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I have two questions – which cycle and which bag?

I need to travel everyday 20 KM to and fro by office cab. I want to switch to bicycle. Could you recommend a good enough bicycle in India at low price? I am planning to buy it on Amazon.

I also need to carry a backpack (for my lunch box and perhaps a book), I found messenger bag to be good (Why do cyclists prefer messenger bags over backpacks?). But since I'm not a regular cyclist, I want to know if 10KM is a short distance or long and any backpack is good enough for this distance. And when should I prefer backpack to messenger bag, because I think the strap of messenger bag would uncomfortable as it may keep shifting while walking or riding?

And I also may use the bicycle every weekends for going to library which is 15KM far from my home.

I am ready to buy bicycle and backpack soon after I get an answer. Please help me here.

  • Welcome to Bicycles @Jeevan. 10-15km is not far, but you don't tell us how fit you are, nor do you tell us the road conditions. Many different bicycles can be used for this. A hybrid would be a good place to start looking. Remember, you get what you pay for. If you buy cheap, it will break. But if you buy expensive, it becomes a theft target. I recommend looking at hybrids online, or better yet, find a local bike shop that sells them. After you have a clear idea of your options ask a specific question on the differences or pro's and cons. Please read the help center. – andy256 Sep 7 '15 at 5:08
  • thanks for the suggestions...at least, now I know that hybrid is what I should look for. – GP92 Sep 7 '15 at 5:14
  • You might want to try renting out various bicycles before you shell out a few thousand rupees. Your profile says you are from Vishakhapatnam, a Tier-II city. I am sure you will find several bicycle rental shops there with several different bicycles for you to try out. – user22471 Sep 7 '15 at 8:52
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I'd suggest that you start with a used bike – perhaps the Indian craigslist would be a place to start. You could observe what people are using for commuter bikes in your area, maybe even talk with some of them, and get some ideas about what sort of bike would be appropriate for you. A used bike will be less expensive and you'll lose less money if you decide to sell it and get another bike once you learn what works for you.

Regarding the bag, 10 km isn't too far, if you've got a backpack start with that. You'll probably find that the pack is hot on your back and you may prefer something else – but for starters any bag that isn't too uncomfortable to ride with will get you started. For myself, I don't like having any kind of bag on my back when I ride, so I use panniers – but I have the luxury of feeling relatively comfortable leaving them on the bike for short stops. If you want to get off you bike and go into a store or office with minimal fussing with the bike I think a messenger bag or backpack would be a better way to go.

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  • hi, the problem is I can only use credit card. So, 2nd hand is not an option for me. I am really confused to choose an expensive bike or a cheap bike around 6K. I have strong intentions to further use my bicycle for long journeys, but it would still be a long time to go. So, I think I can buy another at that time. And sadly couple of people I know are riding expensive ones like firefox and have no suggestions for me. I am not sure if I can ask it here. But do you feel this cycle is good enough for now amazon.in/Btwin-Bike-Mountain-Medium-White/dp/B00LWZ8I0Q – GP92 Sep 7 '15 at 5:20
  • Ok, I have decided for this: looks like a decent one - amazon.in/Btwin-VTT-ROCKRIDER-300-MEN/dp/B00PK6H6OM but I need to wait a month to buy this to meet the price. no probs. And thanks for the answer. – GP92 Sep 7 '15 at 5:32
  • One way you might be able to buy a used bike is by going through a local bike shop. The bike you linked to doesn't look ideal to me. The handlebars look very low, you may find the position uncomfortable; also, the wheels appear to have radial spokes – that might be an error by the illustrator, but if not radial spokes are a very bad idea on the rear wheel as they can't transmit power effectively. – dlu Sep 7 '15 at 5:35
  • yes, anyhow I prefer the 2nd one that I have posted – GP92 Sep 7 '15 at 5:39
  • I put my backpack on a back rack mounted metal basket. It is inexpensive, and no one would steal it. When I get off, they are easier to carry that panniers; and I can load more stuff if I need to. – Davidmh Sep 7 '15 at 11:59
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I would really recommend this http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/gravity/liberty_cx.htm I'm making the assumption that you will not be traveling on pristine road surfaces and will have to negotiate some potholes and curbs .. you want a little more rubber than a MTB but don't want the rolling resistance of those fat tires.

Stick with a backpack.

I have used various timbuk2 messenger bags over the past 20 years for commuting and unless you have them full, they slide around and end up on you tummy ... no good. I'm guessing you're going to be carrying a laptop with you. Get a decent backpack with a laptop sleeve and vented back.. Your back will thank you for the ventilation, especially in India!

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  • Actually, I need to cross some bad conditioned roads at a stretch of 250 mts. I could slowdown a bit. And yes, vented back seems to be a good option and you are right about the sliding around if the bag is not full. I don't carry my laptop to office. – GP92 Sep 7 '15 at 5:44

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