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Looking for a New Commuter/Tourer--Recommendations?

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Looking for a New Commuter/Tourer--Recommendations?

Old 03-16-19, 04:21 AM
  #1  
ADAP7IVE
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Looking for a New Commuter/Tourer--Recommendations?

After a couple years on a hardtail and finding it not quite to my liking, it's time to switch it out for a new bike. If possible, I'd like the bike to last as my only steed for three years of daily riding.


My commutes are 23 km round-trip and I'd like to get a bike to do similar length--and bikepacking/touring--around Japan. The things I didn't like about the hardtail were a lack of full fenders or a way to comfortably carry stuff other than in a backpack or a seatpost-mounted bag. I have nothing but good things to say about fat tires, 1x drivetrains, and the XT derailleur and SLX hydro brakes, though--they work beautifully.


Other concerns include parking and maintenance (the latter because I'm lazy and have little space): Japan is generally safe in terms of theft, so a "nicer" bike wouldn't be a no-no, but parking in racks and outside is a factor, and generally people do not take care around bicycles here. They're treated as disposable, sub-$500 items that rarely get maintenance until they seize up. For that reason, carbon is probably a bad idea. Steel or Aluminum is okay with me.


Maybe something a little lighter than a hardtail, a little more suited to commutes and long-distance (rough) road riding. Maybe something single-speed or one that could take a Rohloff IGH and fat tires (~2.0 or 45-50mm). Maybe a solid frame to build up from. I love the functionality of Shimano and it's specc'ed on everything here to the exclusion of most SRAM builds, but other than Di2 the shifters are difficult for me to operate with a right-hand disability. SRAM works better.


Current Budget: MAX ~¥650,000 JPY/$6,000 USD, but considering it's a workhorse less is better, say under $3,000.


Currently considering:

Surly Straggler, Trek Alu Checkpoint, Salsa Vaya, Cannondale Bad Boy 1 or Topstone Apex, and on the much higher/budget-killer end things like the Open UP, or shipping a Co-Motion Siskyou or Klatch from the US.


Thanks for your help!

Last edited by ADAP7IVE; 03-16-19 at 04:30 AM.
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Old 03-16-19, 04:59 AM
  #2  
Viich
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You're out of my price range, but not my window shopping.
I'm sure there are other great options as well, but one you didn't mention was the Soma Wolverine. Disc, compatible with derailleur as well as igh or fixed without chain tensioner, split seat stay should you be interested in belt drive.
Soma claims 45mm tyres with fenders (and sells some nice fenders)
You could pair that (or another compatible frame) with Rohloff, or there are a couple Sturmey-Archer options that you could consider - their 8sp disc hub (good, but not as good as the Rohloff), or the 3sp + freehub with disc brakes CS-RK3 - it can fit a 9sp cassette in addition to the 3sp IGH. I thought the 9sp shifter at your left hand and a thumb shifter either side might help you as the 3sp hub can be shifted at a stop.

Sounds like a fun bike, whether you build or spec something custom like that or go with an off the shelf similar option.
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Old 03-16-19, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Viich View Post
You're out of my price range, but not my window shopping.
I'm sure there are other great options as well, but one you didn't mention was the Soma Wolverine. Disc, compatible with derailleur as well as igh or fixed without chain tensioner, split seat stay should you be interested in belt drive.
Soma claims 45mm tyres with fenders (and sells some nice fenders)
You could pair that (or another compatible frame) with Rohloff, or there are a couple Sturmey-Archer options that you could consider - their 8sp disc hub (good, but not as good as the Rohloff), or the 3sp + freehub with disc brakes CS-RK3 - it can fit a 9sp cassette in addition to the 3sp IGH. I thought the 9sp shifter at your left hand and a thumb shifter either side might help you as the 3sp hub can be shifted at a stop.

Sounds like a fun bike, whether you build or spec something custom like that or go with an off the shelf similar option.
You're right, I forgot about the Wolverine! That was the frame that started my bike lust back in 2012. I know I can get one in Japan, so I might go that route. Thanks!
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Old 03-16-19, 07:52 AM
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There’s a di2 version of Alfine.
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Old 03-16-19, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ADAP7IVE View Post
After a couple years on a hardtail and finding it not quite to my liking, it's time to switch it out for a new bike. If possible, I'd like the bike to last as my only steed for three years of daily riding.


My commutes are 23 km round-trip and I'd like to get a bike to do similar length--and bikepacking/touring--around Japan. The things I didn't like about the hardtail were a lack of full fenders or a way to comfortably carry stuff other than in a backpack or a seatpost-mounted bag. I have nothing but good things to say about fat tires, 1x drivetrains, and the XT derailleur and SLX hydro brakes, though--they work beautifully.


Other concerns include parking and maintenance (the latter because I'm lazy and have little space): Japan is generally safe in terms of theft, so a "nicer" bike wouldn't be a no-no, but parking in racks and outside is a factor, and generally people do not take care around bicycles here. They're treated as disposable, sub-$500 items that rarely get maintenance until they seize up. For that reason, carbon is probably a bad idea. Steel or Aluminum is okay with me.


Maybe something a little lighter than a hardtail, a little more suited to commutes and long-distance (rough) road riding. Maybe something single-speed or one that could take a Rohloff IGH and fat tires (~2.0 or 45-50mm). Maybe a solid frame to build up from. I love the functionality of Shimano and it's specc'ed on everything here to the exclusion of most SRAM builds, but other than Di2 the shifters are difficult for me to operate with a right-hand disability. SRAM works better.


Current Budget: MAX ~¥650,000 JPY/$6,000 USD, but considering it's a workhorse less is better, say under $3,000.


Currently considering:

Surly Straggler, Trek Alu Checkpoint, Salsa Vaya, Cannondale Bad Boy 1 or Topstone Apex, and on the much higher/budget-killer end things like the Open UP, or shipping a Co-Motion Siskyou or Klatch from the US.


Thanks for your help!
I guess I'd tell you to look at Velo Orange Polyvalent. Should have all the braze-ons you need. That seems like the one missing link for you.

Here is a great review: https://theradavist.com/2019/03/lila...rgan-taylor/#1
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Old 03-18-19, 02:41 AM
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There is an ebike suitable for commuting. $2.5k
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Old 03-18-19, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
There’s a di2 version of Alfine.
yea the 11 speed, buy a bike with the cable shifter and it can be converted.
the stepper Motor doing the sequencing is fitted in place of the other..

you can get a front disc dynamo hub too ..

No perpetual motion , it may not charge the Di2 battery .. as you ride..
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Old 03-19-19, 09:37 AM
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If it were me, I'd skip the di2 shifters. When I think about a commuter, I don't want to have to worry about "Did I remember to charge the shifter battery last night?"
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Old 03-19-19, 11:08 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb View Post
If it were me, I'd skip the di2 shifters. When I think about a commuter, I don't want to have to worry about "Did I remember to charge the shifter battery last night?"
I agree, that seemed to complicated for me. Debated it for my bike build. Also I thought to myself, what If they whole interface gets updated and then the parts aren't available. Then you need to update your whole drivetrain because the shifter is out of date and there are no more system updates. It felt like a lot of mental energy.
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Old 03-20-19, 12:38 PM
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I've been trying to push my girlfriend towards the Straggler a lot recently. Seems like a solid budget-ish option for a very reliable all-rounder. Super versatile.
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Old 03-20-19, 02:17 PM
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It's not lightweight, but for a solid commuter I always suggest workcycles. They normally are quite heavy at 20+kg. My workcycles was over the 30kg mark, but was smooth and went up hills fine. The shimano 8 speed hub was great.
WorkCycles Secret Service Mens Bike
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Old 03-20-19, 09:49 PM
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Does Japan not have good local options for that price?
I notice most everything you mention is based outside of Japan.
I would think there are local brands with quality steel frames thst can clear 2.0 tires and have a split stay.
At worst, most everything you mention is made in Taiwan...are there not Japanese brands like Surly/Soma over there that sell Taiwan made frames?
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