Which Bike for Commuting?

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  • 01-15-2007
    bolt30
    Which Bike for Commuting?
    I want to buy a second bike for commuting. I also want it to double as my foul weather bike when I want to go ride something other than my Campy Seven. I don't know if I should get a road bike with relaxed geometry, like a Gunnar Sport, or a cross bike like a Gunnar Crosshairs. It doesn't have to be a Gunnar, just using them as examples. So it is basically between relaxed road geometry or a cross bike. For those who use a bike for similar use, what do you think? Thanks.
  • 01-15-2007
    Meat Foot
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bolt30
    I want to buy a second bike for commuting. I also want it to double as my foul weather bike when I want to go ride something other than my Campy Seven. I don't know if I should get a road bike with relaxed geometry, like a Gunnar Sport, or a cross bike like a Gunnar Crosshairs. It doesn't have to be a Gunnar, just using them as examples. So it is basically between relaxed road geometry or a cross bike. For those who use a bike for similar use, what do you think? Thanks.

    This is a common topic. I have found people tend to lean more towards a cross bike. I chose a Bianchi Volpe because I could get off the shelf at the LBS, it fit my budget, and it had all of what I wanted (36h wheels, cantis, rack and fender mounts). I am quite satisfied with this bike. It meets all of my needs. If I were to have had something built up, I would have probably gone with a Surly Cross-Check. They are the bomb.
  • 01-15-2007
    Henry Chinaski
    Yeah, if I could have justified the extra money I might have considered the Gunnar Crosshairs. But I was cheap and got a Surly Cross Check. I think cross bike with roadie bb drop and lots of clearance for tires/fenders is the way to go.
  • 01-15-2007
    bigbill
    2 Attachment(s)
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bolt30
    I want to buy a second bike for commuting. I also want it to double as my foul weather bike when I want to go ride something other than my Campy Seven. I don't know if I should get a road bike with relaxed geometry, like a Gunnar Sport, or a cross bike like a Gunnar Crosshairs. It doesn't have to be a Gunnar, just using them as examples. So it is basically between relaxed road geometry or a cross bike. For those who use a bike for similar use, what do you think? Thanks.

    My road bike is a Pegoretti and my commuter is a Crosshairs. I like using a cross frame since I can run a larger tire and still have fenders. Fenders are also easier to remove from a cross bike versus a road bike. I have Record on the Pego and some old nine speed chorus alloy on the commuter. I don't have to retrain my brain between bikes to shift gears. I also have a rack and was using a bag for about two years. I have since switched to panniers in preparation for spending May to October in Italy this year.
  • 01-15-2007
    OperaLover
    Another vote for the Surly X-check!
    Use the TT length as your reference point. They are long in the TT, and with a higher BB, you want to make sure you have the standover height. Nomally i ride a stock 54, but with the Surly I went with a 52. Bike is great. Components are well thought out to give you bang for you buck, plus eylelets, plenty of fender and tire clearance, etc.. When componentswear out, you can upgrade (although the stock tires are not great; upgrade to belted commuter road tires, like Panaracer Pasela TG 700 x 32). Going on 4 years commuting with mine.
  • 01-15-2007
    bolt30
    Thanks
    Thanks for the replies. Nice bike bigbill!! If I get a cross bike I am leaning toward the Gunnar. Seems like you have been pretty happy with it.

    If I got a cross bike, should I outfit it with road components?
  • 01-16-2007
    Spinfinity
    Fit your idiosyncracies.
    The differences in bike quality that you're talking about are way less important than whether they work for what you plan to do.

    Fender clearance - big deal to some people, clip-ons are good enough for me
    Tire clearance - I'm content with smallish 28's. What will you ride?
    Chain stay length - doesn't matter to some people, big deal to me.
    Eyelets - how many depending on what you plan to attach.
    Gears - if you ever want to tour, you'll want much easier gears than most commutes need

    You get the idea.
  • 01-16-2007
    bigbill
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bolt30
    Thanks for the replies. Nice bike bigbill!! If I get a cross bike I am leaning toward the Gunnar. Seems like you have been pretty happy with it.

    If I got a cross bike, should I outfit it with road components?


    I get the majority of my miles on the commuter. When I put it together, it was from parts leftover from upgrades to the road bike. If I was building from scratch, I would probably opt for a Centaur group with some mafac type cantilevers. I like my avid shorty cantis, but they were a bear to set up and keep squeal free. It is kind of hard to do, but think of your commuter as another bike, not the spare. It serves a purpose that is different from your regular road bike. IMO, you should make your commuter as fun to ride as your regular bike.

    BTW, those are 28mm tires on it in the pictures. Plenty of room with fenders.
  • 01-17-2007
    Doggity
    Jamis Coda. 520 chromoly steel frame AND fork, flat bars, 28 tires, rackable and fenderable. $450. Damn thing is too perfect for $450.
  • 01-17-2007
    KeeponTrekkin
    A few more suggestions...
    A "foul weather bike" should have fenders and that little front fender mud flap. Your feet will be drier. My bike with fenders is old, a touring frame and has chrome plated steel fenders. I have plastic fender envy (lighter, won't rattle, paint up pretty, etc.)

    Several 'cross frames offer 132.5 mm rear spacing to give you the option of building your rear wheel on a mountain bike hub (135mm spacing). This might appeal to you if you're heavier and like to have true wheels.

    No one's mentioned fixed gear on this thread. You'd be surprised how "hilly" your terrain can be and still be comfortably ridden fixte with moderate loads (as for a commuter.) There's a lot to be said for the absence of the maintenance and reliability issues of derailleurs and shifters when you want to ride your bike daily.
  • 01-17-2007
    keytree
    Another vote for the Coda
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Doggity
    Jamis Coda. 520 chromoly steel frame AND fork, flat bars, 28 tires, rackable and fenderable. $450. Damn thing is too perfect for $450.

    Yep, Doggity`s right. Hard to go wrong with one of the Codas. A lot of good bike for the dough. :thumbsup:
  • 01-17-2007
    rePhil
    Definition of foul
    In SW Florida foul weather usually means thunderstorms. I went with Ti for less maintenance and no rust worries. I don't bother with fenders.
  • 01-17-2007
    Henry Chinaski
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by rusa1586
    The differences in bike quality that you're talking about are way less important than whether they work for what you plan to do.

    Fender clearance - big deal to some people, clip-ons are good enough for me
    Tire clearance - I'm content with smallish 28's. What will you ride?
    Chain stay length - doesn't matter to some people, big deal to me.
    Eyelets - how many depending on what you plan to attach.
    Gears - if you ever want to tour, you'll want much easier gears than most commutes need

    You get the idea.

    Good advice. Decide what tires you want to run, and whether or not you need fenders, racks, etc. Decide on gearing. Go from there.

    One cool thing about the Cross-Check is you don't have to decide anything. You can go 700x23 or 700x45, go with fenders and racks if you want, set it up with a triple or go fixed.
  • 01-22-2007
    penniless pedals
    There are some nice off the shelf commuters. The Trek Portland is sweet. The Lemond Poprad is a nice cromo version pretty much.