Hey, I'm new here.. first post. I haven't ridden in a few years, and I'm looking to get back into things by commuting to & from work (only about 2.5 miles each way) and around town. The bike I'm getting is a 2005 Specialized Hardrock Pro Disc. I live in Knoxville, TN where the weather is usually pretty good all the way up until mid-November and even then we barely dip below 35F. I already have a helmet from owning my previous bike, so I'm good to go there. Obviously I'll need a lock, so I'd like some input as to what I should look for in a good lock. Knoxville's not a huge city and so crime isn't outrageous. At the very worst I'll need a taillight.... I'll probably pick up a relatively inexpensive headlight as well so as to be seen better (probably upgrade to something nicer in the near future). Any other suggestions for must-have commuting gear? Weather at the moment is 70F daytime and 55-60 nighttime lows, so cold weather gear won't be necessary just yet. I have clipless pedals and shoes from my old bike, but one thing I've noticed is how few people mention that they ride with clipless pedals. Any particular reason why not? Previously when I commuted, I did on average of 180-200 miles a week, but never made any effort to actually prepare for being a commuter outside of putting Continental Town & Country tires. I've decided on IRC Mythos XC slick tires for this bike due to it being a decent hardpack tire along with (from what I've read) being a decent around-town tire. Eh, that's all I can think of for now. Anyone else have any suggestions to throw my way?
I started commuting with clipless because I was used to riding that way, but I have many traffic stops (e.g., 3 to 5 minutes) and some fairly rough terrain (with the odd bit of mud, very uneven pavement, etc.) to go through where I often need to put a foot down.
Got tired of the the clip/unclip routine every minute or so, so have switched to the platform side of my pedals.
If I had a clean road or path to ride, I'd still be doing clipless.
I found I needed a mirror. I needed to be able to see cars coming from behind while I planned evasive actions around potholes, glass and other road hazards. I still had one from commuting 30 years ago but it was small and clipped on your glasses. I bought one of these and mounted on my bar ends. I really like it and it has made me feel more in control. http://www.nashbar.com/profile_morei...ku=2781&brand=
Rear blinkie, self-contained LED headlight, fenders, rack. For 2 1/2 miles, I wouldn't want to change clothes, so I would stay in street shoes and ride the platform side. Riding your route for a few weeks should give you an idea of what works best for you.
My bike has straight platform pedals. The convenience of being able to just hop on and go overweighs everything else. I do see people riding clipless on my commute, and they seem to do fine, even though there is a stoplight every few blocks. It's all personal preference.
Raleigh Twenty, Puch 3 speed road conversion, lookin' into a Karate Monkey for a cruiser
I prefer toe clips and straps, I tried clipless for a while, I don't like it or the specialized shoes, I like wearing my boots all day and not having to carry extra shoes. If I were you I'd go toe clips and straps especially for commuting.
Oddly, shoe comfort isn't too much of an issue as the shoes I use are almost as comfortable as the shoes I wear on a daily basis, nor do they really even look like specific cycling shoes. Also, there's really only one or two stops along my route, so clip/unclip won't be a problem especially since I keep the retention mechanism fairly loose in comparison to a lot of people, making ingress/egress easier.