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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 11-02-11, 01:29 PM   #1
turbo chicken
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Just Started Commuting

I got a bike some months back. Last week I decided to ride the bike down to the rail station. It was a blast... and I'm going to do it as often as possible.

ill be riding about 30mi a week ... i seriously don't see myself doing more than that any time soon.

The beater $10.00 garage sale special did okay i guess. I'm not sure if spending any cash on it is even worth it beyond the following. Your opinions here would be greatly appreciated.
-Pads
-Fenders
-Saddle... i can always use on my next bike. Geebus im getting a saddle this one sucks.
-Tires ... not sure if it's even worth the cost at this point. As im already window shopping for a better beater bike. I'm considering this one http://dallas.craigslist.org/ndf/bik/2648048486.html

I'm not a beginner when it comes to maintaining a bike I was an avid 20" rider for several years in my youth. I've already cleaned out and put fresh grease in the BB, adjusted the derailers, breaks, trued the wheels about as good as I can get them and made sure steering was tight. I'm taking off the safety levers and putting on fresh pads tonight.
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Old 11-02-11, 06:32 PM   #2
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What kind of bike do you have now?....The beater, I mean.

- Slim
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Old 11-02-11, 06:51 PM   #3
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What are pads? Brake pads?
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Old 11-02-11, 06:55 PM   #4
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Welcome Turbo,

When I started commuting last year, I started riding a bike that is pretty old and hadn't been ridden for probably 20 years. I checked things out first and did a bit of a tune up but I found that the first month was a bit of a shake-down - for the bike and also for me. I fixed things as they popped up (or fell off) and as the months progressed, I found myself more in tune with what I needed bike-wise. I ended up in 6 months or so, building up a new commuting bike out of an old frame and other parts that I had in the attic and it is working well **BUT** it is now darn dark during my morning commute and so I just bought a dynamo hub with better lighting, and because I wanted to run a slightly wider tire, new rims fore and aft were necessary. Since I was building the rear wheel anyway, I decided to replace my single speed set up with a new kick-back 2 speed hub.

The moral of the story: You sure get to thinking about a lot of stuff while riding - and most of it is about improving the ride. There is a difference between money spent for fuel and that spent on your bike: you can still use the bike stuff long after the gas is gone.

- G
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Old 11-02-11, 06:56 PM   #5
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The huffy I attached in the first post... is this is better
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Old 11-02-11, 07:02 PM   #6
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What are pads? Brake pads?
Yes
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Originally Posted by gmt13 View Post
The moral of the story: You sure get to thinking about a lot of stuff while riding - and most of it is about improving the ride. There is a difference between money spent for fuel and that spent on your bike: you can still use the bike stuff long after the gas is gone.
I'll work my way up to the 10 mile one way trip in the months to come ... for now the short trip up the hill every afternoon is kickin my butt... the downhill morning ride is fun.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
What kind of bike do you have now?....The beater, I mean.

- Slim
put the pic in an image for ya... instead of the attachment

Last edited by turbo chicken; 11-02-11 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 11-02-11, 07:52 PM   #7
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My suggestion is ride it for a while, fix it as needed. If you need fenders, take it to a bike shop and have them put some on. Planet bike makes some inexpensive ones, as does SKS(My PB fenders were 30 bucks).

I've been riding to work for about 3 months now on a bike I bought new, and I'm finding things I dislike, or that I wish would be different as the conditions change. Ride yours for a while and figure out what you need.

As for distance, I do 30 miles a week and it seemed like plenty for a while. It's now getting to the point where I wish it was more.
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Old 11-02-11, 07:52 PM   #8
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The huffy I attached in the first post... is this is better
Some of those older Huffies are fairly reasonable bikes. You probably will want to move to a nicer bike at some stage, but this one will get you through until you can.

I would get a set of good brake blocks for those steel wheels. Remember that they may be a little slower to brake than modern aluminum wheels, so the lesson is "brake early..." You might be able to pick up some Kool Stops. They are expensive, but worth it. If you can't, I've used Dia Compe gray pads, which were OK. Whatever you do, avoid the completely bargain basement pads. With this wheel, they may not brake at all.

I honestly don't think I would spring for fenders or anything else for this bike. Ride it as is.
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Old 11-02-11, 08:00 PM   #9
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You'll be happy to do the full 10 miles in no time.

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Old 11-02-11, 08:26 PM   #10
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Why are you considering another bike that's similar to your Huffy?

If your Huffy is made of chromoly steel and the frame isn't damaged, just upgrade your components. Just have your stays set at 130 mm and start upgrading, provided that your frame is in good condition. Just add a couple components every month or so. When spring arrives, you'll essentially have a "new" bike. Since, you'll be doing things gradually, your wallet won't feel the pinch as much either.

- Slim
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Old 11-03-11, 08:41 AM   #11
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Why are you considering another bike that's similar to your Huffy?

If your Huffy is made of chromoly steel and the frame isn't damaged, just upgrade your components. Just have your stays set at 130 mm and start upgrading, provided that your frame is in good condition. Just add a couple components every month or so. When spring arrives, you'll essentially have a "new" bike. Since, you'll be doing things gradually, your wallet won't feel the pinch as much either.

- Slim
There is absolutely no chance that bike is made of chromoly steel. Besides that fact, there are other reasoned it is probably not a good long-term solution (look at the cranks, steel wheels, gas pipe frame and the brakes-just to start). OP, I wouldn't sink any money into this bike, but ride it for now, have fun, learn more about bicycle maintenance, and when you get comfortable with commuting go find yourself something a little nicer.
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Old 11-03-11, 04:02 PM   #12
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Well this was a short lived endeavor. This morning I check my air and go to put on the new pads and I see bubbles all along my sidewalls. The outside layer is separating from the rest of the tire. Figured it was unsafe to venture out on the road.

So I worked from home which isn't bad... but I was really looking forward to the coast down the hill this morning.

Tires even cheapies are 10 each +shipping ... I think i'd rather not put any cash into this bike.

So ... Get cheap CL bike or fix the car. Wife is pushing for me to fix the 2nd car.
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Old 11-03-11, 04:18 PM   #13
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Well this was a short lived endeavor. This morning I check my air and go to put on the new pads and I see bubbles all along my sidewalls. The outside layer is separating from the rest of the tire. Figured it was unsafe to venture out on the road.

So I worked from home which isn't bad... but I was really looking forward to the coast down the hill this morning.

Tires even cheapies are 10 each +shipping ... I think i'd rather not put any cash into this bike.

So ... Get cheap CL bike or fix the car. Wife is pushing for me to fix the 2nd car.

Sounds like a wise choice. That Huffy isn't really worth sustaining, and it seems you've gotten 10 bucks worth of use
I'd advise differently if it were a Schwinn from the same era.

Best to get an idea of what size you'll need - a bike that fits you properly will make the biggest impact on your riding pleasure.
Here's one that does a great job for a few common fit styles. http://www.competitivecyclist.com/za...LCULATOR_INTRO
It's a good start, and you can gauge your own preferences to find what works best for you.
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Old 11-03-11, 06:33 PM   #14
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There is absolutely no chance that bike is made of chromoly steel. Besides that fact, there are other reasoned it is probably not a good long-term solution (look at the cranks, steel wheels, gas pipe frame and the brakes-just to start). OP, I wouldn't sink any money into this bike, but ride it for now, have fun, learn more about bicycle maintenance, and when you get comfortable with commuting go find yourself something a little nicer.
Agreed. You can get a pretty nice used bike for $200 that is ready to ride. You don't want to get into upgrade-itis with a Huffy.

However, if you happen to own one and it works, well... just ride on!
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Old 11-03-11, 06:45 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by matimeo View Post
There is absolutely no chance that bike is made of chromoly steel. Besides that fact, there are other reasoned it is probably not a good long-term solution (look at the cranks, steel wheels, gas pipe frame and the brakes-just to start). OP, I wouldn't sink any money into this bike, but ride it for now, have fun, learn more about bicycle maintenance, and when you get comfortable with commuting go find yourself something a little nicer.
How can you tell that it's not chromoly, Matimeo?

- Slim

PS.

Doesn't the label on the seat tube read, "chromoly"?
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Old 11-03-11, 06:50 PM   #16
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Gerv Says:

Quote:
Agreed. You can get a pretty nice used bike for $200 that is ready to ride. You don't want to get into upgrade-itis with a Huffy.
So is there ever a good time to have upgrade-itis?...OR...Is just something not to have with a Huffy?


Quote:
However, if you happen to own one and it works, well... just ride on
Agreed!

- Slim
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Old 11-03-11, 07:33 PM   #17
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How can you tell that it's not chromoly, Matimeo?

- Slim

PS.

Doesn't the label on the seat tube read, "chromoly"?

I know it isn't chromoly because I am a connoisseur of vintage road bikes. Those cheapo Huffys didn't come with chromoly frames. The sticker on the seat tube isn't legible but I'd bet a pretty penny it doesn't say chromoly.
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Old 11-03-11, 11:46 PM   #18
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ive never seen a chromoly one piece crank road bike they are all hi-ten steel. that huffy is clean for how old it is might be worth putting new tires on it to use not upgrade.

Last edited by roashru; 11-04-11 at 08:42 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-04-11, 08:25 AM   #19
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Doesn't the label on the seat tube read, "chromoly"?
Says "Made in USA Huffy"
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Old 11-04-11, 08:36 AM   #20
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I would put cheapo tires on that Huffy and ride it. See if you've got a co-op in the area. They should have some cheap 27" tires.

New tires on that bike would be worth it, and it will put it in a condition safe to ride. Ride it until you can afford to do something else.
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Old 11-04-11, 10:09 AM   #21
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Mikeybikes says:


Quote:
I would put cheapo tires on that Huffy and ride it. See if you've got a co-op in the area. They should have some cheap 27" tires.New tires on that bike would be worth it, and it will put it in a condition safe to ride. Ride it until you can afford to do something else.
I agree with Mikeybikes! If you're in a pinch right now. That bike will function perfectly well for years, until you're better able to afford a chromoly steel-framed bike.

- Slim

PS.

Whenever you fix it, try to put co-op parts on it. Save wherever you can, but not at the expense of your own personal safety.

Last edited by SlimRider; 11-04-11 at 10:13 AM.
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Old 11-04-11, 10:14 AM   #22
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Quote:
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I know it isn't chromoly because I am a connoisseur of vintage road bikes. Those cheapo Huffys didn't come with chromoly frames. The sticker on the seat tube isn't legible but I'd bet a pretty penny it doesn't say chromoly.
I salute you, Sir!

- Slim
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Old 11-04-11, 11:34 AM   #23
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Not directed to the OP, but an observation of mine on somebody else's posting propensity on this board: An instrument that only plays one note is usually just a noisemaker.



Riding (potentially) 30 miles a week is not that much (I don't mean for this to sound mean or snobby, I'm just saying...), if everything on that bike basically works, it would likely be worth putting a set of tires on it. I agree that I wouldn't bother putting new hardware on it, but the general-maintenance items are not that expensive and may be worth it, if it's the only thing keeping you from riding.
If you don't have a bike co-op in your area (I don't, sadly), then talk to your local LBS or check your local sporting good stores. If you search, you should be able to find a 27" tire for under $20, maybe under $15, without too much difficulty. This is not an "upgrade" to the bike, it is making it safe to ride (also, you can get a new chain and cables,both, for well under $20 at Walmart). If things are so tight that a $30-40 total is going to burden you, then buy one at a time. Overall, that's the price of a (small) tank of gasoline. How quick do you think you'd be able to recoup that amount by riding your bike vs. using your car? Then, you're in the black and can save toward your next bike.
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Old 11-04-11, 11:51 AM   #24
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Not directed to the OP, but an observation of mine on somebody else's posting propensity on this board: An instrument that only plays one note is usually just a noisemaker.


[/SIZE]
Amen to that.

And to the rest of what you said- spot on. My first road bike wasn't much in the way of road bikes. It was a Marukin! But yeah, with some new tires, if you can safely ride the thing, get in the habit of riding for not too much money, you can at least stick with it. It would be a shame if you gave up on cycle commuting because of this Huffy.
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Old 11-04-11, 12:42 PM   #25
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Wolfwerx says:

Quote:
Not directed to the OP, but an observation of mine on somebody else's posting propensity on this board: An instrument that only plays one note is usually just a noisemaker.
I usually attempt to make positive comments that are helpful to others. Like most others, I have areas of strengths and areas of weakness. I'm here to both learn for myself and share my own personal knowledge to help others. I would never assume so high a position above another as to state that I suspect, that I've observed something about another that I, as an imperfect being myself, deem as inferior.

There are far too many stones and too many glass houses out there...


Quote:
Riding (potentially) 30 miles a week is not that much (I don't mean for this to
sound mean or snobby, I'm just saying...), if everything on that bike
basically works, it would likely be worth putting a set of tires on it. I
agree that I wouldn't bother putting new hardware on it, but the
general-maintenance items are not that expensive and may be worth it, if it's
the only thing keeping you from riding. If you don't have a
bike co-op in your area (I don't, sadly), then talk to your local LBS or check
your local sporting good stores. If you search, you should be able to find a
27" tire for under $20, maybe under $15, without too much difficulty. This is
not an "upgrade" to the bike, it is making it safe to ride (also, you can get a
new chain and cables,both, for well under $20 at Walmart). If things are so
tight that a $30-40 total is going to burden you, then buy one at a time.
Overall, that's the price of a (small) tank of gasoline. How quick do you think
you'd be able to recoup that amount by riding your bike vs. using your car?
Then, you're in the black and can save toward your next bike.
Yes! Mickeybikes and I have already suggested the idea about the Co-op, that's good! ...Thus far, I'm hearing the same noise..


Matimeo says:

Quote:
Amen to that.
I paid you homage...I saluted you


Quote:
And to the rest of what you said- spot on. My first road bike wasn't much in
the way of road bikes. It was a Marukin! But yeah, with some new tires, if you
can safely ride the thing, get in the habit of riding for not too much money,
you can at least stick with it. It would be a shame if you gave up on cycle
commuting because of this Huffy.
That's a very old bike, vintage or not. It's still here after many decades, able to deliver service for quite possibly another decade. It can do that because it's made of steel. That's why I sing the praises of steel. It's a wonderful bicycle frame material. It's strong, it's durable, it's impact-resistant, and it has a high yield capacity.
My cycling experience spans for well over three decades. My Huffy experience OTOH is extremely limited!

You guys are still good guys in my book!

Peace...

- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 11-04-11 at 03:52 PM.
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