Trying to find a clue......

Discussion in 'rec.bicycles.soc archive' started by Nb, Mar 26, 2003.

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  1. Nb

    Nb Guest

    Hello,

    I graduated from high school last year, and now I am off to find an apartment. I started adding up
    the costs of living alone and I realized what an incredible hassle a car would be to maintain. I
    have had previous interest in cycling, but now its become an fiscal opportunity as well as one of
    interest. I was looking around for a good primer on bicycles and cycling as a means of
    transportation. I can't seem to have too much luck on my own. Can someone please point me in the
    right direction? I am really starting to hope to just invest in a really good bike and use it as my
    transportation.

    TIA, Nick
     
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  2. Mitch Haley

    Mitch Haley Guest

    NB wrote:
    >
    > Hello,
    >
    > I graduated from high school last year, and now I am off to find an apartment. I started adding up
    > the costs of living alone and I realized what an incredible hassle a car would be to maintain.

    http://www.bicyclinglife.com/PracticalCycling/
     
  3. Tanya Quinn

    Tanya Quinn Guest

    Hi Nick, Sounds like you've made an excellent decision! See if your local library has the book
    "Effective Cycling" by John Forester. If you tell us where you are geographically perhaps someone
    from this group can point you to local resources. If your city has a cycling advocacy group you can
    find other like minded people, especially if there are bad cycling conditions in your city that you
    need to collaboratively try to influence change.

    You mention wanting to invest in a "really good bike". If you are cycling for transportation, you
    may want to consider theft as a factor in buying a bike. Even with a good lock, if your bike looks
    tempting to bike thieves they will be able to get it. Of course its always nice if your job allows
    you to bring your bicycle inside the building.

    Ideally when looking for an apartment, you can find something that will be close to where you
    work, where you "play", and public transit as a bicycle backup. That makes it much easier to live
    car-free. And somewhere that allows for good bicycle routes between where you live and places
    you'd want to go. If you are cycling in conditions you don't like every day you won't want to keep
    it up for long.

    Here's a bicycle commuter link for Toronto, Canada - some of it is specific to Toronto but much of
    its tips can be applied universally http://www.sunnybrook.utoronto.ca:8080/~macgowan/cycling/

    Good luck! Tanya

    "NB" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Hello,
    >
    > I graduated from high school last year, and now I am off to find an apartment. I started adding up
    > the costs of living alone and I realized what an incredible hassle a car would be to maintain. I
    > have had previous interest in cycling, but now its become an fiscal opportunity as well as one of
    > interest. I was looking around for a good primer on bicycles and cycling as a means of
    > transportation. I can't seem to have too much luck on my own. Can someone please point me in the
    > right direction? I am really starting to hope to just invest in a really good bike and use it as
    > my transportation.
    >
    > TIA, Nick
     
  4. Tanya Quinn <[email protected]> wrote:
    : Ideally when looking for an apartment, you can find something that will be close to where you
    : work, where you "play", and public transit as a bicycle backup. That makes it much easier to live
    : car-free. And somewhere that allows for good bicycle routes between where you live and places
    : you'd want to go. If you are cycling in conditions you don't like every day you won't want to keep
    : it up for long.

    Funnily enough, apartments in places like that tend to be expensive :)

    Living a reasonable distance from everything could be a good choice, since then, where ever you go
    with the bike you get a good exercise. At first you can use bike for the trip once a week and after
    some years a dozen times a week.

    Check out the other Usenet groups like rec.bicycles.misc.

    --
    Risto Varanka | http://www.helsinki.fi/~rvaranka/ varis at no spam please iki fi
     
  5. Jay

    Jay Guest

    "NB" <[email protected]> wrote:
    >> I graduated from high school last year, and now I am off to find an apartment. I started adding
    >> up the costs of living alone and I realized what an incredible hassle a car would be to maintain.
    >> I have had previous interest in cycling, but now its become an fiscal opportunity as well as one
    >> of interest. I was looking around for a good primer on bicycles and cycling as a means of
    >> transportation. I can't seem to have too much luck on my own. Can someone please point me in the
    >> right direction? I am really starting to hope to just invest in a really good bike and use it as
    >> my transportation.

    I have been a year-round transportational cyclist in southern Ontario, Canada for about 4 years.
    I could fill pages with information, but perhaps you could post here or email me with what you
    want to know.
     
  6. Nb

    Nb Guest

    Thanks to everyone who has given me input thus far, it has been really helpful! Someone asked where
    I am located for more specific help. I live in Rockford, Il. Its Il's 2nd largest city, and it is
    located in northern central Il. I have found one group online so far, the Blackhawk Bicycle and Ski
    Club (BBSC).

    Jay - After doing research on taking up cycling as a way of permanent transportation I have a few
    things I feel unanswered....

    Now that I want to make a serious investment into a bike and equipment, how do I figure out
    which bike I should get? What websites are best for ordering and reviewing bikes/equipment?

    How much of an advantage does one get by wearing cycling clothes? If I am going to travel medium
    distances (10-30 miles) should I wear them then change into the appropriate clothes of my
    destination? What do you other commuting cyclists do as far as clothing?

    When riding on roads, what is the highest mph rated road that you would recommend riding on? Or
    is it just anything other than highways? [I plan to start by taking longer trips in my city at
    first, because I want to get used to road riding through neighborhood streets than jumping
    straight to major roads.]

    "Jay" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:BAA96444.79A5%[email protected]...
    > "NB" <[email protected]> wrote:
    > >> I graduated from high school last year, and now I am off to find an apartment. I started adding
    > >> up the costs of living alone and I realized
    what
    > >> an incredible hassle a car would be to maintain. I have had previous interest in cycling, but
    > >> now its become an fiscal opportunity as well
    as one
    > >> of interest. I was looking around for a good primer on bicycles and
    cycling
    > >> as a means of transportation. I can't seem to have too much luck on my
    own.
    > >> Can someone please point me in the right direction? I am really
    starting to
    > >> hope to just invest in a really good bike and use it as my
    transportation.
    >
    > I have been a year-round transportational cyclist in southern Ontario, Canada for about 4 years. I
    > could fill pages with information, but perhaps you could post here or email me with what you want
    > to know.
     
  7. Darin McGrew

    Darin McGrew Guest

    NB <[email protected]> wrote:
    > Jay - After doing research on taking up cycling as a way of permanent transportation I have a few
    > things I feel unanswered....
    >
    > Now that I want to make a serious investment into a bike and equipment,

    My freshman year of college, I had a dormmate who was a serious cyclist and owned a very expensive
    road bike. He wanted to ride it around campus as his primary transportation. He tried camouflaging
    it with a plain paint job, but it looked like a very expensive road bike with a plain paint job. It
    still stuck out among the beaters the rest of us were riding.

    He ended up buying a beater for basic transportation around campus, and only took his expensive road
    bike out for serious rides.

    I recommend that you do likewise. Get a basic, solid, inexpensive bike. For basic transportation,
    it's more important that it be reliable. Part of reliability is still being there--and still being
    intact--when you come out of the store, or wherever it was you needed to go.

    And don't forget transportation-oriented accessories like fenders, lights, an emergency kit, racks,
    panniers, rain gear, etc.

    > How much of an advantage does one get by wearing cycling clothes? If I am going to travel
    > medium distances (10-30 miles) should I wear them then change into the appropriate clothes of
    > my destination? What do you other commuting cyclists do as far as clothing?

    I wear normal streat clothes. For medium distances (i.e., my daily commute), I take the train and
    ride to/from the station at each end. It's easy when there are bike racks on every train. Otherwise,
    I'd need to invest in a folding bike that I could carry on board.

    > When riding on roads, what is the highest mph rated road that you would recommend riding on?
    > Or is it just anything other than highways? [I plan to start by taking longer trips in my city
    > at first, because I want to get used to road riding through neighborhood streets than jumping
    > straight to major roads.]

    The speed limit isn't the only issue. There are expressways (speed limits of 45+ mph) with wide
    shoulders that are nicer to ride on than city streets (speed limits of 25 mph) with no shoulder,
    narrow lanes, and parallel parking right next to the outermost lane.

    And sometimes you have no choice. Between the train station and my job are a major freeway and a
    waterway. There are only a couple (relatively large) roads that cross these obstacles.
    --
    Darin McGrew, [email protected], http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/ Web Design Group,
    [email protected], http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

    "I can take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at once."
     
  8. Nb

    Nb Guest

    Thanks once again... I have been looking at pretty expensive bikes and drooling, but I wasn't taking
    in the reality that you mentioned with having a "too expensive" bike for the given environment.
    Sorta put me back down to earth. Which reminded me to ask something else:

    What do you recommend as far as security goes? What lock/chain systems work and which ones don't?

    "Darin McGrew" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > NB <[email protected]> wrote:
    > > Jay - After doing research on taking up cycling as a way of permanent transportation I have a
    > > few things I feel unanswered....
    > >
    > > Now that I want to make a serious investment into a bike and
    equipment,
    >
    > My freshman year of college, I had a dormmate who was a serious cyclist
    and
    > owned a very expensive road bike. He wanted to ride it around campus as
    his
    > primary transportation. He tried camouflaging it with a plain paint job, but it looked like a very
    > expensive road bike with a plain paint job. It still stuck out among the beaters the rest of us
    > were riding.
    >
    > He ended up buying a beater for basic transportation around campus, and only took his expensive
    > road bike out for serious rides.
    >
    > I recommend that you do likewise. Get a basic, solid, inexpensive bike.
    For
    > basic transportation, it's more important that it be reliable. Part of reliability is still being
    > there--and still being intact--when you come
    out
    > of the store, or wherever it was you needed to go.
    >
    > And don't forget transportation-oriented accessories like fenders, lights, an emergency kit,
    > racks, panniers, rain gear, etc.
    >
    > > How much of an advantage does one get by wearing cycling clothes? If
    I
    > > am going to travel medium distances (10-30 miles) should I wear them
    then
    > > change into the appropriate clothes of my destination? What do you other commuting cyclists do
    > > as far as clothing?
    >
    > I wear normal streat clothes. For medium distances (i.e., my daily commute), I take the train and
    > ride to/from the station at each end. It's easy when there are bike racks on every train.
    > Otherwise, I'd need to invest in a folding bike that I could carry on board.
    >
    > > When riding on roads, what is the highest mph rated road that you
    would
    > > recommend riding on? Or is it just anything other than highways? [I plan
    to
    > > start by taking longer trips in my city at first, because I want to get
    used
    > > to road riding through neighborhood streets than jumping straight to
    major
    > > roads.]
    >
    > The speed limit isn't the only issue. There are expressways (speed limits of 45+ mph) with wide
    > shoulders that are nicer to ride on than city
    streets
    > (speed limits of 25 mph) with no shoulder, narrow lanes, and parallel parking right next to the
    > outermost lane.
    >
    > And sometimes you have no choice. Between the train station and my job are a major freeway and a
    > waterway. There are only a couple (relatively large) roads that cross these obstacles.
    > --
    > Darin McGrew, [email protected], http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/ Web Design Group,
    > [email protected], http://www.HTMLHelp.com/
    >
    > "I can take one day at a time, but sometimes several days attack me at
    once."
     
  9. Tanya Quinn

    Tanya Quinn Guest

    > Now that I want to make a serious investment into a bike and equipment, how do I figure out
    > which bike I should get? What websites are best for ordering and reviewing bikes/equipment?

    It depends on how far you plan on commuting, what the road conditions are like where you commute,
    what else you want to use the bike for (off roading, touring, etc. - though you may want a separate
    "fun" bike), and especially the conditions you have for securing the bike. Above all you want
    something comfortable. But you really don't need to make a big investment. Many people commute on
    cheap beater bikes picked up second hand. I commute on a basic mountain bike I purchased used four
    years ago and replaced the tires with wide slick tires. I personally would not feel comfortable
    using a racing bicycle for a commuting bicycle because the roads I ride tend to have curb cuts,
    potholes, and streetcar tracks. Having wider tires is also nice for winter road conditions.

    > How much of an advantage does one get by wearing cycling clothes? If I am going to travel
    > medium distances (10-30 miles) should I wear them then change into the appropriate clothes of
    > my destination? What do you other commuting cyclists do as far as clothing?

    In terms of speed? For commuting in the city not much. I find the biggest bottleneck in terms of
    timing is traffic lights. But its important to be comfortable in what you are riding in, and it
    depends on how much you sweat and the appropriate dress code where you are going. When I worked
    about 8 km/5 miles from my house (mostly flat) and casual dress code I would wear whatever I would
    wear to work. My new job is 16 km/10 miles uphill (I sweat) with business casual dress, so I wear
    comfy cycling clothes and bring my clothes in my backpack, and change just inside the building at
    the washroom. There's no shower but I bring deodorant with me and can sponge off a bit in the
    washroom cubicle. For cycling clothes, it doesn't need to be fancy. In the summer I wear spandex
    shorts, and in the other seasons I wear lycra pants with nylon fronts to stop the wind and for any
    mud. A good windbreaker/waterproof jacket is a necessity for the rain as well. For running errands I
    always wear whatever since speed is not of big concern.

    > When riding on roads, what is the highest mph rated road that you would recommend riding on?
    > Or is it just anything other than highways? [I plan to start by taking longer trips in my city
    > at first, because I want to get used to road riding through neighborhood streets than jumping
    > straight to major roads.]

    I'm most comfortable with roads that may have higher speed limits but are reasonably busy in terms
    of traffic so congestion keeps the speed not very much higher than the bicycle. Its easiest to ride
    with the least speed differential, espeically when the roads are narrow. However with nice wide
    roads and paved shoulders its pleasant to ride on 80km/h/ 50 mph roads. Neighbourhood streets for
    bike commuting tend to have the problem of a lot of stop signs and speed bumps and other traffic
    calming measures (which also slows you down on the bicycle). My favourite streets to ride on are
    lesser used wider roads with stoplights often parallel to the main road. It will probably take a
    while to find the optimum routes.

    But that's the fun of it too - you don't have to take the same route every day. Sometimes a route is
    better on a particular day. The route I ride to work is reasonably quiet during the early morning
    but a real zoo of parallel parking and shopping in the evening or weekend, so I take a different
    route then. There are a few ways I have of getting home - I'll go through the ravines during the
    summer when I have time to spare because its relaxing, if its night time (be sure to get lights for
    your bike to be seen after dark!) I like a particular street that has a great view of the city, if
    I'm feeling traffic avoidant I'll take a much longer route that goes on almost all trails.

    Happy cycling! Tanya
     
  10. Darin McGrew

    Darin McGrew Guest

    NB <[email protected]> wrote:
    > What do you recommend as far as security goes? What lock/chain systems work and which ones don't?

    Have you heard the 40# rule? A bike and its lock together will weigh 40#. Thus, a 40# bike needs no
    lock, a 35# bike needs a 5# lock, and a 20# bike needs a 20# lock. :)

    Seriously, it depends on where you're leaving your bike, and how attractive your bike is to thieves.

    I have a heavy steel cable and a big padlock, but I haven't used them for a couple years because I
    park my bike in a secure storage room at work and in the garage at home.

    If you're really concerned about your bike being stolen, the best advice I've heard is to use two
    different kinds of locks. All bike locks can be broken easily with the right tools, but if you have
    two different kinds of lock, then a potential thief would need two different tools.

    And don't forget to lock (or take with you) anything with a quick release: wheels, seat, etc.

    PS: Please don't quote the entire message below your response. See
    http://www.cs.tut.fi/~jkorpela/usenet/brox.html
    --
    Darin McGrew, [email protected], http://www.rahul.net/mcgrew/ Web Design Group,
    [email protected], http://www.HTMLHelp.com/

    "You learn nothing new the third time a mule kicks you in the head."
     
  11. Nb

    Nb Guest

    Many thanks on all of the responses so far! I really appreciate it!

    And now for more questions......

    -Are there any panniers that can be unattached from the bike and used as a backpack or as a
    sling-pack? I really need to get one, I just really don't like the idea of leaving it and the things
    inside it at a bike rack.

    -Any advice on whether to get a road bike or a comfort bike as means of transportation? The comfort
    is obviously more comfortable while the road bike seems a lot more efficient. There are more pros
    and cons of either choice, and I'm wondering if anyone can give some first hand experiance to help
    out. I've considered getting some beater of a comfort bike then later deciding to invest in a road
    bike for more serious trips but I just don't know if I can assume I will really need it later (and
    if I don't then I should have invested in a better comfort bike). Any hints to cure this conundrum?
    And are the tires on the comfort bike more like road or mtb tires?

    -Does this Vandeman character realize by arguing like a child on these groups that he is only
    hurting his cause? Which makes all the effort he puts forth come across as blatant masturbation of
    self-righteousness. Sorta reminds me of this -
    http://carcino.gen.nz/images/index.php/00b9a680/463c5922 And participating in his banter is an utter
    waste of time, responding to him will not help getting him to leave. The only reason I mention all
    this is because I constantly get excited when I see there are more unread messages in this group,
    only to find it is just a false alarm compliments of another Mike-based flame war.

    Anyway, TIA for any more help. All of you that have responded have definitely steered me in a better
    direction and already helped me avoid making some stupid future mistakes.

    Peace, Nick
     
  12. On Mon, 31 Mar 2003 02:57:00 GMT in rec.bicycles.soc, "NB" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > -Are there any panniers that can be unattached from the bike and used as a backpack or as a
    > sling-pack? I really need to get one, I just really don't like the idea of leaving it and the
    > things inside it at a bike rack.
    >
    try a "rack duffel" or "rack trunk". many of them have removeable shoulder straps.

    see http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?category=&subcategory=&brand=&sku=6801&storetype=&estoreid=

    for one like the one i got from nashbar.
     
  13. David Moore

    David Moore Guest

    *** post for FREE via your newsreader at post.newsfeed.com ***

    "NB" <[email protected]> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > -Are there any panniers that can be unattached from the bike and used as a backpack or as a
    > sling-pack? I really need to get one, I just really don't like the idea of leaving it and the
    > things inside it at a bike rack.

    Jandd has a duffel rack pack and a commuter briefcase pannier that might interest you, both with a
    shoulder strap:

    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FDRP

    http://www.jandd.com/detail.asp?PRODUCT_ID=FCBP

    > -Does this Vandeman character realize by arguing like a child on these
    <snip>

    Adding the following to my score file has made rec.bicycles.soc readable:

    [rec\.bicycles] Score:: =-9999 From: [email protected] Xref: alt\.mountain-bike

    -----= Posted via Newsfeed.Com, Uncensored Usenet News =-----
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  14. "NB" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > Many thanks on all of the responses so far! I really appreciate it!
    >
    > And now for more questions......
    >
    > -Are there any panniers that can be unattached from the bike and used as a backpack or as a
    > sling-pack? I really need to get one, I just really don't like the idea of leaving it and the
    > things inside it at a bike rack.
    >
    > Peace, Nick

    Cyclesmith (the cycling luggage dept. of Mountainsmith) used to make a backpack/pannier. It required
    attachment of a mounting frame to your rear rack, then the bag clipped onto this frame, which stayed
    on your rack. I've heard that this attachment system was sub-optimal. Shoulder straps were hidden
    behind the back panel. Nice bags, typical Mountainsmith high quality. Maybe $150/pair as of 4-5
    years ago. Not sure if these are made anymore.

    Cheers,

    Eric
     
  15. Nb

    Nb Guest

    And once more I will say - Thank you for all your input!

    But I really would appreciate any hints, suggestions, opinions, etc on whether to get a road or a
    comfort bike... here is the question from my previous post:

    .-Any advice on whether to get a road bike or a comfort bike as means of .transportation? The
    comfort is obviously more comfortable while the road .bike seems a lot more efficient. There are
    more pros and cons of either .choice, and I'm wondering if anyone can give some first hand
    experiance to .help out. I've considered getting some beater of a comfort bike then later .deciding
    to invest in a road bike for more serious trips but I just don't .know if I can assume I will really
    need it later (and if I don't then I .should have invested in a better comfort bike). Any hints to
    cure this .conundrum? And are the tires on the comfort bike more like road or mtb .tires?

    TIA

    Peace, Nick
     
  16. Ken

    Ken Guest

    "NB" <[email protected]> wrote in news:DKsia.329840$6b3.1528149 @rwcrnsc51.ops.asp.att.net:
    > .-Any advice on whether to get a road bike or a comfort bike as means of .transportation? The
    > comfort is obviously more comfortable while the road .bike seems a lot more efficient.

    If you're talking about short distances (5 miles or less), the performance benefits of a road bike
    will generally be negated by traffic lights. Your comment about "serious rides later" is something
    you have to decide for yourself.

    Ken
     
  17. On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 03:25:23 GMT in rec.bicycles.soc, "NB" <[email protected]> wrote:

    > But I really would appreciate any hints, suggestions, opinions, etc on whether to get a road or a
    > comfort bike

    get a reasonably priced mountain bike in the $300-400 range from a bike shop, not walmart, where
    they can't put forks on forward. have them replace the knobby tires with inverse tread "city" tires,
    which are much more efficient. the fatter tires are much less prone to flats from broken glass than
    skinny road bike tires.

    learn to gear down and spin up. ride a lot. you'll feel better for it.
     
  18. Acme User

    Acme User Guest

    Nick,

    I have a Trek 7700 comfort/hybrid bike. It allows me to ride in a more upright position and has 700c
    wheels and gearing more like a road bike than a mountain bike. Therefore, I am relatively efficient
    on the road but get to have a suspension system on the front forks and suspension seat post. I have
    put about 1,100 miles on this bike and loved every minute of it. I am also going to start commuting
    on the bike and am having more robust wheels built for the venture. I will ride about 20 miles a day
    while commuting.

    I am a heavy rider at 220 lbs and leaning over that mid life pooch on a road bike was not for me. I
    also liked the gearing and shifting mechanism on the bike. The Trek 7700 is a bit more expensive but
    I think they have similar models a bit cheaper.

    The key here is to go ride a lot of bikes of both types and think seriously about what you plan to
    do with the bike. If you are going to put panniers on the bike then a comfort may be better suited
    depending on how much weight you plan to carry. Some road bikes have shorter chainstays and your
    feet will hit the panniers when riding. Check this with any bike before buying. Fatter tires are ok
    as long as not too fat. This is a personal opinion so please don't flame me on it. I had 700x38c
    tires on the bike and am chainging down to
    700x32c. It is not a huge difference but I like to run at 100+ psi in my tires to increase rolling
    efficiency. If you are a heavy rider then larger tires may be more appropriate for you.

    I am a novice and by no means an expert in this area. I am just passing on my experiences and
    personal preferences.

    Good luck and let us know what you get.

    Bill

    On Wed, 02 Apr 2003 03:25:23 GMT, "NB" <[email protected]> wrote:

    >And once more I will say - Thank you for all your input!
    >
    >But I really would appreciate any hints, suggestions, opinions, etc on whether to get a road or a
    >comfort bike... here is the question from my previous post:
    >
    >.-Any advice on whether to get a road bike or a comfort bike as means of .transportation? The
    >comfort is obviously more comfortable while the road .bike seems a lot more efficient. There are
    >more pros and cons of either .choice, and I'm wondering if anyone can give some first hand
    >experiance to .help out. I've considered getting some beater of a comfort bike then later .deciding
    >to invest in a road bike for more serious trips but I just don't .know if I can assume I will
    >really need it later (and if I don't then I .should have invested in a better comfort bike). Any
    >hints to cure this .conundrum? And are the tires on the comfort bike more like road or mtb .tires?
    >
    >TIA
    >
    >Peace, Nick
     
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