I've finally scored the gig I want which can get me on my bike five days a week, and get me a new bike to boot.

I'll be riding from Marrickville to Rhodes, so any advice on a commute will be very welcome. Have spotted nothing on bikely.com, but there's got to be a way there via a link-up between the Cooks river track and Homebush Bay. I'm open to suggestions there though.

But I reckon I'll have a grand to spend on a new bike, so I thought I'd take this to you people, the socially-networked, fearless road warriors of Sydney.

A grand can get alot of bike, even with the mooted price hikes, but I want find the BEST deal there is for a commuting bike, which will be used on road and path, in rain or shine. I want a rack and mudguards as part of the deal. Flat handlebars are my preference, with a triple, though I am happy with a double chain ring.

What do you reckon? Fire away with what you think is the best deal for a grand ...

Views: 157

Comment by Colin on July 21, 2008 at 1:18pm
$750 gets you one of these Cell bikes, complete with 8-speed internal hub.

That leaves you $250 to spend on mudguards, a rack, lights and panniers.

But maybe you want something less upright and more sporty....
Comment by Miguel on July 21, 2008 at 1:53pm
Good stuff Colin. I've actually spent the last half-hour on the Cellbikes website. Like the sound of that hub geared bike. I always think I'd like something mroe sporty, but upright is good for me. So I have a starting selection, thanks Colin.
Comment by DamianM on July 21, 2008 at 2:32pm
Congrats on the new gig Miguel
Those Cell bikes with the Alfine are a good buy (when you consider what the parts would set you back if you specced them out... an exersize we've just been through). Something you can consider is that a little bit down the track you can buy a nice frame like say, a Surly LHT and swap the parts over and you have a really nice bike.

As for Rhodes, it looks like there is a path from Bicentennial park that runs alongside Homebush Bay drive to exactly where you want to go.
Comment by Miguel on July 21, 2008 at 2:45pm
Cheers Damian, thanks for the tip on the ride and the frame. I'll check both out
Comment by Duncan on July 21, 2008 at 3:05pm
yeh.. there's a path that runs from the eastern side of the park (just near the concord-west entrance) parallel to HBD all the way to Rhodes, and thence onto the railway bridge across the river to Meadowbank.

If you're coming from Marrickville, the option through Leichardt/Five Dock/Queen St/Concord West is doable, but not recommended unless you like dicing with heavy traffic in peak hour.

Does this bikely path cover the bits from the cooks to Rhodes that you're after?
Comment by DamianM on July 21, 2008 at 3:07pm
Leichhardt-Five Dock-Concord is a fun ride though! That's one of my training routes
Comment by Miguel on July 21, 2008 at 3:23pm
Gawd this is an amazing forum. Ask and you receive so much good advice. I'm not afraid of traffic, but I reckon one of the keys to making this commute work is the bike path. It's safe, I can zone out while riding and the ease of using the track will override my natural laziness.
I figured I would use the Cooks River track from my place to Homebush, then cut across to Rhodes> Duncan, I think your map does cover the missing bits, thanks alot. Damian have you got a map for the Leichhardt-Concord-Five dock route?
Comment by Nick on July 21, 2008 at 3:27pm
Marrickville to Rhodes is getting to the kind of distance where you will eventually value ride-efficiency over anything else. I'd recommend a flat bar road bike over a hybrid unless you want to use the bike for touring. Flatbars can easily take a pannier; commuting in sydney you shouldn't need the third small chain-ring on the front; but if you were carrying a large load touring you might. If you do get a hybrid, I'd recommend a solid fork and wheels that can take 25mm tires.

In your price range I'd recommend trying for a bike where most components are shimano 'deore' or better. Would recommend brands like felt, scott, apollo and even the generic 'cell' brand.

A few general tips i'd have for your commuter bike purchasing learnt from much trial and error:

1) 700c wheels are better; mtb 26" wheels with slick tires look good on paper but it's just not the same, the bigger wheels make for a smoother ride.

2) Good wheels and thin tyres; hybrids with fat/knobbly tyres are no fun to ride for any distance. A puncture resistant ~25mm tire with enough grip for the wet (don't need much) would be best I'd say.

3) Road-style-forks; forks with suspension sound like a really good idea but in the end road forks are much more pleasant to ride up hills, and around corners. Suspension steals valuable power from your pedal stroke, especially up hills. Suspension forks weigh a tonne, and they rarely stay in perfect working order for a long time. If you must have them, I'd recommend getting forks with 'lockout', but I really don't think it's necessary.

3) Topeak pannier bags - recommend the Trunk DX - convertable from a fairly small bag to voluminous foldout panniers. Can use with a conventional or 'clip-on' rack, easiest to get topeak brand. Most shops (anaconda, cell, cheeky monkey) stock these.

4) New saddle. Unless you fluke a bike that comes with a comfy seat; sell the old seat on ebay and buy a good one. Serfas have a lot of good-value saddles with anatomical features like cut-outs.

5) Clip in pedals. They will be weird at first but then after a while you'll wonder how you did without them. This is something you can buy later on, but highly recommend. Shimano SPD M324 are the best; with these there is a normal pedal surface on one side, and an spd clip in on the other side, so they can be used with regular shoes or cleated bike shoes. You should be able to get these online (cellbikes.com.au/probikekit.com) for pretty cheap.

PS: there are a few bikely rides that go to rhodes - I thought briefly of working there too, so had scoped it out.

some flat bar road bikes:


Comment by DamianM on July 21, 2008 at 3:51pm
I just chucked the ride I do into Bikely, there are a bunch of variations on this floating around bikely and guttermonkey that get you off to some of the quieter back streets around Concord.

Check it out

I added a note in there around Drummoyne, you can use some of the Bay Run path if you like, I much prefer cars to joggers though so stay on road. I do this at off peak times, so you may find it a bit unpleasant during peak hour. To get to my start point from Marrickville, the easiest way is up to Crystal street from Addison rd, cross paramatta rd and up Balmain road in the bike lane.
Comment by Miguel on July 21, 2008 at 4:08pm
Hi Cyclotron, I agree about the Scott S60 - I'll check that against the Cells in the Cell shop in stanmore. And Damian, thanks for the ride route, I'm off Livingstone road, so it's definitely good for me


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