Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby bikedog on Mon 14/Jul/14 6:22pm

HI,
If you had to buy a bike to commute to work and home again, what would you buy - Be Specific.
I just don't want to buy something I don't really need, or buy someone elses mistake.

- You have around $800 to spend.
- You must commute on the road, sealed.
- The bike must fit in the back of a medium size station wagon car, as you are biking only 1/5 of the way (to avoid carparking fees at destination) so rim size specific would help.
- You can buy new or used.
- It's not a race, but would like the exercise.
- Route is not hilly, but neither is it flat.



Your opinions appreciated.
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby danose on Mon 14/Jul/14 6:56pm

You'll get real sick of battling a bike into and out off your wagon - get a rack for the towbar or the roof

As to the bike - low maintenance is a key for a commuter - so obviously you don't want suspension forks ( rules out most cheap mtbs), and you will want full mudguards ( rules out most cheap road bikes ). Depending on how hilly the route is ( and how long ) a singlespeed may be ok, otherwise something a 3 speed ( or better ) gear hub would be the go
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby danose on Mon 14/Jul/14 6:58pm

Something like this maybe : http://velo-ideale.com/product.php?pid=360

Or this if you want something cooler

http://velo-ideale.com/product.php?pid=367
Last edited by danose on Mon 14/Jul/14 7:00pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby happybaboon on Mon 14/Jul/14 6:58pm

Giant seek.
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby jo on Mon 14/Jul/14 6:58pm

I would buy the cheapest decent hardtail, with probably 26" wheels to aid the "cheapest" part of the equation and put slicks on it. Expect to replace the drive train and the brakepads (ie expect the worst). Pick up a cheap 2nd hand set of 26" wheels if you need to.

This woudl fit the bill.
http://www.trademe.co.nz/sports/cycling ... 768228.htm
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby wachtourak on Mon 14/Jul/14 6:59pm

How far is the commute if it's only 1/5 of your total commute? If you want something easy to fit in your car you can get a Tern folding bike with mudguards for that much and Tern do heaps of modular racks and bags for them too...

http://www.ternbicycles.com/bikes/link-c7

Tern is a folding bike brand not just a general bike brand that makes a folding bike, so they ride pretty decently for a folding bike, reasonable wheelbase and good adjustability for saddle/bar height unlike some I have seen. 20" wheel size has a reasonable range of tyres available too, the local Schwalbe importer has at least 3 different models of tyre in that size.

I usually prefer a full-size bike over a folding one, but for your needs a folding bike ticks the boxes.

If you do want a full size bike then something like this - http://apollobikes.com.au/bikes15/hi-vi ... 8OCnvmSxfs - Rigid fork, slick tyres, disc brakes (nice for wet weather). Mudguards are easily available and cheap for a bike like that. That sort of thing is also available with an internally geared hub like Danose suggests for a bit more up-front cost. While internal gears are nice for lower maintenance, they are not essential. You can have reasonable running costs and wear from normal drivetrains if you are good with regular cleaning and lubrication of your drivetrain which is easy to do yourself. Any good bike should be able to advise you if you are unsure on how to do this - and will also be able to show you how to measure chain wear so you can for example replace a chain before it is too worn and get more life out of the rest of your drivetrain. I just replaced a road bike chain at around 4000km of riding on a new bike and it will be a chain or two more before I need to replace the rest of the drivetrain. Most of the running costs on a commuter bike will come from drivetrain, brake pads and tyres.
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby danose on Mon 14/Jul/14 9:08pm

wachtourak wrote:You can have reasonable running costs and wear from normal drivetrains if you are good with regular cleaning and lubrication of your drivetrain which is easy to do yourself. Any good bike should be able to advise you if you are unsure on how to do this - and will also be able to show you how to measure chain wear so you can for example replace a chain before it is too worn and get more life out of the rest of your drivetrain. I just replaced a road bike chain at around 4000km of riding on a new bike and it will be a chain or two more before I need to replace the rest of the drivetrain. Most of the running costs on a commuter bike will come from drivetrain, brake pads and tyres.


Try riding everyday in the wet and see if you get 4000km - and see how tired you get of cleaning lubing the drivetrain and having indexing go out as shifter cables rust

The real fix is belt drive ( and either ss or igh ) - but you won't get that cheaply
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby wachtourak on Mon 14/Jul/14 9:24pm

It's not wet every day. Run full-length housing and your cables don't rust.

I did plenty of commuting and general riding last year on my roadie (including in the wet) before I got my cyclocross bike which I now commute on mostly. Not everyone wants to nerd out on internal gear or belt drive stuff and again, normal drivetrains work fine if you look after them.
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby pushbikerider on Mon 14/Jul/14 9:58pm

Question for the OP, what distance are we riding, and what is the terrain like (hilly, flat mixed)?

at $800 for me I'd be looking at a build based on a mix of second hand and new bikes (take a bike with an OK frame / fork) and modify from there to suit. BUT I have a reasonable idea of bike parts and what to buy / what to avoid with regards to second hand parts
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby znomit on Mon 14/Jul/14 10:04pm

Are you going to get out of your nice warm dry car when it rains?
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby Danny B on Mon 14/Jul/14 10:20pm

I would buy a 2nd hand steel track bike - preferably something drilled F&R for brakes (ideally spending no more than $500). Then I'd spend the rest on some nice tyres, a big road-friendly cog (19T say) a new chain, and some road drops, aero levers and nice new griptape. If there was any change after that I'd get some SKS Raceblade longs and some beers.

And yes, before you ask, there are hills where I live.
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby foremannz on Tue 15/Jul/14 6:59am

I'd be another for a Giant Seek - you get a good spec for the price and includes disc brakes, more up right riding style, and comes standard with 700x50c tires, giving you heaps of options as to what tire width you want to use.
http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-nz/bik ... 483/67677/
If you talked to the right salesman, you might be able to get a Seek 2 with hydralic disc brakes for that price, given that they'll be having end of season sales atm.
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby jo on Tue 15/Jul/14 9:34am

wachtourak wrote:It's not wet every day. Run full-length housing and your cables don't rust.

I did plenty of commuting and general riding last year on my roadie (including in the wet) before I got my cyclocross bike which I now commute on mostly. Not everyone wants to nerd out on internal gear or belt drive stuff and again, normal drivetrains work fine if you look after them.

:withstupid:
I commute most days regardless of weather (cos I get as wet walking to the bus as I would riding to work) and I'm still flogging a drive train from 2007. Yup, I have to replace the cables every year (cos I dont have full length housings) and yup I replace the v brake pads every time I get to the "Holy f'k I cant stop!" stage.

Apart from that I think obsessing about parts on a commuter is a luxury item. If it works, ride it. If it doesnt, fix it. Cheap 26" tyres are fairly bulletproof. Mine were $20 ea new about two years ago and I've yet to puncture. But they wont win the commuting race if thats important to you.

Speaking of which, my commuter probably needs a new drive train by now. Maybe next year....
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Re: Good Commuter Given Circumstances ?

Postby swtchbckr on Tue 15/Jul/14 9:48am

tardme, merida espresso commuter... closes thurs 17th. $640Alfine 8spd goodness. http://www.trademe.co.nz/listing/view/752463019
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