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Hello from Southern AZ - Gravel/Commuter Bike Recommendations?

Hello Co-op Community!

My name is Mollie and I live in Southern AZ. I've been an avid runner/trail runner and hiker/backpacker since college in Michigan, and have been doing seasonal wildlife field work and working at running specialty stores from MI to WA to OR and now AZ.

I soon will begin my permanent US Forest Service career here and I've been doing major research into gravel/commuter bikes to commute to work - I plan to visit our local REI soon to look at bikes and ask some questions as well as will be perusing all of these forums! If anyone has any additional places to start reading, please let me know!

I'm a big gear-head and would love recommendations. So far I know I want an aluminum frame, carbon fork, disc brakes, Shimano GRX drivetrain (or equivalent in road/mtb), and gear mounts for bottles/fenders.

Excited to be a part of the group, thank you for your time!!

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac
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3 Replies

Sorry, I am not a cyclist.  Welcome to the community.  I would expect some folks here and in your local REI can give you some help with cycling gear.

I commuted for thirty years with a chrome-moly frame and was quite happy with that rig.  Durability is a very important characteristic.  You will have the occasional spill or accident' once about every seven years, if my experience is any guide.

Plan for panniers or frame packs.  You will have a fair amount of stuff to cart around - one reason why light weight is not critical in a commuting context

My career was in the NPS and fortunately, due to an emphasis on fitness, I had access to a shower and even a locker. i'll bet you will find the same in the USFS.  it really helps

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

That's awesome! Thank you for the advice! I know the building will have bike boxes, but I don't think there's a shower... nonetheless I can bird bath it in a sink no problem! 😁

“Because in the end, you won’t remember the time you spent working in an office or mowing the lawn. Climb that goddamn mountain.” – Jack Kerouac