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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 05-23-08, 04:44 PM   #1
ryuuchiba
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Commuting Bike

OK I have searched the forums and read many posts but still haven't figured out the answer to my current situation.

I currently a wonderfully build Mongoose MTB from Wal-mart.....(do I need more sarcasm?). I use it to commute from my apartment to campus daily which is a short ride, about 4km. It is beginning to fail me though *surprise!* and I'm looking into getting a real commuter/city/urban bike as I use the bike not just for school but also as my "car" as I have a saddle on the back with 2 collapsable wire baskets for hauling groceries and whatnot.

I'm looking into a new bike now that'll fit me for my style of commuting as well as my college size wallet. I'm looking to switch from a MTB to more of a road bike with 700c tires to get the speed that is hard to come by with my current ride.

I've looked at a couple bike shops and it almost seems like I wont be able to get anything good under $500 . I like the Specialized Globe Sport (especially after the guy at the shop flipped something and lowered the handlebars) but the price at $550 makes me weep a bit.

Any ideas on what I should do?
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Old 05-23-08, 04:52 PM   #2
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The Specialized Globe Sport looks like a fine bike. You might also look at the Specialized Globe City series, which include a rack, fenders, and chainguard - all wonderful things to have if commuting.

But what exactly is failing about your Mongoose? I'm not a fan of such bikes, but it could well be fixable.
Would you know how to fix things that go out of whack on your new bike? It happens even on the nicest ones. (Or so I gather. I don't have one of the nicest ones.)

Last edited by savethekudzu; 05-23-08 at 04:56 PM.
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Old 05-23-08, 05:21 PM   #3
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tires are the major issue right now. I had to replace the back gear set earlier this month cause 4 of the gears were trashed. I also have busted a few of the spokes deforming the back tire (now fixed). What it comes down to that the bike just can't take the amount of weight I carry. I was told that I could just replace the tires with a new rim and good spokes but that the wheel would outlive the frame. The weight and tire size of the bike is also an issue I've realized how heavy my current bike really is and the smaller size of the tire is slower than a road bikes. As such I feel that I should just go with a new bike.

I do have a rack already so its as major an issue in terms of getting the bike.

Do you know of a bike like the Specialized Global Sport from another brand or something that could help me with my budget?
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Old 05-23-08, 05:30 PM   #4
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you need to hit craigslist, estate sales, thrift stores, yard sales, church rummage sales, etc. This is the time of year to find a real deal on a bike. There is a 3 speed Huffy I saw today (thrift store) that is a better bike at 20 years old than that Mongoose was brand new.......and it's 8$........all it needs is tires, tubes, elbow grease and a rider. I wouldn't spend another dime on that Mongoose. Basic bikes are very simple to maintain if you read the available info and you can find a real deal fairly easy.....
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Old 05-23-08, 05:39 PM   #5
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Most bike shops will have bikes starting in the $350.00 range. If your bike shop only carries bikes starting at $500.00, you may want to travel to another city to check out more bike shops. You can get a good quality bike for under $500.00 at a bike shop, and the difference between riding a bike from your LBS and your Mongoose, will be like night and day.

Do some research online & look at Bianchi, Giant, GT, Jamis, Marin, Raleigh, Redline, Schwinn, & Trek bikes among others. Most if not all of these manufacturers, make bikes that can be had for under $400.00, new.
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Old 05-23-08, 05:39 PM   #6
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Don't worry another dime is not falling out of my pocket for the Mongoose.

I hit craigslist but couldn't find what I wanted, but that could be cause I don't have the eye to see the frame of the bike and then all the possibilities it could offer. Thrift stores here stopped selling them it seems (well at least accepting them). I do know of a place that sells used bikes but they're out at the moment but I was told to check back at the end of the month, which I will.

I think it's just my knowledge of bikes is limited.
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Old 05-23-08, 05:39 PM   #7
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There are several bikes in the same range as the Globe Sport that seem as if they'd work well for commuting:

See this one from Schwinn...
http://www.performancebike.com/shop/...estore_ID=1699

The Novara Transfer (it's a 26-inch, but it may not make that big a difference)...
http://www.rei.com/product/744802

I ride a Trek 7000 (about $300); it and the more aggressive 7.2 FX (about $470?) make good commuting bikes but you'd have to add a rack, fenders, lights, etc., which of course adds to the cost.

If you can't afford that much, I'd recommend looking for a good used bike, or investigating bike co-ops in your city which could provide refurbed bikes and maybe even mechanical expertise.
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Old 05-23-08, 05:51 PM   #8
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I agree with savethekudzu ... I have a Trek 7100 and a Giant Cyprus, both in the $350 range, that I commute 18 miles rt with ... both are very comfortable and dependable.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:09 PM   #9
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You mentioned "campus". This time of year, students are unloading all the stuff they don't want to pack or take home for the summer - including bikes. Check bulletin boards and ask around. A 80s early 90s steel frame road bike would be a good choice and should save you some coin. And keep watching craigslist.

In terms of new bikes, I'm a fan of the Jamis Coda series. Although since you are on a campus, a hard-tail MTB from one of the major brands might be a better idea. You can put skinnier tires/road slicks on it, although it'll always likely be heavier and may be slower. And don't forget a good lock, esp. if you have to leave the bike outside.
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Old 05-23-08, 08:50 PM   #10
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The Kona Smoke 2-9 ($369 Canadian) would fit the bill. Should be faster than that Mongoose, and last a helluva lot longer (CroMo frame). Want something faster, eh? Then check out the Giant FCR3 ($449 U.S.). It's basically a flat-barred entry level road bike. Most hybrids in your price range have a 48/38/28t up front, the FCR has got 52/42/30t. But even ol' fred would probably shake his head if you put those wire baskets on that Giant...
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Old 05-23-08, 10:15 PM   #11
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I like the look of the Smoke 2-9. I'm gonna read more on that one. Thanks for everyones suggestions.
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Old 05-23-08, 11:01 PM   #12
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Jamis Coda, Specialized Sirrius, Kona Dew.

And many more.

Where are you located? We could help you look on craigslist.
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Old 05-24-08, 12:24 AM   #13
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Is the Kona Smoke 2-9 available in the U.S. ?
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Old 05-24-08, 05:03 AM   #14
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that is a good question, it only lists a CA price but thats not limited.

M_S I'm currently in Honolulu, HI
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Old 05-24-08, 09:28 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bikertrash View Post
Is the Kona Smoke 2-9 available in the U.S. ?
It is, unless Tom's Bicycles'(68th and Peoria in Tulsa, OK ) front door is actually a wormhole to Canada... BTW, he usually sells for msrp, and he's got the Smoke 2-9 listed at $349. (Or is it $369, I can't remember). Don't wait too much longer to purchase at any rate. The local Raleigh shop let it slip that they would be increasing the prices 15% across the board in June, so the other manufacturers might be considering increases as well, to offset the ever increasing cost of shipping.
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Old 05-24-08, 03:16 PM   #16
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Who's they? Koda? The store? Everybody?
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Old 05-24-08, 08:28 PM   #17
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I would check around for a dealer who handles Raleigh or Marin bikes. Both of those brands offer bikes for under $500. We got a good Marin for our daughter for $340 at the local bike dealer. As I recall, the Marin was lighter in weight than the comparable Raleigh. I have a couple of Raleighs myself, and have been very pleased with them both.
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