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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 08-01-06, 11:14 AM   #1
Meek
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Newbie Commuter

Hello all. I just moved to So Cal and am starting a new job tomorrow. I plan to make a life change and commute to work. It is going to be initially a tough ride about 12 miles with some sizable 400-500 watt climbs. There are, however, some very fast long sections as well. I am torn about which bike to use and how to accessorize it.

Intially I was going to use my Langster set-up in SS mode with a 42-16, but I think the hills day-in and day-out will destroy me. So, my choices are my road bike which doesn't have eyelets in the rear or my mountain bike which I'll have to check for eyelets (98 C-dale F2000). I would like to have a rear rack and bags (panniers) for food and for some fresh clothes and other misc supplies. Obviously, I'll be faster on my road bike, but what kind of rack could I get? I dropped by a Performance bike and they had some rear racks that bolt on to the seatpost. Should I be weary of this since my seatpost (Easton EA30) is already probably crying since I weigh around 220 clothed? Off the top of my head, I am not sure if my mountain bike has rear eyelets either. I'll check, but it isn't nearby (storage unit). Naturally, if I do use the mountain bike, I'll get some slicks for it.

Thanks for thoughts...I gotta run to orientation now...wish I had more time to read old posts......

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Old 08-01-06, 11:32 AM   #2
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or you can forget the rack and haul the goods in a messenger bag or backpack.
I've gone from BackPack, to Panniers, back to BackPack, and now thinking of panniers again.

We have fairly secure bike parking and I think I can leave the saddle bags on the bike all day. They are such a hassle to take on and off. That's why I'm in Backpack mode right now.
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Old 08-01-06, 11:37 AM   #3
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Or you can get 1) a cyclocross bike (like I have ) or 2) a touring bike.
Both are much like a road bike, just a longer wheelbase, slightly heavier, etc.
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Old 08-01-06, 11:54 AM   #4
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Maybe you can just try all of your bikes and see which works best for you. If you rely on your bike to get to work, a backup is good to have.

The seat tube racks should be OK for 25 to 35 pounds, according to the manufacturers. Realistically, I never carry more than 10 or 12 pounds when commuting. That includes work clothing, lunch, tube & tools, a book, and the backpack itself.

You'll probably want to lose some weight if you're going to be riding that much. You'll be a lot more comfortable if you do.
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Old 08-01-06, 12:24 PM   #5
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I recommend trying with a backpack or whatever you already have. A little trying things helps me figure out what I really need. I ended up with a large flat fanny pack in a pinch this week and I love this thing. It's going to be my commute bag until I find I need to bring something too large with me.

Regarding the bike. I like the vision I have on the upright bikes and prefer them when commuting in traffic ...
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Old 08-01-06, 12:31 PM   #6
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I can whole heartedly reccomend a good messenger bag. I have a chrome and the more I use it the more I love it. Make sure and get one with a stabilizer strap. I would also err on the larger side. you will regret a bag that is too small way more than one that is sometimes too large.
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Old 08-01-06, 12:37 PM   #7
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Sounds like a good reason to buy a new bike. Or a new frame that you can swap the parts off one of your other bikes.

I would suggest a Surly Cross Check or Long Haul Trucker

Last edited by O-Town; 08-01-06 at 12:43 PM.
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Old 08-01-06, 12:44 PM   #8
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+1 on the too small mess bag I have a small mess bag and it sucks I just didn't like the looks of my bike after locking it a coupletimes so I got a beater
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Old 08-01-06, 01:00 PM   #9
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Oh for crying out loud. Go ride and tell us which is better.
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Old 08-01-06, 01:25 PM   #10
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Old Man Mountain sells racks for bikes without eyelets.
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Old 08-02-06, 12:10 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capejohn
Oh for crying out loud. Go ride and tell us which is better.
Rode the mtb today, got about 2 miles into it and my bag felt like it was going to snap my collarbone, so I stopped at Performance and bought a seatmounted rack. Bag barely fit on it. I want panniers. I'll get them as soon as I determine the size I'll need. Ride was about 25 miles. I am going to see if my aerobars fit on my mtb because I need more speed (got passed by a roadie) . Definitely need some slicks too...Tired, will read the sticky's tomorrow. Thanks

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Old 08-02-06, 08:23 AM   #12
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As always my recommendation is a rack trunk with a shoulder strap. Plentyful cargo, and easy to carry around in stores/work, etc.

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Old 08-02-06, 08:59 AM   #13
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P-clips will attach a rack to the stays if you don't have eyelets.

[e] Here's a pic of a rack attached w/ P-clips courtesy of KnoxBreezer.

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Old 08-02-06, 09:24 AM   #14
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Thanks for the pics.
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Old 08-18-06, 06:05 PM   #15
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So I have outfitted the Langster with a 42x16 and a seatpost clamped rack, and have been tying my duffel bag down. Seems adequate for now. I kinda miss resting my hand on my Ultegra 10 grifter, not really digging the old single brake levers. And I thought I was a true Luddite . I definitely need to find a rear brake as with a full load the front only isn't really providing much stopping power...
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