what should I be looking for??- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Reputation: moralleper's Avatar
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    what should I be looking for??

    I am thinking of starting to commute half of my daily trip to work. I drove it out and it looks like it will be 15-16 miles one way with mostly rolling hills. I currently ride a mountain bike but I am pretty sure this would be a very long trip on a MTB. what bike would other commuters suggest for this this type of commute?

    Thanks in advance for the replies.

  2. #2
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    There are other factors to consider too.

    What kind of parking facilities do you have? Is it secure? Do you want to lock up a brand new bike where someone might trash or steal it?

    Do you plan on doing other riding (road riding, touring, etc.)?

    How much junk are you going to be carrying to work? Lunch, clothes, shoes, computer, etc.?

    I settled on a Redline Conquest cyclocross bike. I like the fact that it has disc brakes, 700c wheels and drop bars. I put a triple on it because I hope to do some touring. I chose this bike because it is aluminum and I commute in the rain a lot. I don't want to deal with the corrosion issues. The ride is a bit harsh though. My only other real complaint with it is that my toes hit the front wheel during tight maneuvering.

    The Surly Long Haul Trucker or LHT is a very popular bike. It has a steel frame and lots of braze ons for racks and fenders. It's basically a touring bike. I know several people who have them and they love them. Note that frame sizes below 56cm (I think) come with 26" wheels.

    Also, if you find a bike that you really like but you can't figure out how to put a rack on it, check out Tubus or Old Man Mountain. They make racks to fit just about anything.

    Good luck!

  3. #3
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    we have secure lock up as I can put in our server room. I do not plan on carrying more then my messenger bag with my laptop in it sometimes and a lunch. I can leave everything else at work. I am concerned about time to commute which is why I have been reluctant to use my MTB. I am kind of considering a cross bike but I also see a lot of manufactures making commuting specific bike now. As for size needed I am 6' so I am think a 58cm.

  4. #4
    PCC
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    At one place that I worked at the director if IT banned bikes from our server room, not that I had ever even tried to store my bike in there. Keep this in mind, should you decide to bring your bike to work then suddenly find that you need an alternate place to store it during the day.

    Does your commute have any dirt roads or possible shortcuts using a dirt road? When I commuted to that place mentioned above I had a section of path that was entirely packed dirt but was only about 75 yards total. The rest was paved. I rode a road bike with skinny 23mm tires and it was a blast.

    You can always try getting a set of slicks for your mountain bike.

  5. #5
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    I agree, slick, fenders and lights should make your MTB a perfect commuter. With rolling hills, I wouldn't worry to much about not having high enough gearing. Give it a try on your MTB and see if you really need higher gearing.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  6. #6
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    The server room should not be an issue as it is my server room and I control who has access. Second the only other person that would have a say also bikes to work. I do have some slicks, Kenda Cross I think. they are smooth but the sides have knobs that only touch the ground in hard corners. I still do not feel that I am getting up to a speed that would make commuting a really good option. Maybe I could be expecting too much?

  7. #7
    PCC
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    How fast are you trying to go? You know that the faster you go the more you sweat, right? If you sweat then you need to take a shower when you get there. Are there shower facilities at work?

  8. #8

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    I have a converted rigid MTB that I commute on, 6.5 mi one way, complete with fenders, rack, etc....but, I've kept the fat tires for comfort. If I were to commute 16 mi, then I'd buy something commuter/touring specific... ie. the Long Haul Trucker. (I could ride my Merlin road bike...but the thought of my Merlin with fenders and a rack turns my stomach.)

    You could do as Gary the no trash couger (needs a shorter name) suggested and put some slick and skinnier tires on your bike...then after a few trial runs, if you then want to go with something else...well, go do some test rides. Most bike companies have come out with some very nice touring/commuting bikes this year.

    Mikey

  9. #9
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Whatever bike you chose, my bet is that you`ll soon rethink the messenger bag idea after carrying it on your shoulder for 30 miles a day. You might make at least the option for racks another point on your checklist.

  10. #10
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    I am not sure what speed I should expect. On my hardtail MTB with knobbies I can average 9.5-11 mph. I was hoping to push 15mph. The only problem with converting my MTB to a commuter is that I uses regularly to trail ride. I might have possibly scored a late 80's Specialized Allez road bike hopefully it works out.

  11. #11
    BIG and Bald
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    As far as you trail riding regularly, why not save the money and buy a new wheelset instead of a complete bike?

    First, I would suggest throw the slicks on and try your commute for a week and see how it goes.
    "Don't neever gave up..."

  12. #12

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    I bought an 83 Univega Sportour for $50 off CL, tuned her up a little bit, and she works just fine. I commute 8 miles to work, and just wear some shitty clothes to sweat in, then just throw on some more deodorant once I get there, and change into my work clothes. I carry my clothes, lunch, and a tool and extra tube in a backpack since a sweaty back doesn't really matter to me.
    You're right, 15-16 miles on a MTB would be kind of rough, but give it a try before shelling out a bunch of cash for a bike just to commute. If that doesn't work, I would search for an old cheap road bike.

  13. #13
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    I have done the commute on my MTB before with slicks, but it was a little slow and I was considering making the distance a little longer. I think I might have scored a late 80's specialized Allez that will only cost me some tires, tubes and some TLC.

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