Do it all bike?

by TheHatter   October 10, 2009  

I've been giving some thought to rationalising my bikes from 3 down to 2 to save some space. My pride and joy Colnago master is staying so that leaves my trusty old winter bike (an old steel 7speed lemond reno) and my equally trusty Carrera Subway that I use for commuting.

As my 20 mile round trip commute is mainly down a tatty cycle path there's no way the reno could cope so the question is whether to try and convert the subway into someting quicker (as I have a 9 speed groupset and drops sitting in the shed)so it could double as my winter trainer or sell them both and buy something new.

A Kaffenback is looking tempting as the frame is cheap and I have most of the parts available already but I'm not sure that the max tyre 32mm is wide enough for bashing up and down the cycle path. Anyone have a similar situation and have a solution/advice?

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Depends just how tatty the cycle path is i guess. There's some pretty sturdy 32mm tyres out there, the kaffenback will take some abuse. alternatively look for something cyclo-cross oriented, those bikes tend to be about as versatile as bikes can be. You can pick up a secondhand specialized tricross for peanuts these days and they're genuinely good all rounders.

converting the subway into an RTB (it's basically a mountain bike frame, after all) will give you a very sturdy machine too, get some fast rolling slicks and pump them up hard and you're away...

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7424 posts]
10th October 2009 - 18:24

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Cheers for the comment Dave. The path isn't too bad but currently on 1.75" slicks at 80psi it feels fine but not quick enough to cope on a club run (my new target is to be more sociabl, join a local club and tag along each Sunday).
I guess I need to understand how much difference tyre width make to speed, how much is down to wheel/frame weight etc - almost a formula for a fast bike Nerd

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
10th October 2009 - 19:01

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in terms of rolling resistance there's really very little between a good 26" slick tyre and a good 32c. the wheels on the carrera will probably be pretty heavy, and the frames aren't really know for their responsiveness: if you converted the carrera you'd probably end up with a worthy bike for the commute but find it a bit lacking on a club run. probably better to start with a decent frame and make sure it can handle wet weather kit like 'guards. what's your budget for the project? Smile

Dave Atkinson's picture

posted by Dave Atkinson [7424 posts]
10th October 2009 - 21:22

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Yes Dave I was wondering if that was the case. Anyway after coming home from todays ride I've resolved to get rid of the Lemond as despite the mudguard eyes the clearance under the brakes is just too close so that even with 23's it often rubs the guards. So the plan is to get a new frame and sell the Lemond for which I should hopefully get a £100 plus I can chuck in another 100 quid cash for the project. Its not much but i have most of a groupset, finishing kit and wheels already. That leaves £200 for a new frame and potentially another £100 if I can dispense of the need for the subway.

I like the idea of a cross bike and I was thinking of the Dolan that Ribble are doing instead of the Kaffenback.

Also tempted by the albeit budget blowing
Paganini which I could justify if its also lightweight enough for sportives etc (perhaps with different wheels).

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
11th October 2009 - 16:56

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Cotic Roadrat? I currently have 38m tyres on it though my guards won't fit. Takes rack and I did Hell if The North Cotswolds on it last year and it was a wonderful ride.

Blackhound's picture

posted by Blackhound [446 posts]
11th October 2009 - 18:42

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like Blackhound say's...Cotic Roadrat, looked great at 'Cycle 2009' first time i'd seen one in the flesh so to speak and for £299 frame and forks (i think) seems like an absolute steal to me...

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1082 posts]
11th October 2009 - 18:49

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the roadrat? hmmm.. yes and I just watched the video on this site. Definitely one to consider but I can't find just the f+f on the web. I'm in london in a couple of weeks so may have a hunt around the bigger shops then.

But as its 50% more than the Kaffenback what makes it better - is it lighter/faster or is it just a bit more versatile ?

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
11th October 2009 - 20:31

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more versatile i spose, (can fit a wide variety of wheels/tyres, disc or v-brakes, run it fixed/single speed or geared, takes a rack and mudguards etc etc) and a compact frame so lighter..but i spose the kaffenback can prob. do that as well, (not actually ever seen one except on the interweb).

Fringe's picture

posted by Fringe [1082 posts]
11th October 2009 - 20:46

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Kaffenback is great - I'd go for that over a roadrat unless you want to use disc brakes or singlesspeed/fix it at any point. Both are fairly beefy steel frames so will take a lot of abuse and carry a bit of weight for commuting/touring type duties.

Actually, scrap all that - which one do you like the look of most?!

G-bitch's picture

posted by G-bitch [310 posts]
13th October 2009 - 11:08

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I think I prefer the Kaffenback for looks - one determining factor is it has to suit my honey Brooks saddle and matching bar tape!

Still looking at the moment - may try and pick up a second hand tourer now instead...

TheHatter's picture

posted by TheHatter [811 posts]
15th October 2009 - 20:39

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