I've convinced myself I'm ready for a new bike. My commute is 12 miles each way, primarily on decently paved roads. I don’t carry much stuff.
My main bike for commuting has been my 2005 Marin Lucas Valley that I bought new. It has an aluminum frame with carbon fork and seat stays, running a 30-42-52 triple and a 12-24 8 speed cassette on 700x28 Gatorskins. Light and speedy, it serves me well.
But it’s now 10 years old and I sometimes worry about carbon and / or aluminum failure. I’d feel much more at ease on a steel frame/fork. That’s my excuse to get a new bike, anyways!
My must haves:
Steel frame and fork.
Cassette/derailleur with close ratio gears. (No IGH)
Fender and rack mounts.
$1000 or so.
I like pretty much everything about this:
Raleigh Bicycles - Roper
Raleigh calls it “Half 'cross bike, half urban commuter…”
All the local Raleigh dealers claim it would not be popular enough for them to stock it, so no way to test ride first.
It lists for $950. One shop offered to get it for me for 850. Another said if I didn’t like it I could “keep the money in the shop” and pick another bike. I likely could get both deals at either shop, I would imagine.
Your thoughts? Thanks!