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Long Distance Commute Bike

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Long Distance Commute Bike

17 Jan 2017 20:03

Hi
Just wondering if anyone can help. I am hoping to start commuting to work soon due to finances and the need to get fitter. The distance to my workplace and back is 29 miles each way on A and B roads. As I have just got back into cycling I will obviously need to build up to this so want to get the right bike without breaking the bank.
I am quite a big bloke so need to be as comfortable as I can be so I hope someone can advise on a good bike.
Sorry if I come across as a rookie here, just hoping for some wise advice.
jay22
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18 Jan 2017 10:15

We would need to know a budget, height and weight, if you want to go through an LBS or are ok with online. Is the route fairly flat?
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User avatar King Boonen
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18 Jan 2017 11:55

Lights, mud guards / fenders, sturdy tyres, carry 2 inner tubes and tools, pump, sturdy lock that you can leave at rack at work, some sort of rain-cover for at least the saddle.
Waterproof backpack for carrying clothes. Keep heavy items such as shoes at work, also deodorant, etc. Keep a full extra set of clothes at work - just in case.

Pedals - Flat, maybe with toeclips and loose straps. No special bike shoes - you need to be able to walk if necessary. Sturdy shoe for riding, I wore leather boots in cold weather (-10 F was my coldest - that was a mistake, lucky that nothing froze and broke off ME).

I suggest an inexpensive bike with adequate gears for the commute. Something that you can clean and repair yourself.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
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Re:

18 Jan 2017 14:25

JayKosta wrote:Lights, mud guards / fenders, sturdy tyres, carry 2 inner tubes and tools, pump, sturdy lock that you can leave at rack at work, some sort of rain-cover for at least the saddle.
Waterproof backpack for carrying clothes. Keep heavy items such as shoes at work, also deodorant, etc. Keep a full extra set of clothes at work - just in case.

Pedals - Flat, maybe with toeclips and loose straps. No special bike shoes - you need to be able to walk if necessary. Sturdy shoe for riding, I wore leather boots in cold weather (-10 F was my coldest - that was a mistake, lucky that nothing froze and broke off ME).

I suggest an inexpensive bike with adequate gears for the commute. Something that you can clean and repair yourself.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA


29 miles is long enough to where I'd recommend clippless pedals. Riding is so much more efficient when your feet are secure. You can get mountain bike clips and shoes that aren't as awkward to walk in. Besides you'll already have your work shoes at work.
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User avatar Jspear
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Re: Long Distance Commute Bike

18 Jan 2017 16:32

jay22 wrote:Hi
Just wondering if anyone can help. I am hoping to start commuting to work soon due to finances and the need to get fitter. The distance to my workplace and back is 29 miles each way on A and B roads. As I have just got back into cycling I will obviously need to build up to this so want to get the right bike without breaking the bank.
I am quite a big bloke so need to be as comfortable as I can be so I hope someone can advise on a good bike.
Sorry if I come across as a rookie here, just hoping for some wise advice.

Whatever bike you end up deciding on, make sure you get a professional bike fitting. At your size and being that you're a self proclaimed rookie, a poor bike fit would make for a miserable experience riding 29 miles RT everyday. Especially since your a newbie! A good bike with a proper fit should make you feel like you're riding an extension of yourself and give you many years of great riding.

It would be cool if you reported back to this thread when you finally buy a new bike and what you experience on your new journey.

Good luck! :)
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Re: Long Distance Commute Bike

20 Jan 2017 20:04

jay22 wrote:Hi
Just wondering if anyone can help. I am hoping to start commuting to work soon due to finances and the need to get fitter. The distance to my workplace and back is 29 miles each way on A and B roads. As I have just got back into cycling I will obviously need to build up to this so want to get the right bike without breaking the bank.
I am quite a big bloke so need to be as comfortable as I can be so I hope someone can advise on a good bike.
Sorry if I come across as a rookie here, just hoping for some wise advice.


The route has quite a few hills as im going to use the back roads to avaoid the heavy traffic. I've got around £1000 or so to spend max. I used to ride a bit years ago but to long ago to class myself as a novice. Im 5ft 10ins and weight around 100kg so the bike will have to be comfortable and able to take the weight (not sure if they make cast iron frames ???)

Many thanks for the advice so far
jay22
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20 Jan 2017 23:02

Well they still make steel frames! Are you wanting a road bike with drop bars or a flat barred hybrid type bike?
Vincenzo Nibali:
"I know how to ride a bike"

Reduce your carbon footprint, ride steel.
User avatar King Boonen
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21 Jan 2017 00:03

User avatar 42x16ss
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Re:

21 Jan 2017 13:32

King Boonen wrote:Well they still make steel frames! Are you wanting a road bike with drop bars or a flat barred hybrid type bike?


Not sure as my back gives me pain at times. I guess the hybrid makes sense, just wasn't sure if that was the best choice due to distance. Really appreciate your help.
jay22
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Re:

21 Jan 2017 13:35



Thanks for the link, looks a good bike and may be comfortable enough. I wasn't sure if a drop bar bike was better for speed seeing as its a commute but I'm sure comfort is the priority and I will just have to leave earlier.
Many thanks for your help and advice.
jay22
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21 Jan 2017 14:31

To start, I'd first buy a cheap yard sale / garage sale bike to get into shape riding!
Doing a twice-a-day 29 mile one-way commute is tough - especially going at a speed slow enough to not drain your energy for the day. In addition to actual 'riding time', you'll need to consider the time needed for cool down, and recovery.

Maybe consider a motorized bicycle, etc.

Jay Kosta
Endwell NY USA
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29 Jul 2017 04:07

You didn't say how much you weigh.

I would not buy a bike with disk brakes if your over 210 pounds because disk brake wheels are actually weaker than the same rim brake wheel because the disc pushes the hub flange on that side closer to the center of the dropouts which in turns creates less bracing angle for the spokes on that side which means reduced lateral strength. Compound that problem on the rear because the cassette by itself pushes the hub flange AND the disk brake on the other side is also doing the same thing which means the rear wheel has even less lateral strength then the front wheel.

So no to disk brakes if your over 210 pounds. And yes to bikes with at least 32 spokes. I would be looking at adventure type of bikes intended for touring. In the UK you should be able to find a Ridgeback Voyage touring bike for around £770, it's cromoly steel so it's very strong, along with 36 spokes frt and rear, this is a drop bar bike that comes with a touring rack so when commuting you can put panniers on the rear where you can put a change of clothes, shoes, etc right on the bike.

Another bike is the Kona Tonk, for about the same price as the Ridgeback, has pretty much the same equipment except no pannier rack but it does have provisions for one to be put on.

Another is the Pinnacle Laterite 3 which cost about £70 less than the above two, it's made of aluminum instead of steel which typically steel will give you a better ride especially as the miles wear by but AL is lighter, and because it's AL it's cheaper to make the frame so the bike comes with the better Shimano 105 components. This bike does come with rear rack mounts like the above two but the rack does not come with the bike.

And check out the Fuji Touring bike, steel frame, same basic specs as the first two bikes, comes with a rear rack too for £600.

The last one is the Dawes Galaxy Excel 631, made of Reynolds 631 steel. which is a great tubeset for long riding; this one does cost about £300 MORE than your budget but it's a sweet bike and a sweet deal. Comes with rear rack and frt and rear fenders in case you find yourself riding to and/or from home in the rain you won't have as messy of a bike to clean when you get home, and you won't have the famous rooster tail spray up your entire back. If you can squeeze the budget that is a great bike that will look classy and last a very long time.

Since you will be commuting do you have a place where you can park it and it will be protected from theft? either way you will probably need a good lock so figure on spending no less than 5% of the value of the bike for a lock. You also need to budget for a helmet, bright front with at least 650 lumens, and a rear tail light with at least 70 lumens. For extra safety consider buying a nerdy neon green vest with wide bands of reflective material in it, these can usually be found at home improvement places for under £20. Consider a pair of highly reflective ankle straps, the up and down motion as you pedal and the car lights reflect back to the driver have been very effective in studies. Later as you get some money you should consider buying a second tail light and attach it to your helmet; or get a brighter tail light then the first one, use the brighter one for your main and the old one for your helmet; more tail lights are more eye catching than just one. You may want the bike shop to install (if you think you can't do it yourself, though they are easy to install) a set of tire liners to protect against flats better so you don't find yourself stopping to fix flats. Lastly make sure you know how to fix flats and have the right tools, extra tube, and a patch kit to do so on the side of the road, even with flat liners you can still get flats, so learn how to fix flats by watch You Tube videos. Speaking of flats you should leave for work about 30 minutes sooner than you really need to, this will give you time in case you do have a flat to fix it and get on to work; most bosses don't like their workers commuting to work via bike because of exposure to accidents is higher, and more frequent breakdowns cause more tardiness, and eventually they will have had enough and either fire you or demand you no longer ride the bike in. On the subject of flats get a good pump, most cheap ones won't even get close to their advertised PSI limit, most are lucky to get to 75, but if your bike doesn't require more than 75 psi then that's great but cheaper ones will still take more effort and could even break while using. Once you see what is available for pumps in your area post back the brands and models and let us here help you select a decent one.

With your new bike make sure you maintain it better than just well! a better maintained bike will not only last longer but mechanical breakdowns will be rarer. If you find yourself riding in rain when you get home you need to clean the chain and relube it. There is some work to commuting with a bike but it is worth it in saving the cost of fuel, and the very important saving your body.
froze
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Re:

29 Jul 2017 04:54

froze wrote:You didn't say how much you weigh.

jay22 wrote:Im 5ft 10ins and weight around 100kg..


Reading is overrated, innit?

Btw, your wheel theory and 210 lb weight limit is quite a read. How did you come to 210 and not 207 or 240? Don't tell the 260lb linebacker who's keen on offroad bikecamping with a set of wheels from me and has aspirations of doing the Tour Divide. They're disc so they're probably going blow up due to unsatisfactory bracing angles, right?
Last edited by Giuseppe Magnetico on 30 Jul 2017 18:11, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Long Distance Commute Bike

29 Jul 2017 13:24

I would not buy a bike with disk brakes if your over 210 pounds because disk brake wheels are actually weaker than the same rim brake wheel because the disc pushes the hub flange on that side closer to the center of the dropouts which in turns creates less bracing angle for the spokes on that side which means reduced lateral strength. Compound that problem on the rear because the cassette by itself pushes the hub flange AND the disk brake on the other side is also doing the same thing which means the rear wheel has even less lateral strength then the front wheel.
So no to disk brakes if your over 210 pounds.


ahhh, not really. Certainly true if the rear wheel was 130mm spaced but on 135mm QR, 142mm TA or 148mm Boost, the LH flange is in the same place, center to flange, as a road wheel. I have built many wheels for guys .1 offa ton++, disc brake and the 'secret'(if there is one) is to select the proper rim, the proper spokes/nipples and do a quality build. But this gent would have no problem with a disc brake wheelset if the wheels were properly made.
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29 Jul 2017 16:51

(This paragraph is NOT intended for Busted Knuckles) Excuse me but my time is very limited, I don't read every single post, there isn't enough time generally to do so, I know some of you have nothing else to do all day but to play video games, text message all day, and yak trash on forums like this, but I not only run a business but I also work full time at a separate job, with hours approaching 80 a week combined, so in most cases I read only the first post and make an answer based on that. I did find out from reading further today that the guy weighs 220 pounds, doesn't change my answer the least bit in fact it reinforces it, see below for more.

Busted Knuckles you are correct, as you said "if the wheels are correctly made", very few factory built wheels are though because most companies use low end wheels and especially at the price point he's considering. The only reason I said 210 was room for error, I tend buy stuff that is over engineered for my needs, why? because they last longer. From what I've read it seems that 240 pounds is the safety limit for most factory built stock wheels, so in other words it's marginal, anything past that and there is a risk of failure; so I down rated the 240 pound thing to 210, that's my thing that I came up with to increase durability so the wheels could last a very long time without spoke failure. It's up to Jay22 what he wants to do of course, he may not care about having max durability and that's fine, but I stand by what I said about the disk brake/wheel/durability issue especially in light of the price range, take it for what it is.
froze
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Re:

30 Jul 2017 12:23

froze wrote:(This paragraph is NOT intended for Busted Knuckles) Excuse me but my time is very limited, I don't read every single post, there isn't enough time generally to do so, I know some of you have nothing else to do all day but to play video games, text message all day, and yak trash on forums like this, but I not only run a business but I also work full time at a separate job, with hours approaching 80 a week combined, so in most cases I read only the first post and make an answer based on that. I did find out from reading further today that the guy weighs 220 pounds, doesn't change my answer the least bit in fact it reinforces it, see below for more.

Busted Knuckles you are correct, as you said "if the wheels are correctly made", very few factory built wheels are though because most companies use low end wheels and especially at the price point he's considering. The only reason I said 210 was room for error, I tend buy stuff that is over engineered for my needs, why? because they last longer. From what I've read it seems that 240 pounds is the safety limit for most factory built stock wheels, so in other words it's marginal, anything past that and there is a risk of failure; so I down rated the 240 pound thing to 210, that's my thing that I came up with to increase durability so the wheels could last a very long time without spoke failure. It's up to Jay22 what he wants to do of course, he may not care about having max durability and that's fine, but I stand by what I said about the disk brake/wheel/durability issue especially in light of the price range, take it for what it is.


You are right about that. The wheels I have seen on 'wheelsouttaboxes', MTB and now road disc(GRoad bikes) are flimsy, thin spokes, light rims and made poorly, kinda 3 or 4 strikes and you are out. Spec-Ed wheels come to mind. BUT not because they are disc, but spec-ed and made poorly..but gotta survive the 'pick-up to test weight, ride around the parking lot'..test...
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30 Jul 2017 16:34

froze wrote:(This paragraph is NOT intended for Busted Knuckles) Excuse me but my time is very limited, I don't read every single post, there isn't enough time generally to do so, I know some of you have nothing else to do all day but to play video games, text message all day, and yak trash on forums like this, but I not only run a business but I also work full time at a separate job, with hours approaching 80 a week combined, so in most cases I read only the first post and make an answer based on that. I did find out from reading further today that the guy weighs 220 pounds, doesn't change my answer the least bit in fact it reinforces it, see below for more.

Busted Knuckles you are correct, as you said "if the wheels are correctly made", very few factory built wheels are though because most companies use low end wheels and especially at the price point he's considering. The only reason I said 210 was room for error, I tend buy stuff that is over engineered for my needs, why? because they last longer. From what I've read it seems that 240 pounds is the safety limit for most factory built stock wheels, so in other words it's marginal, anything past that and there is a risk of failure; so I down rated the 240 pound thing to 210, that's my thing that I came up with to increase durability so the wheels could last a very long time without spoke failure. It's up to Jay22 what he wants to do of course, he may not care about having max durability and that's fine, but I stand by what I said about the disk brake/wheel/durability issue especially in light of the price range, take it for what it is.


Sold many Trek 520's over the years. Probably the best selling touring bike on the planet for the last 30+. Rated for 275lbs combined rider/gear weight. Their stock wheels have always been decent for the price of the package, right in the OP's budget. But.... If someone has limited time due to working 80hrs a week they might want to reconsider writing misinformed essay length posts on a thread that hasn't been touched in over 6 months. Oh well.
Last edited by Giuseppe Magnetico on 30 Jul 2017 21:21, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Re:

30 Jul 2017 18:24

Bustedknuckle wrote:You are right about that. The wheels I have seen on 'wheelsouttaboxes', MTB and now road disc(GRoad bikes) are flimsy, thin spokes, light rims and made poorly, kinda 3 or 4 strikes and you are out. Spec-Ed wheels come to mind. BUT not because they are disc, but spec-ed and made poorly..but gotta survive the 'pick-up to test weight, ride around the parking lot'..test...


Had a few Sequoias and AWOLs through the shop earlier this year for tune ups and they're pretty nice. Rated for 300lbs total weight. Wheels are overbuilt for most, especially on the entry level models. Another good choice for the OP. Probably logging many miles on whatever he ended up with half a year ago.
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