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Looking for a commuter bike: budget $600

Old 04-11-10, 02:05 PM
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Rusty904
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Looking for a commuter bike: budget $600

Hi guys,

I'm moving off campus next year and need a bike for a relatively short commute. I'm a long time mtb'er but new to road biking. My 29er is a suitable commuter but I'm sick of swapping from slicks to knobbies and it's just a bit too nice to lock up. I'd love to build it myself as I really enjoyed building my 9r but if that isn't cost effective so be it.

Anyway I'm planning on spending $600 max and I have a few preferences. The bike I buy wouldn't need to have all of these features but the closer to my criteria the better.

1. 700c wheels
2. Steel Frame
3. Clearance for up to 35c tires
4. I think I'd like to try SS since my commute is only a couple miles but it would be nice to have the option of adding gears.

Basically, I want a crosscheck but I can't afford it!

Any suggestions?
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Old 04-11-10, 02:47 PM
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https://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=smoke
Not single speed, but that could be changed. Plus it comes in under your budget, so you can spend money on customizations.

https://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=paddywagon
Single-speed/fixed, but a wee bit above your budget, and no option to add gears later (except for an internally-geared hub).
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Old 04-11-10, 02:50 PM
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Biria classic dutch? It's not an SS but IGH, 28 wheels? https://www.biria.com/bicycles/cd/
KHS Green, also IGH 3speed, 700c wheels https://www.ebikestop.com/khs_green__...582-188073.php

very different from the surly crosscheck but if your commute is only a few miles do you need a crosscheck?

Last edited by JPprivate; 04-11-10 at 02:51 PM. Reason: added links
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Old 04-11-10, 03:04 PM
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I'm looking at a Schwinn World NX7 right now. At least for my purposes, it seems ideal. It comes with internal gears, fenders, a rack and a chain guard. It definitely has the tire clearance you want, because it comes with 37C tires and fenders. And the price is right -- Schwinn quotes the list price as $549.

Link here: https://www.schwinnbike.com/usa/eng/P...RNX7-World-NX7

Last edited by Saintly Loser; 04-11-10 at 03:05 PM. Reason: Typo
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Old 04-11-10, 03:17 PM
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Build a Dutch bike or FIXIE: $400 https://www.republicbike.com/?gclid=C...FQHX5wodsn5Qww

Last edited by gitarzan; 04-11-10 at 03:30 PM.
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Old 04-11-10, 03:22 PM
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i just got a specialized langster for 499.00

Last edited by sancle1; 04-19-10 at 10:24 AM.
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Old 04-11-10, 03:25 PM
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I was also about to buy a Smoke because of the steel frame, but then I got Dew Plus because of the discs although the frame is aluminum, and I haven't regretted it. It is much lighter, somewhat stiffer, and yes it'll probably last a bit less then a steel frame, but it's not something that greatly concerns me. It is an excellent bike, fast, comfortable a blast to ride! My vote goes to Dew (or really, any Dew series frame, I'm sure you will love it too).
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Old 04-11-10, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Arcanum View Post
https://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=smoke
Not single speed, but that could be changed. Plus it comes in under your budget, so you can spend money on customizations.

https://www.konaworld.com/bike.cfm?content=paddywagon
Single-speed/fixed, but a wee bit above your budget, and no option to add gears later (except for an internally-geared hub).
I like the paddy wagon, but the colors and price aren't ideal. Colorful hipster wheels aren't my thing. I've been trying to find an older model but the resale prices on those things (and for all the SS/fixed bikes I've seen) are absolutely ridiculous. Beat up 2 year old bikes are selling for less than $100 under retail!

Last edited by Rusty904; 04-11-10 at 04:18 PM.
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Old 04-11-10, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by JPprivate View Post
Biria classic dutch? It's not an SS but IGH, 28 wheels? https://www.biria.com/bicycles/cd/
KHS Green, also IGH 3speed, 700c wheels https://www.ebikestop.com/khs_green__...582-188073.php

very different from the surly crosscheck but if your commute is only a few miles do you need a crosscheck?
I'd prefer something with more road/cx geo. Yeah the crosscheck is more than I need for my regular commute but I might be using it for longer trips later on or for a longer work commute during the summer.
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Old 04-11-10, 05:35 PM
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Looks like Kona's Jake or *****Tonk might be good enough, tho a bit more than you want to spend. Bianchi's San Jose and Redline's 925 are pretty decent tho not geared. All of 'em should be rackable and capable of light touring and grocery getting, so loads under 40lbs.

If you find a shop that has older stock, you *might* manage to get it under budget.
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Old 04-11-10, 09:50 PM
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Salsa Casseroll Single. I think they are right around the $600. I googled it and found several sights with the Casseroll at $575 to $625

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/casseroll_single/

It's my choice for either a single speed or a rain bike that will take full fenders.
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Old 04-12-10, 04:50 AM
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You a REI memeber? Used your 20% cupon yet?

I have been wanting a disc commuter and really warming to the Marin Lombard. With the 20% off it would be just a little over your $600.
https://www.rei.com/product/798552
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Old 04-12-10, 05:47 AM
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You could look at a Bianchi San Jose. Single speed but you have a lot of retrofit options later and it will take a rack, it has sweet steel frame and you can put on up to 42c tires on it if you're inclined. I love mine and the Celeste color scheme just look right on it! And oh yeah, it is budget-priced!
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Old 04-12-10, 07:35 AM
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I'd love that but I can't seem to find them anywhere under about $950 (cmabria has it for $750 but not my size) and that's a bit over my budget.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:25 AM
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my IRO Phoenix came in at $628 plus shipping. it's a real get up and go bike and i don't feel bad locking it up. steel frame and fork. it's completely stock right now. i'm going to swap out the tires and the grips and i think that'll be about it...
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Old 04-12-10, 11:37 AM
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As of right now I like the pheonix best out of my options but I'm holding out for a CL gem. No luck thus far though.
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Old 04-12-10, 12:19 PM
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I like the Kona bikes. Jake is great! Too bad I am not a fan of Cantis. The ***** Tonk would be awesome.
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Old 04-12-10, 07:28 PM
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https://bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott_wt5.htm

Keep the change for a decent saddle. ;-)
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Old 04-12-10, 08:10 PM
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even $600 is too much if you're anxious about locking your 29'r. I'd find a 30yr old Schwinn Varsity with one piece crank and replace the 27" steel wheels with 700Cx35tires and wheels and new brakes then carry a u-lock and cable. But that Kilo5 looks great.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:17 PM
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I actually had been looking at the wt-5. Does anyone own one? Or at least have experience with the Sturmey-Archer hub it comes with? I've tried searching but haven't been able to find a first hand review.

I've heard that IG hubs are less efficient than a traditional derailleur. I suppose I could always ditch it in favor of a regular hub if I don't like it.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:19 PM
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If you like the Phoenix, try this old-school flashback: https://bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott_os.htm
I promise I don't work for BD..... they just have some cool sh*t these days.
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Old 04-12-10, 08:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Rusty904 View Post
Or at least have experience with the Sturmey-Archer hub it comes with?
....Paging Rich.......

While I have no experience with SA (hence the call for help) hubs, I have been riding a Shimano Nexus (standard) 8-speed on my present commuter/utility bike for 3 years now, after many, many years of conventional derailleur drivetrains (road and mountain, manual and indexed).
Initially, I did notice a slight difference in the IGH, mainly in "feel" - not an immedidate sense of lower efficiency, mind you, just, different.

After riding for even a few miles with the IGH I felt no discernable lack of efficiency. I now prefer the IGH for my needs, and actually have come to dislike the aesthetics and external complexities of derailleured drivetrains, particularly for commuting. YMMV, of course, as there is no "one answer" to any question.

Last edited by canyoneagle; 04-12-10 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 04-12-10, 11:15 PM
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Kona Worldbike? I know it's not 700c, but it bombs the rest of your requirements.
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Old 04-13-10, 07:31 AM
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Originally Posted by InTheRain View Post
Salsa Casseroll Single. I think they are right around the $600. I googled it and found several sights with the Casseroll at $575 to $625

https://salsacycles.com/bikes/casseroll_single/

It's my choice for either a single speed or a rain bike that will take full fenders.
+1

This is my daily commuter. I ride it fixed 5.5-6 miles to and from work. Can go on a 20+ mile ride without any issues. Great do-it-all bike.
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Old 04-13-10, 09:43 AM
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Casseroll looks just about perfect. In my pricerange too. I can't stand the color though. I'll just have to get over it I guess. Function takes precedence over looks!

P.S. anyone know where i can get one of these in a 57cm size. I have no local dealer and I can;t find one online

Last edited by Rusty904; 04-13-10 at 10:36 AM.
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