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Going to start commuting... Seriously this time

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Going to start commuting... Seriously this time

Old 08-01-16, 11:59 AM
  #1  
Frozen001
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Going to start commuting... Seriously this time

OK I while back I posted that I was going to start commuting to work, but that never happened. When I am back to wanting to do it, but this time I am serious. My ride will be 11 miles one way. I am not concerned about time as I have a flexible schedule so I can deal with that.

My thought is my first trip I will do a ride home and see how I like the route and stuff.

I still have my Gary Fisher Marlin that I will use, since I have it and until I am fully commit I do not see the point of buying anything new. I would like to swap out the tires though as I current have a pretty aggressive trad on them. My route of choice now will take me town a bike/ walking path for about 7 of the 11 miles. It is a relatively flat surface but it is that cinder/tiny gravel surface. The rest will be paved roads. What is a good tire style/type to replace my tires with. I currently have 26 x 47/52s on them, so I am open to any decent suggestions.



My next question is I am on the hunt for fenders. I purchased a set off of Amazon, but they did not work because 1) my current tires hit the fender (too wide)
2) the mounting points were incorrect

So I am also looking for some good fenders to help keep dirt/water spray to a minimum.

Thanks

Lou

Last edited by Frozen001; 08-01-16 at 12:44 PM.
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Old 08-01-16, 01:08 PM
  #2  
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panaracer t-serve protex

Originally Posted by Frozen001 View Post
OK I while back I posted that I was going to start commuting to work, but that never happened. When I am back to wanting to do it, but this time I am serious. My ride will be 11 miles one way. I am not concerned about time as I have a flexible schedule so I can deal with that.

My thought is my first trip I will do a ride home and see how I like the route and stuff.

I still have my Gary Fisher Marlin that I will use, since I have it and until I am fully commit I do not see the point of buying anything new. I would like to swap out the tires though as I current have a pretty aggressive trad on them. My route of choice now will take me town a bike/ walking path for about 7 of the 11 miles. It is a relatively flat surface but it is that cinder/tiny gravel surface. The rest will be paved roads. What is a good tire style/type to replace my tires with. I currently have 26 x 47/52s on them, so I am open to any decent suggestions.



My next question is I am on the hunt for fenders. I purchased a set off of Amazon, but they did not work because 1) my current tires hit the fender (too wide)
2) the mounting points were incorrect

So I am also looking for some good fenders to help keep dirt/water spray to a minimum.

Thanks

Lou
I have very much enjoyed Panaracer t-serve protex tires with folding kevlar bear. They are light, roll very nicely, and I have ridden 6,000 miles without a flat. This includes city-street bike commuting including streets in bad neighborhoods with lots of glass and debris, and gravel bike paths. I have also absolutely loved the Vittoria Voyager Hyper, with folding kevlar bead. They are lighter than the Panaracer t-serve protex. They roll even nicer. Also a few thousand miles on that brand/model without flats. They are almost 100 percent slick. I have ridden the entire Great Allegheny Passage, Pittsburgh PA to Washington DC, which is all bike path, including gravel, dirt and mud. I roll 35s and sometimes a 35 back and 38 front. When on gravel, I sometimes like to put the wider tire up front. Sounds dumb, but I feel that it allows me to securely carve into turns a little better. People seem to think you need a lot of tread on a tire. And in extrememe off road riding I suppose you do. I have been fine when touring with camping gear on the nearly totally slick Vittoria Voyager Hyper tires, even through thick mud on the C&O Canal bike path. If you want a wee bit of tread that still rolls very nicely on the pavement, go with the Panaracers I mentioned. Do yourself a favor and pay extra for the folding kevlar bead. Folding is nice to store a spare, and folding is lighter.
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Old 08-03-16, 06:24 AM
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Well it sounds as if you have a plan and it looks good. Smoother tread tires Motorapido suggested is a good start. I wouldn't purchase fenders yet, see how the first few commutes are and of course pick dry days. If you do decide that you want fenders make them at least 10 mm wider than the tire you will use. Depending on the year of the bike you may have suspension fork which will be heavy after 11 miles. Try commuting for the rest of the season and if you feel suspension loses or you just want to lighten the bike, replace the fork a suspension corrected steel fork.

Good luck and enjoy the commute.
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Old 08-03-16, 11:12 AM
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I wouldn't buy anything for that bike except perhaps tires more suited for the road.

Between the 26" wheels, the suspension and even the basic geometry I think you will find that bike lacking for long-term commuting, so why throw more money at it?

Ride it a few times and if you think you will commit to commuting look into a bike that is better suited for that...
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Old 08-03-16, 11:34 AM
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If you got some 32mm wide tires with an urban tread they'll roll faster and will probably clear the fenders you already bought.

I'd suggest doing your commute route on a weekend when you can take your time and maybe explore the best ways to transition from path to road, maybe alternate access points, see how long it takes, etc.


What is a good tire style/type to replace my tires with. I currently have 26 x 47/52s on them, so I am open to any decent suggestions.
Make sure you check the actual ISO diameter before you get new ones.
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Old 08-04-16, 06:17 AM
  #6  
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
If you got some 32mm wide tires with an urban tread they'll roll faster and will probably clear the fenders you already bought.

I'd suggest doing your commute route on a weekend when you can take your time and maybe explore the best ways to transition from path to road, maybe alternate access points, see how long it takes, etc. Make sure you check the actual ISO diameter before you get new ones.

I agree with @DiabloScott I did my first commute to check the route on a weekend. I ride (shortest route 11 miles) if you have not been riding a lot it may be tough to ride everyday but you will get there. I would not put pressure on yourself to have it all figured out the first trip, week, month etc.

one of the benefits of bike commuting is no ride is ever really the same. new variables, weather, traffic, how you feel etc. that is one of the reasons it is so fun too.

Originally Posted by rmfnla View Post
I wouldn't buy anything for that bike except perhaps tires more suited for the road.
Between the 26 wheels, the suspension and even the basic geometry I think you will find that bike lacking for long-term commuting, so why throw more money at it? Ride it a few times and if you think you will commit to commuting look into a bike that is better suited for that...
I think @rmfnla says it well. if there is suspension you may or may not like that on your commuter. I think that some smoother tires would be a good expense in the short term to see if you like it.
I do have to say that my cyclocross bike came with tires with slight tread and I rode many miles on them before I moved to something smoother. Especially if you are riding on gravel/ cinder the tread might be nice.


either way enjoy the ride and take it a day no ride at a time.
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Old 08-04-16, 06:50 AM
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Just do it! Start commuting and you will figure out the details. You are suffering from paralysis by analysis.
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Old 08-04-16, 12:05 PM
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I'm with tarwheel, just get out there. It's not that big a deal to have the right tires or the right fork or so on unless you geek out on it.
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Old 08-06-16, 07:16 AM
  #9  
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Ditto. Start riding. Fine tune later.
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Old 08-08-16, 09:45 AM
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I did my first commute on a quiet Sunday morning. if your first attempt is just homeward, how will you get to the office with your bike? I do this by bringing my bike on my car with a bike rack (Sunday nite) & I leave my car at work. then I ride in the next (Monday) morning

I started on a MTB like you. 11 miles sounds ideal! I started w knobbies then moved to a slick tire. you get plenty of traction with a slick tire cuz the riding surface is rough

Last edited by rumrunn6; 08-09-16 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 08-09-16, 05:05 AM
  #11  
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Don't over think it, just ride to work one day and then after work ride home. Any bike will work.
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Old 08-10-16, 09:11 AM
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Thanks for all the input... My main reason for starting to look at tires now is they are in pretty rough same an will need to be changes sooner rather than later. Looking good for my first ride home this Friday if the weather hold out.
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Old 08-10-16, 10:01 AM
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Way to go you won't regret it. Once ou get into it ou'll want to do it year round thats what I did now I'm a year round commuter rain or shine.
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Old 08-10-16, 10:06 AM
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Frozen don't worry to much about the weather just get on and enjoy the ride. But keep shelter in mind should you need to tuck in some place. Also you might want to get some rain gear at some point food for thought.
Ride Safe and "ENJOY"
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Old 08-10-16, 10:14 AM
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All of the encouragement is fine as far as it goes but 11 miles one way is ambitious for a novice. I'd be looking at a multi-modal option while building up fitness via weekend rides of the full distance or other cardio work. Actually, I find that multi-modal is often more hassle than it is worth unless you live in Portland , OR. I would be working up to the fitness level needed to do an 11mi. by a combination of riding with other aerobics. And I would get a proper road bike to do it with or not bother. Using a mountain bike to commute on will kill any enthusiasm for the project in a fairly short time. The gearing is wrong, the tires are wrong, the ergo's are wrong. They can be made right but it takes money to do that. Money that can be used to buy a bike optimized for the purpose of commuting on paved or semi-paved surfaces.
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Old 08-10-16, 11:24 AM
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Don't listen to the naysayers (mostly yourself) and
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Old 08-10-16, 11:39 AM
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Don't over complicate it. As a beginner I would start with once or twice a week and then increase as you are getting better. This is how I did it. I have an 8 mile commute and started with one day a week and now I am at 5 days a week unless I need to use the car for a different reason. I even ride in summer at 100+ outside. But with a small detour on my way home I can stop at various pubs and beer gardens to get a cold beer before I get home. lol
I would adjust the bicycle over time as needed since everyone has different requirements on a bike. I ride a 22 year old heavy German steel frame Trekking/City bike. Similar to the style of the famous dutch bikes. Because of my back I have to sit upright and neither a road bike nor a mountain bike would work for me.
So just start riding...
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Old 08-10-16, 03:25 PM
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I am going to agree with the encouragers. I'm in my fourth week. I started to pan one day and told myself I'd take a week to t hunk out the logistics. The weekend before I ordered the backpack I wanted. When it cam on Tuesday I said screw it and started riding the next day. I'm glad I did...didn't overthink it and I'm having fun, getting in the workouts and gained some time at work for myself (used to workout at lunch, now it's built in). Be safe, leave yourself plenty of time so stress level stays low and go for it.
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Old 08-16-16, 10:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Frozen001 View Post
I still have my Gary Fisher Marlin that I will use, since I have it and until I am fully commit I do not see the point of buying anything new. I would like to swap out the tires though as I current have a pretty aggressive trad on them. My route of choice now will take me town a bike/ walking path for about 7 of the 11 miles. It is a relatively flat surface but it is that cinder/tiny gravel surface. The rest will be paved roads. What is a good tire style/type to replace my tires with. I currently have 26 x 47/52s on them, so I am open to any decent suggestions.
I agree with your approach of start with what you have, don't sink a ton of money into a different solution at this point. A marlin could work very well for the long term (esp if it is a rigid fork).

And getting smoother tires for the road is also a very good idea.

My constant recommendation is the Nashbar Slick City tire. It is cheap, fast, and very well reviewed. It's also pretty small (32mm), so you shouldn't have any fender clearance issues. You just have to be prepared for your mountain bike to look very different -- like a porn star, i.e. shockingly bald down below
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