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Who makes the best commuter out-of-the-box?

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Who makes the best commuter out-of-the-box?

Old 04-09-12, 01:22 PM
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umazuki
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Who makes the best commuter out-of-the-box?

Does any manufacturer get it? I'm looking for a replacement for my current bike - while it's not a terrible bike, there are some features I didn't think about (or didn't even know existed) and I imagine it'd be too difficult/expensive to put these on after the fact.

Internal gear hub - so I can shift while stopped

Chaincase - I underestimated just how filthy the drivetrain would get

Generator hub - I didn't even know this technology even existed when I started commuting

Disc brakes or roller brakes

Why is it that in 2012, hitting on all of these points is so difficult? There's the Breezer Uptown series, which doesn't have disc brakes, and apparently there are no Breezer dealers left in the Chicagoland area. Trek has their Soho Deluxe, which seems a little too much (belt drive? mixed brakes?) Am I stuck putting my own together, or is there a manufacturer that I'm not thinking of?
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Old 04-09-12, 01:38 PM
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novara transfer at REI was on the top of my list before I got a great deal on a torker graduate, no generator hub.

They just came out this year with the gotham but at 1,300 I'm not sure I would do that, comes with gates belt drive, but it checks all the boxes.

https://www.rei.com/product/825377/no...tham-bike-2012
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Old 04-09-12, 02:11 PM
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Don't think many commuters want a bike specced that way. Market demand drives supply.
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Old 04-09-12, 02:27 PM
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None. It all depends on individual taste/needs. That's why I decided to build my own.
You can buy something that's close to what you want, then just modify/upgrade it.
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Old 04-09-12, 02:30 PM
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Check the Civia Kingfield. There are four dealers in the Chicago area, including one in Highland Park. Belt drive and internal hub, comes with rack and fenders. If they had dealers closer to me, I would have jumped on this one. The Bryant is also sweet, but pricier.
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Old 04-09-12, 02:51 PM
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Co-Motion City View!
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Old 04-09-12, 02:52 PM
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I took my Bike Friday Pocket Llama out of a box,
disc brakes , Rohloff, Schmidt dyno-hub.

then I did the fender mounting and other details to suit myself.


Or, another, straight Out of the Box? Brompton..
anything but a folding bike will need assembly,

as its going to be bigger assembled than the box it ships inside..

German and NL builders.. but you live in the US..
Peter White in NH imports Tout Terrain bike frames and forks from there.
but they are a custom assembly after that .

Co Motion is a US frame building shop, in Oregon ,
they can put together a Custom Bike for you ,
IG hub, Eccentric BB for chain tension, disc brakes , all that good stuff..

You could Fly to the Airport south of Amsterdam, and take the Bus
to the nearest Koga Miyata Dealer.
Their Signature program is a menu based custom assembly, they
build up the bike ,and send it to one of their retail dealers, you pick it up there .
But they don't have any US distribution any more ..

It's kind of like the Fly And Drive Program Volvo used to have ..
but Volvo shipped the car back to the states after you were done driving around Europe,
in it ..
KLM at AMS airport will sell you a Box to Fly back, with your bike..

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Old 04-09-12, 03:22 PM
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maybe....https://moots.com/our-bike/road/comooter/overview/
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Old 04-09-12, 03:24 PM
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Everybody wants something different. What you want seems reasonable, but it wouldn't come cheap and these days it's hard to sell people on something that's expensive and really heavy. The pairing of IGH and generator hub seems natural, since you've obviously given up on weight with the IGH anyway. Disc brakes complicate things because you need a system to move the brake with the wheel, but obviously that problem has been solved a few times.

FWIW, it looks like the Specialized Source Eleven has everything you want, but it would be a lot cheaper to add a dynamo hub to something like a Swobo Dixon that meets the rest of your requirements.

For me, "the best commuter out-of-the-box" would need:

-drop bars
-STI levers
-disc brakes
-clearance for 700x32 tires with fenders
-fenders
-rack
-under 30 pounds
-low gear under 30 inches

The Civia Bryant is probably the closest, but it comes in a hair over 30 pounds without rack and fenders. The IGH hub kills it. It's probably close enough, but it didn't exist when I was last in the market for a bike like this so I made my own by adding a disc brake, rack and fenders to my Kona Jake.
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Old 04-09-12, 06:15 PM
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Originally Posted by umazuki View Post
Does any manufacturer get it? I'm looking for a replacement for my current bike - while it's not a terrible bike, there are some features I didn't think about (or didn't even know existed) and I imagine it'd be too difficult/expensive to put these on after the fact.

Internal gear hub - so I can shift while stopped

Chaincase - I underestimated just how filthy the drivetrain would get

Generator hub - I didn't even know this technology even existed when I started commuting

Disc brakes or roller brakes

Why is it that in 2012, hitting on all of these points is so difficult? There's the Breezer Uptown series, which doesn't have disc brakes, and apparently there are no Breezer dealers left in the Chicagoland area. Trek has their Soho Deluxe, which seems a little too much (belt drive? mixed brakes?) Am I stuck putting my own together, or is there a manufacturer that I'm not thinking of?
Um, according to the dealer locator tool on the Breezer bikes site, there are 7 shops that either stock and can order- the closest to you should be Campbell Street Bicycle Shop in Arlington Heights. And aside from the chaincase, the Finesse has everything you're looking for.
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Old 04-09-12, 06:25 PM
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The Pashley Roadster Sovereign may be of interest, but you'll have to buy before trying. Universal Cycles looks to be the only U.S. dealer. https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=47895
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Old 04-10-12, 12:04 PM
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Thanks for the ideas, everyone. The Gotham looks good, but I'm not totally sold on the whole belt drive thing. I mean, it seems neat, but the reviews belt drive bikes say it can be finicky. I guess I'd have to try it out. Anyone have any experience with them? Maybe there's a thread I can check out?

And, you know, it's weird, I know the Breezer website says there are several dealers in my area, but Campbell is closed (permanently), the Performance stores no longer carry Breezer, and for the 3-4 other shops I checked, there is no mention of them on their websites. I think they need to update their dealer list.
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Old 04-10-12, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post

For me, "the best commuter out-of-the-box" would need:

-drop bars
-STI levers
-disc brakes
-clearance for 700x32 tires with fenders
-fenders
-rack
-under 30 pounds
-low gear under 30 inches

The Civia Bryant is probably the closest, but it comes in a hair over 30 pounds without rack and fenders. The IGH hub kills it. It's probably close enough, but it didn't exist when I was last in the market for a bike like this so I made my own by adding a disc brake, rack and fenders to my Kona Jake.
I'm running a 2012 Kona ***** Inc and it checks every item on your list. Outfitted, it's just about as expensive as the Bryant, but it has 105/Ultegra and no IGH About 24 pounds with rack and fenders.
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Old 04-10-12, 01:40 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
The Pashley Roadster Sovereign may be of interest, but you'll have to buy before trying. Universal Cycles looks to be the only U.S. dealer. https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=47895
I was going to suggest the same.
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Old 04-10-12, 01:51 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Don't think many commuters want a bike specced that way. US race focused Market demand drives supply.
fify

Bikes as outlined by the OP are standard fare in certain European countries where cyclists don't wear spandex or helmets. They also come with built in locks.
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Old 04-10-12, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by genec View Post
fify

Bikes as outlined by the OP are standard fare in certain European countries where cyclists don't wear spandex or helmets. They also come with built in locks.
Why would you wear spandex and a helmet on a 50 pound bike that won't go much over 10 mph?
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Old 04-10-12, 02:47 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
Um, according to the dealer locator tool on the Breezer bikes site, there are 7 shops that either stock and can order- the closest to you should be Campbell Street Bicycle Shop in Arlington Heights. And aside from the chaincase, the Finesse has everything you're looking for.
Unfortunately, Campbell Street bikes closed the end of March.
This Norco seems to have a lot of what you're looking for. No local dealers though.
https://www.norco.com/bikes/urban/urb...le/city-glide/
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Old 04-10-12, 03:46 PM
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Originally Posted by fucxms View Post
I'm running a 2012 Kona ***** Inc and it checks every item on your list. Outfitted, it's just about as expensive as the Bryant, but it has 105/Ultegra and no IGH About 24 pounds with rack and fenders.
I actually really like the ***** Inc. I've thought about buying the frameset, but it's going to take something with the rear disc mount inside the seat stays to get me to give up my Jake. Plus, the Jake works so well for me that I can't really justify replacing it.
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Old 04-10-12, 04:23 PM
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Originally Posted by no1mad View Post
The Pashley Roadster Sovereign may be of interest, but you'll have to buy before trying. Universal Cycles looks to be the only U.S. dealer. https://www.universalcycles.com/shopp...s.php?id=47895
FYI: Flying Pigeon in LA gets Pashleys, as well as real Dutch bikes and bakefiets. I don't think they ship, so not much help if you aren't in the area, but thought they deserve a mention.
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Old 04-10-12, 04:34 PM
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What are roller brakes? They sound like the bicycle equivalent of drum brakes.
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Old 04-10-12, 04:41 PM
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There are bikes with drum brakes, built into the hubs. The Torker Graduate is one.

Umazuki - the Graduate is a 5-speed IGH with drum brakes, and a chainguard. No dynamo hub, though. But it's quite affordable at around $550.
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Old 04-10-12, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Why would you wear spandex and a helmet on a 50 pound bike that won't go much over 10 mph?
You mean to tell me that there are other options besides spandex to wear?!?
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Old 04-10-12, 07:23 PM
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Originally Posted by alan s View Post
Don't think many commuters want a bike specced that way. Market demand drives supply.
genec made a good fix to your post -- the US market doesn't understand bikes like this.

The accessory market would have to give up on nickel-and-dime-ing us with small lights, too, if all bikes came with generators.

I've given up on finding the exact bike I want right off the shop floor. However, I'm sure that Moots (or a lot of other builders) could make some changes to fill my order. The other option, which I've taken on my current commuter bike, is to get as close as you can with a stock bike, then change the one or two last features to what you want.
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Old 04-10-12, 08:15 PM
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Internal gear hub - so I can shift while stopped
I don't need to shift when I'm stopped - I'm not moving then. Furthermore, a Shimano Alfine weighs more than my whole crankset, both ders and the rear cassette combined.

Chaincase - I underestimated just how filthy the drivetrain would get
Weight I don't need to carry around if I'm ambitious-enough to wash my bike once in a while. "Filthy" = "inadequate maintenance."

Generator hub - I didn't even know this technology even existed when I started commuting
Weighs, and costs, a lot more than rechargeable batteries.

Discs, I'm right with you on them.

This is not meant to be contentious, it's just one man's opinion and an idea why your preferences are tough to find. It would be difficult to keep a bike equipped in that fashion under 30 lbs, unless you start with a carbon frame. The end result would be a $3500 commuter, a rather niche market indeed.

Oh, to answer your initial question: Jamis makes the best commuters out of the box. They just don't look like you want them to. They look like I want them to, which is why I think they're the best.

Last edited by SuperDave; 04-10-12 at 08:19 PM.
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Old 04-10-12, 08:27 PM
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Try Kettler.
https://www.kettlerusa.com/paginate/c...lass&order=ASC

SuperDave: a chain will be dirty no matter how often you wash the bike. Besides a chaincase is a god way to keep your pants from getting caught in the chain. Otherwise you need to roll up or use clamps. Anybody who rode their bikes even for a few minutes would know that.
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