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Cyclist Commuting Clydesdales

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Cyclist Commuting Clydesdales

Old 06-05-12, 09:47 PM
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Cyclist Commuting Clydesdales

I live in suburban Chicago and I'm thinking of commuting to work, around 24 miles each way give or take. It's not going to be easy and traffic may suck but I'm up for the challenge and really want to cycle more so this seems ideal.

Anyhow, I was curious how many people use dedicated commuting bikes and how many just use their normal road bikes? Obviously a more comfortable positioning would be ideal but unless I convert my 10+ year old mountain bike all I have is my road bike which I'm not too keen on putting a rack on.

Thoughts? Pick up a mid priced commuter? Any Clyde safe commuter bike suggestions?

Thanks!
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Old 06-06-12, 06:35 AM
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I found a late 80's touring bike locally that I bought for commuting, it has worked out great. It has all the braze-ons for rack and fenders. The only downside is that it is significantly heavier than my road bike, so it does add some time to the trip. The ride is more comfortable, I have wide tires and the longer wheelbase makes the handling more stable.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:16 AM
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I used to have a commute similar to the one you're contemplating - it was 26 miles each way. I used my road bike at the time, but it was (still is) a '96 Bianchi Eros, which is technically a "sport/touring" bike, with a slightly relaxed geometry, and can accommodate a rack and fenders. It also has a road triple gearing set up, which I was very grateful for because there were a couple of what passes for "mountains" (hills, really) between where I lived and worked.

It was great. No fenders, but I did put a rack on it to carry my notebook and papers. This was before the days of having to schlepp a laptop - I had separate computers for the office and home.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:24 AM
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at 24 miles each way, how long does that take each way with stop lights and all?
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Old 06-06-12, 07:29 AM
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In the summer I often commute on my road bike. I get a sweaty back from my backpack, but that's manageable. My road bike is definitely faster than my hybrid commuter.

You don't need a special bike to start commuting, you just need the want-to.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:30 AM
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My commute bike was designed to be a city commuter from the ground up, but to be honest, I don't think I'd like to ride it 24 miles. It isn't all that comfortable, despite the upright position. If I had a commute that distance, I'd use the touring bike.
If I didn't have the touring bike, I'd get an inexpensive road sport bike with eyelets such as a Trek 1.2/Lexa or the Giant Avail 5 (don't know what the men's equivalent to that one is, but there is one).
I would definitely want rack and fender eyelets, although it is possible to attach those things other ways. 24 miles is a long way to have a back pack on.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:32 AM
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my commute is much shorter, so I use my Pugsley to get more of a work out. Occasionally I will take my road bike if I feel like making the commute longer and I need to go somewhere else faster than the Pug can take me
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Old 06-06-12, 07:35 AM
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I have a 40 mile round trip. I commute on my hybrid.
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Old 06-06-12, 07:50 AM
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I alternative between a vintage ten speed and a converted MTB for commuting. They are both set up for my commute, though I occasionally ride them for fun with family/friends, loan them out. They are set up much differently than my other bikes. They have less drop from saddle to bars so I'm more heads-up, better to navigate traffic. They have full-time racks, commute specific tires, B17 saddles, one with fenders and one without, etc., etc.

For a little while I commuted on a FG, but it wore me out mentally, physically. Did not like it in traffic.
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Old 06-06-12, 08:19 AM
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I commute almost every day which is 22 miles round trip. I went with a road bike (Giant Roam) and converted it to a commuter. Ortlieb panniers (waterproof and are awesome) lights, spoke tap to be more lit up, and city slick tires. The mtn bike gives me more of an upright riding position versus the road bike and I feel that it gives me more flexability with split second decisions if I need that.
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Old 06-06-12, 08:21 AM
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Twenty six miles is a longer commute than I would do, but if you are up for it, I say go for it.

Originally Posted by Tundra_Man
In the summer I often commute on my road bike. I get a sweaty back from my backpack, but that's manageable. My road bike is definitely faster than my hybrid commuter.

You don't need a special bike to start commuting, you just need the want-to.
This is very similar to my story. I have a Trek 7.2FX that I keep in a locker ($15/mo) at the work end of my 60 mile rail commute. I have a year old Masi Partenza (entry level aluminim/Sora-Tektro road bike) for weekends, and find myself riding it to work more and more. I got the locker because taking the bike on the train was becoming a real PITA due to increased usage by, in some cases inconsiderate, or just plain clueless noobs. Now they have one special car per train on some routes with the lower level dedicated to bike storage. This makes the problems with the old two bikes per car model go away, letting me ride the Masi in, and put it on the train home. Now I am considering letting the locker go, and the Trek with it.
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Old 06-06-12, 08:27 AM
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I commute in chicago too. but my route is only 4 miles one way, so i ride a single speed beach cruiser with a rack in back and a wicker basket infront. I do use my road bike on real windy or gusty days or on the 100 degree days, but when taking the road bike i use a back pack or a messenger bag.

I have been thinking of moving further away from work so i can get a longer ride in if i do that i think it would call for a separate Cross bike with rack and fenders. or a 80's steal with rack and fenders.

I would say since its the season see if you could scoop up a old steel road bike specifically for commuting for like $100?

There is nothing wrong with using your road bike and a backpack (i prefer the bike to carry the load). also you bike might be able to fit the clip on fenders, and there is also a clip on rack just connects to your seatpost.
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Old 06-06-12, 08:31 AM
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Years ago, before I knew any better, I did my 20 mile r/t commute on a too-small-for-me full-suspension Wal-Mart Schwinn.

Last year, I bought my first non-BSO - a 4 year old Rockhopper Disc, which I slowly converted to a commuter. It served me well, but I got tired of constantly changing the tires back and forth - MTB tires on the weekend - 1.5" / 100psi commuter tires during the week.

At the start of this year, I bought a mostly-dedicated commuter - a 2012 Trek 7.5 FX. I'm currently about 270lb, and carry probably around 10lb of stuff on average - U-Lock, Cable, change of clothes, multi-tool, etc. It's been serving me very well. I was a little worried about the 28-spoke rear wheel, but it's been holding up just fine.

I don't yet have a road bike, which is why I say mostly-dedicated commuter.
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Old 06-06-12, 08:32 AM
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35 miles round trip here. I put an alloy seatpost on my c/f road bike and have a quick-release beam rack/panniers.
I do have secure bike parking so I'm not so worried about theft/vandalism.
35 miles is way too far to ride on a crappy bike. I enjoy the road bike posture, being able to get aero on downhills and any help on intersection sprints and climbing.
I am a fair-weather commuter so no fenders.
If I get back into regular commuting in the dark I'll probably put on some armadillo tires. I also have a cheaper road bike that has same geometry that I may use as a commuter as soon as I get the seatpost swapped also. For some reason putting heavy flat-resistant tires on Dura-Ace c/f wheels does not make sense.
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Old 06-06-12, 09:02 AM
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I think the distance is the deciding factor. 24 miles each way is far enough so that having multiple hand positions would be important for me, as well as a way to get aero when appropriate. I also wouldn't like to be confined to a geometry that ALWAYS put all my weight on the saddle, but I'd like to be able to get more upright when I wanted to relieve my neck, and also when I needed the visibility in heavier traffic. I'd want a bike that likes to keep going in the direction it's pointed without a lot of outside supervision, not something that's optimized for responsiveness and wound up jittery.

A touring bike or a sports/touring bike with drop bars set so the top is an inch or two above seat level would work for me, or a hybrid set up with bars that gave alternate hand positions. I'm just finishing up a Rube-Goldbergification of a hybrid right now, and will post pictures when it's done.
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Old 06-06-12, 01:11 PM
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I use an old road bike I paid $50 for my commuter (it is however full Ultegra so was a good deal). I have to lock the bike up outside so if its stolen no biggie. Thankfully my route is not far - about 10 miles each way; because the bike would be uncomfortable for longer distances. I did put wider (28) tires on it for comfort. My road bike is way too expensive to use as a commuter and have to lock up outside. Heck it has its own room in my house!
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Old 06-06-12, 01:42 PM
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24 miles RT, I use a Surly LHT and love it. Of course I also love it for all my other rides too.
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Old 06-06-12, 04:36 PM
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This is a dumb question, I read a lot that up right is better for long commutes. I also see and read about people who ride long distances on a road bike. Is it that they sacrifice comfort for efficiency?
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Old 06-06-12, 05:58 PM
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It depends but from a friend who does it the trip is usually around 1.5 hours with lights. Earlier in the morning you can save time with less traffic but coming home is 1.5 hours.
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Old 06-06-12, 09:58 PM
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Originally Posted by chevychic55
This is a dumb question, I read a lot that up right is better for long commutes. I also see and read about people who ride long distances on a road bike. Is it that they sacrifice comfort for efficiency?
YMMV (<I had to look that up. I think it is apt here)
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Old 06-07-12, 01:16 AM
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I commute on either my road/trail mtb or my dedicated low end mtb converted commuter. The commuter is heavier with the rack and child seat/basket also the gears and brakes aren't nearly as nice. If I know I have a lot of things to carry or the places to lock the bike are limited the cheaper commuter goes. If I know its just me and a backpack with a nice safe place to park I take my toy.
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Old 06-07-12, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by chevychic55
This is a dumb question, I read a lot that up right is better for long commutes. I also see and read about people who ride long distances on a road bike. Is it that they sacrifice comfort for efficiency?
A properly set up road bike should not be uncomfortable. Having a road bike doesn't necessarily mean an extreme racing position - a touring bike is a road bike, after all.
Being upright gives you slightly better vision in traffic, and is comfortable for shorter distances, but if you're using flat bars to get it, you'll eventually get tired of the one hand position. Plus, you'll work a lot harder if you have a head wind and will find yourself crouching lower to get the same position you would have gotten on the road bike.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:05 AM
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Does anyone commute on a fixed gear (fixie)? I've been looking at something like the Salsa Casseroll decked out as a fixed commuter like this:

https://bikesarethesolution.wordpress...gear-commuter/

Obviously I'd do it a few times on my current bike before pulling the trigger on this but I'm curious how many folks have tried commuting on them? It seems like its ideal from a maintenance perspective.
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Old 06-07-12, 06:36 AM
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I ride my regular road bike (Trek 1.2) with a backpack on.
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Old 06-07-12, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by epicycle
Does anyone commute on a fixed gear (fixie)? I've been looking at something like the Salsa Casseroll decked out as a fixed commuter like this:

https://bikesarethesolution.wordpress...gear-commuter/

Obviously I'd do it a few times on my current bike before pulling the trigger on this but I'm curious how many folks have tried commuting on them? It seems like its ideal from a maintenance perspective.
Remember where we live. a 40 mile round trip with one gear and crazy random wind

not saying it isn't doable or fun, but on my 4 mile commute home i once got caught with a 25mph head wind on my singlespeed. I seriously think i cried that day.
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