Help With Commuter/Urban Choice -- 29er? Disc Brakes?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Help With Commuter/Urban Choice -- 29er? Disc Brakes?

    So I'm officially driving myself nuts trying to decide on a bike.

    I have a 2006 Full Suspension Ironhorse that I've been riding, never dirt. Put 1.5" slicks on it. Going up hills sucks cuz it bounces.

    I'm looking for a bike to run errands, hit the gym, put a rack on the back and do light grocery shopping.

    I like the Novara Buzz Big, Raleigh Miscoe, Marin Muirwoods 29er, Bad Boy 9, Cannondale Crosstrail to name a few. One of the local shops said the Crosstrail is a good idea and has a lock out. Will this be much lighter than my full suspension iron horse?

    I keep adding bikes to the list. I want a bike that's capable of taking a jump off a curb occasionally and not falling apart.

    I can get a 2011 Marin Muirwoods 29er for $499 before taxes, what do you all think? Also found a Trek FX 7.5 for $400 but that's nearly a flat bar roadbike.

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    Of the two

    I'd get the Trek FX 7.5.

  3. #3
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    I have no idea whatsoever what those bikes are but beware of hybrids. They suck at everything. Road bikes and mtbs just suck at one thing.

    Whats your budget? Don't expect to spend less than 1000 in total for a good commuter, even is you buy something for a grand you will very quickly find out you need to swap some crap out for different/better stuff. Like brakes! You want discs yes, preferably hydros, shimanos are good and cheap. You want fully rigid so there is less things to break down. And your probably want something made from steel. and probably something that takes studded winter tires and that means 26er or 700c 40mm wide (nokians). I'd say buing a bike for 499 is a bit like throwing your money down the toilet, before you know it you'll have spent 499 more on it just to get it rideable. But still you are just putting lipstick on a pig. I found this on a roadbike site

    steel, takes discs, takes 700x42 or 26x1,8, is available as complete bike.



    the Product of COTIC cycles : ROADRAT Geared complete bike

    The specs are found if you click the farme tab and there are some dropdown menus down there at the bottom.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  4. #4
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    http://forums.mtbr.com/commuting/hel...me-793435.html

    This thread has some good ideas.

    FWIW, I built a steel commuter with disc brakes for about $1500. It's SS, too, which kept the cost down a little. But I did not cheap out on other parts. I could have done a budget build for much, much less (that was the original intent, but one upgrade became a whole upgraded bike), but it would not have had discs.

    I think discs make good sense on an all weather commuter bike that may be used in the wintertime or rain. Mine is essentially a road bike with 29er mtb wheels, so I can abuse it pretty well without complaint.

    It just depends on what you're after. Mine does what I want pretty well.

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    Thanks guys, good info.

    I spent 8 hours checking out bikes at several shops today.

    I really really like the Novara Buzz Big Specs here Xttp://w ww.rei.co m/product/832566/novara-big-buzz-bike-2012]Novara Big Buzz Bike - 2012 at REI.com

    change the X to H and removes the spaces to view the specs, cant post links yet

    It's $799 which is more than I planned on spending BUT I figure its worth it in the components. Hydro brakes, Sram X5 drivetrain, felt good on the test ride. It is an aluminum frame and stem but it will see 90% pavement and a few off curbs.

    I then came across the Cannondale CX4, not as good of components but maybe a better frame?

  6. #6
    jrm
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    If you go with the REI

    Quote Originally Posted by Psychbiker View Post
    Thanks guys, good info.

    I spent 8 hours checking out bikes at several shops today.

    I really really like the Novara Buzz Big Specs here Xttp:/www.rei.co m/product/832566/novara-big-buzz-bike-2012]Novara Big Buzz Bike - 2012 at REI.com

    change the X to H and removes the spaces to view the specs, cant post links yet

    It's $799 which is more than I planned on spending BUT I figure its worth it in the components. Hydro brakes, Sram X5 drivetrain, felt good on the test ride. It is an aluminum frame and stem but it will see 90% pavement and a few off curbs.

    I then came across the Cannondale CX4, not as good of components but maybe a better frame?
    become a membership and use one of the REI 20% off single item coupons they mail out. That should save you some doh

  7. #7
    jrm
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    I wanted one of those so bad

    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I have no idea whatsoever what those bikes are but beware of hybrids. They suck at everything. Road bikes and mtbs just suck at one thing.

    Whats your budget? Don't expect to spend less than 1000 in total for a good commuter, even is you buy something for a grand you will very quickly find out you need to swap some crap out for different/better stuff. Like brakes! You want discs yes, preferably hydros, shimanos are good and cheap. You want fully rigid so there is less things to break down. And your probably want something made from steel. and probably something that takes studded winter tires and that means 26er or 700c 40mm wide (nokians). I'd say buing a bike for 499 is a bit like throwing your money down the toilet, before you know it you'll have spent 499 more on it just to get it rideable. But still you are just putting lipstick on a pig. I found this on a roadbike site

    steel, takes discs, takes 700x42 or 26x1,8, is available as complete bike.



    the Product of COTIC cycles : ROADRAT Geared complete bike

    The specs are found if you click the farme tab and there are some dropdown menus down there at the bottom.
    But the damn exchange rate, lack of a US dealer and shipping cost from the UK killed it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychbiker View Post
    ... Hydro brakes...
    If Tektro hydros are as bad as Tektro mechanicals, I think you'll be replacing those soon, esp if you ride in the cold (below 40*F).

  9. #9
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    Driving myself nuts too sorting out which commuter rig to buy.

    I actually put $250 down on a 2012 Kona Sutra.It's a shop demo bike with about 100 miles on it, but it's more of a touring rig. Though they'd sell it to me for $900 total.
    KONAWORLD

    ...and now I am totally re-considering that rig. I want something a little more familiar to my old Mountain Biking bones though. In the last few days I've reconsidered and my three top contenders right now are...

    Bianchi Camaleonte Tre:
    Camaleonte Tre | Bianchi USA

    Orbea Carpe H30:
    Carpe H30 - Orbea

    Scott SUB 10:
    Sub 10 - SCOTT Sports

    My budget is about $1k. All fit the budget. Hitting a shop today to go hands and cheeks on a Carpe to see how it feels.
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  10. #10
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    I'm really liking this bike.



    I ride it up and down curbs routinely. A lot of mountain bikers are way too paranoid about the durability of road bikes. Bought it from a friend for $450. I have panniers for it that I often use for grocery shopping. I don't have a very long commute, so I find it more convenient to put most of my stuff in a messenger bag. Heavy-ass lock, though, so it's nice to let the bike deal with that.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Whats your budget? Don't expect to spend less than 1000 in total for a good commuter, even is you buy something for a grand you will very quickly find out you need to swap some crap out for different/better stuff.
    This is one of the stranger comments I have ever seen on MTBR. You must either work for Cotic, or live in a place with zero crime. There is no way in hell I would lock up a $1000 bike where I live.

  12. #12
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    Yes I work for cotic, my name is Charles Cotic. My main function here on this site is promoting cotic and flaming everything else until cotic has reached the number one spot world wide in bike sales. we have bought the fastest super computer on earth to calculate how soon this will be and all early estimates lands us at 2045 +-5yr so I might be in for the long haul on this one. But yeah you caught me red handed there man.

    I live in a crime infested, heroin infested area. Ok i don't think i will get gunned down in the streets anytime soon but yeah people here have way to much money for their own good. And pretty much no one can lock up a bike.

    There are some rules if you want to keep your bike.

    1 no cable locks, just to clarify NO CABLE LOCKS
    2 lock the bike to something solid, something you either need to saw through, or melt or use any type of heavy duty noisy machinery to get through. It should take at least 1 minute of attention making noise to get through.
    3 don't lock a wheel up! you want to keep the wheel or the bike?
    4 don't let the lock touch the ground, ever!
    5 lock in a high traffic area with good ligthing, the more visible the better.
    6 use 2 locks

    If you follow these rules the chance that your bike will magically disappear approaches negative infinity, no matter what it costs!

    The place I lock up to at work is a lightpost, and just to make sure I actually lifted the bottom plastic just to make sure there were no biolts locking it to the ground, but it was molded in some type of concrete slab, down in the ground. Took me 10 seconds to check. Potentially saved me a bike.

    All you really need to make sure of if you want to keep your bike is that you lock it up not far from a more expensive looking bike that has a crappier lock and/or locking strategy. Thats it.

    Around here the people that steel bikes are addicted to heroin, and those people are definitely not smarter than me, they always go for the fast and easy score, no persistence whatsoever, hell they could forget they are addicted to smack right, can't have that happening. If the bike is not very easy to steal they move on, and thats how they operate. There are always suckers locking 3k bikes up with a combination cable lock in the front wheel. All day long to be honest. so why steal something that is pretty much unstealable? for fun?

    The best bike locks on the planet currently are Pragmasis chains, they sell complete kits with padlock and everything. I suggest a lock weighing 2000grams for a 2k bike and upwards from there, use your judgement.

    Security Products
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    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    ...The place I lock up to at work is a lightpost,...The best bike locks on the planet currently are Pragmasis chains....
    Light posts, who knew they had a plug that allows a thief to use a high powered angle grinder (7Amp), check this video out at the 2:45 mark, pretty much proves it's pointless:

    bike thief - YouTube

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Yes I work for cotic, my name is Charles Cotic. My main function here on this site is promoting cotic and flaming everything else until cotic has reached the number one spot world wide in bike sales. we have bought the fastest super computer on earth to calculate how soon this will be and all early estimates lands us at 2045 +-5yr so I might be in for the long haul on this one. But yeah you caught me red handed there man.

    I live in a crime infested, heroin infested area. Ok i don't think i will get gunned down in the streets anytime soon but yeah people here have way to much money for their own good. And pretty much no one can lock up a bike.

    There are some rules if you want to keep your bike.

    1 no cable locks, just to clarify NO CABLE LOCKS
    2 lock the bike to something solid, something you either need to saw through, or melt or use any type of heavy duty noisy machinery to get through. It should take at least 1 minute of attention making noise to get through.
    3 don't lock a wheel up! you want to keep the wheel or the bike?
    4 don't let the lock touch the ground, ever!
    5 lock in a high traffic area with good ligthing, the more visible the better.
    6 use 2 locks

    If you follow these rules the chance that your bike will magically disappear approaches negative infinity, no matter what it costs!

    The place I lock up to at work is a lightpost, and just to make sure I actually lifted the bottom plastic just to make sure there were no biolts locking it to the ground, but it was molded in some type of concrete slab, down in the ground. Took me 10 seconds to check. Potentially saved me a bike.

    All you really need to make sure of if you want to keep your bike is that you lock it up not far from a more expensive looking bike that has a crappier lock and/or locking strategy. Thats it.

    Around here the people that steel bikes are addicted to heroin, and those people are definitely not smarter than me, they always go for the fast and easy score, no persistence whatsoever, hell they could forget they are addicted to smack right, can't have that happening. If the bike is not very easy to steal they move on, and thats how they operate. There are always suckers locking 3k bikes up with a combination cable lock in the front wheel. All day long to be honest. so why steal something that is pretty much unstealable? for fun?

    The best bike locks on the planet currently are Pragmasis chains, they sell complete kits with padlock and everything. I suggest a lock weighing 2000grams for a 2k bike and upwards from there, use your judgement.

    Security Products
    Security Products
    Excellent post, you clearly have a lot of free time. So why exactly does one NEED to spend $1k for a 'decent' commuter? Which was what I found odd about your statement. Is if for the extra edge in Cat6 sprints from the light? One does need incredible lateral commuter stiffness for those. And how do you prevent mean people from just bashing in your $400 wheelset for shiz and giggles? Set up sting operations for vandals?

    Should I feel less worthy on my $300 commuter? What about the $50 one I bought on craigslist and rode for years. I'm surprised I even made it to work.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Yes I work for cotic, my name is Charles Cotic. My main function here on this site is promoting cotic and flaming everything else until cotic has reached the number one spot world wide in bike sales. we have bought the fastest super computer on earth to calculate how soon this will be and all early estimates lands us at 2045 +-5yr so I might be in for the long haul on this one. But yeah you caught me red handed there man.

    I live in a crime infested, heroin infested area. Ok i don't think i will get gunned down in the streets anytime soon but yeah people here have way to much money for their own good. And pretty much no one can lock up a bike.

    There are some rules if you want to keep your bike.

    1 no cable locks, just to clarify NO CABLE LOCKS
    2 lock the bike to something solid, something you either need to saw through, or melt or use any type of heavy duty noisy machinery to get through. It should take at least 1 minute of attention making noise to get through.
    3 don't lock a wheel up! you want to keep the wheel or the bike?
    4 don't let the lock touch the ground, ever!
    5 lock in a high traffic area with good ligthing, the more visible the better.
    6 use 2 locks

    If you follow these rules the chance that your bike will magically disappear approaches negative infinity, no matter what it costs!

    The place I lock up to at work is a lightpost, and just to make sure I actually lifted the bottom plastic just to make sure there were no biolts locking it to the ground, but it was molded in some type of concrete slab, down in the ground. Took me 10 seconds to check. Potentially saved me a bike.

    All you really need to make sure of if you want to keep your bike is that you lock it up not far from a more expensive looking bike that has a crappier lock and/or locking strategy. Thats it.

    Around here the people that steel bikes are addicted to heroin, and those people are definitely not smarter than me, they always go for the fast and easy score, no persistence whatsoever, hell they could forget they are addicted to smack right, can't have that happening. If the bike is not very easy to steal they move on, and thats how they operate. There are always suckers locking 3k bikes up with a combination cable lock in the front wheel. All day long to be honest. so why steal something that is pretty much unstealable? for fun?

    The best bike locks on the planet currently are Pragmasis chains, they sell complete kits with padlock and everything. I suggest a lock weighing 2000grams for a 2k bike and upwards from there, use your judgement.

    Security Products
    Security Products
    Great info on locks and locking techniques. Too bad there are no US distributors of these beastly products.
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradoxj13 View Post
    Excellent post, you clearly have a lot of free time. So why exactly does one NEED to spend $1k for a 'decent' commuter? Which was what I found odd about your statement. Is if for the extra edge in Cat6 sprints from the light? One does need incredible lateral commuter stiffness for those. And how do you prevent mean people from just bashing in your $400 wheelset for shiz and giggles? Set up sting operations for vandals?

    Should I feel less worthy on my $300 commuter? What about the $50 one I bought on craigslist and rode for years. I'm surprised I even made it to work.
    Sorry I wasn't trying to be negative. And I can only speak for myself. I ride my bike every day. And personally I'd rather ride something nice than something not nice. I guess what you can ride depends on where you live exactly. I could easily ride a 10k bike to work. No only would understand anyway.

    No one needs to spend more than 50 bux for a bike if they don't want to. But I prefer to buy new stuff instead of used and then 50 bux aint gonna get me very far. To be honest not even 2 grand gets me where I want to be if I buy something prebuilt because I would have to throw most out, so I don't buy prebuilt bikes. Then it gets expensive quicky. On the other hand I get exactly what I want. And the durability and reliability I want.

    When I was younger I had plans on building up a good commuter but with older parts that looked cheap and outdated, then I realized no one gives a F what I ride or how much it costs, its only a bike. And only drug addicts would want to steal it, and they can't steal it.

    As for preventing people from bashing into an expensive wheelset for fun?
    I wouldn't know, I suppose the social climate and probably the whole society here is fundamentally different than where you live. I guess most people here have another mentality and have better things to do.

    Doing it wrong! snip snip 3 seconds. bye bye 5k.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    Sorry I wasn't trying to be negative. And I can only speak for myself. I ride my bike every day. And personally I'd rather ride something nice than something not nice. I guess what you can ride depends on where you live exactly. I could easily ride a 10k bike to work. No only would understand anyway.

    No one needs to spend more than 50 bux for a bike if they don't want to. But I prefer to buy new stuff instead of used and then 50 bux aint gonna get me very far. To be honest not even 2 grand gets me where I want to be if I buy something prebuilt because I would have to throw most out, so I don't buy prebuilt bikes. Then it gets expensive quicky. On the other hand I get exactly what I want. And the durability and reliability I want.

    When I was younger I had plans on building up a good commuter but with older parts that looked cheap and outdated, then I realized no one gives a F what I ride or how much it costs, its only a bike. And only drug addicts would want to steal it, and they can't steal it.

    As for preventing people from bashing into an expensive wheelset for fun?
    I wouldn't know, I suppose the social climate and probably the whole society here is fundamentally different than where you live. I guess most people here have another mentality and have better things to do.

    Doing it wrong! snip snip 3 seconds. bye bye 5k.
    I doubt anyone will steal it because it's bloody ugly.
    Baby, I want my face to be your quiver killer.

  19. #19
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    Very cute matching water bottle though.

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  20. #20
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    Sorry to derail the conversation (even more so, anyway), but that Trek is horrible.

    Dan

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    Don't listen to a thing car bone is saying... except that the cotic roadrat is good bike.

    Hybrids do not suck... in fact, the Trek FX is one of the best bikes around. Does everything very well, especially if you're commuting. I rode a bone stock 7.3FX all the way across the USA a couple years ago, and it was fantastic. The 7.1FX can be had even more cheaply...

    For what you're up to, any number of hybrids will be fast, handle well, and be very comfortable. But head to the bike shop to check them out for yourself...

  22. #22
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    For a utility bike I personally value low cost as most important. A low cost ride is the best security u can get.

    sent from one of my 4 gold leafed iphone4s's

  23. #23
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    I found me a fuji league road bike on cragslist for $125.
    crmo frame
    8 speed down tube shifters

    I put some ultegra brakes and sram 900s levers (brakes are very important on commuters so buy quality stuff)
    gator skin hard shells (flats suck and these tires last forever)
    and called it a day.
    total investment about $400 and the bike rides great!!

    I suggest you stay away from a bike shop unless you are going to spend a decent amount of money!
    You can get a better bike from the used market than you can spending $500 at the lbs.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Psychbiker View Post
    Thanks guys, good info.

    I spent 8 hours checking out bikes at several shops today.

    I really really like the Novara Buzz Big Specs here Xttp://w ww.rei.co m/product/832566/novara-big-buzz-bike-2012]Novara Big Buzz Bike - 2012 at REI.com

    change the X to H and removes the spaces to view the specs, cant post links yet

    It's $799 which is more than I planned on spending BUT I figure its worth it in the components. Hydro brakes, Sram X5 drivetrain, felt good on the test ride. It is an aluminum frame and stem but it will see 90% pavement and a few off curbs.

    I then came across the Cannondale CX4, not as good of components but maybe a better frame?
    Anyway, back to topic, the Novara looks good, I am a bit wary of Tektro discs, I have some of their mechanicals and they leave much to be desired, I have no experience with their hydros but look around and see if anyone does...they haven't been in the disc game long so I don't know. I support you going with discs, I love them, but V-brakes are totally adequate for commuting duties, I just prefer the low-maintenance of discs. Look for something with Avid or shimano discs.

    Cannondales are always more expensive (used to be because all their frames are USA made, not sure if that is still the case) and you are also paying a lot for the name. Yes, quality bikes, I'm not sure if it is worth it for the name though. That being said, I have a cannondale road bike (that I bought pro-deal when I worked in a shop).

  25. #25
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    Disc brake cross bikes make perfect commuters.

    Read through the thread NateHawk posted, it's got a lot of good recommendations.

    My Double Cross disc build ended up costing around $1500 but I ended up with a nice steel bike, SRAM Rival drivetrain, Avid BB7s, and a custom wheelset, lots of used parts and 6-pack deals with LBS guys but it's a great road bike AND a commuter.

  26. #26
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    if you're not going to ride it off-road, don't bother with anything that has a suspension fork. they just weigh you down. if you want a bike to ride on and off-road, you're going to have to compromise somewhere. save your FS bike for the trails and get a pavement bike for commuting.

  27. #27
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    Some other options:
    This is what I got back in November or so
    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

    If I had to do it again, I might go with this
    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
    or this
    Save up to 60% off new Monster Cross Cyclocross Road Bikes - Gravity Zilla XX | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
    depending on budget, the ZIlla XX has much nicer components, but a steel fork compared with the carbon of the cyclocross. I just don't like the look of the curved top tube, kinda regretting my decision though.

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coloradoxj13 View Post
    Some other options:
    This is what I got back in November or so
    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes

    If I had to do it again, I might go with this
    Save up to 60% off new Road Bikes - Gravity Liberty 2 | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
    or this
    Save up to 60% off new Monster Cross Cyclocross Road Bikes - Gravity Zilla XX | Save up to 60% off new road bikes
    depending on budget, the ZIlla XX has much nicer components, but a steel fork compared with the carbon of the cyclocross. I just don't like the look of the curved top tube, kinda regretting my decision though.
    Why would you go with the Zilla over the Liberty now?

    I was wanting to get a road bike, but started reading up on cross bikes, and I think one of those will serve me well for my road and commuting needs.

    Right now I'm torn between the Zilla and the Liberty CXD. Looks to me like the Zilla is better spec'd other than the carbon fork. I'm not sure how much I want the carbon fork, I'm not sure if it's really a benefit or not.

    And I really like the look of the Zilla, it seems I'm in the minority in thinking that top tube looks cool. And I like that it comes in silver too, I think it looks sharp in that color.

    And how DO you like that Liberty? What are your thoughts on it?

    Thanks!!

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    I have no idea whatsoever what those bikes are but beware of hybrids. They suck at everything. .
    I've heard this from others, but does the hybrid below look like it sucks at everything? Hybrid bike a pretty generic term. Could be anything from a comfort bike to a performance hybrid below.

    Specialized Bicycle Components

    Pros - has 48/35/26 cranks, good for street, could put 700c x 38c Spesh Infinity Armadillos, haul the mail on pave and avoid flats, hydro discs, 9 speed, all Shimano ders, shifters
    Cons - about 33 lbs in XL size, from looking, can't put any 2" wide 29er type mountain tire on it.
    came darn close to buying one of these. Ended up getting Hardrock 29er in case might do the dirt, but no time for it. Have spend $300 on stem,bars,grips, tires, tire liners. Spent $200 more than Crosstrail would have cost and mine has 8 speed, mechanical discs, and if put 700c x 38c pavement tires on, it will likely spin out with too low of gearing.

    So, I don't think hybrids would suck for those who do mostly pavement and might want to play a little in the dirt. The Spesh Borough XC's would get you through some basic trails.
    That's my 2 cents.
    Last edited by trlnub; 07-27-2012 at 02:31 PM. Reason: make it better

  30. #30
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    Lot of people say - 'If you're not going to ride off-road, don't get a front fork'. Hmm, really? I'm on pavement with a 29er mtn bike just about all the time and I never lock out the fork. We've got paved trails with nasty bumps, driveway edges, etc.... I'll take a front fork.

    To the original poster's question about disc brakes. If you did go with disc brakes, I say go with hydraulics. Cable operated disc brakes need a bit of adjustment fairly often, although they are fairly easy to adjust. I used to bleed motorcycle brakes, so I don't think bleeding bike hydros would be tough. The feel of hydros has got to be much better than cables.

    For a commute bike, depends on what how fast you want to go. I know specialized's the best. If want to go fast, Sirrus would do it. Has flat bar. Ridid fork so bumpy roads wouldn't be so much fun.

    The new Spesh Crossroads for 2013 looks alright for $500, but is a comfort type bike, not the type of bike most around this forum would be seen on.

  31. #31
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    I'd say a fork is good if youre lazy, but usually technique handles that just fine while on pavement or gravel. IMO.

    I used to have a fork, and i liked that I could just plow through things in the night while going to work, really good if you just woke up and there is no light. Sucks on the hills though, sucks away your energy. Stroke by stroke.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter View Post
    If Tektro hydros are as bad as Tektro mechanicals, I think you'll be replacing those soon, esp if you ride in the cold (below 40*F).
    I doubt Tektro hydros are bad brakes as Specialized uses them on uons of their mtn bikes - most Rockhoppers and now even Hardrocks get an entry level Tektro hydro. I'd buy 'em.

  33. #33
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    I like formula. I haven't tried hope yet but I have a feeling they are top notch too.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by StuntmanMike View Post
    Why would you go with the Zilla over the Liberty now?

    I was wanting to get a road bike, but started reading up on cross bikes, and I think one of those will serve me well for my road and commuting needs.

    Right now I'm torn between the Zilla and the Liberty CXD. Looks to me like the Zilla is better spec'd other than the carbon fork. I'm not sure how much I want the carbon fork, I'm not sure if it's really a benefit or not.

    And I really like the look of the Zilla, it seems I'm in the minority in thinking that top tube looks cool. And I like that it comes in silver too, I think it looks sharp in that color.

    And how DO you like that Liberty? What are your thoughts on it?

    Thanks!!
    I also got the Liberty CXD the same time Colorado got his...and oddly enough, we were both eyeing the zilla too. lol

    At first, I was looking to fill a commuter spot and was looking at the zilla, but saw the Liberty CXD on super mondo closeout, combined with the fact that I've always wanted a cyclox bike, I ended up getting the Liberty over the Zilla.

    Since then, I've ridden the Liberty quite often, but never as a commuter as I had intended. I found that I actually liked riding it on some light trails (and the occassional road ride) more than I would appreciate it as a commuter. There are several things I can say about the Liberty...the fork isn't the best, although it is carbon. It does a good job of dampening out vibration and road noise, but it gets some chatter when applying the brakes hard...I'm not a fan of that, but I can deal. I also switched out some of the dead weight parts from the original bike...lighter crank/bb, wheelset...so it's not such a heavy pig anymore. But I can say I like the way it handles and the fit was very good for me. And considering the price I paid for it, it was a steal.

    As to what filled my commuter void, it was filled with a Fuji Tahoe 29er frame, the wheels from the Liberty, some cheapo x4 shifters, some cheapo Tektro disc brakes and a heavy Dart3 fork. And to be honest, I couldn't be happier. My commute is about 12 miles one way on relatively flat terrain. I don't lock the fork out, because if it's going to be on there, I might as well get some use out of it. And the tektro brakes work just fine for me...and perform satisfactory...you just have to squeeze a bit firmer than Avids or hydros.

    I totally agree with the idea that your commuter should be a minimal expense to you. It should fit you very well (just like any bike you ride should), but other than components to get you comfortable (saddle, grips) I'd try to keep the costs as low as possible. Your commuter is gonna get banged on, leaned up on nasty things, scratched and generally, abused in every way possible. You don't want to cry every time a new knick is put in the top tube or when it has a booboo, which happens fairly frequently from the constant use.

    Anyway, good luck in your search...and even though I don't regret getting the Liberty, I'd also be taking a look at the Zilla as a commuter.

    Oh, and for me, I like the 29er mtb frame as opposed to the cyclox frame because it sits me more upright, which I find more comfortable on my commute. I don't want to be hunched over in an aggressive position for my ride to/from work...it's just a ride to/from work after all ;-)

    Good luck!!

  35. #35
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    While I in no way think you are wrong I propose the commuter bike being the best one in tha stable.

    Due to it being the bike you ride most of the time, my new commuter will easily cost more than 5-10k and then I bought everything at the cheapest place, its not like I want to pay extra. But I factor in 30 years of cassettes, chains and 30 years of shifters and 30 years of daily use of RD. Because we just crossed the pinnacle of durability. 10sp and 11 are getting common. 8sp is bye bye and to be honest 9sp sucked at all bases, 8sp was good, dependable and durable, so mine will be 8sp. Well for the next 30 years that is.

    Bike get stolen? Not very likely at all, but lets say it gets (for fun), I have all major components at hand, just need a new frame.

    At the end of the day, in about 30 years my custom steel frame and luxurous components, all bought for performance and durability, all hand picked and specially chosen for the purpose will be the cheapest commuter bike ever built on earth. Counting yearly costs. And not only that. It will ride like a dream all those 30 years. Because if its good enough today its good enough in 30 years. And the same was true 30 years ago too.

    Thinking ahead, planning ahead, spending ahead = saving ahead (due to inflation amongs other things) plus you can ride the baddest most functional **** ever invented all the time. = priceless.

    Now is the time. Because the height of durability was reached like 10 years ago. And you can still get that stuff if you reach out. Fu*k 9sp and fu*k 10sp, these are sh1t systems, and we all know it. Long live the king! And steel.

    I'm not xenophobic at all, I just hate sh1t gear. So I opted out.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by will-lee wonka View Post
    I also got the Liberty CXD the same time Colorado got his...and oddly enough, we were both eyeing the zilla too. lol

    At first, I was looking to fill a commuter spot and was looking at the zilla, but saw the Liberty CXD on super mondo closeout, combined with the fact that I've always wanted a cyclox bike, I ended up getting the Liberty over the Zilla.

    Since then, I've ridden the Liberty quite often, but never as a commuter as I had intended. I found that I actually liked riding it on some light trails (and the occassional road ride) more than I would appreciate it as a commuter. There are several things I can say about the Liberty...the fork isn't the best, although it is carbon. It does a good job of dampening out vibration and road noise, but it gets some chatter when applying the brakes hard...I'm not a fan of that, but I can deal. I also switched out some of the dead weight parts from the original bike...lighter crank/bb, wheelset...so it's not such a heavy pig anymore. But I can say I like the way it handles and the fit was very good for me. And considering the price I paid for it, it was a steal.

    As to what filled my commuter void, it was filled with a Fuji Tahoe 29er frame, the wheels from the Liberty, some cheapo x4 shifters, some cheapo Tektro disc brakes and a heavy Dart3 fork. And to be honest, I couldn't be happier. My commute is about 12 miles one way on relatively flat terrain. I don't lock the fork out, because if it's going to be on there, I might as well get some use out of it. And the tektro brakes work just fine for me...and perform satisfactory...you just have to squeeze a bit firmer than Avids or hydros.

    I totally agree with the idea that your commuter should be a minimal expense to you. It should fit you very well (just like any bike you ride should), but other than components to get you comfortable (saddle, grips) I'd try to keep the costs as low as possible. Your commuter is gonna get banged on, leaned up on nasty things, scratched and generally, abused in every way possible. You don't want to cry every time a new knick is put in the top tube or when it has a booboo, which happens fairly frequently from the constant use.

    Anyway, good luck in your search...and even though I don't regret getting the Liberty, I'd also be taking a look at the Zilla as a commuter.

    Oh, and for me, I like the 29er mtb frame as opposed to the cyclox frame because it sits me more upright, which I find more comfortable on my commute. I don't want to be hunched over in an aggressive position for my ride to/from work...it's just a ride to/from work after all ;-)

    Good luck!!
    hanks for the info! I'm STILL not sure which one to get though, haha.

    And maybe "commuting" was the wrong word to use. I can't commute to work - it's 30 miles each way, and even if I wanted to I live on an island and CANNOT cycle over any of the 2 bridges leading off.

    Anywhere I run errands to in town is only 3 or 4 miles away, max.

    So maybe "touring" was what I meant. I did a 26 mile ride on my MTB yesterday and it beat me up pretty good. The riding position had me sore and my hands were going numb towards the end of the ride (and I was wearing gel padded gloves), and also I felt I was going very slow. I hit 35 on a good downhill, but my average speed was 12.5. Granted I'm no Lance Armstrong, but I was passing most other mtb'ers, while getting blown past by the roadies.

    I suppose I could get a road bike, but I like the idea of a cross bike. I prob wouldn't take it on trails, but you never know. Plus the roads here aren't that good, and I like to ride around the beach so there's lots of sandy patches. I just see myself hitting them on a straight up road bike and going flying.

    I'm leaning towards the Zilla right now though.

  37. #37
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    Cyclocross bikes are road bikes. Hybrids are an insult to cyclocross bikes when they're referred to as "cross bikes."

    Test ride some road bikes and some cyclocross bikes. I like having a road bike for strict road riding and a cyclocross bike for 'cross racing, training for 'cross, and the occasional mixed-surface day. They're both better at their particular jobs than the other, although part of that is setup. If someone held a gun to my head and made me choose...

    I'd probably stick with the road bike. I've had it since 2000, and it's a little bit special to me.

    But if not for that, you can do anything on a 'cross bike that can be done on a road bike, but road bikes are a real handful on trails in good conditions and the bar of unrideable, for me, is a lot lower than with a 'cross or mountain bike.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    While I in no way think you are wrong I propose the commuter bike being the best one in tha stable.

    Due to it being the bike you ride most of the time, my new commuter will easily cost more than 5-10k and then I bought everything at the cheapest place, its not like I want to pay extra. But I factor in 30 years of cassettes, chains and 30 years of shifters and 30 years of daily use of RD. Because we just crossed the pinnacle of durability. 10sp and 11 are getting common. 8sp is bye bye and to be honest 9sp sucked at all bases, 8sp was good, dependable and durable, so mine will be 8sp. Well for the next 30 years that is.

    Bike get stolen? Not very likely at all, but lets say it gets (for fun), I have all major components at hand, just need a new frame.

    At the end of the day, in about 30 years my custom steel frame and luxurous components, all bought for performance and durability, all hand picked and specially chosen for the purpose will be the cheapest commuter bike ever built on earth. Counting yearly costs. And not only that. It will ride like a dream all those 30 years. Because if its good enough today its good enough in 30 years. And the same was true 30 years ago too..
    I agree somewhat with you as I spend the most time on my commuter bike, but bikes do get stolen and a commuter bike will get trashed.

    My commuter bike was probably $2K to build, has a full SRAM Rival group on it hanging on a nice Soma frame with handbuilt wheels. It'll last forever.

    8speed is not the end all be all. If you dig it so much, get on ebay and start buying all the new old stock XT and Ultegra cassettes you can find, same with shifters. You seem to know a bit about components but are kind of a retrogrouch, good components arent worth a damn if you cant find replacements and have to upgrade to modern hardware.

    30 years is a long time to plan for, I'm sure your lifestyle will change several times over. Families happen, moving for jobs happens. A fancy commuter might just end up gathering dust in 10 years or pawned off in 5 if you need the cash for some reason.

    I like to recommend steel 90s bikes for cheap commuters, new enough to where they'll have 130mm spaced rear dropouts and 1 1/8th forks and headsets so most everything is still compatible with modern standards.

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrm View Post
    But the damn exchange rate, lack of a US dealer and shipping cost from the UK killed it.
    LOVE my Roadrat! :-)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help With Commuter/Urban Choice -- 29er? Disc Brakes?-2012-02-09-15.40.38.jpg  

    Help With Commuter/Urban Choice -- 29er? Disc Brakes?-2012-02-09-15.40.10.jpg  

    Quote Originally Posted by Hesh to Steel
    With people liking mongoose and trek bikes now, what's next in this crazy world? People disliking the bottlerocket?!

  40. #40
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    I just bought a GT Transeo frame from Nashbar and wanting to build a flat bar commuter/trainer. I'm going to use it to ride to work occasionally and hit the local road rides. Gonna build with 700c wheels,discs,& carbon fork.. Should be a fun bike.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by mack_turtle View Post
    if you're not going to ride it off-road, don't bother with anything that has a suspension fork. they just weigh you down.
    I disagree. The comfort given by a front suspension fork is valuable to some - especially in an urban environment.
    Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.- Ivan Illich

  42. #42
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    Rub it in why dont cha

    Quote Originally Posted by Bulldog View Post
    LOVE my Roadrat! :-)
    interesting wheels

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