Thursday, January 10, 2008

Utlity Bikes

This fist photo is a picture of my commuter bike. I use it for getting to work in the winter when the days are short and its dark out by the time I get out of work. With this bike I am not worried about it when I put it on the front of a buss, or lock it up to a pool, as I would be with my road bike (pictured below) in the same situation.

While my commuter bike may have some advantages in the area of practicality, and all weather safety, wider 700 x 28 tires with some tread and disc brakes. To put it bluntly its heavy, full 10 pounds heavier than my 16 pound road bike, which ends up being a big deal on my 20 mile round trip commute in on Hilly Southern California PCH through Laguna Beach. Go 10 miles at 18 to 20 mph with 5 back to back 200 to 300 foot hill climbs and your legs with miss your carbon fiber road bike, where the same stretch of road is merely a warm up for the next 60 miles.

So what about bikes that fall somewhere in the middle? There are a few, many of the made in Europe. The dutch are famous for their utility bikes, but the lowlands are notoriously flat, and their bikes end up being notoriously heavy.

There are also cycle cross bikes, but due to UCI regulations disc brakes are illegal. Therefore there are very few high end road bikes that feature disc brakes, which are good for all weather safety and and confident stopping with heavy loads. After I have been ridding my Kona allot it takes me a little time to adjust back to my campy chorus caliper brakes. There are however some bikes out there which do seems to cross between both worlds. After check Cube's. urban bike concept posted yesterday, a few other other bikes caught my eye from their world travel series

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