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  1. #1

    buying a commuter bike

    Hey there I really like the site!

    I'm buying a bike for the first time but I've been using a freebie hand me down for almost two months that rattles the brakes are going. I've got a very short commute but I'm hoping to cycle more and I live in brighton so there are always hills and my three speed sturmey archer is basically a single speed (unless I want to go mad down hill) for me as the lowest gear isn't all that low (as far as I know). I like the frame it is a lowish step through with close to straight handle bars a rack and mud guards but it weighs a ton getting up the steps to my house and on and off trains as my upper body weediness doesn't help. So rather than fix it up I was going to buy a new one.

    So I'm looking for a step through although it doesn't have to be super low (not the full Dutch) that has mud and chain guards (my clothes don't need black oil!) and a rack (or the option to fit one) with enough gears to make the hills a little more manageable (currently I power up as far as I can without collapsing then get off and walk) that I can lift and carry reasonably short distances. I'll only be using it on roads and paths with the odd bit of flat grass. I found the pendleton handle bars weird and on the top end of the weight scale I'd be looking to get if that gives you some idea.

    If I could find the weight the Claud Butler Classic Ladies or windemere looks sort of right but I've seen forums trash it and suggest much more expensive bikes. Or maybe the Norco City Glide 8 womens if it isn't too heavy. I've been really confused by the difference between the 200-300 price bracket and the 450-520, is there really a massive quality/weight difference, or is it just fancier brands?

  2. #2
    Further to this I went to Evans yesterday and they suggested the Trek 7.1 and adding the mud guards and chain guard and rack, has anyone done this? Will add substantially to the weight making it pointless going for a more expensive base that is light then adding stuff. Also will it cost a fortune to get these things added after?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    SW London
    Posts
    69
    My first bike was a Specialized Globe Vienna hybrid with mudguards fitted by the bike shop. I still love it, and my sister tried it out recently and found it really comfortable. I don't know what the latest equivalent to this is, I think it's the Specialized Globe Work. I was lucky to get it at an end-of-season discount, and before they started downgrading the components.
    A friend loves her Marin SC3 hybrid.

    I'd recommend you get mudguards fitted by the shop, as they can be a complete PITA to do yourself. Mudguards are essential. I fitted a rack once but I usually use a backpack and took it off.
    Twitter: @_dottigirl_ and @Toria_Lyons
    Blog with cycling tips for beginners: http://toriacycling.wordpress.com/
    Blog usually about writing/cycling/rugby as I've just published a novel: www.torialyons.co.uk

  4. #4
    Thanks! By coincidence I have gone with a Specialized step through Vita and they are fitting the mud guards for me. I've been shown how to keep the chain fro getting gross but I'm still considering a SKS Chainboard but apparently you need to take the bottom bracket off though which you need a special tool for O_O

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    SW London
    Posts
    69
    I just tie a length of ribbon above the cuff of my jeans. Or a piece of cord, or a reflective band. I've seen the metal trouser clips don't really work with jeans.

    The problem with post-manufacture chain guards is they almost always rub in some way. If you like a nice quiet ride, that little rattle can really, really annoy.
    Twitter: @_dottigirl_ and @Toria_Lyons
    Blog with cycling tips for beginners: http://toriacycling.wordpress.com/
    Blog usually about writing/cycling/rugby as I've just published a novel: www.torialyons.co.uk

  6. #6
    Well I've decided my biggest concern is the torture implement they call a seat. I had a plastic covered sprung saddle on my rust bucket and I like it soooooo much more than this one which doesn't seem to have a place where my sit bones fit properly and feels like someone is ramming every bump in the road into my arse. How can you find saddles that will fit your bike?

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    SW London
    Posts
    69
    You need to measure the width of your sit bones, and find a saddle to accommodate them. Some bike shops have pads to measure them, or there's videos on youtube. The best saddle won't be the most padded.
    Personally, I can't stand sprung saddles. I'd tell you what I think the best saddle is, but they're difficult enough to find as it is and they're not made any more, I'm having to rely on eBay. Plus my favourite may not be yours.
    It may be possible to fit the saddle from your old bike onto your new, or look on eBay for similar saddles.
    Unfortunately, you'll probably also need to harden up your sit bones - they'll get used to it - and buy some padded shorts.
    Last edited by Toria; 15-09-2014 at 12:53 AM.
    Twitter: @_dottigirl_ and @Toria_Lyons
    Blog with cycling tips for beginners: http://toriacycling.wordpress.com/
    Blog usually about writing/cycling/rugby as I've just published a novel: www.torialyons.co.uk

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    143
    Saddles are personal, do you still have the saddle from your old bike you could swap over? If you do not want to go down the padded cycle short route you can buy padded liner pants that fit under normal clothes for your commute.
    Sometimes it is a case of just getting used to the new saddle and an upright position will give you pressure on your sit bones.
    Personally I use http://www.chainreactioncycles.com/w...4/rp-prod58651 And that is currently a good price for this saddle. I use this version not the ladies as I find the nose is too short and stubby on the ladies. and have no issues with it, also at that price it is not expensive if you find you do not like it.

  9. #9
    Actually after finding a different seat post I did attach my old saddle, what I really want is a brooks flyer with the springs and the cut out (after moving back to the old saddle I realised that was the only comfortable part on the one that came with the bike). I found that the seat wasn't right for the upright position, mostly becauswe it wasn't wide enough and this was exasperated by the shaping.

    My bike looks funny now but I don't get a headache going over our bumpy roads and my bottom loves me for the change:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/h4p8ivsp2v...16.11.jpg?dl=0

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