Do I Need A Road Bike?

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  • Do I Need A Road Bike?
  • ianfitz
    Member

    I do a simialr communte on a cx bike with disks and 28mm road tyres.

    comfy riding position on a cx bike.

    plenty of good ones available under the cycle to work scheme budget if thats available to you…

    mattbibbings
    Member

    Skinny tyres for the commuting days, swap back to nobbies at the weekend? Cheaper than a bike you don’t need.

    Hang on, what am I saying!

    Of course you need a road bike and a cross bike and a fat bike and a…..

    N+1 dude.

    Bucko
    Member

    @ianfitz: I’d be happy to spend up to about £500 cash or maybe up to about £1200 on credit.

    Can you compare the speed to a MTB or road bike?

    @Mat : I would love to convert my Inbred back to SS and keep it for winter and short rides with the dog. I’m sure theirs some N+1 involved but I would genuinely get a lot of use out of a road bike, but the main factor for wanting one is speed and comfort over a MTB with a backpack on

    float
    Member

    road bikes really are a lot quicker on the road.

    esher shore
    Member

    own a couple of high end bikes, including Specialized Stumpjumper Expert Carbon 29’er hardtail with 1 x 10 Sram X-0 gearing, and Specialized Tarmac Carbon road bike with Ultegra 2 x 10 gearing

    simply no comparison between the MTB and Road Bike for riding speed and distance travelled for effort put in…on the road, the road bike simply kills the 29’er MTB, and first to admit the 29’er are much quicker rolling on the road than the 26″ mountain bikes

    love both bikes, but for commuting it would be the road bike every time, unless its snowing when the MTB would be the instant choice 😉

    Bucko
    Member

    I think I need to go and test ride a couple bikes

    esher shore
    Member

    @Bucko

    well worth doing

    even a basic road bike like Specialized Allez Sport would be ideal for commuting with some SPD pedals and shoes (whether mountain or road)

    will make a big difference to your commute 🙂

    breatheeasy
    Member

    What do you want out of your commute? To get there quicker, or to get fitter?

    If it’s the former, buy a road bike (or possiby a car!)

    If its the latter then having more rolling resistance will make you fitter on the mountainbike.

    Bucko
    Member

    I cummrently work 34 miles from home so I’ve been driving the first 26 miles as there’s a safe place to ditch the car, and then cycle the rest taking a few different routes depending on time available.

    I want to get to work quicker, with less effort, more comfort on a dedicated bike. I may even use it for fun too.

    I’be been looking at a Genesis Croix De Fer since I saw one in the local classifieds but I’m not sure if a CX bike is just a ‘half way’ bike. But I would like the option to run mud guards and panniers…hmm.

    esher shore
    Member

    owned a Specialized Tricross CX bike, several seasons back and found it too compromised to be worth keeping

    slower on the road (even with road tires), not much use off-road (compared to the MTB)

    would always choose a proper MTB or proper Road Bike, than a compromise

    Bucko
    Member

    I’m commuting anything between 6 and 15 miles on road on a 1×9 26er Inbred I’d consider myself to be of average fitness. The thing that’s always annoyed me is road bikes riding past me like I’m pedalling backwards.

    How much of it is fitness and how much is the bike?

    I’ve been looking at CX bikes recently but I’m not sure if I should just go for a road bike

    Bucko
    Member

    Looks like I’ve got a lot of research and learning to do, I know nothing about road bikes.

    Sora? Tiagra? Sportive? Audax? Compact?

    I think it’s obvious I want a road bike, I’ll just be a while deciding what bike to get. Cheers guys

    rootes1
    Member

    ^ if for commuting get a road bike with clearance for proper mudguards. lower end treks have clearance for proper gaurds.

    do you cary much on the commute? if is flat or hilly? will you use it for recreational riding?

    Bucko
    Member

    It’s anything between 300-1000 feet of climbing, depending on if I take the quick route of the long route. I currently carry a bit of kit for puntures/waterproof etc, maybe some food and a clean shirt. I start an OU degree soon so i may have to take a laptop or a book sometimes.

    I would love a bike I can use for pleasure without the panniers. I’m sure my LBS will be a lot of help

    Premier Icon mikewsmith
    Subscriber

    Look at the used stuff, plenty of C2W bikes left in sheds and garages with a few hundred miles on them. I got a Spec Allez Elite from back in 09 for £200, the thing had done under 200 miles. Try a bargain one and see how you get on.

    Premier Icon vincienup
    Subscriber

    I’d been riding a similar commute on a succession of 26ers – most recently a 3×9 Inbred with Rebas that was great if a bit over the top in terms of fork.
    I just got a Cotic X on CTW as a compromisey bike to pick up the commute and do rougher stuff too that I didn’t really need a mountainbike for. It also means I can go play with roadie mates without holding everyone up so much as I fix on an MTB.
    It’s a great option and will take SKF’s if you want. Think it has pannier mounts but not sure on that score. I’ve left the standard 35s on for now. Sizing on the X runs small – my 58 is very similar to a Genesis 56. The disc upgrade is now Shimano cable not BB5’s and very good they are too.
    This years’ Sora is much better than previous – real STi’s not the clicky mouse ear buttons anymore.
    N+1 is good but I didn’t want a road bike I could break too easily.
    I know people who ride Cross that get very upset about other people buying cross bikes and not playing in the mud with them though…
    I guess standard 700c hybrids with narrow smooth ish tyres are a potential option too?

    racefaceec90
    Member

    i am one of the slowest bike riders you’ll ever see 😳 but even i notice a difference between riding my duster ht and my lovely new tarmac sport road bike (it’s down to aerodynamics/lighter weight/bigger gearing/less rolling resistance due to thinner tires e.t.c).

    you will definitely see a difference if you ride a road/cx bike.

    EDIT apologies if i have rehashed what other people have already said.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Subscriber

    Just remember, like some (me) you may absolutely HATE the road bike when you try it… I’ve tried 2 now, both professionally ‘fitted’ for me by LBS, both were absolutely rubbish for me to ride, just garbage. I did about 250 miles on my brand new Wilier, but then sold it as i despised it.

    I’ve gone for a set of spare wheels running 35mm tyres on the Spearfish instead.

    Premier Icon stilltortoise
    Subscriber

    Road bikes are ace. Buy one and enjoy it. I’ve had far more smiles per pound spent on a (cheap) road bike than any other bike I’ve owned.

    Premier Icon ceepers
    Subscriber

    i bought a road bike recently (cannondale caad8) mainly for midweek quick rides without needing to spend 40 minutes cleaning stuff afterwards!

    It’s different but the speed you can cover ground on is awesome.

    Theres a road 500ft, 1.5 mile climb close to home. First time up it on my road bike i took 5 minutes off my strava time compared to the PR i set up it earlier in the week on my soul!

    It’s maybe not all about the bike but it does make a difference

    grum
    Member

    Skinny slick tyres will make most of the difference but a road bike with drops is faster.

    and first to admit the 29’er are much quicker rolling on the road than the 26″ mountain bikes

    Premier Icon Del
    Subscriber

    i’ve a 54 spesh langster, a crosscheck, and a roadie you’re welcome to try. all come with those odd bent bars on. 😀
    give me a shout. the spesh or the cc you’re welcome to borrow for a few days if you want to try your commute out.

    stumpy01
    Member

    grum – Member
    Skinny slick tyres will make most of the difference but a road bike with drops is faster.

    +1. I reckon the tyres make the most difference.
    I used to use my Inbred with 2 sets of wheels; one of off road and on for one road fitted with 1.5 CityJets.

    Towards the end of last yr I bought a road bike as I was getting fed up of taking out a bike on the road that was caked in mud.
    I am only just over 1mph faster on the road bike than on the slick-shod Inbred. In a strong headwind you do notice the difference between the riding positions though.

    I only use the bike on the road really for exercise. I don’t really enjoy it the same way I enjoy riding off road.
    And riding the mountain bike on the road at least you get to look around and take it all in a bit more as you are more sat up. On the road bike, it’s not so easy to take it all in.
    I also feel a bit less vulnerable on the mountain bike as the bike feels more stable and I feel that I could control it better in an emergency situation. Perhaps not actually the case, but that’s how it feels.

    Premier Icon njee20
    Subscriber

    slower on the road (even with road tires), not much use off-road (compared to the MTB)

    I agree personally, think it depends if you’re the sort of person to mix on and off road riding in one ride, I’m not, so didn’t enjoy them.

    I think people do over estimate quite how much difference it makes, but yes, a road bike is far more pleasant on the road, and they are faster. I have an Allez for winter riding, and it’s horrible compared to my Madone, it’s also heavier than my Top Fuel (even with knobblies), but it’s still better to ride on the road.

    globalti
    Member

    It’s nonsense that riding a fat-tyred bike will make you fitter. Why would you work any harder on a fat-tyred bike than on a skinny-tyred bike? You will simply choose a gear ratio that suits the resistance you’re feeling and give it the same effort, no matter what you’re riding. However a road bike will reward you by travelling at about twice the speed for the same effort.

    Road riding has made me much fitter than 22 years of mountain biking ever did because riding on tarmac allows long periods of sustained effort, which is better training. End of.

    SkillWill
    Member

    It’s nonsense that riding a fat-tyred bike will make you fitter. Why would you work any harder on a fat-tyred bike than on a skinny-tyred bike? You will simply choose a gear ratio that suits the resistance you’re feeling and give it the same effort, no matter what you’re riding. However a road bike will reward you by travelling at about twice the speed for the same effort.

    Road riding has made me much fitter than 22 years of mountain biking ever did because riding on tarmac allows long periods of sustained effort, which is better training. End of.

    Perfectly put.

    Bucko
    Member

    @Del: that’s an amazing offer, especially as I’m seriously looking at a Crosscheck. I’ve got so many ideas floating around in my head but I’m pretty sure I want an all rounder that’s light/fast enough for quick road blasts or long rides and commuting with panniers all year round.

    Wrongun
    Member

    “It’s nonsense that riding a fat-tyred bike will make you fitter. Why would you work any harder on a fat-tyred bike than on a skinny-tyred bike? You will simply choose a gear ratio that suits the resistance you’re feeling and give it the same effort, no matter what you’re riding. However a road bike will reward you by travelling at about twice the speed for the same effort”

    Yes, but you will have to apply that effort for longer on the fat tyred bike to cover the distance. Thus you will get fitter

    Superficial
    Member

    Skinny slick tyres will make most of the difference but a road bike with drops is faster.

    Definitely this.

    http://www.bikeradar.com/news/article/mountain-biker-wins-road-race-on-his-hardtail-22736/

    Road bikes are good fun though, it feels like every ounce of energy is put into forward momentum. I wouldn’t want to ride a mountain bike for my commute (only 6 miles) but on the occasions that I have it makes very little difference. It’s usually 20 minutes on a road bike, something like 22 on a mountain bike. When I’m riding it feels like more than that 10% difference though.

    There is an advantage to the more upright position of a mountain bike / hybrid if you’re not confident though – it allows you to see / be seen a bit better. If I had a very busy urban commute I’d consider a flat-bar 700c road bike I think. Something like a Whyte Montpellier or Cannondale Badboy. My girlfriend is much happier on a flat bar road bike that she ever was on her older drop-bar bike.

    Premier Icon ddmonkey
    Subscriber

    Of course you do! But not for a short commute like that.

    mindmap3
    Member

    I bought an Allez Sport through the C2W scheeme this year to do a similar thing to the op (drive part way and ride the rest) and I’ve been surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed the road bike. So much so that I actually use it quite a bit now just for fun.

    I don’t get the same buzz from it as I do from riding off road but I really enjoy the ease at which I can use it without any faffing. I’m not surrounded by great off road riding so have to drive somewhere which is a pain, especially if I want to go out after work. With the road bike, I can just go home get changed and head out.

    I’d definitely take the plunge. They (unsurprisingly work better on the road).

    Premier Icon mboy
    Subscriber

    Just to open up the CX bike debate a little more…

    They’re perfect for one thing. CX races! Well, CX race bikes are perfect for that (the Croix De Fer for instance is more of a grand tourer that can do a bit of everything), but for everything else they’re a compromise. But sometimes it’s just how much (or how little) of a compromise they are that matters.

    I borrowed a Whyte Saxon Cross for a few weeks recently, and to be fair, it wasn’t much slower than my road bike on the road even with the 33c knobblies on (with 75psi in mind). OK it was slower, but not even 10% slower. Put a set of 25C slicks on and I’d bet it was only 2-3% slower than my full carbon/ultegra road bike. But then you can take it offroad too. OK, so I’d not want to descend a World Cup downhill on a CX bike, or even a rocky descent at Afan, but for most people’s local trails, you will find a CX bike is as quick, if not quicker than an MTB pretty much everywhere! I was shocked just how good it was offroad, and will definitely be buying one in the near future!

    In fact, I’m even debating getting rid of my road bike and just buying a CX bike like the Whyte Saxon Cross, and then a second set of lighter wheels to keep a set of 25c tyres and a closer ratio cassette on for road ride duties.

    falkirk-mark
    Member

    It’s nonsense that riding a fat-tyred bike will make you fitter. Why would you work any harder on a fat-tyred bike than on a skinny-tyred bike? You will simply choose a gear ratio that suits the resistance you’re feeling and give it the same effort, no matter what you’re riding. However a road bike will reward you by travelling at about twice the speed for the same effort.

    Road riding has made me much fitter than 22 years of mountain biking ever did because riding on tarmac allows long periods of sustained effort, which is better training. End of.
    But your slower heavier MTB allows you more time on your commute, 20 mins on roadbike against 25+ on MTB so you get more exercise. Hence my commuter is a Kona Shred with supertacky tyres

    smaca
    Member

    I’ve commuted on my fat bike! (In fairness it was snowing, and it was ace)

    But normally I use my el cheapo fixie. I can leave it outside in the rain, and I’m not really that bothered about it.

    Sometimes if it’s nice I will take my Madone, but it does feel like I’m cheating. Esp. as you normally get a bit of slipstream when you get up to traffic speed.

    The fastest time I ever did my commute was on my Scott Genius. Managed to tuck in behind an old burger van with trailer it was struggling to accelerate which meant I could keep up with it fairly easily, followed it all the way from the road outside my office to the road outside my house. Was something like 26mph average despite all the lights :O

    But beware, I started off with just a MTB, then got a nice road bike that’s when I caught “Bike +1 syndrome” 🙁

    breatheeasy
    Member

    It’s nonsense that riding a fat-tyred bike will make you fitter. Why would you work any harder on a fat-tyred bike than on a skinny-tyred bike? You will simply choose a gear ratio that suits the resistance you’re feeling and give it the same effort, no matter what you’re riding. However a road bike will reward you by travelling at about twice the speed for the same effort.

    And working out for half the time … 🙄

    Bucko
    Member

    I’ve found a well maintained 2010 Tricross advertised locally for £350 in my size with mudguards, rack and panniers. I think I’ll give that a go and see how I get on. That’ll give me a cheap base to discover what I actually want/need from a bike before spending money on a newer bike.

    marsdenman
    Member

    Managed to tuck in behind an old burger van with trailer

    That made me smile – my dad tells the tale of his apprentice days. Every day he’d commute to work on his bike. He’d slipstream the bus – the old ones, open rear step with conductor in attendance.
    One morning, attention diverted, he’d not seen the brake lights go on until a little too late….
    Cue dad in a heap, front wheel all over the place and a wry comment form the conductor ‘oh dear, son, you’ll not do that again in a hurry, will you!’

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