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Newbie: Recommend a bike for city riding that has internal 7-8 speed hub
#1
Hello,

I live in San Francisco and looking to get my first bike. I don't want or need anything fancy, just something for fun to ride around. I think i want to get a geared bike and people have been telling me to get 7 or 8-speed internal hub.
Are there any stock bike like that or should I get a used bike and install the hub myself. I'm looking for a bike that is under $500. Even under $400 if possible.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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#2
There are many bikes in that price range. If you don't mind used you can find some deals on craigslist.

Visit a local bike shop or even a chain bike shop just to see what is available. You would get better attention there. There is a Performance Bicycle store in San Francisco.

For city riding you might not need a bike with a real wide range of gears depending upon the terrain.

There are a lot of good bikes (and bad ones too) out there these days. Do some investigation. Everyones wants and needs are different.

Good luck.
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#3
I'm a big fan of the internal geared hubs. There's a lot of stuff available now and you should be able to get a new bike for about what you'd pay to try to retrofit these onto an old bike. Check out the Torker Graduate if anyone nearby carries them. But there's quite a few to choose from.
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#4
I understand that San Francisco is pretty darn hilly so you might want to consider the wider gear range that you'll get with an external derailleur and not the internal hub. I suspect you'd be unhappy with a 3 speed internal. The internal hub, especially the new Shimano Nexus 8 is good low maintenance equipment. I've not ridden one yet but have heard good things about the Cannondale Adventure series. I ride a Cannondale Quick 4 and like it very much.
Things are getting worse faster than I can lower my standards
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#5
I think both Trek and Raleigh make bikes with internally geared hubs but the list price is quite a bit higher than your stated range. The only bike I'm aware of that meets your requirements is:

http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/cafe_express8.htm

Dan
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