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please read and add advice(8 posts)

please read and add adviceJon Faro
Aug 15, 2001 11:36 AM
I want a new bike for long rides possibly a few races but importantly commuting around 15 miles a day. I dunno if I shoudl get a tourer (more robust) or a out and out road bike(fast + can race). what do you think? I can have a ny bike from GT (Assuming we can get them in GB) raleigh, saracen, dawes or any other brand stocked by halfords cos I work for them and can get a very big discount for a few reasons. Top price is a grand before discount (about a 1/3 off)


from somebody who has both:alex the engineer
Aug 15, 2001 11:45 AM
A touring bike is better for commuting-you can add a rack (I have front and rear) with panniers, and that will carry all your stuff lower to the ground than putting it in a backpack will. I also have fenders on that bike. Touring bikes are also more comfortable. I often ride with 50 lbs of books, etc. on my racks.
I also sometimes ride my road bike to work. It's a real pain to put all your junk into a backpack! My bike is more of an audax style, on tubulars,so the ride is nice, too. Still, I have to watch potholes, curbs, and road junk more carefully than on my touring bike. As a result, I don't often use the road bike for work commuting.
If you can only aford 1 bike, look for a light tourer (audax, radonne style), which has rack and fender mounts. Mercian and Dawes both make these types, as well as trek 1200.
re: please read and add adviceShalen
Aug 15, 2001 12:02 PM
If you get a touring bike you cannot race. I use my road bike to commute with everyday. It is no big deal once you get in the habit of packing a backpack. If you were to go with a road bike (which I would do if I were you) you will be able to race, as well at do group rides, where as you would be left behind on a touring bike.

Come on....MB1
Aug 15, 2001 12:20 PM
Of course you can race on a touring bike. Most modern touring bikes are better than anything racers had available 30 years ago. I commute on a cyclocrosser most of the time, very much like a touring bike. I use big fat tires for commuting and little bitty skinny ones for weekend training rides. Racing bikes won't have clearance for big tires, cyclocross and touring bikes do. A more important issue for commuters is road quality and security.

Think carefully about where are you going to park your bike and the quality of the roads you will commute on.
Nice frame, bad enginepedalriot
Aug 15, 2001 2:17 PM
i couldnt agree more with MB1. i commute on a steel cyclocross on one wheelset and race/train on another.

i dont get dropped and i dont feel that i am working all that much harder than someone on a $5000 carbon road machine.

its time to get real.
re: please read and add adviceRich Clark
Aug 15, 2001 2:28 PM
A frame like Airborne's Carpe Diem is pretty versatile. You Brits would call it an "all-rounder" -- clearances for wide tires and fenders, mounts for rear rack. It could be built up as a cyclocross bike, as a light touring (audax) bike, as a cross-country bike, as a commuter. Mine has drop bars and STI, with road front triple (Ultegra) and MTB rear 9-speed (XTR), cantilever brakes and touring wheels.

Other sources, such as Habanero, offer similar frames.

There's no reason you couldn't acquit yourself well racing on such a bike, especially if you kept a separate set of wheels for racing. You could run wider touring tires and a lower-geared cassette and even mount fenders and a rack for weekdays, then swap in racing wheels with a racing cassette and pull the rack and fenders for racing.

It's not as good a solution as two bikes, of course! And if you're confident in the condition of the roads you'll be riding, maybe you could get away with commuting on a racing bike without worrying too much about the wheels. 15 miles a day isn't terribly much, and for that distance a messenger bag or cycling backpack might not be too awful.

I'm a big fan of touring bikes for commuting, myself, but I don't race, and I absolutely loathe backpacks. Any bike can work for commuting as long as your willing to put up with its weaknesses, whatever they may be.

For 15 miles of commuting, maybe you should buy a low-end (or even used) MTB or hybrid. Then you can buy a road bike purely on its merits as a road bike.

Do you REALLY need a touring bike?jtolleson
Aug 15, 2001 3:46 PM
I didn't read your post as really needing a bike that can accommodate panniers or showing a need for loaded touring, nor do you need the longer wheelbase and accompanying additional weight. You want to commute and race on the same bike; lots of folks on a budget do.

I'd get a good steel or ti road bike. You can use a handlebar pack (or a seatpost rack can accommodate 5-10 lbs. and removes in a snap) and it will be race worthy otherwise. I assume your commute is city streets. You can swap out tires on race/training day.

If you need something a little more heavy duty, then I'd go a cyclocross bike which will give you the cantilever brakes, a slightly heavier duty frame, and room for heftier tires. But for in-town commuting, that may be overkill. If you aren't facing gravel, dirt, or absolutely HORRID pavement, then I'd find a good fitting sturdy road bike.

PS -- I think a lot of people assume they need a "touring" bike when they go on "tours" even though the tours are fully supported multiday events where you don't carry much more than a jacket and water bottle. That's why I call what I do "sport touring" (centuries, charity rides, Ride the Rockies, whatever) 'cause my bike's never seen a pannier and maybe never will but I ride it everywhere.
re: please read and add advicePogliaghi
Aug 15, 2001 11:08 PM
Road bikes work fine for commuting. There's nothing in a tourer, or a cyclocross as other's have suggested, that would prevent you from racing with those bikes. They're just not as efficient a design for racing. I find that on my cyclocross bike, I can't climb as well as on my road bike, especially when standing up. The taller bottom bracket and longer wheelbase seems to make a difference.

If racing is more important, get the road bike. Use a backpack or a Carradice seat bag if you need to haul stuff back and forth to work. If you need fenders, there are ways to get them on a road bike.

If commuting is more important, get a cyclocross bike instead of a tourer. They're cheaper and plenty strong. They work adequately as road bikes, and on the flats they're plenty fast.