Commute bike buying advice

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Commute bike buying advice

Postby simurs4 » Mon May 21, 2012 9:45 pm

Hi guys ive decided to buy a dedicated commute bike as i have been using my Scott Foil lately but it just seems weird riding it to work and bike its not really suited for it plus i hate when it gets wet :( lol. especially now that i'm wanting to turn the Foil into a more dedicated racer.
i'm after a nice simple design flat bar roadie or hybrid im not all that picky i just have afew things i want in a bike such as disc brakes and it has to be black or atleast matt black.
i've got a couple im pretty keen on such as the Avanti Inc 2 (although they are becoming hard to find at the moment due to stock shortages), the Cannondale Bad Boy Solo and the Whyte Portobello (which is probably the classiest out of the lot due to the retro white walled tyres).
im looking at spending around the $1000 mark, $1500 absolute max and i had my heart set on the Avanti but stuggling to find one in melbourne.

Avanti Inc 2 $1099
Image

Cannondale Bad Boy Solo $1199
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Whyte Portobello $1399
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have you guys got any other suggestions that are similar to what i've already got?

thanks for any help :).
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by BNA » Mon May 21, 2012 10:13 pm

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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby wombatK » Mon May 21, 2012 10:13 pm

simurs4 wrote:im not all that picky i just have afew things i want in a bike such as disc brakes and it has to be black or atleast matt black

You related to Di Fisher ?
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby simurs4 » Mon May 21, 2012 10:43 pm

can't say i am, don't know who that is :S.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby Mulger bill » Tue May 22, 2012 12:29 am

Belt drive and IGH on the Avanti make for a low maintenance steed and it seems to be rack and guard ready too.

Not to mention the extreme stealth look too 8)
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby silentbutdeadly » Tue May 22, 2012 9:12 am

Looks alone leans me heavily towards the Whyte!!
Ours is not to reason why...merely to point and giggle
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby hamwedges » Tue May 22, 2012 10:54 am

I've got a Scott Sub 20 which ticks all those boxes (<$1500, matte black, disc bakes). Pretty happy with it - strong and fast, i ride it like its stolen and it tends to cop it pretty well.

http://www.scott-sports.com/global/en/products/221821008/bike-sub-20-l/
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby clackers » Tue May 22, 2012 1:48 pm

hamwedges wrote:I've got a Scott Sub 20 which ticks all those boxes (<$1500, matte black, disc bakes). Pretty happy with it - strong and fast, i ride it like its stolen and it tends to cop it pretty well.

http://www.scott-sports.com/global/en/products/221821008/bike-sub-20-l/


I've got an older Sub 10 with the same specs, Hamwedge ... for me, almost the perfect commuter ...
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby clackers » Tue May 22, 2012 1:52 pm

simurs4 wrote:can't say i am, don't know who that is :S.


Ancient history, Simurs. She was a judge on ABC's The Inventors, who after others had asked thoughtful questions of the contestant was liable to ask if it came in any other colours!
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby ngalbrai » Tue May 22, 2012 3:09 pm

Have a look at the boardman flat bars on wiggle, universal praise, look cool and a bit different.

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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby simurs4 » Tue May 22, 2012 11:01 pm

im torn between the bad boy and portobello, the whyte looks awesome with its more retro style but the bad boy looks more stealthy and aggressive. gonna check out both bikes this weekend and see which feels best for me, hopefully i can take them for a quick spin.
they are pretty much the same spec wise, although the portobello runs hydraulic brakes while the bad boy is mechanical. either one i'd be happy with will just have to wait and see i guess :).
ive rung around every place i can about the avanti but everyone says they can't get any stock until the 2013 line up arrives and i don't want to wait that long :(.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby Pukka Belly » Thu May 24, 2012 1:36 am

I've had a Portabello for a couple of months. Commuting 12km into the City (Sydney) or a 25km out to the west a few times a week. Have found it a great mix between a road bike and a MTB - the MTB feel and disc brakes make it maneuverable in traffic, good stopping power and swinging around for getting on to and off kerbs for bike path entries and so on. The road bike wheels and tyres (28s) probably aren't up to too much kerb and gutter bashing - It'll depend on your ride but they do mean that it runs really well on longer straighter paths / roads and rides a little more like a road bike - pretty glidey and fast if you're up for it.

It has a slightly longer reach / wheelbase? than the others I tried (Specialized / Trek / Cannondale) and the way I sat (more like a roadie) on the bike suited me. After testing a few others I hopped on the Whyte and it just felt great much smoother than the others - fun to ride.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby simurs4 » Fri May 25, 2012 10:38 pm

im going to go check out a Focus Planet TR 2.0 this weekend, looks are similar to the cannondale but uses the alfine 8 speed drive belt system and hydraulic disc brakes so its abit of a mixture of all the bikes i've listed. i would prefer a bike with the drive belt system as its less to worry about i can just jump on and ride it, so if its all good ill most likely grab it, as the cannondale is basically impossible to get in my size also. if i get it ill most likely be wanting to get some fatter tyres on it instead of the more road bike style tyres it comes with.
the focus looks like this, but matte black not grey

Image
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby simurs4 » Mon May 28, 2012 8:54 pm

decided on the focus and picked it up tonight after work excited to ride it now! its got everything i wanted, matte black, hydro brakes, 8 speed alfine, love it! now i can transfer across my budget bits from the foil onto it so i can get some lighter stuff for the foil :).
heres a couple pics, thanks for your help guys.

Image
Image
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Commute bike buying advice

Postby Yagan » Mon May 28, 2012 11:41 pm

Nice looking bike there
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Commute bike buying advice

Postby AussieCJ7 » Wed May 30, 2012 2:52 pm

Have the exact same budget and need it to be rack friendly don't really care that much for disc brakes though. Would be nice but.

Just got back from local specialized dealer and pretty keen on the Sirius comp or expert. About 1200 and 1500 respectively


Any advice or experience with these ?
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby chriscole » Tue Sep 04, 2012 6:40 pm

My fiancee just bought a Sirrus Comp (alloy frame, carbon forks) about a month ago now, and loves it. I've had a quick jaunt on it myself, and it is nice and responsive, the running gear that comes on it is smooth, with no dramas so far. Looks pretty cool, too. :-)
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby Dean Whittle » Tue Sep 04, 2012 9:49 pm

I bought the Focus Planet TR 5.0 four weeks ago, and I love it. I commuted to work for a week before going on holidays, and I've been out and about on 4 - 5 times a week on recreational rides.

I'll be back commuting (15km one way) in a week and a bit, and I'm actually looking forward to it ... the commute that is, not the work bit. :D

Regards
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http://www.itsprimalprotection.com

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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Sep 08, 2012 8:02 pm

To late for the OP however if anyone is looking for a commuter bike here's a few things I would look for

* Mud Guards fitted as standard not an after thought. Trying to add them to my bikes cost me just shy of $200 and I was still unhappy with the results
* Pannier racks - backpacks are OK but riding sans backpack is better. Panniers ROCK but TBH I'm rolling with a milk crate at the moment.
* Bike stand = convenient
* Chain guard -> Never really thought about them until it got cold and I took to commuting with tracky dacks. I tucked them into my socks which works. However my new commuter that's not necessary
* Dynohub - having your battery lights fail sucks, and you just know they'll let you down at the worst time like on an unlit bike path 4km's from lit roads :oops: and no, you won't just be diligent about changing your batteries because one evening you'll be to tired to do so and "they'll be good for one more commute"
* Failing dynohub - E-Bike? 8)
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby FuzzyDropbear » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:20 pm

KonaCommuter wrote:To late for the OP however if anyone is looking for a commuter bike here's a few things I would look for

* Mud Guards fitted as standard not an after thought. Trying to add them to my bikes cost me just shy of $200 and I was still unhappy with the results
* Pannier racks - backpacks are OK but riding sans backpack is better. Panniers ROCK but TBH I'm rolling with a milk crate at the moment.
* Bike stand = convenient...


Really? It cost near $200 for mudguards? Wow. I hate mud guards, but the practicality of having them on a commuter won me over. I have a Shogun Trailbreaker which is a hardtail mountain bike which I've converted to a commuter and I just whacked on a $20 set of crud catchers from Wiggle. Although, you might have some designer tastes (they're not exactly the prettiest things, lol). But I agree, for a commuter, mudguards are a must.

Image

I commute with a backpack but with a pannier you wouldn't suffer from sweaty back syndrome like I do :D Plus you can pick up a 6 pack on your way home easier with a pannier, it acts as a mudguard and it weighs the back of the bike down when you go jumping 8)

I would also look at the weight of the bike as well. There are a couple of new commuter bikes in my workplace at the moment and the owners paid a good lot more than ye olde trailbreaker and yet their bikes are significantly heavier, despite paying $700 or more for their bikes. I don't know if there's a reason for the weight, but to me it's unnecessary and I don't know what they've done to make them weigh so much. I'm not a weight weenie by any means, but the weight difference is ridiculous.

Cheers.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby KonaCommuter » Sat Sep 15, 2012 6:57 pm

FuzzyDropbear wrote:
Really? It cost near $200 for mudguards? Wow.



It's roughly $200 over a number of attempts. None of which were acceptable.

My last attempt was Topeak Defender for my Oppy. The rear guard is easily knocked out of whack and subsequently rubs against the tyre. Very frustrating. I couldn't work out how to mount the front one :oops:

Another set I purchased only to find out that my MTB didn't have a mounting option for the front so that meant buying something else.

It was just frustration after frustration.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby albertgaleano » Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:44 pm

I think SKS Chromoplastic Mudguards are the best around, i got them from crc, easy to install and look great
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby Nobody » Sun Sep 16, 2012 5:16 pm

albertgaleano wrote:I think SKS Chromoplastic Mudguards are the best around, i got them from crc, easy to install and look great
Might be worth your while to get a long mudflap for the front, which should keep more water and muck off your feet and drive train.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby FuzzyDropbear » Mon Sep 17, 2012 1:50 pm

KonaCommuter wrote:
FuzzyDropbear wrote:
Really? It cost near $200 for mudguards? Wow.



It's roughly $200 over a number of attempts. None of which were acceptable.

My last attempt was Topeak Defender for my Oppy. The rear guard is easily knocked out of whack and subsequently rubs against the tyre. Very frustrating. I couldn't work out how to mount the front one :oops:

Another set I purchased only to find out that my MTB didn't have a mounting option for the front so that meant buying something else.

It was just frustration after frustration.


Ah yeah, fair enough. My cheap ones are good for offroad commuting so that's why I got them, they're not really too nice to look at, but they do a dang good job! Though looking around, I was amazed at how expensive a good looking set of guards was.
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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby DavidS » Mon Sep 17, 2012 9:30 pm

Nobody wrote:
albertgaleano wrote:I think SKS Chromoplastic Mudguards are the best around, i got them from crc, easy to install and look great
Might be worth your while to get a long mudflap for the front, which should keep more water and muck off your feet and drive train.


Yep, adding a mudflap makes a big difference. I got a Brooks mudflap but no need to go that far if you don't want to. I just like the idea of a thick slab of leather as a mudflap. Some people just cut up a drink bottle and it will work just as well.

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Re: Commute bike buying advice

Postby queequeg » Mon Sep 17, 2012 11:38 pm

Nobody wrote:
albertgaleano wrote:I think SKS Chromoplastic Mudguards are the best around, i got them from crc, easy to install and look great
Might be worth your while to get a long mudflap for the front, which should keep more water and muck off your feet and drive train.


SKS P45 chromoplastics on my commuter.

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