Bicycle - recommendations?

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    Oct 26, 2008 6:09 AM GMT
    I've looked at some options, but have no idea what to choose and I don't want the advice of a salesman. So, can any of you recommend a bike that will qualify for both a short daily commute and a ten mile to twenty mile charity event I plan on doing in February and others in the future? Any help is desired! Thanks! icon_confused.gif
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    Oct 26, 2008 6:28 AM GMT
    Have you set a budget? Quality names include Trek, Cannondale, and Specialized.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/09/cusa/benefits.html

    http://www.specialized.com/bc/home.jsp?a=b&minisite=10029&language=US

    Your needs may be met with bikes that are classified as Urban, Recreational, Commuter, or some versions of Road. Comfort & Cruiser bikes tend to be too heavy & limited for longer rides, while Competition and some Road bikes are very expensive and not sturdy enough for street commuting.

    I've currently got a 2008 Cannondale T1 touring bike, which is strong for city use, and can do longer distances with luggage. It's going 165 miles to Key West in November. I like that type of bike, also had a Specialized touring model for 15 years before it was stolen, have owned Trek, too.
  • NYCguy74

    Posts: 311

    Oct 26, 2008 5:24 PM GMT
    I've heard online, and also found it to be true in my case, that your local bike shop can be one of your best resources. Plus most of them tend to be bike enthusiasts.
    The guys in my local shop are knowledgeable and weren't too busy to answer my silly noob questions when i got my bike. They went out of their way to help, Plus they know what they have available and you should be able to take it for a test ride.
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    Oct 26, 2008 6:06 PM GMT
    I am very happy with my Montague folding bike. It is a full size mountain bike that folds into a shape small enough to fit onto airplane carryon, as well as the trunk of my Honda Civic. You can fold/unfold it in less than a minute with no tools. Havng front disc brakes makes it easy to remove the wheel. It has come in handy the few times when I got caught in the rain-- it will fit in anyone's car or on a bus.

    It's good for urban communiting where you are on a lot of sidewalks, over curbs, etc, since it has front suspension. I put street tires on it instead of the knobby mountain tires. It's not so good for flat street riding (the gears are too low to go as fast as a street bike), but it's great for hills.

    I got mine from a SAMs warehouse. Hummer was giving them away a few years ago. These are the "paratrooper" models that special forces took into Afghanistan. You can find them on Ebay, or at the company web site. Here's a link to a video of the folding:

    http://www.montagueco.com/technology/folding-demo.html
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    Oct 26, 2008 6:37 PM GMT
    I got a Raleigh road bike for $600. It's pretty awesome. Check into that brand
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    Oct 26, 2008 9:21 PM GMT
    The Raleigh Roadster is a cutie. That's not my focus, but it's nice. I want a deal, like a bike I saw at Costco yesterday, but I want quality and knowledge. I guess I'll have to hit the PS Cyclery - I just don't want a salesman. They're pretty nice there though, so hopefully I wont get screwed.
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    Oct 26, 2008 9:34 PM GMT
    Custom FIxie but they even schwinn sells them now.


    http://www.fixedgeargallery.com/2008/oct/3/DavidGentry.htm
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    Oct 26, 2008 9:48 PM GMT
    I bike to and from work everyday as well as take it on long rides for fun.

    I bought mine at a used bike store for $40. There is a lot to be found in those shops. Take a look.
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    Nov 03, 2008 12:34 AM GMT
    if your short commute is hilly than opt for something with lots of gears... you're gonna need those super-low gears to get you over the hills if they're steep.

    if you plan on doing long rides, avoid mountain bikes / hybrids and stick with a nice road bike icon_smile.gif
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    Nov 03, 2008 12:41 AM GMT
    When I was looking for a new road bike, I wanted to make sure that it was the perfect fit for me. If you're going to be doing any real distance rides, I would suggest you spend the money to have a proper fitting. It usually less than $300 to be fitted right. From there, you can figure out how ridged of a ride you want which will determine the materials that you want your bike made from.

    I ended up spending quite a bit of money, but I ride a lot and long distances. If you're only looking to do 10 - 30 mile rides, it may not be quite as important to spend the extra money. Get a fitting and then see if you can find a great bike on ebay. I've sold several really amazing bikes for very little. But it you're going to ride a lot, spend the money to get the perfect bike and perfect fit.

    I've alwasy preferred Trek.
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    Nov 03, 2008 12:44 AM GMT
    yo_mamali saidif your short commute is hilly than opt for something with lots of gears... you're gonna need those super-low gears to get you over the hills if they're steep.

    if you plan on doing long rides, avoid mountain bikes / hybrids and stick with a nice road bike icon_smile.gif


    That is my problem. The neighborhood I live in has varying types of hills. Some are steep, and others are so to incline. Either way, I feel them in my knees...I can't shift worth a damn.
  • swimbikerun

    Posts: 2835

    Nov 03, 2008 1:13 AM GMT
    MunchingHusseinZombie saidI bike to and from work everyday as well as take it on long rides for fun.

    I bought mine at a used bike store for $40. There is a lot to be found in those shops. Take a look.
    By far the best advice. Start off with something as inexpensive as you can deal with, then move up as needed.
    I've a Felt S32, I love it and it's perfect for me.
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    Nov 03, 2008 1:19 AM GMT
    Sales people at your local bike store are usually pretty reliable sources---they are typically cylcists who range from the casual rider to the serious racer. If you tell them what you are looking for in a bike and what your budget can aford, they can set you up. I've been riding a Schwinn Paramount mountain bike for 10 years. I've used it riding everything from recreational trails to long distance rides across the state. I'm more runner than cyclist so I tend to use my bike for cross training. But any reputable bike from Cannondale, Schwinn, or other name brand is good. You get what you pay for so I would go with a quality bike from a respected company.
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    Nov 03, 2008 1:36 AM GMT
    polobutt saidWhen I was looking for a new road bike, I wanted to make sure that it was the perfect fit for me. If you're going to be doing any real distance rides, I would suggest you spend the money to have a proper fitting. It usually less than $300 to be fitted right. From there, you can figure out how ridged of a ride you want which will determine the materials that you want your bike made from.

    I ended up spending quite a bit of money, but I ride a lot and long distances. If you're only looking to do 10 - 30 mile rides, it may not be quite as important to spend the extra money. Get a fitting and then see if you can find a great bike on ebay. I've sold several really amazing bikes for very little. But it you're going to ride a lot, spend the money to get the perfect bike and perfect fit.

    I've alwasy preferred Trek.


    I completely agree with PB. Find an independent bike shop (avoid the chain sporting goods stores) in your area and go and talk to the guys. The last time I bought a bike I told the guys how I wanted to use the bike - length & type of riding I did and a ballpark on what I wanted to spend. They pulled 5 or 6 bikes for me to try and I rode circles around their parking lot. The bike shop also had bikes for rent, and used bikes for sale. I never felt any pressure from the guys to make a fast purchase (I went to more than one shop before I made a decision) - and years later - I still love my bike. icon_smile.gif

    Also, at a small shop, you should be able to try out some different saddles (if you don't have one) and put the saddle you prefer on the bike you buy.

    As PB said - if you can find the right bike on eBay - it's a great way to get a good deal - but only if you can find the right bike and the right fit.

    I ride a Trek too.
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    Nov 03, 2008 1:46 AM GMT
    I would agree with the advice to buy your commuting bike used but that might require a bit more knowledge than you have about bikes. I've bought all my commuting bikes used, but I know what I'm looking for.

    My advice would be to go to a good shop, tell them what you told us, get fitted well and keep an eye open to the future. Though you aren't planning to do a lot of long riding now, you might well find yourself doing a lot more riding than you planned, so you'll want a good road bike.

    I bought myself a Trek this year which I use for my daily 8-mile RT commute and on which I have done quite a few longer rides (50-75 miles). Very comfortable, very quick, and very solid. Previously, I swore by Cannondales and Bianchis, but I'm very happy with my Trek
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    Nov 04, 2008 1:51 PM GMT
    looknrnd saidI've looked at some options, but have no idea what to choose and I don't want the advice of a salesman. So, can any of you recommend a bike that will qualify for both a short daily commute and a ten mile to twenty mile charity event I plan on doing in February and others in the future? Any help is desired! Thanks! icon_confused.gif


    The posters who mentioned used are spot on. You can get a very good used bike for short money. Search CL and Ebay and local shops. That way you can try for instance a mountain bike or a road bike or a single speed or an urban commuter bike without much worry to cost. Although most lower priced bikes are going to be of the "10 speed" steel road bike (drop bars) variety.

    If you go the new bike route stay away from department store bikes. Sorry, they are usually heavy, poorly constructed, and often poorly built, and of marginal components. To someone who is new to bikes it will just be a frustrating experience.
    The LBS or Local Bike Shop is the way to go. The advice, willingness to work with you, after sale care and adjustments and often life long friendship are worth every penny.

    As to your specific question for a bike that is suitable for commuting and the occasional 10-20 mile charity ride:
    Look for something that can mount and has clearance for fenders and racks (eyelets on the fork and stays). An aluminum frame is probably going to be what you will find and that is terrific as it will stand up to inclement weather and resist corrosion. But do not be afraid of steel either (especially in a used bike). Depending on your commute, if it is hilly and you are a new rider, you may want gearing options. If it is flat, or you are a stronger rider, there is something to be said for going Single Speed (or fixed gear) as you don't have any gears to worry about.

    Mountain bikes make for great commuters and ride around bikes. They are comfortable and versatile, and the gear range is often huge. But keep in mind, that you don't need a suspended (front and rear shocks) mtb on the road. Also commuting on knobby (mtb) tires is difficult, as they are not designed for pavement.

    Remember to budget in for helmet, cycling gloves, lights if commuting in the light diminished times of the day (tail light and headlight), some sort of saddlebag and basic tools/patchkit/spare tubes/pump/inflator and chain lube.

    This is where the LBS will also come into play, they will help you with all these necessary extras and will teach you how to change a flat tire, and do basic bike maintenance.

    Good luck