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Old 07-19-2014, 02:14 PM
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Silverlion Silverlion is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Hillsboro, OR
Posts: 10
Default Been quite a while

It's been quite a while since my last visit. I must confess, I sold my MTB and found other interests. Let's be honest. I was way too out of shape for trail riding. I simply lost interest. Now, at 41, I want to get in to bike commuting and getting in shape. I know round is a shape too, but I'm tired of that one. Since the truck is no more and I really hate driving on the freeways with people that cannot drive, I started taking the MAX. This leaves me with a short walk to the bus, from bus to MAX, and a longer walk to the shop. Hillsboro to Gresham. Now you see why I hate to drive.
Now that my long (re)intro is out of the way, I have a few questions. After researching, I found the Speacialized Hardrock(older model, hardtail) is a great commuter platform. I picked one up on CL for $65. Hardly a scratch, garage kept, not ridden in years. The tires are dry rotted and it needed a good dusting and a tune up. Questions. I know....
What will be a good on/off road tire that is nearly puncture resistant?
I need a good trunk. I have a rack. What is a good(not break the bank) universal trunk, maybe with panniers?
Rain gear. What does everyone use for rain gear?
What is a good, inexpensive helmet to get?
Thanks for your patience and thanks for any direction I may receive.
So other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?
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Old 07-23-2014, 01:03 PM
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Spiffy Spiffy is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: SE PDX
Posts: 340

I rode my Continental TopContact tires through an acre of blackberry bushes and not a single puncture... I got them after experiencing 2 flats a week due to black berry thorns in the bike lane by my work... no flats in the years I owned them... it's a cross type of tire so it has tread but it's not knobby... I wouldn't go in the gravel with it unless it's a short trip through an alley... but you don't want anything knobby for commuting...

I don't have a trunk, or even waterproof panniers... I just put things in a waterproof plastic bag and strap it to the top of my rack...

I have an Endura Luminite jacket I picked up during a Bike Gallery sale, and some REI rain pants... I had some cheap REI rain pants but they didn't stay rain-proof for very long so I got some better ones from there with better leg openings and they've lasted longer...

I think I bought the cheapest helmet they had at Performance Bicycle... sometimes they have a Gyro sale and you can get a really decent one for around $20-$25... but mostly they're all the same, so get whatever you like... next time I'm getting one with a visor...

the bus service in Hillsboro is too infrequent so it's good to have a bike with you just in case... the ride east isn't too bad because it's a gradual slope, but the hills going west have always been too intimidating for me to tackle without the help of MAX...
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Old 07-24-2014, 02:11 PM
Alan Alan is offline
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Vancouver
Posts: 511

Schwalbe Marathon Plus are widely considered to be the most puncture resistant commuting/touring tire ever. They also last a long time and distance, have reflective sidewalls and some tread for off-road. The downsides are they are heavy, high rolling resistance (slow!), hard ride and expensive.

I like my Continental Town & Country 26" tires; nice balance of easy rolling, comfortable ride, puncture resistance and durability. They're not great on deep, loose surfaces like sand or mud but they do me fine on dirt and gravel paths.

There are a lot of other choices and it becomes a balance of puncture resistance, rolling resistance, comfort, weight, durability, tread style (terrain) and price. A few others you might want to look are Kenda K-Rad, Michelin Country Rock, Maxxis Hookwork, Vittoria Randonneur Cross, and some of the other Schwalbes.

Search for "rain gear" both here in the Forums and on the BikePortland home page for lots of ideas about that.

Don't forget some lights if you'll be out after dark, or even in low-angle sun light.
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