Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Complete Steel-Frame Commuters (Pref. Flat Bar)

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Complete Steel-Frame Commuters (Pref. Flat Bar)

Old 10-03-17, 10:47 AM
  #1  
🚲
Thread Starter
 
wisened_mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11

Bikes: are great!

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Complete Steel-Frame Commuters (Pref. Flat Bar)

Hi-

I'm prepping for an upcoming cross-country move to a place where my current commute setup is going to be woefully impractical. I would love to have the time to assemble something myself, but since I'm going to need to hit the ground running, I'm looking to buy a complete bike this time.

I'd like to find a steel frame commuter that's 1x or internally geared, and has relatively 'aggressive' geometry. I'd prefer something with a flat(ish) bar, and I would prefer steel. Would prefer canti/linear-pull or disc brakes. I also need it to be able to mount a rear rack. I'm somewhat flexible on the frame material, and would be willing to consider an aluminum frame if everything else was right about it. I am also open to bikes with dropbars, but I really prefer upright riding.

In my research so far, I've found a couple of bikes that seem like they might fit the bill, but I'd like to solicit this forum's input/expertise to see if there's anything I've missed.

So far I've liked/am considering:
- Fairdale Weekend Archer (2017)
- Surly Flat-Bar Crosscheck
- Swobo Fillmore 8
- Others????

Not quite right on features, but considering:
-Jamis Coda (comp or elite) -- Has 3x front chainrings, but I could deal with that

I know there are also a number of steel-framed touring bikes available, and I may need to expand my search to consider those, but the cost of those usually seems to include some features I will never use: 3x front chain rings, integrated shifters, etc.

What bikes am I missing?? Thanks for any help you can provide!

Last edited by wisened_mule; 10-03-17 at 11:07 AM.
wisened_mule is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 11:08 AM
  #2  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,543

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Liked 41 Times in 36 Posts
have you considered a belt-driven pinion gear system as it alleviates a huge amount of problems with commuting bikes.
Attached Images
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 11:30 AM
  #3  
🚲
Thread Starter
 
wisened_mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11

Bikes: are great!

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by acidfast7
have you considered a belt-driven pinion gear system as it alleviates a huge amount of problems with commuting bikes.
I've never had a belt-drive bike before, and I'm not opposed in principle. I'd certainly check one out if it fit my specs otherwise, especially as they seem to be increasingly common on internally gear bikes.
wisened_mule is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 11:38 AM
  #4  
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,291

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Krampus

Liked 3,543 Times in 2,629 Posts
I don't know about 'aggressive', but consider Breezer. The ne plus ultra would be the Beltway 11+, complete with belt-driven 11-speed IGH, shimano hydraulic disc brakes, dynohub+lights, rack, and fenders, MSRP $1799.

Liberty looks maybe a little more sporty; Uptown is steel if you insist on that.

I've been dropping Breezer links so often lately I'm starting to feel like a shill! But I swear, I don't work for them, or own one; I've never even seen one IRL. I just think they seem like a fantastic value.
RubeRad is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 11:41 AM
  #5  
🚲
Thread Starter
 
wisened_mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11

Bikes: are great!

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RubeRad
I've been dropping Breezer links so often lately I'm starting to feel like a shill! But I swear, I don't work for them, or own one; I've never even seen one IRL. I just think they seem like a fantastic value.

I cross-posted this question to another forum and someone just dropped breezer there too. The café series bikes are both steel and seem in the vein of things I've liked so far.
wisened_mule is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 11:47 AM
  #6  
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,291

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Krampus

Liked 3,543 Times in 2,629 Posts
lol it was probably me
RubeRad is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 12:31 PM
  #7  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 32
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
i used for some times a vsf (fahrrad manufaktur) with nexus and i liked, i has a more aggressive position than my dutch bike, i liked the look of the steel frame (i haven't been able to feel differences as a pro would). i saw some other models in bike shops, they look well built and with reasonable price. they also come with alfine, pinion, rohloff
here the t100 priced 799€

i have a gazelle and really like it even if popular beliefs is that "they don't buld them like they used to" they have a steel model with nexus 7 van stael


i wonder the availability in the us
broken foot is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 12:38 PM
  #8  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,543

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Liked 41 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by broken foot
i used for some times a vsf (fahrrad manufaktur) with nexus and i liked, i has a more aggressive position than my dutch bike, i liked the look of the steel frame (i haven't been able to feel differences as a pro would). i saw some other models in bike shops, they look well built and with reasonable price. they also come with alfine, pinion, rohloff
here the t100 priced 799€
nice ride. quite good. pretty cheap for the quality.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 01:05 PM
  #9  
GATC
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: south Puget Sound
Posts: 8,728
Liked 49 Times in 27 Posts
$499 is a great deal on the vanishing Traitor Ruben (flatbar, disc brakes) if you can ride a 59

https://www.evo.com/outlet/urban/tra...-flat-bar-bike
HardyWeinberg is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 05:10 PM
  #10  
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,291

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Krampus

Liked 3,543 Times in 2,629 Posts
$499 for 3x8 and no-name mech disk brakes doesn't seem like such a special deal. But it is named Ruben, so there's that.
RubeRad is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 05:12 PM
  #11  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Liked 1,360 Times in 866 Posts
Eliminate everything ypu cannot test ride or get serviced where you live.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 10-03-17, 05:36 PM
  #12  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Tempe, AZ
Posts: 219

Bikes: Specialized AWOL, Specialized Roubaix, Niner Air9, Turner Sultan

Liked 42 Times in 25 Posts
I really wanted a Salsa Marrakesh. It's not internal geared hub but otherwise seems to meet your requirements. It's available with flat bar or drop bar. I would have picked one up for my new commuter but they don't make a frame big enough for me.
RoadKill is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 01:57 AM
  #13  
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2016
Location: Southeastern part of PA
Posts: 96

Bikes: 2016 Rivendell Joe Appaloosa, 2017 Handsome Cycles She-Devil

Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Take a look at Handsome Bikes line of bicycles https://handsomecycles.com . I got a She-Devil step through and it was the best riding bike under 1k that I tested at my local dealers (some steel, some aluminum). Well built, not cheap feeling like a lot of the other sub 1k bikes I tested.

My guess is the she-devil wouldn't be the right model for you, but they have quite a few models and gearing setups.

Roberta

Last edited by RECfromPA; 10-04-17 at 02:09 AM.
RECfromPA is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 05:00 AM
  #14  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,543

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Liked 41 Times in 36 Posts
I think in your price bracket you should at a minimum be able to go with IGH and have proper fenders and rack attachment points. Good options should also have a dynamo and a full chainguard.

There's no reason to settle for lower-spec'd stuff with a rear mech.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 11:05 AM
  #15  
Senior Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Memphis TN area
Posts: 7,391

Bikes: 2011 Felt Z85 (road/commuter), 2006 Marin Pine Mountain (utility/commuter E-bike), 1995 KHS Alite 1000 (gravel grinder)

Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
Originally Posted by acidfast7
have you considered a belt-driven pinion gear system as it alleviates a huge amount of problems with commuting bikes.
Who makes one of those for under US $5,000? From Co-Motion it would be at least $5,600 to $6,500 and higher.
PatrickGSR94 is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 11:18 AM
  #16  
🚲
Thread Starter
 
wisened_mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11

Bikes: are great!

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Hey Everybody: thanks for the continuing input and discussion. Based on some continued solo research and this discussion, I've managed an updated and expanded list of options:
  • Surly -- Flat-bar crosscheck
  • Fairdale -- Weekend Archer
  • Swobo -- Fillmore 8
  • Jamis -- Coda (series)
  • Breezer -- Café (series)
  • All-city -- Pony Express
  • Handsome -- Devil (city 8)
  • Planet x -- Kaffenback
  • Kona -- Dew (series)
  • Masi -- Strada Vida (series)
  • Marin -- Muirwoods

I'm in the somewhat unfortunate position that my new home is a bit under covered by bike retailers, so I may end up having to drive a couple of hours to buy. This does give a few points to some of the companies that do ship direct, but I don't want that to be the deciding factor.

As I do more research, I'm feeling more and more strongly that canti/direct or disc brakes or a must. The only thing that's better than going on a bike is stopping on a bike, and I'd like to do that adroitly. Disc brakes are a bit unexplored territory for me. I've been a pavement rider all my life, and have never owned a bike with disc brakes. Hydraulic disc brakes seem a little intimidating to me because they're outside my range of experience in terms of maintenance. Cable (mechanical?) disc brakes seem intimidating, but whenever I think of cabled disc brakes, I think of my mountain biking friends mocking them relentlessly as a concept when I was in high school, but that was in 1998, so I'd have to imagine they've improved since then.

Last edited by wisened_mule; 10-04-17 at 11:29 AM. Reason: bad formatting, adding stuff
wisened_mule is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 12:33 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,977
Liked 190 Times in 129 Posts
Hydraulic disc brakes are pretty much ubiquitous nowadays. I have them on all bikes I own, except for a 2006 CF road bike.
alan s is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 12:43 PM
  #18  
Keepin it Wheel
 
RubeRad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 10,291

Bikes: Surly CrossCheck, Krampus

Liked 3,543 Times in 2,629 Posts
Originally Posted by wisened_mule
I'm in the somewhat unfortunate position that my new home is a bit under covered by bike retailers, so I may end up having to drive a couple of hours to buy. This does give a few points to some of the companies that do ship direct, but I don't want that to be the deciding factor.
You can add this to your list then: Windsor Kensington

As I do more research, I'm feeling more and more strongly that canti/direct or disc brakes or a must. ...
If you want easy-to-maintain, reliable braking, you'll be better off with calipers than cantis. On my previous road bike, I more than once sheared a hole in my tire from locking up the rear in an emergency situation. That was tiagra calipers. On my current CrossCheck with fairly-well-regarded Tektro CR720 Cantis and Koolstop pads, it takes all I've got (and I'm a big meaty guy) to skid at all. I think I've done it once, barely, in 4+ years of full-time commuting.

Maybe that's an argument that cantis have better modulation, and avoiding a skid gives you the shortest possible stopping distance, but that comes at an enormous cost in terms of hand strength required.
RubeRad is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 03:01 PM
  #19  
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 32
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
some of the bikes are very interesting as the jamis, but the one i like the most is the kona paddy 3 with sturmey archer, it's beautiful too. sadly not easy to see one in europe.
i like disk brakes on mtb, they are aggressive, but on my commuter i have drum brakes and they work really well and are almost indestructable. on a city bike i would also choose v-brakes.
i reached this conclusion after my cooleague bought a fuji with disks, the pads don't last too long enough in my opinion.
but the fuji is a really good bike compared to what you see in shops here, i looked in the company site and saw the verion with nexus 8, and also some nice models with cro-moly frames.
broken foot is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 04:49 PM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,977
Liked 190 Times in 129 Posts
Also, recommend looking at a Surly Troll. Favorite bike, and also bought a World Troller as a travel bike. You can set it up pretty much however you like.
alan s is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 04:57 PM
  #21  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: England / CPH
Posts: 8,543

Bikes: 2010 Cube Acid / 2013 Mango FGSS

Liked 41 Times in 36 Posts
Originally Posted by PatrickGSR94
Who makes one of those for under US $5,000? From Co-Motion it would be at least $5,600 to $6,500 and higher.
https://www.cyclingabout.com/complet...rekking-bikes/

remember to take away 20% sales tax from the european prices.

also, with this year the prices have been reduced (that's a 2016 list).

co-motion sells overpriced bikes.
acidfast7 is offline  
Old 10-04-17, 09:29 PM
  #22  
Callipygian Connoisseur
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 1,373
Liked 350 Times in 190 Posts
Um... Marin Muirwoods?

- Kedosto
Kedosto is offline  
Old 10-06-17, 01:17 PM
  #23  
🚲
Thread Starter
 
wisened_mule's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Posts: 11

Bikes: are great!

Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Alright--

So I think I've narrowed this down to 3:

-- surly -- Flat-bar crosscheck
-- all-city -- pony express
-- handsome -- devil (city 8)


All three of these bikes have the features I'm looking for, and should be able to be purchased in my area when I move. Both Surly and All-City are QBP brands, so I can order them through a lot of bike shops, and handsome offers direct retail.

I'm moving to a really dry place, so I figured that the advantages of disc brakes in some conditions aren't going to outweigh the advantage of knowing how to work with cantis.
wisened_mule is offline  
Old 10-06-17, 04:42 PM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RubeRad
I don't know about 'aggressive', but consider Breezer. The ne plus ultra would be the Beltway 11+, complete with belt-driven 11-speed IGH, shimano hydraulic disc brakes, dynohub+lights, rack, and fenders, MSRP $1799.
Unless they've mad a change this year, the Liberty and Beltway share the same frame. My husband has been on his Liberty as a commuter for a year and he loves it.
odiolalluvia is offline  
Old 10-06-17, 04:43 PM
  #25  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 82
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by wisened_mule
Alright--

-- handsome -- devil (city 8)
This company makes some really fun bikes. I've had the single speed Fredward for a while now and really enjoy it when I get to take the less-steep route home.
odiolalluvia is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Your Privacy Choices -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.