Newbie needs advice- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    New question here. Newbie needs advice

    Hello everyone! I'm really new to all this technical stuff. I have been looking at all kinds of bikes to start commuting on, and it's overwhelming. There are simply way to many bikes out there to choose from. Anyway, I have narrowed my search down to just a few. What do you guys think of this one?
    http://www.rei.com/product/760869
    It's right at the top of my budget and looks good to me, but I know absolutely nothing lol.
    I was also looking at these:
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/dawes/lttour.htm
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...cane_elite.htm
    http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gazelle/dutch.htm
    http://www.harborcountrybike.com/200...e_p/m8kals.htm

    with the cheaper bikes I can make some upgrades to the tires right away. I know that I should get some slick/semi-slick tires to ease rolling resistance. I'm real ignorant and confused when it comes to tires. Is there a range of sizes I can get for my rims, or do they have to be an exact fit? It seems almost impossible to find the exact size of tires that come stock on a bike.

    Can anyone please help me here?

    Oh btw, my commute will be about 15 miles each trip

  2. #2
    Which way? Uphill.
    Reputation: nepbug's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    15 miles each way is a big bite if you haven't been cycling much, make sure you ease into it. Don't start out riding to work everyday, you'll wear yourself out.

    Of the bikes you have listed I would say to stay away from the suspension forks, you really won't need them commuting on pavement. All the others seem pretty equal, no real winner, it just depends on your style. If I had to choose one for you on the little I know about your situation I would say the Dawes, it has fender mounts,and no suspension.

    If I could go with a recommendation, get a cheap old $50 bike off craigslist and use that until you have saved enough gas money to buy the Novara Transfer, now that's a pretty good out of the box commuter setup there. Geez, it's got a dynamo hub and a 7 speed internal rear hub. Heck you might even fall in love with the $50 craigslist deal and not need another.
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  3. #3
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    I agree...

    steer clear of suspension forks for a commuter. Those that come on most "commuter" bikes are VERY low end, not very durable, and almost impossible to find replacement parts for. They are more bother than they're worth. A ridged fork should be all you need to commute on pavement. As far as tires, yes there is usually a range of sizes that will fit a given bike. As for imediate upgrades, don't sweat it. Most commuter and hybrid type bikes will come with tires that will be fine for your intended purpose. They'll either be equiped with road bike performance style tires, or hybrid tires that have more tread than a road bike performance tire, but MUCH less than a mountian type tire. They'll all work fine. For commuting I prefer a tire with tread as road bike tires are often "slicks" or have so very little tread that they can become quite scketchy in wet conditions. I know we try not to commute too much in the rain, but the weather guy isn't always right you know! So a tire with a bit of sipping is always a good thing just in case.

    And as nepbug noted, look for things like the ability to mount fenders, racks etc. As you progress and if you stick with it you'll discover that the ability to make these "additions" are a plus. Any of the bikes that you have listed (that don't have suspension forks) will work well as a commuter. The Dawes, Mongoose Kaldi, and the Motobecane look good.

    Good Dirt
    "I do whatever my Rice Cripsies tell me to!"

  4. #4
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    I commuted over 3000 miles on my Novara Metro. The corsa is the same bike with 700c wheels instead of 26 inch and with faster gearing. In other words, it is set up for commuting better than the Metro. I LOVE the suspension fork for commuting, it really smooths out the rough spots, and doesn't need to be a high end fork. In 3000 miles, I went through 2 chains, 1 bottom bracket, 1 set of tires, and 1 cassette. I still own the bike and ABSOLUTELY love it. I dropped 2500 dollars building my new bike over the winter, and only hope I get 8 times the use out of it. Go for the Novara...REI is a great outfit.

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