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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 06-29-12, 04:21 PM   #1
brittanywest
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I need help buying a new bicycle!

Okay guys - I'm headed to the shop soon to start looking at bikes but thought I get your professional opinion as well!

Current bike: http://biria.com/bicycle/citibike/700c-men

Right now I ride about 6 miles a day 3-4 days a week to work. My ultimate goal is to get rid of my vehicle and commute everywhere. So about 20-25 miles a DAY.

Is this a good bike to be able to accomplish this? What are the best bikes for this sort of riding?

Also - what do you recommend I wear? What are your go-to bike essentials for your ride. How do I accomplish grocery shopping and carrying things? My job requires I carry a lot of paperwork at time.

Anything helps! Cost is not an option as long as it's under or around a grand.
Wow, thank you for all the comments! A few other notes...
-I live in the Indianapolis area which thank goodness is very bicycle friendly. I can get to pretty much anywhere I need to go. I'm not used to commuting *that* far, no more than 5-6 miles at the most. I have to commute to downtown, Broadripple, and Carmel as of right now. Right now I only commute downtown but will have to start going to Bripp/Carmel soon. Those are about 20-25 miles away so it would be a good 40 miles round trip.
-It is mostly pavement, we have a lot of bike lanes and a special trail that will take you forever away. It's called the Monon.
-Of course there is nothing wrong with my bike, I have a love affair with my current bicycle. I just wasn't sure if it was the best one for what I'm wanting to accomplish. Especially speed wise. I want to be able to ride fast.
-I'm guessing my bike is a no go for winter?

So much to learn! I appreciate all the comments.

Last edited by brittanywest; 07-02-12 at 07:53 PM.
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Old 06-29-12, 07:00 PM   #2
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The bike you currently ride is unfamiliar to me, so I can't comment on it, and since I don't know where you are or what your commute is like, it's a bit difficult to pick a direction to point you towards. Have you tried riding your projected route of 20-25 miles a day on this bike? If so, and if you were comfortable doing it, then you probably don't need to rush out and buy another bike. If you haven't tried it, I would advise doing so; at least then you'll know if it's going to be an option and can tell your local bike shop what (if anything) you had issues with.

As far as what to wear and carry: it depends. I wear biking shorts and tops because of the padding and quick dry properties, then change at work. I use panniers and always have my flat kit (levers, tube, pump), a couple of tools, clothes, shoes, lock, ipad, coffee, lunch, water and a pouch for my iphone, keys, license and debit card. I have grocery panniers for shopping. FWIW, my commute can be as short as 5 miles each way, or 20+, if I take the scenic route. My grocery runs are generally shorter, but can be as long as 10 miles each way. I use my regular commuter which is a Frankenbike (hybrid with drop bars and a mish mash of other parts) or I use my single speed (70's road bike). Either one does the job.

I'd recommend asking your shop and then trying out what they suggest. If your shop rents bikes, try one in the style they recommend on your route so you can compare it to how your current bike felt.
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Old 06-29-12, 07:08 PM   #3
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Why do you want to change from what you have ?
You cant really get more commutish than your current ride . . .
You can commute on anything. Really, ANYTHING !
Ive commuted 10-15 mile, 1w commutes on eerything from folders to fixies,
it's all good. If you have 1000, i'd look for something comfortable, first and
foremost, no matter what is is, and modify from there . . . Enclosed hub,
fenders(?), mirror, etc and my most important item of all, after the one of
comfort, is bulletproof tires and rims. So in summation, comfort, simplicity,
bulletproof tires and rims---- Can easily be done to almost anything with
the amount of money you want to spend !

Great hunting and be safe !
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Old 06-29-12, 08:32 PM   #4
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Since you're already commuting with your current bike, it has probably given you some clues about it that you like and don't like. Your next bike should address the things you don't like about your current one. But you may not need another bike. Sounds like your going to give LCF a go and from you're stated daily range of no more than 25 miles (accumulated throughout the day and not all at once, correct?), then the bike you have should be sufficient- as long it is a good fit. Wouldn't hurt to have a back-up bike, though .

As far as what to wear- what ever you're comfortable in, whether full kit or gym shorts or sweats.

Consider investing in some Ortlieb panniers if you ride in the rain a lot or Arkel if you don't mind messing with the rain cover.

If you want more input on the bike selection, you need to provide more data- like hills, rain/snow, storage inside or outside, ride on asphalt, dirt/grass, or a mix?
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Old 06-29-12, 09:45 PM   #5
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Welcome To Bike Forums, Brittany!

Thus far, you've gotten excellent advice from all of the other members. However, I will recommend a few other bicycles, if you're ready for a replacement. My recommendations are as follows:

The Giant Via 1 ~ $600
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/via.1/9017/48861/

The Giant Via 1 (womens) ~ $600
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/via.1.w/9017/48939/

The Jamis Aurora ~ $950
www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/aurora/12_aurora.html

The Jamis Coda Comp Femme ~ $775
www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codacompf.html

* Keep your Bria as a spare. One of the above can be your main steed...

Good Luck!

PS.

Male diamond-shaped frames are structurally stronger...

Last edited by SlimRider; 06-30-12 at 09:16 AM.
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Old 06-29-12, 10:10 PM   #6
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I have been riding around 25 miles a day recently to work and back on my Salsa Fargo amd highly recommend this bike. Its a do anything workhorse. You can run slicks and have a road style bike or low profile knobbies like I run and be ready for any terrain. It's also setup to handle racks and fenders or salsa anything cages. So far I have found I love my Revelate Designs bags the best. Eliminates the need for a rack but still provides ample storage. Good luck!

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Old 06-30-12, 12:22 AM   #7
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That Salsa Fargo is an excellent choice, but it's beyond budget by about four to eight hundred dollars.

The Fargo 3 ~ $1400
http://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo_3/

The Fargo 2 ~ $1750
http://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo/
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Old 06-30-12, 02:34 AM   #8
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What's wrong with the Biria? It looks like a decent all round commuter type bike. You need full fenders for rain. It looks like you it has a rack and you could get panniers for the bike. How much riding at night riding do you plan to do? I think most people would recommend a hub with a dynamo for lighting system. Perhaps you could keep the bike you have, make a few upgrades and have a great all round bike.

Another recommendation would be to pick up a beater bike on Craigslist that you can use as a backup bike if you have no car. Bike shops are not exactly like auto repair shops; they don't always have your bike ready by the end of the day.
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Old 06-30-12, 06:33 AM   #9
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Are you looking to spend up to a grand on a second bike or are you looking to buy a bike and get rid of the current one? If the latter, you may want to look at something designed to be a little more of a roadie then a commuter.

I personally like the Specilized Sirrus line. I have the Sport (MSRP $610) and why I am not quite up to 20-25 miles a day, the bike could do it fine. And at you price range, you could go with Elite ($810) or Comp ($1050).
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Old 06-30-12, 06:37 AM   #10
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I would look for a winter bike with fenders and larger tires.

Your local bike shops should be able to help you.
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Old 06-30-12, 09:32 AM   #11
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Quote:
Okay guys - I'm headed to the shop soon to start looking at bikes but thought I get your professional opinion as well!
What brands do they carry, so, have available, in that Shop?

No purpose gain if the guys say a brand-name sold in another state or country


edit, looking at the link , it looks OK, what you have, perhaps it just needs accessorizing.

bags, lights, a Good lock, change bars, grips, saddle [that you find more comfortable]
pedals.. better tires for puncture resistance.

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Old 06-30-12, 07:59 PM   #12
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If the terrain is fairly flat where you are, I would stay with what you have. If there are hills, something like that but with a double or triple crank set might be better. If you get really hooked on biking, and have the disposable income, a second road or mountain bike for recreational riding.
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Old 06-30-12, 08:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by debit View Post

As far as what to wear and carry: it depends. I wear biking shorts and tops because of the padding and quick dry properties, then change at work. I use panniers and always have my flat kit (levers, tube, pump), a couple of tools, clothes, shoes, lock, ipad, coffee, lunch, water and a pouch for my iphone, keys, license and debit card.
+1 to the stuff in bold. I carry a most of the other stuff too, but not at all times.
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Old 06-30-12, 09:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
That Salsa Fargo is an excellent choice, but it's beyond budget by about four to eight hundred dollars.

The Fargo 3 ~ $1400
http://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo_3/

The Fargo 2 ~ $1750
http://salsacycles.com/bikes/fargo/
This is true, but worth waiting and saving the extra money for it!
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Old 06-30-12, 09:14 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SlimRider View Post
Welcome To Bike Forums, Brittany!

Thus far, you've gotten excellent advice from all of the other members. However, I will recommend a few other bicycles, if you're ready for a replacement. My recommendations are as follows:

The Giant Via 1 ~ $600
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/via.1/9017/48861/

The Giant Via 1 (womens) ~ $600
www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/bikes/model/via.1.w/9017/48939/

The Jamis Aurora ~ $950
www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/aurora/12_aurora.html

The Jamis Coda Comp Femme ~ $775
www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/street/coda/12_codacompf.html

* Keep your Bria as a spare. One of the above can be your main steed...

Good Luck!

PS.
you are the cla
Male diamond-shaped frames are structurally stronger...
u rock slim you are the clark howard of the forum ive learned a lot from you
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Old 07-02-12, 07:52 PM   #16
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Wow, thank you for all the comments! A few other notes...
-I live in the Indianapolis area which thank goodness is very bicycle friendly. I can get to pretty much anywhere I need to go. I'm not used to commuting *that* far, no more than 5-6 miles at the most. I have to commute to downtown, Broadripple, and Carmel as of right now. Right now I only commute downtown but will have to start going to Bripp/Carmel soon. Those are about 20-25 miles away so it would be a good 40 miles round trip.
-It is mostly pavement, we have a lot of bike lanes and a special trail that will take you forever away. It's called the Monon.
-Of course there is nothing wrong with my bike, I have a love affair with my current bicycle. I just wasn't sure if it was the best one for what I'm wanting to accomplish. Especially speed wise. I want to be able to ride fast.
-I'm guessing my bike is a no go for winter?

So much to learn! I appreciate all the comments.
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Old 07-02-12, 08:01 PM   #17
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If you're looking for speed, then I'll second SlimRider's recommendation of the Jamis bikes. The Aurora isn't as speedy as a road bike, but is still going to be faster than something that puts you more upright, like your current bike. I picked one up this weekend and could not be happier with it.
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Old 07-02-12, 08:11 PM   #18
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If you want a fast winter bike get this one:

The Motobecane Fantom Cross Outlaw ~ $1000
www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/outlaw.htm

* Get the Brushed Silver Model, it's Gorgeous!

It's built to be faster in the winter under conditions of snow and ice, due to a wider tire capacity and its geometry. Since its aluminum, you don't have to worry so much about rust.

Last edited by SlimRider; 07-02-12 at 08:18 PM.
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Old 07-02-12, 08:22 PM   #19
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For the longer distances you plan, drop bars and a slightly more forward leaning aerodynamic posture might be a bit faster, and more comfortable for your wrists, than the slightly upright posture and relatively straight bars on the Biria and some of the recommended bikes. The Jamis Aurora suggested above, or a Surly Long Haul Trucker, or another "tour bike" might be worth considering. They have a hint of road speed, plus a lot of carrying capacity. The Salsa Fargo shown above has drop bars, but personally, I wouldn't want the fat tires - they are a bit slower and a lot heavier than thinner road tires.

Here's a page with links to reviews of 4 tour bikes.
http://www.roadbikereview.com/cat/la...s_5675crx.aspx

Last edited by cooker; 07-02-12 at 08:57 PM.
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Old 07-02-12, 10:42 PM   #20
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I think I'd keep your current bike.
Put on a pair of folding baskets on the rear and use it for hauling groceries etc. & wet streets.

Get a "faster" bike for just riding or to get you from here to there, when you don't have to haul stuff.

That's my method, and it seems to work out pretty well.
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Old 07-02-12, 11:45 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brittanywest View Post
Okay guys - I'm headed to the shop soon to start looking at bikes but thought I get your professional opinion as well!

Current bike: http://biria.com/bicycle/citibike/700c-men

Right now I ride about 6 miles a day 3-4 days a week to work. My ultimate goal is to get rid of my vehicle and commute everywhere. So about 20-25 miles a DAY.

Is this a good bike to be able to accomplish this? What are the best bikes for this sort of riding?

Also - what do you recommend I wear? What are your go-to bike essentials for your ride. How do I accomplish grocery shopping and carrying things? My job requires I carry a lot of paperwork at time.

Anything helps! Cost is not an option as long as it's under or around a grand.
Wow, thank you for all the comments! A few other notes...
-I live in the Indianapolis area which thank goodness is very bicycle friendly. I can get to pretty much anywhere I need to go. I'm not used to commuting *that* far, no more than 5-6 miles at the most. I have to commute to downtown, Broadripple, and Carmel as of right now. Right now I only commute downtown but will have to start going to Bripp/Carmel soon. Those are about 20-25 miles away so it would be a good 40 miles round trip.
-It is mostly pavement, we have a lot of bike lanes and a special trail that will take you forever away. It's called the Monon.
-Of course there is nothing wrong with my bike, I have a love affair with my current bicycle. I just wasn't sure if it was the best one for what I'm wanting to accomplish. Especially speed wise. I want to be able to ride fast.
-I'm guessing my bike is a no go for winter?

So much to learn! I appreciate all the comments.
Since you've added more info*, I'll modify my earlier advice a bit.

-If you're intending to try the LCF lifestyle, there a couple of questions that you need to answer as part of your bike selection process.
1. Consider disc brakes. They add cost and weight, but offer better stopping power in less than ideal conditions like snow.
2. Consider multimodal to either extend your range or in case of emergencies/illness. The racks on the city buses here only allow a maximum wheelbase of 44", so I keep that number in mind on every bike I look at.
3. You'll probably end up experimenting for yourself on the best way to carry your stuff. That being said, make sure that whatever bike you're looking at has the attachment points for a rear rack.
4. Note that chainstay length plays a major role in how big and what kind of bag(s) you can use on the rack without suffering heel strike.

*Not sure if you're aware, but editing an existing post doesn't 'flag' the system on the index page. It was quite by accident that I discovered your added details.
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