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Difference between Road, Race, Triathalon, Touring etc...???(6 posts)

Difference between Road, Race, Triathalon, Touring etc...???PBWatson
May 23, 2002 7:51 AM
I've been a biker for several years, but I've only ridden mountain bikes. Its gotten hard to fit riding time into my schedule & I'm thinking my answer is to commute to work by bike. My bike is a great bike, but its a 24# full suspension mountain bike & I want to go fast. This bike will get used to go 20 miles round trip probably 3-6 days a week + the weekend rides.
re: Difference between Road, Race, Triathalon, Touring etc...???SteveO
May 23, 2002 8:00 AM
Road & Race - these days...getting tough to distinguish; mostly race is lighter/slightly steeper, higher tech. Good all-around bike.
Triathlon - VERY steep. Uncomfortable not optimal for crit-type riding (good for putting your head down and going fast in a straight line).
Touring - slightly more relaxed, (usually) slightly heavier, usually contains more bosses and eyelits for add-ons (such as racks for your work-clothes or rain gear).

I'd consider just buying a new set of wheels and putting 1" ATB road slicks on your current bike. Unless you live in a really hilly area, the weight wont make THAT much difference (especially for commuting purposes).
May 23, 2002 8:19 AM
I commute with my ATB, about 15 miles round trip. My goal for biking is fitness, not racing, so getting a light fast bike for commuting is actually counterproductive. My road bike is light and fast, but when I commute with it, I don't feel like I've had any workout at all. I only ride my road bike on the weekends with my club, where we average 20-22 MPH over 50 miles. So the short answer to your question is: it depends on your goals.
Differences & the balancing actMelMo
May 23, 2002 9:37 AM
Touring bikes will have a longer wheelbase (good for rack & panniers if you have to carry stuff to work) and more straightline stability, more likely to have bombproof wheels for your local potholes, weigh more, and turn kind of slow. As a previous poster pointed out, triathalon bikes are steep and fast, but probably brutally uncomfortable for a 20 mile rt and may hurt you on weekend (club?) rides too. The distinction between road and race is fuzzy, but in general, on the "sport touring" end of the spectrum you get slightly more relaxed angles, fender and/or rack eyelets, and maybe clearance for tires bigger than 23 and (note: regional bias, I live in Seattle) even fenders. On the racier end of the scale you don't have the fender/rack eyelets, little clearance, but they don't weigh much and they feel really fast.

You will probably need to do a balancing act to get a bike that goes fast but is still a reasonable commuter. You might look into something like a Lemond--some models have eyelets should you feel the need for a rack, and my husband managed to squeeze 25s and fenders on his. Take off the commuter accessories for the weekend rides, and you've got a pretty fast, not too heavy, and comfy bike. Same deal goes for the Jamis Quest or Ventura, or the Gunnar Sport, just off the top of my head.

If fast is more important that comfortable and details like eyelets and fender clearance, and you're willing to schlep your commuter gear on your back, the sky and your budget are the limit.

Surly CrossCheckwonderdog
May 23, 2002 10:20 AM

I have a Surly CrossCheck set up for commuting with fenders and fat Rolly Poly tires (28mm). It's a great rig for this purpose because of it's comfortable geometry. Check it out!

re: Difference between Road, Race, Triathalon, Touring etc...???craigg
May 23, 2002 6:03 PM
My experience is that it is not feasible to take my road bike to work for various reasons:

1. security risk (even 2 floors down in in door carpark the chance of theft is high. The mountain bike is worth much less and is less likely to be stolen)
2. Comfort - paths to work are fairly bumpy and a commute is a combination of comfort and speed for me.
3. My MTB will wear a lot better

I do have slick tyres on the MTB which makes the commute hugely easier !