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  1. #1
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    Bike for commute/urban mountain biking?

    Hoping to get some advice from some bike experts about the type of bike I should be looking for and the price range.

    (Important factors = Weight, Ruggedness/Durability, and cost “aka” best bike for the money).

    My background: I am currently in medical school and mainly use my bike to commute but also like to abuse it on ruff urban terrain.

    Basically, I currently have an old trek 820 antelope that I use to commute to school three miles away. The commute is full of steep up and down hill paths, so weight is an important issue for me. My city is not super bike friendly, so along the way, I have to jump a lot of curbs and serious pot holes and cracks.

    My other use (for fun), is that I like to do what I call urban mountain biking. My school is full of high stairs that you can jump or ride down with your bike and lots of ledges you can jump off of. I do this for enjoyment and derive a lot of pleasure from it. So what I would like is a bike with some kind of suspension as opposed to my hardtail double butted bike, which inadvertently hurts my knees and package if I am sitting. To visualize the stairs I go down, think of the stairs from the Philadelphia library from the movie rocky. Also, the ledges I jump off of are about three to four feet high. My rims always get warped or go out of true, so I stopped doing this, but would like to get back into it (got nothing else to do while around the school).

    The biggest problem I have had is that the rims easily go out of true and get bent. So a bike with rims that can stand a lot of abuse are very important to me. I know that going down stairs and doing these jumps on concrete will hurt anything but if you know of something that can handle the type of abuse I am putting on it, I would very much appreciate it.

    My last factor is price. I only make 50 dollars a week tutoring physics/chemistry to undergrads at the university so I will have to save for a while. Please take that into consideration with your recommendations. (I can't work more than four hours a week, its just too much with the studying).

    To conclude, the question is: what do you recommend for the type of riding I am doing? My friends all tell me just not to ride it the way I am, but if this is what I want for fun, then I hope I can be able to do it.

    Also, let me know if you need more details, I can edit my question and you can edit your answer. Thanks in advance for the advice.

  2. #2
    Dion Rides
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    Consider a BMX cruiser or DJ bike. I had a Giant STP SS and it was the sh|tz0rz.

    Personally, I'd go with a Swobo Folsom. Where's the thread with the orange and black build. That bike is the sickne$$!

  3. #3
    Pint-Sized Gnar Shredder Zephyr11's Avatar
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    Light, strong, cheap. Pick two.

    The problem with a BMX cruiser or DJ is that it won't be great for commuting. Cruisers and a lot of DJ's are singlespeed, so they're less than ideal for hills. There are geared DJ's out there, but they'll be heavy. Since it's a 3 mile commute, you can get away with a bike like that, but it's not the best setup for commuting. You might also consider a freeride hardtail...something like a Komodo, Stiffee, Mr. Hyde, or Morphine. The other option you have is to keep the 820 for commuting and get a DJ for urban assault. Also a four foot drop to flat is going to make a mess out of most rims. Maybe a downhill guy can weigh in on a wheel suggestion, but anything that's going to be able to handle that consistently is going to be expensive.

  4. #4
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    Go for a bmx cruiser, would be perfect for what you need it for.
    Articles, information and guides at Mountain Biking Guide

  5. #5
    Dion Rides
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    I would recommend the Volume Sledgehammer (26" BMX Cruiser). I used to have one and they're fine for a 5 mile commute and thrashing. Here's me on mine in San Francisco.



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    They run about $500, online.

  6. #6
    Senior Member meanwhile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dion Rides View Post
    I would recommend the Volume Sledgehammer (26" BMX Cruiser). I used to have one and they're fine for a 5 mile commute and thrashing. Here's me on mine in San Francisco.
    This doesn't make any sense to me. What's your reasoning? The OP is short of money and the only problem he has is with his rims. Any rims the bike you suggest his current bike could take too. I can't see any rationale here except "I had one."

    The OP just needs new bouncy tyres and his wheels working over by a mechanic. Or at most some used 26 wheels off ebay.

  7. #7
    Dion Rides
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    Quote Originally Posted by meanwhile View Post
    This doesn't make any sense to me. What's your reasoning? The OP is short of money and the only problem he has is with his rims. Any rims the bike you suggest his current bike could take too. I can't see any rationale here except "I had one."

    The OP just needs new bouncy tyres and his wheels working over by a mechanic. Or at most some used 26 wheels off ebay.
    The OP specifically asks this:

    To conclude, the question is: what do you recommend for the type of riding I am doing? My friends all tell me just not to ride it the way I am, but if this is what I want for fun, then I hope I can be able to do it.
    So based on his premise, that he's jumping stairs and doing "urban MTB", I reccommend the Volume Sledgehammer, which is suited for that. In my previous post, I recommended a suspension DJ bike.

    OP asks for a recommendation, I give one. It ain't rocket science.

    He has an old Trek, that is not suited for that type of riding. So let's just say he spends $50 on a set of rims and $20 on some tires (on the very cheap end of things). Then he cracks his frame - which goes in the garbage. So he's out $70 (again, on the low end). Why would you put $70-$100 on a bike that's not even worth that?

    Again, my recommendation would be to save up and get something that will suit your riding and stand up against the abuse. Plus the geometry would be so much better. Don't polish a turd... as somebody who's been there a million times and wasted thousands of dollars "going cheap"... it's not worth it.

    To the OP: Try not to thrash your bike and save up for something nice(r). You can find great deals on CL within a decent price range that will suit you better.
    Last edited by Dion Rides; 09-09-09 at 02:25 PM.

  8. #8
    use your best eye kenhill3's Avatar
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    I'm in agreeance with Dion.

    For the drops, stairs, etc. the wheels need to be burly. But beefy wheels alone won't make that Trek suitable for gnar. The 800 frame will be stressed to hell at the head/top/down tube juncture, it's just not designed for this. It will fail eventually under this kind of use.

    What Dion showed for $500 looks hella sweet, by the way.
    "I tell you, We are here on earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you any different." - Kurt Vonnegut jr.

  9. #9
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    don't mean to be a thread jacker but how much does the sledgehammer weigh?

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