Road Cycling “It is by riding a bicycle that you learn the contours of a country best, since you have to sweat up the hills and coast down them. Thus you remember them as they actually are, while in a motor car only a high hill impresses you, and you have no such accurate remembrance of country you have driven through as you gain by riding a bicycle.” -- Ernest Hemingway

Help me pick!

Old 10-26-15, 06:27 PM
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DirtyThirty
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Help me pick!

Currently on a hybrid and looking to make the leap to a road bike, I am looking at steel bikes in the sub $1500 range. I am looking at steel for 2 reasons, ride quality for the crappy roads around me, and durability since I have been known to treat things pretty rough. I have 2 bikes in mind:

1 - Fairdale Weekender Drop
- Can be had for $1250 which leaves some money for pedals/shoes etc
- 1x10 drivetrain, I'm pretty sure I could get away with this, but it does lack higher gearing.
- Mech disc brakes, actually felt pretty solid on test ride.
- Less road oriented tires
- I really dig the look of this bike!

2 - Surly Pacer
- 105 drivetrain
- More road oriented
- Not the prettiest bike, but I could live with it

What say you? Any others in this price range I should be considering?
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Old 10-26-15, 07:08 PM
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CliffordK
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Those are quite different bikes.

The discs are popular for commuters now, but perhaps it is just a fad. Time will tell if they remain.

It really depends on your goals. If you're wishing to ride in group rides on the road, I'd probalby lean towards the Surly. If you're intending to take it off road and on gravel, perhaps leaning towards the Fairdale.

Also, keep in mind that there are a lot of used bikes out there. If your heart is set on steel, look for some used high-end road bikes from the 80's and 90's.
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Old 10-26-15, 08:23 PM
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The biggest strike against the Fairdale is the horrible 1x10 gearing. 42x11 is a decent high gear; I can spin a 42x12 to ~38mph so unless you typically need to go 35+, you can make it work. However, the 11-40 cassette is atrocious for road use. Those steps are going to become really annoying any time you want to push hard and especially irritating if you try to ride in a group. I briefly used a 11-32 9 speed cassette on my old commuter (Gunnar Crosshairs) and those big steps removed any benefit of the wide range. I just didn't enjoy the bike as a result. SRAM can yap on all they want about 1X drivetrains being the next big thing but their usefulness is severely limited in my opinion.
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Old 10-26-15, 08:44 PM
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Are the crappy roads you ride on dirt or asphalt?

Tires make a huge difference so wider at lower pressure smooths out the ride, especially for paved roads.

Both those bikes are very heavy. I looked at winter bikes send considered Surlys but they were just too heavy and bulky gif my taste.

If you provide more details on your riding, conditions, goals, etc., I'm sure you will get many more suggestions.
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Old 10-26-15, 08:48 PM
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Jamis also makes double butted steel bikes.

However, I wouldn't completely ignore other materials.
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Old 10-26-15, 08:49 PM
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As all-around bike the Fairdale Weekender Drop comes with a no fuss one speed drivetrain - you can customize the cog size to your needs. And with being able to fit up to 45c tires, it opens up the possibility to go off-road, something you can't do with a pavement road bike. The simple set up and versatility is about the best things you get with this bike.

The GT Grade, Salsa Vaya, Specialized Diverge, Trek Cross-rip, Schwinn Super Sport CX and Felt V100 are other bikes in the new gravel road/adventure bike category. They also make great commuter bikes, too.
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Old 10-27-15, 06:37 AM
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I like that Fairdale. You haven't said how you intend to use the bike, but that one should be very versatile. I have no idea what kind of rims they are using.
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Old 10-27-15, 07:34 AM
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Thanks for the responses everyone. As far as my riding goes, it is mainly just for exercise, but I also think that it might be fun to join an intermediate group ride at some point. I don't think that I would ever get too serious with it though. Roads around me are all paved, but can get seriously jarring on my Trek 7.2 FX. My main goals currently would be to eek out another 2-3mph average speed over the Trek, have something more comfortable to ride, and to have something that would be worthy of upgrading in the future if I did decide to get a little more serious. If I went with the Fairdale, I think I'd ask the shop to swap out the tires for 32c size tires if it would make a noticeable difference in rolling resistance. Thanks again!
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Old 10-27-15, 07:46 AM
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How hilly are your roads? I'd give the Fairdale a little more consideration if your roads were basically flat, allowing you to swap out that 11-40 cassette with something more road oriented (like a 12-27). Given that you want to ride hard (looking for a 2-3mph increase) and may do some group rides, that 11-40 cassette is going to become a hindrance sooner or later. With any decent hills in the area you will want lower than a 42/27 combo, though.

Your Trek likely has a 48/38/28 crank and 11-32 cassette. How much of that gearing range do you consistently use now? If you never shift out of the middle ring now perhaps the Fairdale and a slightly tighter spaced cassette will work for you.
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Old 10-27-15, 08:01 AM
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It is rather hilly around me, around 1000ft of climbing per 10 miles. I believe the Trek is a 12-32 cassette, and the only time I am shifting to the large ring is on a downhill segment. I think as far as high/low gearing I would be covered, but like you said there may be too much jump in between the gears.
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Old 10-27-15, 10:58 AM
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Mechanical disc brakes SUCK royal rooster!

Would something like this work for you?
Save Up to 60% Off Ultegra Road Bikes Shimano Ultegra Road Bikes - Windsor Knight

$800, and it's a lot lighter than the Surly or Fairydale...and Ultegra derailers and shifters.....
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Old 10-27-15, 11:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
Mechanical disc brakes SUCK royal rooster!
How many miles of experience do you have with them?
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Old 10-27-15, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by joejack951 View Post
How many miles of experience do you have with them?
Quite a few on an ATV.....
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Old 10-27-15, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Stucky View Post
Mechanical disc brakes SUCK royal rooster!

Would something like this work for you?
Save Up to 60% Off Ultegra Road Bikes Shimano Ultegra Road Bikes - Windsor Knight

$800, and it's a lot lighter than the Surly or Fairydale...and Ultegra derailers and shifters.....
Hold on there. My experience with Avid BB7 is limited, but very positive. In fact, Avid BB7 gets very good reviews. Avid BB7 Reviews | Mountain Bike Reviews || SINGLETRACKS.COM
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Old 10-27-15, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard View Post
Hold on there. My experience with Avid BB7 is limited, but very positive. In fact, Avid BB7 gets very good reviews. Avid BB7 Reviews | Mountain Bike Reviews || SINGLETRACKS.COM
My experience is not limited but also very positive. Wet weather braking, pad life, speed of adjustments, and leverage are all better than the best rim brakes I've used (Ultegra 6600). I have a single BB7 on the front of my commuter and it's all I ever use to stop (rear brake is there but never gets used).
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