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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi All,
I'm new here and to biking, It's been about 10 years since I've been on a bike and the high prices of gas has helped in the decision to commute a few days a week to work and school, both of which are down a LARGE hill about 5 miles away.

Here's my problem, I'm looking at something I can use weekly to get back and forth to work but also hit some dirt on the weekends. No rock hopping or really extreme stuff, I would just like to not have to worry about riding on some dirt.

My budget is around ~$550 for the bike. I have been looking at the Marin San Rafael

or the Marin Novato

maybe even a mountain bike that I could put some more "hybrid" tires on?

Really not sure what else is out there. Can any of your guys (or gals) help me out? :confused:

Anyone have, or know anything about hybrid bikes???
 

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Decrepit Member
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If I were you and had a $550 budget, I think I'd be looking at used chromoly cyclo-cross or ATB bikes. Most of them will take tires up to 38c, would suit your commute requirements and you could also ride them in the dirt.

Examples are nineties Crosscut and Crisscross. You can find used cross bikes on eBay well within your budget. Just make sure whatever you buy fits you.

If you want to buy new, the SOMA Double Cross frameset is $375, but you'd have to buy the rest of the components which would put you over budget. You could also buy a new Surly Cross-Check for around $900.
 

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Shirtcocker
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Juanfco3 said:
i have to agree, if you are just looking for some light trail or off road and want good speed the cross it the way to go.
Or get a 29er...
 

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Shirtcocker
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60,886 Posts
J_DDavidson said:
Hi All,
I'm new here and to biking, It's been about 10 years since I've been on a bike and the high prices of gas has helped in the decision to commute a few days a week to work and school, both of which are down a LARGE hill about 5 miles away.

Here's my problem, I'm looking at something I can use weekly to get back and forth to work but also hit some dirt on the weekends. No rock hopping or really extreme stuff, I would just like to not have to worry about riding on some dirt.

My budget is around ~$550 for the bike. I have been looking at the Marin San Rafael

or the Marin Novato

maybe even a mountain bike that I could put some more "hybrid" tires on?

Really not sure what else is out there. Can any of your guys (or gals) help me out? :confused:

Anyone have, or know anything about hybrid bikes???
How about a Redline D440 29er? About $550 on the nose...

https://citybikes.com/itemdetails.cfm?id=13334

(if you don't need gears the Monocog is about $100 less, but guessing you want gears. FWIW, I have the Monocog and love it, but the lack of gears would probably not make it as versatile for commuting )

<img src=https://www.gohuckyourself.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/01/d440-brown-800.jpg>
 

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Shirtcocker
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Scooper said:
That's nice. Within the OP's budget, and I like the fact that it's got a chromoly frame instead of aluminum.
Yup...amazing you can get those Redlines complete for the price of a Surly frame only. Wheels seem pretty sturdy so far--only thing I replaced was the pedals (comes with plastic platforms) and the saddle (though to be honest the stock saddle seemed pretty good--I just had some better saddles laying around from other bikes). It came with a plastic chainguard also (which I removed immediately cuz I only use mine offroad) but would be good for commuting.

mine..paid about $450 for it--not including the Time ATAC pedals.

<img src=http://forums.roadbikereview.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=124979&stc=1&d=1210283966>
 

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I would check out your local bike shop, they are usually willing to work with you. Don't sacrifice fit for a couple hundred bucks, it's not worth it. Also, watch ebay, and craigslist religiously. It takes patience to find that deal. There are also classifieds on this forum and others.

Good Luck! It's a great that you want to commute. You will be more healthy and save money.
 

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waterproof*
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There are a lot of older steel road bikes in that price range that have clearance for 28 or 32mm tires. If you're under 220 pounds, that's plenty for gravel / light singletrack.

Those Novara's are fine too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well I just got back from my LBS and after riding quite a few different bikes I bought the Marin Novato. Took if for a little spin on this beautiful 87 degree Seattle day and it rides real nice. I'm interested to see how it does on some packed gravel trails tomorrow around East Lake Sammamish!! Thanks for the advice everybody, I really appreciated it! Have a great weekend!
 
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