Bay Area 10/15 mile flat commute

paralleldo

New Member
Hi all,
I'm looking to sometimes replace my current solo car commute with a transit + bike commute.

The bike portion to work would start at either the Santa Clara GAC Amtrak station or the Milpitas BART station (whenever that opens).

The route:
  • Here is a google maps link of the route
  • 10 miles, all flat (15 miles from BART)
  • ~1-2 miles on road with bike lane (just a painted one, not protected)
  • The rest is a gravel path is in excellent condition
    • However, it's not next to any road, so a breakdown in the middle could result in a 5 mile walk with the bike
  • The good thing is, it seems like I'll have very few start/stops
  • There is a bikelink locker at the Amtrak station, but it would be nice if I could bring the bike onboard Amtrak
    • I think the Capitol Corridor restrictions are tires no wider than 2" and bikes no heavier than 50 lbs
    • My car won't fit a bike, and ebikes seem to be too heavy for anything but hitch racks, which I'm not planning on buying
  • I can shower at work

What I'd like in a bike build:
  • Reliable and low maintenance
    • I'll do this route about 3-4x a week, so 80 miles a week. Having to change components every few months isn't appealing.
  • Suspension is a nice to have given the quality of the route, but I could always add some suspension myself?
  • Rack compatible, so I can throw on my laptop and repair tools

Myself:
  • I'm 5'9" 140 lbs, I think about the same as Court, but with 30 inch inseam.
  • Age is late 20s
  • Budget is up to $4-5k
  • Won't ride in the rain, so I'd probably take off any fenders


My top contenders currently are:
  • Giant Lafree with Gates drive
  • Giant Explore (have gone on test ride)
  • Bulls Lacuba with Gates drive
  • Haibike Trekking

I've also test rode the Turbo Vado, but it seems similar to the Giant Explore, just more expensive?
I'm very interested in bikes with Gates drives for their longer maintenance interval, but have only rode chain bikes before.
I'll probably swap out any tires for Schwalbe Marathon Plus, and maybe also put in some Tannus Armor.


Thanks for any tips and pointers!
 

Rick53

Member
Hi all,
I'm looking to sometimes replace my current solo car commute with a transit + bike commute.

The bike portion to work would start at either the Santa Clara GAC Amtrak station or the Milpitas BART station (whenever that opens).

The route:
  • Here is a google maps link of the route
  • 10 miles, all flat (15 miles from BART)
  • ~1-2 miles on road with bike lane (just a painted one, not protected)
  • The rest is a gravel path is in excellent condition
    • However, it's not next to any road, so a breakdown in the middle could result in a 5 mile walk with the bike
  • The good thing is, it seems like I'll have very few start/stops
  • There is a bikelink locker at the Amtrak station, but it would be nice if I could bring the bike onboard Amtrak
    • I think the Capitol Corridor restrictions are tires no wider than 2" and bikes no heavier than 50 lbs
    • My car won't fit a bike, and ebikes seem to be too heavy for anything but hitch racks, which I'm not planning on buying
  • I can shower at work

What I'd like in a bike build:
  • Reliable and low maintenance
    • I'll do this route about 3-4x a week, so 80 miles a week. Having to change components every few months isn't appealing.
  • Suspension is a nice to have given the quality of the route, but I could always add some suspension myself?
  • Rack compatible, so I can throw on my laptop and repair tools

Myself:
  • I'm 5'9" 140 lbs, I think about the same as Court, but with 30 inch inseam.
  • Age is late 20s
  • Budget is up to $4-5k
  • Won't ride in the rain, so I'd probably take off any fenders


My top contenders currently are:
  • Giant Lafree with Gates drive
  • Giant Explore (have gone on test ride)
  • Bulls Lacuba with Gates drive
  • Haibike Trekking

I've also test rode the Turbo Vado, but it seems similar to the Giant Explore, just more expensive?
I'm very interested in bikes with Gates drives for their longer maintenance interval, but have only rode chain bikes before.
I'll probably swap out any tires for Schwalbe Marathon Plus, and maybe also put in some Tannus Armor.


Thanks for any tips and pointers!
You have access to any Trek's? Like the alliant : They will have an alliant with Front Shock on the site in the next month
 

paralleldo

New Member
You have access to any Trek's? Like the alliant : They will have an alliant with Front Shock on the site in the next month
Yes, luckily in the Bay Area there are tons of dealers around. Didn't know about the upcoming Trek Allant models, will have to check that out. The number of ebike models is a bit overwhelming at times. Buying a car had fewer choices than this!
 

onethinline

New Member
You may want to look into the Gazelle CityZens (either the T9 or T10, though the T10 is the 28mph speedier one), which have minor fork suspension but can have a suspension seat post added (that's what I'm doing on my T10, which is on its way) -- these bikes are pretty light for ebikes and use the Bosch system. So does the Riese & Muller Roadster, which is pretty similar but has comfortable suspension standard, but is pricier and gets custom built at the factory in Germany so it could take a while (unless a dealer has the one you like in stock). Not sure about ebike shops in the South Bay, but if you're willing to head up to SF, New Wheel is the shop I've been working with and they're great so far.

I was also looking at Treks, for sure. The Allant+ models are appealing (but no suspension so far!), but apparently pre-orders for those aren't arriving until early 2020. Other Treks might suit you, though. They use the Bosch system too, which from what I've read is quite reliable and proven.
 

FlatSix911

Active Member
Hi all,
I'm looking to sometimes replace my current solo car commute with a transit + bike commute.

The bike portion to work would start at either the Santa Clara GAC Amtrak station or the Milpitas BART station (whenever that opens).

The route:
  • Here is a google maps link of the route
  • 10 miles, all flat (15 miles from BART)
  • ~1-2 miles on road with bike lane (just a painted one, not protected)
  • The rest is a gravel path is in excellent condition
    • However, it's not next to any road, so a breakdown in the middle could result in a 5 mile walk with the bike
  • The good thing is, it seems like I'll have very few start/stops
  • There is a bikelinklockerat the Amtrak station, but it would be nice if I could bring the bike onboard Amtrak
    • I think the Capitol Corridor restrictions are tires no wider than 2" and bikes no heavier than 50 lbs
    • My car won't fit a bike, and ebikes seem to be too heavy for anything but hitch racks, which I'm not planning on buying
  • I can shower at work

What I'd like in a bike build:
  • Reliable and low maintenance
    • I'll do this route about 3-4x a week, so 80 miles a week. Having to change components every few months isn't appealing.
  • Suspension is a nice to have given the quality of the route, but I could always add some suspension myself?
  • Rack compatible, so I can throw on my laptop and repair tools
Myself:
  • I'm 5'9" 140 lbs, I think about the same as Court, but with 30 inch inseam.
  • Age is late 20s
  • Budget is up to $4-5k
  • Won't ride in the rain, so I'd probably take off any fenders
My top contenders currently are:
  • Giant Lafree with Gates drive
  • Giant Explore (have gone on test ride)
  • Bulls Lacuba with Gates drive
  • Haibike Trekking
I've also test rode the Turbo Vado, but it seems similar to the Giant Explore, just more expensive?
I'm very interested in bikes with Gates drives for their longer maintenance interval, but have only rode chain bikes before.
I'll probably swap out any tires for Schwalbe Marathon Plus, and maybe also put in some Tannus Armor.

Thanks for any tips and pointers!
Welcome to EBR. Rather than suggest a specific eBike model, I am going to recommend a local Bay Area dealer.

Take a look at their website and go talk with them... MonoStrano only sells electric bikes and knows them well. ;)

 

paralleldo

New Member
I ended up with the 2017 Bulls LaCuba E8. It's been great so far, really silent drive train. Just wish it would go a bit faster, but staying at 20 mph is probably safer for now. I also see a lot of waterfowl on the bike commute, and zipping by the cars stuck on the 237 highway is a great feeling.