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What bikes to look at: chromoly frame & internal hub

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What bikes to look at: chromoly frame & internal hub

Old 08-05-10, 01:18 PM
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funcrew
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What bikes to look at: chromoly frame & internal hub

Bike newbie here. Looking for a city bike to shag groceries with. Having spent the last month reading Sheldon Brown and numerous reviews on lots of bikes, I am now suffering from the cursed new hobby bug. Also keep finding goodies/upgrades that I want on a bike that drives the price up another $100, and another, and another... Also, I previously felt that my cast-iron 10-year-old Wally World mountain bike was OK, but you folks have convinced me otherwise.

Anyway, I was looking at Marin Muirwood, Kona Smoke, and Jamis Coda. However for my purposes as a committed non-bike guy, it seems like an internal hub might be a better fit than all those clanky, oily derailleurs. So here's my new spec list:

WISH LIST:
Chromoly frame & forks
Newpaperboy handlebars (can be added for more $, but cheaper if it comes with)
7-speed internal hub
fenders & racks

For background, I'm an old guy with the normal aching skeleton.

I spoke with Swobo. They are soon coming out with a chromoly & plain brakes version of the Baxter https://www.swobo.com/catalog/product...Path=2448_2449
which will be called the Fillmore.

Are there any other bikes out there now that meet my short wish list? I have not set a budget yet, certainly no more than $800 and preferably less.
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Old 08-05-10, 01:32 PM
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Hi,

If you want the cleanest drivetrain possible check out the bikes with belt drives, instead of a chain. Like this. That one is chromoly steel already. Otherwise, what you have linked to looks like a nice ride. IMHO, you will always have to change something on a new bike, anyway

Adam
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Old 08-05-10, 01:47 PM
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Steel framed, 5 speed IGH, takes wide tires, less than $500:
https://bikesdirect.com/products/mercier/kilott_wt5.htm

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Old 08-05-10, 02:27 PM
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Assuming you live in the States here are some choices:

Norco Ceres (my bike ). Above your price range, but that belt drive is sweet! See AdamDZ's link above for detailed review.

Raleigh Alley Way. Also above your price range, but also belt-driven, and also very sexy.

Raleigh Detour Deluxe. This is the 2011 model (with cromo frame). The 2010 version has a different (Alfine) hub and disc brakes, but
its frame is aluminum.

Kona Worldbike. If you're area isn't too hilly and a 3-speed will suffice then this bike is kinda cool. Believe me, it looks much better in
person than it does on Kona's site.

Civia Bryant. Very cool with its belt drive, Alfine hub, and drop bars, but also very pricey.

Masi SoulVille 7. This bike is super cool and super sexy, but only has a rear brake (an easy fix).

Torker Graduate. When you said "newspaperboy handlebars" this is the bike I thought of; I'm not sure exactly what those are, but I
pictured this bike nonetheless. It's got a "Tri-moly" frame, which I understand to mean that the 3 primary frame tubes (top, down, and
seat) are made from chromoly. It also has a 5-speed hub and drum brakes and is very reasonably priced.

There are other examples (Tout Terrain comes to mind) but then you're getting into the big bucks. Happy hunting!

Last edited by irclean; 08-05-10 at 02:32 PM.
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Old 08-05-10, 08:59 PM
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Lotta good suggestions.

I'd suggest getting out and riding a few bikes. Not just ones you like the looks of either, or that exactly fit your wish list. Try some weird bikes, coz it's just a test ride, and a mile or two of freaky won't kill you and will teach you a bit about what you like and don't like. It might turn out that you really *do* find Al frames are hideous, or you might find that you can't tell the difference... which would open up a lot more bikes up for consideration.

Some shops will even let you do test rides with stuff on the rack. I really like having the load on my rack. But there are folks who absolutely HATE putting stuff on their rack if they can avoid it. They're more comfortable with a backpack or a messenger bag. And other folks love front baskets or big porteur racks.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:23 AM
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Consider a Bike Friday, chromoly & IGH. This one with Nexus 8 and drop handlebars, build what your imagination and $$$$ support.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:59 AM
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Big internal gear hub fan here, but...modern derailleurs are neither clanky or oily.

Seven speed? The very good SRAM is hard to find in the N.A. market. The Shimano 7? Pony up for the 8-speed and thank me later.

Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
Hi,

If you want the cleanest drivetrain possible check out the bikes with...
...shaft drives...

, instead of a chain.
Like this.

tcs
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Old 08-06-10, 06:03 AM
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If you could tolerate 8 speeds instead of 7, you might find a Public to your liking. They are currently running a sale on the blue color through Facebook. Color matched racks are available on their website.

https://publicbikes.com/p/PUBLIC-D8

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Old 08-06-10, 06:56 AM
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Originally Posted by tcs View Post
...shaft drives...
I don't believe that shaft drives are reliable enough yet to be a viable choice for serious riding. I read somewhere about flexing and skipping problems.
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Old 08-06-10, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by AdamDZ View Post
I don't believe that shaft drives are reliable enough yet to be a viable choice for serious riding. I read somewhere about flexing and skipping problems.
Shaft drives, let's see
- Have a reputation for not being very reliable, especially if you put a lot of power on the pedals. The debate with an IGH is whether it's *more* reliable than a derailler, or "just as reliable".
- Heavy. Even compared to an IGH.
- I'm not sure if they leak oil/grease, but I know you need to add oil/grease periodically to the shaft drive itself.
- Inefficient - even compared to an IGH

I suppose it looks like the shaft drive is cheaper....that's about it.
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Old 08-06-10, 03:10 PM
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Heres shaft drive and IG hub https://www.dynamicbike.com/ ,,,

These guys sell the drive shaft parts https://www.sussex.com.tw/shaft-drive.html ' Shimano Nexus/Alfine 3/7/8-Speed compatable'

write or call them about weight and durability and let them defend their products.

Last edited by fietsbob; 08-06-10 at 03:27 PM.
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Old 08-06-10, 05:22 PM
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i like the Charge Mixer. it vaguely resembles your criteria list.

https://www.chargebikes.com/products/...ail2.php?id=28
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Old 08-07-10, 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Heres shaft drive and IG hub https://www.dynamicbike.com/ ,,,

These guys sell the drive shaft parts https://www.sussex.com.tw/shaft-drive.html ' Shimano Nexus/Alfine 3/7/8-Speed compatable'

write or call them about weight and durability and let them defend their products.
Lol, it's funny - customer reps from Sprint, Verizon, and AT&T all told me THEY have the most coverage and the "best" network! Imagine that!

If the cost was the same, a belt drive is a clearly superior product to any of the shaft-driven bicycles. It's more reliable, more efficient, and requires less maintenance (no grease or oil at all, whereas the shaft drive requires grease to be added periodically).

Last edited by PaulRivers; 08-07-10 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 08-07-10, 07:25 PM
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OP: I don't think you should get hung up in the derailleur/internal hub gear/belt drive/shaft drive wars! You live somewhere pretty dry and derailleurs don't need a lot of maintenance - and for the extra cost involved in buying one of the other solutions you could just take it into your Local Bike Shop and have them adjust it for you, or do it yourself - it's not too difficult.

You mention your back - frankly I think that just about any mountain bike or hybrid bike on the market would be fine for you so long as: it is the right frame size; it has slick or semi-slick tires (you don't want chunky, heavy, slow mud tires if you're riding on the street); and has handlebars that can be adjusted to a height that is comfortable for you e.g. trekking or touring bars. See here for ideas: https://www.sheldonbrown.com/deakins/handlebars.html

You might want to consider buying a good quality used bike and spending money on tires/bars/fenders etc to suit. Don't forget to budget for decent lights, rear rack, lock, helmet and (in my humble opinion) a high-viz vest - it's the extras that really add up in cost in cycling - but in my opinion it's also having decent extras/accessories that makes cycling much more comfortable. The guy with the expensive ultralight bike but crappy lights, sweaty jacket, theft-prone cable lock etc is probably not going to have as good an experience as the guy with a cheap, simple steel bike but good quality, well-suited accessories.
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Old 08-08-10, 02:27 PM
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I rode a Dynamic shaft-drive Crossroad 8 for several thousand miles.

I now ride a Mercier Kilo WT-5 chain-drive bike.

I recommend the Torker Graduate to you, sir. I think you'll be pleased with it.
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Old 08-08-10, 02:58 PM
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On motorcycles, NOTHING is more reliable than a drive shaft. I've been riding since 1968, and have never seen, nor even heard of, a BMW breaking either a drive shaft or its ring and pinion gear. I've witnessed and experienced chains breaking, jumping off sprockets, running noisely, etc on plenty of other motorcycles. The shaft drive works because the parts are properly engineered to be as strong as they need to be to do the job they need to do.
Harley Davidson went in a different direction, and has used a belt since the early 90's, and while it is better than a chain in terms of silence and longevity, they do wear out and break.

However, it must be admitted that, the components of a properly designed drive shaft do weigh a bit more than the same components associated with a chain or belt. This difference is negligible on a motorcycle, but on a bicycle, the tendency is to make those components as light as possible, which means they end up being not as strong as they really should be. So, on bicycles you can have failures which you would never have on a motorcycle...including drive shafts breaking, gears not running true due to flex in their housings, etc.
Really, on a bicycle, the chain can last a long, long time if it is protected from the elements. If you are running a full chain case, like old Raleigh DL's and many Dutch bikes, they chain becomes essentially maintenance free. Lots of motorcycles USED to offer full chain cases, but because they don't LOOK sporty, they didn't sell well.
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Old 08-10-10, 05:39 PM
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Originally Posted by ron521 View Post
On motorcycles, NOTHING is more reliable than a drive shaft.
This ain't no motorcycle. My conclusions after riding one are that they would be great for many recreational cyclists if the lubrication can be solved. Using grease as a lubricant on the bevel gears is a compromise. In my opinion these meshing surfaces deserve an oil bath, though I don't know if a good seal is possible with the current design.

I tried but couldn't keep the oil in. But despite the minor leaking the oil bath absolutely solved the noisy, grindy sounds that are the focus of so many complaints of shaft-drive bikes, even under heavy load such as churning up steep hills.

The Sussex drive-shaft design uses standard cartridge bearings. The savvy mechanical engineer that can solve this lubrication problem just might have a winner.
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Old 08-11-10, 08:49 AM
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3-speed rather than 7, but fits the other criteria very nicely, IMO - https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...gn/belleville/

I'd go with the Masi Soulville + front brake if it were my money.
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