Drop-bar, Disc Brake Commuter Bike



Owboduz

New Member
Jun 25, 2013
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I'm searching for a new bike--my last one was put beyond economical repair in a motor vehicle accident.

The last time I bought a bike, I constantly wanted to upgrade parts of it. I don't want to do that again.

I'm looking for a bike that can be my Monday - Friday commuter. At work, we have out-door bike parking and when it's raining, I can usually get a spot under cover, but not always. As a commuter bike, it won't get washed after morning rides, though I can probably give it a quick wipe most evenings, and it will be stored in a dry environment at night.

I ride 16-20 miles/day over mostly roads, many poorly maintained, with some canal paths (gravel). I would rather have a nice commuting bike than a nice bike for weekend riding and a junk bike for the commute since over 90% of my riding is my commute.


I ride in all weather, so disc brakes seem like a good idea.

I don't like riding with a backpack, so rack mounts would be preferred. I'll need mudguards of some sort, but I can probably get by with raceblades.


In terms of what I like, I want something that's absorbs some of the road buzz, so a carbon fork is probably required. I like the aesthetics of internal cable routing. The groupset that grabs me the most at the moment is Rival 22 HRD.

So far, my frontrunner is the Cannondale CAADX Rival Disc. I would go for the Synapse Rival Disc, but I can't stand the styling.
 

oldbobcat

Well-Known Member
Aug 31, 2003
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If you look around you'll find that just about every major brand, and a few minor ones, have bikes that would interest you. The categories are recreational or entry-level cyclocross, "gravel racer," and light touring. You'll find subtle differences in frame geometry, handling, and gearing. Shop, ask lots of questions, and take some test rides to find what's best for you. You're only limited by your own research and what's available in your area.
 

Owboduz

New Member
Jun 25, 2013
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oldbobcat said:
If you look around you'll find that just about every major brand, and a few minor ones, have bikes that would interest you. The categories are recreational or entry-level cyclocross, "gravel racer," and light touring. You'll find subtle differences in frame geometry, handling, and gearing. Shop, ask lots of questions, and take some test rides to find what's best for you. You're only limited by your own research and what's available in your area.
The problem that I have been finding is that many manufacturers offer most of their models only with Shimano groups.

Many manufacturers don't bother with internal cable routing on alloy models, and carbon bikes don't have rack eyelets.

The result of this seems to be that the intersection of:
SRAM Rival, internal routing, disc brakes, rack mounts is a very small group of bikes indeed. This is made even smaller if I add the requirement for hydraulic disc brakes (SRAM hrd). If I drop any one of those, there's huge selection.

I'm simply hoping that there are a few out there that I have missed.
 

alfeng

Well-Known Member
Jul 23, 2005
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Owboduz said:
The problem that I have been finding is that many manufacturers offer most of their models only with Shimano groups.

Many manufacturers don't bother with internal cable routing on alloy models, and carbon bikes don't have rack eyelets.

The result of this seems to be that the intersection of:
SRAM Rival, internal routing, disc brakes, rack mounts is a very small group of bikes indeed. This is made even smaller if I add the requirement for hydraulic disc brakes (SRAM hrd). If I drop any one of those, there's huge selection.

I'm simply hoping that there are a few out there that I have missed.
FWIW. I have to tell you that I think that your fascination with internal cable routing is misplaced ...

It's a feature that seems to come-and-go every two-or-three decades -- the 50s, the 80s, and now!?!

I've got a couple of older frames which have internal cable routing, and while it does have some aesthetic appeal, in retrospect it just presents another potential location for water infiltration ...

While that is theoretically not a problem with a CF frame, thanks to gravity, the water will work its way down to the BB ...

I've seen a lot of other people's cartridge BBs where the shell had a patina of rust on it ...

Of course, THAT also means that the bearings of press-fit or other external BB cup bearings are theoretically vulnerable to some extent ...

Certainly, to a greater extent with that minimal drop-or-two-or-more of water (if you ride in the rain) than a frame which does not have internal cable routing would probably experience.

IF you can lose your interest in internal cable routing AND if you want non-Shimano components, then you may want to consider something like a GUNNAR frame + the components of your choice ...

If you want a ready-to-ride bike, then I suggest you look at something like the JAMIS's CODA bikes as a starting point ...

Then, figure out if SRAM or Campagnolo have the brake-shifters which will work with their's-or-other's hydraulic-or-mechanical disc brake calipers which you can afford OR which calipers will work with "regular" brake levers with-or-without a travel agent.
 

Owboduz

New Member
Jun 25, 2013
83
0
6
alfeng said:
FWIW. I have to tell you that I think that your fascination with internal cable routing is misplaced ...

It's a feature that seems to come-and-go every two-or-three decades -- the 50s, the 80s, and now!?!

I've got a couple of older frames which have internal cable routing, and while it does have some aesthetic appeal, in retrospect it just presents another potential location for water infiltration ...

While that is theoretically not a problem with a CF frame, thanks to gravity, the water will work its way down to the BB ...

I've seen a lot of other people's cartridge BBs where the shell had a patina of rust on it ...

Of course, THAT also means that the bearings of press-fit or other external BB cup bearings are theoretically vulnerable to some extent ...

Certainly, to a greater extent with that minimal drop-or-two-or-more of water (if you ride in the rain) than a frame which does not have internal cable routing would probably experience.
That's an interesting point. My interest in internally routed cables comes from a few points:
  • Aesthetics. Internally routed cables just look nicer.
  • Cleaning. If I want to keep this bike in good shape, given what I'll be putting it through, it seems easier to clean a bike with internal cables.
  • Exposure. I'm less likely to damage cables that are inside the frame, be that through water exposure, debris, etc.
alfeng said:
IF you can lose your interest in internal cable routing AND if you want non-Shimano components, then you may want to consider something like a GUNNAR frame + the components of your choice ...

If you want a ready-to-ride bike, then I suggest you look at something like the JAMIS's CODA bikes as a starting point ...

Then, figure out if SRAM or Campagnolo have the brake-shifters which will work with their's-or-other's hydraulic-or-mechanical disc brake calipers which you can afford OR which calipers will work with "regular" brake levers with-or-without a travel agent.
If I lose the internal routing requirement, there are a few good options, the most obvious being the Cannondale CAADX Rival Disc. It ticks all of the boxes, except internal routing.

The Synapse Rival Disc ticks all of the boxes, including internal routing but there are a few things about it that bother me.
  • They advertise a relaxed geometry, but I want to get out of the wind, so a sportier geometry seems like a good idea.
  • The CAADX 105 disc and Synapse 105 disc are the same price, but in the UK, the CAADX Rival Disc is £200 less than the Synapse Rival Disc.
  • The Synapse Rival Disc is only being offered at a single retailer in the UK (It's some kind of exclusivity deal--this may explain the price)
  • The white-wall tyres and black logo on dark green paint don't grab me.
I've considered a fully custom bike a number of times. But, unless it ticks ALL the boxes, I don't think I'll be doing a custom build.

I've looked at Jamis Nova Pro and one of the SuperNova's, but I can't find them in the UK.

I know this puts me down to smaller brands, boutique builders, etc., but I had hoped I'd just missed something.

Thanks for the suggestions and for the thoughts on internal routing. I'll have to see if I can find a place to ride a few of the contenders and make a choice.