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I plan to use my bicycle 5 days a week to get to work and back, approximately 30 minutes(~6 miles /10 km) one way, mostly good/ok roads but with some bumps here and there.

Should I care about cx bicycles because of not perfect road conditions or typical road bicycle would be able to endure?

I don't care about comfort that much and only carry my laptop with me in a backpack, so my priority is to get from one point to another and do it fast. Any recommendations?

Thank you.

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Can you provide more details, are you already using a particular bike? What is wrong with the one you're using? –  Angelo Dec 17 '12 at 14:01
    
I don't have a bike right now and I am not used to commute by bike. –  Riz Dec 17 '12 at 19:53
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7 Answers

up vote 7 down vote accepted

A 10K commute is pretty short, I would say almost too short for a racing style bike for several reasons. I would recommend you look at tourer or hybrid bikes. Allow me to explain.

You say you are not really interested in comfort. I assume you will ride in your regular clothes. This is a bad combination. When done regularly, no matter the amount of discomfort you are prepared to take. A hard saddle and stiff frame, combined with the seams-in-stupid-places of your regular outfit will wear you down. Moreover, 5 days a week, regardless of weather means dirt everywhere, even on paved roads. Your clothes will get dirty, and you might even get mud in your hair, so you'd need to shower. But with a 10K commute the time it takes to change clothes and shower takes up a significant part of the total time you spend commuting. (if showers are available at your place of work). Some comfort -a good saddle and fenders- will save you time and pain.

Then there is the matter of durability. Think about the appointment you will miss because you had a flat 5K into your commute and you had to either walk 5K or take the time to fix the flat. This is just one of the many things that can break. Remember: "regardless of the weather" so dirt will accumulate, oil will wash off, things might rust. I expect you are not going to spend every weekend meticulously cleaning, checking and oiling everything, so you want durability.

My suggestion for a good commuter bike for 10K one way in your regular clothes would be a touring bike with full fenders (to keep away the mud) a chain guard, puncture proof road tires and a relatively comfortable saddle. This will be heavier, so your top speed will be lower, but any time that costs you you'll easily gain not showering, changing clothes, and fixing your bike.

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Puncture proof tires are a must-have for commuting! –  heltonbiker Dec 17 '12 at 12:56
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I would call them puncture resistent, there is no puncture proof pneumatic tire. Also ensure the tires are properly inflated. I used to get many punctures on my "cheap" tires (not cheap once you consider the cost of repaing and replacing tubes), and a couple punctures a year on my good tires. I didn't get a puncture at all this year and the only difference is that I now have a good track pump, and top up the pressure 2-3 times a week. Maybe I just got lucky this year, but I didn't get a single flat, and I put a lot of kilometers on my bike this year. –  Kibbee Dec 17 '12 at 14:21
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Also, +1 on the tourer, or hybrid, because most road bikes don't have the proper holes to attach a rear rack. If you're going to be commuting a rear rack is almost essential. Sure you can get away with a backpack or messenger bag, but having a rear rack will be greatly beneficial, especially if you don't want to change clothtes. Backpacks make your back quite sweaty. Also, road bikes often don't have room for fenders, which are also essential if you don't want to change clothes. –  Kibbee Dec 17 '12 at 14:26
    
Messenger bags solved the back-sweat issue for me. –  Stephen Touset Dec 17 '12 at 18:19
    
I think your point about driving fast and having a shower vs driving at reasonable speed is the most important for me. I am not entirely convinced that touring bike is the best choice, but you gave me a good starting point. Thank you. –  Riz Dec 19 '12 at 3:37
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It ain't that simple. :) You want to ride fast, but your estimated 30min duration would mean a 20km/h pace, which is quite leisurely. Are you going to take a shower and change clothes afterwards? If you're going to ride at a 35km/h pace, you'll save 13 minutes from the commute, which you will then spend at the shower and locker room. :)

So, for the slower pace I'd suggest a higher end "hybrid" with rigid front fork and larger (30mm) tyres, somewhat upright riding position and fenders.

For faster pace, either a CX or road bike. Doesn't really matter. They can handle the rough patches too. A CX bike might fit fenders better, which are a really nice option on a commuter. If you go for the road bike get as wide tyres as it fits. IMO using 23mm tyres on a commuter bike is just silly.

Also, expect to spend $200 on clothes and shoes.

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I've been using 23mm in a fairly rough stretch of avenues (asphald cracks and all), and I am surprised as to how little it affects me. I suspect rider position and weight distribution on the bike might influence this. Nice answer, +1. –  heltonbiker Dec 17 '12 at 12:54
    
I too recommend considering a CX bike if you want to go faster. They are a great compromise between a road bike and a mountain bike. I got a RedLine Metro Classic, and I love it. It is steel, so it's durable and repairable if I have an unfortunate mishap, it has all the braze-ons I could hope for to mount racks, fenders, etc., a Shimano Tiagra drivetrain and levers (which are the bottom of the line I'd personally buy), and it's got disc brakes, which are great if you'll be riding in the rain. Also, I like drop bars because they allow me to change hand positions when I take it on longer rides. –  squawknull Dec 31 '12 at 2:14
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Nobody so far has mentioned a single-speed or fixed-wheel bike but if your commute is pretty flat it may be worth considering. The reason for going for one over geared bikes would be the added simplicity of not having derailleurs to maintain.

I consider my fixie ideal for commuting - its steel so can handle a few bumps, and although I ride 23mm tyres (the roads in London are perfect!), I think it ships out of the factory on 32mm which should be quite absorbent. I can get into a decent position on it and (depending on traffic) can go at speed...also its great fun to ride.

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+1 For at least half a year now I have been doing a daily commute exactly as described by the OP on a steel fixie. Wipe it down every few weeks and put some lube in the chain and you are good to go! –  Jaime Jan 7 '13 at 22:33
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A nice hybrid bike will be OK. IMHO you shouldn't spend more then 400$ (if you plan to use it only for commuting), but not less then 200$ (or you'll get total crap). Just remember to clean & lube your chain every 2 weeks and it'll last you for a few years.

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I would spend at least $400 on a bike i planned to use every day, assuming it was new. 10 km x 2 ways x 20 days a month x 6 months = 2400 km per year. After 4 years, that's close to 10,000 km. If you only spend $300 on a bike, don't expect it to last for half that, and you will end up buying the $300 bike two or three times over. Spend more and you will pay less over the life of the bike. –  Kibbee Dec 17 '12 at 18:50
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It really depends on how big the bumps are. You might want to stay away from a full carbon bike as they are rigid and you will feel everything. You can get "Roubaix" style that are built for a bumpier ride. When you say road bike I assume you mean racing style. A tourer or hybrid may also do the job but the fastest will be a racer.

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Thank you, I meant racing style, not road, sorry about that. "Roubaix" style ones look really interesting. –  Riz Dec 17 '12 at 8:32
    
@Riz yes they have slightly different fork design that gives a sort of suspension. Your wrists will thank you in the long run. –  robthewolf Dec 17 '12 at 10:21
    
A bit of trivia here, "Roubaix" refers to the Paris-Roubaix (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paris%E2%80%93Roubaix) bike race held from Paris To Roubaix. A large portion of the route is over cobblestones, and creates some "interesting" conditions. –  Kibbee Dec 18 '12 at 17:08
    
Thats pretty funny I just took it as read that everyone knew that. I am way too much of a cycling geek. –  robthewolf Dec 18 '12 at 17:41
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My answer would depend on how secure your bike will be once you lock it up at work. Is it locked up outside? What are the odds it will be stolen? The greater the odds it will be stolen, the cheaper the bike you want to use to compute. And that price will limit your choices.

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I do a Similar length comute every day in the UK. It's a bit undulating with 100m climb all told and some steaper than I would want myself for a singlespeed so I need gears but don't want to do regular maintance so hub gears it is. It rains a lot here so full mudgaurds essential. There are some bits that get jamed with traffic and the pedestrians tend to step out infront of me so in the wet I see disk breaks as essential.

My answer is an older 8 speed Charge Mixer but there are a number of Hybrid hub geared disk offering availible. It's a bit heavy and slow feeling as people sprint away from me at the lights but that just makes getting out on the road bike at the weekends more fun. The main thing is that in two years I have just had to fix 2 punctures and tweak the cable tention twice no other maintnance event with no cleaning and riding it into a river the once.

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