I live in Honolulu, HI and need a good bike to ride the roughly 5 miles to school and back again. I'm 5' 4", 200lbs, and wear 36 x 30 pants, with a bit of extra typically extending beneath my shoes from time to time, so I guess real size would be 36 x 28, but nobody has pants with those specs. I expect my briefcase(can be worn backpack style) to weigh anywhere from 10-20lbs depending on the amount of books, so maybe 220lbs the frame needs to carry.
If you can't be bothered to read the monstrous wall of text, here's the short list of what I'm looking for:
-Price: $1,000 for the bike alone(please don't have me buy just the frame)
-Wheel diameter: 29"-ish
-6061-T6 Aluminum frame (must be able to handle at least 250lbs of weight for 6 years)
-No foreign or exotic brands, my bike shop needs to be able to get ahold of it.
-And I need advice on locks to secure my pricey investment.
I'm looking for a bike that can comfortably cover long distances quickly and easily so I'm not exhausted by the time I finish class and need to ride to work. The kindly bike shop attendant dropped the bomb that I've been doing things all wrong by buying mountain bikes when the tires would never once go off-road. I also had some bad experiences with rust as it would rain at least once a week, which ate through the coating on the handlebars and started rusting through them.
With all that in mind, I would like to stick with an aluminum frame and hopefully aluminum handle bars/fork as well. I was directed to a Giant Cypress with suspension, though I didn't quite feel as though it was the best for what I was willing to pay(around $350 for the bike). I'm willing to invest $1,000 on the bike alone for a trusted brand with a frame that can handle my weight for at least 6 years, and give me the most mileage for my buck. I typically try to stay on the sidewalk, though cops are annoyingly persistent about keeping me on the road with all the road rage guys and the old asian ladies wearing dark dark sunglasses while keeping her chin no less than an inch away from the steering wheel. So I figure a faster moving bike might be desirable to let me ride on the road without pissing too many people off(I often see every single car on the right lane drive around the cyclist, and I'd rather not be that guy during rush hour traffic). I assume large diameter wheels would help in this regard? 26 felt too small, whereas 29 felt just right for me.
As for the suspension, that isn't really necessary right? I've always felt the need for it given my weight and the fact that I typically drop from the curb of the sidewalk onto the road quite often instead of looking for a ramp. But I suppose it isn't too big of a pain to simply lift the bike on or off the sidewalk, as I normally have to do going from the road to the sidewalk, because I can't "jump" the bike back on like other people do. Plus, I always felt that put a lot of stress on the frame and probably shouldn't be done on an aluminum frame anyway.
But yes, I need a brand/model with those things in mind, as my bike shop says that they can put in special orders.
I was also planning to secure my bike with a combination of an Abus Granit U-Bar lock(the lvl 10 one), along with an Abus Granit City Chain(lvl 12). Might need 2 of the U-bars and 1 chain, though I'm not sure if that's overkill, too much weight would make it pointless for an aluminum frame and would add on another 20 lbs. I made the mistake of using the cable type locks once and that was cut through easily. Hawaii isn't a high crime state, but the bikes missing wheels on the college campus reminds me that it isn't exactly crime free either, and I'm not sure how sophisticated the thieves are. My last bike(which wasn't stolen), was typically secured using 2 plain Kryptonite U-bars, each one locking a wheel to the frame, with just barely enough room to secure it to the bike rack. Since the Granit U-Bars seem thicker and shorter, I figure I might need a chain on top of that. Or would it simply be more economical to buy 2 chains? I like the U-Bar because I can hang them off the frame, and I'm not sure I have enough space to cramp 2 chains in my briefcase, and upon further reflection the chain itself seems no longer than the bars, though it is more flexible. Any ideas?