Advertise on Bikeforums.net



User Tag List

Results 1 to 22 of 22
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)

    Help me pick the best commuter bike

    I'm sure many of you are sick of this classic question but I really would like your input on what would be the best commuter bike based on the following info? Basically I'll be commuting to work in San Diego (PB to North Park for any locals). My commute will be close to 20 miles each way. I would like a bike that is comfortable for long rides. They'll be some big hills along the way not to mention sand, etc. from the beach. If it makes any difference I'm about 6 ft tall and around 192 lbs.....

  2. #2
    Sensible shoes. CastIron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    St. Paul,MN
    My Bikes
    A few.
    Posts
    8,799
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Since you've got no real weather concerns and will be going a pretty good ways you might start to look towards a classic touring rig.
    Mike
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    It looks silly when you have quotes from other forum members in your signature. Nobody on this forum is that funny.
    Quote Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
    Why am I in your signature.

  3. #3
    dfw
    dfw is offline
    Stercus accidit dfw's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dallas/Fort Worth
    My Bikes
    Trek Pilot 2.1
    Posts
    686
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I like to commute on a road bike. I have one that has relaxed geometry and an upright riding position, but still has drop handlebars. My commute is 15 miles each way and I'm quite comfortable. In my situation, I'm driving to work occassionally and dropping off supplies and clothes, so I don't have any loads to carry on my commute. I also don't commute in foul weather so I don't need fenders.

    There's so many variables this is not an easy question to answer with little information to go on. What are the conditions of your roads? Do you plan on carrying loads to and from work, and if so how much and how heavy? Will you be commuting in the rain? Do you plan on using the bike for other purposes? How fast do you want to ride? Do you have many big hills or high winds to deal with?
    Hard work has a future payoff; laziness pays off now. -anonymous

  4. #4
    Custom User never's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    T0L0K0
    Posts
    3,739
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I think the biggest thing you left out is your budget.

  5. #5
    Bike Junkie aadhils's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Santa Clara, CA
    My Bikes
    Orange Brompton M3L; Milwaukee Bicycle Co. Fixie (Eddy Orange)
    Posts
    1,584
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I'm in the process of constructing the best commuting bike (atleast according to me). Surly LHT, with a wheelset comprising of Mavic A719's, xt hubs, and double butted spokes, some sort of handlebar and stem from nashbar, chris king headset, aero bars with bar end shifters (incase theres a long car-free stretch of road), and some fenders, racks, cantilever brakes, gears ect, the type of which I have not decided yet.

    In my mind the ideal commuter....

  6. #6
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
    Posts
    8,422
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I agree on the suggestion of a tourer. It might be slightly more comfortable than a road racer and still faster or less effort than a hybrid or mtb. It can also carry more stuff. My objective going in to work is not to sweat too much, so I take it easy, and going home I get my exercise. I sweat a lot less on my touring bike than on my mountain bike.
    Robert

  7. #7
    CPW
    CPW is offline
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Reno, NV
    My Bikes
    Kona Kikapu Deluxe
    Posts
    122
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I commuted from PB to SDSU for some time on a steel touring bike. I liked the comfort of steel and the geometry of the touring bike was very stable if a little boring. I don't think you could do much bettter for commuting. If your budget is high and you have a safe place for the bike at both ends, look at something upscale like a Rivendell Atlantis. If you need a more budget minded bike, consider the Surly LHT though you should be prepared for a build (sold as frame/fork only). If you really need a lower budget, find a bike w/ touring geometry that fits and w/ the right tires, you'll be fine.
    CPW
    Here I come!
    Riding partners wanted: anyone know CPR?

  8. #8
    Senior Member biodiesel's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    543
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    single speed or xtracycle.

    maybe a schwinn stingray with a lawn chair trailer...

  9. #9
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    7,105
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you haven't commuted before, check out the Koby swapmeet or Craigslist for a used bike. If you check around, you should be able to find a good quality bike for <$100. Clean it up, ride it for a few months and decide what qualities you want/need before investing in a new bike.

  10. #10
    Jet Jockey Banzai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Leavenworth, KS
    My Bikes
    Cannondale CAAD9 SRAM Red, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Nashbar X-frame
    Posts
    4,009
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I tell everyone I know that my Fuji Absolute was the best purchase I ever made. I also got it a while back from the bike shop guy on a combination deal of "year end clearance/your best friend from high school is one of my buddies and co-workers and sent me in for a killer price" discount. Best purchase I ever made. Year close-outs are happening right now, though, for whatever you purchase. Now is a good time to get a bike for as much as 1/3 off.

  11. #11
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    England
    Posts
    12,207
    Mentioned
    2 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    A lightweight day-touring bike is good for long commutes. These are about the same weight as a (same priced) race bike but have more generous clearance for tyres and fenders + rack and fender threaded eyelets. You dont need an expedition tourer like the Surley LHT.
    The Soma ES is a nice example of the style:
    http://www.somafab.com/extrasmoothie.html

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    290
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    If you look at the Fuji, and there are clearance sales right now, consider this:

    http://fujibikes.com/2005/bikes.asp?id=20

    It has top brake bars like a touring bike but takes larger tires because it's a cyclocross.

    Of course, I don't know how much you want to spend.

  13. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Cleveland
    My Bikes
    Pugsley, fixie commuter, track bike
    Posts
    1,567
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Here's what I want to do for my "best" commuter:
    Surly CrossCheck cyclocross frame with horizontal dropouts
    fenders, rack
    Fixed fear with two wheel sets:
    one with 28+mm kevlar slick tires
    one with studded tires and a larger cog for bad conditions

    Should provide a comfy ride, be very flexible and be able to handle the worst that Cleveland winters can dish out. Ofcourse a SoCal climate may allow for a different selection. I'd still stick with a touring or cyclocross frame to allow for more flexibility in configuring the accessories. I find that road frames make using fat tires, fenders and racks difficult.
    Craig
    Last edited by CBBaron; 09-01-05 at 09:38 AM.

  14. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by dfw
    I like to commute on a road bike. I have one that has relaxed geometry and an upright riding position, but still has drop handlebars. My commute is 15 miles each way and I'm quite comfortable. In my situation, I'm driving to work occassionally and dropping off supplies and clothes, so I don't have any loads to carry on my commute. I also don't commute in foul weather so I don't need fenders.

    There's so many variables this is not an easy question to answer with little information to go on. What are the conditions of your roads? Do you plan on carrying loads to and from work, and if so how much and how heavy? Will you be commuting in the rain? Do you plan on using the bike for other purposes? How fast do you want to ride? Do you have many big hills or high winds to deal with?
    Wow! Thanks for all the feedback everyone. Let me try to answer some of the quetions asked of me....

    1) What are the conditions of your roads?
    I would say the roads will be good to fair condition. I plan to completely avoid traffic as much as possible so this will mean riding along the boardwalk at the beach, riding on the bike path along the San Diego river (both of which are paved but will most likely have dirt and sand here and there).

    2) Do you plan on carrying loads to and from work, and if so how much and how heavy?
    This is likely. I doubt I would be carrying things with me everyday but I would like that as an option. It could get somewhat heavy as well. An example could be a couple books, gym clothes, lunch, drinks, etc.

    3) Will you be commuting in the rain?
    I live in San Diego so that pretty much means no.

    4) Do you plan on using the bike for other purposes?
    I would love to use my bike all the time but I really just have to get over riding in traffic. The last thing on people's minds are someone on a bike. If I can become familiar with routes to avoid traffic than I will ride more.

    5) How fast do you want to ride?
    Saftey and comfort are more important than speed. If I can have all 3 then I'll take it.

    6) Do you have many big hills or high winds to deal with?
    Not high winds but there will be some pretty major hills along the way.

    7) Budget?
    Hopefully under $2K.

  15. #15
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by CPW
    I commuted from PB to SDSU for some time on a steel touring bike. I liked the comfort of steel and the geometry of the touring bike was very stable if a little boring. I don't think you could do much bettter for commuting. If your budget is high and you have a safe place for the bike at both ends, look at something upscale like a Rivendell Atlantis. If you need a more budget minded bike, consider the Surly LHT though you should be prepared for a build (sold as frame/fork only). If you really need a lower budget, find a bike w/ touring geometry that fits and w/ the right tires, you'll be fine.
    CPW
    That is an awesome commute! Maybe a touring bike is the way to go. I'll be able to keep the bike inside at both ends so it will be in a safe place. Did you use many secluded bike trails to get their or mostly ride in busy traffic?

  16. #16
    Prefers Cicero cooker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Toronto
    My Bikes
    1984 Trek 520; 1990s Peugeot (Canadian-made) rigid mountain bike; 2007 Bike Friday NWT; misc others
    Posts
    8,422
    Mentioned
    15 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by sdsurfer
    I plan to completely avoid traffic as much as possible so this will mean riding along the boardwalk at the beach, riding on the bike path along the San Diego river (both of which are paved but will most likely have dirt and sand here and there).
    Will there be other users on the boardwalk, esp. pedestrians/runners? That may slow you down a lot and not offer advantages over the roads. In fact it can be dangerous for them as well as you.
    Robert

  17. #17
    Ogr8nwmypstmksnosnse pgoat's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
    My Bikes
    1986 Trek 500, 2003 Orbea Team Euskaltel, 2005 Cannondale R1000
    Posts
    2,785
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    touring bike sounds perfect, and maybe a used 'sports' road bike - essentially a bargain tourer, which may be better for commuting than a 'real' dedicated tourer. If you'd be locking up on the street at all I'd definitely go with the sports bike - will have much of the same geometry, pannier eyelets, etc. without the expense.

    My mid 80s trek 500 with sports geometery has a nice smooth ride and a good gear range. I prefer that to a Bianchi hybrid I bought new in the 90s for longer commutes, touring etc. Lighter quicker and lower uppper body to cut wind drag. The bianchi had a lower granny (triple crank) but no contest in which was faster or more fun to ride......

    You could also go with a rigid mtb (1" slicks) or a hybrid for stability but a tourer or road bike would be nicer over that distance!
    Quote Originally Posted by jsharr View Post
    People whose sig line does not include a jsharr quote annoy me.

  18. #18
    Senior Member late's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    8,248
    Mentioned
    12 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Hi,
    I know exactly what you want. You want classic road geometry (often called relaxed geometry) in a bike that can handle a little dirt.
    It's funny this type of bike has no name, it should.
    http://www.sjscycles.com/thornwebsite/xtc.html
    (you'd want the short or medium top tube, they'd help you pick which)
    http://www.gaansari.com/stclair.htm
    http://www.rivendellbicycles.com/htm...tisframes.html
    http://www.heronbicycles.com/frames.html

    Some other options...
    http://www.gunnarbikes.com/sport.php
    I ride a Sport, nice bike.
    http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...?sid=05Sequoia
    http://www.lemondbikes.com/2005_bikes/big_sky_slt.shtml

  19. #19
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by cooker
    Will there be other users on the boardwalk, esp. pedestrians/runners? That may slow you down a lot and not offer advantages over the roads. In fact it can be dangerous for them as well as you.
    Robert
    There are seperate lanes for anyone on wheels (bikers, skaters, rollerbladers, etc.). Plus that early in the morning the boardwalk's pretty empty.
    Last edited by sdsurfer; 09-01-05 at 05:40 PM.

  20. #20
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelW
    A lightweight day-touring bike is good for long commutes. These are about the same weight as a (same priced) race bike but have more generous clearance for tyres and fenders + rack and fender threaded eyelets. You dont need an expedition tourer like the Surley LHT.
    The Soma ES is a nice example of the style:
    http://www.somafab.com/extrasmoothie.html
    Looks like a great bike. I'd like to support a smaller/indie company over one of the big corp. if I can. I also like the fact that Soma is a CA company. Anyone have anything to say about Soma bikes?

  21. #21
    Senior Member GP's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    7,105
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    I don't know about the Soma bikes but I see that Pacific Coast Cycles is on their dealer list. He also sells Surleys. It's a great shop.

  22. #22
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    11
    Mentioned
    0 Post(s)
    Tagged
    0 Thread(s)
    After speaking with a few bike shops it sounds like Surly may be the bike to go for (probably the LHT). Some people I've spoken with have mentioned their Soma frames breaking.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •