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  1. #26
    These go to eleven kegoguinness's Avatar
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    I bought a Bike Friday Pocket Crusoe. It's a do-it-(almost)-all bike. I got onto this site, and started acquiring gear left and right. Bought SPD shoes. I have now settled on this one bike for commuting, grocery getting and longer weekend rides/overnighters. It can adjust the ride position from slightly aggressive to more upright in a minute by tweaking the ahead stem position on the riser. But really I have it balanced for fast rides and commutes alike. I ride with my one-sided SPD/cage hybrid pedals and ride in my normal all-purpose trail shoes. I can keep my commute as short as 9.5 miles r/t, and if I do, I can just about get away with riding in my work clothes (casual on most days). Great thread. I hate changing gear and sport-specific gear. I likethat I am now using old my hiking/backpacking gear for my weekend ride gear. I am in a massive de-clutter mode in my life, so again, timely thread. Thanks!
    1989 Lumaca Schiacciata
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  2. #27
    Senior Member mikeybikes's Avatar
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    Great thread!

    I ride 7.5 miles right now. In July when I move, it'll be 5 miles.

    I commute in my regular street clothes with a spare shirt to change into. I ride on a Specialized Sirrus with fenders soon to have rear rack. I just carry my gear in my back pack.

    Going to work, its all downhill. Going home, its all uphill. When I move, it'll be mostly flat.

    Just a nice simple commute.

  3. #28
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by High Roller View Post
    Chipcom, roger that on the socks.

    The Breezer Uptown 8 would seem to satisfy most of your criteria, except maybe the disc brakes. A bit spendy, though, @ $1,099 at one of our local LBSs.
    Actually I did look at the Finesse, which does have disc brakes but is probably just as pricey, if not more, than the uptown. Of course this Superbe is priced about the same...but my LBS van get them and I prefer to do business with them unless I really want something they can't get...like my new dyno lights, for example, which I'll get from Peter White.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  4. #29
    imi
    imi is offline
    aka Timi imi's Avatar
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    Nice thread! *less is more*... I've been commuting and touring and riding round town for the last 25 years.
    The only piece of bike clothing I have ever owned is a helmet... jogging shoes, cotton t-shirts, underwear and socks, nylon running shorts, track suit tops and bottoms, layered sweatshirts, nylon rain gear, a palestinian scarf and whatever gloves fit the season... that's it... Never considered that I should be uncomfortable 'cos I didn't have any lycra

  5. #30
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmitch View Post
    Pants: Rail Riders Backcountry Khakis are my current faves

    I probably don't have to tell you how awesome Merino shirts / polos are... their expensive but if you watch for sales...
    I have Rail Riders shorts...I was thinking about trying a pair of their khakis...and I think I saw some similar at Penney's too.

    I usually get my wool shirts & sweaters from the thrift store or Target.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  6. #31
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    My office isn't that far from my house but there are bridges and a few steep climbs involved. I cycle in all sorts of weather. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain, ice, hail, high winds, you name it. I've only tapped out ONCE during my ride and took the subway home because conditions became so dangerous that I didn't want to risk it any further.

    I ride in normal clothes. I ride in stilettos, high heels and sometimes flats. Whatever I'm wearing for the day. I've ridden in a Brooks Brothers custom suit with high heels to a meeting. Meh. I wear whatever I want to wear but I'm most comfortable in a pair of jeans and stilettos/high heels in the Fall/Winter and a sundress with flats or a low heel in the Spring/Summer.

    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike. You also don't need to look like a fashion victim to do it either. Heck, you can even make socks and sandals hip. Trust me. Dress in whatever makes you happy and enjoy your commute!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by KitN; 05-27-09 at 02:21 PM.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  7. #32
    Non-Spandex Commuter jdmitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    My office isn't that far from my house but there are bridges and a few steep climbs involved. I cycle in all sorts of weather. Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall. Snow, sleet, rain, freezing rain, ice, hail, high winds, you name it. I've only tapped out ONCE during my ride and took the subway home because conditions became so dangerous that I didn't want to risk it any further.

    I ride in normal clothes. I ride in stilettos, high heels and sometimes flats. Whatever I'm wearing for the day. I've ridden in a Brooks Brothers custom suit with high heels to a meeting. Meh. I wear whatever I want to wear but I'm most comfortable in a pair of jeans and stilettos/high heels in the Fall/Winter and a sundress with flats or a low heel in the Spring/Summer.

    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike. You also don't need to look like a fashion victim to do it either. Heck, you can even make socks and sandals hip. Trust me. Dress in whatever makes you happy and enjoy your commute!
    wow... for a number of reasons...
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.

  8. #33
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmitch View Post
    wow... for a number of reasons...
    I'm confused but thanks... I think...
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  9. #34
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    I'm confused but thanks... I think...
    Ha, you know you're hawt (and kewl too) kiddo!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  10. #35
    Non-Spandex Commuter jdmitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    I'm confused but thanks... I think...
    Quote Originally Posted by chipcom View Post
    Ha, you know you're hawt (and kewl too) kiddo!
    Yup.

    And because I'm debating adding this to my signature line (presuming your permission and crediting you, obviously):

    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.
    Blogging My Ride to Work
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.

  11. #36
    Senior Member squirtdad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    I'm confused but thanks... I think...
    me thinks he means the oft mentioned, but never before pictured, stilletos are an interesting combo with bike commuting.
    Last edited by squirtdad; 05-27-09 at 05:02 PM. Reason: grammar
    '82 Nishiski commuter/utility
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    looking for: De Rosa 58cm ELOS frame and fork internal cable routing

  12. #37
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jdmitch View Post
    Yup.

    And because I'm debating adding this to my signature line (presuming your permission and crediting you, obviously):
    LOL! Sure.

    Last week, I was riding with about a dozen people to bring awareness for the need of bike lanes on a busy road leading to a popular bridge in NYC. There I met a man dressed in a daper 3-piece suit riding a custom-made tank of a bike that weighed almost as much as I do. It had a normal sized rear wheel but the front wheel was about 20" with a built-in huge basket in the front -- similar to the utility bikes you can find almost everywhere in Amsterdam. He looked great in that suit and the bike was hot too.

    We're supposed to meet up later this week over bike related stuff so I'll ask if I can take a picture of him in his suit & his bike to illustrate that men can indeed dress in 3-piece suits to commute to work in the US. It's not just a "European" thing.
    Last edited by KitN; 05-27-09 at 05:34 PM.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  13. #38
    Mostly Harmless yoder's Avatar
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    I'm a simple short-commute cyclist. To me, being able to just hop on the bike and go is key to what makes biking tolerable and fun. My commute is six miles each way. I have a bike with an 8 speed IGH (Alfine), but my backup bike is a 1971 Raleigh Sports, and I can do it OK with that bike too. (An IGH seems the way to go to me for all-weather frequent but somewhat short and traffic-filled trips) I wear normal work clothes, but my work allows somewhat casual dress, especially in the summer when I can wear shorts and sandals.

    I usually wear a Champion Double Dry shirt as an undershirt. I bring (or have at the office) an extra t-shirt just in case, but I rarely use it. I use a small pannier for my computer and a few other small items. In the winter, I may have a merino wool layer underneath that must be removed after I get to the office, but this is a rare occurrence here in DC. On the handful of truly sweltering days, I may bring a change of clothes. I have some quick-dying compression boxers, but don't always wear them. I try to carry a hankerchief with me on all commutes in all seasons. It's proven useful in many ways, but if nothing else I can wipe myself off if I'm perspiring or cold-induced nose running before I even go into the building, even if I am going to do more clean up inside.

    One of the unexpected side benefits for me of being more upright and not being geared up is that motorists give me a wider berth on average. Also, people seem to treat you a little nicer overall.

    I have added a chainguard to my bike. I notice most (or many) posters on this forum have the essential fenders, but few have chainguards. I think the chainguard is key to the whole "ready to ride anytime" thing. Back when I didn't have a chainguard, I had a couple of those velcro straps for pants, and one of them was always strapped on my rack, so I could always get on the bike, but this just isn't the same experience, and doesn't work as well if you have pants with lots of fabric down by the ankle, as a chainguard.

    I have been reconverted to platform pedals. Again this fits in very nicely with the whole "just get on anytime and go"/less gear thing. There's a great freedom of not being tied to the gear. I have no foot slippage issues. If you are wearing a hard sole dress shoe (especially in the rain), or a new shoe where the bottom hasn't broken in yet, you could have some slippage. You can get BMX pedals like the Tioga Surefoot with pegs that make the pedal very secure for all shoes. You can bike in any sandals/shoes/boots.

    Classic swept back North Roads-type handlebar is a good way to go for the bike used for shorter commuting. Very comfortable and natural for the upright riding. I switched my bar (which I think originally was the same as a Soma Noah's Arc bar, but later I changed it to a 52 cm Soma Sparrow bar which wasn't quite right) to the 56 cm heat-treated aluminum Nitto North Roads bar. This Nitto North Roads is actually shaped like the Albatross bar with complete sweep back, rather than the angle on the traditional NR or the Nitto 50 cm NR bar. This bar allows me multiple hand positions because the curveback portion is large enough and out plenty wide enough to provide a great place to put hands. I put leather handlebar covers on that portion of the bar, and this works great for me. You really don't need multiple hand positions for short commutes, but I still do like to shift around and get out of the wind a tiny bit sometimes. Also, this is my only bike for longer trips as well.

    I like having a dyno light, at least for the front. It's very nice not to worry about recharging. I do have a supplemental battery light that I leave the mount for on the handlebar, with two copies of the light (one at home and one at work), but I only use it if I think about doing long rides in very dark, and even then if I don't have the extra light, it's no big deal. I would like a dyno light in the back too, but I don't have that, and the batteries last a long time for the blinky. My back light does go on by itself if the bike has been moving and it is dark (and off in light or stopped long enough), so that is nice not to have to fuss with as well.

    I also always have cargo netting (whatever you call it) on my rear rack. This is great for always being able to jump on your bike for utility trips, or picking up food at lunch time, etc. I've done a similar thing with bungee cords in the past, but the netting is much better.

    I don't carry full sets of tools and tubes when I commute because I basically follow the Metro (subway) line most of the way, and am never far from a station (or work/home). However, my bike always has a simple single piece Park multi-tool strapped to the frame of my bike. Nice not to have to fiddle about with that. I leave my bike parked outside all the time when I travel to work or elsewhere, and no one has ever stolen the tool, but it would be no big loss anyway. I've haven't had a quick flat in many years of commuting. I think fatter tires are much less likely to get flats, but it obviously depends on your location, but for me it is the same in my last four cities in three different time zones on three different bikes.

    That Raleigh Superbe looks just about perfect for a short commuter mass-produced bike once the rack is added. Although, I think you could argue that the price is getting close enough to where you could spend some more and get a custom one, like an ANT or whatever is appropriate for your area. I think my next bike may be a custom bike from Velo Orange, but I am many years from saving up enough money for it. Most of these type of bikes don't have disc brakes like the Superbe though. I have disc breaks now, and they do stop well in the rain, but would be willing to do without them. There are cheaper bikes sold in the US than the Raleigh Superbe that are somewhat similar, but I can't think of one that has disc brakes, Alfine, swept-back handlebars, chainguard, etc. You'd have better luck in Europe. I don't know why bikes like the Breezer Uptown (which also doesn't have disc brakes) don't do a north roads-type handlebar, instead of flat; it would be a perfect fit. I remember looking into bikes with similar key features about a year ago and coming across names like Breezer Uptown 8, Bianchi Milano, Masi Soulville, Jamis Commuter 3, Biria EB Superlight 8, Electra Townie 8 Commuter, Specialized GlobeCity6, Novara Fusion, Redline R530, etc. All are a little cheaper than the Superbe, but outside the rack, are generally lacking something the Superbe has. They aren't that cheap either; New Alfine and Nexus 8 bikes aren't going to be that cheap. I think many people who don't live in an area with serious hills can get quality bikes for less for their short commute by dropping the disk breaks requirement and getting a cheaper IGH. There is a blog called "Bikes for the Rest of Us" that covers these types of bikes in the US: http://bikesfortherestofus.blogspot.com/. If you could get a Pashley or Velorbis or something from Europe, you would be good to go as well.

    When in doubt, you can always get ideas from http://www.copenhagencyclechic.com/
    The Dutch and Danes are way ahead of us.
    Last edited by yoder; 07-22-09 at 11:41 AM.

  14. #39
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    I'm sort of a simple commuter. My commute (going the long way on a MUP) is 10 miles one way. I ride either one of my bikes. Lately its been my Motobecane road bike just for the speed.

    I shower before I leave the house, and wear padded lycra boxers under "normal" shorts. Then a normal t-shirt, a hoodie if its cold (I'm currently a fair weather rider). I wear cycling shoes for the stiffer sole, but no longer clip into my pedals due to having bad knees.

    I get to work, park/lock the bike, then go and rinse off in the work shower. I change into clothes I've packed into my trunk bag (or panniers on the mtn bike), and the shoes I keep at my desk. This has been needed lately as its hot as hell outside and I have to wear long pants @ my job. I let the cycling gear dry in a locker before pedaling home 9 hours later. (I eat lunch @ my desk).
    1993 Cannondale T700 - 1994 Specialized Rockhopper - Actionbent T1 (Electrification in progress!)

  15. #40
    Female Member KitN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoder View Post
    I notice most (or many) posters on this forum have the essential fenders, but few have chainguards. I think the chainguard is key to the whole "ready to ride anytime" thing.
    +1

    I couldn't agree more. A chainguard is essential for me. I wouldn't consider a commuting bike without one.
    Ride what you like. Ride in what you like.

  16. #41
    afraid of whales Mr IGH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    ...I ride in stilettos, high heels and sometimes flats...I've ridden in a Brooks Brothers custom suit with high heels to a meeting...I'm most comfortable in a pair of jeans and stilettos/high heels in the Fall/Winter and a sundress with flats or a low heel in the Spring/Summer....
    I'm in love
    IGH's, Dyno Hubs, LED lights and old frames

  17. #42
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yoder View Post

    I have added a chainguard to my bike. I notice most (or many) posters on this forum have the essential fenders, but few have chainguards. I think the chainguard is key to the whole "ready to ride anytime" thing. Back when I didn't have a chainguard, I had a couple of those velcro straps for pants, and one of them was always strapped on my rack, so I could always get on the bike, but this just isn't the same experience, and doesn't work as well if you have pants with lots of fabric down by the ankle, as a chainguard.

    I have been reconverted to platform pedals. Again this fits in very nicely with the whole "just get on anytime and go"/less gear thing. There's a great freedom of not being tied to the gear. I have no foot slippage issues. If you are wearing a hard sole dress shoe (especially in the rain), or a new shoe where the bottom hasn't broken in yet, you could have some slippage. You can get BMX pedals like the Tioga Surefoot with pegs that make the pedal very secure for all shoes. You can bike in any sandals/shoes/boots.
    I'm hoping to find an aftermarket chainguard for the Superbe...since one of its downsides is only a crank-mounted chainguard. I've got a set of the MKS sneaker pedals which I've always liked for platforms, but I see MKS and Riv got together for a pedal called the Grip King that looks interesting.

    I know there are a lot of other bikes I probably could get cheaper and make some additions and mods too...or even a custom job with exactly what I want...but this is a Superbe...the latest in fine long heritage of Raleighs, I'm even considering a sprung Champion Flyer Special, similar to the B66 that its forebears sported. If I were still poor (as I was until this century), I'd be cobbling together an old three speed from a garage sale or thrift store...but I'm not, so I'm gonna indulge myself a bit.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  18. #43
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr IGH View Post
    I'm in love
    Take a number, pal...KitN has many admirers here.
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  19. #44
    Senior Member maddyfish's Avatar
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    .33 miles to my work, up a steep hill. Single speed KHS steel frame, campy centaur cranks, surly hubs, with a BMX freewheel, bullhorns, and a brooks. All is well.
    Not too much to say here

  20. #45
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    I'm all for the simple commute. My commute is just over 10 miles each way but doesn't require any special clothing. I've worn everything from suits to shorts and tee shirts. While I do occasionally wear poly in the winter I'm actually a cotton guy in the warmer weather. I'll often wear a cotton tee shirt on my ride into work and just carry an extra tee shirt, which I'll change into when I get there- using the original as a towel.

    I shop once a year for clothes at an outlet mall and get stuff at Timberland, Gap etc that all works fine for riding to work.

    For shoes I either wear a pair of comfortable slip on shoes I've bought at the Timberland outlet store or, more frequently, my new Keen cycling shoes, which I love - I just did a 4 day tour with them and they were just as comfy walking around on Cape Cod and on the ferry as any non-cycling shoe I might have brought.

    One thing that makes it work is the Campus Pedal I use from Performance. Having a pedal that can take either a cleated shoe or a regular shoe makes it work for me. As does an upright barred hybrid "go anywhere" bike with nine speeds, a front rack, a rear rack and I love my milkcrate- throw and go- like a pick up truck!

  21. #46
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    I like the idea of the simple commute. I think this is one of the main attractions of biking for transportation. You can accessorize all you want, but it's easy to ride simply too.

    I have a 6.5 mile moderately hilly suburban commute. I wear whatever I'm working in for the day, typically business casual (khakis and button down shirt, sometimes with a tie if I have meetings, jeans/t-shirt on Fridays). I wear normal leather dress shoes and use standard platform pedals. I own very little bike-specific clothing beyond helmet, gloves, rain pants and a light outer shell jacket.

    My bike has full fenders and a rear rack. A trunk bag carries all my bike tools, spare parts and rain gear. My work "briefcase" is a backpack, in which I carry papers, laptop, food, meds, etc. My bike does have lots of lighting. I don't skimp on good lighting because I ride in traffic and in the dark sometimes.

    I have to agree with other posters about having a small fan at work. I come in and sit in front of the fan for a few minutes to blow off the sweat. Also have one of those little fold up hairbrushes to brush out the helmet hair.

    I know some of you feel strongly about this issue, but I'll mention it because it's relevant. My bike is electric, so I don't HAVE to pedal too hard and can limit my sweating. That said, I always plan to "take it easy" on the way in and arrive way sweatier than planned. It just doesn't feel right to not pedal as much as I can, although I love the motor for the hills and those nasty headwind days!

  22. #47
    Strong with the Fred Big_e's Avatar
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    I only wear my lycra shorts and cleats on weekends and bike meets. Only 3 of my weekend bikes have spd pedals.
    When I commute, I'll wear jeans or cargo pants, t-shirt, pull-over hoodie or windbreaker. For the summer I bought a bunch of t-shirts and cheap cargo shorts from walmart to ride to work in. I bring my work clothes in my panniers. My commuter bikes all have either power-grips or those bear trap pedals.
    So far I'm able to keep the bike in the office so removing the lights is not an issue. If I ever have to lock the bike outside, I'll just make sure that the lights come with me and I'll lock up next to the employee's motorcycles. Nobody messes with the hogs! That's where I locked the bike before, until I started sneaking the bike in...Well not sneaking it in, just sorta bringing it in as soon as we got a new manager.
    Ernest
    Last edited by Big_e; 05-27-09 at 09:05 PM.
    I love pho long time.

  23. #48
    Infamous Member chipcom's Avatar
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    Electric bike? GET A ROPE, LYNCH THE B@STARD!
    "Let us hope our weapons are never needed --but do not forget what the common people knew when they demanded the Bill of Rights: An armed citizenry is the first defense, the best defense, and the final defense against tyranny. If guns are outlawed, only the government will have guns. Only the police, the secret police, the military, the hired servants of our rulers. Only the government -- and a few outlaws. I intend to be among the outlaws" - Edward Abbey

  24. #49
    Just a commuter stockholm's Avatar
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    Great thread!

    I'm in the fortunate position of being able to choose the distance of my commute. The short'n'sneaky way is only 3.5 km (~2 miles) which allows for not wearing anything more cycling specific than helmet and the velcro thing round my ankle. Other routes range from 7 km to 13 km to wherever I choose to go that day. Gear is modified accordingly. I don't use fenders, though. I have a lightweight rain jacket in my bag if rain surprises me, and if I'm prepared I wear the pants as well. The short route is cirkus 10 minutes so it's not too bad.

    Cool thing is, I use my bike (kona jake) for everything: commuting, weekend rides, café racing, shopping -- just as I did as a kid.

  25. #50
    Non-Spandex Commuter jdmitch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    LOL! Sure. :
    Done!

    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    There I met a man dressed in a daper 3-piece... similar to the utility bikes you can find almost everywhere in Amsterdam... great in that suit and the bike was hot too.
    I take it you've seen the Gary Fisher

    Quote Originally Posted by yoder View Post
    I have added a chainguard to my bike. I notice most (or many) posters on this forum have the essential fenders, but few have chainguards.
    Still looking for a chain guard that I like for my Soho S. The factory installed one isn't that effective. I may just settle on an SKS. Note, I'm likely to roll my pants into knickers in all but the coldest of weather anyway as I'm a bit hot blooded.

    Quote Originally Posted by yoder View Post
    That Raleigh Superbe looks just about perfect for a short commuter mass-produced bike once the rack is added.
    I have to agree that the Superbe is sweet. I love that it comes with a Dynohub but they haven't bothered with cheap lights so you can add your own. I also like that they leave off the rack as this can be a personal preference issue as well.
    Blogging My Ride to Work
    Soho S (not fully current)
    Quote Originally Posted by KitN View Post
    You don't need to dress up like a spandex super hero to ride your bike.

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