Best bicycle to commute with

Discuss cycling as transport and the issues involved in commuting to school, work or to the shops.
ellen32
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Best bicycle to commute with

Postby ellen32 » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 11:43 am

your thoughts? A bicycle made for women? Thanks heaps

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roshea
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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby roshea » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 11:48 am

What kind of bike, in general, are you comfortable with? How long is your commute? Road, paths, gravel? Approximate budget?

Further info from your other post:
ellen32 wrote:Hi there,
any thoughts about which is the best bicycle to commute with? I would also ride off road at times, but don't want a mountain bike. It would be great to get your thoughts about which bike you think is the best.
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nezumi
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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby nezumi » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 12:54 pm

FWIW I'm a guy, but I've recently started commuting by bike again, having used my mountain bike to get to and from uni in my younger days.

I went with a disc brake cyclocross bike.

My reasoning for this is that I was looking for a bike to ride in all weather conditions (disc brakes are better in the wet), I wanted something I could attach a rack to to carry a trunk bag, the frame is a bit tougher than a road bike but faster than a mountain bike.

Some companies are now making "adventure touring"/commuting bikes along these lines.

The other thing that will restrict the recommendations is your budget - What would you like to spend, and what is your maximum for the ideal bike?

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby clipperton » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 1:14 pm

as with nezumi, i'm currently looking at a disc brake cx, though this is after spending the last 8 years commuting on a touring bike.

can highly recommend the latter, particularly if you're not in any great hurry to get places and want the ability to carry panniers. i'm looking at the cx bike as i keep on destroying my touring bike (lifetime warranty means the current frame is the 4th iteration but - as far as swmbo is concerned - still counts as not being a "new" bike) and want something i can ride without the emotional connection one develops to a tourer.
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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby human909 » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 2:16 pm

None of the suggestions so far are similar to what the majority of women cyclists use for commuting. Particularly in areas where women commuting by bicycle is common. I have dozens of female friends whose only mode of personal transport is a bicycle. None of them have drops bar handlebars. None of them have disc brakes. Most are either female specific utility bikes, hybrids, or at the more aggressive end flat bar road bikes.

ellen32 wrote:your thoughts? A bicycle made for women? Thanks heaps


Ellen, you need to explain more about yourself for an informed decision to be made. The most important aspect is do you want to race to work or trundle at a leisurely pace. Naturally the distance of the commute will also affect this. This is a forums of mostly cycling enthusiasts and they are heavily influenced by that. Its like going into a petrol head forum and asking what car to buy for driving to work. :wink:

My sister commutes by bicycle every day to work.She recently bought the modern version of this bike:
Image

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby human909 » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 2:18 pm

Also where do you live? I might be able to recommend bike stores that suit.

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby mtb101 » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 2:34 pm

how much does that Gazelle weigh? better hope there's no hills on the commute.
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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby human909 » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 3:13 pm

mtb101 wrote:how much does that Gazelle weigh? better hope there's no hills on the commute.


My 67 year old arthritic mother (and recent grandmother) manages to ride up steep hills without difficulty on a similar bike. I would say hills aren't a problem, that is what having 8 gears is for. :wink:


I am not saying this bike is appropriate for ellen. I don't know what is most appropriate has more information is needed. But like I said, around inner Melbourne where the rate of women cycling is the highest in the country, not many females ride CX bikes. :mrgreen:

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby nezumi » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 4:32 pm

human909 wrote:None of the suggestions so far are similar to what the majority of women cyclists use for commuting. Particularly in areas where women commuting by bicycle is common. I have dozens of female friends whose only mode of personal transport is a bicycle. None of them have drops bar handlebars. None of them have disc brakes. Most are either female specific utility bikes, hybrids, or at the more aggressive end flat bar road bikes.


This is why I predicated my statements with the caveat that I am a guy. I am also cycling 20 kilometres each way, meaning I chose a bike built more for speed and gearing that comfort.

human909 wrote:
ellen32 wrote:your thoughts? A bicycle made for women? Thanks heaps


Ellen, you need to explain more about yourself for an informed decision to be made. The most important aspect is do you want to race to work or trundle at a leisurely pace. Naturally the distance of the commute will also affect this. This is a forums of mostly cycling enthusiasts and they are heavily influenced by that. Its like going into a petrol head forum and asking what car to buy for driving to work. :wink:

My sister commutes by bicycle every day to work.She recently bought the modern version of this bike: *Gazelle picture*


This would depend upon the other factors Roshea inquired on - distance, biking experience/familiarity, type of ride. A Gazelle is a nice bike for sure, but I wouldn't want to do my daily ride on one. I add enough weight to my bike with panniers as it is.

Most of the women I see riding my route have either a road bike or a flat bar hybrid of some form. Not many step-thrus (which are not gender specific).
Last edited by nezumi on Wed 11 Sep 2013, 4:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Marx
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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby Marx » Wed 11 Sep 2013, 4:34 pm

Flat handlebars, fat tyres, wide range in gear ratios & really good brakes.
Just a bike & a place to ride.

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby canters » Thu 12 Sep 2013, 1:11 pm

Something like the Avanti Blades or the Scott Metrix would probably be worth a look.....

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby nezumi » Thu 12 Sep 2013, 1:42 pm

Addendum: The best bicycle to commute with is one you will *want* to ride.

You might buy the best, fastest, smoothest bike but if it doesn't inspire you to ride, then it's no good as a commuter bike.

Find something that will cope with what you want a feels *right*.

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby barefoot » Thu 12 Sep 2013, 2:17 pm

Definitely need to know more about Ellen's planned commute.

Plenty of women ride drop-bar road or CX bikes for long commutes. Or even for short commutes.

Plenty of other women ride chic step-through Euro-style singlespeeds for short inner city commutes.

She doesn't commute, but we found an awesome do-it-all bike for my wife that would make a good middle-distance commuter if she did:
Image
(although they didn't put suspension on it back then, which was for the better).

We looked very closely at Giant and Avanti step-thru models before settling on the Ghost (mail-order import), which she loves to bits.

Baudman's other half has something vaguely similar:
Image

Comfortable step-thru bikes don't have to be anchor-heavy singlespeeds.

There are womens-specific models available from most manufacturers, in most styles (including road race and mountain bikes). Many womens-specific models are just the smaller size "mens" model with a wider seat and more pink and turquoise trim; others actually have frame geometry that is better suited to an average female's proportions (which are different to an average man's). However, that's not to say that all women will fit better on a womens-specific frame, because not all women have the theoretical average woman's proportions. So you just have to try and see what's comfortable.

Figure out what style of bike suits your needs, and try the different options in that style, then buy the one you think is freakin' awesome and that you want to ride all the time.

tim

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baudman
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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby baudman » Thu 12 Sep 2013, 3:20 pm

Great work on feeling it out, and there's so much available now when compared to even 5 years ago, you should be able to easily get a bike to suit your needs. But, as per above, we need a little more information before we can really start giving advice.

Distances - rough locations to/from. Any weather? Would you want a rack to carry things?

(Oh, and my other-half's model was discontinued a few years back, similar to the above, but blue and with a 7 speed, and she LOVES it - but she would agree it would be entirely unsuitable if her commute was much longer than it has been).

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Re: Best bicycle to commute with

Postby ellen32 » Thu 12 Sep 2013, 9:00 pm

wow! I'm overwhelmed with how many of you responded :) Thank you so much. So, more detail, here it is: I am nearly 50, will be riding about 10-12km each way to work and live in Brunswick West. I do want to go fast (well, faster than my mountain bike) but still want to be comfortable and have fun. I looked at a few of the Giant bicycles yesterday and they seem to be good and modelled for women? I still have yet to test ride though. I probably won't be riding really long distances, but medium length and will be riding on roads and bike paths and maybe a little gravel (ie some of the merri creek). Hopefully that's enough information for you all...and thanks again, it's really lovely that so many of you have responded to this post!


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