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Sub $500 suggestions?

Old 01-12-20, 09:30 PM
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Johnnyyuma
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Sub $500 suggestions?

I am looking for suggestions of a bike for commuting that I can also use for gravel grinding/bikepacking. I am trying to find something with the following
-steel frame
-disc brakes
-rigid fork.
It wouldn't have to have all these, but just having a hard time finding something I want. Any suggestions would help. I have inquired about some used bikes, but have also been looking at a calibre dune. Does a fatty have too much rolling resistance to average 15-20mph?

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Old 01-12-20, 09:42 PM
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Better double your budget
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Old 01-12-20, 10:01 PM
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CAT7RDR
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Used Fuji Jari would do. It is a light touring, bike packing adventure bike.
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Old 01-12-20, 10:30 PM
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Johnnyyuma
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Originally Posted by CAT7RDR View Post
Used Fuji Jari would do. It is a light touring, bike packing adventure bike.
Thanks, Having a hard time finding a used one though.
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Old 01-12-20, 10:30 PM
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I've pretty much scoured all used options, curious of new ones.
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Old 01-13-20, 12:48 AM
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At under $500, you are better off waiting for a used one to show up.
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Old 01-13-20, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnnyyuma View Post
I have inquired about some used bikes, but have also been looking at a calibre dune. Does a fatty have too much rolling resistance to average 15-20mph?
Generally, yes. 20 mph average is road bike territory. 15 mph average on a fatty might be achievable but rather difficult even if you're fit.
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Old 01-13-20, 06:09 AM
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I think you can find a reasonably good commuter at that price, but the adaptability to gravel use is a tall order. Disk brakes at that price range are not going to be any better than rim brakes. Rim brake bikes are really underpriced right now.
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Old 01-13-20, 08:52 AM
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Point of clarification: The term "bikepacking" is all the rage now. However, it is also misused fairly frequently. It was originally coined to describe a minimalist style of touring off road. Think backpacking but with a bike. But some people use it to describe "traditional" touring with heavier loads. What are you planning to do?
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Old 01-13-20, 09:09 AM
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At this price range there is quite a bit of competition but specs will vary quite a bit. As mentioned above low end cable pull disc brakes aren't much of an upgrade.

My suggestion. The 2020 Giant Escape 2, at $580 it is a decent value but slightly above your price range. Hydraulic disc brakes, 2x drivetrain, rigid suspension, plenty of rack and fender mounts, but it does have an alloy frame. The frame will fit up to a 50mm tire. I have the Escape 1 and really like it.

2020 Giant Escape Disc 2
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Old 01-13-20, 10:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Bryan C. View Post
At this price range there is quite a bit of competition but specs will vary quite a bit. As mentioned above low end cable pull disc brakes aren't much of an upgrade.

My suggestion. The 2020 Giant Escape 2, at $580 it is a decent value but slightly above your price range. Hydraulic disc brakes, 2x drivetrain, rigid suspension, plenty of rack and fender mounts, but it does have an alloy frame. The frame will fit up to a 50mm tire. I have the Escape 1 and really like it.

2020 Giant Escape Disc 2
Looks perfect for him.

Don't see anything wrong with aluminum. BITD (1999-2000) I toured 10,000 miles in two seasons on a Cannondale aluminum frame that I really enjoyed.
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Old 01-14-20, 02:19 AM
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I have found a Marin Four Corners in my price range. Seems perfect although the reviews said the bike has a more upright riding position. Coming from a lower position road bike and enduro bike background, would I find this slow?
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Old 01-14-20, 06:31 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnnyyuma View Post
I have found a Marin Four Corners in my price range. Seems perfect although the reviews said the bike has a more upright riding position. Coming from a lower position road bike and enduro bike background, would I find this slow?

I don't find reviews or other people's opinions particularly useful in that regard because so much of that depends on your personal riding characteristics. Test ride?
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Old 01-14-20, 11:48 AM
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Originally Posted by Johnnyyuma View Post
I have found a Marin Four Corners in my price range. Seems perfect although the reviews said the bike has a more upright riding position. Coming from a lower position road bike and enduro bike background, would I find this slow?
You ride a low position enduro mountain bike? What does that look like?
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Old 01-14-20, 12:20 PM
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Unless you are in the drops most of the time, most bikes are not aero relatively speaking. If you see yourself zooming down gravel roads at 20 mph+, it would make a difference. For most commuting and recreational riding, not so much.
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Old 01-14-20, 12:32 PM
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This was $500 from Walmart and has a steel frame and has flat mount disc brakes:

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Old 01-14-20, 12:34 PM
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My commuter build was probably very similar in specs and budget to yours. I ended up starting with buying a Redline cyclocross frame local that originally had canti breaks but also disk tabs. Had to scour eBay for a bit to find a semi-matching fork. Scrounged everywhere for used parts as well as used some I had laying around. Caught a sale on Chain reaction and paid $150 for wheels and tires. For brakes I bought a pair of TRP HY/RD (cable actuated hydraulics, used, from a Facebook group) so I could get the benefit of hydro brakes but not break the bank with a hydro road group. I think the initial build budget was in your price range. It’s had a few upgrades since then that might put it over. If you can wrench on your own bikes you can certainly do it.


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Old 01-14-20, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
This was $500 from Walmart and has a steel frame and has flat mount disc brakes:


Online or in-store? Link?
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Old 01-14-20, 03:12 PM
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Originally Posted by livedarklions View Post
Online or in-store? Link?
Online, shipping was free. Rawland Xsogn
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Old 01-14-20, 03:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
Online, shipping was free. Rawland Xsogn

Looks like that was a weird fluky deal through Walmart and is no longer available.
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Old 01-14-20, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Elvo View Post
This was $500 from Walmart and has a steel frame and has flat mount disc brakes:

This is like those commercials where some random goons claim they bought a 50" tv for $3 or a laptop for $8 on some bidding site.
disclaimer time- results not typical.
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Old 01-14-20, 05:23 PM
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A Trek FX? must fall in that price limit somewhere but it won't be steel. IMO the o.p. has a suspiciously specific list of druthers to go with that $500 budget.
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Old 01-14-20, 08:23 PM
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The Jamis Coda is steel and in the same category as the Trek FX. The disc models are over your $500 budget though.

Edit: You don't get a thread less headset until you reach the Coda Sport ($579 MSRP). Although there is nothing wrong with a well built threaded headset (I have them on my vintage bikes), I wouldn't want it on a new bike purchase.

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Old 01-14-20, 08:40 PM
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Last year, my friend got a Marin Nicasio for around $500. He's happy with it. You .might be able to find something similar leftover stock
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Old 01-14-20, 08:42 PM
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Thanks everyone for the good advice. I am test riding the marin four corners soon. Hopefully I can negotiate a good price. Does anyone see any problems with this bike? Does the high drop height seem detrimental to speed? Thanks everyone for the good advice.
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