Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

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SimpleLife
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Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by SimpleLife » Wed Jun 08, 2016 10:29 pm

Eventually I'll be moving back to a transit friendly area, where I can bike just under 2 miles to mass transit to Seattle. Being that it rains here more often than not, I was thinking of getting something with mud guards on the front and back tires. I already got some lights for the bike for safety. Anything else I should consider?

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daylen
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by daylen » Wed Jun 08, 2016 11:12 pm

Will you be doing any off road biking? If so, see look into different tire types and shock absorption.

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FBeyer
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by FBeyer » Thu Jun 09, 2016 3:12 am

The only thing I advertise whenever someone asks for city commuter bike advice: Get a single speed! Not a fixed gear, just a single speed.

I've been riding single speeds for the last 8 years; I don't think I'll ever want to ride anything else again. Gears break, rattle, and slip out of alignment, chains don't.

Initially I had no idea how riding a single speed would work, I thought it would be tough to start or ride up hills; it's not. Just find the proper gear ratio.

You want simplicity? You want a single speed!

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vexed87
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by vexed87 » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:15 am

Answer these questions and we could tailor your advice a little better:

1.What do you need to transport, just yourself, you and your lunch, or a laptop and change of clothes? Will you want to take your bike on the transit systems, or leave locked up?
2. How far and how fast do want to go?
3. How much would you budget?
4. What terrain will you be riding on?
5. Will you use it for pleasure, or just commuting? If for pleasure too, does this alter the terrain you would be riding on?
6. How competent or willing are you to learn same basic mechanics?

poleo
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by poleo » Thu Jun 09, 2016 5:57 am

I don't know how advanced a cyclist you are, though I've had success with following this advice from the forum: If you haven't biked a lot before, just get any old bike for cheap. Then see if you like biking everywhere, and get a posh superbicycle later. The used bike I just got will probably sell on in a year or two for about the same price I got it for. It has wheels, some metal tubes to hold it all together and a variety of cogs, and a steering interface up front. Great! This took all the thinking out of the equation, and to me there is no better equation than one without thinking.

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tylerrr
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by tylerrr » Fri Jun 10, 2016 12:05 pm

I like hybrids with flat bar handles. You feel like it's kind of a road bike with some speed, but a little more rugged to handle bumps and holes.

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Eureka
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by Eureka » Fri Jun 10, 2016 9:13 pm

SimpleLife wrote:Anything else I should consider?
You should consider proper clothing for rain, snow and cold weather - and have it ready before it rains, snows or gets cold - so that you keep on cycling through all seasons. Once a habit, you just take the bike no matter what.

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tommytebco
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by tommytebco » Sat Jun 11, 2016 1:39 pm

Under two miles is key. Just get a bike. You won't need gears unless steep hills are on the route.
Fenders are nice. Rain suit is nice. Dry clothes are nice. depends on what level you work at. If you have to "spiff up" ?
A rack and panniers are nice.
1. Wire fold up Panniers: https://www.amazon.com/Wald-Folding-Rea ... B0073TQIOS $12 EACH. 2 REQ.

2. luggage rack https://www.amazon.com/Ventura-Universa ... ggage+rack $12 prox.


picture of my city bike:
https://www.instagram.com/p/BGhkB3-LiSW/

enigmaT120
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by enigmaT120 » Sun Jun 12, 2016 12:12 pm

I wouldn't think two miles are worth the extra hassles of a bike compared to just walking. Twice I have been wise enough to live within two miles of work and I generally walked. Easier to stay dry and comfortable that way, too.

I ride to and from the bus, but now it's 9 miles in the morning, and generally 18 miles after work except in the winter's darkness where I don't get as much out of the experience. I'm a scenery junky.

tommytebco
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by tommytebco » Mon Jun 13, 2016 9:49 am

enigmaT120 Good Point.
30 to 40 minute walk versus 8 to 12 minutes cycling. And then locking up etc. Probably close to a wash. Using the "KISS" principle, Walk wins.

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vexed87
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by vexed87 » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:26 am

I would ride 2 miles, just for sheer enjoyment. That said, regularly maintaining and cleaning a bike for such a short distance could be annoying.

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Mon Jun 13, 2016 10:54 am

I have a 1-2 mile bike commute to work. Despite unlocking/locking it is much faster than walking. I find walking too dull.

I use an old road bike converted to single speed. I can't think of the last time it needed any maintenance.

Jean
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by Jean » Mon Jun 13, 2016 11:41 am

Mud guards are a must.
But you must know that staying dry while riding in the rain is very difficult.
Also i ride a fixed gear since 3 years. I love it. But in my memories, seattle is quite hilly, so choose an adapted ratio, a go for a unfixed single speed.

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FBeyer
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by FBeyer » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:00 pm

Gilberto de Piento wrote:...
I use an old road bike converted to single speed. I can't think of the last time it needed any maintenance.
This!

If one can inflate tires and grease a chain, one can maintain a single speed.
And not only the maintenance itself, but there is no period of irritation either; you know, those weeks where the gears are out of alignment and the bike rattles and does 'flow' right, and you need to get your shit together and fix it. That's gone.

It. Just. Works!

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Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by Gilberto de Piento » Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:41 pm

Internally geared hubs (3 speed, 5 speed, etc.) give you most of the simplicity of a single speed but with more versatility.

enigmaT120
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by enigmaT120 » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:02 pm

I'm waiting to find a Rholoff hub equipped bike cheap at Goodwill or a garage sale.

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Ego
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by Ego » Wed Jun 15, 2016 12:14 pm

enigmaT120 wrote:I'm waiting to find a Rholoff hub equipped bike cheap at Goodwill or a garage sale.
This is one of my dream finds as well. I saw a rear wheel with a Rholoff for $100 a few weeks ago but a guy had just bought it before I got there. Arrrrggghhh! Some day.

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Ego
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by Ego » Wed Jun 15, 2016 10:50 pm

Oh the many ways a bicycle can be useful. :?

https://aeon.co/videos/the-curious-case ... hotel-room

SimpleLife
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by SimpleLife » Thu Jun 16, 2016 9:42 pm

Yeah it's just over 30 minutes to walk to the train station vs about 10 minutes on a bike. Plus I may need to use the bike from the train station in Seattle to the office.

So we're talking about at least one hour a day difference. The other option is to just use the car which takes about 8 minutes and keeps me dry. Considering such a short commute any 1K beater would suffice, and if it broke down I could walk temporarily until I get another one. I plan on having a car in retirement. I do want to become less reliant on one but it's not an absolute necessity, since where I live it's a lot harder to "live" without a car. I know because I had to do it for a few months and it sucked.

The thing that I like about a bike is that during rush hour I'd actually be better off on a bike than in a car, I get a good workout AND it's a relatively simple and cheap piece of equipment to maintain. I did it as a kid with my bike.

JL13
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by JL13 » Thu Jun 16, 2016 10:04 pm

Very very few people have ever managed to have a car that cost less than $250 per month. A $1k bike cost less than $1k, a $1k car cost much much much more than $1k.

SavingWithBabies
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by SavingWithBabies » Sat Jun 18, 2016 12:41 am

Start with a cheap hybrid or old road bike. Then you can figure out if you like gears, if you prefer faster or slower, want more off road or more faster on road, want to carry stuff, etc. Or you might turn out to be super happy with the cheap option. A bicycle coop is a good place to buy used. It's easier to figure out what you're lacking and then go towards an extreme (ie fixed gear, carbon fiber, brand new alu/steel road bike, cyclocross bike, tourer, etc).

Also nothing is a must until you find it is. In Chicago, I loved mud guards. Here in California, my cycling style (wear different cloths and shower at work) means getting dirty in the rare rain is annoying but not a big deal. So far, I've always cycled in swimming trunks and a t-shirt so no expensive cycle gear to stain. I prefer having lights on front and back even during the day but if you only ride during the day, maybe just a decent rear light is enough.

That said, it's worth looking into decent tires to try to avoid punctures. There are a bunch of options and all seem a little expensive but you can order online for less and going from regular flats to rare flats is wonderful. Even with good tires, you have to be careful. I was a bit inattentive today and hit some car part junk and had a pinch flat (even with my good tires -- they can't do much for a pinch flat). Patching a tire is a bit of a drag.

edit: I reread your post. Mud guards definitely make sense in your location.

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Eureka
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by Eureka » Sat Jun 18, 2016 3:25 am

So you consider a 10-minute bike ride good exercise? I don't.

Bicycling can be very convenient as a means of transportation and a great substitute for sitting in a car, but your movements are repetitive and there is no weight bearing involved so you will still have to take care of getting proper movement done at a different time. Whereas the time you spend walking counts towards taking good care of yourself and maintaining a strong and healthy body. Thus, you may see it as a gift that you can get one hour of walking for 'free' every day.

http://katysays.libsyn.com/episode-33-cycling

JamesR
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by JamesR » Sat Jun 18, 2016 4:50 am

If you're biking in the city, you pretty much want a bike with narrow wheels, so avoid the huge mountain bike wheels with all that grippy bits, that stuff slows you way down.

Also "2 miles to mass transit to seattle", maybe you should just skip paying for that transit and bike all the way to seattle. For that you'd probably want a proper road bike with dropdown bars. The more gears you have the easier it is to deal with the transition between hills, flats, downhills, and get maximum speed.

SimpleLife
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by SimpleLife » Sat Jun 18, 2016 8:11 pm

JamesR wrote:If you're biking in the city, you pretty much want a bike with narrow wheels, so avoid the huge mountain bike wheels with all that grippy bits, that stuff slows you way down.

Also "2 miles to mass transit to seattle", maybe you should just skip paying for that transit and bike all the way to seattle. For that you'd probably want a proper road bike with dropdown bars. The more gears you have the easier it is to deal with the transition between hills, flats, downhills, and get maximum speed.

It would take me 3-4 hours to bike to Seattle and another 3-4 to bike back. The train station TO Seattle may be a short bike ride away but Seattle is not, that's why I would bike to the train station....

mfi
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Re: Thinking of getting a bike; tips?

Post by mfi » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:04 pm

If you are planning to take your bike on the train, one of these folding commuter hybrids might work well for you. I bought one 3 months ago and I use it for my 6-mile round-trip daily commute and on weekends. I'm 5-8, 170lbs and it fits OK. No maintenance/performance issues so far after 1,500 miles. I like that it has 26-inch tires, it's versatile and I can fold it and stick it in the trunk of my car. I live in SoCal so rain is not an issue....

http://flash.newegg.com/Product/9SIA05V ... lsrc=aw.ds

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