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How long have you been riding your main commuter?

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How long have you been riding your main commuter?

Old 10-13-16, 01:55 PM
  #1  
InTheRain
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How long have you been riding your main commuter?

I've been riding my commuter bike for nearly nine years. It's gone through many upgrades and added accessories but the frame, fork, and drive train are original. I'll have to replace the chain rings and cassette on the next chain replacement.

I love the steel frame and touring geometry. It has made for a perfect commuter. I see myself commuting on this bike for at least another 10+ years.

For those of you that have been commuting on the same bicycle for 5+ years, why do you think your bike has been such a good commuter? Hopefully your input will provide some tips for those looking for advice on buying a bike for commuting.

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Old 10-13-16, 03:35 PM
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Steely Dan
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i've had my main commuter bike for 2 years. it's an aluminium CX bike w/ disc brakes, rack, and full fenders.

i've had my winter beast for 5 years. it's an aluminum hybrid w/ IGH, disc brakes, studded tires and full fenders.

and when the weather allows, i also occasionally commute on my lean and mean Ti road bike with a back pack. i've had that bike for nearly 7 years now. i used to commute on it far more often back when i used to live A LOT further away from work (15 miles one way).

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Old 10-13-16, 03:36 PM
  #3  
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5 years and going strong. It's a vintage mtb (a specialized stumpjumper) that I converted to drops. Fat tires rock.
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Old 10-13-16, 03:37 PM
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From 1997 to 2014 my main commuter was a 1997 Nishiki Blazer which I bought new in 1997. Actually it was my only bike until I acquired a 1983 Nishiki International 12-speed road bike in 2010. In January 2015 I replaced the Blazer as my main commuter with a 2015 Charge Plug (semitouring?), but have kept the Blazer as a studded-tire snow/ice winter commuter, and as a utility and rough road, dirt road bike, and just to have a change of ride for variety. In fact I rode the Blazer in to work today.

What attracted me to the bike was its affordability and appearance of ruggedness which has proven to be true. I had been riding a 1987 Schwinn Cruiser Supreme which was technically a "cruiser" style bike, but in essence was a 6-speed mountain bike. I initially customized the Blazer to fit what I thought were my riding style and needs at the time. I added wider straight bars and threw them forward for a less upright posture. I added the largest chain ring that would fit upfront for higher gearing for a better cruising speed (I'm a masher). I added a rack and fenders and a padded seat with springs.

It was, and still is robust, comfortable, stable and fast. It just doesn't break...well, until last year when a small metal piece in the left shifter snapped. And now that I think of it the original rear wheel tacoed in 1999 after I ascended a curb at speed; which only a suspension bike or fat bike could be realistically expected to survive.

Over the years I have added Wald folding baskets for greater utility, plus longer crank arms which help with the slow cadence mashing that is my pedaling. And to appease my aging hands' need for more positions, I first added bar ends (inboard) and then an aero bar. I have considered swapping out the straight bar for drop bars, but the conversion would cost more than the bike is worth to me (or anyone) as it is no longer my main commuter.

All in all, despite how crude it is compared to my other two, I still love this bike. And as far as the 36-lb fully-loaded weight, it is still lighter than the 48-lb monstrosity it replaced, whose mass and lack of adequate brakes still haunts my dreams 20-years later.
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Old 10-13-16, 03:45 PM
  #5  
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I've been commuting on my bike for about 9 years, and started using it to commute when I realized I could ride to work for exercise instead of driving and then exercising later. It's still an awesome commuter for me, especially as I've upgraded parts over the years.
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Old 10-13-16, 03:47 PM
  #6  
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42 years. In that time everything has been replaced at least four times.

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Old 10-13-16, 04:13 PM
  #7  
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My main commuter is a 2013 Kona Jake that I've been riding since August 2012. Before that my main commuter was a 2008 Kona Jake that I got in early 2008. I loved the 2008 Jake, but I told myself that if they ever came out with a disc version I was going to jump on it. I bought the 2013 Jake the first month it was available.

I like tinkering with bikes almost as much as I like riding them, so almost nothing is original on my current Jake. The frame, handlebars, seatpost, bottom bracket and crankset have survived. Everything else has been replaced at least once. I'll probably replace the crank whenever the Metrea crank is available from a source I like.



I think this is getting pretty close to being my ideal commuter bike. It's comfortable. It looks nice. The gearing is just about right for my commute. It takes a rack and fenders. The hydraulic disc brakes are dreamy. It easily fits 700x35 tires with fenders. It's not too heavy.

It was a pretty good bike as it came stock. I never had any complaints about the stock aluminum fork, but I loved the looks of Kona's Project 2 carbon cross fork. That and the Chris King headset were basically a vanity upgrade. The 3x10 Tiagra drivetrain was sensible for commuting and worked well. I didn't like the stock brakes and while the TRP Hy/Rds I used for a while were decent I really wanted hydraulics. Last spring I took the plunge with the Shimano RS785's, which meant finally moving to an 11-speed drivetrain.

Knowing myself as I do, I expect I'll eventually replace this as my primary beast of burden. I think the next one will have a bit taller head tube and maybe just a little more tire clearance. It won't happen until I see a bike that really excites me, and not many bikes suitable for utility use with relaxed geometry and wide tire clearance are exciting.
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Old 10-13-16, 04:17 PM
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Only been using my current commuter for 3 years; that's how long ago I bought it.
Came with fenders, multiple gears for hills, luggage system, easily stored at work.
I'll probably use this for a few more years to come:

Bike To Work by 1nterceptor, on Flickr

Brooklyn Bike Rave by 1nterceptor, on Flickr
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Old 10-13-16, 04:24 PM
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I've been using mine since July 2014, but it started life as a flat bar bike. Then converted to a 9-speed drop bar with a triple. It worked great. Then I had set of 5700's from another upgrade, so on it went. Love it. It's a slightly longer wheel base and much more relaxed geometry. It's only a three-season commuter, though. Once the snow and ice appears I'll have to resort to another bike with studded tires.

IMG_0163.jpg

IMG_0818.jpg

Giant.jpg
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Old 10-13-16, 04:31 PM
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This is my winter ride. It's an older one that started life as a riser bar hybrid, but converted to 8-speed Sora drop bar. Then upgraded to 9-speed when I had a set of Tiagra from another upgrade:

IMG_0602.jpg

Bianchi.jpg

This was my first commuter when I began 2.5 years ago.
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Old 10-13-16, 04:37 PM
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Short answer: 2 years.

Current commuter - might retire on this one.



First bike bought especially to be a commuter - stolen in 2014





Retired MTB turned commuter in 2008 - sold in 2010
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Old 10-13-16, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Short answer: 2 years.

Current commuter - might retire on this one.

[/IMG]
Caliper brakes and fenders? What size tires have you got there?
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Old 10-13-16, 04:43 PM
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Before about 2 years ago, I had been riding/commuting on the same bike for about 30 years.

It was fast, light (for the era), and got me where I wanted to go with the least amount of effort.
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Old 10-13-16, 04:54 PM
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I like to fidget, I think of my bike more as a process than a unit. My current Cannondale has been in service only about a year. There are many things I still want to try with it, especially a handlebar change, and nicer wheels and premium tires.

Before that I had a Super Sport which was competent but VERY heavy, and before that was on my MTB, which has since been turned back into a MTB.
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Old 10-13-16, 05:18 PM
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Originally Posted by mcours2006 View Post
Caliper brakes and fenders? What size tires have you got there?
Right now I have 37s with fenders. This photo is a 32 but it shows the clearance; Tektro extra-long reach brakes.



And here's another angle with the 37s


Last edited by DiabloScott; 10-13-16 at 05:22 PM.
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Old 10-13-16, 06:03 PM
  #16  
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Nine years on the same steel framed touring bike. My 1984 Schwinn Voyageur is comfortable, reliable, and familiar. I would like to upgrade to something more modern (the 27" wheels and 120mm rear drop outs are less than ideal) but it's hard to justify the expense when my current bike works so well.
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Old 10-13-16, 06:05 PM
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Sole commuter bike since mid-2008 has been my RANS V-Rex.

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Old 10-13-16, 06:18 PM
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Originally Posted by DiabloScott View Post
Right now I have 37s with fenders. This photo is a 32 but it shows the clearance; Tektro extra-long reach brakes.

And here's another angle with the 37s
Wow, that's a lot of clearance. Does the braking power suffer from the long reach?
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Old 10-13-16, 06:35 PM
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Don't really have a commuter... But I do ride my bike around my neighborhood at least 5 times a week. Its a nice up and down loop of about 12 to 14 miles some of it in the woods and on poorly paved roads.

So my commuter bike has turned out to be my UNIVEGA 1980ish gran rally.

Bull horns for my back (I no longer get into the drops), 34T gears available front and back, and touring tires. The bike has evolved over the years and continues to accommodate the limitations of my 63 year old body. I am sure my PX10 and UO8 feel neglected...
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Old 10-13-16, 07:36 PM
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I've been commuting for 13 yrs mostly on and sometimes off as my health allowed. the first 10 were on several different bikes, all steel. Raleighs, Freespirits, Treks and Univega.

Last 3 yrs have been solid time on a 2010 Motobecane fantum CXSS. Sold the car and kept on riding. The frame is 4130 and has held straight through two car smacks. I have replaced most everything both as they wear out and got tore up from cars. It is all day comfortable and fast, nibble for my city riding. Even good for long30-ish mile rides.
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Old 10-13-16, 07:45 PM
  #21  
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I like new technology. I could never ride the same bike for 9 years. I commuted on trails for about 4 years on a AL cyclocross and now this year got a CF gravel bike. 4 years down the rode I will probably be retired in a rural area riding a road bike.


Probably not a good data point for you.
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Old 10-13-16, 07:57 PM
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I rode my original commuter for about 8 years and about 34000 miles. It started out life as a $300 Giant Hybrid. I had to work to keep it rolling.

In 2013 I bought a road bike from BD and I use that most of the time in the summer. I gave away the old Giant and bought a Giant Seek 0 I think the same year, in the fall. It's OK though a bit heavy. Also IMO Giant can't build wheels. The original one popped 12 spokes in < 1500 miles, but I figured, Hey, $300 bike. The Seek 0 was $1200 and I have popped I think 3 or 4 spokes on it in about 2800 miles so far (I only really ride it in the winter). The original was so bad I gave up and laced my own wheels which lasted > 30K miles staying completely true and never breaking a spoke.
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Old 10-13-16, 08:42 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Also IMO Giant can't build wheels. The original one popped 12 spokes in < 1500 miles, but I figured, Hey, $300 bike. The Seek 0 was $1200 and I have popped I think 3 or 4 spokes on it in about 2800 miles so far (I only really ride it in the winter). The original was so bad I gave up and laced my own wheels which lasted > 30K miles staying completely true and never breaking a spoke.
My Giant Rapid's SR2's wheels have been great. Thirty-two spoke count. I've probably 10,000+ miles on them and they're still quite true. No broken spokes. Rear hub is starting to go, but more due to neglect than anything else.
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Old 10-13-16, 10:38 PM
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About 17 years on the 1982 Schwinn, on and off. In that time frame, I built new wheels, and replaced the brakes.

Also, same commute.
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Old 10-14-16, 04:32 AM
  #25  
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I've always had the habit of using the same bike until it got stolen, I forgot where I left it or it needed a repair I didn't feel like doing. The last 8 eight years I was switching between a 18 gear hybrid Peugeot and and compact single speed, non folding and a bit BMX like Batavus, but I really needed change.

The reasons were that both of them had rim brakes, I don't like rim brakes anyway but I've my bikes in an underground bike park in the appartement block, and it's a very steep ramp and at the end I have to brake quite hard not to crash into a wall or a neighbour. So I had to readjust the brakes for wear every other month and I don't like that, especially on the compact one that was a fiddly job. Also the chains on both weren't fully covered and required a lot of maintenance, the Peugeot was a bit too flimsy anyway especially with the Paris-Roubaix style cobble stones in front of my house, and both bikes weren't very easy for carrying stuff. I like a heavy gear, but the ride position on the Peugeot gave me pain in the shoulder and the Batavus is single gear.

So I went out to buy me a used Dutch bike with a full chain case, rod operated drum brakes and SA3 and got me a 10 year old Gazella oma, a quite young model but unchanged for about 70 years. At least that was what I assumed, the build quality had changed much more than I expected, and the oma geometry allowed for much more flexing than I remembered from previous oma's I've owned or ridden. The front rack with crate I put on was nice, but I really couldn't average 12 mph without sweating because of the lack of rigidity in the frame, and to get a decent ride position to put down power I had to raise the saddle a lot, ruining the nice ride position of an oma because the handlebars don't allow for much raising.

So I went out and bought a men's 70's roadster with a top tube, same features, much better quality, 65 cm frame size, brooks saddle, bought a different type of front rack and now I enjoy longer distances and averaging 12 mph again. Should have bought one like that years ago, but I just didn't because I still had bikes that worked.
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