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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 09-27-07, 02:18 AM   #1
wcbcruzer
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What kind of bike should I get??

Hey folks, I need a bike to get me around my college town. I'm not looking to spend major bucks since I don't have that kind of money and also I don't want my bike to get trashed/stolen. So what are some models that you'd all recommend? I basically want something that sits upright (so you're not always hunched over), easy to pedal, and good for some uphill climbs. Something that's good for pavement and easy dirt trails would be nice. You know, kinda like an "all around" bike. Let me know what you think. Thanks!

Oh, and I am a male...

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Old 09-27-07, 06:25 AM   #2
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If you aren't looking to spend the money for a new bike (~$600+) then I would recommend getting a used bike. Look on craigslist or other want ads.

Figure out the style of bike you want, road, moutain, fixed, single sped, etc then look for those. When buying a used bike make sure it fits! A proper fit is the most important part of a bike.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:11 AM   #3
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Giant Cypress fit the bill for me when I had exactly your requirements. Any hybrid really sounds about what you're looking for.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:13 AM   #4
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Something that's good for pavement and easy dirt trails would be nice. You know, kinda like an "all around" bike. Let me know what you think.
Sounds to me like you could use a cyclocross bike like the surly cross-check. I like mine for it's comfort, versatility in tire size, rack and fender option, and you can build one up for pretty cheap.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:20 AM   #5
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Downtube folding bike (look at their add on the right). It'll allow you more space in your dorm. They have an '07 commuter model for $300 right now.
I also second the CL and Pawnshop option. Just make sure you know what to look for (cracks, suspicious welds....).
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Old 09-27-07, 11:35 AM   #6
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road bikes can ride on dirt trails just fine. If you get a folding bike be prepared for everyone to think (actually, to know) you are a tremendous loser.

Get an old used road bike.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:37 AM   #7
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road bikes can ride on dirt trails just fine. If you get a folding bike be prepared for everyone to think (actually, to know) you are a tremendous loser.

Get an old used road bike.

Really?!
Okay, if looks is an issue, then maybe the Dahon Jack (or Cadenza if $$ allows) would fit the bill. Its full size but can still fold.
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Old 09-27-07, 11:52 AM   #8
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Bianchi hybrids are awesome machines...

I bought the Bianchi Bay City. It has mounts for fenders, racks, etc.

http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_cross_terrain.html
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Old 09-27-07, 03:42 PM   #9
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Thanks for all the responses. lol, I've never heard or seen a foldable bike. But hey if they're good then can't argue. Anyway, I looked on Craigslist and it's just downright confusing... I have no idea if the price these people are asking is reasonable or not. Plus, there's sooo many bikes on craigslist! One bike I have really liked was my aunt's Specialized Crossroads. When you rode that thing it didn't even feel like you're pedaling! Uphill or downhill, it was a breeze. I think she paid $450 or so for it new back in the day. I'd be willing to pick up something like that used, or even new if it's worth it. Any other bike brands similar to this one that you guys can think of or had experience with would help.

Oh and I've seen these "newer" bikes with an actual brake rotor in the front. How much would something like that run on the low end?
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Old 09-27-07, 04:08 PM   #10
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Post the Craigslist link here or at the classic and vintage forum and they can help you with the pricing.
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Old 09-27-07, 07:47 PM   #11
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I'm currently running two alternatives to your question: The first is a early 90's mountain bike with the off road tyres removed and replaced with 26 x 2 street tyres, fenders added, along with the ubiquitous rear rack and a mount for a handlebar bag. I do some inner city commuting with it, it's also my main long haul trucker, er, road tourer. Pedals are Nashbar flip jobs, SPD clips on one side, regular platform pedals on the other. This gets ridden either in regular street clothes and hiking boots, or the fancy specific cycling wear and mountain bike cleated shoes:



The other is a bit lighter duty, more informal running around, and I keep this one at work all the time as my lunchtime errand runner (due to commute distance and time, the long haul is usually done on motorcycle). Here we're talking a mid-90's hybrid, 700 x 38 tyres - still on the semi knobbies, but they're getting replaced by street rubber sometime in the near future. Pedals are plain old platforms. Since this pic was taken, I've added toe clips, the usual rear rack, and a cordura trunk case on the rack. Toe clips because I don't like my feet loose on the pedals (it's a pain starting out in traffic not being able to pull you pedal up to the point of being able to move out smartly), but I also know I'll probably never put specific cycling clothes or shoes on for riding this bike. The trunk case is because riding with a backpack on in warm weather is a sweaty, wet, uncomfortable mess - and I don't like the load on my back when running with traffic.



Didn't both with fenders as this is an errand runner, and if it's pouring out I can certainly wait with the errands until tomorrow.

The biggest difference between the two is a bit of weight and tyres - the GT is definitely the more responsive ride cutting through traffic and short stop getting around. The Bianchi is set up for long hauling, fenders because I have this ability to get caught in the rain 20 miles from home with alarming frequency, and heavy duty use. Certain parts of Richmond are rough enough in pavement that I really prefer the 26 x 2's for the cushioning effect.

Just the same, the best route is to look for something along these lines, then adapt at the lowest possible cost as long as you're getting the performance you need for daily use. And buy one f*** of a heavy lock - even if the bike is a $20.00 beater with no maintenance, you're still really put out (both physically and emotionally) when you come back and find it's been stolen.

Oh yeah, costs. That Bianchi was bought at a yard sale for $30.00 - I've put another 80.00 into it (tyres, fenders, rack, etc.). The GT came straight from the dump as my wife caught the previous owner about to toss it into the dumpster. $25.00 for rack and trunk, $12.00 for a tube and new grips. Everything else was covered by four evenings each bike, teardown, clean and rebuild. I do that for the sheer enjoyment.
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Old 09-28-07, 09:14 AM   #12
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If you get a folding bike be prepared for everyone to think (actually, to know) you are a tremendous loser.
please explain
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Old 09-28-07, 10:02 AM   #13
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I would look at a Jamis Coda if you want to go new. My wife's bike was recently stolen, and we are going to replace it with the Coda. It is steel, has a rigid fork, fender and rack mounts, 700c tires (I think it comes with 28s, but larger would fit), and a suspension seat post. It is basically a flat bar road bike. Total price is $450, but the '08 model is due soon and the 07 price will likely drop. My local LBS was also clearing out a few Kona Smoke models for $350, which is a great deal if you don't mind aluminum (assuming all LBS are going that low on it).
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Old 09-28-07, 11:27 AM   #14
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Any std hybrid-style bike will do the job. You can pick up used ones very cheaply. Go for models from known brands (not just the big name ones like Trek and Specialized) that were mid-upper range when new; bike that were junk when new don't improve with age.
Get the correct size, make sure the bike has rack and fender eyelets and that the transmission is not worn out. Ideally you want something that has rested in a shed for most of its life.
Budget for all the bits you need to make life easy: rack, fenders, lights, luggage, helmet, lock, repair kit and some kevlar tyres.
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Old 09-28-07, 02:39 PM   #15
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please explain
I can't really explain it, it's just more like a gut feeling. Watch somebody pedal by on a folder, and your first thought is, "What a dweeb."

It's not a current thing, either. I got the same reaction back in '73 with my Raleigh 20. The only way you fight it is to be outrageous - in my case, normal commuting attire was shirt and bow tie, jacket, bowler hat, and smoking a pipe.
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Old 09-28-07, 03:16 PM   #16
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"What a dweeb." ... normal commuting attire was shirt and bow tie, jacket, bowler hat, and smoking a pipe.
I'm not really sure if that helped your cause
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Old 09-28-07, 03:29 PM   #17
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I'm not really sure if that helped your cause
Exactly my point - if you can't get credit in one direction, try the exact opposite. Besides, we're talking the glam 70's, and at that point, on any given Friday night, I made David Bowie look butch.
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Old 10-01-07, 10:16 AM   #18
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I went to the sports store this weekend and checked out the new Cannondale F7. What a sweet bike! They were asking $550. I didn't buy it but it sure was tempting. It's a little more than what I was looking to spend but I think it might be well worth it.
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