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Old 06-28-07, 01:48 PM   #1
Itsjustb
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Yes, another "What bike?" thread

Turns out the budget I had in mind for the new bike wasn't the budget my wife had in mind. Now I have to start my search again with a lower budget, about $1k.

I'm looking for a fair-weather commuter--I'm not replacing my current MTB commuter, which has racks and fenders--that could potentially do fenders and racks later on. My commute is only 5 miles each way, mostly rolling hills. I'd like the capability to do club rides and training rides for stuff like the MS150 and Tour de Cure. I have arthritis in my neck, so I'm looking for something more "comfortable", with a more upright geometry (if it helps give an idea, I'd picked out a Specialized Roubaix until I learned I was over budget).

Off the top of my head, I was thinking of things like a Surly Cross Check, a Novara, some other cyclocross bike, or one of REI's commuter/road bikes.

I'd appreciate suggestions--maybe even a few outside the box ideas. Thanks in advance.
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Old 06-28-07, 01:52 PM   #2
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My Bianchi Volpe + Specilaized skinnies+ water bottle cages + 2 tubes + tax = $1000 on the nose.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:02 PM   #3
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I was in a pretty similar situation as you were. The bikes on my list were all cyclo-cross bikes:

Surly Crosscheck
Kona Jake the Snake
Specialized Tri-cross sport
Cannondale Optimo 3

I went with the cannondale after testing riding everything. It felt the best, can't really explain it. It's probably the least rugged of all but it seems to FLY up hills like a proper road bike. The kona felt really awesome in a different way. Really rugged and still fast but I liked the cannondale better. I don't think the cross check I road was setup right and the tri-cross didn't feel right at all. YMMV
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Old 06-28-07, 02:34 PM   #4
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I could be wrong, but I think once you build up a Surly Crosscheck, your budget will be exceeded. I like the looks of the Novara Randonee. I remember looking at one called the Rivet too that seemed nice. I also looked seriously at some Cannondale bikes (SR500 and SR800 I think) before buying my Tricross. These are at least close to your price range, fit at least some of your criteria, but I'm not sure which models are still being made.
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Old 06-28-07, 02:46 PM   #5
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I was just at REI yesterday and checked out the Randonee-- it's a sweet bike-- great for a commuter, equipped and everything... and it's got a great fast feel to it also. this one was only $849. I would get it if I had the $$$!
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Old 06-28-07, 02:49 PM   #6
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surly is cool but you're paying for the name...
cyclo-x bike might be a good choice, ability to put fatter tires on later if you want. I have a Motobecane Fantom Cross ($650ish range) which leave a lot of room for accessories or upgrades... I like it a lot. cheers
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Old 06-28-07, 02:57 PM   #7
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Test ride a Specialized Sequoia. If you get it, lose the tires.
I slightly larger tire run at reasonable pressure will give a much nicer ride.
Something like the Pasela TG 32c.

If you aren't in a rush, you could wait for the end of year sales. You could then plunk down a grand, and sneak a few hundred out of the tax refund

Poke around a few shops, see what looks good.
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Old 06-28-07, 03:23 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acroy
surly is cool but you're paying for the name...
That's funny -- I thought I was paying for the flexibility it offers.
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Old 06-29-07, 06:38 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acroy
surly is cool but you're paying for the name...
How is it I'm paying for a name that few people who don't work in a bike shop has heard of?
Surly's are great because they are built tough with the features often not found on other bikes. Not many cyclocross frames have all the mounts necessary for racks, fenders, horizontal dropouts and can fit 45+mm tires.
However most Surlys are heavier than other similar bikes. If you are a lighter rider or are looking for a more performance style bike you may want to consider a different frame. If you want the most versatile bike that will last you then the Cross Check is excellent.

I'm not sure if it easily mounts fenders but the Trek Pilot has a more upright riding position and has more clearance for decent sized tires.

Craig
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Old 06-29-07, 06:45 AM   #10
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For that you could get a Kona Jake, with an extra set of tires and a few accessories
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Old 06-29-07, 06:53 AM   #11
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Bianchi Volpe is in your price range. CrossCheck could also be built within your budget. You can't go wrong with either.
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Old 06-29-07, 06:55 AM   #12
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Tricross Sport.
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Old 06-29-07, 06:57 AM   #13
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how about used?

You could probably find a 2 year old Roubaix in your price range.
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Old 06-29-07, 06:48 PM   #14
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Jamis Aurora.
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Old 06-29-07, 07:26 PM   #15
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You just need some modern math.

(Specialized Roubaix) - (last 2 years of gas savings) = $1,000
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Old 06-29-07, 07:52 PM   #16
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Tourers and entry level crossers! Try a bunch out--that's what I did. Off the top of my head:

Novara Randonee
Cross Check
Long Haul trucker
Kona Jake
Jamis Aurora
Fuji Touring
Bianchi Volpe

...and I'm sure many more.



If you want something more road oriented, the Jamis Quest is a great steel roadie for the price, and you may want to take a look at the Specialized Sequoia.

At this price range you're looking at mostly Tiagra/Deore components of course, which may be upgraded eventually, but should give you plenty of miles with no problems. While it sucks to have your budget reduced, you still have a lot of great bikes to choose from.
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Old 06-29-07, 08:29 PM   #17
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BIke options

I commuted on a MTB for years, wore the bike completely out, and rode it single speed (broken front derailer, broken rear shifter, it was a mess) for about eight months while I considered my options. My commute is 9 miles each way. Occasionally during the summer I'll ride my road bike to work and just enjoy the speed and responsiveness of that bike on the way........... All of that to say... I decided to at very least go for a bike with 700c wheels. I ended up with a Surly Cross Check, and I don't regret it. The beauty of the Surly is its versatility. I nearly did the Surly Karate Monkey 29er, but went ahead and chose skinny wheels and more of the cyclo cross build, with a caveat. I chose the Shimano Nexus 7 speed internal hub. Mostly because I am sick of dealing with derailers and how gummed up the whole mess gets after a while. Especially here in Western Oregon where it rains a lot, and the grime sticks and fouls cables. It's been a good choice for me, but there are so many options. I think single speed is a great idea if you are riding flats, and I think a rigid 29er would be great too, or any kind of cyclocross bike. The point is, for less than a grand, you can build a really nice, usable commuter that will serve you a long time. Total build cost on my Surly Cross Check $700. I did use some used parts. But if you want one, I can probably do it again for you. Less if you want my old moustache type, comfort bars and MTB V-brakes and levers.

A parting comment. I just discovered the Redline Monocog 29er. It's a single speed MTB, and it retails for $450! If I'd have seen that before I built my Cross Check, I'd have really considered a single speed.
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