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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 03-03-11, 12:04 PM   #1
BotByte
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Help out a New Commuter???

I'm new to Commuting, not to biking.

Gas Prices, need weight loss, and use for a new hobby is why I want to Commute.

But I need some help with the bike, bike setup and any other things you people can.

Me and my ride to school:
220, 6'
Hate flats
I know bike tech and work on my own bikes.
Like go fast, go fast, go fast, go fast
I have a older 10 speed, trying to buy a 70's Raleigh trans-continental at the moment.
My path is: 20% busy road, 80% bike/walking path

i need some help with the tyre set up, for no flats, a rack with some panniers, locks, and any tips and tricks that could help me.

And I have around $1000 to spend, but cheaper would be better.


Thank you in advance
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Old 03-03-11, 12:09 PM   #2
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$1000 would buy a lot of gas and Jenny Craig shakes.

Just kidding. I'm new on the forums too and plan to start commuting by bike to work soon. So I look forward to reading any advice people have for you. One thing you didn't mention is how far your commute is.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:16 PM   #3
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Hey, I've lost 80 pounds just by biking and working out for 30 minutes everyday. I'm at the point where I haven't lost or gained a pound for several months.

I want to bike because I like to bike, I also don't like to drive everywhere. I can go to five different cities on my bike in 20 mins min, driving takes 30 minutes. Go figure
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Old 03-03-11, 12:20 PM   #4
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Hey, I've lost 80 pounds just by biking and working out for 30 minutes everyday.
Nice!!
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Old 03-03-11, 12:39 PM   #5
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Welcome to the wonderful of commuting, here is what you'll need:
appropriate clothing for weather, leg warmers, arm warmers, beanie, helmet. Thats for Cold weather.
Warm; comfy shorts, knee warmers, arm warmers. Change of clothes if you have to change when you get to where you are going. Fenders if you ride in wet conditions, panniers? I dont know I have an Xtracycle and it makes life easy.
Need more specific info for more specific needs.
Good Luck
I commute year round and live in the mountains so I ride through single digits temps and foot deep snow.
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Old 03-03-11, 12:43 PM   #6
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For commuting get Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (bulletproof, but heavy and will slow you down some... but they make your go-fast bikes feel like a dream) since I ride all over and havent had a flat yet (over a year on them).

For a rack, I use the PDW one... just one that caught my eye. someone else will have better advice.
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Old 03-03-11, 01:03 PM   #7
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For commuting get Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires
This is sound advice.

In addition, since we're not sure where you are in the world, I will throw a blanket statement out there for those who deal with cold weather:

If you walk outside in the morning before your commute and you're comfortable, you're not dressed right. If you're a little chilly, you're fine. If you'll be commuting in temps lower than 30F, I had pretty good luck with Pearl Izumi Barrier Lobster Mitts for keeping hands warm.

There's some trial and error for clothing, but I definitely recommend the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires. A front dynamo hub may not be a bad idea either.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:05 PM   #8
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Need more specific info for more specific needs.
Good Luck
I commute year round and live in the mountains so I ride through single digits temps and foot deep snow.

I live where there MIGHT be snow. But mostly rain, lots of rain.

I need mostly what I need for my bike and not what to wear, though I do need to buy a helmet.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:18 PM   #9
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For flat resistant tires the Schwalbe Marathons, Panaracer Ribmo's or Tservs, and Specialized Armadillo's are usually highly recommended. Sometimes there is a bit of a compromise between rolling fast and flat protection.

For locks the Kryptonite evolution and Onguard Bulldog should fit the bill. However if you are in a high theft area you might want to upgrade the locks and maybe invest into Pitlocks or something similar.

For Racks the Topeak explorer is highly recommended. I have the Axiom oddyysee and like mine alot.

Are you also looking for a new/used bike?
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Old 03-03-11, 02:20 PM   #10
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For commuting get Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (bulletproof, but heavy and will slow you down some... but they make your go-fast bikes feel like a dream) since I ride all over and havent had a flat yet (over a year on them).
Schwalbe Marathon Plus is a great tire. For slightly lower rolling resistance, try the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. Lighter, smoother, although slightly less bulletproof. I've been running them for a while and I did get one tiny shard of glass get through to produce a flat.
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Old 03-03-11, 02:45 PM   #11
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Any tips or tricks you people like?

Any bullet proof tyre setup?
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Old 03-03-11, 03:28 PM   #12
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Schwalbe Marathon Plus is a great tire. For slightly lower rolling resistance, try the Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. Lighter, smoother, although slightly less bulletproof. I've been running them for a while and I did get one tiny shard of glass get through to produce a flat.
I'll second this, but add the comment that they are expensive. Wonderful tire to ride though, smooth and grippy.
No tire is going to be totally flat free, unless you go for a solid, and those are heavy, uncomfortable, and not very grippy. I would say either the Marathon Plus, or the Supreme, depending on exactly where on the flat resistance/speed curve you wan to be. If they are not available locally, other manufacturers have near equivalents. If your area is subject to rain, don't forget to allow for fender spacing when you size the tires.

And welcome to cycle commuting, soon it will be an addiction!
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Old 03-03-11, 03:29 PM   #13
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I would recommend a set up of mr tuffys (tire liners) they will save you alot of time
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Old 03-04-11, 07:55 PM   #14
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> 20% busy road, 80% bike/walking path

This sounds like my commute. If the bike path is paved and well-maintained, and the road section isn't too bad, you might not have to worry about flats too much and can get away with less protection than Schwalbes. A lighter, better-riding tire would be more conducive to your "go fast, go fast, go fast, go fast" requirement. I use Serfas Seca and Conti Gatorskins, get maybe one or two flat a year (well within my comfort zone for commuting issues).
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Old 03-04-11, 08:03 PM   #15
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Knock on wood, I haven't had a flat yet on my commute using WTB Slickosaurus tires. I'm in NYC too, not the most tire friendly place on earth.

Keep in mind all the gear you need to commute. I've been riding most of my life (I'm 56) and I still spent a lot of money on commuting gear, tires, rack, pannier, lights, clothes... It doesn't seem like a lot but it adds up.
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Old 03-04-11, 09:07 PM   #16
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Strictly speaking, you don't need a rack or panniers for commuting. Nice, but not always needed.

Invest in a good waterproof backpack or mess bag to keep your stuff dry. Easier to carry a load when off of the bike. Experiment for yourself the topic of on the bike vs on your back.
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Old 03-04-11, 11:18 PM   #17
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Take things to the MAX!!!! Schwalbe Marathons Plus or Specialized Armadillo + Mr. Tuffy Tire Liners + thornproof(thicker) tube. If you are going to run 26" tires around 60psi also get Slime shots in the tubes. You wanted Maximum protection RIGHT???? Well that's what you want. Your wheels will weigh 10lbs after all that which would be a good thing since you want to lose weight.
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Old 03-07-11, 09:04 AM   #18
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Take things to the MAX!!!! Schwalbe Marathons Plus or Specialized Armadillo + Mr. Tuffy Tire Liners + thornproof(thicker) tube. If you are going to run 26" tires around 60psi also get Slime shots in the tubes. You wanted Maximum protection RIGHT???? Well that's what you want. Your wheels will weigh 10lbs after all that which would be a good thing since you want to lose weight.
Actually that's what I was thinking to do:

Schwalbe Marathon
Thorn Proof Tubes
Mr. Tuffy
and maybe slime
with extra Tube and Patch kit

This would be on my road bike, so I'd like to cut weight off, but it's either liners or thicker tubes.

anyways, how do you get slime into Presta valves?
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Old 03-07-11, 11:30 AM   #19
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Actually that's what I was thinking to do:

Schwalbe Marathon
Thorn Proof Tubes
Mr. Tuffy
and maybe slime
with extra Tube and Patch kit

This would be on my road bike, so I'd like to cut weight off, but it's either liners or thicker tubes.

anyways, how do you get slime into Presta valves?
Do yourself a favor and don't bother w/Slime. Been there, done that and it proved to be worthless and messy. Get a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Plus 25 or 28mm depending on what your loaded weight will be. Your problems are over. I've got over 12,000 miles on a set of 28 mm w/one flat and one slow leak in 3 years. Also, Mr. Tuffys w/a high psi tire is an iffy combination as well. You'd be better off w/just the thorn proof tubes. If you don't have the clearance for SMPs forkwise get a Marathon for the front and an SMP for the rear.

AFA as the weight aspect goes one doesn't notice it so much when the object is to arrive at a specific place at a consistant time. Commuting isn't the same as road cycling/touring/utilitarian where one has time latitude. So, if you're a 20 mph rider you're going to be frustrated unless you dial back your expectations to a more realistic pace for commuting. 15-17 loaded is even a little high. Give yourself an extra 10-15 mins for flat/clothes changing time. Don't ride in your work/school clothes and don't work in your cycling clothes.

A seatpost rack/trunkbag combo is good for tools, lunch, etc. Get good lighting as well. 2-3 blinkies for the rear and 2 headlights for the front. One for seeing(Niterider Mi-Newt 200 for example)and one w/a blinking mode for daytime travel. Welcome and have a great time tailoring your rig.

Speaking of tailoring as you live where it rains alot full coverage fenders are a must as well as mudflaps front and rear.
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Old 03-07-11, 11:38 AM   #20
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I hate changing out tires that have thorn proof tubes inside. I suppose if they do their job it doesn't matter though.
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