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I used my road bike for a commute

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I used my road bike for a commute

Old 10-10-16, 07:54 AM
  #26  
InTheRain
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For me, my road bike is not the ideal commuter. However, I occasionally commute with it when weather conditions permit. If I have to carry the bare minimum (phone, keys, wallet, underwear, and medication/blood sugar meter) then I can get by with a very light backpack or stuffed full cycling jersey pockets. If the weather is nice then I'll do it. And I really, really like riding the road bike on those days.

However, there are not a lot of days like that - they mostly occur in July and August. If it's 60 degrees or above when I leave and the forecast is for a dry day... then it's a good day for a road bike commute - I don't have to worry about wearing different clothing on my way in to work vs my commute home. Where I live, I get about 20-30 days per year that meet those conditions. Even in the summer, where the temperature might be between 60 and 90 for the commute home, it's very common for the morning temps to be in the 40's and 50's.

My touring/ebike is the best commuting cycle for the conditions that I face most of the year. Fenders, racks, panniers, and lights come in handy for the prevalent weather conditions in the Puget Sound area. It would be a real pain to carry all the different clothing on a road bike to be prepared for the varying weather conditions - rain gear, multiple layers, pants vs. shorts, shoe covers, full finger gloves vs. cycling gloves, cycling shoes rather than shoes that work fine on platform pedals, hat or balaclava, and then throw in a lunch bag... it's just too much for my road bike. I have my road bike to enjoy cycling. I have my touring/ebike to enjoy commuting.

Last edited by InTheRain; 10-10-16 at 08:00 AM.
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Old 10-10-16, 08:01 AM
  #27  
Jim from Boston
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I used my road bike for a commute

Originally Posted by Jerrys88 View Post
After spending so much $$ on my carbon road bike, which I intended to ride only on weekend rides, I decided that the ride experience gave me so much pleasure it would be a crime not to use it on my commute as well

For me, it's not just speed that counts. It's the overall feeling of joy I get riding a beautifully engineered machine - the smoothness and efficiency. It puts a smile on my face every time I ride.
In the past on some popcorn threads about the value of an expensive carbon bike, I posted,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
That’s a good question, and I have in the past considered the answer for my own bike; at least 9/10. FYA:

My average speed stayed the same, but I think I was hampered by injuries from the accident, and I believe the new bike compensated at least to maintain my average speed. I did note that I was more inclined to sprint (successfully) to beat traffic lights before they turned red. I further craved the smoothness of the ride, including the shifting, making cycle-commuting more pleasurable. Of greatest benefit, while long (greater than 40 mile) rides took the same amount of time as before, I felt much less tired at the end…
After 40 years of cycle commuting on a year-round minimal one-way 14 mile route, I have this year finally assembled IMO, the perfect bicycle fleet:


Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
One nearly year-round dry, clean-road bike (carbon fiber road bike,except for deep winter with lingering salt)

One year-round wet, dirty-road bike (aluminum road bike, just recently acquired)

One winter bike for anything (steel mountain bike with Marathon Winter studded tires always on, for the least possibility of ice;I could use it for trails without the studs, but I don't do that kind of riding).

The first two bikes are smooth, easy riding, and easy to carry upstairs; the third is a heavy and significantly tougher ride…
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
Now, the Cannondale is reserved completely for miserable studded-tire riding,and now I'm happy about that, and my riding needs are completely met.I liken my three bikes to a Lamborghini, a Lexus, and a Humvee.
By way of a disclaimer though,
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
… Humbly, If Bike Forums ever had a Best Commute Award, I would be a frontrunner...

Destination:
Parking: inside about 100 feet from my desk, directly through a door from the outside
Cleanup: shower facilities;place to hang clothes, and a table fan available to dry; for most of the time I wear surgical scrubs
Amenities: coffee shop and cafeteria on site; almost all my personal service needs like barbershop,dentist, dry-cleaner/tailor, supermarket and drugstore, and good take-out restaurants are all within walking distance of work, or a short hop on the bike; bike shop two blocks away...

Not to brag but to illustrate the possibilities





Last edited by Jim from Boston; 10-10-16 at 08:40 AM.
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Old 10-10-16, 02:38 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
And I am curious to know how long your 9 mile each way commute is on a dutch geometry bike.
9 miles! hahaha. Couldn't resist, sorry.
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Old 10-10-16, 02:42 PM
  #29  
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I used my road bike more than my dedicated commuter this summer. At least with summer temps, my change of clothes is small enough to all fit in my Carradice which is easy enough to put on my carbon wŁnderbike. Don't really need lights in the summer, though lately I've had a front and rear attached. There's just something about riding a lightweight bike with only the bare minimum of stuff inside of it to ride on those 95+ degree days. Harder to do in winter, as clothes take up a lot more space than shorts and a tshirt. I have clipless pedals on most of my bikes.
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Old 10-11-16, 10:09 AM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by jade408 View Post
Rando bikes seem like the perfect all arounder. Or constructeurs.
Yasss.

Of course, that runs the risk of starting a debate as to whether a road bike with fatter tires, fenders, and bag attachments is still a "road bike."
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Old 10-11-16, 06:15 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Carbon frame w/Campy in NYC? Did you have a safe place to lock it up?
Of course. There is bike parking in the front lobby with security sitting right there. It is locked with a U-lock too, not that anyone would even dare to attempt anything even if left unlocked. While I have a NY Fuhgeddeboudit lock, I don't use it as it is too heavy to carry around, and basically unnecessary and I use my lighter one. We have to sign in and out, and show our employee ID.

And this is reminding me why I took my roadie and started this thread in the first place. My mtb has a flat and I should fix it now.
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Old 10-11-16, 07:22 PM
  #32  
zacster
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Fixed! And my other road bike too had a flat and is fixed! My third roadie and second mtb haven't left the basement all summer Can't have too many bikes

My lineup:
2006 Kuota Kredo w/ Campy Chorus 10sp
1990 Trek 7000 w/ a mix of new XT Dynasys 10sp and Deore parts where it counts, and some original where it doesn't matter. XT dynasys is the best! Also has a dynamo hub and of course the 10sp rear wheel. The rear hub is LX, and the front is a 3N72, an LX equivalent so they say.
1991 Trek 8000 w/ all original Deore DX parts. This bike is so similar to the 7000, but yet was a much better bike at the time. I'd have upgraded this one instead of the 7000 except I liked it all original.
1981 Davidson custom built w/ Campy downtube NR shifting, 10sp velomax wheels and a mix of other parts. You'd be surprised at how well friction shifting works with a 10sp cluster. No noise, smooth shifts, never between gears as the spacing is so close.
1982 Italo Zilioli bike from Italy, all original Campy SR pantograph. A beautiful bike that sits in my basement. It needs a new pair of hoods for the Modolo Kronos brakes that were the rage at the time, the first hidden cable "aero" brakes.

I bought the Kuota, the 8000 and the Davidson new, the Zilioli my stepfather bought in his home town of Cuneo and gave to me. As far as I know it is one of only 2 in the USA. They weren't exported.

I guess I'm due for another bike as it has been 10 years.

Last edited by zacster; 10-11-16 at 07:37 PM.
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Old 10-11-16, 08:53 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Of course. There is bike parking in the front lobby with security sitting right there. It is locked with a U-lock too, ...
Yeah, I figured you had a good arrangement.

Just an aside, I'm in NYC this week for work and rode a bike in Manhattan traffic today for the first time ever. I feel like I deserve a merit badge or something . Except I screwed up three times, and almost got myself hit once. Lessons learned, and at least the other driver was paying attention and compensated for my blunder. In the main I find the traffic here to be pretty easy to deal with. Speed differential is low, and drivers have all been polite, at least so far. As well, I used a u-lock for the first time ever.
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Old 10-12-16, 04:02 AM
  #34  
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Traffic in NYC isn't nearly as bad as you would think. Most of it is slow like you say, and believe it or not, drivers do watch for you. The bike lanes are everywhere too now so you can always find one for a long portion of your route. My commute is 10 miles from Brooklyn to 42nd St in Manhattan and only the short stretch from my house into Prospect Park on the suburban-like residential streets for under a mile, and then two short blocks after the bridge in Manhattan are off cycle lanes. All the rest is on bike routes, much of it dedicated.

I'd recommend a trip up the west side greenway and of course Central Park for a bike ride in Manhattan if you were just looking to ride. And of course Citibike is everywhere now.
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Old 10-12-16, 06:22 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
the overall time diff is often between zero and negligible. Even on my 9 mile each way commute the difference is 5 minutes ride time (though road or mountain then require considerable more time getting ready at each end).
I beg to disagree. I've commuted 10mi on 3 different bikes so far and had considerable differences in time.

- On my Dutch bike, it took me 1:30hrs to commute to work.
- On my hardtail MTB with city tyres (1.5" Kenda Kwick Trax) my commute reduced to 1hr.
- On my new "adventure" road bike (with 35mm tyres) my commute is 45mins.

Now that I have one I understand why people like to use road bikes for commuting. And being that many road models now come with the possibility to add fenders and racks, it's not such a crazy idea (:
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Old 10-12-16, 06:42 AM
  #36  
Phil_gretz
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I just read through this thread, and I agree with the posters who enjoy riding their road bikes for the variety that lighter, more aerodynamic bike provides. I agree fully. I like riding the road bike into work, when conditions permit and when I don't need to haul a lot of stuff home in a backpack.


I may even ride my road bike tomorrow, come to think of it! (Also, my commuter may have a front derailleur issue after today's "chain suck" incident. I'll find out tonight.)
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Old 10-12-16, 07:10 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by kuroba View Post
I beg to disagree. I've commuted 10mi on 3 different bikes so far and had considerable differences in time.

- On my Dutch bike, it took me 1:30hrs to commute to work.
- On my hardtail MTB with city tyres (1.5" Kenda Kwick Trax) my commute reduced to 1hr.
- On my new "adventure" road bike (with 35mm tyres) my commute is 45mins.
To accomplish what you say your route would need to be largely non-stop with no junctions and you'd need to ride your road bike twice as fast as your Dutch bike. Neither of these very likely.

Most people have a fair number of junctions requiring them to stop and for some these stops make up half or more of their total commute time.

A person of moderate fitness can comfortably ride 10 miles on a Dutch bike at 13 MPH (46 minutes) and a road bike 17 MPH (34 minutes). However, someone who can average 26 MPH on a road bike for 10 miles can also very easily average over 18 MPH on a Dutch bike with the same power output.

Assuming no stops you're averaging 15 MPH on your road bike and 7.5 MPH on your Dutch? That difference doesn't compute. My buddy's 85-year-old mother rides 20 miles, including hills, at 11 MPH on her Dutch bike loaded with groceries. Why were you so extremely slow on your Dutch & Mtn bikes?

Robert Holden rode up Ventaux on a Boris Bike (much more difficult than a Dutch) in 2:55 and on his road bike in 1:50 so even one of the toughest climbs in cycling can't produce a 2x difference.

Last edited by CrankyOne; 10-12-16 at 07:23 AM.
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Old 10-12-16, 07:16 AM
  #38  
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It's fun to ride the road bike into work for a change up. Especially on Fridays. Gets me fired up for the weekend's recreational rides when I glance at it @ work.
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Old 10-12-16, 08:31 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
To accomplish what you say your route would need to be largely non-stop with no junctions and you'd need to ride your road bike twice as fast as your Dutch bike. Neither of these very likely.
My 13 mile commute is largely non-stop with few junctions, most of which don't require a stop. I've only ever ridden a road bike and don't have a Dutch bike. I do have a mountain bike, but with fat, treaded tires so I wouldn't even try to commute on it.

Weather, route type / terrain, and personal preference definitely influence the type of bike will work best for you. I like to travel light and I feel my commute allows for this. I only have a seat post mounted trunk rack, no fenders and only one sufficient head light and tail light.

Last edited by mgw4jc; 10-12-16 at 09:06 AM.
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Old 10-12-16, 09:07 AM
  #40  
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@mgw4jc, agree. My issue was their saying that their Dutch bike takes twice as long as road which simply doesn't hold water in the real world. Generally riding a Dutchie in normal street clothes will be about 1 minute per mile slower than riding a CF road bike in lycra assuming no stops. With stops the difference can drop quickly to less than 30 seconds per mile.
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Old 10-12-16, 10:17 AM
  #41  
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For me it really is just a matter of the stop lights. If I ride directly into work, it doesn't really matter whether I ride my old commuterized MTB or my road bike. Either way it's going to take me about 20 min, plus or minus 2.
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Old 10-12-16, 10:25 AM
  #42  
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I definitely prefer the road bike. Pineapple express blasts in tonight/tomorrow morning so will switch to the cyclocross frame (dynamo lighting and pudgy tires)
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Old 10-12-16, 10:40 AM
  #43  
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Funny, when I commuted to an office daily, I use all of my bikes to commute. I work at a home office today, so "commuting" is typically a once a week trip to a coffee shop with my laptop. Yesterday, I decided to take the Felt road bike, it we fast and enjoyable. I like the messenger bag (Chrome Citizen) for most of my rides. For the pedals, I started using Eggbeaters on my commuter bike because they are easy to engage; now I use them on all my bikes (except the city bike).

IMG_20150501_153259_096.jpg

The Kona on the left is the go-to bike for all commuting, but on a sunny day, the Felt or Mondonico (green) are great fun. Days that require hauling extra stuff, I use the Globe (orange) with rack and panniers. And the Pugsley and Marin (26er with orange fork) are winter bikes, but I still take the Pugsley out on a summer ride... 'cause it's smiles for miles!

Edit - Afterthough: What is all this noise about spandex? SMH! It's a personal choice, I have a ton of spandex and I do wear it on commutes; but I have tons of causal riding clothes that I wear all the time too. And some days I ride in my office clothes. Who has time to judge my riding clothes choice... get a life.

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Old 10-12-16, 11:52 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by JonathanGennick View Post
Yeah, I figured you had a good arrangement.

Just an aside, I'm in NYC this week for work and rode a bike in Manhattan traffic today for the first time ever. I feel like I deserve a merit badge or something . Except I screwed up three times, and almost got myself hit once. Lessons learned, and at least the other driver was paying attention and compensated for my blunder. In the main I find the traffic here to be pretty easy to deal with. Speed differential is low, and drivers have all been polite, at least so far. As well, I used a u-lock for the first time ever.
Originally Posted by zacster View Post
Traffic in NYC isn't nearly as bad as you would think. Most of it is slow like you say, and believe it or not, drivers do watch for you. The bike lanes are everywhere too now so you can always find one for a long portion of your route. My commute is 10 miles from Brooklyn to 42nd St in Manhattan and only the short stretch from my house into Prospect Park on the suburban-like residential streets for under a mile, and then two short blocks after the bridge in Manhattan are off cycle lanes. All the rest is on bike routes, much of it dedicated.

I'd recommend a trip up the west side greenway and of course Central Park for a bike ride in Manhattan if you were just looking to ride. And of course Citibike is everywhere now.
I quite liked riding in NYC. It was less stressful than I imagined. Not much fast traffic where I rode. And that Westside Highway greenway was amazing!

The only problem I had was riding on a street with construction in Wall Street and getting slashed by some road debris!
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Old 10-12-16, 11:55 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by caloso View Post
For me it really is just a matter of the stop lights. If I ride directly into work, it doesn't really matter whether I ride my old commuterized MTB or my road bike. Either way it's going to take me about 20 min, plus or minus 2.
Stop lights kill you! I can't tell you how many times I have been cut off by a person on a fast bike, only to meet them at the next light.
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Old 10-12-16, 06:47 PM
  #46  
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I have a 10 mile commute each way, exactly 10 miles according to the Cateye Astrale 8 on my road bike (I know, getting old here). It took me exactly 1 hour when I used my road bike last week at the start of this thread. It takes me exactly 1 hour on my mtb that I usually ride.

On my roadie, I pass everyone as I ride up the Manhattan Bridge, on my MTB I just lay back and take it easy and only pass the Citibikers. As I ride down the Manhattan bridge I pass a lot of people on either bike. In the bike lanes I can take off and get to the next light faster than everyone else, but eventually everyone catches up as I wait. It just will take as long as it takes, no matter how fast you ride, unless you make a habit of blowing past lights, which I don't. And even doing that, eventually it will catch up on you when you have to wait.

So my point here is that it just doesn't matter, and I'd rather be more upright, comfortable, and safe, so I prefer the mtb.

As for speed claims, I've read here on the forum someone claiming to ride at 27-28mph on his commute, and I called BS. By the end he'd put it down to around 20-21, still fast but doable, as I can maintain that for a while on a road bike. I'm 61, so not a speed demon anymore. On a Citibike I can probably get to around 12-13 mph on a flat, but I've never measured. Maybe next time I'll turn on Strava. With all the stop and go in NYC, absolute speed is meaningless anyway. Then there is the sweat factor. if I maintain a fast speed and get my HR up, I'm going to be a dripping mess when I get to the office. My mantra has always been "Steady, not sweaty".
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Old 10-12-16, 07:58 PM
  #47  
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Commuter bike.
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Old 10-12-16, 08:46 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
There's a reason that just about nobody outside of the US uses road bikes for transportation and instead mostly ride upright Dutch geometry. As you pointed out, the overall time diff is often between zero and negligible. Even on my 9 mile each way commute the difference is 5 minutes ride time (though road or mountain then require considerable more time getting ready at each end).

MAMIL culture is largely limited to a US phenomenon for a reason.
Or not, people here in Japan ride every type of bike to work. And cycling as a sport is pretty popluar with lots of guys riding expensive bikes on weekends in their lycra, but you don't see clydes on road bikes here.
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Old 10-12-16, 09:29 PM
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Originally Posted by CrankyOne View Post
@mgw4jc, agree. My issue was their saying that their Dutch bike takes twice as long as road which simply doesn't hold water in the real world. Generally riding a Dutchie in normal street clothes will be about 1 minute per mile slower than riding a CF road bike in lycra assuming no stops. With stops the difference can drop quickly to less than 30 seconds per mile.
Stops might actually add more time, and you're also just pulling numbers out of your head.
I had a dutch style bike, and I wouldn't want to commute 3 miles on it, especially if there are any hills or strong winds.
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Old 10-13-16, 09:29 AM
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Last week I rode my hybrid set up for commuting the entire week. It has all the normal commuter goodies like fenders, a rack, lights, frame pump, Airzound, etc.

This week the weather was drier so I rode my carbon road bike. No fenders or accessories, so I carried my stuff in my backpack. No doubt this bike is faster, especially on hills and when fighting wind. Probably saved myself at least 20 minutes on a 22 mile commute (not many stop lights.)

That being said, I own a variety of different bikes for a variety of different purposes. I like them all. On a particular day I'll ride the one that best matches the elements, the load I'm hauling and my mood. They all get me to work, and they all get me home.

Ride what you like. Who cares if your bike wouldn't work for someone else, or vice-versa.
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