Author Topic: Advice for a commuter Bike  (Read 4098 times)

stlbrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
Advice for a commuter Bike
« on: November 24, 2015, 07:12:22 AM »
I'm sure its been asked before, but search feature didn't show what I was looking for.

A lot of lifestyle changes have led me to the point that my life could be as much as 50% bikeable. I really want to ride my bike to the gym and possibly to Aldis regularly. I already have a bike, but it is a $700 dollar 29 inch mountain bike. Its a great hobby, but it is not practical to ride this and leave it outside the gym or store with a small lock.

I am pretty clueless on what to get. I plan to check out craigslist and hopefully get one for under $100. Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

matchewed

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4388
  • Location: CT

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14778
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2015, 07:30:31 AM »
is your worry with your current bike that it's going to get stolen, or that it isn't a terribly efficient mode of transport with it's knobby-tires?

matchewed's linked article gives a ton of information and is a good read.  But if you're looking for a simpler answer (and for a bike under $100) look for something that (in order of importance) 1) is sized to fit you, 2) has smooth tires (efficient) and 3) lacks suspension/shocks.  Buy it, ride it for several months and then decide what you like and don't like about it.  Re-sell it on craigslist for about what you paid when decide on what you want to buy.

IMO the best way of learning what type of bike will suit you is to just start riding any bike that fits you and go from there.  Too many variables for most people starting out to really get what they will ultimately love the first time around. 

Johnny Aloha

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 315
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2015, 07:37:32 AM »
I love my Trek 7.2FX, although it's a little heavy.  Extra workout though!

Bought on CL for $300 and have had for 5 years. 

Jack

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4726
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #4 on: November 24, 2015, 08:01:30 AM »
Note that age of the bike and component fanciness (e.g. trigger shifters vs. friction lever shifters, or 10-speed cassette vs. 7-speed cassette) is mostly irrelevant as long as the old or lower-end stuff is in good working order. My commuter bike (a 1990-ish Specialized Hard Rock) has an '80s-fad ovoid crankset and "ankle-biter" wide-profile cantilever brakes, and that's just fine.

Pay close attention to the frame, though: an old cro-moly frame is generally better than a new hi-tensile (or unlabeled "steel") frame, as long as it's not damaged or excessively rusted. (Surface rust is okay, just poke it with something pointy to make sure it's not rusted through. And then paint it so it doesn't continue to rust.)
« Last Edit: November 24, 2015, 08:30:21 AM by Jack »

stlbrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #5 on: November 24, 2015, 08:24:49 AM »
is your worry with your current bike that it's going to get stolen, or that it isn't a terribly efficient mode of transport with it's knobby-tires?

I am mostly just worried about getting stolen. It's a hard tail, so the suspension doesn't hold me back much on the street. I am going to check out that link

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14778
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #6 on: November 24, 2015, 08:33:03 AM »
is your worry with your current bike that it's going to get stolen, or that it isn't a terribly efficient mode of transport with it's knobby-tires?

I am mostly just worried about getting stolen. It's a hard tail, so the suspension doesn't hold me back much on the street. I am going to check out that link
Given I don't know where you live, but why don't you get a real lock instead of a "small lock"?  Is bike crime persistent enough that your bike would get stripped down? 

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 18148
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #7 on: November 24, 2015, 08:35:28 AM »
Get a decent U-lock and cable, and lock it up properly so that the frame and both wheels are protected:



Your bike should work fine for commuting and running errands.  If you put some slicks on it it'll be much faster too.

nereo

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 14778
  • Location: Just south of Canada
    • Here's how you can support science today:
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #8 on: November 24, 2015, 09:06:34 AM »
Get a decent U-lock and cable, and lock it up properly so that the frame and both wheels are protected:


The cable + U-lock is so simple I just did a face-palm for not thinking of it before.  I use just a u-lock (secure frame + rear wheel) but live in a low-crime area.

Does it have to be pink though??

GuitarStv

  • Senior Mustachian
  • ********
  • Posts: 18148
  • Age: 40
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #9 on: November 24, 2015, 09:17:25 AM »
Get a decent U-lock and cable, and lock it up properly so that the frame and both wheels are protected:


The cable + U-lock is so simple I just did a face-palm for not thinking of it before.  I use just a u-lock (secure frame + rear wheel) but live in a low-crime area.

I just use a very cheap and lightweight cable lock when running quick errands around town (library, convenience store, etc.).  Those times I'm only away from the bike for a couple minutes so am not too worried about theft and it's a pretty low crime area.  It's a PITA carrying around a heavy lock.

Cable and u-lock always at work though (I just leave it on the bike rack), where my bike is away from me for 8-9 hrs.


Does it have to be pink though??

Yes.  Hot pink.  How else would you show off the awesomeness of your locking technique?

stlbrah

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 430

Thegoblinchief

  • Guest
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #11 on: November 24, 2015, 03:50:14 PM »
Yeah, if you're happy with the current bike a $700 bike isn't the price range I start to worry about theft, especially with non-overnight outdoor lockup. My bike is older but with all of the accessories on it it's worth about the same and I really don't worry about theft as long as it's locked. Heck, I've forgotten my lock a few times and has zero issue (admittedly at stores in really safe areas).

I used to work in a really sketchy neighborhood but I could park it inside in an out of the way corner of the warehouse.

esprit-de-lescalier

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 71
  • Age: 43
  • Location: UK
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #12 on: November 25, 2015, 02:42:39 AM »
Look at Bike insurance or see if you can add it to your house insurance. It's probably cheaper than buying and maintaining a second bike.

I have a Giant Escape 1 for commuting that cost me 500 (about $750) and have no problems leaving it with a lock as above, although I guess it depends where you live

Conjou

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 121
  • Location: Wherever I want to be
Re: Advice for a commuter Bike
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2015, 05:17:06 PM »
I had four bikes stolen while a student at Berkeley and there the price of the bike didn't dictate the theft. Would just cut the lock and take it. Locking properly with a good lock, uglifying your bike, and chaining it up in a well travelled area can all help as can taking the seat or front wheel with you. But if you are in a low crime area or a place people don't bike that much, you can probably just get the u- lock and cable and not worry about your ride becoming someone else's :)