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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 02-13-14, 10:15 PM   #1
Poohblah
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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 10:19 PM.
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Old 02-13-14, 11:24 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 02-13-14, 11:34 PM   #3
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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.
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.
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Old 02-14-14, 12:00 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 02-15-14, 10:52 PM   #5
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Single speed in Colorado? Are you in a flat area? Does Colorado have flat areas?
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Old 02-17-14, 04:13 PM   #6
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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/
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Old 02-17-14, 04:22 PM   #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.
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Old 02-19-14, 02:56 PM   #8
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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.
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=
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Old 02-19-14, 03:43 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 05-16-14, 01:31 PM   #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.
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Old 05-16-14, 01:38 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 05-16-14, 02:01 PM   #12
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I fit the criteria!

But I am not a bike.
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Old 05-16-14, 02:08 PM   #13
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You all know what i'm going to recommend so i'l just say that.

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Old 05-16-14, 02:51 PM   #14
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a Velomobile .. with a roof over your head. in the winter. fit studded tires on the Ice.
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Old 05-17-14, 11:03 PM   #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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