Commuting with a bike

8:31 a.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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I've been throwing around the idea of using a bike for a good portion of my commuting to work and school.  I live in Michigan and have a mountain bike that I use for out on the trail, but I'm curious to see if there would be a type of bike that is better suited for commuting.  I look forward to getting some advice. Txs.

9:44 a.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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I picked up one at a secondhand store, $10. Had it worked on, 6 pack. Bought fenders and lights, $25. I've been riding it now for 2 years back and forth to work. I see big guys riding around on those small one spead stunt bikes all the time. Looks uncomfortable. My bike is a 10 speed. Ive added a larger seat to it. I sit up-right in comfort. If you are going to ride a bake for commuting, it should be comfort ease, and speed that you are looking for.

10:11 a.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Errrr ...   CoyotePacker --

You might wanna post this in the Off-Topic Forum.

Not much relevance to "Backcountry".

~ r2 ~

11:08 a.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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I used to commute on a Cannondale 12 speed road cycle twelve miles one way.  Good steed, kinda pricey.  Got a work out, got sweaty too.  Workplace had showers:)

Ed 

2:13 p.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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@ CoyotePacker:

What are you thinkin? Is this a real post? Do you really expect us to believe that in the land of the ever increasing waist lines (and other body parts) that drive ever increasing larger vehicles so as to carry their ever increasing amounts of largness and bulk that there is a person in this great (fat) land that is actually thinking of of riding a bike to work? What, did they give you a demotion so that you can't afford the gas in your SUV or Pickup truck? Dang dude this ain't China. Someone might not know what the heck you are doing when they see you "riding" down the road and may actually end up running you over while trying to remember where they saw such a "silly" thing that was so far in their distant past. ;;-}>

Naw, really, I think it's commendable that you are considering riding your bike to work and other general purpose riding for what ever reason you are deciding to use in a effort to keep your gas vehicle(s) off the road. It will be a start to off setting the people of China (1.3 billion) and India (1.21 billion) as well as the whole of Africa and the rest of Asia that want to get off their bikes and start driving SUV's and Pickup trucks. A movment starts with a single person's doing a single action after all.

I would think that the best bike for a strickly commuting bike would be a hibrid road bike/Mnt bike. Rides like a road bike with with some of the strength of a Mnt bike. The lean foward sitting position of a mnt bike can become quite uncomfortable if your just riding on the street so you may want to get handle bare risers so that you can sit in a more upright position. As Mike said above a larger seat may add to yur comfort. Another thought would be the recumbent bike. I have one and it's pretty cool. The one bad thing about recumbants is that they are very close to the ground and very easy to miss so you would have an increased possibility of becoming very intimate with burning hot mufflers and catalytic converters. You have to use tall flags with blinking l.e.d.'s to get noticed. I like mine alot but am not able to ride it much because of my knee's.

3:01 p.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Coyote,

For most of my years of working life, I commuted to work by bike. And Barb did the same. This included during grad school as well. This is a great way to stay in shape for backpacking, climbing, skiing, etc. I did this in southern California, Boston (every day except the days I found it actually snowing when I  stepped out of the house), Mississippi, Washington DC (same snow restriction, which meant a number of times riding home in the snow), and the SFBay Area. I did manage to collect one speeding ticket and one red light ticket (I jumped into the intersection based on the cross-street light changing and actually entered the intersection a few seconds before actually getting a green light), and Barb collected a ticket for running a stop sign - she paused slightly and went with a car that had done its stop. The bikes we used were the same bikes we used for racing and some touring.

You don't really need any special bike (unless you are commuting in San Francisco and need really low gears to get up the hills). A number of us who were commuting when I was in DC kept a couple suits in the office and would change out of cycling clothes when we got to work (there was a gym and shower available). Same when I was commuting here in Palo Alto.

Wait! I take that back (partially). The streets in DC had HUGE potholes. A full-suspension mountain bike would have been a lot more suitable on those roads. I actually broke a wheel in one pothole (the DC Bike Coalition helped me get the city to pay for a replacement wheel - not cheap on a Masi Gran Criterium).

R2, this is very relevant to Backcountry. Cycling works all the muscles used in backpacking and climbing, especially the core muscles. Upright bikes don't work the core as much as racing bikes, although interestingly enough mountain bikes seem to do as much for the core as road bikes do.

3:13 p.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Maybe have a second set of wheels with tires already mounted.

One set for mountain biking for the trails with the great knobbly dirt eating kind,

And,

Another set being with road orientated tires, less knobs higher pressure which will make a big difference.

If the frame on your mountian bike has suspension, being able to lock out the suspension will also give you better propulsion.

6:19 p.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Callahan said:

Maybe have a second set of wheels with tires already mounted.

One set for mountain biking for the trails with the great knobbly dirt eating kind,

And,

Another set being with road orientated tires, less knobs higher pressure which will make a big difference.

If the frame on your mountain bike has suspension, being able to lock out the suspension will also give you better propulsion.

   Don't think so ....

I tried that.

Gearing is all wrong.  I mean, you can do that ... BUT, you're going to be pedaling your butt off.   It's more than just the tires.

There's a whole 'nuther type of bike now, called a "hybrid".   More of an upright riding posture, in comparison to a road-bike.   Handlebars are more like motorcycle "clip-ons"  (flatter, with little-or-no downturn).   Gearing is not so variable like a road-bike.   Even the old 3-speed "English bikes" are closer in concept to theses "hybrids".

Frames are not as stiff as road-bikes ... can have the vari-adjust front shocks, like mountain bikes.   Tires and wheels  are larger DIAMETER than mountain bikes.   BTW -- There is now a 29" wheel/tire combo for mountain bikes.  Different seats, pedals.  Brakes need not be so high-tech with uber-light components, like the high-endy road-bikes.

~ r2 ~

6:31 p.m. on October 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Commuting is on a bike is not practical for me.  I need my car to haul computers around in and I do work all over the county.  

If you are looking for a new higher end bike take a look at www.bonktown.com it is the exact same thing as steep and cheap except that it carries road bikes and clothing/accessories (there's www.chainlove.com for mountain bikes). If you look at www.sacalerts.com they have all of the past deals for them so you can see what they are likely to have again.

I have been tempted by the Swobo Fillmore internal 8-speed before for riding around the neighborhood.  $325 last time I saw it. Normal retail price $799. They also carry the REALLY high end bikes like Stevens SLC Team - Force/Fulcrum 7 for $2345 normally $4700.  Same goes for chainlove.

6:48 a.m. on October 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Thanks for all the input everybody.

6:11 p.m. on October 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Get a fixed gear, if you dont hav too many slopes going uphill. Thats what I use everyday in Montreal. One speed really got ne in shape.

12:45 a.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Bill S said:

R2, this is very relevant to Backcountry. Cycling works all the muscles used in backpacking and climbing, especially the core muscles.

  Hmmm ....

OK.   I'll give you the benefit of doubt here.

I advocate any application of getting in better shape ... whether it be for hiking / backpacking ... or playing tiddly-winks.

Waaaaaaay too many people out-of-shape.   Waaaaaaaay too many.

~ r2 ~

7:11 a.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Bill S said:

R2, this is very relevant to Backcountry. Cycling works all the muscles used in backpacking and climbing, especially the core muscles.

  Hmmm ....

OK.   I'll give you the benefit of doubt here.

I advocate any application of getting in better shape ... whether it be for hiking / backpacking ... or playing tiddly-winks.

Waaaaaaay too many people out-of-shape.   Waaaaaaaay too many.

~ r2 ~

 Just as a heads up I was going back and forth about which section to post to, because I wasn't sure if the country roads (some of which are unpaved) that I'll be commuting on would be considered backcountry enough.  Hope that helps.

7:39 a.m. on October 10, 2011 (EDT)
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I have seen people on mountain-bikes in the "backcountry".   Have done it myself.

However; I am almost CERTAIN that none were COMMUTING..

You are awarded a "MULLIGAN", CoyotePacker.

~ r2 ~

July 31, 2014
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