Hey guys, I posted on the road cycling forum a couple of days ago and I received a huge amount of advice. I go to university, and was looking to get a road cycling bike...but after the advice, I decided to get more of a cheaper commuter so I can see if I can even really stick with it. If after I purchase the commuter and i'm into it, i'll purchase an actual road bike. For now, i'm looking for a commuter. Problem is, I don't want to spend a huge amount of money...I also have a few questions.
1. I am very concerned about security, I was suggested the kryptonite U-lock, and the Ny chain used in conjunction on my bike. I read something about the U-lock yesterday about it being opened with just a bic pen, so i'm looking for other suggestions. I'm go to UCR, uni of california riverside...and there's a pretty big problem with bike theft. Sure, i'd be leaving out my bike for about an hour or 2 unattended and then probably move to my next class, and i'd bring the bike inside my apartment when I'd get home...but i'm still a little worried and this is one of the main reasons I don't want a really expensive bike. If anyone could suggest a alternate lock, or some tips in terms of campus locking up that would be wonderful.
2. I'm kind of confused about tire size, I know 700c is the tire size for most road bikes, but i've seen it suggested that commuters get a bike with a larger tire size if they have to drive over less than smooth pavement. My commute isn't that far, probably 10 miles round trip...but it isn't perfect pavement...and i'm sure there are some potholes in pavement. What do you guys suggest? Is the difference in tire size make a big difference?
3. I'm also curious about brakes, I have no idea what different kinds there are. Usually it's pretty dry in riverside, but there are some days where it does rain. I also want to have the ability to brake rather effectively, as after reading a couple of crash posts has put the fear into me. Is it worth spending more on disc brakes?
4. Also, on my commute, I have a pretty steep hill that goes for about half a little more than half a mile, and cars usually go about 55-60 on the road. I'm very scared about this part of the commute, and was wondering if anyone had tips in regards to taking this hill. I haven't biked since about 5 years ago, and I really don't feel like crashing even though it may be inevitable.
5. I know fit is important, but I was considering buying my commuting bike on ebay or craigslist or which wouldn't allow me to be fit(If I ever decide to purchase a roadbike I would of course purchase it new from my LBS, and that would allow me to be fit...but that is sometime in the future) Is there anyway I could estimate my fit, or size? I'm 5'11, around 150lbs(Pretty skinny).
6.Considering i'm in college, I was wondering if anyone road their commuter with their backpack on their back? Is it very uncomfortable? I don't really like the look of the rear racks, and I can't really see my backpack staying on there. Any suggestions? I would be open to any suggestions.
7. I'm kind of torn between a flat bar or one with drop bars. I originally considered going with flat bar and then adding on drop bars but I heard it's really expensive. Drop bars look cool, and they allow you to get in a different position and get rid of wind interference, but would it be practical for a 10 mile commute with a couple of stops?
That's pretty much all the questions I can think of right now, when I think of more I will post Thank you all for your help!
Any bike suggestions would be appreciated..