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Old 01-31-12, 12:57 PM
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JuneHawk
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Bike rec

I am looking for a commuter bike and I don't know where to start! I am already a cyclist but now I'd like to start commuting to work. I need a bike that can take a child seat (not a trailer), panniers, etc but is also somewhat efficient. If it makes a difference, I'm a short (5'1.5") woman and I currently ride a 47cm Trek and a small Quintana Roo tri bike. TiA!

June

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Old 01-31-12, 01:18 PM
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erg79
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Are you looking for a bike with a child seat on the top tube, or behind the saddle?
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Old 01-31-12, 01:22 PM
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JuneHawk
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Hhhmm....I hadn't thought about it. My son is 3.5 years old, tall and skinny. I have no idea what would be more comfortable for both of us.
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Old 01-31-12, 01:30 PM
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Wow, with a kid that big I'd say behind you if you didn't want to do a trailer. I think the front ones would interfere with steering too much (but I don't know).

What's wrong with a trailer? (Not to question your decision, just curious as I think I'm going with a trailer for my 1 year old this spring/summer if I can convince my wife that it's not that scary out there for me to take her on the road/trails).
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Old 01-31-12, 01:46 PM
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The combination of your height, rear child seat and wanting panniers can present a problem.

May I suggest you start off looking at bicycles that have eyelets for both front and rear racks. For your desires a touring bike with both a mid-fork eyelet and bottom fork eyelet may work best. This would allow putting your panniers on the front, still having an eyelet for a front fender and being able to put the child carrier on the back, which would also serve as a back fender. Such a set up would also allow the more aero riding position that you are already accustom with, as well as avoiding heel strike with rear panniers.
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Old 01-31-12, 02:03 PM
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I live in an apartment and I don't really have room to store a trailer. It would also be tricky to store a bike with a trailer at the office.
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Old 01-31-12, 02:10 PM
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Oh I didn't notice that panniers part. That's hard to do with a seat behind you unless the panniers go on a front rack. In that case you're looking for a touring bike as CB HI says above. Also, keep in mind that a lot of STEEL forks can be modified to handle a front rack if they've got the bottom eyelet by just adding a P-clamp. This should also work on aluminum, but don't try it on carbon forks. So you might be able to add a cyclocross bike to your list (though not a racing one).
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Old 01-31-12, 02:32 PM
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a Bak fiets. where the space for cargo/children is in front, wheel linkages to handle bar in the center,
or a longtail , like an Xtracycle conversion, or a 'big dummy' , or similar from Trek, Etc.
will be useful as the child grows and even if they are on their own and asking for the Car Keys,
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Old 01-31-12, 02:54 PM
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Civia Halsted




Oh wait, look at that standover. 28 inches. Maybe that's pushing it?

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Old 01-31-12, 11:16 PM
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I got a trailer because my daughter was nearing the weight limit of most kids seats. The kids in the photos above look to be about her size, but most of what I read said that the weight limits are 40 lbs.

I agree that a trailer is rather cumbersome. A bakefiets would also be pretty big, but I know kids love them. But not the most nimble.
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Old 01-31-12, 11:41 PM
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That Civia Halsted is cool. I have the strangest feeling something like that is going to end up in my collectin. While I like the Surly Big Dummy and the other longtail cargo bikes, they're overkill. It looks like I could carry the kinds of loads I do with that, and do it with a much smaller bike.
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Old 02-02-12, 11:30 PM
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It doesn't solve the problem of the storage at home, but if your son goes to daycare, they might let you leave the trailer there during the day.

How much stuff do you have to carry? Could you drive to work 1-2 days a week with a load for the office & cut down on the amount of stuff you have to carry on the bike?

Kids do add another wrinkle to bike commuting, but I know people who do it. Let us know what you decide
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Old 03-24-12, 07:59 AM
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I had the exact same requirements and ended up going with a Civia Halsted--nice and sturdy, can carry stuff, small enough for me but can fit my 5'9" husband, too, can be carried up the stairs and parked at the office.
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