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  1. #1
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    New to Commuting

    Hey Guys,

    I am fairly new to the forums and to commuting

    I have read many of the threads here and I do find myself needing to ask a few question.

    I live in South Florida and it is not a bike friendly city;I ride with a hardtail mountain bike a Giant Yukon. I will like to increase my commuting speed. I am going to pick up a couple of slicks to replace my current tires, I think I have everything I need to start commuting safely.

    at the office I have prepared a kit with all the essentials to get through the day and I also cary a small first aid kit with me...

    I will gladly take any suggestions from experienced commuters I find myself in need of a waterproof backpack and lightweight but durable clothing for my 14.5 commute.

    I am commuting because I want to save some cash on gas, loose weight, and save the environment.

    Also I am about 6'5 280lbs and I am not sure if the tires I selected will hold up
    I got some specialized fat boys

    your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
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    The tires you selected should be fine. If you're looking to increase speed, you might want to swap out your suspension fork for a suspension-corrected rigid fork. Got lights? +1 on the waterproof backpack in tropical Florida! How about some fenders?
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  3. #3
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    I picked up these lights
    Blackburn flea light set
    Blackburn Mars Rear light
    & 1 NiteRider Minewt Mini-USB Head Light...

    I have no fenders...

  4. #4
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    I use a backpack that was designed for light hiking. Its about the size of a standard backpack but it is made much more durably than a school backpack. I put a reflective running band around the whole bag. It has a rainfly as well, but I have never used it as it is water resistant as-is and none of my contents have ever been wet.

    As for clothing, I would suggest a high-viz jacket of some sort to throw over your normal shirt or whatever. I use a performance brand century II jacket and it is an excellent windbreaker/ waterproof jacket. There are a ton of threads on here about clothing recommendations though so just do some searching and you will get a bunch of ideas. Rain paints might be something to look into- but this is all subjective. Some people here ride in normal clothes, some wear spandex and race jerseys.

    as far as increasing your speed... the cheapest and most efficient way to do that is to just get physically stronger. If it is a geared bike and you arent riding it on the 11 tooth cassette gear constantly, it can always go faster. Other than that, slick tires help a little and lightening up where you can and cheating the wind will help too. More involved techniques might involve clipless pedals and shoes (supposedly 20% more efficient pedal stroke), drop bars to get you down out of the wind or a road type bike all together.
    -Jeremy
    08 Redline D440
    Nashbar 'cross frankenbike
    11 Scott CR1

  5. #5
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank85
    I have no fenders...
    Entirely optional, but fenders are great in the rain for keeping the rear wheel from kicking crap up all over your back and for keeping the front wheel from kicking crap up into your face. They also help minimize water and slop getting thrown up into your front derailleur and frame.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  6. #6
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    I change in the office so its not problem...

  7. #7
    BIG and Bald
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    I would check into the Planet Bike Grunge Fenders. Easy intall, easy off. I've got these on my mountain bike and they work just fine.

    FRONT FENDER http://www.pricepoint.com/detail/186...ont-Fender.htm

    REAR FENDER (attaches to your seat post) http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7000.html
    [SIZE="2"][SIZE="3"]Eat to Live[/SIZE][/SIZE]...[SIZE="3"]not the other way around[/SIZE]

  8. #8
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Welcome to the forum and the bike life. Like they said- more stronger, slick tires. If that isn`t faster enough, clipped in shoes or a road bike. I`d be looking for a way to get the stuff off my back too, but if it doesn`t bother you it I guess you don`t need to worry about it. I don`t know about waterproof anything- rain is just something I see on the weather chanel.

  9. #9
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    Just to echo what others have said, I would suggest front/rear fenders and a pannier rack/pannier bags/trunk bag. You can use a backpack, but I find that my back sweats a lot more if I wear a backpack. A mirror isn't a "must have", but it is definitely a "nice to have". Some common sense items to have are a charged cell phone and safety equipment (helmet, safety glasses, etc).
    ↑ ↑ ↓ ↓ ← → ← → В А

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar
    Welcome to the forum and the bike life. Like they said- more stronger, slick tires. If that isn`t faster enough, clipped in shoes or a road bike. I`d be looking for a way to get the stuff off my back too, but if it doesn`t bother you it I guess you don`t need to worry about it. I don`t know about waterproof anything- rain is just something I see on the weather chanel.
    hey rodar,

    I ride clipped on to my candies and some size 50 MTB sidis I love them....
    im going to check out some trunk options to see how I like it...

    thanks for the reply

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon76
    Just to echo what others have said, I would suggest front/rear fenders and a pannier rack/pannier bags/trunk bag. You can use a backpack, but I find that my back sweats a lot more if I wear a backpack. A mirror isn't a "must have", but it is definitely a "nice to have". Some common sense items to have are a charged cell phone and safety equipment (helmet, safety glasses, etc).
    Hey solomon76

    I use safety glasses, a helmet, and I always carry a phone with me at all times.I don't have a mirror but I guess I should look into one...

    thanks for the comments

  12. #12
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by frank85
    Hey Guys,

    I am fairly new to the forums and to commuting

    I have read many of the threads here and I do find myself needing to ask a few question.

    I live in South Florida and it is not a bike friendly city;I ride with a hardtail mountain bike a Giant Yukon. I will like to increase my commuting speed. I am going to pick up a couple of slicks to replace my current tires, I think I have everything I need to start commuting safely.

    at the office I have prepared a kit with all the essentials to get through the day and I also cary a small first aid kit with me...

    I will gladly take any suggestions from experienced commuters I find myself in need of a waterproof backpack and lightweight but durable clothing for my 14.5 commute.

    I am commuting because I want to save some cash on gas, loose weight, and save the environment.

    Also I am about 6'5 280lbs and I am not sure if the tires I selected will hold up
    I got some specialized fat boys

    your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.

    Thanks

    Here's a pretty helpful thread if you haven't checked it out already, there's lotsa good suggestions:
    Mountain Bike Ride Packing List

    I live in central florida and am also able to commute quite a bit bcuz of the decent winters. I actually prefer riding when its a bit colder bcuz i dont end up getting to my destination all sweaty.

    -cheers!
    Last edited by firstlast; 03-07-2009 at 10:44 PM.

  13. #13
    smell the saddle...
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    Figured this might be a good place to add a tire question. I'm mildly new to commuting and have a set of Bontrager Comforts 1.9s on my bike (running about 50psi in each) on a fully rigid Surly 1X1. They roll pretty good, nice and quiet and not so bad even in the wet stuff. However, I've gotten several flats on them - a buddy said all I need are some tire liners. Something about these tires I just don't like though. Some years back I had a set of Conti Town & Country and they worked well. So I am at limbo on picking up a pair of those or shopping for other tires or sticking with what I have and getting some liners.

    A few questions: 1) Major differences between 1.9 & 2.1 - assuming 1.9s seem to be the mid range size? 2) Is it just me are do all commuter tires come in wire /steel bead? Is there a reason for this? 3) Are most commuters running tire liners and/or thicker tubes?

    A little about my commute (which I don't do everyday): 5 miles one-way, all paved roads, lots of trash (glass, nails, etc.), it's hot and humid here (south Louisiana) and it rains a lot. I want a all-around tire that is optimum for speed and handling. I do occasionally roll down stairs, take drops, I race alleycats from time to time so I am figuring anything smaller than 1.9s may not be suitable. However, I am running a 48-16 gearing ratio so I don't like to slow down much. I'm a fairly light rider at 170ish.

  14. #14
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stumonky
    Figured this might be a good place to add a tire question. I'm mildly new to commuting and have a set of Bontrager Comforts 1.9s on my bike (running about 50psi in each) on a fully rigid Surly 1X1. They roll pretty good, nice and quiet and not so bad even in the wet stuff. However, I've gotten several flats on them - a buddy said all I need are some tire liners. Something about these tires I just don't like though. Some years back I had a set of Conti Town & Country and they worked well. So I am at limbo on picking up a pair of those or shopping for other tires or sticking with what I have and getting some liners.

    A few questions: 1) Major differences between 1.9 & 2.1 - assuming 1.9s seem to be the mid range size? 2) Is it just me are do all commuter tires come in wire /steel bead? Is there a reason for this? 3) Are most commuters running tire liners and/or thicker tubes?

    A little about my commute (which I don't do everyday): 5 miles one-way, all paved roads, lots of trash (glass, nails, etc.), it's hot and humid here (south Louisiana) and it rains a lot. I want a all-around tire that is optimum for speed and handling. I do occasionally roll down stairs, take drops, I race alleycats from time to time so I am figuring anything smaller than 1.9s may not be suitable. However, I am running a 48-16 gearing ratio so I don't like to slow down much. I'm a fairly light rider at 170ish.
    I would definitely get some tire liners. 50 psi isn't really all that low, so I doubt it would be pinch flats even with hucking and stairs. Try inspecting the tread up close (if you haven't already) for anything imbeded. Also take you tire off the rim and run your fingers along the inside. As far as your questions go:

    1) Major differences between 1.9 & 2.1 - assuming 1.9s seem to be the mid range size?
    Aside from 0.2 inches, not much difference at all. More important factors would be weight, thickness, kevlar belted or not, etc....

    2) Is it just me are do all commuter tires come in wire /steel bead? Is there a reason for this?
    Most do. There are some kevlar bead, foldable tires. I think that the main reason most are wire bead is price and they figure most commuters aren't going to be carrying a spare tires folded up in their camel back like you would mountain biking.

    3) Are most commuters running tire liners and/or thicker tubes?
    Varies with most people. I'm running tire liners with plain old mountain tubes. No ultra-lights, no slime.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  15. #15
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
    Reputation: TrekJeff's Avatar
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    Pick up a rear rack as well, you'll be amaze how often you use it and eventually you may get hooked on panniers.
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

  16. #16
    smell the saddle...
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    I ended up calling Universal Cycles and spoke to one of their staff, I buy most of my stuff from there. They recommended going with either the Conti. Town & Country's or the Maxxis Hookworms for my style of riding. He also advised against the tire liners and perhaps upgrade to a beefier tube if it came to it. He mentioned I should be running whatever tires at full pressure to help combat flats. So I'm up to 65psi now for the meantime (As I placed the order yesterday for the 1.9s.) As he explained most of your protection comes from the tire and the liners can be more problematic.

    I don't think you'll ever see a rear wheel rack on my bike. I have a TimBuk2 messenger bag which I love.

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