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  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2011
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    1994 Mongoose Switchback, 1983 Schwinn Voyageur SP, Cheap unnamed ssfg road bike
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    Newbie to commuting

    Well, I just completed my second ever commute to work on a bike, 11 miles each way. Riding a Mongoose Switchback that my parents bought for me almost 20 years ago. I've switched the tires to Armadillo Crossroads, and it rolls better. Ergon grips, BG seat, but other than that it's basically stock.



    Monday I just carried my phone and wallet in my pocket, and didn't change (i was one of the few in the office on the 4th). Today I tried riding with a backpack containing a change of clothes. I've determined that people that say they prefer a backpack are wrong, and they actually prefer a rack. So I need to pick up a rack to carry things.

  2. #2
    Senior Member work4bike's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    I would also recommend a mirror if you're riding on roads. But be careful mirrors can be distracting, must teach yourself to do quick glances frequently. Commuting since the late 80's
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    "The aim of science is to make difficult things understandable in a simpler way; the aim of poetry is to state simple things in an incomprehensible way. The two are incompatible."

    -- Paul Dirac

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    1994 Mongoose Switchback, 1983 Schwinn Voyageur SP, Cheap unnamed ssfg road bike
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    I'm pretty fortunate to live in a pretty "bikey" area, nearly all my ride is multi-use paths, so I haven't really felt a need for a mirror yet... not saying it's a bad idea, and I might get one.

  4. #4
    Recreation Ecologist
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    Mar 2008
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    Schwinn Criss Cross (hybrid beater), Nashbar AT-2 disc MTB
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    Welcome to the commuting club, jmilleronaire. It is nice here. Pretty soon you'll be trying to figure out the best way to get groceries via bike.

  5. #5
    Clyde that Rides Aeneas's Avatar
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    Apr 2008
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    Long Island, NY
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    2008 Jamis Aurora,1988 Specialized Hardrock, 1980? Kuwahara Carrera
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    Mountain bikes of the late 80s to early 90s seem to make excellent commuters, even stock. I've purchased a couple '88 Specialized Hardrocks, one the frame was too small, so it hangs in storage until it will be needed. The second I purchased the next size up frame and fits well. Added racks, changed seat and handlebars. I put a new freewheel on earlier this year. This bike is my regular commute bike and shows no signs of slowing down.

  6. #6
    This bike is cat approved monsterpile's Avatar
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    Mar 2010
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    Lincoln, NE
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    That looks like a great bike to me. I have ridden most of my commuting miles on mountain bike based rides.
    My SUV is a bicycle

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    1994 Mongoose Switchback, 1983 Schwinn Voyageur SP, Cheap unnamed ssfg road bike
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    Rode in two days, already a setback... My bottom bracket bearings seem to have worn out, the whole crankset is rocking badly, will have to take it to the bike shop for replacement tonight. I'll have them put a rack on the back too. Probably no riding until next week.

  8. #8
    commuter and barbarian scroca's Avatar
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    Another alternative to a backpack is a seat bag. A larger size, like my Caradice Nelson longflap, will hold all I need. This is also a good alternative for people with bikes that don't have rack mounts.
    2011 Felt Q620
    2010 Motobecane Jury fixed gear
    2010 Surly LHT
    1992 Trek 1200
    1977 Schwinn Le Tour II fixed gear

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    I ride to work, i need to carry a change of clothes and sometimes a laptop... so i'll probably get a rack and panniers for that... Although i'm thinking maybe i'll buy the used fuji road bike they've had in their rack for a couple of months now, it should fit me better.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2011
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    1994 Mongoose Switchback, 1983 Schwinn Voyageur SP, Cheap unnamed ssfg road bike
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    Ok, I took the mongoose to the bike shop to get the bottom bracket rebuilt, and bought a rack. I didn't end up buying the used Fuji, but I did get a nice Schwinn, which already had a rack, and i convinced them to throw in bottle cages with the purchase...



    I took it for a quick ride down the street and back, and I'm amazed how much more inclined it is to roll than my other bike! I had to take the clips off the pedals, because my shoes didn't fit into them at all, so I'll probably end up getting new pedals for it eventually. Also, it's got a strange set of gears in the front, looks like 52, 50, 35.... the top two are barely different in size, the bottom on is tiny.

    This should suit my purposes, I will try the commute tomorrow on it!

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