Entry level road bike for commuting in nyc

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by The chef, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. The chef

    The chef New Member

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    Hey guys. I apologize if this topic was already started somewhere on here. I'm a noobie to getting back into biking since being a kid. I like the ides of utilizing a bike to getting around the city and citibike isn't cutting it for me. I want to be able to get to work comfortably and fairly quickly. I have an entry level budget I think which is fair to put at 400 or less since I also want to test to see how committed I am to taking on riding for commuting purposes as well as leisure rides with my mother who's a triathlete. Also at 5'5 165 pounds what size bike should I be looking at? All recommendations are in advance greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. north woods gal

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    Have used every kind of bike there is for commuting, including traditional road bikes, touring bikes, cross bikes, cyclocross bikes and mountain bikes of all kinds. The good news is that all of these will work, to one extent or another. Before you pick one, though, you need to analyze your situation. How far? What kind of roads, what kind of shape? Traffic? Will you be commuting in all kinds of weather or only in nice weather? How much gear, if any, will you be packing?

    I commuted several times in my life when a bicycle was my only means of transportation, as in no car, commuting right on through the winter in the snow and cold. If I had to pick one type of bike as my absolutely must get there, no matter what kind of bike, it would be the mountain bike with the right set of tires for given conditions.

    The only serious disadvantage for an MTB is that it is a bit slower, so if you will be commuting 15 or 20 miles, one way, it will cost you in time. Then I would be thinking in terms of a drop bar bike with 700x35 wheels and tires. Definitely faster and actually pretty decent in lighter snow with the right tires. I used a cyclocross bike with these wheels/tires for most of my commuting, going to the MTB when the weather got nasty.

    If you're new to bikes and not into road type bikes with drop bar handlebars, a cross bike with flat bars and the same 700x35 tires and wheels would do, nicely, and most of these are cheaper, too. Given their popularity, should be very easy to find one used at a great price, well within your budget.

    If shopping for used bikes, though, I strongly recommend you take someone with you who really knows bikes if you are just getting back into bikes. Bikes have changed tremendously in just the last 10 years.
     
    #2 north woods gal, Aug 11, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2016
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  3. The chef

    The chef New Member

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    So I'm going to be doing approximately 30 miles in a day. I will be carrying a backpack or possibly a rack to hold my backpack ideally. I'm looking for something better than a citibike and comfortable like a road bike.
     
  4. The chef

    The chef New Member

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    I went to 3 different stores yesterday and they all recommended different bikes which doesn't help my decision at all. I did really like the Specialized
    Diverge A1 Sub Compact. I just didn't like the price point. Anything similar out their for me guys?
     
  5. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    Do you already know WHERE you will be parking the bike during the daytime-or-whenever it is not secured in your home?
     
  6. The chef

    The chef New Member

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    I planned on putting two kryptonite u locks thru it. I don't plan on leaving it on the street unattended for more than one hour time frames. I'm hoping to find something used or under $600 for the bike.
     
  7. alfeng

    alfeng Well-Known Member

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    FWIW.

    Well, there's NYC & then there are the boroughs ...

    With the ignorance of a provincial, let me note that it is MY impression that -- OTHER THAN Central Park -- most of Manhattan is FLAT ...

    And, THAT is one reason why bicycle messengers can get away with using a Single Speed bike ...

    If you're commuting is going to be solely in Manhattan AND you will not be crossing any of the bridges, then you can probably get by with a Single Speed bike, too ...

    The Specialized Diverge A1 Sub Compact may have the look that you think you want in a bike, but unless you will be commuting in the worst of weather conditions, then the odds of needing those disc brakes is pretty close to Ø.

    UNTIL you have a better lay of the land which you will be traversing AND of how safe-or-in-jeopardy your bike will be when locked outside, I think that if I were YOU then I would try to see if WalMart still sells a simple Single Speed with a "diamond" frame & FLAT handlebars for about $100+ ... the frame is undoubtedly simple carbon steel, the hubs/etc. are probably just-okay [some maintenance is required ... borrow a copy of ZINN's maintenance books or BICYCLING MAGAZINES maintenance book from the library] & I wouldn't be surprised if the bike weighs more than 25 lbs (the weight and mediocre components are a good thing as they would certainly be less enticing to most would-be thieves)

    Your height suggests that YOU will want a SMALL frame with a ~52cm top tube ...

    And, since WalMart bikes are mostly intended for juvenille riders, they mostly come wtih small frames.

    You can order one through WalMart.com if you don't have a way to get to a WalMart ....

    There are numerous Single Speed bikes which are available on eBay for under $230 (the last time I looked a long time ago).

    The only things you will need to add are a BMX Freewheel with the number of teeth you think you will want to have (16t if you are feeling fit without knowing your limitations, 18t to be on the safe side) to attach to the OTHER side of the Flip-Flop hub, a helmet, gloves (initially, any kind ... cotton gardening gloves are probably just as suitable as cycling gloves ...), and pedals (many bikes don't come with pedals) ,,,

    If you are a wise shopper, then your initial cost (not counting the locks) will be under $200.
    AFTER you are convinced you want to ride more + recreationally, then you can safely pony up for a nicer helmet, nicer gloves, a bike with multiple gears, etc. AND you will probably have a much better idea about the kind of bike you want [DROP bar vs. FLAT bar] AND how it should fit you ...

    AND possibly, you may want to change the hubs/wheels to a better pair, too, for your commuter bike.

     
  8. The chef

    The chef New Member

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    I will be parking this on the street when Im in and out of appointments. The bike won't be left unattended for longer than 2 hour time frames but primarily will only be left unattended for half hour time frames.
     
  9. The chef

    The chef New Member

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    So you think that its just not worth it to buy a bike at that price point because its going to be a bike that a thief will try to steal first over other bikes? I started to do my own research and noticed that when I see bikes chained up on the sidewalk, not one bike exposes a brand name. This makes perfect sense since people don't want to draw attention to their bikes if a thief would start scoping out different racks for bikes to steal. I totally agree, at the $800 price range, I don't think it makes sense to make such an expensive purchase to just leave on the street like that despite all the great locking devices out their. But I must say, I did like the feel of a road bike when I was taking bikes for test rides from the store. I am getting a hell of a work out all day long lugging around these citibikes but its becoming too much for me.
     
  10. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    I hate to say this, but what the heck I will anyways, spending $400 or less for a bike in today's world gets you nothing but junk. Instead I would take that money and spend it on a good clean vintage bike from the 80's that either looks like it was well cared for or hardly ridden. Simply put in the search parameter for price between $50 and $400. Obviously make sure the bike fits, Take along some tools, just in case the seller doesn't have any, so you can raise and lower the seat and the stem.

    I did a quick search for your area and it has about 2500 bikes for sale, I would think you could find one nice one out of all of those. When you do find one you want to buy offer about 20% less than they want, also after the price has been agreed upon ask for any spare parts and accessories they have for the bike. Then look for a solid lock for under $100 like this: https://www.amazon.com/Kryptonite-Standard-Bicycle-Transit-FlexFrame/dp/B005YPK9SY?tag=thbebilo-20 OR in the mid price level there's this lock that has high reviews: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00470N9RA/?tag=thesweethome-20&linkCode=xm2&ascsubtag=SH1954 OR if that's too much money there is this lock that has high ratings for the price: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B005YPK8G2/?tag=thesweethome-20&linkCode=xm2&ascsubtag=SH1954
     
  11. helensteiner091

    helensteiner091 New Member

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    Quicker or late a rider will arise who will win more Trips. In every game we have seen how the records finally get wrecked and cycling is no exception. best website to order an essay
     
  12. north woods gal

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    Strongly recommend buying a used bike with your budget and you can find a great used bike for $400, these days. Bikes, as a general rule, do not hold their value, well, so lots of good buys out there IF you know what you are doing. If not, it's buyer beware all the way. You should also educate yourself on the warning signs about buying a bike that has been stolen. All in all, you would be way ahead to take someone who really knows bikes with you when you go shopping for a used bike.
     
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