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Old 03-10-12, 06:36 AM   #1
Old Al
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Best bent for commuting?

The majority of my cycling these days is my 1 or 2 bike to work days a week. My round trip is 40 miles and I have been flirting with a switch to a bent the last 12 months due to 1st off, leg issues and now recurring shoulder issues. Flirting so much so that I actually picked up a used EZ Sport a few months ago and did my 1st bike to work day on it this past week.

So my question, to experienced bent riders, is what is the best bent for commuting. My commute is about 2.5 miles of city riding at the beginning and end of the trip with 15 miles of straight and flat multi-use trail in the middle. I need to be able to easily carry my work clothes and a few extras. (I normally leave my meals for the day in the fridge the day before)

My concerns are speed and handling. What bike offers the best of both worlds?

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Old 03-10-12, 08:22 AM   #2
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I think first choice will be long or short wheelbase, but it will depend on your commuting conditions. Heavy, multi-lane, urban riding in a congested zone will say SWB. Wide open spaces with low traffic and congestions will say LWB, and LWB will likely be slightly more comfortable over time. Think about what kind of manuvering you've done while on your route, and how often. Probably many will suggest a trike, but I'm not one of them as I like thinking about only one sight line for the wheels instead of three.

Steering is more of a personal choice. OSS will be slightly faster and perhaps have more convenience for hanging stuff in front of you (water, bell, computer, etc.). USS is, well, USS and in my opinion more comfortable, but seems to be a minority position.

Rear wheel needs to be at least 26/559 size as it takes a hammering. Bigger is better. More spokes are better. Deeper-V rim is better. Larger front wheels are said to be faster, but I'd be more inclined for the 20 inch so you can have a seat pan height that allows a foot down while fully resting in the seat, so that when you stop for a red light or stop sign, you just flat foot on one side and leave the other one clipped in for the next start.

If you have much vertical (probably not on the gulf coast?) then weight will play a larger factor, but you're going to have weight in rack, fenders, lighting, panniers by the time you're fully outfitted, plus your daily load (for me, work clothes and shoes, rain gear, parts and tools, shower kit, laptop, etc).

I haven't found commuting that fast over time, but I also don't care as I'm well used to my 25 mile round trip, almost 5,000 mile annual mileage. I probably ride 15-18 mph on average with a peak of 25-30 on one slight incline, but only see 13-15 on elapsed time due to red lights and stop signs.

I'll PM you my model choices, so I don't get killed for missing someone else's favorite ride.
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Old 03-10-12, 03:19 PM   #3
Jeff Wills
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Sounds much like my commute here in the Portland/Vancouver area- although it's probably warmer there. I ride my Gold Rush when I get the chance, with my work clothes in panniers. Get a fairing if you want speed.
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Old 03-10-12, 09:39 PM   #4
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Since I got it in 2008, every ride to my work has been on a RANS V-Rex. 20 flat suburban-urban miles round trip.
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Old 03-10-12, 10:17 PM   #5
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I was going to mention that you consider a trike if you planned on riding in any snow or icy conditions, but noticed that you're in FL, so I'll just keep my mouth shut
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Old 03-11-12, 11:10 AM   #6
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Perhaps a good place to start is to determine how well the EZ Sport is doing for you in your commute. I like my EZ Sport so much I really don't have any real interest in looking at anything else at this time.
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