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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 10-04-07, 06:45 PM   #1
4am
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Newbie: Loving commuting and my bike

Hi.

I'm new to biking. Started out as necessity rather than choice when I lost my license. However, in the past 3 weeks, I've ridden 10-15 miles per day 7 days a week. I've upgraded from a really crappy old mountain bike with broken shifters to a nice new bike.

I'm really enjoying the Denali I bought at walmart. I know people with more experience do not like this bike much but I just love it! I was proud of myself for breaking 20mph today. Not much to someone who's been riding a long time, but to me, it was huge.

I've gotten rid of the saddle soreness and my legs feel great! The difference between a mtn bike and a road bike is amazing to me! The road bike with the dropped handlebars took some getting used to at first. But now, I really cruise compared to the 8mph I did on that mtn bike.

Anyway, just wanted to say I'm really enjoying commuting. I'm losing weight and getting better at it. And I would highly recommend the GMC Denali bike at walmart to any beginner who wants a fast bike under 200 bucks.

Peace!
-Heather
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Old 10-04-07, 07:19 PM   #2
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Welcome to the club! Some might scoff at the wal-mart bike, but cigtech had really good luck with his after making some adjustments.

I started with a $70 wal-mart bike (Next brand) that broke within about 6 weeks. You should have better luck with yours. Keep pushing those pedals.
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Old 10-04-07, 08:03 PM   #3
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Good for you! I've been commuting off and on all my adult life, and I still am surprised by how fun it can be.
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Old 10-04-07, 10:59 PM   #4
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Well, if you can deal with the many shortcomings of that bike then more power to you. I can wrench a bike and have built up a bike myself along with years of performing routine maintenance but I'd recommend a bike from your LBS any day over a department store bike. At the very least you have a relationship and decent service at your LBS which is something you'll never have from a department store. I won't even get into the quality issues.

A good quality bike is worth so much more in the long run than saving a few bucks on a cheap department store bike.
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Old 10-05-07, 04:08 AM   #5
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Well, if you can deal with the many shortcomings of that bike then more power to you. I can wrench a bike and have built up a bike myself along with years of performing routine maintenance but I'd recommend a bike from your LBS any day over a department store bike. At the very least you have a relationship and decent service at your LBS which is something you'll never have from a department store. I won't even get into the quality issues.

A good quality bike is worth so much more in the long run than saving a few bucks on a cheap department store bike.
Give the guy a break =)
Anything that gets you on the road is great in my opinion, and there's nothing wrong with buying something cheap to begin with. You may want to upgrade in the future, but in my experience that happens if you buy something pricier as well - you always want somehing better

Great to hear that you are riding, it is a lot of fun!
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Old 10-05-07, 10:06 AM   #6
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Thanks, guys. Yes, I am REALLY enjoying the bike alot. Since I don't know what I'm missing in a LBS bike, I get more bang for the buck.

I did take it to the bike shop the day I bought it an have them adjust everything. They seemed impressed that the bike came from walmart and wanted to know how much I paid for it. It works great since I had that $10 adjustment.

I'd say definitely make your first stop the LBS after buying a walmart bike. Mainly because they have no idea how to put a bike together!

Thanks!
-Heather
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Old 10-05-07, 10:23 AM   #7
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If I let you take my Trek 1200 out for a spin, you'd definitely know what you're missing in a higher-quality bicycle. The lower weight, the STI shifters, and more gears will be the obvious things to hit you first. The disparity in build quality is something you won't notice until your current bike starts to get tired. There is a huge difference, but it's never immediately obvious to the un-trained rider.

What matters is that you're out there having fun, still getting around legally despite your situation (thank you for actually honoring the license revocation, most people don't), and you're on your way to better health while saving money on transportation costs (gas, wear and tear, maintenance). It sounds like you're already hooked!
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Old 10-05-07, 10:38 AM   #8
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I was proud of myself for breaking 20mph today. Not much to someone who's been riding a long time, but to me, it was huge.
You should be proud of yourself. I've been riding for years, and I rarely break 20 miles in a day. I guess it all depends upon where and how far you need to go. My commutes around town are short, and most of my mountain-bike rides are probably in the 10-15 mile range.

Think of it this way: what percentage of people in this country break 20 miles/day on a bike? You're probably in the top 1% already, if not the top 1/10th of 1%.

So congratulations! And it's great to hear that you're having fun. That's what it's all about.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:38 AM   #9
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I was a canadian tire bike (aka walmart) commuter up till now. Don't regret buying that bike one bit. Got me addicted to cycling. It cost me $200, but factor in the $450 i've saved in gas alone and it more than paid for itself. Once i realized that i was definately going to continue commuting and i should probably upgrade; i was able to take my time, do my research and buy at my leisure. Last night i finally went and upgraded to a Giant OCR3 and it is of course superior in all respects. But i never would've bought it if i didn't "pass the test" on my cheap department store bike first.
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Old 10-05-07, 10:41 AM   #10
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Good for you, Heather! Welcome to the club!
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Old 10-05-07, 12:17 PM   #11
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It's a good place to start.

My first 10 speed was a Royce Union from Zayres(a defunct big box economy chain). I couldn't see why I should spend more. It was maxing out my budget anyway.

The biggest problem I had with it was that the screws were so cheap that they all stripped pretty quickly. My next bike was a used Peugeot. Much nicer. It just felt nicer.

So keep riding. When you need a better bike, you'll know.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:41 PM   #12
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You're on a bike and that's all that matters. The most important part of cycling is the engine not the bike. Right now you're just tuning up your engine.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:45 PM   #13
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Glad you're enjoying the ride. Welcome to the club.
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Old 10-05-07, 12:46 PM   #14
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Old 10-05-07, 12:48 PM   #15
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So keep riding. When you need a better bike, you'll know.
When you start cursing at the bike, that's a good sign.
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Old 10-05-07, 03:36 PM   #16
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There are a lot of the Denali bikes around campus this year. I am interested in how they hold up to the rigors of college student usage, though. The year is young.

As for me, I went from a $400 Al mountain bike to an $800 steel touring bike, to an $850 Al mountain bike AND a $800 folder, to my current bike, a $500 (or less) singlespeed steel mountain bike that I built myself. So I'm sure that the Denali is only the beginning.
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Old 10-05-07, 03:49 PM   #17
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Hey Heather If you like your bike more power to you Ive had what some consider great bikes and Ive had some good bikes, I still ride my good bikes and most of the great ones are gone, I guess its a matter of taste and how many bones you have to spend Go out and ride your bike!
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Old 10-05-07, 06:48 PM   #18
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Happy Trails! I just moved from a mtb commuter to a semi-roadbike for commuting . I had my first flat today with 700C tire, front 35mm width. I was shocked at how fast it lost air compared to my dearly departed mtb and tires. I barely had time to get off the bike before I was on the rim.

Your Denali has much narrower rims and tires. Be prepared for this. Cigtech encountered a problem sourcing tubes for the deep V rims on his bike. My current tires are Panaracer Pasela GT's with a Kevlar belt. The glass shard was not intimidated and went straight into the tube.
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Old 10-05-07, 08:31 PM   #19
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Um, hate to be the one to say it, but troll?

If it is, the posts above me just go to show what a friendly subforum this is.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:03 PM   #20
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Meh. I started from the same roots. CigTech had plenty of faith (or was it Denial ) in the Denali. I've played with one in the store. Most of the components (wheels and frame aside) are awefully mountain-bike-esque, but if it works, why knock it?
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Old 10-05-07, 09:20 PM   #21
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I've seen some around campus. The bike is what it is. But the whole "losing the liscense and riding a wal-mart bike" just seems trollish. Whatever, I'm just being grumpy.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:22 PM   #22
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I've seen some around campus. The bike is what it is. But the whole "losing the liscense and riding a wal-mart bike" just seems trollish. Whatever, I'm just being grumpy.
And being a fem adds a little um..trollishness to it.
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Old 10-05-07, 09:24 PM   #23
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And being a fem adds a little um..trollishness to it.
That I didn't pick up on. Why is that?
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Old 10-05-07, 10:38 PM   #24
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Welcome to bike commuting heather!
Enjoy your commute and enjoy your bike, that's all what matters.
Spend $$ on a new one only if needed, but don't do it simply because someone said your bike is no good. Ride it 'til it breaks, then get a new one. Again, enjoy!
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Old 10-08-07, 10:23 AM   #25
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Why would I be a troll? Anyway, the Denali did get a flat rather quickly. This Friday, I'm taking it to the LBS to get new tubes in both tires, some rim tape and some "slime" injected into the tubes.

Any other ideas for flat prevention?

Thanks,
Heather
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