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Do you use your best bike for commuting?

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Do you use your best bike for commuting?

Old 07-26-17, 02:34 AM
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johngwheeler
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Do you use your best bike for commuting?

I have two bikes: an older alloy Trek Crossrip and carbon Giant TCX, and I have to date allocated the Trek as my commuting bike, mostly on the grounds that it has a rack fitted to it.

However, I enjoy riding the lighter carbon bike more and have started to use it for commuting on days when I don't need to carry much (it has no rack mounts, but I can fit my lunch in the saddle bag).

The Giant cost twice as much as the Trek, and I really bought it as a "weekend bike" to keep in good condition. I'm wondering whether I'm just being a bit ridiculous in trying to avoid wear and tear when it's a Cyclocross / off-road bike that should be fine with the abuse. Plus it gives a noticeably more comfortable ride on pavement.

It got me thinking about the philosophy of choosing a commuting bike if you have more than one bike.

Should you choose the bike that you most enjoy riding so that you have the motivation for your commute, and maybe more training time on your "good bike"? Or should you choose a bike that you care less about because it will suffer more wear, and have a greater risk of damage. I'm lucky to have a secure lock-up at work, but if I didn't, then I think risk of theft or vandalism would be a major concern that would change the equation.

What do you do?
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Old 07-26-17, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
I have two bikes: an older alloy Trek Crossrip and carbon Giant TCX, and I have to date allocated the Trek as my commuting bike, mostly on the grounds that it has a rack fitted to it.

However, I enjoy riding the lighter carbon bike more and have started to use it for commuting on days when I don't need to carry much (it has no rack mounts, but I can fit my lunch in the saddle bag).

The Giant cost twice as much as the Trek, and I really bought it as a "weekend bike" to keep in good condition. I'm wondering whether I'm just being a bit ridiculous in trying to avoid wear and tear when it's a Cyclocross / off-road bike that should be fine with the abuse. Plus it gives a noticeably more comfortable ride on pavement.

It got me thinking about the philosophy of choosing a commuting bike if you have more than one bike.

Should you choose the bike that you most enjoy riding so that you have the motivation for your commute, and maybe more training time on your "good bike"? Or should you choose a bike that you care less about because it will suffer more wear, and have a greater risk of damage. I'm lucky to have a secure lock-up at work, but if I didn't, then I think risk of theft or vandalism would be a major concern that would change the equation.

What do you do?
I'm retired but was/am careful with my money. I took my better bike for all my commuting with secure lock area.

I still have a 1980 Schwinn for short shopping rides where it will be locked outdoors. This bike prevents my lock from being damage.
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Old 07-26-17, 05:52 AM
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Originally Posted by debade View Post
I'm retired but was/am careful with my money. I took my better bike for all my commuting with secure lock area.

I still have a 1980 Schwinn for short shopping rides where it will be locked outdoors. This bike prevents my lock from being damage.
This sounds like a sensible approach. My only problem is whether to keep a "2nd class bike" just for journeys where the bike is likely to be exposed to greater threat from either thieves or the elements. My garage space is limited, and my wife's tolerance of my toys has its limits :-)
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Old 07-26-17, 06:12 AM
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Originally Posted by johngwheeler View Post
This sounds like a sensible approach. My only problem is whether to keep a "2nd class bike" just for journeys where the bike is likely to be exposed to greater threat from either thieves or the elements. My garage space is limited, and my wife's tolerance of my toys has its limits :-)
This is why I have a winter hack / training bike (old steel Bianchi w/rusty patina) and a mountain bike - for times when it's pissing rain or I will be locking the bike up in public. Never will I be taking the Colnago or Litespeed or the "good" Bianchi somewhere where it'll be exposed to potential abuse.

If I were you and had a safe lockup at work, I'd save the "good" bike for Fridays or nice days when you just want a bit of a change of pace.
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Old 07-26-17, 06:26 AM
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For my commutes I mainly use Giant TCX 0. However if I want to go for a longer "extended" commute, 50km +, then I bring out my Giant TCR Advance Di2.
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Old 07-26-17, 06:33 AM
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Yes, I use my best. A backpack and I can keep it in my office. I ride what I enjoy.
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Old 07-26-17, 06:34 AM
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Originally Posted by crazyravr View Post
For my commutes I mainly use Giant TCX 0. However if I want to go for a longer "extended" commute, 50km +, then I bring out my Giant TCR Advance Di2.
Nice choices to have! Your commuter bike is a few grades above my "best bike" :-)

I do like the feel of a somewhat lighter carbon bike on bumpy pavement compared to a 13-14kg (unloaded) alloy bike, which is why I posed this question.
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Old 07-26-17, 06:35 AM
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For three season my main commuter is a converted dropbar bike, formerly known as a Giant Rapid, but it is now more like a Defy. I actually don't mind riding this one, even though I do have a 16-lb Specialized Roubaix sitting in my basement which rarely gets used, as well as a pretty rad-looking steel racing bike from the 80's. The commuter has fenders so I don't hesitate to take it when it rains.

During the winter my go-to is a converted Bianchi steel road bike with fenders, rack, and studded tires. I am not so crazy about riding this one.
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Old 07-26-17, 09:06 AM
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My "nice" bike is also my travel bike, but the real reason I don't commute with it is that it doesn't have a rack on it.


The commute bike (and the backup commute bike!) are both pretty nice, but they're a bit heavier, with stouter tires which are a bit better on the bike path, and dyno lights for the winter. All it all, my commute bike(s) are optimum for that job.
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Old 07-26-17, 09:41 AM
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I do sometimes, when there is no chance of rain. Both have racks and fenders, I just don't like cleaning derailleurs.
But they're both beaters in the grand scheme of things:
"nice" bike: 2009 BD Motobecane Fantom CX converted to Ultegra/105 with D-A bar-cons.
daily driver: 2012 DB Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno with flat bars.
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Old 07-26-17, 09:41 AM
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I don't really have a choice, as my Surly CrossCheck is my only 'road' bike. I commute with it daily, but also use it for long (20-70mi) road rides. My other bike is my hardtail 29er, I don't like it on the road, but I've commuted with it a few times when I had trail rides planned.

For me, if there was a bike that I considered 'too nice' to commute with, I wouldn't buy it. I'm aiming to have fewer things -- the right things, good things that can do all the things.

(And here in San Diego there's basically no rain, so that's fewer 'things' that my bikes have to do, that helps me get away with fewer bikes)
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Old 07-26-17, 10:01 AM
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I own several bikes. I ride the one I want to ride on a given day, provided it's ready to go. I have a fairly expensive road racing bike that I sometimes commute on. I rode it into work yesterday and today and also last week. It doesn't have any luggage provisions, so I wear a backpack when commuting on it, and that's fine. I go really fast on it compared with my fully equipped bikes.

I bring my bike into my office, so locking it up in public is not a concern. I do not like locking my bike, as I've had too many stolen and vandalized.
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Old 07-26-17, 10:32 AM
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i have two bikes, both are aluminum with carbon fork. they're what i could afford. one is a 2016 Felt Z85 with 105 and the other is a GT Grade with Sora.

i mostly use the GT to commute becuase i finagled a rack on to it but i definitely still commute on my other bike. granted neither bike is significantly better than the other but i really enjoy riding my felt so its the bike i take when i go on group rides or on weekends...

i guess to answer the question, i think both of my bikes are nice, but there is one that i ride for longer distances (the Felt) versus one that i only use for bad weather and commuting.
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Old 07-26-17, 11:23 AM
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"Do you use your best bike for commuting?"

I usually have 2 bikes(sometimes 3); I'll use either one for commuting.
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Old 07-26-17, 11:30 AM
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I'm fortunate that I have several excellent bikes. None are really high end or collectible, and all get ridden. I choose the one best suited the commute of the day.


Rain? I ride the Turino Pro with its fenders and water resistant panniers and handlebar bag.


Nice weather (<10mph headwind) and I feel energetic? The fixed gear and a backpack.


Wind, but otherwise nice enough out (no drenching rain)? The racing style bike with a backpack for its better aerodynamic positioning.


So, that's how I choose. My lock at work is secure, and there is zero chance of theft at our facility.

Last edited by Phil_gretz; 07-26-17 at 11:31 AM. Reason: clarity
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Old 07-26-17, 11:57 AM
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Since 100.0000% of my riding is commuting, yes, I do use my best bike. And also my worst bike. if I had any other bikes, I'd use them for commuting to, to the extent that I used them at all.

My favorite bike is the road bike, but it's not the most expensive. The Giant Seek 0 is not my favorite bike but it works better in ice and snow (the road bike doesn't work at all, being unable to mount studded tires).
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Old 07-26-17, 12:01 PM
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I commute on all my bikes, but I mostly use my AWOL because it's got fenders, front & rear racks and I'm comfortable riding it in just about any weather and can easily add a shopping run to my day.

I will ride my lightweight road bike if I happen to feel like it and the weather is nice: that's a Scott Solace 10/ Dura-Ace. When I commute on that I have to use a back pack but that doesn't bother me. I have noticed that I'm significantly faster/get into work much quicker on the Solace which I suppose shouldn't be a surprise.

Sitting somewhere in between those two bikes I have a cross bike, a Kona Jake the Snake. It's got a rear rack and fenders so I can use it year round, but it's not as well suited to carrying heavy gear like the AWOL. Still, I do commute on the Kona a significant amount of time, too and it functions as my winter road bike.
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Old 07-26-17, 12:57 PM
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I commute on my road bike as much as I can - I have it outfitted with a slim rack & panniers. It's much faster and lighter than my other bike, a converted MTB. I used to baby the road bike a lot, never let it get wet (not even if the ground was wet after rain) but I stopped doing that after I got dirt/sand/rain on it after having to go offroad/getting caught in the rain and I realized road bikes are not as fragile as I thought. I just try to clean/dry it.

For REALLY bad weather and winter riding (and heavy hauling) I still use the MTB with plusher tires and "don't care what happens to it" drivetrain. However, I've been thinking of ditching it in favor of a more commuter-/tour-/child-carry-friendly bike such as Salsa Vaya or Co-Op ADV3.1
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Old 07-26-17, 01:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ItsJustMe View Post
Since 100.0000% of my riding is commuting
That's a pretty high percentage. I assume you rounded up from 99.99995% or more, which is 264 feet of non-commuting cycling per 1000 commute miles?
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Old 07-26-17, 02:17 PM
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Since you have a secure place to lock it up, there is no reason to not commute with your nice bike. That is unless you want to keep it in nice shape for the next owner (when it comes time to sell).
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Old 07-26-17, 02:36 PM
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Define best. I have 5 bikes and like them all for different reasons.
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Old 07-26-17, 02:53 PM
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I commute every day by bike, and live in a mountainous part of the world. I have 2x bikes - a steel frame single speed with fenders I built myself and a 2016 Scott Addict with Dura Ace. My office has bike racks inside the office so security at work is not a concern.

I ride the single speed on days where it's wet, snow-covered and/or generally crappy. Also, as bike theft is high here, on days I plan to stop somewhere and leave it locked up outside. However I ride my Scott bike almost exclusively in the summer when the weather is nice - it's just a much better experience, and allows me to go on much longer rides after work if I choose.

Sometimes i feel bad for using such a nice bike with nice components for something as boring as a commute, but then I remember that like 80% of people on here, I really need to ride my bikes more. Sure, component wear will be a factor faster, but at least you're earning it honestly.
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Old 07-26-17, 03:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I bring my bike into my office, so locking it up in public is not a concern. I do not like locking my bike, as I've had too many stolen and vandalized.
This sucks, and is one factor that makes me want to keep a less glamorous "work horse" bike that I wouldn't be heartbroken about losing. I can't guarantee I'll always have a secure work storage facility (jobs change), and sometimes I want to run errands on the bike that require leaving it in the street.

I'm trying to streamline my line-up so that I have bikes that get maximum usage, but also ones that I like and want to ride. But having a "utility bike"/"beater" does seem to fill a role.
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Old 07-26-17, 03:33 PM
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Years ago I had the same question.
I got a job Swing Shift across town (got off after dark).

I cleaned up the old beater. Bottle generator and all. Took it out for a few days, and within a week I was tired of it.

I bought a Night Sun headlight for my Colnago Super, and started commuting on it. Eventually I loaned the beater out and it got stolen, and the Colnago became my primary bike for years.

It has taken a beating over the years, but I truly don't regret riding a bike I liked for several decades. I just can't imagine having ridden a bike that I detested for the last 30 years

I now have a couple of bikes, and do irregular commuting. But, choose at least a nice bike for my rides (including the old Colnago). But, I'll ride whatever I feel like it, and matches my cargo for the day.
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Old 07-26-17, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Define best. I have 5 bikes and like them all for different reasons.
A good question! By "best", I mean either most expensive, or most dear to you. It does raise the question of what is "best for purpose", which might have a different answer. Rough roads and poor weather could mean a fat-tired hybrid with fenders is a better bike than a high-end racing bike.
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