I'm looking around right now for my commuter bike, and the $600 and under mark has slim pickings for what I'm hunting for.
My list looks like this:
- Drop bars (because damn are they comfy!)
- Disc brakes (weather conditions)
- 700c tires (potholes)
- Wide tires doable (because some parts don't have roads)
- More gearing options than my 7 speed MTB (LOTS of hills)
The Trek Crossrip is awesome
, but is outside of my price range. I'm also having trouble finding anything used - I'm not even finding CrossRips in most local bike shops. Still going to be stopping by a few tomorrow.
The bikesdirect Gravity Liberty seems to really fit the bill nicely, even comes in at $500, but there doesn't seem to be any reasonable way to mount decent fenders. Which is freaking killing me while I stare at this inexpensive solution.
I keep seeing Trek 7.3 DS's for a great price, but the flat bar is just driving me nuts. I know it would cost some money to convert, and I just am not seeing the value (or the chance at making it happen within my price range when I include the bar). Otherwise, this is a solid solution. I just realize that the hand position on my 830 is hurting my hands, and I'm not going to enjoy having bar ends and moving my hands around to switch gears. I have a ton of hills, and I can see already that I'm moving around pretty often, so keeping the same shifter will just make things feel completely unchanged.
The Redline Metro Sport seems great! Just a bit outside of the price range, so a previous year model would fit near perfectly.... but I can't find a single one
! There is only one dealer in 50 miles, and they owe me a call back . The dealer at mile 51 has a Metro Sport in stock... but they modified it, removing the disc brakes and making it a flat bar. Which completely takes away big reasons I wanted it.
Craigslist (I've been at this for months, btw) is filled with $5000 bikes and $20 kids bmx bikes, with very few things inbetween. Unless I cross a few bridges, pay $30 in tolls and $20 in parking just to take a look. You can guess why I'm not interested in dealing with that.
I'd build a bike from scratch (no, I'm not an experienced bicycle mechanic, but I do all my own work on everything (my house, my cars, woodworking, sportbike, electronics, etc.) so I'm capable of handling it, taking things slowly, and reading before I do something. Unfortunately, it seems as though - at best - I could beat the price of a CrossRip, but not a used Metro Sport (probably hitting new prices) or a new Gravity Liberty CXD.
So.... what do I do?
Ideas? Thoughts? Hate mail? Gestures in my general direction?