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What do you suggest?

Old 08-15-19, 09:26 AM
  #1  
TheBurnz
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What do you suggest?

Hello,

I am thinking of buying a bicycle to ride to work everyday in the summer and leaving the car at home. What do you think would be the appropriate purchase. I believe I would need something comfortable with decent speed and few gears.

I am a 41 year old male weighting 250lbs give or take and a little over 6'2".

The ride is about 2hrs plus to work.

FYI: I am not a speed bike person

All suggestions are appreciated.
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Old 08-15-19, 09:38 AM
  #2  
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More Info

More information could help. How experienced a rider are you? Do you want to accomplish anything besides just getting to work? Do you have a frame that fits you well? Do you live somewhere with lots of rollers, big climbs, or relatively flat? What will you need to commute with, a change of clothes and lunch, or more?

You can commute on anything. Your riding style and level of comfort (and budget) will inform your choices.
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Old 08-15-19, 09:57 AM
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Thanks for the reply

Hey,

The terrain is largely flat and it will be mostly pavement and cement roads and paths. My riding experience is basally what I did as kid, so not much I guess. I want to do this because traffic by car is getting out of hand and I am looking for something more mind relaxing and also improving my physical health.

No lunch for me, but yes cloths will have to be transported. I was thinking by back pack but maybe a bike bag on the back could be a good idea also. My budget is no more the $1000.00 tax in. As for frame style, I have no idea.

Thank you again.
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Old 08-15-19, 10:23 AM
  #4  
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2+ hrs. each way?

What's the distance each way?
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Old 08-15-19, 11:08 AM
  #5  
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Estimate

Yup! Google maps says 1hr 18mins or 23.4kms. I say 2hrs as a estimate for me. I am expecting to be very slow to start.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:10 AM
  #6  
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Frame style

That's a healthy budget. I'd suggest a touring frame for rack mounting points and fender clearance. There are a handful of built bikes that come in under $1000 USD. That's including fenders and a rack. A hybrid could work as well, and the fit would be a little less exacting without drop bars. I chose a touring frame because that's where my aspirations lie, but I bought it used, and I'm probably close to $800 with the bags, refurbishing bearings, and adding a mountain cassette instead of the road cassette that was on there.

Shop around your local bike shops and see what they'll have. You'll be able to test the bikes out too.
Have someone ballpark your fit. I used the calculator from competitive cyclist for my wife without issue. It will inform your decision on what dimensions will allow your time in the saddle to be comfortable.

Consider posting this question in the commuting forum as well!
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Old 08-15-19, 11:38 AM
  #7  
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I am by no means an expert, but I commuted in Iowa, year 'round, for 18 months. Granted the distance was nowhere near what you're talking about, but I don't think that would change my bike choice. I ride a Cannondale T400 touring bike equipped with fenders, a rear rack, and small panniers. It has wider tires than a road bike which helped in snow and rain. Your $1000 budget should give you some decent choices in touring frames, especially if you look at used bikes.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:38 AM
  #8  
indyfabz
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23.4 Km is 14.5 miles. At 2 hrs. that would be a moving average of 7.25 mph. Not to be discouraging, but have you given serious thought to the time commitment and scheduling logistics? Years ago I would do a bike-train-bike commute. The actual riding was only about 9 miles, but between getting onto and off the train and traffic control devices, the trip was around 1.5 hrs. To beat morning and evening rush hours, I would leave the house around 5:30 a.m., which meant an early wakeup call of around 4 a.m. For the trip home, I would leave the office around 3:45. S.O.P. was to do this Tuesday-Thursday. I often found myself in a "Time to make the donuts" state of mind, if you remember that ad campaign. More than once I fell asleep on the train on Thursday afternoons. But maybe your logistics will be kinder.

In any event, I agree with Unca Sam. Before I got back into loaded touring and got a new touring bike I carried my clothes (sans shoes, which I kept in my office) in a bag on my back. A pannier makes a big difference, especially on hot days.

The Fuji touring bike comes with a rack, is budget-friendly and well regarded:

https://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/...ouring/touring

Maybe look for a used Surly Cross-Check. I think a new one might exceed your budget by a bit, you never know. If there is a good local shop near you it likely has a QBP account, which means it can order a Surly for you.

Even an older, steel mountain bike with braze ons (like something from the Trek 900 series) can work, although you'd probably want to put non-knobby tires on it.
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Old 08-15-19, 11:49 AM
  #9  
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Old 08-15-19, 11:51 AM
  #10  
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GCN actually did a video on commuting and aerodynamics. They looked at what way carrying your clothes, etc. was the most aerodynamic. They tested backpack, rear panniers, and a top tube bar. Sadly, I can't remember what won.

That being said, I'd be tempted to get a hybrid, touring bike, gravel bike, or endurance bike. I'd be tempted to put at least fenders on it. The distance is far enough that I think (especially if it's flat) a drop bar bike is better. I'd want at least 32c tires.

EDIT: here's the video. https://youtu.be/wdfB5fbVHck

The giant saddlebag was the most aero basically equal to no bag at all.

Last edited by guachi; 08-15-19 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:05 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by TheBurnz View Post
Hey,

... I want to do this because traffic by car is getting out of hand ...
Good for you. I suspect there are a lot more people like you. If not now, then in the near future.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:06 PM
  #12  
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If you have a safe place to leave you car, and bike, you may want to consider driving to work, then riding home. You would then ride the bike to work, then drive home. You could do that for a while until you felt you wanted to ride both ways.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:20 PM
  #13  
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Looks like you are getting good suggestions: touring or cross bike; TREK type hybrid - flat bar.
My bike to work is about 16 miles, and I make it longer going home to avoid so many stop signs. I'm only biking to work once or twice a week when there's no ice.
I'm using a highly modified (component-wise) circa 1990 Rockhopper.
I recommend going with racks. I don't get the cycling with a backpack at all.
Fenders are great. Why in the world would you want to get wet from above AND below while you're riding? That's crazy! Just take the clean stuff from above!

Anyway, what you want to do is totally do-able. The first time bike-commute back & forth will be the hardest. Each time it gets twice as easy.... or half as hard. I'm not sure, but whatever. The first time for me was the hardest.

cheers
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Old 08-15-19, 12:24 PM
  #14  
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I think 14 miles each way, daily is very aspirational for a new cyclist. I used to do 27 miles one way & bus the return...and even then the best I could manage was 4 days a week (Mon, Tue, rest, Thur, Fri). Currently I do an 11 in/12 miles home and manage 4 days regularly & sometimes 5 in a row. It's the cumulative absence of recovery that adds up.

To give you a sense of scale, in the last 4 years I've managed to pack in 19,000+ miles (31k kilometers)

As a direct response, what I suggest: Good durable equipment, decent rain gear, & above all else reasonable expectations about the commitment involved until you get into the swing of things. You can do it.

IMO a bike with rack & fender eyelets, durable tires is the easiest & cheapest part.

It's the good worthy accessories that cost the most & the desire to get outta bed, scrubbed up clean with time to make a lunch & grab breakfast & get on with it with tired legs that is the hardest.

I am behind you 100%
You can do it!
Obtaining the bike is the easiest part of the equation.
You might ride in & bus home for a while.
You might drive in, ride home, then ride in, drive home for a while.
You might bus in, ride home, etc...
My biggest caution is to not burn yourself out. Any way you do it is 100% ok.
You can invest in gear as time, ability, finances/car savings accumulate.

Try a dry run a few times. I'll bet you come in a LOT less than 2 hours.







(Notice there is very little about the bike itself in this post?)

Last edited by base2; 08-15-19 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 08-15-19, 12:44 PM
  #15  
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Before I retired, I often commuted to work on fair-weather days, but if I were doing it now, I’d change a few things. My commute was 13 miles one-way, I weighed around 250lbs (6ft tall), and the commute took me about one hour + or -. I carried my work clothes in a small backpack and showered when I got to work. I rode a Cannondale CAADX cyclocross bike that fit me well. My age when I did the commute was 60-69 yrs old. If I were still doing the commute, I think I’d keep the same bike (drop bars, but a bit more upright). But I’d add a rack on the back and pack my clothes and lunch in a bag or panniers. My ride in to work was pretty nice - especially when the weather was good, but the ride home was always more taxing because I was more tired. In summary, I’d suggest a drop-bar bike that puts you in a more upright position (as opposed to a racing position), some clipless pedals and shoes, good bike shorts/liners, and helmet. You will likely spend about $600-700 on a bike and the rest on accessories, clothing, rack, and incidentals. You can maximize your $$ by getting a used bike and getting stuff on craigslist, but you’ll need some help getting the correct bike fit. Good luck with your plan - it’s worth the effort!
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Old 08-15-19, 12:44 PM
  #16  
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Surly Cross Check - $925 to $1149 USD
https://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check

Get a lock, a trunk bag, some bottles - might also need some padded shorts for riding 2 hours.
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Old 08-15-19, 01:32 PM
  #17  
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Don't Forget LIGHTS

If you will be using streets and roads, light yourself up front and back. Reflectors are worthless, especially in the day. As a cyclist and driver, I'm surprised at how long it takes me to see a cyclist while I'm driving a tree lined street on a sunny day when the cyclist isn't using lights!

My commute is half of yours, and it'll take me 45 minutes one way with road crossings and stop lights. Do you have a bike trail or multi use path, or will you have to share the road?

I quite like the Fuji Touring, both 2019 and 2018, after looking at specs. it's very similar to my own setup. I'd go with the previous year for savings, and use that for lights, helmet, locks, padded shorts, etc. Tourers are rarer on CL where I am, unless it's a 20 year old Trek 520. The 520 will still do the job though, and you might learn some maintenance skills from lubing and cleaning it!
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Old 08-15-19, 02:38 PM
  #18  
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”Comfort” and ”speed” is more about you than the bike.
Comfort doubly so.
Keep in mind that no one has ever thrown their recliner out of the living room in favor of a bicycle for increased comfort.
As far as sitting arrangements go, bicycles are only comfortable compared to other bicycles.
Riding 2+ hours daily isn’t something you simply can start doing from scratch. Expect to need several weeks - If not months - to ramp up to that amount of daily riding.
The bike industry is very ****genous. Similar money buys you comparable bikes regardless of brand. Test ride several to see which one you like the most. And which shop you like the most.
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Old 08-15-19, 04:16 PM
  #19  
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
Against conventional wisdom, I switched from a heavy hybrid bike to a light weight road bike, and the difference is phenomenal.

If I have to do a 23km commute daily, I would definitely get a fast, light weight, road bike, with skinny supple light-weight tires.

I was surprised by how much more I enjoyed commuting. Yes, there's more flats due to the thin tires, but it's worth it. I already had to fix 3 flats this summer, but I wouldn't change anything. I am becoming a master at fixing flats.

Not a fan of grinding slowly for 2 hours on a slow-heavy touring/hbrid bike with thick armor tires. It become tedious day-after-day.

When you blow the doors off other commuters, you get a boost of energy and feel like a champion. It's addictive. You can't wait for the next commute ride.

I go with a ultra light rack, and keep the luggage to minimal. Weight is inversely proportional to joy.

I was originally concerned about 25 wide tires being punishing brutality on the ol' body. But not so. It is still comfortable. I replaced the saddle with one that is much cushier. I replaced the racing clip peddles with a flat touring peddles. I jacked up the dropbar for better awareness.
That's certainly one way to go about it. Unfortunately with bicycles, weight is inversely proportional to price, as well. And now we can show through the transitive property of mathematics, that Joy and Money are directly correlated.
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Old 08-15-19, 04:47 PM
  #20  
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from experience, at your stature, make sure you get a bike with good, strong wheels otherwise you will be breaking spokes sooner than later. especially if you are carrying more weight in bags. most "off the shelf bikes" try to lower costs in any way and unfortunately wheels sometimes get skimpy.

you will become healthier and stronger both physically and mentally, especially skipping the stress of insane traffic.

I have an "adventure bike" which I commute with, tour with, got to grocery store with, ride gravel, and if I'm feeling bold leave my road bike at home and piss off my roadie friends on our group rides.

in no time you will cut the one way commute down to under an hour!!
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Old 08-15-19, 05:17 PM
  #21  
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OP...I commend you for your (and anyone else) desire to cycle to/from work. I've always wished I had the opportunity to do so.
Unfortunately, I start at 7am and work is 40km(25miles) away with some long steep hills on some single lane roads shared with fast moving cars/trucks (and gravel shoulders).

I hope it all works out for you!
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Old 08-15-19, 06:34 PM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by Daniel4 View Post
Good for you. I suspect there are a lot more people like you. If not now, then in the near future.
Yes, I've no direct answers to your questions, but I can say, "Good for you!"

Also, we have a commuting forum here with many great ideas, people, etc.

https://www.bikeforums.net/commuting/
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Old 08-15-19, 09:46 PM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by superpletch View Post
from experience, at your stature, make sure you get a bike with good, strong wheels otherwise you will be breaking spokes sooner than later. especially if you are carrying more weight in bags. most "off the shelf bikes" try to lower costs in any way and unfortunately wheels sometimes get skimpy.

you will become healthier and stronger both physically and mentally, especially skipping the stress of insane traffic.

I have an "adventure bike" which I commute with, tour with, got to grocery store with, ride gravel, and if I'm feeling bold leave my road bike at home and piss off my roadie friends on our group rides.

in no time you will cut the one way commute down to under an hour!!
😉 +1 about the wheels. You want 36 spokes in your rear wheel. Though i think most bikes built for touring use 36 spoke wheels...
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Old 08-16-19, 09:11 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by TheBurnz View Post
Yup! Google maps says 1hr 18mins or 23.4kms. I say 2hrs as a estimate for me. I am expecting to be very slow to start.
Just to let you know, google maps just assumes an average speed of about 11 mph no matter what the terrain. Uphill in the Alps? 11 mph. Downhill in the Alps? 11 mph. Swampy rocky trail? 11 mph.

My main piece of advice is test rides. If you're going to be on this thing for up to four hours a day, it needs to be comfortable for you, and I have no idea what you'd find comfortable. I do think you'll be cutting that time down very quickly if you stick at it, but if it's too uncomfortable, you likely won't stick at it.
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