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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 12-04-07, 11:23 AM   #1
mconlonx 
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Swobo Dixon 8sp IG commuter

New from Swobo, $899:

http://www.swobo.com/catalog/product...?cPath=201_204

They also make a 3sp "Novak" for $699.

This would make a great commuter. Wish it had 700cc wheels and came standard with the optional stuff like rack, basket, and fenders. Lights would be nice, too. A bit pricey.

I had a Van Dessel SuperFly that I used for commuting (until it got stolen). The 7sp Nexus was fine, and the 8sp is supposed to be even better. The VDSF came with a headshock-like syspension fork and suspension post, both of which were budget junk I swapped out for rigid components. Came with a roller brake rear and disk front in desperape need of a caliper upgrade straight from the box. SuperFly was $500 on closout. It was an excellent commuter and I was sorely irked when it was stolen. If there had been the same kind of deal around at the time, I'd have bought another one, but alas, all the closeouts were gone in my time of need.
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Old 12-04-07, 11:37 AM   #2
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Sweet lookin' commuter. But I thought it was 9 speeds, not 8?
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Old 12-04-07, 11:48 AM   #3
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9sp. Uses the SRAM hub. Price is really good when you compare it to the Soho and Globe Centrum which are both over $1k.

The only complaint about my Otis is the 3sp here in hilly DC. I'm looking into upgrading to the 9.
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Old 12-04-07, 01:13 PM   #4
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Oops, yes, my mistake. SRAM 9sp. Which is also supposed to be better than the 7sp Nexus hub and so I don't change recommending people this as a possible commuter. Isn't direct drive on the SRAM units different than Nexus? Like either it was at the top or bottom of the range, whereas Nexus direct drive was the middle gear?
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Old 12-04-07, 01:37 PM   #5
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That is a beauty! I wonder what the new SRAM hub system is like.
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Old 12-04-07, 06:10 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mconlonx View Post
New from Swobo, $899:

http://www.swobo.com/catalog/product...?cPath=201_204

They also make a 3sp "Novak" for $699.

This would make a great commuter. Wish it had 700cc wheels and came standard with the optional stuff like rack, basket, and fenders. Lights would be nice, too. A bit pricey.

I had a Van Dessel SuperFly that I used for commuting (until it got stolen). The 7sp Nexus was fine, and the 8sp is supposed to be even better. The VDSF came with a headshock-like syspension fork and suspension post, both of which were budget junk I swapped out for rigid components. Came with a roller brake rear and disk front in desperape need of a caliper upgrade straight from the box. SuperFly was $500 on closout. It was an excellent commuter and I was sorely irked when it was stolen. If there had been the same kind of deal around at the time, I'd have bought another one, but alas, all the closeouts were gone in my time of need.

Love the Novak. 3 may be all I need depending on the ratio. I'm running a 48x28 w 172.5 crankset on a rb now and pulling a lite load up an 18% grade @ .4 mi. It's downhill into work and uphill home. The 9 sp Sram would definately do it, but I like 700c wheels as my commute is 40 mi rt rural. If the 9 sp gets offered in a 700c, I'm there.

I'm not unhappy w/either of my commuter's, but am looking to go ig for the maintenance issues.

That being said this is my dream commuter: http://www.quitmann-ms.de/eng/big_apple.html

It's got a Rohloff hub...'nuff said.
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Old 12-05-07, 01:16 PM   #7
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Isn't direct drive on the SRAM units different than Nexus? Like either it was at the top or bottom of the range, whereas Nexus direct drive was the middle gear?
5th gear on the i-Motion 9. I believe Nexus/Alfine are also 5th.
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Old 12-05-07, 03:18 PM   #8
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So I emailed Swobo asking if a 700cc wheel setup would work in the Dixon frame. Suggested they swap the 700cc x 28mm shod Novak wheels for quick experiment. I asked about the 18" frame because that would be my size. Here's what they said:

The Novak rear wheel, kicked back about 1/8" in
the dropouts fits
fine. So you just can't slam it all the way
forward.

Fork fits fine.

Larger (frame) sizes would work as well.

So if wheel size is a big deal with you, it's not a deal-killer on this bike, although it would mean you'd have to shell out for new rims, spokes, wheelbuild on top of the cost of the bike. And maybe deal with new, unintended geometry issues? Ability to take 700cc wheels and dynaryder's info about 5th gear being direct drive on the Sram system just really upped my interest in this bike...

I bet the new 650 wheels would fit just as well if that's the way you wanted to swing.

Oh, and +1 to "Kickstand" at Swobo for actually swapping wheels to check this out. Not used to that kind of customer service lately...
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Old 04-17-08, 11:19 PM   #9
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Test rode the Dixon from my LBS today and absolutely loving it.
Pros: Overall, it's very light compared to Novara Transfer (but Novara is fully equipped), and probably lighter than Specialized Centrum with Nexus 8. Love the SRAM I-Motion 9. Well, almost all the bikes I have are steel, so maybe that's why it seems light to me.
Cons: Believe it or not, this is the first time I've ridden bikes with disc brakes, and the ones that come with Swobo are not impressive. I preferred v-brakes (or cantilever, road, whatever) over disc in this case. They look cool on the bike though. Also, as you would expect from a bike with internal gear hub, the rear of the bike is much heavier than the front.

Overall, I like it a lot plus still thinking of buying one... I wouldn't mind spending $900, but I probably wouldn't want to lock it outside the office.
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Old 04-18-08, 01:45 AM   #10
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Thanks for the comments knight9413. I am going to check out a Dixon tomorrow at "On The Route" in Chicago... I called about the Dixon, and they said they just received one and before I even had a chance to ask, the shop said they'd build it for me. Talk about service! It's a 20" which should be just right for me.

I was considering both this bike and a Trek Soho 4.0... I'm leaning towards the Swobo because

(1) It has 26" tires, which I already have from my other bike, including sets of semi-slicks, knobbies, and studs;
(2) It doesn't look as nice as the Trek, which will hopefully make it a little less likely to be stolen;
(3) It's $200 cheaper;
(4) Although I already have Dinotte lights, I think the integrated tail light on the seatpost sounds nifty.
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Old 04-18-08, 02:29 AM   #11
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first time I've ridden bikes with disc brakes, and the ones that come with Swobo are not impressive. I preferred v-brakes
I had that experience with the Kona Sutra...

Steve
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Old 04-18-08, 05:29 AM   #12
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Disc brakes have to be bedded in to work good.
It takes a little time.
When i first got my Kona (my first disc brake experience) i felt the same way. But the stopping power got better and better and better.
When i built my single speed i put on just one front disc brake, no rear brake and the thing has great stopping power.
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Old 04-18-08, 03:21 PM   #13
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Discs do need to bed in,but they also may not have been set up right by the LBS. I've had three bikes that needed to have their brakes adjusted after I rode them home from the shop.

Also,for some weird reason,Swobo puts a BB7 on the rear of the Dixon,and a BB5 on the front. The front brake gets more use,and the '7 has adjusters for both pads,so this kinda doesn't make sense. If I were to get one,I'd check and see if I could swap the front/rear calipers around and put the '7 on the front.
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Old 04-18-08, 04:05 PM   #14
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The Swobo bikes are really nice. I've ridden the Sanchez fixie and the Del Norte, both really sweet rides.
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Old 04-19-08, 04:20 PM   #15
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Bought the Dixon yesterday. Take what I have to say with a grain of salt here because this is the first bike I've bought at a bike shop, and I'm no bike expert.

I've used it only a little so far, but I obviously like it a lot. It feels very nimble, but then again I have been using a MTB. The disc brakes have worked very well so far. The i-Motion 9 is awesome and has a very wide gearing range, even wider than I needed. I'm able to go plenty fast on this bike, which will be nice for the paved trail I'm now commuting on (which is around 1/3 of the route). The highest speeds probably won't get used much otherwise though, because I have to pay attention to what's on the road. The lowest gears probably won't get used much or at all for my purposes, but seem plenty capable of severe climbing. It looks like I will normally be riding in speeds 5 (which is 1:1) or 6. A 3-speed like the Otis this bike is based on is too coarse for my tastes, but the 21 speed I had been using was overkill. This 9-speed is just right.

The integrated taillight on the seatpost is a cool feature and has several modes, but is nowhere near as bright as my Dinotte 140-L. From my limited experience I would say it is an average taillight. It will probably be used for backup and supplental purposes, and perhaps by itself when I'm on the paved trail. I'll try it out and see what the runtime is.

The only thing I don't like about this bike is that it was made in Taiwan.
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