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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 02-16-12, 01:10 AM   #1
kcscooterdude
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Please help me decide on a new (practical) ride

I'm looking at getting a second bike when the tax refund comes in and any help would be appreciated. I'm sure these questions come up 1,000 times a week, so sorry if this is repetitive.

First of all, I have a great road bike: Specialized Allez. I do 40-50 miles a week on the thing and could not be happier. It's not flashy, but does what it was intended to do quite well.

I would like to begin commuting to work and school by bike and have something I could take on a rail trail (Katy or Prairie Spirit) on occasion.

I've narrowed down the bikes I would like to ride to the following, all of which are around $600, which is my budget for this. (I'm anticipating at least $300 additional for fenders, racks, panniers, etc).

The bikes are Trek Allant, Atwood (steel), PDX and FX 7.1 or 7.2. Specialized Sirrus.

I have a few questions (and feel free to chime in on other issues).

First, what about tire size? My 23's are heavenly on the road, but seems to me 32's might be a nice compromise between speed and comfort. I'm a big guy and will be carrying some heavyish textbooks - should I go with 36-spoke wheels or 32?

The Allant is great and I've actually ridden one briefly. Sure looks nice, but, is it a commuter?

Other info you might want to consider. I'm 44 and in reasonably good shape. My commute will be 6 miles each way three times a week (work) and 12 miles each way twice a week (school). My ride is mostly flat, but there are enough hills that a single would cause me to sweat more than I'd want to once I got to my destination. I wear medical scrubs to work, have access to a locker room and of course can wear comfortable clothes to class (when not wearing scrubs).

Thanks everyone! I'm looking forward to garaging the car and motorcycle for human power!
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Old 02-16-12, 01:14 AM   #2
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IMHO for $600, the Jamis Coda Sport is much better than Trek's Atwood...

- Slim

PS.

If you're going to go steel...

Get chromoly, NOT hi-tensile!

- Slim

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Old 02-16-12, 01:46 AM   #3
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Sticking to the OP's stated choices, my preferences would be:

1. Specialized Sirrus
2. Trek PDX
3. Trek 7.2FX

On the other hand, if I may nominate another- Giant Escape City.
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Old 02-16-12, 02:04 AM   #4
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I am not opposed to looking at other brands. The two LBS by my house sell Trek and Specialized respectively, so that's what I know. I am sure there is a Jamis dealer around here somewhere.
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Old 02-16-12, 08:47 AM   #5
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The ride to school would tend to suggest a more "road" oriented bike than "town" commuter. I think the 12 miles would be about the outside limit for the Allant.
The Jamis is good call -nicest frame of the bunch by far...
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Old 02-16-12, 10:03 AM   #6
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I will check out the Jamis bikes. Steel does intrigue me.
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Old 02-16-12, 10:17 AM   #7
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I have a Specialized Sirrus Sport, and so far, it's been a good bike. Based on my ,very limited, experience I'd prefer steel over aluminum, but I have to admit Alu makes for a pretty nimble ride. The 32's give a decent ride, but I'm finding the Alu fork transmits a little "buzz" to the handle bars.

Specialized is also Globe, which has a a nice line of "breezer" style bikes, if you have a fairly flat ride and want a more upright experience. I almost bought the Daily 3, but decided the flat bar Sirrus was more fun.

EDIT:I just looked at the link no1mad posted for the Giant Escape City. Very nice. It looks a lot like how I have my Sirrus outfitted, and MSRP is only $20.00 more than what I paid. That might be a good option if you want Fenders and a Rack, rather than dropping another ~$100 on those parts.

Last edited by BlankTim; 02-16-12 at 10:22 AM.
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Old 02-16-12, 01:09 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kcscooterdude View Post
I will check out the Jamis bikes. Steel does intrigue me.

You'll never regret an investment in chromoly steel!
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