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  1. #1
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    40 mile round trip...

    I am thinking of starting to commute by bike. I live 19 miles from work, so that would be almost 40 miles per round trip.

    Is is reasonable to think that once I was in better shape I could make the 19 mile trip in one hour?

    Any one else have a bike commute that is in this milage range? Do you have any other advice?

    Thanks,
    bigE

  2. #2
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    Thoughts from an old-school roadie.

    First...assuming that the roads are reasonable, you'd want to do that on a road bike. Much faster, more efficient.

    Second...that's 200 miles/week if you do it every day. You'll want to build up to that if you aren't already. The 40 miles per day may sound easy enough but you need to look at the cumulative mileage. 200 miles/week is pretty darn good mileage, you'll be in great shape.

    Third...19 miles in a hour would be reasonable if you were in great shape (could cruise at 20mph on the flats) and didn't have any lights or intersections. Intersections and lower speeds add up...no way to tell, go try it and report back for us.
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  3. #3
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    What a coincidence, I made my first 39 mile commute to work yesterday. Hopefully the few things I learned during the ride will help make your ride a little easier.

    1. Get some padded shorts/underwear, I wore standard shorts during the ride and I'm still regretting it.
    2. Get a comfy seat. It took me nearly two hours to make it one way. That's along time in the saddle.
    3. Get yourself a road bike or at least some road tires for your bike. I rode my hardrock with the stock knobby tires.

    I think that if had these things and was in better shape I could have shaved off 45 minutes. Let me know how your ride goes. Good luck!

  4. #4
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    Is yr journey to work fill with plenty of traffic light stop and intersection or hill upslope? All this will contribute yr overall timing to work. Assuming little traffic light and mostly flat roads. 19 miles in 1 hour can be easily achieved.

  5. #5
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    My ride comprises of 30 traffic lights with moderate to heavy traffic but that's not what's killing me. Most of my ride is uphill with 3 killer hills mixed in for fun. Two hours is pretty slow but keep in mind that I'm riding a mountain bike and my cardio isn't where it needs to be. Any tips you can give us long distance commuters would be appreciated.

  6. #6
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    I'm not a long distance commuter. I only commute about 6-10mi per day. But I have done some long rides over the last couple of years that I have gotten back into cycling. My number one thing is comfort. I have a heavy Brooks saddle that is so darn comfy. Some don't like the Brooks saddles, but my butt does. I run the On One Midge bars on my cross check and the origin eight space bars on my 29er. Both bars are very comfortable for me. I am currently researching bike bags. Around town I carry my stuff in a Chrome Metro. But for long rides I really find having weight on my back is very uncomfortable!!!

    And, if you are going to buy bike specific shoes (I would for long commute), then buy shoes that fit!!! In my case I have Pearl Izumi Alp-X shoes. These are more of commuter and touring shoe then a racing shoe. But, I can't fit my wide feet into Shimanos. And really I don't think I could tell the performance difference between carbon soled racing shoes, and my commuter styled PI's.

    I hope some of that info helps!!

    Peace out

  7. #7
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    more about my proposed route

    Thanks for the thought so far...

    I had thought of the cumulative effect of 40 miles per day, and I don't think I could start out riding 5x a week.

    I would be riding from a rural housing development to a smaller town, so stoplights and city traffic would be a non issue.

    Most of the ride would take place on county hiways with decent, smooth shoulders. The ride to work in the morning would be slightly more down hill with a lot of flat riding, so I think I could make better time on the way to work then on the way home.

    I am looking into touring bikes, 29ers or cyclocross bikes as options for a commuter bike. My selections are somewhat limited because I am 6'8" tall. Any suggestions on commuter bikes for tall guys? Will a 60cm cross, touring, or road bike be big enough?

    bigE

  8. #8
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    Big E..check out Zinn Cycles...made for taller riders. Lennard Zinn is about 6'5" and understands what taller riders need.

  9. #9
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    I've got a 32 mi RT commute that I'm going to attempt on my bike, but there's no way I'm going to start out with the full distance. I've found a route to ride 6 miles to a bus stop, then ride the bus for 9 miles, then bike another 1 mile to work. I figure this will be a good way to warm up to doing the full distance. If this is an option for you, if might be worth a shot as a starting point!

  10. #10
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    A couple of more thoughts...

    (1) A 60cm bike will certainly not fit. I am 6-3 and ride a 62 w/ a 60cm top tube. The crucial element in fitting a road bike is the top tube length, and the practice of classifying the bike's size by a single number (the seat tube length) is a quaint holdover from decades ago. I have no idea what range of top tube sizes might fit a a big boy like yourself...and I also suspect that the "rules of thumb" may be difficult to apply to the larger gents.

    (2) There is a lot of good information on the web about bike fit, including some on-line fit calculators that are a bit more sophisticated than the "inseam" method. Google "bike fit calculator" and poke around from there, also search the forums at roadbikereview.com. I'm guessing that there are a lot of large roadies over there who'd be happy to share their experiences with you.

    (3) If you buying a new bike, don't fall for the "city bike" set-up. Get a road or cross bike with proper drop handlebars. That will give you at least three (maybe four) different positions on the bike, and effectively allow you to "adjust the fit" on the fly, based on how you feel and the conditions. The bars don't need to be set as low as the racer-boy or experienced roadie to give you this benefit.

    (4) For commuting, a cross bike might be an excellent choice, as would a "touring" style road bike. A touring bike will have a bit more relaxed geometry and fit compared to a racer-boy frame, will have clearance for larger tires (which will offer both a bit more cush and more puncture resistance at the same time) and will have attachment points on the frame and the fork for racks that can hold panniers, when you get serious about commuting and realize you need to carry a change of clothes, some rain gear, and whatever you might have carried in a briefcase or backpack.
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  11. #11
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    19 miles in one hour is reasonable. My commute is only 10 miles one way and my times vary from 30 minutes to 50 minutes. I'd say my average commute time is about 40 minutes. I bet I could do 20 miles in about an hour average because it always feels like I'm just getting warmed up by the time I get to work. I'm not in "great" shape either, just "decent" shape. I ride a cannondale cyclocross most of the time.

    If you can store work clothes at work and have provisions for meals at work(access to a fridge, close grocery stores, etc) I would look into more racier bikes. If you think you have to haul clothes and food to work on your bike regularly stick with a touring bike. A crossbike is a sort of compromise. With the mileage you'll be racking up, I would stick with a good steel touring bike with a comfortable saddle and padded shorts.

  12. #12
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    Big E,

    This might be your ticket.

    http://www.surlybikes.com/lht_comp.html

    Or maybe this:

    http://www.salsacycles.com/casserollComp08.html

    Note that I ride a Surly Cross Check. I don't have any affiliation with either company or QBP.

    Also I am 6'2"- 6'3" with a 86.5cm inseam (34 1/4") and I am riding a 58cm bike. According to some sizing charts I am on the perfect sized frame, and according to some people and sizing charts I should be riding a 60cm frame.

    Hope that helps.

    Peace out

  13. #13
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    mostly downhill to flat, you could do a 19 mile morning commute in one hour. that would require, though, generally leaving the house 1hr and 15-30 minutes ahead of time to account for problems like flats, how you feel on a given day, and cooling down and changing once you get to work. if you're thinking you'll leave the house an hour before punch in time, i don't think it's doable unless you are reeeaally fit. like semi-pro fit.

  14. #14
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    My co worker rides his road bike about 18 miles one way, and does it 2-3 days a week. i live much closer at 5.5 miles away, and i do it alot more, sometimes on my 6" of travel Pitch........i guess it all depends on the bike and the rider.
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  15. #15
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    I start of with a park and ride. Drive half way, park your car then ride in.
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  16. #16
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    I've got a 32 Mile Round Trip

    I can make it in under an hour, but today I hit every light, and stopped for a fellow commuter to give him a tube. With all that and the unexpected head wind today, it took me an additional 10 minutes. That riding at about 17 - 18 mph on a 44/16 single speed Felt Dispatch (I love the drop bars).
    Just Ride!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris V.
    Big E,

    This might be your ticket.

    http://www.surlybikes.com/lht_comp.html

    Or maybe this:

    http://www.salsacycles.com/casserollComp08.html

    Note that I ride a Surly Cross Check. I don't have any affiliation with either company or QBP.

    Also I am 6'2"- 6'3" with a 86.5cm inseam (34 1/4") and I am riding a 58cm bike. According to some sizing charts I am on the perfect sized frame, and according to some people and sizing charts I should be riding a 60cm frame.

    Hope that helps.

    Peace out

    Chris - thanks for this post. I didn't realize Salsa made a steel cross bike, with disc brakes, and 700C wheels - this is basically the configuration I have been trying to find for my commuter bike. Excellent.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trial1
    Chris - thanks for this post. I didn't realize Salsa made a steel cross bike, with disc brakes, and 700C wheels - this is basically the configuration I have been trying to find for my commuter bike. Excellent.
    Glad you found the post helpful!! The La Cruz(the bike I am assuming you are refering to) is a killer bike from what I have seen. I know a couple of local racers that ride that bike. One guy was very successfull racing cyclocroos last fall at a high level. The other guy has used his bike for enduro races like Trans Iowa and Dirty Kanza.

    Personally I think the man riding is more important then the steed in which he pedals, but both the two individuals I mentioned have said they are very happy with the La Cruz.

    Anyways, good luck!!

    Peace out

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