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The commuter thread for the rest of us!

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The commuter thread for the rest of us!

Old 06-09-15, 11:34 AM
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TenSpeedV2
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The commuter thread for the rest of us!

This is where the rest of us go. The commuters who don't run fenders or racks, no panniers, no Dynamo hubs, no milk crates bungeed onto a DIY fender made from recycled milk jugs, no high viz green safety vests, no internally geared hubs, etc. We may not ride the most conventional bikes or have the most conventional ideas, but we ride to work. We use backpacks, messenger backs, laptop bags, and we almost always have a sweaty back. Join us!!!

Post up your ride and how you ride it.

My commute is a 17 mile round trip mix of MUP's, bike lanes and actual roads where I take the lane. I ride a fixed gear track bike that is a 49:15. I am not afraid to take the lane and own my spot on the road. I use bike lanes when they are available. I wear a helmet and run a rear blinker 24/7, and a front light at night for the ride home

My current favorite ride which I will be riding in today very shortly.

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Old 06-09-15, 11:52 AM
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I too don't have racks or fenders, don't wear anything special for my commute (aside from a helmet), and carry a waterproof laptop backpack.

My bike's a hardtail MTB, but (for my commute anyway) I ride it single-speed on the big ring x the smallest sprocket (for the workout).

My commute's a mostly flat 4.6 mile (one way) mix of road, parkway, and trail. And I do take the lane if I need to (most often when there are cars parked on the street).
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Old 06-09-15, 11:54 AM
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There are a lot of "us" in the NoVA/DC area. I do have fender MK2 Racer on my bike though. It sure beats cleaning. My commute is long.
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Old 06-09-15, 12:08 PM
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The "rest of us"? You mean roadies who haven't figured out the advantages of a commuter bike? That said, almost any bike will work, it's all good. One less car. I have commuted on my full suspension 29er and other mt bikes with out racks and such.
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Old 06-09-15, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Leebo View Post
The "rest of us"? You mean roadies who haven't figured out the advantages of a commuter bike? That said, almost any bike will work, it's all good. One less car. I have commuted on my full suspension 29er and other mt bikes with out racks and such.
How about roadies that know about the advantages of commuter bikes but choose to have fun on their commutes anyway.

Seriously, some people are going to like the conveniences and practicality of panniers or fenders, or the comfort of a relaxed pace and an upright posture. Nothing wrong with that. There is also nothing wrong with riding a bike that encourages you to get your heart beating and rewards you for it.

Last edited by tjspiel; 06-09-15 at 12:20 PM.
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Old 06-09-15, 12:13 PM
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^^^^ Yup, it's all good. I always spy them, giant backpack, hauling a$$.
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Old 06-09-15, 12:22 PM
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AKA fair-weather commuters. They come out in droves on the first nice spring day and hibernate at the first sign of cooler weather. Too wet, too cold, too hot, too windy, and they mysteriously vanish.
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Old 06-09-15, 01:34 PM
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There's more than one way to skin a cat. I might have all that junk on in the winter, take it off in the spring, bare road bike in the summer. Fair weather commuter bike, not fair weather commuter.
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Old 06-09-15, 01:35 PM
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It's already 90+ degrees here in south Texas. I'll stick with my rack and trunk bag for commuting, thanks. Sweaty back is OK. Heat rash, not so much.
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Old 06-09-15, 01:42 PM
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Not the best picture, but I commute on this bike whenever the conditions are right:



I've taken off the taillight, and I carry little beyond what's necessary to fix a flat. No backpack or any other kind of bag because whatever I need is stashed away at work.
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 06-09-15, 01:51 PM
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good in a pinch, but for regular commuting, nothing beats a well equipped bike. Everything listed serves a purpose. Once you go dutch you never look back.
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Old 06-09-15, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
AKA fair-weather commuters. They come out in droves on the first nice spring day and hibernate at the first sign of cooler weather. Too wet, too cold, too hot, too windy, and they mysteriously vanish.
Well said and so true! The bike racks around here fill up with bikes like in the OP in late spring. Be early autumn I am nearly the last one riding. Then in winter with -30F windchills I am the only one out riding. I like to call those kind of cyclists periodical cyclists.
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Old 06-09-15, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
good in a pinch, but for regular commuting, nothing beats a well equipped bike. Everything listed serves a purpose. Once you go dutch you never look back.

The bike racks around here fill up with bikes like in the OP in late spring. Be early autumn I am nearly the last one riding. Then in winter with -30F windchills I am the only one out riding. I like to call those kind of cyclists periodical cyclists.
Several posters in this thread are forgetting that one can own more than one kind of bike. My fixed-gear has fenders, a rack, and room for studded tires, so it easily does year-round duty. But it's not germane to this thread.
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Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 06-09-15, 02:08 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Several posters in this thread are forgetting that one can own more than one kind of bike.
yep. i pay a lot of attention to the weather forecast. it informs my decision of which bike to ride on any given day.

sometimes it's my regular commuter bike, a CX with with fenders, rack and panniers.

sometimes it's my winter beast, a hybrid with IGH, disc brakes and studded tires.

and sometimes, when the sun is shining and i need a thrill, it's my titanium road rocket with a backpack.

horses for courses.

Last edited by Steely Dan; 06-09-15 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 06-09-15, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
Several posters in this thread are forgetting that one can own more than one kind of bike. My fixed-gear has fenders, a rack, and room for studded tires, so it easily does year-round duty. But it's not germane to this thread.
not forgetting at all. It's just not relevant as it's not an ideal commuter.
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Old 06-09-15, 02:14 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
not forgetting at all. It's just not relevant as it's not an ideal commuter.
It totally is! The "ideal commuter" -- to the extent that one can objectively be defined -- is the bike that makes you happiest while commuting.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
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Old 06-09-15, 03:01 PM
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You pretend like you're free of commuter frills, then go on to say you use a blinky and wear a helmet?!

Don't just go halfway; go big or go home.
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Old 06-09-15, 03:04 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
Well said and so true! The bike racks around here fill up with bikes like in the OP in late spring. Be early autumn I am nearly the last one riding. Then in winter with -30F windchills I am the only one out riding. I like to call those kind of cyclists periodical cyclists.
I know lots of "summer roadies" that just ride a different bike during the winter.
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Old 06-09-15, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
It totally is! The "ideal commuter" -- to the extent that one can objectively be defined -- is the bike that makes you happiest while commuting.
I'll second this one.

I am not a fairweather commuter, but I have fairweather commuter bikes, which are basically road bikes without any commuting accessories. Whenever I need to carry more stuff, or in wet weather, or the need to lock it up somewhere on the way home, then I'll take one of my other bikes with fenders and pannier racks, or one that doesn't look like it's worth stealing.

I'm happy riding all but the one not worth stealing.
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Old 06-09-15, 03:09 PM
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For a few years my commuter was a brakeless bmx bike, and that was a TON of fun. 2.25" tires on 20" wheels that were faster than plenty skinnier, larger diameter, lighter wheels of the cyclists I'd pass.

It was nimble too; i could lay the bike near sideways and touch a pedal or bar end to the road before the real wheel would wash out. I could hop ~2' high (which is ~ half of what most pros can hop now, yeesh) plenty to avoid hazards or get up on the curb / median. It was durable. Very little required upkeep. ...actually I kind of miss it now.

The best commuter is the one you use to commute. I'm back to having one bike and am not in a financial position right now to change that. For some people, one bike is a blessing, whatever bike. Upgrading is out of the question, let alone acquiring a stable of steeds...
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Old 06-09-15, 03:50 PM
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I think I can identify with OPs thread in some ways and not in others.

- I don't use multi geared bikes
- I own 2 fixed gears and 1 singlespeed
- I do run full fenders because I just refuse to get splashed with road crap and salty winter slush.
- One of my bikes is a grocery getter so I attach small panniers once a week for doing large grocery runs.
- I use messenger bags or roll top backpacks for shopping and carrying personal stuff

I definitely prefer to ride bikes without racks/panniers for my daily commuting and errands.
Racks/panniers are just tools which I use only when necessary.
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Old 06-09-15, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
It's just not relevant as it's not an ideal commuter.
Ideal for who ??...For you or OP ??....I am sure OP has other bikes in his stable which he uses during winter time.
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Old 06-09-15, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by harshbarj View Post
Well said and so true! The bike racks around here fill up with bikes like in the OP in late spring. Be early autumn I am nearly the last one riding. Then in winter with -30F windchills I am the only one out riding. I like to call those kind of cyclists periodical cyclists.
During winter my "summer fixie" stays home and my "winter fixie" becomes my daily transportation.
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Old 06-09-15, 04:46 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
AKA fair-weather commuters. They come out in droves on the first nice spring day and hibernate at the first sign of cooler weather. Too wet, too cold, too hot, too windy, and they mysteriously vanish.

Wow this thread got smug in a hurry.
I will never understand cyclists having disdain for how other cyclists choose to commute.

But hey, I love riding because it makes me smile. Being with friends going somewhere is fun. Riding with my kids is fun. Grocery shopping with a trailer is fun. Riding to work is fun.

More people riding and enjoying the activity should be encouraged, not met with contempt.

Yup, people don't want to ride when it's raining or icy out. Let's rip on them for that!
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Old 06-09-15, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Wow this thread got smug in a hurry.
Hardly; the first post pegged the smug-o-meter.
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