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Can anyone give me advice on commuting on a Bicycle???

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by nbh00d, Aug 25, 2010.

  1. I'm in the process of thinking to getting fit by commuting on a bicycle but I'm not too sure if it is feasible to ride 15km one way. I'm thinking about just buying an electric bicycle and change the tyres to those skinny road tyres to make the journey more pleasant while giving my body a good work out. Can anyone give me advice on which electric bicycles I should get and how much is it to change those chunky tyres into those skinny slick tyres???
    Here is what I found on ebay:

  2. Paging RobSalvv!!!

  3. How old and how unfit are you?

    15km doesn't require an electric bike unless you have some major health issues. My recommendation would be a flat bar road bike, which can be had for very little money (I bought mine new for $500). I can recommend the Vivente Novara Sport, which is a nice little bike for the money.

    What is your commute route like? Are there many hills? If so, you will need to pay attention to the gearing on your bike. I would recommend a triple chain-ring on the front in mountain bike ratios. This is what I run on my Vivente and can practically climb trees with it. When you get superfit, you can swap the chain-rings to something a little higher geared (or you may decide at that point to get a better bike)

    Also, even though you live in Sydney, I would recommend joining the Bicycles Victoria forum


    They have quite an active commuting sub-forum with lots of information.

    I'm sure Rob will be along shortly with more information and suggestions. :p
  4. That bike is on the cheaper side because that 200 watt motor is pissweak.

    I used to commute 17km one way on a bicycle, and while a motor wasnt necessary, I did get sick of having to spend the time going to and from.

    If you really want a motor you can get a reasonably quiet 4 stroke bike motor kit and fit it to your bike. Decent power for hills and the recharge only means filling a tank.
  5. yeah flat bar road bike would be good if you dont have big hills, if you do just get one with a triple chain ring on the front.
  6. +1 fit a small 4 stroke motor to an ordinary road bike. I have a mate who does a 80km round trip commute this way, no problems.
    Cheap and easily removable, too.
  7. hi,

    am very much a cyclist so ....

    That bike would most likely put you off cycling.

    You are much better off getting a good value bike (in sydney you really cant go past cellbikes.com.au for value when it comes to commuting bikes)

    The extra weight and cheapness of that bike would quickly offset any benefit of the electric motor.

    Much better to spend about $400-500 at cellbikes (or similar) and get an entry level mike with half decent equipment. Also going with a proper bike and bike shop they will make sure the bike fits you and you dont end up with pain due to an ill fitting machine. Some will even change components like stems so that it will fit you better at little or no cost. Ultimately a properly fitting bike is an absolute joy, whilst a badly fitting one is hell on wheels.

    I had a friend who had only really riden cheap k-mart bikes and was going to buy another k-mart bike for he commute to work. i convinced her to spend a bit extra and get a $400 bike. She couldnt believe how much better and faster it was and actually began enjoying riding.

    Another option would be to buy a second hand bike as you can get quite high spec bikes really cheap if you know what you are looking for.

    So in summary, cheap bikes like that will be a nightmare.

    finally, I am not a fan of flatbar roadbikes, just lose too much efficiency. So final advice is with go with a proper mountain bike and put slick tyres on it or get a real reaod bike. Compromised bikes/hybrids, tend to be good for not much

    sbb, who still owns too many pushbikes :)

    ps: changing to slicks will probably cost you about $20 a tyre
  8. Of course, for not much more money, you could get something that doesn't have the engine missing :bolt:.
  9. I've got a flat bar road bike with hub gears (Giant CRX City) for commuting about 20kms a day (10km each way). The distance is okay without a motor; it might be tough at first particularly if it's hilly but it's fun and becomes easier over time, and you'll get fitter. I recommend going to a shop and buying a new bike for the purpose. A Giant CRX 4 is a decent entry level bike for about $600.

    Ride aggressively by taking your space and stay out of the dooring zone. If you need to, take the middle of the road even if you are blocking cars behind you. And get some decent lights. Once you get used to it it becomes a great way to travel.
  10. I will definitely go & get a road cycle now & will join the victorian forum to get more info. Can I ask what's the benefit of getting a flat bar like the ones in MTB?? Is it only for comfort? Sorry I'm a noob when it comes to cycling.
  11. Yes they lose efficiency, but if you need to take equipment to work on a regular basis, using a real road bike is problematic, whereas commuting bikes are ideal. Depends what you want to achieve.
  12. The only advice I can give is just remember that its not Tour de Melbourne. Those cars around you are not cheering you on. They hate you.
  13. Hey, this bloke's in the same boat as me!

    I've often wondered what the benefit is, for my short 4k's to work and back, of a road bike over a mountain bike, which I could potentially take bush over the weekend?
  14. I disagree about flat bar road bikes - they are a really good entry level bike especially for someone who is relatively unfit.

    I'm not a fan of anything with suspension for commuting on sealed roads, so I think a mountain bike would be a waste of money in that setting. It will be heavier (relatively speaking) and the suspension will add to the inefficiency.

    Hybrid bikes are an abomination and should be crushed.
  15. If you really intend to go bush with your bike over the weekend and only want one bike, then go for a mountain bike and use road tyres for your commute and knobblys for your bush bashing.

    Problem with mountain bikes is they have suspension, which is great when you're bouncing around in the bush but tends to cause loss of efficiency when you're on sealed roads.

    Of course, if your aim is fitness rather than efficiency then I guess you should go for the heaviest, least efficient bike you can get because it will certainly give you a workout.
  16. haha yeah get the bike with the most suspension travel. then fill the frame with lead weights.

    my old man actually did have one of his road bikes filled with lead a while back, hard to get rolling but once you did my god did it roll for ages.

    hybrid bikes are like hybrid cars. gay. useless.
  17. A lot of good info given.
    I've done a fair bit of cycling (up to 15,000k per year before the back started playing up) and best thing is to make sure you get the right bike for your needs.
    Most important is that it's fitted correctly and wear the correct gear.
    Most bike shops will help here.
    It'll make all the difference and yes keep away from the supermarket crap...

    My commuting was about 20K each way on a combination of shared pathways and roads.
    Use this as my current bike for commuting which is perfect for cruisy rides up to 80-90K and is around $500 mark.
    Highly recommend a 700C for general commuting....

    I use this one which I built up myself for moving along serioulsy, up mountains and longer rides like Around The Bay, Alpine Classic, etc.


    Built it myself because I was able to source the parts myself at a good price.
    And didn't trust anyone on my bike when I'm coming down a mountain at over 80kph on tyres 23mm wide and less than 2mm think.

    Buy the way, this road bike cost nearly as much as my new GS500F to build....
    Building My Cervelo Only for those interested...
  18. OP is in Sydney guys... we have a Sydney forum


    OP what's your commute? How old are you and how much exercise have you done previously?

    If you're doing a 30 odd K round trip you should be able to pick up the fitness in a few weeks. The thing that stopped my commute was I lost my storage facilities at uni and carrying clothes + textbooks + laptop in a backpack was an effort.... and due to the distance of my commute I would take my road bike which I refuse to fit with panniers.

    There are quite a few things to factor in when taking this up, go on the cycling forums and research it. I found the NSW bicycle forum to be less inclusive than netrider but the information provided is still good.... Despite the family friendly vibe that plagues that place...
  19. I'm a small skinny guy with height of 173cm and weight around 58kg. I used to play sports like basketball & soccer back in high school but these days haven't done much fitness due to work & laziness. Therefore if I be able force myself cycling to work & uni then it's like 2 stone in 1 bird. I'm just curious with a road bike with skinny tyres how fast average most people generally can ride? Just a rough estimation... something like 30-40km/h on a flat hill?
  20. flat bars keep you a bit more upright and some folk think a bit more comfy and relaxed.

    regular road bars put you in a more efficient and aerodynamic position