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Should I get a bike?


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This is a little long and full of numbers...hopefully enough nerds will see this that this will not be a deterrent :)

 

I've been considering buying a bike for about a year (since I got my house) but know a decent one is a pretty serious investment up front and for maintenance.  I like biking but know that I won't do it much other than to ride to the train station so I'm wondering if it's worth it.  I'm only considering financially though I fully acknowledge there are environmental, physical fitness and other benefits to biking vs. driving.

 

Here's my situation:

 

There are 3 train stations near my house.

Station #1: 2.5miles from house and has bike racks

Station #2: 3.8miles from house and has $4 parking

Station #3: 6.2miles from house and has free parking

 

I really never go to station #2 because it's so expensive to park.  Assuming 6.2miles to station #3 each way, 27mpg and $3.80/gallon for gas, it costs me $1.75 a day to go to station #3.  Because of the distance difference, I would leave the house about the same time whether I bike to station 1 or drive to station 3.

 

Assuming I ride an average of 4x a week, 26 weeks out of the year due to weather, I could save approx $7 per week or $181 per year.  So...is it worth it?  I'm out of the loop on how much a decent bike costs since my last one was from Target after a bad experience buying a used bike (pedal came flying off).  So factoring in up front cost, yearly maintenance and how long a bike is expected to last, are the savings worth the cost?

 

Bike brands and suggested "look for this" or "watch out for this" are welcome.  I'm not a fan of street bikes because we have a lot of pot holes and I have a tendency to drop off curbs...plus a mountain bike means I can ride the trails if I decide to.  I don't need anything super fancy, just something solid.  I'll be checking out a few local shops but have no idea walking in if they're overpriced or not and which features are useful/useless to me.

 

Any help is much appreciated :)

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I don't really know much about bikes. So I posted a somewhat similar thing in the biking forum. I got some good responses. You might want to check it out.

I think you should look at it not just purely from a numbers perspective, although if you keep it up, you would save almost $400 after 2 years...which is probably going to be close to the price you'll pay.

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I don't really know much about bikes. So I posted a somewhat similar thing in the biking forum. I got some good responses. You might want to check it out.

I think you should look at it not just purely from a numbers perspective, although if you keep it up, you would save almost $400 after 2 years...which is probably going to be close to the price you'll pay.

 

Thanks!! Totally didn't realize there was a biking forum :)

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i would recommend trying to find an old school road bike from a thrift shop and taking it to a bike shop and letting them get it up to snuff. Once you go to a road bike, you'll never go back to riding the roads with a mountain bike again.

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i would recommend trying to find an old school road bike from a thrift shop and taking it to a bike shop and letting them get it up to snuff. Once you go to a road bike, you'll never go back to riding the roads with a mountain bike again.

 

^^^^ THIS!  Great plan!  I do a short bike commute similar to what you are thinking about doing.  AND my bike lives outside b/c my house is too small to keep it inside.  So I didn't put a lot of money into it up front but I do get it professionally serviced once a year (and I lube the chain every couple months).  Depending on where you live, yearly maintenance is about $30-50 probably for the basics.  I live in a very expensive area, so my estimates might be high. 

 

Another option - if it's not too creepy - check Craigslist.  A lot of people buy bikes for commuting and never use them.  Also, your local bike shop (LBS) could also be a great source!  I have 2-3 bike shops nearby and they all sell used bikes.  Now, you'll pay a couple hundred if the bike's all fixed up.  That's okay.

 

So, for what you need - I got great advice from my LSB.  I have a hybrid bike - the tires are fatter and nubbier for better grip and the bike has a sturdier frame and shocks for bumpy rides.  It's great for commuting such short distances.  I have a road bike and HATE riding it in the city b/c it's so flimsy.  You also sit up a bit higher on a hybrid or mountain bike increasing comfort and visibility.

 

Other must haves for your little commute:  I LOVE bike baskets to put my bag in.  It's not great to carry the weight on your back or in front.  Lights (front and rear) for when it's dark (consider a biking reflective vest if you are biking someplace where a lot of people don't bike so cars can expect you).  Helmet (not kidding).  Tire pump.  all purpose lube.  Oh, also, some people really like fenders if they ride in the wet.  I don't have them and sometimes regret it. 

 

What you don't need:  21 gears, 10 gears (unless you have some hilly area) - but true... most bikes will come with more than you need.  If you can get a "comfort" bike or "commuter" bike and don't have big hills - do it!!!  Great ride for a reasonable commute (I'd say anything up to 10 mi one way).  You don't need to clip into your pedals.  You don't need a water bottle rack.  You don't need carbon frame, etc. 

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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aw- I thought we were talking motorcycles. 

 

<sadpandaface>

Check back in a few years...once I have a garage, I will be getting a motorcycle :)

 

^^^^ THIS!  Great plan!  I do a short bike commute similar to what you are thinking about doing.  AND my bike lives outside b/c my house is too small to keep it inside.  So I didn't put a lot of money into it up front but I do get it professionally serviced once a year (and I lube the chain every couple months).  Depending on where you live, yearly maintenance is about $30-50 probably for the basics.  I live in a very expensive area, so my estimates might be high. 

 

Another option - if it's not too creepy - check Craigslist.  A lot of people buy bikes for commuting and never use them.  Also, your local bike shop (LBS) could also be a great source!  I have 2-3 bike shops nearby and they all sell used bikes.  Now, you'll pay a couple hundred if the bike's all fixed up.  That's okay.

 

So, for what you need - I got great advice from my LSB.  I have a hybrid bike - the tires are fatter and nubbier for better grip and the bike has a sturdier frame and shocks for bumpy rides.  It's great for commuting such short distances.  I have a road bike and HATE riding it in the city b/c it's so flimsy.  You also sit up a bit higher on a hybrid or mountain bike increasing comfort and visibility.

 

Other must haves for your little commute:  I LOVE bike baskets to put my bag in.  It's not great to carry the weight on your back or in front.  Lights (front and rear) for when it's dark (consider a biking reflective vest if you are biking someplace where a lot of people don't bike so cars can expect you).  Helmet (not kidding).  Tire pump.  all purpose lube.  Oh, also, some people really like fenders if they ride in the wet.  I don't have them and sometimes regret it. 

 

What you don't need:  21 gears, 10 gears (unless you have some hilly area) - but true... most bikes will come with more than you need.  If you can get a "comfort" bike or "commuter" bike and don't have big hills - do it!!!  Great ride for a reasonable commute (I'd say anything up to 10 mi one way).  You don't need to clip into your pedals.  You don't need a water bottle rack.  You don't need carbon frame, etc. 

This post was AMAZING.  Thank you so much for all the info.  I especially love the breakdown on what I probably need/want and what I don't need.  And I totally agree.  I'm leaning toward a hybrid after doing some research.  Seems to make a lot of sense as it combines what I like about both road and mountain bikes.  If I budget $400 to get a bike from a local shop, do you think that's a price range that could work?  I can technically afford more but don't know if, given my usage, it'll be worth paying more.  I can store mine indoors since we have an enclosed porch and hopefully I'll be good about  upkeep.  A lot of the ride to the station is hilly so that's a factor but not a huge deal.  I probably won't ride when it's wet since I work in a semi-fancy office and need to look presentable.  If it's wet enough that I need fenders, it's probably wet enough that I'll end up a mess.  I'm hesitant to try CL after getting a bike on there that the pedal flew off while I was commuting.  The guy refunded me and felt terrible but it still kinda turned me off of that idea.  I think until I'm more familiar with bikes, I'm better off sticking with a shop and paying a little extra for that peace of mind.

 

i would recommend trying to find an old school road bike from a thrift shop and taking it to a bike shop and letting them get it up to snuff. Once you go to a road bike, you'll never go back to riding the roads with a mountain bike again.

Had a road bike...honestly hated it.  That's the one that I referred to in response to cline.  The guy let me keep it even after he refunded and I didn't even want to fix it because I really hated riding it so I gave it away.  I live outside of Boston and we're notorious for our potholes.  I love how lightweight they are and how much quicker they can be, but they're just not durable on the roads here and I'm not that great at treating them gently so there would be many bent rims in my future.

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bah... get one now- no sense waiting.  I have never had a garage- I've been riding for 4 years now?   it's a machine- not a marshmallow he he he he

 

haha I literally have nowhere to put it...we have a tiny house on a tiny lot and the back of my car almost hangs over the sidewalk when we both park in the driveway.  it's on the list but telling myself I have to wait for a garage keeps my finances in check too :)

Danielle, Level 2 Forest Nymph Adventurer

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LOL fair enough- i park mine on the sidewalk. 

 

Well- WE park ours on the sidewalk- and when my friends visit- on the sidewalk- it's amusing.  Ours are currently actually on the porch- it's 2 steps up and it's like this little doofy area with an overhang.  Hurricane Sandy and all.   Mine would be down right now- except the gasket at the top leaks water into the tank- and it's been raining on and off- so I just left it up there- its definitely time to come down- I've got an itch that only Jezebel knows how to scratch LOL

 

planning to buy toys is a good idea too- I fully support that.  I wish I had a garage- wrenching on the bike is brutal without it!!!

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you'll like a hybrid.  I got mine for road traction, potholes, trolley tracks, cobblestones, etc.  Nice ride and still handles hills.  Just heavier than a road bike.

 

$400 should do you well.  You might even be able to get a low end new bike for that.  Make sure the shop you buy from fits the bike to you.  (shouldn't cost anything or will part of your "tune up").

 

Good luck!!!

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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You should totally be able to find a sweet hybrid for that money, if you can do it used, all the better. Remember to budget for a serious lock. There are a lot of bike colletive shops that are non profit training shops in the bigger cities, and you can get great stuff from them for cheap.

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I second the advice to get something cheap and test it out -- or even borrow one. I got a hybrid commuter bike which is super comfy and all, but I found I really don't enjoy riding my route to work in the dark, which ruled out using it for quite a few months of the year. The comfy, upright position and basket are all great, I'm not as fast as on my road bike but my posture and comfort matter for a journey like that - so that's what I'd recommend.

 

Just bear in mind some of the tradeoffs like not being able to carry stuff to/from as easily, cold/time considerations (it might theoretically be the same distance but traffic or the route you need to take - perhaps some awkward left turns? - could change that in favour of either party). So that's kind of why I'd advise trying it out vs taking the plunge. Reality and ambition are so different :(

 

There's a site where you can rent people's bikes if you don't have a friend with one... Liquid I think?

 

My commuter cost $350 from a local store plus accessories. It's a Giant liv (women specific) bike. I haven't needed to spend anything on maintenance, the store did a tune up for free. You might also want to consider the folding (brompton style) bikes and take it on the train with you.

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Another vote for a used hybrid for a commuter bike here.

 

 

i would recommend trying to find an old school road bike from a thrift shop and taking it to a bike shop and letting them get it up to snuff. Once you go to a road bike, you'll never go back to riding the roads with a mountain bike again.

 

That assumes your roads don't have potholes and that you're not going to be riding through heavy snow. ;)

 

Well- WE park ours on the sidewalk- and when my friends visit- on the sidewalk- it's amusing.  

 

Huh, that wouldn't be legal here - sidewalks are supposed to be kept clear for pedestrians.

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I don't own a car--I move around my entire city via bicycle. My grocery store is 2.5 miles away; my tailor (hey, gotta do something with that money I'm saving!) is about 8 miles away. I also deal with the same problem with potholes everywhere (my father once drove 1300 miles to visit me and the first thing he did upon arrival was criticize Tucson streets...)

 

I think a hybrid bike is an good starter, although if you get serious about bike commuting you will probably want to switch to a touring bike or road bike. Skinny tires are pretty important if you want to quickly bike more than a couple miles round trip. Once you get more comfortable biking on your regular routes, you'll know where all the potholes are and you can avoid them.

 

For accessories, as has been said before, I think any bike commuter NEEDS front and back lights, a pump (I suggest a small hand one to carry with you in case you get a flat), an extra inner tube (which you carry with you), patch kits, and chain lube.

 

You might WANT baskets, a helmet, fenders, and a vest. Personally, I don't use any of these, but they would probably make me safer and more comfortable.

 

In terms of maintenance, I spend about a hundred dollars per year--fifty dollars for a professional tune-up, about twenty dollars for new inner tubes and patch kits, and about thirty dollars because I shred about one tire each year. This maintenance cost is much higher than average because 1) I ride a lot; 2) our streets are in terrible condition; and 3) 100 days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit here with blazing sun tends to ruin tires.

 

Financially, if all you do is replace your commute with a bike, you're going to save some money, but not much. Most people would save a lot more if they stopped drinking coffee. The main personal benefit to biking more, in my opinion, is that now you're guaranteed to get some cardio in every day :P . Now you get to take that cardio time and do something else!

 

However, if your family can bike enough to have one less automobile, you can save a TON of money. Living car-free saves me money on car payments, insurance, and maintenance. Driving less with the same number of vehicles might save you a hundred dollars each year, but if your family has one less car, you'll save a couple thousand each year.

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I forgot... Buy extra tubes and a patch kit. Just in case. With a short commute, you can always walk it home but still. Nice to have.

I AM going the distance

 

'Cause all I wanna do is go the distance. Nobody's ever gone the distance with Creed, and if I can go that distance, you see, and that bell rings and I'm still standin', I'm gonna know for the first time in my life, see, that I weren't just another bum from the neighborhood.

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Pro tip for flats: never fix a flat at the roadside. Swap in a spare tube and fix the flat at your leisure.  In the warm.  And dry.  British bonus: the ideal time to leave puncture glue before applying the patch is "one cup of tea".

 

Pro tip for avoiding flats:  Buy a good floor-standing pump and keep the tyres at the right pressure.  Topping up once a week is about right.  Tyres are much better at shrugging off flatstuff if they're properly hard.

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So much helpful information!!  I'm aiming to hit up a couple local shops by the end of the month and hopefully get something good in my budget.  I read reviews and narrowed down the shops to a couple that are known for fitting bikes well, working within people's budgets and being just generally awesome.

 

 

you'll like a hybrid.  I got mine for road traction, potholes, trolley tracks, cobblestones, etc.  Nice ride and still handles hills.  Just heavier than a road bike.

 

$400 should do you well.  You might even be able to get a low end new bike for that.  Make sure the shop you buy from fits the bike to you.  (shouldn't cost anything or will part of your "tune up").

 

Good luck!!!

Thanks!  The more I hear, the more I think hybrid is the way to go.  I'm cool with it being a little heavier and I like the versatility.

 

You should totally be able to find a sweet hybrid for that money, if you can do it used, all the better. Remember to budget for a serious lock. There are a lot of bike colletive shops that are non profit training shops in the bigger cities, and you can get great stuff from them for cheap.

Already set on the lock :)  Even when I had a crap bike, it was my only means of transportation so I guarded it dearly.  Got rid of the bike but kept the lock.

 

I second the advice to get something cheap and test it out -- or even borrow one. I got a hybrid commuter bike which is super comfy and all, but I found I really don't enjoy riding my route to work in the dark, which ruled out using it for quite a few months of the year. The comfy, upright position and basket are all great, I'm not as fast as on my road bike but my posture and comfort matter for a journey like that - so that's what I'd recommend.

 

Just bear in mind some of the tradeoffs like not being able to carry stuff to/from as easily, cold/time considerations (it might theoretically be the same distance but traffic or the route you need to take - perhaps some awkward left turns? - could change that in favour of either party). So that's kind of why I'd advise trying it out vs taking the plunge. Reality and ambition are so different :(

 

There's a site where you can rent people's bikes if you don't have a friend with one... Liquid I think?

 

My commuter cost $350 from a local store plus accessories. It's a Giant liv (women specific) bike. I haven't needed to spend anything on maintenance, the store did a tune up for free. You might also want to consider the folding (brompton style) bikes and take it on the train with you.

Glad my budget seems like it should work out.  I've commuted by bike in the past (3miles to work and back each way...no train last time) and liked it.  This is a new area for me but I've driven it a lot and kept in mind bike pros and cons as I've driven it the past year.  It's all one road so only one turn into the station (which I can turn down earlier where traffic is thinner) so the only major concern with the route is that it's a small state highway so somewhat dangerous.  That's why I wouldn't ride during several months of the year...it's already a narrow New England road without snow.  I have a good backpack to stick my purse and random stuff in so  as long as I travel light, I'll be fine and I can always drive on the occasional days where I need to pack a lot.  Thanks for the sanity check and the "things to consider" :)

 

 

Another vote for a used hybrid for a commuter bike here.

 

 

 

That assumes your roads don't have potholes and that you're not going to be riding through heavy snow. ;)

 

 

 

Huh, that wouldn't be legal here - sidewalks are supposed to be kept clear for pedestrians.

Yep...potholes, buckled pavement and potentially some times I'll be riding on an unpaved shoulder so a road bike is pretty much out.  Same here with the sidewalks...plus I'm sure my neighbors would be seriously unhappy if I started blocking the sidewalk.

 

I don't own a car--I move around my entire city via bicycle. My grocery store is 2.5 miles away; my tailor (hey, gotta do something with that money I'm saving!) is about 8 miles away. I also deal with the same problem with potholes everywhere (my father once drove 1300 miles to visit me and the first thing he did upon arrival was criticize Tucson streets...)

 

I think a hybrid bike is an good starter, although if you get serious about bike commuting you will probably want to switch to a touring bike or road bike. Skinny tires are pretty important if you want to quickly bike more than a couple miles round trip. Once you get more comfortable biking on your regular routes, you'll know where all the potholes are and you can avoid them.

 

For accessories, as has been said before, I think any bike commuter NEEDS front and back lights, a pump (I suggest a small hand one to carry with you in case you get a flat), an extra inner tube (which you carry with you), patch kits, and chain lube.

 

You might WANT baskets, a helmet, fenders, and a vest. Personally, I don't use any of these, but they would probably make me safer and more comfortable.

 

In terms of maintenance, I spend about a hundred dollars per year--fifty dollars for a professional tune-up, about twenty dollars for new inner tubes and patch kits, and about thirty dollars because I shred about one tire each year. This maintenance cost is much higher than average because 1) I ride a lot; 2) our streets are in terrible condition; and 3) 100 days over 100 degrees Fahrenheit here with blazing sun tends to ruin tires.

 

Financially, if all you do is replace your commute with a bike, you're going to save some money, but not much. Most people would save a lot more if they stopped drinking coffee. The main personal benefit to biking more, in my opinion, is that now you're guaranteed to get some cardio in every day :tongue: . Now you get to take that cardio time and do something else!

 

However, if your family can bike enough to have one less automobile, you can save a TON of money. Living car-free saves me money on car payments, insurance, and maintenance. Driving less with the same number of vehicles might save you a hundred dollars each year, but if your family has one less car, you'll save a couple thousand each year.

Awesome info!  I like your breakdown of the annual costs...definitely helpful.  Unfortunately, we can't hack the one less car situation.  We'd be fine about 80% of the time, scrambling to coordinate 15% of the time and screwed 5% of the time.  We had 1 car before but it's been a lot less stress since we got the 2nd.  I love the idea in theory...we're just too far away from too many things to put it into practice.

 

I forgot... Buy extra tubes and a patch kit. Just in case. With a short commute, you can always walk it home but still. Nice to have.

Very true.  With my luck, extra precautions are always a good idea!

 

Pro tip for flats: never fix a flat at the roadside. Swap in a spare tube and fix the flat at your leisure.  In the warm.  And dry.  British bonus: the ideal time to leave puncture glue before applying the patch is "one cup of tea".

 

Pro tip for avoiding flats:  Buy a good floor-standing pump and keep the tyres at the right pressure.  Topping up once a week is about right.  Tyres are much better at shrugging off flatstuff if they're properly hard.

I love the measurement in cups of tea!  Totally appropriate for me.

Danielle, Level 2 Forest Nymph Adventurer

STR 6.5 | DEX 2 | STA 4+1 | CON 9 | WIS 6+1 | CHA 3+1

Inventory: 5 silver pieces, a free dinner (full of vegetables), shiny belt of Endurance, Babel Fish

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Huh, that wouldn't be legal here - sidewalks are supposed to be kept clear for pedestrians.

wrong sidewalk- the one that leads to our front door of our house... not the main one.  meaning I'll park a god damn semi on it if I want as long as it's clear of the right of way. LOL

 

Jersey is hit or miss on the whole sidewalk/pedestrian thing- it's so common place in philly/nyc- it happens here. I avoid it unless there is no where remotely close to convient to park- my bike's not THAT big and I never park "in the way".  Besides- try parking in Philly with a bike and not close to where YOU physically are.... you'll be taking public transit home while you call your insurance company and file a claim. 

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wrong sidewalk- the one that leads to our front door of our house... not the main one.  meaning I'll park a god damn semi on it if I want as long as it's clear of the right of way. LOL

 

Jersey is hit or miss on the whole sidewalk/pedestrian thing- it's so common place in philly/nyc- it happens here. I avoid it unless there is no where remotely close to convient to park- my bike's not THAT big and I never park "in the way".  Besides- try parking in Philly with a bike and not close to where YOU physically are.... you'll be taking public transit home while you call your insurance company and file a claim. 

 

That makes a lot more sense... Unfortunately still a no-go for me as I have a tiny walkway up to the front steps and the mailman would probably just start throwing my mail on the ground lol.

 

 

On another note, I saw this when I was looking up local bike shops: http://www.youcanbikethere.com/bike-commute-calculator

It tells you calories burned, $$ saved and emissions avoided based on your commute.  Pretty cool.

Danielle, Level 2 Forest Nymph Adventurer

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Inventory: 5 silver pieces, a free dinner (full of vegetables), shiny belt of Endurance, Babel Fish

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lol yeah when they aren't on the porch and he has to drop a package off he leaves it on the porch- and I'm sure he gets a little angry :)  <shrugs>

 

- but our yard is not exactly . aheam pristine so WE don't care.     I'd rather walk in my heels through the grass every day than park my bike in the dirt- yeah I'm that kind of girl. LMFAO

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lol yeah when they aren't on the porch and he has to drop a package off he leaves it on the porch- and I'm sure he gets a little angry :)  <shrugs>

 

- but our yard is not exactly . aheam pristine so WE don't care.     I'd rather walk in my heels through the grass every day than park my bike in the dirt- yeah I'm that kind of girl. LMFAO

Ha! I had a landlord who freaked at the bikes in the house (both motor and push). We suggested he put that in the rental agreement in the future. :)

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Have you decided yet?  I ask because I recently took my old hard tail mountain bike and "converted" it to a commuter.  I haven't ridden it yet because its -25 in the mornings and there is still snow and ice everywhere, but I'm looking forward to riding to and from work.

 

IF you could find an old mountain bike it would be relatively easy to convert it.  I think a rack and paniers would run you about $100 - $150 (or if you are just going to go with a back pack you don't need these at all) and new non-knobby tires would cost about $50 or so.  (disclaimer - all prices Canadian and we normally pay more than you guys for things.  Plus, I live in a relatively high cost of living area)

 

So if you can find a used hard tail mountain bike for $100 or something (kijiji or something) that may be something else to consider.  You should also ask at the shops - a lot of them run their own "classifieds" where they will sell people's used bikes.  You might even be able to ask them (the seller) to have it checked out by the shop and if they say its fine you'll buy it or something like that.

 

For a 3 mile commute it won't matter how light or heavy your bike is, unless its all up and down, so an older, heavier mountain bike will probably do you just fine.  (Don't tell road bikers I said that though.  They might tie me to a stake and throw rocks at me!)

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Have you decided yet?  I ask because I recently took my old hard tail mountain bike and "converted" it to a commuter.  I haven't ridden it yet because its -25 in the mornings and there is still snow and ice everywhere, but I'm looking forward to riding to and from work.

 

IF you could find an old mountain bike it would be relatively easy to convert it.  I think a rack and paniers would run you about $100 - $150 (or if you are just going to go with a back pack you don't need these at all) and new non-knobby tires would cost about $50 or so.  (disclaimer - all prices Canadian and we normally pay more than you guys for things.  Plus, I live in a relatively high cost of living area)

 

So if you can find a used hard tail mountain bike for $100 or something (kijiji or something) that may be something else to consider.  You should also ask at the shops - a lot of them run their own "classifieds" where they will sell people's used bikes.  You might even be able to ask them (the seller) to have it checked out by the shop and if they say its fine you'll buy it or something like that.

 

For a 3 mile commute it won't matter how light or heavy your bike is, unless its all up and down, so an older, heavier mountain bike will probably do you just fine.  (Don't tell road bikers I said that though.  They might tie me to a stake and throw rocks at me!)

 

haha I have not committed to a bike yet so I appreciate the info.  I do love mountain bikes...every bike I've had that I've liked has been a mountain bike so I'll either be going with that or a hybrid.  Your conversion definitely sounds interesting.  I'll likely use a backpack because I carry a purse and a lunch bag each day so it seems the easiest.  We just got another foot of snow so I'm checking out a shop this weekend hopefully but not in a huge rush to get riding.  I'll definitely keep your advice in mind when I'm at the shop.

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