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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 09-19-12, 02:32 PM   #1
bentrinh
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Trek 830 outfitting?

Hello, I have a Trek 830 I use to get around my college campus. I know it's not exactly "commuting" but I figure the equipment would be more or less identical. The campus is very hilly with mostly paved roads, and I take the bike on gravel and wet grass on a fairly regular basis. The roads are also not in the best condition so I usually hit bumps along the way. We also sometimes get heavy rainfall in the winter, which combined with the hills, makes for a precarious ride. I would like to outfit my bike to work better in these conditions. Currently my tires are due to be replaced, and I'm considering a front fender (I have a rear rack which happens to keep the rain out fine for me). If anyone would like to recommend tires/fenders/anything else and where to buy them, I'd appreciate it.
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Old 09-19-12, 04:23 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by bentrinh View Post
Hello, I have a Trek 830 I use to get around my college campus. I know it's not exactly "commuting" but I figure the equipment would be more or less identical. The campus is very hilly with mostly paved roads, and I take the bike on gravel and wet grass on a fairly regular basis. The roads are also not in the best condition so I usually hit bumps along the way. We also sometimes get heavy rainfall in the winter, which combined with the hills, makes for a precarious ride. I would like to outfit my bike to work better in these conditions. Currently my tires are due to be replaced, and I'm considering a front fender (I have a rear rack which happens to keep the rain out fine for me). If anyone would like to recommend tires/fenders/anything else and where to buy them, I'd appreciate it.
There is no right or wrong commuting bike. My 'commuter' happens to be whatever I have under me when I'm going to work. That can be from a cruiser to a titanium wonder bike. Don't worry about your bike not being a "proper" commuting bike.

On to fenders: If you have situations where you could get something stuck up in the fender or where you might encounter mud or snow, I'd stay away from fenders with stays like on this bike



There are lots of fenders made for bikes with shocks...they'll work on other forks too...that offer more clearance but less protection. This bike has an SKS Shockboard on it



I also have a grunge guard under the downtube to keep stuff from flying up under my chin.
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Old 09-19-12, 06:16 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by bentrinh View Post
Hello, I have a Trek 830 I use to get around my college campus. I know it's not exactly "commuting" but I figure the equipment would be more or less identical. The campus is very hilly with mostly paved roads, and I take the bike on gravel and wet grass on a fairly regular basis. The roads are also not in the best condition so I usually hit bumps along the way. We also sometimes get heavy rainfall in the winter, which combined with the hills, makes for a precarious ride. I would like to outfit my bike to work better in these conditions. Currently my tires are due to be replaced, and I'm considering a front fender (I have a rear rack which happens to keep the rain out fine for me). If anyone would like to recommend tires/fenders/anything else and where to buy them, I'd appreciate it.
If you are commuting on asphalt, I'd think 1.5 inch slicks would be Ok.
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Old 09-19-12, 06:26 PM   #4
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If you are commuting on asphalt, I'd think 1.5 inch slicks would be Ok.
+1. They aren't too bad on hard pack dirt, grass, or gravel either.
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Old 09-20-12, 12:00 PM   #5
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I have a '95 Trek 830 (one of the last years when they were made in Wisconsin) that is my go-to bike for most everything. I used it for commuting among other things. Up until recently I still had the stock wheels on it, but the rear one recently got replaced by a 36 spoke wheel. I have fenders on it that I believe are older (circa 1998) PlanetBike types. I also run some semi-slicks that I think are 1.5" tires and they work well for commuting, some dirt roads, maybe just a little off-road (but not like if I had knobbies).

If the bike fits you I say go for it.
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Old 09-21-12, 08:44 AM   #6
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+1. They aren't too bad on hard pack dirt, grass, or gravel either.
Not so good on wet grass.
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Old 09-22-12, 02:09 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone, you all brought up good points. I think I'll install short fenders and slicks for now, and see how well they fare. If I run into traction problems I'll switch out the front slick for a semi-slick/hybrid tire (as per Sheldon Brown's article). I think that combination would work in the wet grass situation as I'm almost always going downhill then.
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