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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 04-22-04, 10:01 PM   #26
abc123
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Great stuff, thanks for all the advice. One more thing...

Do many of you use a suspension seatpost? I've demoed the Specialized Sirrus and the Giant Cypress, the later had a suspension seatpost but the specialized didn't. To tell you the truth, I didn't really notice a difference. Seems to me I'd be better off getting a credit for the (presumably) cheaply built suspension seatpost and applying that toward a premium saddle. The thing is...and I don't want to sound like a wussy or anything...but bike seats always hurt my rear. Don't know if I'm the only one but...I've recognized that that will be the biggest obsticle for me to overcome. If my butt constantly hurts, the bike is just going to collect dust in the garage and I'll have wasted my money. Maybe the handlebars will also play an important role in how the seat feels? I know everyone here has recommended drop handlebars, but the more I hunch over the more my rear tends to be in pain.
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Old 04-22-04, 11:09 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by abc123
Great stuff, thanks for all the advice. One more thing...

Do many of you use a suspension seatpost? I've demoed the Specialized Sirrus and the Giant Cypress, the later had a suspension seatpost but the specialized didn't. To tell you the truth, I didn't really notice a difference. Seems to me I'd be better off getting a credit for the (presumably) cheaply built suspension seatpost and applying that toward a premium saddle. The thing is...and I don't want to sound like a wussy or anything...but bike seats always hurt my rear. Don't know if I'm the only one but...I've recognized that that will be the biggest obsticle for me to overcome. If my butt constantly hurts, the bike is just going to collect dust in the garage and I'll have wasted my money. Maybe the handlebars will also play an important role in how the seat feels? I know everyone here has recommended drop handlebars, but the more I hunch over the more my rear tends to be in pain.
The Specialized Sequoia has already been mentioned. The stem on that for this year is fully adjustable for a fairly upright position. The drawback is the base model is about $800, if my memory is correct. Many people in my club have bought them, and are very satisfied with them. If you do spend that much, you should not be unhappy.
You will have to put in a few miles to get used to your bike seat. Some riders in snowy areas have to break their butt back in to riding on the saddle in the spring. You also might have to try out a few to see which ones feel right for you.
You mentioned not going off road, but if you should decide to, you could always switch the tires (700s) for some cyclocross tires with tread. I was at Performance tonight, and checked out the Giant Cypress again. The tires on that bike are fairly wide, and would be great for your purposes. One of the models was almost exactly $400, and would be great for lots of around town riding. With proper maintenance, most drivetrains will hold up very well if you're not racing them. Cleaning and lubing your drivetrain frequently with a kit like "Pedro's" will add a lot of life to a bike. I've tried the Spin Doctor chain cleaner from Performance , and didn't like it. I will stick with the Pedro's or Finish Line chain cleaners. I use Simple Green to clean my drivetrain. It works better than the stuff the stores sell for cleaning, and is also biodegradable.
Many love the suspension seatposts, but you have to tweak it a lot at first to get it "just right" for you. After a lot of miles you might find you don't need it, but just sort of "float" along over road while the bike just happens to be under you.
The Bicycle Garage is in Fremont, about 70 miles south of you, so it might not be an advantage to get a bike down here. Check the shops in Davis, and you should be able to find one with a good basic tune-ups for life policy. Keep your eyes open for me at Foxy's Fall Century in the fall. I'll be arriving in a red Jeep Wrangler, with a blue/silver Lemond Zurich, and a Fremont Freewheelers (FFBC) jersey.
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Old 04-23-04, 12:11 AM   #28
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Originally Posted by abc123
Great stuff, thanks for all the advice. One more thing...

Do many of you use a suspension seatpost? I've demoed the Specialized Sirrus and the Giant Cypress, the later had a suspension seatpost but the specialized didn't. To tell you the truth, I didn't really notice a difference. Seems to me I'd be better off getting a credit for the (presumably) cheaply built suspension seatpost and applying that toward a premium saddle. The thing is...and I don't want to sound like a wussy or anything...but bike seats always hurt my rear. Don't know if I'm the only one but...I've recognized that that will be the biggest obsticle for me to overcome. If my butt constantly hurts, the bike is just going to collect dust in the garage and I'll have wasted my money. Maybe the handlebars will also play an important role in how the seat feels? I know everyone here has recommended drop handlebars, but the more I hunch over the more my rear tends to be in pain.
People make the mistake of thinking huge and cushy equals comfortable when it comes to saddles. Such is not the case! What you need is a well designed ergonomic saddle. The narrower your sit bones, (doesn't matter how big your a$$ is ) the narrower the saddle you should be riding. You want your weight on your sit bones and not on your entire rear, thighs and unmentionables. For example, I am built like a preteen girl, so all my saddles are extremely narrow. A Specialized Sport saddle, which is about the size of what is typically included on most new bikes, is actually too wide for me. Also, shape is much more a determing factor in comfort than is padding. One of my friends reguarly rides 100 miles in a day on a completely unpadded carbon fiber saddle. I was skeptical but tried it for a 50mi ride and it felt as good as my lightly padded Selle Italia SLR.

Remember, saddle angle also plays and important role as well. I went through this over the week on my recent roadbike build. I had originally adjusted the seat slightly downward as I didn't want, em, masculine chafing. My boss said it looked stupid so I raised the saddle so it was level. I did a 40mi ride Sunday and was so sore when I got back, I expected to find blood in my shorts. Anyways, I tilted the saddle down just a hair, and no more pain.

Don't expect to get on the bike, ride 12mi and immediately be comfortable either. It may take several weeks to "toughen up" to riding on a bike saddle again. I would NOT get the suspension seatpost. The ones included on bikes such as the Cypress are very flimsy, and develop a lot of play in them after a short while. You wont get much of anything on trade in towards a saddle, but its worth a shot.

Definately get gloves too. I like Specialized gloves. They have a large gel pad on the butt of the palm which for me really alleviated my wrist/arm pains and numbness. Also, if you saddle is not adjusted properly, or your bars aren't adjusted properly you can experience arm/wrist pain from putting too much weight forward/down causing undue pressure on your arms/wrists.

Specifically ask the shop to help you make sure the bike is fit to you, and if you have any problems that don't go away after the first week or two, bring it back in and ask the shops opinion on what could be causing the discomfort.

Drop bars take a lot of getting used to if you havent had previous experience with them. For you, I will again recommend a flat bar. Drop bars are nice for long road rides and competition but I actually don't like them for commuting. I feel that my head is down too much and the body position you maintain limits your view. If you do ride upright on drops, you may as well have a flatbar because at least with a flatbar you can still keep your hands on the brakes/shifters while riding more upright. That being said, I usually commute on my drop bar roadbike .

Ok that was way too long, but hope it helps you out.
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Old 05-25-07, 02:48 PM   #29
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Hi,

I live in California and am sick and $%^&^%$ tired of paying $2 for a gallon of gas, ....edit
bump for the sake of melancholy....I wish gas waws 2$/gal again...paid $4 today
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