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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 01-12-05, 05:39 PM   #1
Chuckie J.
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Too Nice?

Looking at my commuting bike yesterday it dawn on me that it's too nice, especially after reading about the European model of commuting. Almost every item on my Bianchi Volpe has been upgraded-- XT drivetrain, Avid SD-7 Brakes, Ultegra Hubs and Open Pro Rims, etc. Some of the items I absolutely love like my Brooks saddle and titanium handlebar but I have to wonder if this is in some way a "bad thing." Commuter bikes get left outside a lot, nice ones get the attraction of theives. I'm actually thinking about downgrading by building up another bike with the nice parts and going back to the pieces that it started with (mainly Deore stuff).

What do you all think? -- is there a such thing as a "too nice" commuter bike?
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Old 01-12-05, 05:44 PM   #2
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I'd rather have a few commuters for all situations than just one I cared a bit 'too much' about... spread the love, man!
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Old 01-12-05, 05:45 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuckie J.
Looking at my commuting bike yesterday it dawn on me that it's too nice, especially after reading about the European model of commuting. Almost every item on my Bianchi Volpe has been upgraded-- XT drivetrain, Avid SD-7 Brakes, Ultegra Hubs and Open Pro Rims, etc. Some of the items I absolutely love like my Brooks saddle and titanium handlebar but I have to wonder if this is in some way a "bad thing." Commuter bikes get left outside a lot, nice ones get the attraction of theives. I'm actually thinking about downgrading by building up another bike with the nice parts and going back to the pieces that it started with (mainly Deore stuff).

What do you all think? -- is there a such thing as a "too nice" commuter bike?
Definitely. Just make sure you park it next to a bike that's nicer. Pick a really nice double suspension mountain bike that's unlocked. Thieves will take that before a road bike.

Stuart Black
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Old 01-13-05, 05:08 AM   #4
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If you ride it every day, you really deserve to make it as enjoyable as possible. No such thing as "too nice".
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Old 01-13-05, 08:23 AM   #5
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For me, I want a commuter bike that I careless to clean. So, cheap and durable (heavy) components are ideal. Is raining and wet again in NYC. It has been this way for the past 2 weeks. I only cleaned my drive chain once.
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Old 01-14-05, 08:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Chuckie J.
...I absolutely love like my Brooks saddle and...
Take it with you. At least your bike will be harder to ride away.
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Old 01-16-05, 07:56 PM   #7
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Well, I started. I stripped the bike of it's drivetrain and put on some of the old pieces that were on it. The most interesting piece is the front shifter-- and old friction thumb shifter. I really miss friction shifting on the front derailleur. Set up was *easy*.

A friend of mine calls really nice things "Golden Handcuffs" and I guess I'm just trying to avoid that. I have a quite nice touring bike and the days that I have to ride it (I own no car) because the others are being worked on etc., I am NERVOUS. Downgrading is good, I believe.

Chuckie
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Old 01-16-05, 08:37 PM   #8
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I have three levels of commuters:

One super nice: Miyata 1000
One Medium nice: Schwinn Prelude
One Low to Medium nice: Specialized Allez (1990s model with RX100 parts)
ONe Beater: Haro Inpulse with Nimbus tires(A street warrior)

And various singlespeeds in the works.

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Old 01-16-05, 09:00 PM   #9
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.....but beaters are no fun to ride.....
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Old 01-16-05, 11:54 PM   #10
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I've got a schwinn five speed with a sprung Brooks that's a LOT of fun to ride as long as it's less than 15 miles or so. It's one of my funnest rides. Rusty, beater old five speed. Its a blast.

I get apprehensive too, riding one of my nicer bikes if i've got to lock it up all day in a bad place. Not to mention having to strip the pump and tool bag off it so they don't dissappear. Beater commuters are a good idea, but you could still put nicer components on them, I bet. One thing that can make any bike look beater? Milk jug fenders.
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Old 01-17-05, 12:22 AM   #11
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True that. Nothing makes a bike look trashy like milk jug mudflaps plus a rack and maybe some judiciously placed zip ties.

edit: oh and electrical tape. That's a must.

Last edited by bostontrevor; 01-17-05 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 01-18-05, 09:37 AM   #12
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I guess it depend on where you have to leave it. At work I have inside parking available, so that's no problem. Going anywhere else is a problem though. I guess I need 3 bikes; My Lemond, a "good" commuter, and a beater!!
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Old 01-18-05, 10:05 AM   #13
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Just don't wash it . . . except the drivetrain. It will get nice and grimy looking.
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Old 01-18-05, 11:20 AM   #14
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If you like the bike you have as it is, why not scrounge up a cheap old bike and upgrade components with those you already have in stock as needed?
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Old 01-18-05, 11:26 AM   #15
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I ride an expensive bike to work. Why not? People drive $30,000 cars to work, and I'm supposed to get worked up about a $2,000 bike? Buy two Kryptonite New York locks, take advantage of Kyrptonite's guarantee, and you'll be fine. (Leave the locks on the rack at work, of course).
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Old 01-18-05, 11:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Fixer
.....but beaters are no fun to ride.....
I believe in having a decent bike to commute with, otherwise is not fun. The only thing with having a nice bike is you need a safe & secure place to park it, I'm fortunate to have that at my workplace.
That being said, I wouldn't invest too much on it or go crazy upgrading it though.
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Old 01-18-05, 12:09 PM   #17
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You can make a fun, cheap beater that is a blast to ride. Grab a 10+ year old road bike, convert it to single speed, or fixed and rip it up. No one around here steals these kinds of bikes if you lock them up, and they are agile, fast, light and fun. I sure miss mine.
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Old 01-18-05, 01:10 PM   #18
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I used to commute on my mostly-Campy TSX Eddy Merckx 7-Eleven pro model. The only time I didn't park it in the breakroom at work was the day I had Jury Duty and I parked it in a very secure hallway.
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Old 01-18-05, 01:38 PM   #19
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A beater bike is a lot of fun to ride, if you made it yourself or saved it from the grave yard and fixed it. (pun intended) You can make ugly bikes that are fast! You can sometimes make them for next to nothing so there is not a big investment out there locked up.

An observer said to me once as I used my shiny new Kryptonite N.Y. lock on my beat up scratched $10 Rex 10 speed. "No one would bother, the lock is worth more than the bike".... My answer..."Exactly"
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