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  1. #1
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    New question here. Swobo As a First Commuter?

    I'm looking to get a dedicated commuter, and was wondering if anyone can comment on the pros and cons of the Swobo Crosby. I can get it delivered to my door already assembled for $599, new. I am historically a mountain bike rider, but am looking to start riding a lot more, and want something specifically for the purpose.

    Thanks.

    Link: http://www.hucknroll.com/swobo-crosby

  2. #2
    a lazy pedaler
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    seems like a nice roadish bike to commute on H3...fair price too....I would prefer steel though ... check ability to hang fenders too....carbon fork may don't have where to...not that you won't be able to...buuut.

  3. #3
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    Looks to be heavily biased to cyclocross, but I really like the fact that everythings seems interchangable. You would probably have to swap out the supplied tires if you commute straight road and are looking to carry much speed. Just throw in some SKS fenders, a set of lights, and other creature comforts then it should do well.

    In the end, I prefer steel for a commuter frame... especially if you live in potholio, like me.

  4. #4
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    I do like that they went for bolt on vs QR, it's a much better option when commuting (less chance of someone steeling your wheel). It does look like there are fender tabs on the front fork it's hard to see behind the nut. But I do see holes on the rear for a fender and what looks like a rack mount.

    I do love singlespeed especially on the dirt, but I much prefer gears for long city riding. But to each his own.
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  5. #5
    a lazy pedaler
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    yeap fender friendly

    pic from swobo:


    it also have hanger dropout option if you want to add gears later.... but you didn't mention anything about how long is your ride and/or if you are looking strictly ss's

  6. #6
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    Sweet, thanks for all the input.

    Two questions...based on my measurements, I should be on a 52.5cm bike. Should I opt for the 50 or the 55?

    Also, Martinsilo....why do you prefer steel?

    Thanks for all the input guys.

  7. #7
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    I got a halfprice playbike (DJ) from HucknRoll, the assembly was as promised. One thing I didn't find out until checkout was that the free shipping was only for commercial addresses. Usually I don't like to ship stuff to work, but to save another $100 on a $500 item I did it anyway. It came in a GIANT box, closer to a fridge box than a regular bikebox - ok I'm exaggerating a little but just a little. The shipping company called me ahead to make delivery arrangements, and said they would come on the day I was in the office, then they promptly ignored that and brought it when I was out in the field. This created quite a bit of excitement by the next morning when I got in.

  8. #8
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    Yeah I didn't realize that it was commercial only, but I can work that out no problem. Thanks for the heads up though.

  9. #9
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    So 50 or 55? And what's a good, lightweight Medium to heavy volume tire with as little rolling resistance as possible?

    Also, the ride to work is a mere 10 miles. SS...gears....I'm impartial. That's why I liked this. A) it's relatively inexpensive, and B) according to the description, It can be converted to gears really easily.
    Last edited by H3LlIoN; 03-14-2011 at 06:40 PM.

  10. #10
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    Me I would go for a slightly smaller ride so I would do the 50 (I ride a 50 actually). I have ridden as large as a 56 in the past but prefer the bike a bit smaller on the road. I can always adjust reach with a longer stem. I also like ample top tube clearance especially if I need to put my feet down in a hurry.
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  11. #11
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    Interesting point of view. I normally ride smaller on mtb's anyway, so I was more inclined to lean that way anyway.

    On top of the other questions, can anyone comment from experience on swobo frames? I am unfamiliar with the brand.

  12. #12
    a lazy pedaler
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    steel is flexy!

    yeap +1 on slightly smaller frame

  13. #13
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    Steel + fat tires is about the same as Alu and fatter tires depending on the frame's stiffness. No idea on the Swabo. Smooth roads are a rare treat for me so I run the fattest tires I can fit: 32 and 35 mm (2 bikes). Looks like you could still squeeze a fender in back with a 35 mm if you took the crown out to clear the seat tube for a few inches.

    I like: room for fenders and bigger tires, the swappable sliding dropouts, the gear upgradeability (IGH instead?), the disc brake upgradeability, the fender and rack points.

  14. #14
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    I don't really see using a $600 bike for a job a $100-$250 bike does just as well, but I lock my commuter outside a lot. I save the larger expenditures for the bikes I only ride for fun.

    If you don't know your top tube size on a drop bar bike, you don't know your size. Some fit calculator claiming it knows your size is not a great assurance, IMHO.

    So, if you can keep it somewhere safe at both ends of your commute and you feel adequately informed to size it without riding a couple first, go for it. At the sale price, not a bad spec.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    If you don't know your top tube size on a drop bar bike, you don't know your size. Some fit calculator claiming it knows your size is not a great assurance, IMHO.
    As I mentioned, I would be new to this type of bike, so see if this makes sense;

    The website said to take metric inseam and mutiply by .65 to get proper size. I measured out @ 81.28 cm (32 inches), and therefor came up with 52.832 cm. It also said to subract 10cm for mtb measurement, which in theory would mean I ride a 16.9 inch bike and, sure enough, my mtb is 17.

    So, based on that, would the 50cm be the correct choice?

    Also, link: http://www.ehow.com/how_14104_determ...ect-frame.html


    And yes, garaged indoors on both ends of my commute.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by martinsillo
    steel is flexy!
    Material does not equal flex, but tube shape and butting does. All of my bikes are run as single speeds so when you really have to torque on a hill, you notice where the flex is. With that, my Gary Fisher Supercaliber 29er with ZR9000 aluminum is a wet noodle compared to my Jamis with Reynolds 520 steel.

    As for materials used on a commuter, I have gone with steel because it absorbs the shock that aluminum seems to transmit.

    All just one riders opinion and preference...

  17. #17
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    nobody's mentioned the torpedo hub on the crosby yet.

    i've been waffling over getting one for my bike...it seems like being able to switch between ss & fixed by simply turning a screwdriver would be awfully convenient but i keep putting it off over concerns about its heavy weight.

    so if you do get this bike...i would be very interested in hearing how you like that rear hub.

    have fun & good luck whatever you decide...

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by H3LlIoN
    As I mentioned, I would be new to this type of bike, so see if this makes sense;

    The website said to take metric inseam and mutiply by .65 to get proper size. I measured out @ 81.28 cm (32 inches), and therefor came up with 52.832 cm. It also said to subract 10cm for mtb measurement, which in theory would mean I ride a 16.9 inch bike and, sure enough, my mtb is 17.

    So, based on that, would the 50cm be the correct choice?

    Also, link: http://www.ehow.com/how_14104_determ...ect-frame.html


    And yes, garaged indoors on both ends of my commute.
    I was writing a longish post about why I don't like those formulas, but then I glanced at your link. Read Step 4 again.

    IME, road bikes are less forgiving of a bad fit. It's much less dynamic than mountain biking, so if the position you're sitting in is not well balanced, you're not going to have a great time. For me, ten miles on the road is long enough that my riding position needs to be pretty right.

    Try to hop on a few. Borrow a friend's drop bar bike for a couple rides if you can. It's not that different from riding a mountain bike, once you get used to the bars. But people tend to do all kinds of weird things when they ride them the first time - hands on top of the bars, hands down in the drops, etc. To get the most out of drop bars on a road bike, it should set up so the rider's most comfortable position at a normal effort level on a flat road is on the brake hoods. That leaves the drops available for working really hard or a nice descending position, and the tops for resting one's back or spinning up a steep hill.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    Try to hop on a few. Borrow a friend's drop bar bike for a couple rides if you can.
    Literally none of my riding buddies have this kind of bike. They are all fair weather mtb'ers. Of the three local shops here, only one did demos, and they just closed a couple weeks ago. I ride with my bars higher than my seat on the mtb so, based on that, I'm leaning towards getting the 55, crossing my fingers, and hoping for the best. I know that's not the most scientific way, but I don't really have much choice. Thoughts?

    And truly, thank you all for the input on this.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by markaitch
    nobody's mentioned the torpedo hub on the crosby yet.

    i've been waffling over getting one for my bike...it seems like being able to switch between ss & fixed by simply turning a screwdriver would be awfully convenient but i keep putting it off over concerns about its heavy weight.

    so if you do get this bike...i would be very interested in hearing how you like that rear hub.

    have fun & good luck whatever you decide...

    If I get it, remind me that you want a review.

  21. #21
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    You said you size your mountain bike's a little small. Do you think that if you were using a MTB to ride distance on non-technical terrain or the road you'd be happier on a 19"? If so, the 55cm is probably an okay bet. Otherwise, you might be happier with the 50cm. It's too bad they're sold out of the 53.

    You can stick a longer stem on a road bike without compromising handling the way you might on a mountain bike, and you can always use a stem with a lot of angle or a spacer stack to get the bars high enough for you. If you get the 55cm and it's too big, you're more limited in terms of making it fit smaller. IME, it's a bad idea to go shorter than a 90mm stem on a road bike.

    I wanted to look at head tube lengths, but I'm having trouble with their web site. If the head tube length on the 50cm matches the next bigger sizes, you're golden. If it's shorter, it's possibly more of a problem in terms of putting the bars up high.
    Last edited by AndrwSwitch; 03-16-2011 at 07:52 AM.
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  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch
    You said you size your mountain bikes a little small. Do you think that if you were using a MTB to ride distance on non-technical terrain or the road you'd be happier on a 19"? If so, the 55cm is probably an okay bet. Otherwise, you might be happier with the 50cm. It's too bad they're sold out of the 53.

    You can stick a longer stem on a road bike without compromising handling the way you might on a mountain bike, and you can always use a stem with a lot of angle or a spacer stack to get the bars high enough for you. If you get the 55cm and it's too big, you're more limited in terms of making it fit smaller. IME, it's a bad idea to go shorter than a 90mm stem on a road bike.

    I wanted to look at head tube lengths, but I'm having trouble with their web site. If the head tube length on the 50cm matches the next bigger sizes, you're golden. If it's shorter, it's possibly more of a problem in terms of putting the bars up high.
    Here's the link for the geometry from hucknroll: Swobo/Baxter Geometry.

    In regards to distance, I have used my mtb for that in the past, I spent a summer riding pretty well constantly, and would frequently clock 30 miles a day on it (road terrain). The geometry wasn't unbearable. I have no idea what effect having a 19 would have....I never thought to try.

    I also called hucknroll to get their opinion, so I'm waiting to hear back from them. One thing I found out that I don't particularly like is that, despite what the hucknroll website says, there is only a 5 year warranty on the frame and fork, but that's not catastrophic for me. I would have liked to have lifetime, but c'est la vie.
    Last edited by H3LlIoN; 03-16-2011 at 06:37 AM.

  23. #23
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    I think for me the bottom line is that you don't really have the information to choose a size via the 'net.

    One of the posters over on RBR is always advocating that people pay for a bike fit in order to get their fit numbers before buying online. While that's a little excessive, for me, I think it's not a bad idea to try riding some road bikes locally so you can figure out the top tube length that works for you on the road. Buy something from the shop so you're not just taking advantage, or pay them to finish and tune the bike for you when it arrives, or something.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  24. #24
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    I got on the phone with the guys at swobo. and he immediately said that, based on my height (6') i should be looking at a 57cm bike. This only confused me more. I got to asking around and via the 6 degrees, I found a guy who basically swore off cars and only breaths dropbar commuters. I'm waiting to get in touch with him now.

    Also, I had 3 LBS' here in town. The one that I preferred went out of business sadly. Of the remaining two, one of them will get my local purchases. (in fact I just dropped $47 on bike tools yesterday, and will be spending $18 on wheel truing this weekend) The last one, I'll never ever spend another cent in there unless I absolutely have to. They are the absolute rudest retail people I've ever been around. They are all road bikers, and seem to hate anyone that doesn't show up in spandex. (they drive to work, yet still wear spandex biker outfits, even when it's snowing outside.) They actually ignore me when I go in there now because they know I'm looking for mtb stuff.

    Anyway, thanks for the help guys. I'll keep you posted. I rly like the flexibility and price of the swobo, but now I'm concerned it's going to be too small. Hopefully dude can point me in the right direction.
    Last edited by H3LlIoN; 03-17-2011 at 06:28 AM.

  25. #25
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    Did you mention your height earlier and I missed it?

    I hate the whole "height, inseam, okay here's your bike size" thing because it misses a lot of stuff I think is important. But a 50cm bike isn't really in the ballpark for a 6' person - it's maybe in the parking lot of the McDonald's down the street. You'd feel like the bear at the circus.

    The top tube lengths between the 55 and 57 are only 1.1cm different. That's one stem size, so unless you'd need a 130mm stem to make the 57cm work for you, the 55 would probably be okay too. It's still a risk, of course. For me, 10 miles on city streets takes a little short of an hour, enough time that I want my bike to really fit me. 10 miles on roads or one of those cool MUPs that only cyclists use and that doesn't get interrupted every 100 feet, and while it'd take me less time, I actually notice fit problems even more. (FWIW, my commuter is at least a size too big for me.)

    I'd say if the shop you like knows roads bikes at all, you should ask them for help. LOL at the guys at the other shop wearing spandex - even the roadiest of road shops in my area don't have the ******yness to do that. My sponsoring shop is so road they're not even road anymore, because roadies sometimes do 'cross and often have a mountain bike they don't ride much - they're tri. Triathletes don't always even own bikes. (!?)
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

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