So I just sold my car...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    So I just sold my car...

    and well I am taking the plunge... I just put a deposit down on a gorgeous 2015 Kona sutra and plan to use it as my main source of transportation for the fore-see-able future... I have ridden casually for excercise and just landed a new job close to home ( 3miles) I figured why the heck not? Im pretty excitied about it and might keep this going as a blog.. we'll see! any tips on what i should be carrying with me? ill start with 2 tubes, pump or co2, a multi- tool, lock, and some bright front and rear lights. anything else?

  2. #2
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    Huge props to you for going car free!! Wish you the best with the commute and the car free life. Seriously been considering here myself. Would love to see some updates from you as you go along.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  3. #3
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    Sounds great billiam 267! A second rear light at least is a great addition in case your other one dies en route.

  4. #4
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    I find CO2 fairly pointless. I'm not negotiable on the pump, so CO2 is redundant.

    Speaking of redundant, depending on where you keep your bike, redundant locks.

    A good bag. For three miles on a road bike, my choice would be a messenger bag.

    Good luck! I've never tried to do car free, but I had a great run of only using one occasionally.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  5. #5
    29er and 26er
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    I started with too much stuff in my bag. I have narrowed it down 1 tube, patch kit, tire pry-bars, pump, and allen-key's. Those are all of the maintenance things I have. I have a water proof bag to put over my seat if it rains. I also have worm gloves, ear muffs, and a wool hat in my bag if the need arises. (This winter has been oddly warm). Get a good set of lights for viability, and you should be good.

    I use a backpack to carry all of my stuff above and including Work Laptop, work cloths, Lunch & snacks, and miscellaneous items.

    Good luck with your adventure.

  6. #6
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    Welcome to the club! You will accumulate all kinds of gear for riding in different conditions. I bought full rain gear this year and I've been bone dry in down pours! I could recommend a lot of stuff but you will figure it all out. Every time you spend money on new gear you get to rationalize it by saying, "hey, it's still cheaper than a car payment."

    If I could recommend one thing, the thing that has served me the best is having 2 lights; one on my handlebars, one on my helmet. I have a USB rechargeable Light and Motion Urban 550 that rocks on my helmet. Really comes in handy for figuring out those mechanicals on the way home in the dark this time of year, and negotiating rough pavement.

    You won't believe how much you love it. You'll be gliding all the way in to work while you look over and see people seething in traffic. You arrive with blood flowing and fresh air in your lungs. It has made my entire life better.

  7. #7
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    +1 to everything Native29er says....having a light on your helmet to light up where you look is handy. Having a saddle or frame bag to house tools, spares, light batteries is nice as well. Good lighting can add up cost really quick but I have had good luck with the cheap off brand chinese LEDs from amazon. Next thing you know you'll be looking for longer ways to get to and from work...

  8. #8
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    Utilize those braze-ons and get yourself a front rack and and handlebar bag. Touring bikes love a little weight on the front end. If the bike can carry the weight, why carry it on your back?

    A good pair of riding pants, with a gusseted crotch, helps keep you and your wardrobe intact.

    Layers: lots of layers. Invest in a nice base layer. Both wool and synthetic have their pros and cons. Personally, I like wool for it's ability to resist odor and it's a natural fiber. Wool for socks, all the time. Light weight merino in the summer and thicker in colder temps. Darn Tough is the brand I prefer. Made in the US, from US wool, with a lifetime guarantee. But you know--"run what ya brung!"

    Learn how to maintain your own ride. It'll save you money and add satisfaction to your rides. Find a friendly LBS (local bike shop) and make friends. Tip the mechanics (money, beer, cookies/brownies) when you get work done at the shop.

    Find a group of like minded cyclists and go on group rides. It's a great way to learn new riding and mechanical skills, make friends, and see new places.

  9. #9
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    All good suggestions, I commute but have always had a vehicle for the past 20 years, I just love the time.
    Yes on the lights, I picture the cop asking the driver that just hit me asking "how did you not see this guy?" I have 1 on bars, 1 blinking on helmet, one red blinking on messenger bag, and 2 other red blinking facing aft below the saddle. And I just bought the revo-lights!
    Messenger bag for sure, I am on my 2nd Patagonia (largest) in 20 years, and it keeps the rain out, and lasts for ever.
    Learn how to fold/pack your clothes so you look sharp.
    3 miles is easy, go in easy, and get your workout in on the way home.
    Congrats!

    Ride on,
    Will

  10. #10
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    I would get some indestructible Schwalbe tires for commuting and skip the tire repair kit. For a three mile commute you can simply walk home. Since using commuter-grade tires years ago, I haven't had a flat.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rogbie View Post
    Utilize those braze-ons and get yourself a front rack and and handlebar bag. Touring bikes love a little weight on the front end. If the bike can carry the weight, why carry it on your back?
    +1 on this. If you have a bike that is designed to ride with a load (or even to ride better loaded than unloaded) why would you want to carry any weight on your body? I had ridden off-road for a long time and did not really feel comfortable or complete without wearing my hydration pack. I started to bike commute on 90% paved trails and 10% dirt. Built up a touring frame into a commuter. The hydration pack did not work well when riding this bike. The riding position was more comfortable without the hydration pack, the bike rode better with whatever load I was carrying in bags on the racks. It is actually a very pleasant experience to not have extra weight on my body when riding....I so like not being encumbered that I only use the hydration pack when riding off-road when the rides are longer than a couple of water bottles can handle for hydration purposes.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  12. #12
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    im still weighing my options for what accessories im going to invest in, i need to find a nice rear light that will bolt onto the rack.. any suggestions? for the front im gonna go with a nightrider lumina 750 for a headlight. not sure what im gonna do about luggage options yet, i live in philadelphia and im kinda hesitant to leave anything out on the bike if im in a store. that leaves the major buy... what kinda lock do i get?

  13. #13
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    Given the length of your commute, I'm still in favor of a messenger bag.

    In Manhattan, I used a NY Chain. In Seattle, I used a nice U lock and a cable. (Redundant.) Look around at what other people are using.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  14. #14
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    The first level of urban bike security is to have a bike that works perfectly, but looks like crap. I've even seen bikes that have been spray-painted by the owners with random colors. Because a bike like that has little resale value the owner could use a rope for a lock. Well, not a rope, but you get the idea.
    Last edited by stingray; 12-21-2015 at 05:35 AM.

  15. #15
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    I never leave my panniers on my bike. I have a nice set of Swift bags that have D loops with a shoulder straps that I take where ever I go.

    As far as locks go, I carry 3. I use a Kryptonite U bolt with a 10 ft cable, a 6 ft cable and a mini U bolt, and a Kryptonite chain lock. All of the bolts on my ride have been replaced with security bolts. It's way way over kill for where I live and park my bike all day for work, but I'm a hypochondriac. I also sleep with a loaded 9mm in my nightstand...so, but Hey I have a really nice bike, and I like it damn it! I've also had seat and seat post and frame bags stolen off my bike so I just lock it all down and I'm not distracted with worries during the day.

    With regard to making your bike look shity to deter thieves, I could never, would never, in a million years ride something that looks like crap. You shouldn't either.

  16. #16
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    Congrats on ditching the car! I got rid of mine almost a year ago and still haven't missed it*. So glad I don't have to spend money on gas, maintenance, depreciation, insurance and taxes anymore, and even more important: don't have to worry about traffic, parking space, chances of the car breaking etc etc.

    *2.5 mile commute. Great cycling infrastructure and public transit around here though.

    About toolkits, spare tubes, CO2, saddle bags etc: don't be too worried about that. For a 3 mile commute, you could just attach a small pump to the frame or throw one in your back pack or messenger bag, and if you happen to have a flat, quickly pump in some air and try to ride it home. And if that fails, you can still walk it home.

    Of course you should give your bike some proper maintenance from time to time, regularly check the tires for small sharp pieces of glass or metal etc.
    Ride more!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by billiam267 View Post
    im still weighing my options for what accessories im going to invest in, i need to find a nice rear light that will bolt onto the rack.. any suggestions? for the front im gonna go with a nightrider lumina 750 for a headlight. not sure what im gonna do about luggage options yet, i live in philadelphia and im kinda hesitant to leave anything out on the bike if im in a store. that leaves the major buy... what kinda lock do i get?
    You can get a rack mount for the Cygolite HotShot, I don't think it comes with the light but it was less than $10 for the mount when I got mine. It's bright, reliable and USB rechargeable. I think the only knock I've heard against it is that the beam is pretty directional, but I think that works fine when mounted in the rear rack.

  18. #18
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    We still have a car, but I try to do as much as possible with my bike. Been doing this for about 6 years.

    I find a critical thing for encouraging success in going with a bike for general transport is making things as CONVENIENT as possible. I think the real challenge of switching to a bike is not the physical exertion or even the elements. It simply how much more convenient a car is. So anything that makes using the bike for common errands is huge. To this end I have suggestions:

    Basket
    I find a basket is really hard to beat. It is always there, you can't forget it. I like the wide one by Wald. I use one of those mini front racks that attach to my canti studs but you can attach one to any rack with zip ties. It is important to attach the basket to a proper rack (not the hardware the baskets come with) if you want to be able to carry anything of real weight.

    So I just sold my car...-01a0b224e9ba0a0c88347c97c7f736afbed3c11857.jpg

    Good panniers
    One of the best investments I have made are the Arkel pannier bags I bought. expensive, but totally worth it (and I do not like to spend more than I need to) I have had several others, but the way these attach to (and remove from) the rear rack, is incredibly convenient. In most cases I can attach them one-handed, and can always remove them one-handed. There is no messing around with an attachment at the bottom of the bags. Some of the bags have a bungee hook at the bottom but they are not needed and I have removed the one that one of my bags had. They only attach at the top and are totally secure.

    I have one of the Shopping Panniers, and one that is something like the Briefcase Pannier. There are better ones out there for all-weather use and touring, but I find I do not always want to look like I am in the middle of a bike tour when I go in some[lace for a meeting. The Metro (similar to the Briefcase) is a little more stylish and convenient to get into.

    Carrying capacity:
    IMO, Where most bike setups fall short of being a car replacement is when it comes to doing other errands, in particular grocery shopping. And for this you want a lot of carrying capacity on the bike. I have often had two panniers and my front basket packed.

    Also, you may want to double check that the wheels you have are up to heavy weights if you plan to do grocery shopping with them. That is a lot of dead weight and is really hard on wheels. I quickly trashed a set of otherwise decent mtb wheels before getting a set that were built for touring.

    I second all the of lighting suggestions you are getting. Also, I would love to have a generator front hub and light. I tend to drive at night around here, if I did not have a car a generator would be a must. One less thing to deal with every time you leave and get home.

    Good luck with this!!
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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