Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

chill_8_7
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Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby chill_8_7 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:22 pm

Hey guys,

I have been in Melbourne for quite a few years and always relied on public transport. With my work shifting to the city, I decided I will get back to my old habit of cycling, something which I did a lot back home in India.

I stay in Glen Iris and my office is located at Collins. I started doing some research on which bicycle to buy and the amount of choices, it feels like an information overload, which only confuses.

Was going through few of the threads here, but most of them are couple of years old and those models just link to 404-Page not found error.

So to keep it short, the questions that are in my mind are

1) Which is the simple and effective bicycle option to go with? My main purpose is for commuting only and prefer something which is durable. Obviously it all depends on the budget, so anything like $1000 maybe? I can go higher if need be.
2) Is it a good idea to start doing it from winter itself? If so, what protective gear should be purchased to withstand the chills and the rain? Or just start doing after the winter is done.

Thank you!

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Thoglette
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby Thoglette » Wed Jun 20, 2018 4:50 pm

Hi Chill,
glad to hear you've been going through the old threads. One you should read for clothes is Setting up for commuting

You'll probably know by now that I'm a huge fan of full mudguards and 32mm+ tyres for commuting. Plus somewhere to hang your stuff. Not much else matters (though gears are really, really good if you have hills or headwinds :-) ). Other than you dig the aesthetics sufficiently to use it.

You can get a perfectly good, cheap bike for under $500, new or used. My argument starter is the Reid vintage roadster but there's any number of similarly priced, simple bikes. Plus all of last season's $1000 bikes which are now on sale on gumtree - (e.g. there was a Oppy S1 for $400 last year in Mel)
Last edited by Thoglette on Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:08 pm

Glen Iris to the CBD will be a nicer ride with gears. The only thing stopping you riding now is temperature, especially in the a.m. Melb doesn't get truly wet until September. Start now, get some thermals.

Would suggest perhaps starting with something used first, in order to determine if riding in to work is for you. Something like this Norco :

Image

https://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/melbourne-cbd/men-s-bicycles/cyclo-cross-norco-indie-hydraulic-brake-shimano-deor/1187473184

This is a medium frame, but has decent bits, hydraulic disc brakes, and importantly has room for guards (a must have for commuting).
Mmm, SunTour

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DrShifty
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby DrShifty » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:15 pm

Will you be carrying gear, such as briefcase and/or clothes for work? If so you need to be looking for a bike with easy rack options. Bikes such as the Giant Cross City have lugs ready for racks.

Don't forget that saddlebags and luggage gets added into the price.

Many people feel more under control in traffic with flat bars rather than drop bars. Give this some thought.

The Polygon Path commuter bike has a belt instead of a chain and internal 8 gear rear hub. This means it's cleaner and simpler and probably enough gears for city commuting. I have friends with belt drive bikes and they speak well of them.

Tyre width has been under review in recent years and most bikes are moving to slightly wider tyres rather than the narrow ones of past decades. You'll get a softer ride over bad roads with 28mm tyres rather than the 22mm that are still on some bikes.

Do you have safe storage at work? If not you'll need a hefty lock and some thought about where it spends its day.

I've added some things in here for you to think about rather than just give bike brands, so ... all name brands will have commuter bikes and they will probably be reasonably even on price. See what bike shops are in your area and buy for that convenience rather than go chasing particular brands online and then look for the relevant shop.

human909
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby human909 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 5:22 pm

Depending on your disposable income I'd be inclined to recommend a 'city bike' or 'flat bar road bike' in the $500 to $750 range to start with. This is in the cheaper end of the spectrum but it saves money for your other accessories and IF you persevere with regular cycle commuting you can upgrade to something nicer in the future.

Other accessories are a good bike lock, helmet, good lights, mudguards for the rain and possibly panniers. Some bike come equipped with latter options.

The other big decision is clothing. If your office job is a sharp suit and tie gig, then you almost certainly need to sort of changing facilities and the ability to transport your work clothes. If it is a more relaxed shirt and trousers type affair then you could choose to cycle in your work clothes. For many cycling enthusiasts this is not the preferred option but it is what I do for commutes under 10km.


As far as cycling clothing goes, my preference would be to go to Macpac or Kathmandu or similar outdoor clothing stores. They have a better range of warm and waterproof clothing for cheaper prices than cycling stores.

chill_8_7
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby chill_8_7 » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:01 pm

First up, thanks for the input guys

So, if I am not wrong, things I got from the thread are

1) Mudguards are mandatory (obviously along with helmet, lock and lights)
2) Something for luggage!! I always carried a backpack with my laptop and stuff, but need to figure out what all I can carry. Thankfully office has an awesome shower and storage facility, also a special parking for bicycle.

I have always used flatbars, will be comfortable with that.

Will check on the clothing threads and probably visit a few cycle stores this weekend. I have literally walked to office, so I am guessing I will definitely cycle!!!

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DavidS
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby DavidS » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:56 pm

All the advice above is good, as someone who started commuting about 6 years ago and still ride every day: rain, hail or shine, here's a couple of suggestions:

Mudguards are essential, you can't hear that often enough.

In terms of luggage I never use a backpack, I want the bike to carry it, so I would recommend panniers.

But mainly I would say that you need to ride the bikes you want to look at. Every brand has slightly different geometry and some will suit you better than others. When I bought my last flat bar I rode a few and the Cannondale suited me. Get on a few bikes and see what you like, get the bike you like, it's the one you will ride.

DS
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Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

human909
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby human909 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:29 am

chill_8_7 wrote:First up, thanks for the input guys

So, if I am not wrong, things I got from the thread are

1) Mudguards are mandatory (obviously along with helmet, lock and lights)
2) Something for luggage!! I always carried a backpack with my laptop and stuff, but need to figure out what all I can carry. Thankfully office has an awesome shower and storage facility, also a special parking for bicycle.

Pretty much accurate. Though I'm an idiot and have done my commutes without either of those things. :oops: (Though I do have a bike equipped with a rack and panniers.) However having these items for a regular commute will make everything more pleasant. If you upgrade your bike you use these on your next bike.

chill_8_7 wrote:I have always used flatbars, will be comfortable with that.

I think that is best. Many cycling enthusiasts prefer drop bars over flatbars, but it is best to start with something you are comfortable with. You could spend $2000 on an very nice all weather commuting bike but probably better to spend $500-$700 + $150 accessories IMO.

chill_8_7 wrote:Will check on the clothing threads and probably visit a few cycle stores this weekend. I have literally walked to office, so I am guessing I will definitely cycle!!!

I would also suggest checking out outdoor clothing stores. (I'm biased here, my hobbies are outdooor rec.) Cheaper, warmer and generally better than cycling stores for clothes. (Unless you trying for pure speed.)

Staying warm is all about layers. A thermal (preferably merino) base layer is great. Then several layers that you can moderate your temperature with. Plenty of other information online and from good sales assistants at outdoor clothing stores.

For serious rain a decent rain jack and rain pants. Cheap no breathable rainpants do the job. I was regularly commuting in heavy rain. Water proof shoes, pants and jacket kept me dry in the heaviest of storms (Except for my cuffs of my jeans.)

DavidS wrote:I want the bike to carry it, so I would recommend panniers.

I had a friend who went on an impromptu bike packing trip to Tasmania 6 months ago... He posted a social media photo just after getting off the ferry. NO PANNIERS! :shock: :lol: Needless to say he quickly realised the foolishness of trying to ride long distances with a heavy backpack!
(Tough and experienced traveler, not and experienced bike packer!)

RobertL
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby RobertL » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:10 am

When I started commuting, I carried my work things in a backpack. It was OK, and plenty of people do it. I then got a rear rack and panniers, and I prefer that to the backpack. If I was you, I would just try it with the backpack first and see how you go.

If you like the bike commuting, and you do get a rack and panniers, then I would advise getting a good quality set up. That will cost a bit more, but better panniers and rack will be more solid and secure and weatherproof. The good thing is that a good rack can swap from bike to bike if and when you upgrade it.

I agree with the other comments about warm clothes and thermal base layers. The other thing that I would suggest is to check out the Aldi bike and winter clothing sales. They have them once or twice a year so you need to keep your eyes open (or subscribe to their email service). Their merino base layers are pretty good. I also wear their sports compression leggings as a base layer on my lower half. I have Aldi winter bike gloves and some of their bike shorts.

Their gear is OK quality at a good price. It is certainly not fashionable, so I don't wear it when I am riding with the cool kids, but for commuting I do not care about fashion in the slightest.

There is also a whole heap of basic advice about commuting. Things like trying it out on a weekend first to test out the route and the timing and so on. Check the commuting section on here and you will find plenty of advice.
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BugsBunny
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby BugsBunny » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:33 am

I would recommend a Brompton folding bike for your circumstances.

You can take it into your office/train/home very easily - keeping it safe.
The gearing options will cover your needs.
Comes with mud guard option to make it practical on wetter days.
Luggage carrying options are very good for work situations.
Rides well.

Cons are it costs a fair bit more than $1000.

Bugs

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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby HenryCharlie » Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:39 pm

Get a flat bar roadbike. If you have lockers at work, keep a pair of shoes, trousers and jacket there and then you just need a backpack for your laptop and a shirt/undies/socks.

My advice would be to start off as a fair weather commuter, that way you don't need to buy all the rain protective clothing and mudguards. Later once you're comfortable riding in, get the rain gear and maybe panniers.
I overtook some people going uphill once.

chill_8_7
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby chill_8_7 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 1:16 pm

human909 wrote:I think that is best. Many cycling enthusiasts prefer drop bars over flatbars, but it is best to start with something you are comfortable with. You could spend $2000 on an very nice all weather commuting bike but probably better to spend $500-$700 + $150 accessories IMO.


Yeah, the basic research on some simple bikes shows that would be the cost. Would be a good initial start.

human909 wrote:I would also suggest checking out outdoor clothing stores. (I'm biased here, my hobbies are outdooor rec.) Cheaper, warmer and generally better than cycling stores for clothes. (Unless you trying for pure speed.)

Staying warm is all about layers. A thermal (preferably merino) base layer is great. Then several layers that you can moderate your temperature with. Plenty of other information online and from good sales assistants at outdoor clothing stores.

For serious rain a decent rain jack and rain pants. Cheap no breathable rainpants do the job.


Was thinking to check some sporting stores like Rebel for all weather clothes and jackets, felt prices were much reasonable over there. Maybe I am wrong, not really a person who shops a lot. Hoping to check the local Cycle Inn, Trek and Reid stores this weekend.

BugsBunny wrote:I would recommend a Brompton folding bike for your circumstances.

You can take it into your office/train/home very easily - keeping it safe.
The gearing options will cover your needs.


I intend to avoid taking the train as much as possible and definitely not a huge fan of taking bicycle in train and then ride. Instead would prefer to leave early and ride the whole distance or take the train the whole way, maybe a bit lazy :P

HenryCharlie wrote:Get a flat bar roadbike. If you have lockers at work, keep a pair of shoes, trousers and jacket there and then you just need a backpack for your laptop and a shirt/undies/socks.
My advice would be to start off as a fair weather commuter, that way you don't need to buy all the rain protective clothing and mudguards. Later once you're comfortable riding in, get the rain gear and maybe panniers.


Just checked the office storage and locker area. They have it like way too secure, making it very safe. The locker in bike storage area is cleared overnight and we have separate lockers in office floor too. So got to prioritize what I need to carry, what I need to store and minimize the luggage as much as possible.

This might sound a bit dumb, Google Maps is the option to see the cycling route? Absolutely no idea on the rules here on where can drive and where cannot. Or is there any other specific app?

AdelaidePeter
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby AdelaidePeter » Thu Jun 21, 2018 4:32 pm

chill_8_7 wrote:I intend to avoid taking the train as much as possible and definitely not a huge fan of taking bicycle in train and then ride. Instead would prefer to leave early and ride the whole distance or take the train the whole way, maybe a bit lazy :P


I realise every city's train system is different, but in Adelaide I'm a big fan of taking my bike on the train most of the way to work in the morning, but riding home all the way home in the evening. The reason being I get sweaty if I cycle any decent distance, and I don't like having to cool down and shower when I get to work.

On a similar note, I don't bother with waterproof gear, again because I get my work gear too sweaty. I just ride home in my cycling clothes (i.e. a t shirt and sport shorts, and gloves if it's cold), with my work gear in my bag. In the morning (where I take the train most of the way so I don't get sweaty), I cycle in work gear if it's fine, in cycling gear if it's a bit wet or possibly going to rain, and leave the bike at home if it's heavy rain.

I bought a new flat bar commuter bike a few months ago; you can read the suggestions, and my final decision, here: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=97401 . It was a very uncomplicated process: I went into a local bike shop I trusted, tried a few, and bought the one I liked. I could have spent a lot more time getting something slightly better or slightly cheaper, but I knew I was in the right ball park price wise. It was $549 for the bike itself (and some places have this model cheaper), then a bit over $600 once you factor in a carrier and mudguards. I kept my old lights (about $100) and bike lock (perhaps $50 to $100 new?). Instead of panniers, I put a sports bag on my carrier.

One other random piece of advice: I recommend ordinary pedals, rather than clips, for commuting. I frequently have to stop and occasionally dismount, and it's also nice to know I can get my feet off quickly in an emergency.

Despite all the planning and online map options, I find the best way to choose a route is to try a few different ones.

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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby ironhanglider » Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:33 pm

chill_8_7 wrote:
human909 wrote:I think that is best. Many cycling enthusiasts prefer drop bars over flatbars, but it is best to start with something you are comfortable with. You could spend $2000 on an very nice all weather commuting bike but probably better to spend $500-$700 + $150 accessories IMO.


Yeah, the basic research on some simple bikes shows that would be the cost. Would be a good initial start.

human909 wrote:I would also suggest checking out outdoor clothing stores. (I'm biased here, my hobbies are outdooor rec.) Cheaper, warmer and generally better than cycling stores for clothes. (Unless you trying for pure speed.)

Staying warm is all about layers. A thermal (preferably merino) base layer is great. Then several layers that you can moderate your temperature with. Plenty of other information online and from good sales assistants at outdoor clothing stores.

For serious rain a decent rain jack and rain pants. Cheap no breathable rainpants do the job.


Was thinking to check some sporting stores like Rebel for all weather clothes and jackets, felt prices were much reasonable over there. Maybe I am wrong, not really a person who shops a lot. Hoping to check the local Cycle Inn, Trek and Reid stores this weekend.

BugsBunny wrote:I would recommend a Brompton folding bike for your circumstances.

You can take it into your office/train/home very easily - keeping it safe.
The gearing options will cover your needs.


I intend to avoid taking the train as much as possible and definitely not a huge fan of taking bicycle in train and then ride. Instead would prefer to leave early and ride the whole distance or take the train the whole way, maybe a bit lazy :P

HenryCharlie wrote:Get a flat bar roadbike. If you have lockers at work, keep a pair of shoes, trousers and jacket there and then you just need a backpack for your laptop and a shirt/undies/socks.
My advice would be to start off as a fair weather commuter, that way you don't need to buy all the rain protective clothing and mudguards. Later once you're comfortable riding in, get the rain gear and maybe panniers.


Just checked the office storage and locker area. They have it like way too secure, making it very safe. The locker in bike storage area is cleared overnight and we have separate lockers in office floor too. So got to prioritize what I need to carry, what I need to store and minimize the luggage as much as possible.

This might sound a bit dumb, Google Maps is the option to see the cycling route? Absolutely no idea on the rules here on where can drive and where cannot. Or is there any other specific app?


Hi chill-8-7,

I live a little further out from you and I ride past/through Glen Iris on my way in.

When it comes to bikes, any bike will do for commuting, particularly at first. You can work out what is important to you later. I like mudguards, panniers, and dynohub lights, but they each come with considerable cost. Decent battery lights can be found relatively cheaply, and a pack will do well enough until it starts to annoy you.

I agree with what HenryCharlie has said about riding in the rain, and with trying to keep as much stuff at work as possible. Riding in the rain sucks. I do it, but I am prepared for it too. I don't recommend it for a new commuter. However if the weather is marginal, then if it is clear enough in the morning then that is ok, it is the putting wet clothing on at the end of the day that would suck. (I have drying facilities at work :D ) I am able to keep shoes, trousers, deoderant, cufflinks and a weeks worth of shirts at work.

I am not a fan of the idea of a bike on the train. By the time the trains get to Glen Iris at commuting time, they will be full enough for even a folding bike to be in the way, and once you get to the city Collins St is close enough to walk anyway. A bike to get to and from the station on the other hand is different. Any old junk bike is good enough for that, (and a better bike is more likely to get pinched).

Navigation is simple enough, just make your way to the Gardiner's Creek Trail and follow it in. There are other ways, but this is pretty convenient and relatively stress free. Strava can be useful for maps as well as being able to compare routes which others have used through the flybys feature.

Here is my ride to work this morning.

Cheers,

Cameron
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human909
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby human909 » Thu Jun 21, 2018 11:01 pm

chill_8_7 wrote:Google Maps is the option to see the cycling route?

Yes but it often isn't the best. But it does pick the bike trails most of the time.

chill_8_7 wrote:Absolutely no idea on the rules here on where can drive and where cannot.

Bicycles are vehicles and can legally use pretty much all roads except. Australian drivers aren't exactly the most considerate to riders so good bike skills help keep you safe. (Too long to go into this here.)

Fortunately for your route into the CBD is among the best in Melbourne. Like ironhanglider said, just follow the Gardners Creek Trail into the Main Yarra trail.

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g-boaf
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby g-boaf » Fri Jun 22, 2018 11:41 am

chill_8_7 wrote:This might sound a bit dumb, Google Maps is the option to see the cycling route? Absolutely no idea on the rules here on where can drive and where cannot. Or is there any other specific app?



Although some might sneer at it, one of the excellent things about Strava is the route mapping it provides. You can use their massive amount of data to map a route based on popularity. This will usually give you a fairly safe route that isn't too busy. It is based on what the majority of riders would use. And the majority of riders won't normally use somewhere that is extremely unsafe.

chill_8_7
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby chill_8_7 » Sat Jun 23, 2018 4:32 pm

Thank you for the information guys.

After checking out few stores, I have narrowed down my selection to Reid Urban X2 and Merida Speeder 20D.

Any tip on which one to go for? Too hard to make a decision just taking input from the sales guys.

uart
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby uart » Sat Jun 23, 2018 8:31 pm

chill_8_7 wrote:Thank you for the information guys.

After checking out few stores, I have narrowed down my selection to Reid Urban X2 and Merida Speeder 20D.

Any tip on which one to go for? Too hard to make a decision just taking input from the sales guys.


Either of those would make a good commuter in my opinion. Out of those two, I slightly prefer the specs on the Reid X2

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10speedsemiracer
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby 10speedsemiracer » Sat Jun 23, 2018 9:47 pm

chill_8_7 wrote:Thank you for the information guys.

After checking out few stores, I have narrowed down my selection to Reid Urban X2 and Merida Speeder 20D.

Any tip on which one to go for? Too hard to make a decision just taking input from the sales guys.


I think perhaps the Giant Cross City Equipped deserves consideration here. The Reid has mechanical discs (not as good as hydraulic) whereas the Giant has hydraulics. With 2019 stock about to hit shops (and there is a new version of the Cross City, although I don't know how different it is to 2018). This fact will give you leverage to haggle the price from rrp of $799 to something you'd be happier with (I'd be thinking $680-ish).
The Cross City has fenders and rack fitted, saving you sizing and sourcing these.
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https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/bikes-cross-city-equipped
Mmm, SunTour

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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby Ivanerrol » Sat Jun 23, 2018 10:27 pm

10speedsemiracer wrote:
chill_8_7 wrote:Thank you for the information guys.

After checking out few stores, I have narrowed down my selection to Reid Urban X2 and Merida Speeder 20D.

Any tip on which one to go for? Too hard to make a decision just taking input from the sales guys.


I think perhaps the Giant Cross City Equipped deserves consideration here. The Reid has mechanical discs (not as good as hydraulic) whereas the Giant has hydraulics. With 2019 stock about to hit shops (and there is a new version of the Cross City, although I don't know how different it is to 2018). This fact will give you leverage to haggle the price from rrp of $799 to something you'd be happier with (I'd be thinking $680-ish).
The Cross City has fenders and rack fitted, saving you sizing and sourcing these.
Image
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/au/bikes-cross-city-equipped



+1.

get a deal from your LBS Giant stockist
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Thoglette
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Re: Suggestions on which bicycle to buy

Postby Thoglette » Mon Jun 25, 2018 1:27 pm


+1.

get a deal from your LBS Giant stockist[/quote]
Indeed, that's a lot of sensible for not a lot of money.

Anyone know how much it weighs?
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