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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 09-05-09, 07:33 PM   #1
thenomad
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opinions please: choosing one of my bikes for the commute

So I have a few bikes, but am now looking to try commuting to work.

I like to ride road bikes for fitness and fun and am planning on MTB but have not yet done it.

I have (bikes listed in my sig):
Trek Carbon - Fits great, this is my "nice bike"
Trek 760 pro seriessteel - Race geometry, fits nearly right (size too large)
'07 Specialized Hardrock - MTB, stock. Has eyelets and such w/knobbies. Hardtail

I'm not too keen on taking my carbon bike every day and would not put anything else on it. Wear a backpack and use commute as a training ride...

My 531 Reynolds steel road bike has no eyelets, is converted to 9 speed and rides fine so I'd figure a backpack or a small rear seatpost mounted rack for light items and a backpack. Nice frame, nice Ultegra components, but not a 'perfect' fit. I suppose it's a possibility.

My MTB would need new tires, narrower/smoother. Could have a fender and rack added easily. It's heavy and I'm not used to that front fork absorbing power on the pedal-stroke. Seems like overkill to ride a big MTB but admittedly I'm only used to road bikes.


I do have a '70s Schwinn Le Tour that I'm cleaning up for resale. Not sold on it because it doesn't fit me. Made me think though, maybe I should look for a vintage touring or 'cross frame to build ($99 Performance frame?). I've been tempted to sell my Trek 760 due to frame size. Maybe it could finance a 'cross bike.

OR, maybe I'm thinking too much into it and should just get a backpack and ride?
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Old 09-05-09, 08:29 PM   #2
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Looking at the bikes listed in your sig I would take the Trek 1000 (hers) the first couple of days to make sure you have a secure place to park the bike. Seriously though, I would probably take the 9 speed. How far will you be going?
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Old 09-05-09, 08:39 PM   #3
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I use my Madone 5.2 for commuting. It has a computer, mirror, water bottle cage, tail light, and removable fenders. Everything else goes in a medium backpack. I have only been commuting since the bike lane on the bridge opened last Saturday.
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Old 09-05-09, 09:55 PM   #4
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Carbon is 9 speed, Steel is 9 speed, MTB is 8 speed.

I have probably 8-10 miles each way.

I'm a teacher so I'd pretty much have to put it in my room. It would take up space and be visible to everyone but I could chain it to something and I'm always there if it is open and unlocked.
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Old 09-05-09, 10:06 PM   #5
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You have a nice stable, but you are overthinking this. There's no rule that says you have to commute 10 years on the bike you use the first week of doing it. Pick your favorite cheaper ride, throw some good lights on it, use your backpack, and ride a couple of weeks. Then adjust as needed - no need to build up a new bike and so on. (My own preferences are for wider tires (32 C on 700's, 1.5" slicks on 26") and full-fenders, but there's plenty of folks commuting on much lighter and fenderless contraptions.) Best of luck with it.

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Old 09-05-09, 10:13 PM   #6
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Take the steel 9 speed, Trek 760. If it's a little large you probably ain't riding it anyway so may as well get use out of it. Just take the backpack and go.
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Old 09-05-09, 10:22 PM   #7
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Yeah, probably overthinking it.
But oh how I'd love a reason for another bike!
I'll just pick a day and go for it.
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Old 09-05-09, 10:29 PM   #8
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I have a primary commuter, but do switch things up every once in a while, just for fun. Why don't you play with things and see what happens?
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Old 09-07-09, 09:32 AM   #9
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Looks like I mapped out a few options where I can use a Bike trail for the first 3/4 of the ride.
12 to 14 miles each way relatively flat. 24-28 miles each day should help me reach my fitness goals and save a good bit of gas money.

I think it'll be nicer to take the path since I'd be on it in the dark part of the commute.
The main roads I have to take may be sketchy though, lots more traffic at higher speeds. I may need to add a few miles to the commute in order to find a safer long term route.
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