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  1. #1
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    Reliable, budget commuter bike

    I'm looking for a budget single speed bike that has disc brakes front and back. I would like as little maintenance as possible. I assume I won't significantly benefit from full suspension since I expect to ride it mostly on roads (although those roads may have potholes). The priority is on reliability and low maintenance.

    I am about 6 feet tall.

    I was looking at the Dawes Bullseye and the Gravity G29.

  2. #2
    Dorkimus Prime
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    I would also look at the nearest LBS's close to you. See which ones treat you the best and then make a decision on what brands the store(s) you like sell.

    Fit is especially important. My guess is you would be a large with most companies, maybe XL.

    Just as a conversation starter, here is my first suggestion:
    Quick CX 4 - QUICK CX - FITNESS - FITNESS & URBAN - BIKES - 2015
    "I love being on a bike. It helps me feel free. I get it from my dad", by Guillaume Blanchet

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Biggie View Post
    I would also look at the nearest LBS's close to you. See which ones treat you the best and then make a decision on what brands the store(s) you like sell.

    Fit is especially important. My guess is you would be a large with most companies, maybe XL.

    Just as a conversation starter, here is my first suggestion:
    Quick CX 4 - QUICK CX - FITNESS - FITNESS & URBAN - BIKES - 2015
    It's not a single speed unfortunately.

  4. #4
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    What is your budget? You could roll this and swap the tires out to a more commute friendly tire.

    Trek Rig (Gary Fisher Collection) - Trek Bicycle Superstore
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by vassock View Post
    It's not a single speed unfortunately.
    Frankly, you won't find a lot of singlespeeds on the market as new bikes. But you know what? Just about ANYTHING can become a singlespeed.

  6. #6
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    I am more inclined to say that you won't find something that is single speed, budget, and has disc brakes. Most road specific bikes are still rim brake, with a few exceptions. Mountain bikes have more of a market for the disc brake. That is why I suggested the Rig that I did.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.
    2015 miles: 365/5000

  7. #7
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    There are tons of single speed disc equipped cyclocross bikes out there that have a decent geometry for commuting, and usually the requirements necessary for fenders and racks.

  8. #8
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    If you are looking only at flat bar bikes with discs, a past year Kona Unit might be worth a look. For the difference in price, you might find a geared bike like the Quicks or Scott Aspects and convert it to SS. REI also has a 3 speed IGH Novara for $850, if you just don't want deraileurs.

    I know nothing about hydraulic disc brakes, but for mechanicals, I have been really happy with my bb7s and find the bb5s a little fiddly. Paying a little more up front might be worth it in saved aggravation and replacement parts (unless you are a bike mechanic and have an extensive parts bin).

  9. #9
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    You could get a trek district and have the LBS convert it to single speed. Its in the 600-700 range.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Just about ANYTHING can become a singlespeed.
    Awww, don't go saying that. Trying to ss a modern, geared bike from a major manufacturer needs a tensioner (which defeats the purpose), an eccentric hub, or a weirdo bb conversion. On old bikes it was easy, but nowadays it's much easier to convert ss to geared than the other way round.

    And on that subject:

    Quote Originally Posted by KentheKona View Post
    You could get a trek district and have the LBS convert it to single speed. Its in the 600-700 range.
    The District used to have sliders, but on the website it looks like all of the new ones are just vertical dropouts?

    My only comments on the Dawes Bullseye and the Gravity G29 are:

    • They're both geared low for the road. If you plan on hitting some trails then you could leave them as-is. But if it's 99% road, then definitely plan to gear up - either a new chainring or even just a 16t rear cog.
    • I would go for the Dawes, because rigid steel is probably nicer than rigid Al

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Awww, don't go saying that. Trying to ss a modern, geared bike from a major manufacturer needs a tensioner (which defeats the purpose), an eccentric hub, or a weirdo bb conversion. On old bikes it was easy, but nowadays it's much easier to convert ss to geared than the other way round.

    And on that subject:



    The District used to have sliders, but on the website it looks like all of the new ones are just vertical dropouts?

    My only comments on the Dawes Bullseye and the Gravity G29 are:

    • They're both geared low for the road. If you plan on hitting some trails then you could leave them as-is. But if it's 99% road, then definitely plan to gear up - either a new chainring or even just a 16t rear cog.
    • I would go for the Dawes, because rigid steel is probably nicer than rigid Al
    I don't think a tensioner is such a bad thing. I definitely don't think it defeats the purpose. Maybe it's not as mechanically clean as a dropout system that allows you to take up chain slack, but it works. And if we're talking about doing it on a budget, isn't a tensioner more budget-friendly? My first SS used a $30 ebay frame. I spent less than $200 on it, and it was even a trailworthy bike.

  12. #12
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    ^ it depends what the goal is.

    If someone already has a bike, and they want to try ss, then a tensioner is fine. Although it's still not exactly cheap, since it's easy to spend $30~40 for a tensioner, cog and spacers (although yeah, you could just use an old derailleur and cassette)

    But if someone is saying that they want a new ss bike, then they're much better off just getting a bike with an ss-able frame. A geared-to-ss conversion should be a last resort.

  13. #13
    Mantis, Paramount, Campy
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    I'd take a tensioner over something with sliding dropouts.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    ^ it depends what the goal is.

    If someone already has a bike, and they want to try ss, then a tensioner is fine. Although it's still not exactly cheap, since it's easy to spend $30~40 for a tensioner, cog and spacers (although yeah, you could just use an old derailleur and cassette)

    But if someone is saying that they want a new ss bike, then they're much better off just getting a bike with an ss-able frame. A geared-to-ss conversion should be a last resort.
    Like I said, I built a singlespeed on a college student budget for about $200. Sold it several years later at a profit, actually. The supply of ss-able frames on the market is fairly limited. Horizontal track ends, IMO, are $hit when you're talking about disc brakes, too, so that eliminates a lot of the "options". I've never used a bike with sliders, or swingers, or any of the newer drops meant to tension chains, so I can't comment on them. But they at least seem like much better choices than track ends with disc brakes.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shayne View Post
    I'd take a tensioner over something with sliding dropouts.
    Sliding dropouts, or trackends like Harold mentioned? Because sliding dropouts work just fine.

    If someone wants a ss frame their options are:

    • sliding dropouts
    • swinging dropouts
    • ebb
    • trackends
    • old-school horizontal dropouts (which you'd probably never find with discs)


    I think that's it?

    And of that list, I think most people would take sliders/swingers over any of the others (especially with discs). Personally, I've had all of them except for swingers.

  16. #16
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    Find a SSCX bike. For a cheap commuter check bikes direct. Bet they have something sub-500 that would be perfect

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by newfangled View Post
    Awww, don't go saying that. Trying to ss a modern, geared bike from a major manufacturer needs a tensioner (which defeats the purpose), an eccentric hub, or a weirdo bb conversion. On old bikes it was easy, but nowadays it's much easier to convert ss to geared than the other way round.

    And on that subject:



    The District used to have sliders, but on the website it looks like all of the new ones are just vertical dropouts?

    My only comments on the Dawes Bullseye and the Gravity G29 are:

    • They're both geared low for the road. If you plan on hitting some trails then you could leave them as-is. But if it's 99% road, then definitely plan to gear up - either a new chainring or even just a 16t rear cog.
    • I would go for the Dawes, because rigid steel is probably nicer than rigid Al
    I think I remember reading somewhere, perhaps even on this forum, that the Gravity had slightly better components, but I'm open to suggestions. Perhaps I should visit an LBS before I make the decision.

    That said, the bike does not have to be brand new. I don't mind getting a used one.

    The Trek bike mentioned above is on the other side of the country from me and is local pick up only.

  18. #18
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    ^ I didn't realize that the Dawes doesn't actually come with discs, and that you'd have to add them. For that reason alone you'd probably be better with the Gravity. And it looks like the Gravity does have better wheels and headset.

    Although as Rustedthrough mentions, if you could find a deal on a yearold Kona Unit it would be a genuinely great bike (but probably 2x the price of the others)

  19. #19
    I'd rather be on my bike
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    OP needs to reply with budget and we can all go from there. A budget to some means under $100, or under $5000 to others.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.
    2015 miles: 365/5000

  20. #20
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    Some good points made above.

    For frame of reference, I paid right around $800 for my new (old stock) 2014 Unit about two months ago. The stock tires were good enough that I could have had the LBS swap them out at purchase for something more roadworthy, or at least a deep discount on some big slicks.

    A quick stop in your local bike shops will likely be time well spent, you might even find some great older bikes that have been traded in, or old stock at the distributor.
    Last edited by Rustedthrough; 2 Weeks Ago at 10:55 PM. Reason: forgot details

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    OP needs to reply with budget and we can all go from there. A budget to some means under $100, or under $5000 to others.
    I'm looking for something around $500 or less.

  22. #22
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    Another LBS option is the Redline Monocog. Last year's model should be $5-600

  23. #23
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    if you know what you're looking for and willing to search and wait, used is the way to go. Got a two year old Kona Unit with a nice aftermarket air fork (not necessary for commute but nice on the trails) for 450. Only thing I've spent money on is tires, a fresh chain, and new chainring/cog so I could play with different gearing. This also depends where you live and how popular biking is there.

  24. #24
    jrm
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    I suggest building your own b/c you wont be happy with what $500 will afford. I built my current pompino, sans disc brakes, for less than that. Great bike.

    case in point everything but wheels, brakes and levers for $274...
    On-One Pompino V4 Steel Pick 'n' Mix Bundle | Planet X
    Last edited by jrm; 1 Week Ago at 02:45 PM.

  25. #25
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    Nashbar has a 29er and a 650b both on sale with discs and single speed.

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