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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 06-20-14, 11:02 AM   #1
Pat_F
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Advice on bike purchase

I was planning on getting the Breezer Downtown EX but this bike caught my eye online PUBLC V7. I was wondering if this would be a better bike or not. I am still pretty green when it comes to good quality bikes, so any help would be appreciated with correct sizing and stuff like that. If you also have any suggestions regarding bikes that would be pretty helpful too.
I would be using this bike for a ~5 mile or so commute with one big hill near the end, I am 5'8 and around 196 lbs. My budget would be ~$600 but I could go a bit higher depending on feedback. Thanks for the help in advance, and have a great day.
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Old 06-20-14, 11:23 AM   #2
Pat_F
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I was also looking at the PUBLIC V1 but I was worried since it was a single speed, and I do not know if it is really feasible.
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Old 06-20-14, 05:42 PM   #3
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These are both very urban oriented bikes and would probably work fine. Steel so probably a bit heavy but as long as you're not in a rush should be OK

You could also consider one of many different hybrids from any of the major bike companies Some of these might be lighter/faster since they will likely be aluminum, but also may have a slightly harsher ride.

If possible, go ride these bikes and some others to find out what you like. Its hard to pick out a bike online and know if you will like it, particularly if you haven't ridden a variety of bikes to get an idea of what you like.

As for Public, they are less expensive frames, but you can get them with internal gears for a reasonable price which is nice. I have looked at them for a around town bike but personally kept looking at other options that seemed to offer more of what I care about for a bit more money.
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Old 06-20-14, 05:47 PM   #4
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Thank you so much for the thought out reply. I will definitely try to test some of these bikes tomorrow.
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Old 06-20-14, 11:22 PM   #5
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The Breezer looks like it might be a better bike if you anticipate some longer rides. It has mounts for two water bottles and a rack on the back. The Public bike, though is on sale and $150 cheaper. I also like the color scheme on the Breezer. I agree that a single speed might not work out so well with hills. The Trek Aliant 7 Allant 7 - Trek Bicycle is $549, but comes with fenders, no rack. Giant Escape City Escape City (2014) | Giant Bicycles | United States is also $550 and has rack and fenders. Fenders and rack are probably about $50 each if you added them to a naked bike.

Depending on where you live, REI and Performance Bike are also good places to look for urban/city bikes. Ride as many as you can!
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Old 06-21-14, 12:20 AM   #6
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I do 20 miles a day in Los Angeles on a Breezer Uptown EX and like it just fine. Fast off the line, handles great and comfortable for not a lot of money. Since this photo was taken I've removed the Wald basket, swapped out the rack and started using panniers - lowering my center of gravity has helped with stability at higher speeds.
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Old 06-21-14, 01:33 AM   #7
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A lighter bike will not make it faster. There are plenty of elements that will effect speed more than bike weight. How much time difference is an aluminum bike really going to make over a steel bike? 5 seconds? If they are the same geometry, same components and same tire size I would be surprised if you could measure the time difference
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Old 06-21-14, 06:30 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
A lighter bike will not make it faster. There are plenty of elements that will effect speed more than bike weight. How much time difference is an aluminum bike really going to make over a steel bike? 5 seconds? If they are the same geometry, same components and same tire size I would be surprised if you could measure the time difference
+1 ^^^

Durability and ride quality is superior with a chromoly or better steel frame bike.
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Old 06-23-14, 11:22 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by rms13 View Post
A lighter bike will not make it faster. There are plenty of elements that will effect speed more than bike weight. How much time difference is an aluminum bike really going to make over a steel bike? 5 seconds? If they are the same geometry, same components and same tire size I would be surprised if you could measure the time difference
I actually generally agree that the weight of a steel bike is a very small factor on speed (only real noticeable if you climb a lot). I actually have both a steel and aluminum bike, though my steel is a bit slower for a variety of reasons its only a few minutes on my slightly over an hour commute. I also really like the feel of steel bikes.

I really just wanted to point out to the OP that there are a ton of aluminum bikes in his price range he could consider, they are generally lighter, though "faster" is more a factor of other elements of the bike (I have tried a Public bike and they are for cruising, not riding fast). Sadly at this price range, or even higher prices, there are a limited number of Steel bikes to consider. I just figured the OP should try a number of bikes to see what he likes and not be limited to these two options or to steel bikes only.
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Old 06-26-14, 01:13 PM   #10
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Hey Pat,

I commute every single day, multiple times a day and only by my bicycle, so I can tell you that finding the right bicycle is very important. I used to commute on an old steel retro schwinn from the 80s. It was a great, fun bike, but when I upgraded to my aluminum frame and carbon fork XDS road bike, it made a huge difference. Since other folks are talking about weight, I'll chime in. Weight makes a big difference when you're riding every day. Sure, you can have a heavier bike and pedal harder, but a lighter bike is going to help you strain less during commutes. Ask an avid runner about shoes and they'll will emphatically tell you that shoes makes a huge difference. It's the same for bicycles.

If you're 5'8, here is your sizing chart:

Road Bike: 52-54 cm (I'd go 54)
Hybrid: 52 cm
Mountain: 17"

If you're looking for a great bicycle within a budget, check out XDS Bike Co. They have great bikes and ship for free. Their hybrid section is growing and has bicycles for all price ranges and qualities.

I recommend this one because I've ridden it and loved it:
Cross 300: Cross 300 - Hybrid Series | XDS Bike Co

But this is a very affordable bicycle that will do the trick:
Traveler | XDS Bike Co
They don't have the specs up, but I'm sure they will soon.

Anyway, I hope some of this was helpful. I'm a huge advocate for commuting by bicycle, so I'm excited you're getting on board. I don't think you need to spend tons of money, so check out XDS and use the money you save to get all the commuting equipment you want!

Cheers and good luck!
Spencer
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