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Looking for a good commuter road bike

Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Looking for a good commuter road bike

Old 10-20-08, 10:58 PM
  #1  
Tankard
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Looking for a good commuter road bike

I bought a Trek 7.2FX last week, but I returned it because it wasn't as good as I expected it to be. It didn't shift very well, the brakes squeaked, and although it was easier to pedal than my old mountain bike, it still was hard getting up the hills. It was also very uncomfortable. I rode it home from the dealership the same day I bought it (approximately 13 miles) and I couldn't get on the bike again for a week. Extremely sore, thanks to the uncomfortable saddle. I don't know if it is something I'd ever get used to.

So now I'm back to square one. I'm looking for a lighter, faster, and more comfortable bike. I went to my local bike store and I sat on a few road bikes. One, in particular, stood out to me. The Specialized Sequoia was a road bike, but it felt very comfortable. It was lighter than the 7.2, had narrower tires, and had a set of breaks on the top of the handlebars, which I like because I don't want to be stuck in the hunched over position 100% of the time. If my back gets tired, I'd like to sit up for a while and still be able to break if I have to. Another bike I saw was the Specialized Sirrus. It looked more like a road bike and less like a hybrid, unlike the 7.2FX. There were several models there, but the Sport model was the one the salesman recommended.

I was wondering if any of you had any suggestions? Considering that I just need a commuter bike, I don't need a racer or anything super expensive. The bike would primarily be used to get me to and from school, with the occassional 20-30 mile trip as a possibility. Also, keep in mind, the bike will be parked at school for a fair amount of time. I will obviously get a lock, but if I park my bike at the bike racks, there's a possibility of it getting banged up by idiots parking their bike right next to mine. I guess this rules out the possibility of getting a carbon bike (or even carbon forks). I don't want these carbon parts to get damaged due to the cost of replacing them. Hopefully this doesn't eliminate the Sequoia option, because I liked that bike.

Thanks everyone.
 
Old 10-20-08, 11:01 PM
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celticfrost
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You may get some good answers in this forum, or maybe not.

Either way, you may want to ask the same questions over here:

http://www.bikeforums.net/forumdisplay.php?f=20
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Old 10-20-08, 11:13 PM
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Something by Surly. Long Haul Trucker or Cross-Check.
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Old 10-20-08, 11:44 PM
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I was in your situation as a student who needed a bike to go back and forth from school and on a minimal bank account. I found the best solution for me was to buy a used 80's road bike. As long as you get something in your size and it isn't a piece of junk it will take all the beatings you can issue. Also even though you may have it tuned to perfection, it still doesn't stand out on the bike rack asking to be stolen. Heck of a lot cheaper too. My steel bianchi rides better than most aluminums and it only cost me $110 and then $50 to replace the fork. I put 20-30 miles on it daily and couldn't be happier (unless Santa brings me a new rival set and wheels, which would go on this frame )
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Old 10-21-08, 12:21 AM
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buy used. a new bike is gonna cost atleast 700bucks at a lbs for an entry level bike, and it won't run as well as an old well looked after used bike. the target/walmart bikes are heavy and have bottom barrel compents, not to mention they are really heavy. a used bike from the 80s or 90s will be under 200bucks and all it would need is a tune up(clean and lube chain/bearings), and probably new brake pads, tires, grip tape and tubes, and bike lock. used bikes are way less likly to get stolen.

if your gonna buy new look for something with a compact crank 50/34 and a wide cassete in back either a 12-25 or 11-28. and get a carbon fork
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Old 10-21-08, 02:00 AM
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Salsa Casseroll
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Old 10-21-08, 03:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Tankard View Post
Ithere's a possibility of it getting banged up by idiots parking their bike right next to mine. I guess this rules out the possibility of getting a carbon bike (or even carbon forks). I don't want these carbon parts to get damaged due to the cost of replacing them. Hopefully this doesn't eliminate the Sequoia option, because I liked that bike.

Thanks everyone.

80's Japanese steel off of Craigslist
There isnt a 'possibility' of it getting road worn, its inevitable.
You can get a super reliable, semi fast, tuff as the Oakland Raiders
older bike for 125.00 or so You Economics 101 Prof.
would approve
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Old 10-21-08, 06:41 AM
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Yeah, I'd buy an old beater that doesn't look like it's worth 10 cents. You can use a bike lock at school but eventually someone is going to think that your bike is worth at least 50 bucks and voila...gone! The trick is to make it look like it's not even worth scrap value. Anything new-ish looking is going to have a pretty short shelf life. Call me jaded, but that's the best I got for ya.
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Old 10-21-08, 09:40 AM
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Devinci Oslo, Copenhagen or Stockholm
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Old 10-21-08, 09:57 AM
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Storck Fascenario 0.7
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Old 10-21-08, 09:58 AM
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I recently built one up and love it.



http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?t=470311
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Old 10-21-08, 10:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Suzie Green View Post
Yeah, I'd buy an old beater that doesn't look like it's worth 10 cents. You can use a bike lock at school but eventually someone is going to think that your bike is worth at least 50 bucks and voila...gone! The trick is to make it look like it's not even worth scrap value. Anything new-ish looking is going to have a pretty short shelf life. Call me jaded, but that's the best I got for ya.
That's what I think too. Unless you are really confident with the security of your bike storage at both ends of your commute, I'd get a POS for commuting and a nicer bike for the longer recreational rides.
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Old 10-21-08, 01:27 PM
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It's funny - reading through your post, I was going to suggest a Sequoia or a Sirrus.

Personally, I wouldn't leave a full carbon bike locked up outside, but I wouldn't worry about a carbon fork getting banged up on a bike rack. A carbon fork isn't going to fall apart because it got scratched a few times, unless you replaced the fork with some high end super light-weight replacement (which you wouldn't do). Even then it would probably be fine.

Everyone else has a very good point about buying a beater for like $100-$200 for commuting and leaving locked up outside. I'm always on the fence about doing that because I spend most of my time on my bike commuting, but you didn't mention how far it was to campus. Personally, I like riding something decent, BUT I can afford to replace my commuting bike and count it as a learning experience if it gets stolen.
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Old 10-21-08, 01:30 PM
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i like my surly pacer, it fits full fenders too
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Old 10-21-08, 08:50 PM
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I could ride to work on a full carbon race bike and not worry about it, because I get to keep it inside where we change clothes.

BUT... if I had to keep it parked outside among other bikes, I'd use something that can take dings and gouges better. Add my vote for a good steel or thicker aluminum used bike. You can put up-to-date components on them if you need to, too.
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Old 10-21-08, 09:16 PM
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If you've got the coin, the Lemond Poprad (disc) would be great. Perhaps not the best to lock up, but it's a smooth ride and has disc brakes, fender mounts, and plenty of clearance for no-nonsense knobbies.
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Old 10-21-08, 09:18 PM
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I'll give a shoutout to the Forge CTS 1000. Bought it recently and loving it. Cost much less than similar-specced bikes at the shop, even after taking it into the shop to have the brakes and gears tuned. I'm still using my Coda for riding to class, though, because the Forge looks much more expensive, even though it's actually considerably cheaper.
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Old 10-21-08, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by uke View Post
I'll give a shoutout to the Forge CTS 1000. Bought it recently and loving it. Cost much less than similar-specced bikes at the shop, even after taking it into the shop to have the brakes and gears tuned. I'm still using my Coda for riding to class, though, because the Forge looks much more expensive, even though it's actually considerably cheaper.
Uhm. He asked for a good commuter (p)uke.

Keep up the good work young man.

OP - check out the Salsa La Cruz.

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Old 10-21-08, 09:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cedricbosch View Post
Storck Fascenario 0.7
Excellent suggestion. I also was thinking the Litespeed Ghisallo. Both are light, affordable bikes.
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