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Old 04-17-08, 05:41 PM   #1
AliceCuriouse
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Newbie Commuter Advice - Never Biked Before

I am sorry for my impatience--posting a question when I could perhaps find this information somewhere--but I have spent about 5 hours today online reading up on bikes and in bike forums--whereas I knew absolutely nothing before. And I guess I'm all worked up and excited about my decision to start commuting by bike.

My commute is about 4.5 miles commute (on pavement) and I do want the option to carry a certain amount of cargo with me -- after work I am a student and I also go to and from the gym, so I have some equipment and books that I will always carry with me.

I feel that, as a 5'1" woman I should definitely get a new bike as my size won't be so easy to fit, but I am not sure I can spend $600-$1000 right now for a new Breezer, or other commute-specific bike. We have small bike shops in my area (Pasadena, CA) but I am betting that they mostly have mountain bikes--I am not sure how easy it will be for me to buy a new commuter bike through a small shop. I am also a bit scared to buy online because making all of the measurements seems confusing and difficult.

Should I try to get a hybrid bike through a shop and then try to put a rack/mirror on it?
Or do you know of a somewhat inexpensive brand of a commuter bike that I should try to purchase online?

Again, sorry for the newbie questions. And thank you very much in advance!

Last edited by AliceCuriouse; 04-17-08 at 05:51 PM.
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Old 04-17-08, 05:54 PM   #2
chucko58
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Welcome! You might try asking these questions in the Commuting forum...

I am a strong believer in racks and panniers for hauling stuff around, but if you're just getting started a daypack or over-the-shoulder messenger bag will work. For that short a ride it'll probably be OK. On longer rides, I find my back gets too sweaty with a daypack, which is why I switched.

An inexpensive hybrid bike is fine for starters. Don't waste your money on a suspension fork, it's not needed on the street. You can always swap the tires for skinny slicks. Skinny high pressure tires are faster rolling, but give a rougher ride though.

Best of luck, and check out the rest of the forums!
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Old 04-17-08, 06:17 PM   #3
AliceCuriouse
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Thank you!
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Old 04-17-08, 07:26 PM   #4
East Hill
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Hello AC, you are a whole inch taller than I am, and it can be tricky to find a bike which fits, but it's not impossible. What kind of budget are you looking at?

Since you mentioned books and equipment, you may not be able to use a backpack for long without it hurting your back.


Welcome to BF!

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Old 04-17-08, 07:40 PM   #5
alicestrong
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Hi there, Alice...Welcome.

You are in Pasadena? you might want to hook up with this group,

Bike Week Pasadena is almost here and we also have an Urban Ride April 26-checking out the trees in Pasadena.

Alice
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