New Commuter - Advice on couple things- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    New Commuter - Advice on couple things

    Picking up a commuter today. First ever road bike - I've only ever ridden mountain bikes (or bikes as a child).

    Couple of questions:

    1) Computer: any recommendations for a commuter version? (would like temp on it at least)

    2) Lock: I do not plan on it being vulnerable long (will not be while at work), but should I go to a store I'd like something that would discourage or outright confound any thief for at least 30 minutes. Any recommendations?

    3) Mirror: I feel dumb asking this but as I've been test riding various commuter versions from my LBS I find myself "checking my 6's" a lot. Guess I'm just not comfortable yet. What say you about the mirrors on helmets/bars? Useful or not so much...

    4) Clipless?: Bike comes stock with toe clips. Getting used to those (putting back versus rotating heels outward). I've got a pair of Crank Bros. Mallets sitting around as well as a pair of Time shoes that work with them. I can walk in them OK. Wondering if I should switch (the Mallets will still allow me just to hop on it w/o bike shoes)?


    Any thoughts on these appreciated in advance. A bit nervous riding in traffic where I live but I'm encouraged to take this plunge by numerous commuter bike paths which are being constructed in my hometown.

    Also, any suggestions on things that may make my commuting better is appreciated.

  2. #2
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    For the lock I would use a light cable lock if you don't plan on leaving it anywhere for an extended period and you didn't drop a ton of money on the bike. The U locks are obviously more secure, but they weigh a ton and you would probably rarely take it with you. Where we are I am fortunate enough to have bike lockers available if I ever need to leave my bike for a long time.

    Pedals, I would use whatever you are using on your mountain bike so there are no compatibility issues. I use Time.

    Computer. I have an Edge 500 that comes with multiple mounts so it goes between bikes. Otherwise just get a cheapy cat eye or something to track your miles.

  3. #3
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I much prefer using platforms with toe clips on my commuter. Totally a preference thing, though - if you can leave a pair of shoes at work, there's no reason not to do clipless.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van-Go
    Picking up a commuter today. First ever road bike - I've only ever ridden mountain bikes (or bikes as a child).

    Couple of questions:

    1) Computer: any recommendations for a commuter version? (would like temp on it at least)Doesn't matter after a while you know the length and time of all your routes and can estimate the temp and wind speed very accurately. Also you have to dress before you go out anyway

    2) Lock: I do not plan on it being vulnerable long (will not be while at work), but should I go to a store I'd like something that would discourage or outright confound any thief for at least 30 minutes. Any recommendations?Big stinking lock leave it where you park the bike, carry a cable lock on the bike. Ask people if you can leave it inside

    3) Mirror: I feel dumb asking this but as I've been test riding various commuter versions from my LBS I find myself "checking my 6's" a lot. Guess I'm just not comfortable yet. What say you about the mirrors on helmets/bars? Useful or not so much...I don't use them I should, but I would probably just knock them off regularly

    4) Clipless?: Bike comes stock with toe clips. Getting used to those (putting back versus rotating heels outward). I've got a pair of Crank Bros. Mallets sitting around as well as a pair of Time shoes that work with them. I can walk in them OK. Wondering if I should switch (the Mallets will still allow me just to hop on it w/o bike shoes)?Gets cleats and shoes set up for walking lots of options


    Any thoughts on these appreciated in advance. A bit nervous riding in traffic where I live but I'm encouraged to take this plunge by numerous commuter bike paths which are being constructed in my hometown.

    Also, any suggestions on things that may make my commuting better is appreciated.
    Commuting is all about knowing your routes, identifing the dangers of each route and mitigating those dangers effectively...pay attention, smarten up , and be careful....all of the time.

  5. #5
    weirdo
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    Computer. I didn`t use one on my comuter until this year when I wanted to start tracking my mileage. Somebody mentioned that once you know your mileage to/from work you can just estimate- true, but I think most of us use our commuters for a lot of other riding. I`ve never seen one with a thermometer, so can`t help you there.

    Lock. Depends entirely on how much you need for your area and your bike. I use a Bell cable lock from Wally`s.

    Mirror. There was a good conversation about them about a month ago, maybe you can dig it up. IMO, they make a good placebo and I like to clip one to my glasses when I`m on a road ride. Since they (glasses mounts) get knocked out of place so easilly, I don`t mess with one for day to day riding. If I didn`t have bar end shifters, I`d probably get a mirror that mounts to the bars and leave it there always.

    Toe clips. They look cool , allow a bigger variety of shoes than clickies, and are a bigger PITA in traffic than clickies. I have clips and straps on my road bike and like them on that ride (except when riding through town), but personally I prefer BMX pedals for my commuter. I used to have clickies on all my bikes, but have pretty much done away with them over the past couple years- there are only a few situations I still use them for.

    Other thoughts. "A bit nervous" is good. Most people get used to traffic even though I doubt any ever actually come to enjoy it. Getting TOO used to it is probably a bad idea. Consider a good blinkie or daytime tail lights even if you don`t ride between dusk and dawn.

    EDIT: Mirror thread
    http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=617932
    Recalculating....

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Van-Go
    Picking up a commuter today. First ever road bike - I've only ever ridden mountain bikes (or bikes as a child).

    Couple of questions:

    1) Computer: any recommendations for a commuter version? (would like temp on it at least)

    2) Lock: I do not plan on it being vulnerable long (will not be while at work), but should I go to a store I'd like something that would discourage or outright confound any thief for at least 30 minutes. Any recommendations?

    3) Mirror: I feel dumb asking this but as I've been test riding various commuter versions from my LBS I find myself "checking my 6's" a lot. Guess I'm just not comfortable yet. What say you about the mirrors on helmets/bars? Useful or not so much...

    4) Clipless?: Bike comes stock with toe clips. Getting used to those (putting back versus rotating heels outward). I've got a pair of Crank Bros. Mallets sitting around as well as a pair of Time shoes that work with them. I can walk in them OK. Wondering if I should switch (the Mallets will still allow me just to hop on it w/o bike shoes)?


    Any thoughts on these appreciated in advance. A bit nervous riding in traffic where I live but I'm encouraged to take this plunge by numerous commuter bike paths which are being constructed in my hometown.

    Also, any suggestions on things that may make my commuting better is appreciated.
    For commuting, I think a basic cateye with distance, mileage,speed and timing will do.

    As for lock, you can try to have a cable lock combine with medium size U-lock to secure yr bike. Most petty bike thieves will be discourage when they saw a U-lock as it proves difficult to cut it. You might need to sacriface a bottle slot for securing yr U-lock when commuting if not, you might have difficulties carrying yr U-lock.

    As for mirror, any additional safety features are widely encourage to add on. Mirror proves to prevent accident in many occasion. Some experience commuter feel comfortable without it, its ok. If you feel need one, please don't hesitate add this features on yr bicycle. Basically, I have one on my commuter.

    For pedal, I just uses a normal MTB platform to save hassle and trouble.

  7. #7
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    Thanks so much for the comments and suggestions folks. Looking forward to getting out of the car a bit more!

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