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Need recommendation and/or advice for a VERY picky rider.

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Need recommendation and/or advice for a VERY picky rider.

Old 07-17-15, 02:19 PM
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Need recommendation and/or advice for a VERY picky rider.

HI!! I've been spending 2+ weeks looking for a commuter bike! I have to say I'm very picky, and the hunt is getting frustrated. So I'm here to ask for HELP!!

Budget:
$1000-1500(if the bike is right, I don't mind going over $1500.

Type:
Gravel Road Bike
or just Road Bike with disc brick
(i've been told hydraulic disc is a better choice if i'm commenting all year)

Material & Frame design:
I do like aluminum, but the way they have to be constructed(big tubes) is not my taste. One exception is the Colnago WorldCup, their frame is so similar to a steel frame, but they are just too expensive for me right now. WORLD CUP SL
I love steel frames, because of their simplistic design.

Another bike I found that was very close to my criteria is the Specialized AWOL, but I am SHORT!, and their S size's stand over is a little too high for me.
The biggest problem I have is aesthetics, as a working artist myself, color pallet and frame design is a huge deal for me.
I don't bike colors they are too flashy, the Colnago World Cup might be expensive, but their designs are subtle.
I understand you don't buy a bike for its looks(some do), but I hope I can find the perfect match of function and aesthetics.

Thank you all so much!
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Old 07-17-15, 03:04 PM
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I don't know about what you think of the color(s) but the Surly Disc Trucker (complete bike) is in your price range. It has cable activated disc brakes, but I don't really know about the pros and cons of cable vs hydraulic.

You could always go with a custom built steel cyclocross frame... but the frame (without fork) would be at the top of your budget. My favorite local shop is only about a 2 hour drive from you, and one of the owners builds nice frames.

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Old 07-17-15, 06:59 PM
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Sounds to me like a nice vintage steel would meet your tastes. You won't have disc brakes but bikes have worked for many many years without them.
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Old 07-17-15, 07:42 PM
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I'm an engineer and believe form follows function. Tho I do appreciate you're an artist and support your desire to find something atheistically pleasing, too heavy an emphasis on that can hinder.

Last edited by ltxi; 07-17-15 at 07:51 PM.
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Old 07-17-15, 07:52 PM
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You should definitely check out the Jamis Bosanova, and Jamis Aurora elite. Both steel frames with disk brakes...$1100 and 1600 respectively... go to the Jamis website and navigate too"road", then "adventure".
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Old 07-18-15, 08:04 AM
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I second Little Darwin's suggestion for a Surley Disc Trucker. This bike seems to be the closest to what the OP wants. Keep in mind that for smaller frame sizes you will have to go with 26 inch wheels. The 700c wheels are available only at 56cm and larger frame sizes.

Another option would be to get a cyclocross bike with aluminum frame. Look up Jamis Nova Sport/Race, Kona Rove, Cannondale 105/Tiagra/Sora Disc.
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Old 07-19-15, 10:17 AM
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thank you Darwin!! Yes...I should defiantly go back and look at the Surly!

and I never thought of betting a custom built!Great suggestion!
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Old 07-19-15, 10:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Up North
Sounds to me like a nice vintage steel would meet your tastes. You won't have disc brakes but bikes have worked for many many years without them.
where would you find vintage bikes?ebay? craigslist?v
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Old 07-19-15, 11:44 AM
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Originally Posted by adrieltjy
where would you find vintage bikes?ebay? craigslist?v
I believe both sites are quite good. I haven't used CL myself, but from what I've heard, you can get a nice bike at a good price. On ebay it's a little harder to get a bargain, due to many people bidding at the same time, but there are still a lot of bikes out there and you can count on the seller's rating to be meaningful.
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Old 07-19-15, 12:00 PM
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Salsa Fargo make a great commuter too.
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Old 07-19-15, 12:43 PM
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Aluminum bikes have oversized tubes for a reason. I don't think I'd want an aluminum bike with small tubes; if small tubes is a preference, go with steel.
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Old 07-19-15, 12:52 PM
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Surly trucker is a big heavy lump, designed to carry a load. Strong disagree that it is a good every day commuter.
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Old 07-19-15, 01:01 PM
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I think it's up to personal preference whether a heavier bike is a good commuter or not. Many people prefer lightweight. In my experience, there's nothing wrong with heavy. Since the OP specifically asked for steel, the Trucker is not a bad option.
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Old 07-19-15, 01:05 PM
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In addition to the surly disc trucker, I'd look at the surly straggler (it comes in 650b) and the soma saga disc (26 inch in the smaller sizes) and soma double-cross disc. I love my soma double-cross; it is one of the best riding bikes that I own.
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Old 07-19-15, 01:06 PM
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Its important that you like the bike and want to ride it but its equally important that it will do what you need.

Good looking and desirable bikes that are regularly parked in an accessible location are a magnet for bike thieves. You won't want to be replacing it on a regular basis so its also important to assess the risk and how you can minimize it.

If I were choosing the bike, I would need to know a bit more before beforehand.

What surfaces is it going to be ridden on? Smooth pavement? Rough pavement, smooth compacted gravel, Rough ground?

How long and how hilly is the commuting route?

What else will the bike be used for? eg long trips with heavy shopping loads

What is the risk of theft in the locations you will park it and what options exist to minimize the risk?

What is your fitness level, cycling experience, and your preferred riding style (e.g as fast as possible, sit up and admire the scenery, or something in between)
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Old 07-19-15, 01:26 PM
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Good looking and desirable bikes that are regularly parked in an accessible location are a magnet for bike thieves.
What is the risk of theft in the locations you will park it and what options exist to minimize the risk?




important issues

I like my Brompton folding bike.

it comes inside with me and I can handle gravel roads I Encounter , if needed .

but if you want to join the popular gravel grinder organized ride-competitions

get a different bike for the weekends..

Last edited by fietsbob; 07-19-15 at 01:32 PM.
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Old 07-19-15, 02:35 PM
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Bianchi zurigo-tiagra-disc comes in classic celeste colour, has a full set of rack/fender eyelets and the mech discs are located for racks to fit easily.
Don't sweat the cable vs hydro argument. Hydro road levers are a new development and have not filtered down the groupsets so far. Cables are fine.
It looks like the perfect all-rounder/commute
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Old 07-19-15, 02:49 PM
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I just got a Trek 520. They now make a disc brake version (520 Disc - Trek Bicycle), but Trek only makes one color per model per year. This year, the disc version is black and the non-disc (which I got) is a lovely forest green. I would add at least fenders if I were using it for commuting. FWIW
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Old 07-19-15, 03:55 PM
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I picked up a Raleigh Tamland 1, 631 steel frame, mechanical disc brakes, 105 Shimano for $1,500 - maybe a little more this year. Bulletproof, comfy and 40 mm tires!
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Old 07-19-15, 05:50 PM
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I've built a few Disc Truckers and Stragglers,and if I was going to go with a drop bar steel disc gravel/cross bike,I'd pick an All City Macho Man. The Tektro brakes aren't as nice as the Surlys' BB7's,but the frameset is much nicer. The brakes work fine,they're just not as easy to set up and require more futzing than BB7's,and really the frame is what's most important.

If you want a drop bar bike with hydro discs,I don't think you're going to find one for under $2.5k or so. Hydro brifters are still high end,they haven't trickle down into the middle groupos yet. I personally like BB7's,but TRP makes hydro calipers that are cable actuated if you really want to go that route. Hydros are nice,yes,but I'm happy making do with my BB7's.
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