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  1. #1
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    Looking for an all-weather commuter

    I'm considering getting a new commuter cycle. Here is my current wish list:
    • Single-speed, fixed-gear, or internal hub for easy cleaning/maintenance
    • Fender / rack mounts
    • Clearance for wide, knobby all-weather tires + fender
    • CX geometry - fun to ride
    • Durable and reliable


    The Specialized Singlecross is exactly what I want, but unfortunately, it's no longer manufactured. Here are some bikes I am considering:


    I'm also considering building a bike up from Craigslist purchases, but since I've never done that before, I have a feeling I would end up way over my head and lack the time or energy to complete such a project.

    I know there is a lengthy thread about Motobecane Uno. There are a lot of people who seem to be quite satisfied with it, especially considering the price, but I am concerned about the durability and quality of the bike, especially with stock components. The Nature Boy is especially tempting due to its popularity in the CX forums, but I am curious how well it holds up to commuting and mounting fenders / racks. And finally, the Felt looks like the most fun to ride, but I also am skeptical of its value as a commuter.

    Input from those who have experience commuting (or any kind of riding, really) with any of these bikes would be especially appreciated. Thanks
    Last edited by Poohblah; 02-13-14 at 09:19 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    Probably need to specify what "all weather" includes. If it's a lot of snow and ice, a CX bike might be OK but a lot of them don't have clearance for much more than a 32mm tire with fenders. You're rather limited for studded tire choices in that size.

    I see CX bikes out there this time of year but they often stay home when the roads are at their worst.
    If you're not riding with a psychedelic gecko on your shirt, you ARE having a substandard experience.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by tjspiel View Post
    Probably need to specify what "all weather" includes. If it's a lot of snow and ice, a CX bike might be OK but a lot of them don't have clearance for much more than a 32mm tire with fenders. You're rather limited for studded tire choices in that size.

    I see CX bikes out there this time of year but they often stay home when the roads are at their worst.
    My apologies, I forgot to mention this.

    I live in Colorado. Most of the year, the weather is dry, but snow in winter and spring and afternoon thunderstorms in late summer are common. Typically, ice and snow does not stay on the streets or MUPs for more than a few days at a time. If there is close to a foot of snow, I'm going to work from home anyway. The bike paths are good around here and plowed regularly, so I can stay off the street for the most part, though I imagine that may change in the future if/when I move or change jobs.

    I kind of figured clearance would be an issue with most of these frames... maybe I'm bad at reading spec charts, but I had trouble figuring out clearances for most of these bikes.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Looked at the Specialized Crux ? What is your idea of wide? 35 mm? Drop bars ? I love my crosscheck, but you would have to start with a frame.

  5. #5
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    Single speed in Colorado? Are you in a flat area? Does Colorado have flat areas?
    Please email me rather than sending me a private message. My address is noglider@pobox.com

    Tom Reingold
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Breathegood's Avatar
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    I've been really happy with both of my Raleighs so I'm kind of partial to the Furley. I've talked to several Furley owners and they say the bike is just bomber. Kind of heavy, but durable and reliable. If you really want an all-weather bike, check out the Spot Brand bikes. It's a Colorado company that is leading the way in belt drive development. The way they have them spec'd on their website is on the pricey side, but you could downgrade several components to make the price a little more reasonable.

    http://spotbrand.com/
    1991 Trek 8700 - SS conversion - 'round towner
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  7. #7
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    Breathegood, I didn't learn about Spot Brand until after I made my post. I've been checking them out - there's even an Ajax on sale on my local Craigslist.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Breathegood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poohblah View Post
    Breathegood, I didn't learn about Spot Brand until after I made my post. I've been checking them out - there's even an Ajax on sale on my local Craigslist.
    This isn't exactly Spot related, but the review I wrote for my T6 should give you some good ideas about how the Spot bikes could be spec'd, as well as some insight to exactly how low maintainence the IGH/belt combination really is.
    http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...H-CX?highlight=
    1991 Trek 8700 - SS conversion - 'round towner
    2009 Gary Fisher "Kaitai" - heavy commuter
    2009 Raleigh Team - fast & light
    2012 Raleigh Twin Six - Belt drive, IGH, CX
    1993 Scott Santa Fe - dedicated basement trainer

  9. #9
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    I have a Fantom Cross Uno and I love it all to pieces. There is a thread over in the cyclocross forum about them.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
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  10. #10
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    Colorado has valleys. If you never go in the hills, a single speed will be fine for town or country rides. But if you want to ride single track, go touring or long distance commuting than you'll want a bike with alpine gearing to handle the hills.

    An all-rounder commuter bike will able to do all of the latter with ease.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Cyclosaurus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poohblah View Post
    My apologies, I forgot to mention this.

    I live in Colorado. Most of the year, the weather is dry, but snow in winter and spring and afternoon thunderstorms in late summer are common. Typically, ice and snow does not stay on the streets or MUPs for more than a few days at a time. If there is close to a foot of snow, I'm going to work from home anyway. The bike paths are good around here and plowed regularly, so I can stay off the street for the most part, though I imagine that may change in the future if/when I move or change jobs.

    I kind of figured clearance would be an issue with most of these frames... maybe I'm bad at reading spec charts, but I had trouble figuring out clearances for most of these bikes.
    Last year I asked BD about the max tire clearance on my Fantom Cross CX. They said that it can take up to 700x42c.
    Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve. -Popper

  12. #12
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    I fit the criteria!

    But I am not a bike.

  13. #13
    Senior Member TransitBiker's Avatar
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    You all know what i'm going to recommend so i'l just say that.

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  14. #14
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    a Velomobile .. with a roof over your head. in the winter. fit studded tires on the Ice.

  15. #15
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    Without fenders. If you want outfit it with fenders, you are limited to 35c tires. But tha still lets you outfit larger tires than on a typical road bike which can't take fenders and is not up to the task of day to day commuting that you would get in a dedicated commuting bike.

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