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Priority L Train vs Schwinn Mesa Runner for a Hilly Commute? Is The Extra Cost Worth

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Priority L Train vs Schwinn Mesa Runner for a Hilly Commute? Is The Extra Cost Worth

Old 09-14-22, 03:58 PM
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RoadWearier
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Priority L Train vs Schwinn Mesa Runner for a Hilly Commute? Is The Extra Cost Worth

Two bikes.

Priority L-train: Chomoly Steel, Belt Drive, IGH. Unknown quality. 27 pounds $300

Schwinn Mesa Runner: Decent quality per reports. None of the fancy stuff. Supposedly has been taken apart and regreased. Now has a 1x5 drive. 39 (?!) pounds per internet.
$50.

I guess the fancy stuff would be nice to try on the Priority. But I could even do some light mountain biking with the Mesa which would be nice. Not planning on more than 10 miles for commutes/trips.
Which would you buy?

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/661297275564778/

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/401822625395451/

I should mention that I am planning to buy a entry level road bike to ride with the local bike club as well.

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/item/772909260713771/

It's a 2017 Trek 1.2 I'm getting for $350. Any insight on that would be great as well.

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Old 09-14-22, 09:10 PM
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Can you post a photo of the Mesa Runner - the link doesn't seem to be working.
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Old 09-15-22, 04:01 AM
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Old 09-15-22, 06:31 AM
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Not sure how helpful this is, as I don't know the L-Train, specifically, but I have a Priority Continuum Onyx that I like very much. I use it for commuting, and I've found the belt drive and IGH to be a great combination.

That said, for a hilly commute, I think you'd be better served by prioritizing drivetrain efficiency and gear range, and I think the Mesa Runner would be better for that. Personally, I'd still be tempted by the Priority, but that involve Priority-izing (sorry) novelty over practicality.
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Old 09-15-22, 06:49 AM
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I have a hilly commute here in Colorado Springs. Nine miles for 28 years...now 6.5.

When I moved here ar 30 years old I had a 48-pound 1988 Schwinn Cruiser Supreme modified to a 3x6. It was okay and I had nothing to compare it to. Then in 1997 I replaced it with a 1997 Nishiki Blazer 3x7 MTB...originally 32 lbs but kitted out to near 40.

The first thing I had to modify was the gearing...it did not have the higher gears to cruise at higher speeds. That helped immensely. Also, I dispensed with knobby tires and started using big fat smoothies. Another huge improvement.

Now, at 60, I still ride that bike, and commute on it, but it is not my main commuter anymore, except in the winter when it gets studded snow tires.

My main commuter is a 23-pound Charge Plug 2x9 with 700x35 tires (smooth), kitted out to about 32 pounds. I have also had to get lower gearing on that bike.

I also have two road bikes around 20-lbs, one with lower gearing for hills, and a 20-inch folder with lower gearing, weighing in around 30-lbs.

So I feel qualified in saying that the Extra 12-pounds of the heavier bike will be noticeable, but only uphill...especially if you are in your late 50s or older. However, with very low gearing, like my Nishiki Blazer, it is do-able, but slow. But then you will probably need higher gearing to cruise at a practical speed.

I don't have extended experience with IGH hubs, but my guess is that like other conventional bikes, they probably don;t come with the wide range of gears needed for hilly commutes. And it would be definitely much more expensive to modify the gearing with an IGH bike than with a traditional chain and sprocket bike. Not to mention routine maintenance and parts.

I would choose the Mesa Runner and use the money saved to buy smooth road tires at least 26x1.5 (I have 26x1.85) and give yourself higher top gearing by simply (and cheaply) adding a larger front chain ring like I did.

Here's my bike:

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Old 09-15-22, 07:36 AM
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Thanks for all of the answers! All very helpful.
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Old 09-15-22, 10:10 AM
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Priority makes good bikes, and that one is only a few years old. Not familiar with that model specifically

That Schwinn wasn't a good bike when it left the factory thirty years ago
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Old 09-15-22, 10:39 AM
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Get the Priority between those 2 for sure. It looks bigger and good as new, nice rack and has track dropouts for any IGH.
The Nexus 7i will be good without boat anchor roller brakes. Likely comes with a good commuter range 34 to 84 GIs. Mine has a nice trigger shifter, but it's now off the bike for my awesome SA XL-RD5w and front dyno drum handed down from my tour bike, 30,000 miles and still going strong. I've done 100+ mile rides with all my IGH heavyweights.
The other bike looks too small, too aged and clunky for sure.

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Old 09-16-22, 07:19 PM
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Originally Posted by GamblerGORD53 View Post
Get the Priority between those 2 for sure. It looks bigger and good as new, nice rack and has track dropouts for any IGH.
The Nexus 7i will be good without boat anchor roller brakes. Likely comes with a good commuter range 34 to 84 GIs. Mine has a nice trigger shifter, but it's now off the bike for my awesome SA XL-RD5w and front dyno drum handed down from my tour bike, 30,000 miles and still going strong. I've done 100+ mile rides with all my IGH heavyweights.
The other bike looks too small, too aged and clunky for sure.
Yeah. I've owned enough heavy bikes. I guess the $50 p ice tag and the fact that it has been rehabbed attracted me. I'm thinking I'll just buy the trek road bike. He said he'd take $300 now. 300 is approaching the price where if it gets stolen I won't lose sleep.
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Old 09-17-22, 10:26 AM
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The Trek and the Priority are both fine for commuting.

I had a Priority, the original Classic model, that I won in a contest. Because of that I had some contact with the guy who runs the company. I sent them some notes about kid seat fit with their original Classic model, and he wrote back personally. Later he sent me a Gates drive to test for him. He has a definite philosophy about the bike being a sealed low-maintenance system and also that this can be accomplished without it weighing or costing a lot. Hence the gear hub, the belt drive, often disk or coaster brakes - all internal. I think the original Classic rang up somewhere around 24# which is just astonishing for the price point.

The Trek is a good example of a paradox about road and mountain bikes - the cheap ones are more versatile. They often have frame features for mounting racks and fenders that the more expensive ones lack. With olde fashioned quick release hubs, nothing special is required to mount a trailer hitch. The cheap roadies will (until recently) take bigger tires than the fancy ones. What you lose is that the cheap parts are less durable (over thousands of miles) and not compatible with other fancy things (on roadies, smart trainers, power meters, on MTB's, good suspension) and this is often not important. Unless you get into it as a hobby. If you are doing 200 miles a week on your smart trainer then chain life is really important, if you are doing a quarter of that just commuting it's not going to come up for a while.

Honestly the Schwinn would have been fine too if it works, but it's just hard to be confident about a 30yo low-end bike unless you already know what you are doing with all the things that could be wrong with it. The note that it's "now 1x5" when the photos are of a triple makes me think the photos are out of date or the front shifting is broken. It needs grips to be safe to crash, that will add ten or twenty bucks on top of your fifty just to start. You want something safe and reliable to ride to work, not a project.
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Old 09-18-22, 07:08 PM
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I'd say go for the L-Train for sure at that price, assuming no issues. I picked up a Priority Classic Plus Gotham Edition (there's a mouthful) used for $380. Not a great price, but I don't at all regret it. Even so I'd much rather have the L-Train, and at 300 would be tempted to get it myself if one were available, especially if it has a center track (CDN or CDX) belt system. I got mine for winter commuting and was disappointed to learn the sidetrack belt mine has is only rated to -4 deg F. The CDN is the same, but I believe a CDX belt will fit the CDN sprockets. My bike lives outside year round unless sleet or freezing rain is coming and it's wonderful not having to lube a chain after rain. ...I just looked at the ads and I say no contest.
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Old 09-19-22, 05:00 AM
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Thanks. It seems like a quality bike. I'm leaning toward just getting the Trek road bike. For $300 I can have a slightly lighter bike. No rack but I can live without it. Not sure how Sora components compare to whatever is on the Priority
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