I'm looking at getting started commuting to work, and I went to use the bike I have collecting dust, a 05 specialized rockhopper 19".
Anyway, transit is 7 miles and I have a hard time doing half that on this bike, upon further research I think I landed on the problem, is that the bike is the wrong size for me. The front fork has the squishiest shocks ever, which I read is absorbing some of my effort. The front handlebars are the wrong height, which is why my arms, wrists, and neck get sore (I've been soaking up sheldon browns website. RIP, i just found him and he is gone) while at mr browns site I started reading about fixed gear bikes, and I am really interested in it, but, years of riding the car and not being active might preclude me from these bikes, they look so delicate hehe. I'm 6"3, maybe 6'4" and 240 lbs. I'm going to be riding to work for health reasons as well as to stop the gasoline addiction. I'd also be using it for daily errands. I work 13 hour shifts at a hospital so the bike will be unattended for long periods of time, but I think I will be able to park it in front of security, or maybe in front of a camera or 2, so that should offset some of the danger, but I dont want to spend no 500-600, 1 the money isnt there, 2 i want to get my feet wet, perhaps if i like it upgrade later (much later)
So of course I found the bikesdirect offerings, and I see all the bashing, but I also see all the LBS praising, so I kind of gotta take it with a grain of salt. I wasnt terribly impressed with my LBS, when I bought my rockhopper at the LBS they filled the tire so overfull that it exploded from the slight vibrations in my car on the way home, about stunned me and f'd my hearing up for a few days. When I returned to the shop they didnt seem that shocked, they put a new tire on it and said it was ready to go.. the tire frame was warped from the explosion though which he pretended he didnt notice... anyway, long story short, I'm sure there are bad internet companies, just like there are bad LBS's. Like mine! So, LBS supporters, lay off. I have no intention of going back there.
I found 3 bikes, all very similar, but slightly different. The motobecane messenger seems to be the most complete out of the box, the kilo TT seems to have a large following, and the Hour looks interesting too. So then I do more research and people say to spend a few more dollars and get an IRO. Now my researching takes me off there, but for the life of me I cant find the IRO that is a few dollars more, they seem to be close to twice as much when factoring in shipping. The bikesdirect all run about 350 shipped, the IROs about 700 shipped. Is the group deal price that IRO has on the main page bringing the bike down to 500 or so? I'd maybe spring for a max of 500.
So what would you do if you were me? The moto, the windsor, the mercier or the IRO (if it can be had for 500 shipped) if you were 6'3 240 lbs looking for a bike to tool around town with and get to work 7 miles away? (i'd be taking the sidewalks at first, i live in an area with a very large retirement community and they're really not all there - but hopefully as I gain confidence and fitness I might be taking the bike road)
So basically, I'm looking, I'm searching, I'm reading this forum and searching google in general, but I had a few questions regarding me specifically, thank you and please forgive the new thread.