Level vs sloping top tube is largely a personal taste thing, I think. The touch points (saddle, bars, pedals) can be located the same, with either design.
Personally I don't like the "sit up and beg" look of a bike with a very sloped top tube, and find the horizontal top tube more "purposeful" and "aggressive", but that is all totally subjective blather.
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The Surlies have a level top tube but it's pretty low for the length compared to a classic old frame. Example, my Paramount is 23" (58.4 cm) and has a 22-3/16 top tube (56.3). But to get about the same length Cross Check I'd have to pick a 54 which means there's +4cm of head spacers and seat tube. You can see this in the Surly head tubes which are always very short, and the top and down tubes come to a very tight point.
It's a big investment for me, especially if I go with the Surly since it's more expensive. That is looking like the best choice here, simply because of the versatility. I'm going to test ride them again when I get back from vacation and probably make a decision then.
I think for a $1000 budget, you should add the word "used" here and there.
I wouldn't worry too much about the bar-end shifters -- the less convenient your shifting, the better you get at anticipating when to shift, and making the most of the gear you find yourself in. All of my road bikes have downtube shifters, so if I get a chance to shift down to my ~72" gear before stopping, great. Otherwise, I'll just ride out of the saddle for a bit until I'm up to speed again.
Have you not considered All City? All City bikes are sold all over Boston/Greater Boston and beyond. They are cheaper than Surly from what I can tell. I've seen a few them around, but haven't seen a Surly yet. It's not Cyclo-Cross, but All City Space Horse looks sweet. Their Nature Boy look nice too. Too bad All City name itself sucks and so do the names for their bikes. Worst names for bikes, no contest.
Last edited by zymphad; 12-22-13 at 06:51 PM.
Chaad--'95 DeKerf Team SL, '02 Lemond Buenos Aires, '05 Novara Buzz, '73 Schwinn Collegiate, '06 Mountain Cycle Rumble, '09 Dahon Mariner D7, '12 Mercier Nano, '12 Breezer Venturi
To suggest another option I think the Motobecane Gran Turismo is a great bike for only $700! see this for details: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/...an_turismo.htm
Another great option from Kona is the Sutra model instead of the Jake, this one comes with complete set of front and rear racks plus fenders thus it's ready to add on pannier bags and get on and go. I'm sure you could get it on sale somewhere for less than the $1500 new retail price.
But for a low cost and highly rated touring bike the Motobecane is going to be hard to beat for the anything under $1500. For $700 you could afford to put on front rack, nice fenders, and accessorize it anyway you want.
If you're going to buy off the rack the Vaya is the only one I'd buy
I'm an angry angst ridden anarcho-punk socialist you should just generally disregard my posts--Germany_chris
Most here are focusing on commuter advice. Commuting isn't picky. Any bike that fits, is set up for the weather (fenders/ snow tires, etc), and mostly works is a decent commuter.
A good tourer, though, relies on geometry in a big way. So my advice is to get the bike with the longest chainstays you can. Front end geometry is trickier, and varies under load, but a bike with long chainstays is likely to have a geometry up front that is amenable to loading up.
For $1k, I'd look at an old tourer for $400, and spend the rest on panniers, an awesome tent, and other tour gear/travel expenses. And some beer.
A great tourer will be 95% as good as any commuter you've chosen, but any great commuter will *not* so necessarily be a decent tourer. Ask this same question in the Touring Subforum....
The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. Christopher Morley
I'm slow, go around
I've had nothing but straight tube frames for years until this last summer when I got my first sloped frame, and for what it's worth I can't tell the difference, if anything it's slightly easier to mount and dismount and that's about it, my jewels don't care either.
It is part of competition cyclocross bikes.. as you need the space inside to shoulder the bike, and run.personally i think the straight top tube looks better aesthetically.
anyhow the rim brake Trek Cross Rip comes in right at $1K, the disc brake ones are over that $ figure.
My wife just got the 2013 model of the Specialized Tricross (slightly cheaper and better paintjob).
It's a pretty good bike. Nice looking too. Has rackmounts, brifters, but also interrupt brake levers (which are obscured in the pic on specialized website)
it has low end components, but i love the thumb knob on the brifters for shifting up, instead of the lever under the brake lever.
Crosscheck seems like your best option in your budget. If I got a crosscheck I would just upgrade the shifters. You can do it now or in the future but will probably get a deal to do it now.
I would consider the Straggler if you can afford it and want disc brakes. Seems like some love them and some don't, but I personally would go for it.
Salsa Vaya would be a great option if you can find a deal (I looked at them recently and found some good discounts on 2013's). I think the 2013 Vaya 3 still has bar end shifters (the Vaya 2 would be way out of your price target) so if you wanted to go for brifters it would increase the cost.
We sell Treks:
CrossRip, $990: compared to the Jamis, you lose the disc brakes, but pick up triple shifting in the front. The Jamis with disc brakes seems to be a better deal.
CrossRip Comp, $1100: disc brakes, still Claris shifting, pick up carbon fork and triple from compared to the Jamis. Compared to the Kona, CrossRip Comp has triple front and carbon fork, but the Kona has better, 10sp Tiagra drivetrain. Both the Kona and the Jamis seem like a better deal. Dang.
I know next to nothing. I am frequently wrong.
Another vote for the Crosscheck, with one caveat - make sure it fits well.
for some, they have a slightly long top tube and a short head tube.
ps, I've commuted and done a couple of light tours with mine
it is a nice balance of features, tire flexibility is a nice plus - had everything from 25 to 47 tires on mine.
Last edited by martianone; 12-23-13 at 05:56 PM. Reason: Ps
ride long & prosper
that's what is in the picture in 27th post.