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picking up a new bike

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Old 07-28-16, 06:04 AM
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Juan Foote
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picking up a new bike

The monthly social ride(s) I participate in have gotten considerably faster in pace over the last couple of years. I purchased a cheap single speed and geared it for the average speed of the rides, about 9mph at the time, with the added bonus of being able to make all the hills. Both rides have gotten to be over a 12mph pace, which isn't really possibly on the gear inches I run. I opted to look around for another cheap bike. This purchase was a bit of a placebo to keep me entertained while I was pondering a more expensive steel road frame....

I came across this, on sale: GT Traffic 1.0 Commuter Road Bike - 2015

Unlike so many of the other bikes I have looked at and desired more, they had this available in a size that, at least on paper, looks perfect for me. Since they didn't have it in stock local I had to buy one and have it shipped to the store. The plus side is that I can test ride it and immediately "return" it if I don't care for it. A service that no other bike shop in my area seems to offer...anyway.

I only found the one review on Perf's site and the issue related is a bad hanger. Without anything to "go" on I had to trust in my past and current experience with GT bikes at this price point which has been good. I note that the group and components are low shelf. I expect them to be all I need for what this bike will be about. It will get a rack and some lights, keep the big fat tires. It will be version two of the social beataround bike which the SS performed so well at.

All in all, right at the verge of the price point I am comfortable locking up and walking away from while offering all the functionality I need. Lol, and I'm going to put a kickstand on it...
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Old 07-28-16, 07:12 AM
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What does "bad hanger" mean?

My bet is that you're going to love your new bike. We enthusiasts tend to fret endlessly about the tiniest little increment of performance improvements but, the truth is, even the lowest level Shimano components work adequately well for all but the most persnickety riders.

Enjoy your new bike.
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Old 07-28-16, 07:20 AM
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Juan Foote
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The only review that performance, or anyone, had related to this model and year was an experience where the rear derailleur "sucked" into the wheel. He says the hanger broke off, so I figure probable shipping damage or a poorly adjusted low gear side. Either way, not really a quality concern of the bike in general.
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Old 07-28-16, 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
What does "bad hanger" mean?

My bet is that you're going to love your new bike. We enthusiasts tend to fret endlessly about the tiniest little increment of performance improvements but, the truth is, even the lowest level Shimano components work adequately well for all but the most persnickety riders.

Enjoy your new bike.
The review is right on the link. It is a Performance exclusive bike, that's why you're not finding much else. I have no idea how a derailleur hanger just breaks without it having been totally botched being assembled, or having been dropped and damaged. I personally would chalk it up as an outlier not worth worrying about, or user error, the terminology of the review makes no sense to determine what actually happened.

In any case, looks like a nice, basic commuter.
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Old 07-28-16, 08:05 AM
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I think it would be a great commuter bike for locking up and walking away, all you need is an adequate lock which doesn't need to be expensive like this one: https://www.amazon.com/Kryptonite-Kr...g-goods&sr=1-1

As far as the quality of the components, don't worry about it! When a component takes a crap and it can't be fixed then replace it with something a bit better, but until then don't waste your money.

Since you'll be using the bike for commuting make sure your tires are bullet proof, either that or give your self an extra 20 minutes in case of a flat, flats will be your most common problem especially in the rear and you don't want to get fired due to being late to work. Even though the bike comes with Schwalbe Road Cruiser tires with Kblock puncture guard that is their minimum protection belt, I would replace the rear tire with a Marathon Plus HS 440, and keep the former rear Road Cruiser to use on the front when the original front tire wears out. The reason for the better rear tire is that most flats occur in the rear and it takes longer to fix a rear flat due to the mechanicals.

Obviously you need to take a spare tube, patch kit, tire levers (not cheap plastic ones because they can break, Soma steel core levers), a multi mini tool like the Park MTB 3.2. There is a tire lever called the QuikStik, if your tires are loose enough you can quickly rip off and rip on a tire, if the tires are tight you have to use the irons to get it started then insert the QuikStik and rip the tire off; this is kind of optional just depends on you. If you're not real up on repairing flats you need to be before you start commuting, watch You Tube videos on how to fix flat and then practice, practice, practice till you can do it in your sleep...fine, maybe not that well but well enough you can get the rear done in 10 minutes.
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Old 07-28-16, 08:31 AM
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Originally Posted by punkncat View Post
The only review that performance, or anyone, had related to this model and year was an experience where the rear derailleur "sucked" into the wheel. He says the hanger broke off, so I figure probable shipping damage or a poorly adjusted low gear side. Either way, not really a quality concern of the bike in general.
Yeah, derailleur hangers on most aluminum bikes are "sacrificial". They are designed to bend and break before damaging the main frame. Replacements are around $20.00.
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Old 07-28-16, 11:32 AM
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Got it home just a few moments ago. I took it for a short spin through the parking lot and was really pleased at how well I interpreted the fit numbers. This bike has a much more relaxed bottom bracket forward positioning than anything I have ever owned, very beach cruiser-esce feeling. It's got a set of swept bars that I have never used either, so in spite of it feeling good it's also a bit strange.

I just spent the last hour getting my bottle cages, lights, garmin, and brake/shifter handles set up better. I ordered a rack that works with my Topeak bag so I can carry stuff. I will have to go get some old schrader valve tubes, or some of the rim adapters. First bike I have owned in a long while without presta valves. Undecided about the grips and seat but figure I will put a few rides on it before changing anything.

The store I bought it from didn't have a kickstand in stock that would fit it. Had to have a funny shaped bracket for the cables to go through. Drove to another store just mildly out of the way towards home and by pure luck they happened to have one left. This is the first bike I have owned with a kickstand since I was 10 or so.

So far the only minus is that one of the rubber trim parts on front of the fender fell off on the way home. Don't even think it's worth calling about. Heading out on a shake out ride this evening to further review it.
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Old 07-28-16, 12:35 PM
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That bike looks perfect, especially at that price. I'd ride the heck outta that thing.
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Old 07-29-16, 06:42 AM
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After spending a few (more) hours riding around and making adjustments on the driveway, I took it for a five mile ride last night. My first impression was that I was riding flats....and in a way, I was. I returned home to find the tires about 25lbs below max, so I put them just below max and went again. I found that the first and second thing I am going to have to do is change the tires, and change the seat. The tires suck up as much energy as any mud tire I have ever ridden on and these are "smooth", path tires. Same effort as I would be moving 12 or so on the road bike was around 7 on this one. The seat is a bit of a bummer as it's truly quite comfortable for a stock seat, just too narrow for me.

I really am not crazy about the gearing/group on this setup. To be fair, I haven't ridden a triple "mountain" setup in a long, long time and nothing ever at this low a level. It is very particular to being on a specific ring and specific spot on the cassette without having chain rub on the front der. It won't even "mildly" cross chain without noise. I am not sure if it's the crankset or frame..I suspect cranks, that flex enough on load to cause the chain rub. The shifting is pretty crisp aside from that new bike sketchyness. I was quite happy to see barrel adjusters up on the shifter side that allowed me to make minor adjustments along the way. The pedals are serviceable junk for as long as it takes me to find another set. I have to say that on design, they are spot on, and have great grip. The bearing are pure trash straight out of the box. One of them clicks every time around.

The handlebars, well, I am not sure what to think on that. They have this mustache-esce swept bar that is on the narrow side. They really aren't uncomfortable, per se, but I have ridden drop bars so long that I really "don't know what to do" with my hands. Without being able to change position it's making them sore pretty quick. I am going to carry some gloves with for a bit and see if I get used to them before investing in a change there. A set of new grips is a given, but want to make sure about a bar change first.

The frame and fork seem quite rugged. This is the same basic design they used on this model for the previous five (or so) years. The welds are about what you would expect, and I have seen similar or worse on costlier machines. I mention the flex above and suspect crankset only because of my experience with the overall design of GT frames. They tend to be pretty stiff. The rear end only has one mount hole for fender/rack. I was a little put off by that, and will have to consider a special screw of some sort to mount the rack and fender eyelets there with the disc mount.

The wheelset is what you would expect from a bike at this price point. I am not worried about strength. The brakes are...well, they stop you effectively and are quiet.

I don't want to seem over-critical, as I am really reporting with a stern eye on performance as related to cost. There really is no comparing the quality differences between this and a high end road bike (my other ride), so with that said...on to the good stuff.

The ride on this thing is really supple and smooth. Turning is slow and predictable, road noise and bumps almost don't exist. The fenders (once tightened and checked) don't make undue noise while riding along, and overall makes for a really nice experience. You can tell it was designed for cruising along at a slow tourist clip. Not to say the bike won't move out if you push, but it's a case of diminishing returns for effort. Slow and steady is where it's at, and it's good at it.

The bike is laid out with 3 water bottle holders, has rack mounts front and rear, with room for a sizable underseat bag as well as a rear rack. I put on my MondoPack and an quite happy with the way it sits on the ledge of the frame protrusion behind the seat tube. The seat stay was big enough to put my rear light on until the rack comes in. The handlebar sweep made putting accessories there a bit difficult. I had a small light with remote battery pack left, so I was able to mount it on the bars and still see straight ahead, with the pack mounted on the frame right below.

Weight wise, not so bad. I don't have a scale but can tell it is already considerably lighter than the steel SS I was riding with rack mounted. It FEELS like a heavy bike while riding, both due to the tires as well as the geometry. I suspect it will ride loaded well.

I have a 15-20 mile social ride on it this evening. I suspect I will have a lot more opinion on the bike after that. I won't be able to change the seat before then, so I am going to be a bit sore. More later, perhaps.....

Last edited by Juan Foote; 07-29-16 at 06:48 AM.
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