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Long-Distance Commuting/Exploring Bike

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Long-Distance Commuting/Exploring Bike

Old 09-23-13, 03:42 PM
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Long-Distance Commuting/Exploring Bike

Hi, all!

I'm looking to get a new road bike.

What I ride now:

18" Big Dummy - NuVinci N360, 26" Hookworms. Daily commuter.
Old Peugeot 12-speed. Falling apart, don't think it's the right size, don't think it's worth fixing. 27" wheels are a *****.

How I want to ride:

50km commute on road/gravel. 80-100km once or twice a week. I'd like to get into longer range riding, not quite touring though. Not on this bike.
Fast and light. I already have a Surly Boat Anchor.
Occasional fire road forays.
Winter commuting.

I'd like to lean more towards a fast and lean road/cross bike more than a straight touring bike, but oriented to comfort and range more than absolute speed.

What qualities/features I like:

Robustness and reliability over lightness.
Ability to swap between SS/IGH sounds doable and practical. I haven't had enough experience to have a drivetrain preference.
Discs over V-brakes over cantis. Discs seem cheaper in the long run and more maintenance-free.
Rear rack mounts
Fender mounts
Room for wider tires

Any opinions/experience to share? I've done some research already, but I don't want to color anyone's thoughts so I'll refrain from posting for now.

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Old 09-23-13, 03:47 PM
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I like the Salsa Vaya Two which fits most of your criteria; the 2013 Salsas are on sale as well. Pretty much any disc capable cross bike will fit what you want (Soma comes to mind and I really like my Soma double cross). It sounds like you wrote this because you'd like a surly straggler since that fits all your criteria and, very unusual for Surly, comes in an attractive color. I suspect Surly is going to sell a lot of stragglers.
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Old 09-23-13, 05:30 PM
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the many brands have something in that category its a busy sector .

QBP is available to most any shop with an account, soma ,ditto Merry sales that distributor
Trek Specialized . Etc. etc.
LBS here Trek dealer their cross-rip comp is along that sort .
the Elite is a Double , pricier components.

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Old 09-23-13, 05:47 PM
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Sounds like a cyclocross bicycle would fit your needs, and most of the bicycle brands have a few models in their line-ups. Most have braze-ons for fenders or racks, can take bigger tires, and some models have disc brakes. If you're looking at doing any touring, or carrying any sort of load (+20 lbs/10kg) you might want to go with a touring bike - Surly's LHT is a little 'soft' if unloaded, but most of the other brands of touring bicycles should be stiff enough for comfortable unloaded riding.
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Old 09-23-13, 06:06 PM
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A Thorn Mercury can be a good dream bike like you are describing!

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Old 09-23-13, 07:33 PM
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Thanks for the input!

The Straggler was my initial choice, but I wanted to see if there were other comparable options that I was overlooking. Doesn't appear so. I don't think I've seen another cross bike with horizontal dropouts, which is certainly a selling point for me.

How does a cross bike differ from a road bike as far as the feel of the ride? What are the differences in philosophy between the two groups? Does one have a shorter wheelbase? Is one stiffer?

The Mercury does look like a nice bike, a bit pricey for me though.

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Old 09-24-13, 12:56 AM
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If you like the Straggler, but want to consider options like it, then take the Straggler info to your LBS and ask them what they have or can get that is comparable. Not really productive to lust* after something your LBS can't get or you have to go on a road trip to get to a LBS that can.

*I got no problems with looking at beautiful bikes online, but when it gets time to get serious about buying one, gotta stick with what's local.
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Old 09-24-13, 06:01 AM
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Anything built for cyclo cross or Randonneuring would be my first choice, touring bikes would work too.

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