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RE: [rootsradicals] Comfort for long distance?

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  • Mighk Wilson
    I own a Marin Novato + X and am pretty happy with it, except for some component choices, which I can always upgrade later. I added bar-ends on the straight
    Message 1 of 14 , Feb 1, 2008
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      I own a Marin Novato + X and am pretty happy with it, except for some component choices, which I can always upgrade later. I added bar-ends on the straight bars for more hand positions.

      (Just rode 30 miles round trip last night to teach a safety course, carrying a laptop, projector and various show & tell stuff).

      Weight is an issue if you have lots of hills (not an issue here in Fla.) or lots of stop & go. Once you're wound-up to cruising speed on the flats your weight is irrelevant. An X does have poorer aerodynamics than a short bike though, particularly due to the Freeloaders.

      If you don't plan to haul heavy loads (and depending on your own weight) you may be able to get away with somewhat narrower and higher pressure tires than come stock on the Novato (1.5" that take 80 psi). That might help a bit with rolling resistance.

      Mighk


      ________________________________________
      From: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com [mailto:rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of marniegalloway
      Sent: Thursday, January 31, 2008 5:28 PM
      To: rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [rootsradicals] Comfort for long distance?

      Hi everyone--

      I am considering buying one of xtracycle's S.U.B. townie/free radical
      bikes as a car replacement. I have been relying on public
      transportation since getting rid of my car a few months ago, but I'm
      spending $20/week on the train and it takes 45 min to go my 3 miles to
      work. With that cost and time spent, it seems silly NOT to
      bicycle-commute.

      I need a bike that covers 3 needs:

      1) hearty enough to handle daily 3 miles 2x a day to work
      2) solid enough to serve as a car replacements for heavier loads
      (groceries, cat litter, furniture?, etc)
      3) not too heavy that a 10-mile, 2x a day daily commute is brutal
      (which will be the case in late Summer)

      So obviously the SUB was built to cover 1 and 2. But what about 3?
      Does anyone regularly use their bike+radical for commutes that long?
      Is it particularly heavy--or, if it is, is it worth it? The SUB seems
      ideal to me, but if it is so cumbersome that I get discouraged from
      long rides, I'd rather get a lighter bike.

      Thank you all for your much appreciated expert advice!
    • marniegalloway
      Wow, thank you to everyone for your encouraging advice! I ll definitely take a look at my bank account to see if I can swing a bike with more gears than the
      Message 2 of 14 , Feb 1, 2008
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        Wow, thank you to everyone for your encouraging advice! I'll
        definitely take a look at my bank account to see if I can swing a bike
        with more gears than the 7d--the marin does seem like a better choice.
        Plus, taking into account how quickly I'd save by not taking the
        train, it seems just as easy to spend a bit more for a better bike in
        the end.

        I'll keep everyone posted when I get my bike later in the month.
        Thanks again, this has been exactly the information I was seeking!

        peace,
        -marnie
      • Mark Garvey
        Marnie...One last bit of advice. do you have a bike NOW?? And if so, why not use THAT for a while to get by? another option is to ask friends and family if
        Message 3 of 14 , Feb 1, 2008
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          Marnie...One last bit of advice.  do you have a bike NOW??  And if so, why not use THAT for a while to get by?  another option is to ask friends and family if they have a bike you can borrow, steal, use or buy cheap.  I got a pretty nice frame from Freecycle locally (no cost!)  Remember, that IF you have a bike with a basic bottom bracket and spindle, you can put on a double or triple crank if you need to (nashbar has had a sale on stuff lately and I got a decent Shimano Triple for about $12, a derailleur for $8)  So you could start with a halfway decent bike and build it up the way you like.  After all, your bike will be a utility cruiser, not necessarily a flash rig!   But check out Craigs list for your area, put a request on the local Freecycle and scout around.  TONS of people have bikes in their garages that they simply do  not use and will be happy to part with for little or nothing!  come to that, I have a few here myself!  But you are likely too far away.

          mark

          On Feb 1, 2008 11:43 AM, marniegalloway <marniegalloway@...> wrote:
          Wow, thank you to everyone for your encouraging advice! I'll
          definitely take a look at my bank account to see if I can swing a bike
          with more gears than the 7d--the marin does seem like a better choice.
          Plus, taking into account how quickly I'd save by not taking the
          train, it seems just as easy to spend a bit more for a better bike in
          the end.

          I'll keep everyone posted when I get my bike later in the month.
          Thanks again, this has been exactly the information I was seeking!

          peace,
          -marnie



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        • Susan
          Just chiming in (and wondering how progress is going) - my commute is 13 miles round trip (or up to 40 if I take the long way home). I ve also taken the Xtra
          Message 4 of 14 , Feb 8, 2008
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            Just chiming in (and wondering how progress is going) - my commute is
            13 miles round trip (or up to 40 if I take the long way home). I've
            also taken the Xtra on the last two GITAP (Grand Illinois Trails and
            parks) rides - as a volunteer so I only did 350-400 miles that week,
            but it's comfortable on the occasional century. It's just not all
            that different from riding a bike. I ride it winter & summer, tho' in
            ice I ride my Gazelle with studded tyres (which didn't fit on the Xtra
            which is on a Giant Nutra which is an entry-level hybrid from the
            early 90's).

            BUT! YOur mileage may vary. Don't be afraid to invest in this thing
            as if it were a car or a partner... as in, somethign you spend time
            very, very close to rather often so that little things mean a lot.
            $20/week adds up fairly swiftly.

            Sue


            1- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "marniegalloway"
            <marniegalloway@...> wrote:
            >
            > Hi everyone--
            >
            > I am considering buying one of xtracycle's S.U.B. townie/free radical
            > bikes as a car replacement. I have been relying on public
            > transportation since getting rid of my car a few months ago, but I'm
            > spending $20/week on the train and it takes 45 min to go my 3 miles to
            > work. With that cost and time spent, it seems silly NOT to
            > bicycle-commute.
            >
            > I need a bike that covers 3 needs:
            >
            > 1) hearty enough to handle daily 3 miles 2x a day to work
            > 2) solid enough to serve as a car replacements for heavier loads
            > (groceries, cat litter, furniture?, etc)
            > 3) not too heavy that a 10-mile, 2x a day daily commute is brutal
            > (which will be the case in late Summer)
            >
            > So obviously the SUB was built to cover 1 and 2. But what about 3?
            > Does anyone regularly use their bike+radical for commutes that long?
            > Is it particularly heavy--or, if it is, is it worth it? The SUB seems
            > ideal to me, but if it is so cumbersome that I get discouraged from
            > long rides, I'd rather get a lighter bike.
            >
            > Thank you all for your much appreciated expert advice!
            >
          • akyramoto
            HI, My boyfriends townie 21 with the xtra is really light, well for a hauling bike. we weighed it at the LBS & it came in @ 40lbs. I dont know if that helps
            Message 5 of 14 , Feb 9, 2008
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              HI, My boyfriends townie 21 with the xtra is really light, well for a
              hauling bike. we weighed it at the LBS & it came in @ 40lbs. I dont
              know if that helps you at all, but in my opinion it is a light & very
              capable bicycle. The only thing I personally dont like is that it's
              hard to ride out of the saddle. I will personally get out of it to
              gain some power, but my boyfriend rarely does that, so it works well
              for him.

              --- In rootsradicals@yahoogroups.com, "marniegalloway"
              <marniegalloway@...> wrote:
              >
              > Hi everyone--
              >
              > I am considering buying one of xtracycle's S.U.B. townie/free radical
              > bikes as a car replacement. I have been relying on public
              > transportation since getting rid of my car a few months ago, but I'm
              > spending $20/week on the train and it takes 45 min to go my 3 miles to
              > work. With that cost and time spent, it seems silly NOT to
              > bicycle-commute.
              >
              > I need a bike that covers 3 needs:
              >
              > 1) hearty enough to handle daily 3 miles 2x a day to work
              > 2) solid enough to serve as a car replacements for heavier loads
              > (groceries, cat litter, furniture?, etc)
              > 3) not too heavy that a 10-mile, 2x a day daily commute is brutal
              > (which will be the case in late Summer)
              >
              > So obviously the SUB was built to cover 1 and 2. But what about 3?
              > Does anyone regularly use their bike+radical for commutes that long?
              > Is it particularly heavy--or, if it is, is it worth it? The SUB seems
              > ideal to me, but if it is so cumbersome that I get discouraged from
              > long rides, I'd rather get a lighter bike.
              >
              > Thank you all for your much appreciated expert advice!
              >
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