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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 10-25-06, 02:17 PM   #1
Hydrate
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What would make a better commuter

I have 80 mile round trip my thought is to drive to work then ride home one day and in the next once or twice a week
I have a Trek 1500 and a 1988 Schwinn Sierra mtn bike, also a 1983 Schwinn World Tourist
Which would be better converted into a commuter
I am just looking for others opinions I know the final decision is mine, I am leaning towards the Mtn bike thought I could change out the bars and seat though with the smaller frame I have alot of seat post sticking out, but then the old Schwinns had alot there. Of course the 1500 is a lighter bike but shoter chain stays and no real braze ons
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Old 10-25-06, 02:20 PM   #2
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The classical opinion would probably be the '83 Tourist, with much debate raging between whether the 1500 or the Sierra would be a better 2nd place. If you're using a car one way every day, I say use the 1500 and enjoy the oppurtunity to take a 40 mile road ride every day, maybe using the Tourist with some fenders on rainy days.
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Old 10-25-06, 02:33 PM   #3
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Whatever you can sit on and is fastest for 40 miles is my vote. Remember to include all the stuff you have to carry w/ you in your calculations.
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Old 10-25-06, 02:37 PM   #4
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I agree with krazyglue. Use the 1500 to get in a nice 40 mile road ride. You won't need to be carrying anything other than tools, pump and water and the 1500 is much better designed for a long road ride than a MTB. The world tourist with fenders may make a nice poor weather commuter but with that kind of commute I might just try to avoid the wet days.
Now for a short everyday commuter the MTB may do fine but you are looking at a distance where efficiency and comfort are going to make major differences, instead of flexibility and the ability to jump curbs.
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Old 10-25-06, 02:54 PM   #5
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I happen to be the proud owner of a good condition 83 World Tourist. Saved it and its spouse from the scrapper.

I would vote for the World Tourist, it has a lot going for it. The steel wheel and older brake combination would be a concern in wet conditions when it comes to stopping. Definitely consider some salmon Cool-Stop pads as an upgrade. 27" tires are out there. My other reservation is the distance. I don't know if I'd go 80 miles on that bike very well.

Treat yourself to the 1500 on the nice days.
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Old 10-25-06, 06:41 PM   #6
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My original thought was the 1500 also but I was a little concerned about some of the city sections with the curbs and potholes.
I do like the idea of it just being a 40 mile road ride but I do have to go into town with the above mentioned hazards
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Old 10-25-06, 09:21 PM   #7
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Try slightly fatter tires with the 1500 to handle imperfections in the road surface. I have 28 mm Bontrager Xlite Race foldable tires - the actual width is 26.5 mm.
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Old 10-25-06, 11:12 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by AndrewP
Try slightly fatter tires with the 1500 to handle imperfections in the road surface. I have 28 mm Bontrager Xlite Race foldable tires - the actual width is 26.5 mm.
I'm liking the Soma Everwear 700x26 tires quite a bit.
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Old 10-26-06, 09:26 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
...I agree with krazyglue. Use the 1500 to get in a nice 40 mile road ride. You won't need to be carrying anything other than tools, pump and water ...
And a few spare tubes too. You would'nt want to be stuck 20+ miles away from your home Just because of a flat ...
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Old 10-26-06, 09:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrate
My original thought was the 1500 also but I was a little concerned about some of the city sections with the curbs and potholes.
I do like the idea of it just being a 40 mile road ride but I do have to go into town with the above mentioned hazards
My commute is only 8.5 miles but nearly all of it is on very rough city streets. I have a couple small curbs I bounce over every day and a half dozen rough railroad intersections plus numerous potholes and lots of broken pavement. I am 220lbs and ride hard so I hit these obstacles hard. My fair weather bike is a track bike that just barely fits 28mm tires. I have not had any problems with this bike under those conditions except for a little harsher ride than I would perfer some days. I did have some problems with wheel durability on 23mm tires but I didn't have any flats. You should have no problem fitting 28mm tires on your 1500. This would be the way I would go for your commute. Maybe add some SKS RaceBlade fenders for wet conditions.
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Old 10-26-06, 11:13 AM   #11
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Thanks for all the feedback I will look into the fenders and wider tires, I know the 1500 would be mch more efficiant ride
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Old 10-26-06, 11:45 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrate
Thanks for all the feedback I will look into the fenders and wider tires, I know the 1500 would be mch more efficiant ride
Will you ride in the rain? If I were in your situation, I would probably choose only dry days to ride, and take the 1500.

Also, you mention concerns about city potholes and curbs. Potholes can be avoided. Does your route require you to ride over curbs?

Also, I don't think your 1500 will take fenders easily.
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Old 10-26-06, 08:39 PM   #13
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Part of the route would sometimes put me on curbs
Rain well that can always happen
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Old 10-26-06, 08:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
I agree with krazyglue. Use the 1500 to get in a nice 40 mile road ride. You won't need to be carrying anything other than tools, pump and water and the 1500 is much better designed for a long road ride than a MTB. The world tourist with fenders may make a nice poor weather commuter but with that kind of commute I might just try to avoid the wet days.
Now for a short everyday commuter the MTB may do fine but you are looking at a distance where efficiency and comfort are going to make major differences, instead of flexibility and the ability to jump curbs.
Craig
+1 For a long commute, a fast, light, comfy bike is your huckleberry. Use the car to transport your stuff, and just carry the essentials. I used to use my touring bike for my commute, panniers loaded with what I needed for the day, but these days I prefer my xcross bike and a minimal load, driving once a week to take in fresh clothes and some munchies, and taking last weeks stuff home. I found that I could fit the essentials - including lunch and a jacket, into a Carradice Pendle saddlebag. If I run short or need to take the laptop or additional clothes, etc, I slap the panniers on my touring bike and ride it.

Another option is to park-n-ride, if you can find a good place to park, then ride the remainder, which is what I do in the winter and on days that might be iffy.

A long commute every day can wear you down, as well as eat into your time for other things. Running light can minimize that.
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Old 10-27-06, 08:00 AM   #15
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My original thought was the 1500 also but I was a little concerned about some of the city sections with the curbs and potholes.
As far as curbs are concerned, regardless of the bike you use you should be extremely careful (and not fast) entering and leaving sidewalks, since you otherwise are risking trouble with pedestrians, bikes and cars.

I'd vote for a road bike with kevlar-belted tires and tire liners. All the flat protection will slow you down some, but not as much as fixing flats would.
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Old 10-27-06, 07:29 PM   #16
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Hey I love all the opinions and since I will probably do this one or 2 days a week maybe beef up the tires as much as I can and go for the long road ride
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Old 10-27-06, 08:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hydrate
My original thought was the 1500 also but I was a little concerned about some of the city sections with the curbs and potholes.
Curbs? What curbs?

If you've got 40 miles to ride one way, you don't do it by riding on the sidewalk, cause it doesn't work. Nothin' but road. Feel free to ask questions in the Commuter or A&S forums if you are not comfortable riding in city traffic. There is a ton of resources on safe and efficient biking that does not involve any curbs.
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Old 10-27-06, 08:33 PM   #18
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re: last post

very true!
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