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New Commuter - which bike?

Old 08-12-11, 01:53 PM
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New Commuter - which bike?

I'm new to Santa Clara, CA and want to commute to work. It's about 4 miles 1 way but I would like the option of using this bike to ride around for longer rides as well. I've been a few bike shops and tested several but I'm not sure what I should really look for... help?

I liked the Bianchi Iseo / Jamis Coda / KHS Urban X so far.
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Old 08-12-11, 02:32 PM
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Go for the red one. They're faster.

Seriously, I like to take the load off my back with panniers, so I'd start with light touring or 'cross bikes that have provisions for racks. That said, spend the weekend at all the bike shops you can find (including REI!), ride all the bikes that interest you at least 2-3 miles, and pick the one that feels right to you on the road. My belief is that you can't pick a bike by the specs, or the pretty pictures on the web or in a catalog, but sometimes one just clicks when you ride it. That's the one you'll be happy to ride, and therefore WILL ride. There's nothing sadder than a lonesome bike hanging up in the garage.
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Old 08-12-11, 02:59 PM
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Can't help you with the Bianchi or Jamis, but I've taken a long, hard look at the KHS before at my primary LBS.

The rack is geared for using a trunk bag, but at least it comes with fenders and the rack. You may decide at some point you may not want either item, but at least you won't be out any money trying them out either. The grip shifts tend to be a love 'em or hate 'em thing (but you'll be trying to figure out if you really need all of those gears and start shopping for a SS/FG...).
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Old 08-12-11, 04:07 PM
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Does it really make a difference if I wanted to take my commuter KHS on a longer ride? That's a good point about the fenders, I haven't been here for the rainy season yet. The panniers aren't a bad idea either (currently have a backpack). I'm worried if certain bikes like performance road bikes are bad for your back because you bend over while riding them.
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Old 08-12-11, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by swbike
Does it really make a difference if I wanted to take my commuter KHS on a longer ride? That's a good point about the fenders, I haven't been here for the rainy season yet. The panniers aren't a bad idea either (currently have a backpack). I'm worried if certain bikes like performance road bikes are bad for your back because you bend over while riding them.
You are new around here, alright.

1. Only your attitude, ability, and willpower can determine how far any bike can take you.
2. The KHS is fine up to a point- and that point varies from person to person. That can be said for any bike.
3. How you carry your stuff- either on your back or on your bike- is something that you'll just have to experiment for yourself.
4. Just because a bike has drop bars doesn't mean that you have to ride hunched over all of the time. From what I gather, the vast majority of people spend most of the time either on the hoods (bar ends on a flat bar simulates this to a point) and on the tops on either side of the stem. So basically, a roadie is sharing a similar posture (depending on how aggressively they contort themselves) as someone on a hybrid. But the roadie can move down to the drops/hooks to become more aero and cheat the wind resistance a bit.
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Old 08-12-11, 05:00 PM
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Yes, I am super green.

My question was more directed at, what do I really get by spending more, does it even matter for someone like me? The bike lasts longer? Paying for brand? Etc. I realize I need to pick whatever feels right and since a few of them feel good so far should I just get the cheaper one?

Thanks
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