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  1. #1
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    Which bike is best for fast, bumpy city roads?

    I have recently sold my truck and generally simplified my life in every which economical way. So, I am trying to find a bike that would best fit my needs. I don't necessarily want to be cheap, I want a good bike, but my price range honestly is between about $200-300.

    Right now I have a cheap Huffy I found on Craigs List and at least I can laugh about it... while everything seems to be falling apart on it. I'm not even sure how the back tire got bent. It's a piece of junk.

    I am all about speed and comfort. If you've ever tried driving in the city, you know that there are TONS of bumps. Many times I'm forced to go on the side-walk. I just want a tough bike that can go FAST over bumps and not fall apart and be somewhat comfortable at the same time. I know there might not be a perfect bike for this scenario but what do you recommend comes closest? I've been looking at Giants.

    Don't be bashful. Please recommend brand name and model, both in my price range and above it.

    Thanks,
    Nathan

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bill Kapaun's Avatar
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    Fast or comfortable or tough? You might get 2 out of 3, but probably not for your price range.
    Back to CL for a used bike.

  3. #3
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    Help me out here.

    When I say comfort I basically mean more comfortable than a piece of junk Huffy that feels like screws are coming off at each bump and that doesn't feel like it's going to give me a head-ache.

    By speed I don't necessarily mean fast like many of you are used to. I'm totally a novice. My fast might be a lot slower than your fast. On this Huffy I need to peddle really hard to go kind of fast. I'm just looking for something a little better.

    And by toughness I just want a solid bike, strong enough to take kind of a beating. Some of these "comfort" bikes I've seen look like they might not be strong enough. I'm new at this and just looking for someone to turn me in the right direction.
    Last edited by servant119b; 03-31-08 at 06:05 PM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Check out preowned mountain bikes at LBS.
    Find one that fits you well and is comfortable.
    Have the LBS install Schwalbe Big Apples (50-559 is nice) or for the ultimate float
    install 60-559 (this size can be a tight fit in some frames).
    IMO, this combination offers the best balance to meet your requirements.

  5. #5
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    up your price a lot if possible.

  6. #6
    old but fast
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    definitly go for a moutain bike! Your price range will limit you, but keep an eye on closeouts at the bike shop or look for good used one. Any big bike name company should do, but stay away from the big box retailers unless you know something about what your looking at. If you can get your price up to 400-500 your range of bike improves quite a bit.

    I ride my MTB on the sidewalks around me just because they are rough and bumpy, it like a concrete MTB trail.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    My beater is a hard tail mountain bike. It has a rigid fork but 1.9" Continental Town & Country tires to give it some "cush". It's very basic and very solid. I love it.

  8. #8
    rebmeM roineS JanMM's Avatar
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    The larger air volume of most tires, even slicks, used on MTB's, will help you roll over bumpy streets without beating you up.

  9. #9
    Senior Member BikeManDan's Avatar
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    Get the fattest tires possible for bumpy conditions

  10. #10
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    My older Schwinn Mesa would be fast commuter if I changed the fork to a rigid version and put on slicks.

    I still got a Cannondale Bad Boy Disc anyway, and at a discounted price that wasn't much more than what it would've cost to upgrade all the parts on the Schwinn. It's quick -- the mountain bike gearing and relatively skinny tires allow nice acceleration.

    If you want a fast bike, do without suspension (or at least use a fork with a lockout) and use slick tires that are as narrow as you're willing to tolerate. I'd also vote for a suspension seatpost, even a cheap one -- it'll let you run a relatively efficient fully rigid bike while absorbing some of the bumps you'd feel while seated.

    In the meantime, keep the Huffy, and use it to learn about bike maintenance. Learn how to adjust the shifters, how to true the wheels (such as the rear, which you say is bent), etc etc.

  11. #11
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by servant119b View Post
    I am all about speed and comfort. If you've ever tried driving in the city, you know that there are TONS of bumps. Many times I'm forced to go on the side-walk. I just want a tough bike that can go FAST over bumps and not fall apart and be somewhat comfortable at the same time. I know there might not be a perfect bike for this scenario but what do you recommend comes closest?
    I recently tried out a bike with Schwalbe Fat Frank tires on it. It was an amazingly cushy ride on a very bumpy street. I understand Electra has models featuring Fat Franks.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  12. #12
    surly old man jgedwa's Avatar
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    I think a suspension fork is overkill for urban riding. Cheap, old, rigid MTB with slicks makes for a killer city bike. Alternatively, older road bikes often have much more room for biggish tires. Its hard to beat a run of the mill 80's Japanese road bike with 32mm tires for urban assault.

    jim
    Cross Check Nexus7, IRO Mark V, Trek 620 Nexus7, Karate Monkey half fat, IRO Model 19 fixed, Amp Research B3, Surly 1x1 half fat fixed, and more...
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