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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 04-13-08, 02:57 PM   #1
substance90
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What bike should I get?

Hi, guys. I just discovered this forum and I already think it is a great community.
I used to ride my bike a lot, but in the past few years I have completely abandoned my bike and now it`s total crap. I would like to get back into riding and specifically use a bike as a main commuting method.
I have pretty much made my mind on what I want, I just need you guys to offer the right model and brand, because I don`t know much about brands.
I want a hybrid commuting bike, but more to the mountain side, than the road, because I live in a pretty rough city - Sofia, Bulgaria. We might be in the EU now, but Sofia is far from becoming a real nice european capital city, so you get what I am trying to say. The roads simply require front suspension or even full and disc brakes at least on the front wheel.
So that`s basically what I am looking for. A hybrid with disc brakes, suspension and tires that are tarmac-friendly, but also wouldn`t mind if I get out of the road sometimes. I don`t have any specific price range in mind, I`m still looking my options up. And don`t confine to us brands only, I live in europe, so everything is welcome. I can deliver myself a bike from the US, but if there are some good european brands, then it`s even better.

Thanks in advance and sorry about the long post.
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Old 04-13-08, 05:16 PM   #2
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Hi

What's your budget?
What models are available locally?
Will you be buying from the LBS or mail order/interweb?
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Old 04-14-08, 01:01 AM   #3
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I`d say 200-900$, but I want something from high quality and not just a regular bike from a famous brand!
Basically everything is available locally, but a bike that`s $1000 in the US, here will be around $3300! I`m not kidding these guys are crazy! So if it is a US brand, I will be definitely importing.
Also there is the possibility to make a custom bike, you just have to name the right parts, but I`d prefer a whole finished model.
Thanks.
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Old 04-14-08, 04:07 AM   #4
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http://www.wiggle.co.uk/ - is a very good UK mail order store

UK bike prices are some of the most expensive in Europe though. Check e-bay/craigs list for second hand bargains as well.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:30 AM   #5
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If there are things like trees across the roads or large (15 cm or more) drops in the pavement, you probably do need full suspension. Since this is a state that would destroy many sorts of cars, I doubt Sofia's roads are this bad *g*. A workable full suspension is tough to engineer, so it will be more than $1000 US.

If it's that the roads are gravel, dirt or more pothole than road, you'd be better off with a more rigid bike. It's possible to get a front suspension bike where the suspension doesn't utterly suck for within your budget.
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Old 04-14-08, 06:42 AM   #6
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I've had my eye on the Gary Fisher "dual sport" line for a while, and they sound like they could work for you as well. They have a front suspension with I think 60+cm of travel, which will help your ride, but I believe it's firm enough to not get pedal bob (and the forks have lockouts as well). Also, the components are designed to not suck when riding on the road, meaning you won't be spinning out in high gear. They also have 700C wheels, which would help on potholes.

There's three bikes in the series - Kaitai, Utopia, and Montare, with varying levels of componentry. I believe they run between $500 and $1000.

If you decide not to get the suspension, you could just get a carbon-fork hybrid from about any manufacturer.
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Old 04-14-08, 06:50 AM   #7
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I have a Raleigh hybrid. Nice big tires, Schwalbe Marathon Plus, will be great on your bik. You don't need any one specific brand.

Don't rule out everything but disc brakes. Hydraulic rim brakes by Magura are fantastic, and as this bike will be your every day commuter, being able to change brake pads in ten seconds without any tools is a big advantage.
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Old 04-14-08, 07:00 AM   #8
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You should be able to get excellent commuter bikes at very reasonable prices by paying a visit to either Germany or the Netherlands.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:27 AM   #9
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My brother will be going on vacation in germany in a few weeks, so he might buy me a bike.
The Gary Fisher Utopia seems nice! Any other suggestions with similar specifications?
And by the way, do you guys know any american bike selling site, that makes deliveries to PO boxes? And if they make international deliveries, then it`s even better!
EDIT: how much does a Fisher Utopia weight and what is the lowest price in the US?

Last edited by substance90; 04-14-08 at 11:03 AM.
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Old 04-14-08, 01:40 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by substance90 View Post
My brother will be going on vacation in germany in a few weeks, so he might buy me a bike.
The Gary Fisher Utopia seems nice! Any other suggestions with similar specifications?
And by the way, do you guys know any american bike selling site, that makes deliveries to PO boxes? And if they make international deliveries, then it`s even better!
EDIT: how much does a Fisher Utopia weight and what is the lowest price in the US?
According to Fisher's site:
*Prices are set by the individual dealers, but the MSRP is $880. Prices for current-year bikes probably don't vary much within a country. They don't seem to price the bike in Euros on their site, but from skimming dealers in Europe the price looks like it's higher in Euros, something like E799. You might be able to get a good deal on '07 bikes if you can find them.
*Frame's 1500g for a 17.5 inch variety - doesn't mention total weight. I'd imagine this will end up being fairly light for a bike with a suspension fork.
*I think that Fisher discourages dealers from shipping bikes generally, but if you're in a place that has no dealers perhaps they make exceptions. My guess is that working through a European Fisher dealer would be best, because...
*They appear to have a ton of dealers in Germany and also the Netherlands.
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Old 04-15-08, 10:54 AM   #11
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If I buy a bike from Europe it will be the Kaitai and if I manage to find a US dealer that makes deliveries, I will get the Utopia. I simply don`t have that much money and 800 euro is a lot more than $800!
If you guys find me a US dealer that is agreed to receive payment via paypal and send a delivery to a PO Box, I will totally love you!
I know that you can`t tell me the actual weight of the bike, but can you make any estimates for a middle-sized Fisher dual sport. 15-20 kilos?
Another question, how do I find what size frame am I supposed to get? I am around 175cm tall (5,75 feet).
EDIT: This bike is rain-proof, right? I mean can ride it in the rain/snow, can I?

Last edited by substance90; 04-15-08 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 04-15-08, 02:46 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by substance90 View Post
The roads simply require front suspension or even full and disc brakes at least on the front wheel. So that`s basically what I am looking for. A hybrid with disc brakes, suspension and tires that are tarmac-friendly, but also wouldn`t mind if I get out of the road sometimes. I don`t have any specific price range in mind, I`m still looking my options up. And don`t confine to us brands only, I live in europe, so everything is welcome. I can deliver myself a bike from the US, but if there are some good european brands, then it`s even better.
Well, sounds like you have a good idea of what you'd like. Most "U.S." brands now are made in China, so you may be able to get the same quality of bike locally.

I don't know how hilly Sofia is, but steep hills and suspensions don't always get along well.

I live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Its streets are pretty rough and hilly, so what I ride is an old Specialized Hard Rock mountain bike set up with road tires, fenders, lights, and a rack. It works pretty well and can go off road if necessary. It hasn't any suspension or disk brakes, but it does okay. The 26x1.25 tires do soak up a fair amount of shock.

Most bikes take rain and mud pretty well, if you take care to clean it off after the ride and make sure your chain stays clean.
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Old 04-16-08, 07:44 AM   #13
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Hey guys, I wrote in a bulgarian mtb forum and they suggested this bike to me http://www.ridespot.net/product_info...oducts_id=1695
the tires don`t look very commuter like the Fisher`s, but the other specs do seem similar. Also this one seems nice, but again very big tires: http://www.ridespot.net/product_info...9fd750cfcf6cfc

What do you think?

I also saw on their site http://ram-bikes.com that they make custom bikes, so if you tell me some nice commuter tires, but also suitable for light off-road I can ask them about a price.
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