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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 09-06-09, 12:18 PM   #1
MarkyD
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Looking to start commuting to work.

It will be about 10 miles each way, all on mostly country backroads which are crappy. I tried it on my CAAD9, and man, I got beat the hell up.

Problem is, I can't afford to get another new bike. I just bought the CAAD9 and a Giant XTC2 29er. The 29er is for mountain biking, so I don't want to put 700c tires on it. That is out of the question.
I've already replaced the 700x23 tires on the CAAD9 with 700x25 gatorskins. That helped the ride tremendously. However, I just really don't want to put all these miles on my road bike for commuting.
I DO want something that is going to be nearly as quick but much more comfortable to ride on the poor Oklahoma back roads.

Based on my requirements, what would be a good place to start? Build my own? If not, what are some good models to start looking at for commuting? I'm 5'11" and about 210 currently.

Thanks-

Mark
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Old 09-06-09, 01:14 PM   #2
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I would recommend searching your local Craig's list for cyclocross bikes. You will want to put "street" tires on it, though. I think 700x28 or 700x32 would work nicely. Get something with some tread on it (I have Contis on my road bike, and they would be horrible on the commuter bike). Make sure you have fenders, a rack, lights, etc and you should be good to go.
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Old 09-06-09, 01:21 PM   #3
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yea a cross bike would be great or get a rigid mountain bike and some street tires. the rigid bike will probably be much easier to find used.
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Old 09-06-09, 01:42 PM   #4
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So you say no skinny tires on the 29er, how about just a second wheelset (with skinny tires, maybe 28s) for the 29er. Easier to swap than tires; switch from dirt to road mode in seconds.
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Old 09-06-09, 02:24 PM   #5
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First determine your budget and work from there. A cyclocross bike sounds ideal but finding one at a good price sounds difficult for your location. Like another poster mentioned I think buying another wheelset for the Giant might be cheaper than purchasing another bike. Have you tried commuting with the Giant XTC with the stock tires and rims? Also try timing yourself on each bike to see if there is an appreciable difference. It sounds like you can blast through those roads with the Giant without babying it like you would with the CAAD 9.

If you go the Craigslist route maybe look for a hybrid or an older mountain bike. However I don't see anything being nearly as quick as your CAAD 9 would be on asphalt.
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Old 09-06-09, 02:29 PM   #6
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Why not put the miles on your road bike? Isn't that what it's for?

Anyway, I have a "cheap" $320 hybrid that doesn't flinch at bad roads, curbs etc. Might be more affordable than ya think.
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Old 09-06-09, 02:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LesterOfPuppets View Post
So you say no skinny tires on the 29er, how about just a second wheelset (with skinny tires, maybe 28s) for the 29er. Easier to swap than tires; switch from dirt to road mode in seconds.
that sounds like a really good idea. would I also need an extra set of gears for the rear wheel, or are they easy to swap over?
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Old 09-06-09, 08:33 PM   #8
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that sounds like a really good idea. would I also need an extra set of gears for the rear wheel, or are they easy to swap over?
The gear cluster (sprocket) is not hard to remove if you have the right tools. You need a chain whip and the splined "lock nut remover" that fits your sprockets. (Most are the same, unless you have really high end road components, which you won't on a 29er).

However, it's a moderately messy job, as the sprocket will have a fair amount of grease on it. Sprockets are cheap enough that I would buy a second one rather than change it every time.

I'd be more worried about the disc brakes, as I have no experience with swapping them from wheel to wheel.
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