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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 12-08-07, 02:57 PM   #1
miriya52
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Commuter bike for short female

I've been looking into putting together a quality beater bike
for commuting. I'm 5' tall and currently have a 44cm specialized
dolce comp road bike but way too paranoid to lock it up anywhere.
I've been scouring CL/ebay, hoping to find a used bike my size
for < $200.

Anyone have a suggestion for a good model to look for (that is available
in my size)? road, hybrid, mtb? I prefer a road style but maybe I need
wider tires for actual commuting. It would be nice if it can handle
a rack in the back as well. Ideally I would like to have quality frame
and components, but I can spray paint it black to make it ugly.

Also, does anyone have the Dawes Sheila from bikesdirect and what do
they think of that?

Any advice for putting together a good commuter beater bike is appreciated
too (with step-by-step instructions ^_^)
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Old 12-08-07, 03:14 PM   #2
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How do you feel about mixte frames?
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Old 12-08-07, 03:31 PM   #3
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I would consider a mixte frame. How does it handle or feel compared to the road frame?
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Old 12-08-07, 03:45 PM   #4
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They're often set up like a road bike, with drop handlebars, etc. It's sometimes easier to find a frame that will fit a shorter than average riders - especially if you're on a budget. Personally, I think they're very attractive looking.
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Old 12-08-07, 04:05 PM   #5
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What can you say besides 'stunning'?



Where are you located, miriya52? Some of the folks in the Classic & Vintage forum refurbish mixtes and sell them on CL for quite reasonable prices.



This one is set up like a road bike with drop bars.

Oh, and welcome to Bike Forums!

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Old 12-08-07, 09:25 PM   #6
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The Dawes Sheila you posted is pretty low end. Looks like Sora level or lower on most parts, while functional probably not the best in terms of long term durability. A hybrid of a reasonable quality would be good if your commute isn't too long each way. After about 6-7 mi I start to find that the lack of additional hand positions of just a flat bar starts to be a problem.
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Old 12-09-07, 06:59 PM   #7
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I'd look at a Biria if I were you. They are easy to get on and off.

http://www.biria.com/bicycles/tc/tc_lite_8.jsp
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Old 12-09-07, 07:43 PM   #8
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I really like the Miyata 615 that is being auctioned on ebay right now, but maybe that's just because I have been pining for an old Miyata touring bike recently. If it's what I think it is, it's a very good quality touring bike. The next model touring bike up, the Miyata 1000, is considered by many to be the best quality off the shelf touring bike ever produced.

The one for sale is NOS (new old stock) and looks to be your size. The disadvantage is that they want $100 for shipping on top of the auction price, unless you live near Chicago and could pick it up.
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Old 12-09-07, 07:43 PM   #9
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Sorry, I forgot the link to the ebay Miyata 615. It is http://cgi.ebay.com/Miyata-615-Vinta...QQcmdZViewItem
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Old 12-09-07, 11:02 PM   #10
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This bike was on ebay, but didn't meet reserve. Maybe he will relist it.


Novara Randonee Touring / Commuter Bike - Small
Item number: 270193149499

It's not mine, but I have one like it and it's a great bike. This one looks very small, 12.5 in seat tube c-c.
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Old 12-25-07, 08:54 PM   #11
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Thanks for all your input! I found a Gitane mixte that looks very much like the Raleigh that East Hill posted. Now I just need to make some minor improvements to it and it's ready to go! Next on the list is to get over my fear of riding out in traffic x_x
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Old 12-26-07, 01:53 AM   #12
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Thanks for all your input! I found a Gitane mixte that looks very much like the Raleigh that East Hill posted. Now I just need to make some minor improvements to it and it's ready to go! Next on the list is to get over my fear of riding out in traffic x_x
Sweet! Ever consider taking an LAB course to help boot your confidence about riding in traffic?
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Old 12-26-07, 02:34 AM   #13
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Sweet! Ever consider taking an LAB course to help boot your confidence about riding in traffic?
I'm not the OP, but I would like to know about the LAB course.
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Old 12-26-07, 02:51 AM   #14
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I'm not the OP, but I would like to know about the LAB course.
Here you go.
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Old 12-31-07, 04:04 AM   #15
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Thanks! I'm located in Los Angeles, and I've taken a course with the CICLE founders. That was very helpful. I think I just need to practice more.. but LA is not really the most friendly place for cyclists.
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Old 01-06-08, 11:59 AM   #16
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I'd look at a used hybrid bike. The sloping top tube will be low enough for you and they are more efficient than a mountain bike and more durable than a road bike. I have a Specialized Sirrus and I love it (I ride a carbon fiber road frame that I would never commnute on).

Avoid suspension seatposts and forks unless you like a squishy feel.
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Old 01-06-08, 12:19 PM   #17
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In my experience, finding small road bikes can be very difficult and we have a long waiting/want list at our shop / co-op

My co-worker and summer riding partner struggled in finding a good used road bike and we were really lucky to find her a Miyata 615 in what I think was a 47cm frame... she's about five foot 4.

The Miyata 615 is a gorgeous bike and as far as mass produced bikes go they are among the very best and do rate a higher price if they are in nice condition.

Mixte frames are also an excellent choice and would make a great platform for a commuter... although it would be too large and is too far away we have a mid 80's Peugeot Mixte at the shop set up with randonneur bars and a full Peugeot branded groupo.

It would probably fit someone that was in the five foot eight range and I am sorely tempted to buy it for a friend who likes these kinds of bikes since they are so hard to find.

If the search becomes too difficult drop me a pm as I think we could consider selling and shipping a suitable bike for a more than reasonable price.

*I volunteer for a non-profit society so have nothing to gain from this except perhaps making someone a happy smiling rider.
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