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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I looking at various bikes right now (from road to urban) and was wondering what most of the real commuters are using? I'm in Florida, and as we know Florida is flat. Would it be worthwhile to have extra gears or should I stay away from them? I plan on going 15-20 mile one way...

Open to advice... but currently looking at the Trek line (SoHo, SU, and the 1.2)

Cheers!
 

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I live in Connecticut, where there are lots of hills, but my commute is in the river valley where it's flat (the big climb on my route is 50 feet up onto the bridge). I commute on fixed gears. I love the simplicity and ease of maintenance -- almost nothing to break or adjust. I lube the chain after every couple of rainstorms, and otherwise hardly touch anything between yearly overhauls. It's a real plus for a commuter bike.
 

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One thing gears are good for on a 15-20 mile flat-as-a-pancake commute- wind.

Disc brakes are overkill on the road. In Florida they'd be way beyond overkill...
 

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buck-50 said:
One thing gears are good for on a 15-20 mile flat-as-a-pancake commute- wind. .
Wind is something to consider. I hear Florida can have a lot of sustained wind. If your travel direction would make the prevailing winds mostly head- or tail- (rather than usually crosswind), then gear choices would be nice. Where I commute, that kind of wind situation isn't too common, but every so often I do get those days where riding a fixed-gear makes it a head-down 60 rpm grind in one direction, and a wild and crazy spin-out in the other.
 

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Disc brakes could be considered overkill, provided it never, ever rains. But I think it does rain in Florida.

In the wet, they work very, very well. And when you're commuting, (IMO) the importance of very functional brakes cannot be overstated.

As for the need for gears... I think for the city, they might be overrated. For longer distances, I think the ability to work up to higher speeds might be worthwhile.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
My idea is that when it rains, it pours; so I won't be taking my bike..

I need to get sized up and see what my options are...

I'm still leaning towards the uber swobo Del Norte for single... I have to have some type of good looks when picking out the bike :)

As for other speed bikes... its up in the air. Cheers!
 

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bavarian3 said:
I looking at various bikes right now (from road to urban) and was wondering what most of the real commuters are using? I'm in Florida, and as we know Florida is flat. Would it be worthwhile to have extra gears or should I stay away from them? I plan on going 15-20 mile one way...

Open to advice... but currently looking at the Trek line (SoHo, SU, and the 1.2)

Cheers!
I would seriously look at getting an old road bike for $200 or so then riding that for a few weeks. If you are thinking single speed try riding all day with out shifting. After a week or two you should be able to better quantify what you want, then go buy that and sell the old bike for what you paid (or more)
 

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I ride a 5 speed in Chicago, and really only use 2 gears. (My front deraileur broke, so i took it all off) My only 'hills' are bridges and overpasses, so i really dont need more gears. Lots of fixed and singles around here, being all flat.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
mbaha said:
I would seriously look at getting an old road bike for $200 or so then riding that for a few weeks. If you are thinking single speed try riding all day with out shifting. After a week or two you should be able to better quantify what you want, then go buy that and sell the old bike for what you paid (or more)
I'm on a two week plan on a Target special mountain bike using one gear... so at east I am on the right track. :)

I suppose it would be easier on me if I had a road bike instead though....
 

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I've been commuting on singlespeed bikes for 4 years now. I love it. As far as what gear to use. I would pick one that I could use regardless of the weather. For me that is 44x18. Whenever I think about switching to 44x17 or 44x16, I remember the wind can change on a dime where I live.
 

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Although disc brakes are over kill, the mechanical 1's have become very cheap. They are very easy to adjust and very sure when stopping.

The biggest downside that I have found is replacing the rear wheel. My bike uses road rims with a MTN disc hub. To repalce with a pre-built wheel, I had to search for a narrow 29'er disc wheel, limited choices. I am going to teach myself how to build wheel, for the future.
 

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I'm in my 5th year of daily commuting. Basically, I use three gears of the nine: Start (42-14), Cruise (12), and Low (16) for the more "urban" areas I ride. It's nice, flat ground, and in a headwind I just never go to Cruise, only so I can keep the cadence.

I could leave it in 42-12 and never know the difference, honestly.
 
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