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  1. #1
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    Commuter bike. (Lot's of noob questions)

    So I got a promotion at work, and I started to bike to work. It's 10 miles to work (I bus home right now. I will be biking home more soon.) And I work 6 days a week. Right now I ride a walmart bike. It gets the job done for the most part, and was cheap (I didn't have much cash at the time, it was all I could afford, and be able to get right then.) I have been looking into getting a new bike. (In the first month of having wm bike I almost doubled the price by fixing/replacing broken parts.)

    I have been looking at Diamondback 29ers (Hard tail. I'm a big buy 6'2, and 300 pounds, I'm a fatty.) I need something sturdy and that will last with minimal upgrading/breaking down. However I'm starting to wonder if the ~$600 dollar price tag I set is realistic? Like Dick's is having a sell on DB, and even some of the 29ers are all sell as well. However I don't want to have to be replacing parts all the time. I have read enough around here to know it's better to buy a nicer bike at the start than to buy a cheaper bike and then upgrade stuff a few months down the road.

    If I buy a 1000 dollar bike will it be that much better/more reliable then a 600 dollar bike? And what bikes would you all recommend I look at? Also I want to be able to get panniers for it at some point, so I need to be able to have a rack installed on it. (I posted in the noob thread, and I was told to also check out Kona bikes and just check the used bike shops around.) I would like to spend 600 bucks or around there. BUT I'm willing to deal with what I have for a few more months to get a 1000 dollar bike if it will be a lot better.

    I live in Seattle (south Seattle) so I know there is a lot of bike shops around to look at. And I'm not against buying a used bike. I have been looking on CL for bikes, however getting them in my size isn't easy...

    Thanks for the help.

  2. #2
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    First off I need to put out a disclaimer: I do some side work for a Trek dealer so my advice has bias.

    With that being said check out the Crossrip: CrossRip - Trek Bicycle

    Right at the top end of your budget but it ticks the boxes you need and will be a more efficient ride for a 10 mile commute than any mountain bike. It's also rated for riders up to 300lbs so while you are at the top end of it's weight limit you will soon drop into the "safe" zone if you use it regularly.

    It has a lifetime limited warranty and will be fitted properly to you by a Trek dealer, it's a bike that can grow with you as you get more into riding.

    Hope this gives you some food for thought.

  3. #3
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    Thanks! I had only looked at Trek mountain bikes. Hadn't even seen that one. And I have already lost weight riding to work, so in a month or three I should be lighter then that.

  4. #4
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    If you go Trek Invest in their Red Shield it pays for itself the first time you use it.
    IIRC it's $150 for 5 year's of warranty.
    Google it and check it out.
    A buddy of mine has used his a couple time's and has had at least $400 in repair's if not more he is a trail rider who ride's hard.

  5. #5
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    Awesome insurance, that does sound like a realllllllllly good thing to get. Thanks for the tip!

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by PauLCa916 View Post
    If you go Trek Invest in their Red Shield it pays for itself the first time you use it.
    IIRC it's $150 for 5 year's of warranty.
    Google it and check it out.
    A buddy of mine has used his a couple time's and has had at least $400 in repair's if not more he is a trail rider who ride's hard.
    +1 on this

    My gf saved more than $500 with it...

  7. #7
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    If you're not actually going to be mountain biking, why get a mountain bike? Think about hybrids or something similar. They will allow for easier rack and fender mounting. You also may want something cheaper if you're going to be parking outside.

    Take a look at something like the Breezer Uptown. They run about $400 for the EX, come with sturdier 26" wheels, and come already equipped with fenders (pretty much required for Seattle commuting). The only catch might be that the $400 model is 8 speed only, and you might need a front derailer for Seattle's hills.

  8. #8
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    I was mostly looking at mountain bikes since they are sturdier (or at lest I thought they were/are.) Like I said though, I'm a complete noob when it comes to bikes. (this is the first time I have riden a bike since middle school... So I really don't know much.)

    I can take it inside work with me and leave it in the break room, and I store it inside my apartment. So it will only be outside for my commute. Fenders already installed is awesome, save me from having to do it later. And a rack on the back is also a nice thing.

    Ya, a front derailer would be nice. Granted, my commute is all pretty flat, but I do go other places as well... Thanks for the information!

  9. #9
    MTB B'dos
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    Definitely at your weight get a rigid if you go MTB, if not look to a hybrid. You're on the right track to loosing weight, along with exercise, but don't fool yourself or let other "kind" people mis-inform you, you're a big mofo and nothing is really designed for people your size, you will break stuff until you loose weight, especially if you ride hard and especially if you try off road - commuting you should be fine once you don't go hopping curbs etc. Would make sure and get some fatter hybrid/road tyres in the 38mm+ range as well to better accommodate your size and keep them pumped up.

    Agree with the others that suggested that Red Shield program from Trek, will probably actually save you a good bit down the road until the weight comes off.

    Good luck and stick to it, with a 20 mile commute to and from work every day or at least 4 days a week the pounds will start dropping pretty fast, just remember the diet (especially cut soft drinks out) and that more, smaller meals a day=better
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  10. #10
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    Ya I know I'm a big guy. That's why I was looking at a hard tail mountain bike to start with. I figured if it was good enough for lighter weight people to take on trails it should be able to handle me on my ride to work. And other then speed bumps I don't do any curb hoping, or anything that puts me off the ground. And if I do go with the Crossrip I more then likely won't be getting it till October. And thus I should be lighter then. (Hopefully under 300 I need to get a scale soon just to see where I'm really at.)

    I have cut out almost all soda. I still drink them a couple times a week. And have switched to low calorie energy drinks. I also drink way more water a day. And I have started eating less and started to cut out most the junk food. Not all, just eat way less of it instead. And I've already gone down a pants size and had to add a new hole to my belt to keep my shorts up.

    Thanks for the help!

  11. #11
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    2 things of note that conflict but are noteworthy.

    1 - 29er aka 700c wheels are weaker than 26" wheels.
    This is a matter of geometry, but it's not all bad - the larger wheel gets lower rolling resistance. If you choose the larger wheel note that a nice sturdy wheelset may be a future upgrade. Pay close attention to wheels included with a potential bike to see if they are made for weight weenies.

    2- 26er is cheaper. I assume you are looking at an XL frame, which looks a bit odd in a 26" when put beside a 29er. Still it should be stronger and market value is down because of 29ers. The type of bikes recommended so far are good. A slightly used bike makes a better commuter because it draws less attention.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by driver bob View Post
    First off I need to put out a disclaimer: I do some side work for a Trek dealer so my advice has bias.

    With that being said check out the Crossrip: CrossRip - Trek Bicycle

    Right at the top end of your budget but it ticks the boxes you need and will be a more efficient ride for a 10 mile commute than any mountain bike.
    +1 for commuting on a 'cross/hybrid bike. I too regularly commute 12mi to work on my 'cross bike and while riding my MTB is for sure more fun, the 'cross bike is definitely better for commuting.

    Fenders are a must, make sure both the fork and the rear triangle have eyelets for a proper, secure mounting. I also wish my 'cross bike had disc brakes like the CrossRip above because my cantilevers howl like crazy no matter how I adjust them.

    But most importantly, make sure you get good tires that won't flat. Nothing sucks more than having to change a flat riding to/from work. My personal choice is the Panaracer RibMo, haven't gotten a flat with these tires riding over gravel and glass. Will definitely buy them again!

    A bell is also nice because most people out for exercise don't expect to be passed from behind.....

  13. #13
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    Sounds like you've got it started pretty good, ride the Wally bike a bit more, use the weight to make it harder and so you appreciate the new bike more. I recommended the rigid because unless you're spending decent money on a HT, the forks are generally so-so for your "avg" rider, but for a big boy like you they'd really not be fun. I'd personally recommend a Karate Monkey, but they're not that cheap, closer to $1500 complete, but the frames are stout and versatile. You could look at the Airborne bikes, they just released a pretty decent bike for just under $1k, it's called the Seeker Introducing the Airborne Seeker 29er

    On the diet, do yourself a favour and cut those soft drinks/sodas down to maybe ONE a week, you'll be amazed at the difference it will make and make sure water intake is at least 3 litres a day not including what you drink while riding/exercising. Also cut down on those sports drinks, they're just fancy sugar water like the sodas, if you want something with some taste and a bit of energy, then get something like NUUN tablets and use them instead.

    Again good luck with your weight loss plan, hope you have as much luck as the guys that I've been riding with for just over a year, between the 5 of them they've lost 180+lbs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mirrorsaw View Post
    Ya I know I'm a big guy. That's why I was looking at a hard tail mountain bike to start with. I figured if it was good enough for lighter weight people to take on trails it should be able to handle me on my ride to work. And other then speed bumps I don't do any curb hoping, or anything that puts me off the ground. And if I do go with the Crossrip I more then likely won't be getting it till October. And thus I should be lighter then. (Hopefully under 300 I need to get a scale soon just to see where I'm really at.)

    I have cut out almost all soda. I still drink them a couple times a week. And have switched to low calorie energy drinks. I also drink way more water a day. And I have started eating less and started to cut out most the junk food. Not all, just eat way less of it instead. And I've already gone down a pants size and had to add a new hole to my belt to keep my shorts up.

    Thanks for the help!
    One day your life will flash before your eyes, will it be worth watching??
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  14. #14
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    Thanks for all the help people.

    I'm leaning towards the Crossrip right now. It's higher end, and more commuter then a mountain bike. (and since 99% of my commute is pavement, and 1% gravel, I think it will be the better choice.) And since I will be waiting till October, the new models will be out and thus the '13's should be cheaper.

    And the diet is going... Just have to stick with it.

    Thanks again everyone.

  15. #15
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    I don't know if I replied to your previous thread - certainly sounds close. But if you don't mind making a bit of a trip, Recycled Cycles, (disclaimer: they sponsor my team) Freerange Cycles and Counterbalance Cycles all do a good job with commute bikes. Between the three, they have a pretty wide selection. And all should be able to set you up with the rack, fenders and panniers.

    How much crap do you take to work? I've found panniers to be more trouble than they're worth most of the time, although awesome when I was taking books to and from school, or if I had a bag of hand tools.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  16. #16
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    Ya you did. And they are still on my list to check out before I buy the Trek.

    Normally I would just need a rack/basket to put my bag pack on (that way I don't have to wear it. I sweat a bit, and wearing my bag pack just makes it worse.) It would mostly be for when I do my shopping and need to pack home food...

  17. #17
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    I'll counter Andrews thoughts on the panniers...I have 2 sets, 1 proper big set and a smaller set that fold out from a small bag and I use them all the time, especially useful when hauling 30-50lbs of groceries or trail equipment/tools to and from the trail. Yellow one is the one that folds up into the main bag that sits on the rack, tucked neatly away when not needed and easily deployed when you do, can hold a fair bit. Black are the permanent out ones and can hold way too much stuff, used only for super shops.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Commuter bike. (Lot's of noob questions)-loaded-km.jpg  

    Commuter bike. (Lot's of noob questions)-p1040656.jpg  

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  18. #18
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    If I were in your shoes, I would save a bit more. Even going from $600 to $1,000 bike usually means slightly better/more durable components. What really seems like the best fit for you is the Surly Long Haul Trucker. Super stout frame, as it is made to carry a ton of cargo, and has all kinds of braze-ons for racks, fenders, etc. You can choose between 26 and 700c wheels. There is a disc version available as well.

    Disc Trucker | Bikes | Surly Bikes

    Many have taken this bike off-road, as it can fit fat tires (700x45 and 26x2.1, according to Surly). Very versitile frame and one that I would love to own one day.

  19. #19
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    I tried folding wire baskets for a while. Actually they worked relatively well. I didn't worry about leaving them on my bike, I just lifted my bag out and went on my way.

    It was mostly weight weenieism that made me stop. I could feel enough "wag the dog" that it bothered me to have them on the back of my bike. But that was a relatively sporty road bike - any of your proposals would probably be less affected.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  20. #20
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    The Disk trucker looks awesome. I will have to think about that one as well. The bar end shifters seem cool. (being able to turn off the click and just move it around to find the sweet spot looks awesome. The higher price is sort of an issue, but with a little bit more money into my currant bike it should last me till I can save up enough if I do go that route.)

    I have a bit of time off saved up, I might just use it to go to all the used shops to check out their bikes see how much a custom made bike is. and what they have in stock now. And how much for the racks and a basket. And fenders. Right now I have plastic ones that are easy on easy off. And they do work really well. I just want something a bit tougher.

    Also what are some good not to expensive slick tires? And what size do I need? 700cc but what about the width? Also any brands that are better able to go over glass? (I do my best to not run over glass, but sometimes stuff happens/early morning light doesn't show it till I'm on it.) Will they increase my speed? Oh I need some that are good in the rain. It's not raining now, but it's Seattle and that is all it does in the winter...

    Thanks again for all the help. I really am great full for for all the help and ideas as to which bike to get.

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