Commuting on a Full Suspension Frame?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Commuting on a Full Suspension Frame?

    So, I'm sure you can guess the nature of my question, but I would like to preface it by saying that I searched the issue and turned up nothing, so I thought I would just ask if anyone commutes on a full suspension bike. I have a Santa Cruz heckler and I always ignored the possibility of riding it to work because it cannot accept a rack, seems like it would be too squishy (no suspension lock out), and I already have a dedicated commuting bike. Anyway, I got to thinking and decided it might be fun to try but before I go out and buy some slicks I thought I would see if it's even worth the effort. Thanks for any info!!!

  2. #2
    (not that fast)
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    it's impossible, don't do it

  3. #3
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    how do you know i haven't already done it, and my question was just a test to see if you would try and trick me?

  4. #4
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    Why not? Some folks run narrow slicks, pumped up all the way on their full-squish commuter.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  5. #5
    fnar fnar brrraaaaap
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    aside from a total waste of a bike- it will suck- and get stolen. build a rigid beater.

  6. #6
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    it is too possible!!! there was a thread entitled: who says you can't pedal a freeride bike (thats close at least)

    some guy rode his knolly in full gear (pads, jersey, fullface) 2.8" michelin DH tires, with a hammerschmidt!!!!

    on the road! those tires were a hummin!!!


    try it out, you will be able to jump buildings like spidy-man on a bike

  7. #7
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    and I always ignored the possibility of riding it to work because it cannot accept a rack
    You might be able to get a rear rack. Have a look at:

    http://www.oldmanmountain.com/Pages/...RearRacks.html

    The Cold Springs and Sherpa models are supposed to work on full-suspension bikes.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by ilostmypassword
    aside from a total waste of a bike- it will suck- and get stolen. build a rigid beater.
    actually, I was feeling like having my santa cruz sit in the garage the whole work week was a waste of bike. I keep my bike inside where I work so theft is not an issue. And I considered building a rigid beater with a 90's rockhopper frame I found in a dumpster with some nicer parts, but my santa cruz already has full xt and rides like a dream.

  9. #9
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    I commute on my 5" full suspension trail bike without issue. I have a spare wheelset with slicks on that I can easily swap out when it's time to hit the trail.

  10. #10
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    Personally I think it's a good use of a bike, especially if it's doing double duty, both on the trails as well as on the streets.

    How squishy is it on the street anyway when you're not pedaling out of the saddle?

    The racks that attach only to the rear triangle are a good idea for a FS frame. A seatpost rack might also be good, but aside from being heavier in some cases, it likely wouldn't have as much weight capacity nor have as good a hold onto the bike, so it could move around a bit if you don't tighten it down really well. But then again a rack mounted to the rear triangle will be feeling a bit more of the vibration than the seatpost rack mounted to the suspended part of the bike.

  11. #11
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    I do it occasionally. I have a dedicated cyclocross commuter, but I ride the Kona Dawg to work every now and then...sometimes I'll hit a trail after work or meet some folks for a MTB ride.

    My commute is about 6 miles. When I know I'm going to be riding the mtb, I air the tires up to 60psi, and I crank up the pressure in the air shock/forks. I don't have lockout on the rear, so making that thing as stiff as possible helps.

    I also jump on the mountian bike when I find the occasional 'surprise!!' flat tire on the commuter bike in the morning.

    having two bike options is nice. I have headlight/taillight mounts on both bikes for my CatEye and Superlfash, and I use a backpack rather than racks so I can make a quick bike switch at 6:30am if I need to.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  12. #12
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    Of course you can commute on your FS ride!

    I ride a 5.5" dual boinger to and from work four days a week. I don't tote clothing to and fro, but keep it at work, and then drive one day a week to "do laundry". Sometimes I forego driving and do the weekly haul with a Bob Ibex bike trailer that has 3" of suspension travel itself.

    Lucky thing for me though - my ride is 12 km through the woods on dirt. My commute is the best part of my work day! Seriously, I'd take a pay cut if it meant a good ride to work instead.

    Best of luck with your commute.
    "I thought you'd never love me without my Mojo." -Austin Powers

  13. #13
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    [QUOTE=Sizzler] and I already have a dedicated commuting bike. [QUOTE]


    If that's the case, then why spend the time and money on a full susp bike to make it more liveable as a commuter? Just ride it as is if you are just looking to ride something new to ride only one day a week.
    You better take care of me, Lord. If you don't you're gonna have me on your hands.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzler
    actually, I was feeling like having my santa cruz sit in the garage the whole work week was a waste of bike. I keep my bike inside where I work so theft is not an issue. And I considered building a rigid beater with a 90's rockhopper frame I found in a dumpster with some nicer parts, but my santa cruz already has full xt and rides like a dream.
    I have ridden a FS Rocky Element to work and back for 4 plus years....

    I have ridden all sorts of tires...

    I have many different rides to get home some on pavement some not....

    Right now for the hell of it I ride only standing up in top gear (well sometimes I come down a couple). Been doing that for a month

    Got 218 standing kms so far.

  15. #15
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    No problem here, commuted FS bikes to work for over 15 years. Ran slicks tires too. I like it for one reason is that you open the option of hopping a curve or unexpected unbeaten path. Also, if you have disk breaks, rain stopping is not a issue. The FS makes it a smooth ride. I do my commutes with either Messenger bag or a backpack. Deuter will make nicer bike friendly packs that let air through your back to help cool you down as well help with those sweat on the back. Also, it helps with my cadence and it transfer over to MTB.

  16. #16
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    I would do it. Ive been looking for a FS bike to commute on and depending on the area it can actually be more fun.

  17. #17
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    "If that's the case, then why spend the time and money on a full susp bike to make it more liveable as a commuter? Just ride it as is if you are just looking to ride something new to ride only one day a week."

    I guess I want to try it for the same reason I tried commuting 15 miles on my bmx, and my tall bike (two bikes stacked one on the other) and for the same reason I would like to ride my unicycle to work some day: to see how awful it would be. But your right, it makes little sense to spend money on converting my santa cruz into a commuting bike, so I decided to cut some corners. First, I borrowed some slicks off a friend's bike. Next, I took it for a 5 mile test run. Went very smoothly and was fun to ride. However, toward the end I started to feel nauseated by the constant movement of the rear end. Anyway, my plan is to take it for it's first commute sometime later this week, whenever it stops raining!
    Last edited by Sizzler; 10-26-2009 at 06:50 PM.

  18. #18
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    Maybe you need to stiffen up the rear end of your Heckler. I don't feel any noticable bob pedaling my FS bike on the road. You might want to consider getting hookworms if you do buy slicks. those tiny little commuting tires will look very strange on your heckler.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by coiler_guy
    Maybe you need to stiffen up the rear end of your Heckler. I don't feel any noticable bob pedaling my FS bike on the road. You might want to consider getting hookworms if you do buy slicks. those tiny little commuting tires will look very strange on your heckler.
    Actually, my rear shock is very firm (helps me jump!) but I'm just used to a solid rear that little to no flex. Thanks for the tire suggestion, the little wiener slicks I tried do look pretty goofy on an otherwise cool looking bike!

  20. #20
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    I've been riding my Specialized Pitch Comp to work all summer and like it just fine. My commute is only 6 miles one way, and because I do it mainly for the workout I don't mind the extra effort. Speed bumps and curbs - no problem. When I see the roadie that just passed me with slicks on the side of the road changing a flat , , ,

    Having said that, I broke a spoke a couple weeks ago and now ride an old Specialized rockhopper hardtail until I fix the spoke. I have to say I like it better and will probably make it my primary commuter.

  21. #21
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    Anduril, how old is your rockhopper. I have a late 80's early 90's rockhopper frame that I found in a dumpster but haven't felt like building. Sounds like it might be worth the effort?

    I got my santa cruz all ready for it's first commute, hopefully tomorrow. I'm going to leave early because I know it wont ride as fast as my road bike. Wish me luck!

  22. #22
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    Did you make it?
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    Did you make it?
    Made it to work, was such a fun ride! I don't normally hop curbs and ride wheelies on my commuter so it was a blast. I was even making great time so I stopped to snap a picture. I will definately be doing this at least once or twice a week!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Commuting on a Full Suspension Frame?-photo.jpg  


  24. #24
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    thats a BRIGHT bicycle......... ive been wondering the same thing about FS for street riding. thanks for asking....

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkenuf4u
    thats a BRIGHT bicycle...
    Yeah, my family calls it the Lego bike. It's quite a departure from my all black and tan commuter!

  26. #26
    I'm SUCH a square....
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    I commute on FS too -- 5.7" travel f/r, and get no bob when I pedal. I have just the one right now (an SS project is on the boards for winter), and it needs to be versatile. With things the way they are in my town, commando commuting is a way of life in lots of areas of town. It's handy to have something that can take a bit of action.

    Don't sweat it, dude -- ride WTF you want to! Sounds like you have quite the stable, anyway!
    A bike is the only drug with no bad side effects....

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    I have ridden a FS Rocky Element to work and back for 4 plus years....

    I have ridden all sorts of tires...

    I have many different rides to get home some on pavement some not....

    Right now for the hell of it I ride only standing up in top gear (well sometimes I come down a couple). Been doing that for a month

    Got 218 standing kms so far.
    I did that today on my FS AM bike with the seat dropped to descending mode on my daily 15-20 km route standing the whole time; my lower back feel like it's been thoroughly rung out. I need to work on my core... I assume this gets easier after a certain point?

    *I gained new found respect for enduro motorcycle racers who have to stand up the whole time on pegs through entire stages.

  28. #28
    master blaster
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    i commute on my fs a few days a week. never an issue with bobin.
    <a href="https://s72.photobucket.com/albums/i192/brianjamesitzaina/?action=view&current=IMG_1913.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="https://i72.photobucket.com/albums/i192/brianjamesitzaina/IMG_1913.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.
    :D

  29. #29
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    you guys getting NO PEDAL BOB....... are you riding sitting down the whole time ? is it the shock you have on the bike keeping it from bobbing ? just curious cause in my case im gonna make sure i have the CORRECT SPRINGS front and rear and SET MY SAG CORRECTLY (oh no theres that SAG word again)
    thanks

  30. #30
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    2 wheels, pedals, handle bar... seat and brakes optional.... If it's a bike, you can ride it to work, don't let anyone tell you you're wrong.

    Any day riding the bike in (whatever bike it is) is better than sitting in the steel square pollution machine!

    Personnally, I give a big grin and thumbs up to anyone I see riding to work... especially those out there on their Huffy or Pacific mountain bikes with way too much steel and suspension etc. etc.

    Just get out and ride!

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by qkenuf4u
    you guys getting NO PEDAL BOB....... are you riding sitting down the whole time ? is it the shock you have on the bike keeping it from bobbing ? just curious cause in my case im gonna make sure i have the CORRECT SPRINGS front and rear and SET MY SAG CORRECTLY (oh no theres that SAG word again)
    thanks
    yes. sitting down the whole way there. way home i have a few inclines. i do have motion control f&r and that helps a bit but hardly even necissary.
    Quote Originally Posted by ISuckAtRiding View Post
    The dude is like 120lbs, tops lol he can run any tires he wants without issues, i'm sure.
    :D

  32. #32
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    Pedal bob has waaaaaay more to do with what you are riding than how you are riding it.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    Pedal bob has waaaaaay more to do with what you are riding than how you are riding it.
    What? are you being sarcastic?

    Technique counts for something... spin, don't mash and you will be rewarded with less bob. Increasing rebound damping (make the rebound slower) can also decrease bobbing.

  34. #34
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    sizzler, you seem like a man after my own heart, lotsa crazy mods and a "hell it's a bike, let's just ride it" attitude!

    fs commuting?! sure, just means it's backpack time.
    specialized 1.25 fatboys at 100PSI, air shocks F and R pumped high, 38x15 magic gear.
    cheers!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Commuting on a Full Suspension Frame?-schwinnster.jpg  

    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  35. #35

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    Byknuts - that is an absolutely amazing bike! I think that I went to engineering school with the guy that designed that rear triangle.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    sizzler, you seem like a man after my own heart, lotsa crazy mods and a "hell it's a bike, let's just ride it" attitude!

    fs commuting?! sure, just means it's backpack time.
    specialized 1.25 fatboys at 100PSI, air shocks F and R pumped high, 38x15 magic gear.
    cheers!
    She's a beauty!! I like!

  37. #37
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    New question here.

    Quote Originally Posted by byknuts
    specialized 1.25 fatboys at 100PSI, air shocks F and R pumped high, 38x15 magic gear.
    cheers!
    ya just made it into a rigid with a tiny bit of suspension......

  38. #38
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    Looks Like I'll get to try the full suspension commute. My wife wants her road bike back. I have a 5x5, and an extra set of 700C disk Wheels from my Novara Big Buzz which I don't use any more. It should go pretty fast. I'm worried about wheel strength though.
    Just Ride!

  39. #39

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    Fantastic idea, been riding a Scott Octane DH to work for a while now and its by no means the easiest ride. However a) it beats having it sat in my shed doing nothing b) Using it day in day out make me a more efficient rider on the trails and as i know the ins and outs of the forks shock etc c) Probably fitter now as its meatier than a commuter bike.

  40. #40
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    Ya Byknuts, that ride is awesome! What kind of crank is that?

  41. #41
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    Hmmmm those kinda remind me of Cooks Brothers cranks.

  42. #42
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    to me they look like profiles with a spider

  43. #43
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    profiles with a compact mtb spider.
    weigh a ton, totally excessive, but I SOMEHOW managed for these to be the only cranks with the compact mtb spider, and the 38 ring on it was what allowed the perfect gear ratio and magic gear so... waiting to get another 38 for one of the 4 bolt cranks that're floating around the house. about a pound or two to drop there.

    and no, i didn't make a rigid by pumping up the shocks, i made a stiffer bike that really only reacts to large hits.
    like curbs!
    or fallen trees!
    or giant potholes!
    or small cars...

    and high-psi tires are just common sense during dry riding!

    that pic's like a week old, spin carbon wheels already dropped into place.
    eet's peeempeen!
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ktse
    I did that today on my FS AM bike with the seat dropped to descending mode on my daily 15-20 km route standing the whole time; my lower back feel like it's been thoroughly rung out. I need to work on my core... I assume this gets easier after a certain point?

    *I gained new found respect for enduro motorcycle racers who have to stand up the whole time on pegs through entire stages.

    Hah it will sure exercises some different muscles....It did get easier...

    At about 350 km my IT band had gotten way to tight, so I went back to sitting, and started strecthing the IT band....It sure did work the core...

    So now has the IT band stretchs out the I can really feel the improvement in core strength.

  45. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sizzler
    Anduril, how old is your rockhopper. I have a late 80's early 90's rockhopper frame that I found in a dumpster but haven't felt like building. Sounds like it might be worth the effort?

    I got my santa cruz all ready for it's first commute, hopefully tomorrow. I'm going to leave early because I know it wont ride as fast as my road bike. Wish me luck!
    Sizzler, I owe you an answer to a very old question. Sorry, never checked back on this thread. My Rockhopper is a '94 I believe, and I've been riding it during the winters for the last two years. That frame makes a great commuter; several people at my work use them. On good weather days I'm now commuting on a 2011 Santa Cruz Nomad with a TALAS RLC fork w/lockout and a Fox RP23 shock with the Pro Pedal feature. Sure, it's under-utilizing the bike, but letting it sit in the garage is worse. It's great fun to ride and there a few urban BMX trails on my route home that are a blast to hit.

    Did you ever end up building a commuter out of your old RH frame?

  46. #46
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    Which full susser type would give the best efficiency when out of saddle? I mean workin on bumps but never bobbing when out of saddle because thats really annoying?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  47. #47
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    Holy old thread. I use a specialized stumpjumper fsr and i find it pretty good at commuting. The only thing is it is a little heavier and the gearing is not optimized for my route but oh well.

  48. #48
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    Since the only bike I currently own is a FS HiFi 29er then that is what I commute with. I would like to build up a hardtail to commute with but since 9 miles of my 25 mile commute is sweet singletrack then I will happily commute on my FS.

  49. #49
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    This thread has me thinking about riding my FS bike tomorrow instead of my regular commuter. Most of my commute is on cobblestones so the ride would be much smoother.
    Amolan

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Which full susser type would give the best efficiency when out of saddle? I mean workin on bumps but never bobbing when out of saddle because thats really annoying?
    Pedal bob, out of the saddle or in, is a real annoyance, maybe even a dealbreaker, to XC racers. So I'd be looking at XC racing bikes for minimum pedal bob. The brain shock is supposed to work like magic when it's not broken, so that would be a Specialized Epic or (I think) some Stumpjumper models. Having a good compression damper on the shock is supposed to help a lot too.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Pedal bob, out of the saddle or in, is a real annoyance, maybe even a dealbreaker, to XC racers. So I'd be looking at XC racing bikes for minimum pedal bob. The brain shock is supposed to work like magic when it's not broken, so that would be a Specialized Epic or (I think) some Stumpjumper models. Having a good compression damper on the shock is supposed to help a lot too.
    I just want it to at least "feel" like its rigid when I mash.

    Anyway this was a good post!
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by ducster View Post
    Holy old thread.

    Haha, yeah, I forgot I even started it, I sold that bike shortly after asking about it!

  53. #53
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    I'm in a CAR-LESS diet. In 2007 I returned my brand new Mercedes Benz --at the time-- and started riding my FS ever since. I do EVERYTHING not just my commute in my GT with an IBEX in tow when needed.

  54. #54
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    How have you liked your CAR-LESS diet. I have been commuting as much as I can lately and it has been awesome, the 90+ degree day wasnt that bad as long as I kept moving. I just recently switched from a stumpjumper fsr to my old trek STP 200 and loving the speed and I still get a little shock in the back.

  55. #55
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    I love it!
    And I'm not looking back, I plan on not owning a car for as long as I can.
    Whenever I need one I just rent it, here in LA I have access to a nearby fleet of cars you can rent per hour. Check Zipcar.com
    The rest of the year I ride my bike everywhere. Let's see if I can post a pic of my set up.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Commuting on a Full Suspension Frame?-set-3.jpg  


  56. #56
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    5
    Get a good backpack. I've been riding specialized xc fs for 3 years now on my commute.

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