Bike Commuting and I'm Back

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stu
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by stu » Fri May 28, 2010 7:35 am

Awesome! It changes your perspective for sure (even with a flat). I seem to remember those problematic days more so than the days that are fine.

Keep us posted, welcome to the club!

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LSU_engr
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by LSU_engr » Fri May 28, 2010 8:30 am

Update: Got a chance to look over my rear wheel and it is done. I had some hairline cracks in it at about half a dozen of the nipples. Well now, two of them are full blown cracks. Hopefully, she'll make it home this afternoon. In the market for a rear aero wheel now...
High on tri

stu
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by stu » Fri May 28, 2010 9:01 am

You can always build a commuter specific to handle a bit more ruggedness. There is no way I could ride a road bike on my commute.

TimT
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by TimT » Fri May 28, 2010 9:44 am

Yep commuter gear has to be relable. I'd go for a Open Pro with 36 spokes and 3 cross with brass nipples and Ultegra or 105 hub. Then put on a Armidillo or Gator skin. Bullet proof.

Tim

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LSU_engr
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by LSU_engr » Fri May 28, 2010 10:13 am

Roads are fairly smooth and the first ten miles are the same ones I train on. Doing this more as a easy way to get in an extra 40 miles of training in for the week more than a commute. I wish I could afford multiple sets, but alas that is not the case. Two kids in private school...Need to have an all purpose that I can train and race on.

Stu, this is your old Giant TCR that I am riding. Has held up well. Knew the Bontragers would eventually go, especially the rear. They are known for cracking under the weight of a heavy rider like me. It was just a matter of time and how much I could get out of them.
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SULLY
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by SULLY » Fri May 28, 2010 10:37 am

Welcome to the club LSU engineer.

I have actually been pining for a more road bike esque commuter, but I never felt I will ever pony up and spend the cash unless I get a great deal on a used entry level road bike.

I got bored the other day and rode to the shop down the street, and the owner/manger pretty much forced me to test ride special ed cross bike. That was a mistake, because now I want one. I have always felt that road bikes have put me in a bad position, and my back ends up aching during and after a long ride. The geometry of the cx bike felt like a mountain bike that took road bike wheels and had road gears. I really think I could comfortably put in a long ride with no pain on this thing, but I would want to test it for at least 15 miles before making a decision to drop the cash on something like that.

Pros to getting a CX bike
It would make my commute faster so I could add on mileage or sleep in a little later
It would be tough enough that I could still ride the tiny bit of off road and curb jumping I encounter on my commute
I could jump in on levee rides when the trail is too soggy or pins get pulled from the spillway
I might have a chance to see my old friend roadie bob again :lol: if I did some road rides
I could do a tri

Con to getting a CX bike

Less money I could spend on my mountain bike habit
Road riding is boring
Different components to maintain, service, and replace
Fear that it will be too easy to just hop on my cx bike instead of driving 25 minutes out to the trail

Regardless of the pros and cons, I really can't afford a new bike right now, but it is fun to think about.
And then it came time to descend Mountain Lion trail. Descending mountain lion is like drinking a Margarita through a crazy straw on a trampoline. It's like giving a dog Pop Rocks. It's like a knife fight with a monkey. It's like necking with an octopus. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=301909

stu
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by stu » Fri May 28, 2010 8:44 pm

LSU - I thought that was you, glad to see the 'ol bike is put to good use. I certainly never used it to it's full potential.

Sully - I hear you on the cross bike. I considered that from time to time also. There are some nice ones out there too. But still I just feel more nimble on a MTB frame. You can build a mtb commuter for practically nothing and with anything to (as we well know from your previous photos). Maybe if my commute was longer I might consider it.

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SULLY
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by SULLY » Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:44 pm

So....I have come to a bit of a problem/blessing. My wife is starting to really enjoy mountain biking. Overall, I think this is great. We have hit the trails several times, and she is to the point, where she is asking me when I am going to take her to the trail again. The bad thing about it is that I got rid of that piece of crap yellow giant I was working on as my commuter, and turned her mountain bike into my commuter. Now when we go mountain biking, I let her ride my FS bike and I have to change the tires on her mountain bike/my commuter so I can ride it on the tail. Too put it simply, it sucks changing tires all the time.

I went into storage and pulled out a set of wheels that I have laying around, and I thought I would just have one wheelset for commuting and one mountain biking. Well that didn't work out all that great because the bike is set up to use rim brakes, and the rims are different widths. I set the bike up to brake properly with the wider rims, then i put the skinnier rims on and let out the barrel adjusters. It works, but I have to let the barrel adjusters out nearly all the way for the skinnier rims. I do not know #1 if this is safe and #2 how long it will take before pads wear down and I have to reset the brakes.

I have some up with several solutions to the problem:
1Buy myself a cx bike to commute on
2Buy the wife new mountain bike
3Buy myself a new mountain bike and let her have my FS
4 Find someone who is a pack rat like me and still has old rim brake only wheels that are closer to the size of mine. I don't think I want to drop coin on a new rim brake wheelset.

So I thought long and hard, and I did a lot of research and this is what it comes down to:

1 My wife quit her job in Alabama because we decided not to move back/stay here, so I am not comfortable making a new bike purchase at this time, so the CX is out until she gets a job.
2 He dad is into cycling, so maybe he will get her/me an early christmas present when he finds out his daughter is deveoping the same hobby.
3 Turns out, if we get another mountain bike, she has already picked out the one we are getting, so me getting mountain bike is out of the question.
4. This all depends on what anyone has laying around they would be willing to sell or gift to me.

The better set of rims that I have are Alex DM18 double wall, 32-hole. They are 24.4mm wide. If anyone has anything close in width you are willing to part with, let me know.
And then it came time to descend Mountain Lion trail. Descending mountain lion is like drinking a Margarita through a crazy straw on a trampoline. It's like giving a dog Pop Rocks. It's like a knife fight with a monkey. It's like necking with an octopus. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=301909

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LynnGray
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by LynnGray » Thu Jun 10, 2010 3:46 pm

The '09 Voodoo Wazoo frameset is still available through dealer channels and has got to be the best deal out there on a commuter/cyclocross builder. With a carbon fork and steel frame, It's very compliant and very tough, it even has singlespeed-compatible adjustable dropouts. I've used it to race the Rouge Roubaix and I've used it to ride trails. If not buying new, I'm sure there are some great used 700c bikes at local bike shops. The main thing I want out of my commuter is for it to be ready to ride in the morning with as little maintenance as possible.

If you commit to commuting by bicycle then the gasoline and car maintenance savings are going to add up, and the health benefits/costs are going to be substantial, long and short term. I actually have to remember to drive my car weekly to keep it in shape! It's been a long time, at least a year since I've been ill with anything, and my allergies and asthma crop up much more rarely now.

Humans are creatures of habit, but if you can train yourself to become accustomed to the daily commuting routine, even if it's hard work for the first few months, your new good habits will begin working for you. Good luck everybody.
Last edited by LynnGray on Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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vudu
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by vudu » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:31 pm

this out sully... i have one on order

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-2010-SS-ROAD-RA ... 320wt_1139
What we have here, little yellow sister, is a magnificent specimen of pure Alabama Blacksnake. But it ain't too goddamned beau coup.

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stu
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by stu » Thu Jun 10, 2010 5:45 pm

It sounds like your wifey already made the decision. However, let’s entertain the idea you get her to agree to sticking with the FS mtb bike she is riding now. My question would be how good is her bike working as your commuter? If it’s good, effing rad, she rides into the sunset on your current FS (which also acts as your spare mtb) AND you can further tweak the existing commuter to your liking free of trail riding burdens (with the intention the bike stays on the pavement).

SO…

If you have to build up a new rig on the cheap, “feed the need ‘single-speed’”…!!! I suggest this because 1) I think a SS bike can built out of practically anything and very cheaply, 2) I am just anti- gears and suspension these days and don’t see the need for anything else (all my opinion, of course). Soma Fab has brand new 4one5 frames on sale right now for $289, that’s a deal on steal brah! Slap whatever parts you can grab on it for now and build it up better as you get the coin.

Any other route is going to cost you more, unless your wifey has a cheap bike picked out for her new ride. In which case, you got the FS anyway and keep tweaking the commuter to your liking.

stu
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Commuted: Dead or Alive

Post by stu » Mon Jul 26, 2010 8:06 am

So the commute reports have fallen by the waist side, I assume some of us are taking off from the summer heat or just not reporting as much. In any case, riding the shirttail of new attitude, my Redline 925 “Dolly” is eager to make the trek to/from so we are on Day 2 of commuting and I must confess, the heat is not as much of an issue as you might think. Mornings are quite nice in fact, and maybe it feels even cooler because I am riding even faster with Dolly but I swear I wouldn’t even break a sweat if not for that climb out of the tunnel (and pedestrian I ran up on at the bottom). Cool down periods once I get in the office are about the same as they are in spring or fall. In the afternoons with the heat indexes well above 100 you would think it would be murder on the roads however, it’s really not so bad. Accept the fact it’s very hot, you will sweat and even so it won’t be so bad. Commutes are not like riding cranked in the woods on trail, it’s a brisk ride by bike (brisk defined however leisure you want it to be).

I only have 3 weeks or so before me weeks get broken up by school on Tuesday and Thursday but I hope to ride as much as I can between now and then. At any rate, maybe this note will recruit some input and/or new commuter reports; if not hopefully will be revived as the summer fades.

7/26/10
3.73 miles @ 15:37
14.4 Avg, 18.4 Max

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LSU_engr
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by LSU_engr » Mon Jul 26, 2010 10:55 am

Commuted on Friday morning. Uneventful though, so nothing really to report. Wife picked me up at the office as I had a medical thing so I didn't get to ride home. I use mine as training rides, so I do get pretty sweaty, although I did do recovery this time due to hard training ride Wednesday night. The Y is only about 0.2 miles from the office though, so I stop there to shower and then slow pedal to the office. Ended up buying a neuvation aero rear wheel to replace the Bontrager one I finished off a couple of months ago due to riding it flat. The neuvation has been great, and was cheap which I like. Decent weight for the price.

18.3 miles @ 18.0 mph
Avg HR: 150
Max HR: 169
High on tri

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SULLY
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by SULLY » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:53 pm

I had a pretty long break in commuting because the Raleigh I used to commute developed a crack in the head tube. They covered it under warranty and sent me a sweet new frame. I took the opportunity put some other parts on it and I put a rigid fork on it. I want to put a black seat post so it is completely murdered out.
Raleigh2.jpg
While I waited on the warranty, I had a weak moment and bought an old road bike off of craigslist. I thought my commute was about to get a lot longer, and before sinking serious cash into a road bike I wanted to try it out on the cheap. I really don’t like commuting by road bike. I don’t like not being able to bail out, jump up on a curb, and ride a path through the grass. I will probably hold on the to road bike for a little while, but I really don’t see myself ever making the jump. I haven’t timed it, but I don’t feel like it cuts any time off of my commute either. I feel almost as fast on my mountain bike with slicks.
2.jpg
Here are some pics from riding around the lakefront and commuting
8.jpg
7.jpg
6.jpg
City Park Bayou.jpg
And just for fun. I could not resist trying these glasses on while at the eye doctor. Looking good!
Attachments
5.jpg
And then it came time to descend Mountain Lion trail. Descending mountain lion is like drinking a Margarita through a crazy straw on a trampoline. It's like giving a dog Pop Rocks. It's like a knife fight with a monkey. It's like necking with an octopus. http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=301909

stu
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Re: Bike Commuting and I'm Back

Post by stu » Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:23 am

Sully – I once felt like you do, not feeling as nimble on the road bike while on the commute. In fact looking back, I don’t think I ever gave a fair chance to my old Giant road bike (glad LSU_engr puts it to good use).

My dilemma with the Surly 1x1 was, while it was a mtb frame I didn’t have it setup very comfortable which didn’t give me a good feeling when riding it. I think a mtb setup should remain as such, road bikes as well. The in-between is the hybrid which ideally thinks fit better on a road frame. With my new bike, it is much smoother and faster than my Surly 1x1 ever was. I can still hop curbs and do things I did on that bike too. The trick is the tires. I’m running 700x28 and I might even be inclined to go up to 32 or 35. I’m not real sure yet. I really want to give the 28s a fair chance to see if I like them. I may end up just going to a beefier puncture resistant 28.

Anyhow, back to your point, if your commuting is more ‘urban styled’ riding (hopping curbs, hitting drops, etc) then I’d say stick with the mtb. If you are mostly on the roads (as I am) and want something fast and smooth and road or hybrid may foot the bill. My logic in the Redline was for triple purpose: commuting, neighborhood street touring (wih my kiddo), and some recreational racing. Surely you can do some of that on a mtb platform, but I never feel as comfortable on long straight road rides on a mtb as I do on road/hybrid. I guess this is the principal behind the design of each.

BTW, your eye doctor photo reminded me Milo from the Descendents (an old punk band I grew up listening to):
2547-cool-to-be-you.jpg
2547-cool-to-be-you.jpg (31.44 KiB) Viewed 4908 times

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