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Commuting on track bikes?

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Commuting on track bikes?

Old 09-29-09, 09:57 PM
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RabidUnicorn
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Commuting on track bikes?

What do you think about commuting on track bikes? Longer distances? Shorter distances? Locking up?
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Old 09-29-09, 09:57 PM
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PluperfectArson
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I do it all.
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Old 09-29-09, 10:52 PM
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Since your thread is asking for the 'opinion' of others. I shouldn't feel like a jackass expressing my own opinion on the matter.

If I could have only one bike, for commuting, the only bike I had.-----It would be some thing with a freewheel.

I have/ride/enjoy a track bike/fixie. A big plus is how simple the drive train it.

But having 6 complete bicycles working/together. I always just take what ever im 'feeling."

I don't know your situation, but you should have two bikes if your commuting, because some times when you walk out to your bike to leave for work you'll have a flat tire or some thing. Go to a thrift store and get a back up for 10 dollars.

My favorite commuting bike is my Trek 520
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Old 09-29-09, 11:00 PM
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It can be done. By definition, all you have to do is ride it to work and back and it's a commuter bike. But it wouldn't be my first choice. No brakes, no clearance for proper fenders, no bosses for attaching fenders or bottle cages. These are all useful things, especially so for commuting.
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Old 09-29-09, 11:02 PM
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I think a single speed touring bike would be the best thing ever for commuting in my situation. Racks, fenders, and big tires for win.
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Old 09-29-09, 11:06 PM
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I commute/run errands on a fixed Motobecane Messenger.

Main reasons being:

1. It was cheap.

2. I'm not beating up my road bike or mountain bike, neither of those were cheap.

3. I don't feel any guilt for scratching it up, it's a beater!

4. I like the fixed mainly because I never have to worry about cheap derailleurs needing adjustment, etc.

I think if you're going to have a bike to "Commute" on, get around town, you'll want something cheap and dependable that you're not afraid to scratch up. I avoided track bikes mainly because I wanted a little slacker geometry and I wanted brakes.

In my experience, brakes are definitely key in traffic.
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Old 09-29-09, 11:13 PM
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i really don't think about it very much.
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Old 09-30-09, 01:47 AM
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When people say "commuter" it instantly brings to mind visions of bright vests, helmet mirrors and ankle cuffs. I think you would implode if you tried to jump on a track bike with that stuff. The street cred (riding a track bike) + the dork cred (what I already said) would be like adding red matter to vulcan (geek cred). Poof.
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Old 09-30-09, 04:26 AM
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I do it everyday. 14 miles RT. Get yourself a cheap mess bag or a backpack. I'm lucky in that I can bring my bike into the building so locking up is not required.
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Old 09-30-09, 05:52 AM
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I commute on my bike. When I commute, I usually flip it to freewheel since there are some nasty hills on my route. It is about 27 miles RT. I have done that route on a fully geared bike, and it is not harder on a single speed.
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Old 09-30-09, 06:18 AM
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Can you do it? Sure, but most true track bikes have a number of characteristics that make them less than ideal for that purpose -- harsh ride, no provision for mounting brakes or racks, no clearance for fenders, tubular tires, etc.
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Old 09-30-09, 06:32 AM
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I do it all the time. I have one bike only, and it's a track bike. I use it for everything.
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Old 09-30-09, 06:56 AM
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Absolutely and entirely possible. However, if you have the spare change then a bike that will accept larger tires, fenders, a water bottle and the like would make life more comfortable. Plus, if your track bike is high cost a "beater" makes commuting life much more palatable. It's a little hard to explain exactly how it happens but commuter bikes get beat to crap. You just wake up one day and there are scratches all over it, scuff marks from your lock, you can't remember where that new top tube dent came from (you're afraid to look at the downtube) or how 1/2 a tooth on the chainring got chewed off, you're pretty sure the headset is pitted, bar tape has been 75% replaced by electrical tape but you don't mind, one bar end plug fell out somehow (you seem to remember a bar plug on your regular route in the not too distant past), you're running 2 different tires - one slick and one with tread, it creaks and groans, on and on. It just happens and while it will become your beloved friend it's best if it's a cheap date.
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Old 09-30-09, 07:42 AM
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I just bought a Bianchi Pista and have it set fixed and love the commute into work on it. I have three other bikes to choose from, road or mountain bikes. I feel there is no difference really in comfort just speed and the track bike (fixed) defiantly has the speed.
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Old 09-30-09, 07:49 AM
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i commute on my track bike each day, but it's only a 5-mile round trip. i have a cetma rack on the front for days when i need to also run errands en route.
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Old 09-30-09, 07:51 AM
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I also have a Bianchi Pista which I recently began commuting to work on, 15 miles. It's the only bike I have. It's a tough workout but it's fine. I don't especially recommend it, actually. I just really like my cool bike and I think it's fun and I like the exercise!
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Old 09-30-09, 08:03 AM
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I have a beat up Panasonic track I'll be using for my commute. Dent in the top tube, paint beat to hell, some lunatic drilled it for a bottle cage. I run parts bin parts on this thing so I don't have to worry ab it getting stolen.

My quad chain rides around my waist and I carry a small north face backpack for everything else.
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Old 09-30-09, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by RabidUnicorn View Post
What do you think about commuting on track bikes? Longer distances? Shorter distances? Locking up?
How far is your commute? I have an unappealing conversion for shorter trips and for locking up at work all day, and it's more comfortable to ride than a track bike. When I'm going to the store or camping I have the touring bike with front and rear racks. Track bikes for long distance don't really make sense, but it isn't totally apparent until you go custom (touring)...then you won't go back!
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Old 09-30-09, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Yo! View Post
..... and I carry a small north face backpack for everything else.
+1 on the backpack! Much better method than a rack and more comfortable than a trendy messenger bag. And North Face is the best. I have a mountaineering tent, sleeping bag and small backpack that are more than 25 years old and still in great shape. I've used the backpack for both bicycling and motorcycling. Sure beats strapping and unstrapping stuff to a rack.
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Old 09-30-09, 09:35 AM
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I commute and do all my riding on my fixed except during the winter. It works for me. While these bikes lack racks and all that stuff, they're well suited to moving quickly through heavy traffic, short bursts of acceleration, and having fun while doing it. I just throw all my stuff into my backpack which can occasionally weigh upwards of 25 pounds since I like keeping weight off the bike.

For some people it wouldn't be ideal, for others it is. Courriers basically started the whole urban track bike thing because they felt it practical for their purposes. Other people ride in on touring frames with panniers, full fenders and steady as she goes geometry because that's what works for them.

It's like comparing commuting in a Porsche vs a minivan. Both work, one is a lot more fun, one is slightly more practical.
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Old 09-30-09, 02:01 PM
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your knees will **** bricks. pick gearing wisely.
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Old 09-30-09, 02:57 PM
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I started commuting by mtn bike, then moved on to a hybrid. Lately it's been my fixed exclusively (at least for the last 3 weeks or so). I like how light and simple it is. Also, I like climbing the hills with a long gear because it's a lot quicker. If I were on my soho I would be down in 3rd gear taking all day to climb. The one thing I like least about it is I have to set up for a fart. With a freewheel I can just lift, coast, and push anytime. It's a real drag.
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Old 09-30-09, 03:56 PM
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^ awesome. hahahha
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Old 09-30-09, 09:01 PM
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I used an old 3rensho for commuting and its fine most of the time. There is no room for fenders, big tires, racks or anything but I don't usually carry much to work and back or on rides. Its light but the geo is really tight and steep. rough ride on the ****ty roads too. I am also lucky with bringing it inside if i want to.

If you have a track frame and you enjoy riding it go for it...but it might get kinda beat.
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Old 09-30-09, 09:58 PM
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You will want a lower gear for commuting since you will be carrying more stuff. If your commute is super long fixed may get to be a pain. If it's short then it's a fantastic option. I love the way my fixed bike handles in bad weather. I've ridden through several inches of moving water and could still control my speed. I would never even think about doing that with my road bike.
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