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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 04-13-08, 08:24 AM   #1
madbadger4
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Diamondback Transporter

I am looking for a steel frame, 26 inch tire, unsuspended commuter (with occasional 2-3 day light road trips); I currently ride a recumbent (Rans Stratus) and I want to get back on a DF bike. The stock componentry is somewhat of a minor factor, as I will most likely swap out quite a bit to meet my own preferences.

Any thoughts on the Diamondback Transporter as a relatively inexpensive starting point ? Seems to have some good qualities (double butted chromoly frame, rack and water bottle (3) mounts, room for 26 inch tires with fenders, etc.)
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Old 04-13-08, 08:49 AM   #2
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If you are going to swap out a lot of the components anyway, have you thought about starting from just a frame?
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Old 04-13-08, 09:10 AM   #3
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Yes, I've looked a bit at buying a "frame only" - the Surly LHT was attractive, but not available with 26 inch tires (in my frame size). Not certain about other frame only options with 26 inch tires, without getting really pricey (such as the Gunnar Rock Tour).
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Old 04-13-08, 09:38 PM   #4
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My review of the Diamondback Transporter can be found here:

http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...er-review.html

It is a solid bike. Coming from a recumbent, I hope you don't have problems resting your hands/upper body on the handlebars b/c this is more of a lean-on, MTB type riding bike.
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Old 04-13-08, 10:19 PM   #5
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I was going to recommend looking at the KHS Urban X, but the Alivio Rapid Fire is a nice step up for nominally more money. Looks to be a solid bike for the under $400.

I saw a LBS put some Albatross bars on a Urban X and it had a nice upright ride. Maybe you can do the same with the Diamond Back.

For a better more upright commuter with a real chain guard...have you considered Breezers?
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Old 04-14-08, 08:45 PM   #6
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I do not own this bike nor have I ridden it. But have admired it several times at my local
Dicks Sporting goods.

I am particularly attracted to it's functional styling. From my perspective it is a well thought out design.

I put full fenders on my old moutain bike (Pre-Suspension) and racks. It was a do it all utilitarian
work horse. But it didn't look half as good as the transporter.

I like your idea, buy a decent frame (butted cromoly steel) all ready equipped with quite adequate
componentry at price that most people would pay for a bare frame. Then over time upgrading to
higher quality bits.

I've done this again receintly with the Fuji Touring. It's not the cheapest way to go but you would be building on a solid foundation (frame) and you get exactly the way you want it. Besides it doen't cost that much more
to do it like this if you shop around the internet for your bits.

I'm going back to Dicks and give that thing a test ride (as wisely reccomended in the review). Good Luck
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Old 04-20-08, 07:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
My review of the Diamondback Transporter can be found here:

http://utilitycyclist.blogspot.com/2...er-review.html

It is a solid bike. Coming from a recumbent, I hope you don't have problems resting your hands/upper body on the handlebars b/c this is more of a lean-on, MTB type riding bike.

Great review - good information !

Yes, I am concerned about the transition back to the diamond frame style bike, hands and upper body issues; I've been researching the various handlebar/stem options and haven't quite settled-in on my choice yet.

Thanks .
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Old 04-20-08, 07:09 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zebede View Post
I do not own this bike nor have I ridden it. But have admired it several times at my local
Dicks Sporting goods.

I am particularly attracted to it's functional styling. From my perspective it is a well thought out design.

I put full fenders on my old moutain bike (Pre-Suspension) and racks. It was a do it all utilitarian
work horse. But it didn't look half as good as the transporter.

I like your idea, buy a decent frame (butted cromoly steel) all ready equipped with quite adequate
componentry at price that most people would pay for a bare frame. Then over time upgrading to
higher quality bits.

I've done this again receintly with the Fuji Touring. It's not the cheapest way to go but you would be building on a solid foundation (frame) and you get exactly the way you want it. Besides it doen't cost that much more
to do it like this if you shop around the internet for your bits.

I'm going back to Dicks and give that thing a test ride (as wisely reccomended in the review). Good Luck

Thanks for your response !

I've tried four differnet "Dick's" stores in my area - can't find one stocking the Transporter ... will keep looking.

You know, the Fuji Touring was on my short list as well; found a bike shop in Madison, WI with a dozen or so 2007 models, at $695. Seemed like a pretty nice bike, but had a 700c tire/wheel package (I'm really set on the 26 inch package); also noticed that the Fuji had only two water bottle mounts (a relatively insignificant point overall, but hey, it's a Fuji "TOURING").
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Old 04-20-08, 07:19 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkenny View Post
I was going to recommend looking at the KHS Urban X, but the Alivio Rapid Fire is a nice step up for nominally more money. Looks to be a solid bike for the under $400.

I saw a LBS put some Albatross bars on a Urban X and it had a nice upright ride. Maybe you can do the same with the Diamond Back.

For a better more upright commuter with a real chain guard...have you considered Breezers?


Great suggestions - thanks !

I am really stuck on steel frames .... both the KHS and Breezer have aluminum frames.
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Old 04-21-08, 12:11 PM   #10
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I was thinking the Kona Smoke is a nice steel frame bike for $300 range...but this Diamond Back has a rear rack and better gears by far. I am surprised it is not spoken of as much? Sure it is about $50 more, but it is worth $50 more for better gears and a rack included.

Anyone able to compare the ride of these bikes?
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Old 04-21-08, 12:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djkenny View Post
I was thinking the Kona Smoke is a nice steel frame bike for $300 range...but this Diamond Back has a rear rack and better gears by far. I am surprised it is not spoken of as much? Sure it is about $50 more, but it is worth $50 more for better gears and a rack included.

Anyone able to compare the ride of these bikes?
My D'back did not come with a rear rack; I bought an Axiom rear rack for it. It does come with fenders, though. A definite plus.

Have not ridden the Kona smoke.

madbadger, you should also try sports authority. They carry the transporter, too.
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Old 04-26-08, 08:00 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by ShinyBiker View Post
My D'back did not come with a rear rack; I bought an Axiom rear rack for it. It does come with fenders, though. A definite plus.

Have not ridden the Kona smoke.

madbadger, you should also try sports authority. They carry the transporter, too.


Great tip on the Sports Authority - I'll give them a try (nearest one is @45 miles from my home ... at $3.60+/gallon, I'll call first !)
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Old 06-30-08, 10:56 PM   #13
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Diamondback Transporter

I was reviewing a lot of specs on 26 inch bicycles for touring and commuting. Surly, specifically the LHT kept coming up on blogs and other forums. I compared the geometry and specs of the LHT and the Transporter between the 54cm/20 inch frame. They matched up almost identically. The Surly main triangle and fork were 4130 CroMoly. The Transporter's frame, fork and stays are entirely made from 4130 CrOMoly. The Alivo Rapid Fire Shifters are very slick to operate and I prefer the 8 speed cassette for its beefier chain. Changes to the bike thus far are: Safari Trekking Bars, Schwalbe Marathon Tires and Tubus Tara/Cargo Racks. Eventually I would like to change the saddle to a Brooks B17 for comfort.

Here are some pics of my bike, the first image setup for commuting and the second image setup for fully loaded touring.
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Old 07-06-08, 07:59 AM   #14
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If you have concerns about the quality of the Diamondback Transporter. Consider reading this press release http://miles4melanoma.com/2008/04/24/pr1/.
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Old 07-06-08, 08:27 PM   #15
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I was in looking for a new commuter bike just about 2 years ago, while 26" wheels really wasn't gonna be a deciding factor for me it is what I ended up going with when I bought a '93 Bridgestone XO-2 off eBay.
I'd looked at the LHT as well as some other 'tourer' type bikes. The Jamis Aurora, Bianchi Volpe it hink it's called and the Trek 520. All pretty nice bikes I was more leaning to the 520 as I'm a real retro grouch when it comes to shifter/lever integration.

I can't be more happy with the XO-2, while not the easiest bike to find I have also owned an older Bridgestone MB-2 which I used as an all around urban beater for ages and gave away to a a friend that is still riding it, bike will be 20 years old next year. If you a searching for a bike that rolls 26" wheels there is no shortage of decent frames out there frome the late 80's to early 90's whose frame quality I is think far superior to anything used by most bike manufacturers today. I've picked up several nice older Specialized over the years for next to nothing and you can still find a Bridgestone now and again, and those are merely two options, there are many more.

Good luck on your search.
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