I recently switched from a mountain bike to a road bike with 22mm tires for commuting.
I noticed right away that I could not do the things like hop over curbs with this new bike. I also got flats. Lots of flats. I would get 1 flat per week, and I got good at patching tires. After a few weeks of this i got Tuffy tire liners and haven't gotten a flat since. I patched up all holes in my tires from inside before putting them in (and they were a pain to put in).
I still have the following fears:
- If I am going fast and I hit a small (less then 3" bump), I might get a pinch flat.
- I cannot ride off a curb onto the payment without wrecking my bike.
- I cannot hop curbs.
- I must check my tires after every ride for glass lodged in them and take it out with tweezers.
- If there is a sizeable hole (from glass) in my tire, I must use a patch kit to patch it up.
- I must always ride at 120psi per tire (I weigh ~200lbs).
- My stopping power compared to the mountain bike is really really bad (especially in the rain).
- I must pay extreme attention to the road and go around bumps.
Should I be worried about these concerns? Are 22mm tires too thin for commuting?
Well, after about 2 months of daily commuting on the road bike I have this to say in the defense of my earlier self:
My biggest issues turned out to be:
- My bike lock which I used to attach to my bike created a lot of vibration which in turn made it impossible for me to hear any noise my bike was making. One time I rode on a flat for a few minutes because I couldn't hear/tell it was there because of the vibration/noise. This incident made me think that flats on a road bike were undetectable.
- I rode clipless which scared me in traffic.
I've since started to carry my bike lock in my backpack so now I can hear my bike. I've also replaced my awesome clipless pedals with regular ones which made me feel much more comfortable in high traffic. Not fearing death actually made me faster with regular pedals in the city.
Commuting on the road bike is a blast. I love passing everyone, and now that I figured out how to properly use both brakes, I can actually stop almost as quickly as I could on my fat tired mountain bike.
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