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asantone 09-13-07 12:03 PM

Frame or hub?
I've been lurking for about a week getting up to speed on the Commuting forum. I am very impressed with the collective knowledge of the group and am glad I found the site when I did. It's my first post, so take it easy on me...:)

I've got the go-ahead from my wife to get a new commuter. My current rig is a 10 yr old Kona Lava Dome. It has served me well, but is starting to show its age. Rather than upgrade all the components, I think I'm going to undertake a build. I ride year-round and have a 22 mile R/T commute mostly on the lakefront MUP. It's a very flat ride with wind a bigger challange than hills.

I've searched the Commuting forum and read the custom vs off-the-rack frame discussions and the SA/Shimano vs Rohloff hub discussions and my question is this: Since my project budget will allow only one "high-end" splurge, would I be better off going with the custom frame and SA/Shimano hub or an off-the-rack frame and the Rohloff hub?

Thanks in advance for your input.

Tony Santone

keraba 09-13-07 07:46 PM

What exactly is wrong about your current bike ?

Allen 09-13-07 08:12 PM

I'm running a Rohloff on my commuter a Salsa La Raza. Of the two I would take the Rohloff over the La Raza. I really like my frame, but I like my hub more.

I've not owned a Shimano internal hub yet, but I've owned a bunch of others; Rohloff is by far the cream of the crop.

spinninwheels 09-13-07 09:39 PM

I would go with the hub. I'm in the process of fitting the Rohloff into my T2000 (with the torque arm...not the most asthetically pleasing looking thing). But it will eventually find its way into a properly equipped frame (probably with Paragon dropouts).

Sorry, I'm vain when it comes to my ride.

Ziemas 09-14-07 12:23 AM

I'd go with the frame and a Shimano Alfine hub. You can always upgrade to a Rolhoff if you feel the need, but nothing compares to a frame that was made to fit you and *only* you. If you do it right it can be a frame that will last you a life time.

truman 09-14-07 07:52 AM

My own 22-mile, mostly flat, mostly MUP commute sounds a whole lot like yours. Given that it's mostly flat, I really only use 2, maybe 3 gears on any given day.

IMO, your money is much better spent on a custom fitted frame. The Rohloff's advantages will only be evident for a few seconds here and there when you're shifting, but a well-fitted frame is a joy every single minute of the ride.

CBBaron 09-14-07 08:19 AM

Go custom frame and run single speed or better yet fixed gear.
Actually I think for a commuter, unless you have specific fit issues I would buy a good off-the-shelf frame and go fixed. I just recently built up a fixed Cross Check and I'm not sure I would change anything even if money was no object.

Craig Baker

nashcommguy 09-14-07 09:01 AM

+1 for the single/fixie option. Especially in Chicago. My cycle-commuting carreer started there in the mid 80s. has a Schwinn Madison ss/fx road bike for 475.00 + shipping(free to a PB store, though). 28mm Monaco airless tires-120 psi( w/shipping and mounting tool. Maintenence free commuting...well, other than the chain, spokes, roadgunk and brake-pad wear. Take what you'll save over the next 5 years and buy land in Door County.:)

climbhoser 09-14-07 10:05 AM

Screw Door County, get land in the Leelenau!

Regardless, I like SSFG for commuting, but I get pretty tired of it quickly on longer commutes, especially if I'm doing it every single day. I don't know if you have any hills, but only REALLY flat ground seems worth it to go SSFG for longer commutes.

I think the IGH is a great way to go, and I think I would have a Rohloff if I had the cash. I'm actually thinking about selling my truck, buying a Rohloff and putting the rest into a few ETFs or well balanced mutual funds for some long term growth.

I'd like a light, custom frame to go with it, but that will come second. I think you can get a pretty good fit with an off the shelf frame (like an IRO Rob Roy!) and careful attention to your stem, handlebars, seat, cranks, etc...

So, get the hub.

tcs 09-14-07 11:04 AM

We're talking custom frame or Rohloff hub. Should we assume then that you have high security storage for the bike at the commute destination and you never plan to lock it up outside a store whilst running erands on the way home?


squeakywheel 09-14-07 01:19 PM

Off the shelf frame and Shimano hub. Put the rest in the bank.

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