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Old 05-01-13, 12:08 PM   #1
sirclicksalot
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New bike advice on pre-built for commuting/light touring

Hey all, 1st post here so if this is better suited for another forum category, just let me know and I'll move/recreate it. Anyway, here's the deal:

I'm looking to replace my old commuter which was trashed in an auto accident. I've got a 6-mile commute each way to work, ride just about every day, and am looking to get into more touring. Probably to start I'll just be doing overnights/maybe weekend trips for touring, or day trips from a basecamp. I've looked around for a while, and I think I've narrowed my choices down to the following three bikes:

Salsa Vaya 3

All-City Space Horse

Velo Orange Campeur - Would need to be built up, obv.

I'd also be open to suggestions for similar bikes that are either at or under the $1,500 range, pre-built. From my read they break down like this:

Vaya - Best all around
Space Horse - Best commuter
Campeur - More traditional tourer, and retro elements lend itself to building with older components

I actually have an almost complete Campy Victory group which would probably be pretty nice on the Campeur. It makes me a little nervous for touring though, as it's not very field service-able as a group. And yes, I have looked (a lot) at LHTs, but since the majority of my riding is commuting, they seem to be a bit overkill on the touring side.

Anyway, first-hand opinions or overall brand impressions are welcome. Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-01-13, 02:02 PM   #2
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I'd put my money on the Vaya- the disc brakes will help you maintain stopping power with a load or in the rain. Plus it has 10mm longer chainstays, which will help you avoid heel strike. And you can run 700x38 w/fenders.
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Old 05-01-13, 07:53 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by sirclicksalot View Post
I actually have an almost complete Campy Victory group which would probably be pretty nice on the Campeur. It makes me a little nervous for touring though, as it's not very field service-able as a group.
Just out of curiosity, what component group do you think is field serviceable? If you have friction shifters there is little you can't fix on the road, as long as you can find a doner bike in a ditch somewhere. The main disadvantage would be the freewheel hub that might make bent or broken axles more likely if you overload the bike. Also, don't campy shifters have a weird mounting bolt thread?
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Old 05-01-13, 07:57 PM   #4
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I'd go for a steel cross bike like the space horse, soma double cross, or surly cross check. These are fine all around machines which is what it appears you are looking for.
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Old 05-02-13, 06:11 AM   #5
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With that budget (a good thing) it is going to come down to personal choice. I am a bit of a retro grouch and prefer the older components. My touring/commuter bike is my Giant Excursion. I actually have two of them, this is the pretty one. But they are set up the same. If I had to keep just one bike it would be this one or my Raleigh 3 speed.

Just about every manufacturer makes a bike similar to what you are looking for. I would avoid a full blown tour bike, unless you find them comfortable to ride unloaded.

Aaron

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Old 05-02-13, 11:06 AM   #6
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...what component group do you think is field serviceable?
Well, the big issues with that group is reverse-threaded crank bolts. They have a self-extractor bolt though, so that's not actually a huge deal. Also, the chainring bolt spacings are funky. I guess field-serviceable is maybe the wrong word, more like field-replaceable, particularly if I'm dealing with a one-shop town somewhere in Eastern Oregon.

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..The main disadvantage would be the freewheel hub that might make bent or broken axles more likely if you overload the bike.
Although I do have the matching hubs, they're laced to Matrix tubulars, so I'd probably go with a modern wheelset anyway. Good point though. 126mm spacing would be questionable for touring/matching to most frames and the Campeur is 135mm, so reverse cold-setting/spacing the hubs would be a bad idea, IMHO.

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Also, don't campy shifters have a weird mounting bolt thread?
Well ****, now I've gotta go look at that.
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Old 05-02-13, 11:09 AM   #7
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My touring/commuter bike is my Giant Excursion. I actually have two of them, this is the pretty one.
Nice. I'll keep an eye out for one, thanks for the recommendation. Always looking out for what might become the next vintage rage, ala a Miyata 1000 or Specialized Expedition.
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Old 05-02-13, 11:11 AM   #8
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I'd put my money on the Vaya
Yeah, I'm kind of leaning that way. Plus Universal Cycles is running a 15% promo until 5/15, which would bring it down to under $1200.
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Old 05-02-13, 11:13 AM   #9
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I'd go for a steel cross bike
Funny you should say that, I just had a conversation with a fellow communter about her cross frame setup for commuting this AM on my ride in.
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