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Roadsters for shorties, Linus Bikes and other options.

Old 01-09-14, 02:48 PM
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MEversbergII
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Roadsters for shorties, Linus Bikes and other options.

So I am looking to get a good bike, graduating up from big box store ones. It appears that I am best suited to a 48cm frame, because I'm about 5'2" and I have an 28" inseam. I was going to get a Windsor 8 speed IGH but unfortunately their smallest frame is 51cm. My searching has turned up Linus Bike, and I've homed in on their Linus Sport: http://www.linusbike.com/products/ro...detailed-specs

It'll be more expensive than the Windsor, between shipping and getting add-ons that give me some of the features the Windsor had (greater gearing range, front rack), and I still have to search for a retailer that has their "Small" frame size. The downside to being "car free" is that it's much harder to go out to stores that sell bikes! The counter point to it costing more would be that there's the quality of a better fit. I really am a short guy.

My main holdup with Linus is the frame material - hi-ten steel. Is it a little odd that they'd be making 'gas pipe' bikes? They have a chromalloy downtube, which is the strangest part. So is Linus a false start - are they worth buying?

Failing Linus, does anyone know another brand where I could get a roadster style bike for my size?

My long term goal is to basically do a DIY Raleigh DL-1 (or similar), since I'm never going to find one in my size and I really like the style. I'm fine starting with a more basic bike and building up, however.

Guidance would be fantastic.

Thanks,

M.
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Old 01-09-14, 04:18 PM
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Any bike like this is going to be heavy. How about something like this Breezer. Somewhat similar style and is ready to go. Lights, rack and fenders. Breezer is a good name also.



http://www.performancebike.com/bikes...400321__400321
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Old 01-10-14, 01:35 PM
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Weight isn't too much of an issue for this one; not going to have to carry it much. Lighter is better, generally, though. My concern with Hi-Ten steel frames is that they're usually said to be pretty crap.

I'll check the performancebike site. In a ideal bike I'd have that flat top tube the DL-1 and related have. I like the overall frameshape in those. That one does look pretty nice, though, so I'll follow up and see what I can find.

M.
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Old 01-10-14, 10:04 PM
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That Breezer also comes with a dynamo and light. If I still commuted or was car free, I might have to get one myself.
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Old 01-11-14, 01:33 PM
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Here's one for your consideration:

http://www.rei.com/product/858939/novara-zeno-bike-2014

Stand-over height is 28" and is for people of 5' to 5' 3" stature.

Never mind - I read "Roadster" as "roadie." This is a completely different style of bike than what you are looking for. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 01-22-14, 01:25 PM
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Scott junior road bike

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Old 01-25-14, 07:50 PM
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Ah, by "Roadster" I mean this:

Probably should have been more clear, sorry!

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Old 02-20-14, 12:17 PM
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So I've ruled out the Windsor diamond from Bike's Direct - their smaller frame uses a slightly sloped top tube. Waiting to hear back from Linus about their small frame, as right now they're pretty much my only option.

I like the Paisley Roadster 26, but can't find a dealer close to me - bummer. It basically represents an ideal!

I'm also considering the Windsor Mixte frames. I like the look of a Mixte, and it sounds like it would work well as a general purpose transport / cargo bike, but I'm waiting to hear back about chainstay length - reading Lovely Bicycle blog I've noted that's a frequent problem with these frame styles. That and toeverlap. Less than desirable, because this is what I'll be hauling loads with.

M.
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Old 02-22-14, 12:37 AM
  #9  
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how about a bianchi Milano
http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/strada/turismo/milano/
These come in small sizes and kinda look like the bike you are referencing. the frames are aluminum, if you can find an older one, they used to have an 8 speed IGH
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Old 02-22-14, 06:37 AM
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I wouldn't worry too much about the "hi-ten" steel. Want to guess what the Raleigh Roadster is made out of? I have a Raleigh Sports Standard from the early 70's that is made out out steel and is still rolling along some 40+ years later and it has not been babied. Just as an FYI they did make roadsters in a variety of wheel sizes including 16" but they are extremely scarce.

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Old 02-22-14, 01:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
how about a bianchi Milano
http://www.bianchiusa.com/bikes/strada/turismo/milano/
These come in small sizes and kinda look like the bike you are referencing. the frames are aluminum, if you can find an older one, they used to have an 8 speed IGH
Ah, I'm looking for the classic flat top tube look Good lead though, looks pretty spiffy.

Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
I wouldn't worry too much about the "hi-ten" steel. Want to guess what the Raleigh Roadster is made out of? I have a Raleigh Sports Standard from the early 70's that is made out out steel and is still rolling along some 40+ years later and it has not been babied. Just as an FYI they did make roadsters in a variety of wheel sizes including 16" but they are extremely scarce.

Aaron
True, that. This isn't one I'd be carrying up any stairs to say the least. I've already got an alu road bike for "light n fast" and I'll be getting myself a Dahon Vitesse for the "mobile and compact". I can trudge up hills - I was never fast anyways.

If they get back to me, it looks like the Roadster Sport is the winner. It's a three speed, though, which is a bummer. Hopefully I can find a chain case for it as, again, the goal's to go "classic".

Maybe one day I'll find a vintage one my size!

I'm also interested in the Windsor Mixte frame, as is my SO. Waiting to hear back from them on how long the chainstays are. Maybe I should start another thread to see if anyone's got intel. I found one review but it was by someone who doesn't know bikes like you guys.

M.
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Old 06-15-14, 08:21 PM
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I'm able to start thinking about bikes again since I finally finished up business on my house. I've discovered that there are basically two bikes that fit my requirements that also come in my size: WorkCycle's "Secret Service" and the Linus Roadster Sport.

WC has a lot of really nice features. In fact, I think it represents my holy grail. It'll also run me about 2400USD to buy and have shipped to me, as I'd be going for the 8 speed. Unfortunately I have no idea what the weight is like, or details on the frame other than a really tough powder coat and lugs (which sound great). The features are all pretty fantastic - especially the non-rim brakes.

I have two issues with the Linus Roadster Sport (the Roadster 8 being too big for me):

* 3 speed
* Hi-Ten frame with only the downtube being cro-molly.

I did some math, mostly out of curiosity to see what it would cost for me to get a Linus Sport Roadster up to "spec" with some of the features that the SS has.

* Bike: 789USD inc. shipping
* 8 Speed Shimano hub w/ rim: 350USD
* Shifter: 60USD
* Front Rim w/ Drum brake: 180USD inc. shipping (a few members gave drum a one-up over Roller, that the Secret Service options)
* Chain case (from Dutch Bike Bits): 60USD inc. shipping
* Marathon Plus tires: 132USD inc. shipping

Totals to about $1571, for a savings of about 700USD.

While there's no guarantee I'd go for all of that (might even go for a 5 speed hub instead, if 3 can't be geared down to do what I want), it does make me wonder if the Secret Service is really $700 better? I didn't factor in a Brooks saddle, so maybe more like $500. I haven't a clue what the SS frame is made up of, though I'd suspect Cro-Moly. There are also some "bits and bobs" like the circle lock which may or may not be a factor, as well as a non-rim rear break option. Not so sold on hub dynamos, as my rides aren't long enough to really need them over batteries.

What is the opinion of the esteemed community? Between the two, should I consider the Linus upgrade project and save 500-700USD, or should I just "go for broke" on the Secret Service? I'm concerned about two things:

* Theft
* 8 speeds not cutting it

By taking the Linus path, I do save some cash (and even get to try 3 speeds on my terrain), in case the concept doesn't work for me. However, I could go through all that and discover that it DOES work well and I've really just put pearls on swine - and tacked on an extra $1500 to any future SS purchase. If someone steals it, there's also me being out less cash. The police around here are doing an initiative where theft's being taken more seriously (and I'd log either bike with them), so there's that.

Thoughts and opinions?

M.
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Old 06-15-14, 11:48 PM
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You might want to check out public bikes too. Kinda similar to Linus.
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Old 06-16-14, 12:04 AM
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A Raleigh Tourist can be ridden by average size people in the 24" size. Dismounting a large frame can be difficult but not impossible.

If you can get the saddle down low enough, its rideable.

In general though, I believe one should ride a bike that fits.

A mini velo is also a suitable bike for you and adding an IGH and a North Roads handlebar isn't much work. With 20" 406 mm wheels that eliminates the problem of getting a properly sized bike. The 48 cm frame should work for your height.
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Old 06-16-14, 12:26 PM
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The type of bike you are shopping for is known as a "Townie".

I don't mean to rain on your parade, but both of those bikes are REALLY expensive for what you are getting. The Linus more so.
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Old 06-16-14, 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
So I am looking to get a good bike, graduating up from big box store ones. It appears that I am best suited to a 48cm frame, because I'm about 5'2" and I have an 28" inseam. I was going to get a Windsor 8 speed IGH but unfortunately their smallest frame is 51cm. My searching has turned up Linus Bike, and I've homed in on their Linus Sport: City bikes, vintage bicycles, european bicycles, retro bikes, linus bike, commuter bikes, vintage bikes, city bikes, european bikes, retro bicycles, commuter bicycles, roadster - Linus Bike

It'll be more expensive than the Windsor, between shipping and getting add-ons that give me some of the features the Windsor had (greater gearing range, front rack), and I still have to search for a retailer that has their "Small" frame size. The downside to being "car free" is that it's much harder to go out to stores that sell bikes! The counter point to it costing more would be that there's the quality of a better fit. I really am a short guy.

My main holdup with Linus is the frame material - hi-ten steel. Is it a little odd that they'd be making 'gas pipe' bikes? They have a chromalloy downtube, which is the strangest part. So is Linus a false start - are they worth buying?

Failing Linus, does anyone know another brand where I could get a roadster style bike for my size?

My long term goal is to basically do a DIY Raleigh DL-1 (or similar), since I'm never going to find one in my size and I really like the style. I'm fine starting with a more basic bike and building up, however.

Guidance would be fantastic.

Thanks,

M.
I'm 5 foot 3 and have that Windsor bike in the small. I love it. My inseam is 28 too. If you get it, get the mixte frame, not the diamond and you will have no problems. And FWIW, I understand that the mitxe frames are unisex, LOL.
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Old 06-16-14, 12:45 PM
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Originally Posted by MEversbergII View Post
So I've ruled out the Windsor diamond from Bike's Direct - their smaller frame uses a slightly sloped top tube. Waiting to hear back from Linus about their small frame, as right now they're pretty much my only option.

I like the Paisley Roadster 26, but can't find a dealer close to me - bummer. It basically represents an ideal!

I'm also considering the Windsor Mixte frames. I like the look of a Mixte, and it sounds like it would work well as a general purpose transport / cargo bike, but I'm waiting to hear back about chainstay length - reading Lovely Bicycle blog I've noted that's a frequent problem with these frame styles. That and toeverlap. Less than desirable, because this is what I'll be hauling loads with.

M.
This is what I get for not reading all the thread. I know you were/are looking at different bikes now. But, My mixte Windsor is used regularly for shopping trips. I have had a grocery bag on the back, no problems. Panniers too. The rack extends nearly to the edge of the back wheel and keeps the bags out of the way. There is some toe lap... but I think that is the case with smaller frames and bigger wheels? Anyways, it hasn't bothered me any. My other bike (with a very nice long chain stay) has much worse toe lap... but even then it is only a problem when I'm going quite slow.
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Old 06-16-14, 02:06 PM
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I would get a Windsor in a mixte frame
if I were you

Save Up to 60% Off Town Bikes | Classic, Stylish Eight Speed City Bikes | Urban Bikes | Commuter Road Bikes | Windsor Kensington 8 from bikesdirect.com
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Old 06-16-14, 03:55 PM
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Checkout the Roadster Classic from Pashley!

www.pashley.co.uk/
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Old 06-16-14, 05:04 PM
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A friend has this one here: Best Mixte Bike: PUBLIC M7i
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Old 06-16-14, 05:36 PM
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You know, since posting up the Pashley 26", I've noticed that my current bike, a drop bar Trek 1200, is actually 20.5" from centre of the BB to the top of the seat tube. I seem to ride that well enough (can't touch the ground from the saddle or anything, but I've been told that only Cruiser style frames really call for that). I suspect that, with ~2" less diameter on the tyres, I'd have even better clearance between the top tube and myself when dismounting. I'd suspect mounting would be similar in effort, which isn't all that much. It also happens to cost what the "Upgraded" Linus does, with more features and possibly a better frame.

Well, that seems to have settled that - who ships Pashley in the US, though?

M.
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Old 06-17-14, 12:01 PM
  #22  
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Actually, even with cruisers, unless they have a pedal forward design, you shouldn't be able to touch the ground from the saddle... If you can rest your feet on the ground with traditional geometry, you can't be extending your leg enough when pedaling to get the most efficiency.

As far as the hiten frame... The Raleigh Sport, and I believe the DL-1 too, were made of hiten steel. The main disadvantage of hiten steel in frames and components is weight... Historically there are many nice riding bikes with lower grade steel... they just weigh more. Those that complain about bikes with heavier steel tubes typically are used to lighter bikes, and the slight differences in handling are more noticeable. This could be exaggerated because bikes with lower end steel also tend to have more relaxed geometry.

With that said, I am curious about why the Linus bike has a cro-mo down tube... Probably cost/benefit, since the down tube is longest, it probably saved enough weight to stay below some target while keeping the cost down.
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Old 06-17-14, 01:37 PM
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I would also like to know, considering their 8 speed is completely cro-mo. Their single speed is also hi-ten with cromo down. Weird; you'd figure that would complicate matters more than help them.

Guessing the Pashley has replaced the Secret Service - save about a grand and get what is basically the same bike, near as I can tell.

M.
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Old 06-17-14, 01:58 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Little Darwin View Post
As far as the hiten frame... The Raleigh Sport, and I believe the DL-1 too, were made of hiten steel.
i loved the graphic on my circa 1960s raleigh superbe
that proudly proclaimed that it was
The All Steel Bicycle

i think a lot of the talk about steel and different steel qualities
and how they relate to bicycle construction and performance
are a little misinformed

high quality steels like cromo
or cr-vn
or the like
are desireable because much less of it can be used
and the result can still be a reasonably strong bicycle frame

the other result of using higher strength tubing to make a lighter bike
is that the thin walls that make it light
also allow more flex
which is often seen as a positive feature that increases comfort and control

but with cheaper steels
to get an acceptably strong frame
more material must be used
usually in the form of thicker tube walls
and this adds weight
and makes the bike stiffer

i am reminded of a friend who was shopping for a new mountain bike a few years back
and was steered by a shop towards a steel framed khs
using the logic that the steel frame would provide a more comfortable ride
but
it was similar to the bike being discussed above
with one or two tubes made from cromoly
and the rest presumably hi tensile

i think the bike was awesome
it fit her perfectly
and had decent components
and it was not very expensive iirc
and she rode it happily for years before it was stolen
but the premise on which she was sold the bike was flawed for two reasons

one
the steel used in most of the frame was of the thicker walled variety
meaning that flex would be minimal compared to a lighter frame
and
two
on a mountain bike
the fat tires have orders of magnitude more flex than any bicycle frame
meaning it would be difficult to impossible to feel any of the flex that could increase comfort
even if it was the type of bike where you could expect such flex
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Old 06-18-14, 08:05 AM
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Originally Posted by katsrevenge View Post
This is what I get for not reading all the thread. I know you were/are looking at different bikes now. But, My mixte Windsor is used regularly for shopping trips. I have had a grocery bag on the back, no problems. Panniers too. The rack extends nearly to the edge of the back wheel and keeps the bags out of the way. There is some toe lap... but I think that is the case with smaller frames and bigger wheels? Anyways, it hasn't bothered me any. My other bike (with a very nice long chain stay) has much worse toe lap... but even then it is only a problem when I'm going quite slow.
Do you know if this frame is proportioned for women? Mixte is unisex, but so were loop frames. Pretty much every loop/stepthrough I see is more woman proportioned, where the "cockpit" is smaller. My fiance's Fuji is like this, as was her Schwinn. That mixte might very well be a good way for me to have a "classic style" cargo bike inexpensively to serve me while I figure out how I can get my hands on that Roadster 26 (hey, N+1, right?). My other current candidate for "alternative" bike is a Dahon folder, which might also be able to do cargo. Have you tried any baskets on the front or anything like that?

Originally Posted by Wilfred Laurier View Post
Long Post
Regarding the "All Steel Bicycle" advertisement - what on earth else would it be made of at the time? Alu was quite expensive. Straight iron?

M.
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