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Living Car Free Do you live car free or car light? Do you prefer to use alternative transportation (bicycles, walking, other human-powered or public transportation) for everyday activities whenever possible? Discuss your lifestyle here.

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Old 08-27-06, 10:22 PM   #1
jayhuse
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Just Bought Another Bike For Bad Weather Am I crazy ?

I know this might not seem like a Car Free topic but be Patient. I tested the TREK L200 Commuter bike at bike rack an will pick it up for 540.00 brand new. This spring I bought a 1700.00 road bike for commuting. It is a super fast light road bike that I love but as winter will be approaching I have some issues with weather and tires and extra gear.

So I bought the L200 Trek, I love it, rack, lights, wider tires, fenders, chain guard, bell and the generator light. I felt kind of bad since I only put on about 800 miles on my Road bike which costs alot but here is the deal.

I been thinking about winter and the road bike with the small tires and needed upgrades does not seem like a good deal. I figured up the upgrades to my road bike an I think I was around 200 to 300 for making it more suitable for snow, water, ice during a long commute.

For an extra 270 or so I figured I could have another bike for colder weather and rain. As of now I only ride my Road bike on fair weather days. I back Pack in my cloths but as winter approachs I will need more space than my back pack can deliver so I need a back rack.

Am I crazy for doing this ?? It will take alot of mileage to pay for this versus driving but I want to bike as much as possilbe in cold weathe.r

What do you Think??
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Old 08-27-06, 10:37 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhuse
Am I crazy for doing this ?? It will take alot of mileage to pay for this versus driving but I want to bike as much as possilbe in cold weathe.r

What do you Think??
No. You're not crazy.

I adopted an ugly, single speed beater. I can take it anywhere without having to worry about it getting destroyed by a Minnesota winter. This also means that on particularly nasty days, I have no excuse to avoid my commute in the winter!
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Old 08-27-06, 10:41 PM   #3
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The L200 is a great bike if you're not too worried about speed. And it's still WAY cheaper in the long run than driving a car. IMO, you've made a wise decision, as long as you stop there and don't keep buying a bike whenever the mood strikes you. (I thought about getting an L200 myself, because I liked it so much, but didn't, because I already ride a hybrid, which essentially fills the same niche.)
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Old 08-27-06, 10:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the support of my new purchase.

yea, i was just beating up the idea. This bike was voted as a guess a number 1 commutor for all the gear. I was if most people ahve 1 or many bikes.

thanks

Jay
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Old 08-27-06, 10:51 PM   #5
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Nothing wrong with having different bikes for different jobs. Why destroy your good commuter in winter weather? If you think about the cost of upgrades for winter commuting, and the cost of winter wear and tear on your good bike, it probably makes sense to have a winter commuter.
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Old 08-27-06, 10:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhuse
yea, i was just beating up the idea. This bike was voted as a guess a number 1 commutor for all the gear. I was if most people ahve 1 or many bikes.

thanks

Jay
I have a bike that I'll be pressing into winter commuter service, to save the wear and tear on my good bike. It makes a lot of sense financially, because it was free. I also have a few other bikes-- a city bike for when I can't risk having my good bike stolen, a touring bike, my vintage first love....
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Old 08-28-06, 05:08 AM   #7
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Hi I'm Aaron and I am a multibike owner...and NO I DON'T NEED HELP! I have always had more than one bike. I almost always have a lightweigh cruiser/road bike in the stable, a compact travel bike, touring bike and beater bike. I got my start over 40 years ago and have never looked back. Bicycles don't have to be expensive, and even at the top of the price point are still much less expensive than "equivalent" cars...priced a Lamborgini recently

Aaron
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Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
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Old 08-28-06, 07:08 AM   #8
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I have 2 bikes, a road-y bike for general commuting and burden-bearing, but also a mtn bike for pulling the trailer full of kids and maybe groceries up hills (I can take them downhill to daycare on the road-y bike but it really doesn't have the gearing, 30/28 at lowest right now, to get them uphill in a timely manner)
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Old 08-28-06, 07:33 AM   #9
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Deja vu.

I started planning a winter bike in this thread.

I finished it in this one.

I've since flipped the trekking bars to "kick up", which provides better hand positions. My wrist was breaking funny with them turned down. I'd highly recommend trying the trekking bars for $10 + tape, especially coming from a road bike.

To answer your question, I think it makes good sense. I got this bike for all the same reasons. My CX bike has become more of an "event" bike, i.e. 3 season commuting and distance rides, and the L200 is my "everything else" bike.

Enjoy!
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Old 08-28-06, 08:57 AM   #10
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Definitely makes sense to have more than 1 bike.

If you get any serious problems where you don't have the parts at home (eg. breaking a wheel, derailleur, seatpost etc.), it is VERY handy to have another bike you know you can jump on and ride. Fingers crossed these things won't happen, though
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Old 08-28-06, 08:58 AM   #11
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My .02 say that it won't be long and the L200 will be the bike you ride most
often. This bike is ideal for commuting AND utility use which will quickly make
you wonder why you bought the mega expensive road bike first.
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Originally Posted by krazygluon
Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred, which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?
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Old 08-28-06, 09:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
My .02 say that it won't be long and the L200 will be the bike you ride most
often. This bike is ideal for commuting AND utility use which will quickly make
you wonder why you bought the mega expensive road bike first.
This happened with me. I find myself riding the L200 on longer rides than I had intended. Sunday I drove it 20 miles out into suburbia. When I bought the L200 I thought that I'd use my expensive bike for this kind of trip. The versatility of the L200 marginalizes the expensive bike. The mega expensive bike is still fun and still my choice for long or higher speed trips.

I was going to update my L200 review but it seems to have been deleted from the forums. Since the subject came up in this thread I'll add here.

Since I wrote the review:

I've had another broken spoke- #3 on the rear wheel on the side where the brake cooling fin makes it difficult to replace. The spokes have been breaking at the nipple end. It doesn't seem like spokes should break after only two years.

The generator unhinges and falls against the tire when I hit potholes, I use a rubber band to hold it back. I have a couple other generators in the parts box
so I can replace it when the rubber band fix gets anoying this winter. The
generator always seemed cheaply made.

The rear light failed. This is another part of the bike that seems cheap. Actually,
it looks like the battery holder just came loose. I might be able to fix it up somehow.

The elastic straps that come with the rack began to loose their tension. One broke. When it got caught in the wheel, it unhooked the hook and the others went into the wheel too. So, the lesson is that when those straps loose their
tension don't keep using them, switch to bungees before one breaks. The rack with straps was so handy I piled stuff on it and often stretched them to their limit so maybe I abused them. Yours might last longer than the two years that mine did.
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Old 08-28-06, 11:08 AM   #13
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Sounds like a good plan to me. Will the new trek take some wider studded winter tires?
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Old 08-28-06, 11:37 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwd
Since I wrote the review:

I've had another broken spoke- #3 on the rear wheel on the side where the brake cooling fin makes it difficult to replace. The spokes have been breaking at the nipple end. It doesn't seem like spokes should break after only two years.
I had someone from my area PM me about constant flats in the rear. They'd been taking it to the LBS for repair (same LBS chain I got mine from), and it keeps recurring. With your spoke breakage, I'm wondering if there's something odd with the rear wheel.

I don't really like the bottle dynamo due to noise and drag, and would love to eventually replace it with a hub dynamo. The LBS has my name and number for any potential buyers of the L300 they have to swap front wheels/lights with me if they want some $$$ for the exchange.
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Old 08-28-06, 01:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by legot73
I had someone from my area PM me about constant flats in the rear. They'd been taking it to the LBS for repair (same LBS chain I got mine from), and it keeps recurring. With your spoke breakage, I'm wondering if there's something odd with the rear wheel.

I don't really like the bottle dynamo due to noise and drag, and would love to eventually replace it with a hub dynamo. The LBS has my name and number for any potential buyers of the L300 they have to swap front wheels/lights with me if they want some $$$ for the exchange.
I've had good experience with flats. The schwalbe tires seem tough. I use MR. Tuffy too.

I'm surprised that the plastic bottle generator held up so long. The locking mechanism might just have some dirt in it. For extended night riding my other bike has a schmidt hub generator- low friction, works great, a little heavy.
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Old 08-28-06, 09:21 PM   #16
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How Many miles did you have on your L200 bike >?

just curious you said you have had it for 2 years. May I ask how many miles you got on it ?


I hear this bike can handle a fair amount of milelage ??
Thanks,

Jay
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Old 08-29-06, 02:13 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayhuse
just curious you said you have had it for 2 years. May I ask how many miles you got on it ?


I hear this bike can handle a fair amount of milelage ??
Thanks,

Jay
No I don't use an odometer but here is my typical usage pattern for the bike. The ride to work is 20 minutes except in nice weather I take a 50 minute ride home through the park. Sometimes like today I have to ride across town for work- 30 - 40 minutes one way depending on which site it is. About every other weekend I rode it 10 miles one way to suburban shopping. Then add in the 5 - 8 mile personal transportation trips for theater concerts shopping or visiting friends about once per week. Sometimes after work I go
about 10 miles one way to meet my daughter or volunteer on a project in the same town.

I rode in all weather including salted and sanded snow. DC has rough roads so the bike takes a lot of bumps. The seat got ripped in 1 year. The running gear- transmission chain and bottom bracket- are all still silky smooth.

That should give you an idea of the mileage.
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Old 08-29-06, 09:36 PM   #18
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no you are definately not crazy. i just finished building my winter bike. i daily ride fixed gear so i built up an iro jamie roy frame. last winter i was riding a beater nishiki frame, and i decided to transfer the wheels and some other parts over to the jamie roy. i saw the aluminum frame as an advantage because it wouldn't corrode like steel does in salt. i set it up with full fenders and riser bars, and will probably add a rack and/or basket for practicality. i am running it brakeless right now with clips/straps, but i am thinking about putting two brakes on and riding with platforms or just getting another set of time atacs. this is all so i don't ruin my other iro, an angus, which more of a"fast" bike compared to my jamie roy, which is a "comfort beater". plus the bottle cage holders mean i can bring hot coffee with me without spilling it in my bag.

its all about what you want to do. even when you own multiple bikes you are probably spending very little compared to a car.
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Old 08-30-06, 10:27 PM   #19
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A Trek L200 for $540? That's a good deal! My LBS wants $699.
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Old 09-01-06, 08:33 AM   #20
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Thanks, some guys have gottent them alot cheaper but.

Yea, 540 and I think the original price tag on the bike was like 699.00 it was left over. MOst of the bikes that they had at the shop were picked over. My wife an I both bought bikes. She bought a nice road bike and it was about 200.00 off the price she was quoated in early april.

Thanks

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Old 09-07-06, 01:05 PM   #21
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Do people actually live with only one bike?!!!
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Old 09-07-06, 01:08 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lot's Knife
A Trek L200 for $540? That's a good deal! My LBS wants $699.
There is now a 2004 new L200 in 22" for $375 at my LBS. That's $75 less than I paid them for one only a few months ago!
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Old 09-07-06, 01:40 PM   #23
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There is now a 2004 new L200 in 22" for $375 at my LBS. That's $75 less than I paid them for one only a few months ago!
That is half of what I paid 2 years ago. Even with shipping it would be worth it.
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Old 09-07-06, 02:28 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwd
That is half of what I paid 2 years ago. Even with shipping it would be worth it.
They do a "box and ship" for $75 + $1 per $100 for insurance, but won't sell them online. If anyone wants to try to get it over the phone, I'd be happy to act as a proxy for anything they need a person for.

They also have a L300 for $450.
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Old 09-07-06, 04:23 PM   #25
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I got a china's finest bad weather bike for $ 265 new @ the lbs, I added fenders and a mtb bar + an old schwinn seat & seatpost to it...

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