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  1. #1
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    Need advice on an all around bike ($1000-1500)

    Hi, I'm looking to get a bit of an all around bike. I live in Ottawa, where we have lots of bike paths, and a fairly bike friendly city. There are also the Gatineau park nearby, with has a lot of hilly paved road.

    Now, I'm just not into road bikes. I'd like something with a bit of versatility. If I need to jump a curb and ride over a grass hill, I'd like to be able to do so. I'm not looking to ride mountain trails, but outside of that, I don't want to be too limited.

    So, my choices seem to be a Cyclocross bike, or perhaps a Commuter. I was looking at the following bike, from MEC:

    MEC Hold Stead ($1250)



    I like the style of it, and I am very interested in the internal gear hub, as I have always been annoyed by constantly maladjusted derailleurs. My concerns are the following: will the gears be able to go low enough so that I can easily climb something like a grassy hill? Also, will the tires be sturdy enough to handle grass/dirt/gravel, and the occasional curb hop?

    Cyclocross bikes seem like a good option as well, though I don't really feel comfortable with downgrips, and they all seem to have traditional derailleurs (which, hey, might be okay). I don't really know what cyclocross bikes to go for, either.

    Any input or suggestions are appreciated. Thanks!
    Last edited by TheExodu5; 07-28-11 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Looking at a few other hybrids now. Maybe something like this might fit my needs better:

    Trek Montare


    A lockable suspension might be nice to have. I'd be losing the internal gear hub, though.

    How much slower would I expect a bike like this to be compared to the MEC or something like a Kona Dr. Fine?

  3. #3
    Senior Member kevrider's Avatar
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    hard to say without knowing how you define "hill" but i'd wager either of those would get the job done; you're not asking a lot. you usually don't need a triple crank or 27 gears for riding around town (maybe SF). but if you are unsure, get yourself a test ride and see how it goes.
    In a world full of people, only some want to ride. Isn't that crazy?
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  4. #4
    Born Again Pagan irclean's Avatar
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    I test rode the Hold Steady, and was very impressed. Ultimately, I went with the Norco Ceres; I was seduced by the belt drive. The drivetrain hasn't been completely flawless, but that's the price you pay for being an alpha-tester. I am considering an upgrade to Gates' new CenterTrack design. All in all though, the bike has been an absolute joy. It really shone during our last winter and its record-breaking snowfall. The Ceres uses the same Alfine 8 IGH as the Hold Steady. None of the hills around here are any harder to tackle with this bike than they are with my other 3x7 or 3x8 bikes.

    HPIM2964..jpgSNC00477.jpgSNC00463..jpgHPIM3373.jpgSNC00567.jpg

    Current versions of some of the other bikes I considered were the Raleigh Alley Way & Detour Deluxe, Brodie Ocho, Trek Soho, Breezer Finesse, Rocky Mountain Metropolis NRT, and Giant Seek 0

    Some other bikes worthy of consideration are the Mongoose Sabrosa Ocho, Scott Sub 10, Kona Dr. Good & Dr. Fine, and the only CenterTrack/IGH commercially available bike that I'm aware of, the Spot Brand Acme.
    Gettin' my Fred on.

  5. #5
    car-less monkeydentity's Avatar
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    i don't understand why that first one costs so much...i fell like you can find something more exciting for the price.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by monkeydentity View Post
    i don't understand why that first one costs so much...i fell like you can find something more exciting for the price.
    It seems to be pretty much in line with the other bikes I've seen that are similar...The Giant Seek 0 and the Kona Dr. Fine. It's a little nicer than the Seek 0 since it has a carbon fork instead of an aluminum one.

    Anyways, I think I'm teetering back and forth in between the Trek Montare and Trek Mendota. I'll put on some tired with tread on the one I get. I'm going to have to test ride them. Here is the Mendota:

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...city/mendota/#

    The main observable difference between the Mendota and the Montare is the Mendota comes with a carbon fork instead of a lockable suspension. I'm going to have to try it and see what I prefer.



    Anyways, from a forum post elsewhere, this is a bit of a description of what I'd like to do with the bike I get:

    As or my ride...mostly sport. I will probably ride to work, but I generally just really enjoy biking. I will bike around the city, and maybe in the hills over in the country. I want a bike that will let me hop a curb and go up a steep grassy hill as a shortcut. I want something I can ride on gravel. I want a bike with tires that aren't going to go flat on me because of a small rock. And yet, I want something that will be fast on the road and bike paths. I will bike mostly on pavement, but I do not want to be limited to it.

    My idea of a fun day out would be to bike all around the city, trough streets, bike paths, fields, and dirt trails in the woods looking for geocaches. It needs to be versatile and relatively comfortable. If I can get a bike that can do this while being closer to a road bike than a mountain bike in terms of pavement speed, I'd be very happy.

  7. #7
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    I have a specialized Crosstrail and find it to be a great all arounder

    Cheers

  8. #8
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    The Montare and Mendota were on my short list last year. I bought the Quick CX Ultra (this year, Quick CX 1) instead because it has a top-notch suspension fork. It's even more expensive than the Mendota, though, and I had to stretch my budget.

    It's been the right move for me, for sure, because I ride MTB trails about 1/3 - 1/2 of the time on this bike. The front shock helps a ton. However, on-road, I only use the shock every now and then... I'm usually locked-out.

    If you're set on those 2 bikes, I'd get the Mendota if you will be on-road 90% of the time. I'd get the Montare if you are doing at least 25% dirt. If you're over 25% trail riding, consider a 29er instead or check the DS series to see if they can mount a bigger tire. My uncle rides a bone-stock 2011 Kaitai about 70% off-road and I'm doubtful he can get a 2" knobby on it. However, he's done well with the stock cyclocross-ish tires, and I think if he gets a 35-38mm aggressive knobby he'll be fine.

  9. #9
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    So, I ordered the Trek Mendota (Gary Fisher Collection).

    I just absolutely love the style and design of the bike, so I had to jump on it, sadly without ever having tried it. I really hope I like it, and I hope it fits right. They only had 2x 17.5 models left at Trek, and I'm around 5'8" (maybe ~30" inseam)...the guy at the shop said it should fit me perfectly. I hope he was right!

    I didn't want to chance not being able to this bike, since it was the one that really drew me in. I was afraid they wouldn't come out with the same model next year.

    The guy at the shop had never heard of this bike, funny enough, as he had recommended the 7.5FX. I asked him to compare the specs, and he was quite surprised at the specs of the Mendota for the price, especially with the SLX derailleurs. Looking forward to next week!

  10. #10
    Ridin' South Cackalacky dahut's Avatar
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    Id prefer the cyclocross, myself.

    I always want drop bar ends on flat bar bikes, so I'd just go there.
    "Watch out for giants; they are boorish fools with tongues wagging, drunk upon their own words.
    They will try to teach you a lesson if given the chance, and you will stumble over their stinking feet."

  11. #11
    Riding Heaven's Highways: In Memoriam justfitme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheExodu5 View Post
    ...he was quite surprised at the specs of the Mendota for the price, especially with the SLX derailleurs.
    What exactly he said about $25 crankset on $1200 bike?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by justfitme View Post
    What exactly he said about $25 crankset on $1200 bike?
    Nothing at all. Is this going to be a big issue?

    I'm not going to lie...a big reason I went with the Mendota is the looks. Very muted and sharp. The components seemed good at a first glance, but now that I look closer, I guess there are a few weaknesses. The crank is one, and the curved handlebars are another (I guess I'll probably end up replacing that, at the very least). It seems like indeed the bike might be a tad overpriced for what it is. But hey, it just jives with me, which I think was a very important part of my purchase. No point in buying a bike that I won't like the look of. I won't mind putting a bit of money into this bike over the years and tune it a bit better to my liking. Call it a learning experience.
    Last edited by TheExodu5; 08-10-11 at 11:28 PM.

  13. #13
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    That's a very sweet looking bike. Appearance is partly what attracted me to my Marin Muirwoods 29er, the other was its price. I wish the components were higher end but oh well, I can upgrade when needed I guess. It's more in line with Fisher's dual sport bikes but with a rigid fork though. Something about low gloss dark color is just attractive sometimes.

    I've rode a Scott SUB 20 before in 19" and size was spot on. I'm 5'8" and 31 inseam. The effective top tube seems to be the same but I'm not sure why Trek's bike has a 1.5" shorter seat tube for the same effective top tube. Maybe the tube slopes more. I think you are ok though.

  14. #14
    [IMG]http://i4.photobucke jeepseahawk's Avatar
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    I love the bad boy, I don't know if this would work for you though. I actually just turned my cannondale f4 (mountaina bike) into a bad boy faux. You can put 26 inch mountain rims/tires on if you feel spunky. Link below.

    http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/recr...-boy-solo-dl50
    Last edited by jeepseahawk; 08-11-11 at 02:58 AM.

  15. #15
    Riding Heaven's Highways: In Memoriam justfitme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheExodu5 View Post
    Nothing at all. Is this going to be a big issue?

    I'm not going to lie...a big reason I went with the Mendota is the looks. Very muted and sharp. The components seemed good at a first glance, but now that I look closer, I guess there are a few weaknesses. The crank is one, and the curved handlebars are another (I guess I'll probably end up replacing that, at the very least). It seems like indeed the bike might be a tad overpriced for what it is. But hey, it just jives with me, which I think was a very important part of my purchase. No point in buying a bike that I won't like the look of. I won't mind putting a bit of money into this bike over the years and tune it a bit better to my liking. Call it a learning experience.
    First at all I love the style of this bike too. (my Bad Boy looks kinda similar).
    Second - we can not do anything about the fact that brand names expensive bikes have some cheap components on them. Since all brand name companies do the same.
    Personally, if I would be ready to spend 1.5K and the word cyclocross would cross my mind - I would go with titanium Motobecane with SRAM Rival all around and Ksyrium Elites on it. I know many are sceptical about BD bikes but they are "honestly" equipped for the money they cost.

    If I would have 1.2 K and the word "upgrade it" would cross my mind then I would go to CL and buy good looking bike for $200-300 and then upgrade it.
    It will be much less than 1.2K and they will be as I want them to be. (this is actually how I approached hybrid-situation in my family)

    However, it is just me and it is not recomendation - this bike is great looking and great name bike. You will enjoy it - to mention the crank again - I had Shimano Alivio on one of my CC bike for 10 years with no problems at all.

  16. #16
    Two-Wheeled Aficionado ColinL's Avatar
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    I wouldn't worry about the cranks. None of the bikes in this price range come with truly good cranks, and there's a variety of options under $200 for hollow cranks with GXP external cups. My choice is Shimano Deore XT. (Edit:
    Interesting that almost everything I linked is over $200. I paid $104+shipping for my wife's Deore XT crankset and no more than $150 for mine.)
    Last edited by ColinL; 08-11-11 at 08:46 AM.

  17. #17
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    What are external cups?

    How would something like this Deore crank compare? I once read somewhere that the Deore crankset is a big step up from Alivio. I forgot what characteristic it emphasized though.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/2010-NEW-Shimano...item519a756e85

  18. #18
    [IMG]http://i4.photobucke jeepseahawk's Avatar
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    Shimano cranks go in this order, Altus, Acera, Alivio, Deore, Deore LX, Deore SLX, Deore XT, Deore XTR for mountain cranks. So Deore is only one step above Alivio. External cups sit outside the bottom bracket where internal are flush with bottom bracket.
    Usually a bike with Deore/Deore LX groupset is a middle of the row choice.
    Last edited by jeepseahawk; 08-11-11 at 06:27 PM.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    I have a 2011 Trek Mendota, I like it, great bike,,,,,,
    Phil P.
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    How Old would you be if you didn't know how old you are ?

  20. #20
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    It took some digging to find the website and the advantage it mentioned of Deore over Alivio is that Deore uses external bottom bracket. I am assuming that means the same thing as external cups.

  21. #21
    Riding Heaven's Highways: In Memoriam justfitme's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsdavis View Post
    What are external cups?

    How would something like this Deore crank compare? I once read somewhere that the Deore crankset is a big step up from Alivio. I forgot what characteristic it emphasized though.
    http://cgi.ebay.com/2010-NEW-Shimano...item519a756e85
    The external cups (BB) means that the bearing clusters placed outside of bottom bracket shell (in comparison to octalink/square taper battom brackets that placed inside the shell).
    External bottom brackets gives you more stability and stiffness feel.
    Plus they generally lighter.

    In my case I switched from Acera crankset to one you have in the link and the difference is huge in feel and weight (250 g difference).
    Many professionals saying that there is not much difference between Acera/Alivion and old internal BB Deore or LX.
    But it is not entirely true - Deore lighter I isntalled on my wife's hybrid Deore M510 and it is 200g lighter than Acera.
    Plus you may get better bottom bracket replacing the "priceless" stock one.
    The professionals saying this mostly because there are External BB's on the market and everything not external is a crap by default.

    (Deore M510 twice cheaper than the one from ebay you are showing).

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