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New guy here, need advice on which type of bike to get

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New guy here, need advice on which type of bike to get

Old 04-06-11, 05:15 PM
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lbautista23
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New guy here, need advice on which type of bike to get

hi, im new to biking world. im going to be moving closer to work in a few weeks and planning on biking to work after a few weeks. My commute would be a total of 8 miles. 4 going to work and 4 going back home. the commute has a few bike lanes and sidewalk but theres a few areas that are concerning me with rough road. i also want to get a bike that i can use recreational for me and the wife maybe go ride around the beach or around the town to run errands. should i go with a commuter or a hybrid?
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Old 04-06-11, 05:18 PM
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Your local Co Ops may be able to get you started.
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sa=X&ei...ec429b2398f90a
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Old 04-06-11, 07:04 PM
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What's the difference between a commuter and a hybrid? In SF, I've seen people commute on road bikes, hybrids, full suspension bike complete with XT bling, etc. I commute on a Trek 7.5FX which is considered a "performance hybrid" equipped with 700x32 tires and mountain bike components. I commute through SF riding 8.5 mi each way from Financial District to Sunset.

I'm sure road bikes are quicker over long distances and maybe climbing , but in SF, it really doesn't matter. In urban environment, you ride about 500 to 1000 ft between stop signs and or lights so there isn't too much advantage to a road bike IMO.

Go to a few different shops and try out different bikes. The best bike will be the one that you will ride rather than leave in the garage/basement/apartment.

BTW, stay off the sidewalks; there are only a few places where bicycles are not prohibited on the sidewalk.

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Old 04-06-11, 09:12 PM
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Just get one that fits and works and you can hang your stuff on.
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Old 04-06-11, 09:54 PM
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For 4 miles each way, I would get a chopper bike with ape hangers and stick it to the man!

-------------------------------------------

Seriously though, for that mileage you can get away with just about any bike. I would probably get something that could fit a nice rear rack and fenders. Get a contact for a good local bike shop from someone here and buy the bike there.
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Old 04-06-11, 10:32 PM
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I would shop for a bike shop you like. Then buy whichever bike they have that you like best.
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Old 04-07-11, 03:21 AM
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For a 2x4 mile commute it makes little difference which style you use. Look for some useful features:
Gears low enough for your hills.
Threaded eyelets for rack and fenders.
Clearance for your widest winter tyres, 32mm or maybe a little wider.
You dont need suspension.

The kind of bike illustrated by Trek 7.5 FX is probably a good all rounder. You can find them in most brands and since they are all made from nice Taiwanese frames with Shimano kit, the brand makes little difference.
I would pick my bike shop first then see what brands they do. You will need advice on the correct size and help fitting accessories such as fender, rack, lights, bags and some kit such as helmet, lock, repair kit.
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Old 04-07-11, 04:04 AM
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I have only had vintage bikes, but I will contribute what I know.

If you are looking for your first bike, go find your local bicycle co-op. Have them teach you what they know and show you what they have for sale. Buy your first bike from them, because it will be cheap, fully functioning, and easy to replace if you mess up while learning something on it.

Never miss an opportunity to talk to your friends about the benefits of cycling to self and community. Make sure to point them in the direction of your/their local bicycle co-op.

If you KNOW something is very wrong with your bike, do not go on a 70 mile+ adventure.

If you are going to buy your main and only bike, get one with some big gears. Do not buy a fixie unless you know your commute is flat, and thats all you will use it for. Do not buy a beach cruiser pretty much ever. Do not buy a mountain bike unless you commute/excersize/adventure off-road. Big gears means something bigger than 24 on the largest rear cog, and the average 52 & 42 on the front. Get a triple crank if you are really concerned about hills, or are out of shape.

If you buy a vintage/classic bike, watch out for paint coming off when you swap parts or park it on a metal bicycle rack.

Dont buy overpriced junk, and look over all the parts on said junk carefully to make sure none are bent or broken. The top tube on my 77 Raleigh Grand Prix was bent several centimeters to the right. Lesson learned, I bought a new 83 Raleigh Olympian.

If you are looking for older bikes, make sure to look for mid-range to upper-range frames with 700c wheels. Anything mid-range will ride significantly better than anything thats cheapo. Riding on 27's is definetely doable, but riding on 700's is even better because you can buy them anywhere if you get in a jam.

Dont buy a bike that has shifters on the handle bar stem, or mod them out after.
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Old 04-07-11, 10:50 AM
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thanks for all the great advice, i failed to mention that im not commuting in san francisco but in alameda. they have a local bike shop here and i plan on going there and asking for advice. ive been reading on posts about mtb w/slicks would that be a good option for me?
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Old 04-07-11, 01:48 PM
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For a 4 mile commute, most any bike will do. Around 4 miles I do start thinking more hand positions would be nice. The main thing is to get a bike that fits, and you enjoy riding.

Mountain bikes with slicks make fine commuters. I have an old rigid bike that was a great commuter. I also have a hardtail with slicks that is nice for quick commutes.

Personally I like the mid 80's to 90's rigid MTB's as commuters. They had beefy frames, stable geometry, many had eyelets for both racks and fenders, and can usually be found for not much money. The only drawback was that they could be a little on the heavy side
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Old 04-07-11, 04:10 PM
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Unless you've got a series of brutal hills I'd go for a simple single speed w/a coaster brake. Big tires. Put a rack/trunkbag combo or a basket of some sort and enjoy yourself.
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Old 04-07-11, 05:26 PM
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Originally Posted by nashcommguy View Post
Unless you've got a series of brutal hills I'd go for a simple single speed w/a coaster brake. Big tires. Put a rack/trunkbag combo or a basket of some sort and enjoy yourself.
Yeah, the OP might be a good candidate for the Torker discussed here:
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...-on-this-puppy

I tend to ride pretty fast, so I would definitely go with the front brake suggested in the thread.
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Old 04-07-11, 09:56 PM
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I'll suggest going to your LBS without any pre-conceived ideas. When you get there ignore the prices for now. Just sit on as many bikes as you can and spend more than 10 seconds on them. Have someone hold you up so you can put both feet on the pedals to really begin to get a feel for how each different bike feels. Don't even worry if the bike has knobbies or slicks or dual-use tires on it at this point.

All you are trying to do is to find an honest and unbiased decision on what style of bike feels best to you right now.

Once you've got some idea about what currently feels good then you can start shopping price and tires and so forth.

And plan on your preferences changing if you stick with cycling. I won't say more because I don't want to taint your process.
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Old 04-07-11, 11:31 PM
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Have a look at the Linus bikes. They are fashionable, fun, practical, simple to use and not that heavy or costly.
Maybe the 5 speed Sturmey one would be good.
I saw a girl buy one a couple days ago. They are more a girls kind of bike. You could have matching bikes.
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Old 04-08-11, 01:01 PM
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Not as a recommendation, more as something to consider and define wants and parameters from, take a look at Felt's Cafe line;
http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2011...eluxe%20W.aspx

And to be honest, when I was looking up this link I was thinking the OP's screen name had Barrista in it which would make my link more relevant. Barrista, Bautista, I guess they both might like coffee and both could work in a cafe. Oh well, I tried .....
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Old 04-08-11, 01:19 PM
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Originally Posted by lbautista23 View Post
thanks for all the great advice, i failed to mention that im not commuting in san francisco but in alameda. they have a local bike shop here and i plan on going there and asking for advice. ive been reading on posts about mtb w/slicks would that be a good option for me?
Somewhere like Oakland or Bezerkley? Are you going to be in the downtown areas, or will you be fighting the hills?
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Old 04-09-11, 04:02 PM
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actually will be in alameda. no hills just pavement and a draw bridge. commuting to a business park.
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Old 04-09-11, 06:04 PM
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Had a really nice post about the Bike Kitchen in SF, but I see you're in Alameda County. I used to have the pleasure of living in Hayward and riding through Oakland frequently before I moved to the Peninsula and eventually back to the right coast. Go see the good folks at the Missing Link in Berkeley. They know all you'll need to know about biking in the East Bay and then some. And they always have really cool bikes in stock.
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