Decent commuter under a grand?

Discussion in 'Cycling Equipment' started by Caden, Dec 14, 2007.

  1. Caden

    Caden New Member

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    I stopped riding my fast road bike to work and to do shopping due to it not being so good for racks, fenders, and occasional muddy concrete - plus i don't like to leave it locked up in public outside. Started using a cheap heavy (35 lbs) hybrid I used to ride but I hate it. Brakes that don't stay adjusted longer than a day, crappy unnecessary suspension fork, HEAVY heavy wheels with 38c cheapo tires that go flat more often than my 23c Michelin road tires...

    So, I start looking for a "real" respectable commuter that I can still feel ok about locking up outside.. Once you go up from $400 to ~$900 in price they start *adding* crap I don't want rather than improving the frame or bearings, for example I don't want a suspension fork! I don't need disc brakes!! I don't think I want an internal hub either (I can't work on those, they're heavy, and I'm not convinced they're efficient OR really water-proof) Just give me a decent light frame with eyelets for racks and fender and some decent hubs that will either LAST in the rain or can actually be rebuilt. I want my dollars going toward the right bits.


    Suggestions?
     
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  2. Ainsie

    Ainsie New Member

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    I would be looking around the Giant CRX 3 or the Avanti Blade 3.0. Around the 750-800 mark. Both brands also have internal hub variants in your ballpark price range.
     
  3. parawolf

    parawolf New Member

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    Check out the Jamis Coda range of flat bar commuters. Real speed machines with all the abilities to put on fenders, racks, etc. Lovely Steel frames with carbon forks, and run 700c 28mm tyres.
     
  4. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    Novara Randonee Bike frpm REI or Used Surly Long Haul Trucker
     
  5. Caden

    Caden New Member

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    I just test rode a Bianchi San Jose and I might get that. Single speed, traditional steel road frame, room for racks, fenders.. And it doesn't have anything fancy like disc brakes. Austin is hilly but this bike doesn't come with a high gearing.

    Anyone with steel frame experience know if they're ok to ride in the wet? I wouldn't want to have to take the bike apart after every rain to dry the inside of the frame.
     
  6. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    J.P. Weigle's Frame Saver come in a spray can to apply inside the frame tubing. Works well and should be good for a year or more. Follow the manufacturer's instructions, as I don't remember what they say about frequency of application.

    Did you try the Bianchi touring bicycle?
     
  7. garage sale GT

    garage sale GT New Member

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    I have tried some modern internal hubs and found them well sealed against rain if not waterproof like a rolex. The Shimano 3 speed coaster brake hub, though, has kind of a flimsy sheet metal cup covering the coaster brake end on some models. It's designed to rotate to expose a grease port but does not fit very tight. No problems evident when I stripped mine down to repack after adding a lube which proved to be too light, BUT if it was a little rainier or muddier there might have been some contamination.

    All in all, the 3 speeds are not too heavy and are totally maintenance free; I'd hate to have to fix one but aside from the early 1970s shimanos, I have never seen one break. The only work you need to do with them is maybe tailor the sprocket to your preference, which is a matter of removing a c-clip.

    NOT SURE but I think the 3-speeds as a group and the Sturmey-Archer non-drum-brake 8 speed have the same rear spacing as a singlespeed hub, or 120mm. Not sure, but maybe you could try a 3 speed wheel and change to single speed if you hated it.
     
  8. Caden

    Caden New Member

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    Yeah, and that's what I would use if I was going to tour - would definitely prefer that over my road bike (no attachment points) or the San Jose I'm looking at (one gear). But the job of this bike is to get me from home to work and back again (8 miles, mild hills) and it needs to be really simple, reliable, and not have much stealable stuff. That's why I'm looking at the San Jose (plus it's cheaper).
     
  9. daveornee

    daveornee New Member

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    I understand cheaper and simpler. Most of the bicycle messengers I see in Chicago seem to ride single-speed and/or fixed gear
    I commute on a touring bicycle and don't find any faults with it, but I already owned it so the cost was hard to beat... and I haven't gone back to single speed since my gramar school days over 55 years ago, so I don't know what I am missing. I haven't had a derailer or cable issue on the road that I can remember, but I perform regular maintenance and visual inspections.
    I build a lot of wheels for track and single speed. The riders I build wheels for use them in all kinds of bicycling applications including commuting.
     
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