Commuting on a tourer

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Commuting on a tourer

Postby ed_b » 2 Jul 2013, 7:16pm

Hello forum,

I'm due to start a new job in September, and am hoping to commute by bike - this will be a first in the countryside, as I've always been London-based before.

What are people's views on possible speeds, etc? It'll be around 12 miles, and at the moment I'm working on the assumption that it'll take me around 45 minutes. But that's on my Dawes Horizon. I'm wondering if it might be better to get a 10-speed (this is Lincolnshire - no hills!). Would there be an appreciable increase in speed, do you think? And (speaking as one who's never had a 'road' bike) would I pay for it in terms of comfort?

Any experiences you'd like to share, much appreciated.

Best, Ed

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby honesty » 2 Jul 2013, 7:22pm

In my view a tourer makes pretty much the prefect commuter bike. Fat tyres, mudguards, and a rack to carry your stuff on is exactly what you need.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby thirdcrank » 2 Jul 2013, 7:29pm

What do you intend to do about luggage? I'm retired now but I've never been in a position to commute without the need to shift stuff in one direction or the other on a fairly regular basis. Any gain from using a road bike would probably be cancelled if you were riding with a rucsack.

Unless you are a fair weather rider, you will probably appreciate the mudguards on a tourer.

IME, a lot of the time invoved in commuting is taken up by getting ready at both ends of the ride.

In any case, I don't think there's anything lost by waiting and giving your current bike a try first. I'd expect the current bike to be Ok and you could by another bike or bikes at your leisure. Taking the worst case scenario, it's always possible that you may decide that commuting isn't possible. Hopefully, that won't happen. but a redundant bike would just rub salt in.

Take time to reach your decision. Good luck with the change.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby binka » 2 Jul 2013, 8:59pm

I commute on a Tricross. I do 8 miles in 38 mins, most of which on a bridle way. I'm in lincs, I have one very steep hill at the end of my's not all flat in the flatlands!

But I lve my Tricross, very comfy, mudguards, rack to put my pannier on.
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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby eileithyia » 2 Jul 2013, 9:24pm

I commute on a tourer, do not necessarily have as fat tyres as some people discuss, but a basic alu bike, with fittings for pannier rack, mudguards and lights. As said you will probably need to carry some stuff to and from if it's only waterproofs some spare clothes and lunch. Mudguards are always essential on a commuter... 45 mins for 12 miles is about right, remember there can be a lot of stop / start traffic depending on time of commute and junctions etc., best to do a test run at the weekend beforehand and add 5 mins or so to compensate for traffic.
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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby aprildavy » 2 Jul 2013, 10:37pm

I've done 18mph over a relatively flat route over 25 miles on a 1993 dawes galaxy with mudguards and dynamo light on, nil wind. Can usually manage 16-17 -18 over that distance in the summer ok, slower in winter. Mind you I have a decent set of wheels (ultegra 6700) and tri-bars. I don't think the frame matters that much - it depends what wheels, chainset and tyres you have, and how hard you pedal! When I had "touring" tyres, whatever they are, the speed was a lot lower.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby smee » 3 Jul 2013, 1:16am

I'm doing 8 miles in less than 35 on my ridgeback voyage with 2 panniers to carry all my stuff. So I'd say 12 miles in 45 to 55 mins on a tourer to be spot on. My ride involves a few small hills and a prevailing coastal headwind in the opposite direction to which I am travelling. I look at it as strength conditioning and training for my mtb and road bikes. Oh I'm 42 and 18.5 stone should age/weight be a factor.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby Cunobelin » 3 Jul 2013, 6:24am

You will never know until you travel the route.

Take a Sunday morning and travel the planned route, take your time and look at the places you could stop and shelter if you had a breakdown, where there is a dodgy road that looks good on the map, but is in fact a rat run, and all the other things that you will never find from a map.

When you get home review all this and then do it for real the following Sunday with full commuter kit

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby kwackers » 3 Jul 2013, 10:03am

I've tried commuting on all sorts of things. One day I bought a tourer (Ridgeback Panorama) with the idea of doing some touring - it was a revelation.
Not quite as much a revelation as I got swapping a rucksack for panniers - but close...

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby NUKe » 3 Jul 2013, 10:12am

If your Dawes Horizon is good nick and your used to it you will find its almost perfect for the commute. A road bike might shave a couple of minutes off but it won't be much. There was an article in Cycle, Was it one of CJ's which compared using a road bike and tourer for commuting And I think the tourer came out better.

If on the otherhand your looking for an excuse to buy another bike then its terrible totally unsuitable :wink:

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby tykeboy2003 » 3 Jul 2013, 10:31am

The weight saving of getting a road bike (racer) is insignificant. My tourer is about 14Kg, most road bikes these days are about 10Kg, so on the face of it I'm lugging an extra 4Kg about, however, add in my weight (80Kg), then the extra 4Kg only represents about 5%.

Also as others have pointed out, on a commute you'll probably be carrying a back-pack on the road-bike, which may well be 2Kg. The nett effect being a negligible weight saving over the tourer plus the discomfort of wearing the back pack.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby BSRU » 3 Jul 2013, 11:22am

I commute on a Ridgeback Panorama with 28c GP 4 Seasons, perfect for countryside commutes as you can carry lots of stuff in case of a problem in the middle of no-where.
Not quite as quick as my road bike but then I never expected it to be.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby andrewk » 3 Jul 2013, 12:42pm

Tourers are designed to cover long distances on roads in comfort. Road bikes are designed to go fast on roads, comfort not being a requirement. Get there 1 minute faster or get there in comfort? Your choice, I know which option I'd choose.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby karlt » 3 Jul 2013, 1:14pm

Totally depends on the terrain. Around here you'd be doing very well to do 12 miles in 45 minutes; thirty miles to the East in the flat bit of Lincs it'd be a doddle. Do you know how much ascent is involved in the 12 miles? I find that 20mph + 1 min/50' gives a time I can do with comfort; can usually be 5-10% faster if I push it. Around here, 12 miles could easily involve 700' of climbing, so you'd be looking at 12/20 * 60 + 700/50 = 50mins. If it's dead flat, 36mins. If it's really hilly, like 100'/mile, then you'd be looking at 12/20 * 60 + 1200/50 = 1hr.

Edit - just saw that you are thirty miles to the East in the flat bit of Lincs, so 45 mins shouldn't be too hard. Wind will be your limiting factor then.

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Re: Commuting on a tourer

Postby Geriatrix » 3 Jul 2013, 4:50pm

My Dawes Galaxy was my staple tourer for many years. Not the lightest but it doesn't break. I also prefer panniers to rucksack, especially in summer.
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