Hi, 1st post... I would like to get a bike for errands and weekend rides. I used to ride alot when younger, mostly single speeds with a 10 spd thrown in every now and then. I know what I want, but need some advice. I would like a bike that is set up for commuting (full fenders, baskets or bags, lights, etc.) I really want internal gears on the rear hub. I will be pulling a child trailer with 2 kids in it on weekends, though. What should I look for speed-wise? Mostly flattish where I live with a few moderate hills now and then but a couple of really steep ones to get to my house. Will a 3 spd suffice? Should I be looking at 5-7 speeds? I want to have the grunt to get up the big hills when towing the girls, but still be able to cruise at a decent pace when the trailer is not hooked up. I have 5 kids and a wife to support, so the Rholoff is NOT an option. Or do I just need to stick with cogs and derailluers? I'm sure I'll have more questions but this will get me spinning for now. Thanks!
I haven't decided on the bike yet, may rebuild an old bike or looking at some new ones also. But I need to figure out the drivetrain first, and that will make the rest pretty easy. I have never had a bike with internal geared hub, so just looking for some advice on what I need to meet the requirements listed above. There are some new bikes available that I like, but don't know if they would work right for me. I could always buy a hub and have a wheel built if I have to. I just need some experience with these hubs and I don't have any! I thought about the double chainring and will do that if need be. Anybody else have any insight for me? Thanks!
Welcome to the Forums! I was looking for a similar bike last year, and I settled on a Norco Ceres. There aren't any Norco dealers in Oklahoma, so I won't recommend it to you, but here is an updated list of some of the other bikes that I considered:
All of these (save the Torker) have either Shimano's Alfine or Nexus 8-speed hubs. IME (in my experience; BF shorthand... get used to it) the Alfine is geared low enough to get me up any of the hills in my area, and I rarely spin out in top gear. If you have any Jamis dealers in your area, the 2010 model of the Commuter 4 comes with a double chainring up front (as suggested above), effectively doubling its gear range (although truthfully there's likely a lot of overlap of gears, as is true with any bike that has multiple chainrings up front). IMHO (in my humble opinion) the best bang-for-your-buck deals on the list are the Kona Dr. Good and the Torker Graduate (even though the Torker's only a 5-speed). If you can find a 2010 model of the Raleigh Detour Deluxe, you may be able to get it for a good price and it is, IMHO, a better bike than the 2011 model.
Happy hunting, and ride safe!
Last edited by irclean; 12-31-10 at 09:14 PM.
Reason: Updated Felt model.
Please note that most of the models that were mentioned above are available to you locally. I think that Tom's *might* be able to order Jamis and Rocky Mountan, but they are the source for all things Kona in OK, well as carry Felt, Giant, and KHS. I personally inquired about the Torker at Lee's, and they said they couldn't order it. Those Felt models have been replaced by the Verza City line.
Thanks for the replies! I am going to the shops to check them out. I hadn't thought of any shops renting the trailers, but I will try that and get some first hand experience. That is a big list irclean, but I am only going to look at what's available locally, so that should narrow it down a little. Glad to hear you think the 8 spd would probably suffice. Thanks!
...Those Felt models have been replaced by the Verza City line.
Originally Posted by csm672
...That is a big list irclean, but I am only going to look at what's available locally, so that should narrow it down a little. Glad to hear you think the 8 spd would probably suffice. Thanks!
Yes, it is a big list, and it's far from comprehensive. It was other member's opinions and experiences that helped me to narrow down my choices, and lists like this one helped me to learn what was out there.
By all means check out your local bike shops (LBS) since they're the ones you'll be dealing with for the purchase, and hopefully for a long time afterward.
Towing two kids uphill? You'll want some very low gears I think. I've towed a cargo trailer loaded with ~100 lbs uphill, and I used the lowest gears on my wide range 9x3 touring bike to comfortably get the stuff up what otherwise looked like fairly small hills.