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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 07-20-06, 05:15 PM   #226
caloso
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My advice for a college bike would be an older steel frame road bike, as old as you. Use the rest of your summer to scour garage sales, craigslist, and charity shops for high quality, gently aged frame. Look for stickers that say Tange, Reynolds 531, or True Temper. Buy it for a song and then take it to the local bike shop and have them give it the once-over.

Lots of blingy bikes get stolen every year at college. You don't want bling. You want the Millenium Falcon: She may not look like much but she's got it where it counts.
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Old 07-20-06, 05:32 PM   #227
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankstar88
I will be attending University of Kansas this fall and wouldlike to know which bike people think would be best? Mountain, road, hybrid, cyclocross, etc.? It is a hilly campus. However, i need the bike to be light weight b/c I will store it in my dorm room so it doesn't get stolen. Also, i will probably ride it sometimes during the winter and if you've never been to KS, it gets icy during the winter and the hils at KU will be hell! I am 5' 9", 135lbs., 18 y/o. What do you think?
You may want to get knobbier tread for the winter or even studs if it's crappy as you say it is. You may want more of a hybrid setting for that reason, dep. on how far...if it's just around campus and vicinity around campus, hybrid will probabally be more comfortable for you. If youre going to go the distance(more than 15 or 20 a day) get old road bike that you wont mind getting salty.
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Old 07-20-06, 06:42 PM   #228
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After a rainy morning ride my gloves get soaked. They dry very quickly when I lay them on the back of the computer monitor (its not a flat panel). The heat that comes of the monitor dries it in no time.

I lay my sweaty jersey and shorts over the computer (under my desk). This works but not as well as on the monitor.
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Old 07-27-06, 03:44 PM   #229
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I recently got myself a nice multitool and a seatpost bag to put it in

Should I be concerned about theft of the bag or its contents?
I cant think of any way to secure it and removing it everytime I lock the bike will probably not happen
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Old 08-02-06, 09:27 PM   #230
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Another option is if you live in a big city and think you live too far from work or the roads are too dangerous, consider cycling to the closest subway station. Here in Atlanta, the subway(and buses) are very bike friendly and allow bikes on both.

I live only 12 miles from work, but unfortunately Atlanta is designed so that you have to take the highway to get anywhere...so I bike 4 miles from my house to the subway, then ride it to the station across the street from my office.

Another option for cleaning up is to join the local gym near your office to utilize their showers and lockers to clean up, then just have a short jaunt to work. Luckily, I have an office gym with full shower and locker facilities. They even do my laundry...
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Old 08-03-06, 12:16 PM   #231
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dwoloz
I recently got myself a nice multitool and a seatpost bag to put it in

Should I be concerned about theft of the bag or its contents?
I cant think of any way to secure it and removing it everytime I lock the bike will probably not happen
You can a a few zip ties to attach the bag so that it can't be easily lifted. As for the bag contents...nothing is fool proof. However, making the bag is difficult to open for the "inexperienced" that in itself may be a good deterrant.
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Old 08-03-06, 12:28 PM   #232
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vrkelley
You can a a few zip ties to attach the bag so that it can't be easily lifted. As for the bag contents...nothing is fool proof. However, making the bag is difficult to open for the "inexperienced" that in itself may be a good deterrant.
I've done exactly as described above and have never had anything stolen. Of course, this is for short trips into the store, etc. If I were going to leave my bike for more than a few hours, the bag would be with me.
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Old 08-03-06, 04:45 PM   #233
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Zip ties are a good idea, Ill try that

My other plan is to use the old plastic bag thing. Itll make my seat and bag weather resistant foremost but I think it will also deter any thefts. I dont think someone would go out of their way to take off the palstic bag to see what was under there (in most instances of course)
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Old 08-13-06, 12:44 AM   #234
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HOW TO TRIP THE TRAFFIC LIGHTS
Courtesy of JavaMan

http://www.geocities.com/siliconvall...ficSensors.htm ---> find the sweet spot at the bottom of the article
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Old 08-13-06, 10:12 AM   #235
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new commuter in Miami

I am going to give this a shot but I would like to hear from other South Florida commmuters about the caveats here. I need info on how to dress for the heat here, also a nimble bike to get through this horrible driving/traffic. I am not new to cycling but I am new to commuting. I have never ridden with paniers or major baggage.

What about rainy weather gear that won't make me melt?

My commute witll be from Datran/Metrorail south to NW 25th and Palmetto (doral area)

Any comments would be helpful.

Thanks
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Old 08-15-06, 04:26 PM   #236
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I had bought a hybrid. Frankly, I wish I had just bought a road bike. It is all urban-commute. Don't really see the advantage of the hybrid.

Make sure that your bike is the right size for you. Very important.

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Old 08-15-06, 04:39 PM   #237
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Quote:
Originally Posted by et3surge
What about rainy weather gear that won't make me melt?
In general, here in the land of cold(ish) rain, I've found it best just to wear shorts and t-shirt and soak right through, then change at work. I don't bust out the long pants and burley bike raincoat until it's too cold to be soaking in rain (Nov through Feb-ish around here). Then even if I do sweat from the raincoat, at least the sweat gets warmed up metabolically!

But that burley raincoat is well-vented; I've never quite been able to verify if the wet spots on my shirt at the end of my ride are from sweat or from rain leaking through some of the openings, that I generally leave cranked all the way open except on the very coldest days.
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Old 08-19-06, 11:16 AM   #238
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Thanks, I have been visitng shops and noone here is carrying the "commuter" bikes not even the "urban" bikes like the Soho, Portland, No Novarra-No REI, Su200. I have seens some 7.x FX with discs, and they have all the holes prepped for racks/paniers.

I have been giving thought to the heat/rain and I agree light wear/quick dry and a change at the office is the way to go. I'd love to hear form other Florida riders. I will make a new topic to see if there are others on this forum.

Thanks again.
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Old 09-21-06, 04:00 PM   #239
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i just started commuting and riding road bikes. i bought a felt 90 56cm 2005. put 160 miles on it in 10 days, 4 of them were 15+ miles each way commute days... heres my thoughts as a newbie commuter.

I thought that my commute would be a few miles shorter.. becuase of the rooute i drive... well that route is deadly and hilly..., so what i was thinking would be about 12 miles each way is now 15+.. but most is on bike lanes... trust me you want to use the bike lanes...

Holy !@# how many people i see in just 10 days with no clue on riding safe.. riding on sidewalks, riding against traffic in one ways,coming to redlighted intersections not stopping and riding across crosswalks, riding down my bike lane the wrong way. when some lady swerved her bike from the oncoming lane over into my lane almost whacking me so she could avoid a oncoming car... i told her its nots a good idea to ride into oncoming traffic... she looked at me like i was ********..

My god...i spent the time doing 3 days 10 miles.. restday.. 26 miles 1 day trying to get my "fit" and fitness ready to do the commute. 10 days in my biggest sore.. is my sit bones...not sure if im just breaking my butt in or need a better saddle.

Heavy messenger bag.... bad idea.. its amazing how much some food a flat kit, a few textbooks, some clothes can wiegh. I the waist strap as tight as it can go.. dont like things pulling my shoulders pretty sure i would hate a backpack.. and i have to fight some insane headwinds... Your going to need racks to carry big loads.. i want to go fast so i am hoping to just lighten my loads somehow.

You need visible riding shirt/hoodie at least bright colors... and a rear led flasher front flasher or some sort of headlight so sleepy drivers dont pull out in front of you. Helmet... cheap ones protect better than the same brand more expensive alot of the time.. only diff is the amount of holes cut into them for vents...

Stiff soled shoes.. your feet will thank you.

I read alot of "goto LBS!" well as someone who has been a serious bmx racer... and been into alot of bike shops. i can tell you that your health and safety depend on your machine.. do you really want some guy making 7$ a hour working on your bike... choose your mechanic like you would a doctor... get a referral

Learning about how your bike works and how to fix it can help you spot problems and keep you safe.

If you are lucky there could be a cycyling club near you,, these are the people you need to talk to.. they know who has the best service at the local shops.. whos got the best prices... whos got good used gear.. where the best routes are to ride... where the people meet on weekends to ride together and a ton of other usefull stuff.. most of the time they will be than happy to help you.
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Old 09-22-06, 03:50 AM   #240
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maxrots
. . . I read alot of "goto LBS!" well as someone who has been a serious bmx racer... and been into alot of bike shops. i can tell you that your health and safety depend on your machine.. do you really want some guy making 7$ a hour working on your bike... choose your mechanic like you would a doctor... get a referral
I agree, but you were even more right in the next sentence:


Quote:
Originally Posted by maxrots
Learning about how your bike works and how to fix it can help you spot problems and keep you safe.
Learning how to fix things yourself is essential. Last night, I noticed a broken spoke. I pulled out a spare and installed it. No LBS's are open after dinner. I want to minimize any chance that I will have to depend on a trip to an LBS for my bike to work.
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Old 09-22-06, 10:55 PM   #241
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Not enough has been said about glasses or goggles. They are essential for keeping bugs, rocks, limbs and everything else out of your eyes. Two days ago I was riding down a little hill at a fair clip and WHAP - I caught the end of a branch right across my eye. If I had not had on safety glasses I probably would have crashed as well as had a trip to the ER for my eye. I wear the "stylish" safety glasses from Home Depot - they are cheap, they work very well, they are safe and shatter resistant, they NEVER fog up, and they don't look too dorky. I have two pair - one tinted for daytime and one clear for darker times. I doubt regular sunglasses or cycling glasses would have held up to the branch the other day.
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Old 10-06-06, 10:55 PM   #242
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I started bicycle commuting just over a week ago. So far I've been doing it the easy way by not riding during morning or evening rush hour. That's been easier as I have fairly flexible hours. So I arrive at work after the majority of the morning rush and leave before or after the evening rush.

It's been easier to get accustomed to riding in traffic in this fashion since the street I ride along is fairly busy. The good thing is that there are plenty of stop lights so people can't really go that fast, the city buses slow everything down to a crawl anyway and there are pedestrians for everyone to worry about.

After all, would you stick a 16 year old who just got his driver's license in a car in the middle of the afternoon rush in a major city and tell him "Good luck!"
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Old 10-15-06, 04:28 AM   #243
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I wear the "stylish" safety glasses from Home Depot - they are cheap, they work very well, they are safe and shatter resistant, they NEVER fog up, and they don't look too dorky. I have two pair - one tinted for daytime and one clear for darker times. I doubt regular sunglasses or cycling glasses would have held up to the branch the other day.
Photo in the studio, please.
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Old 10-27-06, 07:34 AM   #244
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Not enough has been said about glasses or goggles. They are essential for keeping bugs, rocks, limbs and everything else out of your eyes.
True. Whether commuting or riding my road bike on the weekend, I always wear glasses. They not only cut down on glare, bright sunshine, UV rays, etc, but in the warm months they keep bugs and dust out of my eyes and in the winter they deflect the cool/cold air so my eyes don't start watering.

For commuting I picked up two pairs of Uvex safety glasses (one amber, one dark gray) online for ~$6 a pair. They're almost two years old and getting a few scratches so time to get new ones.
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Old 10-30-06, 03:19 PM   #245
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For commuting I picked up two pairs of Uvex safety glasses (one amber, one dark gray) online for ~$6 a pair. They're almost two years old and getting a few scratches so time to get new ones.
I don't always wear glasses because I misplace them or forget to bring them with me. So I got a friend at a construction site to pick me up several pairs of No Frame safety glasses. I don't know the brand but they are rebranded as no frame glasses by Nashbar and usually sell for ~$7. I got each of my pairs for $2 from Graingers. They're great, very comfortable, no blindspots and don't get foggy.
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Old 11-17-06, 01:23 AM   #246
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any of you guys wipe your eyes at the end of your commute and notice that you've picked up a bunch of crap in your eyes? if i were a girl, i'd swear it was mascara. pollution man, scary.
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Old 11-17-06, 02:51 PM   #247
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And what about glasses? Do you wear ones?

I heard that in London it is common to see cyclists with protection masks. I would like to see what they are wearing because after my commute I have my mouth and nose full of rubber dust particles from cars' tires.

I would wear one if it is not too ugly. Any photos or links?
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Old 11-24-06, 02:14 AM   #248
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I just recently joined this forum and would like to share my commuting tips. My daily commute is 10KM one way, mostly on bike lane, with a bit of trail and I've been doing it for 2 years now. I ride year round except in slippery conditions (i.e., snow/sleet). Living on the wet coast, I bike a lot in rain and developed some techniques to stay dry.

My routine is to always have a day's set of clothing (underwear, socks, shirt) in my locker. Every day, I bring in the next day's clothing, thus constantly cycling the clothing in the locker, while having a spare set in case I spill my tea. After work, I bring home that day's used clothing. Monday's are a bit different in that I also bring in fresh pants and towels for the week, and return home every Friday.

Some rainy weather tips:
- My panniers are old and leak like crazy. I looked at waterproof panniers, but they cost over $180. Since I keep my panniers on the bike and carry everything in bags, a friend suggested buying lightweight kayaking dry bags for about $22 for my clothing. Works brilliantly!
- Even though it looks a bit dorky, I mounted a rear view mirror. Makes me much more aware of approaching traffic and I avoid the swerve I do whenever I look over my shoulder.
- I use RainX water repellent on my mirror and glasses to bead the water and keep it visible
- I wear Gore Tex socks and shoe covers to keep my feet warm and dry
- I just bought Cannondale LE gloves. So far so good in keeping my hands warm and dry
- I carry a helmet cover for the real downpours
- I use an LED headlight as a daytime running light in all weather
- I've added cable boots to my BB7 brakes to keep them from sticking
- I'm switching to Teflon cables to prevent my brakes from sticking
- I've added o-rings to the Presta valve stems to keep water out of my rim (jury is still out on this one.)
- I've replaced my headset with one that has grease fittings

Keeping your drivetrain clean is essential. I hose my bike down every night and do a more thorough clean of the bike and the drivetrain on the weekends. I've also switched to heavy synthetic oil for the chains.

Hope some of these tips are useful to you.
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Old 11-29-06, 10:05 AM   #249
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just real quick:

the most important preparation i've learned to make is this:

baby powder.

just a handful between the cheeks keeps me feeling fresh all day.
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Old 12-18-06, 07:39 PM   #250
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Rear View Mirrors

Hi All, My commute is 24miles round trip, 4 to 5 days a week in Northern California. As I just started committed commuting last earth day, this is my first winter and I am still working on my rainy weather gear. However my question is regarding rear view mirrors. I went back and read this entire string and noticed lots of mention of helmet mounted rear view mirrors and handlebar mounted mirrors, but none of glasses-mounted ones. I have been using the Take-A-Look eye glass mounted mirror for three months now and am very pleased with it. It is made by the Bike Peddlar in Greeley, CO and is available at REI and other bike shops.

One nice thing about this mirror is you don't have to cut a hole in your helmet cover on rainy days as you would with a helmet mounted mirror.
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