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  1. #1
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    Do everything bike

    As the title would suggest, I am looking for a do-it-all (almost) bike. I should probably start with some background info: I am a very avid cyclist, and recently started grad school. This means, in particular, that I am pressed for money, and also that my apartment is very small (I live by myself). My goal is to reduce my stable to 2 bikes and stop using my car (which is inevitable, since my car is dying anyways and I can't really afford a new one) - my SS mountain bike, and a "do everything bike."

    This bike needs to commute, do some light (1-2 weeks) touring, be usable for long-ish road rides and gravel grinders (so it needs tire clearance for big tires). After doing a ton of research, I found that the Salsa Vaya is probably the bike for me. The problem - the earliest I can get one is mid-June, and I really can't wait that long.

    I talked to a LBS I like about building a Surly KM up with Sram Apex, and it seems like if I buy all the things from the shop, the build is going to run me quite a bit upwards of $1500 (which is about what I think I can get from selling my other bikes, and the price of the Vaya complete) and I still need to get a rack and panniers. I try to shop at my LBS whenever possible, even though I can't really afford it, but in this case, I don't think that's an option.

    So now, I've come to you guys for advice on a build. Ideally, I'd like the bike to have:

    -steel frame (with mountain bike wheel spacing, 135mm) and clearance for at least 45's)
    -rack and fender mounts
    -disc brakes (avid bb7 road)
    -apex or tiagra (keeps me from feeling bad about getting it dirty and wet, and keeps the price down)
    -a set of very sturdy wheels (I'm thinking XT hubs to Delgado rims? other rim options?)
    -drop bars

    Any suggestions? Thanks!

  2. #2
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    If it weren't for the disc brake requirement, I'd say Surly Cross Check. I like the Vaya a lot, but I wouldn't give up my Cross Check for it. Its just so versatile and impossible to get bored with. I'd say the Vaya is the next best thing.
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountsports.net

  3. #3
    a lazy pedaler
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    +1 on the cross check...don't have one but it seems like it fits your requirements...
    Vaya seems great too but yeah... the stock in the online shops I use is low...

    careful..disc brakes and racks don't play well on KMs...Surly's advice.

    disc brakes a must?... I think you may want to look at a Cotic RoadRat frame...it can be externally geared with an adaptor if it is a must...

    are you set on 29er?...if not, a Troll could be an option too.

  4. #4
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    It's an aluminum frame, but it meets all your other requirements. Access 29er from Performance. I've built 2 of them... this is the commuter. Soul Cycles Dillinger fork (steel):

    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  5. #5
    One Colorful Rider
    Reputation: Normbilt's Avatar
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    I got this Last Tuesday
    Fargo

    Then This on Friday
    Fargo Goodies

    It should Be Done Hope Fully This Weekend

  6. #6
    One Colorful Rider
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinsillo
    +1 on the cross check...don't have one but it seems like it fits your requirements...
    Vaya seems great too but yeah... the stock in the online shops I use is low...

    careful..disc brakes and racks don't play well on KMs...Surly's advice.

    disc brakes a must?... I think you may want to look at a Cotic RoadRat frame...it can be externally geared with an adaptor if it is a must...

    are you set on 29er?...if not, a Troll could be an option too.
    RoadRat 008

    RoadRat 004

    RoadRat 003

    Or Maybe Something Completely Different
    Pastel Purple Pugsley PPP/FFF

  7. #7
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    Hi Wipe Out, do you mind if I add some questions to your thread because I am looking for something very similar mainly for commuting and the occasional gravel road ride?

    Re your wheels. I have a set of factory XT 29'er wheels which I will use on mine. Centrelock hubs, UST tubeless and mountain bike tough. They were a good price from CRC too.

    Re drivetrain. I am planning to use an XT M771 9 speed crankset with 26/36/48 chainrings. But a Tiagra triple would probably be fine too.

    I am also looking seriously at the Vaya but do not want drop bars.

    My questions are;

    How would a Vaya go with mountain bike flat or riser bars?

    Would I have to order a larger size to get a longer ETT if I wasn't planning to use drop bars?

  8. #8
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    @Normbit, your boxes make me jealous .

    Those Bontrager tires that I see look to be the exact ones I have on my Fargo -- nice and light, a bit of tread or the dirt, and they roll well on pavement.

    Have fun w/the build. Post back with a photo when you're done.

  9. #9
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    @wipe-out I have a Surly pugsley the thing is awesome you can get a set of offset 29er wheels built for the longer road rides or get some Maxxis hookworms and put them on the large marge rims. Also check out Surly's 1x1 it is a SS but you can get a universal rear rerailuer hanger for it then you will also have a ton of options with it. Just a few thoughts!!!!!

  10. #10
    I'm attracted to Gravity!
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    sounds like you should read up on Monstercross bikes in the 29er forum, if you haven't yet.
    I'm riding a Vassago Fisticuff similarly to your parameters.


    I got some great deals, and parts bin stuff, and got it built up as a SS for about $400, then got a DT Swiss/S-works rear hub NOS for $15(!!) and an older Phil Wood BB for $20(!!) and then built up new wheels, put on cheap gears,..... then went back to school so had to get an OMM rack and sew up a better frame pack and a pannier/school pack.



    How long is your commute, and could you just put a different wheelset on your mountain bike? I prefer not to do the wheel swap thing, but it can work for some. Or just ride the mtb as is....

  11. #11
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    Thanks for all your help everyone! After looking at all of your bikes, and the monstercross thread, I've decided to go with a build similar to campredcoudbikes' build.

    I ordered a Surly KM frame and fork (battleship gray). I still don't have all the parts picked out yet, but so far it's looking like I'll be building it up with some older model Shimano LX stuff (2008ish?) I got for cheap, and for wheels I'm building up some XT hubs laced to Salsa Delgado rims. Should be bombproof. I'm probably going flat bars + bar ends with v-brakes.

    My commute is about 3 miles each way on a daily basis, but the nearest grocery is ~5 miles, plus I'm going to try and commute 25 miles each way to a conference this summer. Any recommendations for a rack and panniers? I'm thinking a standard Planet Bike rack with Ortlieb Backroller Classics.

    I'm also not sure exactly what I want to do for tires yet...

  12. #12
    I'm attracted to Gravity!
    Reputation: campredcloudbikes's Avatar
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    sounds like a great build, many would do less for a 3 mile commute, but with other stuff further out, it will be nice.
    I splurged and went with an Old Man Mountain rack, hoping it will last 4 years of commuting with big engineering textbooks, plus whatever else gets thrown at it, and a homemade pannier/shoulder bag with custom pocket protector and graphing calculator slot.

    If you are a student, having a pannier that turns into a comfy shoulder bag will help.
    I'm really curious how well the KM would do as a "road" bike, since the Fisti is nice for road and gravel, but limited with tire clearance and toe overlap on techy trails..... but I have a nice rear wheel that is rim brake only......

  13. #13
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    You can make any bike a "do-anything" bike....just depends on how you want to ride it.

  14. #14
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    Loving this bike so far. It's a Stop Cycles Proletariat with an Alfine 8 hub and Gates Carbon Drive. You could build it for less with a chain drive. I did add a rack to it and it fits your needs list pretty well, except it is aluminum. I have it set up with CX tires on Stan's Crest rims, tubeless of course.

    It's a blast to ride. The hub gives me plenty of range for the hills on my route. I can hop curbs, blast through potholes and even ride some easy single track now and again. I haven't taken it on a gravel grinder yet, but it was built for that eventuality.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by digitalayon
    You can make any bike a "do-anything" bike....just depends on how you want to ride it.
    I'm going to respectfully disagree with this statement - riding a carbon road bike on rough singletrack is a bad idea, and a good way to break your bike or yourself.

    The plan is the use this bike as a replacement for my car, as well as a replacement for my road bike, and for touring. None of the bikes I currently own have mounts for ranks or fenders, and I'd imagine p-clamps + full panniers on a carbon frame is a really really bad idea.

    I agree with the spirit of your suggestion, and if I could find some way to make my current bikes work, I'd rather not spend the money. BUT, if I'm going to replace my bikes with a do-it-all ride, I'm going to build something that will last and not be a PITA to work on.

    Everything should be getting to the shop in a few days. I'll post pics of the build when it gets here.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipe-out
    I'm going to respectfully disagree with this statement - riding a carbon road bike on rough singletrack is a bad idea, and a good way to break your bike or yourself.
    who sez???



    can't take credit...this has been posted elsewhere on mtbr several times

  17. #17
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    I've been drooling over a Rawland Drakkar at my LBS lately

  18. #18
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    ^^At 10 stone, I don't think so with so few spokes and skinny tires, BUT I was thinking my steel errand 'anything' bike may be up to the trails here (no mountains) at the speeds I now ride. Speed is a big factor in the forces.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipe-out
    I'm going to respectfully disagree with this statement - riding a carbon road bike on rough singletrack is a bad idea, and a good way to break your bike or yourself.

    Sorry....but I seriously doubt it would break unless impacted. I have seen some cyclocross bikers going on rougher trails that I would on my 29er. I would just change out the fork and call it a day. Carbon is carbon and it's not much different between road or mountain.....I have friends who are studying it and it's strength right now for a college project. They are trying to find ways for it to be more "impact tolerant" . Personally I think it's a good idea but not sure how they are doing it. But good luck to them. Anyway....anyone can change anything on a bike.

  20. #20
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    I didn't mean to spark an argument here - my goal with the road bike on mountain bike trails was to illustrate a point. My main issue is my inability to do loaded commuting or touring on my existing rides, because I am worried about the strain p-clamps would put on the frame.

    Now, I agree that carbon is much stronger than people tend to think, and it would probably take the load, but it isn't something I'm willing to risk. This is the point I was trying to make with the road bike on trails comment: it would probably be fine, but there are just too many variables for me to think it's a "good idea."

  21. #21
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by wipe-out
    I didn't mean to spark an argument here - my goal with the road bike on mountain bike trails was to illustrate a point. My main issue is my inability to do loaded commuting or touring on my existing rides, because I am worried about the strain p-clamps would put on the frame.

    Now, I agree that carbon is much stronger than people tend to think, and it would probably take the load, but it isn't something I'm willing to risk. This is the point I was trying to make with the road bike on trails comment: it would probably be fine, but there are just too many variables for me to think it's a "good idea."
    Dude! Just say it. You want a new ride. There's nothing wrong with that. Tell anyone who wants to talk you into retro-ing some piece of **** into something resembling half of what you want to go suck it!

    Now post some pics already.

  22. #22
    lives to ride
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    You've picked probably the most challenging, but most rewarding bike to get.

    Personally I think the Steelwool Tweed is your best solution:


    This image doesn't want to embed.. http://happymtb.org/forum/file.php/1/file=150087

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pittzer
    Dude! Just say it. You want a new ride. There's nothing wrong with that. Tell anyone who wants to talk you into retro-ing some piece of **** into something resembling half of what you want to go suck it!

    Now post some pics already.

    He wants a Huffy....I just know it!!!!

  24. #24
    namagomi
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    Kona's Sutra... Though a CX steel frame w/discs would be nice, i don't see you getting one cheaper than this.

  25. #25
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    Frame arrived at the LBS today. Pictures tomorrow!

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