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Hi,

I'm a casual mtb'er and road biker. I'm going to start commuting on my road bike primarily because traffic is driving me nuts. I'm looking to do this as safely as possible - riding during rush hour is likely a lot different than early Sunday rides!

Anyway, my commute is 14 miles each way, a few good hills. A mix of off road paved bikeways, bike lanes, and a few shorter sections with no shoulders on a 2 way road. My work has showers and lockers.

A few questions for the veterans out there:

1) There is an alternate route with more dedicated bike lanes and paths, however it is a lot more boring to ride, and one section forces me to cross an overpass with on and off ramps and no separate bike lane. This alone seems to risky and drivers really move on and off this section. The route I described above is on quieter streets, a little longer, but as I said a few sections where there are no shoulders whatsoever on a 2 way street. Which one would you ride?

2) I plan to ride with flashy rear and front LED's during the day. Too much?

3) How important is a mirror? I could attach one to my helmet but I've never bothered before. I wonder if it is too distracting to ride with.

4) Tires - I have narrow racing tires on my road bike, any suggestions for commuting that are puncture resistant but don't weigh a ton?

5) Side flag - too much?

6) Mounting iphone - has anyone done this? There's some neat apps for speed and distance, and playing some tunes wouldn't hurt.

7) Horn or bell? Useful or distracting trying to use it in an emergency situation?

8) Last but not least - has it been worth it to you? In terms of risk primarily, though I suspect that statistically commuting is likely no more risky than driving to work.

Any other thoughts welcome!
 

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1) There is an alternate route with more dedicated bike lanes and paths, however it is a lot more boring to ride, and one section forces me to cross an overpass with on and off ramps and no separate bike lane. This alone seems to risky and drivers really move on and off this section. The route I described above is on quieter streets, a little longer, but as I said a few sections where there are no shoulders whatsoever on a 2 way street. Which one would you ride?
I'd take the longer safer route. But it's really hard to tell from your description. No shoulders doesn't bother me, because most roads I ride have no shoulders. But also lower traffic.
Can you give the city and road intersection of the overpass? It would be interesting to look at it from satellite or google.
2) I plan to ride with flashy rear and front LED's during the day. Too much?
Can't be too safe. Although usually during the day blinky's can't be seen more than a few feet so it's just a waste of battery. Definitely good at dawn/dusk.
3) How important is a mirror? I could attach one to my helmet but I've never bothered before. I wonder if it is too distracting to ride with.
Nothing replaces situational awareness. And you can't solely rely on a mirror. That being said, those of us that use them love them. Never been a distraction.
5) Side flag - too much?
Yes
8) Last but not least - has it been worth it to you? In terms of risk primarily, though I suspect that statistically commuting is likely no more risky than driving to work.
Absolutely worth it. Helps get extra miles on the bike. I don't commute daily but do as often as I can. I'm fortunate to not have an urban area to commute in. It took me some time to get a good/safe route, relatively speaking. Mostly same types of roads I normally ride, but with the addition of some rush hour drivers. I don't see it any riskier than driving my car, or riding my bike any other time.
 

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Hi,

I'm a casual mtb'er and road biker. I'm going to start commuting on my road bike primarily because traffic is driving me nuts. I'm looking to do this as safely as possible - riding during rush hour is likely a lot different than early Sunday rides!

Anyway, my commute is 14 miles each way, a few good hills. A mix of off road paved bikeways, bike lanes, and a few shorter sections with no shoulders on a 2 way road. My work has showers and lockers.

A few questions for the veterans out there:

1) There is an alternate route with more dedicated bike lanes and paths, however it is a lot more boring to ride, and one section forces me to cross an overpass with on and off ramps and no separate bike lane. This alone seems to risky and drivers really move on and off this section. The route I described above is on quieter streets, a little longer, but as I said a few sections where there are no shoulders whatsoever on a 2 way street. Which one would you ride?

2) I plan to ride with flashy rear and front LED's during the day. Too much?

3) How important is a mirror? I could attach one to my helmet but I've never bothered before. I wonder if it is too distracting to ride with.

4) Tires - I have narrow racing tires on my road bike, any suggestions for commuting that are puncture resistant but don't weigh a ton?

5) Side flag - too much?

6) Mounting iphone - has anyone done this? There's some neat apps for speed and distance, and playing some tunes wouldn't hurt.

7) Horn or bell? Useful or distracting trying to use it in an emergency situation?

8) Last but not least - has it been worth it to you? In terms of risk primarily, though I suspect that statistically commuting is likely no more risky than driving to work.

Any other thoughts welcome!

I've always opted to take the quieter and less densely traffic populated routes. I've learned to look thru rear windows that I'm approaching, as I watch for seated parked drivers, and outward turned wheels. I always see parked drivers as a double potential threat. They can either open their doors as I pass, or they can quickly drive into the street and directly onto my pathway. I realize that I can become severely injured either way. So above all, BEWARE OF OCCUPIED PARKED CARS!!!
Whenever, there's a blur or reflection over the rear windows where I can't see thru them, I always assume that they're occupied and I proceed cautiously.

Whenever, urban cycling thru city streets, I go into my super "zen" mode, where I'm completely alert and focused, with all of my senses on high alert. I try to be completely aware of everything for every millisecond. I'm perked, perched, pumped, and ready for action at all times. I don't usually see the sidewalk as a urban cycling pathway, but if the traffic is prohibitively congested and vehicles are entirely too bunched, but the sidewalk is free of pedestrians, I'll take my sidewalk liberties without hesitation. Of course, I'll never do that when the sidewalk is occupied by any pedestrians, at all.

Heck! If you've gotta verticle neon flag waving overhead that's just fine! Use it right along with a bell and perhaps, even a whistle too. Airzound, is even better!* The point is, you want to be notice by all. Especially all pedestrians and drivers!

Slick tires are always cool! However, my problem thus far, has always been the slicker and thinner (narrower) the tire, the more prone to flats.

Bar mounted mirrors are fine, as long as you know how to use them, and don't completely rely upon them 100% of the time. Just use them to get a brief quesstimate of something approaching from the rear. However, I think you should always do a quick glance, usually over the left shoulder.

Always use hand signals to communicate with drivers. Make very serious and intentional eye contact with any driver who may potentially interrupt your flow or momentum. Eye contact and hand signals, are really important when it comes to stop signs and traffic lights, at intersections.

Always wear a reflective clothing whenever cycle commuting!

View attachment 280370
Reflective Vest (day time)

View attachment 280371
Reflective Jacket (dusk)

Remember:

You can't always go by what you hear from behind, because you can't hear e-vehicles or hybrids that well. Therefore, both your eyes and ears need to be on high alert at all times, without any outside interference (like iphones thru earbuds). It's all about nature in the streets!
 

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1. I'd test them both a few times. It sounds like they have tradeoffs in terms of safety and interest. You might end up alternating. It's nice to have a choice to get a little variety.

2. I always have blinkies on, day or night. Why not? If you use rechargeable batteries there's essentially no cost to turning on the lights. Recharge frequently, as LED's dim significantly when the voltage drops.

3. To me, mirrors are enormously useful. Not only do I know what's approaching, I am able to communicate with drivers effectively. I have mirrors on all my bikes, and I use them.

4. Fatter tires are usually better. Depends in part on your weight, riding style, and pavement conditions.

5. Yes, too much. But wear bright colors. Not necessarily a reflective vest (does nothing in daylight), but yellow or red or orange are much better than brown or black or gray.

6. I don't do that, and wouldn't. I don't really need any of that data on a commute ride (I mean, I already know how far it is). I don't even have a bike computer on the bikes I usually use to commute. And listening to music while riding in traffic just doesn't seem smart to me, though some people seem to do it safely. Anyway, paying attention to what's around you is one of the joys of cycling, compared to driving. You can see so much more.

7. I just yell if necessary. Sometimes I shock myself with how loud I can scream at a driver who's threatening to pull out in front of me (I try not to use bad words, and usually succeed). If you don't have the pipes, a horn might be useful. If you're going to be riding on multi-use trails shared with walkers, a bell is a polite way to warn people when you're overtaking, and has a certain charm of its own. There are some nifty ones available.

8. Absolutely, unquestionably, hugely. The fitness benefits of getting in that guaranteed exercise time on a regular basis, and the psychological benefits of starting and ending the day with a ride -- priceless. As for risk, well, everything has risks, but this is one area where your own choices, from route to equipment to riding behavior, can have big risk-reduction effect.
 

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1) There is an alternate route with more dedicated bike lanes and paths, however it is a lot more boring to ride, and one section forces me to cross an overpass with on and off ramps and no separate bike lane. This alone seems to risky and drivers really move on and off this section. The route I described above is on quieter streets, a little longer, but as I said a few sections where there are no shoulders whatsoever on a 2 way street. Which one would you ride?
Well, you can try both and see what you like. Or you can keep alternating your routes to make things less boring.

There also such considerations as seasons. For example, some bike paths might get closed after sunset (at least formally), forcing you to take city streets in winter. I don't know whether this is a consideration in your case.

Also note that car traffic dynamics looks significantly different from a bicycle than from a car. When you ride on a bicycle you will see that traffic moves in batches defined by traffic light cycles. This means that even during busy hours you might discover that more often than not your on and off ramps are virtually empty.

2) I plan to ride with flashy rear and front LED's during the day. Too much?
No, it is not too much. Just make sure that your lights are bright enough for daytime use. Otherwise, there would be no point in keeping them on.

3) How important is a mirror? I could attach one to my helmet but I've never bothered before. I wonder if it is too distracting to ride with.
It is extremely useful once you get used to it. Yet many people ride without mirrors.

4) Tires - I have narrow racing tires on my road bike, any suggestions for commuting that are puncture resistant but don't weigh a ton?
I'll skip this one. I commute on 32 mm Specialized Borough tires. Not a single puncture in several years. But that's probaly what falls under "weigh a ton" category in your book...

5) Side flag - too much?
I would say that if you wear proper clothing, it is unnecessary.

I'd also say that reflective features of your clothing are more important that the overall color of the clothing. There's nothing wrong with wearing black cycling jersey at night, as long as it is indeed a cycling jersey, i.e. it has typical for such jerseys reflective features built in.

Moreover, when riding in the dark one of the most important reflective features on cycling gear is the reflective spots of the backs of your cycling shoes. The oscilatting up-and-down motion of your heels is what immediately defines you as a cyclist in car's headligts.

6) Mounting iphone - has anyone done this? There's some neat apps for speed and distance,
A dedicated cycling computer will probably work better, even an inexpensive one.

and playing some tunes wouldn't hurt.
Er... You mean through headphones? Very bad idea, especially when riding on the streets.

7) Horn or bell? Useful or distracting trying to use it in an emergency situation?
Bell is useful to warn pedestrians, but verbal warnings also work well. As for warning cars... I heard they make bicycle horns that can be efficient in this application, but it is usually quite a contraption. And you seemed to be concerned about weight...

8) Last but not least - has it been worth it to you? In terms of risk primarily, though I suspect that statistically commuting is likely no more risky than driving to work.
It is worth it, no doubt about that.
 

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2) I plan to ride with flashy rear and front LED's during the day. Too much?
Not at all. I almost always forget to turn them on when riding in daylight but with rechargeable AAA batteries there really is no excuse not to use them. I recommend the Portland Design Works Danger Zone light which is fantastic. I also have a USB chargeable 2W taillight, Cygolite Hotshot which is ridiculously bright.

3) How important is a mirror? I could attach one to my helmet but I've never bothered before. I wonder if it is too distracting to ride with.
I just started riding with a helmet mirror. So far, it has only caused headaches and dizziness... Will try to master it (not too hopeful) and if I don't, I will get a handlebar mirror.

4) Tires - I have narrow racing tires on my road bike, any suggestions for commuting that are puncture resistant but don't weigh a ton?
I have used Bontrager Hardcase and I am currently running Panaracer Pasela Tourgard on my commuter. They're a bit heavy and sluggish but I like them. No flats yet...

5) Side flag - too much?
Yes

6) Mounting iphone - has anyone done this? There's some neat apps for speed and distance, and playing some tunes wouldn't hurt.
I second a cheap cyclocomputer but I have used my iPhone and just kept it in my pocket.

7) Horn or bell? Useful or distracting trying to use it in an emergency situation?
I like bells although my current commuter does not have one but they seem to startle people (so does the "on your left" shout).

8) Last but not least - has it been worth it to you? In terms of risk primarily, though I suspect that statistically commuting is likely no more risky than driving to work.
I have commuted on a bike for more than a decade and I love it. Much of my commuting was in the upper Midwest and Iceland so I have seen the extremes of winter weather. My current situation is a bit more challenging with a 10 mile ride one-way in Phoenix/Scottsdale (can get hot there...) but I have to wear a suit and tie at work and the shower situation there is not optimal. I try to ride my bike in 2-3 times weekly.

Lastly, I used to commute in the dark and I used a very bright handlebar light (500 lumen) as well as a 150 lumen light on the helmet. I used the helmet light to alert drivers I felt where not focusing on the driving by staring at them with the light directly in their eyes. A helmet light is also very valuable on dimly lit and poorly maintained streets and trails, especially in the fall or after storms where there may be all kinds of crap on the road.
 

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First off, be happy that your work has showers and lockers. So does mine and I can't tell you how clutch that is.

1. I'd take the first route, especially in the morning. That overpass section sounds sketchy. Hard to tell, maybe it's not so bad. Try each for one commute and decide then. If you've pre-ridden them both, just know the situations can get hairier during a commute than a Saturday morning.

2. Not too much with the LEDs but the benefits are small if there is enough sunlight. You'll definitely want them if you're riding during dawn/dusk. Come in handy in late fall and winter. I recommend one that recharges by USB.

3. I've never used a mirror myself. Some people swear by them.

4. Million dollar question with regard to tires. Conti Gatorskins and Armadillos get good ratings. I used Vittoria Cross Rangers that were money but I can't find them anymore. Biggest thing you can do is not ride in the gutter where a lot of the glass/debris is. Look ahead for fields of broken glass and avoid if you can. Pray to the bikes god to spare your tires' soul. Carry the gear to change flats if all that fails.

5. Side flag? That is too much.

6. I don't track my commutes but for other rides I use strava app. I just put it in my jersey pocket. you could do that or keep it in your pack. You could also get a computer for your road bike. I don't listen to music on my rides so I can't speak on that. I've seen mounting brackets for the bike but strava shuts off the screen to save battery. I just use my computer to track speed distance etc as I ride. Also comes in handy if strava app fails mid-ride. Known to happen to me.

7. Horn or bells are really only useful on a MUT type situation. Cars won't hear it or care, even if they did hear it. In an emergency situation, the last thing you'll want to rely on is a bell. At that point it's your instincts and your vocal cords.

8. It is definitely worth it to me. When I drive to/from work, the commute is usually the worst part of my day. When I ride, it's always the best part. Great way to start the day. The only time is sucks is if I guess wrong weather-wise and it's pouring rain on the way home. I have had good luck generally with drivers, except for this Monday (but that's a story for another time). But I was not hurt and commuting by bike is definitely worth taking whatever risk there is.

Hope this helps. Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the great tips folks.

I'm going to try this for the first time tomorrow and see how it goes.

I'll take the longer, quieter route first.

When I mentioned listening to tunes, I meant through the Iphone speaker or an externally mounted speaker, not through earphones. I picked-up an Iphone mount and it looks solid enough. The bikebrain app has the GPS map, speed distance and so on.

Also bought the "take a look" helmet mirror.

It took an hour to drive the 14 miles to work today with all the traffic. I'm sure I can do better on the bike. I'm hoping most drivers are courteous, but I'm not sure how patient they will be during the rush hour.
 

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All the input so far is spot on in my mind. So not much to add. I just started commuting a month ago, so maybe i can shed some "newbie" light.

First, you will learn as you go what works and what doesn't. Have the basics ready and then adjust as you learn. The important first step is doing it. Don't overthink it.

I do use blinkies, but usually only a rear, unless it is really overcast and gloomy. Obviously the days are getting longer and brighter, so the front is less useful so far.

No mirror for me, I rely on eyes and ears and defensive awareness.

I use MapMyRide on my iPhone to track speed and such. It is fun, but so far I don't mount the phone, just throw it in a jersey pocket. It isn't as accurate as a bike computer. I get swings as large as half mile differences, even though I am riding the exact same route.

I go with bells. A nice one more for walkers and passing and one that packs a bit more punch for folks crossing against the light and cars and such. No horn. I checked out an electronic horn, but the sound didn't pack much punch. It was loud, but not impactful, if that makes sense. Wasn't worth it in my mind. Yelling works well.

Is it worth it? Oh yes! I have a 10-11 mile round trip commute and with a minimum of 2 days a week for the last month, already racked up over 140 miles. I know that is a brevet for some folks, but being off the bike for the last 3 years (since my son was born), this is like a rebirth. I am more focused and energized at work and get up most mornings really looking forward to swing my leg over the bike. The fitness is already starting to improve and I can just imagine where I will be in a year's time keeping this pace.
 

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Hi,

I'm a casual mtb'er and road biker. I'm going to start commuting on my road bike primarily because traffic is driving me nuts. I'm looking to do this as safely as possible - riding during rush hour is likely a lot different than early Sunday rides!

Anyway, my commute is 14 miles each way, a few good hills. A mix of off road paved bikeways, bike lanes, and a few shorter sections with no shoulders on a 2 way road. My work has showers and lockers.
I used to have a 14.5 mile commute each way; the commute from my current house is 5 miles, but over more heavily traveled streets.

The most important safety factor with respect to both my old commute and my new one was time of day. If you can be flexible with your arrival and departure times from work, either arrive and depart before rush hour, or leave home after rush hour and work late. Even if you cannot be wholly flexible with your commute times, fifteen or thirty minutes can make a significant difference in traffic. Learn where there are time-based issues on your commute. For example, my old commute went near several private schools where the kids had to be dropped off by 8:15 a.m. Traffic near the schools was suicidal between 8:00 and 8:15 a.m. By 8:20 a.m., the streets near the schools were deserted and significantly safer.

I have used Continental 4 season 25s on my commuting bike for years with no problems.

Good luck.
 

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1) Ride the longer safer route

2) No not to much. I use both on my commuting bike. It is a law in PA to have front and rear lights between dusk and dawn on a bike. Iin late fall, winter, and early spring that is when I am on the road. So I just use them all year round.

3) I do not use a mirror, never have. I am comfortable looking over my shoulder while riding. Personal choice.

4) Tires - Any good 25c tire will work for double duty.(conti gator skin/4 seasons, Panaracer type D, maxxis refuse) these are all tires I have used before and would buy again. It is more important to me not to have to deal with flats then worry about tire weight on my commuter bike. If you want to have 1 bike for double duty and tire performance is important to you pick up some used wheels and swap back and forth.

5) Too much.

6) No computer on my commute bike, I use bike commuting as a way to recover from training rides. I would not listen to music during my commute, not safe in my mind, I want to hear what is going on around me.

7) If you have time to ring a bell you have time to hit the brakes or swerve. a bike is not like a car where you can have a hand on the horn and your foot on the brakes. Can be helpful if you use a bike path and will be passing others regularly.

8) Has it been worth it to you? 100%. I do not think it is any riskier then driving. I take mostly back roads, and leave the house 30min earlier then when I drive. That 30min makes a big difference in traffic volume in my area.
 

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1) There is an alternate route with more dedicated bike lanes and paths, however it is a lot more boring to ride, and one section forces me to cross an overpass with on and off ramps and no separate bike lane. This alone seems to risky and drivers really move on and off this section. The route I described above is on quieter streets, a little longer, but as I said a few sections where there are no shoulders whatsoever on a 2 way street. Which one would you ride?

I'd take the longer way, but maybe you ought to do both and see what suits you best. Every route has its pluses and minuses.

2) I plan to ride with flashy rear and front LED's during the day. Too much?

For me, yes, but I ride mostly on a bike path. Maybe when its dark, but I don't see benefits in the daylight. I doubt motorists would notice them.

3) How important is a mirror? I could attach one to my helmet but I've never bothered before. I wonder if it is too distracting to ride with.

I've never used one. You can get pretty adept listening. Don't wear headphones and listen to music.

4) Tires - I have narrow racing tires on my road bike, any suggestions for commuting that are puncture resistant but don't weigh a ton?

I have three fancy road bikes. They all have 700x23 tires (either Michelin or Continentals). I rarely get flats ... there I said it, now I'm doomed!

5) Side flag - too much?

Yes.

6) Mounting iphone - has anyone done this? There's some neat apps for speed and distance, and playing some tunes wouldn't hurt.

No, just ride and pay attention to what you're doing. Especially in traffic.

7) Horn or bell? Useful or distracting trying to use it in an emergency situation?\

Bells are popular here. Not on my bikes! I just yell at people.

8) Last but not least - has it been worth it to you? In terms of risk primarily, though I suspect that statistically commuting is likely no more risky than driving to work.

Oh god yes. I rode 4900 miles last year. 85% of it was commuting. I have little kids and a wife who works full time (she commutes by bike too). Weekends are toast for me. Errands, kids sports, lawn work, etc. I've been doing to for 20 years. My commute is 33 miles round trip. I had a two year break from it due to a job that I eventually quit partly because I couldn't ride to work.

Don't over think it. Just get out and ride. Having showers and a place to stow clothes is awesome. I haul clothes in on days that I don't ride. I like traveling on bike with as little as possible. I use a small seatpost rack in the fall and spring when I ride in with more clothes on than I ride home with. In the summer/winter when I wear the same clothes both ways, I have nothing but a tool bag. I don't understand how all these guys I see hauling huge messenger bags do it.

Any other thoughts welcome![/QUOTE]
 

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I'll add my thoughts based on my own experiences commuting in San Diego

1) try both a few times, probably you'll use both routes at various times depending on level of boredom, how much of a hurry you're in to get home, etc.

2). rear flasher is good, front is unnecessary if visibility is otherwise good and just bugs me to see it out of the corner of my eye the whole ride

3). I've never felt the need for a mirror - if you feel it will help give it a try.

4). Continental Gatorskins in 700x25C are good. I think there is a version with Vectran for additional puncture resistance. I switched to a tubeless setup about 18 months ago and am happy with it although even with sealant bigger nails and catastrophic cuts can still require a roadside intervention of installing a tube and maybe a boot.

5). Huh?

6). I will admit to playing my tunes and listening with the earbuds - I still hear ambient noise/traffic just fine. I like to keep my eyes on the road though. When commuting there is a tendency to "space out" as it's not a training/fun ride - it's more of a task. It would be too easy to start reading an email and ride straight into a ditch I think.

7). Every once and a while I have had to scream at a motorist to get their attention - very effective and probably louder than any bell or horn I'd want to lug around on my bike.

8). Absolutely worth it - getting 2 hours of riding for the price of one is money in the bank of well-being!


Hi,

I'm a casual mtb'er and road biker. I'm going to start commuting on my road bike primarily because traffic is driving me nuts. I'm looking to do this as safely as possible - riding during rush hour is likely a lot different than early Sunday rides!

Anyway, my commute is 14 miles each way, a few good hills. A mix of off road paved bikeways, bike lanes, and a few shorter sections with no shoulders on a 2 way road. My work has showers and lockers.

A few questions for the veterans out there:

1) There is an alternate route with more dedicated bike lanes and paths, however it is a lot more boring to ride, and one section forces me to cross an overpass with on and off ramps and no separate bike lane. This alone seems to risky and drivers really move on and off this section. The route I described above is on quieter streets, a little longer, but as I said a few sections where there are no shoulders whatsoever on a 2 way street. Which one would you ride?

2) I plan to ride with flashy rear and front LED's during the day. Too much?

3) How important is a mirror? I could attach one to my helmet but I've never bothered before. I wonder if it is too distracting to ride with.

4) Tires - I have narrow racing tires on my road bike, any suggestions for commuting that are puncture resistant but don't weigh a ton?

5) Side flag - too much?

6) Mounting iphone - has anyone done this? There's some neat apps for speed and distance, and playing some tunes wouldn't hurt.

7) Horn or bell? Useful or distracting trying to use it in an emergency situation?

8) Last but not least - has it been worth it to you? In terms of risk primarily, though I suspect that statistically commuting is likely no more risky than driving to work.

Any other thoughts welcome!
 

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To give you an idea, i could ride 4.5 miles directly to work, and probally die in a month or a year, just to dangerous. So i ride 12 miles in. Safer and actually, way more fun.

I like this product if you want to mount your i phone, it works pretty well.
TIMBUK2 Goody Box - Eastern Mountain Sports

Tires, well lets just day, you change one tire at 5:30 in the morning in the dark and rain you change your perspective on tires. My tires can be used to weighlift with. LOL LOL LOL I have kevlar belted tires, inside protection strip, thorn resistant tubes with slime. Over kill and heavy as heck, but no flats. thank god.

Fenders, hate them or love them, they are awesome when you need them.

Wider tires give you moe options in your ride. I run 32mm tires.

If you love it, think about building a dedicated commuter bike. That makes life so much easier.

Good luck

Bill
 

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If you read the accident statistics, you are much more likely to have a car turn in front of you than you are to be rear ended. At some point you will be in the shadows and will be very difficult to see. Use the front blinky.

Hi viz clothing is effective. I don't understand why there are so many ninja cyclists and runners wearing navy blue and black, when it is so obvious that you are much more visible from a much greater distance with hi viz clothing, even in the shadows. I take my cycling fashion cues from highway workers.

I'm envious of you guys who can commute by bicycle. I live 50 miles from where I work, and am not up to a daily century.
 

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DLR stands for Day Light Running and is the term that arose in the motorbike world to refer to using lights in the daytime. When you read the stats on bike accidents where bikes collided with cars and see how in so many the motorist simply did not see the cyclist who was right in front of them you should remember the case for DLR.

Personally I use a dynamo front hub and German Busch & Muller head and tail lights. I leave it all turned on all the time. I ride in all sorts of traffic (don't own a car) and daily I think that the lights have made a significance to my safety.
 

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Yeah I wear hi-vis t-shirts when I commute (I commute at night). Not as cool or sexy as a nice jersey, but they are just as comfortable and I can be seen. They can be bought at Lowes or Home Depot for @ $15. If that doesn't work for you, you can buy the same reflective strips that are on the Hi-vis shirts and vests and just sew them onto the shirt/jersey of your choice. I've seen those strips at Wal-Mart for @ $5 for a pack of them (should be enough in a pack to do 1 shirt well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Thanks folks. The commute is easier than I thought, and it is enjoyable. I've found I need fenders for sure, and I need wider tires to ride the rough parts of the shoulder in some narrow road sections. By and large cars give me plenty of room, only the odd jerk here and there. I've been using both blinkys all the time - gives me more peace of mind.
 

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Thanks folks. The commute is easier than I thought, and it is enjoyable. I've found I need fenders for sure, and I need wider tires to ride the rough parts of the shoulder in some narrow road sections. By and large cars give me plenty of room, only the odd jerk here and there. I've been using both blinkys all the time - gives me more peace of mind.
Glad to hear it. Wider tires might slow you down a hair but my commute just wouldn't happen on 23s or 25s... 4-6 miles of gravel will do that to a tire selection.

Most drivers will try not to kill you, just make sure they have the opportunity (time and distance after seeing you) to avoid you (hi-vis and hi intensity lights or flashers are not wrong).
 
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