On/off Road Commuters Advice Please

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  • On/off Road Commuters Advice Please
  • belm

    How far is the commute?

    Mine is 10.5 miles mostly on road but sometimes on a towpath if I feel like it. I can generally get away with having a banana or something beforehand and feel fine. I also have no showers at work and adopt the ‘ride slower’ method which means it takes around 50 minutes, but I’m not a massively sweaty mess by the time I get to work.

    Premier Icon brassneck

    Batisse dry shampoo, wet wipes and a big can of deodorant should see you right.

    Big towel to leave at the office, and as many clothes as you can. Spare shoes and a coat there are perfect for later in the year.

    its 8.5 miles, but with 2 good climbs, 1 at 12% but short and the main one (White Horse Bank nr Thirsk) which is 25%

    Its more the energy for the climbs i’m bothered about. it takes me about 50mins at the mo.

    I’ll be working in a mix of outdoors/workshop so will get dirty at work but don’t want to be the stinky guy.

    Premier Icon zilog6128

    Sounds very similar to my commute!

    If the forest tracks don’t get too muddy then slicks should be OK. I’ve tried fast CX-style tyres (Small Block 8s and Sammy Slicks) which seemed fine on the road but I found terrible for punctures (loads of thorns on my commute). Now I stick with Marathon tyres (Supremes at the moment) which do me fine and are much more puncture-resistant.

    re. food: just eat more of what you normally eat to account for the extra energy expenditure. You’ll probably not be smashing it every day (if you want to save your legs for evening/weekend rides).

    Premier Icon takisawa2

    Shower before you leave, & its just clean sweat your mopping up then. Arrid XX deodorant works well. Muc-off do a “dry shower” spray, that just foams up & you rub it in. Works ok, if a bit sticky. Not cheap though.

    The cheap baby wipes is the best solution I’ve found, but its only really the summer months. If you slow down, unzip etc for the last mile or two that works.

    Cheap disposable nappies stuffed into wet shoes drys them well.

    Food wise, for me its a banana before leaving home. Then after cooling down at work cheap porridge & a chopped banana, raisins etc, in one of them big sports direct mugs. Add boiling water & dash of milk & mash.


    Breakfast bar before set off and breakie when at work.

    For 8.5 miles, is two breakfasts really necessary? Sorry just noticed the ‘bar’ bit. Anyway I just have a slice of toast and a cup of coffee before I leave, no need to eat anything else when I get to work. And just a normal amount of food during the day.

    But anyway wet wipes, small towel, lots of body spray and the disabled toilets should do you okay.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash

    Flat 12 miles on roads and towpaths here. Shower before leaving, babywipes at tbe office, no one has complained yet.

    Just a coffee before heading off, maybe a banana if I feel hungry, but I assume my body will actually burn what I ate the day before rather than what I have just eaten?

    I use a CX to commute. Came with Small Block 8 tyres, which rolled ok on all surfaces, but got very puncture prone after they were halfway worn. Now on Sammy Slicks with the iron cloak (?) protection, no issues yet. Marathons are less puncture prone but heavier and can be awkward to fit, had them on last bike.


    My number one tip for all year round off road commuting would be hub gears if it wasn’t for your user name. 🙂


    I travel 15 miles each way but only do so once or twice a week.

    When not travelling on the bike I have one weetabix for breakfast, if I am on the bike I have two weetabix with a banana sliced on top and a coffee. The bit extra seems to balance up the energy levels. Slightly bigger lunch and a coffee about an hour before I finish work helps.

    Bike wise I use a Kaffenback with mtb riser bars, rack & mudguards.

    Baby wipes and slow last mile are a big help although I now have a shower at work.

    Premier Icon binners

    14 mile each way here, on road. Or a bit longer off-road on the way home. I run Small Block 8’s on my hardtail. Whack a load of pressure in them for the on-road in, then let a load out as I turn off-road on the way home. Breakfast is …

    Because I’m healthy like that. Get something to eat when I get in. Don’t bother with a shower either, as I’m a minger. Baby wipes and a blast of ….

    Form an orderly queue please laydeez 😀


    For carrying stuff I quite fancy one of these Bridge Street saddlebags

    Although in summer back pockets do me as I usually drive once a week so don’t need to carry clothes daily. In winter I use a waterproof rucksack which is fine but might change that this year.

    Starting a new job in a few weeks, My morning commute will be a mix of back roads/forest tracks.

    Any advice in terms of bike set up/kit I may have forgotten about. What to do about food, before and after etc

    Was thinking cx bike with fast knobblies/mudguards/dry bag with my harness on bars. Breakfast bar before set off and breakie when at work.

    I also have no showers at work 🙁

    Mines about 6 miles mostly farm tracks, just use my SS MTB. Got showers at work so can’t help you with the hygene. I don’t eat before in the summer, just a pint of squash, but do have a bigger than normal breakfast at work (bacon sandwich or similar) as I prefer to fall out of bed and be on the bike before I have chance to dither. In winter I have porridge and a cup of tea before setting off as I found getting up too quickly meant I was sluggish and therefore cold on the bike.

    Big rucksack of clothes on Monday morning, and bring the dirties home monday afternoon as I’m parranoid of falling in a stream monday morning and having no dry clothes.

    Premier Icon buck53

    Top tip for commuting without a shower at the end: Pitrok deodorant. Doesn’t stop you sweating, doesn’t have a fragrance but does neutralise the bacteria that cause dried sweat to smell. That along with wet wipes and a rinse of the head used to see me right before I showered at work.

    Cheers guys some good tips i’d not thought off.

    Might have to look at some puncture protection for the tyres. The surface will need a bit more than a marathon or they would have been my first choice.

    Premier Icon eddiebaby

    I alternate between a hybrid and a full suss for my 13ml each way commute. Mixed surface including the Ridgeway. New socks, shirt and pants in the bag every day. Change the work jeans once a week. MucOff dry shower and a towel seem to be OK for me. No breakfast, just water.

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