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25

Equipment/Accessories: Fenders — keep you dry if it's rained recently. I prefer the "full-coverage" kind with a mudflap, but anything that keeps you from getting a stripe up your back is probably sufficient. Regular platform pedals (or even better: BMX style pedals) - clips or clipless and frequent stops don't go well together and might mean needing ...


23

Here I'll summarize everyone else's answers (because of all the Q+A scattered through in the comments), with some additional information that I got elsewhere from reading inspired by people's answers. Wheels+tires: 700 x (28 - 38, maybe ~30), tires; slicks or light treads, not knobbly. The larger wheel makes it faster (because of 'gearing') and the ride a ...


18

Yeah, buy a used bike somewhere, either at a shop that has a bunch, or off or Craig's List or another "want ad" source. And, of course, there are yard sales. If you shop carefully you can probably pick up a serviceable bike for $50-100. But first study bikes a little to learn to recognize quality. Look at the cheap bikes at Walmart and some moderately ...


17

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2920084/ - "On average, the estimated health benefits of cycling were substantially larger than the risks relative to car driving for individuals shifting their mode of transport." http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22124913 - "We estimate that beneficial effects of increased physical activity are substantially ...


14

I would defiantly not rush out and buy a new expensive bike. Here are the steps you should follow: 1) Try to make your bike faster. There are a few ways that you can do this but I am going to make two suggestions that will be cheap and easy. Get slick (smooth) tires. The should put you back around $60 but should give you a good idea of what a road ...


13

50 miles per day is a fair amount of riding. 4 hours sounds about right when you take into account traffic stops, hills, etc. If you're not used to putting in this kind of distance -- not to mention a full day's work too -- then it's not surprising that you're tired. Before splurging on a new bike, try some of the modifications others have suggested. ...


13

Reliability True commuter bikes are built for day-in and day-out reliability. As far as breaking down, you have little to worry about as a commuter bike is designed to take massive amounts of abuse and neglect and still function. While you could have a part failure like any other bike, these are uncommon and the most frequent (the flat tire) is easily fixed. ...


13

Adding mud-flaps to both fenders will greatly reduce spraying water on to your bottom bracket, feet and bicyclists riding behind you. Mud-flaps can be made easily & cheaply by cutting a part of plastic bottles for milk /water/soda-pop and screwing them on to end of mud-guard/fenders (ensure there is enough clearance between screw and tire). Plastic ...


13

Don't forget lights. Many people who only ride during the day/nice weather don't bother to put lights on your bike. But in heavy rain, it's sometimes darker (especially closer to sunrise/sunset), and visibility is reduced. Having lights and also reflectors will help you to be seen and improve your safety. If you don't mind getting wet, and use a waterproof ...


12

Recycled Cycles (in the University District area) sells used bicycles, I would also checkout seattle.craigslist.org I recommend going into a bike shop that just sells bicycles (Gregg's near Green Lake is great - but many others all around Seattle) and tell them what sort of riding you are planning (commuting, shopping and using the bicycle as ...


12

You have two options, essentially: You can either carry each day's clothing on every trip, or store clothing at work. Carrying clothing daily If you're going to do this, you'll need to find a way to roll up your clothing so it's not completely wrinkled. Be aware that even packing clothing in the most wrinkle-free way possible will still not keep it as ...


12

Jan Heine performed some wind tunnel tests of "Real World Aerodynamics" a few years ago. A link to a blog post (and the results published in Bicycle Quarterly) can be found here. Those tests cover only one component (the aero drag component) of commuter-type bicycles vs. "racing" bikes. If you want to make your own apples-to-apples comparisons of ...


11

Go to your local bike shop or MEC and talk to them. You want a commuter - also called urban bikes. Thin(ish) tires so you aren't doing too much work, straight bars, hydraulic disk brakes would be good. Hub gears mean everything is internal so out of the weather - but if anything goes wrong you're stuck, dérailleur gears are fine if you clean the chain ...


10

For my commuting needs, I use Continental Gatorskins 700x28c. I also use Mr Tuffy liners to help protect against punctures. Using this combination, I haven't had a flat in 2 years. Before going to this combination, I would get about 1 flat a month. I travel about 14 km a day, 5 days a week, April to the end of November. I recommend that you leave enough ...


9

I have wrestled with this issue for a long time. After commuting on a Trek FX Hybrid and moving to a Masi Speciale CX Cyclocross bike I am convinced now that Cyclocross bikes make the best commuters. They are built for speed - Let's face it bikes are slower than cars. So when you are out there you want to save as much time as you can. Speed helps. They ...


9

My main resources for pretty much anything include: Sheldon Brown In particular: sheldonbrown: how-to-fixed-conversion sheldonbrown: fixed-conversion Loads of general wrenching info at Park Tool And of course a friendly local bike shop. Look out for a bike co-op or skills-sharing non-profit/community organization. They may run classes and provide ...


9

Personally I prefer the Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres in a sensible width, 28 will do nicely or 1.5 (instead of 1.35) if using MTB or folding bike. To the pressure written on the sidewall, checked weekly for embedded glass and correct pressure. The likelihood of getting flats on properly maintained Marathon Plus is practically zero. On every other tyre brand ...


9

The real answer is that for a 9km ride, virtually any bike will do the trick. It's hard to be uncomfortable on a bike (that fits you) for that short of a ride. However, I'm fully in the road bike camp on this question. Hybrids are, in my opinion, a compromise with no real benefits. Most people aren't going to ride them off-road (and most road bikes can deal ...


9

I lack experience with entry-level (walmart, etc.) bikes, so take my answer with this in consideration. I was shopping this month for a good commuter bike to replace my old road bike (more about it below). I don't own a car, so I'll use it 15 miles per day, almost every workday between april and october, as well as for carrying all groceries and various ...


9

For riding in the rain, I would definitely recommend putting fenders on your bike that cover as much of the wheel as possible. This will help prevent "skunk stripes" on the back of your clothes due to dirt thrown up by the rear wheel. Fenders also generally help keep water from flying all around during riding, which keeps other things from getting as wet to ...


8

Another option is to have a rack on your car to transport your bike, then. You drive to the outside of the town where you work and park before you hit the traffic jams then get the bike of the car and cycle past all the traffic jams And/Or Day 1 am – you drive to work Day 1 pm – you leave your car at work and cycle home Day 2 am – you cycle to work ...


8

I am going to second @freiheit suggestion that you reconsider the drop bars. You commute is going to be roughly 90+ minutes each way in an urban setting and you will want the extra had positions. You can still get a geometry that is relaxed and gives you a more upright position. When my commute got longer (15+ miles one way) I switched from a converted ...


8

For a short commute in street clothes I opted for flat bars with bar end extentions. This allows some different hand positions and for me a more comfortable upright position. If you are riding for the first time is several years, bike fit is more critical than bar type. A bike that is the wrong size will never be comfortable no matter what type bar it has.


8

The obvious answer would be to get some Cycling Jeans, i.e. jeans specifically designed for cycling in. These have reinforcement and stretch in the right places and often have other features such as deep pockets, a loop to carry a small lock and reflective strips. Levi, Rapha, Muxu and Swrve all make cycling jeans, so there's a fair amount of choice.


7

I have a pair of SKS Race Blades (e.g. from Wiggle). They clip on and off really easily, for washing, security or just for the long days of summer when rain is decidedly unlikely. They are reasonably small and should fit all but the tightest of clearances. For all the reasons you mention, I use them - cleanliness of my legs, back, bag and chain - but also ...


7

I love a good drop bar, but if you're only going 4 miles, an upright position might be more comfortable for you, especially if you're starting to commute for the first time. Start with your basic commuter bike if you want, something that looks like this, with some flat handle bars. http://s7d4.scene7.com/is/image/TrekBicycleProducts/52049 Head to a bike ...


6

Interestingly, Scientific American had an article about this a few years ago. According to the article, which cites a few studies, women are less comfortable with on-road biking than men, particularly in areas with auto traffic. As most roads are primarily for auto use, women tended to find routes which avoid these roads, making commuting a bit more ...


6

Bike chains come in two sizes, 1/8inch (aka BMX chain) and 3/32inch (aka 9 speed chain). 1/8inch chains are designed for single speed or internal hub geared bicycles and the chain is designed in such a way that it can not be derailed from the sprocket. A 3/32inch chain is designed for a derailleur geared bicycle and is designed to ease shifting from one ...



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