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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-20-15, 04:32 PM   #1
crazycan
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bike suggestions?

Hi everyone!

I have been commuting every day for a little over a year, I love it. Nothing better than getting to work energized, awake, and ready to roll. Much better way to start the day than full of road rage.

I live in Victoria BC, we get a fair amount of rain, but I will continue to bike every day anyway. My bike route has paved bike lanes the entire way.

The bike i've been using i got for free from a friend and it's very basic. I want to get a better bike and start to get into cycling a little more seriously.

I would like to use the bike for commuting to work, cycling on the weekends for fitness and fun, and possibly full day, or multi day trips. I also wear a suit every day, so I need to have a rack with panniers for my suits and shoes. My commute is about 10km (6miles) each way.

I was looking at the MEC 1971
MEC Nineteen Seventy-One Bicycle (Unisex) - Mountain Equipment Co-op. Free Shipping Available

It seems to be a pretty good price, and I don't want to get too expensive before I really know if I like cycling as a recreational activity.

Does anyone have any recommendations? My price range is around $1000 but I'm pretty flexible on price.
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Old 12-20-15, 05:01 PM   #2
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Look at good hybrid bikes in the $600-$1,000 range. I recommend a hybrid for several reasons: 1. You will ride a bit higher and thus be a bit more visible to drivers. This posture will also give YOU greater visibility. 2. A flat bar shifting and braking lever system is better when biking in traffic (unless you're a highly experienced and highly skilled rider). This is because the controls are literally at your fingertips. If you ride a drop bar, you'll probably be on the tops much of the time making the shifters and brakes just out of reach. 3. A flat bar accommodates a mirror better than a drop bar. A good mirror mounted at the end of your flat bar gives you very good vision of what's behind you. This is essential when you take the lane or change lanes. 4. A hybrid will give you greater choice in tire sizes. Depending on the season, you will want to go with a smooth 28 to a 35 with with treads. 5. A hybrid frame is more likely to give you dropouts for racks.

Good luck.
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Old 12-20-15, 05:12 PM   #3
crazycan
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Look at good hybrid bikes in the $600-$1,000 range. I recommend a hybrid for several reasons: 1. You will ride a bit higher and thus be a bit more visible to drivers. This posture will also give YOU greater visibility. 2. A flat bar shifting and braking lever system is better when biking in traffic (unless you're a highly experienced and highly skilled rider). This is because the controls are literally at your fingertips. If you ride a drop bar, you'll probably be on the tops much of the time making the shifters and brakes just out of reach. 3. A flat bar accommodates a mirror better than a drop bar. A good mirror mounted at the end of your flat bar gives you very good vision of what's behind you. This is essential when you take the lane or change lanes. 4. A hybrid will give you greater choice in tire sizes. Depending on the season, you will want to go with a smooth 28 to a 35 with with treads. 5. A hybrid frame is more likely to give you dropouts for racks.

Good luck.
Thanks for the advice! I've been looking into hybrids as well. One of things I would like to do is join a cycling club and get out regularly which the hybrid isn't great at.
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Old 12-20-15, 05:42 PM   #4
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Thanks for the advice! I've been looking into hybrids as well. One of things I would like to do is join a cycling club and get out regularly which the hybrid isn't great at.
I bike with groups and use a hybrid (most others use road bikes). It's about you, not your bike, with any group worth biking with. I have both a hybrid and road bike. My hybrid is not really slower except on hills (but it has a greater gear range so I can go up some hills withg the hybrid that I really can't on the road bike). I put over 1,000 miles on the hybrid and have ridden it on many long rides including a century.
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Old 12-20-15, 07:13 PM   #5
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+1 on the hybrid, or a rigid MTB with slicks/simi-slick tires. Especially for your short ride.

Keep an eye on Craig's List. It's estimated that three quarters of hybrids don't get 100 miles on them until they're stuck in a corner of the garage. Eventually they're sold for a few hundred dollars to clean out the garage.

You could get a bike with lights, a rack and bags, new tires and tubes and flat repair stuff along with a Showers Pass jacket for you. Set to go to work with everything within you're budget for the bike alone.
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Old 12-20-15, 07:45 PM   #6
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I will disagree about visibility being better on flatbars, versus drops, and on controls being out of reach. I commute on both a flatbar MTB and on a drop-bar roadie and a drop bar semi-tourer. I use a glasses-mounted take-a-look mirror and can see around me just as well on all my bikes. I will admit that I do not have a very aggressive tuck on the drop bar bikes. Also my newer drop bar bike has brifters, so brakes and shifting are right there for me riding on the hoods. My old steel roadie has brake levers better suited for riding in the drops, although I can reach them from the hoods, I can't grip them as well from there. But on that bike I ride mostly on the uppers and have a second pair of brake levers there; the newer style "interrupter" type, not the old one-piece upper/drop combos. I will grant you that a bar-end mirror works better on a flat bar, but the glasses or helmet mounted mirrors work better for me.
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Old 12-20-15, 08:15 PM   #7
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I will also mention that the bike you linked to looks like it would be good for commuting and would acomodate fenders and a rack, should you want. Also plenty of clearance for 32s and possibly 38s (tires).
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Old 12-20-15, 11:01 PM   #8
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Wow, that 1971 bike you linked is a fantastic deal. $610 for Sora/Tiagra drivetrain, Delete hubs, and a triple crank?
...there aren't many bikes around me which could come close to that price for that setup.
It has double rear eyelets and interruptor brake levers too.
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Old 12-20-15, 11:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by practical View Post
Look at good hybrid bikes in the $600-$1,000 range. I recommend a hybrid for several reasons: 1. You will ride a bit higher and thus be a bit more visible to drivers. This posture will also give YOU greater visibility. 2. A flat bar shifting and braking lever system is better when biking in traffic (unless you're a highly experienced and highly skilled rider). This is because the controls are literally at your fingertips. If you ride a drop bar, you'll probably be on the tops much of the time making the shifters and brakes just out of reach. 3. A flat bar accommodates a mirror better than a drop bar. A good mirror mounted at the end of your flat bar gives you very good vision of what's behind you. This is essential when you take the lane or change lanes. 4. A hybrid will give you greater choice in tire sizes. Depending on the season, you will want to go with a smooth 28 to a 35 with with treads. 5. A hybrid frame is more likely to give you dropouts for racks.

Good luck.
The bike the OP linked runs 32s stock, has mounting points formrack and fenders, and riding the hoods(which is a position on the top) lets you have shifting and braking right there at your fingertips. Plus, the bike has interruptor levers so braking can happen on the tops too.

An upright flatbar does make it seem like you can see more, not sure how much more, but it does make it seem that way.
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