Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
16 posts • Page 1 of 1
I was looking at getting a commuters bike for a return journey of 52km per day. Will the Cannondale Quick 3 cut it? Just want to make sure im looking at the right thing, im a bit of a noob when it comes to bikes but this one was pointed out to me a while back.
Any thoughts, opinions and general chit chat is more than welcome!
Cheers from the Illy
My commute is about 12km all up. Any further and I wouldnâ€™t have started. Now that I have started I wish it were further.
I commute on a Hard tail MTB. Having a ball so far
2012 Oppy A4 | 200x Hard tail Kona Blast Deluxe
yes, BUT it won't be very quick and may require more regular maintenance.
i got the giant cross city 1 (am doing just under 45kms return). it has shimano 105 which has more road bike componentes unlike the quick 3 (which is more MTB). over 50kms is a long way - do you know what you are in for?
I do a similar commute distance - 59kms/day.
I have an all-steel rigid - a Surly Karate Monkey with a dynamo in the front hub and a Shimano Alfine 11 in the rear hub.
The trick is to have good quality bike parts on your bike as with 10,000kms or so a year you want reliability and low maintenance costs.
105 is good for me. but i don't really have muck to compare it to (my brother wouldn't tolerate anything less)
Not for commuting. The better/more expensive groupsets are lighter and have more reliable shifting because when racing a miss-shift can cause you to lose the race. A miss-shift makes no difference on a commute.
10 speed chains are around twice the price of 9-speed. 10-speed cassettes are around twice the price of 9 speed. 9 speed wear a little more slowly. You will go through at least one cassette a year and probably 3 chains (I rotate through 3 chain every 1000km until the cassette is done - so far ~12,000km seems to be the go). Do the maths.
My commuter (Boardman Comp CX) is Sora level with disc brakes. My commute is 48km round trip. It did it's first full on Sydney storm today and was very well behaved. Disc brakes are almost essential in those conditions.
Learn to maintain your own bike too. Youtube, sheldonbrown.com, here -> The Shed are all very helpful and you will save heaps of money.
"My bicycle masters boardwalk and quagmire with aplomb. Those that doubt me... suck THUMB by choice."
We probably need a little more info to really help out.
- how much riding do you do now? Are you new to cycling or just commuting? How old are you and how fit are you?
- will your commute be hilly or flat? What type of road/path? Highway, back street, bike path? How much traffic is there? (Where are you and where are you commuting to/from?)
- do you plan on commuting rain hail and shine?
- do you need to carry much stuff with you or can you travel light?
The answers to the questions will help determine what type of bike will best suit you. Horses for courses....
- I reckon around 8km every other day but on an old heavy mountain bike, used mostly for the Royal National Park
- Commuting will be new thing though, along with the distances too!!
- The commute Is Padstow to the City, which is undulating at times - i'm going to sleep well at night! It will be mainly roads for the journey there, Canterbury road is busy
- I dont intend to ride in the rain (if i can help it) the roads in Sydney are crazy enough at times.
- Im 33, 5ft 9, weigh 75kg and currently a full time runner; i run 7km 4 times a week (10km on Saturday), swim 2 times a week and take part in cross training and yoga. So reasonably fit.
- No need to carry much stuff at all, I'll just leave everything in the office and go into the City on the weekend with the family and drop it off.
Also thanks to Simonn, i'll get reading on that site.
Mate, I would stay well clear of Canterbury Road... Unless cheating injury is a pre-requisite for your commute.
I used to live in Revesby & do the commute to the CBD & now live in Narwee, so still go the same way, but about 6 kms less each way.
My advice is stick to back streets as much as possible.
Below is a link to my route... You certainly don't have to go this way, but it keeps main roads to a bare minimum.
This is the way I go into the city. I take a different route home as a few roads aren't quite so cycle friendly going CBD to home...
Enjoy commuting. It is the best.
Focus Cayo 2.0 (2011) | Trek 7.5Fx (2007)
Thanks mate, i reckon you saved my life - we'll call it a near miss.
Ah yeah, i regularly ride to Narwee, you just can't escape the in-laws! The route to the City looks good, will probably have to practice that one a couple of times. Thanks for that, its stunning that someone has actually mapped out their route, totally amazed!
Curious.... what bicycle do you ride in?
I mapped mine out on google earth and left a copy with my wife. She knows the route I take home and can check if there are any accidents or issues on the radio or whatever. I also let her use 'track my iphone' so she can see where I am along the way. That way she can get the tradie out of the house before I get there!!!
Get some good puncture resistant tyres and carry some spares. Also make sure that you can change a tyre on your new bike before starting the trip.
Bike: new 2013 Merida carbon T5 speeder
A belt driven internally geared hub (Alfine 8 would be fine) would be really low maintenance. Avanti Inc 2, Trek Soho Deluxe etc. Chain driven IHG would be cheaper and still less maintenance than a derailleur bike.
Otherwise things like Kona Dews, Merida Speeders, Giant CRXs etc are great commuting platforms in various specs/prices.
IMHO, fenders and lights are a given on a commuter. And a rack. I like to have a rack anyway, or a big saddle bag for some shopping. But that's what I like...
The flipside of belt drive is that you're not going to get any issues seen to in a hurry. You won't be able to throw the bike at the LBS near work and have them repair it in time for you to ride home. That's the main attraction of Shimano Tiagra or 105: parts are common, every LBS knows how they work.
The things I'd think about are:
- distance. A long way, so light is a priority. Points off for a steel frame.
- rain. Do you need to fit fenders, beware that some bikes won't take them (road, CX)? If it rains a lot then disc brakes and slightly wider tyres are a massive win. Most thin tyre cyclists have a story where the bike just slipped out from under them in the wet.
- traffic. Heads-up position, and thus flat bar is more desirable.
- wind. Drop bar is more desirable.
- luggage. Ideally, just the office keys in a jersey pocket. The more luggage the more panniers are attractive, and the stronger/wider the wheels you'll need. Note that not all frames can take panniers (eg, carbon) or take panniers easily (Al road without lugs).
- robustness. You want serious tyres and strong wheels. If you don't have them when you buy the bike then they'll break enough that you soon enough will.
- maintenance. Derailleurs are cheaper, but high maintenance and will let you down once in a while. Internal gearing is expensive, but little maintenance and bullet proof. Don't go for an unusual wheel size: you're going to want to buy hi-tech everything-proof-but-light tyres and they don't come in every size.
- close-up terrain. Dirt roads? Footpaths? Jumping gutters? In general, MTB suspension is a waste for commuting: it's handy once in a while but you're paying for the weight all of the time. Road bikes are strong, but their wheels typically aren't, so you wouldn't jump down a gutter when riding a roadie.
- hills. The more hills the more you want a big number of gears with smooth shifting between them. That's where a road derailleur like 105 can make a worthwhile difference.
- pedals. The commuter choice is double-sided SPD pedals with touring cycling shoes. Massively more expensive than sandshoes on flat pedals, but makes a huge difference to the ride.
The very best thing about commuting is that you do the same route every day. So you can buy a bike which suits your route in particular. My route has a lot of wind, so I ended up with a dropbar racing bike. But that doesn't mean it is the best choice for your route, and bikes like the Kona Dr Good have Commuter Heaven written all over them.
Budget-wise, have a look at clothing prices too and allow some money for knicks, jersey, gloves, rainjacket. Before winter you'll also want wind vest, winter jacket, winter gloves, arm and leg warmers, shoe covers and front and rear lights.
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