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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 06-28-07, 09:25 AM   #1
timthorn
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Looking for New Commuter

Yes I am new to this forum, and I have read all the stickied topics on R/R, advice columns, etc, but please pardon any redundant question I may bring up.

For the past year I have been riding a mid 90's Motobecane Mirage, with standard straight bars, new armadillo tires, front crank and bracket off a Specialized, a nice ugly luggage rack with saddle bags, and the usual other replacement as needed on my 6 mile commute to work on mostly smooth farm road with 2 sets of cattle guards and one pnuematic road block at the security gate. The ride has been wonderful, as a different way to conduct PT.

Lately, as my wife puts it, I get bored which is true, and this first bike was a great learning experience for maintenance, riding styles/positions, and other beginner items (though I still all a beginner, as I just learned what a pitched tire is and why I have gones through 3 tubes this week). I am looking into a new bicycle for the commute, I must admit that I enjoy the 23's thanks to the roughly 1 mile worth of uphill climbing each way presents (work is at the top of one hill, I love atop of the opposite hill). I have managed to narrow down to 3 bikes thanks to reviews, posting here, price range, warranties, and consumer reports.org, and I would like you all's opinion.

Tommaso Imola:
Frame: AluminumSemi Compact Frame, w/replaceable dropout and integrated headtube
Fork: Carbon fiber legs, alloy integrated crown, CR-MO 1-1/8" steerer
Front Derailleur: Shimano Sora Triple
Rear Derailleur: Shimano Sora GS
Shifters: Shimano Sora 8-Spd
Brakes Levers: Shimano Sora
Brakes: Tektro, Black
Chain: Shimano HG50
Crankset: Prowheel 52/42/30T, Black
Cassette: Sunrace 11-24 8-Spd
Pedals: Wellogo Alloy Plaform w/ Toe Straps
Bottom Bracket: Chromoly square taper
Headset: FSA Intellaset
Saddle: Tommaso Steel Rail
Seat Post: Tomasso Alloy
Handlebar: Tommaso Alloy Ergonomic 26.0
Grips: Cork Tape
Stem: Tommaso Alloy 26.0
Tires: Kenda 700x25c
Wheelset: Weinmann XR18

Giant FCR3 (Consumer Reports 10th best overall)
color M: Silver/Black W: White/Silver
size M: XS, S, M, L, XL W: 2XS*, XS, S, M *650C wheels
frame ALUXX butted aluminum, Compact Road Design and Integrated Forged Headtube
fork Chromoly
shifter M: Shimano ST-R225 W: Shimano R440
front derailleur Shimano R443
rear derailleur Shimano Altus
brakes Alloy Direct Pull
brake levers M Alloy Direct Pull W: Alloy short reach 3 finger
cassette SRAM PG-830 11-28T
chain KMC Z72
cranks Alloy, 30/42/52T
bb Cartridge
rims alloy double wall
hubs Formula
spokes Stainless Steel
tires Kenda Kwest 700x28C Kontender, 650x25C
handlebar Alloy 25mm Rise
stem Alloy Adjustable
seatpost Aluminum, 27.2x300mm
saddle M: WTB Laser V Comp W: WTB Speed She Comp
pedals Resin Body Alloy Cage

Raleigh Cadent 1.0 (Consumer Reports 9th Best Overall)
Sizes: 45,49,52,54,56,59cm
Frame: Atomic 13 Aluminum w/replaceable hanger
Fork: Custom Carbon/Alloy Steer, 50mm offset
Crankset: Truvativ ISO Flow 3.0 Road 30/42/52t
Bottom Bracket: Truvativ Sealed Cartridge
F. Derailleur: Shimano 2200
R. Derailleur: Shimano Sora
Shift Lever: Shimano Sora 8spd
Brake Levers: Shimano Sora
Brakes: Tektro Dual Pivot Long Reach
Cog Set: SRAM PG-850 8spd (12-26t)
Rims: Alex DC-19 w/Ground Side
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Old 06-28-07, 09:28 AM   #2
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It think it would be more helpful to know YOUR opinion. What do you think of these bikes? Why did you choose these, have you ridden them?

They all sound great, I think the decider for me would be to ride them all, and pick the one I liked best. Good luck man
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Old 06-28-07, 09:50 AM   #3
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The only bike that I mentioned that is available in my local area is the Giant, and I will be testing it this weekend. The other two I am really trying to pull reviews from others. The only perk is most stores/companies has that try it for 30/90 days and if not satisfied clause. I gues what I really am asking is, the components that are on these entry level bikes, how are they, do they really hold up well?
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Old 06-28-07, 04:00 PM   #4
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so.... what IS a pitched tire? I don't know.
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Old 06-28-07, 04:07 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rando
so.... what IS a pitched tire? I don't know.
Pretty sure he means "pinched"... as in, underinflated, hit a bump, pinch and tear the tube.

Quote:
Originally Posted by timthorn
I gues what I really am asking is, the components that are on these entry level bikes, how are they, do they really hold up well?
I wouldn't bother. Your current bike sounds good. Sora components do work, but I'd stick with what you have unless you were going to go to 105.

The real key tho is how those bikes fit you. What kind or ride differences for you.
Does your current bike fit you well? Does it absorb road vibrations well? Are you tired of the straight handle bars and want different hand positions? You could always just buy some bar ends.

I say save your money, keep learning about bikes and what you want and buy a bike with mid-range components, whether campy, shimano, sram... but remember, good components suck if the bike don't fit.
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Old 06-28-07, 07:58 PM   #6
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Thank you everyone, for your response. I shall keep with my current Mirage, and then reevaluate based on the needs of the area after my next move, how is El Paso in the winter? That should provide me with enough time to learn more. Yes I meant "pinched."
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Old 07-01-07, 06:29 AM   #7
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I would avoid integraded headsets for a commuter.
I would also not put so much faith in Consumer Reports.
Both of these are simply my personal opinions.


Definitely try to do some test rides!
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Old 07-01-07, 05:23 PM   #8
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Consumer reports is good on cars, electronics, and the like, but there are so many choices when it comes to cycling that they barely scratch the surface. Ninth best? Out of how many they tested? Then think about the hundreds of models they didn't test. That tells you something about what "Ninth best" means.

I also agree that the main thing comes down to riding it. What feels comfortable to you? A bike that works for one can be misery for another. I tried a Breezer, which is a great bike, but I couldn't stand it. Others would hate riding my Surly Cross Check.

I don't know what a Motobecane Mirage is, but think about what you like and don't about it. You are starting to do that when you talk about tire width and hills. Do you want a more aggressive or less agressive bike? A more upright or a less upright bike? Capacity for a rack and fenders or not? High number of gears or low number of gears? Is being light important? Are shock absorbers important?
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Old 07-02-07, 08:06 AM   #9
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CR.org's sampling size included 19 models. For some one like my wife and I who are new to biking, all the names, coponents, etc... have the fog of war over them. So using CR, this forums (and similar), and talking with LBS's, we hope to learn exactly what it is that will fit our needs and body types.

What do you mean by "aggressive?"
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