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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 07-31-09, 09:24 AM   #1
bodeji
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lightweight hybrid bike for $400-$500?

Hi there,
I know nothing about high quality bikes, and I could use some advice on what to look for.
I've always had a cheap bike, but now I'm trying to commute, and my department store monstrosity
is far too heavy for daily use (there are some hills on my route).
I'm looking for a hybrid bike $400-$500, and my main concern is the weight of the bike.
I'd like it to be as efficient as possible, just a little bit more comfortable than a road bike.
So I'm probably looking for big relatively narrow tires (except I don't know what are the typical measures).
My problem in trying to do some research online is that I don't really know what to look for in the specs
except for a lightweight frame...
Can someone recommend a decent bike for $400-$500?
So far I've tried (at REI) the cannondale bad boy - which is exactly what I want but can't afford,
and a Marin bike which I think of buying (Marin Fairfax)
http://www.rei.com/product/776845
It is still a bit too expensive, but I really liked it.
Can anyone give an educated guess if this is a good bike for the money.

I also saw an offer for Schwinn World Avenue One. Has anyone tried it?
This price suits me better, but is the bike decent?
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...9#ReviewHeader

I'd appreciate any advice or suggestion.
Thanks!
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Old 07-31-09, 09:37 AM   #2
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Hi these are in your price range.

http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...=38462&eid=121

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/bike_path/fx/72fx/

http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...a/09_coda.html

Just some examples anyway, keep digging and you'll find others. The good advice I've always seen here, is test ride anything before buying, and ensure that it's a good fit.

Happy bike shopping

Last edited by Limey1212; 07-31-09 at 09:45 AM.
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Old 07-31-09, 12:41 PM   #3
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The afore mentioned jamis coda is a good buy and could be considered a light touring rig with both fork and rear rack mounts on a steel frame (which is nice for commuting because you it can be straightened in case of accident).

Also http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...gro1_spec.html the allegro is good and has the same wheels and drive train as the ventura comp http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...comp_spec.html.

Another bike that is good for short commutes and MUP riding would be the citizen http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik..._citizen1.html.

Sorry, I'm not so up on all the other company's bikes, we sell jamis almost exclusively, although those trek might not be bad.

Most hybrids come with 700x32-38 mm tires (simular to the old 27x1 1/4 in tires), on slightly wider than road rims, you can put narrower tires on these wheels as long as the tire's width is not narrower than the rims (ie. don't put 23's on on 25 mm rims).

Most touring cyclists that I've met usually ride 700x28's, which are also great for urban riding and commuting.
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Old 07-31-09, 03:58 PM   #4
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I ride 700cx28 on my commuter, came with 700x40 knobbies.

The tires are a good width, except if you're going to be riding on any gravel or loosely packed dirt roads, they're not cut out for it, too narrow.
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Old 07-31-09, 04:17 PM   #5
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You can buy a decent, reliable bike new for commuting for $400-$500 like you're looking for. And a lot of them come with slicks which are the best for road and gravel bike path riding.

But if you put a really skinny tire on there it's going to be an uncomfortable ride. That's why you can buy a $800-$1300 upright handlebar bike with the real skinny tires - that extra money buys you features, like vibration reducing carbon fiber parts and a more sophisticated frame design, that makes is a much more comfortable ride on skinny tires.

You price range is fine - but I'm just saying I would avoid anything new with skinny tires at that price range. At least, if you don't want your hands to hurt like heck at the end of your ride.
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Old 07-31-09, 04:23 PM   #6
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I'll go ahead and second (third? fourth?) the Jamis Coda. I've been very happy with mine.
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Old 07-31-09, 06:09 PM   #7
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Those are all good suggestions. For less money, look at a Trek 7000, which is also decent.

Avoid the temptation to get a hybrid with a front shock, no matter what brand you go with.
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Old 08-02-09, 01:02 AM   #8
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Light, cheap, durable. Pick two. Sometimes just one.
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Old 08-02-09, 01:50 AM   #9
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Jamis coda
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Old 08-02-09, 03:47 AM   #10
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The Trek 7000 is a nice bike for short money, One of my employees just bought on, very comfortabl ride. The 7100 & 7200 have front suspension. They are more of an upright riding position. They call it a hybrid but it is more like an old school english racer
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Old 08-02-09, 05:27 AM   #11
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Go to a few bike shops and take a few bikes out for a ride. As many have mentioned, there are numerous choices in the price range you posted. However, what fits you best and what you like may not be the same for someone else.

I have a Jamis Commuter and feel Jamis gives you a lot of bike for the money. Shop around and you'll know when you find the right one!

Good luck!
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Old 08-02-09, 05:38 AM   #12
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Just like a car the bike is the cheap part. now comes all the other cool stuff to add to the bike
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Old 08-02-09, 09:13 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alhedges View Post
Those are all good suggestions. For less money, look at a Trek 7000, which is also decent.

Avoid the temptation to get a hybrid with a front shock, no matter what brand you go with.
Definitely. $500 is barely enough to get a decent new bike. Shocks are of questionable value on a hybrid, and engineering a decent one that doesn't mess up handling costs quite a bit of money.
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Old 08-17-09, 11:52 AM   #14
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Hi, I wanted to thank you all very much for helping me finding out
what I'm looking for, and for the useful information!!

I tried several bikes, and finally found one that felt right
(and was on sale for the right price of $500),
it's a Fuji Absolute 2.0.
http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...00_20000_45501

Thanks again
Cheers
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Old 08-17-09, 02:05 PM   #15
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I'm a fan of Devinci Oslo, Stockholms, Liverpool etc... they are wonderful commuter hybrids. However I think some models will be more than the above stated budget.
Marin Fairfax is quite good too. But I thought Marin went out of business?
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Old 08-17-09, 02:25 PM   #16
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+1 on the Coda. Don't let the steel thing fool you -- it's very light for what it is!
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Old 08-17-09, 06:02 PM   #17
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I'd give that new Kona Worldbike a try.
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Old 08-17-09, 07:06 PM   #18
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uh, kids....a choice has already been made.

I think it was a good one, personally.
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