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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
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    2,510

    Question What kind of bike do you ride/want?

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    I've decided it's pretty ridiculous to fire up the SUV for small trips to the store or even going out to the gym. I have a nice road bike and a FS MTB that won't take fenders (and it too heavy/bulky to ride long distances). So, I'm thinking about getting a commuter but I'm totally clueless about brands & what to look for.

    I need something I can put a good sized rack & baskets or panniers on, so it needs to be fairly durable. I'd also like to ride 8 miles to my favorite gym, (some big hills) so I'd like it to be "ridable" if you know what I mean.

    I'm thinking this might be a good time to buy because there are lots of end of year sales going on. So, my question is - what are you riding & do you like it / and/or what would you like to ride? I'd like to keep it under $700 if possible.

    Thanks!
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Central Indiana
    Posts
    6,132
    I don't have a dedicated commuter, but If I were in your shoes, I would look at Kona and Jamis. Each have several models that would serve your purpose and that are relatively inexpensive.
    Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Continue to learn. Appreciate your friends. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.

    --Mary Anne Radmacher

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Newport, RI
    Posts
    3,834
    I'd get a mixte because of ease of getting on and off with a rack and panniers. When I'm carrying a lot of stuff on my 'cross bike (which is my commuter/errand/winter bike), it's awkward getting my leg over the top of the panniers, especially if they're full and heavy. It would be nice to not have to tip the bike to get off.
    '02 Eddy Merckx Fuga, Selle An Atomica
    '85 Eddy Merckx Professional, Selle An Atomica

    '10 Soma Double Cross DC, Selle An Atomica

    Slacker on wheels.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    where the wind comes sweeping down the plain
    Posts
    5,269
    Good for you!!! Trade in the SUV for an SUB.
    I do like Kona and Jamis both. If you have an REI nearby, the Novara bikes are pretty nice, too. I've had my eye on the Transfer. http://www.rei.com/product/808786/novara-transfer-bike-2012
    Easy mount, internal 7 speed hub, chain guard, fenders, generator hub headlight, etc. Dreamy...
    It's got all the bells and whistles you'd need for transportation/errands and it's right at $700. Don't know if the 7 gears would be OK for your hills, tho.

    Quote Originally Posted by redrhodie View Post
    I'd get a mixte because of ease of getting on and off with a rack and panniers. When I'm carrying a lot of stuff on my 'cross bike (which is my commuter/errand/winter bike), it's awkward getting my leg over the top of the panniers, especially if they're full and heavy. It would be nice to not have to tip the bike to get off.
    You make a good point! I have an old steel Bianchi Eros that's my commuter/errand bike and when she's fully loaded down, it CAN be hard to kick my leg up and over her full panniers. Which is why I've been dreaming about the Transfer lately...
    Last edited by Tri Girl; 10-21-2011 at 08:38 AM.
    Check out my running blog: www.turtlepacing.blogspot.com

    Cervelo P2C (tri bike)
    Bianchi Eros (commuter/touring road bike)

    1983 Motobecane mixte (commuter/errand bike)
    Cannondale F5 mountain bike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Portland Metro Area
    Posts
    872
    I have a Trek FX 7.3 hybrid (aluminum) and a Surly Cross Check (steel). They weigh about the same. They both have fenders and can accommodate a rack, etc. The Cross Check is technically a cyclocross bike, but I have kevlar lined smoother commuter tires, fenders, saddlebag, etc.
    How much do you want to spend? Do you want a step through frame or would a higher top tube be alright?
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls & looks like work" - Thomas Edison

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510
    Quote Originally Posted by Velocivixen View Post
    I have a Trek FX 7.3 hybrid (aluminum) and a Surly Cross Check (steel). They weigh about the same. They both have fenders and can accommodate a rack, etc. The Cross Check is technically a cyclocross bike, but I have kevlar lined smoother commuter tires, fenders, saddlebag, etc.
    How much do you want to spend? Do you want a step through frame or would a higher top tube be alright?
    I'd like to spend ~$700. I'm not picky about a step through vs a higher top tube.
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Columbia, MO
    Posts
    2,051
    I'm happy with my Trek 7.2 FX. I have an enormous (heavy) basket on a rear rack. For longer rides I take the basket off and use something lighter, like panniers or a rack trunk, or even just a little seat pack if I don't need much. But that's rare. Usually it's got the basket on. I have a trailer for groceries.
    2009 Trek 7.2FX WSD, brooks Champion Flyer S, commuter bike

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    326
    Quote Originally Posted by Tri Girl View Post
    ...I've had my eye on the Transfer. http://www.rei.com/product/808786/novara-transfer-bike-2012
    Easy mount, internal 7 speed hub, chain guard, fenders, generator hub headlight, etc. Dreamy...
    It's got all the bells and whistles you'd need for transportation/errands and it's right at $700. Don't know if the 7 gears would be OK for your hills, tho.
    That's pretty cool, especially since it comes with so much that you often have to buy in addition to the bike. Depending on the Nexus hub, looks like it should do pretty well with the fixed gearing part being 42x21 (if I read the specs right).

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    '89 Bridgestone Radac Dura-Ace | Specialized Ruby, 143
    '92 Bridgestone MB-1 | Specialized Ruby, 143
    '92 Bridgestone MB-1.2 (balloon tire bike) | Specialized Ruby, 143
    '93 Bridgestone MB-5 (my SUB*) | Specialized Lithia, 143


    My blog: Portlandia Pedaler (at Blogger)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    perpetual traveler
    Posts
    1,302
    I have a Cannondale Quick4, which was less than $700. I have a rack on the back with panniers. I also carry a bag on the front. I can carry a lot of birding equipment in those panniers as they expand up. But yes, it can get awkward getting on the bike.



    I daydream of endless bikes. If I could I would get a mixte too. The Novara Transfer looks nice, comes in multiple sizes unlike some of those bikes. My worry is how do you change the rear tire if you have a flat? That internal hub kind of messes that up.
    Trek Madone 4.7 WSD
    Cannondale Quick4
    1969 Schwinn Collegiate, original owner
    Terry Classic


    Richard Feynman: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    On my bike
    Posts
    2,510
    Quote Originally Posted by Melalvai View Post
    I'm happy with my Trek 7.2 FX. I have an enormous (heavy) basket on a rear rack. For longer rides I take the basket off and use something lighter, like panniers or a rack trunk, or even just a little seat pack if I don't need much. But that's rare. Usually it's got the basket on. I have a trailer for groceries.
    Do I read right - it's an 8 speed?
    To train a dog, you must be more interesting than dirt.

    Trek Project One
    Trek FX 7.4 Hybrid

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    under the Tucson sun
    Posts
    489
    Quote Originally Posted by Dogmama View Post
    Do I read right - it's an 8 speed?
    I also commute on a 7.2FX, with a rear rack and Wald baskets. Mine came with a triple and an 8-speed cassette. It's performed quite nicely on Tucson hills.
    '09 Jamis Satellite Femme | stock Jamis Road Sport -- road
    '08 Trek 7.2FX | Terry Cite -- commuter
    '77 Raleigh Grand Prix mixte | stock Brooks (vinyl) -- just for fun!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    23
    I have a 7.2 FX also. I commute on that with my backpack on a rack. Love my bike!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Posts
    197
    I've got my bikes in my signature, and I love them both for their purposes.

    The more expensive soma steel CX frame is for every day commuting, not to heavy, it can take fenders & a rack.

    My grocery-getter is an old mixte, it came with fenders and after some work the LBS managed to get a rack on it.

    Things I would look for in your position:
    can take (or already has) fenders & a rack. I know some people like their back packs, but I can't do that. I find it uncomfortable and my back gets sweaty. Since you already have a few nice bikes, I'd go for something vintage. Lugged steel frame bikes are so elegant. I also think a mixte is a super fun option, I LOVE mine and swear I will always own at least one. I don't know what your area is like, but it's a major advantage being able to lock up my cheap bike and not worry about theft; I wouldn't care to leave my soma unattended for more than a minute.

 

 

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