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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 05-29-13, 01:38 AM   #1
livemove
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Commuter Bike Recommendations

Hi all I am new to this forum. This is my first post! I have always tried to commute via bicycle as much as possible. I have been choosing to commute on my bike more often and further in distance lately. The added distance has made me reconsider my current bicycle. It has gotten me through many years- snow, rain, four different states, hit by a car. I really like it but it is a rather heavy bike and I am looking for something lightweight that I can travel many miles on with ease. Ideally what I want is something similar to a road bike (I have clipless pedals that I would use) but with the ability to accomodate racks or fenders if need be.

Does anybody has any commuter bike recommendations that seem to fit my description? Also, sorry if this questions has been asked before. If so, a link to that thread would be helpful. Thanks!
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Old 05-29-13, 01:46 AM   #2
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Welcome to Bike Forums

What is the budget you have set aside for this purchase? That will help you receive suggestions for models that fall within your budget.
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Old 05-29-13, 02:07 AM   #3
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Thank you

My budget is somewhat flexible, but more or less around $1500.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:22 AM   #4
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what brands are sold at your Local Shop?
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Old 05-29-13, 09:46 AM   #5
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Look at cyclocross bikes. Basically road bikes with room for bigger tires. Many have rack and fender mounts. Here is my Fuji Cross 3.0 (don'ty have a pic handy since the fenders went on but running 700cx35 with full fenders):



Purchased here:


http://www.performancebike.com/bikes/Product_10052_10551_1117975_-1___000000
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Old 05-29-13, 12:11 PM   #6
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$1500 would probably get you one of the fancier bikes they have marketed as commuters - like the Novara Gotham (http://www.rei.com/product/825377/no...tham-bike-2013), which has a belt drive, NuVinci hub (a CVT, no discrete gears), disc brakes, fenders, a rack - basically the ultimate commuter. Heavy, but you can ride in any weather.

Or, if you want something more sporty, as mentioned before, cyclocross bikes are a good choice.
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Old 05-29-13, 12:20 PM   #7
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Look at cyclocross bikes. Basically road bikes with room for bigger tires.
I also commute on a cyclocross bike, which is nice to ride and also versatile (tire options, rack options, etc.).
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Old 05-29-13, 05:25 PM   #8
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$1,500 is plenty but save some money for clothing, accessories, lights, etc.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:49 PM   #9
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At $1500, you have plenty of choices. Based on your post, you want a lighter bike that can accommodate racks, so I would presume your current bike does not have eyelets on the dropouts. Typically 'road style' bikes as you mentioned, do not have mounts for racks, you'll need to look at touring or cross bikes, or even rigid mountain bikes, which may be heavier and not have the drop style handlebars. You might also consider ride quality if you are looking for a 'lighter' bike. You're not likely to find a carbon frame for touring, but mostly you'll find aluminum frames with carbon or steel forks and all steel bikes. Aluminum is lighter, but more rigid, which is why they use a different fork material (most of the time, not always). Trek and Specialized have nice cross bikes in the 1k range that are aluminum. Moving closer to your limit, you have Salsa Vaya 3, Surly Cross Check, both of which are steel with the Vaya having disc brakes and CrossCheck cantilevers.
You may also take another look at your current bike and think about upgrading the components and wheels. You likely won't save much weight but might get a whole new experience. I bought an old rigid mountain bike off CL for $45 and put about $400 into it to upgrade it to 9 speed with Deore components. I noticed afterwards that in bike shops, most bikes up to $1000 did not have Deore level components, so I would presume my bike in many ways rides better than those. But taking that route is a more hands on approach, something you may not be interested in.
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Old 05-30-13, 12:24 AM   #10
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Wow, all great suggestions. Thank you for the feedback. I will look into all of the ideas posted!
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Old 05-30-13, 12:26 AM   #11
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what brands are sold at your Local Shop?
I live in the Bay Area so there are many options I think. I would be willing to travel around the area to find the right bike.
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Old 05-30-13, 03:08 AM   #12
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I live in the Bay Area so there are many options I think. I would be willing to travel around the area to find the right bike.
Find a shop. I'm in the Bay Area (CA) too - and I like my LBS - GoRideBicycles in Redwood City. They recommended a hybrid based on my stated usage, and after going through the usual buyer's remorse, I realize that this was the right choice. REI at San Carlos has a decent set of bikes, but never found anyone who would talk bikes much. Didn't like the owner/sales guy at California Sports shop (don't remember the exact name) near Belmont at all. Chain Reaction in Redwood City is okay I suppose - know a few people who like the place. Personally, I have always had trouble finding someone who will listen properly at that shop. Performance Bike near Hillsdale is actually pretty good, especially if you manage to get hold of a chap called Honda. Passion Trail Bikes near Belmont is snooty beyond belief - "we only sell race level bikes". I never went to Mikes Bikes and Palo Alto Bicycles in Palo Alto, but have heard good things about the latter (and they carry Surly - I want to try out a Cross Check/LHT). Suburban Bikes in Redwood City lists Surly on its site, but has almost no stock to try out. They do have a lot of Felt bikes though .. can't comment on this shop since it is also a motorcycle shop and when I went there the bike guy was out so no one could help me out.

Phew .. long, unformatted post. Hope it helps you though .. good luck.
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Old 05-30-13, 03:42 AM   #13
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I had rigid mountain bike, road bikes (several), touring and city (upright riding). My commutes have been in several places around the US. Indiana, California Vally, Michigan, Oklahoma, with distance from 4miles to 10miles one way. The bike that I used the most was/is the touring. The convenience of the rack, the ability to fight head wind with drop bars (like road bikes), and with narrow tires, it becomes a fast road bike. Because it had a granny gear, I have been able to pull the kids trailer, grocery gather, even have manage to do a touring trip or two!

I don't load my bike any more, I have converted it to a fast commuting bike with 700 x 28 tires (had 27x1 1/2). Never own a cyclocross, but I think that would be a good choice too. Double O
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Old 05-30-13, 03:46 AM   #14
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I live in the Bay Area so there are many options I think. I would be willing to travel around the area to find the right bike.
Soma is "local" and makes a number of great bikes that could be made into fine commuters: http://www.somafab.com/. I love my soma cross as a commuter and a general all around bike
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Old 05-30-13, 09:55 AM   #15
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Wheel Away on Hamilton in Campbell, just west of 17 is a great shop.

Hyland Family Bicycles on Meridian is AWFUL.

Performance Bike at the corner of Hamilton and Bascom is not interested in servicing or maintaining bikes.

REI in Campbell is more like a Target that sells sports equipment than a bike shop.

Those are the four that I have done business with, and now only go back to Wheel Away.
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Old 05-31-13, 12:30 PM   #16
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$949 for a Carpe H30. Bought one last July and I've laid down 2,400 commuting miles since then. Solid steed for sure. Entry price leaves budget room panniers, a rack, lights, etc.
http://www.orbea.com/us-en/bicycles/carpe-h30/
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