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Buying new commuter: should I spend twice as much?

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Buying new commuter: should I spend twice as much?

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Old 10-28-09, 05:13 PM
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Elle Zed
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Buying new commuter: should I spend twice as much?

I'm in the market for a new commuter after running my previous one into the ground for 15 years. Based on a fitting session and selection at my two favourite LBS, I've narrowed it down to:

Brodie Dynamo ~$750 http://www.brodiebikes.com/2010/arch...dynamo&year=09
Devinci Tree ~$1400 http://bikesonthedrive.com/tree/specifications/
SOMA Double-cross ~$1500 (custom build at LBS) http://www.somafab.com/dcdc.html

My criteria are:
- flat/riser bars
- disc brakes
- rear rack for paniers
- better-than-entry-level components to improve the ride and reduce maintenance

This is my main vehicle, don't have a car, ride 10 to 40 km every day year-round in rainy Vancouver.

My questions are:
- am I getting twice the quality for twice the price?
- anyone ride those models, and what do you think?
- steel vs aluminum?

I'm a Newbie to posting here, so please bear with me
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Old 10-28-09, 05:46 PM
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ocho
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I'm pretty new to this forum as well but have been riding for quite a while. So take my opinions for what their worth, which is about zip.

I like the Brodie but would like to see more higher end components on it. The Devinci does nothing for me. The Soma built for you is my pick. Oddly I was just looking at the Double-Cross today cause I have a plan to build a flat bar 1x9 almost cross style bike and its the front runner for my frame selection. My friend built such a bike off a Salsa LaCruz frame (which feels great, handles great but I CAN'T use the same frame!). I require disc brakes for my build and the Soma provides. Good lines to me and all that.

That Soma with a good wheelset and, for me, SRAM drivetrain (I'd go with the X-9 stuff if possible) would be a nice ride.

I'd be kind of interested to see what you wind up with. Good luck.
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Old 10-28-09, 05:56 PM
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I know there are others here that have the DoubleCross DC, and love it, but the several people I know personally all bought them and sold them. Their complaints were the same - they said the bike was heavy, and they had seatpost slipping problems that were hard to impossible to remedy.

I was looking to build one, and they talked me out of it.
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Old 10-28-09, 06:00 PM
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RedWhiteandRed
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Ignore the cost and get the bike that really sweetens your jam. You had the last bike for 15 years and got great use so you might want to live a little and get the ride that excites you.

Also - if you are in Vancouver - head to the MEC they now have great bikes for sale.
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Old 10-28-09, 06:05 PM
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IMO the only things to worry about when having an expensive bike as your main commuter is having to worry more about theft and getting more stressed about the bike getting filthy. If you're not the kind of person to take careful care of your drivetrain, even a bike with 105/Ultegra is going to be trashed if neglected during a rainy winter of commutes. So in that sense having a cheaper bike can be less stressful.

Scott
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Old 10-28-09, 06:28 PM
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looie
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Salsa La Cruz was for me. For you, maybe Cannondale Bad Boy Disc? or Jamis Coda Elite?
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Old 10-28-09, 07:02 PM
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PAY in between, go with this
BRODIE OCHO
Internal hub, less maintenance, better for rain
disk, and flat bars,

Or Charge Mixer
Steel, then basicly the same as the brodie,

I have thought both these bikes are pretty sharp looking bikes and good value for years
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Old 10-28-09, 07:13 PM
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Check out the Schwinn Super Sport DBX from Harbor Country Bike. For $699.00 USD, its a great value. If you don't care for the drop bars, you can easily swap them for flat bars. It has disk brakes and front and rear rack mounts and it will accept fenders and tires from 23c to 35c. It also has canti studs to install cantilever brakes if you want ever go CX riding. Plus, you can switch to 26" disk compatible MTB wheels and go off-road. Its truly one do it all bike and has gotten good reviews. I do recommend it since you can get a lot of bike for so little money!
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Old 10-28-09, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
Ignore the cost and get the bike that really sweetens your jam. You had the last bike for 15 years and got great use so you might want to live a little and get the ride that excites you.
+1 Seriously. By now, you deserve to buy your 2 favorite test rides.
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Old 10-28-09, 08:38 PM
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The Devinci was.....eh..... not aesthetically pleasing to me. Of course that is entirely subjective and maybe not an issue at all for me.

There seems to be a HUGE selection of bikes you could go with at this price point and with your wants. Just about every company makes a flat bar road bike that should have decent components with your budget. Take your time, test ride, and buy something you'll love for 15 more years.

Good luck.

BTW - between the three you listed I liked the SOMA
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Old 10-28-09, 10:39 PM
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I love my Brodie. Reliable, low maintenance and without any problems. Good BC product.
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Old 10-29-09, 09:31 AM
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Elle Zed
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Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
Ignore the cost and get the bike that really sweetens your jam. You had the last bike for 15 years and got great use so you might want to live a little and get the ride that excites you.
You hit the nail on the head. There are tons of great bikes out there, but I want one that I really LIKE. No, LOVE. Especially considering I will probably ride it for the next 15 years*. This might come down to aesthetics in the end.

*Unless it gets stolen, that is. However I've been riding a beater for a long time, and I'm prepared to now ride a nice bike along with a bit of stress, a good lock, pinheads, and smart locking up locations. Plus insurance. Sigh.

Thanks everyone for weighing in, I'll check out some of those other models!
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Old 10-29-09, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
Ignore the cost and get the bike that really sweetens your jam. You had the last bike for 15 years and got great use so you might want to live a little and get the ride that excites you.

Also - if you are in Vancouver - head to the MEC they now have great bikes for sale.
+1 - I have three main bikes (like you, no car) two of the bikes are utility/commuter bikes. The reason that I have two is because if there is an issue with one, I want to be able to still get in to work on time and not worry about it. I save maintenance for the weekends. Despite buying some bikes which many would consider to be outrageously expensive, my total budget for my bikes is less than what others spend for their car insurance. A $1500 bike is cheap compared to a any car, the the value and enjoyment that you get from it is huge. Spoil yourself.
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Old 10-29-09, 11:17 AM
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I hate to add more options to the mix after you had it narrowed down, but have you visited a Kona dealer? Not sure what the Canadian prices are like, but in the U.S. you can get a Dr. Dew or Dr. Fine with better components than the bikes you listed for under $1000.

Of course, if you take the advice above and don't limit yourself on cost, the Kona Super Dew looks awesome.

Did you say what the components were going to be on the Double Cross?
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Old 10-29-09, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Elle Zed View Post
You hit the nail on the head. There are tons of great bikes out there, but I want one that I really LIKE. No, LOVE. Especially considering I will probably ride it for the next 15 years*. This might come down to aesthetics in the end.

*Unless it gets stolen, that is. However I've been riding a beater for a long time, and I'm prepared to now ride a nice bike along with a bit of stress, a good lock, pinheads, and smart locking up locations. Plus insurance. Sigh.

Thanks everyone for weighing in, I'll check out some of those other models!
You should know of all people that Vancouver has a thriving bike theft economy. Riding a shiny new bike as a commuter is just asking for it. Unless you can bring your bike into where you work, then I think getting another beater for commuting would be a wiser choice. I read nowadays, some folks are "mugged" off their bikes here in Lower Mainland. That is the sickening state of our society in Vancouver.
Having said that, have you looked at those new MEC bikes?
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Old 10-29-09, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by wunderkind View Post
You should know of all people that Vancouver has a thriving bike theft economy. Riding a shiny new bike as a commuter is just asking for it. Unless you can bring your bike into where you work, then I think getting another beater for commuting would be a wiser choice. I read nowadays, some folks are "mugged" off their bikes here in Lower Mainland. That is the sickening state of our society in Vancouver.
Having said that, have you looked at those new MEC bikes?
Yes I was in MEC recently and it looks like they covered all the bases with their new bikes (mtn, commuting, comfort, fixie, racing...). They looked nice, maybe a bit too cute. The sales guy said they were avoiding low- and high-end, which was apparent from the prices. I'm sure they're made at one of the usual factories overseas. Curious to hear how they perform after someone's been riding one for a while.

As for theft, this is something I'm seriously grappling with. Considering I've never had a car, and this is my day-in day-out transport, I just want to ride a nice bike for once, dammit. I would buy the best Abus lock and I have a secure bike room at work, so my main worry would be during errands. (And I'd keep 1 or 2 of my current bikes as backup for any trips to the Eastside). Any other tips besides "buy another beater?"
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Old 10-29-09, 04:56 PM
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Originally Posted by RedWhiteandRed View Post
Ignore the cost and get the bike that really sweetens your jam.
+1

I've been car-free for over ten years. I like to ride nice bikes for the way they feel. Makes my errands and commutes the best part of my day.

And I have two very good locks...
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Old 10-29-09, 05:45 PM
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I would have hoped $1500 would scare up a set of hydraulic brakes. Or at least BB7s.
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Old 10-29-09, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by ghettocruiser View Post
I would have hoped $1500 would scare up a set of hydraulic brakes. Or at least BB7s.
I hear people are getting the Salsa La Cruz for under $1400. BB7s? Check. Hydraulics? Nope.
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Old 10-29-09, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Elle Zed View Post
Yes I was in MEC recently and it looks like they covered all the bases with their new bikes (mtn, commuting, comfort, fixie, racing...). They looked nice, maybe a bit too cute. The sales guy said they were avoiding low- and high-end, which was apparent from the prices. I'm sure they're made at one of the usual factories overseas. Curious to hear how they perform after someone's been riding one for a while.

As for theft, this is something I'm seriously grappling with. Considering I've never had a car, and this is my day-in day-out transport, I just want to ride a nice bike for once, dammit. I would buy the best Abus lock and I have a secure bike room at work, so my main worry would be during errands. (And I'd keep 1 or 2 of my current bikes as backup for any trips to the Eastside). Any other tips besides "buy another beater?"

I read at another forum that MEC sourced those bikes from Giant.
Nothing wrong getting a nice bike. Just don't wanna see one day your $1000 bike end up on Vancouver Craigslist going for $200 obo because some junkie needs his next fix bad.
What you can do is ride a cheaper bike for commutes and have a nice bike for weekend pleasure ride. I know it's not the same.
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Old 10-30-09, 12:33 PM
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If you have any worries about your bike getting stolen then I vote for finding a decent used beater for a commuter to replace your old one and spoil yourself on a second bike to enjoy when not commuting.
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