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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 06-29-11, 05:05 PM   #1
fishugly
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Would like direction on choosing a bike.

Hello,

Not sure if this is the correct place to post but here goes. I'm currently riding a BikeE recumbent but for reasons of wanting something a little less attention grabbing, and more versatile, I'm wanting a new bike. However, I know very little about modern bikes and what all is available.

I'd want the bike primarily for commuting. Most of my time will be spent on pavement but I'd like the bike to be capable of riding on gravel washboardy roads too. A soft ride is appealing to me so I'm guessing, at the very least, front suspension is in order. A nice, wide and cushy seat is a must. Basically, I want good comfort in all aspects. Carrying capacity is a must as well...but I don't believe I need an Xtracycle style cargo bike. I'd like the ability to carry several bags of groceries or the like. I would assume this can be done with a rack and some panniers.

Lastly is money. I like quality things but don't feel I need high end here. I won't be riding daily but more like an average of 5 miles three times weekly. I'd prefer to keep it under $600 if possible.

With all that said, which bikes should I be looking at?

Thanks!
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Old 06-29-11, 05:09 PM   #2
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Since you're trying to orient yourself, I suggest east be your direction.

I've got nothing, sorry, I just thought your title was funny. Disregard me.

KeS
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Old 06-30-11, 08:36 AM   #3
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I liked the giant seek 2 when i test rode it and it has disk brakes for when its wet out. I also rode a friends trek fx 7.2 that felt light and fast but strong. i dont know what size tires the FX will go up too, but the giant came with 32's i think which seem well capable for all roads. i test rode a GT traffic which was nice but seemed too "beefy" for my purposes but may suit yours. GT line of bikes never get a mention or a nod, i dont know why but there prices are sweet for what you get.

I will say i see way mor trek FX's on the roads than anything else so that might say something.
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Old 06-30-11, 08:49 AM   #4
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Pick up an older Specialized Rockhopper on CL for uner $200. Get some slick tires, a rack and some panniers. that plus any other gear you might need should put you in your price range.
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Old 07-01-11, 11:06 AM   #5
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Thanks, guys. I found a slightly used 2 yr old Gary Fisher mtn bike w/ disc brakes and XT components for $500. I don't know which model it is but I might be taking a peek at it soon. Input welcome.
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Old 07-01-11, 11:12 AM   #6
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I won't be riding daily but more like an average of 5 miles three times weekly. I'd prefer to keep it under $600 if possible.
Is that five miles each way, or round-trip?

A suspension fork robs you of a lot of energy (instead of moving the bike forward, some of your energy goes to flexing the shocks) and makes the steering a little mushy. Some people find they can get by with things like wider, lower-PSI tires, cork bar tape, or padded gel gloves, instead.
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Old 07-01-11, 11:18 AM   #7
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That would be roughly 5 miles round trip. Thanks for your reply.
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Old 07-01-11, 12:25 PM   #8
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If you like the big seat and ride of a recumbent you might consider a crank forward design. Rans makes great bikes, but more in the $1000 range. A number of big names, Trek, Giant and Specialized as well as the Electra Townie make less expensive versions. By moving the crank forward you can take advantage of a bigger seat and the longer wheel base smoothes the ride. My wife moved from a bike-e to the Rans CF and has been happy.
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Old 07-01-11, 01:03 PM   #9
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You've gotten some thoughtful suggestions, and I'd love to chime in with one of my own, but -- don't you think the best way to answer your questions is to go look around? To know how comfortable a bike will be, you've got to test-ride it. Check your LBS's, yard sales, Craiglist postings, and so on. The only recommendation I feel comfortable making is that you avoid bikes with tight tire clearances. It sounds as though you'll want to run tires fatter than 25mm.

Oh, and be prepared to grow dissatisfied with whatever you settle on. Even a test ride gives you only limited information, since it's hard to extrapolate from that to all the various conditions you might be riding in. (Maybe someday I'll actually meet a person who remained happy with his first purchase for longer than a year.)
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Old 07-01-11, 03:37 PM   #10
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Bent,

I didn't know about the crank forward bikes. I checked out the Ran's ...and my curiosity is piqued but not at a $1000+. I did a fairly quick search and could not find the others.

Ortcutt,

I have been looking around but there are so many choices, I thought I'd try narrowing it down here with suggestions. That said, I think I'll just have to test ride a bunch.

Thanks, everyone.
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Old 07-01-11, 04:53 PM   #11
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Upon a little more poking around, I found the Townies. Interesting. Are they as heavy as they look though? Also, how would they be on gravel roads?

On another note, I found out that the used Gary Fisher bike I mentioned above is a Montare...if that means anything. I see it mentioned some where on the web as a "hybrid".

Thanks.
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Old 07-01-11, 05:06 PM   #12
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THe Gary Fisher should be a good fit.
http://bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeS...tare&Type=bike
It is listed as a City/commuter, so should have all the mounts you need.
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Old 07-01-11, 05:24 PM   #13
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THe Gary Fisher should be a good fit.
http://bikepedia.com/QuickBike/BikeS...tare&Type=bike
It is listed as a City/commuter, so should have all the mounts you need.
That bikepedia's going to come in handy for me. Thanks!

Looks like the used Gary Fisher is a 2006 model. Seller says he "may include" some extra's which are listed as a rack, three bags, fenders, front & rear lights and one or two extra sets of tires.

Seller seems quite eager to sell and without solicitation on my part, said he'd "reduce the price". Hmmmm.....
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Old 07-01-11, 05:46 PM   #14
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If you can get the bike and all the extras for under $600 I think you would be looking good. As long as the bike fits.
yes, Bikepedia is essential for Craig's list shopping!
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Old 07-01-11, 05:52 PM   #15
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Ok, now for the dumb question; how do I know if the bike fits?

If it helps at all, I'm 6' tall with a 31-32" inseam.

Last edited by fishugly; 07-01-11 at 06:34 PM. Reason: added size info
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Old 07-05-11, 01:14 PM   #16
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Sorry I was off the board over the holiday. Here are a few of the other CF's; Giant Suede, Trek Pure, Jamis Hudson, Raleigh Gruv, and Electra Townie. These are all good 'gravel path bikes' and the Rans can be set up to handle single track. They are all 'cruiser style' so heavier than a road bike but target comfort.
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Old 07-18-11, 11:07 AM   #17
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Thanks, everyone. I got the aforementioned Montare with all the accessories for $370. Ordered an ISM Touring saddle last night.
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Old 07-18-11, 02:13 PM   #18
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Congrats! That sounds like a pretty sweet deal. Post some pics of the bike!
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Old 07-18-11, 02:40 PM   #19
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Thanks, everyone. I got the aforementioned Montare with all the accessories for $370. Ordered an ISM Touring saddle last night.
Sweet! Pics or it didn't happen
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Old 07-18-11, 08:45 PM   #20
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I'll try to get some pics up tomorrow.
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Old 07-19-11, 08:11 AM   #21
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Just to chime in, don't you think that any bike can be made comfortable? I mail ordered my last bike and probably wouldn't have picked it based on it's out-of-the-box comfort. But now with a brooks and new bars/grips it's a different bike.
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Old 07-20-11, 10:02 AM   #22
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Just to chime in, don't you think that any bike can be made comfortable? I mail ordered my last bike and probably wouldn't have picked it based on it's out-of-the-box comfort. But now with a brooks and new bars/grips it's a different bike.
If it's the right size for you, probably.
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Old 07-20-11, 10:41 AM   #23
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What brands are at your LBS?

5 miles? a folding bike will do that, + you can bring it in , rather than leave outside,
and accept a ride home when offered.

An Origin 8 import, is at my local Bike shop, is under $500

EMoto adds a electric assist motor but pushes past $0.5K.

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-20-11 at 10:46 AM.
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