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  1. #1
    ride like you stole it
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    Tips for finding commuter bikes

    Since winter is coming and I plan on commuting all wondering if wondering if you guys might have any tips for finding an old beater bike to turn into a commuter.

    any help is appreciated
    I lubed my disc brakes because they squeaked.
    Man was that fun to work out

  2. #2
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    Craigslist all the way.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    Agree on Craiglist (found my bike there!). Check yard sales, goodwill, friends or ebay.

  4. #4
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
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    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  5. #5
    ONe less gear
    Reputation: bugly64's Avatar
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    whatever you get make sure you can put a rack on the back of it. Hauling a backpack or messenger bag may seem romantic, but you back will thank you if you have a rack and some panniers. And, fenders help a lot. I wish I could use craigslist here.

  6. #6
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    ^^ Not everyone loves having racks. I'm a backpack guy...I hate stuff hanging off of the bike, I'd rather have it on my person. Personal preference. I keep it light though, by stashing clothes at work and only carrying the essentials.

    Totally agree on the fenders though. Mine go on in October and come off in May.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  7. #7
    No-Brakes Cougar
    Reputation: Gary the No-Trash Cougar's Avatar
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    I carry a backpack, too. It usually doesn't have much in it, but even loaded it doesn't weigh me down or throw me off balance. Conversely, I don't like having any sort of bags hanging on my bike. I don't even have a water bottle. If I can't fit it in my bag, it stays at home!
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  8. #8
    Crunchatize me Capn'
    Reputation: jabpn's Avatar
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    Whatever bike you get, make sure it has eyelets for fenders and racks - even if you don't use them. You may want to later. Get full fenders. Also, consider a full rigid bike. It's that much less you have to worry about breaking down due to cold temps and/or ice. Consider less gears or single speed. Ice builds up pretty quickly in the cassette causing your chain to skip.

    Don't worry about high quality parts. Cheap is better because replacements are cheaper and often easier to find in bike stores parts bin. Parts, good or bad, get put through the grinder that is winter commuting. BUT, consider cheaper components that are still the big names. Real cheap and you get non standard parts (or really, really, cheap parts that break under stress) whereas with, say, Acera or even Tourney level parts, they are attached to the bike and adjusted just like the top end. This means a long life of finding compatible parts.

    Tires: Two trains of thought. Going thin cuts through slush and slop. Going wide lets you float on top. If you're at a place where roads are kept up and there's little build up, consider thin. But, if you get enough snow where you patches of ice or snow get compressed, go wide. Keep in mind that this winter the price of salt has skyrocketed so many municipalities are going to a salt sand mix. This means more packed snow patches on the road which eventually turn icy.

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