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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 01-09-10, 02:45 PM   #1
TFS Jake
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Finally bought a "commuter"

Scott Sportster P6. I like it. I hope to ride my 2.3 mile commute to and from school. I have been trying to figure out what to buy and this really suited me. I do have a problem, do you think my LBS will trade bikes with me? (I bought a M and really needed a S) They didn't tell me they had S.
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Old 01-09-10, 02:56 PM   #2
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Go find out. Right now. The longer you wait, the less likely they are to allow you to switch bikes. They really should have fit you to begin with. Did they even try?
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Old 01-09-10, 03:07 PM   #3
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+1 find out if they'll trade IMMEDIATELY. My lbs has a 48 hour refund, beyond that up to 2 weeks they'll give you 50-75% of your money back depending on what the bike is. After that the bike is yours. Don't know that your lbs is the same way, but the longer you wait the worse.
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Old 01-09-10, 03:31 PM   #4
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Going there now. I thought I bought the S, I just must have grabbed the wrong one.


EDIT: The guy that works there was cool, they're gonna have to order another S P6 for me. All I gotta do is bring this one back.

They have a P5 (With the shock) for around 60 bucks more, is it worth the extra?

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Old 01-09-10, 03:50 PM   #5
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Hopefully, they let you swap. If not, I would not do business with them again. They should have tweaked it for you before you hit the door; the wrong size frame would have turned up then.
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Old 01-09-10, 04:46 PM   #6
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They had an extra P6 in the back size S. I'm so happy, I fit so much better. I absolutely LOVE this bike compared to my ****ty mountain bike.
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Old 01-09-10, 06:38 PM   #7
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Glad that the LBS was helpful. That P6 looks like a nice entry level ride. I checked the specs/geo, and I may have to figure out a way to bring it home. 18" chainstays=virtually eliminates heel strike. Too bad it's not steel.
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Old 01-09-10, 06:41 PM   #8
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Glad that the LBS was helpful. That P6 looks like a nice entry level ride. I checked the specs/geo, and I may have to figure out a way to bring it home. 18" chainstays=virtually eliminates heel strike. Too bad it's not steel.
Can you dumb down that post for me? (the most expensive bike I bought before this one was 90 bucks lol)
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Old 01-09-10, 06:48 PM   #9
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have; be safe and keep researching
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Old 01-09-10, 07:09 PM   #10
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What are some things that I may need to upgrade? Do I need a rack, and fenders?
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Old 01-09-10, 07:29 PM   #11
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What are some things that I may need to upgrade? Do I need a rack, and fenders?
Everything on every bike needs to be replaced at some point. Most people 'upgrade' their seat (saddle) and the pedals rather quickly. Those people have been riding for a while, so they recognize what makes them happy.

As far as the rack and fenders, only you know the answer to that.

You haven't been a part of BF for very long, and I don't know how long you 'lurked' before joining, but there are certain topics that are considered "Holy War" around here. The ones I'm most familiar with:

-Frame material: Steel vs aluminum vs carbon fiber (CF)... other more exotic ones, but those three are the most prevalent.
-Backpack vs Messenger Bag vs Pannier
-Handlebars: Drop vs flat vs risers
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Old 01-09-10, 07:30 PM   #12
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Fenders are usually a good idea though it may not be necessary for some areas. Racks can serve a variety of purposes. You can put groceries on it or strap your backpack down or whatever. First and foremost probably a good lock. Depending on your area you may want the high end Fugehdaboudit (sp?) or a relatively inexpensive U-lock. Lighting is also something to consider but it is also dependent on your needs. A rear flashing light like the PB Superflash is a usual mainstay. For the front you have light to "see" and lights to be "seen". Just make sure whatever you get you can take off while your in class.
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Old 01-09-10, 07:57 PM   #13
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Fenders are usually a good idea though it may not be necessary for some areas. Racks can serve a variety of purposes. You can put groceries on it or strap your backpack down or whatever. First and foremost probably a good lock. Depending on your area you may want the high end Fugehdaboudit (sp?) or a relatively inexpensive U-lock. Lighting is also something to consider but it is also dependent on your needs. A rear flashing light like the PB Superflash is a usual mainstay. For the front you have light to "see" and lights to be "seen". Just make sure whatever you get you can take off while your in class.
I am going to get a cheap U-lock, I'm going to park it in front of my school (lots of cameras/office people). I will get a light in the rear, but I plan on only biking in the light. (7 am and then 4pm).
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Old 01-09-10, 08:03 PM   #14
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Glad that the LBS was helpful. That P6 looks like a nice entry level ride. I checked the specs/geo, and I may have to figure out a way to bring it home. 18" chainstays=virtually eliminates heel strike. Too bad it's not steel.
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Can you dumb down that post for me? (the most expensive bike I bought before this one was 90 bucks lol)
The comment about it being a nice entry level bike was just that. There will be people who deride you of your choice of ride. However, a)you bought a bike from a LBS, b)bought something that was presumably in your budget, c)recognized the first one didn't quite "fit" (not many noobies would've picked up on that-good on ya), and c)you got something that you liked, without putting it to a popularity vote (that I know of) on the interwebz.

Some people will tell you that the components are junk. That the bike is heavy. That you ought to ride x brand/model instead, which probably costs 2-3x $$, and if you're talking to roadies, more like 4-5x more $$.

The geo reference (bike geometry) regarding the chainstay length was that you bought a bike that should you decide to install a rear rack, means that you (and I was talking about myself in the earlier post) should have no issues with heel strike. Heel strike is when you use panniers and your feet keep hitting the bags as you pedal. With my current rack set-up on my bike, I have heel strike- big time.

The comment about steel, well, I was just being ornery.

Enjoy your ride.
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Old 01-09-10, 08:09 PM   #15
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hey, if they sold you the wrong size bike you should give them an earful.

I just picked up a Trek Soho today and not only did we check for the right size, but they swapped the stem for me to get the handlebars up a tiny bit for me. great shop (International Bike in Newton MA)
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Old 01-09-10, 08:14 PM   #16
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I am going to get a cheap U-lock, I'm going to park it in front of my school (lots of cameras/office people). I will get a light in the rear, but I plan on only biking in the light. (7 am and then 4pm).
Depending on your location, there are certain times of the year that when the sun will be either right in front of you or right behind you. You will want as much blinking "Hey, you in the car! Do you see me?" light.
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Old 01-09-10, 08:29 PM   #17
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The comment about it being a nice entry level bike was just that.
Enjoy your ride.
<snipped a little>

Thank you, that helped tons.
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Old 01-09-10, 08:32 PM   #18
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hey, if they sold you the wrong size bike you should give them an earful.
They got it corrected, it was a simple mistake.

Short story: Looked at the P5 and P6. Showed me a P6 M and a P5 S. I like the P5s fit, but the P6 was completely solid ( think I will like that better). I (and the LBS) got mixed up and the sales guy picked up the M instead of the S, and then I didn't double check. But I got it fixed no problem.
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Old 01-10-10, 05:38 PM   #19
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Rode it about 8 miles today, adjusted the seat a few times, overall LOVE IT!!! It's so much fun!
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Old 01-10-10, 05:59 PM   #20
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Glad you enjoy your correct sized new bike TFS Jake. As for locks I bought an Onguard Mini 7 through Amazon. Its sized between a mini and full sized U-Lock and fits around most things I use it for. For me its not so heavy so I don't mind carrying it around as much as another lock I had.

As for lights the PB superflash is a good bet. It has an eye cathing display pattern and a relatively long battery life. As one of the four rear blinkies I have, it is my favorite. Even if you plan on biking during the day you might want to consider a front "to be seen light." I bought a Blackburn Quadrant and Mars 3.0 pack from Dicks Sporting goods a long while ago which fit the bill at that time.

Good luck and happy commuting
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Old 01-10-10, 06:07 PM   #21
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Thanks man. Any advice or equipment that I may need would be nice. What about a computer?
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Old 01-10-10, 06:31 PM   #22
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I don't own a computer so I really can't comment on a particular one. If you want to keep track of mileage, speed, or whatever else you may want to look into one.

Sometimes a lot of commuting is just using what you have or what is available. A lot of what I have took time to accumulate. There always seems to be something either bigger, better, or more useful right around the corner. But sometimes certain items stand the test of time.

If you read or search this forum often enough you will come across a good list of items that people have or tried (PB fenders, Magicshine lights, PB superflash taillight, Topeak racks/ trunk bags, Schwalbe marathon tires, Brooks saddles, Kryptonite locks, etc.). You will hear both pros and cons of the items as well and possible alternatives. Sometimes you got to think; if everyone is commenting about them, then there might be something to them.
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Old 01-10-10, 06:34 PM   #23
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Thanks for the info.
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Old 01-10-10, 07:00 PM   #24
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You are welcome.

Don't be afraid about looking at other forums as well. Winter, Electronics, Touring, Hybrid, Advocacy all have a wealth of information. I'm still learning myself and somethings are over my head or I don't have experience with. I suggest doing a search first to get an idea of what people have, and then do a specific search of the actual items. Look at where they are talked about the most to give you an idea of who is using them as well.

Given enough time (not sure how long you've been lurking) you will also have an idea of posters who have a general or specific expertise on certain subjects. But sometimes it's a simple a riding your bike from point A to point B. We sometimes (myself included) make it more complicated than it needs to be.
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Old 01-11-10, 07:09 PM   #25
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So, I rode "to" school today. Basically, I rode to school, after school. (to see how long it was going to take me) But my "sit bones" were sore from the 8ish miles I did yesterday. Should I continue to ride daily, or should I take a break? Like alternate on/off for a few days?
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