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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 09-17-06, 04:56 PM   #1
mjwarner
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What Bikes Do You Use as a Car Replacement?

Hello Car Free-ers,

I'm desperate to know what kind of steeds you have chosen to replace your internal combustion vehicles.
Are they hybrids? Roadies? Cyclocross? Commuting? Old 3-speeds? SS/Fixie? Are you going to post a picture?

Looking forward to your response.
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Old 09-17-06, 05:24 PM   #2
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Sports car: 2004 Marin Mill Valley
SUV: Y2K Kona Nunu w/ B.O.B. trailer
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Old 09-17-06, 05:50 PM   #3
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I think ideally I would have a cross/tourish geared bike. Or an xtracycle. Probably both. If I lived somewhere flatter I would be alright with a SS/fixed.

My utility bike is an 86 Centurion Expert, a mid level 80's racing bike. I can comfortably say it is far from "ideal" as it lacks virtually everything a utility bike should have save for lack of bling, but it suits me fine and I love it.

Bottom line is that any bike you are comfortable riding, and is durable enough to stand up to everything you have to throw at it is fine.

pictures I could find of the bike on my computer: http://smg.photobucket.com/albums/v602/ootah/centurion/
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Old 09-17-06, 06:35 PM   #4
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(1) Townie 24-speed comfort bike with fenders, rack, saddlebags, and puncture resistant tubes. For longer trips and carrying moderate loads.

(2) KHS Cappuccino folding bike. For short trips and intermodal transit (bus, trunks of cars, etc.)

I'm planning to get rid of the KHS folder in a few months and replace it with a Brompton. The reason is that Bromptons fold smaller, enough to make a big difference in convenience for taking the bike on Amtrak and public transit. The Brompton will fit into a backpack, although the backpack is huge.
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Old 09-17-06, 09:45 PM   #5
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My bike is an '88 Raleigh Technium. It's currently down and I'm riding an Azuki that's too big for me, (can't stand over the frame at a stop!) But the pedals and wheels turn, and my rack went on without too much problem (No braze-ons on the seat stays, but a couple p-clamps fixed that!)
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Old 09-18-06, 06:01 AM   #6
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For my car lite life:
Utility bike = Surly Cross-Check with either a Timbuk 2 messenger bag or B.O.B. trailer, depending on the load

Sports Car = Independent Fabrication Steel Crown Jewel. Even though I like as car lite as I can for all the feel-good reasons, I still like to train hard and race. Despite what you may have heard, the lifestyles can co-exist peacefully.
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Old 09-18-06, 07:40 AM   #7
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Generic answer: Any bike that gets you from A to B.

(my) specific answer: single-speed on a steel frame with dropped handlebars and a brooks saddle. I didn't really enjoy mucking with my derailleur on a daily basis, so I think if I go back to gears, it'll be an internal hub.

My complaints about my current bike: I'm limited to what I can carry on my back because I don't think this frame is going to take a rack (front or rear) and panniers.
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Old 09-18-06, 08:03 AM   #8
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The bike on the left is mine, Trek Hybrid (but I replaced the front triple with a road bike triple) other accessories include: Aero Bars, GPS navigation and an Xtracycle.
BarryandScottmeet..jpg
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Old 09-18-06, 08:41 AM   #9
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I'm car-lite, I use a recumbent trike with two massive panniers (55L total space) strapped to the sides. Pictures to come....
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Old 09-18-06, 09:00 AM   #10
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Old 09-18-06, 09:52 AM   #11
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Giant Cypress ST upgraded with an adjustable stem, fenders, Trek Interchange rack, and front and rear lights. Thinking of getting a Redline 925 single speed as a winter commuter.
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Old 09-18-06, 11:44 AM   #12
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Mine's probably closest to a crossover vehicle (small car-based SUV), if I had to compare it to a motor vehicle. It's a new-to-me Giant Rincon--a 2001 entry-level hardtail mountain bike. I alternate between three sets of tires--street slicks, knobbies and studded winter tires. MTBs are good for the city streets as well as gravel roads. They are tough enough and very stable and comfortable to ride. You can ride on- or off-road. And MTBs are far better for snow and ice, IMO.

The downside of MTBs is that they are easily maxed out for speed. In other words, I can ride in the hardest gear at a fast cadence, and wish that I had more gears so I could go faster. This rarely happens on city streets, but I do redline it on paved country roads. My next purchase will be road bike based--probably a cyclocross or turing bike. I do own a road bike now but I don't like it and I rarely ride it.
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Old 09-18-06, 10:58 PM   #13
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My Utility Vehicle is an EZ-1 Sun Easy Racer
with a basket big enough for 1 large sack of
groceries: http://www.easyracers.com/ez_1_sc.htm

My Sports Car which I take out rarely anymore
but ride on trips over 50 miles is a Lightning
Thunderbolt: http://www.lightningbikes.com/thunderbolt.htm
And my SUV and 'real' sports car is a
Rhoades Car: http://members.ispwest.com/don.boring/rhoades-car/

I do at least 2 - 25 or 30 mile trips on the Rhoades
Car a week in addition to using it for major grocery
runs. The EZ-1 I really enjoy riding once in a while
cause after riding that 'beast' of a Rhoades Car I
can get on the EZ-1 and ride like the wind.
Although I got up to speeds of at least 22-25 mph
on the Rhoades Car tonight coming home from a
meeting a few towns over.

Car free is a trip (a long trip by bike :O) and a half!
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Old 09-18-06, 11:43 PM   #14
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Marin Larkspur. Basically a cheap hybrid with cheap fenders, and a rack. I've ridden a century on it, up and down steep hills, fast on the flats. I can carry more than 50 lbs of groceries on it, have a gear for any condition and have ridden it down to -10 C and up to 30 C rain or shine. It's not so good in freezing rain or on slick ice. I have a MTB with studded tires for that.

Whatever works for you is probably your best choice. Try out sets of wheels until you find some that you like.
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Old 09-19-06, 08:58 AM   #15
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Specialized Hard Rock of unknown vintage (15 years est.) Freddy Fenders, Pletcher Style Rack, Street Slicks, Bungie Cord, Cateye light and blinkie.
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Old 09-19-06, 09:32 AM   #16
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I haven't gotten to the point of eliminating cars yet, but here's what I'm riding...

The SUV has two potential replacements depending on application:

1) For the whole family on rides to Farmer's Market & recreational - Organic Engines Troika Tandem Recumbent Trike. (Pictured below on our way to 4th of July bicycle parade w/ the boy's grandmother)

2) If the wife needs me to get the boys out of the house, or for running errands, Costco, Groceries, etc. Specialized Hardrock with Xtracycle and two child seats.
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Old 09-19-06, 11:14 AM   #17
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Two Hardrocks in a row! My last bike was an old rigid (non-suspension) Hardrock--great for commuting in the city. Tragically, it was totalled, rebuilt, and now has disappeared.
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Old 09-19-06, 02:03 PM   #18
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A '07 Specialized Hardrock. I love love love love it. I think I'm going to replace the fork with a Surly rigid, though, as the RST one just stinks. Beyond that, it's great. I've added a handlebar bag, and usually have some sort of pack on my back.

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Old 09-19-06, 02:33 PM   #19
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< blush >

If the trip is longer than would be comfortable on my Breezer Citizen, I ride my 50cc Vespa.

< blush >
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Old 09-19-06, 03:18 PM   #20
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Big Loada is a Trek Hybrid kitted out with Xtracycle conversion, Brooks B-17, and Nashbar bar-end extenders. Oh, and a tougher back wheel (Shimano DX and SunRhyno rim) after tacoing the first one with two grown adult passengers. New model can take two adults as passengers but only if they're small. Currently sporting 28mm tires, going over to 35mm when the weather gets bad, probably studs too.
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Old 09-20-06, 08:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atman
Big Loada is a Trek Hybrid kitted out with Xtracycle conversion...
Man I thought I was bad carrying my two kids at 110lbs each on the back of my Xtracycle. And I thought I was nuts for keeping my Bontrager Select sparse spoke rims on my bike. But if I run any narrower then 32mm I end up doing my rim a mischief. But you with two adults on a 28mm tire, impressive.
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Old 09-21-06, 12:40 AM   #22
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This week, Son & I have been bringing our Bike #6 to life. Son's problem is that his other three bikes are so expensive and stylish that he's not happy riding them for transportation and leaving them locked up outside.

Bike #6 is a 1970s era Fausto Coppi branded road bike, manufactured I believe by Masi. It looks like a beater but Son seems to think that otherwise it's a very fine bike.

To make it rideable again, we took it to the bike shop where we judged the owner to be in business more from a fondness for working with bicycles than anything else. We had the tubulars replaced with clinchers and did a general tuneup.

The center pull front brake assembly needed to be replaced but it was hard to find such an obsolete part. While I was asking around, one wrench said, "Looks like you need to go visit the Communist Bike Shop".

I knew what he was talking about, which is the Austin Yellow Bike Project, a community bike organization that recycles old bikes in various ways. I went to the nearest Yellow Bike workshop which was hidden behind the grocery co-op. The volunteer there took a look at the brake, fished around in a big box, and handed me the part I'd been looking for. The cost was technically zero, but I made an appreciative donation. It was good to learn something about this community resource. People who volunteer some time there get to use their tools and enormous collection of parts and have the opportunity to build bikes from the frame up if that's what they want to do.
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Old 09-21-06, 07:44 AM   #23
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Human Car-san, the two passenger adults in question are likely to come in under 250 total with their backpacks, and I keep my tires at 90+ psi, go slow, and steer around potholes. That, and I'm seriously considering going with balloons for the next ride (already in the planning stages, maybe next spring) and will certainly be going back to 32s or even 35s once there's a hint of snow. Maybe even studs, but it tends to take a couple months here before that gets relevant.

Still...xtracyles can do a lot in a city with as few gradients as Chicago. Get some hills in there and you stary wanting to look at a Stokemonkey for pulling of the really ridiculous rides.

Did my commute to my tabla lesson yesterday, avoided the lake because it was chilly, ended up finding a community garden that I didn't know about and gleaning a beaut of a goat horn red pepper....life is sweet.
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Old 09-23-06, 07:02 PM   #24
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added a new work bike to the stable
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Old 09-23-06, 07:44 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roody
Mine's probably closest to a crossover vehicle (small car-based SUV), if I had to compare it to a motor vehicle. It's a new-to-me Giant Rincon--a 2001 entry-level hardtail mountain bike. I alternate between three sets of tires--street slicks, knobbies and studded winter tires. MTBs are good for the city streets as well as gravel roads. They are tough enough and very stable and comfortable to ride. You can ride on- or off-road. And MTBs are far better for snow and ice, IMO.

The downside of MTBs is that they are easily maxed out for speed. In other words, I can ride in the hardest gear at a fast cadence, and wish that I had more gears so I could go faster. This rarely happens on city streets, but I do redline it on paved country roads. My next purchase will be road bike based--probably a cyclocross or turing bike. I do own a road bike now but I don't like it and I rarely ride it.
I just got through converting my Schwinn Mesa GSD MTB to my main bike. I put on some Specialized Armadillo 26x1.95 semi slicks with Slime tubes. Today I switched the pogo stick to a steel suspension corrected fork from Nashbar. Rode it for 20 miles today and love it! Faster and easier to manouver. I use it to commute to work which is 16 miles one way. Works great.

I haven't had the problem you mention about running out of gears. I've gotten up to 30 mph, and still had a few gears to go. Plenty fast enough for me.

For my fast riding, I have a Trek carbon fiber bike, but I seem to rarely take it out anymore...
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