Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

I need to buy a bike to commute, where should I go?

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

I need to buy a bike to commute, where should I go?

Old 07-24-08, 08:50 AM
  #1  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I need to buy a bike to commute, where should I go?

In the past, I had two mongoose bikes from walmart, which looked very sleak but got stolen in NYC. The bikes did get me from point a to point b but I always felt I was putting too much labor into it, specially when going up a somewhat steep slope. I often had to stand up and push hard to have enough speed until the end. The bike was also shaky and the mechanisms often made noises for some reason.

Now, I am in the market for a lighter and faster bike. I have looked at some of the treks on ebay but I don;t really know enough about the models to know whether or not it is a good price. Particularly, I have been watching auctions for those "racing" type or road bikes (the ones with the racing handles as opposed to mountain bike type of handles), but the good looking ones appear very expensive.

I need advice on a good bike (no problem if it is used) for my purposes. I will be using to go to school and around campus, so about 1 hr riding everyday. The price I can afford is up to $500, I am guessing by looking at used ones one ebay, I will be able to get a better bike. I know treks are one of the best brand, so do you guys think I can find a good one arond that price range?

Thanks.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 09:23 AM
  #2  
HandsomeRyan
Pants are for suckaz
 
HandsomeRyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Posts: 2,578

Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fredddir View Post
I know treks are one of the best brand,
That noise you just heard was a can of worms being opened. Treks are made in the same factories, by the same folks, from the same materials as 80%+ of other major manufacterers bikes. If you like trek, by all means get one, but it is a misconception to believe that a Trek is better than a comperable Raleigh or Cannondale.

To answer your question- $500 sounds like a decent budget for a new bike shop quality bike. I sugest a new bike because although there are MANY fantastic used bikes out there for well under $500, if you don't want to be your own mechanic, buying new ensures a mechanically sound bike.

Based on what you described that you'd like to do with the bike I would sugest looking at "Commuter" style bikes.

http://www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_x_08.htm
KHS Urban X ($359) is a great example of a commuter bike- flat bars, relaxed frame geometry, 700c wheels, rack and fenders for utility. It won't be as fast as a dropped bar road bike but it'll blow past the knobby-tired mountain bikes you are used to riding.

Some more examples of Commuter style bikes- (there are a lot more than this from other manufacterers, these were just the first few I thought of close to your price range.)

Specalized Globe City 7.1 ($550)
http://www.specialized.com/bc/SBCBkM...80&language=US

Giant Trans Send DX ($480)
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...le/1436/29313/

Kona Smoke ($400ish???)
http://www.konaworld.com/08_smoke29.htm

I'd sugest checking out some local bike shops and ask what they have in "commuter bikes".

There's my $0.02 for what it's worth.
HandsomeRyan is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 09:33 AM
  #3  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks,

I was hoping for something more like this,

http://campusbicycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=1818

which has a more sleake look and seems to be faster (I prefer to ride quickly). Any other suggestions? What are good trek alternatives (models) that are cheaper but of comparable quality?

Thanks.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 09:47 AM
  #4  
joe_5700
CAT4
 
joe_5700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 1,681

Bikes: 2009 Cervélo S1, 2009 Felt F75, 2010 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5, 2011 Cannondale CAADx, 2011 Specialized Transition Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
With your budget you cannot go wrong with a Trek 7200 (MSRP $540.00). DO NOT buy one off of Ebay. You can get a new one for nearly the same price from a LBS. Also LBSs offer free adjustments for a year or even as long as you own the bike (which is my case). The Trek 7200 is a VAST improvement over department store mountain bikes (Schwinn, Mongoose etc.). I have a Trek 7200 and have ridden it for a year now and it has been flawless. My wife has a Trek 7100 WSD(MSRP $440) and it does not have the higher gearing like the 7200 and it has much noisier components.
joe_5700 is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 09:52 AM
  #5  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What about the trek 1.5?
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 09:59 AM
  #6  
joe_5700
CAT4
 
joe_5700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 1,681

Bikes: 2009 Cervélo S1, 2009 Felt F75, 2010 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5, 2011 Cannondale CAADx, 2011 Specialized Transition Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
After reading the thread more carefully you are looking for more of a road bike, so sorry for my last post. Actually the 1.5 is probably the bike I will be buying for next year (but keeping my 7200 of course). A few weeks ago I saw one at my LBS and did my scientific "pick up the bike test" to compare it to the 7000 series as well as FX's. The 1.5 is much, much lighter. Unfortunately, a new one is out of your price range. I'd still test out the hybrid bikes before you settle on a road bike.
joe_5700 is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 11:01 AM
  #7  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How much is a fair price for a 1.5? I have seen it for 600 on ebay with 3 days left. Is there a good website for cheap trek bikes?

One more beginner question, for someone who is 5-10, what is a good frame size (this is in case i decide to buy online)?

Thanks.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 11:16 AM
  #8  
HandsomeRyan
Pants are for suckaz
 
HandsomeRyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Posts: 2,578

Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The problem with true road bikes like the Trek you posted is that most of them are set up for the express purpose of going fast. To do this they sacrifice comfort and amenities such as the ability to run fatter puncture resistant commuter tires and fenders. If you plan to ride in street clothes rather than bike specific kit, you may find that riding is not very comfortable on those bikes either. If speed is the issue, you would be amazed at how fast you can ride a commuter bike because the wheels, gears, and cranks are largely the same as a road bike, the only differences are flat handlebars and usually a more relaxed geometry so you aren't all scrunched up in racer mode for a casual ride to class. Trek does make a bike that would satify both your desire for a dropped bar bike and your need for something "commutable" called the Trek Portland but I believe this model retails for over twice your posted budget. (it is a sweet ride though!)

Don't get me wrong, there are many folks who use dropped bar road bikes to commute everyday so it can be done. My personal opinion is that commuter bikes are better because they are less disirable as theft targets, they are more comfortable to ride in street clothes, and they come fully set up for commuting. (my Raleigh Detour Deluxe even came with integrated lights) If you still want a dropped bar road bike, which it sounds like you do, you might check out the "<$700 bikes thread" in the Road Cycling Forum here at BF.

Almost all the major brands sell a variety of bikes that would fulfill your needs. No one will be able to tell you that any one brand is "better" than another. The common wisdom around here is- Find a bike shop with employees who are friendly and willing to help you and buy a bike from whatever brands they carry. Service during and after the sale is 100 times more important than which brand name is painted on the bike's down tube.
HandsomeRyan is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 11:41 AM
  #9  
Little Darwin
The Improbable Bulk
 
Little Darwin's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Wilkes-Barre, PA
Posts: 8,401

Bikes: Many

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What you linked to, the Trek 1000 is the basic entry level road bike.

For roughly the same cost, each manufacturer has their own model of entry level road bike.

As mentioned above, there are limitations in using an entry level road bike for commuting, but for a short commute, you might be fine.

I also agree that for bike shopping, you are shopping more for a good bike shop than for a biike.

My suggestion:

1) go into a bike shop, tell them what you are looking for, and see what they suggest. Take a test ride, and see what you think of the bike, but more importantly the shop.

2) Repeat with a couple of other shops.

3) Decide, then buy.

If any shop tries to convince you that their brand is better, that is merely sales talk. Don't take away points for them selling their brand, unless they overdo it... Claiming their brand is great is one thing, if they start claiming that the other brands are crap, I would walk away. Whichever person provides the best service is the best. Sometimes it is hard to tell, just trust your gut.

By the way, there is a forum here dedicated specifically to commuting... You may want to browse through there a bit and see which specific models that they like. This will give you more ideas on which models each manufacturer makes that have been proven to be popular for different commuters.
__________________
Slow Ride Cyclists of NEPA

People do not seem to realize that their opinion of the world is also a confession of character.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Little Darwin is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:01 PM
  #10  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks Ryan, the Trek Portland is amazing. I really wish it was in my price range. Are there mopre bikes like that? Great suggestion.

I will try to find used ones on ebay, who knows.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:13 PM
  #11  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
What about this one,

http://campusbicycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=2609

it seems like a mountain bike. The only thing that is missing is the the covers on the wheel to protect from water on the road. The top bar in slanted towards the top, is this normal--I thought most bikes had a flat bar.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:15 PM
  #12  
Bookman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 122

Bikes: Trek 7100

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
fredddir, you seem determined to buy your bike anywhere but a local bike store. If I've misread you, I apologize. In fact, if you're a decent bike mechanic and you know your SunRace CSR-638PB from your SRAM 850, the 850 from the PG950, and the Sora from the Tiagra, then you can stop reading now.

I understand your desire to get more for your money. But if you insist on buying from eBay or online you'd better be a competent bike mechanic or a quick study. Most bikes I've put my hands on at stores other than LBSs were not rideable-out-the-door—derailleurs out of adjustment, brake cables loose, brake levers at the wrong angle, too-little brake-pad clearance, even wheels that weren't trued. I can only imagine the condition your eBay/online bike would be in when it arrived.

And I hope you're thoroughly knowledgeable about the brands and models of key components, and their quality hierarchy, to protect yourself against a seller's changing-out the stock components of your too-good-to-be-true Trek for department-store-quality ones. Imagine your thinking you'd gotten a deal when you actually paid more than the bike's really worth because the only thing "Trek 1.5" about the bike was its frame and its Bontrager saddle and tires.

In the off-chance you aren't a decent bike mechanic, be prepared to add to the out-the-door price of your bike the cost of taking it to a bike geek to make sure it's safe, rideable, and everything is in its proper adjustment. You should also add to that price the cost of taking it to a bike geek a few times over the first year's use to have things tightened and adjusted, to have the wheels trued, to get tuned-up. I'm not sure what price one should put on the peace-of-mind one gets just knowing he/she can take the bike back anytime to get these things taken care of by a trained mechanic free-of-charge for a full year.
Bookman is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:23 PM
  #13  
joe_5700
CAT4
 
joe_5700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 1,681

Bikes: 2009 Cervélo S1, 2009 Felt F75, 2010 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5, 2011 Cannondale CAADx, 2011 Specialized Transition Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
http://campusbicycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=2587

This bike will be faster than the 4300.

Like the others have said go to your local bike shop and test the bikes out. Again, I cannot stress enough buying from your local bike shop over ebay. Are you a master at adjusting derailers etc.?
joe_5700 is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:31 PM
  #14  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bookman, the site from which I have been posting pics is from my local bike shop, in long island, NY. It is the only one around and seems to be pretty good. I mentioned ebay because I often see bikes in good condition there.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:34 PM
  #15  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How do you know that one will be faster? It seem sslower from the picture. I also looked at the trek 600, which appears t be great with disc breaks. Are these last three bikes we talked about good commuter bikes and can I buy the rain protection covers separately?

Like I said, the site is from my LBS, are those good prices?
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:41 PM
  #16  
joe_5700
CAT4
 
joe_5700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 1,681

Bikes: 2009 Cervélo S1, 2009 Felt F75, 2010 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5, 2011 Cannondale CAADx, 2011 Specialized Transition Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thinner tires, and a lighter frame.... I wouldn't go so much on looks really. Head on over to Campus Bicycle and tell the sales person what you are looking for and ride all of the models mentioned. Those prices seem to be slightly lower than MSRP which is pretty standard.
joe_5700 is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:52 PM
  #17  
Bookman
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Sacramento
Posts: 122

Bikes: Trek 7100

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by fredddir View Post
Bookman, the site from which I have been posting pics is from my local bike shop, in long island, NY. It is the only one around and seems to be pretty good. I mentioned ebay because I often see bikes in good condition there.

Thanks. I should've put a smiley-face or something in my earlier post.
Bookman is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 12:54 PM
  #18  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanks everyone!
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 01:30 PM
  #19  
d2create
Senior Member
 
d2create's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Houston we have a problem
Posts: 2,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
How far are you commuting?

You should check out the commuting forum. There is a wealth of info over there.

Personally, I would never want to commute on a road bike like that.
I can tell by your post that you don't know what it's like to ride one. That's fine. But I'm afraid you might buy one thinking it looks cool, and then after commuting on a it for a bit, start to regret your decision. Like some others have said, it can be done and some prefer it. But i think the majority will tell you that that kind of bike is not ideal for commuting. Commuters tend to like braze-ons for racks and fenders, wider tires for a smoother ride on city streets & the ability to get off the pavement if need be, more upright riding positions to navigate through traffic, geometry that makes the bike more comfortable, etc. That bike on the other hand is meant to go fast on smooth roads out in the country. That's it's main purpose. Comfort and practicality are not in it's vocabulary.

This would probably be over the top for you, but I just built this up as the perfect commuter for me.
http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=444737
You'll notice some of things I'm talking about that make it ideal for commuting. Fenders, 32mm tires, lights (this one has a generator hub), rack, bag, steel frame, handlebars even with or higher than seat. And it's not light but its not slow, either. I typically cruise at around 15-17mph and i hit over 26mph on a small stretch of my first ride the other day.

If you really want a good commuter, I would do some good research over on the commuter section before jumping in to a bike purchase.
d2create is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 01:37 PM
  #20  
HandsomeRyan
Pants are for suckaz
 
HandsomeRyan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Mt. Airy, MD
Posts: 2,578

Bikes: Hardtail MTB, Fixed gear, and Commuter bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The ability to add fenders depends on what model you decide on. The guy at the shop will be able to tell you if the bike you are looking at will support fenders or not.

I am unaware of any bikes similar to the Trek Portland with lower price tags. It is a sweet bike though. If I win the lottery, a Portland is way up the list of ponies I'm adding to my stable.

Here's another model you might check out from that shop.
http://campusbicycle.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=2788
HandsomeRyan is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 02:15 PM
  #21  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
d2create, I think the 4300 is pretty good.

It might not be amazing for commuting, but I just want a good bike. I had two mongooses before and they were ok, not the fastest or lightest but good enough to cruise around. One thing that bothered me was that the wheels were too thick so there was too much friction and it was too shaky. I have to see for myself but the 4300 seems pretty sturdy.

Comfort wise, everytime I have been on a bike, it has been good enough for me, as long as it is of the appropriate size, I think a mountain bike will do. The only thing I would need is a front suspension since I do tend to get off the curb when riding several times.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 02:27 PM
  #22  
d2create
Senior Member
 
d2create's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Houston we have a problem
Posts: 2,914
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Ya, the 4300 looks much better. Didn't see that. I was talking about the 1000 you posted earlier.
Road tires on a mnt bike style frame is always a good option for a commuter.
d2create is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 02:56 PM
  #23  
maddyfish
Senior Member
 
maddyfish's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Ky. and FL.
Posts: 3,944

Bikes: KHS steel SS

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
A trek 1.2 or 1.5 is a highly comptetant, fast, and comfortable bike. My old trek 1000 (the 1.2 predessor) was very comfortable up to the 30 mile range, and reasonably comfortable after that. Everything that one of those commuter flat handlbar bikes is, a trek 1.2 is, with the addition benfit of being sporty and giving you lots of hand placement options.
As for fenders planet bike or sks clip on fenders will do fine.
maddyfish is offline  
Old 07-24-08, 05:57 PM
  #24  
fredddir
Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 49
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I think the mountain bike will be better for me as because of the front suspension and versatile tires.
fredddir is offline  
Old 07-25-08, 10:13 AM
  #25  
joe_5700
CAT4
 
joe_5700's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
Posts: 1,681

Bikes: 2009 Cervélo S1, 2009 Felt F75, 2010 Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5, 2011 Cannondale CAADx, 2011 Specialized Transition Elite

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
It looks like there was already a thread on this topic.

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ight=7200+trek
joe_5700 is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Thread Starter
Forum
Replies
Last Post
RubberLegs
Classic & Vintage
1
01-20-13 08:32 AM
pierce
Hybrid Bicycles
6
07-24-10 01:46 AM
bedlam
Classic & Vintage
5
06-21-10 10:03 PM
WorldIRC
Introductions
8
04-01-10 09:14 PM
DenverFIXED
Singlespeed & Fixed Gear
22
04-23-06 01:09 AM

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.