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Specialized Ruby Elite for commuting

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Specialized Ruby Elite for commuting

Old 11-20-14, 04:22 PM
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Jaz123
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Specialized Ruby Elite for commuting

Hi,

I've been meaning to get a bike for commuting and probably a little road biking and found a used Women's Specialized Ruby Elite for $600 almost brand new. It seems like a pretty good deal but I just wanted to know if it's reasonable to use it also as a commuting bike.

Thanks!
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Old 11-20-14, 04:42 PM
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A very good price, and you can commute on any bike, really. But it will have a couple of limitations that are desirable for a commuter bike:

1) Rack choices are limited to skewer-mount or seatpost-mount because there aren't any eyelets and you can't put p-clamps on the shaped carbon seatstays.
2) Choices of tires will be limited to 28 mm and under, probably, since there isn't much room at the fork crown or rear brake bridge.
3) Difficult to mount fenders for the same reasons as 1) and 2).

If you're not opposed to the N+1 theory, then getting an older steel mountain bike without suspension ('90's trek 820 or specialized stumpjumper; any good name brand steel MTB), and putting slicks on it will yield a good commuter that you won't worry too much about getting dinged up in racks and banging over potholes.
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Old 11-20-14, 07:26 PM
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$600 is an excellent price for an excellent road bike. You're not likely to find that kind of deal again. I would not waste any time. Buy it. If it doesn't work out as a commuter, sell it for profit or just get a second bike.

Personally, I would commute on a bike like that in a heart beat. The only thing that would stop me is either really bad roads or snow and ice. Having said that, there are a lot of people who prefer bikes with wider tires for a cushier ride. It's also not the ideal bike for carrying loads or rainy weather but there are fenders and racks that will work on a bike like that. You will probably want some different tires than the ones that are on it, - something will flat protection.

Personally I get by just fine with a backpack. I do have a rack on my winter bike but never use it. Other people love their racks and panniers though.
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Old 11-20-14, 07:40 PM
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Lunch and work clothes force me to carry at least 10L worth of stuff and not liking a backpack while on my road bike (my small Camelbak excluded) means that I have to bring this stuff the day before. I love riding my road bike to work and back but it can only happen when I'm prepared so for me, a road bike couldn't be my regular commuter. Others here have different opinions on backpacks, they may have less work clothes to bring (the lifeguards and Magic Mikes among us) and they buy lunches (not an option for me). Think about what you need to carry back and forth each day and how you're going to carry it: if you need little and don't mind a small backpack or can fit it in a trunk pack (seatpost rack, as long as the seatpost is not carbon), then this might be the bike for you. I love the bike, it is a great price and whether or not it works as a commuter, I'd be tempted to buy something like this (I'm male so this isn't the bike for me but a similar deal on a men's bike would be hard to resist). But for me, having a bike like this doesn't cover my commuting needs.
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Old 11-20-14, 07:52 PM
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That's an incredible deal. As others have said, depending how much you need to carry it might work as a commuter bike. I carry a backpack with just my lunch. The clothes are already there. When I drive to work I will bring several sets of clothing there. However, I do realize that not everyone has that luxury. So if you're planning to have a rack/pannier, fenders, or fit on wider tires, this bike is far from ideal. But hey, there's a reason to buy the so-called n+1 bike.

But as a recreation road bike, this would be perfect!
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Old 11-21-14, 02:42 PM
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I've commuted on my 2006 Specialized Ruby Pro, bought new 2008.
I swapped out the c/f seatpost for an alloy one.
I used a quick-release beam rack with removable v-frame to accommodate panniers.
I had secure parking at work and kept a U-lock and cable on-site.
I used a quick-release Arkel pannier for a while but preferred a large trunk bag with zip-out panniers for light items.
The rack isn't designed for heavy loads. I minimized cargo to keep it under 15#.
The rack served as a rear fender. I was a fair-weather rider so on the days it rained unexpectedly, I just got wet.
The commutes were fun while I was doing them.
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Old 11-22-14, 09:44 PM
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Thanks for the feedback! What I'm mostly concerned now is that the tires may be puncture prone, or is that something I don't need to worry about? My route takes me through places that may have a little sand/rocks and pieces of who knows what. It hardly rains and it never snows so I don't need to worry about that.

Should I invest in a different set of tubing/tires? Would those tires be still ideal for recreational biking?
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Old 11-22-14, 10:01 PM
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You can put puncture resistant tires later, if needed. No need to change anything till you must.
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Old 11-22-14, 11:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Jaz123 View Post
Thanks for the feedback! What I'm mostly concerned now is that the tires may be puncture prone, or is that something I don't need to worry about? My route takes me through places that may have a little sand/rocks and pieces of who knows what. It hardly rains and it never snows so I don't need to worry about that.

Should I invest in a different set of tubing/tires? Would those tires be still ideal for recreational biking?
The original tires that manufacturers put on road bikes tend not to be very puncture resistant but there are lots of tire options out there that would have both flat protection and still roll really well for recreational rides. The previous owner may have already put on some nice tires. Treadtread may be right about just waiting to see if it's a problem before deciding to replace them but carrying a spare tube and a pump of some kind is always a good idea.

Sand and rocks wouldn't typically cause flats. Usually it's glass, nails, screws, staples and stuff like that. Some parts of the country have really nasty thorns.
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Old 11-23-14, 07:14 AM
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OP's profile does not indicate a location - the narrow-tire bike without panniers and/or fenders potentially loses the most utility during winter in the snowy/rainy climates. For instance, I don't know how many studded or cross-type tire are available with a 28 mm width. I do know studded tires are very limited in the 30-32 mm width that my commuter bike accommodates.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Jaz123 View Post
Thanks for the feedback! What I'm mostly concerned now is that the tires may be puncture prone, or is that something I don't need to worry about? My route takes me through places that may have a little sand/rocks and pieces of who knows what. It hardly rains and it never snows so I don't need to worry about that.

Should I invest in a different set of tubing/tires? Would those tires be still ideal for recreational biking?
Just swap the tires out for some Gatorskins or something similar. Personally, I'd rather buy tires BEFORE I have a problem; others wait until after. Either way, you'll be buying tires; it's just a matter if you want to get stranded first (or not).

Personally, I do not like backpacks because my back gets way too sweaty; I use panniers.

That is a smokin deal, and I would buy it...

Use it as a commuter to get acclimated to biking to work. Figure out what works/ doesn't work for you personally. Then, list the bike, sell it for profit, then buy your "ideal set up".
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Old 11-23-14, 07:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Rerock View Post
Use it as a commuter to get acclimated to biking to work. Figure out what works/ doesn't work for you personally. Then, list the bike, sell it for profit, then buy your "ideal set up".
That's actually a great idea. Hopefully I'm able to keep the bike in tip top shape.
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Old 11-23-14, 08:01 PM
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So I'm finally the proud owner of the Specialized Ruby Elite (LBS guessed 2009) and took it into a LBS to check in and switch out the pedals. It had Look pedals but I thought it would be better to have flat pedals for commuting instead of buying shoes. That's the setup for now but later I might try some bike shoes.

Odd thing about the bike was that it came with a 10-speed cassette even though the brake system was a 9-speed. The LBS changed the cassette to a 9-speed, however, I looked online later and the model specs say it should be a 10 speed. Any explanation to this?
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