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  1. #1
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    First Commuter

    I am moving to Portland, OR soon and I am going to start commuting to work daily. I have been researching bikes and have come to somewhat of a conclusion on what I want. I would rather build something but I just dont have the time. I have a budget of 1000 dollars and have decided on a bike. It is the Marin Muirwoods 29er. Is this going to be a good choice? I can get one for 629 out the door at my LBS nand have money left over for fenders, a rack, pedals, and a few other odds and ends. Im wondering what any of your opinions are cocerning this bike?

    http://www.marinbikes.com/2010/bike_...?serialnum=885
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    since it's a commuter, why not by something used that you're not afraid of getting stolen? i've seen a few chromo 29ers on craigslist for real cheap. you can use all that extra cash to upgrade your rig!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adrien
    since it's a commuter, why not by something used that you're not afraid of getting stolen? i've seen a few chromo 29ers on craigslist for real cheap. you can use all that extra cash to upgrade your rig!

    My bike will be stored inside while at work, so theft is not a huge concern for me. I want something new. Ill be commuting 15 miles each way so reliability is of utmost importance. I dont want someone elses problem. I have the money and I like it and can set it up pretty sweet. Just wanted to know if anyone has any experience with one.

  4. #4
    weirdo
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    No experience with that bike, but it looks pretty sweet to me. Portland proof brakes, rigid fork, rack mounts, decent price... not much to fault it for.
    Recalculating....

  5. #5
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    For me, 15 miles is a long ride to do on the road on flat bars.

    A good friend of mine commutes on a Kona Jake with fenders and disco lights. It's a 'cross bike, so it's got lots of clearance for them and the brakes are (arguably) more forgiving of rain.

    The Kona Dew Drop also fascinates me as a good option.
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide18
    I am moving to Portland, OR soon and I am going to start commuting to work daily. I have been researching bikes and have come to somewhat of a conclusion on what I want. I would rather build something but I just dont have the time. I have a budget of 1000 dollars and have decided on a bike. It is the Marin Muirwoods 29er. Is this going to be a good choice? I can get one for 629 out the door at my LBS nand have money left over for fenders, a rack, pedals, and a few other odds and ends. Im wondering what any of your opinions are cocerning this bike?

    http://www.marinbikes.com/2010/bike_...?serialnum=885

    Work on the dealer to throw in as much of the bike porn has you can get him to, usually a better deal than any other way.

  7. #7
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    Pull the trigger, that's an awesome bike!
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  8. #8
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    Ill be picking it up tomorow. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for fenders and a rack that will fit on a 29er. Ill also be switching out the cranks for a set of stylos that I have. Other than that the bike seems good to go. It is somewhat heavy, so Ill end slapping a lighter cassette and maybe some carbon bars and seatpost. Is tubeless advisable on a commuter?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide18
    Ill be picking it up tomorow. I was wondering if anyone has any suggestions for fenders and a rack that will fit on a 29er. Ill also be switching out the cranks for a set of stylos that I have. Other than that the bike seems good to go. It is somewhat heavy, so Ill end slapping a lighter cassette and maybe some carbon bars and seatpost. Is tubeless advisable on a commuter?
    Planet Bike makes a fender.
    http://ecom1.planetbike.com/7029.html
    SKS is another company that makes lots of fenders. Their 700c fenders go up to a 45mm tire width, so depending on how wide you want your tires, those may be appropriate.
    http://www.sks-germany.com/sks.php?l...t&i=6409800121
    I have two sets of Planet Bike fenders - one set of the clip-on kind for my fast road bike and a set of Cascadia fenders for my commuter. SKS is a little better-regarded in my area, but they're also more expensive. I have SKS fenders for my mountain bike but they're the off-road style that sits far away from the tire. They work well for what they are, but they're nothing like full fenders. Either company's full fenders should be fine.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  10. #10
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    Looks like a sweet solid ride. Bonus points for flat black. I started that trend, you know.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
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    (no excuse for that either)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    Looks like a sweet solid ride. Bonus points for flat black. I started that trend, you know.
    I like the Indie Stealth Fighter look. I have always liked understatment when it comes to bikes.

  12. #12
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    Well then allow me to whore out my creation for your awe and approval:
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails First Commuter-picture2.jpg  

    You have no excuse for driving to work
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  13. #13
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    That bike looks great to me. My next commuter will be an urbanized 29er. No tubeless, you're going to want high pressure tires for less rolling resistance and that defeats the purpose of tubeless. Get BRIGHT lights, good fenders, and waterproof panniers. Also get your personal clothing in order. You're going to want warm-when-wet tights, a solid rain jacket, and a variety of wicking shirts to adjust for the temp of the day. I"m south of Portland in the valley. It rains here... a lot. The good news is that it doesn't get really cold, just wet and dark.

    I'm gonna stress bright lights again. The latitude and permanent cloud cover conspire to blot out the sun by 4:30ish in the mid winter, and the rain adds to the lack of visibility for drivers. Light yourself up like a rave-tent at Burning Man.

    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    A good friend of mine commutes on a Kona Jake with fenders and disco lights. It's a 'cross bike, so it's got lots of clearance for them and the brakes are (arguably) more forgiving of rain.
    I'm confused. That Kona has cantilever brakes which are in fact, the shytiest brakes available. I realize that the Marin comes with Hayes mechies and that Avids would be preferable, but I just can't wrap my brain around how cantis would function better in the rain.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    That bike looks great to me. My next commuter will be an urbanized 29er. No tubeless, you're going to want high pressure tires for less rolling resistance and that defeats the purpose of tubeless. Get BRIGHT lights, good fenders, and waterproof panniers. Also get your personal clothing in order. You're going to want warm-when-wet tights, a solid rain jacket, and a variety of wicking shirts to adjust for the temp of the day. I"m south of Portland in the valley. It rains here... a lot. The good news is that it doesn't get really cold, just wet and dark.

    I'm gonna stress bright lights again. The latitude and permanent cloud cover conspire to blot out the sun by 4:30ish in the mid winter, and the rain adds to the lack of visibility for drivers. Light yourself up like a rave-tent at Burning Man.



    I'm confused. That Kona has cantilever brakes which are in fact, the shytiest brakes available. I realize that the Marin comes with Hayes mechies and that Avids would be preferable, but I just can't wrap my brain around how cantis would function better in the rain.

    Thanx for the advice. Im actually moving to Oregon City so my commute will be from there to Portland. Im not overly thrilled with the Haye's Mech's but considering how BB7's are it is something I can swap out if the need arises. So instead of tubeless would you at least recomend some MR. Tuffies to line my tires? Any suggestions for a good light set? I asume your talking about headlights and and rear blinker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    Well then allow me to whore out my creation for your awe and approval:
    Sweet ride there commuter.

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    CB, I see a cassette, RD, and what looks like a derailler cable, but I don`t see any shifter. How are you managing that? The front is generally a single with finger shifted bail out ring?
    Recalculating....

  17. #17
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    Yes on the front...it's a road double crankset, no front D. I only use the big ring on the commute, so I manually drop it down when I want to tackle a hill climb on the rare weekend.

    The rear is an 8 speed mtb trigger shift... an old shimano LX. It's mounted way inside, just to the right of the stem. You can see the thumb lever and part of the indicator window in this pic. The bulk of it looks like part of the stem in the pic I posted above because of the angle.

    Sorry for the hijack darkslide...
    on the tire liners, I'd reccomend tuffies ofer any other type... I tried the 'slime' ones and they actually cut my tubes...no tapered edge like the tuffies. I don't know if it's too wet in Portland for 'goatheads' or not, but if you have them, liners will help a lot.

    A relatively inexpensive blinky taillight that everyone swears by is the Planet Bike Superflash. It's in the $25 range, but if you want better, you're going to have to pay for a Dinotte.
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  18. #18
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    Do it

    i really like the geometry. it may be a bit of a anchor but you can always swap stuff out later.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by darkslide18
    Thanx for the advice. Im actually moving to Oregon City so my commute will be from there to Portland. Im not overly thrilled with the Haye's Mech's but considering how BB7's are it is something I can swap out if the need arises. So instead of tubeless would you at least recomend some MR. Tuffies to line my tires? Any suggestions for a good light set? I asume your talking about headlights and and rear blinker.
    Personally I think the hayes mechs will be fine for commuting. Like you said though, if you hate them they can easily be swapped out.

    As for lights there are tons of options. You will probably want more than one rear blinker. I use two planet bike superflash lights. One on the rear rack and one on my backpack. Traffic here is pretty chill though, if I was in Portland I might get another one for the helmet, or perhaps buy one of the brighter rear lights such as a Dinotte.

    I use a niterider minewt x2 on the front. It was $200 but a great light for commuting and trails as well. However, the new Magic Shine lights are $85 and much brighter. I'll be buying on soon for trail riding, but if I didn't already have a commuter light I would use it for that as well. They have three settings and a flash mode so It would be great for getting around town. Reflective stickers and clothing are also nice.

    I don't run tire liners and I've only had one commuting flat in 3 years. The streets of corvallis might be cleaner than the streets in portland though. My only advice is to get high pressure tires that are a little thick. I run Kenda Kwests (26in only) and love them for the price. There are several good threads on commuter tires, but Shwalbe Big Apples come up a lot. I am a little skeptical though since they only go up to 70 psi.

    So where are you moving from?
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    I'm confused. That Kona has cantilever brakes which are in fact, the shytiest brakes available. I realize that the Marin comes with Hayes mechies and that Avids would be preferable, but I just can't wrap my brain around how cantis would function better in the rain.
    I'm not especially into the cantilevers myself, although they're much more tunable than people give them credit for. The advantages are that they're compatible with a road lever and leave room for fenders or mud depending on the intended use of the bike. I'd much rather spend a long commute on drop bars than flats, and if that means having to replace the shoes and spend a little more time tuning a set of cantilevers, I can live with that.

    Of course, the Dew Drop wouldn't have any of those problems, and it's super-easy to bend a fender stay around a disc caliper... I haven't had an opportunity to ride one, though.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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    ^^ I've run mechanical discs on both drop bars and bullhorns with time trial levers on my current bike. Compatible with road levers, room for fenders/mud... best of both worlds for sure.

    Lots of 'cross bikes don't have disc mounts because disc brakes aren't legal for pro level 'cross races....which is completely weird, but whatever. There are exceptions out there, but most high end 'cross bikes are only set up for canti's. I shopped around a lot before I found a 'cross frame that had disc tabs, because it's worth it.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    I'm not especially into the cantilevers myself, although they're much more tunable than people give them credit for. The advantages are that they're compatible with a road lever and leave room for fenders or mud depending on the intended use of the bike. I'd much rather spend a long commute on drop bars than flats, and if that means having to replace the shoes and spend a little more time tuning a set of cantilevers, I can live with that.

    Of course, the Dew Drop wouldn't have any of those problems, and it's super-easy to bend a fender stay around a disc caliper... I haven't had an opportunity to ride one, though.
    FYI, Avid makes "road" BB7's which work with standard road levers. I agree that cantis are very tunable, its just a giant pain in the ass. I run V-brakes on my SS 700c using road levers on mustache bars and Travel Agents.
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  23. #23
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    What's the difference between "road" BB7's and the normal BB7's I used last year on my road bars with road levers?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogbrain
    Personally I think the hayes mechs will be fine for commuting. Like you said though, if you hate them they can easily be swapped out.

    As for lights there are tons of options. You will probably want more than one rear blinker. I use two planet bike superflash lights. One on the rear rack and one on my backpack. Traffic here is pretty chill though, if I was in Portland I might get another one for the helmet, or perhaps buy one of the brighter rear lights such as a Dinotte.

    I use a niterider minewt x2 on the front. It was $200 but a great light for commuting and trails as well. However, the new Magic Shine lights are $85 and much brighter. I'll be buying on soon for trail riding, but if I didn't already have a commuter light I would use it for that as well. They have three settings and a flash mode so It would be great for getting around town. Reflective stickers and clothing are also nice.

    I don't run tire liners and I've only had one commuting flat in 3 years. The streets of corvallis might be cleaner than the streets in portland though. My only advice is to get high pressure tires that are a little thick. I run Kenda Kwests (26in only) and love them for the price. There are several good threads on commuter tires, but Shwalbe Big Apples come up a lot. I am a little skeptical though since they only go up to 70 psi.

    So where are you moving from?
    I have been in California for the past 3 months after my Divorce. I was living in Utah before that. But I am a California Native. So tell me, how good is the MTBing in Oregon? I was spoiled in Utah. As far as lights go my main concern is weather. I want something that is waterproof. I have decided to hold off on purchasing the bike untill I get up there. I have sourced a few LBS's that either have one in stock or can order me one. I have enough crap to pack and I dont really want to dick with another bike. As far as tires go, I want something that works good in the wet.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CommuterBoy
    What's the difference between "road" BB7's and the normal BB7's I used last year on my road bars with road levers?
    As I understand it, it's a different amount of mechanical advantage. Road levers don't pull a lot of cable but do it with a lot of force; V-brake levers have to pull significantly more cable to operate V-brakes, but don't apply as much force. (Or maybe I'm reversing the distinction.) Anyway, mechanical disc brakes and V-brakes can be tuned to more-or-less work with either lever, but V-brakes on road levers are supposed to be require brilliantly maintained rims not to drag and have very poor modulation. I haven't tried it.

    I use my 'cross bike exclusively for racing, so while I don't think USA Cycling cares enough about my class to enforce the brake rule, it also seems a little silly to race on equipment that I wouldn't be allowed to use if I miraculously woke up a pro. Since upgrading to a V-brake cartridge shoe, I've gotten better performance from the 'cross bike, and easily enough power to skid the wheels on dirt - not as good as discs or sidepulls, but more than good enough for 'cross. I anticipate more improvement when I wear out the current pads and replace them with Kool Stops.

    The Dew Drop interests me because it's a sub-$1000 disc/drop bike. The Trek Portland and the old disc LeMond are sweet but expensive rides. I think that we're going to see more and more road disc bikes over time, although the weight and UCI rules are likely to keep them off of bikes targeted at racers.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  26. #26
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    Huh. It makes sense I guess... although I have used the same Avid mechanical discs (one of them is a BB7, one is an old school BBDB...first generation mechanical disc) with mountain levers, road levers, and now time trial levers... on 3 different kinds of bars, and I've never noticed a difference in set up or performance.
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  27. #27
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    Well well. If you are moving into Oregon Shitty, I'm proud of you. I've commuted in Portland a bit, and there are some things I'll pass on as best I might. The first thing is that the fenders and lights are a must. Even if you are commuting in the day, the days are gray and the roads are fairly consistently wet (not this week though- whoo!).

    Going from OC to Portland won't mean a ton of hills. I'd get the Marin Hamilton- it would save you some serious bones and be just as sweet. For commuting, I think cantilevers, linear and disc brakes will stop you very quickly. I think cantis tend to squeak and can be a real pain to set up and disc brakes are expensive and make fenders and racks a hassle. A great set of linear brakes and pads is relatively inexpensive, will work with most fenders and racks, are easy to set up and will stop your ass fast.

    Now tires. I get the 29er as commuter thought- upright is nice for around town, the tire choice is fantastic. I don't think air pressure is your enemy. With what you are looking at, you can pick from fat slicks, fat knobbies, cross tires, touring tires and road tires. If you get larger tires, you'll go slower, but you'll be able to ignore crappy pavement, go off the beaten path. Skinny tires will let you haul and won't be as much work to keep up a rapid pace. However, in Autumn you'll have to be careful as leaves and branches litter the Portland roadways, especially the bike lanes.

    I hate pushing a fat 29er slick on a commute. I had a Surly KM set up with the Big Apples 2.0 for a winter. The tires are amazing- you go ~2 miles slower on flats and you can roll over branches without feeling a thing. You can also hit a hill and feel like you've stopped. I use my commuter for all my longer road rides and fat tires suck energy. I ride 23-28mm most of the time.

    Which brings me to my last point. You don't need puncture protection. We're not in TN, we're in Portland. Most of the roads are fairly clear, garbage on the side of the roads is rare, whatever. I buy 20 dollar tires, wear them through and get a flat or two over the tire's life. What you need to look for is glass shards. Every week I spin through my tires with a knife in hand and pick the pieces out of the tire. Wet seems to pick up road debris, so small shards tend to settle in.

    I think that is it. Feel free to PM or hit me up if you have any further questions. I'm in Eugene now, so I can't show you the ropes, but if you go south, I'll show you some of the good trails in this area (and there are a lot).

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    Well well. If you are moving into Oregon Shitty, I'm proud of you. I've commuted in Portland a bit, and there are some things I'll pass on as best I might. The first thing is that the fenders and lights are a must. Even if you are commuting in the day, the days are gray and the roads are fairly consistently wet (not this week though- whoo!).

    Going from OC to Portland won't mean a ton of hills. I'd get the Marin Hamilton- it would save you some serious bones and be just as sweet. For commuting, I think cantilevers, linear and disc brakes will stop you very quickly. I think cantis tend to squeak and can be a real pain to set up and disc brakes are expensive and make fenders and racks a hassle. A great set of linear brakes and pads is relatively inexpensive, will work with most fenders and racks, are easy to set up and will stop your ass fast.

    Now tires. I get the 29er as commuter thought- upright is nice for around town, the tire choice is fantastic. I don't think air pressure is your enemy. With what you are looking at, you can pick from fat slicks, fat knobbies, cross tires, touring tires and road tires. If you get larger tires, you'll go slower, but you'll be able to ignore crappy pavement, go off the beaten path. Skinny tires will let you haul and won't be as much work to keep up a rapid pace. However, in Autumn you'll have to be careful as leaves and branches litter the Portland roadways, especially the bike lanes.

    I hate pushing a fat 29er slick on a commute. I had a Surly KM set up with the Big Apples 2.0 for a winter. The tires are amazing- you go ~2 miles slower on flats and you can roll over branches without feeling a thing. You can also hit a hill and feel like you've stopped. I use my commuter for all my longer road rides and fat tires suck energy. I ride 23-28mm most of the time.

    Which brings me to my last point. You don't need puncture protection. We're not in TN, we're in Portland. Most of the roads are fairly clear, garbage on the side of the roads is rare, whatever. I buy 20 dollar tires, wear them through and get a flat or two over the tire's life. What you need to look for is glass shards. Every week I spin through my tires with a knife in hand and pick the pieces out of the tire. Wet seems to pick up road debris, so small shards tend to settle in.

    I think that is it. Feel free to PM or hit me up if you have any further questions. I'm in Eugene now, so I can't show you the ropes, but if you go south, I'll show you some of the good trails in this area (and there are a lot).

    Whats wrong with Oregon City? Either way, it is temporary, I'm staying with a buddy until I I can find a place and get settled in. Probably in Portland proper. Or If I can find work I would like to end up somewhere like Bend or Eugene. As far as my tires go, I plan on running fairly skinny tires. I want to be able to book it. I dont see a point in running fats. If I wanted to do that I could save alot of money and throw fat slicks on my Enduro. Either way, thanks alot for the Info, I would love to be shown some trails and meet some other riders. I hope I dont catch too much **** for being a Californian. I plan on assimilating as fast as possible. And I dont plan on driving up real estate

  29. #29
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    Just the nickname. I've never lived there. Hopefully you will love Oregon.

  30. #30
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    Darkside,

    I live and commute in Portland year-round on an old Specialized Hardrock that is modified for commuting. If you plan on working in the city center, lock you ride up indoors. Bike theft is an epidemic in Portland; they will steal anything that is not locked down, including components and wheels.

    I think you have a decent choice for riding. As you said, you are going for skinny tires, which I have also, but consider buying tires with a Kevlar lining or something similar. I cannot tell you how many flats that I got the winter I rode cheap Panaracer tires (Urban Max).

    Now you have to invest in clothing. Figure on at least $200 to $300 on clothes and shoes to start. You need winter specific gloves, jacket, pants/shorts, shoes and/or covers, etc. I have several different gloves depending on the weather. The winter here is either raining and 40 degrees or cold and windy but dry in the 20's (like today). Once in a while you will have to deal with snow and/or ice too. It all can be done, but I have found that clothing and gloves that fit the weather is best. For example today, cold and windy at 20 degrees, I wore tights under Zoic Knickers, base layer under a Performance winter jersey, under Gore Windbreaker jacket with covers over my shoes, wool gloves under windstopper gloves, and fleece cap under my helmet. If it were a typical rainy day I would sweat to death with all of that on.

    Check out the Oregon Forum. There are some discussion going on concerning shoes and jackets. You can also ask questions and review the sticky there concerning riding in Oregon.

    Also, being a Californian in Oregon is now marginally okay, because there are so many here already. Just be cool and don't bring the California self-centered un-social attitude with you . Not that you are that way…I don’t know you. I lived in Nor Cal for six years and was very happy to leave. Portland and Eugene are very laid back, informal places to live. Bend is cool and has great riding, but has a lot more of the Cal Bay Area influences from so many people bailing out and moving to Bend. Much of the new development has some of that Marin County feel to it. Portland is like a small, laid back version of San Francisco.

    This all just my opinion, so judge for yourself. When you get here look up our organization at www.nw-trail.org and hook up with us for a ride.
    I ride at ludicrous speed

  31. #31
    Calm like a Bomb
    Reputation: stunzeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    1,070
    great thread...I am also moving to Oregon eventually and will be commuting since we will be a 1 car house. I am looking for a commuter and bike and i can ride on group rides so i dont have to bring my nice carbon look out

    So I need to get something dual purpose, I am considering a CX bike and possibly a SS since I am thinking it will be cheaper and easier to maintain

  32. #32
    Bedwards Of The West
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    5,451
    I'm a huge fan of the CX obviously. If you want to be able to go on group rides, I wouldn't do SS.

    I'm a big fan of my set-up...I have a road double crankset up front, but no front D...I keep it in the big ring, and drop it down manually for big hills on the weekends. So it's basically a 1x8 set-up...mountain bike rear cassette, with an XT derailleur. It's pretty maintenance free and it gives you some gear options for when you're riding with other people or different terrain.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

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