Author Topic: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute  (Read 3680 times)

nathan01xl

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Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« on: February 02, 2015, 05:47:49 PM »
I can save $1-2/day by biking to work vs getting 30 mpg driving, plus I get the benefit of exercise. I used my brothers bike for a short period of time last summer and liked it. Now I need my own bike to do it though and don't really know much about them beyond the basics. Located in portland, oregon which is pretty much bike city so lots to choose from.

How much should I spend and what models should i look for? Ohh, I am 6' 1" and athletic build.

Yossarian33

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2015, 05:58:34 PM »
I would recommend going to a bike shop, no, multiple bike shops and asking for a basic commuter bike.

If Portland is flat, a singlespeed bike would probably be cost efficient.

If not, a ~$400 hybrid bike (pretty much MMM's bike) is a good choice.

I ride a bikesdirect Motobecane 450HT because I can fit beefy studded tires for winter, but if I lived in Portland I'd own a hybrid in a similar price range. Bikesdirect is a good option if you're handy and willing to learn a skill (very Mustachian) but then you're not supporting local bike shops which some people might oppose.

Edit: Oh, as for your size, a bike shop will be able to let you try multiple frame sizes, but with bikesdirect you'll have to go with their general sizing guide. For a commuter bike, a perfect fit really isn't a big deal like it would be for a high end racing bike so I don't personally believe this is an advantage of going to a bike shop, unless you want to get a really expensive road bike.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 06:03:24 PM by Yossarian33 »

JeffC

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2015, 06:14:16 PM »
I got a bike from Bikesdirect and it was overall a very satisfactory experience. The bike is pretty nice for the money, too.  maybe this thing would be a good Portland commuter?

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/cafe_latte_x.htm

nathan01xl

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2015, 06:31:27 PM »

chardog

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2015, 07:25:00 PM »
6 miles is a perfect bike commute distance.    You will get about 1/2 hour of physical activity each way, which is a nice moderate base amount.  I biked 6 miles to work for years.  It's the only thing I miss about working now that I am somewhat ER.  :)

tugarug

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #5 on: February 02, 2015, 07:40:44 PM »
I ride a single speed free wheel Masi 6 miles each way, and love it. I've seen the same bike on CL for around $400.

hyla

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2015, 08:57:23 PM »
Craigslist!  In Portland you'll have TONS of craigslist choices, and since this is your first bike and you aren't exactly sure what you will like best, if you choose wrong or your preferences change, you will likely be able to resell a used bike for close to what you paid for it.

For a 6 mile commute, I think the cheapest good option would be an older mountain bike (ideally no suspension), but switch the knobby tires for slicks.  Old mountain bikes are durable, widely available used and cheap.  They are also a great option in portland, cause vintage road bikes are super cool and everyone hikes up the used prices, but not on old mountain bikes!

At 6'1", finding a tall enough bike may be the most limiting factor for you.  I'd look at some online bike fitting guides to get an idea what frame size would fit your inseam, then search CL for that size.  When you see bikes that look promising, look up the brand and model on google to find out a bit about it.  Make sure it's a bike shop brand (not a big box brand).  If you can find one that already has fenders, lights, and a rack, that will save money over needing to buy those seperately. 

Also, I'm pretty sure Portland has a few community nonprofit cycle shops you might check out.  These places typically sell refurbished affordable older bikes.  That might be a good way to get some advice and fitting locally without paying for a new bike. 


spokey doke

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2015, 09:49:50 PM »
Lots of ways to go that will be just fine, as indicated above.  An old mtn bike with slicks, any road bike (commuter or otherwise), a hybrid.  6 miles isn't that far, but you really do want to go for something efficient.  I'd lean toward a road bike (that is, one with 700c wheels), as they are built for the job. If you do get an old mtn bike, go for small volume high pressure slick tires.  It makes a difference.

In PDX, I would not want a single speed for a commuter.  Sure lots of the cool kids have them, and hipsters who want to be cool kids, but that is the city that I spent time trying to learn not to hate climbing gnarly hills and there are plenty.  Also forget cool retro cruisers.

I think getting a deal on something that is in good basic shape and that fits you and feels decent is important too.  Get something you want to ride and enjoy for a daily commute of that size, so that you ride it and enjoy doing so.

You will also want to figure out how you want to carry things, on your commute, and at other times - all on your back or on a rack, and that will have some potential costs (make sure it is all water-proof, of course).
« Last Edit: February 02, 2015, 09:54:21 PM by spokey doke »

pdxvandal

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2015, 10:39:15 PM »
I live in Portland and bought a 5-year old Marin hybrid (sold new at REI) on Craigslist for around $250. Nice bike and has served me well. My bike commute is about 5 miles, takes about 20 minutes downhill and 25 minutes back up. Definitely don't get a fixed speed.

greaper007

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Re: Mustachian Bicycle for 6 mile Commute
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2015, 10:27:37 AM »
I put slicks and new handlebars on an old mountain bike.   I did the same thing for my dad.    I really think this is the absolute best way to go for a cheap commuter.    They're beefy enough to withstand the daily rigers, can take knobby or snow tire with fenders, a rack, weight etc.    Best of all, they're cheap and ubiquitous.     $300 should have you rolling to work in a weekend.