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Best bike for a 10 mile commute

Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
edited July 2010 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey folks. Any cyclists here? I'm potentially buying a place closer to work, at the moment I cycle to the station and then get a train to work but my new home will be about ten miles away. There's still a station nearby but I figure a ten mile cycle isn't too bad. I recently (yesterday) did a 32mile cycle on an old clapped out piece of crap. It took about an hour to do 16miles but it wasn't too comfy.

So what kind of bike do I need to make it a bit more comfortable? And what kind of clothes? We've got a shower at work but it's kind of a pain to get to, but I figure after ten miles I'm not going to have much choice.

I'm on a bit of a budget being I'm about to buy my first house but I don't want to skimp too much as I'm going to be doing 100 miles a week on it. Frugal suggestions welcome and I'm definitely not above buying used!

Mr_Grinch on
Steam: Sir_Grinch
PSN: SirGrinchX
Xbox Live: SirGrinch X

Posts

  • That_Spoony_BardThat_Spoony_Bard Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    It's been a while since I've been into cycling, so take it for what it's worth.

    When I used to commute, it was on a Raleigh Venture bike--http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/comfort/venture-3/

    I have a slightly older model, but for a short commute, it worked for me. I'm not a bike guy by any means, but I didn't have any problems with it.

    As for clothes, I had some padded bike shorts. I wasn't too keen on the skin-tight bike suits. If there is a bike shop around you, I'd go see what they have and ask around.

  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Get a road bike with drop bars that will take a rack, change when you get to work.

    You don't have to go for the lycra look (though you can if you like), have a look at riding gear aimed at MTBers for looser fitting stuff. You should use a pair of padded shorts if you want to be confortable. A lot of people think that heavily padded saddles are going to be comfier than firmer, flatter saddles, but (assuming you wear decent fitting shorts) this is frequently not the case. Saddles do have to fit you properly, so if you're buying a new one make sure you actually sit on it first.

    In terms of convenience, you can get away with not showering when you get to work as long as you take it relatively easy. Handy things to have in your bag (because you will inevitably at some point be running late or not be able to access the shower or something) are unscented baby wipes to give yourself a quick wipe down, deodorant, and dry shampoo (I use stuff called Batiste - you can get it in Boots, you spray it in your hair and then comb it out).

    Some employers do a cycle to work scheme (sometimes called cycle2work or cyclescheme) that will allow you to buy a bike plus gear heavily discounted and pay for it by leasing it from your employer. Those are well worth it, you can usually get around 40% off RRP, VAT free, and pay it off over twelve months at 0% interest.

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Yeah, I work for HMRC who came up with the scheme but don't actually run it for their employers. We just get 15% off Halfords. Cheers for the advice though, it's good to know I may be able to do it without a shower :) I'm quite looking forward to the exercise, though how I'll stick at it when the weather gets worse I don't know.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Xbox Live: SirGrinch X
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I quite like riding in the rain, myself. It's the Scottish mountain biker in me. Fit full length mudguards and get a decent jacket (the important thing is breathability to escape the boil in the bag effect). Also get good lights and use them.

    I did eight miles routinely without needing to use a shower when I got to work. The trick is to remember that fresh sweat doesn't smell, old sweat does, so make sure that you wear clean gear and change everything when you get there.

    In terms of bikes, if you have a nearby bike shop that deals in used bikes, that's probably your best bet. You need to remember to budget for a lock, lights, and some riding gear though. What sort of budget were you thinking?

  • EshEsh Tending bar. FFXIV. Spending too much money eating out. That's about it. Portland, ORRegistered User regular
    edited July 2010
    A Cyclo-Cross bike would be your best bet.

    "At first he thought it might be a natural occurrence - maybe a rabbit. But upon closer inspection, it was clear a knife had been used. And rabbits don't carry knives."

    Final Fantasy XIV:Lilja Sunblade
  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    japan wrote: »
    I quite like riding in the rain, myself. It's the Scottish mountain biker in me. Fit full length mudguards and get a decent jacket (the important thing is breathability to escape the boil in the bag effect). Also get good lights and use them.

    I did eight miles routinely without needing to use a shower when I got to work. The trick is to remember that fresh sweat doesn't smell, old sweat does, so make sure that you wear clean gear and change everything when you get there.

    In terms of bikes, if you have a nearby bike shop that deals in used bikes, that's probably your best bet. You need to remember to budget for a lock, lights, and some riding gear though. What sort of budget were you thinking?

    Budget-wise I was hoping around £400, I was recently looking at getting a Brompton for £700 but that was put aside due to the whole huge-deposit-needed-for-a-house thing, and a Brompton isn't needed now because I won't be taking it on the train daily. I've still got a bigger folding bike for when I need to hop on public transport.

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Xbox Live: SirGrinch X
  • AnomeAnome Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    I don't know much about bikes either but I recently decided to get a nice one to ride to work and, once school starts in the fall, I'll be trying to ride it there, too. My work commute is very short but once I start riding to school I'll be going about 10 km each way. I went to a bike store and talked to one of the guys who worked there. In the end he recommended a Kona Dew Plus . He said that it was one of his best sellers in the price range and a very reliable bike. It was $600 Canadian and I love it. It's super light weight, fast, and the difference on hills between it any my last bike, which was a piece of junk picked up at a garage sale for $20, is amazing. I ended up getting rid of my old bike because even the slightest incline made me feel like I was going to die. This bike was absolutely worth the money and I would highly recommend it.

  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    So what kind of bike do I need to make it a bit more comfortable? And what kind of clothes? We've got a shower at work but it's kind of a pain to get to, but I figure after ten miles I'm not going to have much choice.

    I'm on a bit of a budget being I'm about to buy my first house but I don't want to skimp too much as I'm going to be doing 100 miles a week on it. Frugal suggestions welcome and I'm definitely not above buying used!

    Where are you in the world? Is the terrain flat, is there much traffic, will you only ride when the weather is nice or the year round (eg. does the bike need fenders and maybe even tires that can cope with snow), and finally how much do you need to transport?

    If you're very disciplined and it is not to hot 10 miles can be done without breaking a sweat. In other words taking it slow to work, especially near the end of the ride, and then sprinting home could be an option.

    Since you are on a budget I recommend looking for something 2nd hand. Lots of people buy bikes only to find they never use them so they will eventually get sold. In other words you may be able to find a perfectly fine bike that just needs a little polish and maybe new tires (because the old ones have died from age). Look for either a tourist type bike or a rigid MTB type with road tires, since you're not racing the bike weight is not too important it matters more that it's comfy and solid.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • japanjapan Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    £400 is difficult for a decent new bike that's going to see some use. My first thoughts are Edinburgh Cycles Revolution Cross (at £400) and the Kona Smoke (about £300, but it turns up on sale cheaper in some places, it's more of a hybrid though, with flat bars). Dawes also make a decent range of commuter bikes from about £250 up. If you think you can handle a singlespeed there are a lot of options, because flat bar singlespeed city bikes are "in" right now.

    The specs aren't incredible, and they're relatively hefty, but they all have decent reputations for reliability. Used will get you something better but may need servicing.

  • Mr_GrinchMr_Grinch Registered User regular
    edited July 2010
    Mr_Grinch wrote: »
    So what kind of bike do I need to make it a bit more comfortable? And what kind of clothes? We've got a shower at work but it's kind of a pain to get to, but I figure after ten miles I'm not going to have much choice.

    I'm on a bit of a budget being I'm about to buy my first house but I don't want to skimp too much as I'm going to be doing 100 miles a week on it. Frugal suggestions welcome and I'm definitely not above buying used!

    Where are you in the world? Is the terrain flat, is there much traffic, will you only ride when the weather is nice or the year round (eg. does the bike need fenders and maybe even tires that can cope with snow), and finally how much do you need to transport?

    If you're very disciplined and it is not to hot 10 miles can be done without breaking a sweat. In other words taking it slow to work, especially near the end of the ride, and then sprinting home could be an option.

    Since you are on a budget I recommend looking for something 2nd hand. Lots of people buy bikes only to find they never use them so they will eventually get sold. In other words you may be able to find a perfectly fine bike that just needs a little polish and maybe new tires (because the old ones have died from age). Look for either a tourist type bike or a rigid MTB type with road tires, since you're not racing the bike weight is not too important it matters more that it's comfy and solid.

    I'll be in Castleford cycling to Leeds. Shortest route from where I'll be is ten miles. The area is pretty flat, in fact roughly it'll be this: http://tinyurl.com/334kgnn if you test some areas on google street maps you can see it's pretty flat in the main, it's not the main way from Castleford to Leeds so it won't be too busy but there are a few busy roads on there.

    Weather wise I doubt I'll cycle it in snow, on the odd day the weather is dangerous (I've tried cycling in snow before, it hurt, and I find it worrying because cars are less stable too!) I've got a train station less than half a mile away from me which can get me in to work in 20 minutes for cheap.

    Japan: Cheers, I've spoken to a friend who's selling his bike in a couple of weeks which he frequently does 30+ mile trips on. I'm due to do a 90mile cycle one of the weekends soon with some friends so I'm going to take it on that and give it a go. That should be a good test how I get on! If it's only "ok" then I'll look at giving some of the ones you've suggested a test ride.

    Thanks guys!

    Steam: Sir_Grinch
    PSN: SirGrinchX
    Xbox Live: SirGrinch X
This discussion has been closed.