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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 09-30-06, 11:01 AM   #1
glouie
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Recommended Favorite Commuting Bikes

Hi folks,

My bike was just stolen so I'm in the market for a new one. I am 50 and in decent shape, 5'10 150#, but I haven't been riding much in the past 15 years. My goal is to work up to a commute about 17 miles one way on country roads at least once/week. I leave at 6:00 in the morning when it is dark so I'll need a good headlight.

My wife trains and competes in triathlons and would like me to do one with her next year. I cannot afford two bicycles and am more interested in completing the race than being competitive. A good touring bike would suffice for a once/year race.

Does anyone recommend a specific bike or recommend an internet article about choosing a touring bike? I am considering touring frames with plenty of eyelets for racks, a relaxed geometry but with the faster 700c tires. I don't like knobby mountain tires on the hybrid bikes.

My price range is $250 to $750.
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Old 09-30-06, 11:29 AM   #2
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I ride a early 90's Bridgestone xo2 as my daily commuter...it has 26" wheels on which I'm running Michelin Transworld Cities....I love the bike and couldn't be happier as it affords me alot of versitility...and I can run a 700c wheel I recently discovered if I put caliper brakes on in place of the cantilevers.

In the price range you are talking about I'm not too familiar with much unless you want to go used..there are bikes out there but they weren't what I was looking for... I wanted a quality steel frame either along the lines of a cyclocross or touring bike...don't get me wrong I know there are worthy bikes out there I just know what I wanted at the time I was in the market for a commuter.

If you don't want to go used(ebay has lots of good stuff usually) and may be willing to go with a little more $...say around 800-900...there is the Jamis Aurora...Bianchi Volpe...both touring style bikes that are pretty well regarded... Bianchi also has the Castro Valley which is a pretty interesting commuter bike in your price range. REI has some bikes out there that looked to be pretty good I probably would have bought one if I could ever find something in my size...Trek has the 520 touring bike..a little more pricey however.

I'm sure you'll get plenty of opinions...we all love to recommend things it seems.

Good luck to you.
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Old 09-30-06, 11:29 AM   #3
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You *CAN* afford two bikes !!!!!!!!
Go to a thrift store or yard sale and pick up a 10.00
80's japanese ten-speed. Put 25.oo in tires and tubes..Viola !
A reliable bike you can beat-up, squirt the gunk off with a hose and
forget about. This leaves you with 715.00 for a good road bike
to enjoy time with your wife with.
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Old 09-30-06, 11:58 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glouie
Does anyone recommend a specific bike or recommend an internet article about choosing a touring bike? I am considering touring frames with plenty of eyelets for racks, a relaxed geometry but with the faster 700c tires. I don't like knobby mountain tires on the hybrid bikes.
Tire diametre and tire tread are quite different: there are knobby and fat 700c's and slick and thin 26" tires. It is generally thought that 700c roll slightly better, but the effect is not that noticeable. However, most touring bikes (especially with frames for taller people like you) do come with 700c tires, so all this doesn't really matter.

Quote:
My price range is $250 to $750.
That sounds to me like a "used bike" price range. Which is fine: there is lots of good used stuff. But there are probably some entry-level touring bikes in the upper region of this price range too which will probably serve you well.

Now, and in the next while, is a good time to buy bikes: bike shops, real and virtual (online), are getting rid of last year's models and you may find some sweet deals. You might find a bike for $750 that normally sells for $900.
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Old 09-30-06, 12:09 PM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your loss.

One question, was the theft an isolated event, or something that you think might happen again. If so - you might want to go for the two bike solution, along with one or two good locks. I've had several bikes stolen and it's like losing an appendage, I hate to see it happen to someone else.
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Old 09-30-06, 02:41 PM   #6
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i'm still so happy with my jamis coda after 6 months with it, i can't imagine what an aurora would be like . . .
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Old 09-30-06, 04:03 PM   #7
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cyclocross with discbrakes everytime - great for multi-use - fast touring/commuting/training/cyclocross

check these guys for DB CX bikes
Condor cycles - FTW
redline
mountaincycle
salsa
voodoo
trek
cannondale
kinesis
etc
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Old 09-30-06, 10:15 PM   #8
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I'd recommend the Surly Cross-Check
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Old 09-30-06, 10:19 PM   #9
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+1

Sounds like the Cross-Check would indeed fit the bill. Try looking for a used one if you want to save money.
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Old 09-30-06, 10:40 PM   #10
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there are some great 'cyclocross/touring bastard bikes in the shops now.

Redline conquests, Rocky Mtn has a 'sherpa' i think. also the Rocky RC30? then there's the bianchi volpe, there are other 'go fast' 700 c bikes with linear pulls out there.....

price points about 700? lots of good choices.

my favorite 'go anywhere' bike is the TREK 520 but a new one is a bit out of the $$$ range. lightly used you could find one at that price, easy.

the more i ride mine, the more I'm convinced the TREK 520 is the best bike i have even owned. Solid. it handles pavement doing 50 downhills like it is on rails, and i can even grab a drink while doing so.

I like to ride thru this big, woodland park with hills in it on my way to work. sometimes i'm bombing the trails on my 520 doing 22-25 MPH or so, and i'll find myself accidentally off the trail and into the thick of it sometimes, in the woods, bombing off camber hillsides and bunny hopping fallen timber. it rides gravel roads like butter.

The 520 soaks it all up like a good road drunkard. On road and off, the 520 is one versatile bike
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