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Thread: Newbie here!

  1. #1
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    Newbie here!

    Ok so currently I dont have a bike..why? becuase my brother stole it when he went to med school.

    I want to get in shape and hate running so I plan to get a bike here in the next week or so. I live in Lancaster PA..which has very nice open roads so I was thinking a nice used road bike like a trek 1000 would be a good starter..and a lot of fun. I found one cheap for 300 or so and am going to go check on it on saturday.

    Here is my question on the commuter side. How many of you guys use a road bike to commute? Its pretty skiny in the tire department and was wondering if it was a good commuter bike. I ask this becuase I plan to transfer to Philly in the fall and would be using it to commute to school.

    Any help is appretiated. Thanks.

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    I grew up in Lancaster too and have a few friends who still live in the area and commute to work on their road bikes.

    But I'm in Boston now and commute through the city. I personally wouldn't want a road bike for my commute - too many pot holes, curbs to jump, etc. I use an older MTB with slicks and it does the job (but am dreaming about building a single speed). If you want versatility for now and later, maybe look at something like a Kona Dr. Dew.

    And agreed on the running thing - only time I run is when something mean and ugly is chasing me...

  3. #3
    Senior Member Neist's Avatar
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    I actually use a road geometry track bike to commute. It has skinny 700x23c tires on it.

    If your roads are pretty nice, it shouldnt be too bad at all. Mine are a bit rough, but I just got used to it.

    I actually used to run, but my knees died, so I bought a bike.
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  4. #4
    Commuter First newbojeff's Avatar
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    I am also in Boston, but use a road bike. My commute is mostly on suburban streets with a last part that is very urban and I ride frequently on lousy roads. I switched from a hybrid to a road bike. What an improvement! Much faster and I'm much happier with drops. I was a little nervous about taking a road bike into Boston traffic, but it has been fine.

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    My bike came w/ 23c tires and I commuted on them until the rear one kinda wore through between the weight of me and the panniers and the weekly flats they lasted about 1000 miles. Then I switched to 28c michelin transworld city tires, which I mostly like because of the reflective sidewall. They claim to be kevlar belted and they do puncture less than the others did, but they are hardly bulletproof.

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    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    One of the major factors in deciding which bike to get will be distance. 5 miles and under and you can pretty much use any bike out there (that fits!) and carry stuff in a backpack.

    If it's more than that, you'll want something you can mount a rack on, and either a trunk bag or panniers to carry stuff. (Like books for class!)

    Carrying everything in a backpack when it's hot REALLY sucks, if you're going more than a few miles. You'll end up with your back drenched with sweat.

    I have a Raleigh that I use for commuting, with a rack on it. Paid $50 for the bike, and another $30 for the rack... $20 for new tires, and $25 for the computer I put on it. $15 for the new stem to make it fit better, and $10 for the new handle bar tape. Oh... and $5 for the cheap pedals.

    So... I have a comfortable commuting bike that I put $155 into.

    Some of the other things to worry about:

    If you're going to be riding in poor weather, you'll want fenders.
    And if you're going to be riding at night, you'll want a good light, and a good blinky or tail light for the back, as well.
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    so the general idea is that a trek 1000 would be bad for a commuter bike and I shouldnt get one. I am kinda torn..I am a college student and thus..dont have a lot of money, and can only really afford to have one bike.

  8. #8
    Senior Member spinerguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg
    My bike came w/ 23c tires and I commuted on them until the rear one kinda wore through between the weight of me and the panniers and the weekly flats they lasted about 1000 miles. Then I switched to 28c michelin transworld city tires, which I mostly like because of the reflective sidewall. They claim to be kevlar belted and they do puncture less than the others did, but they are hardly bulletproof.

    I agree with this poster, 23mm is just a bit scanty for everyday general use. 25/28 are more suitable at the day in/out.
    My road Cannondale has a Continental Ultra Race 25mm set which i'd definitely recomend for commuting despite it's name, quite dependable & grippy.

    Last year I commuted on a Trek 1000 & it held great but had to go because it was a tad bigger. I see quite a few commuters in all types of road bikes from Litespeed ti to the ss conversions. Go for it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Radiohead84
    so the general idea is that a trek 1000 would be bad for a commuter bike and I shouldnt get one. I am kinda torn..I am a college student and thus..dont have a lot of money, and can only really afford to have one bike.
    From my own angle the only real dealbreakers would be whether it has eyelets for a rack (non-negotiable) and fenders (location-dependent I suppose, but definitely required here; even then, my trailer-pulling bike I wired the fender stays to the eyelet-free front fork w/ copper wire). Tires can be replaced off the bat, or worn out and then replaced.

    Even the rack, for me, is 'cause I don't want to deal w/ a backpack or shoulder bag over the length of my commute. For a short ride, though, that shouldn't be a problem either.

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    alright I am going to a concert in philly on saturday ( wont say for who...most of u would laugh) but i plan to tstop by and check it out then. It looks like the road bike is in perfect condition. I am gonna try and talk him down toe 300 cause its 3 years old..but we shall see.

  11. #11
    put our Heads Together cerewa's Avatar
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    Here is my question on the commuter side. How many of you guys use a road bike to commute? Its pretty skiny in the tire department and was wondering if it was a good commuter bike. I ask this becuase I plan to transfer to Philly in the fall and would be using it to commute to school.
    A low-end road bike's frame, fork and handlebars are more than durable enough. The wheels will be durable enough if somebody takes care that they're true enough and spoke tension is good. You also have to make sure to run your tires at high enough pressure. (23mm tires should be fine as long as you don't let them get under 80psi and try not to ride more than a couple inches on a flat tire.

    One of the problems with road tires is that their rubber isn't thick enough. In Philly There are all kinds of really tiny sharp bits of metal (wire, nails and screws) and glass that can work their way through a kevlar-belted tire or a tuffy tire liner, but aren't big enough to go through a quarter inch of rubber (like you have on many MTB slicks). For that reason, i'd say either run a bike with MTB slicks AND tire liners, or run a bike with road slicks and tuffy liners AND an extra road tire cut up and put inside the main tire as a second liner to absorb the little pieces of metal junk. Easy option is the MTB that you can put slicks on
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    I just moved from Lancaster Co. and used a Cross-X bike with
    32's. No problem at all except for flats but that is more tire choice
    than anything else (cheepo's ).
    I ride a fixie with 23's here now on the same type of beaten up, bombed out farm roads
    and really feel I have to pick my line very carefully. Its not to bad now 'cuz I know my
    lines but up until then...yikes !!
    Get the bike you like and outfit it with good, flat resistant 32' s and I beleive you will be OK.
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