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Old 02-03-12, 09:01 AM
  #14  
SlimRider
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: Northern California
Posts: 5,804

Bikes: Raleigh Grand Prix, Giant Innova, Nishiki Sebring, Trek 7.5FX

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Originally Posted by MichaelW View Post
You want to do urban utility riding, getting from A to B, running errands, maybe doing shopping on a bike.
You need a bike with sufficiently low gears for your terrain and threaded eyelets to accept a rear luggage rack and fenders.
Bikes should weight as much as they need to but no more. Front suspension is not needed and adds weight and maintenance.
A non suspension hybrid or "fitness style" flat bar bike is ideal. Look for a triple chainset with low gears. My own city bike uses 8 speed hub gears but the hills in SF may be too steep for the gear range of this clean, easy to use system.
Disk brakes maintain their performance in all conditions so are good for wet winter riding.
Wider tyres give better protection than narrower tyres over rough, potholed streets, esp when carrying a load. Hybrid 32-35mm tyres are fine for everyday use. Narrower tyres are better for long commutes on the open road. Dont skimp on tyres, get a reliable set with good puncture protection.

Dont underspend. Figure out what the alternative to cycling would cost over say, 5 years.
Budget for bike, luggage rack, fenders, lock, lighting, helmet, waterproofs, repair kit.
Originally Posted by nashvillwill View Post
Gear range is a big consideration depending upon point A and B. Outer Richmond=few gears, Mission=medium range, Nob Hill= many gears.

Also, I would recommend staying away from drop bars in the city. Keep your head up! A hybrid should serve you well. 35-38 tires.

Also, if you plan to use BART or MUNI a folder might be in order, although I BART every day with a full sized frame.
Originally Posted by colleen c View Post
Getting a great deal thru Craiglist around here in the Bay Area is next to impossible. Be ready to reply to a add with no hesitation and show up ASAP. Only twice did I score a bargain. First one I replied like 1/2 hour right after the add pop up. Went to check it out an hour later. Three buyers already looked at it before I did. Got lucky and I got the bike.

The second time was a 8 month old Hardrock for sale for $175. The add pop up late evening and I was first to reply for a meetup next day. The seller next day told me he had better offers and wanted to drop me. I gave him a guilt trip stating that his add should have noted OBO if he was going that route. He felt bad and delayed the other buyers. When I showed up, he kept his promise to me but told me one buyer was screaming and shouting at him almost threatening him. The bike was in mint condition and perfect, so I gave him an extra $25 for keeping his words.

Keep the bike light and simple for riding around SF. The added weight does add up in the incline. The simplicity help avoid theft. I've seen too many broken lock or stripped out bike around here. If you are riding in congested traffic area (and that's about everywhere), stay with upright.
Listen to all of these BF members. They all give excellent advice! Also, remember what JSDavis has stated, too. Sometimes you have to be patient in order to get the right bicycle on CL. On the other hand, the early bird gets the worm. Therefore, don't hesitate about contacting a prospective seller about a potential bike of interest!

- Slim

Last edited by SlimRider; 02-03-12 at 09:06 AM.
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