Preparing mountain bike for commuting?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Preparing mountain bike for commuting?

    Hi All,
    I am new to the forum and looking for some help. I haven't biked consistently in several years, but I am looking to start commuting now that my job location is closer. I want to use my 96 Specialized Stumpjumper FS. It is in decent condition with a few nice mods. The bike has been sitting in the basement for several years now with only a handful of rides over the last three years. What should I be looking to check/repair/replace before I start the commute?
    I used to work on my bike all the time, so I know I can handle most of the basic maintenance stuff. My biggest concerns are the front fork (shock-does it need to be rebuilt or replaced), the brake cables (stretch), the shifter cables (stretch) and the chain. I want to make sure these are all in good condition for the commute.
    Also, since most of my ride will be on the street, I am considering switching my straight bar to a riser. Any pros or cons to doing this?
    Thanks in advance.
    Ken

  2. #2
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    Tune it up and go for a ride.

    Check the brakes, and shocks, and tires out.

    Plan your route, make sure you know the safe way to go.

    Start commuting.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
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    think about what you commute is gonna be like:

    all weather?
    at nite?
    terrain?..Etc

    like personally this is what i'm gonna be doing.

    Another rim set for smooth tires, a good lite for the early morning, nice messenger bag to carry all my gear, and i'm gonna find the colored reflective tape, and kinda stealthly apply it too the bike.

    Thats just a few things, but theres another recent commuter thread runnin around here somewhere.

  4. #4
    mtbr member
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    Yep, just tune it up, and buy some slicks for it. Pump them to 80psi and ride

  5. #5
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    Commuting Tips

    I have an old hard tail that I converted to a commuter bike. Here are some tips:

    On the weekend, take your bike and scout out a few routes to find a route with bike lanes and or a good shoulder if possible, look for obstacles to avoid (i.e. manhole covers which can be slippery when wet, storm drain grates, etc.) and the least amount of traffic.
    Time yourself so you know what to expect during your actual commute.

    With regard to your question on riser bar versus flat bar, it is probably more a matter of personal preference. I use flats and bar ends which give me more hand positions and more leverage for climbing and sprinting, but a riser bar will but you more upright which may be more comfortable for you.

    Make sure your bike has reflectors, one on the front, one on the rear, and on the wheels, this is required by law in most cities. I would go further and by a blinking LED taillight and a bike light for the front or a helmet light. Always wear your helmet.

    The most important thing to remember is to ride defensively, never assume that a car has seen you.

    The are a number of bike commuter website, do a search.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6
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    Make sure you have a clean change of clothes at your work.

    Just one of the obvious things that gets over looked.

  7. #7
    Double-metric mtb man
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    And talk to your boss....some of them are quite supportive and will let you make use of an out of the way, secure spot to lock up.
    As if four times wasn't enough-> Psycho Mike's 2013 Ride to Conquer Cancer Page

    Moran? Let your opinion be free -> F88me

  8. #8
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    Rubber tends to age and dry up over years, even in darkness. So I'd replace the tubes with new ones and put liners inside the tires to prevent flats. Tube sealant won't harm too, but it is less effective against type of flats you normally get on asphalt(from broken glass or pieces of metal).

  9. #9

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    Switching to a solid fork (fork - 50 bucks, headset - 20) will lose you a few pounds in the front and give what I feel to be a better ride. I tried a shock fork on my hybrid and loathed it; if I had one with lockout, though, I"m sure I'd feel differently.

  10. #10
    i also unicycle
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenon
    Rubber tends to age and dry up over years, even in darkness. So I'd replace the tubes with new ones and put liners inside the tires to prevent flats. Tube sealant won't harm too, but it is less effective against type of flats you normally get on asphalt(from broken glass or pieces of metal).
    i've never had good luck with liners. kevlar reinforced tires seem to work lots better for me. specialized makes armadillos(and flat jackets) in several different sizes so i'm sure you can find the right one for you. as far as the bike goes, i'd lube it up and take it for a spin and see what needs adjusting, then to it. i'd firm up my shocks as much as possible too, unless for some awesome reason you have a good bit of singletrack on your route.
    mtbr says you should know: i work in a bike shop.
    bikes & beers (on my blog) http://idontrideenough.blogspot.com/

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