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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 09-17-06, 03:06 PM   #1
Bike-a-Boo
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How much to spend on a commuter

Is it a general truth that most folks avoid spending a lot of money on their commuters? How does one decide on the trade-off between quality/reliability/comfort (etc) and theft prevention? Do most of you have a less valuable bike to commute/run errands with that you would be less heart-broken over if it were stolen? Do you have an awesome bike that you save for other purposes?
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Old 09-17-06, 03:15 PM   #2
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The general rule is: Buy a bike that when it tips over and crashes hard onto the concrete, you won't have tears streaming down your face.
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Old 09-17-06, 03:20 PM   #3
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If you do not have alot of hills/climbing you can get a cheaper steel heavy bike. Parts on the other hand should be better quality as you will be using and overhauling the bike alot. Stainless steel chain, brooks saddles ect are not unreasonable if you use the bike alot. Tires and anything that prevents flats should be top notch.

You might start with a cheap used bike and see what it's flaws are. Then buy new or upgrade as you see fit.
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Old 09-17-06, 03:28 PM   #4
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Portis just illustrated for you the "drop test".

I would say spend no less than $250 on a MTB, or about $450 on a road bike. You can buy a VERY nice commuter for just under a thousand, but one that still won't be thief bait.

By the by, many thieves have no clue what the difference is between a nice bike and a Wally world special...they just go for the most glittery bike on the rack, which often happens to be an x-mart bike. If a thief REALLY knows their bikes, well, I hope your locks are good, because that's probably a talented thief. However, a thief that good will probably be "shopping" well in excess of a $1000 bike. $1000 is fairly cheap in the world of quality bikes. Don't let x-mart pricing skew your perspective.
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Old 09-17-06, 03:40 PM   #5
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You can have lots of bikes. When going to areas you're not sure about, and you will leave it locked up a couple of hours, use a $100 or under bike. I see bikes worth $60-$80 locked day after day in the exact same place. When doing errands, the bike can be in a more visible place, and so there's less chance of it being stolen.
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Old 09-17-06, 07:21 PM   #6
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get an old steel road bike at a thrift store... upgrade it as you can afford. strip off the decals... even better make it a single speed and probably no one will steal it.
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Old 09-17-06, 08:35 PM   #7
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It all depends on how far you commute

I had an old'ish MTB with a crap chainset and fat tyres. I wanted a Cannondale Bad Boy but, 'She who must be obeyed' made me try it out first to see if I thought I would stick with it. I did, but in the end I just upgraded the bike I had. I was fortunate that my company paid my travel expenses on the subway each month, so I spent a years worth of cash on upgrades and got a bike I think would smoke a Bad Boy

My commute was 19KM each way. The better wheels and chainset, coupled with some high pressure thin tyres (panaracer folders for Bike Courriers) made the journey a LOT more enjoyable and with a tail wind it was about the most fun you can have alone
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Old 09-17-06, 09:45 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sharrison
Is it a general truth that most folks avoid spending a lot of money on their commuters?
Depends. I have a 15 mi RT commute over rolling hills that I do about 10 months a year. This spring I upgraded to a $1400 road bike. However, I have very secure parking for it: inside of a passcard protected garage, locked to a bike rack. I'm probably going to be spending $300-$400 upgrading my beater to something better. It's going to look like such a frankenbike by the time I'm done with it, I'd be surprised if it's much of a thief magnet.
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Old 09-18-06, 03:54 AM   #9
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I like to use a high quality older frame with some midrange components, it is reliable and fairly light but lokks quite downmarket. My current steel-framed race/commuter bike is lighter than many midrange Al-framed hybrids.
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Old 09-18-06, 04:43 AM   #10
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how far are you commuting?
will it be locked outside/ is it likley to be stolen?
are you commuting in the burbs or the city?
how much can you afford?
do you appreciate or care about the riding charicteristics of the bike?
will you ride in the rain? how about the winter?
answering these questions will lead you to the correct choice for you.
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