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Advice for New Commuters

Old 09-18-05, 05:05 AM
  #126  
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Erik,


I know you weren't trying to pick a fight, but I try to avoid "controversial" subjects in this thread (other than to point out the controversy and move on). "Invisible cycling" is advocated strongly by some, and denounced equally strongly by others. Put "invisible" in the "Search the Forums" section and you will get some of the debates.

That said, you have an excellent point. The skill of riding through traffic is more important than equipment. That's why I suggested John Hurst's "Art of Urban Cycling." I recommended Hurst's book because it discusses the various approaches. Go to the library or bookstore, and look for other books nearby on the shelf. You will also find "Effective Cycling" by John Forrester. He advocates vehicular cycling ("VC"), which, in many ways, is the opposite of "invisible cycling." Hopefully, you will also find books that advocate the invisible cycling approach.

Edit: Below, you explain why you think cycling as if you were invisible makes you safer. Others say it makes you less safe. They say that you should cycle to be more visible by, for example, being in the center or left of the lane when cars can turn right. As I said, this is not the thread to debate the subject. Pointing out the controversy and letting people who want more informationto look it up should be the limit of this thread.

If you want to start another thread to debate vehicular cycling versus invisible cycling, I'm game. But I ask that you NOT use this thread for that argument.

Last edited by Daily Commute; 09-20-05 at 04:48 PM.
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Old 09-18-05, 06:07 AM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
If you want to start another thread to debate vehicular cycling versus invisible cycling, I'm game. But I ask that you NOT use this thread for that argument.
I AGREE.
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Old 09-19-05, 11:25 AM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by Daily Commute
Erik,


I know you weren't trying to pick a fight, but I try to avoid "controversial" subjects in this thread (other than to point out the controversy and move on). "Invisible cycling" is advocated strongly by some, and denounced equally strongly by others. Put "invisible" in the "Search the Forums" section and you will get some of the debates.

That said, you have an excellent point. The skill of riding through traffic is more important than equipment. That's why I suggested John Hurst's "Art of Urban Cycling." I recommended Hurst's book because it discusses the various approaches. Go to the library or bookstore, and look for other books nearby on the shelf. You will also find "Effective Cycling" by John Forrester. He advocates vehicular cycling ("VC"), which, in many ways, is the opposite of "invisible cycling." Hopefully, you will also find books that advocate the invisible cycling approach.

If you want to start another thread to debate vehicular cycling versus invisible cycling, I'm game. But I ask that you NOT use this thread for that argument.
To be honest I am not the least interested in the debate on vehicular cycling versus invisible cycling I was only giving my piece of advice as to how you are to survive in urban traffic. I see too many cyclists who risk their lives every day because of faulty behavior in traffic and as far as I can see the only solution if you want to survive is to follow my advice- act as though the others don't see you.
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Old 10-09-05, 06:59 PM
  #129  
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--- Another word for newby commuters. Two things that make the ride easier:
1. Properly inflated tires. ( You already knew that)
2. LUBE the CHAIN. Amazing how much easier the bike pedals and shifts when the chain has been lubricated.

Personally, I use Tri-Flow. A friend suggests Pro-Link. Do a "Search The Forums" and you'll find a LOT of chain lube advice.
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Last edited by 77Univega; 10-09-05 at 07:08 PM.
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Old 10-12-05, 01:57 PM
  #130  
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i recently bought some Park "super patches" these have downsized my saddle pack load considerably. But the question is... do they work? I would assume with a name like Park they would work just fine. anyone with some first hand experience?
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Old 10-17-05, 05:46 PM
  #131  
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In my experience they work to get you back on the road but shouldn't be relied upon as a permanent fix. When you get home, you'll want to put on a real patch.
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Old 10-19-05, 02:37 AM
  #132  
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Good post, helped a lot
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Old 10-26-05, 12:41 AM
  #133  
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there's a question on brakes i'd like to ask and i'm sorry if it's already been asked before

i commute on a Fuji Cross Comp that i bought about a month ago. it has Tektro Oryx Cantilever brakes that have a good stopping power as far as i can tell. the problem is that they always squeak when it's raining. i'm not sure if that's normal or if there're better pads i could use or if it happens 'cause the bike is relatively new. what do you think?

thanks

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Old 10-26-05, 10:21 AM
  #134  
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This is a question that might be directed to the Bike Mechanics subforum. I think it depends on your pads and your rims. My two cents is that Kool-Stop brake pads have excellent wet weather stopping power and they don't squeak on my bike.
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Old 11-01-05, 02:49 AM
  #135  
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Hello everyone. I am brand new to the forums here and I am going to start riding a bike to work everyday. I have owned many Mountain Bikes in the past, but haven't ridden in about 3 years. I am looking at buying an Ibex flat bar road bike. I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on Ibex bicycles, and if anyone here owns one. I am trying to stay under 600.00 on my new bike. I was thinking about about a Breezer Uptown 8, but I like the feel of a road bike a little better. Thanks
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Old 11-05-05, 02:29 PM
  #136  
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If your commute is longer than a mile or two, you will probably regret getting a Breezer, especially since you like the feel of a road bike. Breezer's are great bikes. And if you like to slowly toodle your way to work, they may be perfect for your needs (I am not being sarcastic, I realize that some people enjoy nice, slow rides).

I can't speak to the Ibex, but keep enough in your budget to buy the necessary extras like repair kits, extra tubes, rain gear, lighting, etc. A fully equipped $300 bike will probably serve you better than a $600 bike by itself.
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Old 11-05-05, 04:36 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by Bob_Benner
Hello everyone. I am brand new to the forums here and I am going to start riding a bike to work everyday. I have owned many Mountain Bikes in the past, but haven't ridden in about 3 years. I am looking at buying an Ibex flat bar road bike. I was wondering if anyone could give me some feedback on Ibex bicycles, and if anyone here owns one. I am trying to stay under 600.00 on my new bike. I was thinking about about a Breezer Uptown 8, but I like the feel of a road bike a little better. Thanks
How about calling around your local shops and trying to rent one for a day or two. If you don't like it...you're not stuck.
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Old 11-05-05, 06:05 PM
  #138  
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LLB gives some very good all around advice for commuters.

https://www.llbean.com/outdoorsOnline.../index_sv.html
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Old 11-06-05, 04:38 AM
  #139  
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I got a really nice bright yellow sleeveless vest at Walmart for $15. It has deep zippered pockets, and is really warm.
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Old 11-07-05, 09:44 PM
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This is a great thread. For my 2c worth, always wear some form of eye protection. Some years ago, when young and brave and in twighlight conditions, rode in to some (slow) insects, one of which exploded against my eye. Pain awful. 20 minute lecture from my doctor, bottom line was broken insects can release toxins which would permanantly damage vision. Very lucky not to have damaged my sight. I always wear glasses now, even if they do fog up in winter!
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Old 11-08-05, 12:57 AM
  #141  
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I'm very fond of the American AllSafe "Cudas" glasses. These are made as safety glasses and they work well against gravel, bugs, etc. As you can see, they are inexpensive at US$7.50. I just ordered up some clear ones for winter commuting. The same company makes other styles too, some of which are sleeker (click the "other products" link if interested).

Great thread I have a few random remarks to add...

1) blinkies are wonderful I've noticed basic 3-LED blinkies from ~3 blocks back in daylight on other cyclists' bikes in the city. They catch one's eye, and I think they are becoming identified with cyclists especially. With the runtime that they get, you might as well run your blinkies in the daytime too, especially if you have a decent one.

2) if you have a rechargeable light system that has enough runtime to do so, run it in the daytime for enhanced visibility. Don't die with your headlight off and fully-charged, that's what I say.

3) if you ride in the dark, and are open to the idea of sticking reflective tape onto stuff, look for the amber color. It's more visible than red, and it does not necessarily imply either rear or front, so you can use it all over the place. I got some very powerfully-adhesive amber glass-bead tape at a local store's auto-parts section and put some on my frame, fork blades, helmet and left crankarm. Got to get some more and stick it to the rims...

4) People who ride in wet conditions, have rim brakes (not disc), and have to stop a lot: check the amount of brakepad material you've got left every once in a while. Wet conditions eat up your pads much faster.

5) People who are getting started and have a low-to-middle-budget bicycle: if your bike comes with no-name spokes, and you break a spoke, just have the wheel rebuilt with quality spokes and be done with it. Cheap original-equipment spokes might be OK for the occasional rider, but if you're a commuter, you deserve DT or Wheelsmith at least on your rear wheel.

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Old 11-08-05, 12:08 PM
  #142  
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Great thread and great advice by all!

I have a 14 mile commute each way on rural highways. I started commuting a few days per week this past spring.

This may draw flames, but I have a method that reduces the stress/commitment of bike commuting. I haul the bike to work on Monday with clothes, meal replacement shakes, etc. Then I ride home in the evening and back the next morning. If it is raining or I must work late, I can drive home. Plus, I have a vehicle at work if something pops up that requires travel to another facility. No worries about getting stuck at work, and I ride unencumbered (except for my Camelback).

I totally respect the folks who have the commitment to bike commute full time. However, I don't feel like my work & family situations allow me to spend an extra 10 hours per week commuting. This solution saves some gas and provides a good workout a few times per week. It might be a good way for new commuters or those without public transport to test the waters.
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Old 11-08-05, 01:01 PM
  #143  
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No flames from me, and I doubt from anyone on this forum. Every mile counts.
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Old 11-08-05, 07:50 PM
  #144  
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No flames from me, either. Having a back-up plan is one key to making bike commuting work. In my case, I can use an office car for work purposes once I get to the office. I can also take the bus to and from work in a pinch (and put my bike on the front of the bus).
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Old 12-08-05, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by sebran
I totally respect the folks who have the commitment to bike commute full time. However, I don't feel like my work & family situations allow me to spend an extra 10 hours per week commuting.
You're trying harder than the vast majority of the population. Keep it up, and maybe over time you'll refine your system to bike full time. But even if you stick with the car+bike solution, you are making a difference. If you're interested in saving time AND gas, check out Vectrix scooters. I'm getting one as soon as they ship out in 2006, and I think at that point I'll be able to forever put away my car keys.
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Old 12-22-05, 09:42 PM
  #146  
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Bob Brenner ~#138

onsidering the weather in Seattle I hope fenders are on your plan. And heavier tires. Ask at your lbs if drop bars can be swapped for the flat bars as needed. I trained for my first double century on a mountain bike by pipe clamping drop bars to my flattish handlebars. A Bruce Gordon bike usually has quick releases on some of its cables deliberately so you can swap handlebar types quickly.

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Old 01-05-06, 05:02 PM
  #147  
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What do you folks pack your work clothes in so that they don't get it all wrinklie?
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Old 01-05-06, 05:58 PM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by Tettsuo
What do you folks pack your work clothes in so that they don't get it all wrinklie?
I take a load of clean, pressed khakis and shirts to work every whenever I have to drive in for some other reason, and just change there.
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Old 01-06-06, 05:30 PM
  #149  
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Rolling instead of folding will help keep your clothes less wrinkled. I stick the rolled clothes in a plastic grocery bag, just in case something else in my saddlebag leaks.
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Old 01-06-06, 09:40 PM
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Strange. I just discovered the very same thing this morning when I loaded my panniers. I was trying to see if I could fit my clothes in a smaller space and presto! When I unloaded it at work....no wrinkles
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