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What is the right bike for me?(8 posts)

What is the right bike for me?Joshua
Aug 18, 2001 12:26 PM
I am interested in buying a road bike mostly for commuting and recreation ( the commute is 15 miles a day). I am in fairly good shape already i run around 20 miles a week and swim frequently. I am just looking for some thing to help mix up the cardio work outs. If any one can point me in the right direction that would be great
Thanks.......Josh
re: What is the right bike for me?Cliff Oates
Aug 18, 2001 1:19 PM
Your commuting requirements will pretty much define your bike for you. 7.5 miles one way? Do you have to carry things with you to work such as a change of clothing or a computer? Are you on paved roads or trails the whole time? What's the weather like where you live, and will you commute in bad weather? How's the budget? Define recreation? Apportion your use between commuting and recreation. Which way should the design of the bike be weighted?

A cyclo-cross bike or a "club sport" type frame (with standard reach brakes -- full fenders are pretty much a requirement for commuting if you're an adult) are the most versatile choices. However, based on what you've said so far, I can unequivocally recommend a bicycle. Two wheels, no more, no less. Answer a few of those questions, and we can narrow things down a tad.
re: What is the right bike for me?Joshua
Aug 18, 2001 1:33 PM
Thanks for the response. The most i would carry would be a back pack with light change of clothes (t-shirts shorts and maybe a book or two). The commute would be on pavement as well as the recreational riding, as far as weather in my area I will be living in Ct. in two weeks and i do'nt see being able to use the bike year round due to snow wich will be new to me. As far as price goes I would like some thing modest around the 500.00 range new or used and something that would be upgradeable as I learn more about whats out there. I hope this info can help you get me started...Thanks Josh
re: What is the right bike for me?Cliff Oates
Aug 18, 2001 1:53 PM
Snow would be new to me too. $500 is going to limit you to a used bike. You may want to contact any colleges, bike shops, or clubs in the area to see if anyone is selling something intriguing. If you don't need to carry anything on a rack, then you could go with any sort of bike, but if you want to use fenders, then your choices are constrained. Your basic "racing" bike doesn't do full fenders. I commute on a cyclo-cross bike, and they generally make fairly flexible all-rounder type bikes. I doubt you could find one for $500 though (for example I'm going to be selling my frame shortly, and I'm looking to get $400 for it. The complete bike would be worth a good deal more than that used) as they're relatively uncommon. In terms of commuting, a decent MTB with a rigid fork would be your best bet. Those are no fun on centuries though...

I would see what's available. Your budget is the limiting factor here, more so than your requirements.
And don't forget ebaymike mcmahon
Aug 18, 2001 2:03 PM
If you can't find anything used in your price range locally, check ebay. Although you can really be had on prices for bike gear with ebay, there are some good deals out there on used bikes. You should be able to find something in your range that will make you happy. Good luck.
re: What is the right bike for me?GregJ
Aug 18, 2001 2:07 PM
I think you should look at some of the nice hybrid bikes out there. They are not very expensive, 350 to start and 500 will get you a pretty good one. They have a more upright seating position than a road bike which I find nice for short rides. My body doesn't get warmed up till 5-7 miles so I would not get real intense on a 7.5 mile commute. You can ride a hybrid as a recreational bike also, and if you find yourself getting into it and doing longer faster rides or wanting to do group rides, then try to buy a nicer road bike. Your less expensive bike will still serve you well for commuting and errand running. Also, for a really cheap commuter, an inexpensive used MTB(they are everywhere) with road tires is not a bad 200 dollar option.
If you really want a road bike now, I don't even think you can buy a new one for 500 bucks but you should be able to track down a decent used one for that. Some of the late 80's models with downtube shift levers would be a very good buy at 200 to 400. 500 should get you an OK bike with maybe 8-speed STI levers. Upgrading older bikes is often more trouble and money than it is worth and I don't advise you buying a bike with that in mind.
I think it is great that you want to do some commuting. I know so many riders with 4k road bikes that ride 100-150 miles per week but don't own an old 3-speed or something to go to the video store or bank. Instead, I guess they drive, it has always baffled me. I wish I could commute to work on a bike but I work in the building trades and need tools etc. in my truck pretty much every day. Good luck.
re: surly crosscheckkarl
Aug 18, 2001 6:56 PM
these can be built up into decent commuters with provisions for racks and fenders. go for about $300 frame and fork. check reviews on this site. most owner seem pleased with them. www.surlybikes.com
Do yourself a big favor.Spoke Wrench
Aug 18, 2001 6:08 PM
If you are even thinking about buying a used bike, you need to find out what size bike you need first. $50.00 or $75.00 out of a $500.00 budget may seem like a lot to pay, but nothing will affect the performance, comfort and enjoyment as much as the proper fit.

Once you have an idea about the dimensions you need on your bicycle, you can start to look around to see what is available in that size. If the bike isn't the right size, don't even think about buying it. It won't be a good deal for you no matter how low the price.