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Old 11-27-06, 09:23 AM
Trans-Urban Velocommando
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Lenexa, KS
Posts: 2,400

Bikes: 06 Trek 1200 - 98 DB Outlook - 99 DB Sorrento

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I don't know... I've found that any bike you are comfortable on is suitable for commuting. If you like it, and it gets the job done, then go for it! As you find things to optimize along the way, do some tweaks and changes to your setup. Eventually, you'll have the perfect commuter and recreational bike for your tastes and needs!

I bought a bike a few months ago out of pseudo-necessity. My car was not reliable, and I had to get to the bus to get to work. It was cheap (x-mart), fun, and it broke in less than 2 months. I had nothing but a headlight, blinky, and seat-post rack on it, and it worked fine.

When it broke, I got my Sorrento (used), and IMHO it's the perfect commuter for me. Hardtail, short-travel front shock that's just right for me, and already had slicks on it with low miles on them. It had been ridden, and ridden hard, but the fork, wheels, freehub body, headset and frame were in top shape. Paint kind of scratched in a few places, and some of the stickers were torn up a bit, but who cares? My LBS refurbed it (new cables, BB, brake pads, inner tubes, chain, lubed it, tuned the derailleurs, etc) and it's basically a new freaking bike that looks used. I tossed the rack and lights on it from my old bike, added a toolbox trunk, some reflective tape, and a more comfy saddle, and voila! Instant commuter! I also took it on a 10-mile trail ride with my dad Saturday, on top of riding it almost 17 miles on thanksgiving to get to my parents' place!

Some people prefer road bikes, some people need knobby tires to get through sections of gravel road or construction. In the end, though, it's all about you and what makes you feel good. I was looking at some rockhoppers and hardrocks before settling on this bike as my commuter. The Outlook is just as good, it's a rigid hybrid with cheaper components and a daintier (yet considerably lighter) frame. It was a stumble-upon deal from a few weeks ago, where someone was selling it on craigslist for next to nothing after leaving it hanging upside down in a garage pretty much ever since he got it. It didn't even have one mile on it.

Sorry for the verbosity and story telling. But I wanted to drive the point home that any bike you've got (or will get) and you're comfy on, will be a worthy commuter. You just have to be diligent about care and feeding. Most bikes are reliable when maintained. A neglected bike can suddenly turn into a 20-50 pound burden on your commute really fast.
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