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Old 06-05-12, 09:34 PM   #1
Onions
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One year and 2000+ miles later, time for a new bike?

It's been about a year since I started commuting, 10+ miles a day, 5 days a week, unless the weather is awful or I have a cold or something. I got an old Schwinn cruiser (Giant-made 1980 World Tourist) off of CL for $80, rebuilt and lubed it up, and have loved every minute of it. Put over 2000 miles on it. Alhough I haven't lost much weight, I've gained a LOT of muscle!

Recently, I've had a few (age or wear-related?) mechanical failures, one of which resulted in me bouncing and sliding on my knee and elbow to a stop from about 25 MPH. The bike uses a single chainring with a 5-speed rear freewheel, although there is a 6-speed on it right now, because the LBS couldn't get the old freewheel off. I bent the rim good when I had to choose between a lolheug pothole and running into a car that pulled out right in front of me. Stupid ancient SunTour thing. I'd keep the 6, but I have some good hills on my route, and I can't get to the lowest gear on the 6 without upgrading the shifter or derailer, or something.

Anyway, I am debating spending money on the old girl, because the frame isn't that great (1020 carbon-steel), and there are a lot of components that need replacing or repair. I'm definitely going to buy a new bike to be my main ride, but I'd like this bike to be a backup. The big issue, and the one that resulted in me bouncing on pavement in traffic, is that the chain likes to jump off of the chainring randomly. The chain is not bent or sticky, and the ring itself doesn't look too worn. I'm honestly wondering if the rear derailer is too old to keep tension and slips on bumps. Has anyone ever heard of something like this?

Finally, the bike I'm looking at is the Giant Via 2. The LBS is a Giant dealer, so they can get it in the lolheug size I need (they don't usually stock the XL, but will order it for me). Anyone have experience with this bike? Suggestions for alternatives?
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Old 06-05-12, 10:45 PM   #2
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I started on earth day, of last year, and average 20 mi a day. I finally caved and built my own surly cross check, and have upgraded each part, piece by piece, and I perfect the ride as I go.

Ive learned a lot mechanically. My bike doesn't squeak, it gets a lot of comments, and I'm paranoid to lock it up anywhere except for my house or work. I just bought a cannondale p.o.s. to ride around town, as a result.

The difference i obsrve is explained by the 1987 jeep I owned and the brand new 2006 Subaru I bought. The Subaru starts every time. The 1987 cherokee worked... Most of the time.

Giant bikes seemed fine, and for commuting, really any brand will work. I recommend surly simply because of my enjoyment while riding it.
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Old 06-05-12, 10:57 PM   #3
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Sounds like you want/need a new bike.
The most miles I've put on one bike is sixty four thousand (64,000) miles.
Quality lasts . . .
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Old 06-05-12, 11:44 PM   #4
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I intend to get a Surly CC before the summer is over. My grandmother died this year, and left me some money. As soon as it gets through the arbitration, I'll pay off some bills, set some aside for tuition for the year, get a used pickup, and get the Surly. She bought me my first multi-speed bike, which I still have as a backup bike, so I know she'd approve.

I just want/need a new bike sooner than that, because I have no other way to get around!

I also wish Surly made a bike with a more upright riding position...
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Old 06-05-12, 11:49 PM   #5
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I also wish Surly made a bike with a more upright riding position...
There are other bike companies. I understand that BF is pro-Surly, but there are other manufacturers out there with the same level of quality and style.
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Old 06-05-12, 11:58 PM   #6
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I know, I am just not familiar with very many. Giant has a pretty good rep in the community here, which is why I'm going that way, but I would love suggestions for higher-end bikes! Especially ones with upright riding positions. Everyone seems to want me to bend over, but that hurts my back and knees so much!
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Old 06-06-12, 12:04 AM   #7
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I think you should buy it. I bought a giant last year brand new from a dealer and I just bought a new bike for coummuting*. But Ive heard of getting a bike on line at nashbar for far less then the dealer and getting the same great bike.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:09 AM   #8
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I also wish Surly made a bike with a more upright riding position...
The position of the rider doesn't have that much to do with the frame. You could make a Cervelo into a totally upright bike (Heaven forbid) if you were willing to change the fork and headset assembly...

It's actually easy to adjust your position with a Surly, but it's not always advisable. I have a LHT, and a few weeks ago, in an effort to get more upright, I switched to albatross bars. $120 dollars later, I got very upright, and the ride was pretty comfy, but I HATED it, and went back to drop bars in less than a week. If you ride very upright, it's much harder to control the bike through difficult terrain, and I found that tradeoff to be totally unacceptable. Better to be bent a little forward than to be unable to have total control of the location of the front wheel....
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Old 06-06-12, 02:08 AM   #9
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Hey there Onions!

I think that the Via 2 is an absolutely wonderful bike! If I were you, I'd definitely do the same exact thing that you're doing with the Schwinn cruiser. I would definitely keep it and refurbish it back into its original condition.

I most probably would also be considering the Raleigh Port Townsend as well. I think that could go for its apparent semi-upright optional riding postion on top of the hoods.

The Raleigh Port Townsend ~ $930
www.raleighusa.com/bikes/steel-road/port-townsend-12/

PS.

I dunno, I still like the styling of the Via 2. The Via looks more reminiscent of the European stadsfiets. I really love those bikes too!

Good Luck!

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Old 06-06-12, 02:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onions View Post
I intend to get a Surly CC before the summer is over. My grandmother died this year, and left me some money. As soon as it gets through the arbitration, I'll pay off some bills, set some aside for tuition for the year, get a used pickup, and get the Surly. She bought me my first multi-speed bike, which I still have as a backup bike, so I know she'd approve.

I just want/need a new bike sooner than that, because I have no other way to get around!

I also wish Surly made a bike with a more upright riding position...
The LHT is a pretty relaxed ride and if it isn't upright enough for you, you can always change the stem and the handlebar to suit.
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Old 06-06-12, 02:25 AM   #11
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There are other bike companies. I understand that BF is pro-Surly, but there are other manufacturers out there with the same level of quality and style.
I know it's not straying very far, but my other favorite companies are Salsa and Soma.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:13 AM   #12
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Sounds like you have earned a new bike. Nothing wrong with that, particularly if you are using it for commuting. I would encourage you to explore other makes and models rather than just Surly and Giant, since it sounds like you have time. Nothing wrong with either Surly or Giant, but you might find that the geometry of other makes suits you better. For all the Surly love around here, their geometry is all wrong for me -- top tubes too long and head tubes too short. The Salsa Casseroll or Soma Saga are better options if you prefer a more upright riding position.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:28 AM   #13
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Last night I rode for ~10 miles or so alongside an older (than me) fellow with a Surly Troll. That was a fantastically versatile upright steel bike frame. He had outfitted it as a commuter, with 26 inch wheels and wide road slicks. He could fly.

I have no experience with Surly bikes, but have seen many of them from touring rigs to utility/commuters on the road. If your budget permits, look into this one. You'll likely not be disappointed, since you can specify the components in the build. Costs a bit more, but the frame will be rock solid, and will come standard with every conceivable braze-on and fitting. You could use cantilever brakes, add fenders, have forward and rear racks, etc. Plus the geometry is upright, as you said. Check it out.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:50 AM   #14
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I have ridden a Giant Via 1, which has the same frame as the Via 2, but with a 3 speed IGH instead of a derailleur. The shop also had a Via 2, but I was interested in the IGH. The chromoly steel frame rides great. It is setup with an upright posture, but not completely upright like you would find on a comfort bike or an Electra Townie style bike. I ended up going with a different bike, due to price, but like the frame on the Via series better than on my commuter bike (A Bikes Direct Windsor Oxford).
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Old 06-06-12, 10:45 AM   #15
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Buy whatever you want.

I have two bicycles ... because I wanted to.
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Old 06-06-12, 12:20 PM   #16
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Hey there Onions!

I think that the Via 2 is an absolutely wonderful bike! If I were you, I'd definitely do the same exact thing that you're doing with the Schwinn cruiser. I would definitely keep it and refurbish it back into its original condition.

I most probably would also be considering the Raleigh Port Townsend as well. I think that could go for its apparent semi-upright optional riding postion on top of the hoods.

The Raleigh Port Townsend ~ $930
www.raleighusa.com/bikes/steel-road/port-townsend-12/

PS.

I dunno, I still like the styling of the Via 2. The Via looks more reminiscent of the European stadsfiets. I really love those bikes too!

Good Luck!
Dunno how much refurbishing I'll do to the Schwinn. The paint is really faded, and, since my wreck, the handlebars are kind of chewed up. Getting the "right" parts will be pretty expensive, but hey, it might happen. I do like the frame, heavy as it is. Looking forward to a chromoly frame though. Borrowed one from the LBS a few weeks ago when I couldn't get a ride home and wow, what a difference!

That Raleigh bike /is/ pretty, but I dont think its for me due to no rack mount, and being over twice the price of the Via. I am going to buy two bikes before the summer is over. The Giant for a throwdown bike, and something nicer than that.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SurlyLaika View Post
I know it's not straying very far, but my other favorite companies are Salsa and Soma.
I will look into them! No one around here carries much of anything but comfort bikes and racers, mostly Trek (which I do not care for their geometries). But, the internets are filled with wonder and unicorns, and bikes shipped by fedex, so we'll see!


Quote:
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Last night I rode for ~10 miles or so alongside an older (than me) fellow with a Surly Troll. That was a fantastically versatile upright steel bike frame. He had outfitted it as a commuter, with 26 inch wheels and wide road slicks. He could fly.

I have no experience with Surly bikes, but have seen many of them from touring rigs to utility/commuters on the road. If your budget permits, look into this one. You'll likely not be disappointed, since you can specify the components in the build. Costs a bit more, but the frame will be rock solid, and will come standard with every conceivable braze-on and fitting. You could use cantilever brakes, add fenders, have forward and rear racks, etc. Plus the geometry is upright, as you said. Check it out.
Heh, I'm usually that guy. I'm know as "the fast guy on the huge Schwinn" around town. Used to think they were calling me "the fat guy..." but the girl at the LBS corrected my hearing. I do tend to haul.

I hadn't thought of doing a build with a trail frame. I'll have to think about that...
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Old 06-06-12, 01:51 PM   #17
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I will look into them! No one around here carries much of anything but comfort bikes and racers, mostly Trek (which I do not care for their geometries). But, the internets are filled with wonder and unicorns, and bikes shipped by fedex, so we'll see!
Shouldn't even need to resort to the internet if you don't want to as both Surly and Salsa (not sure about Soma) are owned/distributed by QBP which is a company that pretty much every bike shop on the face of the planet can order from.
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Old 06-06-12, 04:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I intend to get a Surly CC before the summer is over....I also wish Surly made a bike with a more upright riding position...
If you want a Cross Check but wish it had a more upright position, checkout the Handsome Devil. It's pretty much a more upright Cross Check. The only question is whether or not it comes in a big enough size for you. If not, the Soma Double Cross is another good option to consider.

I'm normally a big advocate of getting a second bike, but given that you know you're getting a new bike at the end of the summer, I'd probably try to stick it out with the Schwinn. Maybe just upgrade the wheels or something else that could be transferred to the new bike. Even if your Schwinn has 27 inch wheels, 700c would almost certainly fit it and you could get a really nice pair for the cost of that Giant.
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Old 06-06-12, 04:35 PM   #19
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Along the same vein as this discussion, anyone have any thoughts on the Jamis Bossanova? I've been considering picking one of those up.
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Old 06-06-12, 06:59 PM   #20
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If you want a Cross Check but wish it had a more upright position, checkout the Handsome Devil. It's pretty much a more upright Cross Check. The only question is whether or not it comes in a big enough size for you. If not, the Soma Double Cross is another good option to consider.

I'm normally a big advocate of getting a second bike, but given that you know you're getting a new bike at the end of the summer, I'd probably try to stick it out with the Schwinn. Maybe just upgrade the wheels or something else that could be transferred to the new bike. Even if your Schwinn has 27 inch wheels, 700c would almost certainly fit it and you could get a really nice pair for the cost of that Giant.
Yeah, probably, but right now, the Schwinn needs almost as much money thrown at it as the Giant would cost me. And I don't have time to work on it, or another way to get around right now, so I don't think waiting is a good option. Bike is pretty much my only mode of transit.
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Old 06-07-12, 03:17 PM   #21
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As to the current bike, find a donor bike and use parts off that to fix up your current one. Size won't matter as long as the components will work.
Add a front derailleur if needed to help keep the chain on the chainring if nothing else will work.
If time and need are a greater determinate then put the current one aside and shop for something new or used that will meet your needs and likes.

And don't forget to ask the shop mechanics and staff if they know of any inexpensive used bikes that you can buy/barter/trade for to get you by until your funds arrive for the new bike.

Them's my three cents worth of comments.
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Old 06-08-12, 02:04 PM   #22
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I have a neighbor who is a Giant rep; he has a half-dozen Giant's, some of them fairly high-end. (Full-carbon road bikes and the like.)

The bike he rides all the time is a Via 1. (I've ridden with him on a 40-mile round trip and that's what he took.)
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Old 06-08-12, 02:17 PM   #23
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I would love suggestions for higher-end bikes! Especially ones with upright riding positions. Everyone seems to want me to bend over, but that hurts my back and knees so much!
Rivendell (rivbike.com) makes bikes specifically so you can jack the bars up as high, or higher than the seatpost - this includes drop bar road models. Their bikes are high end. I hope to get one one day.
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Old 06-08-12, 02:23 PM   #24
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I took the albatross bars off and now have vo tourist bars.
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Old 06-08-12, 04:12 PM   #25
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I took the albatross bars off and now have vo tourist bars.
Looks like exactly what I want~
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