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  1. #1
    Senior Member alcahueteria's Avatar
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    Best Value Commuter Frames?

    Hey I just got a job about 12 miles from home and I want to commute by bike. Right now I have a peugot single speed with some BB issues(obviously) and I don't want to deal with it anymore. I love single speeds but I am thinking of gears so I need something with options. I do want to stick with steel, aluminum just don't feel good to me. My plan is to swap a lot of the stuff over, to save a little money, so I don't want a full build, just a frame.

    Right now I'm looking at a Surly Cross-Check, which seems solid and the obvious choice. What can I say though, I'd like to be a bit more niche or maybe have a better color than beef-gravy brown or black.

    I'm also looking at the Pake C'Mute. A friend of mine has it. He seems to love it. It's still a work in progress but he's got the panniers on and is riding it to school and it looks and sounds great. The color, pave-mint, is nice too. I just don't feel like owning the same bike as my friend, in the same color even!

    I looked at the Soma Saga and the Double Cross. They both look nice as well, the Saga especially, but I have a Soma Juice now and would like to expand my horizons.

    So I've been out of the game a while and I'm wondering what other choices I might have. Thanks.
    Last edited by alcahueteria; 01-09-10 at 09:55 PM.

  2. #2
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    Well I picked up a Schwinn traveler from 1987 and threw on some planet bike fenders, and Kevlar bontager tires I think the total build with various other up grades cost me about 150$ total.
    I picked up the frame with everything but the wheel which I had for 25 bucks. so it could be real cheap.

  3. #3
    Subjectively Insane MilitantPotato's Avatar
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    Kona has lots of commuter friendly setups. Soma has the Smoothie ES, Double Cross, and Saga that are worth looking at.

    Anything with fender and rack mounts will work, really.

    My wife rides a '91 Specialized Hard-Rock we got for $100 in near new condition. Little heavy but it's built like a tank.
    Last edited by MilitantPotato; 01-10-10 at 12:47 PM.
    You've got a bike, so you gotta move.

  4. #4
    Papaya King waynesworld's Avatar
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    I also like the Somas. Particularly the Double Cross, or the Smoothie ES, which says it will take 32s with fenders. This is just from reading though. I've never seen one in person.
    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

  5. #5
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    You don't live off windy hill do you? I sold my P8 to a guy that made it a fixie.

    What size frame are you looking for? Trying to decide what to do with this funky 63CM World sport I built. Sort of don't want to sell it but I'm not riding it. Its on CL search "rat rod bike". Decent 4130 Giant made double butted frame OK wheels.

    You cant have a signature unless it fits in this box

  6. #6
    Justin scattered73's Avatar
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    I got a soma double cross and love it you may also want to check masi http://www.masibikes.com/steel/
    Do what makes you happy.

  7. #7
    Senior Member sonatageek's Avatar
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    The Nashbar Touring frame/fork is currently on sale for $125. I am building one up right now and it seems like a pretty solid frame. It is aluminum, so that might be a non-starter for you.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Grim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sonatageek View Post
    The Nashbar Touring frame/fork is currently on sale for $125. I am building one up right now and it seems like a pretty solid frame. It is aluminum, so that might be a non-starter for you.
    Doing Disc? Post a thread when you get it done.
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  9. #9
    M_S
    M_S is offline
    All Mod Cons M_S's Avatar
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    I'm building a commuter out of a Bianchi Volpe frame I'm getting cheaply from friend. I'm building it as a singlespeed which is easy to do as it has horizontal dropouts, like the crosscheck. The complete isn't a bad deal for a touring/cross frame.

    I agree that Kona also has a lot of cool offerings this year.

  10. #10
    Senior Member alcahueteria's Avatar
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    I did notice kona has a lot of stuff. I forget about them a lot, so I need to look into take a second to really check them out. Grim, I'd definitely check it out if I was still in atlanta, however I've moved and you reminded me to update my profile. San Diego now.

    I found this little list <http://urbanvelo.org/singlespeed-commuter-bike-frames/> but it definitely seemed fixie focused, however i most of these companies made some other more commutable frames. I am real interested in traitor bikes one, but it seems the ones I like are never available... I do need to check out the nashbar stuff, but aluminum just doesn't sound attractive to me.

    I'm kind of looking for a new frame too. I had a raleigh super grand prix a few years ago that I built up with a coaster brake. It was great but I had to sell it when I moved. Now I have this peugot but it's just not doing it for me and has kind of turned me off the old frames for now.

  11. #11
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Seriously, something used would be the best value.

    If you're buying new, you'll like the Cross Check. I have one, and it's very nice.

    I also have lots of other bikes, and my favorite bike is a 1971 Raleigh Super Course. I picked it out of the garbage in my neighborhood. I thought it would ride decently, but it turns out to be just lovely. And the price was unbeatable.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

    Tom Reingold, noglider@pobox.com
    Residences: West Village, New York City and High Falls, NY
    Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

  12. #12
    Senior Member bluenote157's Avatar
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    hmmm..why not keep the peugeot as your beater. Velo orange has a french threaded bb. You can get some cranks and pedals and you'll be good to go!

    Then, get the cross check as your commuter. I parted a next to new crosscheck and will be selling all of the parts if you are interested. PM me...

  13. #13
    It's faster than the bus Catgrrl70's Avatar
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    Soma Smoothie ES owner here. I love it. Was considering a Cross-Check but I liked the ride of the Soma better plus the geometry fit me like a glove. It's a nice-looking bike as well as tough and it handles all sorts of road conditions and quick turns with confidence.

  14. #14
    Senior Member alcahueteria's Avatar
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    So I know I was talking about frames, but I think I found exactly what I want and I thought I'd let you guys know...

    http://www.ecovelo.info/2010/01/03/s...-civia-bryant/
    http://www.civiacycles.com/civiacomplete_bryant.php

    However I can't afford that right now, I wish, but no. So I'm thinking I might just search craigslist and get something old and beat and do that saving thing.
    Last edited by alcahueteria; 01-16-10 at 10:45 AM.

  15. #15
    Bike addict, dreamer AdamDZ's Avatar
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    I have Nashbar MTB frame and like it. They also have a nice cyclocross frame that can be used for a nice 700cc commuter bike with or without discs. They also have matching forks.

    Adam

  16. #16
    Senior Member bigvegan's Avatar
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    Why not just swap out the bottom bracket of your singlespeed? A French Threaded bottom bracket costs $48 at Velo Orange. It takes about half an hour and some tools, or your shop can do it pretty easily.

    Failing that, just buy a used road bike off craigslist.

    Thinking you're going to save money by building a bike from the frame up is a little silly, especially if you don't have access to a bike co-op or wholesale parts. (Price everything you're going to need first, and see how much it comes to.)

    Quote Originally Posted by alcahueteria View Post
    Hey I just got a job about 12 miles from home and I want to commute by bike. Right now I have a peugot single speed with some BB issues(obviously) and I don't want to deal with it anymore. I love single speeds but I am thinking of gears so I need something with options. I do want to stick with steel, aluminum just don't feel good to me. My plan is to swap a lot of the stuff over, to save a little money, so I don't want a full build, just a frame.

    Right now I'm looking at a Surly Cross-Check, which seems solid and the obvious choice. What can I say though, I'd like to be a bit more niche or maybe have a better color than beef-gravy brown or black.

    I'm also looking at the Pake C'Mute. A friend of mine has it. He seems to love it. It's still a work in progress but he's got the panniers on and is riding it to school and it looks and sounds great. The color, pave-mint, is nice too. I just don't feel like owning the same bike as my friend, in the same color even!

    I looked at the Soma Saga and the Double Cross. They both look nice as well, the Saga especially, but I have a Soma Juice now and would like to expand my horizons.

    So I've been out of the game a while and I'm wondering what other choices I might have. Thanks.

  17. #17
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    I was gonna suggest the Pake C'Mute before I read your whole message. Some other frames to consider: Salsa Casseroll and La Cruz; Soma ES, Saga and Double Cross; Bianchi Volpe ...

  18. #18
    Senior Member doorunrun's Avatar
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    I commute on the Nashbar cyclocross frame. I built it up from scratch and wound up paying 1.5 times what a new complete bike would have cost, I think. But, I'm very happy with the outcome! The frame is solid, but cyclocross chainstays are a little short from what I understand and although I have a rack I had heel strike issues with some panniers. I found the right combination and it all works great. I have an old Pug in the garage; man, that frame is heavy! I'd move on and find a new or fairly recent vintage bike and get going with it. Commuting is a blast! I hope you have fun and keep riding.
    Bicycling helps us slow down and enjoy the moment, wherever we are

  19. #19
    Senior Member BigDaddyPete's Avatar
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    I have 3 bikes in my commuting rotation.

    A 2005 Raleigh Gran Sport. This is my light commuter, but super fast. Can't carry much, have a seatpost rack, and then a backpack if I need it. And I need to bring shoes to work, which is a bummer.

    A '72 Schwinn Super Sport which is set up as a single speed with moustache bars. Definitely gets points in the cool retro department, but again, no rack so it's whatever I can carry on my back. But, I have platforms, so I don't need to carry shoes.

    Finally, a Fantom CX cross bike from BD. Rack, trunk bag with built in panniers and shoes I can walk around in. I love it. This is the work horse of my fleet.

    Although, that status may change slightly. I just ordered, yesterday, a Surly Pacer from my LBS. I had an '90 Raleigh Supercourse that I loved, but I destroyed the frame. The components are all in great shape and will go right over. So he's building that for me. I see that being my fast commuter in the spring. It's definitely going to be my century bike this year. And it doesn't come in "skidmark" brown. I'm going for the British Racing Green with the honey Brooks B17 and matching bar tape.

    The Pacer is different. I don't see to many around, and I love that.

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