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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 05-15-14, 06:51 PM   #1
briney11
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What kind of bike for commuting??

I will be going either 7 or 15 miles depending on the day. Basically I live in a very rural area and will be traveling between towns. I would be riding on 2 lane country highways. Usually light traffic. Mostly farmers. I'm new to riding and have always had a mountain bike for just riding around town. Would a mountain bike be good for this or should I look for a road bike?
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Old 05-15-14, 06:55 PM   #2
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Maybe look at a Hybrid bike.. Something you can add racks to ect..
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Old 05-15-14, 07:07 PM   #3
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What are your country highways like?...Are they smooth, flat, and paved? ...Are they uneven and filled with gravel?...Are they more like dirt trails?


Also, what is the most you're willing to spend budget-wise?
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Old 05-15-14, 07:14 PM   #4
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They are paved and somewhat hilly but not horrible. Pretty straight too. I really can't spend more than $200.
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Old 05-16-14, 01:17 AM   #5
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They are paved and somewhat hilly but not horrible. Pretty straight too. I really can't spend more than $200.
I fear that a new bike is beyond your budget. You might be lucky enough to score a well-conditioned used bike off CL. However, that's not too likely either.

What's wrong with your mountain bike?
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Old 05-16-14, 01:44 AM   #6
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I will be going either 7 or 15 miles depending on the day. Basically I live in a very rural area and will be traveling between towns. I would be riding on 2 lane country highways. Usually light traffic. Mostly farmers. I'm new to riding and have always had a mountain bike for just riding around town. Would a mountain bike be good for this or should I look for a road bike?
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I really can't spend more than $200.
With that budget, I'd suggest you make the MTB better suited for commuting, assuming there's nothing catastrophically wrong with it now. Change tyres to something a bit narrower and less knobby. Depending on your local climate, get fenders. If you're going to be riding in the dark, invest on lights and possibly high-visibility clothing. Consider buying a rear rack and panniers, unless you're comfortable carrying your stuff in a backpack.

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Old 05-16-14, 06:02 AM   #7
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With that budget, I'd suggest you make the MTB better suited for commuting, assuming there's nothing catastrophically wrong with it now. Change tyres to something a bit narrower and less knobby. Depending on your local climate, get fenders. If you're going to be riding in the dark, invest on lights and possibly high-visibility clothing. Consider buying a rear rack and panniers, unless you're comfortable carrying your stuff in a backpack.

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The mountain bike should be fine. I would definitely work on figuring out a way to carry your stuff besides on your back, that will greatly increase your enjoyment. If you continue bike commuting you may decide you want something else later. For now just get on whatever bike you have and ride it, you can make adjustments incrementally. Make sure whatever tires you use are properly inflated, that makes a huge difference in speed.
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Old 05-16-14, 06:21 AM   #8
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+1 on using your existing bike, if it's in good shape. The best thing to make it more suited to commuting on pavement would be smoother, high-pressure tires. Also, if you don't have one, get a blinky for the back, even if you only ride in daylight. I suggest you also consider a mirror. With a budget of $200, you can get a nice rack and trunk bag or small panniers with money left over. If you need them, get a headlight and fenders. If you can't get everything within your budget, you can postpone the fenders and only ride when it's nice (I did that for a couple of years). Or, you can postpone the rack and bag and use a backpack (I did that, too, for a while). However, I found a backpack somewhat uncomfortable, and never liked having the weight shifting around and so high.
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Old 05-16-14, 08:44 AM   #9
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How about one of theses???

TREK 7500fx if I can get him down enough

Schwinn Prelude for sale

RALEIGH 10 SPEED MENS SUPER RECORD

PANASONIC DX SPORT

Vintage Road Bike

Schwinn Road Bike
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Old 05-16-14, 09:01 AM   #10
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There's a $200 Fixed/Single speed road bike on Amazon that looks ok if you want new. I don't use a single speed, but I'd be tempted to if there aren't many hills and given the budget. The attraction is simplicity - less to go wrong, less to maintain. And less weight in theory, although those are probably around 25 pounds.
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Old 05-16-14, 09:05 AM   #11
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There's a $200 Fixed/Single speed road bike on Amazon that looks ok if you want new. I don't use a single speed, but I'd be tempted to if there aren't many hills and given the budget. The attraction is simplicity - less to go wrong, less to maintain. And less weight in theory, although those are probably around 25 pounds.
Link???
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Old 05-16-14, 09:16 AM   #12
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Link???
Amazon.com: TRACK FIXED GEAR BIKE FIXIE SINGLE SPEED ROAD BIKE: Sports & Outdoors

The review comments says it weighs 28 pounds, so for sure not a good choice if you have hills. But the price is right at $169!
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Old 05-16-14, 09:45 AM   #13
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Is there anything wrong with your mountain bike? Mine is rigid but I put street tires on it and it works fine for the 10ish mile rides I use it for.
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Old 05-16-14, 09:58 AM   #14
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The mountain bike is an old Huffy Blades. The brakes are horrible, one of the shifters is broken off, the tires will need replaced, and the seat is hard as a rock. Plus my son has taken over riding it so I'd have to either share or buy him a new bike. Which is going to be needed anyway because he is 12 and already 6'2". I am only 5'10"
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Old 05-16-14, 11:35 AM   #15
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Go look at them, do some test rides, make sure anything you get FITS, and works ok and is in good shape. I don't get the sense that you're in this to fiddle with an antique. Due to age (10 for the Trek, 20-30 years for the roadies) it's anyone's guess how much wear they might have or how they've been maintained, you'd have to go look.

The Trek you posted is a fairly modern hybrid which is a lot like a mountain bike with bigger wheels, with trigger shifters, and it has lots of screw holes for racks, fenders etc. It would make a great commuter. Of the others you posted, the Prelude was an entry-level racing bike from the factory and lighter and nicer, with brand-name components and double-butted chromoly tubing in the frame. The others are basic transportation from before the mountain bike fad.

You can look up the Schwinns here Schwinn Catalogs by Year

And the Raleighs here Retro Raleighs

And the Trek here 2004 7500 FX - Bike Archive - Trek Bicycle

You shouldn't worry too much about finding parts for any of these. If something modern from a bike shop or mail order won't bolt up, you can find new-old-stock parts on eBay.

If you become serious about year-round commuting you may also want to budget for racks, bags, lights and fenders.
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Old 05-16-14, 01:58 PM   #16
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The mountain bike is an old Huffy Blades. The brakes are horrible, one of the shifters is broken off, the tires will need replaced, and the seat is hard as a rock. Plus my son has taken over riding it so I'd have to either share or buy him a new bike. Which is going to be needed anyway because he is 12 and already 6'2". I am only 5'10"
Well, that changes things. I'd suggest you follow the advice on getting a used mountain bike, touring bike, or hybrid on CL, and go from there. Get a helmet if you don't already have one. Get a blinky. If you have money left, you can investigate racks, bags and fenders.
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Old 05-16-14, 05:58 PM   #17
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The guy with the Trek said that his bottom dollar is $250. Is that a good price?
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Old 05-16-14, 07:31 PM   #18
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The mountain bike is an old Huffy Blades. The brakes are horrible, one of the shifters is broken off, the tires will need replaced, and the seat is hard as a rock. Plus my son has taken over riding it so I'd have to either share or buy him a new bike. Which is going to be needed anyway because he is 12 and already 6'2". I am only 5'10"
If your son is 12 yrs old and he's already 6' 2", then he's going to be at least 7 feet tall! Therefore, expect rapid and continuous growth. He's gonna end up with an XXXL bike!

I say, go with him to all of these places and have him test ride all the bikes. He should select the quietest one, that shifts the smoothest. Make certain that it either fits perfectly, or is just a tad too large. Just make sure it's not too small whatever the case may be....

If you don't have any hellacious hills to climb, then I'd suggest that you checkout the Mongoose Sinsure single speed at Uncle Wally's, for yourself.

Last edited by WestPablo; 05-17-14 at 01:07 AM.
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Old 05-16-14, 08:03 PM   #19
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Bicycle Blue Book - Used Bikes

Great place when buying used to get a judge
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