Commuting on a Long Bike?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Commuting on a Long Bike?

    Hey all,

    I am currently using my old hardtail with Nimbus (26x1.5) tires. But the bike is in need of serious rebuild and i am instead thinking of getting a new ride. While i was first thinking of a touring style bike, i really like the idea of the long bike. Like the Kona Ute. My only concern is with how efficient it is on 1-2hr rides.
    My commute is from clairmont to downtown San Diego, 11miles. there are only a few hills, with the biggest leading to my house (500ft vert over 0.5 mile). It currently takes about an hour for my to commute, and since starting it again 2 months ago i already feel much easier.

    Thanks for any input!
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  2. #2
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    Depends on....

    how you define efficiency. The UTE is both heavier and slower. You're looking at MTB gearing in the rear with an 11-32 cassette, and a double up front with a guard and 36/26T chainrings only. And with what the bike is designed for a larger chainring would be pretty much useless. The bike is designed as a Utility bike as the name UTE implies, specifically for hauling around heavy loads.The longer wheel base makes the bike quite stable with a load and at speed but also slows handling considerably. But it's just not going to be as efficient a commuter as say a Dr Dew or something similar. This is assuming that speed is also an important part of your commuting criteria. Will it be more efficient than your 26" bike. Possibly, but more likely considering the increase in weight, and the lower gearing, it'll probably be a wash.

    For hauling bulky and/or heavier loads, grocery getting, etc., the UTE would be an excellent choice. Or even if you just wanted something unique. But if all you intend to do is commute with it, haul your lunch, a laptop and a change of clothes, some thing like a Dew would be more efficient. Your call though. The UTE certainly does have a cool factor to it.

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  3. #3
    ong
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    I agree with Squash... I love my Big Dummy, but 11 miles on a it is really not the same as 11 miles on my road bike or city bike. I don't really look forward to lugging that big thing around when I don't need it (i.e., when I'm not picking up 60 lbs. of groceries, or hauling a passenger, etc.). I say throw a Free Radical on the hardtail and pick up an old road bike (with rack mounts) for the commute!

  4. #4
    smd
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    I've only got a one-mile commute work, but I ride an old Bianchi Grizzly + Free Radical with a loaded backpack stuffed one one side. and love it. Errands after work are cake, but if I had eleven miles instead I'd probably ride the CX bike instead (I hate early mornings, which is why I live close to work )

  5. #5
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    I'm torn between a Big Dummy and an Xtracycle. I had a Freeradical bolted up to a Cannondale HT frame, it was a great bike, not too heavy, but it would get squirrely with a load.
    The first time I commuted to work on my setup, I totally spaced on the fact that the Xtra was too long to fit in the elevator (I work on the 3rd floor and lock my bike in the office). So I had to leave it outside, downstairs.

    I currently ride a Windsor Clockwork singlespeed roadie and I just ordered a rear rack and panniers for it. Tired of hauling stuff on my back.
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

  6. #6
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    My BD rolls just great. It's a little slower uphill but it isn't that big of a deal. It really flies on the downhills. It rolls smooth.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schmucker
    My BD rolls just great. It's a little slower uphill but it isn't that big of a deal. It really flies on the downhills. It rolls smooth.
    I know I will most likely be getting one of those, hopefully this fall...
    Quote Originally Posted by azdog View Post
    I think he was born around the time of the Chernobyl fallout which would explain a lot.

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