Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike?

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Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike?

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 5:35 pm

Well, I was hit by a car this week.

Although I'm quite sore, everything is still attached and my helmet shattered instead of my skull! I was once in a wheel chair so i'm glad to avoid going back to that again.

However my 1972 steel Peugeot has a bent fork and badly smashed brakes. The bike shop thinks it is possible to make it ride-able which is a priority for me.


I am looking for a new bike and i've been holding off for a number of reasons. The most important one is money, obviously one can spend as much as one has on a bike. I already have a cheap old road bike in "serviceable" condition so i'm not looking for an entry level bike. I'd like to keep it in the $2000 range, and i'd love if it would have one of the SRAM level shifters.

I commute to work by bike, in fact I do not own a car. So as my sole private form of transportation I'm prepared to get something good and that will last. I want to have rack mounts and it needs to be a drop bar road style bike. I'm not a fan of flat bar city bikes. I also go for long 50+ mile rides on the weekends.

On the top of my list is the Kona Jake the Snake cyclocross bike. It ticks pretty much all the boxes, sturdy, light, fender/rack mounts, wide but not massive wheels. Does anyone ride one of these bikes? I can get it locally for ~$1600, with full Shimano 105 parts.

I've also considered getting the lowest end Cannondale Synapse and adding the component level I want.

So yeah, advice would be nice!


Always wear a helmet!
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Sat Jan 28, 2012 6:06 pm

I don't have a good idea as I've had a Trek and a backup Cannondale for so long I no longer know what is "in." However Reddit's r/whichbike is a great spot to ask.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:07 pm

I'd get the MUKLUK ( http://salsacycles.com/bikes/mukluk/ ) bikes... they got those far tires that are so /<-Rad... we're taking a $3,000+ bicycle here folks. serious riders only need apply!

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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 10:31 pm

I bought myself a NORCO Jubai last fall, only $1200. It's a 29er, with big wheels on a mountain bike several things change. You roll a little better and you can put skinny tires on it and it's a bit more stable in slippery and deep situations. I can get the front wheel folding under thing you get when trying to ride on glare ice, back with the 29er, I remember my 26" bikes were pretty well on the ground when that happened.

Anyway 29ers rock. ;)
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:23 pm

that MUKLUK thing is pretty sweet! It I lived in a place that wasn't 90% blacktop, maybe i'd consider it. Not only is everything paved, the winter is about as wimpy as you can get, I don't know what Washington DC's climate is officially.

I guess I should have mentioned that I have my ancient mountain bike that is a too small frame (got it when I was 12 I believe). I'm more interested in highspeed commuting and touring able bikes.


I've also been pondering how to hook up a car horn to my bike. This might be a better question to ask on an electronic enthusiast forum...
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Sun Jan 29, 2012 11:38 pm

Try bikesdirect? If it's just going to be used for commuting/beating you can get a bike with 105s for around $800. I got a Windsor with Sora components for $350, which is about half the price of a comparable Trek/Specialized. You have to put it together yourself, but it's extremely simple. Mine's held up pretty well, but I haven't had it for that long nor have I put many miles on it yet. The reviews about bikesdirect are mixed, but from my reading/research most of the negative reviews came from non-mechanically minded people...

That being said, I know Specialized makes cyclocross bikes, but I don't have any experience with them.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 12:19 am

Geoff (from TR fame) suggested a Bianchi Cyclocross to me a few years back. It has been by far the best bike I have ever owned. There are not many material things I will say I "love," but that bike is one of them.

I love you Bianchi cyclocross! You complete me.

Just saying...
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:10 pm

I have one of these, and it's fantastic. 105 components and a nice aluminum frame. You can get it with SRAM, but I don't think it's worth the premium.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 8:49 pm

Wow, the bianchi does look nice.

What is the premise of the Nashbar site? Where to these bikes come from?
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:01 pm

I built my first road bike myself this past summer after my previous road frame broke. I ordered a carbon frame and fork from China (FM028, came to about $500 with shipping and seat post) and transferred my 6600 series ultegra components and bars to the new frame from the one that broke. The only thing I needed to buy was new bottom bracket bearing cups and a new front derailleur (the clamp on the old one was too narrow) which together didn't cost much more than $50. I also bought a new chain and rear cog set, but am currently still using my old set. I did spend about $100-$200 on various accessories and tools (chain whip, cable cutters, pedal wrench, bottom bracket wrench and a couple other things). I didn't have a work stand, but found that my trainer actually served this purpose passably. The only thing I had someone else do was cut my front fork to size, since I'd never cut carbon before. But I would do it myself next time. All you need is a sharp (new) hacksaw blade and some kind of guide.

I didn't get to ride it too much last season, but I'm pretty pleased with the results and it was a great learning experience.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Mon Jan 30, 2012 9:27 pm

Wow that is pretty awesome, I do love building things! I don't have parts that I can move from my old bike to a new one sadly.

It is an intimidating prospect to be sure. I've also considered that i'm in an expensive area. So I might ask friends that live in less urban areas to check some local prices for me.

The bike shop that I usually go to charges $150 to assemble bikes, so if I'd fail to get it together I could have some one to rescue me.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Tue Jan 31, 2012 1:08 pm

Does that Jake the Snake have the bosses for a proper rack? You also listed the Synapse so are you leaning towards an aluminum frame? Do you have a preference for aluminum because of the ride or is it just because it is currently the dominant material used? Just asking as I have an acquaintance who purchased a Synapse because he wanted a lighter/faster commuter but found he missed the ride of the steel frame.

Anyhoo, it sounds like you have mixed interests/wants in a bike that will make it hard to find one that will fit all your needs. Do you plan to use the new bike as a commuter first and foremost or as the weekend warrior for the pavement? Are fenders a must?

Touring bikes have the best attributes for racks but their brakes don't lend too well for race wheels and tires. Light 'race' bikes are fast and fun on the weekends but don't pack too well with the skinny tires that blow just looking at pot holes. Your cyclocross idea has merit as a compromise and you might want to look at disc brakes like this for urban use if you don't need the weight savings for races. Since it uses the road compatible system, you could swap out for some SRAM Reds if you decide to upgrade. The Sora/105 components can get you a few bucks to put towards that end.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Tue Jan 31, 2012 2:29 pm

rogthewookiee wrote:I've also been pondering how to hook up a car horn to my bike. This might be a better question to ask on an electronic enthusiast forum...

Get a bike mount air horn... no electronics but cars can really hear you.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:28 pm

thegleek wrote:I'd get the MUKLUK ( http://salsacycles.com/bikes/mukluk/ ) bikes... they got those far tires that are so /<-Rad... we're taking a $3,000+ bicycle here folks. serious riders only need apply!

Image


We're bringing a couple of the mukluks in to the bike shop where i work part time. Yeah, that's right. We're a Salsa dealer! If I were to get one I would convert it to SingleSpeed...All my bikes are SS.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:33 pm

But in all seriousness, to the OP:

Rocky Mountain Sherpa!!!

How about a chromoly steel framed, drop-bar touring bike? It's got mountain bike components on it (cassette, derailleur) as well as cross-style brakes. It's technically designed for long distance touring (hence the durability), but I think that it's perfect for commuting. The chromoly frame absorbs the harshness of city streets, and the drivetrain will stand up to the rigeurs of daily use.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Tue Jan 31, 2012 8:31 pm

The Jake the Snake has mounting points for a rack and for fenders. Having rack mounting points is a must, i've been commuting in the rain without fenders so maybe I don't know what i'm missing?

I don't have a car so this bike will go to work with me and general shopping trips. The long weekend rides I do now are in the 30-50mi range, and this is with a steel bike, so as far as weight is concerned i'm not too worried!

It hasn't been so long since I was in a wheel chair, racing isn't off the table but it is a remote idyllic concept at the moment. I have not seen a carbon frame that has rack mounts, which is a deal braker. If I get to the point of racing I'll just have to pony up for a proper race oriented bike. I see myself getting a two bike solution eventually. ( I already have the steel bike, and a mountain bike)

The rocky mountain sherpa does look great! In the new steel tuoring department I think I like this bike:
http://www.rei.com/product/807242/novara-verita-bike-2012
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:54 pm

Highly recommend bikes direct. Bought a sweet single speed road bike 2 years ago and it was a total steal of a purchase
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:01 pm

Good fenders will keeps the spray off your back and out of your face when the roads are wet. But, if you use a rack, wear good rain gear and keep the pace slow, you won't notice the absence of the fenders as much. You probably have to keep a slow pace or you wouldn't notice the braking degradation in the wet conditions. :P

The Novara bike looks light for a tourer which could be a plus for daily commuting, though I'm not sure I fancy a $1k+ bike wearing tiagra hubs. If REI is local to you, it could be a good deal as they have a good customer service reputation. If they are a bit out of the way or are shipping it out, you might want to consider something with a 'higher level' component grade and matching durability.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:46 pm

rogthewookiee wrote:I don't know what Washington DC's climate is officially.

I assume, then, that you have the capacity to store this high-dollar bicycle indoors at all ends of your regular commutes? From what I hear, there isn't a bike lock on earth that can't be defeated by DC-area bicycle thieves. You could entomb the thing in blast-rated concrete and wrap the block with an anchor chain, and the bike would still be gone by the end of the day, possibly with the concrete block left at the scene in two neat halves.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Wed Feb 01, 2012 6:03 pm

I'm not too worried about the quality of the stock wheels on whatever I get, since they are so easy to replace if and when they fail. REI is local, and I have a membership there so I've actually had the oportunity to test ride that exact bike, and it seems quite alright to me. The saddle is quite silly though. I change when I get to work so sweat and wet are not that much of an issue.

I assume, then, that you have the capacity to store this high-dollar bicycle indoors at all ends of your regular commutes?


I live at ground level so rolling the bike in and out of my apartment is a breeze. I also happen to work at a secured facility, i'd leave my bike outside with no lock and i'd not worry one bit. There is a fence, guards, cameras and everyone has an ID with full background checks and fingerprints and all! So at work the bike is more safe than it is at my apartment. There are also many other people that ride bikes so if someone were so silly as to steel a bike it might not be mine. In fact this past summer I saw someone park their supersix outside an adjacent building.

When i'm riding to and from the metro I use my ancient mountain bike that i'm not at all afraid to loose. Although I might try and sell it.
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Fri Feb 03, 2012 11:17 pm

ludi wrote:I assume, then, that you have the capacity to store this high-dollar bicycle indoors at all ends of your regular commutes? From what I hear, there isn't a bike lock on earth that can't be defeated by DC-area bicycle thieves. You could entomb the thing in blast-rated concrete and wrap the block with an anchor chain, and the bike would still be gone by the end of the day, possibly with the concrete block left at the scene in two neat halves.

That's a pretty strong statement. I'm sure there are dedicated companies out there that thrive on making the ultimate impossible-to-steal bike lock.. I found a couple so far:

http://www.bike-locks.com/ultimate-defense/

http://www.pinheadcomponents.com/

http://www.squirelocks.co.uk/products/t ... wheel.html ( watch video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cb_vpLuLKjc )
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:33 am

thegleek wrote:That's a pretty strong statement. I'm sure there are dedicated companies out there that thrive on making the ultimate impossible-to-steal bike lock.

Yes, in fact we call it "hyperbole". Even so, talk to a few people who have lived and worked up and down the DC corridor using bicycle transportation -- it is unbelievable how far thieves will go to steal a bike in DC (and frequently succeed).
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Re: Any cyclists out there, with a suggestion for a new bike

Postposted on Sat Feb 04, 2012 3:43 am

ludi wrote:
thegleek wrote:That's a pretty strong statement. I'm sure there are dedicated companies out there that thrive on making the ultimate impossible-to-steal bike lock.

Yes, in fact we call it "hyperbole". Even so, talk to a few people who have lived and worked up and down the DC corridor using bicycle transportation -- it is unbelievable how far thieves will go to steal a bike in DC (and frequently succeed).

Holy crap man! Yer right, watching these video's of the act in progress is insane!!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6pSDnvsuObU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=65LqeOlo0bk
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