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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 04-16-08, 09:19 AM   #1
akdoc
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Trek and trying bikes question

I am trying to find the perfect bike for short commute and riding around the City (Atlanta). At first I thought Cyclocross, then realized I probably just need a road bike with 28mm min. tires. For Trek that narrows down to the Pilot, Portland or XO. But no one carries them all or in a size to try. I don't want to pick one, blow a decent chunk of $$ only to find out it isn't what I wanted. Issue unknown is obviously "feel" of a bike and height. I already know I dont want flat bars, a super aggressive ride height etc.. This is now to that end decision.
1) Recommendations if I am on the money that 28's are a good tiresize for potholes, cracks, etc.. Or 32's?
2) What is the best way to figure out which is the right one for me without being able to ride them back to back?
I expect to ride a good bit with this bike and do some longer tours too. Hence why I dont just want a beater either.
Thank you!

Last edited by akdoc; 04-16-08 at 09:31 AM.
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Old 04-16-08, 05:06 PM   #2
tsl
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Ask the dealer. Especially this early in the season they just might order in what they don't have for you to try. It can't hurt to ask.

My Portland came with Bontrager Race Lite Hardcase in 28. I was skeptical of the "Race Lite" part, but I'm very pleased with them. They ride nice, corner well, haven't flatted, seem to be wearing well.

One thing to check is if the XO has rack and fender mounts. Naturally the Portland does and I was surprised to find the Pilot does too.

Now, if you're going to tour as well, consider the Portland. It has low-rider rack mounts in the front (the only carbon fork I know of that does) and longer chainstays in the rear. I've carried stupid-heavy loads on mine and it rides like it's on rails. My other bikes, with normal length chainstays, all get tippy and wobbly with more than 20 or 25 pounds in the panniers.
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Old 04-16-08, 05:39 PM   #3
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I would also try the 7000 series, and the 7.2.
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Old 04-16-08, 06:01 PM   #4
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The Portland sounds liek the best option of your stated choices. The XP series are cross race bikes and won't do as well on tours. The Portland is sort of a cross/sport tourer. The Pilot (I assume you mean and 07 model) will probably be awful for touring, though great for supported long distance riding.

But you did say "long tours" which means I feel obligated to recommend the 520, a tried and true touring bike. It may be a little less inspiring to ride unloaded than the others, but it seems designed to suit your needs the best.
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Old 04-16-08, 11:02 PM   #5
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Thank you all. I really meant longer supported rides, not too much touring.
Will ask the LBS re: trying them. I keep feeling like riding position is the piece that would sell me.
The Pilot 5.0 is Carbon, the XO2 supposedly has great light wheels for acceleration, and the pilot has the disc brakes. Each with a nice piece of the puzzle.
Any other thoughts appreciated. I think they still make an 08 Pilot.
No comments on 28 vs 32 widths?
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Old 04-17-08, 04:56 AM   #6
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+ 1 on the 520 recommendation. I got a 520 (used) for commuting and trekking and an XO frame to build up for fun. The XO's a lot of fun but the 520 is the hauler. The XO takes fenders and a rear rack, but is a more lively ride, maybe not the best choice for long touring.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:03 AM   #7
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I have a TREK 7.2 FX. It is a fitness bike with a fairly upright riding position, not a road bike. It seems to be very good for riding around town and commuting.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:19 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by tsl View Post
consider the Portland. It has low-rider rack mounts in the front (the only carbon fork I know of that does)
The Tricross Sport also has low rider mounts on its carbon fork. We have both learnt something from this exchange of information.

Steve
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Old 04-17-08, 07:21 AM   #9
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Check and see if any bike shops in your area carry Salsas. The Casseroll is a great choice for a commuter and light tourer. It handles larger tires and has eyelets and fittings for racks and fenders.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:22 AM   #10
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I keep feeling like riding position is the piece that would sell me.
You can play with the position a lot when you're setting the bike up: seat forward/back, raise/lower the bars, add a shorter/longer stem. My bike was a bit too aggressive as bought, but with a few adjustments it's very comfortable. And great to know that if/when I ride more seriously, I can adjust it back to be more of a race bike.

When I was trying bikes, it's easy for one to feel "comfortable" when in fact it's just been set up in a way that feels good to you in the short term. There's more to it than that.

Steve
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Old 04-17-08, 12:34 PM   #11
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The Tricross Sport also has low rider mounts on its carbon fork. We have both learnt something from this exchange of information.

Steve
So does the Jamis Aurora Elite, and Fuji's (discontinued) high-end touring bike.
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