I need a new style of bike for commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    I need a new style of bike for commuting

    I ride about 10-12 miles rt to work, but I want to ride more. I have an 05 Specialized Hardrock, and after all the stuff i gotta carry it is pretty heavy, I also ride about 12 miles at a time on the weekends (maybe more if my bike weighed less), and i carry my son on a trailer. I can only average about 11-12 mph. I would def like to bump it up but not possible w/ current bike.

    So do I get a hybrid bike, do i get a road bike? I have to hop up on sidewalk curbs and stuff. Im assuming that by dropping suspension im saving a bunch of weight. Can a road bike handle that? I know im sacrificing some speed by going hybrid, but would I be better off w/ a bike like a Cannondale Bad Boy? I dont want to damage the bike or break components, not concerned w/ asthetics though. Thanks!!

  2. #2
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    A road bike with drop handlebars will definitely speed up your commute, especially on windy days. If you take the canal to work, 700cx28 tires will help you stay upright.
    "I don't suffer from insanity!I rather enjoy it."

  3. #3
    Prez NMBA
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    I would get a cyclocross bike like a Surly Cross-check and reasonably heavy "road" wheelset. a bit beefier than a true road bike (and a little bit heavier) but with highpressure road (wide) tires, you are gonna be much more efficient than your current ride. I take curbs etc on my commute everyday with no issues at all.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by wheelbender6
    If you take the canal to work.
    what does this mean? sorry for being a noob

  5. #5
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    this is my next bike

    Unless Kona brings out a steel disc only cyclocross bike (ss a bonus too), this will be my commuter frame for next year. My mountain bike commuter feels like such a drain compared to my road bike. I think cyclocross is the answer for year-round commuting.

    salsa lacruz

  6. #6
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    these guys are right on, something like the Salsa La Cruz,Cassaroll,Surly crosscheck,or also the Specialized Singlecross would be right up your alley.

  7. #7
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    The kona smoke 29er seems to be popular for a lot of people around here. I want to test ride one, but the closest kona dealer doesn't have one and won't order one.

    *sigh*

  8. #8
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    Cannondale Bad Boy, my friend...Once you go C'dale, you never go back.

  9. #9
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    Weight is the main factor in speed right, the lighter the faster? No one ever lists the assembled weight of a bike in their specs. Id like to compare the different bikes

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohannon7
    Weight is the main factor in speed right, the lighter the faster? No one ever lists the assembled weight of a bike in their specs. Id like to compare the different bikes
    not really,i would say tire size/tread pattern/wheel size makes the biggest difference.
    weight makes a big difference for acceleration and climbing. which is why pro road time trial bikes are heavy compared to normal road bikes, weight doesnt matter in all out top speed.

  11. #11
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    I just picked up a spec globe for commuting and I love it! They also have a super globe called the centrum.

  12. #12
    bi-winning
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    Some suggestions:

    Specialized Tricross. (Cyclocross, drop bars, generous tire clearance)
    Kona Dew. (Flat bars, 700c wheels)
    Kona Smoke 29 (popular commuter)

    Speed wise, I think a bike like the Tricross would be your best bet. It will also be capable of some off road and curb hopping action, much more so than a full on road bike.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  13. #13
    EXORCIZE
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    Yeah, look at "cross" bikes. I just got an On-One il pompino with 32mm road tires and its definitey faster than a mountain bike. Definitely drop the suspension fork for road usage, and bump up to 700cc (road) wheels - Bianchi, Kona, C'dale, On-One, Surly, Salsa, Specialized, etc.

  14. #14
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    I wouldn't worry about a pound or two on a bike that you haul commuter stuff and a kid trailer with. Those extra coupla pounds will pay dividends in durability...

  15. #15
    All That is Man
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    I like the Pompino idea. The Iro Jamie Roy is a stout frame and will take good sized tires too.
    John

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hand/of/Midas
    not really,i would say tire size/tread pattern/wheel size makes the biggest difference.
    weight makes a big difference for acceleration and climbing. which is why pro road time trial bikes are heavy compared to normal road bikes, weight doesnt matter in all out top speed.
    so by this, I may not even need another bike. I could just put small tires on my MTB & be good?

    I had 2.2 knobbies, but I put 2.4 Holly Roller's (Semi-slick, kinda BMX tires) on there. So maybe I should just get another wheel set, thin rim and small tire combo for my commuting days?? Or should I just get 2 different bikes?

  17. #17
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    Get a road bike. I commuted for two summers on a Specialized Allez. Going to be commuting on my new hotness this summer - my 08 Specialized Tarmac*. Looking forward to FLYING to work on this thing.

    * My commute is 23 miles each way, 17 of which are on a very, very well maintained MUT with minimal traffic. The security situation at work is also top notch - the bike racks are behind a large wall of bushes (shielding them from the street) and monitored 24/7 by two people sitting 15 feet away behind a glass wall. Otherwise I'd be riding something a little less expensive.
    :wq

  18. #18
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    I'm surprised no one has mentioned a touring bike. I'm getting a Surly Long Haul Trucker next week. It's replacing an old rigid MTB as my commute vehicle.

    A 'cross bike would be 2nd best, especially if you have curbs etc. to hop on your route.
    Work is the curse of the biking classes.

  19. #19
    bi-winning
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohannon7
    so by this, I may not even need another bike. I could just put small tires on my MTB & be good?
    It's not too hard or expensive to find out. Changing to a narrow slick tire at high pressure does indeed make a huge difference compared to knobies.
    When under pressure, your level of performance will sink to your level of preparation.

  20. #20
    WHEELVALUTION
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    this is my commuter,I got it secondhand maybe 15 years ago,it was custom built for a pro roadie,cost me $500,and kept it in orig condition until a year ago,I put straight bars on it wid gripshift,put on weinmenn 700x 25mm 6061-T6 rims and skinnys only cos I dont really do cerb hops,but run of the mill tyres will do for the avrdge guy,never had to true the rims yet and it weights 26lbs,not bad for old steel and rides primo as,check out my profile I got a black ss in there that I did ride as well for training but sold it
    Okay,okay,so how do I put it back together,and where did this spring come from

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nmba guy
    I would get a cyclocross bike like a Surly Cross-check and reasonably heavy "road" wheelset. a bit beefier than a true road bike (and a little bit heavier) but with highpressure road (wide) tires, you are gonna be much more efficient than your current ride. I take curbs etc on my commute everyday with no issues at all.

    Cross Check is the ultimate commuter.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  22. #22
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    700c wheelset

    700c wheelsets with mountain hubs-Cane Creek Strados, Mavic Speedcity with 28mm road tires are same dia. as 26X2.3'' tires,and you wont lose the gearing you'll need at the higher speed you'l be going. Looks funny but goes like hell.

  23. #23
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    I ride a Trek Soho 3.0 to work 3x a week. About 12miles. It's pretty much a road bike with beefy road tires. It has horizontal/mtb handlebars rather than drop bars. Handles the bumps/curbs very well and has disc brakes for when it rains.

  24. #24
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    Anything fully rigid with slicks (or nearly slicks if you've got some bumps) and relatively low bar should do the trick. I prefer a road bike or a mountain bike with more of a road-like geometry for extra speed. I also prefer steel just because it tends to ride smoother and is more likely to survive in the event of a bad crash. Also, steel tends to be relatively cheap, which is a big factor when you consider that destruction or theft is probably more likely with the commuter. Also, while steel doesn't accelerate quite as well as a lighter aluminum bike, once you get up to speed there isn't so much of a difference. Of course, your specific route will have a big impact on how much the weight matters.

  25. #25
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    I picked up a Schwinn Fastback cross bike about a year ago and it has worked out great for my 5-10 mile daily commutes. My rides are 90% urban through moderate traffic in all conditions. With full fenders, low gearing, and semi slick tires, a good cross bike will tackle bad weather (including some serious snow) with no problem. Bigger volume tires also give a much better ride than my road bike over bad pavement and the geometry is more relaxed and better suited to riding with a loaded shoulder bag or pack.

  26. #26
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I have a fixed gear and I have a mountain bike. I commute at least 5x a week on the fixed gear and I tend to do weekend trips on it. This last weekend I did 60 miles with it and that was with a fair amount of vertical feet. Obviously a good roadbike would be better for such a trip, but for commuting the fixed gear is simple and doesn't mind the 8 months of bad weather I have, so I just make it work.

    I hop curbs all the time with crappy DP18 rims with 700x23 tires. You can make anything work if you really want to....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by William P
    700c wheelsets with mountain hubs-Cane Creek Strados, Mavic Speedcity with 28mm road tires are same dia. as 26X2.3'' tires,and you wont lose the gearing you'll need at the higher speed you'l be going. Looks funny but goes like hell.

    I was thinking about this but didnt think it was posible. So i could fit a 700C wheel on my 26" MTB if I put some road tires on it? A 28 or something?

    Then I just gotta get a disc on it somehow, or would it be counter productive to put Vbrakes on it?

  28. #28
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    V brakes mounting would be in the wrong place. Mavic says they make an adapter for it. XX Cycles in France might help if you can't find them here. But discs make it just a wheel swap if you want to switch back & forth. MTB rear hubs are wider than road hubs, so you need MTB hubs laced to 700c rims. Mavic Speed City are made like this, Cane Creek Strados were on closeout but it looks like they're all gone now. Or get something made up. If I knew how to post a picture here I'd show you my XC sofftail bike with Cane Creeks on it.

  29. #29
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    about 700c wheels.

    700c disc wheels are known to have poor spoke angles side to side due to narrow hubs and large diameter rims. The MTB fix is offset spokes, the road bike fix is deep section aero rims to reduce the diameter at the nipples back to around 26" size. Velocity makes some rims that do both. Universal Cycles has a custom wheelbuilder program on their website where you can spec wheelparts and it gives you a price quote. 32 spoke XT disc hubs, butted spokes, and Velocity Fusion rims (Aero, not offset) about $260. Note aero rims don't need eyelets (extra metal under nipples). Mavic Speedcity, not deep, not offset, 24 spokes, over $400. If you get the v brake adapters you might find some Cane Creek 700c-but check rear hub width I think maybe only the disc wheels were 135mm.

  30. #30
    Bloody Bastard
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    I just got my Montague Paratrooper bike for my out of state trips and general purpose commuting for now. After I return from my trip this summer I want a dedicated bike for commuting. Do you guys think this is a good deal?

    https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...664586867.html


  31. #31
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    Or just get a set of cross rims or 29er made in a 135. There's not too many cros rims fitted for disk, but you can find plenty of 29ers.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blu Falcon
    I just got my Montague Paratrooper bike for my out of state trips and general purpose commuting for now. After I return from my trip this summer I want a dedicated bike for commuting. Do you guys think this is a good deal?

    https://washingtondc.craigslist.org/...664586867.html

    The Canni in the pic would be a great commuter. It 's a few years of but since it probably hasn't had too much off road use I would worry too much about it being aluminum and a potential frame crack, so ride on!
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  33. #33
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    29er wheels would be ok but I'd avoid wide ones like Rhynolites, or Single tracks. Most Mavics would probably be OK. My Sofftail would only take 28mm, but other bikes may take 32-35mm. Fast Roadies run 23mm tires, they consider 28mm a touring tire, probably OK for what you want.

  34. #34
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    Love my Kaffenback

    Quote Originally Posted by ohannon7
    I ride about 10-12 miles rt to work, but I want to ride more. I have an 05 Specialized Hardrock, and after all the stuff i gotta carry it is pretty heavy, I also ride about 12 miles at a time on the weekends (maybe more if my bike weighed less), and i carry my son on a trailer. I can only average about 11-12 mph. I would def like to bump it up but not possible w/ current bike.

    So do I get a hybrid bike, do i get a road bike? I have to hop up on sidewalk curbs and stuff. Im assuming that by dropping suspension im saving a bunch of weight. Can a road bike handle that? I know im sacrificing some speed by going hybrid, but would I be better off w/ a bike like a Cannondale Bad Boy? I dont want to damage the bike or break components, not concerned w/ asthetics though. Thanks!!
    It's in between a touring bike and a cyclocross bike. Kind of a beefy road bike, but a bit longer and more stable (and heavier, but not that bad). I got it used for a good price from a bud. He had the paint stripped and powdercoated in plain ole sleeper brown. The original color scheme was pretty bad.

    I built it up from my old TCR bike parts, which were mostly swap meet parts, some trades, some cheap stuff from Nashbar and Performance Bike. It's build wtih Dura Ace 8 speed STis, Ritchey 175mm compact cranks (with Shimano Ultegra BB), a cheap 30t mountain cassette, some hand-me-down wheels with Shimano 105 rear hub, Campy front hub, Mavic Open Pro rims (mismatched, as you can see) with bladed spokes on the front wheel. Bladed spokes rule... they make a whistling sound when you hit 30-35 MPH.

    here is a pic with cyclocross tires:



    The original paint looked something like this:



    I wouldn't worry too much about breaking a road bike. They are all pretty tough these days. I'm 200 pounds and rode a Giant TCR for a while, and I bunny hopped median strips and did curb drop-offs all the time on it. There is even a 12" high curb at the local BART station that I launch off of while pedaling. I even took it trailriding a couple times while shortcutting my commute. The TCR was pretty dang featherweight, and it handled it just fine. I hated the way it felt, tho. It had a really harsh ride... very roller skate.

    The Kaffenback rules. It's steel, and it has a nice buttery smooth ride. I think overall, the frame and fork are only about a pound and a half heavier, and the TCR had a carbon fiber fork. This one is steel all around, and has canti brakes instead of road calipers.

    Description here:

    https://www.planet-x-bikes.com/road/...age&PAGE_id=13
    Last edited by pimpbot; 05-02-2008 at 11:50 PM.

  35. #35
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    Measured my Mavic Crossrides. Mavic lists them as 19mm (inside), they measure 24mm outside. My Cane Creeks, and most Evolution road wheels measure 19mm OUTSIDE. Cane Creek says they're good for tires up to 40mm. If you get Mavics I'd get ones that are"x17" so your rims aren't as wide as your tires. I'd expect them to be about 22mm outside.

  36. #36
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    About Crossrides. If you decide to stick with 26", Crossrides with 2" slicks are a good setup. I ran this before the 700c. They have 24 bladed spokes which helps top speed more than light weight. The newer ones don't have eyelets-look for older ones. w/o discs about $150. You'l probably need a 48t chain ring to keep up with them, especially if you go narrower on tires

  37. #37
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by pimpbot
    The Kaffenback rules. It's steel, and it has a nice buttery smooth ride. I think overall, the frame and fork are only about a pound and a half heavier, and the TCR had a carbon fiber fork. This one is steel all around, and has canti brakes instead of road calipers.

    Description here:

    http://www.planet-x-bikes.com/road/i...age&PAGE_id=13
    Looks like a great ride, Pimpbot. I`m a bit mixed up about the situation though- I take it K-back is the model and Planet -X is a sole distributor? It`s kind of like a Nashbar frame? Your link comes through, but none of the links on the page still work (for me, anyway), so no prices. A quick trip through Googleland only turns up prices in Pounds. Is it available in the US? BTW, great pic in the foggy park!

  38. #38
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    Well I really liked the idea of getting another wheelset for my bike, either a 700c or a 29 set-up but that was going to cost atleast $500 (and Id still have a semi-heavy MTB, commuter), and i have also been looking for a mid 80's beater road bike (27" wheels) on craigslist for $100 or less. I ended up getting a couple year old cyclocross style bike off ebay for about $230 shipped. Id dont have it yet but it seems to be in really good shape. Here is a list description from ebay, let me know what you think, oh I know Mongoose isnt the best brand but I think its a good bang for the buck and will serve it purpose well as a commuter hopefully:




    Mongoose CYCLOCROSS Cycle Cross Touring Bicycle

    NOS Steel (TANGE CRO-MO) frame with used but very nice lugged steel cross fork with sloping crown and cutout lugs. Frame has both rack and fender eyelets and upper rear rack mounts on the seat stays.

    VERY GOOD CONDITION few minor scratches from storage, mechanically excellent.

    Used Shimano RSX 21 Speed 3x7 drivetrain (crank, BB, derailleurs, shifters) with STI Levers, Shimano Deore LX cantilever brakes, and Deore headset.

    NEW 3T TTT Columbus cro-mo tig welded stem. Alloy Bars, New promax alloy post with Quick release binder, and a nice leather CODA saddle.

    I'm not shure what size Mongoose calls it, I listed it as 57, here are the measurements, 52cm seat tube c-t, 58cm sloping top tube c-c

    Standover height is 29.5 inches in front of the seat and slopes up a little, the tires are 700 X 40c. MTB style pedals included.

    I do not know the actual year of this frame I guessed 2004

    700c Matrix alloy wheels (rear is newer and more Aero than front but both in great shape) with new Kenda tires

    Shimano Cassette




    I am thinking about pulling off one of the main rings, maybe making it a 14 speed or something, maybe a new crank to save some weight?
    What do you guys think, was it a good deal? Thanks for any info, or tips on what I should do w/ it now!!

  39. #39
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    Ol' skool style

    Try to get an old school Chromoly mountain bike (circa 1995 to about 2001),throw a Delta Mega Rack on the back with some panniers and a trunk (top bag),some big fat cruiser tires,and you're good to go.

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by zarr
    Try to get an old school Chromoly mountain bike (circa 1995 to about 2001),throw a Delta Mega Rack on the back with some panniers and a trunk (top bag),some big fat cruiser tires,and you're good to go.
    That's what I did...I'm loving it. Even SS.

  41. #41
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    I just bought a bike, read 3 posts up

  42. #42
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    What does the SingleSpeed (SS?) get you?

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjhiker
    What does the SingleSpeed (SS?) get you?
    The joy of simple riding, and ease of maintenance (plus it'll work you way harder than a gearie)

  44. #44
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    Do they come with coaster brakes and a banana seat?

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by sjhiker
    Do they come with coaster brakes and a banana seat?
    How's about Avid Single Digit 7's and a Brooks B17? This ain't no old skool Fred cruiser...
    This is an 01 Rocky Mountain Blizzard frame, arguably one of the best steel hardtails ever made, deliberately converted to SS. Where do I ride with it? Anywhere I freakin' want to. It rides silently, climbs like a raccoon on amphetamines, and is probably a way better bike than I deserve. But I'm trying to become worthy of it.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ohannon7
    I just bought a bike, read 3 posts up
    Can't see the pic on my browser at work, but the description sounds very good. You should be loaded for bear, on a bike like that. Ride it in good health

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doggity
    Can't see the pic on my browser at work, but the description sounds very good. You should be loaded for bear, on a bike like that. Ride it in good health

    Cool, I wasnt sure if it was a good deal. thanks

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