Cycle commuters / cyclists: help choosing a mount :)

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Hi all! Finally decided to lighten my commute and get into shape with some wheels, and what better time when summer is peeking around the corner (although with the recent rain and sleet it's a bit hard to tell). I wanted to get some advice from seasoned cyclists or commuters on here about the best choice on Berlin streets. Details below:

 

use: commute through Charlottenburg, Schöneberg on flat and paved routes, recreational touring around the parks in Wannsee, Tiergarten

utility: interest in a rack for panniers, as well as fenders but not necessary (light I already have)

lightweight, due to my slightly crap back and need to carry up and down U Bahn stairs

Budget: €500

 

I was previously considering the touring bikes by CUBE, and I recently saw the Focus Arriba 2018 at a local store. Any other suggestions appreciated.

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59 minutes ago, Pandekage said:

Any other suggestions appreciated.

An e-bike!

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Go to Stadler in Charlottenburg: https://shop.zweirad-stadler.de/

 

I bought my €500 commuting bike in September 2015 and it's perfect for my daily 16 km commute across Berlin. It's not given me any problems since then. The only thing was the seat broke shortly after I bought it and Stadler replaced it without a hassle. They can also sort you out for any racks or baskets, lights, helmets, backs, rainwear, etc.

 

They have a huge selection and a track where you can try the bikes directly in the store. Ask for Herr Gebauer in the parts section, he speaks perfect English.

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I'll second going to Stadler so that you can take a look at the bikes (and feel the weight since that's important to you).  I've only been to the one across from Storkower Straße S-Bahn but I hear that the stores are similar.  I never bothered with panniers (don't like their performance in the wind) but fenders were a must to avoid getting skunk striped when it rains and unfortunately, I've used the bell more than I ever thought I would.  Once you have a handle on what you'd like, I'd also recommend checking out an online shop like www.fahrrad.de to compare prices.

 

I ended up going with a cheap Serious Rockville bike since my bike parking options at the time were limited and it's done great over the last 2 years.  I wouldn't recommend it for you since it's heavy though.

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@Brockman I was actually there! That's where i found the Focus Arriba actually.

 

Another question, since I'm deciding between two options (one a standard commuter one speed and the other a basic unit but seven speed): 

 

How important would you all consider multiple gears and a full fender system? I'm riding fairly flat, so gears are possibly not needed but the flexibility would be good. I'm also thinking snap-on fenders are more flexible and lightweight, but I've seen how shit the weather here can be.

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Maybe it's just me getting older but the multi-gear option was a must.  I like the ability to smoothly start from an Ampel and keep up with traffic rather than having to power my way thru the start and if you're planning on touring around Wannsee or other lakes then the option to not fight too hard thru the winds is really nice to have.

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If you're spending the money, definitely get gears, maybe even a 7 speed hub system to minimize wear from the elements and dings in public. I would also definitely get fenders! There are lightweight options, and for me, going to work and keeping mud off my things is a huge deal. Hub lights are also really convenient, but not a must. You might even want a removable basket. It helps a lot. But, I now also have a kid, so storage is really important.

 

If you ever want to attach a child seat, check to see that there' no cabling on the seat tube, and that there's enough clearance for a seat clamp. And then, also make sure you can attach a double stand at the bottom of the seat tube, which would make getting the child in and out of the seat much easier.

 

I don't really have any specific recommendations, but I'd aim for 13-16 kg, maybe even used. We have a Kettler that's a bit heavy, but robust.

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I support 100% the 7 speed hub system suggestion instead of the 21 speed system, if you can find a bike you like with that system,  it is more than enough in the city,   The wife had a bike with the 7-hub which I used a lot and since then I am a total fan, unfortunately that bike was stolen, so buy good locks, maybe buy 2 of them, and never give a chance.

 

I think the ultimate bike in the city like Berlin is a Trekking bike, I had one for years in the past and I chose only because the kids were small at the time and it was pretty good for attaching a kid seat and later a trailer.   They are really awesome, but I never fell in love with the aesthetics, they look like bikes for old people (well, I am probably old people already).    I am more a fan of mountain bikes and the modern ones perform quite well in the city and you still can hit the trails.   You mentioned Cube, I have only good experiences with their MTBs, I and the kids have been using Cube and Scott and they are OK for the city and light trails.

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I agree with Krieg and kaffeemitmilch. Definitely get the 7 speed and the fenders. You'll find both very useful in Berlin. I have a saddle bag on one side that hooks to the back rack, but I barely use it, I'm more of a rucksack guy. Also, it doesn't fit well with the kid seat on the back. Although my bike is very much a city / commuter bike, I've actually taken it on some light trails around the city, and even did a 100 km ride on a Fahrradweg. As for a lock, I just have 1 U lock which I lock the back wheel and frame with. I rarely leave the bike in public (we have a Fahrradkeller at home and at the office) and until now, I haven't had a problem. Perhaps when the bike is new, get a cheaper 2nd lock as a deterrent. Always lock to something immobile. I also highly recommend a hi vis vest and extra blinking lights. Good luck!

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We have a focus fitness bike that we are very happy with to get around with (c. 600 EUR).  We have subsequently added mudguards / fenders and a rack from Stadtler in Charlottenburg which could work better.  I would suggest asking Stadtler for their recommendation for accessories if you plan to buy the bike from them and ask to see what the look mounted before you purchase.

 

Not enough bother to think about replacing but a daily tiresomeness / fumbling which could be avoided. Would of been less overall hassle to pick another option from another supplier for this particular model.

 

Stadtler Charlottenburg is great with plenty of space indoors to try out various options. Also good for trying out rollerblades..

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