It's been 6 successful months of bike commuting for me now. It's pretty much become second nature for me at this point. It feels weird to drive the car. I really look forward to my bike commute, especially in the morning. Riding home uphill in 90 degree heat isn't so enjoyable but it makes the beer taste better when I get home I'm riding about 5 miles each way now. I could cut it down to 6 round trip if I had to but as I get in better shape I've added a little distance here and there. Here are a couple pictures of my commuter so far.
2010 Specialized Hardrock Comp with SKS shockblade fenders, Topeak Explorer rear rack, Zefal lights front and rear, and a milke crate I get made fun of for that a lot, but hey, it works like a champ. A heck of a lot nicer than a sweaty backpack pulling on my back the whole way home.
Here it is with slicks installed. I ran these for a couple of months and they worked great. Way faster ride but I do a lot of off road riding on the weekends and they didn't make the cut.
Anyways, I'm really enjoying this bike commuting and can't wait to try it this winter in the snow. Any recommendations for snow tires? I'll be going down a lot of steep hills with black ice...
I ran Schwalbe Ice Spikers last winter. Awesome tires. Don't expect to be fast on them, but you will be able to ride over pretty much any surface. The tires you get depend on where you're riding. The Ice Spikers are inappropriate for plowed roads, for example. I ride on a lot of packed snow / unplowed MUP surfaces.
Carbide studs definitely last longer!
Just remember, studded tires allow you to ride on ice, but you still have to be careful!