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Old 06-28-08, 03:10 PM   #1
Dewey Cox
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I know what I want my bike to do, not sure what bike will do it...

NOTE: I'm a first time poster, but I've been on forums before (silverfishlongboarding.com) so I know someone will yell at me for not searching, however I feel my question is a bit to unique for the search function.



I'm a college student at Western Michigan University's college of aviation...that being said I do not have a very large budget. I'm trying to stick with a bike under $400.

I want a good all around bike, not strictly a road bike, yet fast on roads. At first glance, "hybrid" bikes such as these: http://bikes.jump-gate.com/bicycles_types/hybrids.html seem pretty cool, but expensive.

Firstly, would hybrids do the trick? Are they any ''cheap'' hybrids.

I'm thinking the answer to the above is no...

So what I'm leaning towards the most, is a Raleigh Mojave 4.0 with some ''slick'' tires on it.

Any ideas?
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Old 06-28-08, 04:30 PM   #2
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Try your local used listings or Craigslist for a touring bike. The Japanese ones from the mid 80s can be really light and fast, but with a more relaxed geometry (=more stable ride) than a road bike. Alternatively, try a rigid fork mountain bike and put "slick" road tires on. A lot of people in the Commuting forum have don this for tough everyday machines.

I had a bike with front shocks, and it was very nice at first as I got used to riding, but I soon found the bike too slow and heavy. The shocks eat up a lot of energy.
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Old 06-28-08, 05:27 PM   #3
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Buglady:

As for the craiglist idea, I'm looking for something new. I realize you can occasionally find steals on the site, but I want to stay new.

The shocks are my fear. All my life I've had bikes w/out shocks, and now suddenly all mtbikes have shocks. I would love a bike without shocks, I'm just having trouble finding one.
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Old 06-28-08, 05:44 PM   #4
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Well, you really haven't said what you'll be doing with the bike... long distance riding? Commuting around the city/a few blocks?

If you can save up a bit more...
http://jamisbikes.com/usa/bikes/08_bikes/08coda.html

EDIT: there are plenty of bikes without shocks. shocks will suck the life out of you.

Last edited by ShadowGray; 06-28-08 at 06:00 PM.
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Old 06-28-08, 05:57 PM   #5
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Fair enough, I can understand wanting something new! In that case, maybe try searching for "commuter" bikes - there are some nice ones being made that are a little lighter and faster than a hybrid and don't have the shocks. A flat bar road bike may also suit you, or a "cross" (cyclocross) bike - these are a bit tougher than the road-race style bike.

Names that come up on the Commuting board a lot are Jamis, Giant, Trek, and Specialized - all of these have commuter models now. The Jamis Coda is a little more than your budget ($475 msrp for the 2008) but is very highly regarded. There is also the Jamis Commuter 1, at $300. You may still be able to find 2007 models new, at a discount.

Raleigh makes a couple of lines, the Cadence and the Detour, that look really nice. (The Detour Deluxe is very pricey though).

Eyelets for attaching racks and fenders make a bike very useful for commuting, touring, or just running errands. You'll want to budget for a helmet (may not be a legal requirement in your area, but personally I don't want to have ahead injury and still be on the hook for student loans, so I wear one!), lights, and whatever rack/pannier/carry stuff system you decide to use.

Hope that helps...
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Old 06-28-08, 05:59 PM   #6
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Bikes that work on both paved and non-paved surfaces can include mountain bikes, cyclocross bikes, tour bikes and hybrids. Tour bikes are essentially a variant of road bikes that can accomodate slightly fatter tires, and racks and fenders. They can handle moderate off road conditions. Cyclocross bikes are road bikes adapted to racing on mixed surfaces, and they can also accomodate the fatter tires, and often racks and fenders as well.

Hybrids range from upright cushy comfort bikes that are quite slow, to lean and mean flat bar road bikes. You'd have to look at specific models to see if they suit you.

If you want a mountain bike that also is fast on the road, get a rigid model without suspension (you may have to go used, from the 1990s) and put thinner, slicker tires than usual on it.
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Old 06-28-08, 07:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowgray
Well, you really haven't said what you'll be doing with the bike... long distance riding? Commuting around the city/a few blocks?
It's an all around. My apartment to campus is a mile. However, my apartment to the airport is over 25 (I won't be making the 25nm regularly, however I would love to do it at least a few times); and then I still just do the bi-daily 12 mile ride.


Buglady: The Jamis Commuter is a little to "old person" for me; however the Jamis Coda, with a more sporty seat.

I really like the cadence line. I can't find pricing info on it, but it sure looks like a bike for me.
As for the helmet...don't worry, I've been riding bikes my whole life, I know the importance of helmets

EDIT: I can't tell what the wheel is for the cadence. Does it use slick 26", or the 700mm roadtires?

Last edited by Dewey Cox; 06-28-08 at 07:50 PM.
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Old 06-28-08, 07:56 PM   #8
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Daily 12 mile ride... that's still pretty decent of a ride. You definitely want a road bike, avoid anything with a shock, stick with skinny slicks.

If you're just going to stick with t he 1 mile commute, then a mountain bike would be fine, but I wouldn't do an "all-around" bike if you're going to have multimile rides. Maybe having 2 bikes, but then that's way out of budget.

Go with a good road bike, it'll be comfortable on long distance rides, and the bars give you a good amount of positions.
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Old 06-28-08, 08:11 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadowgray
Daily 12 mile ride... that's still pretty decent of a ride. You definitely want a road bike
hehehe, I've been going on 8-12 mile rides on my 20" giant MTX

Road Bikes are out of the question.

My dad's got a perfect condition Centurion Dave Scott Ironman Triathlon bike like the one pictured here equpied with Shimano 600's. It's a pretty sweet ride. Originally he was going to let me have it, but he changed his mind and wants me to have a more reliable bike (aka: no skinny roadtires prone to flats)

So that's why I can't have a roadbike. Beleive me, I would love one...but he's buyin so.
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Old 06-28-08, 08:23 PM   #10
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Why would skinny tires be more prone to flats... you can just run a slightly lower pressure or use something like armadillos. What are you riding through, junkyards?

Well, you could ask for a cyclocross bike, it's a road bike designed to fit thicker, knobby tires. Think of it as a useful road bike that can handle multiple terrain. The only problem is that they cost quite a bit.

And the Coda is just as likely to flat as a road bike, because it's basically a road bike with flat handlebars.
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Old 06-28-08, 08:48 PM   #11
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Why would skinny tires be more prone to flats... you can just run a slightly lower pressure or use something like armadillos. What are you riding through, junkyards?
Don't ask me, he's the one that said it. He'd ride very long distances, so I guess the probabililty is higher...I dunno...but like I said, he's paying.

Quote:
And the Coda is just as likely to flat as a road bike, because it's basically a road bike with flat handlebars.
That's what I was worried about.

Quote:
Well, you could ask for a cyclocross bike, it's a road bike designed to fit thicker, knobby tires. Think of it as a useful road bike that can handle multiple terrain. The only problem is that they cost quite a bit.
The problem is I haven't found any cheap ones.
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Old 06-29-08, 06:24 AM   #12
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a little more money gets you a redline cyclocross bike.
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Old 06-29-08, 06:57 AM   #13
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I have a couple of thoughts but I don't know how much they'll help you.

1. You said "fast on the road". Once you get over about 12 MPH, most of your power is consumed by aero drag. As an avaiation guy you should appreciate that. Consequently, body position and getting your torso out of the windstream matters more than just about anything else.

2. University campus rings a bell. For putzing around campus, get a POS bike to ride. That way you won't feel so bad when it gets stolen.
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Old 06-29-08, 07:01 AM   #14
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Look for a used or NOS cyclocross bike.
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Old 06-29-08, 09:23 AM   #15
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I assume you are riding to the airport regularily for your aviation studies. If you are going there to travel, you wouldn't likely go by bike.

Your Dad is right, skinny tires are more prone to flats, for three reasons:

The rubber is thinner, so a shard of glass or a pointy pebble or even some thorns, have less distance to penetrate.

The narrow contact patch and high PSI means the pressure the sharp object applies to the tire is higher - your weight is not spread out over a wider area. (Of course the upside of that is you have a better chance of missing the hazard. But if is a cluster of broken glass shards that you can't avoid, that may not help).

And if you slip up and forget to maintain high pressure, you have an increased likelihood of the rim bottoming out as you go over a pothole or root and pinching the tube right through the tire and giving you a pinch flat (also known as snakebite flat).


My commuter bikes (a tour bike and a rigid mountain bike with slicks) were bought used. They work fine but don't look too fancy to thieves.

Last edited by cooker; 06-29-08 at 09:40 AM.
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Old 06-29-08, 01:54 PM   #16
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I assume you are riding to the airport regularily for your aviation studies. If you are going there to travel, you wouldn't likely go by bike.
nah, the airport is 20 something miles, I drive. I just would like to ride there for fun, as an accomplishment a few times.
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Old 07-01-08, 11:28 AM   #17
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bump
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Old 07-01-08, 01:13 PM   #18
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http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...0_series/7000/

$359

Durable, sturdy, fast enough, but not so nice that you'd worry about parking it at a college campus.
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Old 07-01-08, 03:51 PM   #19
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If you're the least handy with a bike you can get a cross bike at bikesdirect.com for about $550. Even though it says 8 speed, I'm pretty sure it will come with 9. Mine did in February, and another poster mentioned that his was 9 sp in May. I think the new Sora is all 9 speed.
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Old 07-01-08, 06:02 PM   #20
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I have nothing useful to add to this conversation except that I'm a (former) Bronco myself. I miss K-zoo. I don't envy you biking some of those hills though. Hope you don't live in the Valley!
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Old 07-05-08, 08:48 AM   #21
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aixia...I live about a mile west of campus...the hills get bad once you ride north though.
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Old 07-05-08, 09:05 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by rogerstg View Post
If you're the least handy with a bike you can get a cross bike at bikesdirect.com for about $550. Even though it says 8 speed, I'm pretty sure it will come with 9. Mine did in February, and another poster mentioned that his was 9 sp in May. I think the new Sora is all 9 speed.
+1

The problem is budget here... if you can extend it to about $600, then this would be great.
http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...m_cross_cx.htm
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Old 07-05-08, 05:47 PM   #23
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Get a Flatbar bike.
Look at Specialized Sirrus, Trek FX, Cannondale Road Warrior, Jamis Coda, etc.
They are road bike with slightly upright position.
I have a Sirrus Comp and love it.

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Old 07-05-08, 06:38 PM   #24
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Check out:

Fuji Absolute
Cannondale Road Warrior
Gary Fisher Monona
Gary Fisher Wingra
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Old 07-05-08, 07:23 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by maddyfish View Post
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...0_series/7000/

$359

Durable, sturdy, fast enough, but not so nice that you'd worry about parking it at a college campus.
+1

Be sure to add fenders, a rack, and a lock.
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