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Old 06-11-12, 08:34 AM   #1
blargman
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Thoughts on touring/hybrid/commuting bike around 1500-2000?

I think I'm going to sell my GT Series 3 Road bike I have. It's not very comfortable to ride in and I would like something that maybe isn't quite as fast but is more enjoyable for me to ride. I'm curious what this forums thought would be on a replacement? I'll be using it mostly to commute into town every day or every other day for recreational purposes.

THe Surly Cross check sseems to be very popular on here. Would paying more than 1100$ for it get me anything?

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Old 06-11-12, 09:24 AM   #2
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I'm a huge fan of the bikes from VSF Fahrradmanufaktur (but they're slightly pricey, but come with a 14-gear Speedhub.) Also, the last city bike is kind of nice as well.

Expedition (TX-1000) runs 2599 list price (but you shouldn't have the pay the 19% sales tax included in the price)


TX-400 runs 2399 (list price w/19% tax) and the 14-gear speedhub



8CHT city-bike which is kinda cool with the 8-gear Premium Nexus Hub (1199 list with 19% tax)


technical data on the gearing possibilities:
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Old 06-11-12, 09:44 AM   #3
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I'm a big fan of the Salsa Casseroll and Vaya. The Casseroll is perfectly designed for commuting and light touring. The Vaya is better if you plan to ride off-road or heavy loaded touring. Proper bike fit is essential for more comfortable, enjoyable riding. The Crosscheck and other Surlys are great bikes for the money, but their geometry is not ideal for everyone. Personally, I find that Surlys all have top tubes that are too long and head tubes too short for optimal comfort, but I prefer a more upright riding position (handlebar same height as saddle). My Casseroll fits me perfectly, but others might not like the geometry if they prefer a more stretched out position and lower handlebars.
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Old 06-11-12, 10:04 AM   #4
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didn't really do my fav bike any justice (also available in many different colors ... but black in by far the most common.)

















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Old 06-11-12, 10:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blargman View Post
I think I'm going to sell my GT Series 3 Road bike I have. It's not very comfortable to ride in and I would like something that maybe isn't quite as fast but is more enjoyable for me to ride. I'm curious what this forums thought would be on a replacement? I'll be using it mostly to commute into town every day or every other day for recreational purposes.

THe Surly Cross check sseems to be very popular on here. Would paying more than 1100$ for it get me anything?
Check out the Jamis Aurora. It's pretty much a pure touring bike. Unlike some bikes in that price range, it comes with completely rideable and quality parts (e.g., Shimano 36H Tiagra hub wheels). The bike sells new for $850 at my LBS. My girlfriend ended up buying one after trying a bunch of Surly's and All-City bikes; she found the relaxed geometry of the Aurora more comfy and the price too enticing.



http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebik...12_aurora.html
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Old 06-11-12, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blargman View Post
I think I'm going to sell my GT Series 3 Road bike I have. It's not very comfortable to ride in and I would like something that maybe isn't quite as fast but is more enjoyable for me to ride. I'm curious what this forums thought would be on a replacement? I'll be using it mostly to commute into town every day or every other day for recreational purposes.

THe Surly Cross check sseems to be very popular on here. Would paying more than 1100$ for it get me anything?
For your price range, you have a ton of choices. I have a Surly Long Haul Trucker, which is more relaxed handling than the Cross-Check, and it's within your price range. Another bike I like seeing for commuting but have not bought is the Raleigh Sojourn. That's a disc brake-equipped touring bike.

Oh, and then there's the Civia Bryant. It's got drop bars and disc brakes, but also an Internal Gear Hub (Shimano Alfine) with carbon belt drive for low maintenance.

Another bike that hasn't been mentioned in this thread but is popular around here is the Specialized Tricross.
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Old 06-11-12, 11:09 AM   #7
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What brands does your favorite Local bikeshop carry? start there .

Jamis as a brand is not Unique, many other brands have similar offerings.
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Old 06-11-12, 12:11 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by blargman View Post
I think I'm going to sell my GT Series 3 Road bike I have. It's not very comfortable to ride in and I would like something that maybe isn't quite as fast but is more enjoyable for me to ride. I'm curious what this forums thought would be on a replacement? I'll be using it mostly to commute into town every day or every other day for recreational purposes.
I was in a similar position as you. I bought a Salsa Vaya, and couldn't be happier. The riding position is much more relaxed. The Vaya can handle all of the good stuff: fenders, front and rear racks, tons of water bottles, etc. The steel frame provides a super-plush ride, and has clearance for very large volume tires. Take it on gravel paths and dirt if you like.

I want to be buried with my Vaya.

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Old 06-11-12, 12:17 PM   #9
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For your budget range, you could also buy a new Soma Saga or ES frame/fork and get your local bike shop to build it up. I agree that the Jamis Aurora is a great choice as well. Check and see what brands are available through your LBS. Mine carries Salsa, so I am more familiar with their brands. The Trek 520 is another solid choice.

Keep in mind, however, that few bike shops carry touring frames. In all likelihood you will probably have to order a bike or frame/fork, so working with your LBS to determine proper fit would be important.
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Old 06-11-12, 12:23 PM   #10
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Jamis as a brand is not Unique, many other brands have similar offerings.
As do pretty much all brands. Most everything is made in Taiwan and Chinese these days that's not handbuilt. Jamis, Surly, and even some Rivendell frames are Taiwanese specials.
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Old 06-11-12, 03:32 PM   #11
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Which Vaya is this? out of curiosity?
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Old 06-11-12, 04:15 PM   #12
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I failed to find the word "new" in the OP, so I will say that it should be very easy to get a touring/CX bike with that budget, perhaps far less.
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Old 06-11-12, 04:28 PM   #13
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There are a lot of options already mentioned. I have the LHT but sometimes I wish I had something faster. Just check around at what your LBS has and go from there.
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Old 06-11-12, 05:19 PM   #14
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Bad part about my LBS is they generally dont have my size unless I order it. ( i'm 6'4"). I guess I'll probably have to go out of town to check out a not so local bike shop.
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Old 06-11-12, 05:37 PM   #15
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Bad part about my LBS is they generally dont have my size unless I order it. ( i'm 6'4"). I guess I'll probably have to go out of town to check out a not so local bike shop.
What you actually need is a bicycle shopping vacation. Just fly back with the bike that fits (I see people box Dutch-style bikes back to the US all the time.) If you're in MS, you do have a lot of interesting options nearby, starting with NOLA.
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Old 06-11-12, 05:41 PM   #16
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Also, plz don't automatically give in to the Surly love-festival that BF has become. Perhaps it's warranted, but it really stifles the smaller companies and they're still a huge amount of money, which does provide you with a huge amount of options (new and used.)
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Old 06-11-12, 05:44 PM   #17
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Oh, you're in MI? Oops. Start in Toronto and don't pay the tax. You'll get slightly better brand options due to potential patent law violations in the US.
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Old 06-11-12, 06:55 PM   #18
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With $1,500 to $2,000 budget, you could even squeeze in a custom bicycle from Rodriguez in Seattle, WA. I'm thinking either their Adventure or Rainier models should work nicely. The Adventure seems more like what you're looking for. You'll get a frame "Made in the USA" of 725 Reynolds tubing.
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Old 06-11-12, 08:05 PM   #19
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I kinda like the looks of the Rainier. Out of curiosity what made you say the Adventure over it?

The Salsa Vaya, Jamis and Raleigh all look perfect as well. I need to find somewhere that sells them all nearby

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Old 06-11-12, 08:50 PM   #20
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I kinda like the looks of the Rainier. Out of curiosity what made you say the Adventure over it?
You indicated in the header a touring bike. The Adventure model is designed more for that purpose with a sturdier build, capacity for wider tires and a more relaxed geometry - more along the lines of a Vaya. The Rainier will work but it's more for light credit card touring with the advantage of being more agile for commuting and Sunday rides with friends. Based on personal experience, the guys at Rod Cycles have tons of experience working with customers long distance to insure a perfect fit, so you don't even have to get out of the house.

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Old 06-11-12, 09:36 PM   #21
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I think I'm going to sell my GT Series 3 Road bike I have. It's not very comfortable to ride in and I would like something that maybe isn't quite as fast but is more enjoyable for me to ride. I'm curious what this forums thought would be on a replacement? I'll be using it mostly to commute into town every day or every other day for recreational purposes.

THe Surly Cross check sseems to be very popular on here. Would paying more than 1100$ for it get me anything?
If you can find a bike shop that specializes in the Serotta bike fitting system or a Bike Fit system that can measure you and find a bike that will fit you perfectly based on your riding style, then you don't have to play the guessing game of finding which bike fits you. Sometimes, a $1000 bike fits you better than a $2000. Every manufacturer makes a different geo for what apparently is the same bike class! Arming with this bike fit information, you can shop Bikesdirect.com or any online shop that gives you the best bang for the buck and find the right bike that matches the measurements. Ship to your home and then ask your local shop to put it together. Either swap the stem or saddle and then you're good to go.

It's hard to suggest the right bike without seeing you in person.
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Old 06-12-12, 12:54 AM   #22
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There is a place about an hour away. I'll have to check them out. My local store mostly just sells Giant/Specialized/GT.
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Old 06-12-12, 02:24 PM   #23
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If you can find a bike shop that specializes in the Serotta bike fitting system or a Bike Fit system that can measure you and find a bike that will fit you perfectly based on your riding style, then you don't have to play the guessing game of finding which bike fits you. Sometimes, a $1000 bike fits you better than a $2000. Every manufacturer makes a different geo for what apparently is the same bike class! Arming with this bike fit information, you can shop Bikesdirect.com or any online shop that gives you the best bang for the buck and find the right bike that matches the measurements. Ship to your home and then ask your local shop to put it together. Either swap the stem or saddle and then you're good to go.
I'm not sure about the specific fit brand, but the first question to be answered is why the OP isn't comfortable on his current bike. Figure out what's uncomfortable, and we can start intelligent discussions about changing that.

(rant on)Far too often we on BF and similar fora respond to questions like "What should I get?" with the answer, "One like mine," regardless of circumstance. If OP needs fatter tires than his current bike will fit to be comfortable, a touring bike may be the answer. If it's a poor fit, which is probably the case, going and spending money at random bike places to see if he lucks into one that will sell him a bike that fits is a crap shoot.

FWIW, my bikes are touring bikes.(rant off)
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Old 06-12-12, 02:52 PM   #24
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Fit in a bike for the lumpen masses, after choosing frame size,
is a change of stem extension, and rise angle.
to get the reach and riding posture right.. thanks to open-face threadless stems,
that is a quick task, before sending you back out for another test-ride..

saddle swaps . also a quick takeoff-trade .. if they carry what you wish for..

hard to guess ahead of time .. thousand different saddles out there.
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Old 06-12-12, 09:27 PM   #25
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Which Vaya is this? out of curiosity?
That would be a Salsa Vaya2 :-)
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