Commuter Bike Recommendation For Short Legs



acvdk

New Member
Sep 16, 2015
2
0
0
Currently I have an early 2000's Specialized Sirrus A1 and I'm looking to upgrade to a new (or used) bike to make my commute to work easier. I don't have a budget in mind and am open to buying a nice road bike or doing a custom build, but I live in NYC and keep my bike parked on the street, so I am concerned with having something that will get stolen (or parts stolen off of it).

My main goals are to find a bike that will shave some time off my commute and require less effort on the 105' climb over the Manhattan bridge so I don't get as sweaty (I ride to work in dress pants and button down shirt). My commute is 5 miles and relatively flat except for the large hill climb over the bridge and I have to stop and start several times for lights. I typically do it in around 30 minutes but it can vary depending on traffic and how hot it is (determines how hard I can work over the bridge without getting sweaty).

So here are my questions:

-I have is that I have very short legs in proportion to my height - 5'10" with 29.5" inseam (178 and 75cm in metric). Are there any frames that anyone can recommend for this?

-Will buying a $2000+ bike shave significantly more time off of my commute vs. an entry level or used road bike in the $500-700 range? I will gladly pay for a bike that makes me faster or have an easier climb. If I can save 2 minutes on my commute each way and I ride 100 days a year, that adds up to 6.7 hours. If I can ride 5 more days when it would be too hot to climb the bridge, that will save me $55 in subway fare. Over 5 years that's $275 and 33 hours. I would gladly pay several hundred more for that.
 

CAMPYBOB

Well-Known Member
Sep 12, 2005
11,945
2,086
113
NYC and you're parking it on the street? I'm thinking a beater Schwinn Varsity with a nice coat of rust all over.

Giant offers a true compact frame geometry. You might want to check them out.

Installing drop bars on your Sirrus might shave a little time off your commute, but I'm guessing just riding faster than you are now would also do that. I mean, no matter what style bike you have, working harder is going to make you sweat more. Nothing in terms of a couple pounds of bike weight is going to prevent that.
 

acvdk

New Member
Sep 16, 2015
2
0
0
Thanks.

I actually did put a set of bullhorns on my bike to give myself a little more reach and to have more grip on starts. I didn't do drops because I didn't want to change the shifts and brakes. The setup is still a little awkward, which is one of the reasons I'm considering a true road bike.

My understanding is that the main efficiency advantage doesn't come from weight but from thinner and lighter wheels and having cleats (would be okay changing shoes at work). My question is if it will really result in any time savings using the same effort.

P.S. I park it overnight in a quiet safe neighborhood of Brooklyn block from a police station. I've had my saddle stolen once, but that's it. There's lots of nicer bikes in my neighborhood to go after.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
6,723
254
63
acvdk said:
Currently I have an early 2000's Specialized Sirrus A1 and I'm looking to upgrade to a new (or used) bike to make my commute to work easier. I don't have a budget in mind and am open to buying a nice road bike or doing a custom build, but I live in NYC and keep my bike parked on the street, so I am concerned with having something that will get stolen (or parts stolen off of it).

My main goals are to find a bike that will shave some time off my commute and require less effort on the 105' climb over the Manhattan bridge so I don't get as sweaty (I ride to work in dress pants and button down shirt). My commute is 5 miles and relatively flat except for the large hill climb over the bridge and I have to stop and start several times for lights. I typically do it in around 30 minutes but it can vary depending on traffic and how hot it is (determines how hard I can work over the bridge without getting sweaty).

So here are my questions:

-I have is that I have very short legs in proportion to my height - 5'10" with 29.5" inseam (178 and 75cm in metric). Are there any frames that anyone can recommend for this?

-Will buying a $2000+ bike shave significantly more time off of my commute vs. an entry level or used road bike in the $500-700 range? I will gladly pay for a bike that makes me faster or have an easier climb. If I can save 2 minutes on my commute each way and I ride 100 days a year, that adds up to 6.7 hours. If I can ride 5 more days when it would be too hot to climb the bridge, that will save me $55 in subway fare. Over 5 years that's $275 and 33 hours. I would gladly pay several hundred more for that.
FWIW. A $2000+ bike probably will NOT shave a significant amount of time off your commute ...

The advantage of DROP handlebars is that they can-but-may-not provide a more aerodynamic riding position ...

YOU may simply want to change the gearing on your current bike ... either a Cassette with a LARGER largest Cog or (if possible) a SMALLER small(est) Chainring ...

OR, you may simply need to learn to use your bike's current gearing more efficiently.

BTW. Maintenance can go a LONG way toward making many less expensive bikes easier to ride ...

Sometimes, there is hidden resistance due to how a moving component is adjusted ...

You bike's hubs may simply need to be re-packed & adjusted ...

Or possibly, the hubs/wheels may need to be replaced.

Without knowing the rim dimensions on your current bike, I will nonetheless suggest that You should NOT need to buy a new bike simply to put slightly thinner tires on its wheels ...

The apparent vogue is for 622-17 rims + 700-25 or 700-28 tires.

The bike's Bottom Bracket may need to be serviced-or-replaced ...

Slip the chain off of whichever chainring it is on AND (while holding the crank near the spindle) slowly turn the crank to see how much resistance does-or-doesn't exist AND/OR to see if there is any gritty feeling ... ideally, turning the crank should feel smooth AND with limited resistance.

While it is generally easier to make adjustments to better components, inexpensive Shimano components are generally only handicapped by their weight and the use of adjustable tools to tighten nuts on the lowest-of-the-low-end AND POSSIBLY the initial, often indifferent set up which less expensive bikes may receive despite having been bought at an LBS.

As far as the frame size, a lot of sizing is cosmetic IF you can make the three contact points (saddle, pedals, handlebars) fit the rider ...

SO, before you get a different frame, YOU may want to try to dial-in your fit (a shorter stem may be beneficial for your current setup) ...

There are clip-on DROP handlebar extensions ($20-to-$30, depending on where you buy them) which I think that you should seriously consider before you pony up for a Road bike OR before you opt for a so-called professional fitting.

[sharedmedia=gallery:images:19130]​