Sadly many road bikes can not fit a proper tire for rough roads. 23mm tires may be optimum for competition but most people are better served by having meatier tires. I usually run 25mm tires because my frame cannot take a 28mm tire in back unless I deflate it to put it on or remove it. There is no reason why every road frame shouldn't have clearance for at least 28mm tires. I understand that even short reach brakes can fit a 32mm tire if the frame is built so the pads are at the bottom of the slot.
So glad you started this thread as I was ready to start criticising my beloved city (Edinburgh) after changing from my hybrid to the road bike this weekend.
As a heavier chap I tend to have my tyres rock hard and have to say that as well as being dissapointed with the overall mess of the streets (grit, stones, leaves etc) I felt every little bit of bump in the road and due to a hard winter (well, hard for us anyway) there are an awful lot of them. After 3 hours my bum thought it was 8 years old again and had been a very naughty boy. Ouch!!
I do have to say though that over the years Edinburgh has tried to promote cycling (and doing so safely) and as well as introducing cycle lanes on a lot of roads they have opened up a number of disused railway lines and converted them into cycle paths and also regenerated a couple of canals that you can now cycle on from Edinburgh to Glasgow, which I thik is about 50-60 miles. Great rides and great scenery.
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"It's a great feeling to be heading outside to ride after being on the trainer all winter, but be careful! Spring road conditions can present a significant hazard if you're not paying attention. Cycling blog www.bikingtolive.com advises keeping an eye out for the following:
Four Things To Watch For
1.Sand and Gravel. The problem for cyclists occurs after the snow and ice melt. The sand and gravel that was used to cover the roads is left behind after the snow and ice melt leaving it thick in some areas or just lightly coating the surface in others. You need to be cognizant of this potential hazard because hitting a patch of loose sand or gravel can easily cause you to face plant.
2.Debris. Remnants from branches being broken off trees due to the ice and snow make it very easy for an unaware cyclist to lose control or puncture a tire.
3.Wet areas. Snow melt and spring rain create wet roads. At a curve, or corner, take some extra care because having a wheel slide out from under you while diving into a corner at high speed could get ugly.
4.Potholes. These are problems even outside of winter but winter conditions have a way of making existing ones worse and making new ones at an exponential rate. There are some you could potentially lose yourself, your bike, or your car in. Or all three if you're carrying your bike on a trunk rack. Seriously. It's terrible. The harsh winter only makes it worse. Be extra vigilant and look ahead for potential holes that could catch your front wheel and end your cycling season prematurely."
Feel free to add any other "head's up" suggestions for us out on the road!
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