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  1. #1
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    The right bike for me?

    Hey everyone, I'm looking to spend $500-600 on a bike. I'm looking for something that I can ride to work which is about 10 miles away daily and 10 back. I want it to be sturdy, not too heavy, and also be able to handle the biking trails we have in Florida without a problem. I want to be able to jump curbs, and ride comfortably and with stability. And as far as the gears go, how does maintenance work with them? and how about the frequency of which i shoudl get a tune up? I don't know if I'm looking at a mountain bike or a commuter style bike. Any help on this would be much appreciated. Thanks!

  2. #2
    LDB
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    Scott Speedster X50 or similar?
    1974 Raleigh International, 2013 Specialized Crossroads, 195x Hercules 3 spd
    My hero was the tortoise not the hare. One mailbox at a time.

  3. #3
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    If you're going to be jumping curbs, make sure the bike has a freehub (not a freewheel) type rear wheel. these are stronger and will be less likely to brake axles when dropping off curbs. Typically a new bike desription will mention 'cassette' gearing if it is freehub style; and will be a minimum of 8 gears on the back.


    hmmmh, sturdy, not too heavy, comfortable, handles trails and commuting....
    you want a rigid (no suspension) mountain bike, with the stock tires replaced with 1.5" wide slicks.
    or a cyclocross bike, if you want to trade some durability/comfort for less weight
    Last edited by xenologer; 03-10-13 at 08:48 PM.

  4. #4
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    A wheel that rolls efficiently has to be light enough to be damaged ploughing into anything
    higher than a curb cut for wheelchairs,

    unless you have the skills to do a foot high bunny hop and bring the bike up that far in the air.

    a fat MTB tire wheel to make the air cushion to curb slam will feel heavy..

    the 700c35 mm width is in the middle.

    Go test ride bikes in your favorite local shop, IDK what brand lines they carry..

  5. #5
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    I've just started with my bike commuting this year. I have about 15 miles each way and use a trek 7.2 FX hybrid.
    It works well, if a little slow (probably the engine's fault, not the bike). Lots of hybrids fall into your price range too, especially
    during this time of year. To increase bang-for-your-buck, i've noticed that Fuji has lots of good bikes for good prices (performance bikes
    has a 40% off sale going on now).

    I have looked into upgrading once I have a couple of months of continuous round trip commutes under my belt. If you want a good combination of
    road bike speed and mountain bike functionality, think about a cyclocross. Finding one for 400-500 seems tough, but if you save up to 1000 you can
    look into entry cyclocross's and, as far as I understand, get a very versatile "go anywhere fast" type of bike!

  6. #6
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    1. Understand that the wheels on just about everything in your budget will not hold up to constant abuse from jumping curbs. Try to stay on the streets to minimize the wear and tear.

    2. I got no idea what constitutes a "biking trail" in your area, as I have never been to Florida. Are you talking about a paved or other type of groomed and maintained surface like crushed limestone or gravel? Or are you referring to a bit more technical single track through the trees?

    3. The frequency of tune-ups will be determined by the durability of the components and how hard you use/abuse them. You'll be doing more minor adjustments than actual tune-ups or overhauls no matter what. Plenty of online sources, some free (Park Tool) and some paid (bicycletutor) where you can find the info you need.

    4. Depending on the answer to number 2, I'd recommend you go to as many of the Local Bike Shops (LBS) and ride as many different models as you can. I don't know what is available in your area, but I'll suggest some models so you'll have an idea of the type that I would get if I was in your shoes. Giant Escape, Specialized Sirrus, Kona Dew, Cannondale Quick, Jamis Coda or Allegro, Raleigh Misceo (rigid fork), Trek FX... note all of those have a range of models with the common name, but differentiate the component levels a bit by their name. With your budget, you'll be looking at the base offerings of each line. You might luck into a good deal on a upgrade model from last year for about the same price, but I wouldn't hold my breath.

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    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Drop bar cross bike may feel faster just because the way you sit on it is not so upright.

    a figure 8 bend trekking bar change on your 7.2 FX , will give you a far reach ,
    combined with bending your elbows, to also give you that lower posture..

    might just get a major tune up in addition to that , new chain & cassette and call it good.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 03-10-13 at 09:06 PM.

  8. #8
    Senior Member PDX Reborn's Avatar
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    If you have hills, I'd go with a multi speed bike, like a hybrid. A single speed is lighter and less maintenance, so if your commute is flat, this could be had in your price range, as well.

  9. #9
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...ensington8.htm

    It will not be light though. But it has all the commuter friendly bits.

  10. #10
    tougher than a boiled owl droy45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xenologer View Post
    If you're going to be jumping curbs, make sure the bike has a freehub (not a freewheel) type rear wheel. these are stronger and will be less likely to brake axles when dropping off curbs. Typically a new bike desription will mention 'cassette' gearing if it is freehub style; and will be a minimum of 8 gears on the back.


    hmmmh, sturdy, not too heavy, comfortable, handles trails and commuting....
    you want a rigid (no suspension) mountain bike, with the stock tires replaced with 1.5" wide slicks.
    or a cyclocross bike, if you want to trade some durability/comfort for less weight
    ^^^^This is pretty much it. I won't start by mentioning brands and models because most of them are competitive and have good quality. But like mentioned above by Zenologer, a mountain bike will be sturdier and give you more function for all around commuting and trail riding. It needs to be rigid, no front or rear suspension as those would be way too inefficient and are made for serious rock and root littered trails. The 26in wheeled ones accelerate faster in traffic and are easier to pedal on trails. The 29er's roll better over pot holes and tend to keep their speed up a little better on the open highway. A crossbike will be less comfortable, not as rugged but rugged enough for commuting and light trail riding and also will be faster on the road. If speed is not an issue and you have ample time to do your commute, go for the rigid mountain bike with 1.5in slicks. If you need speed, go for the crossbike.
    As far as gears, you will need them for hilly terrain, and if you use the off road trails. Deraileurs need maintanence like cleaning, lubricating and fine tuning as cables stretch and outside temperatures also effect their overall performance and tuning. Once you master how to keep them up and tune them up they are the great. If you plan to be on flat terrain then a single speed fixie may be the ticket.
    For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16

  11. #11
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    Cube Town at €429 / $550 with Tax ... €350 / $450 (without paying tax).

    womens:
    town09.jpg

    mens:
    Picture 1.jpg

    7005 Alu Frame
    Suntour NEX shocks
    48x36x26
    700c wheels
    SKS fenders
    rear rack / bag handler
    front dynamo
    Lumotec front/rear lights
    Schwalbe tires/tubes

    best around the city beater on the market
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  12. #12
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    But he is in Florida.. not Germany..
    "and also be able to handle the biking trails we have in Florida without a problem".

  13. #13
    Super Moderator no1mad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    Cube Town at €429 / $550 with Tax ... €350 / $450 (without paying tax).

    womens:
    town09.jpg

    mens:
    Picture 1.jpg

    7005 Alu Frame
    Suntour NEX shocks
    48x36x26
    700c wheels
    SKS fenders
    rear rack / bag handler
    front dynamo
    Lumotec front/rear lights
    Schwalbe tires/tubes

    best around the city beater on the market
    Interesting suggestion coming from you in light of this thread- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...8#post15369378

    Also of note to the OP- even if this brand is available to you, realize that this particular model is gonna be heavy- the shock fork and the dynamo will combine for roughly 5 pounds.

  14. #14
    idc
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    I'd get a flat-bar hybrid (no front shocks). They can usually take 700x32s easily and have a nice upright position with the bars but you'll still be able to appreciate a speedy ride on Florida's flat terrain.

    MSRP $610, I'm sure you could get it for less, esp if you can find previous year models.
    http://www.gtbicycles.com/2013/bikes...ty/traffic-3-0
    Performance Bike usually stocks GT and gives free lifetime basic tune ups too, last I checked.

    MSRP $640. A bit "faster", closer to a road style bike but still fine for commuting and any reasonable trails.
    http://www.gtbicycles.com/2013/bikes...ce/tachyon-4-0

    If you don't know anything about maintenance, you can find a LBS to help you. The main things you'll need to do regularly are keep air in the tires and oil the chain every now and then. I'd say chains should be changed every 2000-3000 miles or so, depending on how hard you ride and in what conditions. A rear tire will usually wear significantly in about the same number of miles.

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