Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Brand new to commuting, could use some recommendations.

Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Brand new to commuting, could use some recommendations.

Old 06-16-14, 12:10 AM
  #1  
Pat_F
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Brand new to commuting, could use some recommendations.

Hi everyone, I am just starting to look into some road bikes for my daily commute to school and the gym. I have kind of looked online at several bikes, but I could use some reccomendations from more "seasoned" people. Currently I am 21, 5' 8", leg length of around 31 1/2 ", and weigh approx 195 lbs. My budget would be up to ~$600. The bikes that I have looked at so far are: Breezer Downtown, the Fuji Crosstown 2.5, and the Fuji Traverse 1.9. If you guys could give me any other recommendations or suggestions, I would really appreciate it thanks a bunch!
Pat_F is offline  
Old 06-16-14, 12:46 AM
  #2  
tsl
Plays in traffic
 
tsl's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 6,969

Bikes: 1996 Litespeed Classic, 2006 Trek Portland, 2013 Ribble Winter/Audax, 2016 Giant Talon 4

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 66 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
First, Welcome!

Second, you're on the right track by looking at bikes that are considerably less than your overall budget. Accessories like a helmet, lights, lock(s), toolkit, spare tubes--and on some bikes, rack and fenders--eat up a chunk of the budget.

Of the three you've listed, the Breezer is the one that's already the most commute-ready, including as it does a luggage rack and fenders. Which is no surprise considering the goals of the brand. The trick is finding them locally. You need to be in a pretty large metropolitan area to find a Breezer dealer. I'm not too keen on one's first bike purchase being online with no local dealer support. Especially for those first starting out, the test ride and initial fitting are important, IMHO.

If you can't find a Breezer dealer nearby, look at bikes that have mounts for a rack and fenders. The rack gets your luggage off your back, and fenders keep you cleaner in the rain. Even if you plan only on being a fair weather cyclist, forecasts are never 100% accurate.

I would avoid the Traverse, and any other bike that includes suspension. It's designed specifically to attract the eye of those that don't know any better. Trouble is that especially at the low-end price points, it's ineffective, and just more weight to pedal around. And riding on pavement, it's just plain not needed.

How you carry your stuff is highly personal. Many folks use backpacks. Others don't like the weight or the sweaty back, and use a rack instead. Options there (listed in increasing cost) include the milk crate, trunk bag, or panniers that hang from the sides. Panniers come in two general types, those that are meant to stay on the bike when you park, and those that mount and dismount easily so thay can be taken with you as either hand luggage, or some convert into a backpack.

Schools are bike theft hotspots. So don't skimp and buy a cheap cable lock. Start with a least a midrange U-lock and supplement with a midrange cable lock. Each type requires a different set of tools to cut or break. All locks can be cut or broken, so the strategy is to have your bike locked better than others parked nearby.

That should get the conversation rolling.
tsl is offline  
Old 06-16-14, 12:52 AM
  #3  
acidfast7
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,585

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 24 Posts
Breezer Dowtown is probably the best commuter bike in your price range available in North America!

Go for it.

edit: Also, I must disagree with my colleague above, front suspension is quite common on bikes used for commuting in Germany. They're quite nice to dampen the rough ride on interlocking pavers. Also, they're dampened to not really waste energy and can be locked out (i.e. made firm like rigid suspension), so there's no reason not to go with them. However, the Breezer is in a class of it's own. There's a lot of ignorance about having a city-based suspension fork as they're just entering the North American market. However, I must confess that's a crappy fork on the Fuji. Look for a Suntour NCT or better.

Something like this:

Attached Images
File Type: png
city_trecking.png (37.0 KB, 21 views)

Last edited by acidfast7; 06-16-14 at 01:15 AM.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 06-16-14, 01:14 AM
  #4  
acidfast7
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,585

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Mentioned: 42 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1053 Post(s)
Liked 29 Times in 24 Posts
The variables of your commute (i.e. distance, times of day, location, hills, separated bike lanes, etc...) would also be beneficial if a concise and accurate response is desired.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 06-16-14, 07:31 AM
  #5  
WestPablo
Banned.
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Posts: 1,535
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Hey there, Pat_F!

Welcome to BF!

I would ditto everything that @tsl said!

I just love that Breezer!

Just to add...

I would also get a pair of riding gloves. I can't tell you how many times they've saved my hands during a spill. I would also suggest that you buy a either NY Fahgettaboudit U-Lock, or some type of thick OnGuard U-Lock.

Try to locate a bicycle co-op in your area. Make a trip to your local co-op at least once per month, in order to properly maintain your bicycle. Bicycle mechanics will be there to assist you.

Last edited by WestPablo; 06-16-14 at 02:28 PM.
WestPablo is offline  
Old 06-16-14, 08:03 AM
  #6  
Pat_F
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for all the help so far fellas. In response to acidfast7: my commute would be around 5- 5.5miles one way, usually I would be getting on my way in the early morning around 6-7 am ish, one steep hill when I actually get to school, no designated bike lanes as far as I know. Hope this info helps
Pat_F is offline  
Old 06-16-14, 08:08 AM
  #7  
Pat_F
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Posts: 9
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks for the well thought out reply. This really helps me figure some stuff out haha.
Pat_F is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
aesop13
Introductions
5
09-16-14 09:06 PM
Tim O
Road Cycling
1
09-12-13 11:52 AM
kjmillig
Commuting
14
07-24-12 08:38 AM
bensauce
Bicycle Mechanics
5
06-10-07 07:36 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.