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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 09-27-07, 10:10 AM   #1
Leiniesred
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Why are most commuter bikes OLD?

Why are most commuter bikes OLD?

My wife asked me this a couple of nights ago as I maintained my 1986 Specialized Rockhopper commuter.
I told her I think it is because old bikes are lower theft risk and most commuters get parked outside all day.
In addition, They just don't make 'em like they used to! Any bike that has already survived 20 years is obviously low maintenance and that is what a commuter needs in a bike that gets ridden almost every day.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:15 AM   #2
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Yesterday on the train, a girl asked me if my '80 Miyata was a new bike.
Me: "What year were you born?"
Her: "1985"
Me: ... "noooo - just a different one."
Her: "Oh - it's pretty"
Me; "Thanks"
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Old 09-27-07, 10:16 AM   #3
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Personally the only thing I'm interested in these old bikes are the frames. I like to strip them apart and convert them to my taste.

What's nice is they often have touring-like geometry, all the mounts you need to put racks and fenders and horizontal dropouts, all that on 26" wheels.

What else can you ask more? They just don't make these anymore.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:19 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by truman View Post
Yesterday on the train, a girl asked me if my '80 Miyata was a new bike.
Me: "What year were you born?"
Her: "1985"
Me: ... "noooo - just a different one."
Her: "Oh - it's pretty"
Me; "Thanks"

pix(of the girl)plz
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Old 09-27-07, 10:27 AM   #5
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I roll on a 21 year old, 27 pound steel with friction shifters. I like it.

If you have the means...and want to drop a grand or 2 or 3 on something with modern components and roll on carbon or Ti...more power to ya.

Anything that keeps you off the couch and keeps a Wide Load sign off your *****.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:33 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by truman View Post
Yesterday on the train, a girl asked me if my '80 Miyata was a new bike.
Me: "What year were you born?"
Her: "1985"
Me: ... "noooo - just a different one."
Her: "Oh - it's pretty"
Me; "Thanks"
Um...huh?
I mean, I like it. It's like early William S. Burroughs. But I have so many questions!
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Old 09-27-07, 10:37 AM   #7
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I roll on a 21 year old, 27 pound steel with friction shifters. I like it.

If you have the means...and want to drop a grand or 2 or 3 on something with modern components and roll on carbon or Ti...more power to ya.

Anything that keeps you off the couch and keeps a Wide Load sign off your *****.
+1. I commute on a 1972 Paramount, 1973 World Voyageur (Both Schwinn) & a 1981 Trek 710. Old works for me as it is usually cheap & easy. New is cool too but I like messin' with stuff.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:38 AM   #8
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I specifically bought a NOS (New Old Stock) bike frame from the mid 90's (Schwinn Passage) for my commuter because it was cheap and had downtube shifter bosses and eyelets so I could get away without having to buy (relatively) unreliable brifters and could mount a rack and permanent fenders.

For a while, most of the road type bicycles, from the entry level to the top, lacked niceties that differentiate commuter bikes from road bikes. These features are starting to come back now with offering from Surly and Raleigh and others, but at the time, I was looking for something under $200 to replace a crashed and bent frame, and the only thing I could find in that price range was house brand SuperGo/Performance, which didn't offer anything that would attract a commuter.
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Old 09-27-07, 10:56 AM   #9
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You can keep your old relics. I prefer a more modern machine:

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Old 09-27-07, 11:06 AM   #10
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Mine is old because I'm broke.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:09 AM   #11
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probably a couple of reasons.
First, most bike storage is outside and ppl don't want to leave their high end machines outside exposed to the elements. Second, and related, ppl don't want to risk having nice, new machines stolen. If a beater gets snaged it's not the end of the world. Additionally, ppl might not want daily commuting mileage causing wear and tear on a newer machine that gets used for weekend rides, racing, training, fun, etc. Another factor might be that cyclists often have emotional attachments to their bikes. Many older bikes are also more comfortable to ride than a modern road bike and they suffice for short commuting type rides. Commuting a few miles on a slow old comfy bike is nice. Doing a long weekend ride on one isn't. Vice versa for a road bike. Then there's the utilitarian aspect. Since bike commuters tend to be utilitarian, and we probably all see the value in a bike that still works, we don't see a need to just pitch an old bike for something else.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:24 AM   #12
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I'll hopefully be picking up an old Fuji Palisades or an old fuji touring bike in the next week or so. I had to get rid if my Schwinn Le Tour iV in Strawberry red because it was too small for me.
Riding a 07' Fuji Touring bike now which with the exception of the STI shifters and extra gears is probably the sam as the '83 Fuji Touring bike. My '07 even has a quill stem and weighs over 27lbs so it ain't any lighter.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:37 AM   #13
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I ride a 46 pound wrought iron velocipede
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Old 09-27-07, 11:39 AM   #14
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I like old because the frame is usually steel, which I prefer.

ooops! two of my commuter bikes has AL frame. I hope I didn't hurt their feelings.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:40 AM   #15
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I ride a 46 pound wrought iron velocipede
Oooo! A new lightweight one! Cool!
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Old 09-27-07, 11:44 AM   #16
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I thought my 1990 Trek 1400 with 7 speed and down tube shifters was old!
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Old 09-27-07, 11:47 AM   #17
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pix(of the girl)plz
Man I must be getting old, I had to think about it for a second to see if 1985 is "legal". I was born in '82.

That being said, I try not to shop for any bikes younger then me. I ride a '73 Peugeot and a late 80's (?) Raleigh. Just sold my '77 Free Spirit cruiser.

And yes, +1 on the "mine is old because I'm broke"
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Old 09-27-07, 12:38 PM   #18
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I took my 1991 Diamond Back Ascente into the local Performance shop yesterday because the crank was loose. The mechanic was great, answered some questions I had about lighting very politely. Didn't treat me like an uncouth, unwashed non-racer. Asked him to schedule an overhaud because it was 15 years old and he said "why, i'd like to take your money but its in great shape, bring it back next spring."
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Old 09-27-07, 01:09 PM   #19
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Man I must be getting old, I had to think about it for a second to see if 1985 is "legal". I was born in '82.
+1.

"1985 is a year yonger than my brother, my brother is two years younger than me, therefore 1985=little kid... Um, wait... 1985 = 22 years old. How old am I again?" *long pause* "Holy jeebus! Surely not!"

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Old 09-27-07, 01:14 PM   #20
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Man I must be getting old, I had to think about it for a second to see if 1985 is "legal". I was born in '82.

She's sorta cute but bless her heart, with her braces she could pass for about 14.
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Old 09-27-07, 01:16 PM   #21
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I roll on a 21 year old, 27 pound steel with friction shifters. I like it.

If you have the means...and want to drop a grand or 2 or 3 on something with modern components and roll on carbon or Ti...more power to ya.

It's a good point... 20 years from now are those Ti and CF frames going to be suitable for commuting? I personally doubt the CF frames will be around...

So what will be used for the commuter bikes of the future?
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Old 09-27-07, 01:23 PM   #22
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Old is relative when it comes to commuter bikes. My 1986 Marin has parts that range in age from 1986 to Tuesday of last week. How old is it my bike? Depends on which angle you are looking at it from.
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Old 09-27-07, 01:28 PM   #23
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It's a good point... 20 years from now are those Ti and CF frames going to be suitable for commuting? I personally doubt the CF frames will be around...

So what will be used for the commuter bikes of the future?
I don't know. Some on this board have some older CF bikes that work just fine for them (don't know if they get abused from a commute too much) and some others commute on CF. Time (and the riders level of fitness) will tell of its durability.

But when mwrobe1 has some more $$$ to spend on bike schwag...I'm dropping the coin on a Surly LHT (steel) and when I have a little more $$$$ I may look into a Ti build.

I can wait.
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Old 09-27-07, 01:29 PM   #24
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I ride two different old bikes because it rains here about half the year and I'm not about to clean my entire ride twice a day when it's raining. I let them get really dirty.
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Old 09-27-07, 01:36 PM   #25
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No point in getting a nice new modern bike with a 3 pound frame for thousands of dollars only to throw rack, fenders, lights, lock, and 20 pounds worth of crap on it. Turn the question around - why would you get a modern bike to turn into a commuter over simply spending $100 on bike and outfitting it as you need?
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