6
   

Riding a Bike To Work

 
 
andimyt
 
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:56 pm
I'm preparing to commute to and eventually from work by bicycle in order to lose weight and get healthy. I'd like to know what kind of bike I should buy and about any helpful sites.

The one way commute is 2.27 miles and most of the streets have bike lanes or I'd be on a sidewalk. I weigh 285lbs. I need to be comfortable and I must get there on time.

Any helpful suggestions? Thanks in advance
  • Topic Stats
  • Top Replies
  • Link to this Topic
Type: Question • Score: 6 • Views: 1,788 • Replies: 17
No top replies

 
dadpad
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:30 am
We have a few committed bike riding members.
someone will be along in a while i expect stick around or check back in a few hours.
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:47 am
@andimyt,
Good show! I was into bike commuting for 4 1/2 days. I'd tell you about the 1/2 day, but I do hate to discourage people.

http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?20-Commuting This link will take you to the bikeforums commuting forum. They know lots of stuff.

2.27 miles doesn't sound bad, but you didn't mention what kind of hills are on the route, or the weather. If the ground is fairly level, the Electra Townie series looks interesting. Big tires make a smooth ride, I believe they have an installed rack, and do have fenders. If you're not in Death Valley, you will want fenders. If you are in San Francisco, you will want way more gears than you are going to find on a Townie. I never owned one, but did get to do a short ride on rough road. It was smooth and fun. If you check out the link I posted, you might want to make a general guess on the price range you need.
0 Replies
 
richard39
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 08:31 am
@andimyt,
In general I'd suggest an internal geared bike (3 speed should work unless you have steep hills) since they're pretty trouble free, with tire width of 32- 40mm, and fenders. And it needs to fit well- that's really most important. Give yourself ~3 weeks of regular riding to let your bod get used to the idea. At first there will be discomfort, maybe in a variety of places, but you'll adapt. Just go to a respected bike shop in your area for your first bike.
0 Replies
 
maporsche
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 08:44 am
Look at what's called a 'hybrid' bike. Gary Fisher makes high quality bikes that are affordable.

I personally own this one, and am comfortable when I ride. The longest I've gone in one stretch is 25-30 miles. Your 2-3 mile distance will be easy on this type of bike.
http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/kaitai

Maybe this model, if you on more of a budget.
http://www.fisherbikes.com/bike/model/mako


You WILL NEED to get measured AT a bike shop. This is very important if you want to enjoy yourself.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 08:56 am
Before investing in a bike I would suggest just walking. A little over 2 miles is not a very long way. I'm suggesting this for a couple of reasons 1. many people start out with this idea and end up back in their car after a couple of weeks, thus the bike becomes an expensive garage decoration. 2. I think you would be better off getting into a little better shape by walking before investing in a bike that will be comfortable for someone your size. If you stick to walking you will probably stick to biking and in either case you will probably lose a few pounds.
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 09:52 am
@Green Witch,
That's good advice, I think. You'll burn more calories on foot. Wait, is that right everyone? I think it is.

Getting in the habit of walking home can be tough but once you do it's worth it. I've got a nine-mile commute and once a week I'll walk half of it, from the Loop to Wrigley Field. It's amazing the things you see on foot. I've recently taken to half-following a local schizophrenic who calls out to Jesus to cleanse the world of its sins, at the top of his lungs, every night at 7 PM on the corner of Clark and Diversey. Good stuff.
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:05 am
Would y'all bicycle specialists help me out too? I'm looking to invest in a bike soon. I'm not too happy about the CTA fare hikes, or really the CTA in general, and would like to do the 18-mile round trip maybe two or three times a week. The bike would be used exclusively for this kind of city biking.

It seems like touring bikes are a good idea, right? In that you keep straight posture conducive to noting oncoming buses? I would say two miles of my commute would involve crazy ass traffic, the rest occurring on the lakefront bike path.

I imagine I'll get a used bike off Craigslist. What brands are reliable? What else should I know? Like about where I should lock that bitch up so that it's there for me after a pointless day at work.
maporsche
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:32 am
@Gargamel,
I'm not an expert; but I'd think a 'hybrid' bike would be ideal for the city.

The 'hybrid' bikes are a blend of road bike and mountain bike.
You won't go as fast as a road bike, but the bike is tougher and you won't have be worried about every pothole or curb.
You can't run trails like a mountain bike, but it's faster and has better gearing for riding on smooth surfaces.
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:35 am
@Gargamel,
Gargamel wrote:

Would y'all bicycle specialists help me out too? I'm looking to invest in a bike soon. I'm not too happy about the CTA fare hikes, or really the CTA in general, and would like to do the 18-mile round trip maybe two or three times a week. The bike would be used exclusively for this kind of city biking.

It seems like touring bikes are a good idea, right? In that you keep straight posture conducive to noting oncoming buses? I would say two miles of my commute would involve crazy ass traffic, the rest occurring on the lakefront bike path.

I imagine I'll get a used bike off Craigslist. What brands are reliable? What else should I know? Like about where I should lock that bitch up so that it's there for me after a pointless day at work.


How much experience do you have biking? A 'touring' or hybrid bike might be good for you if you don't have much experience and are looking for an upright seating position. 9 miles each way isn't too far but will take you a while to do; how is the elevation and traffic?

You can get a lot of great bikes on CL, that's a good call. I have a Raleigh Technium that I paid 2 bones for, rides great, no problems. It's a Road bike, so isn't as comfy or as easy to use as a hybrid, but it's a hell of a lot faster and more nimble.

Get a solid U-lock and a steel whip. Lock the bike up through the back triangle AND the back wheel, and run the steel whip through the front wheel, and you'll be good to go. Don't park in the ghetto!

Cycloptihorn
0 Replies
 
Cycloptichorn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:38 am
@andimyt,
andimyt wrote:

I'm preparing to commute to and eventually from work by bicycle in order to lose weight and get healthy. I'd like to know what kind of bike I should buy and about any helpful sites.

The one way commute is 2.27 miles and most of the streets have bike lanes or I'd be on a sidewalk. I weigh 285lbs. I need to be comfortable and I must get there on time.

Any helpful suggestions? Thanks in advance


Hi Andi,

The distance of your commute isn't too bad at all. Almost any type of bike you get will get you back and forth for two miles. However 285 lb is heavier then a lot of bikes are rated for - you're going to want to look for a steel frame and make sure you get some advice from a local bike shop. Go to a specialty store, at least for advice and fitting - you won't regret it later.

Be ready to be huffing and puffing when you get to work for the first few weeks. Then get ready to drop weight and get in serious shape, because if you get used to riding a lot, you'll improve quickly.

Cycloptichorn
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 02:02 pm
@Gargamel,
I have a Novara (REI) Randonee, which is a touring bike. It is a good comuter. You might also look over the Cyclo-Cross bikes. With only two chain rings, they might let you down on big hills, but I notice that that's what most bike messengers use, so they probably work out well in traffic. They are supposed to be nimble and quick shifting.

Somehow, I visualize you as having more of a greyhound build and less of the Clydesdale physique. You might even find yourself comfortable on a road bike, though I suspect either touring or cyclo-cross are probably better choices for that kind of distance. Whatever you get, get it at a bike shop, and be sure it can be fitted with fenders. Most road bikes don't have enough clearance around the tires. All touring bikes should either ship with fenders, or be able to accommodate them.

If your route has really rough pavement, you might need a mountain bike. Big, high volumn tires are the most important part of your suspension. Suspension front fork helps, too. Personally, I have never met a mountain with geometry I found comfortable.
Gargamel
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:22 pm
@roger,
roger wrote:
Somehow, I visualize you as having more of a greyhound build and less of the Clydesdale physique.


Ha ha. You're right on the money, there. I do squats and calf raises and **** three times a week, but I don't ever expect to be a horse physique-wise. For the past few years I've just been tearing around on my cousin's old women's Trek Antelope, hunched way over its too small frame. But its purpose was purely functional, never taking me anywhere more than five miles away. Surely a touring bike is the way to go.
patiodog
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:45 pm
andi --
I definitely echo the sentiment that you should go talk to someone at a dedicated bike shop (e.g., not Target/Walmart/whatever) about what'll suit you -- and be prepared to spend some $$, even for a used bike. I'm about 230 lbs these days, and I can put some serious strain on a cheaply made bike, especially going uphill.

gargs --
I've had a couple of used Giants that I've been very happy with for city and bike path riding -- rode one about 25 miles/day round trip about 4 days a week for a full summer without complaint. They're a little heavy, but solid and rideable bikes for the price.*


* (Actually, the first was stolen, and I'm not convinced that the second wasn't the same frame with all other parts swapped out...)
0 Replies
 
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:50 pm
@andimyt,
If you're just wanting to try it out without spending a bunch of money, you can get starter bikes at Goodwill, cheap.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:51 pm
@DrewDad,
Not in my town, DD, but we're a serious college town -- you can't find a Goodwill sofa for under $150, either...
DrewDad
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:54 pm
@patiodog,
Maybe we can set up a bicycle import/export business.

Is "VanDeLay Enterprises" taken?
0 Replies
 
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Feb, 2010 03:55 pm
@Gargamel,
Gargamel wrote:

Surely a touring bike is the way to go.


Good choice, but if you find a bike shop with both good selection and good attitude, do check out the cyclo cross style.

My touring bike works well for me on the street, but I had it set up with a moustasch bar to work with my less flexible body. I also drive a Ford Focus, which suits me well. For riding well maintained unpaved trails, I use the Giant Cypress. It works pretty well on the street, but the touring bike is better in every respect.

As mentioned, don't even look around the xmarts. If they had the quality (they don't) you would be getting something assembled by some kid that aspires to minimum wage, once he gets on full time.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Immortality and Doctor Volkov - Discussion by edgarblythe
Sleep Paralysis - Discussion by Nick Ashley
On the edge and toppling off.... - Discussion by Izzie
Surgery--Again - Discussion by Roberta
PTSD, is it caused by a blow to the head? - Question by Rickoshay75
THE GIRL IS ILL - Discussion by Setanta
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Riding a Bike To Work
Copyright © 2021 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 06/22/2021 at 09:25:28