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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.

View Poll Results: What kind of bike is your main commuter?
Road bike: light frame; 3-6lbs, limited braze-ons, max tire capacity 32c or narrower. 61 21.18%
Touring/cross bike: medium-weight frame 5-9lbs, max tire cap 37c, lots of braze ons. 113 39.24%
Hard-tail MTB 54 18.75%
Dual suspension MTB 4 1.39%
Recumbent 5 1.74%
Other (please explain below) 51 17.71%
Voters: 288. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-13-07, 11:19 AM   #1
matthew_deaner
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Bike type used for commuting

I'm just curious as to the types of bikes that forum readers use as their primary commuter.

Here are the choices:

1. Road bike: light frame; 3-6lbs, limited braze-ons, max tire capacity 32c or narrower. Includes flat bar roadies & fixed gear.
2. Touring/cross bike: medium-weight to heavy frame 5-9lbs, max tire capacity 37c or narrower, lots of braze ons. Flat bar/drops/trekking bar. Geared or fixed.
3. Hard-tail MTB: Includes hybrids i.e. Trek FX series, Kona Dew, "commuter" bikes based on MTB framesets
4. Dual suspension MTB
5. Other (explain)

OK, I know these categories aren't going to work for everyone, but bear with me. The bike market is getting so splintered and nitche oriented it's hard to classify bikes.

Some guidelines:

Hybrids = Hardtail MTBs. The frames are basically MTB frames, with some smaller tires and commuter-friendly parts.

Some cross bikes have limited braze-ons and a really light frame, and should probably be considered road bikes for this poll.

Some road bikes (i.e. many in the Jamis line) come with lots of braze ons, but have a light frame, so they are 'road bikes" for purposes of this poll.

And sorry I left off recumbants. That was an oversight. Maybe a mod can fix the poll?

Last edited by matthew_deaner; 12-13-07 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:22 AM   #2
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I know bents are rare but I mean having to say Other.. How rude

I ride an xtracycled touring bike right now soon to be Giro 26 recumbent on alternating days to get different muscles exercised and a rest for my weary bones. If you consider Late February soon
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Old 12-13-07, 11:24 AM   #3
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What about a not-so-light entry level road bike with ample braze-ons? I picked other, however, because I commute on 3 different bikes given how I feel and what the weather is doing.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:27 AM   #4
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What about a not-so-light entry level road bike with ample braze-ons? I picked other, however, because I commute on 3 different bikes given how I feel and what the weather is doing.
It's hard to make categories. Just didn't want hybrids to wind up in the road bike category, because they are not road bikes (they're hybrids). It sounds to me like you should probably have voted for category 1. Even entry level road bikes have fairly light frames. My 1983 Nishiki Sport has a 6lb frame, for example, and it was an entry level bike even way back then.
Also, the poll was for your primary commuter; i.e. the one you ride the most.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:32 AM   #5
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European commuter bike. Not sure where that should go, other than "Other."

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Old 12-13-07, 11:32 AM   #6
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My time is split evenly between two different bikes

- fixed gear, 23c tires, no rack
- cross bike, 28c tires, disc brakes, no rack

I voted for the road category since neither bike currently has any load-carrying capacity. Long term, I can see myself owning two custom frames, one fixed, one geared, both with longer chainstays and rack mounts.
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Old 12-13-07, 11:33 AM   #7
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Well then right now it's a mountain bike because it's snowing and icing in Kansas. I have more commuting miles on my road bike than any other bike in my fold, but that's simply because at the beginning of summer, I moved close enough to ride the whole 29 mile round trip (as opposed to a 50+ mile RT before I moved), and therefore, I did a lot of summer full commutes on that bike, and plenty on my hybrid.

If you take the number of days I've commuted since I started, and not the miles, you'd see a lot more bike/bus commutes with my MTB than anything else.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:01 PM   #8
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I like my Beach Cruiser
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Old 12-13-07, 12:31 PM   #9
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One of the better defined polls I've seen here for a while...but still faced with the "outliers" and other very unique types of bicycle out there.

I started on a hardtail MTB. Cheap and I didn't know better...it seemed like the way to go for a rider who wasn't "hardcore" about it. After several months I learned on this forum the remedy to many of my struggles/dissatisfactions were to be found in the world of road bikes.

I bought a Fuji Absolute and modified it with drop bars, and later trekking bars (after I built a more custom commuter bike). I still own the Fuji, and it's a favorite. I would have bought the Touring but the LBS owner gave me a KILLER deal on the Absolute that made it worthwhile.

After reading this forum for quite a while, I set out to build my "perfect" commuter on a cyclo-cross type frame. That's the bike I now ride 90% of the time. Relaxed road geometry (saddle level with tops of handlebars), attachment points for all my commuter accessories, 32mm wide tires, drop bars and brifters, 32 spoke count wheels built with a fairly bomb-proof rim, disc brakes.

I couldn't ask for more in a commuter.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:41 PM   #10
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I voted other because I have a Rivendell Glorius mixte as my commuter. Couldn't ask for a more comfortable ride to work.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:44 PM   #11
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I ride road bikes. Sometimes my geared race bike, sometimes my fixed gear conversion. But I'm planning to build up a FG/SS crossbike with fenders and racks as a dedicated commuter. A lot like Banzai describes.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:45 PM   #12
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circa 80s Centurion LeMans is my primary commuter. I voted #1, but it's not /that/ light, as it's steel, but it definitely falls into the "road bike" category.

I have a Xmart MTB (front suspended, hardtail) that I use for particularly off-days, or when hauling a trailer (currently off the road with a rear wheel problem).

Hands down prefer the roadie, I prefer working less to go faster.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:51 PM   #13
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Just switched from a hardtail to a LHT this week. Been a long time coming.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:54 PM   #14
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For winter, I commute on a cheap ($130, used) 1980s Stumpjumper with 1.50" slicks. My commute runs 3 to 25 miles, usually about 15 (depends on how much of it I take on the bus) and it's hilly, very urban, and often soaking wet. Sure, it's slower than my road bike, but it's geared nicely for the hills, takes loads of abuse, and I'm not paranoid about leaving it outside for a moment when I stop somewhere for a cup of coffee. If I get a flat somewhere in bad conditions, who cares? I can just ride it slowly to a sheltered spot or a bus stop without concerns of trashing a rim. Then, when the road bike gets taken out, it seems even more of a treat than it really is.

I finally took all the bearings apart on the Rockhopper to clean and repack them, and the grease was still clean! They really built these old monsters.
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Old 12-13-07, 12:56 PM   #15
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I use a variety of bikes. My main commuter is a cross bike that I also choose to ride over all my other bikes and when the weather is foul, I choose a old MTB that I converted to more road worthiness (drop bars, 1.4 slicks, racks, etc.).
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Old 12-13-07, 12:57 PM   #16
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Nice hardtail MTB! slicks & gear, 25-26lbs all told.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:10 PM   #17
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I used to use my roadbike, now I use a fixie, Specialized Langster. Roads are good, weather is good. No reason to use anything else.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:38 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew deaner
Hybrids = Hardtail MTBs. The frames are basically MTB frames, with some smaller tires and commuter-friendly parts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mathew deaner
It's hard to make categories. Just didn't want hybrids to wind up in the road bike category, because they are not road bikes (they're hybrids).
Seems like your have your own meta-narrative perspectives informing your decisions mathew...(gotta stop studying for pomo philosophy...)

But really, not all hybrids are created equal. My trek is much more road bike than MTB, but it is definitely a hybrid. Add on to that the trekking bars, rack and pannier and my bike looks more like a tourer...which is what I voted.

btw- not trying to pick a fight, I know it's practically impossible to classify bikes...just thought I should point out a couple of things...PEACE
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Old 12-13-07, 01:39 PM   #19
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Trek Liquid 25. Dualie. Off-road commuting assault vehicle. If you saw some of the different ways I ride home, you'd understand. I have three sets of tires for it, including studded Hakkas.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:42 PM   #20
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I voted road bike. I tried using a MTB hard tail before but it just wasn't comfortable for an 22 mile R/T commute. I only ride on the road and the weather doesn't get as bad over here. Road bikes are the most logical option for me.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:43 PM   #21
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I've been commuting on a '73 Fuji mixte, I wasn't sure what category it would go in so I said Other. It's heavy but for some reason I like it a lot. But I just bought a road bike so maybe my tastes are about to change...
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Old 12-13-07, 01:53 PM   #22
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There needs to be some sort of 'multiple' catagory. I commuted on 6 different bikes this year. My main all weather bike is a flat bar touring with fenders and heavy duty racks. I also have a 1980's steel 12 speed converted to flat bar. On nice sunny days I take one of 2 vintage road bikes. In winter it is a ridgid mountain bike with studded tires and industial fenders. Last week I added number 6 when I mounted studded tires on the 700 wheels of a flat bar hybrid to see how they compare to the 26" studded tires. I'm lucky to have a large garage and a 10 mile round trip commute, so I can make the trip on almost any bike.
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Old 12-13-07, 01:56 PM   #23
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At various times of the year, all of the above.
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Old 12-13-07, 02:27 PM   #24
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Lightweight road bike commuter here. I don't carry much with me so having a rack is not necessary nor are fenders since it rarely rains here in SoCal and I need a multi geared bike because it is so hilly here.

A road bike is the perfect commuter for me.
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Old 12-13-07, 02:28 PM   #25
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My main commuter is a fixed gear 'cross bike set up with a rack and front fender. I have 2 wheel sets for it, one with slicks and one with studs. I'll switch off now and then with my Raleigh Team Cross.
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