1. The most important thing about buying a new bike is to make sure it fits. The only way you'll know if the bike is right for you is to size up the bike and make sure that the bike's geometry matches your body's geometry. Ask questions and do some research.
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2. If possible, try to find a shop that will let you demo the bike on real dirt. Five minutes in a parking lot won't cut it. You wouldn't buy a car without a real world test drive, and a bike should be no different.
3. Don't belive the hype. Just because your favorite rider or best friend rides a certain bike, that doesn't mean that's the best one for you. Have an open mind and be realistic about your needs and ability.
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Thread: Bike commuters

  1. #1
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    Bike commuters

    Hi,

    Im planning to buy a hardtail 200-400$ MTB for some recreational weekend trips and am considering commuteing to work to rebuild my stamina/skill quicker.

    Wondering how long a commuter ride to work 7-8 miles should take at a leisurely pace.

    How many miles is your bike commute to work?

    Do you suggest getting a seperate commuter bike?

  2. #2
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    A 7-8 mile trip should probably take about an 45min to an hour. I guess it all depends on terrain though, if you have to ride up a bunch of hills it might take you longer.

    An entry level hardtail mountainbike makes for a good commuter bike. I'd also get a set of semi-slick tires if your gonna be riding a lot on the street. Knobby tires will slow you down a good bit on smooth surfaces. Get a good bike lock also.

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030...sp?model=11390
    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/05-ALP-450-Details.html
    http://www.onguardlock.com/
    http://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...p?category=179

  3. #3
    ride hard take risks
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    Just to throw a stylish option at you. :wink:

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/B-27-RSR-Details.html

  4. #4
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    Think a comfort bike would be better suited?

    I was planning to try to go do some trail riding minimum once a week possibly twice as well as dillusions of doing a couple 1-2 day sleep over backpacking/hikeing trips with it

  5. #5
    ride hard take risks
    Reputation: dogonfr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Feclar
    Think a comfort bike would be better suited?

    I was planning to try to go do some trail riding minimum once a week possibly twice as well as dillusions of doing a couple 1-2 day sleep over backpacking/hikeing trips with it
    Depends on what you want, invictaS1 has 2 very good suggestions for camping, fireroading & trail riding. If you want to commute then you want something in the cruiser or a flat bar street bike.

    http://www.ibexbikes.com/Bikes/COR-CT-Details.html

  6. #6
    Full of holes
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    Just ride it...

    Quote Originally Posted by Feclar
    Wondering how long a commuter ride to work 7-8 miles should take at a leisurely pace.
    You can only find out by riding it. My commute is 8 miles and takes 30mins - but this is flat and on asphalt. I use my hardtail with semi-slicks; I have another bike but would not have bought a second bike to commute with if I didn't.

    An average hardtail should do the trick for you. What's important is getting a bike that fits you and you are comfortable with.

  7. #7
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    An 8 mile commute can take any where from < 30min to near an hour depending on many factors. My 8.5 mile commute takes me from 35-45 min depending on the effort and the bike I chose.
    A hardtail or rigid MTB works well for commuting especially if you run slicks. Knobbie are going to be slow and will produce an annoying buzz.
    It is a great way to get and keep in shape. Putting in 80 miles a week is a pretty good base.
    Craig

  8. #8
    local trails rider
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    My old rigid (no suspension) bike, with semi slicks, has served me well for short commutes, riding around town, bike paths, dirt roads, ...

    It also looks used enough that nobody will think they can sell it for a lot money.

    Get a simple bike.

  9. #9
    Bikeoholic
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    how I do it when I do it...

    When I commute I ride my cyclocross/road/commuting bike.. its an 02 fuji cross... This isn't important though... Neither is how long it takes really.. (it takes me 20 minutes through town to go around 5-7 miles...

    the important thing is that you get started doing it and keep doing it... Its amazing how one lazy Monday of driving will throw you off your groove and its sooo hard to get back on....
    -Palek
    Ride Today...
    ...You might not be able to tomorrow

  10. #10
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    I commute 7 miles and it takes me 40 minutes. It probably would take 30 minutes but with stop lights and avoiding cars trying to run me over(so it seems) I take my time.

  11. #11
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    Give yourself 45-minutes to an hour.
    I commute 13 miles to work and takes anywhere from 35 min's to 50 depending on wind.
    I ride a full suspension mountain bike and works fine for me. As long as you are comfortable and wear the appropriate clothes you should be fine. Good luck- make those delusions a reality- sounds like fun.

  12. #12
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    My commute to work (when I'm allowed to do it) is 13 miles and runs just a hair under an hour (2 steep hils, tons of lights and dodging Detroit drivers). All I do is slap a set of semi-slicks on my Klein hardtail and take off. Of course, I'm hammering away, so for 8 miles, I'd give myself AT LEAST an hour, maybe more if you're gonna have to clean up when you get to work. Baby wipes are a godsend for that.

    A simple hardtail will do you just fine. If you're looking for a dedicated commuting bike, Dogonfr's suggestion of that flat-bar road bike will make things WAY easier. Let's face it, mountain bikes suck on the road.

    If you're looking to use it on the trails as well as commuting, you're pretty much bound to stick with a hardtail. Just stay away from the department store bikes and you're way ahead of the game already.

    Good luck and stay safe!

    Ross
    "I don't wanna die without any scars. So come on, let's do it before I lose my nerve" - Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Chuck Palahniuk)

  13. #13
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    I live about 50 miles from work but often drive to a parking lot about 8 miles out and ride along a bike trail from there. It takes me about 40-45 minutes of not especially fast riding. Of that, about 10-15 minutes is covering the last mile or so as that's through downtown traffic with stoplights etc.

    I tend to carry a lot of crap in my backpack; laptop, lunch, library book, Grandma's china etc so I really should get myself a rack instead.

  14. #14
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    I bought a Raleigh Mojave 5.5 (LBS had 30 of them in a "super sale" thing for 350$) and a set of semi-slicks
    My test ride was 8 miles and it took almost exactly 1 hour.

    I did alot of coasting but I feel pretty good that I never had to stop except for the occasional busy street waiting for the light, this was the longest outdoor road ride ive done so far. I think i will be able to cut it down to <45 if not <30 when i get more stamina and can pedal the entire way.

    p.s. Lost 12 lbs in last 2 weeks since Ive started looking into bikeing 8*)

    Thanks for all your input
    Last edited by Feclar; 05-07-2006 at 08:11 AM.

  15. #15
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    Commuting advice

    I commute most days 5-6 miles, mostly flat (a little DH on the way in, a little uphill on the way out). I try to not go all out, so that I'm not soaked and tired when I get in. Takes ~30min.

    I ride a Lemond Poprad cyclocross bike that I bought with this specifically in mind. If you can get a commute specific bike, do it, (but expensive.) Here's some things I've learned in the past couple years.

    Go with slicks. I still have mildly bumpy tires on the 'cross bike, and I really need to get the slicks. Now, a cx bike already has "fat" tires for road use - I'd keep the size... since the bike is unsuspended (and like wise fast and light) but get slicks. If you're going to go the dual-purpose route, definitely get cx sized (width, plus 29" if possible) for it. Cannondale make the "Bad Boy" that's built with swapping between commute and mtb... that does these very things. Different wheelsets would be expensive, but sublime. Changing tires often sucks. Of course, I guess a wheelset is cheaper than another, commute-specific bike.

    Clothing: I bring my work clothes in a bag. Change in the bathroom. This allows the use of cycling specific gear. I also use mtb clipless pedals (original Ritcheys)

    How to carry the clothes: I started with a Timbuk2 bag which I love. But the one-shoulder only combined with the agressive seating position gave me back issues. I've switched to a backpack, but it's hotter. I'm buying a Camlebak combo (mule, hawg) to add water to the mix. I have considered a rack, but my frameset can't accomodate. I'm still thinking about seat-post hung rack, though.

    Bike- consider your positioning on the bike esp if you're carrying gear on your back... see above. I'm considering switching to a more upright stem, but not too much more so. This is to address the back thing. My frame is steel to absorb more road than alum... would love a carbon fork...

    Don't forget the helmet (duh) and LED flashers... don't skimp on the lights!
    --

    ~bc

    member, nemba.org

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