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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 04-11-08, 10:16 PM   #1
Jigsaw
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Ready for a new (or preferably used) commuter

Okay, here's the deal, I got back into biking last summer after years and years and years of not biking. I wanted something comfortable and easy to ride, so I bought a used Townie 3. Really nice bike, and extremely comfortable. Commuted to work from August to December, and then put the bike away until March. Got the bike out this spring and quickly remember what I had been thinking late last fall: boy, I wish this thing could go faster!

So, I sold my Townie on CL recently, and now can start looking for a new commuter. I have a very short ride to work (about 1 mile one way). As the weather warms up, I'd like to go out for longer weekend rides and really feel the wind in my hair (or blowing through my helmet as it were). So, I'm looking for something light and nimble that can be still durable for my short commute.

Today I went to a couple of LBS and tried a couple. I tried the Novora Buzz at REI. Nice, but the fit didn't feel good, so I'm scratching that one off. Also tried the specialized Sirrus and the Giant Cypress DX. The Cypress was comfortable, but felt heavy and slow compared the the Specialized. I was really impressed with the Sirrus, and that's my top choice before trying out some others.

So, any opinions on the Sirrus as a commuter with my needs?

Some other bikes I'd like to check out are (in no particular order):

1. The Trek Soho http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...n/soho/soho40/ Seems to have everything I'd want, but is overpriced IMHO.

2. Something from the Marin City line http://www.marinbikes.com/2008/us/bi...eries_city.php

3. Something from the KHS Urban line http://www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_series_08.htm

4. The Felt City [http://www.feltracing.com/08/product...1525&pid=8763]

5. The Raleigh Cadent FT2 http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/perf...id/cadent-ft2/

6. The Fuji Absolute 4.0 http://www.fujibikes.com/2008/bikes.asp?id=473#

7. Cannandale Bad Boy http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/c...model-7BR.html, also a tad overpriced IMHO.

8. possibly a decent commuter-type by Schwinn, Gary Fisher, Swobo or maybe Breezer.

9. Currently taken into other recommendations...

Just some stuff I'm checking out. My plan is to check out a couple other LBS's in my extended area. I'd prefer to find something used on CL, but might buy new if I find something under $800ish that really speaks to me. I want at least 7 speeds (1st choice is internal, but am okay with detailers), thin tires, a light frame, and ability to add a rack and fenders.

Thanks in advance for all your wonderful suggestions. I really appreciate the wealth of knowledge on this forum.

Best,
Jigs

Last edited by Jigsaw; 04-12-08 at 04:38 PM. Reason: removed extra brackets
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Old 04-11-08, 10:57 PM   #2
cooker
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There's some kind of problem with your links, or my browser, and I had to remove the right bracket ']' to see the bikes.They're all sporty hybrids that will certainly be faster than the Townie due to thinner tires and a more forward riding position compared to the upright Townie posture. I think it's pretty flat in Chicagoland, but if there will be hills you should consider the ones with a triple crank (three front cogs). Some of them have suspension. Personally I recommend against suspension on pavement. It is unecessary and has a speed penalty.

Those are all (that I checked) flat handlebar bikes, but on longer road rides you may find you prefer the "dropped" style bars found on road bikes. Often road bikes designed for touring or cyclocross make good commuters because they can accomodate fenders and a rack. New ones might be too expensive but used ones should be very affordable. I bought my 1984 Trek 520 tour bike in 2005 for $250, and spent about $100 on repairs (mainly the bottom bracket) and another $100 on fenders and accessories.
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Old 04-11-08, 11:00 PM   #3
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Mountain bikes can also make good commuters, especially if equipped with thinner or slicker tires for pavement.
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Old 04-12-08, 03:49 AM   #4
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too bad you don't live in greater Boston. This might fit your needs.

http://www.sheldonbrown.com/harris/b...os8/index.html

Good luck with your search.
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Old 04-12-08, 02:52 PM   #5
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I have a Sirrus, which I like a lot. I recommend putting on Body Geometry grips, so your hands don't get messed up. Also, the model I have has a carbon front fork, which is fine unless you want to put a rack on it, which you might not, on a commuter bike. I want to use mine for both touring and commuting so I'm going to have to figure that one out.

The other thing I haven't figured out is what to use for fenders, which you will want to know as a commuter.

Jon
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Old 04-12-08, 04:44 PM   #6
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Thanks. I removed the extra brackets, so hopefully the links will work now. I went to another LBS today and talked to someone about the KHS Xtreme, which can be ordered. I'm already passing on anything with a front suspension as it seems like an unnecessary weight.

I haven't given much thought to the dropped bars as I'm pretty sure I'll want to alternate between a slightly upright position and an aggressive forward position, depending on my mood.


Quote:
Originally Posted by cooker View Post
There's some kind of problem with your links, or my browser, and I had to remove the right bracket ']' to see the bikes.They're all sporty hybrids that will certainly be faster than the Townie due to thinner tires and a more forward riding position compared to the upright Townie posture. I think it's pretty flat in Chicagoland, but if there will be hills you should consider the ones with a triple crank (three front cogs). Some of them have suspension. Personally I recommend against suspension on pavement. It is unecessary and has a speed penalty.

Those are all (that I checked) flat handlebar bikes, but on longer road rides you may find you prefer the "dropped" style bars found on road bikes. Often road bikes designed for touring or cyclocross make good commuters because they can accomodate fenders and a rack. New ones might be too expensive but used ones should be very affordable. I bought my 1984 Trek 520 tour bike in 2005 for $250, and spent about $100 on repairs (mainly the bottom bracket) and another $100 on fenders and accessories.
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Old 04-12-08, 04:46 PM   #7
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Thanks, Joh. That's a question I'll definitely want to ask at my LBS if I decide to go with a Sirrus.



Quote:
Originally Posted by jlforrest View Post
I have a Sirrus, which I like a lot. I recommend putting on Body Geometry grips, so your hands don't get messed up. Also, the model I have has a carbon front fork, which is fine unless you want to put a rack on it, which you might not, on a commuter bike. I want to use mine for both touring and commuting so I'm going to have to figure that one out.

The other thing I haven't figured out is what to use for fenders, which you will want to know as a commuter.

Jon
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