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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 04-05-07, 09:22 PM   #1
abdunplugged
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newbie commuter-what kind of bike would be best?

i currently have a raleigh 18 speed mountain bike. nothing special. fun bike, but it doesn't seem like it's the best bike for long distance commuting.

what's the best type of bike for communting or just long distance riding? 10 speed i'm guessing?

THANKS
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Old 04-05-07, 09:39 PM   #2
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When you say "10 speed" I'm assuming you're thinking of the drop style handlebars:



Not necessarily the best for every commuter.
What you want is a frame that is relatively light (but sturdy - so aluminum or steel).
It should be able to mount a rear rack, and have a longish chainstay (the distance between the bottom bracket [where the pedal cranks attach] and the rear dropouts [where the rear wheel attaches to the bike]).
And also slick tires (they don't have to be really skinny, but rather very little tread, and higher pressure.

There a lot of bikes that will fit that bill. Even your old Raleigh could have some slicks put on, and be a serviceable commuter.
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Old 04-05-07, 09:45 PM   #3
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Or he means 2x5 10 speed...
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Old 04-05-07, 09:45 PM   #4
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Long distance riding? Check the forum devoted to that. Really long distances? Check the touring forum.
I commute on a purpose-built loaded touring bike, a Bruce Gordon BLT. You might want to start on something a little less pricey. In the Denver snows I used a mountain bike.
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Old 04-05-07, 10:01 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abdunplugged
i currently have a raleigh 18 speed mountain bike. nothing special. fun bike, but it doesn't seem like it's the best bike for long distance commuting.

what's the best type of bike for communting or just long distance riding? 10 speed i'm guessing?

THANKS
Define long distance. For some people 10miles is long, for some 200+miles is long.
Bikepacker67 offers some good points. There are really tons of options out there. Only limiter will be your budget. How much are you looking to spend?
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Old 04-06-07, 08:42 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abdunplugged
i currently have a raleigh 18 speed mountain bike. nothing special. fun bike, but it doesn't seem like it's the best bike for long distance commuting.

what's the best type of bike for communting or just long distance riding? 10 speed i'm guessing?

THANKS
How long is your commute?
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Old 04-06-07, 10:00 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by abdunplugged
i currently have a raleigh 18 speed mountain bike. nothing special. fun bike, but it doesn't seem like it's the best bike for long distance commuting.

what's the best type of bike for communting or just long distance riding? 10 speed i'm guessing?

THANKS
For commuting, just about anything will do. I commute by road bike or mountain bike with the split being 70% mountain bike vs 30% road bike since 1988 (1526 vs 668 trips, respectively). Some years I do ride my road bike more than the mountain bike but, overall, the mountain bike has been my commuter of choice for the 22 mile round trip.

For all of those mountain bike miles, I've also used knobbies on every single one which bucks conventional wisdom but it works for me (I have trails I ride on the way to and from work ). If my trip were longer I'd probably still keep the knobbies. You never know when a patch of dirt is going to call you On the other hand, if my commute was longer, I'd probably take a road bike anyway.

For road commuters, touring bikes are going to be your best bet. A Fuji Touring or the new LHT complete are relatively inexpensive (around $900 and change) and you can put all the racks and fenders on them you'll ever need. And they are tough as nails! A touring bike will probably outlast just about any none mountain bike out there.
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