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  #1  
Old 06-07-2006, 07:39 AM
jhuck jhuck is offline
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Default Bike Recomendation

My commuter car recently broke down and I've decided to not replace it and start biking the 4.5 miles I need to travel to work each day. There are just too many bikes to choose from, so I'd like some advise on a reasonable setup for my situation. Here is what I can tell you about what I'm looking for:

Distance: Work is 4.5 miles from my house. This will be the primary use for the bike, though I'd like to go on rides with my family once in a while too.

Road: There only 3 traffic lights between here and there, and a couple of stop signs. The terain is mostly level, and there is a dedicated bike lane for 95% of the ride.

Luggage: I'll need to carry work closhes... shirt,pants,shoes; lunch; a laptop computer that I do not want wet/damaged (ever!); and occasionally some books, papers.

Cost: Under $1K for the bike and equipment. Rain gear I'll consider optional for the momemt and get when its needed later in the season.

Thanks for any advise you can give me...

J
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  #2  
Old 06-07-2006, 03:05 PM
GelFreak91 GelFreak91 is offline
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I bought the Specialized Allez Triple for $650 this year, and I love it. As for luggage just carry a packback or shoulder bag.
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  #3  
Old 06-07-2006, 07:52 PM
TheDL TheDL is offline
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Pick the bike that's comfortable to you. If you like more of an upright riding posture check out hybrids or some mountain bikes. If you want more speed and a feel of finesse a road bike might be more appropriate. Each manufacturer has their own formula for the geometry of their frames, some are better for certain body types. It's best to go hit up the local bike shops and try a few different ones out.

My own personal suggestion would be to get a bike that will do lots of things, 'cause cycling is addictive. Pretty soon you'll want to do charity rides like The Portland Bridge Pedal or Reach the Beach.

With warm weather coming I'd suggest rack and panniers if you can afford it. There are some pannier manufacturers that make laptop specific bags.

Good for you for making the decision to bike it!
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  #4  
Old 06-07-2006, 07:55 PM
jhuck jhuck is offline
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Where did you get the Specialized, if you don't mind me asking? I went to The Bike Gallery today and looked at 2 Trek's. The 7.3FX and the Pilot 2.1. They are both a little more than I want to spend, but look like nice bikes. I really don' t know enough to tell the difference, though, so I'm still looking.

I definatly want to stick with a rack and bags for my gear... The thought of lugging that stuff on my back for 10 miles a day make me shutter.

Thanks for the response.

J
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2006, 06:19 AM
brock brock is offline
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If this is a replacement for your car, you'll need fenders by fall. Whatever you buy, make sure it has room.

I don't commute with a laptop, but I've heard that it's not a good idea to lug them on a trunk rack or paniers since too much of the road vibrations and such are transfered. Others with experience might disagree.
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2006, 06:29 AM
aferokamosalic aferokamosalic is offline
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i don't like it.
__________________
me
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2006, 04:05 PM
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BillD BillD is offline
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J,
If I was looking for a commuter, I would consider this one. It is pretty much ready to go.... even has fenders. You can probably go over to the REI at NW 14th and Johnson and see it in person.

Bill
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  #8  
Old 06-10-2006, 09:14 PM
jhuck jhuck is offline
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Default Thanks! Bought a bike!

I wanted to thank everyone who responded, and let anyone interested know that I bought a bike today, and the story behind it:

I ended up test riding 2 bikes... The Trek 1000 and the FX 7.3. I loved the road bike. It was fast, and I liked the lower body position. I think someday I'd like to have a road bike for pleasure riding. The reason I didn't go with the 1000 was mostly the feel of the shifters. I could never quite get the gear to "set" so the derailuer (sp.) was always grinding the chain. Probably just my lack of experience, but I really don't want a bike that I need to finese. Also, it felt so light that I couldn't see it loaded down with a rack+clothes/books/laptop/etc and still be stable. Other than that it was a nice ride.

I ended up buying the FX 7.3 (w/disc brakes), which is a hybred/fitness/commuter/whatever. It's not as sexy as a road bike, but it feels like a workhorse. Gear changes are solid and never fail. I rode over some rocky patches and stayed upright (I didn't even want to try that on the 1K). It'll have no problem carrying my luggage. I think the disc brakes will be very helpfull come September. In summary: It just seemed more rugged and a better commuter; probably not as fast, but much more practical for what I need right now. And after fully loading it with a rack, pannier, lights, lock and a helmut, it was under $900. (I forgot to get fender's, though, damnit! I'll have to go back tomorrow.)

So, again, thanks to everyone for your advise. I hope to see you on the road someday!

J
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