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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 04-22-11, 06:14 AM   #1
tjspiel
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Any year round/all weather commuters with just one bike?

Another couple of caveats: Must have snowy winters and enough disposable income that you could have two bikes if you wanted.

It was the commuting by MTB thread that made me think about this. A couple of people made the observation that if you only have a single bike it makes sense to have a MBT, since they're more versatile than a road bike.

In my case, I have a road bike that I use about 8 months of the year and a MTB with drops that I use in the winter. I did use a road bike one winter but it only had clearance for the skinniest of studded tires which I found inadequate.

Giving it further thought, every person I know that commutes even once in awhile during the winter has two or more bikes. One of them does use a road bike year round (Crosscheck), but has an old beat up Schwinn he uses as a backup.

If you do only have one bike, what type is it? (road, hybrid, cruiser, MTB, etc).
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Old 04-22-11, 06:34 AM   #2
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I spent decades with just one bike. My 21st century resolution was to stop such nonsense - and I did.
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Old 04-22-11, 06:51 AM   #3
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I have only one bike that I commute on, a fixed gear with straight bars. In the winter I put studs and poggies on it. I do have other bikes though, so if my commuter was damaged or stolen I'd have a backup or two to go to.
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Old 04-22-11, 07:52 AM   #4
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Just one for me, although I have a second wheelset out of laziness, to swap the studded tires in and out, and a second set of pedals that usually go on and off with the studs (switching from sandals to boots). Not an MTB however.
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Old 04-22-11, 08:50 AM   #5
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I think when the weather gets cold I'm going to have to worry more about keeping my core (and my head!) warm than another bike. I don't think I can bike in 8-20 inches of snow.
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Old 04-22-11, 08:53 AM   #6
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I had just the one commuter bike from December 2009 until recently buying a touring bike a few weeks ago. Admittedly, I don't do a lot of winter riding. A few of my more hard-core commuting coworkers use the same bikes year-round.
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Old 04-22-11, 08:59 AM   #7
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Yup, 5 days a week, all year round, one bike, plenty of money to buy any bike I would care to get. I just don't see any particular reason to get another bike. I occasionally test ride another bike, but the $300 hybrid I've been riding for the last 24000 miles just feels better to me than any other bike I've ever tried, and it just keeps going, and I'm having fun on it, so what do I really need another bike for?

I've never had any interest in owning a road bike. I test rode a couple of them over the years, they feel like trying to ride a wet noodle.

I also like the fact that the stuff on the hybrid seems pretty bulletproof. 7 speed derailleurs just work with little need for adjustment or real care if the chain is dirty or not well lubed.

Honestly, if I had the time I'd load my hybrid up and start cross country on it right now.
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Old 04-22-11, 08:59 AM   #8
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I take it then that your commute is flat as a pancake?
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Old 04-22-11, 09:03 AM   #9
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, so what do I really need another bike for?
You come out to start your ride and find that your normal commuter has a flat. If you have only one bike, you call your boss and tell her you'll be late; if you have a second, you commute on that one that day. Your commuter has to go into the shop for an overhaul on Saturday and isn't ready by Monday (or the shop is closed on Mondays). That's when you ride your second. You have to run by the grocery store or the home improvement store after work; you commute on your cargo bike.
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Old 04-22-11, 09:11 AM   #10
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I should have clarified a little bit. I'm looking for people who own just one bike, not people who own several but use just one for commuting. So far ItsJustMe fits the criteria but no one else. Of course this is a cycling forum and people here are more apt to own multiple bikes just because.

I'm also curious about places like Amsterdam where commuting by bike is normal. Do people there tend to have just one bike or do they have a fun bike and a work bike?
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Old 04-22-11, 09:25 AM   #11
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I should have clarified a little bit. I'm looking for people who own just one bike, not people who own several but use just one for commuting. So far ItsJustMe fits the criteria but no one else. Of course this is a cycling forum and people here are more apt to own multiple bikes just because.
I'm one. I ride only 1 bike regularly. It's a MTB, but I just bought a 26" Surly LHT frame to swap everything over to. I commute over gravel roads, and paved roads that are worse than gravel.
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Old 04-22-11, 09:31 AM   #12
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If you do only have one bike, what type is it? (road, hybrid, cruiser, MTB, etc).
I only have room in my shed for one (plus my wife's). We only have occasionally snowy winters in DC, but the ice on the trails can stick around for a while.

It's a Univega Viva Sport - just big enough clearance to squeeze in 622-38 tires in with fenders. That size is overkill for roads, but nice on the gravel paths, and nice for smoothing out the bumps when riding with my son.
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Old 04-22-11, 09:51 AM   #13
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just one and only one here.
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Old 04-22-11, 10:25 AM   #14
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I just have one, and for that matter, it's a mountain bike. Rocky Mountain Fusion from 1993 or so, with Rock Shox front forks. I have several miles of gravel to ride on, in addition to more of pavement, no matter which way I go. I sometimes wonder if Rocky Mountain had something like a hybrid in mind when they made this bike though, as it has lugs for fenders and stuff. It was given to me a few years ago.

If I can prove to myself that I'm serious about bicycle commuting I may get a new bike later and keep this one for a backup, but only if I can find one I like better. And what ever I get will have to be good on gravel.
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Old 04-22-11, 10:48 AM   #15
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I take it then that your commute is flat as a pancake?
My GT Tachyon was pretty much "work" with my commute. Then I added clipless pedals. ^_^ Hills are no longer a problem. We're talking 30%-50% grade climbs here, up and down again and again and it's all stop-and-go (bicycles stop at stop signs and traffic lights; I watch idiots ride through at full speed without even looking, they will learn one day). There's one that's got to be a 75% grade here; my car struggles to get up it in second, and I have a Mazda 3 S with a 180HP engine. I've yet to bike up it (I can barely walk up it, even when fresh!), but I've yet to try with the clipless pedals.

I've also done a different route, but the entire path north (keeps me off the road, at the cost of an extra 2 mile detour) is mountain with mud/crushed stone paths and I have 700c x 32 road tires. Part of that is high elevated and flat, however, whereas the road below is a continuous 5%-10% grade; but then there's the climb up, and also another climb up a bit more to get out, and a huge hill down (a road they didn't feel like maintaining anymore, so they blocked it off at both ends and called it a "Bicycle path").

I do wish my GT had a somewhat lower gear. It's an 8 speed with 3 cranks and I climb hills at a really slow cadence at 4-6mph in low; I'd rather climb at 90RPM +/- 15RPM cadence and hover around 4mph, but I think 90-100RPM at 6mph would be just fine for a hill climb. It'd be more strenuous than level ground, but I'm doing about 30RPM up the hill. Of course, this has been almost a non-issue since I got clipless pedals, and I'm usually in low crank 4th gear now going up these hills... having twice as many muscles in on the whole thing helps.
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Old 04-22-11, 01:32 PM   #16
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I ride year round all weather and have only one bike. It was a commuterized hybrid until recently, but I'm switching to a Surly LHT build this weekend. Given the amount of $ I've saved up and invested in the LHT build over time, I could have bought a couple decent entry-levelish or used bikes for sure of different types.

For my riding, though, this one bike meets all my needs and uses for now. I gave the bare frame a good internal rustproofing treatment the other night, and I plan to get studded tires b4 next winter, so that even the handful of days I miss in a given winter for ice will no longer be.
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Old 04-22-11, 01:46 PM   #17
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I should have clarified a little bit. I'm looking for people who own just one bike, not people who own several but use just one for commuting. So far ItsJustMe fits the criteria but no one else.
I hereby disqualifiy myself from this thread.
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Old 04-22-11, 01:59 PM   #18
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I don't quite fit your criteria because we rarely get snow here in the winter, but I commute year round and only have one bike, a Soma Double Cross outfitted for commuting with fenders, rack, trunk bag, disc brakes and lights.

If I do some sort of riding event, I'll strip the fenders and rack off it and it rides like a different bike. The big ride for this summer is going to be RAMROD (Ride Around Mount Ranier in One Day) - 154 miles and 10,000 feet of ascent. I'll probably be the only guy out there on a steel bike with disc brakes...
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Old 04-22-11, 06:30 PM   #19
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I don't fit the criteria. But, how do you do it? How do you resist the temptation to get another bike? I've never been perfectly satisfied with any single bike, although I wish I could be.
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Old 04-22-11, 06:55 PM   #20
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Another couple of caveats: Must have snowy winters and enough disposable income that you could have two bikes if you wanted.
I was car free for a few years in Boulder, CO with just a road bike while working as an engineer. Rode it all over - 25 miles round trip for a beer with friends in Longmont, 416 miles with nearly 30,000 feet of climbing from Grand Junction to Golden on the Ride The Rockies supported tour, up to Eldora in the Mike Horgan Hill Climb race....

On snow days I swapped on an extra set of wheels with cyclocross tires mounted.

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If you do only have one bike, what type is it? (road, hybrid, cruiser, MTB, etc).
Road.

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Old 04-22-11, 07:06 PM   #21
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You come out to start your ride and find that your normal commuter has a flat. If you have only one bike, you call your boss and tell her you'll be late; if you have a second, you commute on that one that day. Your commuter has to go into the shop for an overhaul on Saturday and isn't ready by Monday (or the shop is closed on Mondays). That's when you ride your second. You have to run by the grocery store or the home improvement store after work; you commute on your cargo bike.
Sorry, can't relate.

Changing a flat in my house with a floor pump takes what, 3 minutes?

Bike shop... overhaul? No clue.
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Old 04-22-11, 11:00 PM   #22
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I'll probably be the only guy out there on a steel bike with disc brakes...
What shoes/pedal combo do you use?
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Old 04-23-11, 12:17 AM   #23
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I have been commuting year round in Boston on a fg conversion with slicks until today. The fg handles snow/ice really well (biked the 4 miles home in 4" of snow with it still coming down this past winter). I just sold it in an effort to consolidate my life. The remaining bike is an old iron horse AT-50 steel rigid mtn bike with mostly mid range touring components. I plan to buy a fixed 26" wheel for winter duty though.
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Old 04-23-11, 12:39 AM   #24
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I have one bike only, a touring bike with slightly fat (28mm) tires. It does fine in light snow. In heavy snow, which is rare here, I walk or drive the Volvo. When I lived in Colorado, I also only had one bike, a mountain bike with big knobbies, which could handle pretty much anything. I swapped out the knobbies for road slicks in the warmer months.
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Old 04-23-11, 01:44 AM   #25
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EDIT: Oops, didn't see you were looking for people who lived where there were snowy winters.


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