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  1. #1
    Senior Member woodenidol's Avatar
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    More info, more confusion

    The more I search and think the more confused I get.

    Presently Im commuting on my 1987 Schwinn Tempo. Works well, and I like it, but I had also though of using it for my upcomming fully supported tour. No reason I cant or couldnt, except I decided I wanted a wider gear range than my 50/38-14/24.

    So I looked at the cheap upgrade of a mega range 6 speed. All I need is derailer, and the freewheel. I then decided that if I do that, maybe I should just upgrade to a cassette. So that brings me to derailer, cassette, wheel shifters (if I want index). At this point Im starting to tread dangerously into might as well get a new bike territory.

    So this lead me what woud it be? While I want fast (who doesnt) I have gained an appreciation for rugged. So I shifted to cross bike. Many fun bikes to look at there. I looked at BD, and various sites. Kind of looked around at the kona site a while, as many have reccomended the various Jake's. While Looking there, I see the Dew Drop. Ahhh, discs, never thought much until I realized how badly my gritty commute is chewing up my rims. Looking at the Dew, it almost just looks like a mountain bike frame.

    So my search for a do everthing bike is less sure than ever before. I have looked at LHT, cross bikes, just upgrading mine.

    My point, Im not even sure anymore. I wanted to get a commuter, light tourer, possible single track bike. Leaving me touring, cross or mtn bikes as my choices I guess. The only thing Im sure of is, I dont need another road bike.

    Does the cross bike really come the closest to achieving that. I like the idea of one do it all, but is it a fools errand, destine for dissapointment.

    Whats everyon using for their do it all bikes, when they tried to have just one bike?


    Confused, think Ill go to the bike shop. smile

  2. #2
    Senior Member lil brown bat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodenidol View Post
    I wanted to get a commuter, light tourer, possible single track bike.
    Asking a bit much, aren't you? It's not that you can't use the same bike to do all three, but whatever bike you pick is going to be suboptimal at two of those three things, at best.
    You have the right to your own opinion. You don't have the right to your own facts.

  3. #3
    Senior Member d2create's Avatar
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    My Riv is my do it all bike.
    Fast enough for me for commuting.
    Can still do casual club rides with no problem.
    Works on grass or hard packed fire roads as well.
    Takes wide tires WITH fenders or skinny tires without fenders if I prefer.
    Can be loaded up with panniers/bags/racks/fenders/lights easily because it has all the right braze-ons.

    It's not going to win any races and I'm not going to go mountain biking with it, but I'm not trying to do either. It does everything that I want it to do and it does it well.

    I do have a Felt F65 road bike but I almost never use it.
    2008 Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen
    Pics and Specs Here!

    2010 Specialized Rockhopper 29er

  4. #4
    Bike ≠ Car ≠ Ped. BarracksSi's Avatar
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    A cross bike is, IMO, the best way to do almost everything with one bike.

    But, even the phrase "almost everything" can mean different things. I've taken to using a Bianchi Valle for most, if not all, intra-neighborhood jaunts -- it came with a dynohub for effortless lighting, fenders to keep it clean, and I've added a rack and basket for more utility.

    However, for riding farther and in windier conditions, I'd rather take out a drop bar bike. In crappy weather, I'd rather have disc brakes (that is, if I bother riding at all when it's really bad). That leads to my Schwinn DBX, which has drop bars, fenders, and discs, but no dynohub (not yet, anyway) and requires P-clamps to mount a rear rack because of the dropout design (I'd rather bolt it straight into the dropouts).

    You briefly mentioned singletrack mountain biking, too, right? Old-ish farts like me really want some sort of suspension for going off-road, which can also suck when staying on-road. I'd consider either a second (third?) bike for MTB'ing, or at least one with a lockout fork for road riding.

    So, here's what I'd say --

    Drop bars are great for windy days. Disc brakes work well in all conditions and don't chew up your wheels' rims. Fenders keep you and the bike cleaner. A rack will let you carry stuff without putting it on your back or hanging it from your handlebars. Suspension is nice on rough stuff but unnecessary everywhere else. Having enough room for knobbies (even if they're just 32c) lets you use studded tires for the winter.

    Put those features together and your options, at least here in the US, narrow down pretty quickly. Not all disc brake-equipped bikes have good mounts for fenders and a rack. Specifying a lockout suspension bumps the price a good bit, but also is virtually never seen on a drop bar bike, either.

  5. #5
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    I have 4 bikes and can't imagine having fewer than that.
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  6. #6
    Senior Member woodenidol's Avatar
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    Some folks like a lot of cars, bikes, golf clubs, tennis rackets. Me Im more a one car, one bike, one set of clubs I play kinda guy. I can see several women, but my wife says Im stuck with just one of those too.

    Sure I would like a mustang, jeep, hybrid and pick up, but I pick the car that comes closest to filling those needs, or atleast hits the important parts (Honda Element by the way, though I miss the Mustang).

    So while I understand that no one bike does it all perfectly, what bike manages to do it all to some degree?

    Looking at the Dew Drop, it looks kinda solid. Rack mounts, wide tire capable, wide gear range, disc brakes.

    I guess Im an odd duck, I like the idea of going in the garage, look at my one bike and think, damn, that thing does everything. My buddy if he rode bikes, would love a garage with about 4 bikes to choose from everyday.

    Thanks for the input so far.

  7. #7
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodenidol View Post
    Whats everyon using for their do it all bikes, when they tried to have just one bike?

    Confused, think Ill go to the bike shop. smile

    Like most of us, you're having a hard time distinguishing between your needs and your wants. Wider gearing on your bike? Convert it to a triple with some cheap ebay parts.

    I have one bike that gets ridden about 5 days a week (a cross bike, salsa las cruces) and several bikes, and ever more unbuilt frames, that hardly ever get ridden anymore. The bad thing is that my primary bike isn't what I would consider the do-it-all because it has no fenders or rack. Waiting in the wings are an s-works tricross frame and a salsa cassroll (arriving monday) that are contenders to replace the las cruces.

    I would recommend a "sports tourer", but that bike is rare without going custom, or a cyclocross - but only some of them. Some, like the often-recommended cross check have very short head tubes in my size so they get no consideration from me.

  8. #8
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodenidol View Post
    Some folks like a lot of cars, bikes, golf clubs, tennis rackets. Me Im more a one car, one bike, one set of clubs I play kinda guy. I can see several women, but my wife says Im stuck with just one of those too.

    Sure I would like a mustang, jeep, hybrid and pick up, but I pick the car that comes closest to filling those needs, or atleast hits the important parts (Honda Element by the way, though I miss the Mustang).

    So while I understand that no one bike does it all perfectly, what bike manages to do it all to some degree?

    Looking at the Dew Drop, it looks kinda solid. Rack mounts, wide tire capable, wide gear range, disc brakes.

    I guess Im an odd duck, I like the idea of going in the garage, look at my one bike and think, damn, that thing does everything. My buddy if he rode bikes, would love a garage with about 4 bikes to choose from everyday.

    Thanks for the input so far.

    My main problem with this approach is that the practical is often boring. It's why people commute in sports cars, why I used to ride a sports bike hours on the highway to get to the mountain twisties, and why you'll have to look long and hard to find a man lusting after an Element.

    That said, if you can find the practical and exciting choice, then you've truly found the solution to gear-lust.

  9. #9
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    If you want to do everything decently on a bike, assuming you're not high end racing, you still need at least 2 bikes - a road bike and a mountain bike. You can combine road, commuting, and touring into one bike, but also making it a mountain/singletrack bike means it's going to be crappy at something - either the road stuff or the mountain/singletrack stuff, assuming I'm talking about the same singletrack stuff you are.

    A cross bike is reputed to work relatively well as a road, commuter, and touring bike due to it's rugged design, large tire clearance (for larger tires and fenders), and sort of "in the middle" geometry. Just don't expect to be doing more than "light offroad" with it except in a really akward way.

    At least that's the impression I've gotten.

  10. #10
    Senior Member woodenidol's Avatar
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    Men dont lust after Elements? Crap, now I find out.

    It was a rude awakening first trip with the Element after selling the Mustang. Going up the mountain I stepped on the gas to pass some slow semi, I think the Element actually slowed down. I slunk back into my lane and followed it up the hill. lol.

  11. #11
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    My do it all bike with her cross tyres... I also have a second wheelset with road tyres although the 700:35's work pretty well on everything and don't give up much speed.





    It's a 1999 Trek 7500 hybrid that I converted from a comfort bike to more of a monster cross / commuter... it is very nice on the road and can off road nearly as well as my mtb on singletrack and trails.

    It runs a 24/32/42 crank with an 11-30 8 speed cassette so can climb like a goat and tow a loaded trailer and still hit some pretty decent road speeds.

    One of this summer's loads... about 250 pounds of used bikes on a BAW 8 foot trailer.



    Another load...



    In road drag...


  12. #12
    Senior Member woodenidol's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing Sixty, I love it. Thats along the lines of what Im thinking.

  13. #13
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Of course...when I want to tear the legs off my friends I ride this '73 Raleigh Gran Sport.



    And when the road gets out of control and the drops get big I have a Rocky Mountain Blizzard.



    These bikes are also nice to commute on.

  14. #14
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodenidol View Post
    Thanks for sharing Sixty, I love it. Thats along the lines of what Im thinking.
    You are welcome.

    When I bought the bike it was 100% stock but I saw it as an excellent platform to build a really versatile bike... it took a fair bit of work to convert things as with the new bars I needed new brake levers and brakes as well as shifters and all the soft bits had to go.

    Because I work as a mechanic and have a pretty deep parts bin I got things done pretty cheaply and I have a bike that is much like many of the newer performance oriented hybrids like the Trek Portland and the Novara Buzz (which is a pretty good deal).

    It's not a lightweight bike at 26 pounds (with fenders and rack) but the riding position is efficient and really comfortable and the gearing is ideal for what it has to do... I am looking at riding to Portland which is a 1000 mile trans Rocky trip and figure this bike would handle that really well.

  15. #15
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulRivers View Post

    A cross bike is reputed to work relatively well as a road, commuter, and touring bike due to it's rugged design, large tire clearance (for larger tires and fenders), and sort of "in the middle" geometry. Just don't expect to be doing more than "light offroad" with it except in a really akward way.

    At least that's the impression I've gotten.
    You would be amazed at the terrain some folks can handle on a cross bike... and the looks on the faces of mountain bikers when you pass them on what looks like a road bike is really priceless.

  16. #16
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    Western Canuckistan!

    Western Canuckistan! We have a winner!

    What tread pattern are you running?
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

  17. #17
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    Western Canuckistan! We have a winner!

    What tread pattern are you running?
    I run Schwalbe CX Compe tyres for my off road and winter tyres... they have a fast running centre compound and moderately aggressive side lugs. Their psi range is 35-70 so will run them low for off road and higher for the road.

    The hookup on hard pack is great and they corner like they are on rails and they are like the 700 c version of Schwalbe Hurricanes that I use on the mtb when I am running on hard packed single track.

    The CX Comples also have a moderate level of puncture protection and over about 6000 km I have had one flat that was caused by a pretty good sized chunk of glass.

  18. #18
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    "I guess I'm an odd duck, I like the idea of going in the garage, look at my one bike and think, damn, that thing does everything. My buddy if he rode bikes, would love a garage with about 4 bikes to choose from everyday."

    If I had to have only one bike (shudder) it would be that Trek... but there are 15 more bikes here for me to play with.

  19. #19
    Senior Member woodenidol's Avatar
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    Well, since Im so undecided, Im going to stay with the Schwinn until I can come up with something difinitive.

    I really want to have the shifting on the handlebars, or atleast try it. I really like the Bull Horns, and dont miss my drops at all. So Im contemplating bar ends off the Bull Horns or even going to look at some MTB shifting set ups.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by woodenidol View Post
    Some folks like a lot of cars, bikes, golf clubs, tennis rackets. Me Im more a one car, one bike, one set of clubs I play kinda guy. I can see several women, but my wife says Im stuck with just one of those too.

    Sure I would like a mustang, jeep, hybrid and pick up, but I pick the car that comes closest to filling those needs, or atleast hits the important parts (Honda Element by the way, though I miss the Mustang).

    So while I understand that no one bike does it all perfectly, what bike manages to do it all to some degree?

    Looking at the Dew Drop, it looks kinda solid. Rack mounts, wide tire capable, wide gear range, disc brakes.

    I guess Im an odd duck, I like the idea of going in the garage, look at my one bike and think, damn, that thing does everything. My buddy if he rode bikes, would love a garage with about 4 bikes to choose from everyday.

    Thanks for the input so far.
    I would say it depends on how much you want to spend.
    sounds like a tour bike is more what you're looking for. The single track throw-in is hard to do, but if you got the money to put in it, it's doable.
    Sounds like a Trek Portland would work. easy rack... check, larger tires... check.... disc brakes... check, more upright position... check.

    I'm doing the same kind of research. But I'm not looking for single track action.. Mainly commuting, local rides and event rides. I'd like to tour eventually, but that's down the road. So I'm focusing more on touring type bikes. I -really- liked test riding that Trek 2.1, but I don't think carrying a backpack to and from work would be that any easier (no matter how fast it is) when it's 100+ degrees (which seems to happen for 3-4 months here)

    Good luck.. .keep us posted

  21. #21
    Senior Member rumrunn6's Avatar
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    they make bolt on drop style bar ends
    I have them on my MTB and I'm getting another pair for my hybrid
    they're great and I barely missed having brakes at my finger tips
    Amazon sells them for Niagra Cycle Works:

    http://www.amazon.com/Origin-Bicycle...5938141&sr=1-1
    cycling is like baseball ~ it doesn't take much to make it interesting

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