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Prospective South Florida Commuter

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Prospective South Florida Commuter

Old 02-22-18, 02:47 PM
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benjamz
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Prospective South Florida Commuter

Looking to buy a bike, retail or otherwise, for a ~6 mile commute most essential things (school, grocery, job) are very close by.

What should I expect to pay and what should I be trying to buy?

I suppose this is the real essence of my reason for checking out this forum. Any advice or guidance would be greatly appreciated
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Old 02-22-18, 05:11 PM
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katsup
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At 6 miles, almost any working bike can handle it.

As for suggestions:
- Stay away from Bike Shaped Objects (BSO). Bikes that they sell at Walmart, Target, etc... would fit this category.
- Read up / visit a bike shop to learn what is the correct size bike for you.
- Buy a used / cheaper bike as you will learn what you prefer, once you start commuting.
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Old 03-31-18, 05:53 PM
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I commute in South Florida. I'm using my old Trek Hybrid with a rear rack. My commute is about 5 miles each way (10 round trip), mostly through suburban neighborhoods and paved alleys.

My commuter bike is 12 years old and was purchased for about $350 back then. As mentioned above, stay away from big box stores bikes and take care of your gear and it will last, making the upfront investment worthwhile.
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Old 03-31-18, 06:32 PM
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Visit your LBS first to see what they have available. You could probably get something like a hybrid/fitness bike for $400-ish. They'll size you properly and you'll get the benefit of some free future maintenance. You can look for a used rack and panniers on CL. And order some fenders online. They're easy enough to install on your own.

Alternatively, you could go straight to CL to look for a used bike. For $400-ish you could get something a few years old that once cost $1000, i.e. better components than the new one you could get at the LBS. But you have to be patient, and have to know what to look for.
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Old 03-31-18, 07:37 PM
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Commuting daily requires a reliable bike. As mentioned before, stay away from Walmart and the like.

I second both the used bike idea and the $400 range target. bicyclebluebook.com can give a rough idea of what a particular used bike is worth.

Get a rear (or seatpost) rack and pannier to carry your stuff ... let the bike support the load.

Welcome to the dark side.
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Old 03-31-18, 11:37 PM
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When you mention school & grocery, are you planning on both of those too? Because that's a longer answer.

My advice is to find a bike expensive enough it has a freehub and not a freewheel. This usually, not always, means 24-speed, not 21-speed. I think that's going around $500 these days for a name brand bike, less for mail order. There's a school of thought that says to avoid suspension forks at this level. They are heavy, and nothing like the real equipment on mountain bikes. But they are not the cross to bear that some make out. They don't "sap power" much as they are non-damped and the springs are nearly topped out. They do take a pothole, and there's very little inside them to go wrong. The extra couple inches of travel also make the handlebars a few inches higher, making the bike a little more comfortable.

This kind of bike will have all the attachment points you need for racks, fenders, kid seats, trailers.
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Old 04-01-18, 09:15 AM
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I'm not a fan of front suspension on a commuter bike either, but for six miles it's not a deal breaker. If you're buying new, Giant has good value for your money:
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/roam-3-2017

I'd prefer this one, without suspension:
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/seek-3-2016
It's a bit pricier but lighter. Component wise they are similar.

And of course, there's the ubiquitous Trek FX series:
https://www.trekbikes.com/ca/en_CA/b.../fx-1/p/17446/

You could probably find an FX used in your area for less than $400.
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Old 04-01-18, 04:10 PM
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I think the advice about going used is probably ideal if you can find something that you liked and that fits you, etc., but I'm a big fan of the Jamis Coda series if you were going to go new. If you're gonna go new, though, try out a few different bikes to try and get a real handle on what feels best for you, because the better it works for you the more you're going to ride it.
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Old 04-02-18, 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by benjamz View Post
Looking to buy a bike, retail or otherwise
you might try renting a bike a few times from a few different bike shops & see what you feel comfortable riding
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Old 04-03-18, 09:13 AM
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Check for a bike co op in your area. No sense in spending big at first.
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