Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts
Which bit are you cutting off?
On the comparison between mtb and road
comparing my two roadies (the Europa and the Black Beast) with my horrible hybrid (the Sow's Ear which seems to be made out of hollowed railway line wearing 700x35 el cheapo, heavily treaded tyres) and with my old Diamondback mtb (the Mauve Monster which is even heavier than the Sow's Ear) - there is a distinct increase in effort going from road to hybrid to mtb. In fact the MM is so hard to push along, that I've taken tag-along tug duties away from her and returned them to the Sow's Ear. That was with slicks (it's worse now with the nobblies of course). Note - that's 'effort', not 'speed', I don't have a computer on the mtb.
With my range of bikes, I would seriously consider the mtb for shorter commutes only ie, 10-15km.
If you need to commute further, maybe an eighties roadie is worth looking at - cheap, still relatively easy to find, increasingly common strangely enough (people getting fed up with the modern fare?) and you'd have fewer fears about leaving it chained to a fence while at work compared to your 'good' bike.
I had a good bike ... so I fixed it
How hilly is your commute? How hard do you push it? Do you sprint any sections?
$1950 '07 OCR C3 9.5kgs 700x23 100 PSI can make a 25 average over 15km
$995 '05 Trek S500 Navigator ~13kgs with 80 PSI 26x1.5 Bontrager Satellite Pro tyres can barely get 21 average on the same route
$950 '07 Giant Alias with knobblies feels even slower, but I don't have a computer on it yet.
Both the MTB and hybrid are cheaper, but neither are "$400 dungers".
If you're on the flat, and doing an even pace, you might not have much difference. If your ride includes serious hills that you attack hard, or sprints that you make on the drops it's bigger.
To me it's like this: When I hop on either of the heavier bikes, they feel fine at first, good even. They're alright to cruise around on. The instant I attempt a hill climb or a fast sprint on either, it's like pedalling through mud in comparison. YMMV.
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