What bike for commute?
New job means I will be able to commute by bike (yippee!); the route approx 9 miles each way, predominantly on towpath. Would be able to store change of clothes at work, but may have to carry the laptop, etc.Posted 3 years ago
My question to you seasoned commuters: for an all year round towapth (non-tarmac) commute, do I stick with a hardtail MTB or go for a CX type (disc specific) drop bar bike?chrishc777Member
Fully rigid singlespeed ’93 Kona Fire Mountain here, and very pleased with it. I find when I take a geared bike in I get carried away, end up pushing it too hard and turning up at work sweaty and sticky, with a SS you pedal only when required..Posted 3 years ago
32/16 ratio, it’s hilly round here!doncorleoniMember
I faced exactly the same issue about two years ago….. Ended up building this 69 er off the classifieds. Now running 2.35 big apples and it’s awesome. Great fun and comfy. Prob not as quick as a cx bike but way more flexible. The big apples are large volume and absorb all the bumps lumps and potholes. My commute is around 12 miles each way of kitty litter canal path, bit of swinley and about 2 miles on road.Posted 3 years agoB.A.NanaMember
My commute is 13 miles almost all on canal, about 50% tarmac/aggregate and 50% unmade. I use a lightweight mtb with carbon rigids, it was, a few years ago, a bit of a project in weightweenie on the cheap.Posted 3 years ago
Doubles as a spare MTB and the carbon rigid forks give a bit of a change. I made sure that the headset crown race was split, so forks can be quickly and easily changed over. Also have a set of Surly CroMoto forks for mudguards, but I’m more a fair weather commuter.
I reckon for 5+ miles, drop bars + skinny tyres make a lot of difference. If it’s not tarmac’d (and therefore a road bike is out of the equation) I’d go for a CX bike. MTBs are just so slow and energy-sapping by comparison.
9 miles might not seem like a great distance, but 9×2 every day of the week = 360 miles/month. I.e. a lot. If you’re buying a bike specifically for this task, I’d go for the most energy-efficient option.
Mudguards essential, naturally.Posted 3 years ago
Got a full sus and a hardtail; the hardtail is in bits, as it became a bit of a donor for the FS. But was wondering if I should get the HT up and running, or I think the company should be resurrecting the cycle-to-work scheme this year, so my have taken advantage of this; n+1 and all that!Posted 3 years agoBen_HSubscriber
For a shorter commute in dense urban jungle (i.e. lots of start / stop), my experience is that it doesn’t make much of a difference what you’re riding. For a ride with longer stretches of open riding – even urban – then a 700c with drop bars makes a heck of a difference.
I couldn’t be without disc brakes, whatever I’m commuting on.Posted 3 years agohatterSubscriber
Personally I’d go with whatever is most different from your other bikes, Don’t have a road bike? Get a CX bike then you have something can be pressed into service for weekend road rides. Have a road bike but all your MTB’s are big bouncy full sussers? Get a 29er hardtail, go wherever the biggest gap is.
Whatever you get make sure it takes full length guards.Posted 3 years agobeefheartMember
Just to let you you know, I live on the edge of Nant-y-arian, but used to commute 12 miles each way every day (now commute more!)Posted 3 years ago
I used to use a full sus MTB, then a hardtail MTB, then a CX bike then a full on road bike….
I just use whatever is the most fun for me at the time.
I’ll soon be going 40 miles each way! 🙂radtothepowerofsikMember
I commute 10 miles on a hybrid, mostly on road.
Previous commute was a flat towpath route, same bike. When I was doing that, I wanted something slightly tougher than the hybrid. Now, I want something slightly faster (ie drop barred)
If I were you and had the choice of a new bike, I think I’d be going cx (disclaimer – I’ve never ridden one, but I think I’d have a go with an eye on the commute)Posted 3 years agoB.A.NanaMember
Ben_H post just reminded me, My canal commute is quite rural on most stretches, but it’s still always got lots of human obsticals all the way and you can bet almost every one of them will slow you right down. IMO It’s puts thinking “ooh, if I buy a CX, could I shave time off my commute?” a bit down the wish list. Personally, I’ve never thought that a drop handle bar bike would give me much greater advantage on the canal. Something like a bell on your bike will make a big difference, gears, decent brakes and tubeless tyres (regular canal bank punctures were my biggest issue on the unmade canal section before going tubeless).Posted 3 years agogarage-dwellerSubscriber
With regard to the dropped/flat bar question I think the nature of the roads you ride and particularly the amount of time in town centre / suburbia is of more importance. When I ride it is about 17 miles each way, lots of traffic lights and my preferred route is a but wriggly to cut out some of the junctions and roads where there is conflict and stupidity potential.
When the weather is less than A1 I find the confidence, access to brakes and wider stance of some narrow flat bars and bar ends doesn’t cost anything significant in journey times.
I should qualify that by saying the road bike is a brick and the mtb was a nice xc lightweight in its day.Posted 3 years agozbontySubscriber
The bike i use for commuting is a 26″ wheeled Inbred with rack, mudguards and v-brakes. 1.5″ slick tyres.
Daily use with 4-7 miles in the morning up to 28 miles after work on a Sustrans route (tarmac/gravel/bridleway/Thames path) average 3 times a week. Best bit of the day obviously!
I use my old mtb cos thats the bike i had. ‘If’ i was to buy something specially i would be curious to try larger wheels i guess. Does’nt matter what you get it’ll be worth it.Posted 3 years ago
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