Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 53
  1. #1
    Senior Member rekon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    New to Commuting

    Hello all,

    I am new to this forum and cycling in general. I did a good amount of research and I recently purchased a Jamis Nova Sport 54 cm. I primarily bought this bike for commuting to school (4 miles). I figured it would be cheaper to ride this bike to college as apposed to paying insanely high parking costs - plus I can get a work out! I eventually want to build up my endurance and ride this bike to work (10 miles).

    With that said, do you guys have any tips for a beginner commuter? Did I make a decent choice on the bike I chose?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Senior Member FedericoMena's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
    My Bikes
    LBS-built bike
    Posts
    106
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Looks fine to me!

    Tips from another beginner commuter - you'll find soon enough if you need fenders (wet butt after going through wet ground -> you need fenders), and some sort of rack. I thought I had everything covered with my backpack, but after doing the first shopping run with some simple panniers, I saw the light

    Good luck, and ride safely!

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Posts
    312
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Getting a rack (with some ROK straps, adjustable ones) and some fenders, and some lights will help you comfortably commute.

  4. #4
    Senior Member rekon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Federico, Thank you for the tips. So far no wet but! lol however, we are expecting rain out here in SoCal -- so we'll see!

    Hmm... so far I think I am good with a backpack, but you're right I might have to look into getting some sort of rack if I need to carry anything bigger than books.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rekon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Los Angeles, CA
    Posts
    257
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by moochems View Post
    Getting a rack (with some ROK straps, adjustable ones) and some fenders, and some lights will help you comfortably commute.
    I have front and rear lights. A little hard to tell from the picture...

  6. #6
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    West Village, New York City
    My Bikes
    too many
    Posts
    18,413
    Mentioned
    29 Post(s)
    Tagged
    1 Thread(s)
    You made an excellent purchase decision. It looks like a fine bike.

    Don't lock it in public for longer than necessary. See if you can bring it with you. And get a lock that is appropriate for your area. In some areas, a flimsy cable is enough. In other areas, you need an 8-pound chain and eyes like a hawk's. It's best to have a lock that's a little better than the locks most other people are using, to encourage a potential thief to move onto other targets.

    Don't buy too much stuff yet. There's potential for not using it. Ride a few times before you determine you need stuff. Bike commuting is expensiver than you think. You'll soon find out.
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Employer: Larry's Freewheeling, 301 W 110 St, New York, NY 10026
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  7. #7
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    498
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Very nice bike! I'm a fairly new commuter (started back in September). Here are a few things I learned right at the start:
    * If there isn't room for a car to pass you without completely changing lanes, you should "take the lane." Otherwise, drivers can get impatient and try to squeeze around you, which is both dangerous and scary.
    * Related to the first point: sometimes you can't ride very close to the right side of the road. That seems to be where most of the broken glass and major potholes are.
    * Carry tissues in your pocket or somewhere easily accessible. Trust me.
    * Slow down. Pushing hard doesn't get you there that much faster, especially over a short commute like yours, but it does ensure you get there covered in sweat.
    * If the light ahead is red, slow down. It might go green before you get there, saving you the considerable effort of getting up to speed from a dead stop.
    * When the light goes green, if you are at a dead stop, don't plan on the car in front of you starting to move right away. You'll need to wait for the driver to finish his/her text.
    * The world can be an exceptionally beautiful place if you are going slowly enough to notice it.

    There's lots more, but those were just a few things that surprised me the first few times I rode.

  8. #8
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Memphis TN area
    Posts
    3,737
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Visit this website for lots of great tips on riding among and being a part of traffic, especially when there are no bike facilities present.

    http://cyclingsavvy.org/
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  9. #9
    Senior Member CommuteCommando's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    In the drops on the roads of North San Diego/South Orange Counies CA
    My Bikes
    KHS Alite 500, Trek 7.2 FX , Masi Partenza, Masi Fixed Special, Masi Cran Criterium
    Posts
    2,887
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ride.
    Freedom is free. It's included in democracy. Democracy is hard. It involves dealing rationally with people you disagree with.

  10. #10
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Memphis TN area
    Posts
    3,737
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Oh, this was huge for me. USE A MIRROR! I cannot stress enough how much a mirror helped me be more confident and at ease riding in traffic. I don't do well turning my head to look back, so having a mirror, specifically helmet-mounted since I use different glasses for different times of day, helped my peace of mind considerably.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    572
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by rekon View Post
    Federico, Thank you for the tips. So far no wet but! lol however, we are expecting rain out here in SoCal -- so we'll see!

    Hmm... so far I think I am good with a backpack, but you're right I might have to look into getting some sort of rack if I need to carry anything bigger than books.
    If you are in SoCal fenders might be a winter only thing, or you might consider some clip on fenders for the days that are wet. In NorCal in SF I think fenders could be useful even in summer as the streets can get so wet from the fog its like rain. When it is dry for a while then the ground is wet the worst part seems to be everything gets covered in dirt as the water dries if you are without fenders - your backpack, shoes, the bike, etc.

    I use a backpack myself, but plan to get a rack when I get a new bike that can handle one better. I like the backpack IF I don't have to carry to much and its not to hot. When i have to carry extra stuff with me (a book, laptop, etc) the weight of the backpack gets to me and can make my back/shoulders sore while riding. When it is hot, my back sweats to much with the backpack. I imagine these could both be issues for you carrying books and in the heat of socal.

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    572
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by noglider View Post
    Don't buy too much stuff yet. There's potential for not using it. Ride a few times before you determine you need stuff. Bike commuting is expensiver than you think. You'll soon find out.
    But isn't researching and getting new gear half the fun? I always justify it with the money I save not driving or taking transit, or paying for a gym membership.

    Seriously though, it is a good recommendation. I would ride a bit to decide what you really need. I made a few poor purchases early on and then wound up having to buy new gear later.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    572
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Doofus View Post
    * Carry tissues in your pocket or somewhere easily accessible. Trust me.
    Isn't that what the soft back of the thumb on your bike gloves is for? Other option is the snot rocket.


    On a more serious note - Never assume
    1) you know what a driver will do
    2) that a driver sees you

    If you keep a defensive mindset it may help you avoid an accident caused by a careless driver.

  14. #14
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    MD/DC/VA
    Posts
    2,735
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Get a rack and fenders, bell, wide tires, wear something bright, good lights, pump, CO2, patch kit and spare tube. Forget the mirror. Ride as fast as you can and most importantly, assume you are invisible.

  15. #15
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Memphis TN area
    Posts
    3,737
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Get a rack and fenders, bell, wide tires, wear something bright, good lights, pump, CO2, patch kit and spare tube. Forget the mirror. Ride as fast as you can and most importantly, assume you are invisible.
    Ridiculous. I ride near center of the right lane on multi-lane roads and it's extremely helpful to be able to keep an eye on traffic behind me to make sure they're changing lanes. Equally so on 2-lane roads. Preparing for left turns is also a million times easier with a mirror. And if you're riding with others it's easier to keep on eye on those behind you, or for approaching cars so you can yell "car back" before anyone else.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  16. #16
    Senior Member Giant Doofus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2013
    Location
    Memphis, TN
    Posts
    498
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    wear something bright
    This is good advice. If you can get over the very high dork quotient, a high visibility vest is a great idea. I use this $8 one: http://www.amazon.com/Neiko-Visibili...isibility+vest.

    If you know you won't be riding in the dark, then you can get fairly inexpensive blinky lights like this $14 set: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B000QSXMME/...I33LNBXZUY6GQO. If you will be riding in the dark, then you'll want a high quality LED headlight and tail light. People who know more than I do about these matters will have to advise on you that.
    Last edited by Giant Doofus; 02-26-14 at 02:25 PM.

  17. #17
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Alpharetta, GA
    My Bikes
    Nashbar Road
    Posts
    5,648
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    All you actually need is everything necessary to fix a flat on the road (which I say is tube, patches, pump and tools), vigilance and practice. Regular maintenance on the bike, the first step of which is checking before you leave: Air, brakes, cables, quick releases (abc-quick).

    A rack is extremely convenient, or other more creative ways to get the backpack off your back. I'd recommend eye protection: sunglasses or goggles as you prefer.

    Everything else mentioned here is good advice, in my opinion optional. I agree with not spending much money on equipment or clothes just yet; it's true that it can become a habit and get away from you. It can also be extremely cheap if you just refuse to buy anything unless you actually need it.

    Beyond that, I'd just say be consistent with it. You might already be in great shape, or maybe you'll have to start slowly, but either way you'll improve quickly and it gets easier. If you keep at it. Eventually it's just easy, that 10 miles to work becomes routine.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Glendale, CA
    My Bikes
    2010 Cannondale CAAD9, 1989 Centurion Ironman Master Dave Scott
    Posts
    2,040
    Mentioned
    3 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'll second the don't lock it in public for long. But assuming you have no choice at your school, read up on locking theories. Get at least two locks (one u lock and one cable) and learn the best lock the bike and also lock the wheels and saddle to the frame etc.


    I also commute in SoCal and after about a year of commuting I have not had the need to get fenders. I'm more concerned staying cool with this 85 degree winter weather
    http://www.pedalroom.com/members/rms13

  19. #19
    Senior Member gregjones's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    West Georgia
    My Bikes
    K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter
    Posts
    1,822
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    You chose well. That bike will serve you well for a long time. 10 miles to work will come quick. Maybe not so quick if you're part of SoCal is in the hills, but you will get there. The way to get good on hills is to ride hills. It's said that training on hill is like wrestling a gorilla.............the fight ain't over 'til the gorillas done.

    Quote Originally Posted by rekon View Post
    I have front and rear lights. A little hard to tell from the picture...
    No you don't. Get lights, especially rear. A weekend's worth of reading to do searching light threads.

    Mirrors....another day's worth of reading. Some do, some don't, there's only one way to find out.

    If you haven't, look here.

    Don't worry about speed. Ride at the speed of fun.

  20. #20
    Senior Member aaronmcd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    SF Bay Area, CA
    My Bikes
    Cervelo S2, Ultegra 6700
    Posts
    1,262
    Mentioned
    11 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by mstraus View Post
    Isn't that what the soft back of the thumb on your bike gloves is for? Other option is the snot rocket.


    On a more serious note - Never assume
    1) you know what a driver will do
    2) that a driver sees you

    If you keep a defensive mindset it may help you avoid an accident caused by a careless driver.
    Lies. You always know that the driver (A) sees you and (B) is trying to hit you and make it look like an accident. If they slow down to let you go, they are really only trying to coax you out in front of them. You must have an escape route at all times.

    Also, if there are cars parked on the side of the road right next to a lane labeled “BIKE LANE”, someone made a mistake. It should be labeled “DOOR ZONE”. Do not ride there unless you want to hit a door as it opens.

  21. #21
    Senior Member bconneraz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    So Cal
    Posts
    348
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    As a So Cal commuter, I can say that while you may not need fenders often for rain, they are great for those drizzly mornings, and when you're riding on a MUT and it's all wet from irrigation. One other item that I'll throw out there, just because I love mine so much; kickstands rock.
    ISO- 1989 Schwinn Cimarron

  22. #22
    Senior Member PatrickGSR94's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Memphis TN area
    Posts
    3,737
    Mentioned
    7 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you don't ride at night, a rear light is more important than a front light. I highly recommend a Cygolite Hotshot as a great bang-for-the-buck rear light. At the $30 price point its brightness is pretty much second to none. And being USB rechargeable is a HUGE plus for me.
    2011 Felt Z85 105 | Ultegra | KMC | Selle Italia | Vuelta | Topeak
    90's-ish KHS Alite 1000 MTB, *hybridized*

  23. #23
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Costal California
    My Bikes
    Unknown model Giant MTB
    Posts
    128
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Don't forget to roll your pants up so they don't get caught in the chain! It won't happen every time but it'll happen eventually... I've ruined more than one pair of jeans that way. You can also keep trousers out of the chain with a rubber band or a small binder clip.

    If you have a part of your commute that is terrifying or too difficult, change routes to go around. Even if it means the trip is longer. Staying safe and happy is the most important thing. If there's no way around don't be embarrassed to get off the bike and walk when you need to.

  24. #24
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    WKY
    My Bikes
    2014 Trek Crossrip LTD, 2013 Raleigh Misceo
    Posts
    350
    Mentioned
    1 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Ok. You got the bike. A very nice cool looking bike. Now you need a mirror, front and rear lights, rear rack, kickstand and fenders so that you can dork it up. Except to everyone around here that will think it is an even more cool looking bike! Welcome to the addiction. Stay safe and and fun.

  25. #25
    Senior Member megalowmatt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    North County San Diego
    Posts
    1,510
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Nice looking bike.

    I like a miror and a rack. Others don't.

    I live in Southern Ca but I still have fenders on my primary commuter.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •