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  1. #1
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    Brighton - Big Cottonwood Canyon, Daily Commute

    If you were to commute 5 days a week from Brighton in Big Cottonwood Canyon to Sandy (Near the Sandy REI) and try to ride up as often as your body could take it (There is a car lift as a back up plan) what bike would you buy?

    1. Full Suspension, front fork only, full rigid

    2. Multiple gears, small stack, etc...

    3. Just get a road bike.

    Specific bike models are appreciated. I am 5'8" 175 lbs with plans to be trimmer (don't we all). I usually am very fanatical about my playing.

    Thanks for any help and advice.

    I am relatively new to all this, but I pick things up quickly.

    Also add any routes down/up if you have specific local knowledge. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I'd go with a road bike because you're going to be on road the whole time. That being said, I really dislike riding my road bike. If you go with a full suspension, something that locks out the rear would be nice for the commute of death you plan on making.

    But a quick route that isn't too trafficy is to just go down Big, take a left onto wasatch blvd. Contiune on wasatch and take the right to go past LaCai, continue through the light at 90th and take your first right into the neighborhood, go down until it T's and take a left, follow that for a while until you hit a stop sign, then take a right and ride down (that puts you on 106th going west). Not the absolute shortest but your not going to riding with crazies on state.

  3. #3
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    However, if you want to have more fun during the warmer months, you could go up the Guard rode to the Crest and ride into Millcreek and down Pipeline. At commuting hours it wouldn't be very crowded so you could rip down for ~24 miles of dirt on the way to work

    Of course the Crest has >100" of snow on it right now.

    I'd be very jealous of that commute

  4. #4
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    Buy a road bike. The ride up BC is pretty nice, and you will appreciate the road bike for this. A lot of MTB types really fear road bikes and traffic, but the traffic in SLC is mellow, and I spend a great deal of time on my road bike. The road bike will make you a much stronger, smoother mountain biker.

    Oh - and small aside - I would suggest getting a compact crank - it will give you a wider range of gearing options than a standard double. Some folks worry about having enough top end with a compact, but I've had no problem racing on mine.
    I only attempt to change the world in the appropriate World-Changing venues and forums.

  5. #5
    JMH
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    For riding on the road, I suggest a road bike.

    JMH

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    Quote Originally Posted by phatfreeheeler
    However, if you want to have more fun during the warmer months, you could go up the Guard rode to the Crest and ride into Millcreek and down Pipeline. At commuting hours it wouldn't be very crowded so you could rip down for ~24 miles of dirt on the way to work

    Of course the Crest has >100" of snow on it right now.

    I'd be very jealous of that commute
    Could I get away with, and still have fun on this route with a full rigid mountain bike (I am concerned with the uphill work out and the maintenance of a full suspension as a daily commuter)?

    Any suggestions on models are appreciated.

    Thank you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ritninja
    Could I get away with, and still have fun on this route with a full rigid mountain bike (I am concerned with the uphill work out and the maintenance of a full suspension as a daily commuter)?

    Any suggestions on models are appreciated.

    Thank you.
    BTW - I misread your post. Sandy REI isn't near Millcreek. Like other smarter people said, you'll be riding road the whole way unless you get very creative. I was thinking of the other REI. Sorry

    In regards to your question, you can ride anything anywhere. How much fun you have or how fast you ride is all that changes. A lot of that trail is very buff, some is not. I only enjoy full suspension mountain bikes, so I can't help you on models. I've never even bought a fully rigid mountain bike. I personally agree that on long roads like this it would be nicer to ride a road bike. However, I work with tons of people that commute on all sorts of bikes. Many are just hardtail mountain bikes with road specific tires and could be bought for well under $400, used.

    As far as bike models, just go to some shops and start trying stuff. IMHO, we can't fit you over the internet with no real information. What bikes feels right is very personal and you've got some decisions to make first such as budget and if you really want to use the bike outside of commuting.

  8. #8
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    The Millcreek way down is longer, but maybe worth it, especially if I have my honey drive me up after work.

    The route I have been contemplating is to climb through the Twin Lakes Pass, ride down through Grizzly Gulch, LCC creek trail, and out to Sandy.

    I will spend some time at shops trying bikes out.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
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    Road bike. I second the compact cranks. One can really hammer on a road bike and make real good time. I commute in town with both a hard tail and a road bike. The road bike is twice as fast and I wonder why I even keep the hard tail (other than for bad weather). If you think that road bikes are not mountainy enough get a cross bike. If you want to feel even more mountain bikey get the Lemond cross with disc brakes. Since you work at REI Novarra has a nice commuter bike with a solid fork and disc brakes that is faily inexpensive. I'd put fenders on it and call it good.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Boy 1
    Road bike. I second the compact cranks. One can really hammer on a road bike and make real good time. I commute in town with both a hard tail and a road bike. The road bike is twice as fast and I wonder why I even keep the hard tail (other than for bad weather). If you think that road bikes are not mountainy enough get a cross bike. If you want to feel even more mountain bikey get the Lemond cross with disc brakes. Since you work at REI Novarra has a nice commuter bike with a solid fork and disc brakes that is faily inexpensive. I'd put fenders on it and call it good.
    Can a cross bike handle trail riding like the crest trail or lcc creek?

    Thanks for the input.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by ritninja
    The Millcreek way down is longer, but maybe worth it, especially if I have my honey drive me up after work.

    The route I have been contemplating is to climb through the Twin Lakes Pass, ride down through Grizzly Gulch, LCC creek trail, and out to Sandy.

    I will spend some time at shops trying bikes out.

    Thanks.
    If you haven't ridden up (through Solitude I think is the only legal route?) to Twin Lakes Pass before, you may think twice about it. Its a long, hard, granny gear climb, not for the faint of heart or legs (pretty sure you'll have to walk a bit at the top to get out of Solitude...)...that being said, I'm sure you could do it as part of your commute if you were driven (read: crazy). Also, the ride DOWN Grizzly might even require you to walk one section (at least for a wuss like me)...and its rough dirt road, that's not much fun. If you are going to put that much work in, you might as well ride the Crest to Millcreek. It may be longer, but it will be less work and more fun. I think you could get a hard tail with a fork....or if you really want to get crazy, get a cross bike (cyclecross - like a road bike with slightly bigger tires and usually more compact gearing) ALL of that being said, the most logical thing to do is ride the road as the more reasonable have already suggested. Then you can just crush it on your mtbike for fun.

  12. #12
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    I am going to make the following suggestions based on what I would do myself (so please do not read this as condescending or anything but positive suggestions so your $ is well spent).

    I would ride this commute on any bike for 2 to 3 days and determine if it is really something you want to do. I think riding it on anything but a road bike would completely suck and would be really hard to stick with. Most of the others seem to think the same way and are steering you to a road bike.

    So say you buy a road bike, and realize this commute just sucks. Then you have a road bike that you don't use and are wishing you bought a mountain bike so you could ride the crest or whatever.

    I only suggest this because I have ridden to Brighton (on a crappy old road bike which I think would be better than any mt. bike). For someone who doesn't love road riding (me), I thought it was long and wouldn't be willing to do it every morning. I even feel it is a long drive to go skiing.

  13. #13
    JMH
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    Quote Originally Posted by jayman
    I thought it was long and wouldn't be willing to do it every morning.
    I wasn't going to say it before, but I agree.

    In addition to MTB, I do quite a lot of road miles each year and I think Big Cottonwood is not to be underestimated. It's not something I would want to face every day after work.

    JMH

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    Thank you all for the responses.

    I don't think I stressed this enough in the opening post, but I have a car lift up the canyon every day if needed (I am pretty sure I will need it at this point).

    So the real question is what bike would you ride DOWN the canyon everyday and which route would you take.

    The climb up to twin lakes is not that bad if that is the only climb I do every day.

    Thanks.

  15. #15
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    There are only a handful of routes down from up there so I assume you'll probably ride all of them each week if you do it everyday. For my two cents, my favorite is crest to big water to the top of millcreek then down pipeline. Yah, as everyone has said, it'll be a bit out of your way and will be covered in snow for a while, but I like it the best of all the lines up there.

    As to a bike, just head to a shop, ride a handful, and see what feels most comfortable to you and your wallet. I like full suspensions so I'd say something in the 4-5 inch travel range would be good.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by ritninja
    Thank you all for the responses.

    I don't think I stressed this enough in the opening post, but I have a car lift up the canyon every day if needed (I am pretty sure I will need it at this point).

    So the real question is what bike would you ride DOWN the canyon everyday and which route would you take.

    The climb up to twin lakes is not that bad if that is the only climb I do every day.

    Thanks.
    Frankly, the only time I would want to cross the ridge from BC to LC (twin lakes or catherines) on a bike is as a means to an end linking up a big ride. Just not all that enjoyable in my opinion. And it certainly will take a LOT longer than just road riding down BC and heading southwest to sandy REI. Since this is about a daily commute to a job where I assume you are expected to keep set hours this is probably something to consider.

  17. #17
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    I might also mention

    that getting out of BCC can be a lot of work even on a road bike. Wind and long flat spots makes for slow going some days. You could get a mountain bike and two sets of tires one slick for commuting on the days you don't feel like climbing out of Brighton, which I might add is also a bear. Puke hill is nice at 8 in the AM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Idiot Boy 1
    that getting out of BCC can be a lot of work even on a road bike. Wind and long flat spots makes for slow going some days. You could get a mountain bike and two sets of tires one slick for commuting on the days you don't feel like climbing out of Brighton, which I might add is also a bear. Puke hill is nice at 8 in the AM.
    Two sets sounds good. I am thinking a rigid 29er, but I will ride a bunch of options first. Thanks.

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