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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 05-02-14, 05:32 PM   #1
townhouselemans
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Newbie, buying a road bike / commuter bike, super confused ...

Hello,

I have never ridden a "proper" road bike before. Now I am looking on Craigslist and I am unable to identify which used bike to buy.
I also don't know if someone is selling a lemon or an actually good bike.

I am a student who just reached the United States (San Francisco Bay Area) from a third world country and my budget is fairly constrained - I am hoping to spend less than $400. I can consider stretching this budget if there is a good reason to.

How should I go about buying a bike? Should I go to the local bicycle store and look at their used bike selection? Is Craigslist a good bet?

My goal is to commute and perhaps go on longer rides on the weekends.

I would love to get an opinion.
Thanks,
Archit
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Old 05-02-14, 05:41 PM   #2
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In your own words you say you don't know a lemon from a lime. Why mess around with Craigslist then? With $400 I could buy a new bike if I wanted. You might be able to pick up a last years Specialized Sirrus for that amount of money. You should be able to get something used for around $200. Used from a co-op or bike store.

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Old 05-02-14, 05:48 PM   #3
townhouselemans
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Thank you, appreciate the tip. I hadn't heard of Specialized Sirrus at all.

Is there any other budget bicycle you would recommend (since they may have a different selection at the bike stores)?

I am definitely looking to buy something used. I'll go to a bike store / co-op. Ha, also didn't realize that co-ops exist (or sell bikes).

Last edited by townhouselemans; 05-02-14 at 05:56 PM.
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Old 05-02-14, 08:55 PM   #4
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For a bike with drop bars maybe a Schwinn CrossFit. Some Diadora can be less expensive as well. The GT Traffic 2.0 might not be that bad although it has flat bars.

Cool, I just found a $650 Shimano Claris bike... (Vitus Razor)
Vitus Bikes Razor Road Bike 2014 | Chain Reaction Cycles
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Old 05-03-14, 12:35 AM   #5
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Luckily, you're in San Fran. There's an excellent bicycle co-op there located right around 17th and Florida street (or is it Avenue). It's called The Bike Kitchen. Start your search right there! Someone there will be able to better advise you.

If not, go to www.performancebike.com and just order a bike from there, online.

There's also www.nashbar.com and www.bikesdirect.com

These bikes online arrive 90% assembled already...

Good Luck!
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Old 05-03-14, 07:42 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by townhouselemans View Post
Thank you, appreciate the tip. I hadn't heard of Specialized Sirrus at all.

Is there any other budget bicycle you would recommend (since they may have a different selection at the bike stores)?

I am definitely looking to buy something used. I'll go to a bike store / co-op. Ha, also didn't realize that co-ops exist (or sell bikes).
Do you buy chance live in Sunnyvale? I ask, because I once lived in a complex off Tasman Dr, the street was LeMans Terrace.
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Old 05-03-14, 08:36 AM   #7
townhouselemans
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Do you buy chance live in Sunnyvale? I ask, because I once lived in a complex off Tasman Dr, the street was LeMans Terrace.
Why yes! I created the account name as a gag on it. Howdy neighbor of old!
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Old 05-03-14, 08:59 AM   #8
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If you're living in the Tasman area of Sunnyvale (Welcome to Cisco?) a fixie would be totally doable if that's what you want. If you're going to venture out to the hills you may need some gears. There are some really great hills in the South Bay like Mount Hamilton. But as far as where to find a bike in your area, Sports Basement has a nice selection and there are a few LBS like Walt's Cycle - Sunnyvale,CA - Adult Trikes, Trek, Raleigh, Electra, Haro, Cognition Cyclery in Mountain View which would be easily accessible by light rail http://cognitioncyclery.com/ and everyone loves Mike's Bikes of Palo Alto - Mike's Bikes - Road and Mountain Bike Shop, components, parts, accessories, service and repair which is somewhat of a Bay Area chain.
You're in a great area to bike with the Guadalupe River Trail and Coyote Creek Trail easily accessible and light rail to take you even farther!
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Old 05-03-14, 09:17 AM   #9
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I just looked at bikesdirect as someone suggested above and notice the Motobecane Fantom CX for $570.
Save up to 60% off new Cyclocross Road Bikes - Motobecane Fantom CX Clearance

It has a 50/36 crankset (not too difficult if you live in a hilly area, Shimano Sora/Tiagra shifters and derailleurs (better than Claris), aluminium frame and cro-mo forks (OK, carbon may not break but whatever, I prefer not taking a chance), 30mm tires and cross-top brake levers.
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Old 05-03-14, 09:38 AM   #10
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Why yes! I created the account name as a gag on it. Howdy neighbor of old!
If you can get Paxio for internet. The whole complex is wired for fiber to the home, take advantage of it! That was by far the best thing about the complex.
When I lived there, I think I had a 50 MBps up/down (in 2007) + unlimited for like $50/mon after all the taxes and everything. The bandwidth was incredible since it was a true 50 MBps.
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Old 05-03-14, 05:25 PM   #11
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Luckily, you're in San Fran. There's an excellent bicycle co-op there located right around 17th and Florida street (or is it Avenue). It's called The Bike Kitchen. Start your search right there! Someone there will be able to better advise you.
+1. There are actually several co-ops in San Fran:
Bicycle Collective and Co-op Links
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