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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 11-28-07, 10:05 AM   #1
ChevyChase
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New ride for $700 - $800. Suggestions?

I commute about 16 miles per day, at least four days a week. The Capitol Crescent Trail is a converted, paved rails-to-trails path, paved the entire way. The last mile of my commute is on Washington, DC city streets.

I know that I do not want a road bike, given a car accident that left me with a relatively bad neck.

What's the best hybrid that I can get for my budget? I currently ride a 20-year-old Trek hybrid bicycle with a Blackburn rack and Niterider lights.

Thanks for the suggestions!
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Old 11-28-07, 10:08 AM   #2
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How about a flat-bar road bike? Gearing and efficiency of a road bike, seating position of a hybrid. You can probably find brand new (never used) 2007 Trek FXs on closeout. There are competing products by Specialized, Giant, and many others as well. I got a year-old closeout Trek 1200 for $640 back in May. The 2008 stuff is in stores already, so now would be a great time to look for 2007 stuff being offloaded at a discount.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:19 AM   #3
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Kona Dew Deluxe. Fun, tough, part road, part mountain, disk brakes and under your budget. What more can you ask for.
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Old 11-28-07, 10:34 AM   #4
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Check out the Jamis Coda Sport or Jamis Coda Comp. Excellent bikes. Well designed, comfortable, fast, and durable. A great value!
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Old 11-28-07, 10:54 AM   #5
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Koda looks good. I ride a Giant FCR1 2007 that I got for $720 on sale in August. Mine is a hybrid "fitness" basically a road bike with flat bars. It's a gas to ride. Fast little fella! And the FCR3 would be cheaper (same w/ 2) Allow some $ for good lights, too. Critical, imho. Check out electronics, gadgets for that. But don't scrimp on lights.
have fun. and report back!
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Old 11-28-07, 10:56 AM   #6
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Trek 520 can be had for $900 on sale. Good solid touring bike great for hauling your stuff. Other touring bikes to consider are the Novara Randonee (REI) Fuji Touring (Performance often caries) Bianchi Volpe or Jamis Aurora/Nova
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Old 11-28-07, 11:02 AM   #7
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How about a flat-bar road bike? Gearing and efficiency of a road bike, seating position of a hybrid. You can probably find brand new (never used) 2007 Trek FXs on closeout. There are competing products by Specialized, Giant, and many others as well. I got a year-old closeout Trek 1200 for $640 back in May. The 2008 stuff is in stores already, so now would be a great time to look for 2007 stuff being offloaded at a discount.
Yep. REI is having a ton of clearance type sales with the amount of the discount varying depending on the model of bike. But they really seem to be trying to unload all of their 2007s. I got a cyclocross bike for 22% off. I know that's not what the OP is looking for, but it does go to show that there are some great deals out there if you're willing to look.

The Marin hybrids have always struck me as thoughtfully equipped. You can get some pretty sporty ones with carbon bits/fork if you're into that. If you want steel, I don't know of any options other than the Jamis Coda line.
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Old 11-28-07, 11:36 AM   #8
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+1 for the Fuiji Touring. I bought one this summer during another of Performance Bike's regular sales and got it for about $650. I have neck problems too and have found this bike treats me pretty well--I've taken it for a 40-mile ride and had minimal neck pain.
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Old 11-28-07, 11:46 AM   #9
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Agree with the Dew Deluxe,but they're hard to find around here. Think Proteous might carry them(and they're having a clearance sale right now). REI's Novara Buzz line are also good bikes.

Are you going to ride through the winter? Be advised they don't plow the MUP's. For the price range you're looking at,you might want to consider a MTB to get disc brakes and the ability to run knobby(or even studded) tires. Front suspension isn't nessesarily a bad thing for the lower part of the trail by Georgetown,or some of our local roads.
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Old 11-28-07, 12:17 PM   #10
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I ride a 2007 Scattante R-330 Flatbar Road Bike. I have about 2000 miles on it and have had no issues, still on the original tires. i did change to back rack to a pannier rack and added fender. I ride 42 miles round trip 3-4 days a week
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Old 11-28-07, 02:45 PM   #11
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I would always consider buying used as you can get twice the bike for the money. Your budget should allow you to get into 2 year old bikes that retail for $1,200-$1,500.

I just bought an '05 major jake with Dura Ace on it for $950. Retail would be roughly $2,000
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Old 11-28-07, 03:08 PM   #12
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I'd recommend looking at a well equipped bike like the Raleigh Detour Deluxe or Specialized Globe. It's nice to have the bike designed for the accessories, instead of patchworking it in. If you're interested in an internal gear hub bike, look at the Breezers. They are very nice. I have one.
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Old 11-28-07, 04:07 PM   #13
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+1 on the Jamis Coda, as well as Proteus Bikes. I just bought a Jamis Coda (base model) at Proteus to commute from Rosslyn into the District.

In your price range, I would look at the Coda Comp. Steel frame and carbon fork. Both Proteus and City Bikes are Jamis dealers with very good reputations. In fact, both have employees that are also BFers. I got very nice emails from both of them while I was conducting my search for a commuter bike. Also, I know Proteus stocks Kona and Jamis, so you could look at the bike one of the other posters mentioned.
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Old 11-28-07, 05:41 PM   #14
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The REI transfer gets a lot of press. $600. In that basic vein, I might try to save up more and go for a Breezer though. If you are up to DIY, I would go for an old rockhopper and just rebuild it w/ the parts racks etc... you want.
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Old 11-28-07, 06:37 PM   #15
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On the matter of 2007 leftovers, I got a pretty good deal on a 2007 Cannondale Road Warrior 400 a couple of weeks ago--I looked at a lot of the bikes mentioned here, including the Breezers (highly desirable but a little too staid for what I wanted) and the Giant FCR3, but the good deal on the Cannondale made it hard to pass up. No problem with fenders and a rack, and I'm waiting now for my lights from Performance.
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Old 11-28-07, 06:57 PM   #16
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What's wrong with your old Trek?
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Old 11-28-07, 07:24 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ax0n View Post
How about a flat-bar road bike? Gearing and efficiency of a road bike, seating position of a hybrid. You can probably find brand new (never used) 2007 Trek FXs on closeout.
I'm happy with my 7.3FX as a commuter. A sort of "hybrid" between a hybrid and a road bike. Much lighter and faster than a hybrid, but more upright and comfortable than a road bike. The 7.3 is about 25 lbs. with a gearing of 48/38/28 front and 11-30 rear cassette, cost me $539 + tax.

Great feel, 32C tires are fast but smooth and take bumps well.

Test ride as many different bikes as you can, everyone's different.

The only thing I might change is the flat bars. I ordered some "Safari bars" from REI for only $20, they are supposed to give more comfortable hand positions. If I put them on, I'll let you know how well they work, and how they feel. Bar ends might help, too.

I test rode, and liked very much, the Coda Comp ($800,) and I might have bought a Coda Sport for $600, but it wasn't available in my size. All in all, the Trek was my bike.
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Old 11-28-07, 07:32 PM   #18
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Welcome to the CCT commute. Dynaryder makes a good point about unplowed MUPS, although usually the Park Service does hit the lower part of the CCT from the resevoir down to G'town. Studded tires can be a very comforting thing on a winter ride and most hybrids or touring bikes will have room to fit them.

I'll put in a good word for the Fuji Crosstown. I rode its predecessor, the Supreme, for several years and really liked it. The Crosstown comes with fenders and spots for racks, lights, etc. If you're in Chevy Chase, check out Silver Cycles on Georgia Ave (just north of where 16th St. hits Georgia). I find them to be really good on outfitting commuters. I'm now riding a vintage Fuji Touring so I probably have a Fuji bias, but I think they are good bikes for the price.
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Old 11-28-07, 08:23 PM   #19
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Surly steamroller built up with flat bars, racks, and a freewheel.
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Old 11-28-07, 09:47 PM   #20
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The Marin line up would be my choice for a new commuter. Nice components and no fancy wild paint jobs to yell "steal me"
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Old 11-29-07, 02:23 PM   #21
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Thanks for the advice. I've been riding the CCT for 2+ years and love my eight mile commute to work. I ride about 11 months of the year, only taking time off when the ice gets bad in February.

My 20-year-old Trek 750 has unfortunately spent most of its life outside. I'd like to get something a bit faster and then (a) use my current Trek only for lousy weather and (b) put wider tires on it to deal with winter. Are studded tires worth it?
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Old 11-29-07, 02:56 PM   #22
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^^^^If you want to ride in the snow that far, yes studded tires are worth it. Actually they make it do-able. You might make that ride once or twice with knobbies, but if you are really going to do it, studs are the way to go.
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Old 11-29-07, 04:52 PM   #23
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Sure it's a bit more, but Trek Soho 4.0

Shimano Alfine 8 speed with disc brakes.
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Old 11-29-07, 05:41 PM   #24
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Snow isn't the problem. It's ice. In the DC area, the snow melts during the day, freezes overnight, and in the morning it's an ice sheet. A few days of sun and the ice eventually melts. However, the CCT has a number of areas which do not get much winter sun, so the ice is there for several weeks.
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Old 11-29-07, 08:07 PM   #25
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I'd recommend looking at a well equipped bike like the Raleigh Detour Deluxe
THIS.

Speaking as an owner of this bike it is awesome. All the right parts all in one package. Great commuter and light utility bike.



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