Recommendations Good Commuter/Short Touring Bike...

Discussion in 'Bike buying advice' started by jsirabella, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    I am looking for a bike that would make a good commuter where I can put a rack on it to attach my panniers and also can make a good touring bike for a hotel tours where I would ride say 2-3 days to my destination.

    So not too hardcore touring so can be a bit faster bike and not crazy about hybrids but willing to look at them.

    Any advice appreciated.
     
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  2. cycleheimer

    cycleheimer New Member

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  3. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Give us an ideal of a price range please.
     
  4. lemarmot

    lemarmot New Member

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    You might consider a Kona Dew Drop. It's based on Kona's well respected line of hybrids, but with drop bars and Avid BB7 disc brakes. The tires are hefty -- 700 X 37 -- and the 36-spoke wheels should be robust enough to handle a touring load. I also like the sloping top tube for around-town, curb-climbing convenience. I've added fenders to mine, and installed my standard rear rack, which fits despite the discs. The fork will take a front rack, too. It's no lightweight, if you're accustomed to road bikes, but it's much quicker than my old hybrid and a lot of fun to ride. There is no Dew Drop in Kona's 2011 catalogue, but you can probably find a good close-out deal on a 2010. It's a very good commuter, would work fine for light touring, and costs about half of what you'd pay for a fully equipped touring bike. Kind of an oddball design, but I love mine.
     
  5. davidabraham

    davidabraham New Member

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    It's technically possible to adapt any bike into a road touring bicycle for short journeys, but if you're planning a long tour, then you are better getting a bike designed for the job, a road touring bicycle is designed to carry the extra weight of loaded panniers that you will need to take on your journey.


    David Abraham
     
  6. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    No mention of price yet. If your planning to sometime later do long loaded tourers it may be wiser to prepare for that rather then prepare for short light touring only to find yourself later having to buy a new bike to handle the long loaded touring. For the money the best I've found...in my opinion, is the Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 and the Sherpa 10, they run between $1500 and $1200 respectively. See: http://www.bikes.com/main+en+01_102+SHERPA_30.html?BIKE=852&CATID=2&SCATID=26
     
  7. ChrisRg

    ChrisRg New Member

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    Good advice, I think bikes.com are really good also, they have such a wide selection on stuff on there.
     
  8. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    I am sorry forgot to come back to this thread...thinking >1k...

    I once had a cannondale badboy that was pretty good all around and did well enough for me from NYC to Boston or NYC to Baltimore...2 to 3 day routes....

    But I was thinking steel as aluminum feels so unforgiving...do you think a CX can be converted in a light tourer/commuter? Also it seems that the category of urban bikes can fit the category..any big difference?

    But like your idea to think about the future...one last question...do the size differs between my road bike size vs. this type of bike or the same?

    -js
     
  9. daveryanwyoming

    daveryanwyoming Well-Known Member

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    Absolutely, many cyclocross bikes are equipped with fender/rack eyelets, the geometry is a bit more relaxed than most road bikes, cantilever or disc braked cross bikes have a lot of stopping power but can also handle larger tires which is a nice plus. Cross bikes are typically equipped with compact cranks and it's easy enough to add a medium or long cage rear derailleur if you want to run some really wide gear ratios and MTB cassettes. I do a lot of my winter road riding on my cross bike and wouldn't hesitate to load it up for a tour.

    -Dave
     
  10. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    I was thinking the same thing Dave. Got a couple old CX frames laying around here. Poprad and RockyMoutain...the RM definitely has all the right fitting sto handle panniers but the frames are beat up from the time of doing CX/ Also the parts I would probably have to buy to get them running may almost make sense to just get a new one. I kept taking parts from my bikes and moving them around or selling them over the years that have quite a bit of half built bikes.

    Got to figure out my budget...really want to stop taking the train and now is the time to get a bike for this purpose up and running...a real work horse than can actually move if I am in the mood.

    -js
     
  11. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Most cyclecross bikes I've seen are only suited for short term touring. They usually do not come with any eyelets on the forks for panniers or fenders, especially the ones with CF forks. Of course one could always buy a chrome touring fork with eyelets for both panniers and fenders. Also they come with 3 sets of water bottle mounts, but that's not a big deal either since Minoura sells a clamp on water bottle mount with cage.
     
  12. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Dave and Froze -> I went to my LBS and saw a raleigh RX 1.0 which had seemed right. Had the correct rear eyelets for panniers and just seemed right for commuting and light touring. I believe as long as I go for hotel touring it would be fine and god knows I am not the outdoors-man to start camping. You can use touring size tires if you want. I wonder though is the geometery of the bike will be good for long rides. Does the slopping bar of a touring bike make a difference to long hours in the saddle?

    I am pretty much 90% there with a CX bike...the raleigh was 30lbs and made of steel which is not so bad as it will give me a lot more comfort on the road. That lemond poprad seemed so much lighter...wonder if it was.

    -js
     
  13. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Ok did some net research and for price and good reviews, the surly crosscheck looks ideal...I believe it can handle rear panniers and seems pretty light. Anybody have one?

    Also I notice the bike can do single speed which kind of worries me as in NYC they steel those quite often...so can not leave it out too long.

    -js
     
  14. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    Not sure how much your LBS will sell you the Surly Crosscheck for, but Bikes Direct has them for $899.95; see: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/surly/crosscheck2.htm I don't own a Surly, but they have always been highly regarded on bicycle forums like this one.

    Bikes Direct also has a TI cross bike called the Motobecane Cross Pro for $1695; see: http://www.bikesdirect.com/products/motobecane/fantom_cross_pro_ti_xi.htm

    All Bikes Direct bikes are shipped free of charge. It would be wise though to have any bike purchased from them taken to an LBS to have professionally setup and adjusted, most LBS's charge around $75 for that service.

    Both, the Surly and the Motobecane will handle light touring with no problem, just don't try to put 70 pounds of gear on the rear trying to compensate for no front pannier capacity. With light touring your limiting yourself to about 35 pounds rear, and about 3 to 7 pounds on the front with a handlebar bag (depending on manufacture of bag).

    The Lemond line of bikes are being discontinued from Trek because Trek is severing all relations with Lemond, not sure if Lemond bicycles will survive as a independent line or fall from the face of the Earth. Something to consider because of warranties, even though Trek would cover it, but if a replacement frame was needed you wouldn't get a Lemond.
     
  15. jsirabella

    jsirabella New Member

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    Froze -> Friend is telling me that he can get a cannondale cyclocross 5 frame which looks good but is made of aluminum while the surly I could get it as one package and made of steel. I like the idea of the comfort of steel and never rode aluminum even on rode but from what I heard it is the least forgiving.

    What do you guys think? He does not have a price on the frame yet but he gets discount from cannondale...

    -js
     
  16. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    For touring steel is the best the material. Yes, there are aluminum touring frames, but they tend to be a bit less forgiving in ride comfort because they have to take the flex out by making larger diameter tubing otherwise, like the Vitus's of the 80's, just break within months of heavy use. Also if by some slim chance you wreck and bend a frame your AL frame is toast, whereas with steel they can bend it back and re-weld if needed; also if you crack a frame with AL again your toast, with steel you can still ride it.

    Before I bought the touring bikes I have I test rode a bunch including a very popular Cannondale touring bike, I preferred the steel touring bikes by far.
     
  17. Froze

    Froze Well-Known Member

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    For touring steel is the best the material. Yes, there are aluminum touring frames, but they tend to be a bit less forgiving in ride comfort because they have to take the flex out by making larger diameter tubing otherwise, like the Vitus's of the 80's, just break within months of heavy use. Also if by some slim chance you wreck and bend a frame your AL frame is toast, whereas with steel they can bend it back and re-weld if needed; also if you crack a frame with AL again your toast, with steel you can still ride it.

    Before I bought the touring bikes I have I test rode a bunch including a very popular Cannondale touring bike and an expensive AL Koga Miyata (and I love Miyata steel bikes), but I preferred the steel touring bikes by far.
     
  18. cycleheimer

    cycleheimer New Member

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    REI also sells bikes. Here is the link for their $849 2011 Novara Safari ... http://www.rei.com/product/807245 . Have you checked the Adventure Cycling Association's touing bike buying guide? Those guys know all about bike touring.
     
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