Commute changing from 6 mile round trip to 30 miles. £1000 for new bike help this newbie

Discussion in 'Bikes and Buying Advice - What Bike?' started by supermoocow, 9 May 2010.

  1. supermoocow

    supermoocow New Member

    OK 2008 bought a Specialized Sirrus Elite to get back to cycling and do 6 mile round trip commute with 1 mile up hill killer. Moving house soon but after long slog of getting fit would like to stay cycling. Will be travelling just under 30 miles round trip.

    The Sirrus is a nice bike but the straight handle bars can be uncomfortable on 6 miles so I daren't think about 30!!!!
    The commute is mainly country lane with a few hills.

    I use a rack and pannier as I need to transport a laptop each day (< 2kg kg) plus change of clothes. I also like the use of mudguards (although these catch the pedals on my Sirrus when slow turning).

    So basically looking for a bike recommendations to travel this kind of distance regularly at a reasonable speed.
    I have the option of £1000 cycle to work scheme voucher. I can go over this if necessary.

    In addition any recommendations for clip pedals and shoes (thinking about mountain bike style so I can walk in town with them).

    Sorry to just ask but after two days of trawling I am confussed as some threads I have read say go road bike, then others say they are too much maintanence (I have changes chain cassette, cleaned chain etc on sirrus). Others say go tourer... Thats before I even try to think of which bike to go for.

    Thanks in advance ;)
  2. gaz

    gaz Cycle Camera TV

    South Croydon
    Are you restricted to any shop?

    Your needs summed up;
    Non flat bar
    rack mount
    mud guards

    Touring bikes are worth a look
  3. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    I would look along the lines of Ribbles winter training / fast audax bike. There is no need to go for a heavy slow tourer or cyclo-x style bike. A tourer will be no less maintance than an audax bike.

    My commutes a lot shorter but I've recently deliberately been going the long way so that i've got a high mileage commute. I use a fixed wheel bike because it needs very little maintance. However, I wouldn't recommend one if you live somewhere hilly and you're worried about your fitness.

    I would highly recommend full length mud-guards (with the flap at the bottom), a pannier rack and a set of cheap emergency lights for when you get caught out. All of which will fit on most 'audax/training' bikes.
    (In winter you will probably need to spend a small fortune on lights but thas another thread).

    My pedal of choice (for the road) is Looks Keo. They're light and support the foot well. However, I commute in SPD style pedals because you can walk (kind of) in the shoes.
  4. amasidlover

    amasidlover Veteran

    If your main reason for changing is to get more bar positions, you could look at changing to some butterfly bars (drops are more complex as you'd need new shifters - and if you want STI then it gets very expensive). If not, would help us to know what else you'd like to improve on over the Sirrius...

    Also, you could buy a second laptop with the money saved and just take a USB key in and out each day (thus giving you a 2kg weight saving!)

  5. OP

    supermoocow New Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    First off the Sirrus is a nice bike. A pain that feet in cages catch mudguard when turning at lower speeds (each time I think hmmm sould have stopped turningthose peddles).
    The upright position seems to be a sail on windy days so I thought that drops would get me out of the wind a bit more and help with the power on hills?
    Also my wrists sometimes get a little sore sitting in one position on the straight bar (never thought about butterfly bars before. Would probably need a longer raiser aswell?).

    The ribbles winter trainer looks promising but they take £65 admin fee for using cycle scheme vouchers .. grrrrr.... Plus whoooaaaa what to order on that blinking biker order checklist!!!!!

    Unf. I have to take laptop to/from work as it is encrypted and only access into our computer system (I am on call so need to be able to dial into systems in the evenings). Ohhh to be able to just use a usb stick :tired:

    On the sirrus I have fill length mudguards with the little flap and would be loath to have another bike without them after this winter!!! I'm sure 'racing blades' would be pretty rubbish compared.

    Basically I am happy enough to stick with the Sirrus if a drops racer type would not give me much of an advantage re positioning, wind resistance (come on I'm sitting upright at the moment. The wind is always against me.... go figure).
    I have the option of £1000 cycle scheme voucher so anywhere that accepts the vouchers is game or my money (erggh voucher I mean).

    Thanks again!!!!
  6. Garz

    Garz Squat Member

    Agreed on above laptop idea, not good lugging that round if you don't have to.
  7. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    I'm afraid its very common for your feet to overlap the front wheel / mud-guards. All my road bikes suffer from this problem, but I don't think i've ever managed to actually hit my toe with the wheel.

    Its hard to say what sort of advantage a road bike like the Ribble would have over the Sirrus. I would be amazed if there wasn't a noticable difference though. I would (have) commuted that sort of distance on a Ribble. I would be somewhat reluctant to do it on a Sirrus.

    There are loads of bikes very similar to the Ribble.
    For example the Surosa Toledo and Terry Dolan winter bikes are so similar without the logos you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart.

    Loads of other manufactures also have very similar styled bikes in their lineup. Just walk into a bike shop and ask for a LIGHT WEIGHT road bike that will take mud-guards and a pannier rack and hopefully you'll be shown a few examples of the right sort of bike. (ie not a tourer, hybrid or a cyclo-x bike).

    Another favourite of mine is the Kinesis.
  8. OP

    supermoocow New Member

    Popped into my LBS they didn't have much on offer in the way of road type bikes.
    They had the Giant Defy 2 as their top of the range road bike. It has brazons for a rear rack and the guy in the shop says it can fit mud guards. Priced at £825.

    It felt OK if a little high with the M/L frame (53.5cm) I expect the seat could be lowered a little more to get a nicer fit (to the pedals it seemed fine but I could only get a tip tip toe end down on one side.

    Man this is confusing...
  9. RedBike

    RedBike New Member

    Beside the road
    The Giant would make a nice commuter but I don't even contemplate buying a bike thats the wrong size for you.

    With the saddle at the correct height its quite normal not to be able to get your foot fully down. Put your heel on the pedal (at the bottom) and raise the saddle until your leg is straight.
    Giants have compact frames. Basically this means that if the bikes the right size it will have a quite a large amount of seat post showing.

    Keep looking, KEEP TRYING bikes and i'm sure you'll soon find something that suits.
  10. GrahamG

    GrahamG Veteran

    Get used to coming off your saddle when you stop to put a foot down - if your seat is low enough to put your foot down properly then your knees will end up royally f**ked doing 15 miles each way. Raise your saddle as per above post.
  11. iendicott

    iendicott Well-Known Member

    When I started to read this post I automatically thought of the Ribble Winter Audax as well.

    I have a straight bar bike and go out on regular rides with my cycle club and don't have any issues with it over 65 mile rides even on windy days, not sure a road bike will help you that much to be honest.

    It does sound like however that a position fetling on your current bike is required.

    On the mudguard front though I have fitted Zefal mudgards and had the same issue with my foot hitting the front wheel but after upgrading to SPD's this does not happen as my foot are allway positioned correctly.

  12. OP

    supermoocow New Member

    Cheers for the tips...

    Planning to get touring bars for my Hybrid... and get... a Brompton!!!!!

    Yes I can nip to local train station on days which I want a shorter commute (~12 miles round trip that way). Plus can take to me on overnight stays for customer visits and cycle around a bit!!!! Not to mention no more tube when in London!!!!

    I'll post another thread re which Brompton but thinking P6R + dynamo + brooks saddle + luggage for laptop
  13. StuartG

    StuartG slower but further

    SE London
    Always take my Brompton on the Tube. Perfect fit!
    I fitted Reelights. Not strictly legal (distance from ground) but does not compromise folding. Brooks saddle of course. Eazywheels are well worth it and I found my Klickfix bracket would fit the standard bars (just) and still fold.

    Oh and the IKEA Dimpa bag is the perfect size as a storage/carry bag for about £3. Sure undercuts the official bag!

    Took me a little time to adjust to the very different characteristics of the Brommie from my tourer but now I adore it. And as you can always keep it with you - my inner London cycling and enjoyment has increased as I don't have to worry about security.
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