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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 06-03-13, 09:48 AM   #1
lugsail
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Best brand of bike for commuting?

I searched the forums for an answer on this but couldn't find one that wasn't really old. Sorry if I missed something.
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Old 06-03-13, 09:57 AM   #2
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I think you'll have a hard time finding consensus on that one. Is there some specific type of design or set of features that you're looking for? Or are you just getting into commuting and want a new bike but don't have anything in particular in mind?
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Old 06-03-13, 10:05 AM   #3
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Whatever brand of bike that has mounts for fenders, rear rack, water bottle cage, at least has 5 speeds, has quick release wheels and with rigid forks, is best. That's my minimum requirements, yours may vary.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:07 AM   #4
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I think you'll have a hard time finding consensus on that one. Is there some specific type of design or set of features that you're looking for? Or are you just getting into commuting and want a new bike but don't have anything in particular in mind?
I don't have anything particular in mind, just want one for commuting. If there isn't a consensus on the top brand, can you tell me the brands that are considered top of the line?
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Old 06-03-13, 10:12 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by lugsail View Post
I don't have anything particular in mind, just want one for commuting. If there isn't a consensus on the top brand, can you tell me the brands that are considered top of the line?

Hi Lugsail,

It would be better if you describe your commute. If we know what you are up against, we can make better suggestions. Right now the only answer we can give is find a bike that fits you, has the right gearing for your commute, and has the ability to handle any add-ons you might want (racks, fenders, water bottles, etc).
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Old 06-03-13, 10:13 AM   #6
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I don't have anything particular in mind, just want one for commuting. If there isn't a consensus on the top brand, can you tell me the brands that are considered top of the line?
If you went to a car forum or a motorcycle forum and asked such a broad question without providing any additional information, do you think you would get a meaningful response?

Car --> Chevrolet
Motorcycle --> Honda
Bicycle --> Schwinn (not really, but you get my point, hopefully)
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Old 06-03-13, 10:39 AM   #7
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If you could answer these questions, I think it would help people start to suggest some bikes.
1. How far is your commute?
2. How hilly is the ride, and what's the terrain like?
3. What's the range of weather you see yourself riding in?
4. Would you enjoy working on the bike yourself, or would you just bring it in for occasional tune-ups?
5. How much of a priority is speed?
6. Do you ever have back or neck pain/stiffness?
7. Could you park the bike inside, or would you lock it outside?
8. What's your budget?
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Old 06-03-13, 10:51 AM   #8
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What color is the best to look at..lol
Just kidding

I have a bunch of different bikes for each type of weather, distance etc

I have 1 main commuter which is a 1984 peugeot mtb and it is set up with rack, lights, fender, water cages etc.
Without knowing much info I would suggest an old rigid mtb.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:52 AM   #9
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I prefer Bianchi and Diamondback for my commuting.
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Old 06-03-13, 10:57 AM   #10
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Hi Lugsail,

It would be better if you describe your commute. If we know what you are up against, we can make better suggestions. Right now the only answer we can give is find a bike that fits you, has the right gearing for your commute, and has the ability to handle any add-ons you might want (racks, fenders, water bottles, etc).
It'll be mostly a couple miles to and from where I'm going in a city that's pretty much flat. It never snows and rains more than average compared to most places in the US. I don't need a water bottle holder or a rack and I'd prefer not to have fenders unless you guys think it'd be a good idea because of rain?
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Old 06-03-13, 11:06 AM   #11
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Whatever brand of bike that has mounts for fenders, rear rack, water bottle cage, at least has 5 speeds, has quick release wheels and with rigid forks, is best. That's my minimum requirements, yours may vary.
+1

In the rainy and hilly NW you need at lest 15 speeds and disc brakes are the best. Their are a lot on good used bikes on Craigslist, get one that fits you in like new shape that sold for around $700 and up. Don't pay any more then 1/2 of the new price for one.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by lugsail View Post
It'll be mostly a couple miles to and from where I'm going in a city that's pretty much flat. It never snows and rains more than average compared to most places in the US. I don't need a water bottle holder or a rack and I'd prefer not to have fenders unless you guys think it'd be a good idea because of rain?
I think you may have asked the wrong question: You're not looking for the best brand, you're looking for the proper combination of equipment that would suitable for your commute.

That being said, a couple of miles on flat road? Rarely rains/snows? Don't want a rack? In which case, I would suggest pretty much any hybrid or comfort bike. Pick any of them, and they'd be suitable for your ride.

Me? I'm preferential to Trek's lines, and Schwinn's lines. That doesn't mean the are the best however, just what I like.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:10 AM   #13
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I'd prefer not to have fenders unless you guys think it'd be a good idea because of rain?
Fenders, yes.
They're not just for rain water...



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Old 06-03-13, 11:18 AM   #14
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Heinz ketchup is definitely redder than Hunt's ... seriously brand doesn't matter, quality, style and fit are way more important
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Old 06-03-13, 11:31 AM   #15
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Here are links to two of Trek's lines. The different prices reflect better components, but for commuting I think even the lowest-priced one would serve you very well. As you go up in price the bikes get lighter (not very important) and the components and wheels get a little more durable (even the low priced ones are pretty durable though).

The first one is (I think I heard) their most popular line. It has a little sportier geometry, where the rider is leaned over a little more for speed. My wife has the 7.3 fx, and she's been very happy.
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ness/fx/models

The second one is similar, but the rider isn't leaned over as much. At commuting-type speeds that doesn't usually make any difference. These already have fenders, but installing fenders is cheap anyways.
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes.../allant/models

All the big bike companies have similar lines, and there's little to no difference in value. I just linked to the Trek page because I happen to know the web address. But you could look at Specialized and Giant too-- they'd have similar bikes with minor differences. I'd say these kinds of bikes are as good a place to start as any!
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Old 06-03-13, 11:32 AM   #16
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I dislike the Trek brand due to the fraud perpetrated by Lance Armstrong and his association with the Trek brand, although I do like the Trek bike I own. I'm partial to the Surly branded frames, as are many others here at BF.

Your best bet is to go to your local bike store (aka LBS) and see what they sell. Test ride many bikes in your price range and ask lots of questions. Let us know when you have narrowed your choices to a few. Keep in mind that the frame is usually the only part of a bike that is actually branded by the manufacturer. Almost everything else is just parts manufactured by some other company, such as Shimano, attached to the frame. The brand of a frame is pretty much irrelevant until you get into higher end bikes.
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Old 06-03-13, 11:56 AM   #17
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Best color is blue and Heinz ketchup is redder...
A bike thread with Lance Armstrong in it?
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Old 06-03-13, 11:56 AM   #18
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Here's one candidate.

http://www.nashbar.com/bikes/Product...51_-1___202396

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Old 06-03-13, 12:02 PM   #19
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Old 06-03-13, 12:28 PM   #20
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The one sold by your favorite Local Bicycle Shop, because they will be there, after the Sale,
to help you fix it. .. And so Keep It in Reliable, working Order.

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Old 06-03-13, 02:19 PM   #21
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because they will be there, after the Sale, to help you fix it. .. And so Keep It in Reliable, working Order.
or not. lbs often have a lot of new mechanics. i prefer my local co-op.
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Old 06-03-13, 05:28 PM   #22
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There is no such thing as best brand. It's more about personal preference then anything else.
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Old 06-03-13, 06:17 PM   #23
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It'll be mostly a couple miles to and from where I'm going in a city that's pretty much flat. It never snows and rains more than average compared to most places in the US. I don't need a water bottle holder or a rack and I'd prefer not to have fenders unless you guys think it'd be a good idea because of rain?
Sounds like somewhere in Florida. Care to offer up the nearest Metro area? I'm sure we have locals from there that can give you a bit better insight on equipment needs.
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Old 06-03-13, 06:20 PM   #24
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I don't have anything particular in mind, just want one for commuting. If there isn't a consensus on the top brand, can you tell me the brands that are considered top of the line?
One might think that's an easy question to answer but it's not, especially in the U.S. If you want you can spend a lot of money and import a dutch style commuting bike. While lots of people like them, others are completely turned off.

When it comes to commuting bikes, the major brands typically available at local bike shops often have very similar offerings and so it's hard to say that one brand is better than another. Take a brand like Trek for example. They design their frame and maybe the fork, but all the moving parts come from various component makers and those same parts are available for any other brand to use.

What it often comes down to is what's available at your local shop, what level of components are you willing to pay for and just personal preference.

If money is no object there are boutique brands like Rivendell and even places that will custom make a bike for you. The bottom line though is that for commuting two miles most any bike will do the job.

If you're concerned about getting high quality, stay away from places like Walmart and Target. Go to a bike shop. It would be best if you can find one that sells a lot of commuters. You'll have better luck finding a shop like that in the city vs a suburb. Talk the sales person and then try a few different types of bikes.

Last edited by tjspiel; 06-03-13 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 06-03-13, 06:53 PM   #25
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Quote:
i prefer my local co-op.
you are in a city with a very high concentration of many shops , and riders. in a small area.

for those without an existing Co op. start one,

BTW Brand is a contract, with very few huge Manufacturers ,
one company will make the bikes for a dozen or more Brands .. for various Importers ..

and brand names get sold like commodities so they begin to be like writing on the Blackboard.
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