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Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    2

    "Casual" rider wants to gear up for commuting

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    I have a nice bike. I have a helmet. I have bike directions on Google (sensible ones, I checked) and Bike Pgh instructions on vehicular cycling an'at. I need to buy gloves (I found and handwashed my old ones from college, so pleased with myself, then found that the suedeish surface of the palms are literally disintegrating now gross.) There's a locker room and showers at work should I wish to use them. So, like, what else? So much gear in the shops but so much that I didn't know I didn't know, such as (I see on another thread) that one goes commando in chamois. Assume that I am currently clad in pedestrian clothing and it works all right for March weather, summer probably not so much.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    2,560
    How far are you biking? I see a lot of commuters who ride in regular clothes.

    I found that I didn't need a chamois at all for short rides once I got a saddle that fit well.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    How far are you biking to work? In the summer, how do you plan to carry your bike clothes to work (backpack or put a rack on your bike?). How many times are you riding to work currently?
    Good for you for commuting to work! Have you seen the commuting section below? Lots of good tips there!
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    1,648
    Welcome to the forum, from another Pittsburgher (living in exile)!

    When I bike commuted I used a small pannier to carry a change of clothes and my food for the day. Kept toiletries and dress shoes at work.

    Consider the conditions on your route and think about whether you are visible to drivers, and outfit yourself appropriately with day-glo clothing, additional reflectors and lights. I have a screaming yellow PI vest that fits over a jersey or a more substantial jacket when it's wet/chilly.

    Have fun!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Branford, CT
    Posts
    737
    All the usual tire-changing gear, nice bright lights to catch the bleary eyes of the morning driver, and phone numbers for a few people at work, just in case. When I crashed while riding to work, I immediately became aware that I didn't have anyone to call. Biking in means I get here earlier than most people, and I didn't have the number of anyone that would be here at that time. Lesson learned.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    That's fantastic that you have showers at work! You can bike in whatever is comfortable, and change to the extent you wish, when you arrive. I used to just change my shirt.

    I say "used to" because once I discovered bike shorts I wear them every time I ride, and most of my trips are under 5 miles! So my advice on bike shorts is--don't use them until you go for a long ride, because you'll get used to them and then insist on wearing them all the time.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Little Egypt
    Posts
    1,886
    Good for you for commuting and how fortunate you are that you have showers and lockers at work!

    I would also suggest a Road ID just in case. http://www.roadid.com/Common/default.aspx
    __________________
    "We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." George Bernard Shaw

    Luna Eclipse/Selle Italia Lady
    Surly Pacer/Terry Butterfly
    Quintana Roo Cd01/Koobi Stratus
    1981 Schwinn Le Tour Tourist
    Jamis Coda Femme

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Oslo, Norway
    Posts
    4,083
    I can't really think of anything you need specifically for commuting, apart from maybe a pannier or practical small pack to carry everyday stuff in. But depending on your schedule, route and dedication you may be riding in heavier traffic, darker hours and worse weather than you're accustomed to. For that you'll need a visible jacket or vest - yellow is good, but reflective material is necessary in the dark - attentiongetting lights, and fenders if you'll be riding in the rain.

    Depending on how far you're riding and the level of comfort you want, you can ride in regular clothes, stretchy warmup clothes, or go full out on cycling gear. I started off without, but I'd still definitely recommend at least 2 pairs of cycling shorts, and rotate them. Riding every day has a nasty way of bringing out saddle sores. If you're on a budget buy one pair of good shorts, and one cheapo to change around with.

    Otherwise it's mostly a comfort thing. I'm lucky enough to have a shower at work plus I ride far enough that I most days need a shower once I get there, so I enjoy the comfort of riding in full bike gear from top to toe, and changing completely afterwards. In theory I could do the ride just fine in regular clothes, but this way I don't ever have to worry about grease stains or mud on my pants or sweaty tops, plus I almost never have to wash my office wear, just rotate my stash of tops and bottoms often enough that people don't notice

    Get out there and enjoy yourself! Explore new routes, you'll have a ball
    Winter riding is much less about badassery and much more about bundle-uppery. - malkin

    1995 Kona Cinder Cone commuterFrankenbike/Selle Italia SLR Lady Gel Flow
    2008 white Nakamura Summit Custom mtb/Terry Falcon X
    2000 Schwinn Fastback Comp road bike/Specialized Jett

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    195
    I do my "commute" into town for grocery shopping - its 8 miles one way and I don't bother with cycling clothes but I do wear fabric that is more sweat friendly (no cotton).

    Before my Xtracyle on my big dummy, I had a back rack and panniers.

    Like the old Nike ads, Just Do It, and you'll figure out what you need (and what you don't) pretty quick.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Pittsburgh
    Posts
    2
    Thanks everyone!

    My commute length is pretty flexible because I have a folding bike and can bike part way and take the bus or the T part way (I live too far out to bike all the way except maybe on bike to work day )... the most I'd be biking is 7-8 miles one way (home to T, T to work), or double that if I did the round trip. So far I've only done one way because it seems like mornings are still way cold here.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    157
    Quote Originally Posted by Bike Chick View Post
    I would also suggest a Road ID just in case. http://www.roadid.com/Common/default.aspx
    thank you so much for this suggestion! i'm definitely going to order one asap!
    Life goes by pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, and do whatever you want all the time, you could miss it.

    2010 Fuji Roubaix 1.0
    2007 Fuji Absolute 2.0

 

 

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