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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 04-12-14, 03:42 PM   #1
Nada
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College Commuting Road Bike

Hello every body,

I am thinking of buying a road bike for my commute to college, a 16 mile commute. This will be my first bike since middle school, therefore I am looking at the bike in the $400 range since I am a beginner.

I have looked at some bikes on some websites, but don't know which is the best one since they are all close in their pricing. The bikes are the (Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano), the (Vilano Shadow), the (Giordano Libero) and the (GMC Denali Road Bike). I know these are not the best bikes in the market, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on a bike, then find out that I am not into this sport.

Appreciate your response.
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Old 04-12-14, 09:15 PM   #2
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If you have any friends who are into cycling and would be willing to help you find a good used bike that might be best considering your budget. You should be able to get a quality used bike for a couple hundred bucks. If you want a road bike you can often find good ones from the 80's or 90's cheap enough that even if you need to take it to a bike shop to have them tune it up/overhaul it for you, you should still be able to come in under your budget and will have something much better than a department store bike. The trick is to do your research and find out which brands to look for, and to be able to recognize the difference between low end and quality bikes. There is a lot of info available on the internet. If you find a couple on craigslist or something you think might be good you can post links on bike forums and you might get some good insight.

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Old 04-13-14, 08:52 AM   #3
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A key consideration will be racks and bags for the gear you need to transport to and from college. I doubt you will want to persist very long with a backpack for that length of commute. So, in conjunction with choosing a bike, you should determine what you need to carry as cargo and how. Then, make sure the racks you want to use are compatible with the bike you select. With a road bike, you should also equip yourself to repair flats enroute, as the tires are relatively vulnerable to punctures.
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Old 04-13-14, 09:28 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nada View Post
Hello every body,

I am thinking of buying a road bike for my commute to college, a 16 mile commute. This will be my first bike since middle school, therefore I am looking at the bike in the $400 range since I am a beginner.

I have looked at some bikes on some websites, but don't know which is the best one since they are all close in their pricing. The bikes are the (Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano), the (Vilano Shadow), the (Giordano Libero) and the (GMC Denali Road Bike). I know these are not the best bikes in the market, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on a bike, then find out that I am not into this sport.

Appreciate your response.
Avoid the Denali. Are you willing to partially assemble a bike? Look into Bikes Direct. The Motobecane Mirage is a nice ride that comes in under the $400 mark.
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Old 04-13-14, 09:34 AM   #5
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If you are okay with flat bars vs. drop bars, the Giant Cypress is a good deal: Cypress (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States. It is normally $400, on sale for $320 right now. This is an entry level hybrid that will put you in a relatively upright position. You could also bump up a level to the Cypress DX for $420: Cypress DX (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States. I have one of these and use it regularly for a 12 mile r/t commute. I have also taken it on metric centuries, though I wasn't winning any prizes for speed!

You will likely want to swap out the saddle for something less cushy and add a rack, some lights, and possibly fenders if you plan to ride in the rain.

Is your commute 16 miles one way or round trip?

Last edited by Giant Doofus; 04-13-14 at 09:41 AM.
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Old 04-13-14, 09:47 AM   #6
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+1!

The Giant Cypress is an awesome bike. I scooped one up @ the local thrift store for the price of $40. Gave it to my Dad. Rode it once, and it is incredibly comfortable. He won't let me ride it anymore.
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Old 04-13-14, 10:16 AM   #7
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a Shiny bike in a college bike rack is a theft magnet so invest in some serious locks and a security chain
(not just a cable ) to secure frame and wheels and to the rack or other very solid place to lock up the bike to ..
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Old 04-13-14, 11:33 AM   #8
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If your commute will basically be on flat terrain, then you can get a quality single speed for right around that amount. Single speeds require less maintenance and cost less for greater quality.

OTOH, either a Giant Sedona or Cypress will do just fine

Whatever you do, avoid cheap suspended forks!

Checkout www.performancebike.com

If you order online, call their customer service department first before ordering, for correct sizing advice...

Last edited by WestPablo; 04-13-14 at 11:39 AM.
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Old 04-13-14, 01:40 PM   #9
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The Denali is the best bike in its price range

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nada View Post
Hello every body,

I am thinking of buying a road bike for my commute to college, a 16 mile commute. This will be my first bike since middle school, therefore I am looking at the bike in the $400 range since I am a beginner.

I have looked at some bikes on some websites, but don't know which is the best one since they are all close in their pricing. The bikes are the (Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano), the (Vilano Shadow), the (Giordano Libero) and the (GMC Denali Road Bike). I know these are not the best bikes in the market, but I don't want to spend a lot of money on a bike, then find out that I am not into this sport.

Appreciate your response.
I have ridden the Denali for a year and its just fine for a commuting bike. Some color options are more expensive than others. Check out Walmart.com and Amazon. If you get the Denali you will have to assemble part of the bike yourself. Its not very hard and requires a few tools. Take it to your local bike shop and have them do a safety check on it which entails tuning the gears, and brakes. Purchase some different brake pads as well-they are the weak link on the Denali. Everything else is good to go, and will suit your commuting needs. Its a heavier road bike-you will get a better work out. Purchase a good U-lock, some lights and maybe a helmet. I had no problems rocking a backpack. I also bought a rack and some paniers,

I've had my Denali for a year and its served me well. I've done some improvements and ran into a snag with the brakes. If you can swing it-learn how to fix your own bike. I live in LA and there are two bike co'opts that are a short distance away from the light rail. They charge a small fee to use their bike stands and have helpers that show you how to do just anything in regards to fixing a bike.

The posters on this thread mean well, but have never ridden the bike and appear to be comparing it with higher end bikes which isn't fair but each to their own. Posters in other threads and on other bike forums are flat out leetist snobs. If you have any question let me know.

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Last edited by grizzly907la; 04-13-14 at 01:45 PM. Reason: Grammar
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Old 04-13-14, 02:44 PM   #10
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That's cool, don't mean to bash on the Denali, but- for the upper end of OP's $400 price range I'll pick the Motobecane. The Denali's weird twist shifters alone are a deal breaker for me.
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Old 04-13-14, 03:27 PM   #11
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Good Bicyle For School

Don't do what I did when I went to college, buy the cheapest thing I could find. (In my case, a 45 Lbs. Huffy) In the same line, you don't need a top of the line racing bike. I agree with the list, look at Bike Direct or other outlets. Some bike shops have very good, used bike with little mileage on them. Ask around to your local bike clubs as they can be a great source for good used bicycles.
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Old 04-13-14, 05:20 PM   #12
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You learn to get used to them

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That's cool, don't mean to bash on the Denali, but- for the upper end of OP's $400 price range I'll pick the Motobecane. The Denali's weird twist shifters alone are a deal breaker for me.
You learn to get use to them and they didn't bother me too much because I've rode mountain bikes most of my life. I wouldn't compare this bike to a Motobecane. Heck I might even get a Motobecan once I can afford one.
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Old 04-14-14, 06:50 PM   #13
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I wouldn't recommend the Denali as an out-of-the-box solution for the OP. I should know, I have one. I purchased it with my eyes wide open, as a vacation bike for use when I'm visiting my parents, i.e., limited use on an annual basis. I've made a number of mods/upgrades to it, most of which I planned from the beginning, using surplus parts I had on hand, and a few very cost effective Ebay and Amazon purchases. Upgrades & mods include: brakes, brake levers, stem, bar & shifters, seatpost, pedals, and crankset (due to personal gearing fetish, but a significant weight reduction as a bonus)
For a 32 mile daily round trip commute, I would not choose a Denali unless I had a stash of surplus better grade parts to swap onto it immediately. And I certainly wouldn't choose it if I weren't self-reliant for all maintenance and repairs. The headset began to fail with false brinelling almost immediately, but I will be attending to that on my next visit with a surplus Japanese bike boom headset from my stash.
To be clear, my Denali has not disappointed me, but I am self-reliant in all mechanical matters, and I am not subjecting it to c. 7500 miles/year.
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