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  1. #1
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    Reputation: arctic slalom's Avatar
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    Good Commuter Bike?

    thinking about getting a steel commuter bike.

    i've never really had a dedicated commuter bike, as I usually just ride one of my mt bikes.

    was thinking salsa or surly; cross check or vaya?

    planning to use it during the weekends at lake cabin to explore gravel road and paved roads when I'm not using it to commute.

    been reading about the dirty kanza 200. not sure if i'll do that kinda stuff with it.

    any thoughts would be great.

    CR
    Maah Daah Hey

  2. #2
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    If you`ve been commuting on your mtb already, you`ve obviously got need covered and are looking at want. The one you WANT is the one to go for, isn`t it?

  3. #3
    Moderator Moderator
    Reputation: mtbxplorer's Avatar
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    ^^True... and I would want the Vaya because of the disc brakes, assuming I liked the ride...I have not tried either one.

  4. #4
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    I might have a La Cruz frame for sale soon.

  5. #5
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    i've got a SC Blur, Lenz Behemoth, and Kona Bear.....yep, little bit of a problem here.

    want something that is lighter than my mt. bikes, but tough, too; I weigh 230. I'm looking for something I can take out on the road and so some exploring around the lake cabin (maybe even an occasional century with).

    My brother (who's more of a commuting nut) tells me the cross check or long haul trucker would suite my fancy. I've been eyeing up the Salsa Vaya. I think the Fargo may have to much cross-over with my Behemoth? ...although their similarity ends at 29er wheels; The Behemoth is more of a cage fighter and the Fargo is like a pro soccer player (lean and tough).
    Maah Daah Hey

  6. #6
    a lazy pedaler
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    planning to use it during the weekends at lake cabin to explore gravel road and paved roads when not using it to commute?...."Vaya con Dios"

  7. #7
    I Ride for Donuts
    Reputation: CommuterBoy's Avatar
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    I commuted on a 'cross bike for a long time...loved it. I would get the cross check or a kona jake... not sure if the jake is steel though...?
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    thinking about getting a steel commuter bike.

    i've never really had a dedicated commuter bike, as I usually just ride one of my mt bikes.

    was thinking salsa or surly; cross check or vaya?

    planning to use it during the weekends at lake cabin to explore gravel road and paved roads when I'm not using it to commute.

    been reading about the dirty kanza 200. not sure if i'll do that kinda stuff with it.

    any thoughts would be great.

    CR
    If you are going to be riding salt in the winter steel rusts.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffscott
    If you are going to be riding salt in the winter steel rusts.
    Surly and Salsa are both Minnesota based.
    They get lots of snow and I bet they salt the roads there.
    I wouldn't worry about rust regardless, but you can always apply Framesaver.

    I've owned lots of Surlys including the Crosscheck. You can't go wrong with a Surly, but if it were me I'd go with a Vaya. I have a La Cruz and it's really sweet. The Vaya is more versatile than the older La Cruz because you can easily mount front and rear racks to it and make it a touring rig. Only thing I don't like is the looks - Salsa tends to go with that ugly misshapen compact style geometry. The Crosscheck is more old school, which I prefer aesthetically.

  10. #10
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    You could also consider the Spot Highline. I just got one but it's not running yet b/c I'm making some changes and waiting on parts. But looking at it in pieces, I'm stoked. I intend on mixed terrain touring with it along with commuting. The price is right-the msrp is way above what they are really going for. Spot's a great company too.

  11. #11
    Fat-tired Roadie
    Reputation: AndrwSwitch's Avatar
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    I've got some rims with pretty badly worn brake tracks. For a winter commuter, I'm sold on disc brakes now. Really, I'd say I'm sold on disc brakes for anything but a massed start or time trial bike. I'm too much of a cheapskate to reconfigure my road bike fleet to match that, but if I'm looking at a new bike in the future and going disc doesn't have some big downside (bike not fitting, not being able to race it if it's one I'd want to, giant cost difference) I'll go disc.

    There are a few more options out there, in case you thought it was too easy to make a decision.

    Redline Conquest Classic, Traitor Cycles Ruben. Gunnar makes some.

    If you've never owned a road bike, though, there's a lot to be said for buying a complete one from somewhere you can test ride. So that recommends Salsa, Surly and Redline.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  12. #12
    Bicyclochondriac.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arctic slalom
    planning to use it during the weekends at lake cabin to explore gravel road and paved roads when I'm not using it to commute.
    The Vaya seems sweeeeeet.

    I was torn between a Vaya and a Casseroll. Decided my riding would be mostly road with some dirt connection, was not planning on touring and I already have a dedicated commuter, so I went with the Cass. My lbs got a Vaya in, and it is f-ing sweet! I'm lusting every time I go in and see it. PERFECT to explore dirt and gravel roads on, or go on tour with. Would be an excellent commuter as well.

    I've been a Surly fan for a while (I own a Karate Monkey and do love it) but after getting exposed to the new Salsa stuff, I think it is a notch or two above. Between the Fargo, Vaya And Casseroll, Salsa is on a serious roll with some very well thought-out bikes.
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

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