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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 06-11-09, 11:22 PM   #1
nooladno
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new biker and clueless.

I haven't really road a bike much at all for a good 10-15 years. I had a nice mountain bike but have moved far away and its not cost effective to ship my old bike at my parents house. Anyhow, I would like to start commuting, its probably about 1 mile away my work. I can walk, but lately I find myself jealous of all the bikers. Anyhow I started perusing the bike racks at my work and two things I notice are that many people have mtbs and there are many U locks that are attached without bikes (wondering if people just leave them there and lock their bike up the next day. Anyhow I am pretty much broke but am selling my xbox 360 so I can afford about 550 or so. Things I am considering are the motobecane fantom CX bike. Another option being a single speed used bike off craigslist, or was considering a used off craigslist old schwinn or something with friction shifters. I plan on riding perhaps occasionally for leisure, we live about 5 minutes from the Mississippi and I have to shuffle between three work places, one being about 10 miles along the river, the other 1 mile and the other across the river about 2 miles through the city. I probably won't bike in the middle of the winter being that its like -20 degrees here. The terrain here is relatively flat. Given my extremely poor finances I can't really afford a local bike store.

Anyone have any input BTW i am 5'7" with a 29.5" inseam
1. Fantom CX off bikesdirect.
2. Old bike with friction shifters.
3. Single speed bike.
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Old 06-11-09, 11:28 PM   #2
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For one mile, almost anything from Craigslist will do. Spend some time browsing and test riding. You don't need to spend $550, not by a long shot.
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Old 06-12-09, 03:57 AM   #3
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Think about getting two used bikes. You could set one up for commuting with fenders and a rack for shopping after work, say an old rigid mountain bike, or old road bike. Then you can take your time looking for another bike for a better deal that you could really enjoy! One helmet, one lock, two bikes!
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Old 06-12-09, 04:08 AM   #4
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Well, living along the Mississippi the way you do, it sounds like anything 3 speeds and more will do fine. For now, estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, pawn shops, craigslist are probably the way to go. Ask around among your neighbors, one may have a bike just gathering dust in their garage.

My main ride is a mountain bike modified for street use with street slicks, a rack, fenders and lights. The basic bike was a freebie, a lightly used 20 year old mountain bike that friends of my ex gave to her and she gave to me when she discovered that it was too big for her. It's been a rugged and dependable ride.

The important thing is to check the bike out before you buy. Be patient and inspect everything, and make sure it works. You can do it for far less than your budget.
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Old 06-12-09, 06:49 AM   #5
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I'll add a vote for an old road bike. You obviously don't need one for the short commutes, but it will make the 10 mile ride a breeze.

Another good option is an early hybrid with roadbike-like geometry like the Trek multitrack series, add drop bars and narrower tires and go!
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Old 06-12-09, 07:19 AM   #6
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Think about getting two used bikes. You could set one up for commuting with fenders and a rack for shopping after work, say an old rigid mountain bike, or old road bike. Then you can take your time looking for another bike for a better deal that you could really enjoy! One helmet, one lock, two bikes!

This.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:51 AM   #7
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Plan for taking longer rides than your minimal commute distance. It won't be long before you start taking the long way in, the longer way home, and the longest trips on your day off.
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Old 06-12-09, 07:33 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by nooladno View Post
Anyone have any input BTW i am 5'7" with a 29.5" inseam
1. Fantom CX off bikesdirect.
2. Old bike with friction shifters.
3. Single speed bike.
1. Do not buy any bike without riding it first. Don't buy online. Buy local.
2. Old bikes are fine. Great, even. Modern index shifting has been standard equipment since the late 1980s or so, so you don't necessarily have to settle for just friction shifting.
3. I have never been on one, but they tend to be practical choices only for pretty fit riders
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Old 06-13-09, 03:04 AM   #9
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Craigslist, goodwill, thriftstores, and yard sales are your friends. Whatever you get ride it everywhere and to everything you do.
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