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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-15-16, 12:50 PM   #1
missmixte
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Linus bikes for commuting--why not?

About a month ago I bought a Linus mixte 8 because I hadn't ridden a bike regularly since I was a kid, I wanted something moderately upright, I liked the style, and I liked that it had a chromoly steel frame and 8 speed hub that I could shift while stopped at intersections. Oh, and it was on sale.

Since getting it I've commuted a hilly 7 miles each way to work a few times. I feel a little silly on it sometimes because it does tend to stand out with its sea green paint and fenders. Most commuters in DC seem to be on road bikes. And they are much faster than me, naturally, because they're in better shape, they know what they're doing, and their bikes are probably faster/lighter. But the Linus bike itself is fun to ride, feels smooth and fast when I try to make it go fast (which isn't that often).

Yesterday I got right hooked by a car while I was riding in DC. I was forced off the road, and no damage to the bike except the stem was pushed to the side and the wheel was put out of true. No scratches even, even though we collided with the car. The bike shop fixed it for me and I rode home. The bike shop guy told me he wasn't really a fan of Linus bikes bc they are more for just around town riding, not really for commuting.

This seems to be a common mindset from what I've read about Linus. Maybe part of it is that the marketing is geared more toward relaxed short trips. But am I really missing out on something by commuting on it and not on a different bike? I don't see why it wouldn't be able to handle commutes and longer rides. It weighs about 33 pounds. Is that freakishly heavy? What am I missing.
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Old 06-15-16, 01:07 PM   #2
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I think that's a really good looking bike and I see no reason why it wouldn't be just fine for commuting. The gearing seems fine and while it is a little heavy it's not excessive. DC is relatively flat and it's not exactly the biggest city, so it seems like the right tool for the job. I have a buddy with a Linus and his only complaint is some of DC's hills are a little tough. But his is only a 3-speed. The 8-speed gearing is much more efficient.
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Old 06-15-16, 01:56 PM   #3
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I don't see why they can't be. I've seen a lot of people recently using bikeshare to commute and Linus bikes look like they would be better than those. And I got passed by Arlington Cemetery hill yesterday by someone who was riding a Linus bike and it looked like it was a fixie. So no worries there. Personal fitness would definitely be a bigger factor than your bike. And besides, you should ride what you want/have.
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Old 06-15-16, 02:13 PM   #4
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I think it's all marketing that leads to the bike shop guy's attitude. Linus definitely pushes fashion over performance, giving him the impression that they're not Serious Bikes.
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Old 06-15-16, 02:17 PM   #5
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What's the difference between riding around town and commuting? If a bike can carry everything you want to carry and adapts well to fenders if you want them then it's a fine bike for your commute. Maybe the mindset is different in DC since so many commuters (in the general sense, not necessarily bike commuters) live so far from where they work. I commute on a road bike because it's what I enjoy riding. If you enjoy riding your Linus, it's a good choice for you.

Given your reason for visiting the LBS, perhaps the guy was picturing a bike messenger type rider darting in and out of traffic. I'm guessing you don't ride like that. If you did, you'd likely find that the Linus isn't nimble enough. But sometimes a car just right hooks you no matter how you ride and a nimble bike wouldn't help.

Also, 33 pounds is toward the heavy end of the range of newer bikes, but it's by no means unreasonable. In the 70's Schwinn called 30 pound bikes lightweights.
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Old 06-15-16, 02:20 PM   #6
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What's the difference between riding around town and commuting? If a bike can carry everything you want to carry and adapts well to fenders if you want them then it's a fine bike for your commute. Maybe the mindset is different in DC since so many commuters (in the general sense, not necessarily bike commuters) live so far from where they work. I commute on a road bike because it's what I enjoy riding. If you enjoy riding your Linus, it's a good choice for you.

Given your reason for visiting the LBS, perhaps the guy was picturing a bike messenger type rider darting in and out of traffic. I'm guessing you don't ride like that. If you did, you'd likely find that the Linus isn't nimble enough. But sometimes a car just right hooks you no matter how you ride and a nimble bike wouldn't help.
This is what I was going to say.
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Old 06-15-16, 03:08 PM   #7
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Bike shop guy just wants to sell more bikes. Your bike is just fine for commuting.
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Old 06-15-16, 03:19 PM   #8
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I would ride that bike, and I'm a dude. /shrug
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Old 06-15-16, 07:12 PM   #9
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I've ridden both a Linus mixte and the dutchie. Both are fine for commuting.
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Old 06-15-16, 07:54 PM   #10
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That's a sweet looking bike. People have ther own ideas of what is "right" to them. I use a Dahon folder to commute. It fits in my work car and rides w/me during the day to protect against theft or vandalism. 27 lbs empty and feels light to me. Looks like a pack mule some days. Another commuter saw me and said "That's a tank!". Funny, I thought his bike was way too high end for a commuter, and would worry about it all day long if it were mine. I can climb the same hills he does and am quite happy with my folder bike choice. He's been trying to talk me into a higher end road bike ever since! I agree w/the others, ride what you like. Another thing I've experienced is lotsa people talk bikes but don't seem to ever ride'm.
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Old 06-15-16, 09:32 PM   #11
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Nothing wrong with a Linus! If we're talking weight, a few of us here have you beat. Will Arnette rides a Linus in the Netflix series Flaked and I'm envious every time they have it on screen.
You wanna talk heavy, lemme tell you about my English 3 speed. That thing is a tank!
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Old 06-15-16, 10:42 PM   #12
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...But the Linus bike itself is fun to ride...
One of the most important features a commuting bike should have.

Don't worry too much about what other people ride. People drive all sorts of different vehicles to work too. There is no one right choice that works for everybody.

It sounds like you had a good idea of the criteria you wanted this bike to meet and the Linus does it. Enjoy.
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Old 06-16-16, 02:58 AM   #13
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Always thought Linus bikes looked good.. my 8spd igh is fine for commuting i've got one and do 36km round trip. 33lb isn't really heavy. As above people mentioned LBS guy wants to sell bikes.. nothing wrong with what you're riding.
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Old 06-16-16, 05:53 AM   #14
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The notion that commuting should only be done on racing or off-road mountain/hybrid bikes only exists in the U.S. Outside of the U.S. you'll find that nearly 100% of people commute on upright city bikes similar to your Linus and distances much longer than yours are not unusual on them. I've ridden 70-80 miles in a day on my upright Workcycles Opa that weighs more than yours and 30 mile days aren't unusual.

BTW, my wife and I have a number of road, touring, mountain, and hybrid bikes to choose from as well as a closet full of lycra. These only get used for recreational stuff. All of our daily riding and transportation is on uprights wearing whatever we'd wear if we drove our cars.


Bike shops in the U.S. sell bikes for recreation, bike shops elsewhere sell bikes for transportation and utility. You've got the nearly perfect bike for commenting. Enjoy it.

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Old 06-16-16, 06:19 AM   #15
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Bike shop guy just wants to sell more bikes. Your bike is just fine for commuting.
True. Also I suspect much of the chatter on BF about the need to spend more at an LBS for upgrades and "better" equipment in order to be "serious" about commuting comes from posters affiliated financially or emotionally with bike shops. Probably a lot of the "N+1" refrains are from the same source.
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Old 06-16-16, 09:16 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by missmixte View Post
The bike shop guy told me he wasn't really a fan of Linus bikes bc they are more for just around town riding, not really for commuting.

This seems to be a common mindset from what I've read about Linus. Maybe part of it is that the marketing is geared more toward relaxed short trips. But am I really missing out on something by commuting on it and not on a different bike? I don't see why it wouldn't be able to handle commutes and longer rides. It weighs about 33 pounds. Is that freakishly heavy? What am I missing.
I commute 12-miles on a upright Gazelle bike, which is a "town bike". Not the best choice...but I do it anyway.

I agree with the bike shop guy. Because they're not efficient. They;re not designed for big miles. You'll wish you're riding a sub-20# CF road bike on those really windy days, or if your route has hills.

I jump on my 20# road bike, and thought I this is so much easier. But there is something magical about riding a heavy, up-right "town" bike...it is so much fun. I find myself commuting on the "town" bike a lot more than the road bike. But if it's really windy, I grab the road bike...or just drive.

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Old 06-16-16, 09:40 AM   #17
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no reason, ride what-ever makes you want to ride it daily. Look out ! , be safe..

DC was built on a Swamp , it's not that hilly..

Looking up the Bike : http://www.linusbike.com/products/mixte-8

NB: you can or have a shop change the Hub Cog Bigger, and/or the Crank Chainring smaller, and lower all 8 gears of the hub as a Whole.
+ Chain length adjusted for the new combination..

Normal way of making the gear range of an IGH Better suited , for your needs.

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Old 06-16-16, 09:56 AM   #18
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BTW a Few years ago 2 guys from Sweden passed thru town on an adventure tour from Anchorage Alaska , To Miami Florida.

They were on step thru commuter bikes with that same Shimano Nexus 8 speed IGH.
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Old 06-16-16, 11:45 AM   #19
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BTW a Few years ago 2 guys from Sweden passed thru town on an adventure tour from Anchorage Alaska , To Miami Florida.

They were on step thru commuter bikes with that same Shimano Nexus 8 speed IGH.
haha, very cool!

Thanks everyone for the thoughts and encouragement! I'll just continue on it and not worry about being on a Not Serious Enough Bike. I want to get a vintage road bike at some point to experience what riding a road bike is all about, but for now I'll keep on going with this.

I think it's really interesting the differing opinions the brand seems to bring out. I didn't know much about the "fashion-y" marketing before buying but now I see they really do push that fashionable angle.

Andy_K, the bike shop guy actually was a bike messenger, he said, so you're exactly right that zipping through traffic like a bike messenger might be what he was thinking of! No I don't ride like that and most likely never will.
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Old 06-16-16, 12:14 PM   #20
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Charles Schultz' Linus (Peanuts Comics) had his security blanket .

Linus Pauling won 2 Nobel Prizes, 1 for Chemistry 1954, and the Nobel Peace prize in 1962.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_Pauling






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Old 06-16-16, 01:37 PM   #21
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No reason not to commute on that bike if you are happy with it. Linus bikes have great style and 33lbs isn't too heavy. If you want more speed, you can certainly find a bike to do it.
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Old 06-16-16, 02:55 PM   #22
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I commute 12-miles on a upright Gazelle bike, which is a "town bike". Not the best choice...but I do it anyway.

I agree with the bike shop guy. Because they're not efficient. They;re not designed for big miles. You'll wish you're riding a sub-20# CF road bike on those really windy days, or if your route has hills.

I jump on my 20# road bike, and thought I this is so much easier. But there is something magical about riding a heavy, up-right "town" bike...it is so much fun. I find myself commuting on the "town" bike a lot more than the road bike. But if it's really windy, I grab the road bike...or just drive.
I ride a porky LHT trucker every day with big hills on my commute. It generally tips the scales at well over 30 pounds and once in a while it hits a touch over 82 pounds. I don't wish for a sub-20#CF road bike. Ride what you have, and what is comfortable. Comfort is more important to me. I can get stronger.
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Old 06-16-16, 02:59 PM   #23
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I would ride that Linus. It's similar to my Electra, and I love it.
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Old 06-16-16, 04:56 PM   #24
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I'm not really a fan of unsolicited opinions by bike shop guys bc they are more for just bolstering their own opinion, and not really interested in yours. Here's a blog you may enjoy by a serious bike commuter who is more interested in fun and style than speed and snobbery.
Lovely Bicycle!
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Old 06-16-16, 09:56 PM   #25
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I'll add a late comment agreeing that the Linus looks fine for commuting, and don't worry about someone trying to sell you another bike, or being paid by the delivery. I commuted 7 miles for years on 35 lb English 3 speeds, so I haven't bought a Linus, but have seen many of them ridden in Philadelphia and the riders were all happy with them.

If you've only been riding the Linus for a month, you will likely get stronger and a little faster, but if you're commuting in Washington DC I don't think anyone (including the motorists) is really going to go fast.

I'm glad you weren't hurt in the right hook. In most cities, this can usually be avoided by merging from the curb into the lane before intersections, but there will still be drivers that turn right from the left lane. Also, from WABA posts, Washington DC may hold bicyclists liable for not anticipating motorists' traffic violations (https://medium.com/@ShaneFarthing/th...n-561c4c2ea191), so maintain enough space to compensate for aggressive or careless motorists. (I see no reason they can't apply the same standard to motorists that are careless to be hit by other motorists,but they don't.)
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