Getting into commuting- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Getting into commuting

    I will ride 4.5 miles to the train then take the train 41 miles south and complete the final 3.5 miles. The 98 miles a day is killing the pay checks. This is my first office job out of school and its making me fat.... I am ready to change that and bike more. I have been watching CL for any good deal and I found a little pot of gold Road Bike Collection For Sale Today in south Florida. I am leaning for an older road bike. What should I look out for? I found a killer deal on a Surly Steam Roller but its a size too big.
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  2. #2
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    That looks like an interesting place with all those bikes! Your train/bike plan sounds much better than driving. A road bike should work fine as long as the roads are not horrendously poor, in which case you might want something cushier. An older road bike in good condition is a good bet, I'd rather get an older quality bike than a newer low end one.

    If you can google the make/model of one you are interested in you can usually find the original price or what others are selling for to help you judge if one is a good value. Hold a wheel in the air and see if it spins freely and true (not wobbly), handlebars and cranks should turn easily too. A few paint scratches won't hurt, but check for a lot of rust, which sometimes doesn't show on CL ads. Don;t forget to save some $ for lights once it gets light later and dark earlier, plus a few tools, tubes, etc.

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the Advice! I have been looking at the Serfas true 500 for a light. The roads I will be using are in a developed area that the road bike should handle well. I will verify it first a few times on the MTB before I invest in the road bike. One of my major concerns is a steel frame if that opportunity arises. The humidity in South Florida is always high.
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  4. #4
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    What kind of facilities do those trains have for carrying bikes? At what cost, if any?

    In some parts of the world, people go for folding bikes because that is all they can get onto public transportation for free.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  5. #5
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    I was going to check out that same place before I found this lotus from another guy on craigslist.Your just north of me. I ride from Boca to delray. I would definatly recommend a road bike for commuting in south florida. Also, since your using the train, It sounds like you live pretty far east, so there are no dirt roads. The biggest concern is road debris. Just be sure to get some good quality tires and carry a spare tube.
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    Last edited by muayteg; 07-22-2012 at 09:47 AM.

  6. #6
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    Here is the train info . South Florida Regional Transportation Authority (SFRTA) no additional cost for the bike. My specific commute would cost about $100 a month.
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  7. #7
    Still want a fat bike....
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    When I was getting into commuting I read a lot of stuff on the net and one thing I say that kind of made sense was that its not necessarily a bad thing to have a commuter bike that was a size too big so long as the stand over height isn't such that you can't stand over. A larger bike can put you in a more commuter position and not so much racer position. Depends on what you're going for though.
    I am a man of many words. KCCO!

  8. #8
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    Cool idea for a multimodal savings! I sure wish we could load an unboxed bike on the train through my town. In addition to what`s already beed said, I`ll add to watch for plenty of tire clearance and fender room/mounting (it rains a lot there, doesn`t it?) If you can fit at least 38mm/1.5 tires, you`ll be a lot more comfortable and have a much better selection of "tough" tires that won`t be flatting every time you turn around. Rack mounts are nice but you can always find some way to secure one even if it wasn`t designed into the frame.

  9. #9
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    sorry to tack this on to the end of the thread, but for reason's i can't explain i've only ever posted three times?

    aaaanyway. i'm a former mtb'er converting to commuter, and i'll be bastardizing an old trek mountain xc into a commuter. other than a good tune up and the obvious slicks for knobbies swap, what should i look into first? i have a rack that might work... but we'll see. oh yeah, also i'm broke. so cheaper is better.

  10. #10
    local trails rider
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    What you need depends.
    - Climate? Need fenders?
    - Distance? Need a bar that lets you vary your position?
    - Hills? Need gears?

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  11. #11
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    oh right, i guess that would help. in short: Texas. hot, flat, far. ha, it's about 10mi each way, no major hills but several. the roads are pretty terrible, and fenders are probably going to be a must. also it's hot except for 3 days a year.

  12. #12
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    knobbies don't do bad anything awful except make you more fit, so if you want to save a little scratch at first, take care of the fenders first. Bonty and SKS both make superb fenders here and here. You may want to put on "short" bar ends or maybe even the Origin 8 drop bar-ends.

    Think about if you want to attach a rack and panniers to get stuff you need to carry off your back.

    I would look to spend about $100 bringing the bike up to snuff as a commuter.

  13. #13
    since 4/10/2009
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    commuting in TX, I haven't found fenders to be necessary equipment. usually if it's raining, it's a severe storm and I won't ride then, anyway.

    a rack is a bit help to keep back sweat down by putting gear on the bike instead.

    lights and other visibility gear are very important. probably #1, IMO.

    and for the next few months, you'll be dealing with warm temps, so clothing appropriate for sweating in for 20mi each day would be a wise choice.

  14. #14
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    You may already have this covered, but a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers, pump & multi-tool can make the difference between a few minutes delay vs. a long walk and being really late for work.

    It won't be long before you'll need a headlight (&/or helmet light) & taillight.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by wschruba View Post
    I would look to spend about $100 bringing the bike up to snuff as a commuter.
    what are you factoring in there?

    i've got a rack that i think will fit. guess i'll find out.

    nate: true about the downpours, but a lot of the roads are crap and hold h2o and funk so i think fenders would be a good investment to avoid brown striping. and i'm planning on sweating, there's no other option in tx in august. the high vis clothing is a good idea though, wouldn't have thought of that.

    mtbx: i do have a spare kit, never leave home w/o it! and i've been using a headlamp, but i'll probably need to look into real head/tail lights.

  16. #16
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    Yup, the lights might or might not be necessary for you to see. You need them to be noticed. Hi-vis clothing often has reflective areas and some reflective material on the bike doesn't hurt either.

    "it IS possible that you are faster or slower than anybody else who is having at least as much if not more or less fun"

  17. #17
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    For hi-vis, I use t-shirts made by 3M. You can get them at Lowes, of Home Depot, and other hardware/home improvement stores. Road crew and construction people use them so when I commute at night, I think they work better than a reflective vest. They run in the neighborhood of $20 each and are comfortable, and breathe well. You'll also want to look into some compression shorts to keep your "junk" out of the way and wick away sweat, so to avoid stink and rashes that cotton will give you. Walmart, Kmart, Target, Ross, Academy Sports and others carry them and if you look you should find them for about $10-15 or even less if your lucky. You won't need them right this second, but they should definitely be high on your list.
    The ridiculousness of cycling clothes increase exponentially in relation to the distance from your bicycle.

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