Road bike for commuting, the wrong way to go?

Discuss light weight issues concerning road bikes & parts.
Schisms
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:53 pm

by Schisms

Hi,

I am looking to buy my first reasonable bike and have about £1500 to spend.

I have had a 20+ year old viking road bike for the last 5 years and really enjoy it compared to the cheap hybrid I had previously.

Anyway, I can now finally afford to buy a new bike. I will be using it predominantly for commuting and getting around London. Normally 2-10 miles. Although I would like to do the occasional longer ride.

I was planning on getting a road bike, initially wooed by the looks of the Bianchis but after reading a bit thinking of maybe a Cannondale CAAD10 or similar. I enjoy my current one, but it has very poor gears/breaks.

The one thing I have noticed when looking around is that these are so often talked about in terms of racing and very long distance touring rides. While I may look to do these they are not my reason for buying the bike.


Is a bike such as this the wrong choice for commuting? If so, what is the advantage of the 'recreation and urban bikes' over a road bike.


Any opinions would be much appreciated.

Thank you

by Weenie


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djconnel
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by djconnel

Road bikes are fine. However, you probably want one with at least 28 mm tire clearance, and I'm not sure Cannondale qualifies. You also want a good commuting back-pack, such as (in San Francisco) Chrome, or similar, which allows line-of-sight to the rear as well as on-the-bike adjustment of straps, so you can move it higher or lower on your back. You also want to make sure you can fit fenders on the bike.

Fatter tires make more sense on commuting because (1) riding with a pack on your back makes one more sensitive to bumps, (2) super-quick cornering obviously matters less., (3) personally for trips less than 10 miles I don't bother with cycling-specific clothes so it's nicer to have a smoother ride in this circumstance.

Obviously a road bike isn't optimized for commuting, but I commute with a group which rides from San Francisco to Mountain View California, a trip for me of 70 km or more. Road bikes are the most popular bike in this group. I think randonneuring bikes would be better, but road bikes are much more readily available.

Schisms
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:53 pm

by Schisms

Thanks for your comments djconnel. It is good to know that a road bike is not completely inappropriate. I will look at the tyre clearance.

djconnel wrote: super-quick cornering obviously matters less.,


From that, are you saying that thinner tyres are better for sharp cornering? I find that in the traffic sharp cornering can often be pretty useful (and occasionally terrifyingly essential), so maybe a thinner tyre would be a better way to go for me.

deltree
Posts: 198
Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:21 pm
Location: London, UK

by deltree

Schisms wrote:Thanks for your comments djconnel. It is good to know that a road bike is not completely inappropriate. I will look at the tyre clearance.

djconnel wrote: super-quick cornering obviously matters less.,


From that, are you saying that thinner tyres are better for sharp cornering? I find that in the traffic sharp cornering can often be pretty useful (and occasionally terrifyingly essential), so maybe a thinner tyre would be a better way to go for me.


A larger diameter tyre will have slightly more grip when cornering, but there's a bit of difference attacking switchbacks on a mountain descent and filtering through a traffic jam in central London.

Personally I'd recommend looking at a CAAD8 with 105 and then you've got around £500 to spend on some SPDs, lights, locks etc.

http://road.cc/content/review/50515-can ... ad8-tiagra

Looking at it you should be able to squeeze 28c tyres in there.

Schisms
Posts: 6
Joined: Sat Jun 01, 2013 1:53 pm

by Schisms

Do not need to quote the post above.

Thanks djconnel,

I have had a look at the CAAD8 with 105. From what I can tell, the main difference between it and the CAAD10 is a slightly more comforatable, more upright ride position, which I can see may make sense. And a bit cheaper, which as you said would be good to allow buying the necessary accompaniments.

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Kastrup
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by Kastrup

Personally i wouldn't have a dedicated commuter rig unless it had a full set of mudguards attached.

Something you could achieve on a CX frame. Another benefit is the ability to run very large tyres in winter and other nasty conditions.
"Stay cool and try to survive" A. Klier to the other members of the Garmin classics squad the night before P-R.

record
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Joined: Sun Dec 17, 2006 12:02 pm
Location: EU

by record

I would also go with a CX bike. 25-28mm tires and some mudguards on rainy days would fit pefectly.
A light bike does replace good fitness.

roadman
Posts: 227
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 7:56 pm
Location: London

by roadman

Caadx Ultegra disc

sanrensho
Posts: 410
Joined: Tue Aug 02, 2011 5:54 pm

by sanrensho

Yes, disc all the way, fender eyelets (if possible), and wide tire clearance.

basilic
Posts: 650
Joined: Wed Jan 05, 2011 8:05 am
Location: Geneva, Switzerland

by basilic

Since you are in the UK, why not look into local brands like Kinesis or Boardman. They have some models (typically alu frame and carbon fork) that will take 28 tires with mudguards and mid-reach brakes, or disc brakes.

Dammit
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Joined: Sun Mar 27, 2011 8:16 pm

by Dammit

First question I'd ask is where will the bike get left whilst you are at work?

If the answer is locked up outside then a nice bike will get stolen, and you might be better off gently upgrading the existing commuter.

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DMF
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Location: Sweden

by DMF

+1 on the Kinesis proposition, the RaceLight T2 is a lot of fun on the road (with a road fork) and will easily take 28c tires with fenders, hell it will even take a rack! :) ...the problem with many others that will take fenders and 28's, is that they often come labeled as tourers or very low-end entry level, and as such have tall head tubes.

Now ofcourse the CAAD10 is a much, much nicer frame... But if you're not doing 2-3 recreational/training rides of atleast 70-100km each every week, it would IMHO seem a bit overkill.

Beancouter
Posts: 374
Joined: Fri Apr 20, 2012 9:04 pm

by Beancouter

Not on a sales pitch, but I have a caad 10 for sale in the classifieds!!

Sales pitch over, I am selling it on as I have bought a cannondale caadx disc - I wanted something I could use on trails with my daughters, as a winter trainer, as well as commute to work a couple of times a week (45 miles). It has masses of clearance which means I can run 25s or 28s with mudguards. Don't have to go for the disc version, but def an option for an all round bike?

Have used the caadx a few times and it definitely isn't as fast as the caad10 - but very versatile. i am waiting for some carbon wheels which will lighten it up and prob make it more comparable to the 10.

I would say tho, the caad10 is an amazing bike; my summer ride is a Cannondale evo, and I enjoy riding them equally. The 10 is definitely a bit firmer and, in my experience, wheel selection is important - one of my friends has one and is still adjusting to the ride (he is running mavic r sys wheels). I was using dura ace on mine and they are quite forgiving.

I have done a couple of centuries on it and it was superb.

russianbear
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Joined: Wed Apr 11, 2012 3:40 am

by russianbear

Cross bikes make the best commuters, get a CAADX if you can swing it. Stick on the fattest tires you can find and commute away.

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SalsaLover
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Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:21 pm
Location: Zürich, Switzerland

by SalsaLover

Here in Zurich, lots of people commute on old steel road bikes.

They call them "Bahnhof Velo" because it is the kind if cheap bike you can ride from home to the train station and leave it there locked all day without the risk of being stolen.

Me, I prefer a commuter that allows you for wide tyres, mudguards, kickstand and chainguard.

Initially I took a hybrid bike with front suspension and flat bars, it was functional but not the best setup.

I am used to road bikes with no suspension and drop bars, so I sold it and built me a commuter based on a alu cyclocross frame with carbon fork.

That setup made a very good commuter, quick and light even though it had a triple setup, mudguards, kickstand, racks, wide touring rims etc.

Its only bad points where 3, the alu frame gave a harsh ride that could be tampered with the fat tyres and a sprung brooks saddle, no embedded mounts for racks, mudguards etc, that could be solved with clamps but they never gave a solid mount for heavier loads, and finally the cyclocross frame had a racing geometry, so, high BB, short wheelbase and head tubes, that is great for cyclocross but not so good for a city commuter or touring.

I have then swapped over the frame with a Salsa Casseroll and I am now fully happy with it.

Steel frame and fork gives a nice compliant ride, built in mounts for everything, and a touring geometry, with low BB and longer wheelbase and head tube, simply great overall

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by Weenie


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