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  1. #1
    I <3 my bike. 10ch's Avatar
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    So I walked into the bike store today...

    And really? I knew I was looking for a new ride. I've had my heart set on upgrading for a while.

    So here's where I got and I have some decisions to make, but I'm in no rush, so it'd be nice for any advice from you fine forum folks.

    Ride #1: Gary Fisher Cronus
    Ride #2: Cannondale Fifty-Fifty

    Niether bike was actually at my LBS, so I test-rode a Fisher Paragon (I guess? I thought is was a Pirana, but I couldn't find that anywhere.) to get a feel for the disc brakes and the Fisher geometry. Then I rode a Townie to get a feel for the internal hub. Then I rode a Cannondale r600 (Again, not sure that's right.) To get an idea of the Cannondale geometry.

    The fact is that all of these bikes (except for the Townie) are such a far step above my Giant Boulder, that it would've been hard for me not to've been impressed.

    The advice I want from you all is ... for a commute with some decent hills, do you think

    a) one would be better than the other?
    b) there are other bikes i should give a spin?

    I really liked the disc brakes... wasn't ALL that impressed with the internal hub, but that could've had more to do with the Townie than anything else. Advantages, drawbacks to either disc brakes or internal hubs?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Both look good I don't think you can go wrong with either. The Cannondale my have the edge in ease of care, with the innternal hub, and fenders.I think both would be inproved with skinner tires.

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    You don't need disc brakes unless you will be riding with your wheels submerged in water. Get something with a triple if there are big hills. I like riding a road bike when I commute. Mountain/fendered in the rain. Studs in the winter. Get lights for the dark and a big ol messenger bag and you are all set. Lock it up when you get there.

    I like internal hubs. I have a Nexus 7 speed on the bike I haul my daughter around on. It's a little noisy but sort of fun to mess with.

  4. #4
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    From the Sheldon Brown Website:

    Internal gear hubs are more reliable than derailer systems, and require much less maintenance. Unlike derailers, they may be shifted even when the bicycle is stopped, a valuable feature for the cyclist who rides in stop-and-go urban traffic.

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/internal-gears.html

    Between these two bicycles the Cannondale has better geometry for commuting with longer chainstay lenth and lower bottom bracket. They both have 26" wheels which is nice.

    What bike manufacturers is the LBS a dealer for besides Cannondale and Fisher?

  5. #5
    dfw
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    Stercus accidit dfw's Avatar
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    I 2nd the idea of nixing disc brakes. They are great for MTB which are actually used off-road, but pretty much unneccessary for almost all road bikes. Perhaps if you had a fully loaded trek bike with a trailer, but otherwise a good set of cantilevers (aka Shimano V-brake) will give you all the stopping power you will ever need and will be much lighter than a disk brake setup.
    Hard work has a future payoff; laziness pays off now. -anonymous

  6. #6
    I <3 my bike. 10ch's Avatar
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    First, thanks to all for your comments. Looks like the fifty-fifty is the winner so far, maybe I should try to find an internal hub that's is more of a hybrid to test drive instead of a cruiser like the Townie.

    Quote Originally Posted by georgiaboy
    What bike manufacturers is the LBS a dealer for besides Cannondale and Fisher?
    They carry the following: Cannondale, Gary Fisher, Specialized, Electra, Santa Cruz, Independent Fabrications, Intense Cycles, Breezer Bicycles, Rans Recumbents, & Bacchetta

    Any must-rides?

    Thanks.

  7. #7
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    Not at the LBS but if you can find them try a bianchi volpe (touring) or bergamo(commuter). or milano (cafe racer but a cool commuter if there aren't TOO many big hills).

    Get something you can fender if it will be your only ride.

  8. #8
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    I commute on a 2002 Cannondale Bad Boy. The geometry is very similar to the Fifty-Fifty. I am very impressed with my Cannondale. The Cannondale frames built for 26" wheels are very strong. The prices of these bikes are 800 to 1000 a good range for a everyday bike to be ridden in varying weather conditons.

    I have never ridden a bike with a internally geared hub. I know the one advantage is when riding in the rain the gearing stays dry.

  9. #9
    Senior Member pmseattle's Avatar
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    Both of them look interesting as commuters and utility bikes.

    I have been commuting on bikes with disc brakes for several years ( the Avid mechanicals, specifically ), and I have to disagree with previous posters opinions about them being undesirable. The amount of weight they add to the bike is probably less than the amount of weight your body varies from one day to the next. They stop the bike much more effectively in the wet than rim brakes, they are easier to maintain ( at least the Avid mechanicals are ), and they don't cause wear and tear on the rims. If you ride in the rain there is no compelling reason to avoid them and at least one very good reason to get them.

  10. #10
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Well, I tell ya. What a great situation to be in - choosing a NEW bicycle for commuting. You lucky fellow, 10hc! I am glad you asked us to participate so that we can enjoy some of the excitement too.

    There is a curious fashion trend these days for commuter bikes to look something like a modified mountain bike. They have a modified mountain-bike riding position. Handlebars allow mostly one hand position. Tires are 1.75" or wider. 26" wheel base.

    Most commuting is done on city streets, so I question why a "commuter bike" isn't more like a road bike with skinny high-pressure tires, drop handlebars, and lighter frame.

    I suppose if you were going to be riding in winter on ice and snow during your commute, then these mountain bike types would be appropriate. I have several bikes for commuting - including a mountain bike for snow days, but most days I can ride my rode bike.

    I think that commuter bikes need the following:

    1) Dependability
    2) Easy to self-Maintain (so you can repair the bike yourself at home and be ready for the next day's commute)
    3) Fast - some days you are just a couple minutes on the wrong side of the clock.
    4) Functional; fenders (geek!), rear carrier (maybe even panniers for the fancy pants commuter), lights.
    5) Comfort: Usually you are in the saddle for more than 30 minutes; twice per day. Might as well be comfortable.

    Of course, 10ch, shopping for a new bike is great fun. I hope you are enjoying it and it seems you are. Both bicycles you are looking at seem like very nice machines and are priced affordably for the performance they should give you. At the same time, you might want to try out a couple of road bikes. Tell the bike guys that you want something that can handle daily commuting demands. Take it for a spin. Fall in love.

    Let us know what you choose and be sure to post a pic!
    Mike

  11. #11
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmseattle
    Both of them look interesting as commuters and utility bikes.

    I have been commuting on bikes with disc brakes for several years ( the Avid mechanicals, specifically ), and I have to disagree with previous posters opinions about them being undesirable. The amount of weight they add to the bike is probably less than the amount of weight your body varies from one day to the next. They stop the bike much more effectively in the wet than rim brakes, they are easier to maintain ( at least the Avid mechanicals are ), and they don't cause wear and tear on the rims. If you ride in the rain there is no compelling reason to avoid them and at least one very good reason to get them.
    pmseattle makes a good point here. Disc brakes are more reliable than rim brakes - especially in snow and ice weather. In the city when you are mixed with traffic, you have to know that when you hit the brakes you are going to stop and not slide into traffic. In winter, ice build-up on rims is a real problem around here.

    Has anybody ever seen disc brakes on a road bike? That wouldn't be a bad idea for a commuter road bike. I suppose you could install it yourself, but you would probably have to lace a mountain bike hub to a road bike rim. Hmmm....
    Mike

  12. #12
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmseattle
    I have been commuting on bikes with disc brakes for several years ( the Avid mechanicals, specifically ), and I have to disagree with previous posters opinions about them being undesirable.
    Second this. I wouldn't have a commuter without discs. The only real disadvantage is it's a pain to mount fenders and racks,but that's it. They stop better,need less tending to,and work even in bad weather. Last winter I glanced off a car because the rim brakes on my Trek were full of snow;I've been soured on them ever since.

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  13. #13
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    Most commuting is done on city streets, so I question why a "commuter bike" isn't more like a road bike with skinny high-pressure tires
    I'm actually starting to dislike the skinny tires on my Sirrus. The roads around DC are not well maintained,and my carpel tunnel's been acting up. Especially after Friday's CM,when I pulled the Kona down from it's rack and used it for the run. Those 38-width Slickosaruses were orders better than the razor-thin 28's on the Sirrus.

    My Sirrus is ok for my fairly smooth commute to a 'burb,but if I had to ride every day in the city proper,I'd prolly demand not just wide tires,but suspension forks to boot.

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  14. #14
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    Has anybody ever seen disc brakes on a road bike? That wouldn't be a bad idea for a commuter road bike. I suppose you could install it yourself, but you would probably have to lace a mountain bike hub to a road bike rim. Hmmm....
    Yup:
    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/030...04&model=10807

    Slvoid's got one,IIRC.

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  15. #15
    Senior Member Ziemas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    Has anybody ever seen disc brakes on a road bike? That wouldn't be a bad idea for a commuter road bike. I suppose you could install it yourself, but you would probably have to lace a mountain bike hub to a road bike rim. Hmmm....
    The Kona Sutra is a drop bar touring bike with disc brakes. I've got one built up with a flat bar and I love it.
    http://www.konabikes.co.uk/2k5bikes/2k5_sutra.php

  16. #16
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dynaryder
    I'm actually starting to dislike the skinny tires on my Sirrus. The roads around DC are not well maintained,and my carpel tunnel's been acting up. Especially after Friday's CM,when I pulled the Kona down from it's rack and used it for the run. Those 38-width Slickosaruses were orders better than the razor-thin 28's on the Sirrus.

    My Sirrus is ok for my fairly smooth commute to a 'burb,but if I had to ride every day in the city proper,I'd prolly demand not just wide tires,but suspension forks to boot.
    Originally I had 1.0 slicks on my commuter. I put on 1.5 size tire and found it much better. Rolls over most road surfaces very smooth. I also think there is a less chance of a flat.

  17. #17
    Retro-nerd georgiaboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike
    Has anybody ever seen disc brakes on a road bike? That wouldn't be a bad idea for a commuter road bike. I suppose you could install it yourself, but you would probably have to lace a mountain bike hub to a road bike rim. Hmmm....
    Cannondale's cyclocross bike come with disc brakes. Retail for $1399.00


  18. #18
    sth
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    I dont know what your day to day weather is like in your part of the world but over here on the left coast, the Pacific Northwest, winter's rain and road grit eats rims for breakfast. After ten plus years with my trusty Cannondale I will be upgrading and the only way to go will be with disc brakes. Zero rim wear and better all around braking. Reliable and long lasting. Avid BB7's seem to be the ticket for me.

    Other suggestions for the commute are Specialized tires with the Armadillo tread compound. They arent 100% punture proof but are leaps and bounds ahead of what I used to use. Also clipless pedals. There is a bit of an embarassing learning curve with them but once you are there, you will never go back.

    My ten year affair with the C'dale has been great. They make a flawless and attractive frame. Aluminum is a bit stiff and "buzzing" on the aging bod though. And watch what components you get. Like everyone else, they often spec the bike with less than stellar parts to keep within that all important price-point.

    Happy shopping.

  19. #19
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ziemas
    The Kona Sutra is a drop bar touring bike with disc brakes. I've got one built up with a flat bar and I love it.
    Forgot about the Sutra. It's funny that you converted one to a flat bar;a couple months ago someone posted a pic of their Dew Deluxe that they modded with a set of drops. You guys should've just traded.

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  20. #20
    I <3 my bike. 10ch's Avatar
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    Okay so based on the responses I've gotten, for a commuter, if I can't get disc brakes and an internal hub -- an internal hub is quite possibly the more desirable component of the two?

    As visions of new bikes dance in my head night after night, I've thought more and more about how nice it'd be to have the internal hub and today I was tooling around the net and found a LBS that sells Bianchi -- both the Bergamo and the Milano.

    So both have an internal hub component, and I just don't think the hills round here are crazy enough to warrant the extra gears on the Bergamo, but I'm definitely up for hearing opinions on that matter. My understanding was that the benefit of the internal hub was to a) avoid having to downshift before stopping and b) low maintenance. If I had the extra gears, both those factors would be null and void, yes?

    Mostly I want to know this --> Whattya think of Bianchi as opposed to the former Cannondale Fifty-Fifty and Gary Fisher Cronus? Better? Worse? About the same?

  21. #21
    Rides again HiYoSilver's Avatar
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    I don't know internal hub is all that great. I think I remember reading you lost about 1% efficiency with internal hubs. I would use a bike without disc brakes unless I was sure there was not going to be any rain or any long downhills. With long downhills and disc brakes you never have to work about overheating the tube or tire and popping the tube.
    Hi 'o Silver away

  22. #22
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    I'm thinking the Burley Runabout 7 is just what your looking for. Internal hub 7 speed. Front disc, rear hub brakes. 26" wheels. Comes with a rack and mounts for fenders.
    http://www.burley.com/products/commu...Runabout-7&i=1
    Craig

  23. #23
    PatronSaintOfDiscBrakes dynaryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10ch
    Okay so based on the responses I've gotten, for a commuter, if I can't get disc brakes and an internal hub -- an internal hub is quite possibly the more desirable component of the two?
    I'd say the disc brakes are better. Better stopping under more conditions,and more readily available.

    I'm liking that Burley that was posted above though.

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  24. #24
    Low Car Diet
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    Just buy both bikes your are considering. Set one up as your faster dry ride and make the other one your heavier, wet day/rain/night bike. I signed over my last car to my kid when she went to college 5 ywears ago-- I don't own a car. The money I save not using a car allows me to buy an entry-level or intermediate bike or two a year with no $$ problem-- and over the years I have gradually accumulated lots of commuting gadgets that make the ride more efficient or easier. Horns, lights. trailers. lotsa stuff. No cars.

  25. #25
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 10ch
    Okay so based on the responses I've gotten, for a commuter, if I can't get disc brakes and an internal hub -- an internal hub is quite possibly the more desirable component of the two?

    As visions of new bikes dance in my head night after night, I've thought more and more about how nice it'd be to have the internal hub and today I was tooling around the net and found a LBS that sells Bianchi -- both the Bergamo and the Milano.

    So both have an internal hub component, and I just don't think the hills round here are crazy enough to warrant the extra gears on the Bergamo, but I'm definitely up for hearing opinions on that matter. My understanding was that the benefit of the internal hub was to a) avoid having to downshift before stopping and b) low maintenance. If I had the extra gears, both those factors would be null and void, yes?

    Mostly I want to know this --> Whattya think of Bianchi as opposed to the former Cannondale Fifty-Fifty and Gary Fisher Cronus? Better? Worse? About the same?
    Man, that is a good question. Actually, unless you ride in really sloppy snow and slush you don't need either. If you do ride in slush, then you need both.

    One thing I know for sure is that a standard hanging derailure becomes nearly useless when they ice up. Brakes, though compromised a bit, still seem to work when wet. I guess it is because ice does not collect on the rims like it does on the derailure.

    So.... If I had to choose, I might choose the internal hub. If you bike

    If the bike had mountain bike type cantilevered brakes, that should be good enough - they work well for me.
    Mike

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