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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 08-11-06, 06:32 PM   #1
jburri
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Transitioning from MTB to Commuter/Hybrid

Hi fellow commuters,

I have used a bike as my primary form of transportation my entire adult life. I have gradually upgraded my bike (all MTBs) over the years from a K-Mart special (Murray) up to the '03 Marin Rocky Ridge I ride now. I have a daily round trip commute of 14-15 miles and like to do 15-20 mile rides on the weekends (time permitting). All of my riding is done on the tranquil streets of Los Angeles and have added areobars, bar ends, hybrid tires and rack to my bike to make it more commuter friendly. I want to stick with a flat bar bike but want something more appropriate for the riding I do. A few requirements I have is that it has to accommodate a rack and have disc brakes. Although I probably don't need disc brakes I like them a lot more than side-pull/v-brakes and don't really want to go back. However, having the disc brakes makes mounting a rack a lot more difficult. When I bought my current bike I couldn't find a rack that fit and had to settle for one that mounts on my seat post which I hate but have lived with for the last 3+ years. Also, I realize now that having front suspension is pretty useless for me and I don't want to waste money on it.

With all of this in mind, here are the bikes I am interested in:

Scott sub 10

my thoughts: Seems like good bang-for-the-buck and has the back disc brake mounted so that installing a rack will be a lot easier. Much more on the MTB side of the hybrid scale (I would prefer to be on the road bike side of the scale).

Marin Pt. Reyes

my thoughts: Pretty much the bike I have now but with a carbon fork. Best bang-for-the-buck of the lot. Also more on the MTB side of the hybrid scale. Will have same rack mounting problem I have now.

Cannondale Bad Boy Disc

my thoughts: Before I got the Marin I had a Cannondale F400 and loved it (was stolen - damn L.A.). Worst bang-for-the-buck of the lot. Will have same rack mounting problem I have now. Also more on the MTB side of the hybrid scale.

Specialized Sirrus Pro

my thoughts: Based on the specs it is my dream bike. Rack mounting won't be a problem. More on the road bike side of the hybrid scale. The problem is that it is very expensive (for me to justify to my wife) and I have read a lot of people trashing Specialized on the forums. Also, all of the carbon seems like overkill for me. I would like a carbon fork but can do without the rest.

I haven't tried any of them out yet because no one has any in stock. I was told by several LBS that they are waiting for the '07 to arrive in the next month or two.

I would really appreciate your (expert) thoughts on the bikes I have listed or any suggestion you would have for other bikes.

Thanks for the help.
-Jeremy
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Old 08-11-06, 08:57 PM   #2
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Though I haven't been back to biking for very long I am also interested in getting a bike that is more "road" than the mtb that I have. My First choice is the Scott Sub 20 - no disc brakes but the mounts are there and the company sells the "commuter package" of rack and fenders. My problem with this bike is that the nearest dealer is 75 miles away - not much of a chance to test ride.
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Old 08-11-06, 09:16 PM   #3
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Maybe you could look at this trek

http://www2.trekbikes.com/bikes/bike...d=1328010&f=26

I have the 7.2fx myself which does not have the disk brakes. It does not have a suspension fork, so you don't have to waste any power. The 7.2fx has rack and fender mounts front and rear, so I guess the 7.3 would be the same.

If you can use aero bars though, whats wrong with regular drop bars?
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Old 08-11-06, 09:19 PM   #4
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Go for a disc brake at the front only, you only need a rear brake as emergency back-up when the front brake fails. That will save weight, cost and make rack and fender installation easier.
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Old 08-11-06, 10:34 PM   #5
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Unless you are dead set against drop bars, I suggest that you look at pure touring bikes. They are made to have racks mounted on them. They are rugged. They have mounts for fenders. And, for the most part, they are less appealing to thieves because they aren't mountain bikes. They aren't theft proof but less appealing.

Models to look at are Cannondale T800, Trek 520, Fuji Touring Series, Jamis Aurora, Bianchi Velope (not a touring bike per say but not to bad) and REI used to have one but I can't find it.
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Old 08-12-06, 12:54 AM   #6
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Try this.... REI Noavra Bonanza,Disc brakes and rear rack
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Old 08-12-06, 06:37 PM   #7
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You've obviously done your homework and have narrowed it down to some nice bikes. Of the above bikes, my choice hands down would be the Specialized. They make nice bikes no matter what anyone says. Avid Juicys are unbelievable brakes. I have them on my Stumpjumper. No more rim wear, no squeaks. The other ones are too MTB for my tastes; sounds like you feel the same.

One suggestion which is similar to the Sirrus. Jamis Coda Elite. I think it's a better bike. Steel, more comfortable and doesn't have (need!) the carbon rear end which you have reservations about. Excellent name brand components and Juicy 7s instead of 5s. MSRP is $200 cheaper. Only thing you might switch out is the suspension seatpost, which your shop would probably do for free, since a suspension seatpost is worth more than a rigid one. Check it out.
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Old 08-12-06, 06:41 PM   #8
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Another vote for specialized, I'd recommend the sirrus comp if you absolutely need the flatbar, but the Sequoia is perfect for commuting in my experience.
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Old 08-15-06, 02:06 PM   #9
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For rear rack:
http://www.rei.com/online/store/Prod...cat=REI_SEARCH

http://www.axiomgear.com/racks_disc/odyssee_disc.php

For bikes: I have a Point Reyes and it rocks. Along the same lines is the Novara(REI house brand) Buzz(only 2 front rings,but can swap guard for third). You might also want to consider a Novara Big Buzz or Kona Dew Deluxe/Dr Dew. For lighter bikes,there's the higher model Specialized Sirrus and Jamis Coda.

As I said,I own a Point Reyes,I own a Dew Deluxe,Buzz,and Big Buzz,and used to own a Sirrus Sport Disc and Coda Comp. Any of the above would make excellent commuters.
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Old 08-15-06, 10:27 PM   #10
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I did a ton of research online and test rode a few bikes (specialized sirrus, kona dew and dr. dew, cannondale Bad Boy). After weeks of searching for the perfect bike to get around the streets of nyc, I bought a cannondale Bad Boy. It's crazy fast, very well balanced and relatively comfortable. I love this machine.
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Old 08-15-06, 11:43 PM   #11
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Whoosh,

I just got my Cannondale Bad Boy TODAY, after aprox. 2 weeks of research. I considered the Trek Sirrus (too roadish), the Kona Ph.D. or the Jake the Snake with straight handlebar, I believe I made the right choice. I don't choose a bike by it's color, but the "stealth black" didn't hurt at all...
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Old 08-17-06, 09:51 AM   #12
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Rafael

What type of fenders did you put on your Bad Boy?
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Old 08-17-06, 09:23 PM   #13
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aerobars and bar end??? Might as well have drop bars
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Old 08-18-06, 01:10 AM   #14
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Hi,

Both Rocky Mountain Bikes and Brodie bikes make some models that may interest you. They are made in Vancouver BC and are known for their high quality. My daughter rides a steel RM and it is a great bike. Both RM's and Brodie's are very popular here (along with the Kona, also from Van) and have good reps.
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Old 08-18-06, 06:42 PM   #15
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It is not that I don't have anything against drop bars, it is just that I haven't used them since I was a teenager. Since my original post I have added the Trek Portland (although it seems over priced) and the Schwinn World DBX to my list. I am anxious to see how I like drop bars for commuting because a lot more bikes would be in the running. I have been commuting for so long on a MTB, switching to drop bars will be a big change for me.
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Old 08-19-06, 03:18 PM   #16
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The Novara Safari might be an even better choice than that Bonanza.
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Old 08-19-06, 06:00 PM   #17
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I prefer drop bars for commuting. I have them set at about seat level and have the brakes set further up the bars than most roadies do. The narrower bars make it easier to split lanes at traffic lights. Try looking at the Kona Jake - this would allow you to switch between narrow tires for fast road rides, and up to 35 mm tires for unpaved trails.
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Old 08-19-06, 06:11 PM   #18
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erm... Brodie - Energy



Damn nice bike that does look like, comes with discs, no suspension, and with fitted mudguards, and eyelets for a rack Bit expensive though :|
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Old 08-20-06, 09:04 PM   #19
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topeak makes rack for disc brakes

Just so you know that topeak makes a rare rack for disc brake mount, which is available from amazon for $19.99.

I have been semi-commuting (good weather, daylight) for about a year now on a WalMart fat-tire. Having decided to try "full"-commuting, I visited my only LBS which only carries Trek, Specialized, and Giant. Looking for a raised handlebar I was put on the Trek 7200/7300 and Giant Cypres, and I felt very comfortable on the Treks. Also tried the Trek 7.2/7.3fx and Specialized Sirrus but didn't like the lower handlebar position. I ended up with an '07 Trek 7300 and put on Freddy hardcore fenders and a topeak explorer rack (regular style); also replaced the stock plastic pedals with a pair of cheap alloy ones with clips and they gave me a skinner Bontrager Race Lux to replace the stock saddle.

Trek 7.3fx has a version with disc brakes but is $100+ more than the regular version. If you like the bike the fenders and racks should not be the deal-stopper.
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Old 08-20-06, 09:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
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Just so you know that topeak makes a rare rack for disc brake mount, which is available from amazon for $19.99.
Sorry for the spelling, "rear" not "rare."
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Old 08-20-06, 09:54 PM   #21
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Another vote for the Marin Point Reyes.

All I had to do was trim the bolt to fit, and then added 5 washers. I wasted my time before by grinding down the metal on the rack. Also I spread out the legs a little by hand.

I cut two strips of metal that my dad had lying around. That's mostly for stability; no problems so far. Yeah I know, I'm missing one bolt/nut.

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Old 08-21-06, 01:52 AM   #22
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You can add another vote for the Marin Point Reyes. I'm building one up right now as my all around commuter. double chain rings, Paul brakes,levers and thumbies.....

Though I can speak highly for the Jamis Coda......I was very happy with that before my friend borrowed it on a prem basis.
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