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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 03-02-17, 07:41 AM   #1
jimmie65
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Giant Defy

My daily commute is about 10 miles each way. Been doing it on my Giant Escape for a while now.
I've got a chance to pick up a Giant Defy really cheap. I think it's a 2015 Defy 3, in good mechanical condition. It's a large frame, so should be the right size (I will definitely test ride it).
The Defy will take a rack and has ample room for water bottles, handlebar bag, etc., so it would be a good commuter.

I'm concerned with switching from an upright hybrid to a drop bar bike. I haven't ridden a drop bar road bike since high school (33 years ago!), other than a Cannondale that I tried and hated.
The Defy seems to have a non-aggressive profile and, from what I've read, I can put a 2" riser on the bars without changing cables.

Any advice or thoughts on switching to a drop bar bike for commuting, specifically the Defy?

I suppose the worst case scenario is that I buy it, don't like it, and then re-sell it.
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Old 03-02-17, 07:59 AM   #2
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I suppose the worst case scenario is that I buy it, don't like it, and then re-sell it.
Yep. This.

It's not as big a transition as you think. It might take you a few hundred miles to get used to it.
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Old 03-02-17, 08:08 AM   #3
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Just changed to drop bars again after long absence. I have a 35 degree riser stem an shallow drop bars on an all city space horse. Its been really nice for a 60 yo man. The bike handles better or at least more to my taste. Give it a shot as long as u can afford it
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Old 03-02-17, 10:59 AM   #4
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Just changed to drop bars again after long absence. I have a 35 degree riser stem an shallow drop bars on an all city space horse. Its been really nice for a 60 yo man. The bike handles better or at least more to my taste. Give it a shot as long as u can afford it
I like this setup. I will give it a try.
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Old 03-02-17, 12:43 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
Any advice or thoughts on switching to a drop bar bike for commuting, specifically the Defy?
1)You don't have to have the handlebars very low.

2) For commuting I suggest getting secondary "interrupter" brake levers on the upper portion of the handle bars. These function like the dual handle brake levers of the 70s 10-speed boom, except they are connected by the brake cable, and not a rigid mechanical link. This will let you have quick access to braking when you are riding the uppers which gives you a slightly more upright position which can help with visibility in slow, busiy traffic situations.

3) Consider a glasses-mount or helmet mount mirror. This will let you visually sweep through your rear surroundings with just minor head movement, which helps when you are leaning forward while gripping the brake hoods, or even lower on the drops.

4) I rarely ride in the drops anymore, just when pushing agains a stiff wind.
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Old 03-02-17, 03:27 PM   #6
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Just changed to drop bars again after long absence. I have a 35 degree riser stem an shallow drop bars on an all city space horse. Its been really nice for a 60 yo man. The bike handles better or at least more to my taste. Give it a shot as long as u can afford it
lol I don't know if I would call those drop bars...
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Old 03-02-17, 04:10 PM   #7
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lol I don't know if I would call those drop bars...
I dont know if I'd call you a rube either.
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Old 03-02-17, 04:12 PM   #8
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Giant is the Brand, Defy is the model , you like the shop that sells those?

or used . a frame and a bunch of parts.. it straight? The consumable parts in good shape?






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Old 03-02-17, 04:14 PM   #9
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I dont know if I'd call you a rube either.
touche'!
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Old 03-02-17, 04:17 PM   #10
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touche'!
Actually I'm just an old man thrilled to not need a car. Old ladies at the aldi think I'm homeless.
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Old 03-02-17, 05:34 PM   #11
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That's ok. Low expectations are your friend. Nowhere to go but up.
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Old 03-02-17, 06:46 PM   #12
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Now the place (pawn shop) wants to dicker on price. Still a good price, but not as low as they told me they would go.
I'll give them a couple of days and go back.
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Old 03-02-17, 07:20 PM   #13
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Old ladies at the aldi think I'm homeless.
Nah, you'd have to flip the bars over for that.

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Old 03-02-17, 08:54 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by jimmie65 View Post
My daily commute is about 10 miles each way. Been doing it on my Giant Escape for a while now.
I've got a chance to pick up a Giant Defy really cheap. I think it's a 2015 Defy 3, in good mechanical condition. It's a large frame, so should be the right size (I will definitely test ride it).
The Defy will take a rack and has ample room for water bottles, handlebar bag, etc., so it would be a good commuter.

I'm concerned with switching from an upright hybrid to a drop bar bike. I haven't ridden a drop bar road bike since high school (33 years ago!), other than a Cannondale that I tried and hated.
The Defy seems to have a non-aggressive profile and, from what I've read, I can put a 2" riser on the bars without changing cables.

Any advice or thoughts on switching to a drop bar bike for commuting, specifically the Defy?

I suppose the worst case scenario is that I buy it, don't like it, and then re-sell it.
Last year, I arrived at my sister the cyclists house (2400km tour). In asking if she had a drop bar bike I could try, see if I could ride one. Her friend had a Giant Defi II for sale. Well he offered to let me try it the week I was visiting. I fell in love with it about the second day. I did buy it, shipped it home. I have since raised the bars, and brought them back to make it perfect for me. I have a rear rack on mine, as I travel everywhere with my city saddle bag. Real fun to pack a lunch, and some foul weather gear. Rip off a century on a Sunday, ha-ha and I have more than once last fall.

As others have suggested. You can always use it as a second ride until it is a natural.

Hope this helps,

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Old 03-02-17, 08:59 PM   #15
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Its been really nice for a 60 yo man.
Giv'm hell Russell, ha-ha.
I hope I can enjoy riding (lots of riding) as much as you do.

Mile-on Man !



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Old 03-02-17, 10:11 PM   #16
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When you get your new bike, take it for a few spins on the weekend. Then realize that your body will take some time to adjust to your new position. Ride on the tops then spend more and more tine on the hoods and then a little in the drops. I just set aside my regular gendered commuter that has less drop and reach than my more serious road bikes and it has taken my about 110 miles this week to feel like I belong. This is a bike I regularly road 100+ miles last spring.
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Old 03-03-17, 06:28 AM   #17
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I'm going back to bargain with them tomorrow; will let you know how it goes.

I was actually hitting the pawn shops (evidently, there's a merger going on and prices have been cut drastically on old inventory) looking for a upgrade to my beatup Motebecane. They had a gorgeous Rockhopper 29er, excellent shape, reduced to $50. Sadly, it was a 23" frame. I may grab that as well and flip it, though.
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Old 03-03-17, 08:30 AM   #18
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Giv'm hell Russell, ha-ha.
I hope I can enjoy riding (lots of riding) as much as you do.

Mile-on Man !



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I think u put up more miles than I do.... Only had 3000 last year, but nobody enjoys it more than I do. Hell I think I will be car free sometime this year. What's crazy is I am going to have only one bike. I think I need an intervention.
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Old 03-03-17, 12:47 PM   #19
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To the original poster, the Defi is a great first drop bar bike (from my experience), less aggressive geometry, light and fast. Only down fall, narrow when it comes to tires, and or fenders. It was not intended for those things. Mine, I struggled to get a 28mm drive tire on it, but did.
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I think u put up more miles than I do.... Only had 3000 last year, but nobody enjoys it more than I do. Hell I think I will be car free sometime this year. What's crazy is I am going to have only one bike. I think I need an intervention.
I don't care if I did get a few miles on you last year. I'm hope I may be on par with you on enjoyment, but not in any manner surpassing you.

Well, I posted my March goal of 250 miles in with the Clydes (I'm back there, ha-ha) but it is cold again. -18C yesterday, -21C this morning. The sun in powerful though, should be above freezing by Sunday. I'm itching to try my go-fast bike soon (Defi II).



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Old 03-03-17, 03:07 PM   #20
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don't negotiate until you test ride it. spin the wheels, test the brakes & shifting. look for flaws & mention them. look at wheels while they spin from the top for side to side wobble & from the side for up & down wobble. when you're ready ... take the cash out of your pocket put it on the table & say this: "I'll give you this right now" if the bike is perfect & you get it for your price, terrific. never be afraid to walk - too many bikes out there plus you already have a bike

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Old 03-04-17, 11:28 AM   #21
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Nah, you'd have to flip the bars over for that.

Saw someone on CL selling a bike with the bar flipped this morning.
I don't think I'll be trying that.
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Old 03-04-17, 12:10 PM   #22
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Turned out to be slightly older than I was thinking (2011 or maybe 2012). However, couldn't find anything wrong with it other than the bar tape, the crappy pedals, and some dings from being stored. But I mentioned a new saddle, new tires, etc. and got the price down to $200.

Needs: new pedals and a higher stem. I've got some saddles to try on it, and a trunk rack laying around the garage.
The tires are slick so I will upgrade those to something better for the road surfaces I ride. I have some Giant 32mm tires, but I don't think I can fit those in.

I'm going to use it for weekend rides for a while, until I get used to the narrower tires and the drop bars.
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Old 03-04-17, 01:05 PM   #23
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That's a nice find. Congrats.
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Old 03-04-17, 10:57 PM   #24
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turned out to be slightly older than i was thinking (2011 or maybe 2012). However, couldn't find anything wrong with it other than the bar tape, the crappy pedals, and some dings from being stored. But i mentioned a new saddle, new tires, etc. And got the price down to $200.

Needs: New pedals and a higher stem. I've got some saddles to try on it, and a trunk rack laying around the garage.
The tires are slick so i will upgrade those to something better for the road surfaces i ride. I have some giant 32mm tires, but i don't think i can fit those in.

I'm going to use it for weekend rides for a while, until i get used to the narrower tires and the drop bars.
Hmmmmmm, your photo doesn't show up for me.
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Old 03-05-17, 05:52 PM   #25
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Hmmmmmm, your photo doesn't show up for me.
Can't seem to get pics to show from either Google Photos or Dropbox.
Here's a smaller pic uploaded.

Switched to a Adamo time trial saddle I have (it looks a lot better on the Defy than it did on the Escape). I will probably switch this out for a Selle Royal Ellipse like I have on my Escape right now.

Tilted the handlebars up a bit. The rise was surprisingly OK. Every bike I own has a riser added to the stem, but doesn't appear I'll need to on the Defy. I'm going to try the current stem for a longer ride, maybe next weekend, but I'm thinking the same length with a 20-30 degree rise.

Kept the 25mm tires and rode about 10 miles. Felt pretty good, though I am still not sure about the tires if/when I start commuting on this bike. We'll see after my first longish ride.

Next up is a handlebar bag. I don't want to weight the bike down with a trunk rack if I can avoid it. I can haul clothes in once a week to the office so I don't have to lug too much daily.

The weirdest part of the ride was using a helmet-mount mirror instead of a handlebar mount. I have monocular vision and my left eye is my weakest, so I have to close the right eye to use the mirror.
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