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Old 06-10-2018, 10:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
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IGL - '04 Saturn Ion
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19bonestock88’s commuter bike BUILD: replacing the “Green Line”

So I’ve decided to do something about my cars poor city MPG rating on my 2.2 mi commute... ditch the gasoline altogether! I finally got my old bike home and freed up its chain and most of its cables(it sat at my ex’s place for about a year)and have test ridden it some with tires at 50psi(700x35C)...

I can’t legally ride it to work yet, as at least one of my commutes each work day happens under cover of darkness, and I haven’t got any lights... yet

Plans are to make it work properly again, some small aero improvements, and maybe a hub motor (48V/30A), if I can nail down some legal info on e-bikes here in WV

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Old 06-11-2018, 12:43 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Black and Green - '98 Honda Civic DX Coupe
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Great idea. Pays off in so many ways. For a light... flashlight and ducts tape for a little while. Cellphone light on flash... until cash. Hey, it's only 2.2 miles. Temporary solutions!
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See my car's mod & maintenance thread and my electric bicycle's thread for ongoing projects. I will rebuild Black and Green over decades as parts die, until it becomes a different car of roughly the same shape and color. My minimum fuel economy goal is 55 mpg while averaging posted speed limits. I generally top 60 mpg. See also my Honda manual transmission specs thread.

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Old 06-11-2018, 09:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I don’t have a flashlight to tape to the bar, or I’d have already done that... not taping my phone on... I’m torn between buying an off the shelf light for like $10-20 or building one with a lithium pack and 194 bulbs... my guess is that the 194 bulbs could end up brighter, but the odd the shelf stuff will be easier
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Old 06-11-2018, 10:16 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Location: 1000 Islands, Ontario, Canada
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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90 day: 51.27 mpg (US)

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Congrats! Your car will thank you. (And your wallet, and your health.)


Do you have a bike-friendly route?


Blinky lights on fleabay go for a couple of bucks delivered as an interim solution.


I'm lucky to live in a place small enough that I can do almost all my local trips on a bike. Pretty laid back drivers, too. I've only been right-hooked once in my entire life.
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Old 06-11-2018, 11:25 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Speed limits on my route are 25,35, and 45mph on my commute, in the order in which I encounter them on my way to work... there is one big hill in the middle that I’m sure I’ll have to walk the bike up until I get back in shape- I’m currently at my heaviest ever at almost 180#(70” tall)
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:23 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The are good lights, mirrors, and horns available. Tire pressure is better at 75 psi. Gearing is what allows for hill climbing. Do you have three chains (front)? The lowest combination should be something like 28/28T. I put a pair of end bar grips inboard of the levers on the flat handle bar. For me I put them 10" apart and tipped them forward at a comfortable angle. This added 1 mph to my cruising speed.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I never did count the teeth on my front chainrings but there are three... currently the shifter for my chainrings is stuck, leaving me on the smallest one... I did try and climb the hill in the daylight, on an impromptu trip out, made it 2/3 way up before running out of steam, but possibly due to poor energy management(I didn’t pace myself and spent a lot of energy blasting across the flat at 18-20mph)

The tires have 50 marked on the the sidewall, they’re just cheap ones that come on the bike when I bought it from Wal-Mart 2yr ago...
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:52 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Firefly EV - '98 Pontiac Firefly EV
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A better bike might make the commute easier. Not that it's an affordable option. I've had a walmart "hybrid" and it took twice the effort of a brand name, (entry-level) quality bike to pedal. Great for exercise, though.
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:04 AM   #9 (permalink)
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IGL - '04 Saturn Ion
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I agree, but I’m not about to shell out $500+ for a name brand bike... the $100 I paid for mine was enough...

However I do want to upgrade the shifters, and maybe the wheelset...
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Blackfly - '98 Geo Metro
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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90 day: 51.27 mpg (US)

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Last 3: 66.97 mpg (US)
Thanks: 2,502
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No shame in walking half way up that hill. It'll get easier!

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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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