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Thread: Commuting

  1. #1
    DLP
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    Commuting

    Anybody here use their bikes for riding to work? I have about a 13 mile ride to work on mostly road/paved bike trails, certainly will kill my tires, but need the time on the bike. I was thinking of buying a Quick Release rack to carry all my crap like extra clothes, shoes, rarely used day planner, and was wondering if anybody had any luck with racks vs. carrying a full day pack? If you are riding to work is it worth throwing a pair of fenders on as well to keep mud/rain/ whatever from flying up your back? Or is that just to much junk to bolt to a bike?!?

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    I don't have a rack, just use a backpack...but I have a shorter ride to work than you. I also have a commuter specific rig....you'll definitely be better off getting some smoother tires and some fenders for when it's raining or wet--especially with a 12 mi ride. You can get some good quality commuter-type gear at any bike shop for relatively cheap. Congratulations!! Commuting is definitely the best way to start and end your work day...not to mention all the benefits ie mental / physical health, reducing traffic, fuel consumption, smog reduction, the list goes on for milessssss.

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    I've got a 10 mi commute (each way) and a shower available at work, so when I ride to work I usually plan ahead. The most I've done is 3x per week, using the other two days to bring clothes and other stuff. If I were to ride every day, I'd look into a QR rack with some sort of pack that could fit all my stuff.

    I see no need for fenders and stuff like that. If its raining, you get wet... I'd take the $$ and get some smooth tires (maybe even a spare wheelset so you can just swap back and forth).

  4. #4
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    If it's raining, yes- you'll get wet. But if you're riding to/from work just after a rain, then you'll like not having water all up your pants and back. I think fenders are worth the $20 you pay for 'em.

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    We currently don't have a shower at work which is kind of a drag. Especially for those I work with! I figured I'd wash up in the sink and let it ride. The extra wheel set is a good idea, I had pondered buying a road bike but I think its currently out of the budget ( I have champagne taste on a beer budget!) Let you know how I make out!

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    There is rarely mud in Arizona but it is hotter than Hell during my 10 mile downhill commute.

    I mostly use the roadbike but occassionally I will take the mtn bike. We have semi-secured parking racks which I do use. This used to bother me but now I just use a big lock and cable. My office does not have a shower :-(.

    I take a huge camelbak that holds everything I need for the day. In the fall when the parking garage is not an oven, I often leave the car parked here Monday thru Friday. I use it as a 'portable locker' that contains all my clothes and everything I need for the week. This allows me to take a longer ride back home too, instead of hauling all my stuff back home. I hate riding the roadbike with a big ass pack on my back.

    During the summer, it takes 2-3 hours for me to cool down in the morning. My up-hill ride home is much hotter (it was 118 last week) but I can jump in the pool when I get home (which is also hotter than Hell).

    However you do it, Good job making it work!

    Steve
    ** Obey gravity. It's the law. **

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    Cargo: For a ride of more than a few miles I prefer to keep cargo off of my back and attached to the bike. I have a quick-detach rack for my mountain bike but I prefer to use my roadie with a proper rack for more than just a couple small items.
    Tires: Slick tires will last longer and perform better on the road also. Spare wheels would be a luxury, to be sure. But my budget says I have to swap tires depending on intended use of the mtb, or just take the roadie to work instead.
    Fenders: I am not crazy about having more stuff attached to the bike but it's better than road grime on me and the bike. When it rains you're going to get wet anyway but the fender will hold off the grime from below so you mostly are left with cleaner water from above.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AZClydesdale
    There is rarely mud in Arizona but it is hotter than Hell during my 10 mile downhill commute.

    I mostly use the roadbike but occassionally I will take the mtn bike. We have semi-secured parking racks which I do use. This used to bother me but now I just use a big lock and cable. My office does not have a shower :-(.

    I take a huge camelbak that holds everything I need for the day. In the fall when the parking garage is not an oven, I often leave the car parked here Monday thru Friday. I use it as a 'portable locker' that contains all my clothes and everything I need for the week. This allows me to take a longer ride back home too, instead of hauling all my stuff back home. I hate riding the roadbike with a big ass pack on my back.

    During the summer, it takes 2-3 hours for me to cool down in the morning. My up-hill ride home is much hotter (it was 118 last week) but I can jump in the pool when I get home (which is also hotter than Hell).

    However you do it, Good job making it work!

    Steve
    118!! Damn that's hot!! I have a brother in Tuscon who says its been pretty brutal out there. I'm on the east coast where 90 degrees and 90% humidity is enough to keep me from getting on the bike too much. The place I work is building a new facility that they say will have showers in it but it adds another 10 miles on to my commute through some pretty crappy traffic. I have noticed some railroad lines that run close to the new place, might beable to find some right-of -ways to get off the road. What are you guys riding for road bikes? I was at my LBS the other day looking into a road bike and he was pushing a TREK 1000 for an all around road bike. I really don't know jack about what to look for in a road bike.

  9. #9
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    An alternative to an extra wheelset and/ or a road bike (if you're not ready to drop some cash on a decent one)
    Is to grab up a garage sale/ classifieds/ craigslist.org used bike.
    Something like an old rockhopper with a rigid fork. Throw some slicks and attach a rack and you're good to go. You'll have something that you can have specifically for getting yourself to and from work and you won't be heart broken should anything happen to it.

    If you are looking for something to use for commutes and do a little road riding, look into a Surly Cross Check. A great do-everything bike.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brizn
    If it's raining, yes- you'll get wet. But if you're riding to/from work just after a rain, then you'll like not having water all up your pants and back. I think fenders are worth the $20 you pay for 'em.
    I guess you're right. I forget that most people don't have a shower available (I do) at work. This really makes it easy for me to ride... Today is day three (didn't ride yesterday, had to bring home old work clothes and bring in new ones).

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