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  1. #1
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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?

  2. #2
    Senior Member raqball's Avatar
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    Maybe look at a Hybrid bike.. Something you can add racks to ect..

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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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    They are paved and somewhat hilly but not horrible. Pretty straight too. I really can't spend more than $200.

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    Quote Originally Posted by briney11 View Post
    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?

  6. #6
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briney11 View Post
    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?
    Quote Originally Posted by briney11 View Post
    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.

    --J
    To err is human. To moo is bovine.

    Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Juha View Post
    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.

    --J
    +1
    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.

  8. #8
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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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.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
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  10. #10
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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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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    Quote Originally Posted by wphamilton View Post
    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???

  12. #12
    rugged individualist wphamilton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briney11 View Post
    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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    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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    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"

  15. #15
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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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.

  16. #16
    Senior Member the_tool_man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by briney11 View Post
    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.
    Optimist: The glass is half-full.
    Pessimist: The glass is half-empty.
    Engineer: The glass is twice as big as it needs to be.

    Masi 3VC Volumetrica
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  17. #17
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    The guy with the Trek said that his bottom dollar is $250. Is that a good price?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by briney11 View Post
    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.

  19. #19
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    Bicycle Blue Book - Used Bikes

    Great place when buying used to get a judge

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