Road bike for sha**ed roads

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  • Road bike for sha**ed roads
  • MrTall
    Member

    I love my Salsa Fargo (although it may be a bit out of budget?) as i have 29×2.35″ Big Apple Slicks on it and it just eats up the uneven roads and potholes. Despite weighing over 10lbs heavier than my road bike its not actually that much slower over the rides i do on my occasional commutes (1/2 minutes over 11 miles).

    Any road bike that has clearance for bigger tyres should suit you fine though, i’d say the usual hybrid sized tyres (37-42mm) should be enough to see you alright on bad road surfaces. If you are happy with flat barred road bikes then a 29er with slicks would be pretty good albeit not quite as fast as a ‘proper’ road bike.

    robnorthcott
    Member

    I run 28mm tyres on my road bike because of all the cattle grids and rough surfaces around here. Much more comfortable and component-friendly than race tyres and TBH I don’t reckon I could tell the difference in performance (they’re on normal skinny Mavic OpenPro rims, so the only extra weight is the wider tyre). In the real world (i.e. not perfectly smooth surfaces) wider tyres at slightly lower pressure roll more easily as well – the primary reason for skinny tyres on race bikes is to cut the rotating mass, not to reduce rolling resistance.

    So find a road frame with reasonably generous clearances (perhaps a touring or audax frame, or cx as you mentioned) and run some not-too-skinny tyres. 28mm is about as wide as you want to go on race-type rims, but if the roads are really bad round your way and you want something cushier, use touring rims. Even relatively big tyres can feel pretty lively if you go for a lightish carcass, smooth tread and pump them up harder for your training rides (if surfaces allow) – I’m running 1.5″ tyres on my touring tandem and it’s not exactly sluggish.

    Anything with much tread for the off-roading will tend to feel draggy on the road though.

    hora
    Member

    Roads around here in South Manchester aren’t great. I ride an oldschool steel road frame. It helps.

    I reckon steel and avoid aluminium.

    racefaceec90
    Member

    what about one of these http://www.tritoncycles.co.uk/m14b92s6p7619/KONA_Honky_Tonk_2011/RS_GB i would be interested in one of these myself (if i had the money 😉

    carbon337
    Member

    You should try the Northumbelrand back roads (farm tracks) on 23mm tyres and steel forks.

    Get a fast one and MTFU

    traildog
    Member

    Any sort of road bike should be fine. Cushier tyres might make life better so something with clearance for them might be good. But you’ll live riding 23mm. The main thing to worry about is sizing and fit.

    aP
    Member

    I think some of you people worry far too much about the ability of road bikes to survive on British roads. Just go and buy what you like the look of/ fits you/ suits your budget/ your aspirations. I just use 23mm tires on Campag wheels – I find that the wheels usually last between 5 and 10 years with no problems at all.

    robnorthcott
    Member

    Good point about the aluminium – my winter bike is aluminium and much harsher even on 32mm tyres. I’m sure other materials can be built into a compliant frame, but probably not in the lower cost ranges.

    grum
    Member

    I have a kaffenback with 28c tyres and it’s great IMO. Not so much worried about breaking things more that i dont like my hands going numb from being rattled around. I’m not a proper roadie that enjoys punishing themselves though.

    robdob
    Member

    “avoid aluminium”

    Rubbish. It all depends on how it’s made. I had a Spesh Secteur which I loved (you can fit 28mm plus tyres on them) and it was beautifully smooth on the crappy Huddersfield roads. I sold it to a friend and he backed this up, saying it was a really smooth ride compared to his steel bike and his carbon Boardman but it didn’t flex unduly.

    Carbon, Ali and steel can all be very stiff or very flexible, just depends on the design.

    BTW I bought a Spesh Tricross to replace it, thinking I wanted to go off road occasionally. I never have done and I now am going to sell it as I don’t like the ponderous handling and the extra weight.

    KINGTUT
    Member

    You want carbon, look a Planet X.

    hora
    Member

    I meant an oldschool steel frame. Might has a fair degree of give/flex in it.

    matthew_h
    Member

    I ride around Sheffield and completely agree about the crapness of the roads but haven’t had any problems yet. I ride a Genesis Vapour CX bike with 28c Ultragatorskins which seem to work well. No punctures in 12 months and they are reasonably comfy whilst still being quick enough for me.

    robnorthcott
    Member

    Carbon, Ali and steel can all be very stiff or very flexible, just depends on the design.

    I’m sure they can – that’s why I added the semi-disclaimer to my post. It’s true that I’ve only ever ridden cheap aluminium frames and cheap-to-very-expensive steel frames, so I’m probably not really comparing like with like.

    And yes, of course it’s possible to ride race tyres on shite roads and put up with it, but if you’re buying a bike with those roads in mind surely you’d be better off allowing for something a bit wider.

    You want carbon, look a Planet X.

    Yeh, my Planet X carbon SL was comfy. Never really considered it, but my new carbon frame and forks are much stiffer. Which I prefer in general but bumpy roads are a bit annoying.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    Sounds like you want some people to tell you about the surly cross checks and anything else similar that’s as versatile. 🙂

    http://www.singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/tell-me-about-surly-cross-checks-and-anything-else-similar-thats-a-veristile

    cynic-al
    Member

    something light and flexy with BIG light tyres – 25-28mm or so.

    To be honest, it sounds like your after something with a bit of give. I’ve never ridden one, but Ive heard an Orange 5 makes a good trail smoother/skills compensator. Only 2 bearings to maintain aswell!

    robdob
    Member

    The one thing I have learnt above all with road bikes since buying my first one 2 years ago is that the fit is king. I’d rather have a Ali tiagra bike that fitted than carbon Dura-Ace bike that didnt. Because you spend a lot of time in the same position, unlike an MTB, any fit problems are magnified so much. If I change my stem angle on my Tricross between the 2 angles the Spesh stem gives you it is like night and day. With MTBs as long as a couple of basic measurement fit you then it’s ok.
    I would therefore recommend that you go to a shop that knows a lot about bike fit and get their advice. I am a huge fan of buying online and getting a great deal but road bike help I’m staying loyal to a local shop who I bought a bike from as they are really helpful and have lent me saddles etc to try out.

    Good luck with the purchase, and if you decide you want an excellent condition 2011 52cm Spesh Tricross frame and forks give me a shout…. 😉

    Premier Icon timmys
    Subscriber

    2012 Genesis Day One Alfine 11

    Yum and indeed yum.

    Premier Icon mos
    Subscriber

    Spesh Roubaix, never ceases to amaze me how comfy it is. Always lummoxing into potholes & wincing for the inevitable bolt up the spine & bars, but just never comes.

    Premier Icon Mal-ec
    Subscriber

    Similarly crap, often muddy roads in west Wales, 28mm gatorskins are great for most of the year. 23’s just too puncture prone + don’t give the rims enough protection. Something you can fit guards on for winter is good.
    I’ve recently gone back to a cross bike + what you gain for what you lose is a good trade off for me.

    If you’re in Sheff give Cy Cotic a shout, >x< or Roadrat are your local options.

    fattatlasses
    Member

    I’m thinking of dabbling in the dark side 😉 Main problem is that the road surfaces around here are absolutely awful (Sheffield…need I say more?!). Looking for something to do 2-3 hour training rides on, so don’t want to spend loads. I’d wondered about a steel framed road bike, or cyclocross, or even 29er with slicks & bar ends – just to give me the option of a bit of cheeky off-roading on smoother trails. er…haven’t really got much of a clue with road/cross bikes though…you’d never guess eh 🙂

    Can anyone suggest any suitable bikes worth looking at please?

    TIA

    jonba
    Member

    I ride around Northumberland. I’ve no idea how the roads compare but they are pretty shocking on some of the routes I do. I ride a Focus Cayo with 25mm tyres.

    You’d be fine on most decent road bikes although when it comes to things like tyres and wheels make a move towards strength and durability rather than all out light weight.

    HTTP404
    Member

    the Kona Dew drops at chainreaction must be a bargain at £425?

    Jamie
    Member

    To be honest, it sounds like your after something with a bit of give. I’ve never ridden one, but Ive heard an Orange 5 makes a good trail smoother/skills compensator. Only 2 bearings to maintain aswell!

    Nice.

    mrmo
    Member

    The below is a section of my commute to work,

    buy a road bike and be done with it, they are stronger than some give them credit for. I suppose bigger tyres might make some sense but i have never really had an issue on 23’s.

    druidh
    Member

    HTTP404 – Member
    the Kona Dew drops at chainreaction must be a bargain at £425?

    That.

    Frankly, I’m surprised they have any left at that price!

    stratobiker
    Member

    Another vote for Spesh Roubaix.

    After I broke my shouder, resulting in permanent damage, in 2003 I had to sell my beloved Spesh race bike. I couldn’t ride for more than an hour without agony. Then I tried a Roubaix. They really are good on “rural” roads. I race on it now, do sportives, the lot.

    SB

    Premier Icon MisterT
    Subscriber

    ha ha… if you think road bikes aren’t upto rough roads, then just take a long look at this…

    clicky here and watch the movie..

    crikey
    Member

    Never mind all that Rapha stuff, look here:

    [video]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W1QXKjc1nLY&feature=player_embedded[/video]

    fattatlasses
    Member

    Thanks for the all the info and suggestions, well, the sensible ones anyway….Orange Five 😆 yeah, got one of them 😛

    As far as comments about the strength of road bikes go, I’m not too worried about that, it’s more the comfort side of things I’m interested in – oh, and before anyone tells me to MTFU, I don’t feel the need to at all thanks. I’m 50 next year and my body is feeling the effect of years of biking, running, climbing etc., so I think I’m due a bit of comfort 🙂

    I can appreciate what people have said re: steel vs aluminium. FWIW, a few years ago I made the mistake of buying a cheap & stiff alu framed road bike, after having a demo ride of a very nice (& £400 more) alu Bianchi – the difference was like night & day, and I sold the cheap bike after a few weeks.

    Thanks also for the gen on tyre width and bike fit. The importance of the fit of the bike was something that I had forgotten about, as I’m in & out of the saddle like a yo-yo on my mtn bike.

    Hmm…lots to think about. A friend has just emailed me with the address of a good ‘roadie shop’ in Sheff, so it looks like I’ll have to bob in there and get some fitting advice. (Not sure if he does Spesh, but the roubaix sounds v.interesting)

    Anyway, cheers for the feedback.

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