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  1. #1
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    commuter/road/light touring bike

    I have a Pake C'Mute that I built up with mid-level parts and it weighs about 30 pounds. rear rack, full fenders, big headlight, barend shifters, compact cranks with mtn cassette, etc. I mostly use it for commuting to work- 7.5 miles on easy roads with just a few items in a rear pannier. I also take it out once or twice a week on long 30-50 mile road rides in Texas hill country or around town. for solo road rides, I remove the rear rack and sometimes the fenders to get the weight down a little bit to make the handling a little more nimble. my bike is clearly geared more toward touring but it feels like overkill. I am thinking about replacing it with a Novara Verita (and replacing the stock Verita wheels ASAP!) I am looking for something half-way between a touring bike for comfort but more nimble like a road bike. The Verita is really the only bike I am considering because, as an REI employee, it's a much, much better value for my money than a Surly Pacer.

    Should I keep upgrading the Pake with some better tires and wheels or am I trying to make the Cmute do something it was never made to do?
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-01-13 at 08:25 PM.

  2. #2
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    I like both of them. They are basically the same frame so I don't think you'll be getting much by changing bikes. If it was me, I think I'd stick with what you have and change out the drivetrain and wheels. You don't mention what you're running for wheels, but this can be a good improvement. I don't care for mountain cassettes. Too large of jumps in shifting. What I did with my similar bike is a road cassette (11-25) with a touring type triple. I use a Sugino 46/36/26 crankset which gives me the low triple if needed, but also gives me plenty of high gearing as well. Also, get some good quality tires. I use to only go with 23 or 25's but I now run Grand Bois Cypres tires in size 32. They are just as fast as 23's and MUCH, MUCH more comfortable. Not cheap though.

    That Pake looks like an extremely versatile frame. I might have chosen it myself if I had seen it before the Soma I now have.
    Last edited by knobster; 12-01-13 at 12:00 PM.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    I'd keep what you have for commuting and pick up a cross bike for your longer rides. There are advantages to monogamy when it comes to relationships but there are none when it comes to owning bikes,

  4. #4
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    I only have space in my tiny aptartment and budget on my part-time job for two bikes: my mtb and a road/commuter bike. If I get another bike, it would have to be funded by selling one of my current bikes. I am trying to eliminate redundancy.


    if you are going to compare my bike to Novara bikes, mine is currently more like the Randonee. The Verita is much lighter and seems more nimble.

  5. #5
    Senior Member bikemig's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    I only have space in my tiny aptartment and budget on my part-time job for two bikes: my mtb and a road/commuter bike. If I get another bike, it would have to be funded by selling one of my current bikes. I am trying to eliminate redundancy.


    if you are going to compare my bike to Novara bikes, mine is currently more like the Randonee. The Verita is much lighter and seems more nimble.
    The verita is a classic road bike. I'm skeptical that it's a huge improvement over the c-mute but hey you get a good employee discount and you can sell of the c'mute. I'd be tempted to keep the stock wheels for commuting and get a nicer set for long rides. The bike comes stock with 25c tires and fenders; can it take a 28c and fenders? Just asking because that's a nice size for commuting.

  6. #6
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    N+1 is always the best Solution .. lack of space = folding bike./

  7. #7
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    I know a 32mm tire will fit in the Verita fork if you remove the fender, and I think the rear end will take a 32mm as well.

    what on Earth would I do with a folding bike? anywhere that I would bother riding on a folder is somewhere I would just walk.

    The C'mute will probably take heavy loads better and has room for 45mm or larger tires. however, I don't have any plans to do loaded touring and I don't plan to use tires bigger than 35mm. it just seems like overkill. however, i don't want to go to all the trouble of selling my bike to buy something else that might not be an improvement.

    I am certain that the Verita would be at least 5 pounds lighter than my C'mute will ever be, even lighter with better wheels and lighter tires. perhaps a need a good talking-to from Grant Pedersen about how unimportant bike weight is. given the choice, would you sell a bike to get one so that you can do 50 mile solo rides on an unladen 28 pound bike or a 23 pound bike?
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-01-13 at 08:25 PM.

  8. #8
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    I don't think you're going to notice a 5 pound difference when doing recreational rides such as you described. I have a Soma ES that weighs 25 pounds and a Orbea Onix that comes in a 18 and I always pick the Soma. I just don't notice the difference in speed but I do notice the difference in comfort. I don't think you'll be disappointed with the Novara, but I think you'll be disappointed with the lack of difference between the ride of the two.

    Like someone else has said, I would get a second light wheelset and pull the fenders off during the Summer. I think you'll be more than happy with that setup.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  9. #9
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    I've got a 30lb hybrid and a 22lb road bike. The difference in weight isn't a big issue; the difference in tire size is all that matters. The road bike has lower rolling resistance, the hybrid has more traction. Therefore, the solution to your problem is a 2nd set of wheels and diet to lose 5lbs.

  10. #10
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    I got a decent test ride on a verita the other day. It seems somehow faster and more stable than my C'mute although it's only a few pounds lighter. And the brakes are much more responsive. Maybe it was the change from 32mm slicks to 25s and from barcons to brifters, but it just feels way more lively. I can put 32mm knobbies on the Verita for the occasional gravel ride and load it for commuting and credit card touring as well. I can probably get close to breaking even if I sell the c'mute, and that's the only way I can afford it. I am just looking for a good reason not to buy a Verita to replace my C'mute.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    My all around bike is/was a Giant Excursion. Lighter is not always better. For a few years my all around bike was a Giant Iguana (1990's rigid steel MTB) I had a second set of wheels with slicks that I used for commuting, on weekends I would pull the fenders and put the knobbies on for trail riding. I vote for a second set of lighter wheels.

    Aaron
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I'd skip the "half-way between" bike.

    Think of your C'Mute as a mini-van. Do you really want your alternative bike to be a 4-door sedan? I'd go for a sports car. I'd get a road bike. Then you can pick which bike is better suited each time you go out.
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  13. #13
    n00b
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post

    Think of your C'Mute as a mini-van. Do you really want your alternative bike to be a 4-door sedan? I'd go for a sports car. I'd get a road bike. Then you can pick which bike is better suited each time you go out.
    I am confused. Is a Verita analogous to a sports car, or is that the four-door sedan? Are you suggesting that I keep my C'mute an also get a "real" road bike that is not a Verita? I have neither the budget nor the space for that. I have to end up with one commute/ road/ gravel bike, plus my mtb. It's got to be two bikes, or three bikes minus one wife.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    It's got to be two bikes, or three bikes minus one wife.
    Exactly!
    My greatest fear is all of my kids standing around my coffin and talking about "how sensible" dad was.

  15. #15
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    Minus one wife = 80% of my income gone= No bikes at all!

  16. #16
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    still another vote for a folding bike it can be shared, they are quite adjustable to different sized people
    then you can have 3 and still be OK because one will be hers.

  17. #17
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    She does not ride bikes. Ever. And never will. I wouldn't be caught dead on a folder either. It would be absolutely useless to me.

  18. #18
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    Since you want to stick with REI, how about this one: http://www.rei.com/product/862178/ca...-105-bike-2014

    Looks like it can do it all. Rack mounts, disc brakes, ability to take wide tires. I would expect it would be faster than your Pake and you'd be able to race it in cyclocross if you saw fit.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  19. #19
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    I was thinking about getting something like that for a while. I have been anti-Cannondale because they tend to use a lot of silly proprietary stuff and I like traditional steel and standard parts. however, maybe I need to give into something modern. I was mostly looking at Novara products because, as an REI employee, I get a bigger discount on those, although I didn't look at the special pricing I might get on a C-dale. I was also looking at the Raleigh Roper but those are out of stock, apparently indefinitely. no word on availability for Raleigh's new disc brake road bikes yet.

    I might also consider the Novara Zealo but I have not seen one in person yet. if it takes big tires with fenders I might be into that. my only concern might be the alu fork. harsh!? I could replace it with a Surly Straggler fork.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-25-13 at 10:12 PM.

  20. #20
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    I still think I'd build something like a Soma Smoothie and just buy the parts from REI. You can buy everything you need at REI so just getting the frame that you want might be a great way to check all the boxes.

    I'd test ride one of those Zealo's first. Aluminum frame and fork may be a disaster.
    Demented internet tail wagging imbicile.

  21. #21
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    Smoothie custom build would be awesome but literally ten times over of my conceivable budget. I work part-time in retail. (you do realize how utterly ****e that kind of income is right?) It's also out of stock in my size. what's a Smoothie have that a Verita does not? at at a fraction of the price?

    sorry if I sound like I have already made up my mind. maybe I have. something is still nagging me that something about the purchase will be regretible.
    Last edited by mack_turtle; 12-25-13 at 10:57 PM.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by knobster View Post
    I think I'd stick with what you have and change out the drivetrain and wheels. You don't mention what you're running for wheels, but this can be a good improvement. I don't care for mountain cassettes. Too large of jumps in shifting.
    I would die trying to climb Mount Bonnell in Austin on a road cassette. I need a 15 minute break after clearing some of the climbs around here in a 34/32 gear. I would just walk if I had to wrestle a 34/26 up those hills. I just bought the cranks so buying another brand new triple crank and a new FD does not sounds like a fun purchase. a new crankset, BB, cassette, FD, RD, and chain would set me back at least half-way to the cost of a new bike.

    the front wheel is a nice lightweight one that I built. the rear is a cheap, heavy, double-walled piece I got cheap. it came off a hybrid of some sort. I was planning to replace that if I keep riding the Pake.

  23. #23
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Just havent tried a top notch Folder.. my Brompton has a Swiss mountain drive crank with 2 speeds
    as if a 50 -20t double but a planetary shift so the chain stays on the chainring ,
    and the crank-arms turn 2.5x faster..

    3 speed 2 ranges, so 6 gears 18" to 80"

    my other bike has a Rohloff hub and 20" wheels with disc brakes and a dyno hub ..
    Bike Friday, made in this State.


    BTW you may considera triple chainset, so the low will be a 24-32 instead.
    Last edited by fietsbob; 12-26-13 at 12:59 AM.

  24. #24
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    so, to continue the automotive metaphor, I have a station wagon. what I am looking for is a fully functional Batmobile, and you suggest that I replace my station wagon with a Fiat? I should sell my Pake (because, as I made clear, I have to sell a bike if I want to get another one) and replace it with a really cool folding bike because that will be perfect for daily 15 mile commutes, 50 mile rides in steep country roads, and it will be a slayer in the gravel grind race that I signed up for? I am confused. I am sure a nice folder is really cool, but it would do none of the things I want it to do well. a flexy bike with a kick stand and 20" slick tires is not going to make a good gravel racer.

  25. #25
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I'd skip the "half-way between" bike.

    Think of your C'Mute as a mini-van. Do you really want your alternative bike to be a 4-door sedan? I'd go for a sports car. I'd get a road bike. Then you can pick which bike is better suited each time you go out.
    Ever hear of a sports sedan? I have a Nissan Altima 4 door that can out perform quite a few "sports" cars.

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

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