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Which bike should I use for work?

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Which bike should I use for work?

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Old 09-14-18, 07:30 AM
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delacrank
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Which bike should I use for work?

I work as a bike messenger in the city. Frequently Iíll ride to work itís about 5 miles to and from, this is on top of an additional 20-30 miles I may ride while at work.

I do my best to not ride everyday as it gets exhausting and I have a history of knee problems. I have two bikes a road bike and a single speed.

The problem is that the road bike I use is slightly heavier and harder to maintain, also its more expensive so I donít want to use it like everyday.

Will my body get stronger if I keep using the single speed bike, and try to ride slower do yoga? Or should I just use the road bike to avoid possible knee problems?
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Old 09-14-18, 07:57 AM
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Protect your knees, you're gonna need them for your entire lifetime. Whatever problems you're facing now will not be around as long as your knees.


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Old 09-14-18, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by delacrank View Post
I work as a bike messenger in the city. Frequently I’ll ride to work it’s about 5 miles to and from, this is on top of an additional 20-30 miles I may ride while at work.

I do my best to not ride everyday as it gets exhausting and I have a history of knee problems. I have two bikes a road bike and a single speed.

The problem is that the road bike I use is slightly heavier and harder to maintain, also its more expensive so I don’t want to use it like everyday.

Will my body get stronger if I keep using the single speed bike, and try to ride slower do yoga? Or should I just use the road bike to avoid possible knee problems?

Obviously, the 5 miles to and from is a smaller consideration than the 20-30 you do on the job.

Do you lock the bikes or carry them with you when you're delivering stuff? If you're carrying them, I would think the heavier bike would be rougher on your knees.

What's the gear ratio on your single speed? Do you shift a lot on the road bike?

Also, wiping out or running into stuff is a huge risk for your knees--do either of the bikes handle better dodging traffic, etc.?

Been a long time since I've seen a bike messenger. Didn't know the gig still existed.
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Old 09-14-18, 09:57 AM
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delacrank
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Yeah these are all really good considerations .

As a side note Iíve been doing this since 2011 and ive only ever been in 2 accidents. 1 door and the other was just me being drunk and running into a pothole. So no the traffic is not an issue.

As for locking I usually lock the wheel to the frame and I only leave the bike unattended for several minutes at a time when going into residential, restaurants.

In terms of the weight the road bike is close to 20 pounds the single speed is around 17. So the difference isnít crazy they are both steel frames.

As for the shifting I do shift a lot. Itís NYC so hills, traffic, I have to change my cables about every 2-3 months, and get the shifters recalibrated.

I think the gear ratio is 46-20. Iíve lowered it over the years, but I can notice the hills especially if I havenít been riding everyday. Itís a free wheel.

However Iím wondering if the stress to my knees is more of me not being in shape, and wondering if strengthening and stretching will allow me to use the single speed more often.

Also Iím in my early thirties, so itís not like Iím at that age where Iím afraid for surgery or anything.
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Old 09-14-18, 10:12 AM
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Originally Posted by delacrank View Post
Yeah these are all really good considerations .

As a side note Iíve been doing this since 2011 and ive only ever been in 2 accidents. 1 door and the other was just me being drunk and running into a pothole. So no the traffic is not an issue.

As for locking I usually lock the wheel to the frame and I only leave the bike unattended for several minutes at a time when going into residential, restaurants.

In terms of the weight the road bike is close to 20 pounds the single speed is around 17. So the difference isnít crazy they are both steel frames.

As for the shifting I do shift a lot. Itís NYC so hills, traffic, I have to change my cables about every 2-3 months, and get the shifters recalibrated.

I think the gear ratio is 46-20. Iíve lowered it over the years, but I can notice the hills especially if I havenít been riding everyday. Itís a free wheel.

However Iím wondering if the stress to my knees is more of me not being in shape, and wondering if strengthening and stretching will allow me to use the single speed more often.

Also Iím in my early thirties, so itís not like Iím at that age where Iím afraid for surgery or anything.
Not sure what you mean by out of shape, but I can tell you that I had major ankle problems and some knee bursitis when I was quite a bit heavier, and that losing weight has eliminated the knee problem and made the ankle problems quite manageable.

I wasn't riding much when I had the knee bursitis, and I ride a lot at very high gear (more miles per week than you do, actually) without any return of the knee bursitis.

I think walking overweight is far rougher on the knees than anything you can do pedaling.

That being said--it sounds like the road bike rides easier on the job, but that the maintenance really bugs you, so you'll have to balance those out.

You might want to talk to a doctor about the knee pain--there's a lot of things that can cause that. You might have gait issues that could be corrected, for example.
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Old 09-14-18, 11:35 AM
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Yeah itís not gait. I had this thing iliotibial band syndrome which I solved by using a foam roller.

And when I referred to being out of shape it wasnít a weight issue one more of being stamina and leg strength. I used to ride a lot more before I started programming.

Anyways I think overall I will ride the road bike for now and focus on doing some impact training to get my legs more balanced.

I have oversized quads from my bike set up.
When I use the drop bars I get more activation in my hamstrings and that has helped with the issue a lot.
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Old 09-14-18, 12:10 PM
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3 speed hub wheel in the single speed.

lower the gear ratio.. set








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Last edited by fietsbob; 09-14-18 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 09-14-18, 12:24 PM
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Or something cheap you won't miss when it's stolen ,
and you have to use public transit..

Or with subways bike is just for the weekends..
and you get out of town..?
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Old 09-14-18, 01:09 PM
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I've been having knee pain and doing my homework about it. There are lots of kinds, usually pretty easy to tell apart and each has a different treatment. The kind I have is in my kneecap going up stairs or kneeling, which is chondromalacia patella. What I've found is that there's basically no really effective treatment, but it might get better on its own for a while. And guess what makes it worse? Just about any activity.
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Old 09-14-18, 01:42 PM
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I feel compelled to chime in on this subject. My friend, Todd, was a bike messenger in Chicago for 2 years. He has a bad ankle from an off-roading incident and complained to me about the stress on his ankle from day one. I changed his bike from a single speed back to a multi-speed set up and it made all the difference for him and allowed him to continue in the service for two years.

I put a 7 speed friction gear system on it so that he had lower gears than a 3 speed hub, very low level of maintenance, and easier wheel changes. In the winter he selected an easier gear when the snow packed into the freewheel and left it there.
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