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Road, Hybrid, Mtn?

Old 03-21-21, 09:11 AM
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NHcommute
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Road, Hybrid, Mtn?

I have a 12 mile commute each way to work. I don't have a bike and would love insight into what kind of bike to try to buy (hopefully used).

I walk about half the way right now and this is what I know:


-the terrain is mostly flat but a few hills here in lakes region of NH

-there are NO bike lanes and NO cyclists on the road so far (come summer am hoping bike traffic will increase)

-roads have curves and limited asphalt, part sand/gravel in sections (if I'm being cautious & I walk next to the road)

-not many cars on these country roads, no stop lights

-I'm deaf in one ear & use a hearing aid in the other, otherwise am in in good physical shape

-people have urged me NOT to ride the roads b/c of the condition of the roads and due to drivers not expecting cyclists, but as a walker I've been fine except that I do move off the road where there are sharp curves


I've only ever been on a hybrid that I used for commuting in New York City years ago.

I was thinking of a mountain bike because of the occasional sloped hill and gravel and safety if I have to transition to the side of the road. (Or do I remain on the road with the hope that drivers will see me? I'll wear all kinds of neon and xmas lights if i have to!

I don't think a road bike would be great with the condition of the roads, perhaps a hybrid is better?


Thank you for reading and look forward to advice re: the kind of bike to buy and any/all other wisdom
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Old 03-21-21, 03:29 PM
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indyfabz
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MTB with appropriate tires that are good for both paved roads and benign “dirt.” I incorporate unpaved roads into my loaded tours and ride Continental Top Touring II tires. 35c version, but they actually measure 37c, as noted on the box. I haven’t flatted since 2014.



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Old 03-23-21, 03:37 PM
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I live in Maine, and there are some roads I won't ride on. That may be one of them. What's the typical speed of the cars? It also might help if we knew what road that is, somebody is likely to have seen it.

Start a process of elimination for the bike. You will want the ability to use at least a 32c tire, I'd go a little larger.

What's the budget?

Start thinking about lights. On a long, rural commute like that, I'd want at least 2 headlights and 2 taillights. It may sound like overkill, it isn't. If it was me, I'd use 3 tailights. One would be a blinky, and put the other two on top of each other, so they appear larger.

That's a longish commute, take a look at ebikes. You'll be less sweaty on the way in, and you can use low power on the way home to get more exercise.

One last thing, if this involves riding in the dark, I personally would not do that on a narrow, country road. If that's the case, add a couple more lights. Expect to spend some to make those two good ones. You can put a light on your helmet, that would be a good idea.
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Old 03-28-21, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by NHcommute View Post
-the terrain is mostly flat but a few hills here in lakes region of NH
-roads have curves and limited asphalt, part sand/gravel in sections (if I'm being cautious & I walk next to the road)
-not many cars on these country roads, no stop lights
My recollection of a long-ago family ride in the lakes region was that it was fine for the family members on hybrid and mountain bikes, but the one person on a road bike suffered a bit when we'd find ourselves on a sandy shoulder - the issue basically being tire width.

In theory a "gravel bike" would work but a hybrid or old rigid or hardtail MTB is probably going to be a cheaper way to get started, and 12 miles isn't beyond the reasonable use of those.

You may want to start with what's available and try out the whole idea before sinking a lot of money into it.

Do put some thought into water, electrolytes, and sun protection as summer develops, mornings should be fine but by peak summer most of an hour home may be rather hot if you're ill-equipped for riding in the summer sun.
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Old 03-29-21, 10:17 AM
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I have a gravel bike and love it. I've taken it to work 3 times, roughly 15 miles and it was grueling, but I have a couple of serious hills between here and there. BTW, I only did a one way trip on any single day.

Anyway, I like gravel bikes due to the light weight factor. Good luck.
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Old 03-30-21, 07:05 AM
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Thanks for your suggestions. I just bought a very affordable used hybrid bike on craigslist that I test drove and liked very much. I'm thinking my partner will drop me at work in the a.m. and I will ride just the one-way, twelve miles back which is more downhill, an easier go of it, definitely never in the dark, and I won't have to worry about being sweaty for work.

Now I just need to purchase all necessities/accessories, such as a helmet, multiple lights that you mentioned, a neon reflective vest, and a bike lock.
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Old 04-04-21, 04:29 AM
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I’d add some sort of mirror (glasses, helmet or handlebar) to your list. Have fun!
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Old 06-01-21, 07:24 AM
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my 1st bike commute was 17 miles each way & I started with a MTB with big fat slicks. probably easier to find an old school rigid fork 26" wheeled MTB for cheap. get some lightweight slicks & that might be workable ...?
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