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  1. #1
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    Scott Sub 10, Civia Hyland, Swobo Dixon Or...?

    Hi!

    I've been reading the incredibly informative posts here for some time and thought it was time to sign up and post a question based on what I have picked up.

    I have a Trek 7000ZX from around 13 years ago - I love it, but the components are starting to fail and I started thinking about potentially getting a new bike that suits my current riding style more. I commute each day around 10 miles along a mixture of main and side streets, with moderate hills and occasionally like to take slightly rougher routes.

    I'd decided to start looking at IGH bikes, potentially with a belt drive, and with as good components as possible - potentially disc brakes - that would do the job but not feel like a step down from my Trek (which is quite light).

    To that end I'd narrowed down list to : Felt X-City 1 & 2, Civia Hyland, Swobo Dixon, Scott SUB 10, Trek Soho and District (the only single gear bike I've contemplated) and perhaps something from Giant or Kona.

    The 2008 Felt X-City 2 I tried was a little on small side - I am 6'3" - but was fun, albeit perhaps a little 'soft' ? I'm going to try the Scott SUB 10 2010 today as it seems to have a good set of components ( http://scottusa.com/us_en/product/8299/45253/sub_10 )

    I was originally excited about the Swobo Baxter but the frame sizes are too small - the Dixon looks interesting but uses the SRAM i-Motion 9 which, although it has wider range for a more consistent switching style seems to get reviewed as being harder to maintain and tending to make noise at the higher gears.

    So - wondering if anyone has any suggestions or feedback on the above models or some counter suggestions ? I am looking at something that tops out around the 1-1.5K price point.

    All very best,
    -Gordon

  2. #2
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gocam View Post
    I was originally excited about the Swobo Baxter but the frame sizes are too small - the Dixon looks interesting but uses the SRAM i-Motion 9 which, although it has wider range for a more consistent switching style seems to get reviewed as being harder to maintain and tending to make noise at the higher gears.
    At 6'3" there's no reason a 61cm frame should be too small.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by JeffS View Post
    At 6'3" there's no reason a 61cm frame should be too small.
    The problem is that the Baxter is only available for forseeable future in a max size of 57cm according to website and Sky.

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    I wanted to be explicit with links to the various bikes in case it is of interest to others looking for bikes with similar criteria to myself :

    * Civia Hyland - http://www.civiacycles.com/civiacompletebike_hyland.php
    ** apparently Civia has a new belt drive bike coming out this spring as previewed at ecovelo (http://www.ecovelo.info/2010/01/03/s...-civia-bryant/) but I don't know if I can wait that long. They also aim, I believe, to offer a belt driver Hyland at some point (http://www.civiacycles.com/civiablog.php?blogid=141)

    * Trek
    ** Soho series (http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/urban/soho/sohos)
    ** District (http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...rict/district/)

    * Swobo
    ** Baxter (http://www.swobo.com/catalog/product...cPath=201_1473)
    *** only up to 57 cm in frame currently
    ** Dixon (http://www.swobo.com/catalog/product...?cPath=201_204)
    *** this one has the SRAM 9 speed

    * Felt
    ** 2010 XCity (http://www.feltbicycles.com/USA/2010.../X-City-1.aspx)
    ** 2009 XCity 2 - the one I test rode (http://2009.feltracing.com/09-catalo...-x-city-2.aspx)
    *** only goes up to 58 cm

    * Scott
    ** 2010 Sub 10 (http://scottusa.com/us_en/product/8299/45253/sub_10)

    * Giant
    ** Seek 0 (http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us/....0/3924/36627/)
    *** I don't know if this is available in the US (likewise the Specialized San Francisco)

    I'll edit as I gather more info if this is helpful
    g
    Last edited by gocam; 01-07-10 at 06:10 PM.

  5. #5
    50/50 Road/eBike Commuter kmcrawford111's Avatar
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    Odd... this page lists the Baxter available up to 61 cm. It is a fairly new model so maybe they just aren't available yet?

    http://www.swobo.com/specs.php

    I've had a Dixon for nearly two years and have been happy with it. Noise from the hub has never been any kind of bother. The only maintenance that is required for a long time is a slight, easy adjustment. The integrated taillight is nice. The bike feels sturdy and heavy-duty. The front axle skewer is locking. The handlebar grips are nice. The logos on the bike are sharp. The brakes work well.

    I wouldn't buy the stock Kenda Qwest tires by themselves though - they are supposed to be puncture-resistant but mine got torn up and punctured often.

    The Dixon is currently my winter-weather commuter with Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires. If you have more questions about it I'll be happy to help.

  6. #6
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    You mentioned in your original post that you'd consider offerings from Kona. Their version of your dream bike is the Dr. Fine.

    If you want something with oodles of style and panache look no further than the Raleigh Alley Way.

    If you like the Raleigh's (and the Trek's) belt-drive and would like to ride something exotic from a foreign country, like Canada, then you gotta check out the Norco Ceres.

    For another Canadian offering (I'm partial to the country since I live there) you would be hard pressed to find a sexier IGH-equipped bike than the Brodie Ocho.

    Whatever your decision please post pics and reviews here because I'm looking for the same kind of bike. Oh, and BTW there's also the Breezer Finesse, Jamis Commuter 4, Rocky Mountain Metropolis NRT, MEC Hold Steady, and the Masi SoulVille 7, just to stir up the pot.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  7. #7
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    I love my x city D, so I'd surely love the x city with an IGH.

    As irclean mentioned, the Kona version is the Dr Fine. The msrp of that bike is 2/3 that of the x city 1, and it has disc brakes, like the 1 (the 2 is less expensive, but no discs). The Dr Fine makes me afraid to go near the Kona store.

    I really don't know anything about the others mentioned.
    Quote Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
    walk right in and punch the first guy you meet in the head
    2011 BMC SR02, 2010 Kona Jake, 2009 Felt X City D, 1984 (?) Trek 400, 1995 Trek 850

  8. #8
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    Thanks so much for the advice - for completeness, I wanted to jot down another couple of bikes I'd been looking at and I'll respond to the other notes :

    * Mongoose 2010 Sabrosa Ocha - http://www.mongoose.com/usa/eng/mtn/...O-Sabrosa-Ocho
    ** Not sure if this is released yet

    * Dynamic Synergy
    ** http://www.ecovelo.info/2009/03/16/r...th-alfine-igh/

    I've found a local shop where I believe they have a 2010 Giant Seek Zero (and possibly the Kona bike mentioned above) so will hopefully be able to give that a whirl also.
    Last edited by gocam; 01-08-10 at 02:31 AM.

  9. #9
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    I think they had the larger Baxter at some point, but Sky informs me it will be out of stock for quite some time.

    Glad to hear that you have had a good experience with the Dixon, though, and little noise. I am fine with light maintenance - one positive thing I'd read is that if you do indeed need to remove the rear wheel, the SRAM's linkage makes that an easier task than with the Alfine. Given that you've done that (thanks for advice on the tires btw) did you find that to be the case ? I am also curious how the brakes perform relative to the Shimano hydraulics on most of the recent Alfine models. One other thing that was of initial concern is that the bike clocks in at around 29lbs which certainly on paper feels quite heavy, but I think most of the IGH bikes seem to be in a similar range - the Dixon doesn't have the carbon fork so that I suppose adds to the weight (but also the durability ?)


    Quote Originally Posted by kmcrawford111 View Post
    Odd... this page lists the Baxter available up to 61 cm. It is a fairly new model so maybe they just aren't available yet?

    http://www.swobo.com/specs.php

    I've had a Dixon for nearly two years and have been happy with it. Noise from the hub has never been any kind of bother. The only maintenance that is required for a long time is a slight, easy adjustment. The integrated taillight is nice. The bike feels sturdy and heavy-duty. The front axle skewer is locking. The handlebar grips are nice. The logos on the bike are sharp. The brakes work well.

    I wouldn't buy the stock Kenda Qwest tires by themselves though - they are supposed to be puncture-resistant but mine got torn up and punctured often.

    The Dixon is currently my winter-weather commuter with Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires. If you have more questions about it I'll be happy to help.

  10. #10
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gocam View Post
    * Mongoose 2010 Sabrosa Ocha - http://www.mongoose.com/usa/eng/mtn/...O-Sabrosa-Ocho
    ** Not sure if this is released yet
    I like that Mongoose (on paper, anyway)! I like the idea of being able to mount fat tires for the winter. I don't care for the fork, however, and I would want to change it with something like this:



    That being said I wonder if changing it would preclude the use of the fat tire on the front.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  11. #11
    50/50 Road/eBike Commuter kmcrawford111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gocam View Post
    Given that you've done that (thanks for advice on the tires btw) did you find that to be the case ? I am also curious how the brakes perform relative to the Shimano hydraulics on most of the recent Alfine models. One other thing that was of initial concern is that the bike clocks in at around 29lbs which certainly on paper feels quite heavy, but I think most of the IGH bikes seem to be in a similar range - the Dixon doesn't have the carbon fork so that I suppose adds to the weight (but also the durability ?)
    Sorry, I've never used any other bike with an IGH, so I have nothing firsthand to compare it to. But I have read other posts on here that have stated that the i-9 is the easiest for wheel changing.

    The brakes work very well, but I've also never used a bike with hydraulic brakes.

    The big is indeed heavy, and that's really the main reason why I prefer to ride my road bike when the roads are clear. There's a huge difference, especially in the rear. Not that I'm not capable of commuting daily with the Dixon - I did so for a year and a half (14 mi RT), until I bought the road bike. If your commute is 10 mi RT and you're in decent shape you'll be fine. If it's 10 miles each way, I'd consider getting something lighter, at least if you can use a road bike most of the time. Though I'm not saying you shouldn't buy a bike like the Dixon also. Having the Dixon and the road bike gives me nice versatility, and they're more or less interchangeable.

  12. #12
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    Thanks so much for the comments - I think what I'll try and do tomorrow is try out some of the bikes in the area I'd been looking at, with an IGH, and perhaps compare with a road bike, and a single gear model - maybe the Trek District or such if I can find.

    I'll be sure to report back - g.

    Quote Originally Posted by kmcrawford111 View Post
    Sorry, I've never used any other bike with an IGH, so I have nothing firsthand to compare it to. But I have read other posts on here that have stated that the i-9 is the easiest for wheel changing.

    The brakes work very well, but I've also never used a bike with hydraulic brakes.

    The big is indeed heavy, and that's really the main reason why I prefer to ride my road bike when the roads are clear. There's a huge difference, especially in the rear. Not that I'm not capable of commuting daily with the Dixon - I did so for a year and a half (14 mi RT), until I bought the road bike. If your commute is 10 mi RT and you're in decent shape you'll be fine. If it's 10 miles each way, I'd consider getting something lighter, at least if you can use a road bike most of the time. Though I'm not saying you shouldn't buy a bike like the Dixon also. Having the Dixon and the road bike gives me nice versatility, and they're more or less interchangeable.

  13. #13
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    I emailed Mongoose about the Sabrosa Ocho and the sales rep told me the bike could fit 29" studded tires like the Nokian Extreme 294 with fenders. That would make for a heckuva winter commuter!
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  14. #14
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    OK - some quick comments after spending some time at many local bike stores :

    * Scott Sub 10
    ** I tried this out at local REI and was extremely disappointed. On paper it looks competitive with the Giant Seek/Felt X City/Kona Dr. Ranges but it handles like an absolute tank. On the flat it was OK, but any kind of bumpiness and it did not feel stable or comfortable in any way. Maybe just me, but I didn't enjoy the ride. The white finish is also really quite jarring - too much white, too easy to stain, and too much of the trim is white including a weird vinyl-like saddle. The brakes felt very mushy and the bars were uncomfortable. I test drove in the best size for me also, so there was no frame size mismatch.

    * Kona
    ** My local Kona dealer hadn't even heard of the Dr. Fine. Sigh, as I don't have many Kona dealers locally. Apparently they could order, but it would require a deposit and a semi-firm commitment. This is a pattern I found in many local bike shops - an unwillingness to bring in a bike unless they are relatively sure you are going to buy it. But you're not going to know that until you ride the bike. I forsee big problems for B&M stores unless the model evolves to make it easier for the smaller stores to take even temporary delivery of bikes.

    * Giant Seek
    ** I saw the Giant Seek 0 in a size too small for me - looks gorgeous - but tried a larger Seek 1 from 2009 as it is apparently similar to the 2010 Seek 0 in many ways. Anyways - on paper this is similar to the Scott Sub 10 but it handles *WAY* better. The '09 finish is white which I don't care for, but if I had a choice between the Scott and the Giant I'd absolutely go for the latter based on riding last years model which I am sure you can find on special

    * Felt
    ** I tried the 2009 X-City 2 once more at a local store. It really is a nice light ride and surprisingly fun. You can pick these bikes up at a really reasonable price and, as I say, they are a lot of fun with a great frame and reasonable components (Red Line Nexus gearing as opposed to Alfine). I am seriously contemplating this bike. A prior test ride left me feeling it was a little 'soft', but I pushed the bike a little more this time and it performed admirably. I would pick this over the Giant or Scott. I'm a little concerned that I can't easily flip in disc brakes, but suspect this might not be a big deal.

    * Trek
    ** I tried a (too small) Soho. I was a little underwhelmed by the look initially - its a bit too city coffee commute for me - but I took it for a test drive and it handles really very, very nicely. The belt drive appears to make quite a difference. I can imagine in a better sized frame with fenders perhaps removed it would look and handle wonderfully. I'm going to look for a District tomorrow and a better sized frame

    * Swobo
    ** I found a Crosby (single speed) at a local store and although the size was a little small I took it out anyway and it was a revelation. I was nervous about trying a drop bar single gear as I had never ridden anything like that before - but it felt absolutely fantastic. Very light - a good compromise gear and it actually worked well for most of the test ride I did. I tried to push my luck a bit by trying a hillier route towards end of run and clearly I am too out of shape for that - but, my commute doesn't have that gradient, and it is good incentive to build up strength again :-) This is my equal front runner with the Felt - they are both radically different rides from each other, and the Trek 7000ZX I currently have. Both are a lot of fun. The Swobo's brakes felt a little unpowered compared with others I'd tested (and my own bikes) but should be easy to flip in others quite easily.

    * Mongoose
    ** My local Performance Bikes says the Sabroso Ocha is in their system but they have no stock. THey don't know when they might have stock - maybe month or two ?

    * Misc
    ** I tried a Trek 7.3 - felt way too similar to my own Trek, and seems to have worse components
    ** Basically, after riding a single or a IGH bike, going back to the standard mtn gear trigger setup for city tests was painful
    ** Having said that, I preferred the trigger Alfine 8 gear switcher to the twist bar on the Felt Nexus
    ** Disc brakes made less difference than I'd expected to in today's conditions (dry)

    So, tomorrow - I aim to try and see if I can find another belt bike or two - perhaps the Civia Hyland (to compare w/ Felt) and the Trek District (to compare w/ Swobo) and take it from there. I'd also like to try the Swobo Crosby again, and at least try and find a large Baxter and/or Dixon, as well as the elusive Raleigh.

    As I feel right now, however - the Swobo Crosby and 2009 Felt X-City 2 are wonderful bikes

    That's it for now.
    g
    Last edited by gocam; 01-10-10 at 01:33 AM.

  15. #15
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    I have both the Swobo Dixon and the Civia Hyland Rohloff. The Civia comes very complete and I like the dynamo front hub though I upgraded the headlight to a Supernova. Not inexpensive but the quality of most of the components used in the build are excellent. Geometry is what used to be referred to as "sports touring" and it rides well. I did recently have trouble as the front fender mounting insert in the carbon fork came out of the fork. Civia covered the repair cost under warranty and provided the information on how to do the recommended repair. Weight and handling are good considering all of the accessories included as standard.

    The Swobo has a bit slower handling. The shifting on the SRAM hub has improved as the hub has broken in and the shift cable installation and removal is easier than on the Alfine hub which I have on a third bike. I did not find the original Swobo saddle to be comfortable and the bottle opener on it makes mounting a tool bag to the saddle difficult.

    I have found both to be satisfactory bikes and like them a lot. I have turned the Swobo into my shopping bike with the addition of quite a few accessories such as rack, rack trunk, shopping panniers, sidewall dynamo and dynamo headlight, frame mount ring lock and Schwalbe Marathon Plus tires.
    Gear Hubs Owned: Rohloff disc brake, SRAM iM9 disc brake, SRAM P5 freewheel, Sachs Torpedo 3 speed freewheel, NuVinci CVT, Shimano Alfine SG S-501, Sturmey Archer S5-2 Alloy. Other: 83 Colnago Super Record, Univega Via De Oro

    Visit and join the Yahoo Geared Hub Bikes group for support and links.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Geared_hub_bikes/

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by gocam View Post
    OK - some quick comments after spending some time at many local bike stores
    Please keep up the reviews gogam. This is very interesting. I'm shopping along the same lines as you except the only bike I've found in stock in my area is the Soho.

  17. #17
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    Some more comments after another day of trying out bikes

    * Trek
    ** I tried out the single speed District - a lot of fun to ride (has the belt drive) and good components - the orange rims are a bit too hipster for me but it handles really nicely. No vibration under duress, decent brakes and enjoyable. Default tires are very skinny so for where I ride I would need to change and that might affect the look a bit. The belt version I think is a bit expensive, but there are less expensive districts without the belt. I didn't try those however. Just for fun, if you get the chance I highly recommend trying this bike out for the ride even if you don't think you'll go single gear. My preference is still the Crosby, but the District looks very very striking.
    ** Soho - I tried this again, but in a matched frame size. This is nice ride. The gears are Nexus (non red line), which surprised me as I'd misremembered that it had Alfine. It looks very commuter with all the fixings attached (including the big coffee mug), but if you were to strip the pieces you didn't want it would look quite striking. I took it up and down some very steep hills and it handled admirable, although the drum brakes did not perform quite as solidly as I'd expected. Anyway, a fun ride, but not as much as the Felt X-City 2 (which has the Nexus Red Line in 2009 model, Alfine in 2010 - although admittedly only caliper brakes and traditional chain)

    * Giant
    ** 2001 Seek Zero - I found one in my size and gave it a whirl. This is a very nice, refined handling bike. All the components seem very well matched. Good disc brakes, Alfine with trigger shift (much preferable IMO to the twist grip), the weight balances nicely (unlike the Sub 10) and it looks very industrial and sharp. It handles very like a straight up mountain bike, probably in great part because of the flat bars and geometry, and that is not a bad thing in general. If you want a nice mountain bike feel on an IGH well constructed bike then definitely try this. It is also very rugged, and, as I say, has a nice minimal look. It actually feels more similar to my old Trek than the Felt or Swobo, hence that makes it less interesting in my case - but it is a great bike, well worth road testing.

    * General Note - the IGH Alfine is really quite wonderful, and if you are looking for a geared bike and are nervous about switching to that kind of technology, I would definitely be open to the idea of trying one. The switching on this years bike is butter smooth, and the range of gears is definitely good enough for any kind of standard commute ride.
    Last edited by gocam; 01-11-10 at 10:54 AM.

  18. #18
    50/50 Road/eBike Commuter kmcrawford111's Avatar
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    Nice to see you're spending a lot of time going over this to make sure you get it right the first time.

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    Couple other notes for those interested

    * Jamis
    ** I saw the Commuter 3 up close in a bike shop that also carries Swobo. It is quite good looking and extremely affordable when you look at the components that it is packing. They mentioned it is hard to recommend the Swobo IGH models given the price point of the Jamis models.

    * Breezer
    ** I've seen the Finesse on 25% sale recently and at that price point it is getting close to being affordable. Likewise a discounted Civia Hyland. Still near the high end if you are looking at such bikes, but emphasises that there are deals to be had. (I also saw the Trek District discounted fairly heavily at a local bricks and mortar store). So ask around rather than relying on one or two stores.

  20. #20
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    So - I decided on the Swobo Crosby. Very excited to give it a whirl and curious how I might end up customizing over time. Fun !

  21. #21
    50/50 Road/eBike Commuter kmcrawford111's Avatar
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    Congrats. I was looking at that one too - sharp-looking bike. Swobo seems like a pretty decent little outfit.

    Now you're giving me the itch to get another bike.

    Going to stay with the flip-flop hub?
    Last edited by kmcrawford111; 01-15-10 at 01:52 AM.

  22. #22
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    I'm going to stay with pretty much everything stock initially to see how that feels (and if I'm fit enough to make it up the hills on the commute :-). Freewheel though as I don't trust my ability to stay safe if I flip to direct ! I suspect I may need slightly more durable tires, and if I do need gears I'll be back investigating what might work best. Hopefully all will arrive next week and I am happy to report back if you are interested ?

  23. #23
    50/50 Road/eBike Commuter kmcrawford111's Avatar
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    Sure, I'll read it.

    Enjoy!

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    Gordon

    I am in similar category and am considering the Kona Dr. Fine. I currently have a Dew FS and I like Kona quality. I was thinking about building my own and then I saw this new offering. Check it out at Konaworld

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