Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
AshleyClements
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Joined: 17 Apr 2013, 11:07pm

Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby AshleyClements » 17 Apr 2013, 11:19pm

Hi,
I am looking to start commuting to work which is about a 10 mile commute to and from work.
I am unsure as to what bicycle I should get. Having visited halfords he said I should use a hybrid but my colleague says I should use a full road bike.
My commute will be all Tarmac but the roads are quote potholey and can be quite hilly.
In all fairness I am quite overweight ( thus the reason for me doing this ) but I am only 22 and can still complete quite a lot of excercise but this isn't the problem.

I will be commuting in high rush hour traffic in all weathers. I won't be carrying much in the way of luggage as we have lockers and changing rooms at work.

I know the advantages of the road bike are the drops and speed but the advantages of the hybrid is that I am always 'upright' and in control.

Who should I listen to? My colleague (road bike) or Halfords (hybrid)?
FYI -
Hybrid I will buy Boardman Team Hybrid (£750)
Road I will buy Carrera Vanquish (£500)

Help please!

BigSed
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby BigSed » 18 Apr 2013, 4:08am

Hi,

I do similar mileage and the features I would look for are proper fit, mudguards, and the ability to add a rear rack. I tried using a rucksack to ferry in items but find using panniers much more enjoyable. Also, something to consider is durable wheels and tyres. Nothing like starting the day fixing a puncture or having a wheel go out of true. I am not familiar with either of your choices but you can get a road style bike that's more upright and you can go fast enough on a hybrid considering your not racing. I would probably shop around a bit more to get a good idea of the choices and consider your shops ability to provide after sales service.

Vorpal
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Vorpal » 18 Apr 2013, 5:45am

Visit some other bike shops, and ride lots of bikes. Get some fitting help and see how they feel. Also, if you can, take them for a slightly longer ride than just around the car park.

+1 for mudguards and a rack. You may also want to consider something with clearance for slightly wider tyres. If you want to commute through the next winter, you may wish to put winter tyres on it?

A road bike will be slightly faster than a hybrid, but you may wish for lower gearing, especially if your commute is at all hilly, or you have to carry any luggage with you.

Something like an audax / sportive bike may be a good choice. It should be faster than the hybrid, but still have mountings for mudguards and a rack. It should also have a more relaxed geometry than the road bike, and so be a little more comfortable to ride.

I do a similar commute. I have two bikes: an older Raleigh hybrid and a Claud Butler that was marketed as a road bike (but has mountings for a rack). The forks don't have clearance for proper mudguards, so I use race blades on it (that may be an alternative if you want a road bike), but I don't ride the road bike year round. I only ride it spring to autumn. The hybrid handles the adverse conditions and messy roads of late autumn to early spring better than the road bike.

If you haven't done it before, the first few times (maybe even the first few weeks) the commute will be hard. If you stick with it, though, you will be rewarded with feeling better and starting the day energised by the ride. :D

You will need to plan to spend some money maintaining the bike, too. Mileage like that tends to go through normal replacement parts like tyres and brake pads pretty quickly. I bought 3 sets of tyres last year, including one set of winter tyres, 3 sets of brake pads, and a new chain and rear cassette for the hybrid.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

AshleyClements
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Joined: 17 Apr 2013, 11:07pm

Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby AshleyClements » 18 Apr 2013, 6:51am

Thanks for the replies guys, really helpful.

The reason I'm leaning towards a hybrid is that you can be in more control of the bike at all times and that it has hydrolic disc brakes, the tyres are still road tyres , 34 mill slicks, and in fact is lighter than the road bike that they have.

The only reason i Am going to halfords is that I am doing this through the Cycle to work scheme and therefore it has to be through halfords.

Would the only advantage to a road bike being the handle bars and higher speed?

I am hoping to ride right up to winters door really and start riding again after its finished so I will be spending a lot of my time on the bike riding through really wet muddy conditions which leads me to believe I would need to maybe put some bulkier tyres on there?

Vorpal
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Vorpal » 18 Apr 2013, 7:09am

Other shops than Halfords are int he Cycle to Work scheme. How about Evans? Or a local bike shop?
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

Edwards
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Edwards » 18 Apr 2013, 7:26am

As I understand it some employers do restrict the voucher to Halfords only.

If it was me ridding in traffic most of the time I would go with the Hybrid type. I have both straight a drop barred bikes but feel I get easier visibility when using the straight bars in traffic.
For your type of journey I feel that being able to use bigger tyres would be a big advantage, plus there is better clearances for mudguards normally on hybrids.
Mudguards and rack are a must.
Outright speed for all day ridding is not what you need but comfort and being able to look about.

As this is on that Scheme then add good lights waterproof clothing gloves panniers repair tools and anything else you can think of (even a helmet if you are so inclined).
Keith Edwards
I do not care about spelling and grammar

dbascent1986
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby dbascent1986 » 18 Apr 2013, 7:27am

+1 for a more upright riding position in traffic - as you settle into the routine you will naturally be looking around constantly for traffic, a flat bar makes this easier. The C2W scheme should also cover mudguards, lights and a rack. Finally I would recommend flat pedals for traffic.

AshleyClements
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby AshleyClements » 18 Apr 2013, 7:46am

So the general consensus is that I go for a hybrid or would there be any other reason to get a road bike?

Yeh I'm limited to halfords, I have £1000, so I'm going to spend £750 on the bike.

Vorpal
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Vorpal » 18 Apr 2013, 7:59am

I still recommend riding the bikes. And also some others for comparison, even if you don't plan to buy them.
“In some ways, it is easier to be a dissident, for then one is without responsibility.”
― Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom

AshleyClements
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby AshleyClements » 18 Apr 2013, 8:09am

Ok sounds fair enough but I don't think I'll be allowed to gout of the car park to be honest.

I think. Need practicality with an added bonus of speed and looks rather than just speed.

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Redvee
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Redvee » 18 Apr 2013, 8:11am

Vorpal wrote:Other shops than Halfords are int he Cycle to Work scheme. How about Evans? Or a local bike shop?


Helfraords, are the main players in the C2W scheme but LBSs can also help out. Evan run their own scheme very much alike to C2W called Ride2Work. There is another similar scheme called Bike2Work. What a lot of people don't realise is you can get models Halfords don't stock via Halfords via the C2W scheme, it isn't as easy as a Halfords model but it is possible.

Edwards
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Edwards » 18 Apr 2013, 8:17am

I forgot to mention how important it is to test ride the bike, even if it is just around and around and around (keep going) the car park for as long as you can.
It is also wise not to mention the scheme at first when asking about the bike and seeing if it fits.

However Mrs E fell in love with her Bob Jackson within 25 feet of starting off.
Keith Edwards
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Ant
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby Ant » 18 Apr 2013, 8:23am

I would recommend the hybrid because:
The road bike you are looking at is a "racer" and therefore not well suited to heavy traffic. The tyres are too narrow for ropey roads, there might not be room for proper mudguards (which are essential) and the frame angles will put you in a less comfortable crouched position which is not ideal for traffic. A drop barred touring bike would be better but I don't think Halfords have a suitable model...

The hybrid mentioned is very much at the sporty end of the hybrid market and will not yield too much in speed to the road bike anyway, except at higher speeds (20 mph plus) where aerodynamics come into play. The wider tyres will be more comfortable, probably more puncture resistant (as they can run at lower pressures) and the disk brakes are very reassuring to new riders in traffic.

Make sure it has mudguard mounts and have them fitted at the shop, buy the best ones available (by best I mean most coverage). Buy good lights, you'll not need them for a while but get them now as part of the deal. Ditto some shoes, gloves and clothes and good shades if Halfords have any.

Think about luggage. You'll need change of clothes etc. don't use a rucksack, get bike mounted luggage...

Good luck with it! Bw, Ant

Ps - I bet you change your mind about winter by the time it rolls around again. Tbh it's not much different than smmer anyway!

eileithyia
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby eileithyia » 18 Apr 2013, 8:23am

Hi and welcome.

Do not underestimate how long a 20 mile round trip commute takes both in time and in toll on your tiredness levels initially... you may want to do mon, weds, fri at first with a rest ay inbetween. Do a practise ride at a weekend to see how it long it takes, add 10 mins to allow for stop/start traffic.

Bike; must be comfortable and reliable (and consider what you will do when it is off the road for servicing / repairs etc).

Flat or Drop? To be honest always ride drops, but on the tops/hoods of the brakes so am in an upright(ish) position anyway, and a flat bar would ridden so I would be in a similar position anyway.

Sportive/Audax/Hybrid what ever you feel comfortable on.

Must have; mudguards, rack, light fittings even daylight can be dark and gloomy and a very bright flashing LED can be a good thing on a dull day esp early morning or near to dusk...
You will need spare tube (pref 2) and ability and means to replace it and even a puncture repair kit. Good quality multitool (recently have had to repair a broken chain on my commute), some latex gloves.

Good quality cycle clothes, padded shorts/longs, gloves, hat etc and waterproofs. Do not underestimate the toll a commute will take on your everyday clothes so you many want to ride in in cycle kit and change at work. Use that locker to store; towel, toiletries spare undies (yes I have forgotten to take undies with me to work, fortunately we have disposal ones for the clients :lol: ) and spare dry socks.... hate wet socks and shoes for the commute home.... they are the worst things to put on at the end of the day. You will want work shoes at work so you are not wearing your cycle shoes.

Make sure on the B2W you ask for sufficient funding to cover the extras you will need as listed above.....kit and clothing you can do this on the scheme... and do not forget a decent quality lock! As well as the Panniers, lights, repair stuff etc.
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells

eileithyia
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Re: Help- what bike should i use for a Daily 10 mile commute

Postby eileithyia » 18 Apr 2013, 8:27am

PSwhy will you not be cycling in winter, very often we drier and much more settled weather in winter, albeit colder.. look at recent weeks, beautiful dry settled days if cold... just needs an extra a layer or so.. no need for hefty wet weather gear to be worn.
You may find by the time winter comes you will be enjoying your commute, will be hooked and will not want to give it up..
I stand and rejoice everytime I see a woman ride by on a wheel the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood. HG Wells