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Jamis Commuter 1 vs. Trek Belleville vs....?

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Jamis Commuter 1 vs. Trek Belleville vs....?

Old 05-13-12, 06:57 AM
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kookaburra1701
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Jamis Commuter 1 vs. Trek Belleville vs....?

I swore one bike would be enough for me, but lately I've been thinking more and more about adding a second steed to my stable. My current ride is an 87 Schwinn Tempo. It has a back rack and does alright for shopping with panniers, but it's more speedy than sturdy. I've been looking at the Jamis Commuter 1, since it comes with everything I'd wanted (fenders, rear rack, bell) and was in my price range (<$500). But then I was browsing Trek's site and I found the Belleville. I really like the front and rear rack, but I've never had a non-derailleured bike. I also really like the dynamo powered lights, but don't know how bright they usually are. (I work nights, so for most of the year I commute in the dark.) And then there's the obvious Trek badging, a thief magnet.

For any sort of serious hauling I'd probably get a trailer, but I don't know which one of these would work best for that. I don't really do much heavy-duty stuff, as I'm single, child-free and live in an apartment. (I have a small locking storage shed where I keep my bike.) So, main questions:

Are hub dynamo-powered lights bright enough for night riding?
Does anyone have experience with the Jamis Commuters? Are they sturdy enough for grocery runs/trailer pulling?
How does the dynamo/hub gearing affect changing flats?

Would I be better off just putting a front rack on a Commuter? How difficult would it be to set up some dynamo lights on one? Or would I be better off spending the extra $350 on a Belleville? Or is there a better bike out there for the same amount of money?

ETA: links!
Trek Belleville - http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...e/belleville/#
Jamis Commuter 1 - http://jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/s...muter1_bl.html

Last edited by kookaburra1701; 05-13-12 at 06:59 AM. Reason: added links
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Old 05-13-12, 05:14 PM
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joel52
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My wife has a commuter 1 and and while it has been sturdy enough for around town, I personally would not want to be hauling our trailer without a triple chainring up front, which neither of the linked bikes have. If it's flat enough where you're at or the trailer is going to be only really lightly loaded it may be okay but I'd steer clear of the Belleville 3 gear.

One thing to consider with add on stuff is whether the included accessories are the ones you would buy anyway. The Jamis polycarbonate fenders are lightweight (read flimsy) and don't really compare to planet bike cascadias or most other fenders that you would buy aftermarket. Likewise, if you were going to rack up a bike you would at least want to consider a lower rack for the front, as opposed to the one on the Belleville. The first time I put significant weight up high on my rear rack I could barely ride it due the changes in handling. No experience with a front rack but I would bet you can't comfortably ride much weight up that high.

Hopefully others can speak directly to the hub light lighting internal gearing.

Last, given the price difference between the two and intended use, you should definitely expand your search. A couple others to consider:
with rack and fenders:
https://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-us...ty/8910/48611/

http://www.khsbicycles.com/06_urban_x_12.htm

have rack and fender eyelets:
http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes...ility/pdx/pdx#
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Old 05-13-12, 10:24 PM
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So, I kept hearing about the Surly LHT, which is way out of my price range, but it would then be able to do double duty as a touring bike...and then browsing Surly's website I see the Moonlander and Pugsley, which leads me to Youtube to see the bikes in action...now I'm thinking about ways to put racks on a Moonlander because I live on the beach and holy frijoles those things look like fun.

I may have a bit of a commitment problem.
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Old 05-13-12, 10:33 PM
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Yeah, most of the Surly models are pretty sweet looking. If you do start edging towards a touring (which could do pretty much everything except the beach) you might look at the Jamis Aurora and Raleigh Port Townsend. I was recently in the market and those seemed to be the lowest cost legit touring bikes (new).
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