Commuter Bike thoughts

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Mr . Tibbs, Jan 23, 2003.

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  1. Mr . Tibbs

    Mr . Tibbs Guest

    Hello all,

    Just looking for some opinions. I know I am going to get what I ask for. I am looking for a commuter
    bike that I can ride about 30 miles a day and not get trashed quickly.

    Now I have looked at the Cannondale R900 and R2000. Both are nice bikes. The 900 has a mixed group
    on it 105 front drive train, ultegra shifters and rear der, and Mavic Cosmos wheels. Where as the
    2000 has a full Ultegra Kit and the Campy Proton wheels.

    Lite bikes but pretty rigid. Now to state this. Im 5'7" tall and weigh 155 and am very hard
    on my bikes.

    Now onto the next selection. I have looked at the Litespeed Tuscay. The 3/2 Ti feels very nice and
    does not flex as much as I thought it would. I would get it with and Ultegra kit and Open Pro wheel
    and upgrade to the Ksyriums in due time unless it would seem like a good idea to get them when I
    get the bike.

    So all in all I guess what I am asking is what would be a better frame to ride every day. A Ti or
    Aluminum frame. What will last me longer and as we all know. If you commute on a bike you are going
    to get hit. What will stand up to getting whacked by a car better.

    Thanks for the suggestions already.
     
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  2. Melisa Johns

    Melisa Johns Guest

    Did I get garbage in your question or are you serious?

    > and as we all know. If you commute on a bike you are going to get hit. What will stand up to
    > getting whacked by a car better.
     
  3. R.White

    R.White Guest

    Mr.Tibbs <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > Just looking for some opinions. I know I am going to get what I ask for. I am looking for a
    > commuter bike that I can ride about 30 miles a day and not get trashed quickly.
    >
    > Lite bikes but pretty rigid. Now to state this. Im 5'7" tall and weigh 155 and am very hard on
    > my bikes.

    I'm 6'1 and 235. I'm harder.

    > So all in all I guess what I am asking is what would be a better frame to ride every day. A Ti or
    > Aluminum frame. What will last me longer and as we all know. If you commute on a bike you are
    > going to get hit. What will stand up to getting whacked by a car better.
    >

    I'd more concerned about making myself as visible as possible rather than thinking it's a given that
    you're going to get hit.

    My commuter is a Schwinn Mesa. Chromo frame and lower end components. Has held up for 3 years now
    and is only ridden in the winter (Pa.) Was well used when I got it too. Each night I rinse all the
    crud off and spray the drivetrain down w/ WD40 and then a silicone lube. EVERY NIGHT! Spring gets it
    a teardown and good going over, ready for next year.

    My commute yesterday afternoon was in a blinding snowstorm. I've 2 LED flashers and a white strobe
    on the rear and all cars gave me a nice wide berth when passing. Well, there was one @$$hole on the
    way to work, but that's another story. I'm sure I'll see him again Monday morning.;)
     
  4. Buck

    Buck Guest

    "Mr.Tibbs" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Hello all,
    >
    > Just looking for some opinions. I know I am going to get what I ask for. I am looking for a
    > commuter bike that I can ride about 30 miles a day and not get trashed quickly.

    <snip>

    > So all in all I guess what I am asking is what would be a better frame to ride every day. A Ti or
    > Aluminum frame. What will last me longer and as we all know. If you commute on a bike you are
    > going to get hit. What will stand up to getting whacked by a car better.

    There are a lot of reasons for using an old rigid mountain bike for commuting duties. The frames and
    components are built to withstand off-road use. With narrow slicks, there will be little difference
    in speed from a road bike. There will be plenty of room for mounting fenders (an absolute must-have
    item for most commuters). Conversion to drop bars isn't too difficult. The risk of theft is usually
    pretty low. Updating the bike is easy, there are plenty of parts out there.

    I wouldn't worry about frame material too much. Any decent bike is going to be engineered to use the
    frame material in the best way. If you tend to scratch your paint, you might want to avoid steel,
    but if paint chips aren't a problem, steel should be fine. As for being whacked by a car, I can
    count myself as one of the FEW. The risk really isn't as high as you make it sound. It has been
    discussed to death around here - go to groups.google.com and run an advanced search on this
    newsgroup with the phrase "hit by a car" and you will see what I mean.

    -Buck
     
  5. Gary

    Gary Guest

    I must admit, when I purchased my new bike a few days ago, the last thing on my mind was some twat
    running me over.

    Lets hope the OP is wrong :).

    Gary.

    "brian hughes" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > Snip ...
    > > What will last me longer and as we all know. If you commute on a bike
    you
    > are going to get
    > > hit. What will stand up to getting whacked by a car better.
    > ... End Snip
    >
    > Really, I'm going to get hit? So when is this going to happen to me?
    I've
    > been bike commuting (off and on, but mostly on) for over 25 years and it hasn't happened yet. So I
    > guess I'm not the right one to answer the question of how's the bike frame going to withstand a
    > car crash. Nor have
    I
    > ever considered that specification when looking for a new bike. I just
    have
    > always gone for the one that feels right, has decent quality, and is
    priced
    > right--that seems to work for me thus far.
     
  6. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> writes:

    > I've been commuting to work from Alexandria VA to downtown Washington DC for over 22 years now,
    > and have never been "whacked by a car". I cannot imagine accepting that as an inevitability.

    I'm not surprised, though, that the "inevitability" attitude exists in some people, with on-line
    thoughts available such as this:

    http://www.hevanet.com/springer/index.html

    (click on the "Outlaw Bicycling" link under the "Art and politics of urban cycling" heading)

    "Tip #2 - Expect to get hit:

    It's not always castasrophic or deadly if a car hits you while you're ridin' a bicycle...
    especially at lower speeds.

    Absorb the crash impact by rolling on top of the car.

    On smaller cars, let the low bumper scoop your bike out from under you as you roll
    onto the hood.

    You can't roll onto trucks or vans though. Try to swerve the same direction of travel as the
    vehicle and fall away from it."

    In fairness, this particular link deals with a more guerrilla urban cycling style as one way, but
    not necessarily the best or only way, to get around town on a bicycle. I guess "outlaw" is the
    operative word.

    cheers, Tom

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    -- Powered by FreeBSD

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  7. On Fri, 10 Jan 2003 11:37:03 -0500, Michael James Anderson wrote:

    >> > If you commute on a bike you are going to get hit. What will stand up to getting whacked by a
    >> > car better.
    >
    > Gosh, I wouldn't talk about getting hit by a car so lightly. I have ridden well over 10,000 miles,
    > and I commuted for about 1.5 years, and I thank the Lord that I have never been hit by a car and I
    > pray I never will. Don't get me wrong, I have had some close calls. But I always think of the cars
    > that are out there when I ride, and even when some Loser driver has seemed to TRY to hit me,
    > thankfully I have always avoided the collision.
    >
    > You may not want to focus so much on what bike, but rather some good reflectors and learn how to
    > ride as safely as possible.

    I've been commuting to work from Alexandria VA to downtown Washington DC for over 22 years now, and
    have never been "whacked by a car". I cannot imagine accepting that as an inevitability. Nor can I
    accept the statement that drivers 'seem to try to hit' you. I've never seen any evidence of that. If
    you're experiencing so much danger either you are riding in extremely dangerous places (and you
    should seek out an alternate route) or you are doing something very wrong. Learn how to ride in
    traffic safely.

    And while we're at it, reflectors aren't nearly as good as good lights.
     
  8. Zoot Katz

    Zoot Katz Guest

    Fri, 10 Jan 2003 13:37:25 -0500, <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >Nor can I accept the statement that drivers 'seem to try to hit' you. I've never seen any
    >evidence of that.

    I've had at least two instances in the past two years where drivers have feigned an attack.
    --
    zk
     
  9. Steve Palincsar wrote:
    > Nor can I accept the statement that drivers 'seem to try to hit' you. I've never seen any evidence
    > of that.

    I had one guy try to hit me twice with a pickup truck. He missed and cursed at me and threatened me
    verbally. He said he was going to kill me because I gave him the bird after the first miss. I
    managed to escape due to him being dumber than dirt. He realized how unmaneuverable his truck was
    and tried to chase me on foot. By the time he realized that wouldn't work and got back to his truck,
    I was out of sight.

    Believe me it does happen. Many rednecks are threatened by lycra.

    I've been hit twice. Both were accidents. Both were elderly drivers. One pulled out from being
    parallel parked but didn't look (I didn't go down that time; just clipped). The other was trying to
    make a right turn on red as I was making a left turn on a green arrow (broad sided, laying on the
    hood). She apparently thought I was going faster than I was and lurched forward just as I was
    passing in front of her. Ironically, I slowed down because I didn't have confidence that she saw me
    even though she was looking right at me. If I'd gone fast, she might not have hit me.

    I've had numerous close calls due to right hooks. Most drivers think that bikes go about 5-10 mph
    max even if they're actually going 20-25.

    --Bill Davidson
    --
    Please remove ".nospam" from my address for email replies.
     
  10. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Zoot Katz" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > Fri, 10 Jan 2003 13:37:25 -0500,

    > <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > >Nor can I accept the statement that drivers 'seem to try to hit' you. I've never seen any
    > >evidence of that.
    >
    > I've had at least two instances in the past two years where drivers have feigned an attack.

    I've been hit purposely once, not seriously injured, but missed being run over by a bus by inches.
    There's no question the driver meant to seriously hurt or kill me. This happened in Australia over
    20 years ago.

    A friend of mine was hit by a 32oz soda thrown purposely from a car travelling at over 70mph. She
    suffered serious injuries from the resulting crash, taking over a year to recover, and will never
    recover completely.

    Drivers do make aggressive moves to try to intimidate -- not often, but it happens.

    How much of this you'll see depends a lot on where you live and ride. I can imagine living a whole
    lifetime here in rural VA without ever seeing anything like this, but in southern CA I used to see
    something crazy almost every day. If you live in NYC you'll see a taxis lunge aggressively at people
    all the time. However, there's always many times more driver/driver agression than driver/cyclist,
    or driver/pedestrian.

    Matt O.
     
  11. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Tom Keats" <[email protected]_SPAM.vcn.bc.ca> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > In article <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar
    > <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > > I've been commuting to work from Alexandria VA to downtown Washington DC for over 22 years now,
    > > and have never been "whacked by a car". I cannot imagine accepting that as an inevitability.
    >
    > I'm not surprised, though, that the "inevitability" attitude exists in some people, with on-line
    > thoughts available such as this:
    >
    > http://www.hevanet.com/springer/index.html
    >
    > (click on the "Outlaw Bicycling" link under the "Art and politics of urban cycling" heading)
    >
    >
    > "Tip #2 - Expect to get hit:
    >
    > It's not always castasrophic or deadly if a car hits you while you're ridin' a bicycle...
    > especially at lower speeds.
    >
    > Absorb the crash impact by rolling on top of the car.
    >
    > On smaller cars, let the low bumper scoop your bike out from under you as you roll onto the hood.
    >
    > You can't roll onto trucks or vans though. Try to swerve the same direction of travel as the
    > vehicle and fall away from it."
    >
    > In fairness, this particular link deals with a more guerrilla urban cycling style as one way, but
    > not necessarily the best or only way, to get around town on a bicycle. I guess "outlaw" is the
    > operative word.

    No, "moron" is the operative word.

    This guy's been watching too much "Jackass" on MTV...

    Matt O.
     
  12. Matt O'Toole

    Matt O'Toole Guest

    "Bill Davidson" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...

    > I had one guy try to hit me twice with a pickup truck. He missed and cursed at me and threatened
    > me verbally. He said he was going to kill me because I gave him the bird after the first miss. I
    > managed to escape due to him being dumber than dirt. He realized how unmaneuverable his truck
    was
    > and tried to chase me on foot. By the time he realized that wouldn't work and got back to his
    > truck, I was out of sight.
    >
    > Believe me it does happen. Many rednecks are threatened by lycra.
    >
    > I've been hit twice. Both were accidents. Both were elderly drivers.
    One
    > pulled out from being parallel parked but didn't look (I didn't go down that time; just clipped).
    > The other was trying to make a right turn on
    red as
    > I was making a left turn on a green arrow (broad sided, laying on the
    hood).
    > She apparently thought I was going faster than I was and lurched forward
    just
    > as I was passing in front of her. Ironically, I slowed down because I
    didn't
    > have confidence that she saw me even though she was looking right at me.
    If
    > I'd gone fast, she might not have hit me.
    >
    > I've had numerous close calls due to right hooks. Most drivers think that bikes go about 5-10 mph
    > max even if they're actually going 20-25.

    Yup. This is the main thing one must learn as a cyclist. The usual rules of the road stuff goes
    without saying, but this one takes some experience. Drivers almost always misjudge your speed. I'm
    always wary of the right hook -- I slow down as a vehicle comes alongside and threatens to turn, so
    I can brake in time if I have to. I don't find avoiding it to be a problem. It's just annoying to
    have to slow/stop. I've had to stop plenty of times, but I can't honestly say it was a close call. A
    greater danger, IMO, is someone making a left turn in front of me while I'm cruising along at speed.

    What do southerners have against turn signals, anyway? Fortunately they move slowly enough... OK,
    I'll stop being an obnoxious Yankee now...

    Matt O.
     
  13. Matt O'Toole wrote:
    > I'm always wary of the right hook --

    Every cyclist that rides in traffic needs to be.

    > I slow down as a vehicle comes alongside and threatens to turn, so I can brake in time if I have
    > to. I don't find avoiding it to be a problem.

    Sometimes, you don't know they're there. I have on many occasions had people just show up, obviously
    braking hard because they were going very fast in order to beat me to the turn. These people think
    they're GT racers and have to get through the turn fast (though they almost always do even that
    badly). There's not always a lot of time to react. At stop lights, I tend to be a bit more wary but
    sometimes it happens at driveways and if I looked back every time I was approaching a driveway, I
    would hardly have time to look forward.

    --Bill Davidson
    --
    Please remove ".nospam" from my address for email replies.
     
  14. Jon Isaacs

    Jon Isaacs Guest

    >"Tip #2 - Expect to get hit: It's not always castasrophic or deadly if a car hits you while you're
    >ridin' a bicycle... especially at lower speeds.

    >

    Tip #2: Ride so that you avoid getting hit. It's never a good thing to tangle with a car.

    Jon Isaacs
     
  15. > > If you commute on a bike you are going to get hit. What will stand up to getting whacked by a
    > > car better.

    Gosh, I wouldn't talk about getting hit by a car so lightly. I have ridden well over 10,000 miles,
    and I commuted for about 1.5 years, and I thank the Lord that I have never been hit by a car and I
    pray I never will. Don't get me wrong, I have had some close calls. But I always think of the cars
    that are out there when I ride, and even when some Loser driver has seemed to TRY to hit me,
    thankfully I have always avoided the collision.

    You may not want to focus so much on what bike, but rather some good reflectors and learn how to
    ride as safely as possible.

    Michael
     
  16. Bernie

    Bernie Guest

    Tom Keats wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>,
    > Steve Palincsar <[email protected]> writes:
    >
    > > I've been commuting to work from Alexandria VA to downtown Washington DC for over 22 years now,
    > > and have never been "whacked by a car". I cannot imagine accepting that as an inevitability.
    >
    > I'm not surprised, though, that the "inevitability" attitude exists in some people, with on-line
    > thoughts available such as this:
    >
    > http://www.hevanet.com/springer/index.html
    >
    > (click on the "Outlaw Bicycling" link under the "Art and politics of urban cycling"
    > heading)
    >
    > "Tip #2 - Expect to get hit:
    >
    > It's not always castasrophic or deadly if a car hits you while you're ridin' a bicycle...
    > especially at lower speeds.
    >
    > Absorb the crash impact by rolling on top of the car.
    >
    > On smaller cars, let the low bumper scoop your bike out from under you as you roll onto
    > the hood.
    >
    > You can't roll onto trucks or vans though. Try to swerve the same direction of travel as
    > the vehicle and fall away from it."
    >
    > In fairness, this particular link deals with a more guerrilla urban cycling style as one way, but
    > not necessarily the best or only way, to get around town on a bicycle. I guess "outlaw" is the
    > operative word.
    >
    > cheers, Tom
    >
    > --
    > -- Powered by FreeBSD
    >
    > remove NO_SPAM. from address to reply

    Gee, I never signed up to be rolling over compact cars!
     
  17. Tom Keats

    Tom Keats Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Zoot Katz <[email protected]> writes:
    > Fri, 10 Jan 2003 13:37:25 -0500, <[email protected]>, Steve Palincsar
    > <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >>Nor can I accept the statement that drivers 'seem to try to hit' you. I've never seen any evidence
    >>of that.
    >
    > I've had at least two instances in the past two years where drivers have feigned an attack.

    Often those guys can be baited, and lured into sticky-uppy traffic-calming things that rip their gas
    tanks off.

    It can be amusing sport, if one has the time to do it.

    I've had a number of drivers burst forth from their stop line/ stop sign, almost right in front of
    me. Every time, I somehow knew they were going to do it.

    I guess it helps to be a little psychic, if there is such a thing.

    In reality, I think it has more to do with reading their car's "body language".

    In another thread I mentioned a site that talks about expecting to be hit.

    I got wondering about "styles", and if there's an "urban" cycling style that's distinct from, or
    extends, vehicular cycling. So I Googled "cycling style", and that was one of the hits.

    I've come to the conclusion that the answer (is urban cycling distinct from vehicular
    cycling?) is "no".

    There'll be those who say urban cycling is a style unto itself -- blowing reds, passing right, etc.
    But no. Not even on Kingsway at rush hour. The outlaw thing is a loser. IMO.

    I guess real urban cycling is a lot of sprinting and coasting and braking and dancing around parked
    cars on the side. But there's no selfishness. There's just the impetus to keep the traffic flow,
    flowing. The "good" drivers do that, too. Too bad there's so few of them.

    Y'know, I often like the SeaSide route (3rd Ave), heading toward Jericho beach. The street is so
    narrowed with parked cars. When cars are oncoming, there's the dance of "who ducks in between the
    parked cars to let the oncoming guy past". Sometimes it's the car's turn; sometimes it's the
    cyclist's turn, depending on where the clear spots are. And it's a friendly give & take. I
    appreciate that. I like pulling over, and letting a friendly driver go by, and trade smiles & waves.
    And I appreciate being let through by drivers who reciprocally let me by.

    Can't do that on the East Side. On the East Side they'd just as soon mow ya down, and not even give
    you a chance to duck outa their way. But then, ya get into Burnaby, and it's civilized again :)

    Maybe "urban cycling" is best left undefined, because urbanias differ. Can't go too wrong with
    vehicular cycling, though. Beats the "outlaw" thing.

    So, I got a notion to try to learn the words of what "urban cycling" is. I was stupid. I do urban
    cycling all the time. Scary-wide handlebars 'n all.

    cheers, Tom

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  18. many many thousands of bicycle commuting. Never been hit by a car. Not even close. So. Some riders
    seem to constantly be having accidents. others go a very long time between accidents. Is it just
    fate? I don't think it is. I think the vast majority of it is under your control. Slow down when it
    feels smart. Let cars go. Speed up when you have room. Find the good route. Have fun. Fear not.
     
  19. Frank Krygowski <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > "Mr.Tibbs" wrote:
    > >
    > > So all in all I guess what I am asking is what would be a better frame to ride every day. A Ti
    > > or Aluminum frame. What will last me longer and as we all know. If you commute on a bike you are
    > > going to get hit. What will stand up to getting whacked by a car better.
    >
    > My commuter bike is a steel frame Raleigh dating from 1972.

    Mine too. It's also my touring bike, my club ride bike, etc.

    On my commute, part of the way there is a bike path that runs parallel to the road. The only
    collision, and most of the near misses I have had have been on the bike path rather than the road.
    The problem is, where side streets or driveways cross, people (in cars and also on bikes, sad to
    say) pull out right across the bike path without looking -- they are looking ahead to the road. So
    if you ride in the road they will see you. If you ride on the bike path they might see you, but
    probably only as you fly across the hood.

    Be careful and wear a helmet!
     
  20. Mark Hickey

    Mark Hickey Guest

    [email protected] (Richard The Magnificent) wrote:

    >many many thousands of bicycle commuting. Never been hit by a car. Not even close. So. Some riders
    >seem to constantly be having accidents. others go a very long time between accidents. Is it just
    >fate? I don't think it is. I think the vast majority of it is under your control. Slow down when it
    >feels smart. Let cars go. Speed up when you have room. Find the good route. Have fun. Fear not.

    The best advice I could give is "be aware". Be actively scanning for threats from all angles, and
    when you identify a potential threat (that Buick pulling out of the parking lot ahead on the
    right...) plan in advance how you'll react if it puts you in a dangerous situation (be aware if you
    can take one - or two - lanes if it pulls out in front of you).

    Practice stopping fast (butt back, drop your torso, extend your arms - MTB style). You need to be
    able to do it right without thinking about
    it.

    Watch the wheels. It's difficult to tell if a car is starting to pull into your path when you're
    closing on it from the side. But it's easy to see if the wheels are moving. That can give you the
    time to swerve, stop or scream (or some awkward combination of all the above).

    Mark Hickey Habanero Cycles http://www.habcycles.com Home of the $695 ti frame
     
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