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Help choosing belt-drive bike

Old 07-12-21, 06:22 PM
  #1  
jcl123
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Help choosing belt-drive bike

Hello all,

I used to be a bicycle commuter for about 15 years before CV19, now I work from home but still want a low-maintenance bike.

I am looking for Gates belt drive, Alfine 8 or 11 IGH, although I am willing to consider others like Pinion and Rohloff. Hydraulic brakes is a plus.
I am avoiding the Nuvinci / Enviolo CVTs because they seem overly heavy AND inefficient, unless someone really thinks they are really great.
I could even go on the cheap like some $700-ish bikes with caliper brakes and Shimano 7-speed hub, because I could upgrade it later.

Main reason I am posting about this is if people have strong opinions about "go to" brands/models that maybe you can't go wrong with. Like I consider the Cannondale at the top of my list a safe bet because of their reputation, even with the odd lefty fork. Canyon seems up there as well. So I am hoping to narrow the list to the "can't go wrong with x" or "stay away from y" type information, or maybe people have some suggestions not listed.

Here is what I have come up with, these choices are driven partially by availability.
  • Cannondale Bad Boy 1 (2019 version) (Alfine 8) $2,000 - well known and trusted brand, polarizing lefty fork, otherwise seems awesome (fenders might be tough)
  • ​​​​​Co-op Cycles CTY 1.3 $1,300 (Alfine 8)- REI brand, cheap, not sure about it, reviews seem favorable including one on this forum
  • Priority 600 $2,300 - Pinion 600 gearbox is attractive, I really want to like this bike but not sure about online boutique brand, take at least a month to get
    • Sort of have to commit to this, because unlike others on this list, you can't swap it for any other IGH later
  • Marin Presidio 3 $1,129 (Nexus 8) - cheap, don't know the brand, but can't find anything negative about it
  • Canyon Commuter Sport 8.0 $2,000 (Alfine 11) - appears to be a well respected brand, another polarizing handlebar
  • BMC Alpenchallenge 01 $1,500 (Alfine 8) - would go for this if I can find one for sale (missed one by an hour the other day)
  • BMC Alpenchallenge 01 ONE $2,000 (Alfine 11) - would go for this if I can find one for sale
  • Montague Allston (Alfine 11) - was going to get this bike until CV19 as it is a folder, local bike shop talked me out of it in favor of BMC's (If I can get one)
Thanks very much

-JCL
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Old 07-12-21, 06:53 PM
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Originally Posted by jcl123 View Post
Hello all,

I used to be a bicycle commuter for about 15 years before CV19, now I work from home but still want a low-maintenance bike.

Thanks very much

-JCL
Just throwing this out there for thought.

Road plus is nice. So look at tire clearance.
Assuming most of these bikes will be flat bar short distance rides. A 650bx47 option won't slow you down. But will add heaps of comfort. At least look for tire clearance lots of nice 700x38-42 slicks available to roll on also.
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Old 07-13-21, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
Just throwing this out there for thought.

Road plus is nice. So look at tire clearance.
Assuming most of these bikes will be flat bar short distance rides. A 650bx47 option won't slow you down. But will add heaps of comfort. At least look for tire clearance lots of nice 700x38-42 slicks available to roll on also.
I had to look up what "Road plus" was because I didn't know what you mean.
So, I am assuming you are talking about if there is clearance in the frame/brakes/belt for a 650mm diameter by 47mm wide tire, yes? (although you are saying 38-42)
A few of these like the Priority do say "tubeless ready"...

a quick check came up with this for tire size:
Cannondale Bad Boy 1 650b x 40c
Co-op Cycles CTY 1.3 700 x 35
Priority 600 650B x 47M/50
Marin Presidio 3 700C x 32mm
Canyon Commuter Sport 8.0 650B x ?
BMC Alpenchallenge 01 700c x ?
Montague Allston 700c x 38

So, it actually looks like two of my favorites may be there.

-JCL
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Old 07-13-21, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by jcl123 View Post

So, it actually looks like two of my favorites may be there.

-JCL
If you have really nice roads a 700x32 is okay.

I'd invest in something that least fits a 40c tire in either 700 or 650 diameter.

Supple tire rides is king!
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Old 07-13-21, 11:52 AM
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Good news! I managed to snag a BMC Alpenchallenge 01 from a place in CA, it will be here next week.

-JCL
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