• 05-02-2008
    Doing my first commute on monday
    Going to use my Giant Trance, would have preferred a roadbike, but with the amount of traffic, mtb makes just more sense as I can cut through fields and parks and so on.
    CX bike would be perfect, but...don't have one.

    Trip is 24miles one way. going to use my Camelbak HAWG to carry my work clothes, deoderant and so on. Any tips for a first time newbie?
  • 05-02-2008
    Don't forget your underwear :)
  • 05-02-2008
    if you decide to continue commuting, get another bike and set it up specifically for commuting. It doesn't have to be a road bike, I prefer a mountian frame myself. An older hardtail in the appropriate size is a good start. From there wheels, tires, etc. are all your choice. I built my commuter from an old hardtail frame that had seen it's time on the trail. From there I dug out the parts box and started to use some of those, "not so new but still functional" parts that we all seem to accumulate. Bars, stem, seat post, derailleurs, brakes and levers, crank and bb, hubs and rims, all came out of the parts stash. A ridged fork, spokes, tires and a seat post rack and trunk bag (I don't like to carry loads in a back pack in the heat of summer) were all I needed to purchase. About $200 and some wrench time later I have a reasonably fast and comfortable commuter that saves my trail bike for it's intended purpose. I too some times take a route through a park or vacant lot so my tires were a concern. But if you shop around you can find plenty of pavement specific tires in the 2.0 width range that offer enough volume to be comfortable, but much less agressive tread designs than an off road tire, so they roll much faster and easier. I settled on the Bontrager Invert 2.0. And they do just fine in mild "dirt" conditions, gravel paths, and grassy areas. As a plus they do have tread so that if the weather man gets it wrong and things end up wet, you don't have nearly the concern as you would with a slick or a baldy. They stick pretty good even on rain soaked streets.

    Otherwise, enjoy your ride! Leave early enough that you have time to take care of any problems and still arrive at work ON TIME! If you have 0 problems you'll probably be early, so use the extra time to cool out and clean up before getting into your work clothes. And make sure you carry the same tools that you would on the trail. Flats, drive train problems etc. are just as likely to happen on a commute as riding your favorite dirt. And finally, plan your route! Always try to find a route that incorporates bike paths or bike lanes if possible. Take the safest route possible even if it adds a couple of miles to your commute distance. WEAR BRIGHT CLOTHING!!!! While drivers are supposed to pay attention and keep an eye out for such things as cyclists, pedestrians, etc. We all know that often they don't. But you need to do your part as well. You NEED to be as vissible as possible. Yes blaze orange is ugly, but it's HIGHLY VISSIBLE. Good colors to wear and that get attention are bright orange, yellow, blue (bright electirc blue not light), flouresent green, hot pink, etc. I know these colors are considered "ugly" but I'd rather be accused of wearing ugly colors than invisible on the road in what are considered "cool" more subdued colors now days. Ride safe, obey the traffic laws and signals, to include stop and yeild signs and one way streets, oh and do respect cross walks as well, and have fun! :thumbsup:

    Good Dirt
  • 05-02-2008
    Blu Falcon

    Originally Posted by _daemon_

    Trip is 24miles one way. going to use my Camelbak HAWG to carry my work clothes, deoderant and so on. Any tips for a first time newbie?

    I use a SPEC-OPS ACU digital assault pack with a CamelBak bladder. Works great.
  • 05-02-2008
    nope....no tips....have a great ride!!!....

    PS - if the *dirt* areas you roll thru are fairly smooth'ish you can always pop some 28's on your roadie rig......replace tubes with slime tubes.....and you are good to go :)
  • 05-02-2008
    I don't commute every day as I have rest days between ride days and I absolutely cannot ride Wednesdays (it works out better this way), which is one of my rest days. On the days that I don't ride I bring clothes for the days that I am riding. This avoids having to lug clothes with me on my ride.

    If you do bring your clothes with you on your ride to work, lay everything out that you will need the day before and pack it all in preparation for your ride the next day. This avoids the frantic "I've got to get everything ready to go NOW' syndrome. You are guaranteed to forget something if you wait to the last minute to pack your bag. Today, for example, I completely forgot my access badge to get into the building because I was rushing to get to work on time. I ended up having to wait for my coworkers to let me in the building then suffer the harassment of forgetting my badge, not to mention the comments about my riding attire, etc.

    Don't forget a comb.
  • 05-02-2008
    Spare tube, multi-tool, air source (pump or CO2), WATER!!! Enjoy!!!
  • 05-03-2008

    Originally Posted by Iowagriz
    Don't forget your underwear :)

    HAHAH dammm! I forgot those, thanks for the reminder, will pack some in on monday! :D
  • 05-03-2008
    Good job of commuting to work on your bike.
    I just started 2 weeks ago, totally a newbie. I took several pre-ride trips to scout the safest and shortest route. Finally I got it nailed down. Cut the 15 miles to 11 miles one way not bad.
    My commuter bike is a GF Tassajara 02 changed the tires to michelin city slicks 26 x 1.85. Still able to hit some bumps and fast enough to cruise 14-15mph.
    I used to carry all my stuff on my camelback too but that gets too annoying and heavy.
    Now I got a topeak MTX rack with foldable pannier. I am not a fan of this but heck saves my back and gives me more breathing room.
    Like squash, I leave an hour early coz it will give me more time to shower and chill before starting to work.
    It usually takes me 45-55min depending on stops, weather, and physical mood.
    It has been windy here in Sacto for the past two days and boy it saps my energy and travelling time.
    Also I travel at night. It is different and kinda spooky but I got used to it the next day.
    My wife, co-workers,and friends give me grief on it coz its not safe or maybe I am just different. I just shrugged it.
    Its more of my lifestyle than anything. Plus saves me lots of money.
    Just pay attention at all times. BE VISIBLE. I got 3 lights in the front with 2 bulb CYGO Lite, a Cat eye led which I kept blinking, and a helmet headlamp Princeton Tec.
    In the back I got 3 red tailights. One steady and 2 blinkers.
    I use neon, yellow, or Illuminite Blue vest/Jacket as my wind breakers.
    I also carry extra clothing, I dont want to wear my soakin'wet jersey again.
    I leave a comb, babywipes, bodywash, alcohol gel, and deodorant at my locker.
    The rack pack/pannier serves as my storage for tools, spare tubes(2), patches, jacket, pumps, bottle battery pack for the cygo lite. etc.
    I still sometimes carry my camelback trailblazer to store my food for dinnerbreaks
    I just dont put water in it. I carry a 24oz Insulated Polar H2Obottle. Thats all I need.
    Night riding is really cool. It makes my ride faster.

    Enjoy the ride and be safe.
  • 05-03-2008
    I work three days a week (12.5 hour days) and started commuting in on my Friday. It's 33 miles RT. I leave at 4 am and my commute is an 1100 ft elevation loss on the way in and subsequently 1100 ft gain on the way home. I too thought about converting my SS into a commuter but bought a fixie instead. I average about a flat every other week so some Specialized Armadillos are in my future.

    I echo what everyone else suggested...prepare the night before so you can get up and go. Luckily, I have a locker and showers at work so I just throw my stuff in my commuter backpack I got at REI (it's perfect) and go. I have two flashers on the back, lots of reflective tape on my helmet, rear of the seat tube, etc, and a headlight in the front. Luckily there's not too much traffic at 4am.

    The fixie turned out to be a much better workout than I expected...especially going downhill. I really look forward to my commute at the end of my week. It's the perfect way to start my weekend!

    Good luck and have fun.
  • 05-08-2008
    Thanks for all the tips guys. I have done so far two days of commuting and loving it so far!!
  • 05-08-2008
    rodar y rodar
    Cool! 24 miles each way? In your two days, you did about a month`s worth of my commute. Good job!
  • 05-08-2008
    yup 24miles each way, lots of fun thought.