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Old 06-22-13, 12:41 AM   #1
scrubbo
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A good rain bike?

So, I have a Surly Crosscheck, and it is awesome. Recently I had debated about making it my 'rain bike' and getting a Trek Domane (they were on super sale, 900 bucks off the MSRP on the 5.2) but the wife put the kibosh on that. As a lark, I weighed the 'check before my commute in to work (which I usually climb Kings and the west side of Old La Honda before getting in to work... about 33 miles, 2 hours 10-20 minutes) and discovered my packed bike with work clothes in the pannier is 44.4 pounds. Without the work clothes, it's 37.8 (just my trunk bag with tools, tire, batteries for the lights,etc.)

Now I'm thinking maybe I should strip everything off the Crosscheck (it's reasonably light 'naked' in the 25-26 pound range, I believe) and get a rain bike. The crosscheck's brakes (avid 6 shorty cantilevers) leave a little to be desired stopping me and the bike (I'm 185, it's 45, total is 230ish) when it's wet in the first place, and adding more weight with fenders (negligible as it is) won't help matters.

I'm looking for fenders with 28mm tires, rack that can take panniers and a minimum of 20 pounds of weight, probably a triple, and probably using drop bars as I'm comfy with them and I'd like to take it up King's when it's raining. Given that it will probably be a tank, I'd like disc brakes. It'd also be nice to take a generator hub so I can mount lights and not worry about batteries and battery packs. I live on a decent hill (Just off Jefferson in RWC) so the bike's gearing can't be a 'only on the flats with a minor hill or two' thing that I never take up Kings.

The Specialized Source Expert Disc looked good, but the ridiculous built in rack/fender only holds 10 pounds and looks wholly useless for panniers.

Should I aim for a cheap aluminum cyclocross like the Trek CrossRip and slap on racks and lights? Get me a surly LHT? Any other good recommendations? I'm not opposed to buying a frame and building it (or having the LBS build it, if I'm honest) to suit.

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Old 06-22-13, 01:06 AM   #2
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Get a pair of mini-V brakes with Kool Stop salmon pads, or a new disc fork with a road BB7 on the front and a mini-V on the back and you'll have hugely better braking performance.

The "naked" weight of the CC doesn't sound appealing. If you wanted another bike you could find something much more "performance oriented" used for less than you'd get a new rain bike.
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Old 06-22-13, 07:09 AM   #3
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The Specialized is $2000 and looks like something a commuter would ride 1 mile to the BART station.
LHT with disc brakes is $1400 and looks like it loves rain.
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Old 06-22-13, 07:31 AM   #4
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I'd keep the cross check for rain/commuting and get a nice carbon Trek for everything else. Even at "only" 25 lbs without the rack that's a lot of extra weight compared to a road bike. My race bike is 13 lbs with the light wheels, 14 with training wheels.

Put better brake pads or brakes on the cross check for rain. Maybe fit v brakes instead of cantis.

My rain bike is a chinese carbon road frame. Rim brakes work ok in the rain for me, even going down Kings.
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Old 06-22-13, 09:08 AM   #5
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I am surprised nobody said the clear option was a LHT for rain AND a Domane (or equivalent) and to turn the Cross Check into a single speed.

I was under the impression that Vs don't work with brifters, which is what I have on my crosscheck. I have a coolstop salmon on the rear brake, and will put one on the front when the one on it wears out. Hopefully that will improve the braking and reduce the squealing a bit.

I agree that the Source is a little boring looking, but the reason I pointed it out was it had pretty much everything else I was looking for : disc brakes, drop bars, brifters, hub powered lights, etc. It's just the terrible integrated rack that makes it unusable in my case.
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Old 06-22-13, 09:09 AM   #6
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Motobecane Fantom Outlaw commuter bike by ccorlew, on Flickr

Perhaps?
Though I'd just keep the Cross Check....
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Old 06-22-13, 09:19 AM   #7
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The BD windsor tourist would make a good rain bike/commuter: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/windsor/tourist.htm

Also you could pick up a used bike on CL for this purpose; probably your cheapest option and you can get a pretty nice bike for short money.
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Old 06-22-13, 11:26 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubbo View Post
I was under the impression that Vs don't work with brifters, which is what I have on my crosscheck. I have a coolstop salmon on the rear brake, and will put one on the front when the one on it wears out. Hopefully that will improve the braking and reduce the squealing
"Mini-V's" are v-brakes that have shorter arms and thus work with brifters/road levers. I've got a parts bin full of high-zoot cantis, and none compare (in braking performance) to the cheapest mini-V's. I use a set of the Paul Comp's on my Ritchey CX that is mostly ridden as a road bike and I couldn't ask for anything more in braking. Mini-V's don't have as much mud clearance as a canti (plenty of tire clearance for the biggest CX knobbies though), but that shouldn't be an issue on the road.
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Old 06-22-13, 11:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scrubbo View Post
So, I have a Surly Crosscheck, and it is awesome. Recently I had debated about making it my 'rain bike' and getting a Trek Domane (they were on super sale, 900 bucks off the MSRP on the 5.2) but the wife put the kibosh on that. As a lark, I weighed the 'check before my commute in to work (which I usually climb Kings and the west side of Old La Honda before getting in to work... about 33 miles, 2 hours 10-20 minutes) and discovered my packed bike with work clothes in the pannier is 44.4 pounds. Without the work clothes, it's 37.8 (just my trunk bag with tools, tire, batteries for the lights,etc.)

Now I'm thinking maybe I should strip everything off the Crosscheck (it's reasonably light 'naked' in the 25-26 pound range, I believe) and get a rain bike. The crosscheck's brakes (avid 6 shorty cantilevers) leave a little to be desired stopping me and the bike (I'm 185, it's 45, total is 230ish) when it's wet in the first place, and adding more weight with fenders (negligible as it is) won't help matters.

I'm looking for fenders with 28mm tires, rack that can take panniers and a minimum of 20 pounds of weight, probably a triple, and probably using drop bars as I'm comfy with them and I'd like to take it up King's when it's raining. Given that it will probably be a tank, I'd like disc brakes. It'd also be nice to take a generator hub so I can mount lights and not worry about batteries and battery packs. I live on a decent hill (Just off Jefferson in RWC) so the bike's gearing can't be a 'only on the flats with a minor hill or two' thing that I never take up Kings.

The Specialized Source Expert Disc looked good, but the ridiculous built in rack/fender only holds 10 pounds and looks wholly useless for panniers.

Should I aim for a cheap aluminum cyclocross like the Trek CrossRip and slap on racks and lights? Get me a surly LHT? Any other good recommendations? I'm not opposed to buying a frame and building it (or having the LBS build it, if I'm honest) to suit.
Isn't she going to squash this bike too?
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Old 06-22-13, 01:19 PM   #10
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I have about 2 grand saved up in my bike fund. Exceeding that amount required spousal approval.

Plus, I think she likes having the lightest bike in the house.
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Old 06-22-13, 01:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by cccorlew View Post

Motobecane Fantom Outlaw commuter bike by ccorlew, on Flickr

Perhaps?
Though I'd just keep the Cross Check....
That is a sexy commuter! If I get a 'rain bike' I will keep the 'check as my nice weather go fast bike!
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