First commute tomorrow!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    First commute tomorrow!

    Tomorrow I will be doing my first commute to work it will be about 31 miles round trip some hilly sections and some flats. I am excited and nervous. The last time I tested the route my chain snapped at mile 15. I had my LBS do a complete drive train tune up so I am ready to go!


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  2. #2
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    Good luck, watch out for crazy drivers

  3. #3
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    Awesome miles. I'm only doing between 7 and 18 a day total commuting. Good luck!
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  4. #4
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    Well the commute to work was great did a good 16.56 miles I swapped my chain ring to a 42 tooth instead of the 36 that was on it gave me an increase of 2 mph. Sadly tho I will not be commuting home because I realized I have no lights so the wife is picking me up and we are going to rei to pick up some Cheops. First commute tomorrow!-imageuploadedbytapatalk1349136841.405185.jpg
    Here is where she sat all day


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  5. #5
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    ... and if we just ... Welcome to the...

    wonderful world of bike commuting. Good for you. I have been commuting by bike since 2004, rain or shine, and love it. My routes are anywhere from 8 miles or more depending on route. I can get as little at 16 or up over 60 depending on the amount of light.

    Speaking of lights. This is one area I recommend folks not skimp. I don't mean you have to buy the spendy-est (is that even a word ) set of lights but it is crucial to see and be seen.

    I have a Magicshine (one of "900 lumens") lights on my helmet and just ordered a MJ816E for my handlebars. Might be overkill but I will also get use of them on the trail and commuting either early morning or late night. Check out the lighting forum for some ideas and suggestions.

    Keep it up.

    Tom

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    Well the commute to work was great did a good 16.56 miles I swapped my chain ring to a 42 tooth instead of the 36 that was on it gave me an increase of 2 mph. Sadly tho I will not be commuting home because I realized I have no lights so the wife is picking me up and we are going to rei to pick up some Cheops. Click image for larger version. 

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    Here is where she sat all day
    Nice job. You bike is kind of a tank though. For sure it gives you a good workout, but some Schwalbe Big Apple or Maxxis Hookworm tires will make it roll easier on pavement.

    Quote Originally Posted by OnThaCouch View Post
    Speaking of lights. This is one area I recommend folks not skimp. I don't mean you have to buy the spendy-est (is that even a word ) set of lights but it is crucial to see and be seen.
    +1
    A reflective vest also helps a lot to be visible on the road.
    Ride more!

  7. #7
    weirdo
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    Dang, and on a single speed- please don`t tell me you`ve got a couple miles of 6% grade in those 31 miles! Good job getting in, and good luck with the doubles when you get your lights set up.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    I realized I have no lights so the wife is picking me up and we are going to rei to pick up some Cheops.
    Do they cast a pyramid beam?

  8. #8
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    Well I picked up some lights... Prob not the best but they seem to be really bright and will do the job for now. They cast an oval beam. I rode around the block and they really lit up the street for me. Can't wait to try them out tomorrow. I was thinking about tires the whole way there yesterday. I would love to get this bike really set up. But at the same time I keep debating Just getting a road bike.
    Or I was thinking of buying a whole new wheels set with some street tires that way I could swap when needed.

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    Last edited by prerunner06; 10-02-2012 at 07:36 AM.

  9. #9
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    Kudos! Huzzah! Solid effort to ride that ride on that rig. Do you plan to ride as many days as possible?

    Maybe consider a hybrid bike. I debated my purchase for two months before buying. I am very happy with it...but I'm not going to win any road races, nor be able to do much off road on it. If I could go back and buy over I might opt for a cross bike. I didn't in a million years think I'd be considering doing centuries...I have my sights set on a century next summer now.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    Well I picked up some lights... Prob not the best but they seem to be really bright and will do the job for now. They cast an oval beam. I rode around the block and they really lit up the street for me. Can't wait to try them out tomorrow. I was thinking about tires the whole way there yesterday. I would love to get this bike really set up. But at the same time I keep debating Just getting a road bike.
    Or I was thinking of buying a whole new wheels set with some street tires that way I could swap when needed.

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    I went the multiple wheelset route...works for my studs, knobbies and slicks.

  11. #11
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    I have done the multiple wheelset route too. Works well. But once you have the wheels built, you're that much closer to a whole other bike ...you might as well just keep collecting parts.

    I was impressed at you diving in at that mileage.... then I saw your bike

    Singlespeed, suspension, platform pedals You're a glutton.

    I rode my knobby-tired singlespeed on my 6 mile commute this morning and I enjoy it...but I really have to make myself settle into the pace... coast, coast, coast....pedal pedal. Coast, coast, coast...pedal pedal. I long for gradual climbs so I can maintain a rhythm.


    Oh, and talk to me about your seat height... are you super short? It looks like a normal proportioned human couldn't possibly be in an effecient pedaling position on that bike...not to nitpick
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    Kudos! Huzzah! Solid effort to ride that ride on that rig. Do you plan to ride as many days as possible?

    Maybe consider a hybrid bike. I debated my purchase for two months before buying. I am very happy with it...but I'm not going to win any road races, nor be able to do much off road on it. If I could go back and buy over I might opt for a cross bike. I didn't in a million years think I'd be considering doing centuries...I have my sights set on a century next summer now.
    I do plan on riding 5 days a week right now the wife is sick and just wants me home as fast as possible. Which I understand. I think I am going to pick up some tires just at the moment and see how much they change the ride. Considering I am only a day into commuting I think i should hold off on dreaming of picking up another bike lol.

    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott View Post
    I went the multiple wheelset route...works for my studs, knobbies and slicks.
    any suggestions? Would u recommend picking up complete wheel-sets or building the wheels.

  13. #13
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    I had an MTB commuter several years ago in Colorado Springs. I switched to some inexpensive Performance brand commuter tires, almost slicks and kept them at their max psi (around 80psi)....makes a TREMENDOUS difference.

    I started bicycle commuting on the 19th of July and have not taken the car to work since. I've logged almost 850 miles since then.
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  14. #14
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I have done the multiple wheelset route too. Works well. But once you have the wheels built, you're that much closer to a whole other bike ...you might as well just keep collecting parts.

    I was impressed at you diving in at that mileage.... then I saw your bike

    Singlespeed, suspension, platform pedals You're a glutton.

    I rode my knobby-tired singlespeed on my 6 mile commute this morning and I enjoy it...but I really have to make myself settle into the pace... coast, coast, coast....pedal pedal. Coast, coast, coast...pedal pedal. I long for gradual climbs so I can maintain a rhythm.


    Oh, and talk to me about your seat height... are you super short? It looks like a normal proportioned human couldn't possibly be in an effecient pedaling position on that bike...not to nitpick
    Platforms,single speed, knobby tires is really all I know..., and the seat position I have always had a low seat position my old response comp I actually cut the seat post down an inch to get it lower. But I'm trying to do things right this time... I'm 5'11ish I thought I had the seat at a good height one foot flat on the ground and the other slightly bent? Or do I need to do something else


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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    Platforms,single speed, knobby tires is really all I know..., and the seat position I have always had a low seat position my old response comp I actually cut the seat post down an inch to get it lower. But I'm trying to do things right this time... I'm 5'11ish I thought I had the seat at a good height one foot flat on the ground and the other slightly bent? Or do I need to do something else


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    Feet on the ground has nothing to do with proper saddle height. You need to sit on the bike in normal riding position with feet on the pedals. With one pedal at 12 o'clock and one at 6 o'clock. The leg on the pedal at 6 o'clock should be almost fully extended, but with your knee just slightly bent.
    You're not going to ever really get a good pedaling position on that bike though as its geo is that of a dirt jumper... I commend you for commuting that far on it though.
    I'd recommend a used road bike from your local Craigslist. You can grab an old steel framed road bike for prob around $300 and it'd cut you commute time/effort down considerably.
    Also, SPAM alert: I have a 1500 lumen and a 600 lumen Niterider lights I'm trying to off load right now if you're looking for a nice light. PM me if interested.
    Have fun on your commute!
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  17. #17
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    I think the standard measure is how close to a full leg extension you are at the lowest point of your pedal stroke...forget about the ground, it has nothing to do with your position on the bike... I've always shot for just short of a full knee extension at the lowest point of the pedal rotation. This would put your seat much higher relative to your handlebars, and eleminate some of that straight upright position you probably have... making you more effecient in terms of wind resistance as well as muscle efficiency.


    Edit: ^^ Beat me to it, but apparently I'm not far off...
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy View Post
    I have done the multiple wheelset route too. Works well. But once you have the wheels built, you're that much closer to a whole other bike ...you might as well just keep collecting parts.
    ^^Something to be said for that! Multiple wheelsets sure is nice though, and less expensive. Until you go back to drooling over the rest of the multiple bike.

    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    I thought I had the seat at a good height one foot flat on the ground and the other slightly bent? Or do I need to do something else
    Lower your bottom bracket a couple inches?
    Most people go by the relation between saddle and pedals with no regards to where the ground is. The usual starting point is for the saddle height to have your knee slightly bent when your foot is in riding position on the downward pedal, adjust from there to what feels good. If you google up "bike fit", you`ll run into a lot more detail on it, but that`s pretty much what it boils down to.

    And don`t let anybody talk you out of your platform pedals if you like `em!

    EDIT: Whoops, beat to it twice!

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeCOLORADO View Post
    I didn't in a million years think I'd be considering doing centuries...I have my sights set on a century next summer now.
    Uh-oh! Now it`s out and can`t be recalled
    Don`t forget your camera!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    Platforms,single speed, knobby tires is really all I know..., and the seat position I have always had a low seat position my old response comp I actually cut the seat post down an inch to get it lower. But I'm trying to do things right this time... I'm 5'11ish I thought I had the seat at a good height one foot flat on the ground and the other slightly bent? Or do I need to do something else


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    Wow, no, that is a VERY LOW seat height. That would be great for gnarly downhill mountain biking, but not for road commuting. Usually you would end up with your feet barely touching on tip-toes to put you in an ideal pedaling position. You still want a little flex to your knee when pedaling and your foot is in the downward, 6:00 position, but not much flex. On the other hand, you shouldn't be so high up that your hips have to rock to pedal.

    Since your seat is so low currently, I might suggest not going up quite as high as I may have mine, for example (barely touch tip toe) because you will likely hate it and maybe pull a hamstring or something! But try raising it at least where both feet are touching while bent, halfway between tiptoe and flat footed. Do a few rides like that, then slowly raise it by several mm at a time after that.

    I second all the responses above being impressed that you are jumping in to a long commute with that rig. More power to you!

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Uh-oh! Now it`s out and can`t be recalled
    Don`t forget your camera!
    The dark side is calling, it is drawing me in.

    Well...due in part to the fact that I absolutely love to ride bikes yet there is really no true "mountain biking" anywhere near here...I'm spinning pedals on asphalt and concrete.
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  22. #22
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    Thanks for all the suggestions guys, and for all the props. I didn't think I was doing something that hard. I knew it was not the best set up but it's what I had to work with. I am going to adjust my seat when I get home. And the way I see it if I can cut my time down to an hour on this bike and switch to a road/better bike for commuting I would be blazing fast.


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  23. #23
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    Looks like ya work at an automotive shop? Me too

    Been doing it for a few yrs. And all the guys still ask when I'm gonna get a cheap car....i just pedal on.

    Great miles btw keep it up!

  24. #24
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    Commuting, like most disciplines of cycling, has a voracious appetite for gear, we must sacrifice $$$ to the beast to keep it happy . Good on ya' though, that's one heck of a commute! I can second the opinion on the Forté tires. Wore out on set and bought another. Good luck!

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikemike575 View Post
    Looks like ya work at an automotive shop? Me too

    Been doing it for a few yrs. And all the guys still ask when I'm gonna get a cheap car....i just pedal on.

    Great miles btw keep it up!
    Yeah I work for land rover. I actually just sold my 05 Jetta GLI and picked up an 84 volvo 240 so I wouldn't have a payment then figured why not save more and work out and start riding!


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  26. #26
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    Forté Metro Road and MTB Tires - City Bike Tires
    -----
    I have been using these for commuting, great tires for the price. I have only had one flat so far.

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    Yeah I work for land rover.
    Sweet. I had a Disco 1. Can't afford a newer one
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  28. #28
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    kudos for doing that commute on a bike hardly built for commuting. I found that when I got a bike that was built for the job, the commute became a lot more enjoyable. Unfortunately I'm in Texas so that means it's ridiculously hot most of the year (which decreases enjoyment of the commute). Only just recently has it begun to feel nice on my commute. This week is actually the first this season where I've been able to get to work without being drowned in sweat. Last time that happened was back in March.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    Yeah I work for land rover. I actually just sold my 05 Jetta GLI and picked up an 84 volvo 240 so I wouldn't have a payment then figured why not save more and work out and start riding!


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    That's funny, I thought I recognized those tool cabinets. I'm a technician at the dealership in here in Richmond. I've been thinking about commuting since driving a defender in the winter is about as cold as riding a bike.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    kudos for doing that commute on a bike hardly built for commuting. I found that when I got a bike that was built for the job, the commute became a lot more enjoyable. Unfortunately I'm in Texas so that means it's ridiculously hot most of the year (which decreases enjoyment of the commute). Only just recently has it begun to feel nice on my commute. This week is actually the first this season where I've been able to get to work without being drowned in sweat. Last time that happened was back in March.
    Yeah I did my test route at 2 pm on aug 11 in AZ when it was 116-118 out made it to mile 15 and my chain snapped! Right now it's really nice out ( for AZ October) so it's so much nicer no gong threw 2 gal of water for a 2 hour ride

    Oh and tomorrow will be a full ride to work and home! I will have to snap some pics!


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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by prerunner06 View Post
    Yeah I did my test route at 2 pm on aug 11 in AZ when it was 116-118 out made it to mile 15 and my chain snapped!
    Man, you REALLY deserve a medal!

  32. #32
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    The chain didn't snap. It melted.

    I won't commute when it is above 100. Over 90 is uncomfortable but I will do it. Of course, I also have humidity with those temps so it's different than the AZ riding. More like an electric smoker with a water pan and less like a straight up oven.

  33. #33
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    Yeah most the time I feel like a chicken being cooked in a convection oven. Most people call me crazy but I have lived here all my life most my cars never have a/c because I take it off and or just never use it because I prefer the most boost possible from my turbos. So the heat doesn't really get to me. I'm just sick of it so me and the wife are talking about moving to Portland when she is done with school.


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  34. #34
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    I've been commuting for 3 weeks. It's so much better than driving. My route is about 7 miles with about 5 of that on a greenway. I don't think I would enjoy it if it were all on the road... Google Maps bicycle map finder helped me find the route...

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    Yea I take green way from about 19th Ave to 32st I love riding in the little wash From 19th to just passed 7th street tonight I took union hills home great ride today! Oh I did the full 31 miles today! Felt great and loved every min of it!


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