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  1. #1
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    Torker Interurban

    This is sort of a continuation of a previous thread of mine-

    A bit of background:
    I was a pretty serious ride as a teenager and let it slide in my 20's. Now in my mid-30's, I've rediscovered a love for riding due in no small part to my Trek Soho S. Still, as much as I'm enjoying the hell out of my single speed stealth monster, it's completely unsuited to long rides. The stiff aluminum frame and fork and the deep v wheels leave me feeling EVERY tiny vibration in the road, and that's just no fun.

    SO I embarked recently on a quest to find a cheap-ish decent touring bike. Used bikes, bikesdirect, etc. I've set a budget of about 600ish dollars, and it's looking like I can't go much above that without pain.

    I rode a few bikes in my range this weekend at the LBS to try to gauge what I was really looking at in terms of the price range and also to make sure my sizing was right. My last ride was the Torker Interurban (52cm) - an all-steel beast of a bike. Kinda heavy in comparison to the mostly aluminum bikes I'd been checking out, but it rode smoothly - took every bump I threw at it like it was riding on shocks. The frame and fork did a beautiful job, and it felt like a bike I could be comfortable on for distance. I'm pretty well sold on the bike, though I have some reservations about it.

    While I'd really like to support local stores, the truth is I can probably buy a better bike online from BD or similar for the same price. Is the difference really worth it? I mean, I'm NOT racing - at most I'll be doing 50-60 mile rides this summer, and maybe trying a century next summer. Also, up until this weekend I hadn't even heard of Torker, and I can't find any real reviews of the Interurban online. THAT gives me pause as well.

    Does anyone have any experience with the brand or the frameset itself?

    Links of interest:
    http://www.torkerusa.com/bikes/commu...011-interurban
    http://urbanvelo.org/torker-interurb...t-impressions/ <-- the only review I could find.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by endcycle
    This is sort of a continuation of a previous thread of mine-

    A bit of background:
    I was a pretty serious ride as a teenager and let it slide in my 20's. Now in my mid-30's, I've rediscovered a love for riding due in no small part to my Trek Soho S. Still, as much as I'm enjoying the hell out of my single speed stealth monster, it's completely unsuited to long rides. The stiff aluminum frame and fork and the deep v wheels leave me feeling EVERY tiny vibration in the road, and that's just no fun.

    SO I embarked recently on a quest to find a cheap-ish decent touring bike. Used bikes, bikesdirect, etc. I've set a budget of about 600ish dollars, and it's looking like I can't go much above that without pain.

    I rode a few bikes in my range this weekend at the LBS to try to gauge what I was really looking at in terms of the price range and also to make sure my sizing was right. My last ride was the Torker Interurban (52cm) - an all-steel beast of a bike. Kinda heavy in comparison to the mostly aluminum bikes I'd been checking out, but it rode smoothly - took every bump I threw at it like it was riding on shocks. The frame and fork did a beautiful job, and it felt like a bike I could be comfortable on for distance. I'm pretty well sold on the bike, though I have some reservations about it.

    While I'd really like to support local stores, the truth is I can probably buy a better bike online from BD or similar for the same price. Is the difference really worth it? I mean, I'm NOT racing - at most I'll be doing 50-60 mile rides this summer, and maybe trying a century next summer. Also, up until this weekend I hadn't even heard of Torker, and I can't find any real reviews of the Interurban online. THAT gives me pause as well.

    Does anyone have any experience with the brand or the frameset itself?

    Links of interest:
    http://www.torkerusa.com/bikes/commu...011-interurban
    http://urbanvelo.org/torker-interurb...t-impressions/ <-- the only review I could find.

    I have never heard of Torker before (until you mentioned it in the other thread). Reading the "first impressions review" that you linked to in UrbanVelo sounds like it is a review written by the manufacturer! I would want more testimonials than that.

    I saw this bike at Costco yesterday: http://www.northrockbikes.com/road-scr1.php

    I didn't notice the price, but they usually sell bikes under $500. Instead of Shimano's bottom of the barrel 2300/Sora on the interurban, it's got a step up with Sora/Tiagra.
    The problem with a Costco bike, is it's assembled by the guy who was stocking the water pallets the day before.

    I've used those Shimano 2300's before and they seem nice at first, but they break fairly easily and over time they don't stay in proper adjustment/alignment for long. They are at least a step up from most Wal-Mart equipped bikes. (Although look at this bike for $549 http://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Mens-...d-Bike/5585800.

    After two years, it seemed like every time I'd take my Shimano 2330 equipped bike out for a ride, I'd have to give it way more than a quick once over, I'd have to seriously adjust the brakes, the front, and the rear derailers.

    On the other hand, if you rode that InterUrban, and liked the way it fit, and felt under you, then you'd be more likely to actually ride it. Meanwhile, if you think you're going to spend more than an hour or so in the saddle, you will really want to pay attention to fit. Almost any bike is tolerable for a few miles, some fit issues manifest themselves after 30 minutes or more in the saddle, and even more after a few hours. If you're a leisurely rider, 20 miles can take close to 90 minutes, whereas some riders can do 20 miles in under an hour.
    Last edited by Garilia; 04-18-2011 at 10:54 AM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garilia
    I have never heard of Torker before (until you mentioned it in the other thread). Reading the "first impressions review" that you linked to in UrbanVelo sounds like it is a review written by the manufacturer! I would want more testimonials than that.

    I saw this bike at Costco yesterday: http://www.northrockbikes.com/road-scr1.php

    I didn't notice the price, but they usually sell bikes under $500. Instead of Shimano's bottom of the barrel 2300/Sora on the interurban, it's got a step up with Sora/Tiagra.
    The problem with a Costco bike, is it's assembled by the guy who was stocking the water pallets the day before.

    I've used those Shimano 2300's before and they seem nice at first, but they break fairly easily and over time they don't stay in proper adjustment/alignment for long. They are at least a step up from most Wal-Mart equipped bikes. (Although look at this bike for $549 http://www.walmart.com/ip/700c-Mens-...-Bike/5585800).

    After two years, it seemed like every time I'd take my Shimano 2330 equipped bike out for a ride, I'd have to give it way more than a quick once over, I'd have to seriously adjust the brakes, the front, and the rear derailers.

    On the other hand, if you rode that InterUrban, and liked the way it fit, and felt under you, then you'd be more likely to actually ride it. Meanwhile, if you think you're going to spend more than an hour or so in the saddle, you will really want to pay attention to fit. Almost any bike is tolerable for a few miles, some fit issues manifest themselves after 30 minutes or more in the saddle, and even more after a few hours. If you're a leisurely rider, 20 miles can take close to 90 minutes, whereas some riders can do 20 miles in under an hour.
    interesting links (the walmart one had an extra ")" at the end tho ). I don't want to buy from costco or walmart for the same reasons I don't want to buy from BD - tho it might be a killer deal, I want the service and support a LBS can give me (and I feel like I should support the locals first no matter what, especially since I LIKE those guys and gals a lot).

    as to the components- I'll probably upgrade those next year anyway, regardless of what bike I get. As long as the 2300/tiagra front/rear derailers / shifters hold up for a year or two, I'm happy.

    I am more concerned with the frame and the company itself, having never heard of them.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by endcycle
    interesting links (the walmart one had an extra ")" at the end tho ). I don't want to buy from costco or walmart for the same reasons I don't want to buy from BD - tho it might be a killer deal, I want the service and support a LBS can give me (and I feel like I should support the locals first no matter what, especially since I LIKE those guys and gals a lot).

    as to the components- I'll probably upgrade those next year anyway, regardless of what bike I get. As long as the 2300/tiagra front/rear derailers / shifters hold up for a year or two, I'm happy.

    I am more concerned with the frame and the company itself, having never heard of them.
    Yeah, I wouldn't buy a WalMart/Costco/Department store bike for an adult. Maybe for a child. The derailers on that InterUrban should hold up for a couple of years. Steel is a good frame material, how well it holds up is all down to the quality of the welds, and I've read recently of a Waterford custom frame that broke, so it's always possible to get a lemon. of course in a couple of years, when you want to upgrade the components, you might find it cheaper to buy a new bike! I swear you couldn't buy a frame and build kit with the groupsets you want for less than what bikesdirect will sell a bike for. Some people buy the quality frame they want, and buy a bd.com bike to harvest the components!

    oh, and thanks, I fixed the walmart link.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Garilia
    Yeah, I wouldn't buy a WalMart/Costco/Department store bike for an adult. Maybe for a child. The derailers on that InterUrban should hold up for a couple of years. Steel is a good frame material, how well it holds up is all down to the quality of the welds, and I've read recently of a Waterford custom frame that broke, so it's always possible to get a lemon. of course in a couple of years, when you want to upgrade the components, you might find it cheaper to buy a new bike! I swear you couldn't buy a frame and build kit with the groupsets you want for less than what bikesdirect will sell a bike for. Some people buy the quality frame they want, and buy a bd.com bike to harvest the components!

    oh, and thanks, I fixed the walmart link.

    i'd never heard that before - that's hysterical about buying bd just for the components. honestly, i'll probably just piece together parts watching ebay or something when i decide to start upgrading.

    DEFINITELY hoping someone has some experience with this bike around here. I know there are dealers that haunt the forums, too.

  6. #6
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    Torker has been around for a long time. They used to make BMX bikes. Very good ones. They are now owned by the Accell Group - the same company that owns Redline, Lapierre, and Batavus - which is based in The Netherlands.

    I have a Torker Interurban in my shop. Yes, it's a little heavy. But it's steel, has good components on it, especially for the price, and has 700x28 tires for those bumpy urban roads. It's a solid bike for the price.

    Just make sure that you get the updated brakes with it! The original brakes were horrible. When I told SBS (Seattle Bike Supply - also owned by Accell Group) about it, they sent out a new set of brakes that are much, much better.

    ETA: You haven't seen many reviews on the bike because it's brand new this year. It's also completely sold out.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    Torker has been around for a long time. They used to make BMX bikes. Very good ones. They are now owned by the Accell Group - the same company that owns Redline, Lapierre, and Batavus - which is based in The Netherlands.

    I have a Torker Interurban in my shop. Yes, it's a little heavy. But it's steel, has good components on it, especially for the price, and has 700x28 tires for those bumpy urban roads. It's a solid bike for the price.

    Just make sure that you get the updated brakes with it! The original brakes were horrible. When I told SBS (Seattle Bike Supply - also owned by Accell Group) about it, they sent out a new set of brakes that are much, much better.

    ETA: You haven't seen many reviews on the bike because it's brand new this year. It's also completely sold out.
    Great post!!! Thank you for the information. What brakes are the updated ones, do you know offhand? I can check that out with the LBS, and if they're the older type I can swap them out.

    I'm pretty well sold on it - now I just have to sell my spare macbook and I'm buying it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by endcycle
    Great post!!! Thank you for the information. What brakes are the updated ones, do you know offhand? I can check that out with the LBS, and if they're the older type I can swap them out.

    I'm pretty well sold on it - now I just have to sell my spare macbook and I'm buying it.
    The original version had Lee Chi calipers. They are obviously cheap crap, looking like the brakes on 1970s bike boom road bikes.

    The new version has Tektro calipers; maybe ProMax - they aren't labelled.
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by PlatyPius
    The original version had Lee Chi calipers. They are obviously cheap crap, looking like the brakes on 1970s bike boom road bikes.

    The new version has Tektro calipers; maybe ProMax - they aren't labelled.

    cool. thanks PlatyPius, I appreciate the info.
    I don't think the brakes will be a deal-breaker but at least I'll know if I need to upgrade those sooner rather than later.

  10. #10
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    It sure seems like Torker has brought in a well designed commuter bike for a really good price. I'm sure the frame is on a quality level with Surly, so doing a complete bike for less than six hundred dollars is impressive. I think they should have specced bar end shifters, though. They're cheap and reliable. I don't know how durable the low end STI brifters are.

    The wheels are usually a weak point on bikes at this price level. Still, even with that, it's still a screaming deal for a new commuter specific steel road bike.

  11. #11
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    Did anyone end up buying one?

    I broke my mid-80s aluminum frame on my way to school today, and I liked the Torker better than the bikes I saw at Performance Bike. Still have two places to check out tomorrow, but I'm attracted to the idea of starting over with a new bike, and I doubt my sponsoring shop will have anything this inexpensive, team member or not.

  12. #12
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    "Luminous beings are we...not this crude matter!"

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    Did anyone end up buying one?

    I broke my mid-80s aluminum frame on my way to school today, and I liked the Torker better than the bikes I saw at Performance Bike. Still have two places to check out tomorrow, but I'm attracted to the idea of starting over with a new bike, and I doubt my sponsoring shop will have anything this inexpensive, team member or not.
    I have one left here. I'll make you a deal!
    Other countries need to stop hatin' or we'll unfriend them. - Christine

    Apparently I left my reading comprehension glasses in my ass. - DrRoebuck

    Still, it felt great and I felt like I was sitting on some kind of vibrator -Touch0Gray

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