Beginner Cycling

Thinking about commuting

posted about 6 years ago | Report

I'm new to cycling but I have started thinking about commuting to work and school. What things should I know before I start. Right now I'm riding a 1982 Schwinn Collegiate three speed and it is doing well with my 7 mile rides is this bike okay for commuting?

  • I started to commute on an old MTB every work day mon-fri. I love it feels amazing. You always got to start somewhere and you can always improve your ride. Ihave upgraded to a entry level road bike now a Trek 1.1. Just make sure your are visible like lightes and maybe some reflective something e.g. ankle band, vest. Hope this helped a little bit.

    posted almost 6 years ago

  • I'll second what Jason R. said -- "you've always got to start somewhere!"

    As long as your Collegiate is comfortable and a good fit, there's no reason you can't use it as a commuter.

    Lights front and rear will help dramatically with visibility. You don't have to buy the most expensive lights on the market to start. I have been running a basic Cateye blinky on the back of my various bikes for a while that does just fine (as long as it stays dry). My 'cross bike, meanwhile, has a little LED flashlight secured with a ton of velcro and a wrap-strap as a headlight!

    How long will your commute be? Depending on the length of your ride, you may or may not want to ride in shorts or bike clothes and bring a change of clothes to work. I used to bring mine in on Monday and home on Friday. If you do ride in your work clothes, an ankle band (like Jason R. suggested) can pull double-duty as a reflective thingy and as a pants-protector (keeps your trouser leg out of your chain). If it's hot, dress accordingly and carry some water.

    Choose a route on which you feel comfortable, and know that it's okay to bail out and walk the bike (or even lock up and hop on a bus or call for a ride) if you meet with a stretch of road that feels scary or has a terrible surface or whatever. It takes time to feel really comfortable riding in traffic.

    Over time, you will find the best combination of equipment for your particular needs, a favorite route, and all that stuff.

    posted almost 6 years ago

  • I think it'd be perfect for commuting. You may want to get a tune up for it so it's in top working condition. I'd get a rack (if you don't have one) so you can have a pannier or a trunk for carrying lunch/clothing along (I found that backpacks are too hot). Happy Commuting :)

    posted almost 6 years ago

  • For sure it's a good bike for commuting or just everyday riding. I started out on one. But I have to say that the better the bike, the better the riding experience. If you could get your hands on some trial rides on other bikes you could make a decision.

    posted almost 6 years ago

  • I would also carry a tire repair kit, riding 5 days a week you could get flats once a month, they are tiny and lightweight and can be a lifesaver, just walking to the nearest air pump instead of walking home. This is from experience riding through Brooklyn and Queens where the roads are TERRIBLE, but I would still try to carry one if possible.

    and wear a helmet.

    I don't think you need a new bike just be familiar and comfortable with yours and make sure it won't do anything surprising. Drivers can be oblivious idiots so be careful and ready for idiotic moves.

    posted almost 6 years ago

  • I always commute on simple bikes, cause you won't be upset if something happens to it.

    My commute bike checklist, which depends on your clothing needs.

    New tires that can handle commuting on all roads
    Fenders if you wear nice clothing and dont want wet clothing
    Panniers with side bags that can hold clothing, food, or work stuff, better than a messenger bag or backpack.

    posted almost 6 years ago

  • I ride a cheap piece of used junk (a 'Roadmaster') from the thrift-store that I have had for about four years, and it works fine for my five mile commute to work for being an off-road bike. If you're bike works fine for long distances/times, then stick with it if it works for you.
    Bring clothes that are comfortable to bike in, and then change into your work attire at work because you'll most likely get sweaty while biking. Padded bike seats are an EXTREMELY good investment, especially if you're biking everyday for extended periods of time! I don't really worry about reflective gear because I don't live in a very busy/large town, but if you live in big city, it's probably a good thing to have.

    posted almost 6 years ago

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