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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 08-02-08, 04:27 PM   #1
zenPhil
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tricross for commuting

hi,

i'm thinking of getting a specialized tricross. it's a lovely bike, and i will use it for everything: commuting and errands, cardio, light trails, maybe some races (no cyclocross in the area, unfortunately, all road), fun. i really wanted a road bike, but it's just not going to do everything i want.

i'm concerned about using this bike all the time though, namely because of theft. i live in a town of about 200,000 and bike theft isn't a BIG problem, but, and they usually target mountain bikes (dunno why), but it does happen. i don't want to ride around on a cheap bike anymore just because it might get stolen.

any tips, other than buy a really big lock?
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Old 08-02-08, 04:34 PM   #2
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I truly enjoy my Tri-cross. I use it for commuting and limestone bike paths. It really excells on the bike path, it just might be faster than anything else that runs the limestone around here. I can't bring myself to rack and fender it though, its just too much fun the way it is.
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Old 08-02-08, 05:12 PM   #3
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any tips, other than buy a really big lock?
Renters or Homeowners Insurance.
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Old 08-02-08, 05:20 PM   #4
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Renters or Homeowners Insurance.
This is really the best thing, I have my camera on it as well, my brother has his computer, anything over $500, I actually did get in a crash and wrecked my bike, Insurance payed for the damages. That was amazing.



Witch TriCross are you thinking about getting? They are maybe the only bike I like the look of from Specialized, I think it is kindof cool that they have back rack mounts on all there models even S-Works,(witch I don't enderstand super high proformance still having it) but thats a nice thing they stop with the front on the $3000 one, That has always just seemed like a good do all bike, even better then other cyclocross bikes.

Last edited by amckimmey; 08-02-08 at 05:36 PM.
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Old 08-02-08, 06:20 PM   #5
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I selected my Tricross Sport for the same reasons you did. I can't afford (and don't have space for) multi-bikes for every ride. Anyway, add it to your insurance or reconsider your routes and don't leave it out.
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Old 08-02-08, 09:47 PM   #6
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I have the Comp model and love it. It's a great bike, but I don't use it for errands though. I built up an old MTB for that task. The tricross is a great bike for just about everything though. I will say that it was quite a bit slower than the road bike that I use to have. The road bike (Eddy Merckx Ti) was very quick off the start and would hold turns like it was on rails and that's something I don't feel with the Tricross. The Tricross does great on long rides as well. I've done several centuries on it and felt fine afterwards.

Theft is a big issue and will only get worse as metals become more sought after. If I couldn't bring the bike in with me, I would seriously consider getting something for the task that you don't mind losing.
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Old 08-02-08, 10:18 PM   #7
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I cannot give you my opinion from experience, as I haven't saved enough money to afford it. However, I have tested this ride and loved it.

I think it would make an excellent year round all around commuter. I have seen pictures with a rack and fenders and I think those accessories (or necessities) compliment this rig very well.

Good luck with your purchase, I hope you go for it.
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Old 08-03-08, 04:20 AM   #8
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I just bought mine on Friday, specifically for commuting. My first commute is Monday. I did go ahead and put fenders on it. I got a quick-release Topeak rack and bag also, but don't plan to leave that on unless I have something specific to carry. Normally I don't need to carry much back and forth. Maybe I'll start carrying more clothes instead of leaving a load once a week when I come in by car.

I like the feel of the bike so far. I may switch out the 700/38 tires to 700/28 road slicks though. Not too crazy about the cross-brake levers. They kind of interfere with my Dinotte front headlight.

I'm keeping the little ding-ding bell for now though
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Old 08-03-08, 06:14 AM   #9
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I've been riding my Tricross Comp for about a year now. I mostly use it to commute to work (20 miles round trip, 4 days/week) but I've recently started to use it more for grocery shopping and other errands. I can offer some suggestions on accessories that have worked out well for me over the last year.

As others have noted, the secondary brake levers leave you with a very limited amount of handlebar to work with for mounting lights, GPS, etc. The $15 Topeak Bar Extender worked out really well for me. It allowed me to get my Planet Bike Alias HID up higher (to clear the cables) and get my GPS (Garmin Edge 205) up higher where I can see it better.

I initially used a cheap rear rack from Performance, but recently replaced it with the sturdier Old Man Mountain Red Rock rack. It's considerably more solid and has a 60 pound weight capacity. Its longer and attaches to the brake bosses, allowing it to sit farther back pretty much eliminating any problems with heel strike.

I use an Arkel Commuter pannier (plus rain cover) for commuting. It has a removable, padded laptop compartment and a really nice attachment system. I use a pair of Nashbar Townie baskets for grocery shopping and miscellaneous errands. It's nice that you can fold them flat and that they come with their own rain covers.

I used SKS P35 fenders for quite a while, but kept having problems with toe overlap (hitting the fender with my feet while turning and pedaling). I replaced them with some Planet Bike clip-ons which have worked out well for me. They also look a little better on the Tricross, IMHO, than full fenders.

My latest addition was an Airzound horn. It didn't mount easily - I had to zip-tie it around the Tricross' oversized handlebars, but I was able to get it in a good position. While I don't use it everyday, it comes in handy when I need to get someone's attention. I left the bell on as well to get the attention of fellow cyclists and the occasional pedestrian.

Overall, I can't say enough good things about the Tricross. It's an amazingly versatile bike. I can take it grocery shopping, ride through gravel, up steep grassy hills and easily keep up with my road bike riding friends on the weekends. In 2,500 miles of riding, I've yet to have a flat. I occasionally wish it had a triple rather than a double crank, but I have plenty of gear ratio choices most of the time.
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Old 08-03-08, 09:20 AM   #10
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I'll weigh in on the side of my Tri-cross, too. I've got the Expert Double model, and it has met all of my expectations beautifully.

My daily commute is 30 miles round-trip, with about 20 miles on state highways (55 MPH speed limit) and the other 10 within the city limits, with rough pavement, railroad tracks, etc. I needed a bike on which I could easily mount fenders, a rack, lights, etc., but I didn't want to end up with a slow hybrid or mountain bike. It also needed to be heavy enough to handle my 220 (now 200!) pound self. The Tri-cross has completely lived up to my expectations. Even with a full load (10-12 pounds in a single pannier), I can average 16 MPH throughout the week. And that's with my rear end planted on my big old Brooks saddle! I love this bike!

Since I got the bike, I've added fenders (cheap plastic ones I'm hoping will break soon so I can replace them), my Brooks, my 2-sided SPD pedals, a Blackburn rack, a pair of Ortlieb panniers (which are AWESOME - torrential rain doesn't penetrate them), a couple Fenix flashlights for headlights, a couple Superflash tail-lights, and my Garmin 305.

A couple thoughts - I live and work in a fairly rural community. My boss thinks I'm crazy, but he is kind enough to allow me to park my bike IN my office, so I don't have to worry about theft there. When I need to stop at Kroger on the way home, I park the bike inside the doors, next to the shopping carts, and secure it with a small Kryptonite cable lock. The Ortliebs are easy to remove - they go in the cart. I just have to remember to unclip my lights and GPS and put them in the pannier.

I also love the third water-bottle boss on the front of the down-tube. I learned early on that you can't have a third water bottle and fenders at the same time, but it is the perfect place to mount my Topeak Morph pump.

All in all, this bike has performed perfectly for me.
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Old 08-03-08, 12:20 PM   #11
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I also love the third water-bottle boss on the front of the down-tube. I learned early on that you can't have a third water bottle and fenders at the same time, but it is the perfect place to mount my Topeak Morph pump..
+1 with that! I don't have fenders, so the pump gets a bit dirty and wet (sometimes), but it has held up. And now your pump isn't in the way of lifting or shouldering the bike. And your pump is on the bike instead of in the panier you left at home. And since the road morph doesn't come with an offset mount, its a perfect match for the under frame mount.
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Old 08-03-08, 06:42 PM   #12
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I initially used a cheap rear rack from Performance, but recently replaced it with the sturdier Old Man Mountain Red Rock rack. It's considerably more solid and has a 60 pound weight capacity. Its longer and attaches to the brake bosses, allowing it to sit farther back pretty much eliminating any problems with heel strike.

I use an Arkel Commuter pannier (plus rain cover) for commuting. It has a removable, padded laptop compartment and a really nice attachment system. I use a pair of Nashbar Townie baskets for grocery shopping and miscellaneous errands. It's nice that you can fold them flat and that they come with their own rain covers.

I used SKS P35 fenders for quite a while, but kept having problems with toe overlap (hitting the fender with my feet while turning and pedaling). I replaced them with some Planet Bike clip-ons which have worked out well for me. They also look a little better on the Tricross, IMHO, than full fenders.

Jimlamb, I've been procrastinating about getting a rack for my Tricross because up until now I've not seen anything that grabs me. This Arkel looks very interesting though. Also like many of your other accessories. Would you have a picture of your rig fully equipped to post?
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Old 08-03-08, 07:14 PM   #13
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I have an 08 Tricross Expert on lay away. Will be using it for commuting & every thing else I do on a bike!
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Old 08-03-08, 07:39 PM   #14
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If you set it up with fenders and rear racks so it can really cover all those roles in a truly all weather way I think you'll find that a basic lock will do the trick. It'll look so pedestrian that any bike theives will turn to the racer or serious mountain bike beside it or down the street. Although the big "Specialized" labels all over it doesn't help much.....
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Old 08-03-08, 08:42 PM   #15
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I've got the 07 expert. I removed the secondary brake levers and added fenders, rack, & lights. It is a perfect commuter and is a great road bike without the commuting gear and some 700*23 tires. I love the bike but I do worry about theft when it is chained to a fence at work. Go for it. The Tricross is the perfect do it all bike.
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Old 08-04-08, 11:24 AM   #16
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I have an 06 TriX Comp. It's black, and looks very nondescript and not flashy. I love it because it rides through everything. I love the standard tires that came with it. I have not had one flat with them. I swapped in 23c for the summer, and yup, flatted the first commute out with them.
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Old 08-04-08, 12:37 PM   #17
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Leo1903, I've posted a few crappy camera phone pics here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jimlamb/tags/tricross/
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Old 08-04-08, 08:00 PM   #18
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Thanks jimlamb. I like your setup...seems well thought out.

I've recently got a similar handlebar mounted mirror. I'll probably order the Old Man Mountain Red Rock Rack if I can't find it locally. I suppose though that because the rack is mounted to the brake bosses that it may be more complicated to install and remove should you only want to use it on occasion?
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Old 08-04-08, 08:50 PM   #19
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I also commute on a 08' Tricross Expert Double.




It's well suited for commuting to work and for long rides to see family and friends, but definitely not something that I would leave locked up outside. The bike sees about 2 miles of dirt roads/trails and 20 miles of decent roads nearly daily and it has performed like a champ. This bike is perhaps one of the best fitting, most comfortable rides I have owned...more miles were put on this bike in the first month of owning than some of my other bikes have seen in over a year.

I did make a few add-ons to fit my needs:
-Blackburn X6 headlights.
-Roadmorph pump.
-saddle bag...contains: Co2 pump, mulitool, patches, extra tube, and emergency money ($1.25).

*edit: also traded the 45c tires the bike came with for a set of 32c Panaracer Urban Max tires.
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Old 08-04-08, 09:31 PM   #20
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If they want it, they'll get it. "Specialized" screams "steal me."

I was deciding between this and a Surly Crosscheck and that's pretty much what sealed the deal for me. The Crosscheck also seems more suitable to commuting. If I was riding it for cyclocross I'd go with the Specialized.

Buy a bike that suits your needs that you won't be sitting indoors worrying about all day.
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Old 08-06-08, 12:39 AM   #21
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Fortunately they don't make bikes out of copper so I've gotten by with a heavy cable lock, I don't think that bike theft is too big of a problem here (Fort Worth), unless you make it too easy for them.

When telling people I bought a Specialized Tricross bike most just have that blank look on their face (like when they tell me about the mods to their cars or Hawgs), and are probably wondering "What is Tricross, and why you need a special bike for that?", so unless you have a strong bike culture there, most people have no idea what they are looking at. I never thought I would spend close to $2k for a bike, so yeah there was some paranoia in leaving it locked up somewhere, then there was the realization that most people here will see the bike, but they don't look at the bike.

I've had a Tricross Comp Double for almost a year now and the only drawback is my foot hitting the front wheel sometimes when I turn (so I put fenders on to make sure it happens more often). Other than that, there are no complaints. I've ridden it all over the place and even jump the occasional curb with no worries. Loaded up the panniers coming from the store, no problems.

Glad to see there are others out there with the same idea and bought a Tricross.
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Old 08-06-08, 07:25 AM   #22
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Thanks jimlamb. I like your setup...seems well thought out.

I've recently got a similar handlebar mounted mirror. I'll probably order the Old Man Mountain Red Rock Rack if I can't find it locally. I suppose though that because the rack is mounted to the brake bosses that it may be more complicated to install and remove should you only want to use it on occasion?
The mirror works OK, though I'd rather have this one:

http://www.calhouncycle.com/ProductC...idproduct=1642

I didn't find this rack any more complicated to install than any other rack. Once you get the brackets where they need to be, I don't think it would be a big deal to remove and put back on. That said, I generally leave mine on, even for weekend and charity rides. I used to be the only guy with a rack, especially at charity rides, but I'm seeing more of them lately.
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Old 08-06-08, 10:57 AM   #23
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Ahhh. The Mirrycle road mirror. Temporarily unavailable due to recall. But I have one, and I am not sending it back until they sell them again.




Last edited by Hot Potato; 08-06-08 at 11:01 AM.
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Old 08-24-08, 10:09 PM   #24
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Yay for Tricross-love threads. Interesting to hear from some owners of the Comp rather than Sport models.

Re: 3 bottle cage mounts, I really like that. I have 3 cages mounted, but find the bottom one catches on obstacles if it doesn't have a bottle in it, so I bend it out of the way. I only use it on long rides (50k+), and really just as a way of transporting water - trying to reach it while riding sounds dangerous.

Re: handlebar real estate, definitely an issue, but fortunately I'm not a gadget junkie. The Topeak handlebar bag comes with a kind of false handlebar that mounts on top, so if/when I get a speedo, I'll put it up there.

Re: cyclocross levers, I like them, overall. They make good parking brakes when at lights, and they're very useful for steep mtb-style descents - much better for keeping your weight back.

It does make it hard to justify a second bike though: it's a good enough road bike, a good enough tourer, a great commuter, good enough for anything except really rough off road, really.

Steve
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Old 09-25-08, 01:15 AM   #25
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Is it possible to mount a straight bar on a Tricross without screwing up the handling or geometry too much, or would I need a bike that was designed stock for straight bars?
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