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Requesting Help Deciding on a Commuter (Raleigh, Surly, Jamis)

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Requesting Help Deciding on a Commuter (Raleigh, Surly, Jamis)

Old 09-03-10, 08:09 AM
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KruiserIV
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Requesting Help Deciding on a Commuter (Raleigh, Surly, Jamis)

A little about myself:

I ride 4-500 miles a week on my CF road bike. Just for fun/fitness. Now I'm looking not only to get from point A to point B, but I'd like to get there with some stuff. I'm not looking to load my front and rear down with a years supply of life, but I will be taking 100 mile trips or so with light luggage (tee's and shorts, socks, shoes... the basics). Price is really no object as each I've listed fit well within my budget. I'm primarily looking for comfort for long rides and carrying capacity in the event I um, carry stuff.

Stats:

6'1
170lbs (going for 165!)
34" inseam (My Madone is 62cm, but I can ride 59-61's very comfortably as well)

I've done some research and I have a few bikes in mind:

Raleigh International 2011
Raleigh Record Ace 2011
Jamis Aurora Elite

And the comparison wouldn't be fair without considering the :

LHT


ALL feedback is greatly appreciated and welcome.

EDIT: Will all of these bikes accept rear racks/panniers? (Ortlieb)

Last edited by KruiserIV; 09-03-10 at 08:17 AM.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:24 AM
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I had no idea that the international was a $5,000. So.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:37 AM
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envane
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The Raleigh Clubman and Port Townsend look more suitable to what you are looking to do than those higher-end Raleigh steel bikes, which don't look like they have rack mounts. If money is no object, I'd look into custom building a randoneering-type bike because higher end stuff will either be more racerish and less practical, or dedicated-touring which will be overkill.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:40 AM
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I rode the Jamis Aurora (not elite) and Long Haul Trucker back to back. The trucker was, for me, a much better bicycle.

You might also consider: http://www.raleighusa.com/bikes/steel-road/sojourn-11/
which if the trucker hadn't just been right, I would have gone in search of.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:50 AM
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Originally Posted by envane View Post
I'd look into custom building a randoneering-type bike because higher end stuff will either be more racerish and less practical, or dedicated-touring which will be overkill.
This is what I found - I wanted a dedicated commuter, that fit the description that Kruiser gave. Today there are more options, but this is a relatively recent trend. I went with a custom frame (although the LHT probably would have met my needs), and set it up with top quality components for the purpose to which I use the bike, which is as my daily ride to/from work. I have a front generator hub and always on lighting, a rear rack, fenders, bombproof rims, a relatively simple drivetrain (1x8) good quality touring hub, fenders etc. I wouldn't say that money was no object, but since I don't own a car, I can spend quite a bit on bikes and still be way ahead of the game. The difference in cost between a fully custom built frame, and an off the rack frame was not a big enough portion of the overall bike cost to consider anything else. Major drawback to a custom frame is delayed gratification.
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Old 09-03-10, 08:51 AM
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the surly cross check may also be nice. it does not sound like you really need the lht as it really is more of a full out touring rig.

the cross check takes a rack anbd fenders if need be and is fun to ride!
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Old 09-03-10, 09:21 AM
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You guys are top notch. Right now it's look like one of the following:

Clubman
Port Townsend
LHT
Sojourn
Aurora (Elite?)

The only downside to your input that I can see is that you've grown my list Thanks asses.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:52 AM
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Shop the Dealer, the service after the sale matters more
than the brand name on the paint.

that being said, of the 3, in OP, the Jamis looks well kitted out ,

disc brakes, mudguards, + rear rack, out of the box.

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-03-10 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 09-03-10, 09:53 AM
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KruiserIV
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Shop the Dealer, the service after the sale matters more than the brand name on the paint.
My dealer's top notch. We're friends and even when bikes aren't involved we hang out and enjoy each others company.
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Old 09-03-10, 10:15 AM
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KruiserIV
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
Shop the Dealer, the service after the sale matters more
than the brand name on the paint.

that being said, of the 3, in OP, the Jamis looks well kitted out ,

disc brakes, mudguards, + rear rack, out of the box.
Yeah, I'm leaning towards the Jamis for the exact reasons you mentioned. Plus it's beautiful.
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Old 09-03-10, 10:29 AM
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SO has an '09 Elite, and loves it. IMO it's well set-up for the price, and the colour scheme isn't flashy or overly logo-ified. (Although I do prefer the 09 Elite to the '10.) Can't speak to the others, unfortunately. I'd say that unless there's one bike that's really outstanding after a test ride, go with the dealer that gives you the best service.
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Old 09-03-10, 10:31 AM
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Depending on parking at the job , wrapping the frame with split open old innertubes
will keep the paint from getting chipped as the big lock is repeatedly deployed to keep it from getting stolen.
Then the Paint Beauty will be a more closely guarded secret..
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Old 09-03-10, 10:46 AM
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Seeing as cost is not a problem. I would look at Independent fabrication's Steel Club racer, and get it fit and made for me the way I want it.

They make great stuff!
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Old 09-03-10, 11:00 AM
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I'll add IG hubs for commuting, are Ideal, It's impossible to be caught in too high a gear when the light turns red,

Because you can down-shift at a stop while you are waiting for it to change to green, again..
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Old 09-03-10, 11:39 AM
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KruiserIV
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I should mention, while money isn't an option, I have a high credit limit with my LBS due to a cancelled order, so I can't go too far outside the norm for most of these bikes, as much as I'd like to. What are IG hubs?

And as for IF, those are probably some of the most beautiful bikes in my eyes. If I could afford one, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
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Old 09-03-10, 12:08 PM
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Originally Posted by KruiserIV View Post
I should mention, while money isn't an option, I have a high credit limit with my LBS due to a cancelled order, so I can't go too far outside the norm for most of these bikes, as much as I'd like to. What are IG hubs?

And as for IF, those are probably some of the most beautiful bikes in my eyes. If I could afford one, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.
Better check the price on the steel ones. You should be able to get the club racer made and built for 5,000.
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Old 09-03-10, 12:17 PM
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You can't go wrong with a Seven titanium custom frame.
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Old 09-03-10, 12:53 PM
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How about a semi-custom?

If I was looking new, a Gunnar Fast Lane would be high on the list, especially if I was going to do more dirt/fire road type riding. Bigger tires, rack mount, ability to handle fenders? Yep.

Made right up the road, in Waterford, WI.

For 100% on-road, maybe the Sport. Or maybe a Crosshairs.

Disclaimer, I'm running a 2002 vintage Gunnar Crosshairs with an optional, fender eyeletted, Waterford steel fork. I was lucky enough to find it used, at a rather nice price. Handling is certainly more relaxed than a typical road bike, but it is still crisp and confidence inspiring. Think more like a classic 5 series Bimmer, rather than Crown Vic. Over marginal city streets, I'm faster on the Crosshairs than my Waterford Paramount, just because it soaks up the bumps, and never surprises me.
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Old 09-03-10, 01:07 PM
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Well I have a good amount of credit with my LBS and while he has a large selection of bikes to choose from, some of the ones listed here aren't included. We're looking at the Aurora Elite, Sojourn and LHT. I'll probably place my order today.

Quick questions:

Do any of you recommend a different fit for a commuter than a performance bike? I obviously want to sit a little more upright, but are there other things i should take into consideration? Would a 62cm commuter be good for a person who rides a 62cm race bike, etc?
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Old 09-03-10, 01:13 PM
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I ride a regular Aurora which I like just fine. I wish I had picked up a 2009 Aurora Elite when I had a chance to, it was a regular Aurora with better components and 5 pounds lighter. The 2010 Elite loses all its weight savings to the disc brakes (which is fine if you want those).
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Old 09-03-10, 01:36 PM
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Originally Posted by KruiserIV View Post
Well I have a good amount of credit with my LBS and while he has a large selection of bikes to choose from, some of the ones listed here aren't included. We're looking at the Aurora Elite, Sojourn and LHT. I'll probably place my order today.

Quick questions:

Do any of you recommend a different fit for a commuter than a performance bike? I obviously want to sit a little more upright, but are there other things i should take into consideration? Would a 62cm commuter be good for a person who rides a 62cm race bike, etc?
If the bike fits, it fits. You can always leave the stem uncut to give you more an upright feel. There again, you may decide to cut it at a latter time.

From the bikes listed, I like the Surly, it's a tank, built with 36 spoke wheels and has room gor anything you want to put on it.

BUT

It's always best to try and ride them first. Ordering specs, is at times tricky. Not all co. spec the same way.

Good luck and post pics
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Old 09-03-10, 04:37 PM
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Test ride all of them.

When I test rode the Aurora (not elite) It felt quicker, lighter, and more aggressive than the LHT. I choose the LHT because other factors weighed more heavily in my decision making.
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Old 09-03-10, 07:09 PM
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I'll throw one more into the mix for you. I ride a Surly Pacer that currently has the Acorn Bags Medium Large bag hanging under the seat and I'm getting ready to put the Boxy Rando bag on the front. That plus a set of the Velo Orange fenders will really make a nice commuter/rando bike. And I love the ride of the Pacer.
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Old 09-03-10, 10:42 PM
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I just ordered the Aurora Elite!
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