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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: komekomegaijin's Avatar
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    Love your opinions on my bike options!

    Hi guys and gals, I'd love you input on these ideas (nothing outrageous, mind!).

    I'm after a new commuter. What I want is something with 29/700c wheels and IGH and not super expensive but a frame worth keeping and possibly upgrading. I'd have liked about a grand, but with what I'm currently thinking about it'll be more like $1500 to $2000. (Actually, that's not really cheap is it???)

    So here's what I'm considering.

    1. A Gary Fisher Mamba. Cheapest of the 29er models but nice frame. Swap the fork for a rigid. Strip the gears and keep/sell/swap. Have the rear wheel rebuilt with an Alfine hub. Drawback - no EBB (not keen on sliding dropouts either) so I need a chain tensioning device.

    2. A Gary Fisher RIG SS. Similar deal but has the ECC. Pricey deal though and don't know if I could re-sell the Fox Fork for a worthwhile amount...?

    3. A Gary Fisher Mendota - again no EBB. More upright riding position (probably good!) Comes with a nice fork but kind of a waste of the cranks, shifters, cassette etc...

    I don't particularly have a thing for Fishers, just convenient for me to get in my area and nice frames. Is this a reasonable way to get what I want for the price or is this just not cost effective?

    Please load me up with ideas!

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Helmsdini's Avatar
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    I cannot speak about the bike itself, as I havent actually seen or ridden one, but Giant's "seek 1" bike has the IGH, and looks very similar to the Mendota for about the same price if you are dead set on a IGH, this may be an easier way to go with a factory warranty, etc.

    http://www.giant-bicycles.com/en-US/...le/2345/32164/

  3. #3
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    SWOBO has a couple IGH bikes. They have a 3spd and 9spd. I think the 9spd is a 26" wheeled bike though. Are you dead set on a mtb styled frame? You might be able to build up a cross or road styled frame with the options you want for 2K. Just a thought.

    I hope that helps.

  4. #4
    No-Brakes Cougar
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    I can tell you that if I were in the market for a rigid 29er SS, I might be more inclined to buy a dedicated bike than spend more money on a more equipped bike then strip off most of the parts. I've seen some nice Motobecane bikes to these specs at bikesdirect.com.

    Or as Chris V suggested, you can build your own. That's what Commuterboy did, and I believe he spent less than a grand.
    R.I.P. Ronnie James Dio ~ July 10, 1942 May 16, 2010

  5. #5
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Yeah, it doesn`t make much sense if you`re on a budget to buy a buch of stuff you`re going to ditch anyway. If you want to buy a "complete", the good thing is that single speeds are currently in fasion. All you`d be throwing away is a hub, maybe a wheel. Just guessing, but I imagine you could get your bike cheaper as a SS than putting it together yourself. Cheapest of all would be if you found a prebuilt you liked that already had IGH.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the tips folks. Everything all of you have said has popped up in my brain at some point but I keep changing ideas and plans and get lost in it all. One thing is I live in Japan so some models are different or I can't get brands you may be able to get.

    Well, Helmsdini, thanks for the Giant idea. The Japanese models are a bit different I think (at least the names) but I think you hit gold! I'm going to re-consider them again very carefully!

    Another thing too that sucks that here in Japan shops (in my area anyway) NEVER discount anything! Not as a regular customer, or a year or two out of date or end of financial year... so everything is full price unless I get it online from elsewhere. Ah, sometimes I miss Australia!

  7. #7
    weirdo
    Reputation: rodar y rodar's Avatar
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    Oooh, Japan! I heard they`re still selling Panasomics and Nishikis there. I wouldn`t mind a wander through a Japanese bike shop. Are you Australian?

    Do you really have a strong distaste for horizontal dropouts? I bet they`re a lot cheaper to manufacture than EBBs. Simpler too, so less chance for problems- stripped lock screws, etc. I have horiz dropouts on my Nexus bike and the only problem it gives me is that it makes for a pain in the butt for fender mounting because I either have to leave a big space on the front side or dink around with several nuts on a longish piece of allthread every time I take off the rear wheel. Mine don`t even have stop screws. Still, if your mind is made up on that point I understand. There are things I have definite feelings about that I can`t justify but I`m just as steadfast as if I had concrete reasons.

  8. #8
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    Yes, I'm Australian but now living, for the foreseeable future, in Japan.

    Rodar, you hit the nail on the head with your comments about having no definite reasons for some preferences and that's all it is for me with EBB. To me it's clean and neat looking and just seems "better".

    One thing I find really frustrating is that so few manufacturers make frames that allow for "options". For example SSers that don't have the extra cable stops to allow you to run gears. Or why can't at least one geared bike in a series bikes come with an EBB or sliding dropouts to allow a change to SS or IGH?

    Anyway, I'm disappointed about the Giant Helmsdini suggested. I love it! But, in Japan this is the closest bike available: http://www.giant.co.jp/giant09/bike_...action=outline
    It's quite nice, but I prefer the US Seek 1 and also the biggest size here is 500mm with a rider height of max 185 - I'm 184 and would probably prefer to go one up. I wonder if it's worth getting a US one shipped here???

    And to Rodar again, yes Panasonic still make bikes in a big way. Mostly granny bikes and foldables but still higher end MTB and road.

    Check out: http://cycle.panasonic.jp/products/pos/fxkt4n.html

    And Titanium foldables!: http://www.cso.co.jp/bikeshop/panasonic/fdb/index.html

  9. #9
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    I just came across a brodie bike that is similar to the seek 1 called the "ocho" not sure if you could get them or not- they are made in Canada.

    http://www.brodiebikes.com/2008/2008_bikes/ocho.php


    *edit* it appears all of their dealers are in the BC, canada area

    Good luck on your quest either way...

  10. #10
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    Someone mentioned Swobo...I was considering the Swobo Dixon but it looks like a really harsh ride. I do like the disc brakes and rack/fender mounts.

    http://www.rei.com/product/783268

    Trek also has some Alfine hub bikes including one with belt drive. The Soho is the one I was thinking of.

    http://www.trekbikes.com/us/en/bikes/urban/soho/soho/

  11. #11
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    Thanks for the above ideas. That Brodie is sweet! Don't think they're available in Japan though.

    I don't think what I was thinking at the time was really all that smart... you know how it is with constantly evolving thoughts...

    I've settled on the idea of a Niner Sir9 with the Alfine hub. Just working on parts list. I'll run slicks for commuting and when I have a chance to venture off road pop some knobbies on. I really don't want a commuter frame - too limited on application so mountain frame it is!

  12. #12
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    I'm going to sound like a broken record. I can't say enough about the Gary Fisher Dual Sport series. I love mine. I shopped around for close to 3 months and settled on the Utopia.
    2002 Schwinn Aluminum Comp. Beater.
    2009 Gary Fisher Utopia - Commuter.
    2009 Trek 1.2.

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