19 year old thinking about commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    19 year old thinking about commuting

    As the title says I'm 19 years old and am thinking about commuting to my summer job this year to combat the rising gas prices.

    My bike is a 2005 Trek 4300. I bought it 6 months ago and have been having a great time riding on the local mountain bike trails.

    I know this bike is not set up for commuting due to the aggressive tires, riding position, etc, but my question for all of you is would it be possible or practical to commute with this bike? The ride will be a little over 8 miles one way and very hilly.

    Any recommendations for a new guy like me? I'm open to suggestions. Just keep in mind my budget is limited. Thanks!

    Here's a link to my bike specs: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...4300&Type=bike
    Last edited by offrdjeep87; 05-05-2011 at 07:45 PM.

  2. #2
    a lazy pedaler
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    8 miles on road?...get some slick tires...and carry your stuff on whatever backpack you already have...budget safe.

    can allow a rack and a trunk bag? you can't go wrong with a topeak setup.

  3. #3
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    Pump tires to max, throw on some lights, and give it a whirl. It's easier than you think. Give it a couple tries with your current setup and go from there. You can easily add a rack and slick tires to your current bike and have a fine commuter.
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

  4. #4
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    Go for it.

    I wouldn't bother with new tires. Just leave the knobbies on so you can easily hit the trails on your way home or days off. Daily commuting will put a little extra wear on your tires and chain, so just replace them whenever the time comes.

    A rear rack and pannier are great to have, but a backpack is just fine.

    And in addition to lights, make sure you always carry tools for emergencies - multi-tool, tire levers, spare tube, minipump, chaintool and/or quicklink.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    No problem. Ride safe and enjoy.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the input. I'm glad you all don't think I'm crazy for wanting to ride my mountain bike on the road.

    I have have a hydration pack and most of the tools I might need already. When you say lights, what exactly do you mean? Headlight? Tail light? Both? Also, once my knobbies wear out are there any hybrid-type tires that are decent both on road and off?

  7. #7
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    For lights, a Radbot 1000 is good to have incase you're riding when lighting is bad. I have mine turned on all the time though, just because.

    How worn are your tires now? Even riding on the road you could easily get a summer out of them. There are some tires for dirt/road in this thread. I just put a Smart Sam on the front of my hardtail, and it's pretty quick but the difference isn't amazing.

    Watch your chain for stretch, though. Riding lots of miles with a worn chain can chew through a cassette surprisingly quickly.

  8. #8
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    Great idea - you may be one of the few to actually make money at your summer job! Try it once before the jobs starts, as it can be hard to estimate how long it will take on a hilly route...you don't want to be late on your first day. I go 15 RT most days and use a MTB with knobbies and studded tires all winter.

  9. #9
    weirdo
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    Quote Originally Posted by offrdjeep87
    When you say lights, what exactly do you mean? Headlight? Tail light? Both?
    Rear, both, or neither.
    If you`re going to be on the road when it`s dark, you obviously need front and rear. In the dark with no streetlights, you`ll need a good powerful headlight, can get away with much less if you only need a "marker" light cause you can see well enough by the other lights (street lights). Riding only during daylight hours, with a bad traffic situation, a rear blinkie is a great idea. If it happens that you only ride in daylight and don`t have much traffic to wory about, you really don`t need any lights (my opinion), but 20 to 30 Dollars would probably be well spent on a good blinkie, just in case. I don`t USUALLY have traffic, so don`t USUALLY turn on my blinkie (my tail light is on whenever I ride), but I`m sure glad it`s there when I find myself in fog or blowing snow, and if I take a detour, the blinkie is always handy. I just keep it strapped on the back of my helmet whether I plan to use it or not.

  10. #10
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    I use a mountain bike for a road commuter. Mine's 29 inch and modified but i started on a Trek 4300 Disk for about 2 years. I rode 30 mile round trips on road only weekly and around 10 miles a day during the week. The knobby tires did wear out fast but lasted about 8 months a set running close to their max pressure. I'm in Korea and most people ride mountain bikes as much or more on the road as on the few trails there are locally. They work great for it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by offrdjeep87
    As the title says I'm 19 years old and am thinking about commuting to my summer job this year to combat the rising gas prices.

    My bike is a 2005 Trek 4300. I bought it 6 months ago and have been having a great time riding on the local mountain bike trails.

    I know this bike is not set up for commuting due to the aggressive tires, riding position, etc, but my question for all of you is would it be possible or practical to commute with this bike? The ride will be a little over 8 miles one way and very hilly.

    Any recommendations for a new guy like me? I'm open to suggestions. Just keep in mind my budget is limited. Thanks!

    Here's a link to my bike specs: http://www.bikepedia.com/quickbike/B...4300&Type=bike

    I still make my 21 year old commute on his bike

  12. #12
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I would swap tires... you can get budget slicks for cheap from pricepoint, nashbar, performance, jensen, etc. It's the cheapest way to make your bike the right tool for the job. You can totally do it on knobbies, but the slicks will make a difference.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    I would swap tires... you can get budget slicks for cheap from pricepoint, nashbar, performance, jensen, etc. It's the cheapest way to make your bike the right tool for the job. You can totally do it on knobbies, but the slicks will make a difference.

    He is still a teenager do not confuse him....

    Ride your bike to work...

    Smarten up..

    Pay attention...

    And Becareful.

  14. #14
    the test dummy
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    i ride to work on my ss 29r some times even my free ride bike, then i rip trails on the way home .
    Quote Originally Posted by craftworks750
    Riding a mtb is like a reset button, 10 mins in and there is nothing else in the world that matters.
    my bikes
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    Ben

  15. #15
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    Most important thing is getting started. Just go for it with what you got. You'll see what you need to change along the way. Be sure you have a pump and at least one extra tube, because you're guaranteed to have flats. It's good to start off with a basic bacpack for your stuff, then you can decide if you want racks or not. As far as tires, wear out the ones you have, then pick out what tires you think will work best for your situation. That's what's fun about commuting. There are no set rules. You do what works for you.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by offrdjeep87
    Also, once my knobbies wear out are there any hybrid-type tires that are decent both on road and off?
    WTB Nanoraptors are the best I have tried.

  17. #17
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    Thanks again for all the responses. It has gotten me excited to go try it out.

    I'll be working from 7am to 3pm so I may need a light for the morning.
    I'm also going to check out some of those tires. I've noticed from riding around campus that the stock ones I have wear pretty quickly on pavement

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