Should I get another bike for commuting to work?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Should I get another bike for commuting to work?

    I used to own a low-end mtb which I used for almost every kind of riding, including commutes. I got 6 years from it. Until, it got stolen.

    I wanted to experience "real" mountain biking and improve my riding so after a month-long contemplation, I got my first "real" mountainbike (which is quite expensive because I went over budget by twice as much as I intended to shell out). Now it's been 4 months and I'm enjoying it immensely. I've also ridden it commuting to work. However, I fear that it might get stolen or some bad guys might just "ambush" me on the streets and take it from me.

    Should I get another bike for commuting?

    I can only allot $200 for a beater bike. But getting it has implications.
    PROs:
    1. A beater bike is not eye candy for thieves, eliminating my worries of losing it
    2. A beater bike can have cheaper tires, simple drivetrain (perhaps single-speed) and brakes.
    3. Riding a beater bike will help prevent unnecessary wear to my high-end mountain bike
    CONs:
    1. A beater bike is additional cost, additional maintenance, additional space occupier
    2. A beater bike is not fun to ride, does not inspire me to ride it everyday and cheap parts are a safety risk.
    3. Riding a beater bike means I have to leave my mtb in my apartment where it could be stolen by burglars.

    Please help. Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    Absolutely. Start scouring craigslist now.

  3. #3
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    Absolutely. Start scouring craigslist now.






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  4. #4
    local trails rider
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    How long is that commute?

    A beater can be fun to ride too. You just need to find the right one, and/or fix it up to work right for you.

  5. #5
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    Get a beater commuter because you will be absolutely livid if your new pride and joy got stolen. I guess it depends on how serious your commute is but you can get cruisers for dirt cheap (at least in SoCal, may be different for different areas?) and the maintinence is practically nothing. If your commute is more serious you can get an older road bike or a single speed road bike which would have minimal maintinence.

    I guess you'll have to describe what type of commute you have, ie; how far, terrain, weather, etc. For $200 you can actually get a decent commuter, you just have to be patient ans search craigslist.

  6. #6
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    About the commute..

    It's about 7.5miles (12km) one way. Mostly traffic-congested streets. No bike lanes. Tropical and erratic weather (either too hot or rainy). Road bikes are not my option because I dont want a crouched posture and the tires may be too skinny for me.

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    local trails rider
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    Older, like early 90's, rigid mountain bikes can make pretty handy commuter/town bikes.

    Mine is a 1992 Specialized Hard Rock Sport (needs a new seat post before I can ride it again).

    One clear advantage of a separate commuter/errand bike is that you can keep slick or semi slick tires on it. Knobby tires are no fun on streets.

  8. #8
    Five is right out
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    Get a beater. Another option is an 80s-era road bike- good ones can typically had on ebay for $150.
    Since when did the phrase "invest in" come to mean the same as "buy"?

  9. #9

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    Found an early 80's Trek roadie at Salvation Army for $15. Little elbow grease and some spray paint and it's presentable, if it gets stolen I'm not out much except the time I put into fixing it up. Roadie riding position may not be ideal, but it's doable once you get used to it.

    Bottom line, get something you're comfortable on, that you enjoy riding. I rode an MTB with slicks on it for years, got the roadie 'cause, 1) it was a good find, and b) it fit better, and last, it was $15. Heck, it had 105 components on it, they were worth more than $15 themselves.

    Good luck.

  10. #10
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    Do it! You should be able to find any style used bike you like (short of titanium or carbon frames) in your budget. Don't forget pawn shops. There are tons of good used bikes out there.
    "I don't suffer from insanity!I rather enjoy it."

  11. #11
    Older than I feel
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    Yes, get a 2nd bike for the commute. You'd have to make too many compromises to have the same bike work well on the trails and the street. Besides, I find great joy in riding one of the best maintained beaters in town.
    Work is the curse of the biking classes.

  12. #12
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    Don't get a road bike if you need to be hopping curbs or anything like that. I ride my roadie to school and I cringe everytime I have to go over any bump over a few inches high. I'd say get some sort of urban/mtn/hybrid type bike that will take 26 inch tires and throw on some semi-slick type tires.

    With your price you should still be able get a decent bike for your money with just a bit of searching.

  13. #13
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    A hardtail MTB with a stiff (minimal sag) fork and slicks works nicely, as it's a good, durable bike, pedals well, is efficient, but has some front suspension for the big potholes, etc.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumgearsolid
    I used to own a low-end mtb which I used for almost every kind of riding, including commutes. I got 6 years from it. Until, it got stolen.

    I wanted to experience "real" mountain biking and improve my riding so after a month-long contemplation, I got my first "real" mountainbike (which is quite expensive because I went over budget by twice as much as I intended to shell out). Now it's been 4 months and I'm enjoying it immensely. I've also ridden it commuting to work. However, I fear that it might get stolen or some bad guys might just "ambush" me on the streets and take it from me.

    Should I get another bike for commuting?

    I can only allot $200 for a beater bike. But getting it has implications.
    PROs:
    1. A beater bike is not eye candy for thieves, eliminating my worries of losing it
    2. A beater bike can have cheaper tires, simple drivetrain (perhaps single-speed) and brakes.
    3. Riding a beater bike will help prevent unnecessary wear to my high-end mountain bike
    CONs:
    1. A beater bike is additional cost, additional maintenance, additional space occupier
    2. A beater bike is not fun to ride, does not inspire me to ride it everyday and cheap parts are a safety risk.
    3. Riding a beater bike means I have to leave my mtb in my apartment where it could be stolen by burglars.

    Please help. Thanks in advance!
    Affirmative. I ride a beater commuter and think to myself, if she gets rolled, would I have the fury of a thousand hellhounds and lose it? If the answer is no, then all is well.

    Response to your cons.
    1) How much would it cost to replace your sweet, sweet ride? Is the additional space and maintenance worth the peace of mind? If someone wants your rig bad enough, you could encase it in lead and they'd get it.
    2) It's a BEATER, it doesn't necessarily mean it won't be fun to ride, maintenance deals with any safety risk.
    3) You could take your sweet ride, break it down, and bury it in a top secret location where only you know how to find it.

  15. #15
    One What?
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    Buy the beater and convert it to a SS. It'll be more fun than you think.

  16. #16
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    If you want one get one...simple if not don't.

  17. #17

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    Just find a good beater bike. You can find alot of nice 10-12 speed road bikes made in the 80s that would suit you just fine. Old steel lugged frames are actually prefered by most commuters over $3000 carbon/aluminum/unobtainium frames.

    Start doing some research on 80s japanese road bikes. Those will give you the most bang for your buck. No need to convert any of them to singlespeed for them to be reliable either. It's not like a quality bike from the 80s is just gonna fall apart on you if it was taken care of.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by titaniumgearsolid
    I used to own a low-end mtb which I used for almost every kind of riding, including commutes. I got 6 years from it. Until, it got stolen.

    I wanted to experience "real" mountain biking and improve my riding so after a month-long contemplation, I got my first "real" mountainbike (which is quite expensive because I went over budget by twice as much as I intended to shell out). Now it's been 4 months and I'm enjoying it immensely. I've also ridden it commuting to work. However, I fear that it might get stolen or some bad guys might just "ambush" me on the streets and take it from me.

    Should I get another bike for commuting?

    I can only allot $200 for a beater bike. But getting it has implications.
    PROs:
    1. A beater bike is not eye candy for thieves, eliminating my worries of losing it
    2. A beater bike can have cheaper tires, simple drivetrain (perhaps single-speed) and brakes.
    3. Riding a beater bike will help prevent unnecessary wear to my high-end mountain bike
    CONs:
    1. A beater bike is additional cost, additional maintenance, additional space occupier
    2. A beater bike is not fun to ride, does not inspire me to ride it everyday and cheap parts are a safety risk.
    3. Riding a beater bike means I have to leave my mtb in my apartment where it could be stolen by burglars.

    Please help. Thanks in advance!
    Assuming you real bike has knobbies at under 40 lsi and suspension at least in the front, a rigid beater bike with slicks is going to be a lot easier to pedal on the road.

    Also, the road kills knobby tires fast.

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