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Bike for Family Man

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Bike for Family Man

Old 06-30-20, 10:36 AM
  #1  
phogi
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Bike for Family Man

Hi All,

Need some bike recommendations. I'm a 40 year old dad with two young kids (3 and newborn). I have a Specialize Tricross single speed but its not ideal for hauling a kid on the back--too tippy and twitchy.

Looking for something more stable under load, and capable of front and rear racks, possibly paniers if we end up doing longer rides or even doing an overnight bikepacking when the kids get old enough. If possible I'd like something with a Nexus 7, as being able to shift at a stop while loaded seems like a key advantage. However I'm not interested in the "hauler" bikes as they seem very specialty and could not be used as a regular bike in the future.

I've looked at touring bikes like the Trek 520 and similar, city bikes like the Loft 7i, and the "fitness" bikes being marketed by the major companies.

What would you recommend I should be looking at?
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Old 06-30-20, 10:40 AM
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phogi
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I should add that I'd like the bike to be able to haul one of those kids trailers that makes it like a tandem, and also be able to haul a trailer for a kid (though probably not at the same time).
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Old 06-30-20, 10:40 AM
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Is there a reason you are looking at a 7 spped rather than 8 speed igh?
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Old 06-30-20, 12:01 PM
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Nexus has a 7 speed hub, and I don't think I'd want an old 3 speed.
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Old 06-30-20, 12:24 PM
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If budget isn't too much of an issue I'd go with a Soma or Surley frame and build to suit, not certain there's a lot of 7sp only, bikepacking capable bikes on the market. I'd guess you can get in at under 1000.00 since there isn't an amazing drive train to add, just build the nicest wheels possible, an origin8 crank with chainguard on one side to protect pant legs and basic components all around. Should be an easy build. Thinking on simplicity, this https://www.bianchiusa.com/store/git...eed-cream.html
would let you get started really affordably and make the wheels the priciest thing going. You've got me thinking this might be something I do.

One issue I do see is the the trailers often attack to the axle, you may have an issue with that but some you can change the attachment to clamp the frame, if you do that first wrap the stay with a thin layer of handlebar tape, that'll keep the frame safe from the clamp.
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Old 07-01-20, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by phogi View Post
Nexus has a 7 speed hub, and I don't think I'd want an old 3 speed.
Nexus IGHs also come in 8 speeds. I have one on my Norco.

One advantage to the 7 speed over the 8 speed is the gear ratios of the 7 speed are more evenly spaced. More can be seen on that here. https://sheldonbrown.com/nexus8.shtml
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Old 07-01-20, 09:57 PM
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Mini velo.

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Old 07-01-20, 10:29 PM
  #8  
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I haven't done any touring, but I have done several longish rides ~40 miles towing my son in a trailer(burley bee) on both a race-ish road bike and a mountain bike. 40 miles with an extra 50 lbs on the road bike is really no problem at all, I'm just 3-4 mph slower for a similar level of effort...

The mountain bike is nice because I can turn around and see behind me, and I have gears to go up hills. I bought it mostly as something different from my road bike to tow kiddos around.

I had been really hesitant to put the bike trailer on the road bike, I was worried about twitchyness and visibility and hills and stopping, but once I had it attached, I found it really quite nice. It is substantially faster and still handles fine. It is a little difficult to see, so if you ride in cities a lot I wouldn't recommend it.

Being Illinois, hills are few and far between, but I have been seeking them out for some intervals towing the little one, and it really isn't too bad. I've never really found myself needing to change gears while stopped, its kinda the same as coming up to an intersection alone, just a little slower to get going. you get used to it quickly.

If I were to do it again (buy another bike for hauling kids), I'd probably get some sort of flat bar road bike/hybrid, but at this point I just use the road bike. Probably the biggest reason to have a hybrid would be to have something similar to my wife more so than some practical reason. Something like a touring bike would also likely be excellent and be upright enough for good visibility, and with something other than a close ratio cassette.

I have no experience with a trail-a-bike yet, but I just picked one up, as well as a tandem, so I can tow my wife, and 2(-3?) kids and not accidentally drop them...

In general I would look for a bike that fills a hole in your N+1 equation, perhaps something that meets your touring oriented needs, instead of focusing on something to haul kids, because it will likely be excellent at hauling kids anyway.
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Old 07-02-20, 11:41 AM
  #9  
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Originally Posted by phogi View Post
Nexus has a 7 speed hub, and I don't think I'd want an old 3 speed.
By the way, another benefit of the IGH bikes besides the shifting at a stop is the single speed type chainline. That 1x1 sprocket configuration essentially eliminates the likelihood of dropping a chain while riding.

I haven't kept up with Nexus 7 or 8 speed hub bikes in a while, but I can't think of any that are of the drop bar/touring variety. Most that I remember are urban/commuter/hybrid type bikes, not unlike that Loft 7i. Here's one that looks like a more classic styled version of that Loft, no first hand experience with Linus, though. https://linusbike.com/products/roadster-7i

Not sure if you can buy a new Norco locally, but the Indie 8IGH is the much changed successor to my Norco.

One that was really interesting in a MTB/BMX mixed with an urban bike style was the Electra Super Moto 8i. But it seems like it had a short production run as it's not on Electra's website for 2020 anymore.

Last edited by FiftySix; 07-02-20 at 11:59 AM.
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