commuter bike suggestions?
I am 6'1" and weigh about 240. I currently bike about 20 miles a day as a commuter, and I ride on a cannondale bad boy that is nearing the end of its days. I can drop about 1000-1500 in a new bike, and would like to get a solid commuter that would take panniers, but would be faster than my Yuba mundo.
Do you have any suggestions for bikes in thsi range? My lbs seems to be a big fan of surly (cross check and LHT), but I was interested in people's opinions of other things out there.
I had a pretty good history of breaking things, so I am also looking for big guy durability.
I'm forever suggesting touring bikes for commuting, and touring bikes for clydes. They're built for a load, well, I AM a load! And for commuting, they're set up decently for carrying panniers. Typically they'll have a higher stem than many road bikes, which gives me decent visibility. Bigger tires (a) last longer, (b) carry a load better, (c) absorb commuting pothole and lousy road shock better, and (d) float better over cracks, all compared to skinny road tires. And a decent tourer will have low gears, which help with the hills in some cities. And since it is a road bike, you can do other roadie sorts of things, like supported rides or group rides.
A cyclocross bike (like the Cross check) is almost as good as a real tourer, IMO.
The LHT seems to be a decent touring bike. Check out Adventure Cycling's tour bike buying guide for others, like the REI Novarra Randonnee, Trek 520, Fuji Touring. Let me strongly recommend you invest a weekend (or three) into calling all the dealers near you to see what's available, and go test ride all the touring (and 'cross) bikes you can. You'll find a wide variety of rides and dealers out there. Pick the one you want to ride because it's fun!
I am looking for the same type of bike. I have narrowed my list down to these bikes:
1. Kona Sutra ~$1500.00 http://www.konaworld.com/road.cfm?content=sutra#2 (Other than price and the fact that the nearest local dealer is ~100 miles away this bike may have displaced the Raleigh Sojourn as my #1 pick. I need some more information not listed on the website.)
2. Raleigh Sojourn ~$1150.00 http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/steel-road/sojourn-12/ (I don't like the steam & headset as much as the Salsa or BosaNova. I am concerned that weight of this bike will never let me get up to my goal average speed for commuting.)
3. Jamis BosaNova ~$1300.00 (maybe less) http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik..._bosanova.html This bike would be my top choice if I knew for sure that the shorter chainstays won't be a problem with panniers.
4. Specialized Tricross ~$1300.00 website is down but this is an aluminium cyclocross with fender and rack mounts but no discs
5. Salsa Vaya 3 ~$1700.00 http://salsacycles.com/bikes/vaya_3/ Unfortunately this one is out of my price range and the Raleigh and Kona seems to give more bang for the buck.
I've look at several others including the Surly's but I have not been impressed with the Surly's for some reason.
Last edited by DaHaMac; 09-17-11 at 07:20 AM.
Reason: Added the Kona Sutra
I've been doing research on the Kona Sutra today and found this excellent review here on Bike Forums (http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...a-Sutra-Review)
In the review, someone mentioned the Kona ***** Inc as a fast touring/commuter bike. The specs are here: http://www.konaworld.com/road.cfm?content=*****_inc
My goal is to get as near as I can to a 20mph avg speed with a 21 mile commute with slightly over 1000ft of elevation gain on a bike that will be long-lasting and durable. The Kona ***** has moved to the top of my list as its chainstays are 435 vs 425 for the Jamis BosaNova, Surly CrossCheck, and Raleigh Clubman. I don't like the low spoke count on the ***** nor the nearly $1700.00 price tag but atm the ***** takes top place in my ratings for a steel frame with disc brakes, fender mounts, and rear rack mount.