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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 07-12-12, 10:17 AM   #1
ROJA
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Commuting on Salsa Casseroll versus Jake the Snake

I know this is a bit of an odd comparison, but I'd be curious to hear which bike folks think would be better for commuting ~30 miles one way a couple of times per week on a mix of roads and MUPs with an occasional hard-packed fire road for about 3-4 miles. But I'd probably run slicks (maybe 28 or 32 mm). I'd be carrying a rack and usually have one pannier bag with a laptop and a change of clothes (~10-15 lbs).

I suspect that the JTS would be faster and the Casseroll would be more comfortable. Salsa is cheaper by $300-500 or so but JTS has better components and looks better. They'd probably both be lousy but passable in the dirt with ~28mm road tires (Marathon Supreme or similar). Would the JTS have a more aggressive riding position?

Any thoughts? I have a Six13 right now and I'd probably just commute on that except that it can't take wider tires or a rack.
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Old 07-12-12, 11:04 AM   #2
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They'll both be comfortable. Get whichever one fits you, looks nice (face it, you don't want to ride a bike that you don't like the look of), you like the ride of, and makes your wallet happy. Don't get caught up in "steel versus aluminum comfort" myth. Any modern frame material can be comfortable.
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Old 07-12-12, 11:22 AM   #3
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Neither. I'd look at bikes with disc brakes.
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Old 07-12-12, 01:07 PM   #4
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OK, Vaya versus JTS!

Looks like JTS weighs around 20-23 lbs (hard to get a good figure)

I've heard the Casseroll is closer to 26 or 28 lbs. Anyone know?

Vaya weight?
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Old 07-12-12, 01:30 PM   #5
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Obviously I'm a total shill for the Jake series, but that's definitely the way I'd go. However, I'd suggest you consider the Jake rather than Jake the Snake. The 10-speed Tiagra components are very nearly as good as 105 and in many ways better suited to commuting (espcially if the triple appeals to you). The only serious drawback I see is the alloy fork, and you can get a really, really nice aftermarket carbon fork for the $600 price difference. On the other hand, 32mm tires will do more for comfort than a carbon fork.

I would guess the Vaya, unloaded, comes in around 27 pounds. It would surprise me if the Casseroll is over 26. My 2008 Jake weighs around 23 pounds and my 2008 Major Jake weighs about 20, so I'd guess the new JtS is somewhere in between.

Ultimately, I think the choice comes down to geometry. If you want an upright riding position, the Vaya is a great choice. If you want something more agressive (but still much more upright than a road racing bike), the Jake is the way to go.
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Old 07-12-12, 01:45 PM   #6
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Thanks Andy. That's a great idea and I actually would prefer a triple. As much as a "relaxed" bike sounds appealing, I do feel the need for speed and I think I'll want to pick something that will be pretty fast.
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Old 07-12-12, 04:24 PM   #7
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Wonderful choice. Enjoy
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Old 07-12-12, 05:17 PM   #8
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I'd build up one of these. or these The US pricing is quite reasonable.

The US contact is Marty at The Prairie Peddler

It is a small company with a really good line of frames, based out of the UK.
I currently own a Singular Gryphon and am quite happy with it. Great guys, great products.

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Old 07-15-12, 08:51 AM   #9
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I test rode a casseroll while looking for a commuter, and they had a 2010 Jake The Snake used for $750 and I went for it. It has been a really solid commuter for me over the past year. Planet Bike touring fenders + a rack, road tires, and some light and you're ready to roll. Definitely not AS fast feeling as my road bike, but I get around pretty well - plus you have no excuse to not give cross a try ;-)
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Old 07-15-12, 09:15 AM   #10
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I've heard the Casseroll is closer to 26 or 28 lbs. Anyone know?

My wife's comes in at just over 25 with front rack and small toolbag.

I didn't really care for the paint job in on-line photos, but when I saw it in person I loved it. She bought it this winter and finds it to be a very nice ride.
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