Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

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Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby astrocas » Wed Mar 20, 2013 10:35 am

Hi Guys,

First time on this forum. I have limited experience with bikes and terminology etc but hoping to learn more.

I ride between 15-25km a day around Sydney CBD/Inner-West/Eastern-Suburbs and have been doing so on a singlespeed for about a year now. I have been plagued by punctured tires and tubes (they are quite thin 23/25c), and I think the crappy bike shop I was going to was partly to blame. I recently purchased some Continental Gatorskin tires, and went about 6 weeks without a puncture.

Anyhow, I figure I need a bike with some nice thick tires, and pretty sure the singlespeed isnt going to accomodate anything much thicker. So can anyone recommend a nice hybrid/commuter/road bike with thick tires, that is still light and fast for ~$500.

Evans cycles seems to have some good deals, does anybody have any experience buying from them?

Kind Regards,
Cas.
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by BNA » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:52 pm

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Re: Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby sil3nt » Thu Mar 21, 2013 3:52 pm

Hey Cas, For around $500 you have some reasonable choices but depending on your current frame you could possibly accommodate a larger tyre in which case you could investigate a new wheel and tyre combination. I guess depending on your setup investing $500 into may be a better option here.

Getting a good quality geared alternative may be more difficult at that price point without going second hand I would check Gumtree for some bargains. I had a Malvern Star Hybrid (around 500-600 New) as my first commuting bike before I got the bug and whilst I rarely got a puncture the gears being more designed for recreational kms required constant tuning to keep it running smoothly.

Note: Evans Cycles are good I personally have not ordered from them but I have friends who have and say that the experience was a good one.
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Re: Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby sil3nt » Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:59 am

If you were interested in the former of the two options head over to the Fixed Gear SS forum and they may be able to better assist you :)
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Re: Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby LugNut » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:03 pm

Hi Cas,
Firstly, for $500 you're looking at the budget end of things, and the major risk is that you buy a 'recreational' style bike that is not going to last with the daily abuse of commuting, or prove to be too heavy to use. My girlfriend was looking for a commuter on a similar budget, and after trying many bikes we went with a Jamis Coda Sport. It's made from nice lighter weight steel, has quality Shimano Alivio components, and quality puncture protected Vittoria Randonneur tyres. It is also an excellent versatile frame with all fittings and space for a rack and fenders. She has been very happy, the bike has lasted well and I was very impressed with the setup for the price.
Here is a nice independent review of the bike:
http://commutercycles.com.au/news/2012/ ... oda-sport/

Here is the 2013, listed for $549 - RRP is $599 which is excellent value for money
http://www.bikeexchange.com.au/bicycles ... /102136910
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Re: Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby rangersac » Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:40 am

For $500 I'd do a serious trawl of the second hand market. For that kind of money second hand you should be able to find something with rack and mudguards already fitted saving $$ on accessories, and most likely better components and wheels then you will find on a $500 newbie. There are obviously more pitfalls to buying secondhand, but provided you are reasonably confident in assessing the condition of a bike I think it's the best value for money out there. I've virtually always bought secondhand and am yet to have what I'd class as a loss making experience. One thing thing to look out for is if the seller can provide the orginal documentation and receipt of purchase. Technically if you have a secondhand bike the manufacturer's warranty is void, but in my experience if you have these the LBS will honour the warranty regardless if you have issues.
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Re: Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby Dan » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:43 pm

Chances are you'll squeeze some 28C in there. Grab a photo of the clearances at the fork crown, seat tube and brake bridge so we can see.

If you're happy riding SS, I say keep doing it - new tyres are cheaper than buying a new bike, and gatorskins are pretty tough (although, some people hate them). 28s would give a plush commute.... the vittoria randos too. Or have a look at the gator hardshell.

D
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Re: Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby ColinOldnCranky » Wed Mar 27, 2013 1:55 pm

WHile some will say that you are going cheap and it won't last long, the frequency that people do change their flash CF and titatnium steeds renders that point moot for a great many riders. At that price I'd venture to guess that longevity is more about maintenance than going the extra dollars.

However I imagine that most riders will notice the difference in the overall feel of the ride on a $500 bike compared to something double that price. And those subjective things may prove the difference in continuing riding or it just being a short fad. Motivation is the hardest thing for people wanting to maintain physical activity long term.

So, as someone else suggested, how about having a look at a second hand bike - I guess around two or three years old. I imagine that you will find plenty of "as new" higher performance bikes to choose from at half or quarter the cost of a new equivalent. Those bikes that are victims of upgrade-itis.

If I was in the market I am sure that is the path that I would first choose.
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Re: Help with finding a nice bike for commuting ~$500

Postby sil3nt » Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:05 pm

Dan wrote:Chances are you'll squeeze some 28C in there. Grab a photo of the clearances at the fork crown, seat tube and brake bridge so we can see.

If you're happy riding SS, I say keep doing it - new tyres are cheaper than buying a new bike, and gatorskins are pretty tough (although, some people hate them). 28s would give a plush commute.... the vittoria randos too. Or have a look at the gator hardshell.

D


+1 on that dear sir best to invest money into the current steed in my opinion ;)
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