Bike Recommendations

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jthomas60506
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Bike Recommendations

Post by jthomas60506 »

Good morning all:

I've been riding my bike to work for about ten years, and last week, I took a spill that did some damage to the bike. There were no bodily injuries, but I'm planning to replace the bike because it was not a great bike for commuting in the first place. Can someone recommend a make/model that would be well-suited to the following:

1) 3-4 miles a day (commuting, trips to the grocery, etc.)
2) year-round use, including nasty Chicago winters
3) relatively flat terrain, all paved.

Thanks in advance,
jt
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Sam
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Post by Sam »

I am thinking that a Harley Softail would work swimmingly!!!!!!!! :lol: :lol:

I don't know if Gatorade does bikes or not, but someone around here will weigh in. I am sure that among us, we have a bike enthusiast or two.
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John 5
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Post by John 5 »

For your stated use, it sounds like you are a good candidate for a hybrid bike. Generally speaking, you can think of them as a mix between a road bike and a mountain bike, and are usually fitted with many 'comfort' features. Unlike a mountain bike, they ride very nicely on paved surfaces. But they have enough off-road qualities to do some light trails or devour through snow or mud. I'm no expert, but I speak from experience; I have a couple of hybrids, and about once or twice a year, we go down to the Florida Keys and cover the whole place throughout the course of a week or so, including the City of Key West. We can spend a day cruising and bar-hopping the entire city, and arrive at the hotel at night with our rears intact.

I don't know what your budget is, but if low-budget, I'd recommend the K2 line, such as the K2 Alturas 2.0. They start at around $400, and you get a lot of bike for the money. You can spend ten times that amount on a hybrid if you so desired, too.

For a little more, a Novara Fusion is another good low-budget choice:
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Bargepole
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Post by Bargepole »

Nothing quite touches my Raleigh, >50 years old. Belonged to an uncle then I got it. Perfect. Comfort with idiosyncratic dignity. (Pashley make modern equivalents. Almost perfect.)

Here's mine:
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Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch
Michael

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jww
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Post by jww »

Personally, I am partial to road bikes - however, given your description of needs, a straight hybrid bike is probably your best bet. Get yourself a good brand -- e.g. Trek, Giant, Specialized, etc. Don't get a front fork with a shock - that's the biggest waste of money, and the worst energy expender when you are riding. Get a good seat, and invest in proper bike gear if you don't already have any. The best on-line overall prices I have found are at Bike Nashbar - great selection, and excellent prices.

One final thing - bike pedals - look for spd-compatible shoes and pedals - you will be amazed at the difference they make to your ride.
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Trumperman
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Post by Trumperman »

Bargepole wrote:Nothing quite touches my Raleigh, >50 years old. Belonged to an uncle then I got it. Perfect. Comfort with idiosyncratic dignity. (Pashley make modern equivalents. Almost perfect.)

Here's mine:
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Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch
Somehow I can envision Michael riding his bike to Bletchley Park in anticipation of cracking a German U-Boat code that will shorten the war by two years. And yes, he does have the one pants leg tucked into his sock.

A smashing good looking bike!

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Bill
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Scrapyard Ape
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Post by Scrapyard Ape »

Bargepole wrote:Nothing quite touches my Raleigh, >50 years old. Belonged to an uncle then I got it. Perfect. Comfort with idiosyncratic dignity. (Pashley make modern equivalents. Almost perfect.)

Here's mine:
Image
Click for full size - Uploaded with plasq's Skitch
So are you recommending that the JT spend an inordinate amount of time (and possibly money as well) searching for a 50 year old collectible as his next bicycle?
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Post by Bob »

I, too, have a Raleigh, although mine is only about 45 years old. It's a lovely bike. My other bike is a Schwinn World Voyageur, but it's only 35 years old. I, too, have been thinking about getting a modern bicycle, so I'll be interested in watching this thread develop.
--Bob--
jthomas60506
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Post by jthomas60506 »

All good tips and thanks for the info, fellas! I will indeed look into the hybrids you mentioned. As for the Harley, despite having a relative who's a bigwig with them and gets nice breaks on price, my wife says no way. She's seen me come home from some nasty spills on my bicycle, so she doesn't trust me on anything with an engine. I have to say I like look of the vintage single-speeds, too.

Thanks again!
jt
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kaptain_zero
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Post by kaptain_zero »

Scrapyard Ape wrote: So are you recommending that the JT spend an inordinate amount of time (and possibly money as well) searching for a 50 year old collectible as his next bicycle?
Well, no need to go looking for a collectible.... True gents bikes are still available in NA though they are produced in the Netherlands. Check out Jorg & Olif. Nice people to deal with, I ordered a nice lock from them, the euro style... no it won't stop you from being ripped off NY style but for those 2 mins that you pop into a convenience store, those euro locks are great. In the old days when I lived in Norway, those locks had a combination release... now there's a key that stays in the lock until you park the bike and lock it, thus releasing the key... when you unlock, the key again stays in the lock until next time. No need to drag anything out of a bag, no getting your hands messy.

Regards

Christian
Previously lost, on the way to the pasture. Now pasteurized.
bouli
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Electra

Post by bouli »

I own a custom-made road bike and a Gary Fischer Sugar 2 mountain bike. But the bike that has given me the greatest pleasure and that I find myself riding the most is the Electra Amsterdam. I'm surprised no one mentioned Electras, as they started the "cruiser" bike movement some years ago. The Amsterdam is modeled after the legendary Dutch bikes that people in Holland use year-round for their daily commute. These things are left outside in the endless rain, and have the bejesus kicked out of them carrying multiple people, groceries, and all of the above plus suitcases. They are also the epitome of "cool" and I get stopped every day by folks on uber-bikes asking me what "that" is and oohing and aahing all over the bike. Tremendously comfortable and built like a brick-sh^%house. Web site at:

http://www.electrabike.com/

About $600.

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jww
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Post by jww »

jt - the only risk you run at the moment is available stock. I'd circulate through your local bike shops to see what stock they have in and what's available now. Bike manufacturers are kind of like ski manufacturers, they run the majority of their manufacturing on a seasonal basis and often run out their last shipments to retailers in late May/early June. The big advantage of a LBS is that they will let you take a bike out for a run before buying - which is pretty important, imo.

Good luck.
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fallingwickets
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Post by fallingwickets »

Which is better? The Royal8 electra or the opa jorg & olif

Clive
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Bargepole
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Post by Bargepole »

Scrapyard Ape wrote: So are you recommending that the JT spend an inordinate amount of time (and possibly money as well) searching for a 50 year old collectible as his next bicycle?
Or if he happened to come across someone who happened to have one -- say, by seeing a picture on the global interweb or something -- he could make an irresistible offer... 8)
Michael

People say it's never too late. How wrong they are. --Felix Dennis
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Post by Hugo »

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Post by Hugo »

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fallingwickets
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Post by fallingwickets »

Just curious....how much are these in Holland? $1500 for a bike seems incredibly high especially since its a measly street bike with a WHOLE three gears.....woooohooooooooo

Clive
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Hugo
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Post by Hugo »

fallingwickets wrote:
Just curious....how much are these in Holland? $1500 for a bike seems incredibly high especially since its a measly street bike with a WHOLE three gears.....woooohooooooooo

Clive
They run for about $200 - 500 in European nations. They weigh roughly 50 lbs. and would cost an arm and a leg to ship here. $1500 is ridiculous I agree (might be cheaper to attempt shipping one from Europe??), but the quality/workmanship is phenomenal.
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Pauldog
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Post by Pauldog »

For those of you maintaining an old English 3-speed:
http://www.sheldonbrown.com/english-3.html
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MadAussie
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Post by MadAussie »

this is for when camping
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but this is my ride to work;

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my wife has a hybrid, seat like a tractors, geometry so ugh and turns like a semi-trailer/18wheeler... but hers pulls the baby wagon.. we swapped one day, well mine has sharp geometry and will turn 180 will little recourse... its very 'flicky'... its like night and day, well the small seat lasted all of a minute before she wanted to swap back :)

and yea for the sharp eyed it has _two_ bottom brackets...

I think for chicago streets you nead a real bike, none of this lycra riding stuff. ^_^
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