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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 05-11-08, 06:43 PM   #1
theoceankills
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I know you can't choose for me, but please help

Hello,

I am in the market for a road type bike for commuting. Originally, I was going to spend about $600 dollars (which seemed like a lot for a bike), but the more and more I research my buy, the more I want to spend and the more confused I get about which bike would be good for me. I now dream of a super expensive custom built bike that would be like riding on air, but I am realistic and know that I cannot spend more than two grand on a bike, including fenders, lights, rack, jersey, and bag.

My commute would be 24 miles (12 miles each way), 5 days a week. The first 7 or so miles is mostly flat. At around the 8th mile, I'll have to start climbing, and around the 9th mile I will encounter a three-quarter to one mile insane uphill, for me at least. Ending with a 2 mile downhill. And the opposite on the way home. All of this is one the street and is the only route I can take, unless I want to add significant mileage, which I won't have time for.

So what do you all think? I've been looking at commuters and cyclocross bikes, but cannot decide. I had my eye on the Trek Portland, as well as many others from Salsa, Jamis, Surly, etc. Can anyone give me some sound advice or opinions? I want a bike that will last years, probably equipped with nothing less than 105 parts (I've test ridden a few different types of bikes and I felt most comfortable one bikes equipped with this group of parts) or equivalent if not shimano. Well, this is long, so thanks for reading and for any help, advice, opinions, or suggestions you can give me.

Aaron
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Old 05-11-08, 06:44 PM   #2
theoceankills
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Also, all of my riding is on the road. No dirt, trails, or unpaved roads. Thanks again
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Old 05-11-08, 07:19 PM   #3
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Surly Long Haul Trucker?
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Old 05-11-08, 07:23 PM   #4
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I'm a little over middle aged man of average cycling ability. Here's what I would do. What You do is up to You. If this were my route I would buy a road bike with 700x25 or 700x28 tires, with no less than 90 and up to 120 psi. I would look for one that can mount a rack and fenders. I would prefer something in about the 18 to 22lb range. I would not exclude a Sora equipped bike as long as it's got the full groupset. My Sora equipped bike shifts as well as my 105 bike. Try your local shops and if you have an REI them also. Also a pannier that doesn't have heel strike problems and I'd add some good led lights and a reflective vest. Good Luck.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:32 PM   #5
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You might look at the Jamis Quest - I commute on one. It is steel and rack ready.
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Old 05-11-08, 07:50 PM   #6
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Hopefully I am not just complicating things more but it may be worth considering a touring bike. I hear the Novara Randonee is quite nice especially for the price: http://www.rei.com/product/744804 . It will be more comfortable to ride probably than a road bike and is built tougher. If I had to buy a bike right now and was cycling 125 miles a week its probably the way I would go. It also lends itself quite nice to panniers so you can drag more stuff along the way with you and won't need to carry a messenger bag or backpack.
It won't be as fast as a road bike, thats for sure. But it might be something to consider.
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Old 05-11-08, 08:50 PM   #7
Jacobi
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Originally Posted by irabidfish View Post
Hopefully I am not just complicating things more but it may be worth considering a touring bike. I hear the Novara Randonee is quite nice especially for the price: http://www.rei.com/product/744804 . It will be more comfortable to ride probably than a road bike and is built tougher. If I had to buy a bike right now and was cycling 125 miles a week its probably the way I would go. It also lends itself quite nice to panniers so you can drag more stuff along the way with you and won't need to carry a messenger bag or backpack.
It won't be as fast as a road bike, thats for sure. But it might be something to consider.
+1 on the Novara Randonee! Love mine! Put a Brooks B-17 Champion Special, Brooks bar tape, fenders, Light & Motion headlight and Ortlieb panniers. All of that would come in WAY under your $2k budget, especially with the Randonee on sale right now and a 20% coupon on top of that! Good luck!

Most of all, no matter what anyone says about how good their bike is, YOUR bike must fit YOU!

-Barry-
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Old 05-11-08, 09:49 PM   #8
Bill Kapaun
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With those hills, extra weight hurts!
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Old 05-11-08, 09:57 PM   #9
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I have a hilly 20-mile commute; I carry a lot of junk with me (clothes, computer, papers); and looked only at touring-style bikes with a triple crankset. I was willing to get a Surly LHT; Trek 520; Novara Randonee; or something similar. Used Trek 520 popped up on eBay; I got it; I'm happy. I think I'd be equally happy with any of the others.
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Old 05-12-08, 11:04 AM   #10
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In terms of style, I would favour a light-touring/randonee bike for long road commutes. Long drop calipers can cope with 28mm + fenders, you can bolt on a rack and a road triple (28/38/48 or so) will cope with your terrain. It is the kind of bike you can build from good parts-bin components without breaking the bank.
Weight does carry a penalty on th hills so it should be no heavier than it needs to be but it is not the same as an ultra-light race bike
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Old 05-12-08, 11:11 AM   #11
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If I had a $2K budget, a LHT would be in my garage TOMMOROW!
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