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  #1  
Old 12-11-2007, 05:38 AM
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Ox302B Ox302B is offline
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Default Which bike for 46mi/day commute?

I would like to purchase a bicycle that I can use to commute everywhere (including up to 22.6mi one way commutes) in place of owning a car. Since this will be my main means of transportation I'm willing to put a bit of money into a really good bike that will last some time, be reliable, and comfortable to ride for such a long distance.

My total budget is probably around $3,000 US; but this includes essentials such as lighting, locks & security devices, clothing, etc. So a bike closer to $1,000 mark would be ideal. Of course the less I spend the better!

I'm already sold on disc brakes, so it would need to either already have them or not cost too much to add them.

I've looked at a few bikes online from various companies and the only one I've seen that (visually + features) appeals to me is the Trek Portland. I'm of course open to other suggestions. Also, can any bike be 'fitted' to a person through changing parts? Or do I need to wait and get to Portland and see a fitter and go with a bike from there? I definitely will be going to a fitter (currently through Mike Sylvester as he seems highly recommend)

Also, since I'm new and my knowledge is next to none, where is a good LBS to go where I don't have to worry about getting the same treatment a female going in to a car mechanic would.

Thanks everyone!

Last edited by Ox302B; 12-11-2007 at 06:53 AM. Reason: Correct grammar, better clarification.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2007, 06:38 AM
shhambo shhambo is offline
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Default get out and ride

The best way to figure out what bike to get is to go out and ride them.
You may like the frame on one bike and components on another. In which case you can upgrade. I myself have a hilly 15 mile commute and like to go out for week long bike camping trips so wanted many gears. I found a lot of frames I liked(I dig steel) But didn't like the lower end Shimano components they were putting on them(it shifted weird). So I ended up having a Surly Crosscheck built from the frame up with a triple ring in the rear. But could have taken the Bianchi frame that I liked and upgraded the components. The other bike I really like was a Specialized Tricross. It has an aluminum frame but has carbon fiber fork and something in the handlebars to dampen the chatter of aluminum.
Long story short go ride em. If you like the feel of the Trek but need an upgrade, they can do that. Going to a fitter is a great idea. It can make the difference between a ride that's like butter and and an ow my butt, my back ride.
Also check out bike forums.net for tons more info on everything bikey.
Welcome to Oregon. Well er... Washington. You know the NW.
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Old 12-11-2007, 06:48 AM
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Simple things:
-Get a fitting
-Test ride what fits-if you intend to ride loaded with gear, then test ride the bike loaded with gear as bikes tend to behave differently when loaded.
-Triples will save your knees and will make load transport much easier
-Cantilevers work well but good discs are great.
-Weight reduction efforts should start at the wheels and tires and then move inward. Spend the extra $$ on lighter/better wheels , lights and clothing.
-Womens specific fits are available from several manufacturers- Trek is one of them.
-Front low-rider style panniers work the best for moderate to heavy loads.

How much to you weigh and what's your height and inseam?

As far as shops...I'd suggest River City Bicycles and The Bike Gallery chain.
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Old 12-11-2007, 07:04 AM
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Ox302B Ox302B is offline
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I have a small frame, I'm just under 5'8 and weigh roughly 140lbs. Length of pants are 30-32", so inseam should be close to that, give a few inches.

Reading those two posts show me just how much more I have to read up. I don't know what half of the stuff mentioned is, such as triples, cantilevers, front low-rider style panniers, etc.

How do the LBS handle test rides? How long do you get to test each bike? How long do you recommend testing one for? I'd much prefer getting a bike sooner than later so I can start riding and have some transportation.

I think test riding with loaded gear might be a bit of a problem and a catch 22. I don't think I'll know what I'll be brining with me until I have a bike, and in order to test a bike to have I need to know what I'm bringing with. I have an idea of some things, but who knows what I'll actually end up carrying until I actually start commuting daily.

Off to bed for me, have to be up in 5 hours for work. Would have already been in bed if it wasn't for being recalled to work. Meh, just means more money for me and to put towards me bike when I return
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:14 AM
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Test rides...

The few my husband and I have done in the past 3 years have just required a driver's license or credit card left with them. If the shop knows you really well, they'll let you take it away for a real ride. Bike&Hike on the eastside said "20 minutes", and my husband and I headed for the Springwater and had a really good time for, um, more than 20 minutes. Which was ok, because when we got back, my husband told them to wrap it up...
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Old 12-11-2007, 08:50 AM
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I'd suggest that you purchase the basic clothing first:
- A good pair of women's specific shorts-pay the extra money for mid grade or better Pearl Izumi or other brand that fits
-A good pair of gloves
-A good helmet-Specialized or Giro quality
-A decent pair of glasses with interchangeable lenses (clear, amber, etc)
-A decent set of mid-weigh riding-specific tights to wear over your shorts
-A decent, fully-waterproof rain jacket-Gore, Showers Pass etc.

Once you have those basics you can start your own evaluation of bikes and saddles. There are plenty of bikes made for someone your size. Avoid bikes with what's called racing geometry where the vertical tubes (seat tube and head tube) are positioned at more than a 73 degree angle. These will test ride well and feel responsive but may be too responsive to handle well under loaded conditions.
The good news is that most bikes that come with a triple chainring set-up (the gears in the front that the pedals attach to) are mostly built with a more "relaxed" geometry.
Cantilever brakes are used for touring and cyclocross bikes and have better braking performance than standard brakes. They also allow you to use wider tires than what you could use on a bike with standard brakes.
Good disc brakes are better than most of the above but I'd suggest that you buy the bike with the disc brakes rather than trying to retrofit discs to a non-disc bike.
There are several bike styles that might offer what you've mentioned as attributes. They are: touring bikes, hybrid bikes, cyclocross bikes and city bikes. Each of them is designed with a particular use in mind but share similar brakes and gearing.
Good luck with this.
Cheers,
Jorge

Last edited by PDXGS; 12-11-2007 at 08:55 AM.
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Old 12-11-2007, 09:31 AM
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I'd recommend passing on the Pearl Izumi shorts, and get some Shebeest (w/Shelastic chamois or better) or Sugoi RS Flex ones, first. And you'll want to pay attention to the inseam length. For some reason, men's shorts always have a sufficiently long inseam, but many women's shorts don't. Fashion, I suppose.

The Shebeest pedal pushers (3/4) length are great for commuting during fall and spring, and large parts of the winter. Not today, though. Brrrr.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:13 PM
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nuovorecord nuovorecord is offline
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+1 on the Trek Portland idea. Very nice bike and designed for the type of commute you describe.

In regards to shops - Bike Gallery will treat you well, as will River City. Another suggestion is Veloce, on SE Hawthorne at 32nd. Demitri (the owner) has a number of good commute bikes and can also do custom fitting.
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Old 12-11-2007, 01:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnef View Post

The Shebeest pedal pushers (3/4) length are great for commuting during fall and spring, and large parts of the winter. Not today, though. Brrrr.
Agreed, Shebeest is also a great brand and 3/4 length tights and knickers are great for our climate.

BTW- I suggested Pearl because they outsold all others when I was in the business and they're a local company who are at the forefront of women's specific apparel design and have been for a while.
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  #10  
Old 12-11-2007, 01:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PDXGS View Post
A good pair of women's specific shorts
Um, I'm a male and though I have nothing against cross-dressing, its just not my thing

Thanks for the rest of the advice though.
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