Is there anyone who could help me with some basic guidance on buying a bike to commute with? I have seen something 2nd hand but really have no idea. Actually its for my partner who is 6"2. Neither of us know much about bikes but we have moved from overseas and ditched the cars in the hope for a healthier, environmentally friendly lifestyle. He will just be commuting locally within the metropolitan area.
Any help is really appreciated
The first one is Pro Tour TX 660 $150 needs new freehub?
The second one is Trek 800 aluminium $200 with lock, helmet and lights
I used to commute. If you are serious about commuting every day both bikes need mud guards, bell, carrier to carry a work bag and lights (front and back) as in winter time it can get dark quite early. I personally prefer hybrids (like the Pro tour) as they are sturdier than a racer but faster than a mountain bike. Work out how much you are going to spend to get these bikes road worthy versus buying a new bike set up for commuting.
thanks for your response. It will definitely be to commute as he has no other means of transport although it is a short commute. The Trek is already set up to go so I see the cost as it states...$200, and the pro tour needs a free hub (I think thats whats its called) and that is all that will be adapted with that at this stage. We do not want to spend any more on it as we simply cant afford it.
The next thing is to find out whether the frame is the right size. The height of the owner might give you an indication of whether it will fit. Since the warmer weather is coming you might get the mud guards and light later but if it hasn't got a bell you need to get one. The bell has saved my life from people who don't see you as you are not as visible on a bike. Lance Armstrong (famous cyclist) rides a Trek but I don't know about their lower end range. The Pro Tour probably has been heavily used so you might need other things fixed as well due to wear and tear.
Sorry I don't think I have explained very well. We have lights, helmet, and prob a bell. The size of the pro tour is the right fit exactly and the size of the Trek is perhaps an inch or so out. The Trek is heavier...is that to be expected? I was wondering if from the pictures, you could advise as to whether they seem the right price? My partner checked with one place about the price of the freehub and labour and was told around $80? Any ideas as to whether that is reasonable?
Thanks for all your help....
Hello, I guess the real point is in the end any basic road-worthy bike will get you where you need to go but how can you make it a better ride and experience.
A freehub replacement unit is $30 and with labour $80 sounds about right. A general all over service might set you back up to $120 per bike. To make things even better as you get more into it you might consider changing the tires over to non-knobbly ones. Slick tires that are pumped up really hard amkes roll resistance is less so you don't have to work as hard.
Panniers and racks are great, I just got my first set, but with some forward planning you might be able to leave clothes at work and not need to carry so much.
Lights are essential but as it is getting lighter you could put them off until next year. Same with mud guards - just don't ride on wet days.
But you know, if you have the money, it might be wise to buys something brand new at the mid range price. You can get a really good hybrid bike for commuting for under $500. (Trek, Giant, Apollo, Azurri, Shogun, Sub, Avanti) If you look for a deal you might even get a rack and lights thrown in to the deal.
I won't recommend a specific shop but go to a proper bike store, not Kmart or Target. If you think about the initial investment then think about all the savings in bus fares, parking, taxis, saving petrol, car rego, insurance, less maintenance costs and the benefits to your health a new bike is very much worth every cent.
Take a look at this blog post for more on that arguement. If you do buy the 2nd hand bikes - I'm sure they'll get you to where you need to go.
some good comments already, just to add my points:
1) Yes thinner faster tires make a really big difference to the pleasure of commuter riding - from memory they should be about $25-40 each so are a pretty good investment.
2) Either panniers or a rear rack & basket also makes a really big difference - so you can pick up a few groceries on the way home etc. Should be less than $100 for quite a good rack & detachable basket ( I use Topeak).
The prices for those 2 bikes seem reasonable. I am also a bigger rider (6'5 and ~90kg) where a sturdy bike is important, but both those machines look fine. I'd be inclined to go with the Trek for regular commutes as it'd be a little lighter.