Planning to purchase a bike to commute 12 miles in NYC. What do Ineed?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Ned, Jun 20, 2008.

  1. Ned

    Ned Guest

    I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting? I have a
    laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    trailers.

    thanks!
     
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  2. BikingGrad80

    BikingGrad80 Guest

    "Ned" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]m...
    >I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting? I have a
    > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > trailers.
    >
    > thanks!


    Stop by http://www.bikeforums.net/
    There is a very active commuting subforum with many of the answers you seek
    inlcuding photos and descriptions of bikes and accessories sued in
    commuting.

    As for what type of bike you would need/want It depends on your budget and
    preferences. I'd want a bike that has clearance and eyelets for racks and
    fenders.

    That rules out most modern road/race bikes.
    Most people would recommend touring or cyclocross bikes if you prefer drop
    bars.

    If you prefere flat bars and are on a budget a hybrid will meet your needs
    though I wouldn't like the upright postion without drop bars especially in
    windy conditions. Mountain bikes are cheap but same problem and they have
    wide tires that are inefficient on pavement.
     
  3. RicodJour

    RicodJour Guest

    On Jun 20, 10:36 am, Ned <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting? I have a
    > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > trailers.


    http://commutebybike.com/

    R
     
  4. In article
    <[email protected]m>,
    Ned <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting? I have a
    > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > trailers.
    >
    > thanks!


    Short, unexplained answer:

    If you have spent 20 years off of a bike, and you aren't especially
    mechanically incline, I would recommend going to your bike shop and
    buying a bicycle with flat bars, slick ("road") tires, and (preferably)
    700c wheels, though 26" is acceptable. If it's a choice, I would suggest
    getting a bike that has a rigid fork rather than a suspension fork.

    Do NOT get one with rear suspension. You are unlikely to buy a bicycle
    with rear suspension that is suitable to your needs. A suspension
    seatpost is a different matter: okay, but not necessary.

    I recommend a rear rack and a saddlebag for your laptop. A 12-mile
    commute will take you about an hour at first, and you will be happier
    with that weight off of your back.

    If you intend to ride rain or shine, get full fenders; do not be tempted
    by "rat tail" or "deflector shield" fenders, which are not nearly as
    nice.

    A bike such as I have described will cost $300-1000.

    Specific models I would consider: Giant FCR3, Trek Soho 1.0, Kona Dew.

    The base-model Dew especially impresses me as having boringly reliable
    components at a really sensible price. But this isn't a list of
    ridden-and-recommended bikes; this is a list of bikes that look like
    good commuter bikes and will work well. If you go to the corporate
    websites, look at the bicycles I'm suggesting, and then go to your local
    shop, you can probably find a similar bicycle among the brands they
    carry, even if they don't carry Trek/Giant/Kona.

    --
    Ryan Cousineau [email protected] http://www.wiredcola.com/
    "In other newsgroups, they killfile trolls."
    "In rec.bicycles.racing, we coach them."
     
  5. Scott Gordo

    Scott Gordo Guest

    On Jun 20, 10:36 am, Ned <[email protected]> wrote:
    > I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting?  I have a
    > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > trailers.
    >
    > thanks!


    Where are you commuting from/to? I'm in Ditmas Park BK and commute to
    midtown Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge.

    Trailer would be excessive, but a basket or panniers might fit the
    bill. If you're locking up outside, less is most definitely more in
    terms of weight and bike theivery.

    Scott
     
  6. Tom Kunich

    Tom Kunich Guest

    "Ned" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]m...
    >I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting? I have a
    > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > trailers.


    Are you able to store the bike inside safely or outside unsafely? This makes
    a significant difference to what would be suggested.
     
  7. landotter

    landotter Guest

    On Jun 20, 4:10 pm, Scott Gordo <[email protected]> wrote:
    > On Jun 20, 10:36 am, Ned <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    > > I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting?  I have a
    > > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > > trailers.

    >
    > > thanks!

    >
    > Where are you commuting from/to? I'm in Ditmas Park BK and commute to
    > midtown Manhattan via the Brooklyn Bridge.
    >
    > Trailer would be excessive, but a basket or panniers might fit the
    > bill. If you're locking up outside, less is most definitely more in
    > terms of weight and bike theivery.
    >

    More can be more as well. A couple Wald baskets on a rack can make any
    bike look less attractive to thieves. . Didn't catch the Manhattan
    location at first. Try to buy used if locking outside. Buy as much as
    you can afford to have stolen. Surely there are tons of bike
    collectives that can help cobble something fantastically ugly yet
    practical together.
     
  8. On Jun 20, 4:20 pm, "Tom Kunich" <[email protected] com> wrote:
    > "Ned" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    >
    > news:[email protected]m...
    >
    > >I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting?  I have a
    > > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > > trailers.

    >
    > Are you able to store the bike inside safely or outside unsafely? This makes
    > a significant difference to what would be suggested.


    If you are locking up outside, you will need a heavy duty U-lock.
    Also, covering the frame with electrical tape (won't leave glue
    residue) then with duct tape (will leave glue residue on the
    electrical tape) to lower the apparent value is handy.
    http://www.breezerbikes.com has a good laptop specific pannier, an
    open shopping pannier, and a regular pannier on the other side.
     
  9. In article
    <[email protected]m>,
    Ned <[email protected]> wrote:

    > I live 12 miles from work and I want to commute by bike this summer to
    > lose weight. I started looking at used bikes and then I saw mention of
    > a "commuter bike" and someone else mentioned "great tires for city
    > riding", and that's when I realized that after 20 years of not riding
    > a bike I need to update my understanding of bike technology before I
    > buy anything. Can anyone tell me what to look for? or give me a
    > resource that can help me choose a bike for commuting? I have a
    > laptop that I need to take to work and back home. I do not know if a
    > backpack would be the best thing, I have seen what I think are called
    > trailers.


    Slick tires.
    Rack.
    Pannier.

    Plenty of work fitting a bicycle and adapting your
    body to the requirements of propelling the bicycle.

    Adapt to riding a bicycle in traffic. Don't panic.
    When in doubt pull over and onto the sidewalk then
    stop and take inventory.

    I think you should go for drop handle bars and
    learn to use them. Get them about saddle height
    or a little lower at first, then allow for dropping
    them. You might (nay will) eventually buy another
    bicycle when you have learned from the first.

    --
    Michael Press
     
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