I don't have a favorite bike shop, I have many. They're all unique and have their strengths. The Recyclery is great for repairs and old parts. City bikes is also great for repairs and new parts. Seven corners is great for their selection of tires. Coventry cycle has the most impressive display of folding bikes and recumbents.
Trek has some pretty affordable hybrids and commuter bikes. Giants are affordable too, but heavy and not too zippy. Hybrids and mountainbikes are okay for commuting, but for zippy commuting, nothing beats a cyclocross bike, or a road bike converted to a cyclocross.
Bert, thanks! I have never heard of a cyclocross and have some research to do now. I appreciate your reply more than you know! ;-) I'll let you know what I end up with. I currently have a step thru euro style 'commuter' bike but its really heavy (but very workable for a 8 mile commute each way). I love my bike, its not "broke" - its just that I see these folks literally screaming past me and I want a lighter bike so I, too, can haul. ;-) Ya know!
I bought a Giant commuter bike last year, and I have tried and tried to love it. There isn't a thing wrong with it, it is a beautiful bike with all the fixins, but ----it isn't ZIPPY! Every time I ride it I fall behind the pack and feel sluggish and heavy--and I rode it all summer long to work every day so I know it wasn't just me being out of shape. I want to sell it now and get a zippy commuter bike. "Zippy"--does anyone know an affordable zippy commuter bike?? I love Bike N Hike, as well as Community Cycling Center for bike shops so far...
Waaaaay back in 1994 I had the crazy good fortune of founding the CCC – and they do have some great bikes.
My tips are:
An aluminum frame will lighten the bike up, as will 28 or 32 spoke wheels with narrow rims and tires.
Avoid a bike w shocks. Make sure the person you’re working with has good knowledge of fitting the bike to you and incorporates your ridging goals into your bike choice.
I fit and find bikes for people all the time. If you’d like my help, just send an email or call. Brian of BIKEmpowered brian@BIKEmpowered.com / 503-975-2391 / www.BIKEmpowered.com
Back when i was with Bike n Hike (the Giant dealer) their road bikes seemed fine weight wise. Maybe they've beefed up? Cyclocross bikes are great - esp for braking. Often their high gear is pretty low - so putting on at least a 52/42 teeth front gears (chain rings) or triple would solve that possible problem.
Here's an update: Sellwood Bike Commuter (http://www.pdxbikecommuter.com/) is a great shop, very conveniently located near the Springwater. Had my bike serviced there and I couldn't be happier. Go see 'em!
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