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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 06-07-11, 11:56 AM   #1
Blind
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Commuting bike for someone 6'5"

Hello,
I'm trying to decide on a new bike, as my full suspension mountain bike is rather heavy and I feel like I'm trashing the WTB velociraptor tires that I run on it. I tried it with a set of kenda lightweight tires, but I enjoy riding the bike on the weekends through canyon trails in socal and swapping the tires got old really fast. I looked into building a pair of wheels to make quick swaps, and it would be right around $200...and I'd still have a heavy, full suspension bike.

So far I've really liked a Specialized Sirrus that I test rode at a LBS, but it's out of my price range. I'd like to bike to work to save money on gas, not waste money on a really expensive bike.

I have a 2 mile commute, mostly flat. I'm 6'5" and ~220lbs, 36" inseam.

the LBS is trying to get in an "Origin-8 Cutler 7 speed" in the largest frame size (58cm?) for me to try out, they have this priced at $299. I would say this is on the upper end of my budget.

I like the lightweight feel of the Sirrus, it was very easy to pedal up hill and quite nimble, this is of course compared to my almost 40lb mountain bike.

what are all of your thoughts? I've tried looking on craigslist for an older road bike to put flat bars onto, but finding something that fits me is proving difficult if I don't buy new.
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Old 06-07-11, 12:20 PM   #2
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2 miles, flat terrain = singlespeed in my book.

Here's a single speed cyclocross that would be a great option. It is available in a 64cm frame which should be perfect for you.
The frame accepts fenders and a rack, if desired, and the bike could very easily be converted to an IGH (internally geared hub) if you had a desire to start doing longer rides on it.

A closer approximation to the Sirrus would be this

It will be difficult to find anything worthwhile that is new below $400.

Craigslist might pose some options, but size will be an issue.

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Old 06-07-11, 05:15 PM   #3
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If you can take a dose of patience, Craigslist is your best bet. I'm 6'4" and your quest is the story of my life. I have 5 bikes now, 2 of which are vintage Schwinn's just because of the frame size. I bought a 1983 Schwinn Voyageur SP with a 65 cm or 25.5 inch frame. I also bought the biggest production frame sold with a 1984 Schwinn World Sport in a 27" or 68.5 cm frame.

Production bikes are no longer made in these sizes nowadays, and with frames in 4130 Chromoly and Tange Champion like I have, they are very pricey to custom build. With your budget, it would be wise to learn the joys of wrenching your own rig too. Learning to wrench your own bike is very empowering in the end and opens up many more possibilities in your decision process. If you see something that fits at a garage sale, Craigslist, etc. and all it needs is a little fix up and TLC, you can jump on it and not look back.

Good luck and let us know what you find.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:18 PM   #4
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Agree with this^^^

I have two 25.5" Trek 715s and a 25" Centurion Elite RS. Great riding frames and the most expensive one was one of the Treks at $350. But you have to be OK with riding a vintage bike. Which as far as I'm concerned is 110% OK esp if you can wrench it yourself.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:22 PM   #5
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One more thing, the abundance and ease to change out a Quill stem in a longer size is a very good thing for taller riders.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:27 PM   #6
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I'm fine with old/used, I'm not scared of wrenching.

just very hard to find something that fits on CL, let alone deal with the idiots that can't list what size it is / are email inept.

wish I had a good used bike exchange local to me.

when I was growing up, there was an auction house that sold police auction items every few months, and most of those had about 100 bikes sold each time. Sadly I can't manage to find anything like that anywhere near me now? I'm in ventura county.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:31 PM   #7
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I'm fine with old/used, I'm not scared of wrenching.

just very hard to find something that fits on CL, let alone deal with the idiots that can't list what size it is / are email inept.

wish I had a good used bike exchange local to me.

when I was growing up, there was an auction house that sold police auction items every few months, and most of those had about 100 bikes sold each time. Sadly I can't manage to find anything like that anywhere near me now? I'm in ventura county.
Here. Broaden your horizons a bit with Craigslist to include the whole country. Click Here--->Craigslist Site Mash
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Old 06-07-11, 05:49 PM   #8
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I'm also 6'5" and I bought a Sirrus a week ago. Take a look at some of Trek's hybrids, as they have a couple of similar bikes for $100 less or so. There's also the Nashbar FB-1 which is a road bike with a flat bar (Just wait for it to be on sale.) I was planning on getting that but I impulsively got the Specialized instead... btw, the Sirrus really is a great bike.
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Old 06-07-11, 05:53 PM   #9
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If you don't mind a drive to Los Angeles you might try Bicycle Kitchen. Google it. They have a lot of vintage frames and will help supply components to build the bike.

Also, I was just at a tiny, quirky bike shop in Pomona called The Velo run by a guy named Dale. He has a very sweet vintage Univega in 25" size. Rides really nice. His prices are reasonable and the bike is in great shape with good vintage suntour components iirc. his email is thevelo@ymail.com. I don't remember the price on it.
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Old 06-07-11, 06:53 PM   #10
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58 cm is too small, IMO, even though that is the standard "large" size these days. I'm 6'4" with a 34" or 35" inseam. My most comfortable bike is a 66cm CTT seat tube/ 58cm TT/ 170mm crank old panasonic. The old tall huge frame road bikes from the late '70's to late '80s are a great bet. Low theft factor, high comfort factor, low weight, easy to work on... sometimes people are looking to get rid of the "odd looking" "too big" bike for a very reasonable price.

Keep looking on CL. You'll find your machine. If your ride really is only 2 miles, though, you could pretty much get anything and be ok. I do 5 miles one way on a too-small-for-me folder and survive ok.

Edit: try living with drop bars for a few months. They really are where it's at. When you change out drops for flat/risers, you need all new brake levers, too. Not always cheap. If you keep your drop bars fairly high, you are still as upright as you are on flats while still having the drops for nasty headwinds, etc. You can get higher stems to bring them up to more of a "touring" position. some required reading: http://sheldonbrown.com/handsup.html (in fact, read the whole site!)
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Last edited by Standalone; 06-07-11 at 07:00 PM.
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Old 06-07-11, 07:03 PM   #11
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that bike kitchen sounds great, I wish something like that was closer to me!

I clocked my ride in this morning and it was 2.5 miles. It's pretty easy even on my bullitt, but I know I'm just destroying the tires if I keep it up much longer without swapping them twice each weekend (so I can ride through sycamore canyon / hill canyon / etc).

interesting that you think 58cm is too small, my inseam is 36"

I'll definitely keep looking on CL.
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Old 06-07-11, 09:02 PM   #12
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interesting that you think 58cm is too small, my inseam is 36"
Fit is obviously very personal but I too have a 36" inseam (at 6'1"...go figure) and ride 60cm road bike and a 65 cm commuter. Everyone is different but for a commuter I want my bars around seat level and want to keep a normal stem (vs a riser) to preserve top tube length. On my 65cm Trek 715 I have the "fistful of seatpost" the people often mention and, with Albatross bars, still need an extra long Nitto Technomic stem to get the bars up at seat level. Road bike is different because you don't necessarily want the bars at seat level. Here's a photo:

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Old 06-07-11, 09:23 PM   #13
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Dumpster find (as it's original showroom configuration) a few years ago: 1988 Trek 400, 64cm



A little bit of TLC and spare junk from my parts pile, and it turned into my singlespeed commuter.
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Old 06-07-11, 10:05 PM   #14
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you sure you two don't want to get rid of those bikes?
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Old 06-13-11, 06:24 PM   #15
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Got a bike






it was traded in at the LBS for a new bike, looks like it was hardly ever ridden and sat for the past decade.

Rides smooth, shifts easily, brakes don't work very well though, the rear feels like the cable is very stretchy, I tried tightening the cables up for everything when I was cleaning it up and lubing the moving areas.

Scored it for $90 with 2 new tubes, and a new seat. I overpaid a little I feel, but it's a 68cm KHS Competition 10 speed that fits me perfectly, and I'm very happy with it.

It has Suntour derailers, which feel like they work fine, the rear one I had to adjust a little and it still jumps out of gear a little when it's in the smallest gear in the rear and front, but when in the larger gear up front it holds 10th gear just fine so I'm not too worried about it.

Can I easily upgrade the brakes to something that works better? Currently the pads are dry rotted and it looks like only the side with the cable on it actually moves when the brakes are pulled. I haven't messed with brakes like these in -years- as my mountain bike has Hayes hydraulic 8" disc brakes...
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Old 06-13-11, 06:35 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundance89 View Post
One more thing, the abundance and ease to change out a Quill stem in a longer size is a very good thing for taller riders.
I agree with this. You can get a long stem, and even a 'quill riser' to bring it even higher if need be. That along with a extra long seatpost means you can do pretty well on a frame that is 'technically' considered too small for you.
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Old 06-13-11, 06:47 PM   #17
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Nice! I have the exact same Suntour stem shifters on my bike, although I put them on there myself. They work great.
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Old 06-13-11, 07:40 PM   #18
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A unicycle with a 36" wheel would be interesting..
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