If your roads are really that bad, you might consider a mt bike. I
commute on mine (it's the only bike I have right now) and feel much more
secure on it, mainly because I don't have to worry about bumps, small
potholes, small pieces of glass, etc. and I have more manuverabliltiy on
it when drivers cut me off or some other reason for evasive action
(riding singletrack has additional benefits other than just getting
better at riding singletrack).
But some things to consider: If you buy a mt bike sized correctly for
off-road use, it will usually be a size or two samller than your roadie,
and hence less comfortable after some amount of time in the saddle. On
my bike, after more than 20 miles my neck and shoulders start to ache
because of the angle I must hold my head up to see sufficiently far down
the road (not so bad on the trails where I'm more concerned with what's
immediatley in front of me).
If you use your mt bike for both road commutes and true off-roading
(like I do) and can't afford two sets of wheels (like me) then you are
either always switching tires between smoothies and knobbys (which I
don't do) or riding on less than optimal tires for the traveling
surface. My commute is only 7 miles one way, so riding on knobbies at 80
psi is not so bad, plus it allows me to take the "long" way home
sometimes (25 miles, 1/2 on road, 1/2 off road). But using smoothies on
the road can be very fast.
If your mt bike has front suspension, then it probably weighs more than
you roadie, so you'll be pushing more weight around.
If you are a strong rider and/or have lots of hills to go down, then you
will easliy top out the big chainring of a mt bike while riding on the
road, so expect to buy a larger one.
These are the major points that I have come across. My advice is to
stick with your roadie unless your roads look like my trails, or if you
plan on getting into mt biking.
> Last week Dateline ran a piece about the booming bike theft market in
> I was surprised to see that all the messengers use front shock mt
> bikes. I've never been to NYC so didn't know.
> Does a mt bike really make a better "urban ***" bike than a road
> bike? How good are they for commuting?
> I currently have a road bike... but mainly commute and am thinking of
> getting a mt bike since roads can be so bad.