New bike recommendations

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Shawn
Participant
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Over the next few weeks, I’m planning on adding a new bike to my collection, and I was hoping to get some input.

Basically, this bike is going to be my multipurpose workhorse. It’s biggest usage will be: 1) pulling my kids in a trailer around my HILLY neighborhood 2) Occasional commutes to work (10 miles each way on Hilly country roads) 3) rolling around the city on flock rides, etc. and finally 4) taking the family to the trails and long weekend road rides.

From everything I’ve learned on this board and seen around, I THINK I am looking for a touring bike or a cyclocross bike – and I want drop bars and holes for racks. I don’t plan on doing too much foul weather riding so I guess I don’t need disc brakes, but pulling the kids around, I really do think I need the triple gears. Also, I run about 200lbs so an extra 5lbs on the bike won’t be the end of the world. Oh ya, I’d like to stay in the $1,000 range.

Well, my initial assessment made me think of a few bikes: Surly Crosscheck or Long-haul trucker. Redline conquest classic. Masi specale randoneeur. Trek 520.

I guess I’m leaning towards touring, but I’d appreciate any help and suggestions!


WillB
Participant
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I’ve got a Jamis Aurora http://www.jamisbikes.com/usa/thebikes/road/aurora/09_aurora_spec.html, which is pretty much a touring bike, I guess. Mine’s a few years old, but I think it has roughly the same components as the one in the link. It’s got room for racks and fenders, has a very comfortable geometry, and is great for commuting as well as longer rides. Biketek in Squirrel Hill sells them, I think.


salty
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I think you already have it figured out; hard to go wrong with a CC or LHT – probably the latter unless you put a granny ring on the CC.


rsprake
Participant
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Pulling the trailer and other stuff will feel better on the LHT. I can barely tell when I have weight on mine. Outside of the extra heft, the bike handles the same and maybe even better than without extra weight.


dmtroyer
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I couldn’t be happier commuting on a touring bike.


brian j
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+1 to the LHT, if you wanna haul stuff. The CC would be the perfect bike otherwise, but I think the LHT (or a bike with similar geometry) will suit you a bit better.


willie p
Participant
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After glancing (not even reading) your post – I thought Surly right away.

Unless you are looking for “bling” (hand cut lugs, exotic tube sets, etc) offered by a custom builder (which I did not see bling/brag factor) in your list of must haves – I think Surly is pretty cool bike at any price point.


Shawn
Participant
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Thanks. That’s the way I was leaning.

Now I gotta start a new topic to figure out what to buy for my wife. She is not into cycling at all, but she is going to ride a little this year. She wants something that looks good – more like a cruiser with a basket, but it should be functional for riding the trails around town / GAP and maybe some hills now and again.


stefb
Participant
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I am getting the redline CC from thick. I have no input as of right now.


rsprake
Participant
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My wife has something along the lines of a Trek 7000 with a wicker basket from REI. She loves the bike, but it’s obviously a slug.

Hi!


salty
Participant
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My wife looked at the Felt Cafe 24W and Giant Cypress DX, among others.

I liked the Felt better (and I think she did too) but the Giant was available in pink, so…


Shawn
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What do you all think of the 3 or 7/8 speeds for someone new to biking? I truly doubt she’ll ever want to do more than the rail trails or flat areas of the city.


dwillen
Participant
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S. has a Marin “City” bike. It seems to be similar to the Larkspur they’re selling now. It might even be a Larkspur from 2006-7? It is light (since they skipped the stupid 6lbs of useless front suspension). It is mostly a step-through, you sit upright on it and it has somewhat skinny tires.. I got a cheap basket from Bike Nashbar (not pictured) and put it on the front. She liked that.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
Participant
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How come none of these girlfriends are wearing helmets? Do these guys have life insurance policies on them? Beware ladies!


bd
Participant
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I’ve got a 7 year old Conquest Disc that is serving me well. The Kona Dew Drop is also the style you are looking for and runs in the $750 range at the Trek stores.


rsprake
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Ha ha. We were on the GAP on a lazy trip.

Shawn, I think the less gears the better for a novice.


dwillen
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At the time of my photo, we lived in Davis, CA.. dead flat and you could bike anywhere in town without seeing a car. Usually we kept a pretty lazy pace too. I never wore a helmet there either unless I left town on a road ride or went mtbing. We both wear helmets 100% of the time here in Pittsburgh.


Greasefoot
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Trek Pgh is having it’s annual warehouse sale in Robinson this Sunday. I understand they have several hybids on clearance.


Marko82
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I like the Trek Portland, but it’s a bit pricy. I think Slopes has one.


Shawn
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I rode a surley LHT that was too big for me, and it was great, but when I went to order it, I found that my size only comes with 26″ wheels. I guess that would work, but I have to admit the bike looks weird with those wheels. Even the guy at the shop didn’t like that aspect.

At a different place I rode a few cyclocross bikes. Loved them, but they seemed too close to the road bike I already have.

I rode a Masi frame that was pretty close to the Masi specale randoneeur. I really liked it.

No one had the redline conquest classic.

So, I guess if I had to pick something today it would be the Masi Specale Randoneeur.But I wish I could try the redline.

ANY insight on Masi vs. Redline???

Any others I should try (besides the ones you guys noted above)? I didn’t make it to the trek store.


sloaps
Participant
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I’ve put +4500 miles on my Portland I got in May of 09. Road commuting/errand running in rain, snow, sleet and the occasional sunny day, as well as a few days here or there touring along the Allegheny Passage. At 30 speeds, I’ve never been without gears – fully loaded rear rack and panniers. It comes with slick 28’s, but I’ve run treaded and studded 28’s through 32’s, as well. No issues.

The only modifications I’ve made are adding full fenders, rear rack, lights and the folks at Trek threw some teflon tape in the bottom bracket, because I didn’t like the clicking sound in the bb after the first heavy rainstorm I commuted through (I think that makes it a “Pittsburgh” now).

I’ve also heard nothing but good things about the Surly Crosscheck – to totally confuse you now.


dooftram
Participant
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According to Masi’s website the Speciale Randonneur is equipped w/32 spoke Weinmann LP18s. Not a great choice if you want to haul anything and/or already weigh 200 lbs.

This same-rimmed wheelset is advertised at Harris Cyclery here-

http://harriscyclery.net/itemdetails.cfm?ID=1670

and comes w/ the following disclaimer “Note: This wheel set is not intended for riders weighing over 200 lbs. It is also not intended for loaded touring/commuting. “

And that’s for the 36 spoke version of the LP18. Again, the Masi S.R. comes w/32 spokes. Likely, even less sturdy.


Shawn
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Wow. Thanks ddftram. That’s why I love this board – you all are on top of these things.

After sleeping on things a bit, I think I’m going to more seriously consider triple crank cyclocross bikes. Specialized Tricross? Focus has one, too. But that portland looks amazing.

We will see.

I truly appreciate all of your advice.


salty
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Kona jake is another option I looked at, comes with a triple. Jake the Snake is really nice but a lot more $ and only comes with a double.

BTW, the crank on the cross check can take a 3rd ring, you just need a spacer and a different FD. Probably can be done for $50ish. I swapped the crank for shimano 105 triple and tiagra triple FD, I think it cost me 100 since the shop (trek) bought back the stock parts. Bummer about the 26s on the LHT. I suspect it wouldn’t be that big of a deal in practice but still kind of odd. But since the new CC has front rack braze-ons now they’re that much closer to being the same bike anyways.


edmonds59
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Definitely wait until you can check out the Redline CC, they look pretty sweet.


brian j
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The 26″ wheels on the LHT are to preserve the geometry on the smaller models. Personally, I wouldn’t have any troubling rocking those wheels. Rivendell built arguably their most popular bike on 26″ hoops (the Atlantis), so they can’t be that bad.


Alan
Participant
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It’s a shame that Trek downgraded the Portland to Tiagra but raised the price to $1750. I have an ’08 that came with 105s (although it’s been swapped out to SRAM Apex now [which is really nice – compact crankset {double} with 11×32 10 speed cassette]).

The great thing about the Portland and the Conquest Classic is the disc brakes. They make wet weather commuting a lot easier. When you compare the prices between the two, the CC looks like a pretty obvious choice.

At the same time, the Giant TCX1 might be worth a look. It’s a Sora/Tiagra drivetrain and the retail on it is $970. Cantilever compared to disc brakes, but if it’s only for the occasional commute/crap weather, maybe that’s fine.

Honestly, it seems like the CC is the best bet, between those three.


dooftram
Participant
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Speaking of LHT’s and 26in wheels, I think they look just fine and even better when you throw fenders and racks on ’em. Pretty darn butch for a bicycle, really-

http://urbanvelo.org/surly-long-haul-trucker-26/

Besides, you won’t be looking at the wheels in profile when you’re riding it. I put some KoolStop pads on my LHT and it stops just fine in rain, snow, and even the mud I’ve had to slog through on a number of offroad camping trips.


Shawn
Participant
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I didn’t mean to insult the looks. That was only a part of my decision. I have two sets of nice tires that I had been using on the 700c wheels I had on the bike I just sold. Wanted to keep using these on the new bike, too.


Tabby
Participant
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hey Shawn, I ride the Redline CC. I’d be happy to let you try it out, though it would probably be too small, but at least you could check it out.

as for a bike for your wife, I would look at “city” type bikes. A less agressive bike is very appealing, but my previous bike ended up being so sluggish that I couldn’t keep up with my husband and ended up not really enjoying riding together or riding very far at all.


Tabby
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Another thought- have you looked into how your kiddie trailer would attach to the Redline? The kiddie trailer we bought doesn’t work with it, but I didn’t want to be the one hauling anyway.


Shawn
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That an awesome question.

I have a slightly older version of this burley: http://www.burley.com/home/bur/page_308_54/dlite.html

It has a quick release thing that stays on the quick release lever of the wheel.

Can you tell me why specifically yours didn’t fit since I was heavily leaning towards buying the Redline CC (the 2010 version is on sale now).


Tabby
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the disk brakes were in the way for how my trailer attaches, but I don’t really remember the specifics.


cburch
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shawn, if you get the cc from thick, chris can always fabricate something if you need it for the trailer.


Tabby
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I sounds like yours attaches differently though and might be fine anyway. Just something to look at before you make plans to take the girls for a ride.


bd
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As long as you have the quick release axle mount the trailer should be fine. The old Burley patented hookup that goes between the chainstay and the seatstay will not work on any bike with discs. Last I checked it was $20 for the conversion kit. REI always seemed to be sold out but you could get it directly from Burley.

It sounds like you already have the correct attachment and I think they made you go out of your way to get the old style hook up starting a few years back.


Mick
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@ALMKLM How come none of these girlfriends are wearing helmets?

Maybe they read the science critically or are aware of the helmet use -and safety – record of the Dutch.


AtLeastMyKidsLoveMe
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@mick – but the Dutch descend from Vikings, don’t they?

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