't cost as much to fix. Sram costs more but I really like the double tap shifting.
    Great point. Tiagra is actually a pretty great group and will last thousands of trouble-free miles. It's a nice smooth operating system. It's ideal for a recreational rider.

    If one is going to ride hard, then 105 is a significant step up from Tiagra and that's when you begin to ride with a "race worthy" group.

    My current bike is fully Dura Ace, but my next bike, I'm going with Sram Red.

  31. #31
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    Thanks again! I am now quite looking forward to this!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    Thanks again! I am now quite looking forward to this!



  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ndgen View Post





  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post




    <iframe width="560" height="315" src="http://www.youtube.com/embed/fLrpBLDWyCI" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

  35. #35
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    Lol

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Just J View Post
    So I'm considering buying a road bike to try and get some extra miles in but I'm worried, I've never ridden one before and they look all flimsy! So how hard can I ride one, do they take being ridden off kerbs ok for instance. Can I rail them round corners like I would my MTB?

    My riding will be between cycle paths and roads with a bit of pavement too. I'm just worried this thing is going to self-destruct under me as a mtb rider who enjoys to ride hard?

    Any help and advice would be very much appreciated...
    You can get a road bike as light or burly/dirt worthy as you want

    While 90% of the road bikes you see in advertizements are uber-lightweight race bikes, which you probably don't want to make a habit of crashing into curbs, there are also road bikes built with stronger wheels, wider tires, and bomb-proof frames.

    After riding an 18 lb CF race bike with pencil-thin tires for 10 years, I am now on a 22 lb steel framed bike with 33c tires. My Casseroll came stock with Delgado rims that are mtb worthy. I enjoy this bike much more, and have few worries about hitting rough roads.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  37. #37
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    Another 2 cents to add to the pot

    Don't spend a gazillion dollars on an uber-lightweight roadie if you plan to ride it hard, and on the type of terrain you're describing. Someone mentioned maybe a cyclocross bike, which would probably be a great option for you. The other option would be what many manufacturers consider "fitness bikes', which are basically flat bar road bikes.

    I purchased an '09 Jamis Coda Elite, and have it built up in two configurations. one has a lot of carbon fiber parts (mostly in the cockpit), and a wheelset with narrower tires. This is great when I want to do more serious road riding. The other configuration has a more traditional cockpit (Thomson stem and seatpost, alum bars) and a wheelset with wider tires that have some grip to the tread. This can be used on gravel trails and singletrack.

    In the end, I have a road bike that "feels" almost like my mountain bike (flat bars tend to have a more upright position), has disc brakes, and when needed, can be used/ridden more aggressively.

    There are other bikes out there like the (former) Cannondale Bad Boy, and offerings from Giant (Dash) and Trek (FX Series) and others that fit into this category. It certainly worked for me. That said, YMMV.

    The attached pic is the bike in it's lighter-weight, road riding build with the carbon parts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How hard can I ride a road bike?  Come on I can't be the only one considering one?!-coda.jpg  

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  38. #38
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    have you seen pro roadies ride? i'd say you shouldn't worry about too hard

  39. #39
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    If you have a lot of loose gravel on your roads, you have to be really careful on a road bike. And anything bigger than dime sized gravel, my road bike just digs in and stops.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by nshadow View Post
    If you have a lot of loose gravel on your roads, you have to be really careful on a road bike. And anything bigger than dime sized gravel, my road bike just digs in and stops.
    Although I slowed down, I never stopped on my road bike. I just peddled harder. This was definitely larger than dime sized gravel.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How hard can I ride a road bike?  Come on I can't be the only one considering one?!-imag0222_1.jpg  

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  41. #41
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    On 23mm tires? I would have had to stop.

  42. #42
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    go 'Cross

    Don't go right out & buy a carbon road bike if you haven't ridden road before. 'Cross bikes are your friend. Not quite as light, but for me the durability is worth it. And, once you get fast on a 'cross bike, imagine how you'll fly on a carbon machine.
    Part of my commute is a 1/4 mile section of singletrack, and my Norco CCX2 takes it in stride. Find one you like and put Armadillos on it, then load up your pack, hop it off the curb & rack up the miles on pavement, dirt roads, or gravel. Beat it up as a commuter. Keep a second set of wheels with knobbies if you want to hit trails. Best to wear your mountain bike shorts & jersey when on the road, as studies have shown that tight Lycra consumes your soul. Unless you're into that kind of thing. In which case, get the carbon road bike
    Last edited by M5Tucker; 10-18-2011 at 06:53 PM. Reason: reading comprehension fail

  43. #43
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    Cross bike

    Another vote for cross bike.

    I Had a nice aluminum TRI bike with a carbon fork and tried to enjoy it, but it never happened. I sold it for half of what I spent with 308 miles on it. I did a forty mile road ride the day I brought my Full squish home and prefered it. I looked at everything from singlespeeds, high end carbon, 29 er rigid and will be picking up my steel cross bike thursday. It will ride well on the road as well as the beginner singletrack with the family. I also will not have to worry about taking a highend road bike out in the bad weather with salt and sludge on the road. I may try and suffer through a few cross races once I get a feel for the bike.

  44. #44
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    I ride 90 percent rode/asphalt tail miles. This is my idea of a road bike. I wanted to have a bike that is fairly light, durable, comfortable and fast. Those tires are as slick as regular road tires.I see a lot of roadies suffering from all the little bump they encounter. It hurts.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails How hard can I ride a road bike?  Come on I can't be the only one considering one?!-dsc_0544.jpg  

    How hard can I ride a road bike?  Come on I can't be the only one considering one?!-dsc_0547.jpg  

    How hard can I ride a road bike?  Come on I can't be the only one considering one?!-dsc_0549.jpg  

    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by Call_me_Clyde View Post
    Don't spend a gazillion dollars on an uber-lightweight roadie if you plan to ride it hard, and on the type of terrain you're describing. Someone mentioned maybe a cyclocross bike, which would probably be a great option for you. The other option would be what many manufacturers consider "fitness bikes', which are basically flat bar road bikes.

    I purchased an '09 Jamis Coda Elite, and have it built up in two configurations. one has a lot of carbon fiber parts (mostly in the cockpit), and a wheelset with narrower tires. This is great when I want to do more serious road riding. The other configuration has a more traditional cockpit (Thomson stem and seatpost, alum bars) and a wheelset with wider tires that have some grip to the tread. This can be used on gravel trails and singletrack.

    In the end, I have a road bike that "feels" almost like my mountain bike (flat bars tend to have a more upright position), has disc brakes, and when needed, can be used/ridden more aggressively.

    There are other bikes out there like the (former) Cannondale Bad Boy, and offerings from Giant (Dash) and Trek (FX Series) and others that fit into this category. It certainly worked for me. That said, YMMV.

    The attached pic is the bike in it's lighter-weight, road riding build with the carbon parts.
    I agree with your post. Well said.
    “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.”

  46. #46
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    This may very well be my next purchase. I love the feel of steel on pavement!

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  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by nshadow View Post
    On 23mm tires? I would have had to stop.
    Yes, 700x23C Clinchers. I use Bontrager Race All Weather Hardcase (Triple flat protection from puncture, cut, AND pinch).
    - Ed

    2012 Trek Madone 6.7 SSL
    2013 Specialized Tricross Comp Disc
    2011 Trek Top Fuel 9.9 SSL
    2012 Salsa Mukluk 2

  48. #48
    OnTheTrailAgain
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecub View Post
    Although I slowed down, I never stopped on my road bike. I just peddled harder. This was definitely larger than dime sized gravel.
    I remember riding a paved bike path and I hit this gravel section which caught me off guard.
    At first, I thought I'd just ease the bike through, but as I peddled and heard the pebbles coming up,
    I just wanted to get out of there ASAP. I plowed through that section as fast as I could.
    It turned out to be a mile.

  49. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by ecub View Post
    Yes, 700x23C Clinchers. I use Bontrager Race All Weather Hardcase (Triple flat protection from puncture, cut, AND pinch).
    Heard good things about those.

    The favorite for roadies now seems to be Continental's Grand Prix 4000S.
    Excellent puncture protection (on NYC roads), great grip and they roll fast.
    I'm on 23's now, but the consensus is that 25's actually can be ridden at a
    lower PSI while giving the same rolling resistance and are faster.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woozle View Post
    You might want to look at cyclo-cross bikes. I got a KHS CX300 with two wheel sets (stock with cross tires, lighter DTSwiss with road tires) so I could swap easily.
    This is why I LOVE my Surly Cross Check. I have ridden it on single track, road, gravel, you name it.

    Not as fast on the road as a 15 pound carbon roadie. Not as fast on the trail as a mountain bike. But throw in mixed riding and it'll smoke either of them.

    And it's MUCH more comfortable to me than a real sporty road bike.

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