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Which bike for commuting?(10 posts)

Which bike for commuting?HeyLenny
Apr 7, 2001 4:25 PM
Looking for advice. I have a 26 mile round trip daily work commute that I am currently making on my 15 year old Bianchi Boardwalk hybrid. This bike has 21 speeds and is steel.The bike remains in pretty good shape and fits me really well. Half of the trip is made on smooth surfaced streets or bike paths. The other half is made on paved streets and bike paths where our tax dollars have definitly NOT been at work. The ruts and frost heaves create a good pounding. A one way trip takes me from 42 to 55 minutes depending on wind and traffic lights. I've noticed road bikes blasting past me on the good stretches of road and am thinking maybe I should upgrade to a road bike but I worry about how it would fare on those rougher stretches. Any thoughts on a road bike doing me any good here? Thanks.
re: Which bike for commuting?fuzzybunnies
Apr 7, 2001 6:09 PM
Most road bikes will be fairly sturdy for travel even on rough roads, they simply aren't as delicate as people like to believe. Simply make sure you don't use fancy wheels, 32hole 3x with a stiff rim will hold up well and use a 25c or 27c tire which will smooth out the rough areas. If speed isn't your greatest concern you'll do fine with the bike you have. TTFN
re: Which bike for commuting?curtiso
Apr 7, 2001 6:33 PM
I have been commuting a similar distance for 4 years now. I live in Michigan, home of the worst roads outside of third world countries. During fair weather, I travel on a 14 year old Peugeot steel racing bike with 23c tires. This bike holds up fine to everything that these lousy roads can dish out. I have made some adjustments; 2 years ago, I switched to Spinergy Rev-X wheels and this year I am trying out a Rock Shox Ruby susp. fork.

That said,I would say if you are comfortable on the hybrid, stay with it. My commute is 14.5 miles and I run about the same 45-55 minutes that you are doing, so your speed isn't too bad. It may well be that those road racers you see are travelling much shorter distances and are thus able to maintain higher speeds.
Litespeed AppalachianFastCajun
Apr 8, 2001 3:52 AM
I love mine. It's like a 4 wheel drive road bike, but soooooo smooth.
re: Which bike for commuting?tired legs
Apr 8, 2001 5:38 AM
I have a similair distance commute and currently ride a 14 year old steel frame. I am looking at upgrading my bike. I am looking at spending around $3,500 for a new bike. I will use this bike for my commutes. Part of me says, "why would I ride an expensive bike on my commute"? The alternative arguement says "The majority of my weekly miles are in my commute, why not ride a damn good Bike?" Also, if I spend $3,500 on a bike it had better be able to hold up.
re: Which bike for commuting?Rich Clark
Apr 8, 2001 5:43 AM
I commute the same distance, into and through Philadelphia; if it's dry I ride a steel Novara Randonee touring bike (700x32c Avocet Kevlar Cross with Mr. Tuffy liners on 36-spoke wheels). If it's wet I ride my aluminum Trek hybrid 700x35c Specialized Nimbus EX Kevlar-belted slicks, also with liners), which has been set up with flat bars and bar ends, and fenders.

But my advice is this: First, you know the streets and roads you ride better than any of us, and in my mind avoiding flats is the #1 concern of the cycling commuter. If you are routinely unable to avoid potholes, piles of broken glass, trolley tracks, broken concrete, gaping bridge seams, road trash, and other flat hazards -- particularly the ones that can suddenly compress your tire -- you might want to avoid thin, high pressure tires. But the fact that you see frequently roadies on your commute seems to indicate otherwise. Why not ask them? Perhaps they avoid the bad roads you mention, and they have reason to.

Around here, I *never* see road bikes (other than ones like mine that are equipped for it used for commuting. Philadelphia's secondary streets and arterials are bad news. You do see them downtown and heading out the river paths, but that's easy riding compared to the streets in the rest of the city.

Second, I'd be *really* hesitant to give up on a bike that "fits me really well." But if you do, and you're still partial to Bianchi, look at the Volpe. That would be a great commuter.

re: Which bike for commuting?Lazy
Apr 8, 2001 6:40 AM
Sounds like a job for a cyclocross rig.
re: Which bike for commuting?Bart
Apr 8, 2001 12:51 PM
I agree with Rich Clark - if you like Bianchi, check out the Volpe.

Nothing fancy, strong, but fast enough to keep up.

Usually comes with 700 X 30's.
CX - Problem solvedmuncher
Apr 9, 2001 2:00 AM
Got to be CX - see the posts on "my first commute" down the board a bit.
re: Which bike for commuting?bike n veg
Apr 9, 2001 7:35 AM
Some good comments above. I commute 15 miles each way on the Bianchi Eros. It's steel and has rack eyelets. Another good steel road bike in the same price range is the Jamis Quest, which also has rack eyelets. IMO, a steel road bike with a rack is great for any commute that's on paved surfaces.