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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 06-13-17, 08:08 AM   #51
Whynot1999
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Find an old road bike on craigslist from the 70s or 80s and put a rack on it. Or find something like the giant momentum street bike. Seems like a more comfortable commuter.
Socks and sandals are my favorite thing to wear on a bicycle
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Old 06-13-17, 09:08 AM   #52
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My former project lead has a pet quote that goes like this:

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The most probable method for finishing sooner is to start sooner.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 06-13-17, 09:22 AM   #53
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When I'm rolling, my road bike is definitely faster than my hybrid by about 2-3 mph on average. However once I factor in traffic and other things that slow me down, the difference on a 10 mile commute is somewhere in the 3 minute range. Measurable, but not really significant enough to allow me to sleep later in the morning.

I didn't really notice much of a speed difference when I went to clipless. I like riding clipless, and I think there are benefits, but I don't think you'd notice a huge speed increase.

Possible option Cs: Better fitness, e-bike or stop worrying about it.
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Old 06-13-17, 09:49 AM   #54
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Here are some suggestions:
http://www.bikeforums.net/hybrid-bic...rformance.html
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Old 06-13-17, 10:38 AM   #55
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Originally Posted by Anitza View Post
Hello all!

I regularly commute 28km round trip to work on a mid-grade hybrid bike, and although I'm reasonably fit, most people seem to smoke past me on the bike trails. But I'm getting mixed signals on what I can really do about this.

Option A: upgrade to a nicer road bike. But given the cost, I only want to do it if it would *really* make a difference. (Current hybrid is a generic "Genesis" bike). Plus, I have some bumpy roads to navigate, needs paniers, etc.

Option B: Get real bike shoes and clipless peddles (Yes I bike in sandals, please don't judge ). Would this be the best bang for the buck?

Option C: Something I'm not thinking of.

I'm new here, so I hope this is not too much of a repeat question.

Many thanks! If I can shave even 5-10 minutes off my commute this would matter a lot.
On my 11 km commute, a switch from a (slick tyred) MTB to a road bike, with some moderate riding effort (not to sweat), on flat ground, made under 5 minute difference one way. If even that much.

Using a backpack behind you, mounted on a rear rack, instead of panniers, will provide a difference in air drag that is immediately noticeable and measurable.

Slick tyres for pavement. If you ride rough roads, go as wide as 37 mm, but make sure they are slick and of good quality, and inflated to a proper pressure.

Make your riding position a bit more aero, if it's comfortable. Lower the bars, make them narrower (i like mine cut to about 50 cm), or both.

Clipless pedals are not bad, but I wouldn't expect much benefit speedwise, especially on the flats. For commuting and convenience, I prefer platforms with studs, so my feet don't slip.
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Old 06-13-17, 04:37 PM   #56
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Do you also ride recreationally? Might you want to? If a road bike is an option, get one -- With clipless pedals, shoes, etc. Ride it hard on weekends. Maybe join a club. When you are comfortable on your new bike, put your work stuff in a day pack and ride the road bike to work. You will be faster---guaranteed.
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Old 06-13-17, 06:18 PM   #57
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Surly named a bike after him: Big Dummy. No helmet!! What's he thinking?
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Old 06-14-17, 07:55 AM   #58
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The 100 mph 'dodge-em' car, built for BBC Top Gear show, was piloted be the enigmatic 'Stig', who in his white boiler suit
and non speaking role, is never seen without his full face helmet on, & visor down...
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Old 06-14-17, 11:23 AM   #59
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My questions for the OP
- how long have you been doing this commute
- how much other bicycling have you done
- where is your current commute the slowest - traffic lights/path interruptions? long hills?

My experience is that for a short (10-20km one way) commute, the speed will vary mostly with the rider and traffic, not the bicycle.

If you've been riding a while, presumably the bicycle should fit you well and you know if the delays are due to traffic/intersections or hills.

If you haven't been riding long, you'll find the commute will get faster as you get used to it and know where you can go fast or are slowed down. If this is the case, If you haven't already, make sure the bike is set up well - I've seen a number of new riders happier after adjusting seats, stems, brakes to make the bicycle more comfortable.

Sounds like your hybrid has smooth tires and plenty of gears (more than 1), so I'd expect any significant time savings on your commute to come from building strength or changing your route, not your bicycle.
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Old 06-15-17, 11:09 AM   #60
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Anitza View Post
Option C: Something I'm not thinking of.
I commute around 45-50km a day. Had no problem with distance but it took way too much time. I converted to pedal assist e-bike and shaved the time to about 1/2. Now averaging 20mph in the city is no problem
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Old 06-15-17, 03:01 PM   #61
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I found the biggest lack of performance was due to my fitness or lack thereof. The greatest improvement can be found with greater fitness. You'll also enjoy it more.
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Old 06-16-17, 12:49 PM   #62
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I commute around 45-50km a day. Had no problem with distance but it took way too much time. I converted to pedal assist e-bike and shaved the time to about 1/2. Now averaging 20mph in the city is no problem
Ah! Two days ago on my commute back home (41 km a day), two bike paths merge into one and someone on a e-bike merged at the same time as me and we followed side by side. He asked me if I was also on an e-bike. I said nope, it's only my legs doing the work
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Old 06-16-17, 01:15 PM   #63
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I'm 58, I ride in socks and sandles, I don't wear special cycling garb, I get passed all the time. I'd like to improve my fitness level, but the 20 something roadies will still pass me. I'm fine with that.
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Old 06-16-17, 02:28 PM   #64
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I commute around 45-50km a day. Had no problem with distance but it took way too much time. I converted to pedal assist e-bike and shaved the time to about 1/2. Now averaging 20mph in the city is no problem
Motor bikes are not an acceptable option. OP obviously doesn't want to drive.
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Old 06-18-17, 06:31 PM   #65
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Motor bikes are not an acceptable option. OP obviously doesn't want to drive.
Millions of people around the world commute on e-bikes (I include myself in that number for most of the year.) It's definitely not driving. In fact, "motor vehicles" are not allowed on the MUP that covers 90 percent of my commute. If speed is the desired result of a bicycle commute, I can't think of an easier solution to the "problem."
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Old 06-18-17, 06:36 PM   #66
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If you don't have one already, I suggest getting a cycle computer. Knowing how fast you are going is key to keeping up your speed.
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Old 06-18-17, 07:10 PM   #67
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Motor bikes are not an acceptable option. OP obviously doesn't want to drive.
UN-Fortunately some E-Bikes are becoming mainly a motorised bicycle... Throttles and an over sized motor make them mopeds... Even tho the "law" states they at bicycles they are NOT... JMO it would seem, especially in the E-Bike sub-forum ...
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Old 06-18-17, 08:19 PM   #68
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My new commuter.



All I have to do is figure out how to lock up the wheels once I cover up the valves.
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Old 06-18-17, 08:22 PM   #69
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My new commuter.



All I have to do is figure out how to lock up the wheels once I cover up the valves.
Hawt. Maybe the wheels will be confusing enough to would-be thieves that locking through the frame will be enough.
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There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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Old 06-19-17, 04:52 AM   #70
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Is your commute flat or hilly? I have a 10 mile commute which includes just under 600ft of climbing; I've done it on one of my mountain bikes a couple of times, and there is a huge difference between that and the road bikes I normally ride, certainly more than 5 minutes.
The road bike's quicker all round, but especially on climbs and descents.
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Old 06-19-17, 06:41 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by SylvainG View Post
Ah! Two days ago on my commute back home (41 km a day), two bike paths merge into one and someone on a e-bike merged at the same time as me and we followed side by side. He asked me if I was also on an e-bike. I said nope, it's only my legs doing the work
love it! more and more of those ebikes around...i do feel pretty awesome when i can overtake them on Matt-power lol

Matt
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Old 06-19-17, 07:21 AM   #72
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My new commuter.



All I have to do is figure out how to lock up the wheels once I cover up the valves.
Disc on front too? Hope you don't have to deal with cross winds.
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Old 06-19-17, 12:16 PM   #73
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Disc on front too? Hope you don't have to deal with cross winds.
It is only 650 on front Still practising to decide if I like it. I have a deep front that I've ridden a bit in varying conditions without the rear disc, and it rides nicely.

Headwinds are as bad as crosswinds, so it only really feels stable with a tailwind (or no wind). It is not that it is uncontrollable, but the wind is a pain.

But, when everything is right, it flies down the road
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Old 06-19-17, 10:06 PM   #74
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I agree with Smirksalot about a bike computer. I started commuting about a month ago and my times were reducing slightly each trip, but until I bought a bike computer I didn't see much progress. In one week, since I got my computer, I've cut about 30% off my time. Now I can see where I can improve my speed and push myself to beat speeds at various portions of my route.
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Old 06-20-17, 05:16 AM   #75
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Originally Posted by Anitza View Post
Hello all!

I regularly commute 28 km round trip towork on a mid-grade hybrid bike, and although I'm reasonably fit, most people seem to smoke past me on the bike trails. But I'm getting mixed signals on what I can really do about this…

Option C: Something I'm not thinking of…

Many thanks! If I can shave even 5-10 minutes off my commute this would matter a lot.
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You will be able to answer your question better if you first do a bit of athletic training. Measure your accomplishments over time as you execute a plan of strengthening yourself. I recommend some sort of high intensity interval training. Basically, it's where you take a minute at a time, a few times through your ride, to ride as hard as possible, to the point of exhaustion, where you can't maintain the level of exertion after the one minute…

I was
n't improving my overall time until I pushed myself over my 13 mph limit. I was spending all of my time at or below 13 mph and hardly any over that speed. I pushed myself to keep the speed readout high, and now I spend a lot more time above13 mph. But this is what has worked for me and not necessarily the approach that would serve you best.

How much faster do you want to be? In real world time, a very fast rider doesn't get to work much sooner than a slow rider, but I don't blame you for wanting to improve anyway.
I
have posted this riding strategy if anyone is in the same position with similar goals as myself. It works for me to keep getting faster (until I hit a hiatus and have to begin again).
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I’m a 40+ year cyclist and I ride mainly for fitness. During nearly all of my 40 cycling years, my training has been by mileage....

Last
year I developed for myself my"Time-restricted, Personally Ambitious, but Non-competitive Cyclist Training Routine"(link)…based on Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE).” My basic premise was that I wanted to get significantly fit, within a busy work/family time-crunched life, but not suffer so much that I would abandon the program.

I do have the advantages of a very nice minimum 14 mile one way commute that is easily extended; and a high end, very comfortable carbon fiber road bike that encourages riding.
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...I decided to go for speed (intensity), and I use the semi-quantitative, standardized, but personally relevant system of (Borg’s) Relative Perceived Exertion (RPE) (link), with my own particular adaptation…. I use cadence to chose gears to maintain my desired exertion.
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The RPE scale ranges from 6 to 17, with verbal descriptions of the intensity. Multiply the RPE by 10 is the approximate heart rate. Jim's scale is the equivalent on a 0 to 100 scale, easier to think about:

RPE = 6, resting... Jim's scale = 10 to 20

RPE = 7, very, very light... Jim's scale = 20 to 30

RPE = 9, very light... Jim's scale = 30 to 40

11, fairly light...50 (my usual happy-go-lucky pace without thinking about it)

13, somewhat hard...60 (I have to focus to maintain)

15, hard...70 (I start breathing hard at about 30 seconds)

17, very hard (lactate threshold; breakpoint between hard but steady
breathing and labored with gasping)...80 (my predicted max HR)

19, very, very hard...90 to 100.
My basic training is to ride at my RPE of 50% for six miles to warm up, then cruise at an RPE of 60%, and do intervals (on hills) at 70%. I try to change gears to maintain a cadence of about 85-90 rpm on flats and rolling hills, and about 60 to 80 rpm on harder hills, to maintain my RPE. Shift up to higher gears as the cadence rises, and shift down as the RPE increases.

Last edited by Jim from Boston; 06-20-17 at 07:47 PM.
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