Recommend a bike for my 7 mile one way commute?

Discussion in 'Travelling, Commuting & Safety' started by cdevidal, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    I've been reading many forum posts and searching all over the web but am not any closer to an answer. Can you help?

    * My commute is 7 miles one way on mostly level streets
    * I am 6' tall and weigh 260lbs and expect to carry up to 50lbs of gear (backpack, lunch, gear, bags, etc.). This means I usually go tall and thick on frames.
    * I want to go at least 20mph
    * I'm in Jax, FL and we get 60" of rain per year so moisture is a big deal
    * Prefer long-term reliability and ride comfort (shocks/sprung front, sprung seatpost and/or will install a Brooks saddle, NOT skinny 700c but prefer big tires, strong spokes, steel frame?)
    * Prefer a new bike, am TIRED of inheriting other people's problems!
    * I've got a Huasheng 49cc, frame mounted and a separate fuel tank from an unknown seller (Craigslist second-hand that was mounted on a bike that is now trashed)
    * Bought the Dax "In-Frame 4 Stroke Gear Box Package Deal" since the gearbox that came with it was absolute junk. This includes a gear box 3:1, 14T front, 72T rear, 62" 102 link 8mm racing chain
    * Less than $600
    * Braking power would seem to be important, but I doubt I need full disk brakes (right?)
    * Will likely install solid neverflat inserts

    What bike would you use?
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012

  2. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    For new have a look at Torker bikes, they have a good rep and maybe something there in that price range. Also, I know you said you didn't want used but I prefer to go that route myself, with an eye toward value and evaluating condition, for 500 I could find a very good bike that would probably retail new for over a grand.
  3. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    Yeah I just get so tired of inheriting problems. Thanks, I will look at the Torkers. Any other suggestions?
  4. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    I know what you mean, and I wouldn't want a used cheap bike but with a little higher end bike that comes through with decent components to begin, there's not much hidden, not like buying a used car or such. That's the great thing about bicycles, they are relatively easy to assess and remedy if needed.. Good luck in your search.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  5. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    Thinking about what you said, I'm considering a used low-mile Trek/Cannondale/Motobecane. I can take it to a LBS for a once-over. I don't suppose it'll go over $600 if I do that.

    Also I can get a customized Worksman cruiser with springer forks, dual hub brakes and some other customizations for $586 before shipping. Just concerned about that middle bar, but likely I can cut it w/out sacrificing much durability. If I can just allow myself to cut a brand new bike :wince:
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  6. Happy Valley

    Happy Valley Active Member

    Yeah, I get it you're wanting to fit an engine in the front triangle but myself I wouldn't cut a frame like that, that's just me. Worksman enjoys a certain rep for durability and all but I find them a bit clunky, heavy too. To each their own. Felt is another label that gets talked about in a similar vein. Personally, I'm partial to good quality vintage chromoly mountain bikes.
  7. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

  8. jeffuehrer

    jeffuehrer Member

    I have had an aluminum frame Raleigh now for 5 years. It has over 5,000 pedaling miles on it and at least 5,000 motored (2 48cc & 2 66cc) miles on it. It has outlasted 3 engines and is still riding strong with a crack in it. I ordered another Raleigh with a steel frame. A 20" frame is the minimum size if you want to fit a motor. They only run $360.00. Raleigh is one of the oldest bicycle companies in the world and they also used to make motorcycles. Regardless, that is the bike I choose.
  9. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    jeffuehrer, good endorsement. I was looking for more high mileage stories like yours.
  10. jeffuehrer

    jeffuehrer Member

    You're welcome. Good luck on whatever bike you choose. :cool:
  11. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    Update: After much consideration and reading countless threads, I've decided to go for a Schwinn Clairmont ($160 at Wallyworld) and a LiveFastMotors sprocket adapter ($70) so I'm not putting more stress on the 14g spokes than necessary. Will use the ragjoint donut until that one comes in the mail.

    I might or might not have to get better v-pull brakes (around $50) from a LBS. I can upgrade to a springer fork later if so desired ($60). It's not clear if I will have to do that as the tires are already pretty thick and so they should absorb shocks somewhat well as-is. My commute is on smooth roads.

    Additionally, I will either skip the idler pulley and just tension the wheel correctly (cut the chain to the exact length), making use of the 7-speed pedal side's idler pulley spring for that chain, or get a LiveFast springloaded idler pulley ($30). I will likely have to do the latter as the engine chain will stretch over time.

    Will get some tire liners and slime for the tubes. Don't want flats at 25+MPH, no sir!

    I can get this bike immediately and start saving gas immediately, which in itself will save at least $100 over the delayed delivery of the Worksman (6 weeks+). It has a rack and fenders (and yes I've read the fender thread).

    And if it's not the right bike I haven't lost much money. I can sell it for $75 on Craigslist and only risk around $100. I'll also be able to fix and sell the last bike and pick up around $75.

    Thanks to everyone in this great forum for your help!
  12. Neon

    Neon Member

    If you could get them and i doubt you could. I would say buy any CCM bike. They are tough bikes and prices are usually good too. But i guess i'm biased since they are a Canadian bike.
  13. LR Jerry

    LR Jerry Well-Known Member

    Regardless of what you buy upgrades are going to be needed. So often times you're better off getting a good used bike and installing the upgraded parts on it.
    Dustmonkey likes this.