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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 10-31-08, 01:20 PM   #1
Gerbilkit
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Trying to pick a new bike

Well after trashing another department store mountain bike, that had been falling apart for many months. I decided to go looking for a quality bike this time. I wanted something that was faster, but still had enough durability to take curbs, rough pavement, slick weather conditions, a bit of gravel, etc.

I ride about 30-50 miles a week year round, so I do need something more durable.

So I went to a bike shop near my house, and I was recommended to a line of Trek Hybrids. I fell in love with the disc brakes on the Trek Valencia. However at $679 even after sale, that's at the very high end of any possible price range for me.

Alternatively I am also looking at the Kona Dew Plus 2008 model, which is only $500 at a different shop. However the first shop has a lifetime service guarantee, while the second shop only offers 3 free tune ups, and they expire very rapidly (30 days, 2 months, a year or two can't remember which) for each one respectively. And I still like the look and feel of the Valencia.

What would be your personal recommendations or preferences? And are there any other good bikes out there similar to what I'm looking at, that would be available for more like $500 instead of almost $700? I really love the disc brakes.

Thanks
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Old 10-31-08, 01:54 PM   #2
carbondale
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Haven't ridden the Valencia, but I just bought a Kona Dew Plus, and I love it. The disc brakes (at least the front one) make a lot of noise when wet, but they stop on a dime in the rain. I really like it, and at $499 it's much less than the Trek.

Last edited by carbondale; 10-31-08 at 01:54 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 10-31-08, 02:29 PM   #3
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Be careful at the LBS and them pushing their "commuter" bikes. This is a niche line of bikes that emerged because people wised up and started riding bikes to work (commuting). If you commute on a mountiain bike, quality older 10-speed, new or old single speed, $4,000 road bike, you are still 'commuting' so use whatever bike is in your price range whether your LBS calls it a commuter or not. Trek hybrids are comfortable but may not be the most efficient for commuting if that's really your goal. Not to shill but to offer earnest advice, check out some of the cross bikes @ bikesdirect.com like this one:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...m_cross_cx.htm

Cross bikes can be set up as comfortable, rugged, go anywhere bikes but they're just one choice of many types of bikes.

There are many other manufacturers out there with many other bikes that are fine 'commuters'. I suggested bikesdirect because of the price.

If riding year round is really important to you (good for you if it is!) then you need to learn how to do basic tuning and repairs yourself. Not often during peak season can you expect to get your bike back from a busy shop in time to ride the next day. Remember too, single speed bikes require WAY less maintenance than geared bikes and are typically less expensive because of the lack of componentry.

I hope a LBS employee got into some of this with you but perhaps not.

Good luck.
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Old 10-31-08, 04:09 PM   #4
Gerbilkit
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Oh the guy there was great, very professional and helpful. Had me riding different bike and different sizes, trying what I liked. I'd really prefer buying from them. I never even actually mentioned the word 'commuting'. I just told him I drive all over the city year round, 30-50 miles a week, and I don't care about trails and want something fairly durable but faster than a mountain bike. So that's when he showed me the line of Trek Hybrids.

The Valencia is a thing of beauty, but with the economy like it is I'd probably be better off with the Dew Plus. Save $180, still get a good quality bike, get those lovely disk brakes, and get 20% off on all their other merchandise.

Well thanks for the advice, I really do want to learn how to better maintain my own bike. But it can be a bit intimidating to learn, even with my old mountain bike when I was trying to work with the derailleur, and those disc brakes look even more intimidating. (although much less likely to break down).

Thanks for the advice.
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Old 10-31-08, 08:54 PM   #5
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Old 10-31-08, 10:49 PM   #6
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After doing a quick looksee on each manufacturers site I gotta tell you that TREK is certainly worth the extra cash their asking. MUCH better componetry and it also has the ability to attach fenders and a front rack unless my eyes are failing me.
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Old 11-01-08, 11:01 AM   #7
Gerbilkit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ddmann View Post
After doing a quick looksee on each manufacturers site I gotta tell you that TREK is certainly worth the extra cash their asking. MUCH better componetry and it also has the ability to attach fenders and a front rack unless my eyes are failing me.
I can guess what a front rack is, not sure why I would want one. I can't seem to guess what fenders are though. Is this a really big deal?

And when you say better componentry? Is it good enough that the bike will be substantially more durable and longer lasting. My biggest worry at the moment is theft/vandalism. So I'm going to be getting a quality chain and lock.
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