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  1. #1
    Senior Member SinX7's Avatar
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    Budget geared commuting bike

    What gear commuting bike would you guys recommend? I currently have a fixed/single speed bike that I use for commuting, but I feel better off with geared bike since there is uphills I have to go against and winds also. I would like a bike with the fixed/single-speed frame.

    My budget would be around $350ish.
    Prefer size: 47cm

    Thank you!
    Last edited by SinX7; 11-10-12 at 12:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    You could easily convert your current bike to an internally-geared hub for the budget you stipulate. The bike would have a similar aesthetic to your fixie - simple chain line. That's what I'd do.

    It is difficult to get much of a bike for $350 in the new market, and if you hunt around you can find a decent bike on the used market.

    If by "fixie/single speed" frame, you are referring to rear track forks (axle slot to the rear) the only ones like that that I know have derailleur hangers would be Surly and On One.

    If you simply mean "road type frame", then derailleurs (gears) are more easily accommodated. Here's a pretty decent deal for a new bike: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_xi_steel.htm

    I lived in Vegas for a couple of years and commuted. I lived in Summerlin and worked on the valley (not the strip), with about 800 feet difference, so my ride home involved a pretty steady low-grade incline.
    Technically, a 3-speed hub would do the trick and offer the most simplicity.

    If you want to stay fixie, Sturmey Archer makes a 3 speed fixed gear hub (the S3X) that offers sufficient gear range to get you where you need to go, IMO. I've used one and found it to work great. Some freewheels will also fit, so running the hub with a FW is an option too.
    Last edited by canyoneagle; 11-10-12 at 12:32 PM.
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
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  3. #3
    Gearhead
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    I wouldn't even consider a commuter bike with less than 10 speeds, or without Alpine gearing. Even without hills, there will be all kinds of different riding situations...traffic, weather, etc.....

  4. #4
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7's Avatar
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    that's tough. 350USD isn't much money.

    IMHO, this seems to great value for money (450 USD)

    http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/downtown_ex
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  5. #5
    Captain Big Ring tractorlegs's Avatar
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    Giant Escape - I got mine new for $420, 24 speed (3 x 8), very dependable. For the price it's a monster and commutes very well. I got the 2012 model, but I think the 2013s are out and may have different pricing but it's something you may want to look at.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnhund View Post
    I wouldn't even consider a commuter bike with less than 10 speeds, or without Alpine gearing. Even without hills, there will be all kinds of different riding situations...traffic, weather, etc.....
    Here's the opposite, went from 3x9sp XT stuff to 8sp Alfine, then singlespeed and now fixie (hipsters give me a strange look for a fixie with fenders, dynamo hub and a rear rack )
    I do find this downgrading somewhat funny, but can't help it

    +1 to 3sp IGH

  7. #7
    Carpe Velo Yo Spiff's Avatar
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    80's or 90's vintage hardtail mountain bikes make great commuters. Inexpensive, capable and plentiful on the used market. They don't have the look you want, however. I have an '88 Trek 900 converted with drops and street tires.
    2000 Bianchi Veloce, '88 Schwinn Prologue, '88 Trek 900, '92 Trek T100, 2000 Rans Tailwind

  8. #8
    Banned
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    Quote Originally Posted by canyoneagle View Post
    You could easily convert your current bike to an internally-geared hub for the budget you stipulate. The bike would have a similar aesthetic to your fixie - simple chain line. That's what I'd do.

    It is difficult to get much of a bike for $350 in the new market, and if you hunt around you can find a decent bike on the used market.

    If by "fixie/single speed" frame, you are referring to rear track forks (axle slot to the rear) the only ones like that that I know have derailleur hangers would be Surly and On One.

    If you simply mean "road type frame", then derailleurs (gears) are more easily accommodated. Here's a pretty decent deal for a new bike: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...e_xi_steel.htm

    I lived in Vegas for a couple of years and commuted. I lived in Summerlin and worked on the valley (not the strip), with about 800 feet difference, so my ride home involved a pretty steady low-grade incline.
    Technically, a 3-speed hub would do the trick and offer the most simplicity.

    If you want to stay fixie, Sturmey Archer makes a 3 speed fixed gear hub (the S3X) that offers sufficient gear range to get you where you need to go, IMO. I've used one and found it to work great. Some freewheels will also fit, so running the hub with a FW is an option too.
    +1 ^ This would be the way to go IMHO...

  9. #9
    Gearhead
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    Wow! I must really be in the budget barn. I have 6 bikes, and only two were purchased new.

    '93 Specialized Crossroads.....$199.00 ( add used Nordic Track trailer......$50.00 at a flea market)
    '83 Schwinn Sidewinder.......$149.00

    My used bikes are as follows:

    '86 Cannondale Criterium $125.00 at a pawn shop in 2006
    '85 Giant Rincon $25.00 at a flea market in 2001
    '62 Schwinn Varsity $10.00 bought from a neighbor in 1966
    '81 Torpado (all Campy) $50.00 at a flea market in 1989

    If I ever had $350.00 to spend on a bike, I would be in heaven.......

    Look for a good used bike. They are all over the place.


    Quote Originally Posted by acidfast7 View Post
    that's tough. 350USD isn't much money.

    IMHO, this seems to great value for money (450 USD)

    http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/downtown_ex

  10. #10
    Senior Member Monster Pete's Avatar
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    Option 1: Buy used mountain bike. Fit fenders and slick tyres. Profit.
    Option 2: Buy 3-speed IGH and related hardware. Build into a wheel and fit to existing bike, with 3rd gear set up to be the level-ground gear. Profit.

    I may have lied about the profit part
    I've got a bike, you can ride if you like it's got a basket, a bell that rings and things to make it look good- Pink Floyd, 1967

  11. #11
    7-speed doomsday prepper ThermionicScott's Avatar
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    +1 to a 3-speed IGH for all the reasons canyoneagle mentioned. If a FG/SS currently gets you everywhere you need to go, it doesn't take much gear range to make it that much nicer.
    Quote Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
    There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
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  12. #12
    Senior Member juggleaddict's Avatar
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    Why not just lower the gear ratio on the single speed to match the terrain? You can ride just about anything with a 42 17 combo and 700c wheels. The steep stuff you have to stand on, but you get used to it. Drop bars for the wind.

  13. #13
    Senior Member canyoneagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Schwinnhund View Post
    Wow! I must really be in the budget barn. I have 6 bikes, and only two were purchased new.

    '93 Specialized Crossroads.....$199.00 ( add used Nordic Track trailer......$50.00 at a flea market)
    '83 Schwinn Sidewinder.......$149.00

    My used bikes are as follows:

    '86 Cannondale Criterium $125.00 at a pawn shop in 2006
    '85 Giant Rincon $25.00 at a flea market in 2001
    '62 Schwinn Varsity $10.00 bought from a neighbor in 1966
    '81 Torpado (all Campy) $50.00 at a flea market in 1989

    If I ever had $350.00 to spend on a bike, I would be in heaven.......

    Look for a good used bike. They are all over the place.
    While it is certainly feasible to find some decent used bikes (if you are patient and know what you are looking for), things have changed in the used market in the past 5 years. There is a flourishing interest in vintage bikes at the moment, which is driving prices much higher than before. In fact, it seems there are many sellers fetching top dollar for marginal quality bikes (Schwinn varsities for $150+, that sort of thing).
    Deals can still be found, but not nearly as easily as in the past.
    Currently one bike: Singular Gryphon do-it all bike with Nuvinci N360
    Coming soon (winter project) Ciocc Designer '84 mod build
    Temporary (on loan from a buddy): 1985 Raleigh Prestige

  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Pretty straight forward Bodge.. take an old freewheel bike, I got a hold of a 5 speed ,

    re tension the spokes , to takeout the Dish, add a 1 speed freewheel
    and line it up with the 1 chainring you will use Up front.

    I think I spent under $50, because I needed a seatpost as well as the freewheel.

    Mine started out as a boat anchor Schwinn Mesa Runner.

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