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The Best All Around Multipurpose Bike..?

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The Best All Around Multipurpose Bike..?

Old 12-01-17, 04:57 PM
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hoovbikes
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The Best All Around Multipurpose Bike..?

Hey everybody,

This will be my first posting on this site, I'm hoping it will bare some informative fruit for me. I've perused a few forums on here in the past in my search for bike knowledge and it seems like lots of you guys have a lot of experience with a wide variety of bikes. So... hello!

I am currently on a quest to hybridize the perfect all around multipurpse bike for myself. While I have become a relatively avid rider and growing bike enthusiast, I would still largely consider myself a novice when it comes to specific bike parts, brands, builds, and general mechanics of bicycles. I've ridden enough to know what I prefer and have an idea of what I want, but in searching for that have found that it is sometimes difficult to find EXACTLY what you want down to the last spec without making any sacrifices. After all, with the infinite number of bikes and parts out there, why should any of us settle for anything less than our perfectly customized steed?!

I currently own two bikes and think that a combination of the two would be exactly what Iím looking for. My first bike is a Globe Roll 8 (now discontinued) with riser bars that I swapped out for the standard cruiser bars they come with. Totally fantastic bike that I bought while living in NYC and became a major catalyst for me falling in love with urban/commute riding. Geometry is another sector of the bike world that I know nothing about but I do know that this bike feels quite comfortable to me in terms of positioning. Additionally, Iíve still been able to move pretty aggressively on it through NYCís infamously congested streets when I need to, so the comfort/speed combo is something Iím definitely aiming to keep moving forward. Itís a steel frame which I guess I prefer purely for durability purposes. Iíd love to have something lighter but I know aluminum is a little easier to bust up and I do know that I tend to ride hard (of course, a carbon frame would be the ultimate option, but alas, Iím but a humble plebeian with an average Joeís income, so Iím not really looking to go too far into the quadruple digits if I can help it). Another thing I like about this bike is the simple 1x8 gear set up. I like having the option of gears, but honestly I donít need more than 20 to choose from in any given setting. All those extra rings make me feel weighed down after a certain point.

My other bike which I just purchased a few months ago is the All City Space Horse. I had been eyeing something in the Surly/All City dept for quite some time before buying this and I finally found a sweet deal on a barely used Space Horse and went for it. Totally in love from the outset, it initially blew my mind. But as Iíve been riding lately, the fact that it is primarily built as a touring bike has become more noticeable as Iíve mainly been using it for commutes (some of these have been quite lengthy commutes, but inner city commutes nonetheless, and Iíve been starting to feel like it doesnít handle the curb hopping and such quite as well as some other hybrid style bikes could.). Donít get me wrong, when I get on a long straight away it blows me away, but I think Iím ready to downsize to something a little more agile.

Moving on to a few bikes Iíve been scoping out that I think might come pretty close to what Iím looking for. Out of all that Iíve tracked down so far, I can tell you the features I most want at this juncture:
1. Flatbar- Iíve definitely developed the feeling that I am in the minority here in preferring a flat to drops when it comes to higher end bikes. I guess most people like having multiple positioning options, but for me, flat (or risers) is where I feel most at home.
2. Hydraulic disk brakes- Seemingly the highest quality brake available as far as Iíve seen, and is mainly attractive to me bc of the endurance factor. If youíre someone who tends to wear bikes to the bone on all kinds of terrain like me, the minimal maintenance over a long period of time would definitely make things that much more convenient as a bike owner.
3. Internal cable routing- Something that I wasnít aware of until I got my Space Horse but now is something I see great value in. Not to mention just makes the bike look like that much cleaner of a machine.
4. Lightly treaded, mid-sized tires- Taking the term ďhybridĒ as literally as possible, want tires that can comfortably tolerate both road and some dirt/gravel settings without being a noticeable hindrance for either.
5. No excess of front gears- Not the end of the world I guess, but I tend to think in terms of just what Iíll be using. My Space Horse is a 2x10 and that has proven to be plenty (even though I honestly canít even think of the last time I even used the lower front gear).
6. Carbon Fork- Seems like a lot of the aluminum frame options have offered this to my delight. If I do end up going aluminum over steel, I would feel way more comfortable knowing Iíve got that much more strength beneath me in the front.
7. Speed/comfort geometry- Another grievance I could point out about the Space Horse (well, actually not about the bike itself as of course itís built to be this way) is that when I get done with longer rides I sometimes feel like Iíve been uncomfortably craning my neck. I know this is standard position for long haul touring, but Iíd like to return to something more upright like the Roll 8.

These specifications in mind, a few of the models that have caught my attention are:

1. Raleigh Cadent 4
2. GT Grade Flatbar (thereís a few different versions)
3. Marin San Rafael DS4
4. Trek- Zektor, FX, or DS (different versions of all)
5. Fuji Absolute Disc
6. All City Pony Express
7. All City Macho Man w/ flatbar substitute

In my hunting so far it seems like most of these are pretty difficult to come by in terms of shops that carry these brands just having them readily in stock. That applies even more to the Pony Express bc I know it has sadly been discontinued. I suspect the Grade Flatbar may possibly have been as well although I donít know for sure. At any rate, this is disconcerting bc Iím definitely a try-before-you-buy-type guy. Almost all of these Iím sure I could order and have shipped, but Iíve been hesitant to do that without having first tried any.

Iíve also considered the true bike conessuirís route and thought building my own perfect ride from the frame up might be the way to go, but this Iím also hesitant to do mostly for lack of expertise in such an involved endeavor. Definitely something Iíd love to do at some point, but just not sure if I trust my own know-how enough to go for it right now.

Allllllll of this being said, if anyone has any tips, recommendations, experience with any of the aforementioned bikes, or experience in searching for something similar Iíd love to hear your input! I apologize for such a lengthy post but if youíve read it all the way through your feedback is most welcome! Sometimes I canít tell if what Iím looking for is right under my nose or if Iím really just being too big a snobby ****** about things I want. But in the vast wonderland of bikes to be experienced out there, I have come to believe that there is indeed a perfect one to be found (or modified) for exactly what youíre looking for. But since I donít have many friends super into biking, I donít have many people to kick around ideas and suggestions with, which would be cool.

LAST FINAL SIDE NOTE I SWEAR- I just moved to the great city of Los Angeles in August, which has been another reason Iím looking to change. Previously I lived in NYC where concrete is king, but Iíve found the terrain in LA to be much rockier for a city bike, not to mention the abundance of trails and off road options available here year round, unlike New York, which I intend to explore. So recommendations for local shops in the area that might be able to accommodate someone in my situation are also greatly welcome!

Thank you for reading this entirely over indulgent post. Be well!
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Old 12-01-17, 08:56 PM
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I would (and I did) get with a local shop and explain what you want.
You seem to know what you want , an enthusiatic shop might get excited about building you a bike.
I did exactly this , although my needs were a bit different , it met my expectations and surprised the shop owner somewhat in the process.
I wanted a steel framed , 700c , 58cm , rugged , do it all bike for an older guy that didn't ride fast , but could run some rough road/trails pretty well.
After a bit of research , a touring frame with relaxed geometry was what I wanted to build.
The Surly Long Haul Trucker (rim brake) was my selection.
The frame was surprisingly reasonable at about $560.00 , and I completed the bike for about $1150.00 more or less.
The parts selection wasn't high end , but durable , proven components , easily sourced by the shop.
It may seem pretty pricey , but it turned out perfect for me and I spread out the parts over maybe 5-6 weeks to complete the build ( I had another bike to ride anyway ).
The Surly came with an uncut steerer tube which was 350mm long , we didn't cut it because I can't bend forward much at all.
It looks a little strange being so tall , but it works for me.
I'll add a pic if you like at a later time.
Don't be put off building a bike , they're not that difficult and the end result can be perfection for your riding style.
Mick
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Old 12-02-17, 02:11 PM
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Good luck on your search. Go check out some LBSes. Test ride some. Then post some pics once you've gotten your bike.
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Old 12-03-17, 03:59 AM
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I didn't realize this before, but there's actually a Raleigh outlet store here in LA that should definitely have the Cadent (one I was struggling to find elsewhere but reaaaallly wanted to test out). So I've got that to look forward to. Most of the others I think can be found at various LBSes with the exception of the GT Grade, which is a bummer bc that and the Cadent were probably the two I was most excited about trying. Anyhow, it's pretty much trial and error at this point and if I'm still not satisfied, then I guess I'll be taking the building route. Mick, sounds like you did yourself justice with that build. I know what you mean about keeping the elongated steerer tube, I've seen some cruising around here and there. Kind of looks like the original upright bikes from back in the 1800s haha. Thanks for your input guys!
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Old 12-03-17, 12:28 PM
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for multipurpose..

if you have a decent Budget... Id go with a Surly.. They are tough and can be made to pretty much do whatever you want.. They are built to go across continents..
Surly Long Haul Trucker (Disc)
Surly Ogre
Surly Troll
Surly ECR

If you want to save a bit and stay under $1k
Giant(their factory makes Trek Bikes)
Giant Toughroad SLR2 is $890 and is really an awesome and light bike.. that is built for a multirole
I just Bought one and absolutely love it..

The brands you mentioned also have great options. Co-Motion is another

ALSO..
Raleigh and Diamondback both have great discounts on their bikes and
have Very good Bikes that are great for all around use..

Raleigh Redux 3

Diamondback Haanjo and Haanjo Comp

Here are a few images of my Toughroad SLR 2









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Old 12-04-17, 04:32 PM
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I've yet to hear bad things about the Toughroad. It seems to be a popular pick for this category of bike. I guess it would only be good practice to add it to my growing list of test rideables haha.

The Haanjo looks great too! The look, design, tires, 2x9 setup (as opposed to the Toughroad's 3x9), and relaxed geomoetry all look appealing to me. Super light too according to the Diamondback website. I am wary of the forks on both of these tho. Having only ever ridden steel forks on a steel frame, and deliberately looking for something that can handle some rocky terrain with at least some degree of comfort, I am beginning to get slightly fixated on carbon forks. I know there are other factors to take into account, like wheel size and fork design, but if buying a full carbon frame bike isn't quite in my price range yet, the next best thing would have to be at least getting a carbon fork. I get excited every time I find a new bike that offers this in it's standard build. It's definitely something I want to start getting familiar with.
@Juggy_Gales great recs, thanks!
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Old 12-04-17, 04:41 PM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
I've yet to hear bad things about the Toughroad. It seems to be a popular pick for this category of bike. I guess it would only be good practice to add it to my growing list of test rideables haha.

The Haanjo looks great too! The look, design, tires, 2x9 setup (as opposed to the Toughroad's 3x9), and relaxed geomoetry all look appealing to me. Super light too according to the Diamondback website. I am wary of the forks on both of these tho. Having only ever ridden steel forks on a steel frame, and deliberately looking for something that can handle some rocky terrain with at least some degree of comfort, I am beginning to get slightly fixated on carbon forks. I know there are other factors to take into account, like wheel size and fork design, but if buying a full carbon frame bike isn't quite in my price range yet, the next best thing would have to be at least getting a carbon fork. I get excited every time I find a new bike that offers this in it's standard build. It's definitely something I want to start getting familiar with.
@Juggy_Gales great recs, thanks!
I must admit I am liking the Toughroad SLR 2 more and more.. It's like.. I bought it because I really liked it.. Now.. I am LOVING IT.. haha

I wouldn't hesitate to buy the Haanjo by Diamondback now that I know about it.. I would buy the Haanjo Comp they have a code that takes $500 off of the price to bring it to just near $1000 I think with the code its $1040.. so $460 off the price..

I sent you a private message as well

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Old 12-04-17, 05:11 PM
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@Juggy_Gales wow that Haanjo Comp looks and sounds stunning. Allllllmost my perfect bike if only it came with flats instead of drops! (I know, I'm the weirdo who prefers flats). And wow thank you so much for the code! Too bad this site is currently telling me that I am restricted from access to private messages until I've made a minimum of 10 posts here... Guess we'll have to back and forth a little more until I can actually access your code
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Old 12-04-17, 05:14 PM
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And speaking of continuing to back and forth, does anyone have any opinions on internal cable routing? Initially it looked like some modern technology that is becoming more and more popular and something that I definitely wanted, but apparently it's gotten a lot of backlash too due to making servicing more difficult. Pros/cons anyone..?
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Old 12-04-17, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
And speaking of continuing to back and forth, does anyone have any opinions on internal cable routing? Initially it looked like some modern technology that is becoming more and more popular and something that I definitely wanted, but apparently it's gotten a lot of backlash too due to making servicing more difficult. Pros/cons anyone..?
The Haanjo does have a Flats bike.. but.. its the less expensive one..

I also Like Flat bars which is why I was looking at similar bikes that you were.

The Toughroad SLR2 really won me over with how it was equipped and looked.. and then most of all.. how it rode..

The Carbon forks are nice and the bike really is surprisingly light..
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Old 12-04-17, 05:35 PM
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hahaa its like a video game.. you have to gain experience before you can access certain parts of the game lol
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Old 12-04-17, 07:14 PM
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@Juggy_Gales Haha I know! Damn them. No worries tho, I'm sure I can find some other interesting convos to contribute to in the meantime . Yes the standard Haanjo was the one I was initially looking at that I started getting starry eyes for. The comps on the Comp are obviously much better (hehe), I'm assuming this discount offer would only apply to the Comp and not the standard..?
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Old 12-04-17, 07:32 PM
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Some of Dat HAANJO YO!

Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
@Juggy_Gales Haha I know! Damn them. No worries tho, I'm sure I can find some other interesting convos to contribute to in the meantime . Yes the standard Haanjo was the one I was initially looking at that I started getting starry eyes for. The comps on the Comp are obviously much better (hehe), I'm assuming this discount offer would only apply to the Comp and not the standard..?
It applies to both, with the regular Haanjo, you get a $210 discount which is also fantastic.

here I screencapped the discount from my page..






This is how the discounts will look when you look at the page..

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Old 12-04-17, 10:02 PM
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Oh wow so @Juggy_Gales you work for Diamondback! That's awesome man. You must have a couple good ones in your garage I bet. You know I think I'm starting to narrow down my search. Granted this is still pre-test ride, but judging purely from a spec standpoint, it looks like the Raleigh Cadent 4 has just about everything I'm looking for. I just started another thread about it in fact to see if anyone could possibly have experienced a downside to this bike. It's got the carbon fork and hydro disc brakes that the Haanjo Comp has, AND comes standard with flat bars! Heading to the store this week to test it and can't wait. Don't suppose you have any insider discounts for those would you?! lol
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Old 12-04-17, 10:44 PM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
Oh wow so @Juggy_Gales you work for Diamondback! That's awesome man. You must have a couple good ones in your garage I bet. You know I think I'm starting to narrow down my search. Granted this is still pre-test ride, but judging purely from a spec standpoint, it looks like the Raleigh Cadent 4 has just about everything I'm looking for. I just started another thread about it in fact to see if anyone could possibly have experienced a downside to this bike. It's got the carbon fork and hydro disc brakes that the Haanjo Comp has, AND comes standard with flat bars! Heading to the store this week to test it and can't wait. Don't suppose you have any insider discounts for those would you?! lol

HAHAHA No, I don't work for Diamondback.. The code is out there though.. I'll go see if they have a discount on it.
That same code works for Raleigh too..
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Old 12-04-17, 10:47 PM
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Raleigh Cadent 4 Sale

Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
Oh wow so @Juggy_Gales you work for Diamondback! That's awesome man. You must have a couple good ones in your garage I bet. You know I think I'm starting to narrow down my search. Granted this is still pre-test ride, but judging purely from a spec standpoint, it looks like the Raleigh Cadent 4 has just about everything I'm looking for. I just started another thread about it in fact to see if anyone could possibly have experienced a downside to this bike. It's got the carbon fork and hydro disc brakes that the Haanjo Comp has, AND comes standard with flat bars! Heading to the store this week to test it and can't wait. Don't suppose you have any insider discounts for those would you?! lol
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Old 12-04-17, 11:02 PM
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Old 12-04-17, 11:03 PM
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Old 12-04-17, 11:45 PM
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@Juggy_Gales amazing! What is the deal with these corporate discounts?! Are they available to anyone..??

p.s. one more post and I'll be able to read your original message haha
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Old 12-04-17, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
@Juggy_Gales amazing! What is the deal with these corporate discounts?! Are they available to anyone..??

p.s. one more post and I'll be able to read your original message haha

well.. not technically.. but they honor it if you sign up with the code.. they just don't like that code spreading around
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Old 12-04-17, 11:49 PM
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in your messages is such a code
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Old 12-04-17, 11:57 PM
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Dude, thank you so much that is amazing. With a discount like that I may even be able to go in on a nice mountain bike soon too! Unless it's a one time thing.. Also kind of funny I didn't realize Diamondback was a subsidiary of Raleigh..
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Old 12-05-17, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by hoovbikes View Post
Dude, thank you so much that is amazing. With a discount like that I may even be able to go in on a nice mountain bike soon too! Unless it's a one time thing.. Also kind of funny I didn't realize Diamondback was a subsidiary of Raleigh..

same here.. next bike I get will probably be something like a MTB like the Release 1
Id also look for a bike Geared like the Fastroad and make it more of a road bike than anything else.. but would have enough tire to handle some dirt and gravel.
Id Like to have 3 bikes and with a sick discount.. I don't mind if 2 of them are Diamondbacks.. or 1 is a Raleigh..
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Road Cycling
40
02-04-11 01:30 PM

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