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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 08-24-10, 05:45 PM   #1
trekker pete
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Commute from hell

Well, maybe that's a little strong, but, it was my worst yet.

Today's commute got off to a great start.

Did a little pre-commute warm up. (wink, wink, nudge, nudge)

Got out of bed. Got dressed. Looked at my floor pump, gave the rear tire a pinch and thought, solid as a rock, why bother. Loaded up the bike and hit the road. About 62 degrees and a little breezy. It just doesn't any better than that. I managed to stay out of the granny ring for the few modest climbs I have. Even hammered a few of them out of the saddle. I was hoping for maybe a personal best.

About 8 miles into the 12 mile commute, any thoughts of PBs were dashed.

My nightsun does a great job of pointing out the potholes, but, it does require I pay attention. I zoned out for a moment and whacked a pothole dead center at about 22mph.

Feck!!!! I thought. The pinch flat ferry is sure to pay a visit after that one....I thought. A few seconds later, right on time, she arrived.

No biggie, I thought, slap a new tube in and I'll still make it to work by 6.

As I reached into one of the now inverted panniers i felt something a little mushy. my chinese takeout tupperwear didn't much like being flipped over, so it coated the inside of the pannier and my pump with ravioli. Oh well. So I gotta buy lunch.

I got the new tube in and pumped away. After about 30 seconds I figured, for a second time that day, that the tire had enough in it. My portable pump sucks. If you hammer away for a few minutes, you can get to about 80 lbs. I didn't. Probably had 50 or 60, but, i figured the road was pretty good from there on out and it's getting light, so if i don't hit anything I'll be fine.

An underinflated tire, overinflated rider (235ish), 700x25 tires, another 15 pounds of junk in the panners, is seriously calling out the pinch flat ferry.

Sure enough, about another mile down the road I hit a slight bump. I think it might have been a poorly filled pothole.

Anyway, I found my self once again sitting on the side of the road. This time however, I didn't have another good tube. I had my patch kit which had one way too large patch and nothing to cut it with.

I attempted a repair, but, as soon as I started pumping it up, it failed.

At least I had my cell phone. So I called work and had the supervisor, who fortunately has a pickup and is a riding buddy, come get me.

Next time I set out from the house, I will have 120lbs of air in both tires, at least 2 extra tubes, locking tupperware and hopefully be below 230 lbs. Even thinking about bumping up a size in rubber.

Will a 28 tire fit my bone stock trek 1200 in place of the 25s currently on it? I think it will. I think I can stand to give up .0003 mph that a slightly fatter tire will cost me. Would also like a recommendation on a portable pump. It doesn't have to be a frame mount pump. Just small enough to strap down to my pannier rack or inside the panniers. I recall something here being mentioned awhile back. I think it was a topeak. The nice thing was that it had a hose, so you aren't stressing the stem as you pump.
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Old 08-24-10, 05:55 PM   #2
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Less thinking about wink, wink, nudge, nudge and more thinking about the road will certainly help.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:09 PM   #3
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On the tires, go as wide as you can up to 32 or 35 if possible. I went from 25's to 32's and I love them, much better ride, and I have not noticed any speed loss whatsoever.

As far as the pump goes, I use A topeak one, it has the hose, a pressure gauge, and the handle folds out for easier use and it has a part that folds out to put your foot on as well. Here is the link: http://www.performancebike.com/bikes..._1030972_-1___

Cheers!
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Old 08-24-10, 06:22 PM   #4
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You weigh 235 pounds. You should be pumping more than 120 PSI.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:27 PM   #5
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You would love a Mountain Morph'''''''

Find the cheapest you can buy on line, and performance will match it....... I got mine for $18
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Old 08-24-10, 06:33 PM   #6
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110-120 psi is fine in 25s for 235 lbs. or rider weight and some panniers - and I should know, being at 240 and running 25s. I don't let my rear tire get much below 100 psi, and I don't let the front get below 80. I have yet to have a pinch flat.

You can go up in size for a cushier ride. You won't notice much difference in top seed, but acceleration will be a bit slower - it's a subtle difference, though. If you like to ride fast, you'll notice it, but if you're a slower rider, you likely won't.

Topeak Road Morph G FTW.
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Old 08-24-10, 06:43 PM   #7
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I can't vouch for the accuracy, but someone over in the tandem forum said that he had determined that the difference between 700X23 and 700X25 was 7 watts per tire. If the same applies to the bump from 25 to 28, then you may see a noticeable speed difference. Of course, you're not moving very fast while changing flats. I prefer that my tires be as flat-resistant as possible.
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Old 08-24-10, 07:28 PM   #8
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110-120 psi is fine in 25s for 235 lbs. or rider weight and some panniers - and I should know, being at 240 and running 25s. I don't let my rear tire get much below 100 psi, and I don't let the front get below 80. I have yet to have a pinch flat.

You can go up in size for a cushier ride. You won't notice much difference in top seed, but acceleration will be a bit slower - it's a subtle difference, though. If you like to ride fast, you'll notice it, but if you're a slower rider, you likely won't.

Topeak Road Morph G FTW.
As huge as you are you shouldn't be using 25mm tires. You need wider tires and more pressure. I weigh 160 pounds with 700x23 tires and use 105 to 115 PSI front to back. You weight 80 pounds more than me and use less pressure?
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Old 08-24-10, 07:39 PM   #9
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I keep 2 co2 cartridges in my saddle bag. I keep a floor pump at home & keep the tires inflated properly, but a co2 cartridge is just so much easier & less effort if I ever get a flat out on the road, especially on the way into work.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:13 PM   #10
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As huge as you are you shouldn't be using 25mm tires. You need wider tires and more pressure. I weigh 160 pounds with 700x23 tires and use 105 to 115 PSI front to back. You weight 80 pounds more than me and use less pressure?
As polite as you are, you are incorrect. There's no reason he can't use 25 or even 23mm tires.
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Old 08-24-10, 08:19 PM   #11
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As polite as you are, you are incorrect. There's no reason he can't use 25 or even 23mm tires.
He can just I wouldn't recommend it.
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Old 08-24-10, 09:11 PM   #12
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25s are no problem. and 120 should be enough, you could maybe push it to 130

I have a Toopeak Road Morph G on the way from Amazon - $27.99 makes shipping free.
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Old 08-25-10, 06:25 AM   #13
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I run 28's on my commuter and my pump of choice is a Zefal frame pump. I'm also running Conti gatorskins to help with flat prevention. So far, so good.
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Old 08-25-10, 06:51 AM   #14
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I had a commute home one day with 2 flats, and it was in the upper 90's, so I know your pain.
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Old 08-25-10, 07:05 AM   #15
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I keep 2 co2 cartridges in my saddle bag. I keep a floor pump at home & keep the tires inflated properly, but a co2 cartridge is just so much easier & less effort if I ever get a flat out on the road, especially on the way into work.
+1 I've had almost exclusively bad experiences with mini-pumps by the side of the road.
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Old 08-25-10, 07:45 AM   #16
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I keep 2 co2 cartridges in my saddle bag. I keep a floor pump at home & keep the tires inflated properly, but a co2 cartridge is just so much easier & less effort if I ever get a flat out on the road, especially on the way into work.
A decent pump also works fine. I can hit 120 PSI with my Road Morph without too much trouble. In reality I run 32s and only pump to 80 (actually, I inflate to 80 with my air compressor), but I've used my pump on other people's tires and gone to 120.

I've never had a single problem pumping up with the Road Morph.
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Old 08-25-10, 08:02 AM   #17
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Less thinking about wink, wink, nudge, nudge and more thinking about the road will certainly help.
Say no more! Say no more!

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Old 08-25-10, 09:57 AM   #18
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Even thinking about bumping up a size in rubber.
Aren't we all.
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Old 08-25-10, 10:03 AM   #19
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I hate days like that and i think most of can relate to ya, a couple months ago i got three flats on two different bikes in one morning i almost gave up and called in sick to work
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Old 08-25-10, 10:50 AM   #20
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Another vote for the Road Morph. I love mine! It's been my only pump for years now. I can easily get my tires (35's) to 90 lbs pressure in a minute. On the other bike I run narrower tires and run them at 110 lbs. Takes a little more effort for the last few pounds, but still quite reasonable, and about the same amount of time (lower tire volume = fewer pumps)
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Old 08-25-10, 11:29 AM   #21
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At least it doesn't happen that often?
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Old 09-08-10, 04:56 PM   #22
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well, since the commute from hell, i've been riding to work quite a bit and have been staying on top of tire pressure. no pinch flats since, but, i did have one regular flat from something i ran over, i guess and this morning i found my rear flat again. wasn't flat when i got home last night.

this is getting old. seems like every year when dark riding season arrives, as is the case in the morning currently, the flats arrive as well. makes sense as my nightsun doesn't point out road hazards quite as well as the other sun.

so now, i am definitely going with new rubber front and rear and will probably also go with thicker tubes.

should i go to a 28 or 32. my 25s just do slip past the brake pads. i suspect that a 28 might require pumping up after putting the tire on. i am quite certain this will be the case with a 32, but, that's OK. i just want these damned flats to go away.

recommendations appreciated. i think i probably want to stay with a slick. i will ride through the cold weather when the roads are clean. will ride on wet roads (actually enjoy rain when it's warm).

don't mind spending a bit extra, but, would like to try and keep it under 25 bucks a wheel.
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Old 09-08-10, 05:35 PM   #23
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At 235 pounds I would not be too worried about a larger tire taking away any of your speed. While a larger tire may add a few SECONDS to your commute time, I think your weight is what is causing the most delay Your main goal should be to improve your fitness, then you can worry about PB times. Hell, attach a small boat anchor to the back of the bike for a few weeks and watch the pounds fly off!
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Old 09-08-10, 05:55 PM   #24
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yeah, kinda like the boat anchor SLA battery I use to power my headlights, i guess i can just look at bigger tires as a training aid.
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Old 09-08-10, 10:13 PM   #25
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I went up to 32's and wouldn't go back. I was 235 and am down to 200 now. I felt like that is what my bike should have come with in the first place the first time I rode them. If you can fit them I'd recomend it. I keep them at 100-105 with slime tubes. I use a CO2 with a mini pump as a back up but have been lucky enough that I haven't had to use either. I keep a full size at work and home and I've been lucky enough to make it all the way the few times I've flatted. I did have to walk it about two blocks once...
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