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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 07-06-06, 11:45 AM   #1
dgsmith15
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Looking for a Commuter Bike

I'm looking to purchase a good commuter bike. I'm open to both new and used. I have an idea of the kinds of things I want. I pretty much only have two requirements; I want disc brakes and a flat bar similar to a mtb bar. I'm open to any suggestions. I personally have come to like the Trek Soho and the Marin Point Reyes. I really like the look of these two bikes, but I don't want to spend that much money. What do you guys suggest?
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Old 07-07-06, 07:08 PM   #2
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Look at the Scott Sub 10. I am very happy with mine.
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Old 07-07-06, 08:35 PM   #3
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I rode around on a Raleigh Passage the other day and thought well of it. I'm not sure how much it was but it's in the $400-$700 range on their website.

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Old 07-07-06, 08:41 PM   #4
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Jamis Coda. Disk brakes add $. Do you ride in all weather? If so, then disks are the way to go. If not, they are not worth it to me.
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Old 07-07-06, 08:49 PM   #5
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You may wish to consider adding the ability to mount racks and fenders to your list of requirements.
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Old 07-07-06, 09:03 PM   #6
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Kona Dr Dew. I got one last month and have been diggin it ever since.
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Old 07-07-06, 09:35 PM   #7
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I have a Kona Dew for 4 months now. I love that bike. Commuting, vacations, cruising bike paths with daughter in trailer, riding to the store. Cheap enough that if it gets stolen or crushed, it break my wallet, just my heart. I might put drop bars on it and try some cyclecross
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Old 07-08-06, 09:00 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blwyn
Kona Dr Dew. I got one last month and have been diggin it ever since.
If I were to go with Kona for a commuter bike, one of the Jake varieties would be my pick. The handlebars would be the main motivating factor. I've got straights on my current commuter and really miss drops.

But from the pictures on Kona's website, I can't see braze-ons on any of their "Asphalt" bikes. I'm probably just not looking in the right place.
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Old 07-08-06, 11:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dgsmith15
I'm looking to purchase a good commuter bike. I'm open to both new and used. I have an idea of the kinds of things I want. I pretty much only have two requirements; I want disc brakes and a flat bar similar to a mtb bar. I'm open to any suggestions. I personally have come to like the Trek Soho and the Marin Point Reyes. I really like the look of these two bikes, but I don't want to spend that much money. What do you guys suggest?
Hmmmmmm........Unless you have way to much money why not get more realistic??

Among the many features of a "commuter" should be found......dependablity, easy of
maintaince, low theft threat, low cost, steel frame for comfort, bars & saddle to your needs.

The bikes meet all of those points for an urban commuter are older Raleigh or Schwinn
3 speeds. These bikes come complete with all that is required for commuting in an urban setting.

Basicly you (as well as others) have a choice when it comes to a commuter bike.........
fashion or hard core practicality. All other considerations are pure air head fluff.

Remember.......commuting is all about transporting yourself as cheaply as possible on a theft
resistant dependable bike. Nothing more.
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Old 07-08-06, 01:43 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rural
If I were to go with Kona for a commuter bike, one of the Jake varieties would be my pick. The handlebars would be the main motivating factor. I've got straights on my current commuter and really miss drops.

But from the pictures on Kona's website, I can't see braze-ons on any of their "Asphalt" bikes. I'm probably just not looking in the right place.
I did my 12.5 mile commute on a drop bar bike for 8 years, I haven't missed the drops with the Dr Dew. There's enough stop and go on my route that I don't need alternative postitions. It is a bit slower, about 0.5-1mph.

The Dr has two eyelets in the back and one in the front.
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Old 07-08-06, 01:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
Hmmmmmm........Unless you have way to much money why not get more realistic??

Among the many features of a "commuter" should be found......dependablity, easy of
maintaince, low theft threat, low cost, steel frame for comfort, bars & saddle to your needs.

The bikes meet all of those points for an urban commuter are older Raleigh or Schwinn
3 speeds. These bikes come complete with all that is required for commuting in an urban setting.

Basicly you (as well as others) have a choice when it comes to a commuter bike.........
fashion or hard core practicality. All other considerations are pure air head fluff.

Remember.......commuting is all about transporting yourself as cheaply as possible on a theft
resistant dependable bike. Nothing more.
The Raleigh 3 speed may be out of fashion but it's a classic and classics never go out of style.
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Old 07-10-06, 07:36 PM   #12
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Why are steel frames preferable to aluminum frames?

I have now got to carry my bike indoors every day up several flights of stairs and I can't manage it with a steel framed bike, so have a 21 pound Trek that I can pick up with one hand.

any opinions would be received with interest.
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Old 07-10-06, 07:48 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by gizmocat
Why are steel frames preferable to aluminum frames?
Ride feel is the most common answer. I've had both Al and steel frames, and I think tire size is a more determining factor of ride feel. Nostalgia, and an esthetic preference for thin tubes are the two biggest reasons I prefer a steel frame.

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Old 07-10-06, 08:37 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by gizmocat
Why are steel frames preferable to aluminum frames?

I have now got to carry my bike indoors every day up several flights of stairs and I can't manage it with a steel framed bike, so have a 21 pound Trek that I can pick up with one hand.

any opinions would be received with interest.
I'm a 110lb female and I can lift my steel frame Volpe up and carry it into the house no problem, in fact I often lift it up just to annoy my roomate who has an aluminum framed bike that is entirely too heavy to do that with.

There is a lot more to the weight of a bike than frame material, just as there is a lot more to how a bike rides than frame material.

That said, I like the ride of the steel frame of my Volpe. It is less jittery than any of the 5 or so aluminum bikes I've ridden.
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Old 07-11-06, 04:36 AM   #15
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steel vs aluminum

Thank you for the answers. My last steel frame bike is my 18 year old Motobecane and both the Trek and the Giant bicycles are far superior in ride quality. The Motobecane has a design flaw on the rear wheel which means the panniers place too much weight on a weak spot in the frame, making this bicycle unstable when carrying heavy loads. The newer bikes do not have this problem. Since I have injuries to my back and pelvis and legs I have been riding aluminum bikes with shocks in the saddle and fork and I'll probably buy another Brooks saddle with additional springs. The ride on the Giant was like that of a well sprung automobile and I loved it.

I'm relieved to hear that the problem is not one of an aluminum frame's structural weakness. I understand that steel is preferable for racing or long hauls but my bicycle is used for shopping and generaly touring travel.

Surprisingly the Trek's saddle is very good, much higher quality than the standard issue saddle on the Giant which was like riding on an anvil.

Just about the only good thing to come out of the whole sorry mess is that the Allstate insurance company is cheerfully paying for 'everything' minus deductible of course, and the clerk dealing with the case was very sympathetic and kind. I am certainly happy to have household insurance that also covers bicycles.
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Old 07-11-06, 06:37 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
Remember.......commuting is all about transporting yourself as cheaply as possible on a theft resistant dependable bike. Nothing more.
I disagree. Commuting can be about a lot of different things for different people. Exercise, weight loss, money, pleasure, adventure, or 'because it's cool' are just a few reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tightwad
Basicly you (as well as others) have a choice when it comes to a commuter bike.........
fashion or hard core practicality. All other considerations are pure air head fluff.
I agree. It seems like a lot of people want disc brakes. I will admit they look really cool, but in a lot of instances they are overkill. Unless you go really fast, ride in a lot of mud or mount a motor to your bike, they just make your bike more expensive without that much benefit. Everyone's needs are different, but when someone's only requirements for a commuter are disc brakes and flat bars, that says to me: "I've never had anything that wasn't a mountain bike before, and I want my bike to look really cool."

My suggestion to the OP would be to step back and consider what you need the bike to do (carry stuff, ride in the rain, climb hills, fit you) before you give a thought to looks. Think about racks, fenders, geometry, size, gearing, tire size, etc.
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Old 07-11-06, 07:33 AM   #17
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How far is your commute (OP)? What conditions? My urban commute is 14 miles, and there's no way I would ride it on my 1952 JC Higgins 3-speed.
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