I am planning to buy a bicycle (either road-bike or MTB). I personally prefer road-bike.
I have to travel on broken tar to reach a smooth tar road.
On an average I will cycle 200 km per week out of which 15% will be on broken tar (rugged road) with ups and downs.
If I buy a road-bike, it will be this.
I know the purpose of the road-bikes and the MTBs.

Is it advisable to buy a road-bike given this condition?
My main question is, will the road-bikes do good for 30 km, in a week, on rugged road?
If not, what will happen to the bike?
Can anyone please suggest?
Also please let me know if you want more details on the question.

  • 2
    The answer is "nothing". Road bikes are not going to fall apart just because you ride them over rough road. It's going to be less than comfortable, as there is much less shock absorption, but the bike will be fine.
    – user229044
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:31
  • oh, so I can buy a road-bike and ride the distance of rugged road that I have mentioned? Won't there be any damage to the tire or fork or the frame? I am asking because I don't know.
    – Freakyuser
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:33
  • 1
    Avoid the worst of it and take it slow and it should be fine. I would question your choice of bike though. You're obviously not buying it for racing, as you're willing to get a mountain bike or road bike, so why not split the difference and get a touring bike? You'd be much more comfortable and you'd have the option of adding panniers and fenders.
    – user229044
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:40
  • @meagar Thank you for your suggestion. Actually I am confused between these 2 because of the rugged road I have to go through to reach the smooth roads. My wish is to do long distances. But I thought I won't be able to because of the rugged roads. From your suggestions, I think I can buy a road-bike. Can you please leave an elaborate answer?
    – Freakyuser
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:47
  • There are two good answers which offer the same sentiments.
    – user229044
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:58

4 Answers 4


What do you expect to happen?

Not quite sure what you mean by "roadster", but I assume it's roughly the same as a "road bike" in the US -- what would have been called a "racing bike" 30 years ago before racing bikes got all high-tech.

The main distinguishing characteristics of such bikes are that they have a more "aggressive" riding position, a lighter-weight frame, and skinny tires. They'll also usually have "drop" handlebars, but that's true of many bikes in other categories.

All of those characteristics make it harder to ride on rough, uneven pavement, and the skinny tires can make it impossible to ride on really loose gravel. But it's certainly possible to ride on ordinary "broken pavement", if you exercise a little care.

As to the bike, such conditions would tend to be rough on a carbon frame or exotic rims, but a bike of more ordinary construction (if you can find one anymore) should not experience extraordinary wear/fatigue. You'd want a bike, first and foremost, with sturdy rims -- 32 spoke if possible, and at least 28. And you should probably stay away from super-narrow tires.

  • I think a roadster refers to this kind of bike. Not a exactly like a road bike that is in the US (which is actually like a racing bike) but more like a hybrid or a cruiser (nodtothecreator.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/…).
    – Kibbee
    Feb 15, 2013 at 13:51
  • I meant road-bikes. Changed to road-bikes from roadsters.
    – Freakyuser
    Feb 15, 2013 at 15:49
  • Tire size compromise- Ideally get a rim that can carry say 25mm tires if you decide to forgo the comfort of bigger tires over the rough fro performance once on the smooth, up to 32mm if you decide comfort over the rough is more important. Steel is worth considering over alloy, as it s more comfortable over bumps. Apart from punctures (usually under inflated tires)- the bike will handle more than you can.....
    – mattnz
    Feb 16, 2013 at 23:51

Sounds to me like a Touring bicycle would meet your requirements. To the unfamiliar, they look like a road bike but they have larger treaded tires (About 1"), their frames are built for strength and they can support heavy weight from either the rider or loads. They ride a little more upright than a road bike and mine came with mountain bike gearing so it is a joy on climbs but not so fast flat out.

I ride mine on what we call crusher fines which is similar to your road condition. There are several well known touring bikes that should fit your need quite well. I understand it is against site policy to give models but a Google Touring Bicycles you'll get a list to start with. Mine is a Surly.

  • 1
    A cyclocross bike would work equally well.
    – jimchristie
    Feb 15, 2013 at 17:35
  • I want to ride long distance like 600 BRM
    – Freakyuser
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:09
  • @jimirings A cyclocross bike would be massive overkill for crossing broken pavement to get to the smooth road that makes up your daily commute.
    – user229044
    Feb 15, 2013 at 18:29
  • 5
    @maegar Tons of people use cyclocross bikes as their all-purpose rides. I've even known more than a few people to swap out the tires and race road in them in the summer.
    – jimchristie
    Feb 15, 2013 at 22:36

You shouldn't have problems with a road bike under these conditions. I have a 1989 Miyata LT1000 touring bike, ( Chromoly steel frame ). I ride on some roads that have broken pavement, rolled stone, and even in some towns that still have brick streets. These can all be very rough. I probably ride about 100 to 150 miles average per week ( 5 to 7 days ), on these types of roads/streets, with about 5 or 6 miles of this being the same type of condition you talk about, and have never experienced any type of bicycle/wheel failure due to these conditions. Proper maintenance keeping everything "buttoned up", and tire pressure correct is the main thing you have to do. I carry 75 PSI in my 700CC 32MM wide tires. Add to that some common sense about the speed you travel in these sections, and you shouldn't have any real bad experiences on your daily travels.


I might look into getting a cross bike. They are road bikes designed for abuse.

Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cyclo-cross

Cross Race:

This won't be a great option if you are wanting to race road riders, however a cross bike will offer you 9/10ths of a roadbike's efficiency with much greater freedom to explore more technical terrain. There are a couple cross riders (who are very tallented) who ride my local XC trails.

I think a cross bike should also feel more lively than a touring bike which may be a good thing or bad thing.

I would recommend trying to find something that has fender eyelets and rack mount points.

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