Results 1 to 12 of 12
  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ihaveagibsonsg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    963

    30 mile commute, need a better bike!

    I commute 30 miles a day total now to my job on my GT Avalanche. It's terribly sluggish since it is heavy and has 2.1 inch tires on it designed for mud and sand, not pavement. I'm looking to purchase a commuter bike that is real fast on the road that way I can commute quickly with out breaking a sweat like I do on the GT. I'm a total noob when it comes to commuter bikes, all I know is I want something fast and comfortable and around 200$ used. Any commuter bikes out there around that price? I figure the bike is the cheapest way to work since peace in the middle east doesn't look plausible in the next 1000 years. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,766
    Quote Originally Posted by ihaveagibsonsg
    I figure the bike is the cheapest way to work since peace in the middle east doesn't look plausible in the next 1000 years.
    Hehe... I dunno about the first part, but I bet you nailed it for the second part!

    Cheapest route is skinnier/smoother tires- that would help quite a bit right there. Otherwise, keep your eyes peeled on Craigslist/kijiji and go for whatever pops up that fits and makes your eye happy. For $200, if it doesn`t quite do the trick (it`s gonna be closer than your GT anyway), it`s no big deal. Start squirreling away cash and by the time you have another $200 ready you`ll have a better idea what you like/don`t like about that one and you`ll get closer the next time.

  3. #3
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,818
    For used bikes, especially at $200, I wouldn't be too fussy about the brand, Fit will be most important, and you will likely find out that many sellers do not put the size in the ad, and don't know how to measure it either. If you can get the rider's height or inseam, you can at least weed out some that are way big or small without wasting time. Steer away from dept store bikes, you'd be surprised what people are asking for some of those after riding them for a year or two. If you're not familiar with a brand or model, googling it should get you an idea of the original price, value, intended purpose, etc. If it's in good shape, I wouldn't worry if it's older, since many buy a bike hoping to get in shape and then it sits unused until they decide it is taking up too much space. If you see one you like but can't afford, don't be afraid to make an offer - if they're not gotting any better offers you may get lucky.

    Oh, and congrats on the commute, that is a good ride!

  4. #4
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    5,766
    Quote Originally Posted by mtbxplorer
    Steer away from dept store bikes, you'd be surprised what people are asking for some of those after riding them for a year or two...
    .... If it's in good shape, I wouldn't worry if it's older, since many buy a bike hoping to get in shape and then it sits unused until they decide it is taking up too much space.
    Oh, yeah- I just took it for granted you were looking for an old bike. I agree with Xplorer that a bike selling new for $200 is probably going to be pretty flakey, as is the bike that sold new for $220 two years ago and somebody is trying to sell now for almost the same price. I see those "deals" come up on my local listings, too. Also, remember that prices will probably go up in conjunction with Spring thaw if you live in a cold area.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: jmmorath's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    1,122
    For the time being it would be beneficial to get some sub 2" slick tires to put on it-that will make the world of difference.

    For your price range the best bet is vintage (70's and 80's) 10 Speeds there are so many decent ones out there in excellent condition for cheap because they were popular but people just took them out on a few light Sunday rides then stowed away in basements and garages.

    Check craigslist, thrift stores, second hand stores, etc. If you're lucky you can pick one up for like $50 then have money to upgrade/adjust to your liking.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    390
    Quote Originally Posted by jmmorath
    ...For your price range the best bet is vintage (70's and 80's) 10 Speeds there are so many decent ones out there in excellent condition for cheap because they were popular but people just took them out on a few light Sunday rides then stowed away in basements and garages.

    Check craigslist, thrift stores, second hand stores, etc. If you're lucky you can pick one up for like $50 then have money to upgrade/adjust to your liking.
    i don't know if those older 10-speeds are still available around you but where i live the prices on that kind of bike have gone crazy, hipsters grab them all up for fg/ss conversions

    good luck...

  7. #7
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Posts
    5,818
    I saw 2/$275 here today His/hers Bianchis

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: ATXSS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    386
    An aluminum frame MTB is not a bad commuter for 15mi each way with a couple of simple modifications.

    Try this:
    1. Skinny slicks for about $50 retail- http://www.specialized.com/us/en/bc/...jsp?spid=57657 This will save a ton of weight and easily make your effort 2-3 gears higher at all times. I promise this is a big difference for very little money.
    2. Rigid fork $80-100 http://www.cambriabike.com/shopexd.a...m=010000001203 lighten the bike and make it more responsive. no more "squishy, bobby" suspension feel on the road.
    3. Clean the drivetrain well and make sure it is all lubed up as it should be. $0 unless you take it to a shop. This will reduce drag and wasted energy. Keep up with this weekly.

    Seriously, look at all the commuters in the picture thread started from MTB hardtail frames. I don't think $200 will stretch to far on a durable lightweight bike compared to putting it in to your current bike if possible.

    If you need your current bike to remain a mountain bike for the weekend rides then consider a second wheelset with the road slick tires. Probably still attainable for around $200 if you shop carefully.

  9. #9
    mtbr member
    Reputation: OldHouseMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Posts
    3,164
    Do yourself a favor...save some money and purchase a descent road bike with fenders that fits good. In the meantime, put some slicks on the mtb.

    I did the 15 mile one way thing on my mtb for several years early on, now it's down to 6 miles one way on a road bike and I'm kicking myself for not going this way to begin with.
    I only ride bikes to fill the time when I'm not skiing.

  10. #10
    mtbr member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    831
    I converted a 2005 GT Avalanche for this exact purpose.

    Swapped out the knobbies for 1.4" slicks & tubes $20x2 + $5x2. I almost immediately started to spin out the 42x11 gears so I bought a budget 28/38/48 crankset $30 that fit the square taper BB.

    That was the extent of my heavy initial mods. Over the past 2 years I've added lighter/better bits here and there via birthday gifts etc. People didn't want to give me cash but had no problem buying a $25 stem or handlebar.

    Tires/tubes saved 1.5 lbs. Going to a house brand AL bar saved 0.5lbs. Swapping out the Suntour fork for a cheap rigid would be a huge improvement as well which I'm eying next, roughly saving anywhere from 3-4lbs by spending $60-100.

    Basically, until you know what you want I think the best idea is to modify what you already have.

  11. #11
    mtbr member
    Reputation: nato_the_greato's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    312
    Vintage road bike is your best bet. 27x1-1/4 tires are a good width for commuting. It shouldn't be too hard to find some old 10 speeds. Whether or not they're in passable shape will be a different matter.
    Former bike mechanic; current idiot.

  12. #12
    US Soccer
    Reputation: MyName1sMud's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Posts
    194
    I've been searching Craigslist hard for a communter bike...

    Finally one for $100 bucks came up.

    It's a 1978 (he thinks) Viscount in excellent condition.

    It even still has the "death fork" on it.

    Thinking about buying it just because.......

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •