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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 11-02-06, 12:51 AM   #1
craiginho
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low-cost solutions

what are some ways to save dough on your ride?
saw somebody today who had fashioned fenders out of an orange fiberglass construction sign and have read about folks who make them out of plastic two liter bottles.
i picked up a pair of wrap around saftey glasses at the hardware store for $10. they're fog resistant and protect your eyes from bugs and bitter winds better than any $95 rudy project will.
anyone got tips on keeping dry on the cheap? ie: using baggies on your feet or the such?
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Old 11-02-06, 04:07 AM   #2
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These work great.

http://www.aosafety.com/diy/eye_deta..._platform_id=6

Lowes sells them for 9 bucks, so not the cheapest safety glass. I remove the arms and replace with elastic tied in a knot at ends to prevent pull through. 1/2" elastic from walmart is about a buck a yard.

The elastic keeps them snug to your face - and you can just pull em out and set them above your helmets visor for breaks, etc.
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Old 11-02-06, 08:26 AM   #3
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"anyone got tips on keeping dry on the cheap?"
I have seen a guy around town riding a bike with fenders & a bar to front hub wind shroud. Both were made from recycled political signs. Bonus is that in less than a week there will be lots of signs up for grabs.
"what are some ways to save dough on your ride?"
Keep your eyes peeled on early morning rides. I sometimes find cash on the pavement in front of bars & restaurants where people had parked the night before. Must have fallen out when they took keys out of their pocket. I'm talking folding money here!
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Old 11-02-06, 08:57 AM   #4
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The signs you speak of use a material called Coroplast. This stuff is wonderful and free if you don’t mind removing it from the sides of the road where they maybe illegal anyway. Steel wool will quickly remove any printing on it leaving the base color. If you want custom colors simply use the special paint in a spray can made especially for plastic that can be found anywhere paint in a spray can may be purchased. For projects made from Coroplast just search this forum using the word "Coroplast".
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Old 11-02-06, 09:05 AM   #5
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Also if you have sacrificial shoes available, duct tape is a pretty good and cheap windscreen and water repellant material. I've never actually done this but I would not hesitate. Lots of color choices now too. It doesn't ahve to be silver/gray anymore.

As for clothing - wool from thrift stores or military surplus websites/stores.

Someone has suggested shower caps for helmet covers.
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Old 11-02-06, 09:36 AM   #6
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Some of these have already been mentioned...

I got my rain gear at a thrift store. I paid $3 each for the jacket and pants. I also use a $2 shower cap over my helmet. And yes, 2.5 gallon zip-lock bags, over your socks will keep the water out. Just be sure to tuck the top of the bags inside your rain pants. I only do this if it is cold. I enjoy riding in warm-weather rain, without the rain gear.

The rear fender, pedals and seat on my shopping bike came out of my LBS dumpster.

I built the rear rack, for my commuter out of aluminum angles from Lowes. I think it cost me about $7.

If it is cool, (i.e. - not cold), tear a sleeve off an old t-shirt and use it as a skull cap, under your helmet. The top is open, but it keeps the wind off your ears and forehead.

After hunting season, Wally-world puts most of their hunting clothes on clearance. You can get wind/water proof gloves for $3 or less. Just as long as you don't mind riding around in camo or blaze orange.
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Old 11-02-06, 09:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
The signs you speak of use a material called Coroplast. This stuff is wonderful and free if you donít mind removing it from the sides of the road where they maybe illegal anyway. Steel wool will quickly remove any printing on it leaving the base color. If you want custom colors simply use the special paint in a spray can made especially for plastic that can be found anywhere paint in a spray can may be purchased. For projects made from Coroplast just search this forum using the word "Coroplast".
Unfortunately it seems that political signs in my area appear to have transistioned to a cheaper flexible vinyl stretched over a wire. I've been keeping an eye out for coroplast signs but it seems to have been phased out.
However the local coroplast distributer sold me a 4'x8' sheet of my choice in colors for $10 so still cheap. I used it to make fenders for a bike that stock fenders will not fit on:


Craig
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Old 11-02-06, 09:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by CBBaron
Unfortunately it seems that political signs in my area appear to have transistioned to a cheaper flexible vinyl stretched over a wire. I've been keeping an eye out for coroplast signs but it seems to have been phased out.
However the local coroplast distributer sold me a 4'x8' sheet of my choice in colors for $10 so still cheap. I used it to make fenders for a bike that stock fenders will not fit on:


Craig
OMG that is cool those are some pretty mighty tyres ye got there
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Old 11-02-06, 10:36 AM   #9
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Those tyres, rims and fenders conspire to make that a pretty crazy lookin' ride.
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Old 11-02-06, 10:50 AM   #10
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CB: look for condo signs on wooden sticks. They're made for coroplast and have that "bubble" thing in the middle like cardboard does.

And you'll help rid your city of such ugly spam.
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Old 11-02-06, 11:13 AM   #11
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For a splash guard for your front fender, cut a piece of plastic from a plastic anti-freeze bottle, or 4 gallon oil bottle.
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Old 11-02-06, 12:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by San Rensho
For a splash guard for your front fender, cut a piece of plastic from a plastic anti-freeze bottle, or 4 gallon oil bottle.
For mud-flaps, I use stair tread/carpet runner mat, bought by the foot at a hardware store. It is easy to trim and remains flexible at all temps. About 2 feet will make you enought flaps for a home fleet of bikes. I drill small holes through the mat and fender, and zip-tie them on.
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Old 11-02-06, 01:28 PM   #13
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I found my ski goggles for really cold weather at the local Arm-Navy surplus store for five dollars.
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Old 11-02-06, 01:48 PM   #14
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my singplespeed shimano DX cog cost about 4 dollars and has lasted through at least 3 years and 20,000 miles of singlespeed commuting.

most cost-effective bike part ever!

i been through at least 5 chains, two front rings, and three rear wheels in that time but the cog refuses to die.
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Old 11-03-06, 08:58 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alrocket
Those tyres, rims and fenders conspire to make that a pretty crazy lookin' ride.
Thanks.
Its mostly the tires and rims. The rims are 65mm the tires are 3.7" (Surly labels them 3.7 but the manufacturer Innova labels them 4.0). With the exception of the fenders this bike does not fit into the lowcost solutions category as the rims and tires are both priced around $100 each. However it does make for a great snow bike.
Craig
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Old 11-03-06, 10:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Map tester
For mud-flaps, I use stair tread/carpet runner mat, bought by the foot at a hardware store. It is easy to trim and remains flexible at all temps. About 2 feet will make you enought flaps for a home fleet of bikes. I drill small holes through the mat and fender, and zip-tie them on.

Interesting, may try that because the mat sounds like its much more flexible than the plastic I have. It tends to snag going up stair, over curbs etc.
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Old 11-03-06, 11:11 AM   #17
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I haven't bought myself any cold-weather gear for cycling yet, here's what I wear and it keeps me nice and warm, but not hot.

My legs/feet don't get special treatment yet - regular underwear, fleece pants (closed at the bottom by flourescent straps), very thin cotton socks with nice woollen socks over the top, and just regular trainers (running shoes).

Going from skin to exterior:

I have a Helly Hansen lifer-vest (name might be wrong) - basically a skin-tight/hugging long sleeved sportsvest thing, that is like an instant warmer when you put it on.
Over that, I've worn a long sleeve T, or a regular T - the regular just means my arms get a little more wind breeze - not uncomfortable, but noticeable.

I have a cheapy fleece scarf (black too, Ninja power! ) that closes the gap between my chin and my chest, as the hoodie doesn't cover it.

Over that, I put on a fleece hoodie, and use the hood as a skullcap, doesn't seem to restrict hearing and means I just have to ensure a proper look - as I sometimes have it obscuring part of my FOV when looking behind me.

Helmet over the hoodie, and I have some big thick gloves that I wear, no padding, they were a Christmas gift that I've been using for ice skating - never had cold hands once with them. They're Sportek branded, but I've no idea specifically what 'model'.

I have a proper waterbottle and cage, but I use a regular water bottle, a 750ml size right now which did pop-out on my ride home last night, but generally seems OK - I usually have a minimum of 2 bottles of water with any ride I do over 10 minutes, this is why I don't use my water bottle in the cage at times. (The spares go in my backpack).

Over my fleece and backpack goes a 3M lime-green flourescent vest that I picked up at a surplus / construction worker clothing type store for $15 CAD. I don't fasten it at the waste with the bag on, squeezes too much on my chest, but doesn't flap about.
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Old 11-03-06, 11:16 AM   #18
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My Helly Hansen vest thing is called a "Lifa vest" I think, here's a link to what looks to be the same thing:

http://www.hellyhansengear.com/catal...products_id=49

Can't remember what it cost me, I bought it on the advice of my Staffy in the military for those extra crisp cold mornings.

It's not windproof or anything crazy, but it provides the skin-tight heat reflection, a good base layer and it's not a pain in the ass to wear.

Oh, and mine is the black one - Cyclo-ninja power! (Actually, this is a trend stemming from my "I don't know or care about fashion, I'll just wear black" teen days)
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Old 11-03-06, 02:09 PM   #19
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Corrugated drain pipe, the black stuff, works for fenders/mudguards. Just cut in lengthwise into strips. Coat hanger wire can be used as supports. Makes for a tough, industrial sort of look.

I made myself some rain pants by sewing plastic sheeting onto some cheap track pants. Since I made them, it hasn't rained on me. So I guess they work great!
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Old 11-03-06, 03:13 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CBBaron
Unfortunately it seems that political signs in my area appear to have transistioned to a cheaper flexible vinyl stretched over a wire. I've been keeping an eye out for coroplast signs but it seems to have been phased out.
However the local coroplast distributer sold me a 4'x8' sheet of my choice in colors for $10 so still cheap. I used it to make fenders for a bike that stock fenders will not fit on:


Craig
Zounds! What in God's name are those tyres, Ryan?
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