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post #31 of 106
When you say commuter, I think something close to a mountain bike but with skinny tires. I think the term most people use for this type of bike would be "hybrid bike". Run a google search and you should get the info you need.
post #32 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by rxc View Post
Go to a bike shop (I use The Missing Link by the way) and try out some bikes. Look for something comfortable, without mountain bike tires, and at least a few gears in the rear.
You're gonna need "mountain bike tires" when it rains. It's no fun hydroplaning down a hill towards a red light, trust me, I'll stay away from skinny tires, what little efficiency you gain from skinny tires is not worth dying over. Also, wider tires won't get caught in cracks as easily and of course you can brake harder, so it's just safer all around. As far as gears go, you don't need more than 18 (3x6) for riding 3 miles to work, anymore is just extra weight and complexity (that said, I have 27 speeds and XTR drivetrain and brakes, but I ride for run in the Arizona desert).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pennylane View Post
Do commuter bikes only have one gear or something? I seriously have no idea how these things work. Bear with me.
Some bikes only have one gear and they're called 'single-speed' bikes, there's a cult following amoungst bike afficionados for singlespeeds kind of like there is a cult following for tube amps around here. It's an oddity, and the idea is that if you get rid of all the gears and all the levers and cables and housings and springs then the bike can be made much lighter and simpler and there'll be fewer things that can go wrong. But really, in real life, you're gonna need gears to go uphill or through a thick lawn or sand or something, so singlespeeds aren't really practical.

So, instead of a hybrid or a cruiser or a roadbike, I'd recommend getting a mountain bike. They'll last you longer and can handle riding down a curb every now and then. The skinny-tire commuter bikes (like the Trek 7200) tend to have weaker rims and you won't be happy when you bend your rim the first time you ride into a tree (which is just a fact of life ).

Anyway, like I said, look into the Trek 820. The Trek 3500 has a lighter frame but all the components are the same and it's not worth the extra money in my opinion if you don't intend to ride for thrills. Also, just like headphones, you want to test ride the bike before you buy it, what's a good fit for one person will not necessarily be good for another. If you tried Trek and don't like the fit then look into other brands like Cannondale or Raleigh, different brands will have different geometries. Treks tend to have one of the shortest top-tubes (so you sit more upright) and Raleighs tend to have the most aggressive geometry where you lean more forward, other brands fall in between.
post #33 of 106
A mountain bike with road type tires would work. I have a semi flat front tire with knobbies on its sides that work great in lite dirt and some sand. It is true that you would want a tire that could handle a slick road going downhill. IMO Knobbies are not that good at stopping on tar though.You wouldn't want to slam into a car or something. Once you get into it you might find yourself wanting to find mountain bike trails or something for the weekends. It is a great workout and fun. I call it hiking on wheels.
post #34 of 106
keep in mine a road bike is great as long as it never leaves the paved
road and a mountain bike is great if you don't need a lot of speed
at a constant pace hybrids are not great at any one particular item
but they are good at them all with more comfort in mine and yes i had
all three kept the hybrid if you don't like the trek may look into a giant.
post #35 of 106
A-BIKE

http://www.a-bike.co.uk/store/home.php

why not carry it with you as you commute?
post #36 of 106
post #37 of 106
#1 - Please find a smaller image of that Kona (it's not that I don't like Konas, I own a Jake the Snake).

#2 - You can get plenty of inexpensive bikes that'll suit your purpose. Look for a Performance Bike Shop in your area. They sell GT, Schwinn, Fuji, etc.

#3 - Look for a bike with 700cc wheels and a flat or riser handlebars. I saw several good options in my local shop here is the Chicago suburbs.
post #38 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo96 View Post
#1 - Please find a smaller image of that Kona (it's not that I don't like Konas, I own a Jake the Snake).
A fantastic bike!!...
Hope to someday own either that or the Redline Conquest Pro.
post #39 of 106

My new bike

I was in a similar position but wanted a bike for exercise I hadn't ridden a bike in about 15 years. I gave my $700 mountain bike to a friend and started to seriously look for a bike just a few weeks ago. I got interested when I was in CA and borrowed a bike from the hotel to get a little exersise. It was an Electra Townie. Very comfortable bike with upright position and I felt much more safe on it than my mountain bike. The Townie I rode was just a single speed coaster type but it got me interested in bikes again.

I did not want to spend anywhere near $700 again and so I focused on reasonable but decent quality. I ended up with a Trek Navigator 2. It is a hybrid bike with 26 inch wheels and an upright riding position. I like it a lot and have routinely put 10-18 miles on it when I take it out for a ride. And that has been every day for the past week. It has fatter tires than a road bike which is good for me because I live near a dirt road that I take to get to the other side of town and it works great on pavement. And the 7 speeds and 3 ranges help out a lot.

I hope this gives you some ideas and good luck. Try out a few to see which is the most comfortable for you and be sure to mess with the handlebar and seat height to make sure you get a good fit on a frame that is right for you and comfortable.

Oh, and the nice part is that it is only $360.

cheers
post #40 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by sachu View Post
A fantastic bike!!...
Hope to someday own either that or the Redline Conquest Pro.
You live in THE place to live for CX racing. A Conquest would be a great ride for the races in PDX.

Sigh... I wish that I'd been more into cycling while I lived in Beaverton.

To the original poster: Look at last years models of the Kona Dew and Kona Smoke. Both are great bikes with a MSRP of $400. You ought to be able to snag a good deal on them. That'd work out well for you if there isn't a Performance bike shop near you. I'd also like to amend my previous suggestion by saying that you ought to look for the fattest tires you can get on a 700cc wheel. I ride anything between 700x32 to 700x35 tires on my racing bike, and these sizes would work equally great on a commuter bike.

To the poster who said that "singlespeeds aren't really practical." Have you tried it? I used to ride a geared mtn bike and was the slowest guy in our group. I now ride a fully rigid singlespeed and I've really picked up on my skills. I'm faster than several of the guys I used to trail behind back when I would wuss out and drop to the granny gear when I saw a hill coming. I'm not saying that a singlespeed is best for the O.P., but he/she just might dig one. After all the commute in question is just 2.5 miles.
post #41 of 106
well berkeley is by san francisco, so i associated it with steep hills right away... i'm in ok shape but i sweat even in winter just walking around the city, wrong of me to assume though yea i have a singlespeed modded from an old centurion frame, and mountains bikes will definitely be slower on paved roads compared to road / singlespeeds, also singlespeeds are great to train your cadence and i feel you coast less
post #42 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo96 View Post
You live in THE To the poster who said that "singlespeeds aren't really practical." Have you tried it? I used to ride a geared mtn bike and was the slowest guy in our group. I now ride a fully rigid singlespeed and I've really picked up on my skills. I'm faster than several of the guys I used to trail behind back when I would wuss out and drop to the granny gear when I saw a hill coming. I'm not saying that a singlespeed is best for the O.P., but he/she just might dig one. After all the commute in question is just 2.5 miles.

Yes, when I was younger that is how the bikes were made and that is what I learned to ride on. I was recommending a bike for someone in the Bay Area and that is a hilly place. Not are they not good for going up hills also when you go down hills the pedals are directly linked to the rear wheel so whatever speed it is going you're feet (which are attached to the pedals) are going that fast. For other places, the single-speed may be fine and maybe for this persons commute it may be fine but for travelling in the Bay Area I would recommend a multi-speed bike.
post #43 of 106
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by frozenice View Post
Yes, when I was younger that is how the bikes were made and that is what I learned to ride on. I was recommending a bike for someone in the Bay Area and that is a hilly place. Not are they not good for going up hills also when you go down hills the pedals are directly linked to the rear wheel so whatever speed it is going you're feet (which are attached to the pedals) are going that fast. For other places, the single-speed may be fine and maybe for this persons commute it may be fine but for travelling in the Bay Area I would recommend a multi-speed bike.
I don't have to have a hilly commute, but there are hilly ways to get to work, which could be fun to explore, so I'd rather get a multi-speed bike.

Thanks for the tip.
post #44 of 106
Quote:
Originally Posted by nismo96 View Post
To the poster who said that "singlespeeds aren't really practical." Have you tried it? I used to ride a geared mtn bike and was the slowest guy in our group. I now ride a fully rigid singlespeed and I've really picked up on my skills. I'm faster than several of the guys I used to trail behind back when I would wuss out and drop to the granny gear when I saw a hill coming. I'm not saying that a singlespeed is best for the O.P., but he/she just might dig one. After all the commute in question is just 2.5 miles.
It is more efficient to have gears and suspension if you're going to ride in any sort of 'terrain', not to mention that it's more comfortable which seems like it would be a factor to the OP.
post #45 of 106
I wrote a response earlier that didn't seem to get posted. I'll summarize it. As you can see by my previous posts, I have recommended nothing but multi-speed bikes to the original poster. I think that they're the best for anyone who is just getting back into cycling. They take a little bit to get used to, but as you've mentioned they do help with hills when your legs aren't strong.

As for the whole singlespeed thing, some people dig it, others don't. Maybe it can't be explained, but I am a stronger cyclist because of my singlespeed bike. I'm much faster than I used to be with just a geared bike. I have a geared bike too, so I guess I swing both ways.

Fixed gear bikes on city streets? Now THAT'S crazy.

It's all good though, just ride.
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