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I'm considering commuting on a old mountain bike. Can you give me some ideas on how I might want to set this bike up for commuting? The rear slick is for a trainer. I'd be commuting 7 hilly miles each way on roads. I am in the Denver area so its mostly dry during the summer. However, if things go well, I'd commute in the winter with the possibility of wet roads as well. Should I put slicks on the bike or keep knobbies?

On most days I'd need to carry a laptop (its kinda heavy), paperwork, change of cloths, and my food. I graze and eat a lot all day so I actually bring a lot of food to work too. Sometimes I like to go swim straight from work, more to carry. Am I expecting to carry too much? I was thinking two panners and one of those racks which goes over the rear wheel. Front or rear panners?

Fenders and lights seem appropriate too.

Thanks,

Marc
 

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duh...
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does that fork have lockout? if not, consider a rigid. rear rack + panniers if you don't like msger bags (try it our first). fenders not a bad idea given those surprise thunderstorms that can pop up. tail light (superflash), perhaps reflectors. knobbies good for winter
 

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Yea you need slicks- something puncture resistant, get a touring tire or something with a kevlar lining like the Gator Skin. You will need fenders for the spring and fall; they go a long way to keeping you dry for the first 20 minutes of rain, and you won't get dirt on your clothes. I take them off in the summer.

Also you should take some time to get the fit set up for road riding. A few years back I was riding to work on an old mountain bike and, after a few weeks, I had back and knee pain. Mountain bikes are set up very different to road bikes, and even more different that commuters/ touring bikes. As around at your LB shops for a well respected guy to fit you to your bike. It was worth the money for me, but then I am 40 this year, so you be young enough to power through it?

Someone mentioned lights- always a great idea, unless it is the summer. I don't bother this time of year, but man what a difference they make on the darker days of fall, spring and winter. You don't need to spend $500 on top of the line mountain bike lights, start with the cheap LEDs and just slow down at night. That works for me anyway. One idea- you might look for a used cyclocross bike after the race season this fall. Some guys buy new bikes in August, ride one season on it, then decide it is not the right fit; and you can get some screaming deals towards the end of November. Good luck and may the swartz be with ya!!! MTT :thumbsup:
 
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