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  1. #1
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    Commuting in Lufkin Tx

    Hello I have decided to start commuting to work(mainly because of this forum) but need some advice on gear. I have looked at a lot of different gear(online only there is not a good bike store here) but I am afraid that most of it will be to much for me here in texas. What I am looking for is something to cover my mouth and nose to help warm the air going to my lungs and also a jacket that is good for 30 degree F and up. It rarely gets colder than that here and really 40 and up would probably be fine. I am on a pretty tight budget but I want gear that works. As far as the jacket goes something that breathes would be nice. Any advice that you have would be great. Thanks for the help and some of your commutes are truely inspiring.

    Josh

  2. #2
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Howdy, Zippin.
    In my opinion, the best buys for commute wear will be found in sporting goods shops (especially end of season clearance sales) and thrift shops (mostly just cause I love hanging out at them). I like light weight balaclavas for my face- they usually run about $10 to $15 at sporting goods shops. A lot of others prefer neoprene masks, which seem to run about the same. Choice between one or the other is strictly a matter of personal preference. In addition to that, you might also want a watch cap for the colder end of your spectrum- they`re plenty cheap and do a good job of keeping ear aches at bay.

    Breathability is easy if you don`t need to worry about water proof/resistant. Layers are the way to go- any kind of full zippered fleece sweatshirt/jacket with synthetic windbreaker over it should keep you plenty warm down to 30F, add a vest if you still feel cold. Just make sure you`ve got plenty of zipper to regulate your thermostat. If you`re in a heavy rain zone, I`m not the guy to be advising anything, but there are others here with lots of experience in soggy places.

    Be sure to budget in money for good lights if you`re going to be riding in the dark and at least a nice blinkie for daylight if you have traffic to deal with. A reflective vest is a good idea, too. Good luck and stick around!
    Recalculating....

  3. #3
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    If you do end up ordering a jacket online, I would lean toward a larger size for winter layering...some of those cycling jackets are cut really snug. I prefer the screaming bright colors. For 30F, you don't need one designed for winter use, though, it might be overkill. Surf the clearance sections online and you could get a great deal. My face is fine at 30, but you could try something lightweight like a bandana or buff if the cold air bothers you. Your hands and feet will get cold first. As long as you avoid cotton, anything works for layering, a good thermal underwear shirt for the base layer works fine. Let us know how it goes!

  4. #4
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    Thank you for the replies. I will stop by academy and see if they have any stuff on clearance. As far as rain goes I haven't decided if I want to ride in it or not but If I do what would be good to get(Jacket and Paints)? I have been looking at some of the Mavic jackets as jensonusa has them on sale. Are they any good? I have a few niterider headlight but I don't have any taillights is there a good cheap one that you would suggest? Thanks for the help I hope to ride at least 3 out of the 5 days to start with and work my way up to full time commuting.

  5. #5
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Lights (both ends):
    Another commuting thread about lights...

    Jackets:
    Best waterproof jackets for commuting?

    "I hope to ride at least 3 out of the 5 days to start with and work my way up to full time commuting."
    Good plan
    What`s your commute like? Length, traffic, terrain, time of day, bike parking situation?
    Recalculating....

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the links. My commute is 7 miles with about 3.5 miles on a bad hilly country road were people speed a lot. But in the morning there is nobody on the road(6am). The rest is just through back roads in town and I don't really see much cars. I don't really like to ride on my road but I ride my MTB on the opposite side of the road and just pull off the road when a car is coming. I haven't ridden on my road at 5 yet. But I will today so we will see what it is like.

  7. #7
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    Zippin, please don't ride opposite traffic. You are putting yourself at far greater risk than by riding with traffic. It seem counter-intuitive to some people at first - but we're talking a significantly (like 80% or so) higher risk.

    If you commute regularly, in time the folks will get used to the idea of someone being on their road. In my experience, it starts out a little uncomfortable but in a few weeks your regular commuters will adjust.

    If you don't have a mirror - get one. You will hear from a small group of folks who suggest that a mirror promotes a false sense of security - this is utter nonsense. Use the mirror and your brain simultaneously for best results.

    I suggest more research on your part.

    Here's a good place to look if you haven't already:
    http://www.kenkifer.com/bikepages/index.htm

    It's crazy sad that Ken was killed while biking (after decades of riding) - but at the same time, he was hit by a drunk in an oncoming vehicle that came across the road - the kind of unavoidable crash that can happen to any vehicle with tragic results. Again - most accidents: From the front.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the advice I will get me a mirror and ride on the correct side of the road. I will check out the link also. Thanks for all of the help. Great forum.

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