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Need commuting road bike buying advice (~$1000)

Old 10-16-16, 07:58 PM
  #1  
stpatty
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Need commuting road bike buying advice (~$1000)

Hi there,
Feeling overwhelmed looking for a solid road bike for commuting about 50-70 miles a week. There's a surplus of options and a lacking of experience & knowledge on my part. Would prefer disk brakes (as I live in rainy Seattle). My budget is anything around 1000, however willing to spend up to 1500 if worth it.

Any suggestions or advice would be very much appreciated!
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Old 10-16-16, 08:00 PM
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First things first - decide if you want the ability to run fenders or racks. Based on your location, I would imagine fenders for sure. People will swear by racks and panniers but that is up to you.
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Old 10-16-16, 09:29 PM
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Check out a cyclocross bike.
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Old 10-17-16, 03:25 AM
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I can understand feeling overwhelmed when there is so much out there, especially in the price range. My advice is to go to REI and just talk with a sales person. If they are good they will help you figure out your needs and find something you can live with. All bikes in that price range will be good bikes. The question is do they find your needs?
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Old 10-17-16, 06:25 AM
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I have a Giant Seek 0 with disc brakes and IGH. It's rugged in the winter, but Michigan has more ice and junk to deal with than you do.

I also have a Windsor Fens from BD. It's a lot of fun in the summer but it's very limited in taking wider tires - I managed to fit a Gatorskin 28 on the back but it's about a mm from the brake stay.

If I had to buy a new bike right now for commuting, I'd look at cyclocross bikes. Very rugged, and can take a wide variety of tires and accessories.
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Old 10-17-16, 09:31 AM
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Are you already cycling? If not then don't forget to include appropriate clothes and shoes, helmet, gloves, pedals, cargo (backpack, rack, panniers etc) all of which will cut into your budget pretty quick...
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Old 10-17-16, 09:33 AM
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Originally Posted by TenSpeedV2 View Post
First things first - decide if you want the ability to run fenders or racks. Based on your location, I would imagine fenders for sure. People will swear by racks and panniers but that is up to you.
Yes first things first, but imo the most useful 'first thing' is to decide whether you want drop bars or flat bars. That drives a lot of other options. Other things to decide that help to narrow things down: disc brakes or rim? derailleur-based drivetrain or IGH or fixed/ss? Do you care about steel vs alu (carbon/Ti are probably not in your budget)? Are you handy and/or willing to learn maintenance in order to save money (CL or bikesdirect.com) or would you rather buy a new bike and have the professionals maintain it (local bike shop)? Will you be cycling also for recreation, maybe some off-road?

Last edited by RubeRad; 10-17-16 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 10-17-16, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Yes first things first, but imo the most useful 'first thing' is to decide whether you want drop bars or flat bars

No brainer here... Get drop bars with inline brakes!
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Old 10-17-16, 11:18 AM
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There are a zillion options in your price range with disks, fenders, etc. Ordinarily I'd tell you to check out REI but they recently blew out their stock of Novara branded bikes because in the spring they'll be replacing them with Co-Op branded bikes. But any bike shop should have similar styles, too.

Here's a link with some searching already done
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Old 10-17-16, 11:45 AM
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Get this: Traitor Ruben Flat Bar Bike 2015 | evo outlet $600 but you have to go to Portland

The dropbar version lists~$1400 there should be dealers in Seattle. They are based up outside Bellingham.
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Old 10-19-16, 07:02 AM
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I ride road bikes for everyday commuting but if I had to start over and have 1 bike I would buy the classic, indestructible, do anything bike: Trek 520 520 | Trek Bikes

~1200
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Old 10-19-16, 08:36 AM
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OP might find a Trek 520 somewhere in Seattle left over from the spring shipping and buying season.


Fuji Touring, if you can find one, would be another choice (and save $300-400).
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Old 10-19-16, 09:07 AM
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I personally wouldn't get too hung up on having to have disc brakes. Rim brakes work just fine in the wet if they are properly setup with decent pads. That Trek 520 looks great for commuting.

I commute ~100 miles a week on a GT Force triple triangle aluminum road bike (read STIFF). I paid $120 for the bike (it's 20 years old), it works just fine, although I'd have a hard time fitting fenders or a rack to it. I'm fortunate that I can stash whatever I need/want at work so I don't really have to carry anything other than some tools/spares. Also my route is pretty much like your typical road bike ride so a stiff road bike works just fine for the 13 miles each way.
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Old 10-19-16, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by stpatty View Post
Hi there,
Feeling overwhelmed looking for a solid road bike for commuting about 50-70 miles a week. There's a surplus of options and a lacking of experience & knowledge on my part. Would prefer disk brakes (as I live in rainy Seattle). My budget is anything around 1000, however willing to spend up to 1500 if worth it.

Any suggestions or advice would be very much appreciated!
As a thirty year, year-round cycle commuter in Boston, I recently posted to this Road Cycling thread, "The holy grail affordable, do many things bike"
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
...So my Specialized Diverge Elite(see below) aluminum bikeis essentially a compromise between the carbon fiber S-Works and the heavy, steel Cannondale Mountain bike. The ride is smooth and comfortable, slightly more “solid” than the S-works, and it has mounts for fenders and a rear rack. I don’t know about the types of wheels, but with 30C tires, I’d feel comfortable riding off paved roads, though I have no interest in doing so.

The MSRP is $1500, but I got it, with disc brakes, fenders, rack, computer, bottle cage and Shimano pedals for slightly less than that, with my LBS discount. In comparison with the expensive S-works that at $8000 MSRP (got it for much less), the Diverge is a bargain.
If interested, follow the link to see the machine.
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Old 10-19-16, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by nitroRoo View Post
I personally wouldn't get too hung up on having to have disc brakes. Rim brakes work just fine in the wet if they are properly setup with decent pads. That Trek 520 looks great for commuting.

I commute ~100 miles a week on a GT Force triple triangle aluminum road bike (read STIFF). I paid $120 for the bike (it's 20 years old), it works just fine, although I'd have a hard time fitting fenders or a rack to it. I'm fortunate that I can stash whatever I need/want at work so I don't really have to carry anything other than some tools/spares. Also my route is pretty much like your typical road bike ride so a stiff road bike works just fine for the 13 miles each way.
Seattle has LOTS of rain, OP looking for disk brakes. Rim brakes will toast the rims in short fashion.
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Old 10-19-16, 09:26 AM
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Originally Posted by stpatty View Post
Hi there,
Feeling overwhelmed looking for a solid road bike for commuting about 50-70 miles a week. There's a surplus of options and a lacking of experience & knowledge on my part. Would prefer disk brakes (as I live in rainy Seattle). My budget is anything around 1000, however willing to spend up to 1500 if worth it.

Any suggestions or advice would be very much appreciated!
So, bigger questions, flat bar or drop bar? Disk brakes, yes good idea. As said, rack and fenders? Biggest tire you planning to run? 35 mm? Touring plans? Look at gearing range, like low gears for big hills. Go to several stores to try some out, make sure you get a good fit. May need to change a stem length as well as seat adjustments. Aluminum or steel frame preference?
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Old 10-19-16, 10:04 AM
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This looks mighty interesting, if maybe a shade expensive? He might come down though.

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/5835610254.html



At the other end of the price spectrum, if you're mechanically inclined, there is this:

https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/bik/5833776738.html


Doesn't look like it needs much more than some TLC and adjustments and maybe tubes/tires/etc. Has eyelets for racks/fenders. Price is right...if it were in Chicago I might be inquiring about it just to have.

Last edited by Abe_Froman; 10-19-16 at 10:26 AM.
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Old 10-19-16, 12:28 PM
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That troll looks bad@$$. I would contact that guy asap and ask what substitutions he is thinking of to get the price down to $1k.
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Old 10-19-16, 01:29 PM
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One post wonder? Did the OP ever come back???
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Old 10-19-16, 01:31 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
That troll looks bad@$$. I would contact that guy asap and ask what substitutions he is thinking of to get the price down to $1k.
I'd guess just a couple of the more gratuitous things...I think he had a $150 seatpost and some other silly things on there.

edit: just looked...seatpost is $165 but it does look like kind of a cool hinged flexy deal. Not silly I suppose unless you never go offroad. Just expensive.
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Old 10-19-16, 01:32 PM
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Get a specialized AWOL for 1200$
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Old 10-19-16, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I'd guess just a couple of the more gratuitous things...I think he had a $150 seatpost and some other silly things on there.

edit: just looked...seatpost is $165 but it does look like kind of a cool hinged flexy deal. Not silly I suppose unless you never go offroad. Just expensive.
Maybe just omitting the extra wheels/tires. I'd want the XT/Rhyno wheelset with the Knards, and let him keep the bonty/conti
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Old 10-19-16, 01:58 PM
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Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
Maybe just omitting the extra wheels/tires. I'd want the XT/Rhyno wheelset with the Knards, and let him keep the bonty/conti
If I didn't have my Marin 4 corners and were looking for a commuter...I would buy that I think. As long as the sweet gold bell comes with it.

On a side note...I've recently come to the conclusion that I am NEVER buying another new bike. You get so much more for your money used, provided you know how to at least do the basics in terms of maintenance (tune up/cables/tires, etc). Like this bike for example...assuming it is what he says it is. There are a lot of upgrades there over what a new bike even twice the price would have. I've had way too much success buying $25 beaters that just need a little TLC to drop real coin in a bike shop anymore on a bike.

Last edited by Abe_Froman; 10-19-16 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 10-19-16, 02:42 PM
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that's a lot of money for something that you are going to beat the cr*p out of
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Old 10-19-16, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
that's a lot of money for something that you are going to beat the cr*p out of
Cheaper than a car. And a commuter bike won't take all that long to pay for itself in gas savings. $20 a week times 52 weeks is $1040.

Of course you can get a nice bike for cheaper, but it's pretty easy to justify that cash for reliable transportation.

edit: That being said, I'm currently riding a '77 Schwinn Sierra I bought for $25 and overhauled/turned into a fixed gear.
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