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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 09-21-06, 02:31 PM   #1
mcoons
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29er, Hybrid or Cross Bike?

So I’ve been going around in circles trying to decide which bike to get for commuting. I’ve been riding my Bianchi Pista fixed for the 8.5 mile – bike-bus-bike(3.5 + 5), which I really enjoy, but want to get something that I can put fenders/racks/panniers on… and ride through the winter. I’ve looked at the hybrids, like the trek 7300 or the Giant Cypress or the Bianchi Milano– and I’ve looked at the Cross-Check. I’ve been contemplating a 29-er, which would give me the option of off-roading, and if I ride all the way home from work – 23 miles, there are some rough shoulders with big potholes that effectively broke one of the rails on my seat last week...plus I want something that can handle some muck that we get in the winter - slush, snow, (but not enough Ice to warrant the studded tires).

If I put 700 x 30 slicks on the 29er, will it be fairly zippy? I’m not too concerned about the gearing (as I’m happy with 1). What about putting the 7 or 8 speed internal hub on?

The bikes I’m looking at are in the $4-900 range, but I haven’t found the exact right bike.

Anyone use a 29er Mountain Bike for commuting?
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Old 09-21-06, 02:46 PM   #2
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The issue with a 29er is fenders. If you don't want to arrive at work a mess you're probably going to want them. Most (but not all) 29er frames don't have fender eyelets. That in itself is not a huge deal but if you
're thinking about 700x30 tires you might be looking at several inches between your tires and fenders (assuming you can rig them on with p-clips, etc...). You might still find yourself getting sprayed, and there could be toe overlap issues. Unless you're planning on doing a LOT of off-road riding a bike built to take fenders that still offers significant tire clearance is the way to go in my opinion.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:50 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mcoons

Anyone use a 29er Mountain Bike for commuting?
I do - a geared Fisher Supercaliber, for a ~22 mile bike-path-and-city-streets round trip commute.

I use WTB Nanoraptor tires. They have a nice center ridge for surface rolling and enough tread to handle the local intermediate dirt trails with élan. I have a Miyata 310 road bike that I built up especially for commuting, but I keep going back to the 29er. This morning, I did the 9.8 mile route to the train station in just under 29 minutes, including a couple of stoplights, so it's not that much slower than a more aero bike. No fenders on mine, but it doesn't rain very much here.

I haven't put a rack on it - you may find that 29er frames tend to not have rack and fender eyelets (Surly Karate Monkey is a noteworthy exception), I just carry a light backpack, as I'm used to hauling a camelbak anyway.
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Old 09-21-06, 02:56 PM   #4
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double post...
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Old 09-21-06, 03:48 PM   #5
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A Cross Check is a more pratical solution for commuting but a 29er can work. As was mentioned you may have to work some to get full fenders installed, and they probably won't fit over a tire like the 2.35 Big Apple. If I could get a decent fender to fit over a 2.35 29er Big Apple I'd go with a Karate Monkey with On-One Midge bars as a commuter. You could go SS, fixed or hub gears with it. And the BA tires could handle anything.
Given the length of your commute a hybrid might be the inexpensive option but I'm guessing you will be dissapointed with one if you currently ride a Pista. I ride a track bike with bullhorns (Mercier Kilo TT) when its nice and an old touring bike (Schwinn Passage) converted to fixed gear with moustache bars for when the weather goes south.
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Old 09-21-06, 05:36 PM   #6
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How about a Raleigh One Way or Van Dessel Country Road Bob? I'm looking for a used fixie with fender/rack mounts and room for studded tires and those are at the top of my list.

I don't know what tire clearance the Raleighs have, but the CRBs can fit 700x45.
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Old 09-22-06, 02:50 AM   #7
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Figure out the max tyre size that you will need. For a long ride you should go as narrow as possible for efficiency. A 32mm should cope with any surface and a 28 may be OK in summer. Touring tyres can cope with light snow and slush.
Then figure out how close you can go for fender clearance, closer = more aerodynamic.
You could easily do your ride on a std touring bike or tour/cx style. If you can find an older tourer with horizontal dropouts it would make a good project for hub gear conversion.
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Old 09-22-06, 07:51 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TCNJCyclist
How about a Raleigh One Way or Van Dessel Country Road Bob? I'm looking for a used fixie with fender/rack mounts and room for studded tires and those are at the top of my list.
I don't know what tire clearance the Raleigh's have, but the CRBs can fit 700x45.
Any bike with horizontal dropout or track ends can be converted to a fixie. Any MTB and most touring/cyclocross bikes should be able to fit studded tires.
Some possible choices are:
Surly CrossCheck
Karate Monkey
1X1
Touring bikes from the 80s with canti brakes
Early rigid MTBs with horizontal dropouts.
Possibly the IRO Rob Roy

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Old 09-22-06, 08:06 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
Any bike with horizontal dropout or track ends can be converted to a fixie. Any MTB and most touring/cyclocross bikes should be able to fit studded tires.
Some possible choices are:
Surly CrossCheck
Karate Monkey
1X1
Touring bikes from the 80s with canti brakes
Early rigid MTBs with horizontal dropouts.
Possibly the IRO Rob Roy

Craig
I completely forgot about the Rob Roy. It'd have rack and fender mounts with the clearance for relatively large tires.
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Old 09-22-06, 08:25 AM   #10
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I use my Trek 520 and my Long Haul Trucker as rigid 29'ers (Cunningham racer, anyone?) and ride them just about anywhere. dirt, gravel, two track, moderate single track, fast loose descents, and road riding there is no equal to a drop bar road bike. these versatile 'cross type bikes ARE 29'ers as far as i am concerned.

go with the Crosscheck, you'll be very happy. Fatties Fit Fine. zippy, zippy riding.
put on uberfattie 35 or bigger tires to soak up the road, and knobbies if you want summer mudflinging. for some slush and snow, a TravelContact 37 would be a good tire. or something with even more agressive tread. maybe a marathon cross.
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Old 09-22-06, 08:45 AM   #11
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Bekologist, this has probably been asked before, but how did you get the water bottles mounted on your fork?
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Old 09-22-06, 11:17 PM   #12
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hose clamps to the lowrider on the LHT, and directly onto the midfork thrubolt and 1 bottlecage frame clamp each side on the Trek 520.

I've broken four cages fire roading it with the 520 this summer running 1 liter bottles in each; if i run 20 ounce bottles instead of liters they probably would do fine. i think the vibration transmitted directly thru the forks is a bit much on the bottle cages on dirt and rough stuff; not as much on the pavement. the ones on the long haul trucker are dampened by the lowrider and seem to be holding up allright.
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