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I started riding with a Raleigh comfort bike last summer and 3 months ago purchased a Cannondale Synapse carbon road bike. The synapse is beautifully engineered to absorb road vibrations and is a dream to ride. I love it. I would not want to go back to a heavier bike.
"No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world."
The best advice I can give you is go to the local bike shop and try some bikes out. Make sure you ahve a budget, but try all sorts of bikes, mountain, hybrid, road and at all prices. You will spend a lot of time doing this so make sure you don't succumb to the sales pressure but ride as many bikes as you can.
For me, its a roadbike for sure. I'm really not a fan of riding mountain bikes for a commute and don't get me started on hybrids. I love the roadbike geometry. I have two types of roadbike - a roadbike for racing etc and a cyclocross bike for commuting. These are NOT to be confused with hybrid bikes - these boys are roadbikes that can go off-road with wider knobby tires etc.
For my DW, it's a mountain bike all the way. She likes being more upright and prefers the slower speeds and the wider tires.
You'll soon figure out what's best for you. If you're doing predominantly road riding then I'd suggest a roadbike but you may not like the fit or something. As far as brands go, I'd find myself hard pressed to recommend anything as everyone's different. I love my Fuji roadbikes - in contrast, I've tried hard but don't get on with any of the Giant ones...
Saying all that, you'll know which bike is for you the minute you get on it. Seriously.
In God we trust, all others bring data.
- W. Edwards Demings
If God invented marathons to keep people from doing anything more stupid, the triathlon must have taken Him completely by surprise.
Specificity, specificity, specificity.
The plural of "anecdote" is not "data".
- Frank Kotsonis
If you go to the web site www.wheelandsprocket.com, they have a lot of good info. to consider before the purchasing of a bike. They also break down the gear ratio set up and etc.
I even read this and learned a lot for my next purchase of a bike as well.
Do a lot of test riding at bike shops and tell them exactly what you are looking for, and what your budget is. I like Giant, I feel you get a lot more bang for your buck than the other brands, but if you are going to be on that bike every day, commuting, all that matters is reliablity and comfort. I wound up ordering a super cool older Diamondback Voyager frame, and having it built up like a mtn bike with xtr stuff. BUT on the other hand my boyfriend has the same frame and built it up with road bike stuff and went with campy. Same frames, very different bikes.
I commute to work, too. Love it!
A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for.
whatever you choose, i would go to a bike shop and be sure that the bike fits you. women specific bikes are a little shorter in the top tube, and trek makes some that arent too pricey.
I think a Giant OCR3 would be a good choice. They are not considered a true road bike, they are considered a sport bike. Same concept as a road bike except for 2 additional brake handles, and an additional 3rd (small ring) on the front gear set.
They are fairly inexpensive and ride real nice.
Most of your decision should be based on weather conditions, type of riding, experience, ect. But that would be my recommendation.
You have but one life to live, so live it well, love God, and leave a legacy.
I have a relatively flat 14 mi commute. I go through a downtown area, and have a long stretch along the freeway (I love that they actually put a wall between the bike path and the cars). I frequently throw my bike on the bus to ride just one way.
Does anyone have any suggestions as to what I should look for in a new bike?
I like to shift depending on wind and slope, and am working on increasing speed (currently the ride takes about an hour and a half).