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I dont want to be THAT GUY but....

Old 08-28-12, 08:11 PM
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I dont want to be THAT GUY but....

I apologize in advance if this is the wrong place to post this, or if there is already a thread about this (please direct me there if there is) but I'm in the market for a new commuter. Currently I own a fairly cheap wally world hybrid. Its a decent bike, don't get me wrong, but I'm looking for something a little more quality and possibly a little quicker. My budget is between $800.00 and $1000.00. Id prefer drop handle bars, with more of a road bike look to it. If you could please post a suggestion for a good commuter with a picture of it, or a link to it I would GREATLY appreciate it. Thanks!
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Old 08-28-12, 09:09 PM
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I cannot recommend on personal experience, but for that kind of money, I would probably look at a Jamis Aurora. Its really a touring bike, so if there is a reason why it is unsuitable as a commuter, more experienced, please comment.

Edited to add: the Aurora is high on my list of "I wish I had more money". May not really fit your requirements - so:

1. Will this be your one good bike?
2. Will you be doing only pavement rides?
3. Do you need to carry loads when commuting? i.e., will you be likely to use racks, panniers etc?
4. How many miles to you commute?
5. Do you want to actually race on this bike as well?

I'm not experienced enough to give advice, but I can ask the questions that you need to consider since I went through the same process recently

Last edited by treadtread; 08-28-12 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 08-28-12, 09:44 PM
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Originally Posted by treadtread
I cannot recommend on personal experience, but for that kind of money, I would probably look at a Jamis Aurora. Its really a touring bike, so if there is a reason why it is unsuitable as a commuter, more experienced, please comment.
+1. My commuter is a Jamis (an Allegro 2x trail bike - different than the new Allegro in that it has a front fork and disc brakes). Jamis tends to be a very good value IMO. The Aurora is a nice bike - steel damps the road buzz, it has drop bars, comes with fenders and a rack (probably worth $100) - nice to have on a commuter.

A lot of what makes a good commuter is the distance you need to travel, road quality, fitness level, preferred riding position, what weather conditions you will ride in, how much you need to carry, etc. More info makes for better recommendations.
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Old 08-28-12, 09:49 PM
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Originally Posted by treadtread

1. Will this be your one good bike?
2. Will you be doing only pavement rides?
3. Do you need to carry loads when commuting? i.e., will you be likely to use racks, panniers etc?
4. How many miles to you commute?
5. Do you want to actually race on this bike as well?
1.) Yes, this will be my main, best bike.
2.) Pavement and some loose gravel/very short grass.
3.) Yes. Rear rack with a trunk bag, and occasional panniers.
4.) 10 each way, everyday, with pleasure riding on the weekends. Also to the store and back.
5.) No actual racing, just wanted something fast. haha
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Old 08-28-12, 10:04 PM
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I agree - some kind of cyclocross bike like the Aurora or Cannondale caadx (although that's probably out of the price range).
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Old 08-28-12, 10:30 PM
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It's a little over your budget, but my personal favorite is the Kona Jake. I've got a 2008 and a 2013, and I love them. You might be able to find a 2012 within your budget. Another bike I'd recommend is the Kona *****Tonk. The Jamis Aurora is a great choice, though. If you live near an REI, the Novara Verita looks like an option, though sizes are limited. REI also has Surly Long Haul Truckers for under $1000 if a 58cm or 62cm would fit you.
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Old 08-28-12, 10:30 PM
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get it shipped to your local bike shop (knock 20% off the price as you don't need to pay VAT)...

CrMo (4130) frame/fork
EBB
7-speed IGH
Shimano dynamo w/front and rear lights
integrated front/rear fender
integrated rack
integrated chain guard

best part: it's belt driven





best bike around for the money. you could even add drops if you want, but i wouldn't.
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Old 08-28-12, 11:32 PM
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I too have a department store hybrid along with a 2010 Schwinn Le Tour Super. The Le Tour is great and all, but having the Le Tour has really made me appreciate the hybrid more. While the grass is greener with the Le Tour, it's probably not worth 4 times the hybrid. The hybrid will never be as fast but I had already been satisfied with my commute time. What I love about the hybrid is the cheap maintenance/replacement parts and the carefree attitude I can have to treat the bike like crap. On the other hand, I don't regret buying the Le Tour though otherwise I would have always wondered what owning a midrange bike would have been like.
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Old 08-29-12, 12:34 AM
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I loved commuting on my Surly Cross Check while I had it. I love touring on my Long Haul Trucker more, but it is a lot slower. The Cross Check is a pretty nice all-around bike. It fits bigger tires and fenders if you want them. You can mount racks on it. The steel frame is pretty comfy (or at least it was for me)
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Old 08-29-12, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K
It's a little over your budget, but my personal favorite is the Kona Jake. Another bike I'd recommend is the Kona *****Tonk. The Jamis Aurora is a great choice
I was considering all three of these mentioned actually. Thanks Also looking at a Fuji Touring.(https://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/touring) Anybody have any luck with these bikes?
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Old 08-29-12, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Cammington13
Originally Posted by Andy_K
It's a little over your budget, but my personal favorite is the Kona Jake. Another bike I'd recommend is the Kona *****Tonk. The Jamis Aurora is a great choice
I was considering all three of these mentioned actually. Thanks Also looking at a Fuji Touring.(https://www.fujibikes.com/bike/details/touring) Anybody have any luck with these bikes?
I have the 2013 *****Tonk. I've really fallen in love with the steel frame. It gives a smooth ride.
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Old 08-29-12, 09:05 AM
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It's currently out of stock but I've been commuting on a Nashbar Steel Cyclocross for the last 8 months and am happy with it. It has mounts for racks and fenders. I've put about 1500 miles on it.
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Old 08-29-12, 09:08 AM
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I was impressed by the Jamis Aurora as well. In terms of buying new, I think you get the most bang for your buck there in terms of frame and component quality. And it rides nice too.
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Old 08-29-12, 09:31 AM
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My stock advice to these questions is: First: Pick your bike shop, then narrow your choices based on what they sell. I know that this seems weird in the wonderful age of mass consumed products, but my experience is that most manufacturers make something pretty decent that will fulfill your basic requirements (a commuter capable drop bar bike between $800-1000). However, not all shops are created equal, and having one that will take their time, fit you properly, and support you after the sale is worth a ton! Even if you do your own maintenance, there are those times you need a little bit of help diagnosing a weird issue, or getting a replacement part (or loaner) on a moment's notice. That's when having a relationship with your shop makes a huge difference.

If I were looking for a 'one bike to do it all' drop bar commuter, I'd look at entry level Cyclocross bikes...
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Old 08-29-12, 09:41 AM
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Check out the cyclocross bikes at BikesDirect.com. The also have a couple decent touring bikes if that's what you prefer. Even if you pay a bike shop to assemble it for you (call around for prices), you should still come in well under $1,000.
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Old 08-29-12, 10:07 AM
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I second the cyclo-cross comments and the bikesdirect recommendation. The interrupter brake levers are just great for riding in traffic and the drops are great.
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Old 08-29-12, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by CptjohnC
My stock advice to these questions is: First: Pick your bike shop, then narrow your choices based on what they sell. I know that this seems weird in the wonderful age of mass consumed products, but my experience is that most manufacturers make something pretty decent that will fulfill your basic requirements (a commuter capable drop bar bike between $800-1000). However, not all shops are created equal, and having one that will take their time, fit you properly, and support you after the sale is worth a ton! Even if you do your own maintenance, there are those times you need a little bit of help diagnosing a weird issue, or getting a replacement part (or loaner) on a moment's notice. That's when having a relationship with your shop makes a huge difference.
+1 on the local bike store support. Visit as many LBS as you can and decide which one best meets your needs and addresses your questions. Even if the one you like does not offer the the absolute cheapest bike or accessories, it's hard to place a dollar value on great support, friendly people, and knowledgeable staff. The bike itself isn't usually the issue: it's all those "other things" that make a difference, like, "... is my bike supposed to be making that noise"?
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