Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Gear?

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Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Gear?

Postby TonyMax » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:18 am

This may be the best place to ask these general questions. I've started riding at lunch times for fitness around the lake near work, and hope to commute once a fortnight or more now that I know I can do it and the weather is getting nice (75km round trip). I also walk our dogs every morning (3.5-5km) and once my knee injury heals up fully (some residual tendon issues I'm seeing a sports doctor about shortly) I hope to start some running again.

I'm riding a 2007ish Giant Elwood SE (front suspension) with a few modifications already:

  • I ditched the suspension seat post (and shim) and have a fixed seat post now of the correct diameter which doesn't slip (thank you LBS) and a road seat bought from Wiggle.
  • I had a service done recently including a new chain and cassette.
  • I've fitted Shimano SPD pedals and wear MTB shoes with cleats, and I've bought some lycra shorts with the seat padding.
I've got a helmet, some wrap around headphones and an arm band for my phone (tunes/GPS tracking). I've got lights and a drink bottle/cage, a rear fender which goes on when I'll be riding with the risk of spray from the rear wheel, and a couple of pairs of gloves.

I wear a hivis vest over the camelbak on my commute at the insistance of my wife as part of the journey is on a roadside cycle path (not shared with cars).

I'm up to 18km now each lunch time @27-28km/h, and the commute is ~38km each way. To begin with I'm doing home one day and back to work the next day so I don't have to do the whole lot in one day (I get a sleep in between).

I've ordered a mini pump which should arrive early next week and I'll pick up some tubes to carry while commuting (18km if stuck in middle ground is too far to walk).

I've also ordered a cycling jersey which will have the convenient back pockets (I wore my camelbak on my commute and it's too high up to reach my snacks without stopping).

My question is what other gear should I consider for the bike and/or myself?

Cheers,


Tony
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by BNA » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:54 am

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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby jasonc » Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:54 am

TonyMax wrote:My question is what other gear should I consider for the bike and/or myself?


that's the same bike I started out on.

If you want to get fitter, make the bike heavier - put heavier tyres on it
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby rjk » Thu Sep 19, 2013 11:59 am

if you are riding on the road while commuting, ditch the headphones, being able to hear vehicles coming is a great safety device.

start looking at racks and panniers, carrying loads in a back pack can be done but it gets annoying quickly and as the weather starts heating up you get sweaty way more quickly
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby ShogunHy » Fri Sep 20, 2013 10:01 pm

Glasses (tifosi or similar) eye protection is a must! I do a 60klm commute on a similar aged Shougun Metro SE - also have front and rear lights, pannier bag topeak mtx with rack, two type of gloves (cold morning and fingerless for the ride home)
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby eeksll » Sat Sep 21, 2013 1:40 am

jasonc wrote:
TonyMax wrote:My question is what other gear should I consider for the bike and/or myself?


that's the same bike I started out on.

If you want to get fitter, make the bike heavier - put heavier tyres on it


I am not sure this works, wouldn't you just use a easier gear?
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby jasonc » Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:41 am

eeksll wrote:
jasonc wrote:
TonyMax wrote:My question is what other gear should I consider for the bike and/or myself?


that's the same bike I started out on.

If you want to get fitter, make the bike heavier - put heavier tyres on it


I am not sure this works, wouldn't you just use a easier gear?


you still have to move the extra weight
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:41 am

rjk wrote:if you are riding on the road while commuting, ditch the headphones, being able to hear vehicles coming is a great safety device.

start looking at racks and panniers, carrying loads in a back pack can be done but it gets annoying quickly and as the weather starts heating up you get sweaty way more quickly


Add a mirror into the mix too methinks. Frightfully daggy say some but better than constantly rotating the ol' noggin.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby TonyMax » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:47 am

OK so it's been a while, and I've bought a road bike to go with my hybrid :).

I have a pump and tubes, several sets of summer riding gear (winter stuff to be bought soon in off season), a seat pack and I'll pick up a multi tool soon. I have a floor pump for home. I also have glasses, gloves, arm sun sleeves and cycling socks/shoes/pedals/cleats and a cycling cap to assist with sweat.

I still like to buy stuff, so what should I keep my eye out for that's not super expensive (think cheaper than a Garmin 500) that is an accessory or a must have?

I need something to look for as buying stuff and finding a bargain still makes me happy.


Cheers,


Tony
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby KGB » Mon Jan 27, 2014 6:14 pm

Lights. You'll be needing them if you intend to ride through winter. Even if you are pretty Mich ok in terms of beating the darkness, there will be the odd times where you're late home and get caught.
Creeping home in fading light knowing cars can't see you well/at all isn't fun.

Keep your eyes peeled for specials.
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby TonyMax » Tue Jan 28, 2014 7:04 am

Yep I got some lights already for the hybrid and I got some thrown in with the road bike. Given my commute home is an hour and a half I don't think I'll be beating the dark home come winter.

I think I have everything I need, maybe I should just start saving my pennies for a bike upgrade.
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Re: Riding a Hybrid for Fitness/Commuting - What Upgrades/Ge

Postby alexander » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:40 pm

sounds like you're pretty sorted.

just to make sure heres a list of things I find important with my commute.

Bags: pack or panniers, must be waterproof
Clothing: lightweight, wicks sweat, dries quickly, warm or cooling properties depending on garment. Has reflective elements.
Lights: front and back, even if it's light.
Shoes/Pedals: SPD mtb so I can clip in/out easily and walk.
Glasses: cuts out: sun/glare/wind/grit/dust/rain
Hydration: camelbaks or water bottles, just make sure you've got some water.
Repairs: a tool kit including: spare tube, pump, good tyre levers, $10 note
Tires: toughest I can get, because getting a fl@ sucks.
Bike: disc brake, fender/pannier compatible. tough, dependable, versatile.
Security: a decent lock, thieves will steal anything.
Helmet: lightweight, lots of vents, fits like a glove.

After that it's a case of drooling over the commuter bikes thread in the commuter forum and seeing what you like, and saving for that. Also why not join the commuter challenge in the commuter forum section. Sounds like you'll be clocking some serious km's. :)
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