Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A Range of Bikes for Commuting

Folks often ask me for bike buying advice, mostly for commuting, so I thought I'd drop in a few links here to bikes that look good to me for commuting on. Not that I've tried them all, but if you try them and like them, and they're in your price range, I think you'd be just fine buying them :)

You definitely have to test ride a few bikes to see what you like. Try a bike with flat handlebars and a bike with road handlebars.

Commuter bikes sorted by price:
  • $250 - 2007 Schwinn Sierra GSD Comfort Bike. Name brand components, nice price. Not sure how I feel about disc breaks on such a cheap bike since you can buy just the breaks for that price.
  • $300 - 2008 Mongoose Crossway 350 Comfort Bike. I think my brother got one of these and likes it.
  • $350 - Mongoose Kaldi Double Commuter Bike. Similar to above. I like the fenders for Portland commuting.
  • $490 - Trek SU 1.0 Urban. I think some folks at work have these SU bikes and like them.
  • $550 - Trek SU 2.0 Urban.
  • $865 - Jamis Aurora. Has road bike handlebars. Would be great for commuting or longer distance multi-day rides. You could learn a lot on this bike. I'd like to own one :)
  • $1700 - Trek Portland. A beautiful looking bike, good for Portland commuting. I would also be happy to own one of these.

    Other quick tips:
  • There are Performance shops all over the country. In Portland, Bike Gallery sells Trek bikes, and Veloche on Hawthorne sells the Jamis. Others probably sell them too.
  • For Portland, the awesome website By Cycle is Google Maps direction that puts you on nice bike routes. Very good for trip planning :)
  • Here's some general bike commuting advice.
  • Buy lights and a helmet.
  • You could buy a used bike on Craigslist, but unless you know what you're doing (or bring a friend along who knows what they're doing), you might end up with a dangerous bike that I would recommend against riding in traffic.