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  1. #1
    Senior Member timthorn's Avatar
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    Looking for New Commuter

    Yes I am new to this forum, and I have read all the stickied topics on R/R, advice columns, etc, but please pardon any redundant question I may bring up.

    For the past year I have been riding a mid 90's Motobecane Mirage, with standard straight bars, new armadillo tires, front crank and bracket off a Specialized, a nice ugly luggage rack with saddle bags, and the usual other replacement as needed on my 6 mile commute to work on mostly smooth farm road with 2 sets of cattle guards and one pnuematic road block at the security gate. The ride has been wonderful, as a different way to conduct PT.

    Lately, as my wife puts it, I get bored which is true, and this first bike was a great learning experience for maintenance, riding styles/positions, and other beginner items (though I still all a beginner, as I just learned what a pitched tire is and why I have gones through 3 tubes this week). I am looking into a new bicycle for the commute, I must admit that I enjoy the 23's thanks to the roughly 1 mile worth of uphill climbing each way presents (work is at the top of one hill, I love atop of the opposite hill). I have managed to narrow down to 3 bikes thanks to reviews, posting here, price range, warranties, and consumer reports.org, and I would like you all's opinion.

    Tommaso Imola:
    Frame: AluminumSemi Compact Frame, w/replaceable dropout and integrated headtube
    Fork: Carbon fiber legs, alloy integrated crown, CR-MO 1-1/8" steerer
    Front Derailleur: Shimano Sora Triple
    Rear Derailleur: Shimano Sora GS
    Shifters: Shimano Sora 8-Spd
    Brakes Levers: Shimano Sora
    Brakes: Tektro, Black
    Chain: Shimano HG50
    Crankset: Prowheel 52/42/30T, Black
    Cassette: Sunrace 11-24 8-Spd
    Pedals: Wellogo Alloy Plaform w/ Toe Straps
    Bottom Bracket: Chromoly square taper
    Headset: FSA Intellaset
    Saddle: Tommaso Steel Rail
    Seat Post: Tomasso Alloy
    Handlebar: Tommaso Alloy Ergonomic 26.0
    Grips: Cork Tape
    Stem: Tommaso Alloy 26.0
    Tires: Kenda 700x25c
    Wheelset: Weinmann XR18

    Giant FCR3 (Consumer Reports 10th best overall)
    color M: Silver/Black W: White/Silver
    size M: XS, S, M, L, XL W: 2XS*, XS, S, M *650C wheels
    frame ALUXX butted aluminum, Compact Road Design and Integrated Forged Headtube
    fork Chromoly
    shifter M: Shimano ST-R225 W: Shimano R440
    front derailleur Shimano R443
    rear derailleur Shimano Altus
    brakes Alloy Direct Pull
    brake levers M Alloy Direct Pull W: Alloy short reach 3 finger
    cassette SRAM PG-830 11-28T
    chain KMC Z72
    cranks Alloy, 30/42/52T
    bb Cartridge
    rims alloy double wall
    hubs Formula
    spokes Stainless Steel
    tires Kenda Kwest 700x28C Kontender, 650x25C
    handlebar Alloy 25mm Rise
    stem Alloy Adjustable
    seatpost Aluminum, 27.2x300mm
    saddle M: WTB Laser V Comp W: WTB Speed She Comp
    pedals Resin Body Alloy Cage

    Raleigh Cadent 1.0 (Consumer Reports 9th Best Overall)
    Sizes: 45,49,52,54,56,59cm
    Frame: Atomic 13 Aluminum w/replaceable hanger
    Fork: Custom Carbon/Alloy Steer, 50mm offset
    Crankset: Truvativ ISO Flow 3.0 Road 30/42/52t
    Bottom Bracket: Truvativ Sealed Cartridge
    F. Derailleur: Shimano 2200
    R. Derailleur: Shimano Sora
    Shift Lever: Shimano Sora 8spd
    Brake Levers: Shimano Sora
    Brakes: Tektro Dual Pivot Long Reach
    Cog Set: SRAM PG-850 8spd (12-26t)
    Rims: Alex DC-19 w/Ground Side

  2. #2
    Disgruntled grad student beingtxstate's Avatar
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    It think it would be more helpful to know YOUR opinion. What do you think of these bikes? Why did you choose these, have you ridden them?

    They all sound great, I think the decider for me would be to ride them all, and pick the one I liked best. Good luck man
    1990 Trek 330
    2006 Trek 7.2FX
    2006 Trek 7.3FX (Wifey's Steed)

  3. #3
    Senior Member timthorn's Avatar
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    The only bike that I mentioned that is available in my local area is the Giant, and I will be testing it this weekend. The other two I am really trying to pull reviews from others. The only perk is most stores/companies has that try it for 30/90 days and if not satisfied clause. I gues what I really am asking is, the components that are on these entry level bikes, how are they, do they really hold up well?

  4. #4
    Senior Member rando's Avatar
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    so.... what IS a pitched tire? I don't know.
    "Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world". ~Grant Petersen

    Cyclists fare best when they recognize that there are times when acting vehicularly is not the best practice, and are flexible enough to do what is necessary as the situation warrants.--Me

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by rando
    so.... what IS a pitched tire? I don't know.
    Pretty sure he means "pinched"... as in, underinflated, hit a bump, pinch and tear the tube.

    Quote Originally Posted by timthorn
    I gues what I really am asking is, the components that are on these entry level bikes, how are they, do they really hold up well?
    I wouldn't bother. Your current bike sounds good. Sora components do work, but I'd stick with what you have unless you were going to go to 105.

    The real key tho is how those bikes fit you. What kind or ride differences for you.
    Does your current bike fit you well? Does it absorb road vibrations well? Are you tired of the straight handle bars and want different hand positions? You could always just buy some bar ends.

    I say save your money, keep learning about bikes and what you want and buy a bike with mid-range components, whether campy, shimano, sram... but remember, good components suck if the bike don't fit.

  6. #6
    Senior Member timthorn's Avatar
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    Thank you everyone, for your response. I shall keep with my current Mirage, and then reevaluate based on the needs of the area after my next move, how is El Paso in the winter? That should provide me with enough time to learn more. Yes I meant "pinched."

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    I would avoid integraded headsets for a commuter.
    I would also not put so much faith in Consumer Reports.
    Both of these are simply my personal opinions.


    Definitely try to do some test rides!

  8. #8
    Ride the Road Daily Commute's Avatar
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    Consumer reports is good on cars, electronics, and the like, but there are so many choices when it comes to cycling that they barely scratch the surface. Ninth best? Out of how many they tested? Then think about the hundreds of models they didn't test. That tells you something about what "Ninth best" means.

    I also agree that the main thing comes down to riding it. What feels comfortable to you? A bike that works for one can be misery for another. I tried a Breezer, which is a great bike, but I couldn't stand it. Others would hate riding my Surly Cross Check.

    I don't know what a Motobecane Mirage is, but think about what you like and don't about it. You are starting to do that when you talk about tire width and hills. Do you want a more aggressive or less agressive bike? A more upright or a less upright bike? Capacity for a rack and fenders or not? High number of gears or low number of gears? Is being light important? Are shock absorbers important?

  9. #9
    Senior Member timthorn's Avatar
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    CR.org's sampling size included 19 models. For some one like my wife and I who are new to biking, all the names, coponents, etc... have the fog of war over them. So using CR, this forums (and similar), and talking with LBS's, we hope to learn exactly what it is that will fit our needs and body types.

    What do you mean by "aggressive?"

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