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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 12-25-12, 01:03 PM   #1
EmptyWallet
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Commuter bike with a little off road mixed in?

I'm looking to purchase my first decent bike.

I've been doing some reading and it looks like the majority of my riding will be road/pavement with some gravel/dirt/off road mixed in.

Would I be looking at a hybrid bike or a off road capable commuter?

A few bikes that have been suggested to me:

Jamis Coda Sport
Jamis Coda Comp
Redline DS1
Redline DS2

Thoughts? Ideas? Suggestions?

Budget $600-$800.
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Old 12-25-12, 02:21 PM   #2
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You might take a look at the Trek DS series. I think an 8.2 and 8.3 are within your listed budget.
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Old 12-25-12, 02:22 PM   #3
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Hard to go wrong with either a cyclocross or 29er hardtail for an all around bike. Do you like flat bars or drops? The type of bar you feel most comfortable with should be your main concern, because while it's not impossible to switch, it can be troublesome. If you get a flat bar and don't like it, there are more options. If you get a drop bar and don't like it, then mustache bars are about your only easy swap from there.

i have a 29er hardtail and a steel road bike, and I just take whichever one I'm in the mood for, but very soon a bikesdirect Zilla is going to be my main commuter.
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Old 12-25-12, 03:01 PM   #4
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My first question would be how long of a commute are you looking at? My next question is does your commute include dirt/gravel/off road, or is that something you want to do in the future?

I think those Jamis bikes look like nice commuters, however I would be very careful about what kind of off road riding you plan on doing.
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Old 12-25-12, 03:25 PM   #5
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Commute wouldn't be longer than 5 miles.

Yeah, that Jamis might be a liiiiiittle bit lacking in the off road department?

What about the two Redlines? Are they good bikes? Good components?
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Old 12-25-12, 03:29 PM   #6
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Those Trek's look nice!!

So Trek or Redline?

is the 8.3 really worth it over the 8.2?
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Old 12-25-12, 03:30 PM   #7
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One of my local shops had a 2012 Crossrip on the clearance rack for $800. Looks like a great bike with alot of versatility. Might be worth seeing what is available at your local shops.

http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...lity/crossrip/

Also, these seem to be getting some great feedback from those who ride them: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...fantom_cxx.htm
Here's another BD offering at the same price point. http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...m_cross_xi.htm

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Old 12-25-12, 03:39 PM   #8
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Reading this post here:

http://www.bikeforums.net/archive/in.../t-805343.html

Would the Giant Escape 1 be a good choice for me?

Seems like that guy has my same priorities.

Woild the Trek DS really be that much heavier than the 7.x models?
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Old 12-25-12, 03:59 PM   #9
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I use a Jamis Coda Sport as my "everyday/utility" bike, it has to tow a utility trailer, do the local dirt trails/paths, all errands and even a club social ride now and then, it's a very "universal machine" and I'd highly recommend it! I did change from the stock, Vittoria Randoueer tires to the "more treaded" Randoueer-Cross tires for a bit better bit in gravel and shallow sand on some of our trails here. Now if you have the FUNDS go for the Coda Comp upgraded componets and carbon fiber fork is a nice PLUS! You might want to check out the Cannondale Quick and Quick CX series of bikes too, nice machines. IF your planning on doing a LOT of longer distance riding, you might want to try a "drop bar" road bike, not the hardcore race bikes but the more relaxed geometrey, machines.

If you can, go TEST RIDE several brands and styles of bikes, it's worth the time and trouble to find that BIKE that just, Feels right! Whatever you end up, ENJOY!
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Old 12-25-12, 04:25 PM   #10
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^^^^ Good advice here. In your price range, you can get a nice hybrid. Road bikes have a higher price tag and in the $600-800 range, you'll be purchasing a low end road bike.

I recommend some test rides. Don't be afraid to test ride bikes above and below your price range to see what differences there are. A hybrid is a good fit for your riding goals. Hybrids accommodate wider tires, while road bikes generally do not and hence road bikes are not great choices for more than brief jaunts on crushed gravel. You also don't describe riding conditions that require suspension fork. In your price range, adding a suspension fork will come at the expense of the other components.

The big question is do you want drop bar or flat bar bike. I've seen posts where people purchase a hybrid and then look to upgrade to road bike in six months, so you might want to consider drop bar bike. In that case, you might want to look for a used bike as a starter bike. If you do decide to upgrade, a used bike can be resold without taking much of a financial loss.

There are lots of "what bike should I buy" threads that have lots of info in them. I recommend reading a few and seeing what kind of comments people make about specific bikes.

People here seem to be happy with their Jamis bikes, but all the major brands (Specialized, Cannondale, Trek, Giant) have similar offerings in the same price range, and test rides will help you find a bike you love to ride.
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Old 12-25-12, 04:29 PM   #11
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Wait, you posted this same question in the hybrid forum, which is against the rules.
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Old 12-25-12, 04:54 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptyWallet View Post
Those Trek's look nice!!

So Trek or Redline?

is the 8.3 really worth it over the 8.2?
The uptick in price gets you the capacity to lock out the fork.

Truth be told, of all the model lines bandied about, the one that probably makes the most sense for a beginner looking to commute on mixed surfaces is the Trek 8.1 DS. Rigid fork, wide tires, rack/fender ready, frame/fork have disc tabs. Added benefit is it is one of the lower cost options mentioned, leaving you room to accessorize (or save up for your next bike).
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Old 12-25-12, 04:55 PM   #13
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Wait, you posted this same question in the hybrid forum, which is against the rules.

Argh!!! My fault. Can a mod delete the other?
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Old 12-25-12, 04:59 PM   #14
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Wait, you posted this same question in the hybrid forum, which is against the rules.
Quote:
Originally Posted by EmptyWallet View Post
Argh!!! My fault. Can a mod delete the other?
I'm already working on it. For future reference, if you need/want a Mod to move/delete a thread, hit the report button just below the lower left corner of the text box with a note as to what/where/why.
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Old 12-25-12, 05:00 PM   #15
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Jamis usually gives you a lot of bikes for the price so I would lean towards that end. With a commute no more than 5 miles you may look at a hardtail mountain bike. Just swap out the tires between slicks and knobs and you should be fine.

My first "real" bike was a 99 Jamis Exile (bought used in 05 for $350 from a LBS) that worked well for my commuter needs. It has eyelets if I want a rea rack and/or fenders.
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Old 12-25-12, 05:48 PM   #16
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Checking out some things on the Jamis website as we speak.

They have anything specific I should look at?

Allegro X Sport?
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Old 12-25-12, 06:04 PM   #17
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^^^^ Good advice here. In your price range, you can get a nice hybrid. Road bikes have a higher price tag and in the $600-800 range, you'll be purchasing a low end road bike.

I recommend some test rides. Don't be afraid to test ride bikes above and below your price range to see what differences there are. A hybrid is a good fit for your riding goals. Hybrids accommodate wider tires, while road bikes generally do not and hence road bikes are not great choices for more than brief jaunts on crushed gravel. You also don't describe riding conditions that require suspension fork. In your price range, adding a suspension fork will come at the expense of the other components.

The big question is do you want drop bar or flat bar bike. I've seen posts where people purchase a hybrid and then look to upgrade to road bike in six months, so you might want to consider drop bar bike. In that case, you might want to look for a used bike as a starter bike. If you do decide to upgrade, a used bike can be resold without taking much of a financial loss.

There are lots of "what bike should I buy" threads that have lots of info in them. I recommend reading a few and seeing what kind of comments people make about specific bikes.

People here seem to be happy with their Jamis bikes, but all the major brands (Specialized, Cannondale, Trek, Giant) have similar offerings in the same price range, and test rides will help you find a bike you love to ride.
Im going to head to the LBS and report back what I find.
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Old 12-25-12, 07:37 PM   #18
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Hmmmmm, doing some reading it appears I'm going to skip the fork. At my price point....seems it would be a better solution to go rigid fork, since the surrounding components might be better.
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Old 12-26-12, 12:14 PM   #19
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In my humble opinion...

suspension fork is nice for mountain biking. When you're navigating your way between rocks the size of televisions something is bound to go wrong and then you find yourself going over the rocks you meant to be going between... in moments like this a suspension fork is not a bad thing to have. That's if you're going on especially rough mountain trails. If you are riding on roads, including the worst dirt roads I have ever seen, you don't need a suspension fork.

I often ride a canal towpath on my commute, on a folding bike with 1.5" (38 mm) tires, or a 'road bike' with 1.25" (32 mm) tires, or even 1 1/8 (28 mm). Even thinner than that, isn't usually a problem on dirt roads, but thinner tires are bumpier. Beyond the tires, you don't need any kind of a special bike for that kind of terrain. On soft sand, wider tires are better; on a recent century in the Pine Barrens I found I was often able to ride on my 35 mm tires when my friend who joined me on 32 mm tires found himself walking. Fatter tires are also better on snow.

If you're buying a new bike for this commute, my only advice would be to make sure there is clearance for fat tires (the fatter the better) AND fenders. You don't have to put the fattest available tires on it; go ahead and use up whatever it comes with. Just make sure there's room for something fat if you want to go in that direction.
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Old 12-26-12, 01:26 PM   #20
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Can the Trek 7.2/7.3 or the Giant Escape fit 35mm tires?
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Old 12-26-12, 01:43 PM   #21
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Anything with a 700c 35mm wide tire capability. Brand Neutral..

Quote:
Can the Trek 7.2/7.3 or the Giant Escape fit 35mm tires?
Got one? measure.. Trek Dual Sports in general should, No Giant Brand in Shops here..

But for all I know Giant is the TW corporation that the other brands went to to get theirs made ,
that was true before Giant began marketing bikes under their own name.

It's all about the Contract specifications, and CAD drawings sent by the Importer to the Contract Manufacturers.

Taiwan has Several Contract Bike Manufacturers for brands around the Globe.
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Old 12-26-12, 01:52 PM   #22
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Can the Trek 7.2/7.3 or the Giant Escape fit 35mm tires?
The 7.2 FX comes with 700x35 tires...
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Old 12-26-12, 03:40 PM   #23
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Cool deal. Maybe under the specs for the Giant it'll list the tires it comes with.
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Old 12-26-12, 03:43 PM   #24
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Lists that the giant comes with 32's.

They don't list the weight of the bike though. Hmmmm.
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Old 12-26-12, 04:09 PM   #25
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If you want Low-grams , you cant carry anything , Like Cyclocross, stripped down,
the race bikes are above your budget anyhow.

want to obsess over weight, and get a light bike, double the Budget.
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