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5 Mile commute.

Old 03-23-24, 05:32 AM
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As a rule of thumb, for a 1st commuter bike or a 1st bike in general, go to your local bike shop. As someone mentioned above, keep it smple.
Bike shops usually keep a range of sizes, also basic accessories like spare tubes, a little pump, patches and tyre levers. If required, buy a helmet.

I would start with a 90's rigid mtb with 26" tyres, rim brakes, mudguards and a rack, if possible. All independent bike shops sell them, more or less in this configuration.
These bikes are staples in the commuter world for a reason. Yes there thousands of options but this is the easiest/cheapest option for a ready to go bike without taking a big financial loss.

They are also not a priority for thiefs if you're in a high crime area, unless the bike is blinged out. If you find one that you like (oh yes there is such a thing here's some inspiration https://bikerebuilds.com/bikes) go for it, it will help you mentally as you will want to ride more.

Once you found a bike, commute for a few months as often as possible and leave the bike alone, don't change/upgrade anything. Clean it and lube the chain once a week. After a few months, your needs / requirements will surface as well, which is usually different gearing for the terrain you're riding, tyres, handlebars etc.

If you don't like it talk to your bike shop, most bikes shops will take back/trade in a commuter bike. Worst case scenario, you should recover some of your money or put it towards another bike.
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Old 03-24-24, 07:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Getting out of the car and on a bike is a big step forward to a longer, healthier life.
It's true. In fact, it's documented. In a very long term study by the NHS (of UK), people who bike commuted throughout their lives live longer and healthier, even if they pedal gently for 2 or 3 miles.

I'm 63 and still at my college weight. People guess I'm 20 years younger.
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Old 03-24-24, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
I love this take on walking a bike!

Nothing wrong with walking a bike.

Personal anecdote - There was a hill on my way to work that I had to walk up at the beginning. Eventually, I got strong enough to make the hill without getting off, but it still was no fun. After a few months, I noticed that I was riding on "Great Notch Rd." and that there was a turn called "Lower Notch Rd.". Now I do much less of a climb.
Great Notch Road, Lower Notch Road: tellin' it like it is. In pre-GPS days, I often thought it would be interesting to poll Bike Forums people on which of their local road names are codes that, deciphered, signal tough climbs. There's a Notchcliff Road in Baltimore County that's a knee-breaker, for example.

Some are pretty straightforward: [fill in the blank] Hill Road, for example. Or Mountain Road.

Slightly are less obvious, but still often reliable, especially on the East Coast: [fill in the blank] Mill Road.

More devious: Providence Road. Seven Sisters Road.

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Old 03-24-24, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Grear Notch Road, Lower Notch Road: tellin' it like it is. In pre-GPS days, I often thought it would be interesting to poll Bike Forums people on which of their local road names are codes that, deciphered, signal tough climbs. There's a Notchcliff Road in Baltimore County that's a knee-breaker, for example.

Some are pretty straightforward: [fill in the blank] Hill Road, for example. Or Mountain Road.

Slightly are less obvious, but still often reliable, especially on the East Coast: [fill in the blank] Mill Road.

More devious: Providence Road. Seven Sisters Road.
Rifle Camp Road is a cool one by me. Most of the others like Ridge Road are pretty obvious.

ps - I don't mess with Rifle Camp Road - it looks like it goes straight up. I think there's a park at the top. I think the road name dates to the Revolutionary War.

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Old 03-24-24, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
It's true. In fact, it's documented. In a very long term study by the NHS (of UK), people who bike commuted throughout their lives live longer and healthier, even if they pedal gently for 2 or 3 miles.

I'm 63 and still at my college weight. People guess I'm 20 years younger.
I'm interested in this. Do you have the study? My concern is that correlation does not necessarily imply causation - perhaps the healthy people are the ones that choose to bike commute.

I also get the younger thing. I'm 49 but people figure me for about 38.
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Old 03-24-24, 01:25 PM
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Stopped for a swig of water, figured id snap a commute photo. I am improving with my ahifting and bike handleing and most importantly my Pacing...im starting to see i shouldnt strive for a consistant speed but a cosistent pace if i dont want to burn out...i made it to work today and felt like I had a lot more to give.Thanks for all the love and support.
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Old 03-24-24, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
I'm interested in this. Do you have the study? My concern is that correlation does not necessarily imply causation - perhaps the healthy people are the ones that choose to bike commute.

I also get the younger thing. I'm 49 but people figure me for about 38.
I searched a bit for you. I'm not sure this is it, but this one looks pretty good. The one I remember reading was about a study of people that goes back many decades.

Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study
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Old 03-24-24, 02:35 PM
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[MENTION=574593]Strawbunyan[/MENTION], I've read that high intensity interval training (HIIT) has a wonderful effect on endurance. I find it counter-intuitive: why would going really hard for short intervals help me ride more intensely when I'm normally going at a steady pace? I don't know, but it does. So take one minute of going at an annoyingly tough effort. Don't worry about tiring yourself out. See if it helps.

On my long (13-mile one way) commute, I don't aim for a steady pace. I go hard when I want to and rest (going easily) when I want to. I don't measure my recovery time, but I believe it improves when I make an effort to build strength. Um, did I state that clearly?
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Old 03-24-24, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
I searched a bit for you. I'm not sure this is it, but this one looks pretty good. The one I remember reading was about a study of people that goes back many decades.

Association between active commuting and incident cardiovascular disease, cancer, and mortality: prospective cohort study
Thanks! That is a study of a quarter of a million people. Good for safety/advocacy but also highly pertinent to commuting. I have no idea how riding a bike reduces your risk of cancer. They even assert that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks of riding in traffic. Still seems possible, however, that healthier people self select to do active commuting, which makes sense intuitively.
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Old 03-24-24, 02:51 PM
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[MENTION=571561]ScottCommutes[/MENTION], I'm listening to the audiobook version of a book called Outlive. It's written by a doctor who specializes in longevity. He says that we can improve long term health while simultaneously prolonging life. I like the book so much that I bought the print version for my spouse. When we do things that we know reduce risk for cancer or diabetes or something else, it tends to reduce the risk of all the big things. And he explains how. He has inspired me to work more on strength, flexibility, and nutrition.

I saw a video about a college professor who is 87 and still teaching. And bike-commuting.
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Old 03-24-24, 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan
Stopped for a swig of water, figured id snap a commute photo. I am improving with my ahifting and bike handleing and most importantly my Pacing...im starting to see i shouldnt strive for a consistant speed but a cosistent pace if i dont want to burn out...i made it to work today and felt like I had a lot more to give.Thanks for all the love and support.
Go you!!! And realize your style will change with practice and improvement. Just listen to your body, and you'll continue to get better.

[MENTION=152773]noglider[/MENTION], there's this study too.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/med...990b59f&ei=248
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Old 03-24-24, 05:47 PM
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Thanks, [MENTION=421867]Korina[/MENTION]!
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Old 03-24-24, 10:55 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider
[MENTION=574593]Strawbunyan[/MENTION], I've read that high intensity interval training (HIIT) has a wonderful effect on endurance. I find it counter-intuitive: why would going really hard for short intervals help me ride more intensely when I'm normally going at a steady pace? I don't know, but it does. So take one minute of going at an annoyingly tough effort. Don't worry about tiring yourself out. See if it helps.

On my long (13-mile one way) commute, I don't aim for a steady pace. I go hard when I want to and rest (going easily) when I want to. I don't measure my recovery time, but I believe it improves when I make an effort to build strength. Um, did I state that clearly?
i will definitly be getting deeper into interval training, i have been getting interested in XC MTB racing and apparently it is grueling.
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Old 03-24-24, 10:57 PM
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and one from the way home. Made it 2/3 the way up my nemisis before i had to walk...getting better everyday.
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Old 03-24-24, 11:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
Go you!!! And realize your style will change with practice and improvement. Just listen to your body, and you'll continue to get better.

[MENTION=152773]noglider[/MENTION], there's this study too.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/med...990b59f&ei=248
thank you 😊
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Old 03-25-24, 05:18 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Thanks! That is a study of a quarter of a million people. Good for safety/advocacy but also highly pertinent to commuting. I have no idea how riding a bike reduces your risk of cancer. They even assert that the health benefits of cycling outweigh the risks of riding in traffic. Still seems possible, however, that healthier people self-select to do active commuting, which makes sense intuitively.
Or less-healthy people self-select to avoid exertion. ("Why are you growing a beard?" "I'm not doing anything; you're shaving.")
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Old 03-25-24, 05:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Trakhak
Or less-healthy people self-select to avoid exertion. ("Why are you growing a beard?" "I'm not doing anything; you're shaving.")
I don't buy it. Some of us have conditions that are out of our control. Those conditions may make exertion something we want to avoid or ought to avoid.

But most of us who dislike exertion don't dislike it for that reason. We fall out of habit which makes the exertion unpleasant. Or maybe we never get into the habit. I think habit is key for most of us. It's best to form the habit when we're young, but that doesn't mean it's too late any any point. If you don't have the habit, you can still form it at any age. That's my theory, and I don't have any science to back it up. I hope a more qualified person will follow up. The truth may be more nuanced.
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Old 03-25-24, 07:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan

Stopped for a swig of water, figured id snap a commute photo. I am improving with my ahifting and bike handleing and most importantly my Pacing...im starting to see i shouldnt strive for a consistant speed but a cosistent pace if i dont want to burn out...i made it to work today and felt like I had a lot more to give.Thanks for all the love and support.
You do you, but I don't like the backpack. Taking that weight off of your shoulders and putting it anywhere on the frame of the bike makes a huge improvement in the comfort of your commute. I'm not talking like one kind of tires vs. another, I'm talking like a giant improvement.

I would suggest riding with the backpack for awhile and thinking about what you really need to carry,. Then, start looking at some of your options. One nice thing about the backpack is you can carry it easily, even without the bike.
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Old 03-25-24, 09:55 AM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
You do you, but I don't like the backpack. Taking that weight off of your shoulders and putting it anywhere on the frame of the bike makes a huge improvement in the comfort of your commute. I'm not talking like one kind of tires vs. another, I'm talking like a giant improvement.

I would suggest riding with the backpack for awhile and thinking about what you really need to carry,. Then, start looking at some of your options. One nice thing about the backpack is you can carry it easily, even without the bike.
i have been looking at rack and bag options, j just dont know what i want to do yet. The bag just has water, snacks, underwear, and my cell phone in it and isnt terribly heavy. My friends and I used to hike alot back in FL and wearing a backpack just comes as second nature to me. I only notice I have it when i am putting it on and taking it off but i would like to cut it out of the equation soon...i was looking at a post mount rack so I can keep the backpack but get it off of my persons.
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Old 03-25-24, 02:17 PM
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A lot of cyclists say backpacks are the worst. I don't quite agree. I've commuted with one. Lately, I toss my backpack into a basket I've attached to my bike, and I do prefer not wearing it.

Panniers are great for when you're riding, but carrying them off the bike is awkward, and they don't stand up well, either.
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Old 03-26-24, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
A lot of cyclists say backpacks are the worst. I don't quite agree. I've commuted with one. Lately, I toss my backpack into a basket I've attached to my bike, and I do prefer not wearing it.

Panniers are great for when you're riding, but carrying them off the bike is awkward, and they don't stand up well, either.
A backpack that feels fine for walking might be uncomfortable on a bike because the cycling position pulls your shoulders forward whilst the backpack straps pull them back.

I second the backpack/basket combo. The backpack is super convenient to carry and put into the basket. All my tools live in a pocket of the backpack. Additionally, if I come home with something (today it happens to be some delicious bakery items), I can always put it in the basket and wear my backpack. The OP however, seems like he is travelling pretty light. I bring thermos of coffee, laptop, tools, lunch, every day.
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Old 03-26-24, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan
as for the lock, the bike is chained to a pole infront of a camera about 10 feet from the door of the secured facility that I work in and is visible through a window in my section. Anyone with bolt cutters that close to that building would get deleted pretty quickly. If anyone takes it, itll be a co-worker and I know where to find them...the lock is kind of a decoration to make me feel like a real commuter 😆😆😆😉
One of my bikes was stolen right in front of the camera. It was just after sunset and the security cameras lost some visibility. The security guard pulled up the video and we looked at it. The bike was there right up to sunset. After that you could only see it when a car headlight shined on it. One time it was there, the next it was gone. That's when I started using U-locks. Currently, at work my bike is in a storage room, unlocked. But the U-lock is attached if I go somewhere. Food for thought.
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Old 03-28-24, 06:04 PM
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Update: tried the commute in my denim because it is supposed to be cold tonight on the way home...never again. I have blisters forming on the backs of my knees and my jibbly bits got smashed.
I also did some HIIT yesterday and conquered my nemisis hill twice in a row and i rode extra hard into work today. Trying to get the fitness up.
Attempted indexing my deralier but it is still making some extra noise in some gears...gonna try again soon.
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Old 03-29-24, 12:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan
Update: tried the commute in my denim because it is supposed to be cold tonight on the way home...never again. I have blisters forming on the backs of my knees and my jibbly bits got smashed.
I also did some HIIT yesterday and conquered my nemisis hill twice in a row and i rode extra hard into work today. Trying to get the fitness up.
Attempted indexing my deralier but it is still making some extra noise in some gears...gonna try again soon.
Check out RJ the Bike Guy on YouTube; he has videos for most anything that can go wrong on a bike.
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Old 03-29-24, 10:49 AM
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Agreed about RJ the Bike Guy. Very good instructions. Park Tool also has excellent videos.

If your derailleur makes noise, it's possible that your derailleur hanger is bent. They get bent even when you can't figure out how. The problem is that there is a probability of it getting bent *in*, but it's virtually impossible to bend it *out*. So over time, it seems that they all get bent in. The alignment tool is expensive, so it's worth it to have a shop do it. Unless RJ tells you how to make a tool. The tool shows you if your hanger is bent, and it allows you to bend it back into alignment.

It's great that you're not only handling your commute but also doing intervals now. I don't do them often, but they help a lot. They're just so darned annoying. Lately, I've been doing pushups and a few weight lifting exercises before I head out. It helps me on my ride. I don't understand how that works, but maybe someone knows.

Agreed about denim. Some people ride in it; I don't know how. I'll wear ANYTHING but denim.

You may be amused to know that I commute wearing a dress shirt and tie. I'm the only one on my route who wears a tie. I probably look weird. I guess I have to admit, I like being weird.
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