commuting to work (35Km a day)

Happyhunting
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commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Happyhunting » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:21 pm

Hi guys

I live in Melbourne.
Female - good fitness level
170cm tall

I am looking to commute to work as sick of public transport.

I live in Forest Hill and will commute to Richmond. Google maps says its 15Km on the bike on way (so 35Km per Day)

I have not ridden for a very long time but do keep fit (play tennis and run)

My budget is $1000-$1500 and I would like a bike that is light and would get me to work say in an hr
Not sure how fast bikes can go? I would be happy to do 15-20Km an hr.

Would like some ideas as to what bike is better (Flat bar or drop bar).
And what LBS should I visit?

I will be carrying some weight on it aswell - like my work clothes.

Thanks for your help guys.

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P!N20
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby P!N20 » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:39 pm

OK, so this is the third thread you've started asking more or less the same question to which people have responded to. It's starting to smell a bit fishy to me.

Perhaps if you have additional questions or comments add them to your previous threads.

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Mububban
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Mububban » Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:49 pm

Will you need to spend some of your budget on things like helmet, lights, cycling clothes (you'll probably want padded shorts for that distance), lights, pump etc? Or is the budget ONLY for a bike?

For $1500 you could get this:
https://www.tbe.com.au/products/giant-c ... 19/429343/

It's what I bought for my first road bike (2017 version) and I love it. I rode with a backpack, but am lucky enough to have a locker at work to store a week's worth of clothes and shoes. So when I drive, I take clothes to and from the locker, as well as frozen lunches for the week.

It's my first drop bar bike, after only ever having ridden upright mountain bikes for all purpose riding, and I enjoy the sense of speed, and the multiple hand positions drop bars provide. Riding on the hoods feels so natural now that a long climb on my mountain bike with flat bars recently made me quite annoyed at the lack of hand position options :)
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Happyhunting
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Happyhunting » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:13 pm

sorry guys for my third thread..

Its just really confusing me. I want to a bike shop and I walked out feeling like an idiot..


sorry for being annoying but I am just getting my head around stuff.

NASHIE
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby NASHIE » Tue Oct 09, 2018 2:35 pm

Happyhunting wrote:sorry guys for my third thread..

Its just really confusing me. I want to a bike shop and I walked out feeling like an idiot..


sorry for being annoying but I am just getting my head around stuff.


Sorry to hear that, and please note your not alone. Some customer service in bike shops is very poor. I have walked out of many bike shops shaking my head at poor customer service, and i know what im looking for. Hopefully someone in Melbourne can point you to a shop that will help you out.
Choosing the correct bike is a real midfield these days with so many options. Try and test ride a few bikes you like......go for a good ride 20-30min. If shop won't let you find another shop.
Try flat bar vrs drop bar. Seat comfort, how precise the gears feel to change. As previously mentioned if commuting you probably want a frame that you can fit mudguards to for winter, and mounts for bike rack (some roads bikes don't have mount points). You will find the more you spend the lighter the bike and the better the feel of brakes, gear change etc, but at the $1000 mark you should be able to find a good bike.

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby timbo » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:26 pm

Decisions, decisions, and really, there is almost too much choice these days. Unfortunately the flat bar/drop bar decision will be the biggest decision you will make, and then things will fall in to shape from there. For my 20cents worth, I would say, if the bike is for commuting purposes mainly, and is along bike paths etc, then a flat bar hybrid is the way to go. If you have to ride on roads, amongst cars etc, and you intend going on weekend rides also,( maybe not, after a week of riding), go for a drop bar bike. At your price range, your bike will be able to fit a rear rack and panniers (budget in) which are more comfortable than a backpack, and front and rear lights are a must also these days (bargain in for the price)
As for a LBS, visit many, you will think of more questions to ask as you go from shop to shop, and make the final decision at home, not at the bike shop with the salesman with you. Let us know how you go, and if you have any final questions before you plonk down the money.

Happyhunting
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Happyhunting » Tue Oct 09, 2018 3:41 pm

timbo wrote:Decisions, decisions, and really, there is almost too much choice these days. Unfortunately the flat bar/drop bar decision will be the biggest decision you will make, and then things will fall in to shape from there. For my 20cents worth, I would say, if the bike is for commuting purposes mainly, and is along bike paths etc, then a flat bar hybrid is the way to go. If you have to ride on roads, amongst cars etc, and you intend going on weekend rides also,( maybe not, after a week of riding), go for a drop bar bike. At your price range, your bike will be able to fit a rear rack and panniers (budget in) which are more comfortable than a backpack, and front and rear lights are a must also these days (bargain in for the price)
As for a LBS, visit many, you will think of more questions to ask as you go from shop to shop, and make the final decision at home, not at the bike shop with the salesman with you. Let us know how you go, and if you have any final questions before you plonk down the money.


thank you everyone...
I have learnt alot over the last couple of days...

Overall - not sure about the flat or drop bars.. (mainly just don't want a sore back at work as have to sit for 8-9hrs)
Whats faster a flat bar or drop bar?
- looking for a light bike - something I could do say 20-30KmS an hr
- WIll ride it for 2-3 years I guess
Some main things youtube has told me is
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- light frame

Anything else worth noting?

CKinnard
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby CKinnard » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:00 pm

There's no such thing as a 'fast' bike. There's only bikes that vary in weight. Lighter bikes tend to be more easily pedaled resulting in you going faster for a similar work rate.

Before spending a lot of money, I'd suggest you borrow or hire a couple of different bikes, and ride your commute route.
Get an idea of the difference in effort on a heavier flat bar vs a lighter dedicated roadie.

Most people are going to get aches and pains going from no riding to regular riding.
However, unless you have pre-existing pathologies, these pains should ease as your body adapts.
A flat bar and a drop bar can be more comfortable depending on your vulnerable structures (low back vs neck).

A good idea would be to get to know some avid cyclists, possibly through a bicycle touring association or racing club. Cyclists tend to be very helpful to anyone wanting to get into riding, and you may be able to try a few different bike types for free.

Either way, keep in mind the bike is one expense, but then there's
shoes
riding clothes for all weather conditions
lights
helmet and gloves
saddle tool kit
pump

And I'd suggest in the first few months you build your distance gradually.
Maybe ride to work 2-3 x /week.
And have the option to leave the bike at work if you don't feel like riding home or bad weather.
Get someone to show you how to deal with tube punctures, how to stay safe on the road (signaling, riding assertively, predictably, visibly). staying vigilant and understanding motorists can sometimes look straight at you and do unpredictable things.

Don't let any adverse occurrences put you off. It's a learning curve, and will serve you well over your life.

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MattyK
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby MattyK » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:07 pm

Drop bar bikes are usually lower/more bent over. "Endurance" category bikes less so than "race" bikes, and typically there's a decent amount of adjustment of bar height. That doesn't mean less comfortable/more back pain though, that more depends on your fitness and how hard you ride. (Also I hope you get up and move around a bit in those 8 hours! Plus the cycling will give you some core strength training, which will be beneficial). The multiple hand position options can also be more comfortable than the one position of a flat bar bike.

In general a drop bar bike will be quicker due to the more aerodynamic body position, but also because they typically come with faster rolling tyres, etc.

Brakes - rim brakes are fine for 95% of circumstances. Especially with some decent brake pads (cheap rim brakes often come with terrible pads, but they're very cheap to upgrade).
Discs only have an advantage in the rain, so weigh up whether you're going to ride every day or just when it's sunny and you could save some money. Hydraulics plus drop bars will push the budget...

For a commuter, your number one goal is reliability. Breaking down/puncturing any time sucks, but doubly so if you have somewhere to be on time. So be willing to sacrifice weight for that, and think about some good (reliable) tyres off the bat. Weight doesn't make that much difference anyway.

A big point to consider is what facilities you have at your destination. For that distance you'll probably want to ride in cycle specific clothing and shower/change into work clothes. Plenty more tips here, and consider the budget for clothing, bags, etc...

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Thoglette
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Thoglette » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:19 pm

Happyhunting wrote:Whats faster a flat bar or drop bar?

Drops. Discomfort comes from putting your bars in the wrong spot (e.g. too low) or having a bad hand position. Truly flat bars (as opposed to slightly swept bars) are not merely slow (as they turn you into a parachute) but are really uncomfortable (for 90% of the population) after about 1/2 hr.


Have a read of Velouria's article The Reluctant Roadbike Commuter. Her bike "Alice" is an ideal fast commuter: fatt tyres; full mudguards and smaller racks + saddle bag
Image


Happyhunting wrote:- looking for a light bike - something I could do say 20-30KmS an hr

light != fast. The fastest bikes are the aerodynamic time trial bikes and the one thing they don't really care about is weight
If you have hills then light counts. But most of us are carrying crap to work anyway (cloths, lunch, papers, computer). Sure, wonderkinder on her UCI weight carbon thing will get away from the lights a bit quicker.

Oh, backpacks suck in proportion to their weight and the distance you're travelling.

Happyhunting wrote:- WIll ride it for 2-3 years I guess

Then get on with it. Just buy something that fits and in that time you'll have succumbed to upgradeitus (or N+1)

Happyhunting wrote:Some main things youtube has told me is
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- light frame

And there's fairies at the end of the garden, too. Wheels, tyres, saddle and cockpit are what you'll notice. Plus full mudguards, when it's been raining.
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Happyhunting
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Happyhunting » Tue Oct 09, 2018 4:31 pm

[quote="CKinnard"]There's no such thing as a 'fast' bike. There's only bikes that vary in weight. Lighter bikes tend to be more easily pedaled resulting in you going faster for a similar work rate.

Before spending a lot of money, I'd suggest you borrow or hire a couple of different bikes, and ride your commute route.
Get an idea of the difference in effort on a heavier flat bar vs a lighter dedicated roadie.

A good idea would be to get to know some avid cyclists, possibly through a bicycle touring association or racing club. Cyclists tend to be very helpful to anyone wanting to get into riding, and you may be able to try a few different bike types for free.



Thats what I really want to do ... test ride ...

Any idea where I could hire a bike from and try it out for a week?

CKinnard
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby CKinnard » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:28 pm

Happyhunting wrote:Thats what I really want to do ... test ride ...

Any idea where I could hire a bike from and try it out for a week?


depending on where you are, contact any of these and ask. They may have members who are happy to loan bike/s:
touring association
http://www.mbtc.org.au/
racing clubs
http://www.skcc.com.au/
https://www.smcc.net.au

I live in Brisbane, and have helped out heaps of noobs getting into the sport over the years by loaning and helping them to buy right.
I'd suggest you delay buying until you have really got a feel for what's going to feel good for your commute distance.
I've steered noobs towards buying used bikes too. There's a lot of depreciation if you buy a new bike and want to change it in under 2 years.
The right cyclist/shop could help you buy well in the used market.
I had a fit friend want to get a better bike a few years ago. She'd been riding a flat bar, but wanted to do longer trips.
I kept an eye on bikeexchange.com.au for a few weeks, and eventually got her a $5000+ bike for $1200 that was in excellent condition.
It was owned by a middle aged triathlete lady for whom money was no object. She'd really looked after it really well.
Plus she threw in shoes gloves, helmet. lights. toolkit pump as she said she would get all new color matching stuff with her new bike.
My friend absolutely was over the moon with that bike. It weighed under 7kg, and it helped her get right into the sport more.
Most people buying used don't like spending much more than $1000, so it can be hard to sell a bike over that.
This lady seller didn't need the money. She just wanted to get something for it, and make space for the new one.
BTW, if you buy used carbon, you definitely want to get the frame and forks inspected by someone who knows bikes.

The cyclng clubs also usually have women's racing, and are always keen to get more girls involved....so tend to be super helpful.

As for hiring specifically, when in Melbourne in the past I've hired from Beach Road Cycles, Brighton.
https://www.facebook.com/beachroadcycles/
The bikes were in excellent condition.

If you google, there seems to be quite a few rental places now.

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Paddles » Tue Oct 09, 2018 5:31 pm

I recommend you buy any cheap, second hand, flat bar hybrid bike with 700C wheels, look for a rigid front fork ie not a suspension fork. At 170cm you will possibly be looking at a medium size frame. Take it to you local bike mechanic for a full service and then start riding it to work. You should be able to get something for less than $300 plus the mechanic's costs. If you like it you may wish to upgrade sometime in the future when you will know more about what you want or need, if you hate it you've not lost too much money.

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby timbo » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:04 pm

My few loose cents worth reply. Don't worry too much about brakes, be it rim brakes, cable disc brakes or hydraulic disc brakes. At the price range you will most likely get cable disc brakes and they are fine. It is more about the fit to your body and how well you feel rolling along. I recently bought a Trek hybrid with 700x28C tyres and they roll along just as well as a drop bar road bike except when it comes to the open road, as the slightly more upright position of the hybrid slows you down a bit. If your commute is mainly along cycle paths etc, this will not be a problem. If by chance you can borrow a bike from somebody and do your commute on an off day, that would be brilliant, it will answer a whole lot of questions.

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby baabaa » Tue Oct 09, 2018 8:34 pm

https://www.tokyobike.com.au/shops/
This lot do test rides in Mlb. They make good commuter bikes which are fancy enough to look at that makes you want to ride and when you do so are fun to ride. Bought one for my daughter as a uni bike in Canberra and it has been faultless and I expect she will get years of use out of it. I just do basic maintenance on it when I see her. I like the fact that they build a bike around a the bones of a good frame. She has a rear rack and panniers so it get lugged about as a shopping bike as well. I think 35 kms a day is almost the ideal daily distance and best get something that is good to ride, would recommend the Class Sport as a first up bike for your distance.
Lots of bikes second hand bikes about can be a bit of lipstick on a pig so unless you have someone about who knows what to look for it can be best to avoid.

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby mogwaiboi » Tue Oct 09, 2018 9:25 pm

Cycle Science in Mitcham are not too far from you. In the past I've found them to be pretty good.
Not sure what route you were thinking of taking, but I'd recommend some back streets to get onto Gardiners Creek Trail (cnr Canterbury and Middleborough Rd's) which will then take you all the way to Richmond.
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Duck! » Tue Oct 09, 2018 10:35 pm

Go for drop bars. The height difference between the top section of the drops and a flat bar ranges from negligible to non-existent. The big advantage of drops is a much greater range of hand positions, and are more posturally natural for the hands & arms; if you hold/hang your arms in a relaxed position, they'll rotate to a position where the palms face in toward each other, rather than back/down. The most-used positions on a drop bar cater to this posture, whereas a flat bar forces you into a palms-down posture, which is less natural, therefore less comfortable for longer stretches. However this can be alleviated with bar-ends, which are little "bull horn" extensions that can be bolted onto the ends of a flat bar. But you still can't get lower for punching into a headwind or getting a free boost on descents. There is no such thing as a fast bike; a bike is only as fast as the person powering it (but some bikes make better use of available rider energy than others).

Having a good level of general fitness is a good help, but you'll need to develop some bike fitness, and that will take time. 35km round trip is a decent hit, so as others have said above, don't expect, or try, to be able to do it every day straight off the bat. Start with a couple of days a week, with a couple of days break between rides, then increase it to three days, and so on. Do some practice rides of your planned route/s on the weekends when you don't have the pressure of being at your destination at a certain time, so you can work out how long it will take and plan your actual commutes accordingly. Average speed can be quite dependent on your route as well as your fitness. A primarily road route will often allow higher riding speed, but more frequent interruptions from traffic lights can slow you down, while a more path-dominated route may be slower in actual speed, but more consistent, balancing out the average. Even if you're not bike-fit, with a good level of general fitness an average speed of 20 km/h should be comfortably attainable.
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DavidS
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby DavidS » Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:26 pm

Lots of good advice here, but I'll add another 2c.

I have 2 bikes, a flat bar and a drop bar, and I ride about 47 TO 50KMs a day.

The flat bar is lighter but they are both about the same speed. The hand positions on a flat bar are not as restrictive as people say, I often move my hands side on with flat bars, but a drop bar does give more options. For really long rides (Around the bay for example) I use the drop bar. Both are more than fine for commuting. Choose something that you are comfortable with, nothing like a bike that doesn't suit to stop you commuting - the riding position and what suits me is what makes me pick one bike over another.

A few essentials: mudguards, a rack (why carry a backpack when the bike can carry a pannier), wouldn't be too fussed about disc brakes - I have never had them and they are meant to be great but my rim brakes work fine in wet or dry conditions, get good tyres as punctures suck, oh, and get some washing up gloves - invaluable when you do need to fix a puncture and not get dirty hands.

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Tamiya » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:03 am

Handlebar, stem, seat, seatpost, pedals & cranks can all be changed afterwards to fit bike better; just frame height & length needs to be within correct range to fit before purchase.

I'm not one to habitually go buy new bikes from a store but (no relation) these are the shops I don't mind returning to that I think looks after new customer well:-

Melb Bicycle Centre Clifton Hill
Melb Bicycle Centre Prahran
Ray's Brunswick

would be worth visiting some full range boutiques too like

Giant
Trek
AvantiPlus (I like the one out Sunshine way)
Lekker for city bikes
Surly at Commuter Cycles Brunswick

Lots more little niche shops around Brunswick, Fitzroy etc... fixie hipsters :P

Alternately you could rescue a preloved from the pound... try Ceres Northcote if you'd like to try DIY building/restoring a bike or for something already rideable there's Bicycle Recycle in Moorabbin. For something that's fully serviced try Back2Bikes in Pt Melb, they run a workshop that does all the work & repairs.

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby uart » Wed Oct 10, 2018 12:06 pm

Tamiya wrote:Handlebar, stem, seat, seatpost, pedals & cranks can all be changed afterwards to fit bike better; just frame height & length needs to be within correct range to fit before purchase.


Indeed they can, but if the OP wants a bike shop to do these things then the cost can be similar to just re-buying an entry level bike that is equipped to suit you in the first place.

Even just the bars. Get a quote from a LBS to replace flat bars with drop bars. There's a lot of fiddling around and need to replace all the levers etc, so you might get a shock at the price (compared to the price of an entry level bike).

Happyhunting
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Happyhunting » Fri Oct 12, 2018 9:20 am

thanks guys for your posts...

I am learning and learning and learning...

I am heading down to 99bikes tomorrow...

Will let you guys know how I go...

thanks

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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby djw47 » Mon Oct 15, 2018 1:46 pm

Happyhunting wrote:
thank you everyone...
I have learnt alot over the last couple of days...

Overall - not sure about the flat or drop bars.. (mainly just don't want a sore back at work as have to sit for 8-9hrs)
Whats faster a flat bar or drop bar?
- looking for a light bike - something I could do say 20-30KmS an hr
- WIll ride it for 2-3 years I guess
Some main things youtube has told me is
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- light frame

Anything else worth noting?


I think you need to appreciate that a bike a is an inanimate lump of metal/carbon. It will only go as fast as the person sitting on it can make it go - you can buy a top of the range, carbon fibre, aerobike bike that Mark Cavendish et al could hit 75km/h on in a bunch sprint but if you're unfit and overweight it'll not make you go any faster. If you've not ridden for years and intend to ride mainly on bike/shared paths you'll not be hitting 30km/h for a while regardless of the bike, and may never reach those speeds given the nature of the bike commuter network in Melbourne - windy paths, regular stop/start, hills, pedestrians etc will slow you down, you'll realistically only hit decent speeds on the open road.

If you're serious about riding, get a road bike with drop bars (you don't need to use the drops all the time) and most importantly, get fit. FWIW, I find flat bars much worse for my back/shoulders than drops because they force your arms into a particular geometry and you have limited scope to move them. With drops, you have the choice of 3 main positions to place your hands if you want to be more aero or change your posture.
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Thoglette » Mon Oct 15, 2018 2:04 pm

djw47 wrote:If you're serious about riding fast,

Fixed it for you.

I do agree that 17km each way is a bit too far for a "walking pace" ride to be time-effective (my 11km gets a bit boring when I do it "in civvies" rather than as a MAMIL w/shower at the end). But likewise there's no requirement to do it in under half an hour.
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby djw47 » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:05 pm

Thoglette wrote:
djw47 wrote:If you're serious about riding fast,

Fixed it for you.

I do agree that 17km each way is a bit too far for a "walking pace" ride to be time-effective (my 11km gets a bit boring when I do it "in civvies" rather than as a MAMIL w/shower at the end). But likewise there's no requirement to do it in under half an hour.


The requirement in the OP was to ride between 20-30km/h - which is considered fast on a shared bike track.
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Thoglette
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Re: commuting to work (35Km a day)

Postby Thoglette » Wed Oct 17, 2018 1:29 pm

djw47 wrote:The requirement in the OP was to ride between 20-30km/h - which is considered fast on a shared bike track.


I thought it was too. Until I re-read the OP

Happyhunting wrote:...I would like a bike that is light and would get me to work say in an hr
Not sure how fast bikes can go? I would be happy to do 15-20Km an hr.
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