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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 11-20-13, 04:27 PM   #1
acorn54 
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no way would i get a >400 dollar bike for commute

first off i want to say i left a new 300 dollar bike, left unlocked in front of my house that was stolen some 3 years ago. apparantly thieves are everywhere as mine is a middle class neighborhood. anyway,my friend gave me one of his spare fujui's circa 1982 as a gift.
now i see that bikes are not as cheap as they use to be, after taxes and stuff like lights-good puncture proof tires and a saddlebag, helmut and rear rack we are up to 1/2 a grand at a minimum.
in this economic climate i would not feel comfortable with a bike worth more than 300-400 dollars.
what say you?
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Old 11-20-13, 04:35 PM   #2
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I am the opposite - I wouldn't get a bike that cheap for my commute. I commute fairly far (16 miles each way) and my bike is stored securely indoors on both sides of my commute. Sure it COULD get stolen, as could anything else in my house or my computer at work etc., but the odds are low compared to a bike locked on the street or outside at my house.

That said I won't lock my nice bike outside if I can help it. The only bikes I have that I am comfortable lockup up outside all day are both worth less then $300 (both older, lower end bikes).
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Old 11-20-13, 04:47 PM   #3
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Well, it isn't really the money per se, but what you're willing to live with as a commuter. I suppose I could live with a $250 Craigslist bike and some upgrades for a commuter, but I like my much more expensive bike better--on all fronts.

And I would certainly never ever leave my bike outside unlocked...
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Old 11-20-13, 04:49 PM   #4
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Ģ295* was more than enough for me

*for those not in the UK ... it's pretty close to a 1:1 GBP:USD exchange rate when taxes and living costs are accounted for
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Old 11-20-13, 04:58 PM   #5
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I buy decent bikes, and don't leave them unlocked, out of sight. . .Ever. Last bike I had stolen was in 1973. I got smarter since then.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:05 PM   #6
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Luckily, I am able to park my bike next to my desk at work and at home.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:07 PM   #7
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1982 was a lot of years of inflation ago. You probably won't get a lot of trouble-free miles out of a new bike that costs that little, unless it's very simple (fixie or cruiser). You can do very well for yourself on Craigslist, though.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:11 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMACH 5 View Post
Luckily, I am able to park my bike next to my desk at work and at home.
+1. I really don't like leaving bikes locked up outside at all. My 3 bikes are all built by me and $1,000+, and I am not a rich guy, so I take care of them well.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:14 PM   #9
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well i have learned to never leave my bike unlocked, however it just seems the way things are nowadays thieves will get to have lock cutters if they see bikes in the neighborhood that are not junkers.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:20 PM   #10
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I believe that most people buy whatever they can afford. Buying a quality bike for commuting is not only a safer and more secure option, it's also thrifty in the long run when you consider the probability of less maintenance, repairs, and fewer upgrades.

* Inexpensive bikes usually have cheaper and less functional components, that are also less synchronized (refined).

* Regardless as to how much you spend for a bike, if you want to keep it, you'd place the best lock on it when parked outside!

Last edited by WestPablo; 11-20-13 at 08:54 PM.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:42 PM   #11
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Shrug. I have a $40 bike, a $400 bike, and a $4000 bike. All of them get ridden to work fairly regularly, but I'll only lock the $40 bike on the street.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:44 PM   #12
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I once saw a bike locked up at work that must have had $2k in components on it. I forget the frame. I only saw it once though. I thought it was a bad idea. It would be bad enough to have my commuter stolen. Hard to say how much it would cost me to replace, the lights and dynohub probably would cost $200 by themselves.
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Old 11-20-13, 05:50 PM   #13
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i think what you spend on cycling is also impacted by what you spend on other things. i spend $0-200 a year on driving or public transit and my share of the rent is only ~$500 a month. so even though i probably average $600-800 or so a year on cycling stuff...i can afford a heck of alot more.
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Old 11-20-13, 06:01 PM   #14
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I have ridden over 2700 miles since August on a $400 Giant Escape 3. Most of that has been commuting I had to tighten the rear spokes once and I replaced the stock tires because they where worn out at 1200 miles. Other than that it rides great and has been super reliable. I ride into town from work during my lunch breaks and I always lock it up. The rest of the time it is in my shop next to my tool box.

I keep lusting after more expensive bikes but I really can't justify buying one.
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Old 11-20-13, 06:25 PM   #15
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An office manager once asked me why I didn't lock my bike to the bike rack in the parking garage instead of bringing it upstairs. I asked her if she'd leave her laptop locked to the bike rack in the garage.
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Old 11-20-13, 07:03 PM   #16
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Depends on the security of where you lock your bike, and maybe on how much money you have.

My commuter bike cost $225 used but I've put $1K more into it (handbuilt wheels, replaced most components, new tires, added plenty of accessories, etc). So I don't leave it locked on the street for more than a short time. At work it lives U-locked in a locked bike room or U-locked to a bike rack 30 feet from the parking attendant. I'll U-lock it while stopping at the grocery store or similar short errands.

I've never had a bike stolen, and I'm 50 y/o. I lock my bikes securely, with U-locks, in high traffic places, and I don't leave them for long.

Never leave a bike outside and unlocked for even a short time, even in your own yard. Never leave a bike locked on the street overnight. Never lock a bike with just a cable lock.
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Old 11-20-13, 07:03 PM   #17
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I am the opposite, I get the best bike I can afford and make sure it isn't in a position to get stolen. My current commuter is a Ti Merlin framed bike circa 1990 with shimano dura ace. I picked it up for $1200 bucks and added a Ti rear rack and Ortlieb panniers. Bike sits in my office at work and is hung on the wall in my garage. I have a 22 mile each way commute and wouldn't trust a 300 dollar walmart special.
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Old 11-20-13, 07:44 PM   #18
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Really depends where you live. I ride a $1000 road bike, and I park it outside the gas station, at work, at the grocery store, at the home improvement store, etc and don't even carry a lock. Been doing that for 10 years now where I live (though it's been with a $500 bike up to this year). Really not worrying about it here.

The $300 bike was perfectly adequate and lasted just fine, it never really let me down unless I abused it in ways that any bike would have failed. It just wasn't as much fun to ride.
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Old 11-20-13, 08:07 PM   #19
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Really depends where you live. I ride a $1000 road bike, and I park it outside the gas station, at work, at the grocery store, at the home improvement store, etc and don't even carry a lock. Been doing that for 10 years now where I live (though it's been with a $500 bike up to this year). Really not worrying about it here.

The $300 bike was perfectly adequate and lasted just fine, it never really let me down unless I abused it in ways that any bike would have failed. It just wasn't as much fun to ride.
I parked my bike outside daily at the office for perhaps a decade with no worries and no problems. Security cameras are useful, but location is critical.

OTOH, tonight a guy came in to the co-op to install some new tires. Thieves or vandals had slashed his tires, presumably because it was locked and they couldn't steal it. Same city, different location.
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Old 11-20-13, 08:08 PM   #20
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I don't believe this has anything to do with where you live or how much money you have. This is all about personal value systems. Some folks are content to commute/shop/etc on inexpensive bikes. Others - need more to be happy. No judgement implied.
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Old 11-20-13, 08:22 PM   #21
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In my experince, Most new $400 bikes are rolling turds, and will most likely discourage any serious riding or commuting. The real sweet spot for a quality bike is around $1k if buying new. Next time don't leave your bike unlocked.
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Old 11-20-13, 08:43 PM   #22
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I think we should remember that there is no such thing as a "typical" bicycle commute or a "typical" bicycle commuter.

So many parameters can vary...

-distance
-terrain
-weather
-surfaces
-traffic
-storage security at home
-storage security at work
-ability to afford more than one bike
-room at home to store more than one bike
-amount of "stuff" you need to carry daily
-dress code at work
-showers at work?
-ride every day?
-ride all 12 months?
-etc, etc, etc...

For some folks, a $100 Craigslist bike is perfect...

For some folks, a $3000 new bike is perfect...

-Hub

Last edited by Hub Spanner; 11-21-13 at 10:59 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-20-13, 08:47 PM   #23
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Very true
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Old 11-20-13, 09:23 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
Ģ295* was more than enough for me

*for those not in the UK ... it's pretty close to a 1:1 GBP:USD exchange rate when taxes and living costs are accounted for
we need a :smug: icon.
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Old 11-20-13, 09:27 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hub Spanner View Post
I think we should remember that there is no such thing as a "typical" bicycle commute or a "typical" bicycle commuter.

So many parameters can vary...

-distance
-terrain
-weather
-surfaces
-traffic
-storage security at home
-storage security at work
-ability to afford more than one bike
-room at home to store more than one bike
-amount of "stuff" you need to carry daily
-dress code at work
-showers at work?
-ride every day?
-ride all 12 months?
-etc, etc, etc...

For some folks, a $100 Craigslist bike is perfect...

For some folks, $3000 new bike is perfect...

-Hub
- uses commute as part of training
- meets the group ride after work
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