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5 Mile commute.

Old 02-13-24, 04:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Bike Gremlin
...My 2c on commuting bikes, but also clothers and other stuff: Commuting bicycle buying guide
Good site but remember, "Don't wear white pants when commuting." ... Ha

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Old 02-13-24, 08:08 PM
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While we are on the topic of money, would anyonr like to recommend what bike they would spend 1000 dollars or less on for a 10 mile mostly flat rohnd trip commute one pavement/graveled pavement? I was looking at the state 4130 all road as one option.
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Old 02-13-24, 08:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan
While we are on the topic of money, would anyonr like to recommend what bike they would spend 1000 dollars or less on for a 10 mile mostly flat rohnd trip commute one pavement/graveled pavement? I was looking at the state 4130 all road as one option.
I already suggested and provided links to a Public V7i and a very similar Linus. That is what I recommend.

Momentum UX should also have a 3 speed available. But why 3 speeds, when you can have 7? You might also find one of the older IGH Momentum Street models in 7 or 8 speed IGH versions available used if you look hard enough, long enough. But, there really aren't that many of those models ever made.

In any case, a few dollars spent at a bike shop ensuring proper wheel bearing adjustments and what not soon after purchase will be a good investment in long term reliability.

Last edited by base2; 02-13-24 at 09:18 PM.
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Old 02-14-24, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan
While we are on the topic of money, would anyonr like to recommend what bike they would spend 1000 dollars or less on for a 10 mile mostly flat rohnd trip commute one pavement/graveled pavement? I was looking at the state 4130 all road as one option.
Sorry I can't comment on the State; they've done some really advanced web page programming that leaves me looking at an all black page.

I suspect I live pretty close to you, so I'm going to base this list on my commuting (in all weather, eventually, except frozen water on the road). Things you need to look for in a commute bike include:
- Mounting points for rack to carry the load (shoes, clothes, maybe a laptop? inside panniers)
- Mounting points and clearance for fenders (I see fenders as a requirement for commutes where it rains 30% of days)
- Slick tires (not to be confused with thin tires); note you can upgrade from knobbies for about $100
- No suspension; it's expensive and heavy, and if you're riding on the roads, it's unnecessary
- Leave room in your budget for blinky tail light, spare tube, patch kit, and tire "irons," and a seat pack to carry them in. And a pump.

You can get this with a rigid mountain bike, a gravel bike, or a road bike. Often it'll be a low end, because if you want to ride fast you don't need the rack, and then you can spend an extra thousand bucks or more on a bike. Some people prefer the MTB for an easier glance back to check for traffic. A touring bike, or (some) endurance bikes, offer similar bar geometries, and you'll appreciate the low hand positions when dealing with strong winds before or after a weather front comes through.

After inflation you might look at REI's ADV 1.1. It's a bit heavy, and a bit over your desired price. OTOH, it has racks, it's built to take rough roads, it's got tires to deal with urban roads (potholes and trash).

For a first commute bike, I think it's worth planning test rides, preferably sequentially on the same day. Ride a bunch of bikes 2-3 miles each, and pick the one that you like to ride the most. Call around ahead of Shopping Test Ride Day to find who has models you want to try. If you can hit a bunch of shops with interesting bikes on a Tuesday-Thursday, that's optimum, but you may have to wait until a Saturday.

Don't limit yourself shopping on-line to the point you know what you want and won't look at anything else. I almost did that when I went to buy a Cannondale Touring bike, but came home with the REI Randonee, the ADV's predecessor, because I liked it more under my hands and butt. Nicer ride, fit me better than the C'dale, wasn't as noodly as one other model I looked at seriously, it was the nicest of four bikes I rode that day. And after I got in shape and got ambitious after a few years, it carried me right across the country.
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Old 02-14-24, 01:32 PM
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@Strawbunyan, see what is on your local craigslist. You can show us what you find for advice. Craigslist is a good place for value if you know what you're looking at.
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Old 02-15-24, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by noglider
@Strawbunyan, see what is on your local craigslist. You can show us what you find for advice. Craigslist is a good place for value if you know what you're looking at.
I second this suggestion. Note though that you either need to have a good idea what you're looking at when it comes to bikes or have folks who know what they're looking at either check the listing or, ideally, go with you to look at it in person. As is already obvious, you'll get a wide range of opinions on what's best here on the forum but I have a good feeling that if you send us some links, you can get a general consensus of if a given bike is worth it or not.

A good friend was looking to get his first road bike a year and a half ago. He was shopping for new bikes and was asking my brother and I advice on what to get. We told him to look for slightly used bikes and given it was a couple year into the pandemic, it was the perfect time to pick up a bike someone got during the pandemic bike boom, road twice and never touched again. Sure enough, he found a 1 year old mid-level Specialized with decent components and maybe 30 miles on it for half of what it sold for new.

We're still in that time where people thought they'd get into biking during the pandemic, bought a nice one, discovered it wasn't their thing, and want to get rid of the bike.
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Old 02-15-24, 01:15 PM
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I starting commuting last summer and my ride is almost 10 miles round trip. I'm old (53), overweight, and our of shape. I ride a Giant Sedona which I believe is categorized as a comfort bike. It gets the job done. My average speed to work is 11.4 mph and my average speed coming home is 10.2 mph. The only thing I carry is a small frame bag with a spare tube, some tools, a flat repair kit and a pump. I also carry my water bottle. I used to carry my coffee in a cup holder mounted on my bars but now we make coffee at work so I wait till I'm there to have a cup. I do want to get fenders, a rear rack, and bags for the rack so I can carry stuff if I ever need to. I have noticed that since my bike is a lower end Giant (it has cheap parts on it) that it needs attention fairly often. I have to index the rear derailleur every couple months or so and I lube the chain every couple weeks or so. Back in the day when I rode BMX bikes all the time we never did regular maintenance on them. Also the spokes have become way loose. My tension meter will be here tomorrow so this weekend I'll get the spokes tightened up. I like to tinker with stuff so the maintenance doesn't bug me much but I figure if the bike had better quality parts the maintenance would be less often.
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Old 02-15-24, 02:00 PM
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That State All Road looks fine. Go with drop bars, 700c wheels and slick tires for versatility. As the only bike in your garage it would be a good choice for a new and ready to ride bike. I’m a Craigslist cyclist myself with a 40 mile RT commute but I can build and rebuild a bike myself.
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Old 02-15-24, 06:41 PM
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Originally Posted by Classtime
That State All Road looks fine. Go with drop bars, 700c wheels and slick tires for versatility. As the only bike in your garage it would be a good choice for a new and ready to ride bike. I’m a Craigslist cyclist myself with a 40 mile RT commute but I can build and rebuild a bike myself.
For a 5mi commute I think drop bars are a bit much. Flat bars are much more compatible with street clothes AND TRAFFIC. Even if the entire journey was on MUP or Greenway the ergonomics of flatbars suit the use case. And, slick tires? Why? O.p. for a commute tire you want reliability. You can see how the OEM tires work with your roads. I always try the OEM tire for a couple of weeks. If I get more than 1 flat/2wk I'm pulling them off. Or you can cut to the chase and put Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires (see if the shop will do it) from go.
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Old 02-15-24, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by ScottCommutes
Sadly, not my experience:

Bike stand
Tires
Tubes
Lights
Raincoat
Winter coat
Boots
Heavy socks
Thermal insoles
Rain pants
Grips
Pedals
Grease
Seats/saddles
Seatpost
Chains
Various chain lubes
Degreaser
Chain cleaning tools
Crank removal tool
Freewheel removal tool
Rear rack and hardware
New freewheel
Food
Reflective vest
Similar equipment for backup bike
Replacement rear derailleurs
Rim tape
Cleaning supplies
Multi-port USB charger to charge all the lights
Balaclava
Different weights of gloves
New wheels
Quick links
Replacement cables and housings
Spoke wrenches
Replacement nipples/washers
Wheel truing stand
Bottom bracket
Left side crank
Rear axles
Replacement spokes
Snow tires
Multitool
Lip balm
Medicine
just on chains and brake pads and tires it costs. just my main bike my 8000 miles a year is 4 chains maybe 2 sets of pas and at least one set of tires. the tandem even more.
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Old 02-15-24, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by RStewart
I starting commuting last summer and my ride is almost 10 miles round trip. I'm old (53), overweight, and our of shape. I ride a Giant Sedona which I believe is categorized as a comfort bike. It gets the job done. My average speed to work is 11.4 mph and my average speed coming home is 10.2 mph. The only thing I carry is a small frame bag with a spare tube, some tools, a flat repair kit and a pump. I also carry my water bottle. I used to carry my coffee in a cup holder mounted on my bars but now we make coffee at work so I wait till I'm there to have a cup. I do want to get fenders, a rear rack, and bags for the rack so I can carry stuff if I ever need to. I have noticed that since my bike is a lower end Giant (it has cheap parts on it) that it needs attention fairly often. I have to index the rear derailleur every couple months or so and I lube the chain every couple weeks or so. Back in the day when I rode BMX bikes all the time we never did regular maintenance on them. Also the spokes have become way loose. My tension meter will be here tomorrow so this weekend I'll get the spokes tightened up. I like to tinker with stuff so the maintenance doesn't bug me much but I figure if the bike had better quality parts the maintenance would be less often.
I tried the coffee thing until I lost the lid for my coffee cup during a ride. Too much fuss for a little luxury. I drink coffee at home and bring a thermos full to work. Every September, Wawa by us offers free coffee to teachers every day for the month, so I do stop at least on the way to work.
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Old 02-15-24, 07:38 PM
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The comment on a lower end bike needing more regular fine tuning than a better quality bike I find to hold true. All my machines are running at least mid-grade components and for those it's generally a case of set it and forget it (I still regularly clean and lube). You don't need to go real high end, anything that generally lands in the middle of a manufacturers lineup, or even just a few steps up from their cheapest offering, is enough.

There's been some mention of going with something that has an internally geared hub (IGH). Sound advice and is something I'll do one of these days. If you're keen on not worrying much about maintenance, an IGH is the way to go.

I'll also hop on the flat bar suggestion train. I've been commuting for a bit now regularly with a drop bar bike, an older touring bike, and I'm not a fan of the drop bars for my short commute and tooling around town. I'll be swapping out to a flat bar soon or, more likely, a mustache bar. If you have no idea what that is, google 'mustache bar bike' and that will give you a great idea of what it is and it looks on a bike. It really gets your arms back and allows you to sit more upright.

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Old 02-16-24, 03:16 PM
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Where's middle TN. Like Nashville or Jackson? Or middle of nowhere Tennessee where there isn't any bike shops. I live outside of Chattanooga, lots of shops here.

That said, if your only other riding was a BMX, I'd definitely suggest something with a flat bar, maybe aluminum frame, it'll feel light and free.

Poseidon bikes have a bunch on sale online and I think think they are nice for the price.
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Old 02-16-24, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by mechanicmatt
Where's middle TN. Like Nashville or Jackson? Or middle of nowhere Tennessee where there isn't any bike shops. I live outside of Chattanooga, lots of shops here.

That said, if your only other riding was a BMX, I'd definitely suggest something with a flat bar, maybe aluminum frame, it'll feel light and free.

Poseidon bikes have a bunch on sale online and I think think they are nice for the price.
i am halfway between Memphis and Nashville and as far south as you can get before you are in Alabama. My closest bike shop is a 90 minute drive.
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Old 02-18-24, 02:55 AM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan
i am halfway between Memphis and Nashville and as far south as you can get before you are in Alabama. My closest bike shop is a 90 minute drive.
If there's one thing the guys on BF like more than bickering, it's bike shopping for other people. Give them your county and your leg length, and they'll find something cool for you; the money you save can go to the other stuff you'll need, like mirror, fenders, helmet, lights, rack, panniers, etc.

I also suggest an upright bike for commuting; it's good to be able to see what's going on around you. And definitely get a comfortable bike, because pretty soon your 5 mile commute could start to get longer as you get fitter and more comfortable with riding. My commute was 8 miles each way, and when I arrived at work I had to resist the urge to just keep going.

Since you'll likely be doing a lot of your own maintenance and repairs, I suggest RJ the Bike Guy's and Park Tools' YouTube channels.

Here's my commuting (and everything else) bike:


Getting ready to start the Critical Mass ride.
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Old 02-20-24, 08:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Strawbunyan
i am halfway between Memphis and Nashville and as far south as you can get before you are in Alabama. My closest bike shop is a 90 minute drive.
I'd have thought Florence (AL) would have a bike shop, but since I've never looked for one when I went through, I don't know for sure.

My suggestion: ROAD TRIP!!! Plan for a day (or long afternoon) in your choice of Nashville or Memphis. Look up bike shops in the area the week before you go, call around and ask what they have that might work for you. Spend some time visiting multiple shops, test riding as many bikes as you can, and making notes. Around 3:30, go buy the bike that's been calling your name, buy whatever necessities you don't already have (lock, spare tube, pump, panniers, water bottle and cage, etc.). If you're going to get panniers, buy them and ask the shop to install them -- they're either trivial or enough to make a seasoned mechanic swear, usually the latter. Enjoy a nice dinner, and head home.

Are you close enough to head over to the Natchez Trace on weekends? Some nice riding there!
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Old 02-20-24, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I'd have thought Florence (AL) would have a bike shop, but since I've never looked for one when I went through, I don't know for sure.

My suggestion: ROAD TRIP!!! Plan for a day (or long afternoon) in your choice of Nashville or Memphis. Look up bike shops in the area the week before you go, call around and ask what they have that might work for you. Spend some time visiting multiple shops, test riding as many bikes as you can, and making notes. Around 3:30, go buy the bike that's been calling your name, buy whatever necessities you don't already have (lock, spare tube, pump, panniers, water bottle and cage, etc.). If you're going to get panniers, buy them and ask the shop to install them -- they're either trivial or enough to make a seasoned mechanic swear, usually the latter. Enjoy a nice dinner, and head home.

Are you close enough to head over to the Natchez Trace on weekends? Some nice riding there!
I think florence does have one, but when i looked at theirbinventory nothing was my size. I am only about 5 minutes from the natchez trace parkway, i wanted to check that area out as it seems to have more than a few trail heads around, i just didnt know if i was okay to bike any of them. I just moved to this area from a lifetime of being Floridian.
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Old 02-21-24, 07:50 PM
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Originally Posted by RStewart
I starting commuting last summer and my ride is almost 10 miles round trip. I'm old (53), overweight, and our of shape. I ride a Giant Sedona which I believe is categorized as a comfort bike. It gets the job done. My average speed to work is 11.4 mph and my average speed coming home is 10.2 mph. The only thing I carry is a small frame bag with a spare tube, some tools, a flat repair kit and a pump. I also carry my water bottle. I used to carry my coffee in a cup holder mounted on my bars but now we make coffee at work so I wait till I'm there to have a cup. I do want to get fenders, a rear rack, and bags for the rack so I can carry stuff if I ever need to. I have noticed that since my bike is a lower end Giant (it has cheap parts on it) that it needs attention fairly often. I have to index the rear derailleur every couple months or so and I lube the chain every couple weeks or so. Back in the day when I rode BMX bikes all the time we never did regular maintenance on them. Also the spokes have become way loose. My tension meter will be here tomorrow so this weekend I'll get the spokes tightened up. I like to tinker with stuff so the maintenance doesn't bug me much but I figure if the bike had better quality parts the maintenance would be less often.
Good story.

... but ...

You don't tighten spokes. Truing wheels is a skill. Watch some youtubes or read something about it. You don't just bring spokes up to some number that may not apply to your situation. How do you know they are "way loose?" You could even look for existing threads (better than starting your own) about truing wheels. You'll find them in the Mechanics section of bikeforums.

I've built dozens of wheels from scratch and never used a tension meter. I'm not saying they're useless, just that they're not necessary for everyone.
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Old 02-21-24, 07:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Korina
If there's one thing the guys on BF like more than bickering, it's bike shopping for other people. Give them your county and your leg length, and they'll find something cool for you; the money you save can go to the other stuff you'll need, like mirror, fenders, helmet, lights, rack, panniers, etc.
so true!

Good advice, too. And your bike is as pretty as ever.
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Old 02-22-24, 02:27 PM
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It wont let me post photos yet but i purchased a bike. The Eastern Alpaka is on sale for 400 dollars down from 800 and since i needed something mountain bikey to ride with the kids on the weekend i figured this could serve the dual purpose, and be upgraded as i see fit so I used the money i saved for some riding gear and safety stuff. Thank you all for your input. I will continue to keep you posted as i progress as a commuter 😁 pics as soon as i hit the required number of posts.
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Old 02-23-24, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
Shall we wait a few months and see what O.P. thinks of it, and whether or not he continues to ride it, before we make pronouncements like that? As a blogger wrote a while back, the worst bike is the one that never gets ridden.
thank you. I figured for that price, the worst that can really happen is that it becomes a trail bike for hanging out with my kids and i can buy a dedicated commuter if i dont like the way tgis one rides to work. I was also considering purchasing a second set of "street wheels" for my daily rides so i can swap them out when i want to do aome sketchy stuff on the hills.
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Old 02-23-24, 10:06 PM
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Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

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You did a good thing buying that bike. You saved money. You'll learn from it and figure out what's important to you for when you replace it. It's good not to spend too much on your first bike.
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Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

“When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.” — Elizabeth West, US author

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Old 02-24-24, 12:13 PM
  #73  
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That bike has all the modern tech. Watch some videos to learn how to tune it up.
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I don't do: disks, tubeless, e-shifting, or bead head nymphs.
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Old 02-24-24, 12:31 PM
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More than enough bike.
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Old 02-25-24, 05:58 PM
  #75  
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Well? Where are our pics?
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