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New commuter on a MB

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.

New commuter on a MB

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Old 09-08-09, 11:35 AM
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Beer Belly!
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New commuter on a MB

So I am going to start commuting on my MB a couple of times a week.
Today I went to check out the route.
I live in Belgium near a canal so it is near perfect.
As many of you may know, europe is full of those ugly old black steel city bikes.
So on my way home I was passed by road bikes many times. I'm kinda used to that. I stop for water. As I'm hydrating, an older lady passes on one of them old black steel jobs. She's wearing a dress and heels.
I put my bottle away and take off. I notice that this woman is hardly pumping but she is hauling ass! I could barley pass her up again! I was pumping like crazy!
I am beginning to think that I need an old ugly black steel job to ride to work!
I was looking at the breezers online but I think I want to buy local and take it home when I leave.
Can some of you enlighten me? What should I look for? Is this just my pride? It's funny how cool those old black bikes look when you see them in action.
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Old 09-08-09, 12:21 PM
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CliftonGK1
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It's not about the bike. It's about the engine.
As you ride more, you'll get stronger and faster. I used to commute on an old MTB and routinely passed people on road bikes. Now I ride a road bike and there are still a few of the local MTBers who can outpace me when I'm on my way home from work.

I've been passed by a guy on a squeaky, rusty bike with panniers that were held together with safety pins. He was wearing cutoff jean shorts, a t-shirt and had sneakers and platform pedals.
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Old 09-08-09, 05:59 PM
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exile
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Starting out is always the hardest part. Some people think that a nice new bike will automatically make them either faster or a better rider. Riding in spandex, a team jersey, and a sweet racing helmet will not make you ready for the Tour De France. Get some miles under your belt first. Or maybe lose that Beer Belly! .

Given enough time you can smoke that lady in a dress and high heels if you are ready for the challenge. But beware, she may be plotting the same challenge for you.
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Old 09-08-09, 06:18 PM
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Yes the engine is important, but don't forget the transmission: a Ferrari stuck in 1st gear will be slower than a Ford Focus in 5th.

This summer, I switched from a very heavy dual suspension MTB to a Jamis Aurora. It has better (but not true road) gearing, larger diameter & thinner tires, and a lighter weight frame. A true road bike would be even lighter, have thinner tires and true road gearing. I have no qualms saying they make life a whole lot easier.

Whereas before I would struggle to get 20 km/h, I now routinely cruise at 30 km/h without effort. The bike is important too.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:00 PM
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Keep riding your MB -- it's like weight training for biking.

After a while, switch out the knobby tires (if it has them) for narrower, slick city tires.

The only other bike thing that makes a major difference is your riding position. The more upright you sit, the more air resistance you'll encounter. It starts to matter the most as you approach 30 kph.

This is all assuming that your riding position is correct, too, especially with saddle height. Too high or too low will hurt both physically and in terms of efficiency.

And, again, like everyone else mentioned, the "engine" is the most important part.
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Old 09-08-09, 07:47 PM
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switch out the knobby tires (if it has them)
+1

My ride got A LOT nicer once I got rid of those vibrating resistance training bands.

for narrower, slick city tires.
I went the opposite way and decided on the Schwalbe Big Apples for a giant plush,smooth donuts look and feel.Mmmmmm...donuts.

I put a 2" on the front, and a 2.35" BFA on the rear and its like a moto tire. Barely fits under 60mm fenders. Swanky,smooth and soft though. Great with a rigid steel frame.

Ben
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Old 09-11-09, 08:55 AM
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I wholeheartedly endorse your decision to get one of those black city bikes. Faster or not, you've got the cool factor to consider.

I remember being smoked by some old lady on her Schwinn two-ton 3 speed while I was riding my Trek 800 with slicks one night on the way home from work. Her motor was running better than mine at the time.

After you get a few miles under your belt, you'll be faster. Don't worry.
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Old 09-11-09, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by LeftFieldBrewer View Post
I went the opposite way and decided on the Schwalbe Big Apples for a giant plush,smooth donuts look and feel.Mmmmmm...donuts.

I put a 2" on the front, and a 2.35" BFA on the rear and its like a moto tire. Barely fits under 60mm fenders. Swanky,smooth and soft though. Great with a rigid steel frame.

Ben
Or go huge and get some Surly Endomorphs... if the frame can take them.

They're probably like what I've heard about Aerospoke track wheels -- heavy, take some extra effort to spin up, but once they're rolling, ain't nothin's gonna stop 'em.
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Old 09-11-09, 05:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Keep riding your MB -- it's like weight training for biking.

This is a myth that must end. You will just be going slower for the same given effort than on a road bike.

I do sometimes ride my MB to work with full on knobby tires. I use all my bikes for my commute. I keep track of the time it takes me on each bike and occasionally I try and beat my best times on them.

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Old 09-11-09, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by LesMcLuffAlot View Post
This is a myth that must end. You will just be going slower for the same given effort than on a road bike.
Exactly, so try to maintain the same speeds as on a road bike.

You'll know it's going well when the knobbies are humming like dirt tires on a Jeep.
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Old 09-11-09, 06:07 PM
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From the title, I thought you were informing us that you got a new Mercedes Benz for your commute.
As everyone says, just keep at it. I remembered my first times, everybody passed me. But these days, very rare.
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Old 09-13-09, 07:28 PM
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Originally Posted by BarracksSi View Post
Exactly, so try to maintain the same speeds as on a road bike.

You'll know it's going well when the knobbies are humming like dirt tires on a Jeep.
Sometimes I mistake my singing tires for cars coming up behind me. It's kinda spooky, really, when I look over my shoulder and nothing's there.
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Old 09-21-09, 02:25 PM
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Originally Posted by keiththesnake View Post

I remember being smoked by some old lady on her Schwinn two-ton 3 speed while I was riding my Trek 800 with slicks one night on the way home from work. Her motor was running better than mine at the time.
43 is NOT old. Please tell me I don't look that old.

( http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=490166 posts # 54 & #63)
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Old 09-21-09, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by tuind13 View Post
43 is NOT old. Please tell me I don't look that old.

( http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=490166 posts # 54 & #63)
So how are you doing now? That's quite a story in the other thread, congratulations on getting healthier.
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Old 09-21-09, 06:23 PM
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europe is full of those ugly old black steel city bikes.
NO YOU DIDN'T!!!! what you mean, UGLY, OLD,.... :-((
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Old 09-22-09, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by no motor? View Post
So how are you doing now? That's quite a story in the other thread, congratulations on getting healthier.
Thanks, I'm doing better. Still haven't lost the weight, but the kids are sleeping more and the rest of the health issues are much improved. Biking has really helped with that - and it's good stress relief. The weight will probably come off eventually. We're planning to move in the next year and the commute to work with be a lot longer. Our office moved a couple of months ago and now work is only a half mile from home, so I'm not getting nearly enough exercise. And as motivated as I am to make the ride longer, I just don't have the time to do it unless I'm forced to do it.
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Old 09-22-09, 11:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Beer Belly! View Post
As I'm hydrating, an older lady passes on one of them old black steel jobs. She's wearing a dress and heels.
I put my bottle away and take off. I notice that this woman is hardly pumping but she is hauling ass! I could barley pass her up again! I was pumping like crazy!

Hmmm...... I think SOMEONE has been traveling and wearing an old lady costume...........
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ighlight=heels
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Old 09-22-09, 11:58 AM
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ok, i think you guys are over looking one thing she may have had. A electirc hub motor. If she had one of these then she can do 20mph.
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Old 09-22-09, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by CigTech View Post
ok, i think you guys are over looking one thing she may have had. A electirc hub motor. If she had one of these then she can do 20mph.
Or, perhaps, some women just come with (or develop) good engines of their own. Just sayin'. Just because we have two X chromosomes doesn't mean we can't pedal.
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Old 09-22-09, 03:08 PM
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I've been passed by big women with cottage cheese thighs and ass pouring out the spandex. I want to blame it on my bike but then I see that they're riding mountain bikes with knobby tires, so I really don't have much of an excuse. Maybe there are some impressive quads under all that cellulite.
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Old 09-22-09, 05:58 PM
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I've been passed by big women with cottage cheese thighs and ass pouring out the spandex. I want to blame it on my bike but then I see that they're riding mountain bikes with knobby tires, so I really don't have much of an excuse. Maybe there are some impressive quads under all that cellulite.
LMAO.....thats hilarious......can't stop laughing!!!
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