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  1. #1
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    Help me pick my new commuter

    Iím starting to look for a new commuter, and narrowing it down to a few options. Any why not let mtbr weigh in, I figure?


    Requirements Iím committed to, so donít bother trying to talk me out of these (Oh who am I kidding, it'll probably happen anyway!): (1) belt drive. (2) gears, probably eight. (3) disc brakes, (4) able to take fenders (so no Bad Boy 1, sadly). (5) looks awesome. (6) keeping it simple and trying to avoid stuff I donít need (dynamo hubs, electronic doodads and whatnots).


    I also want to keep it pretty light (current commuter=35 lbs, tired of that) and under $2k. And having recently started a thread on the durability of aluminum vs. steel, Iím convinced that no overwhelming case can be made either way, and the best thing to do is just take care of it.


    The current contenders:


    Group 1: aluminum frame full bikes:


    óBMC Alpenchallenge 02 One. I guess the 01 Two (who names these things?) is within budget, but the only real difference is a carbon fork, and that doesnít seem worth $500 to me. Checks off all the boxes, and thereís a BMC dealer nearby. https://us-en.bmc-switzerland.com/al...e-3017923.html


    óCanyon Commuter Sport. The only one listed on their website right now is the 8.0 (11 speed), but it looks to me like in the past there have cheaper versions with 8-speed hubs, which is what Iíd try to find. Plusses: looks awesome. I mean, seriously, itís like from the future or something. But thereís that weird proprietary stem which has me nervous. Not something you can just change out if the fit isnít right. https://www.canyon.com/en-us/urban-b...ommuter-sport/


    óSpot Acme. Like the Canyon, they at least used to make a cheaper model with an 8-speed hub. I donít really need 11 for what I ride. Look sweet, but not as crazy as the Canyon. Dynamo hub which Iíd never use. https://spotbrand.com/collections/ci...29011389874210


    Group 2: steel


    óBuild up my own Soma Wolverine from scratch. Plusses: I love building bikesóitís super fun and my kids get into it too as a family project. It would be totally unique, which suits my style. But sourcing the parts takes a long time, is easy to screw up (for me, at least), and gets pricey. Iíd have to get somebody to build the rear wheel, since it appears you canít just go get a IGH wheel set off the rack (correct me if Iím wrong about that). Probably heavier than the three first options as well, but might have a bit better ride quality.


    óGet something like a Surly Straggler (maybe on the used market) or another bike with sliding dropouts, then get a IGH wheel and the other relevant parts, sell off what I donít need, and install a Veer split belt (https://www.veercycle.com). Kind of a cool idea, and maybe easier than making a Wolverine, but involves lots of wheeling and dealing.


    Group 3: secret other options that havenít occurred to me.

  2. #2
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    I resisted the urge to say titanium on your last post but since you added a second post with the same theme. I'll say titanium. I went from a steel cross check to a titanium habenero and the difference is night and day. The cross check was kind of a dread to ride and the habenero is my go-to bike even though I own a carbon road and cross bike. The build with a Ultigra 2x11 and fenders is in the 22-24lb range. I'm not sure if belt drive is heavier or lighter. Habenero has an EBB option. I'm not sure if they can do belt drive but it seems possible since they are a custom frame builder. The owner will help you source parts that work. I had never built a bike from scratch and didn't get anything wrong. Although buying a lot of parts through them is about the same price.

    Assuming that you are going to hold on to this one for another 20 years you may as well get something that you really look forward to riding.

    https://thecandidcyclist.blogspot.co...ke-it-hot.html
    https://thecandidcyclist.blogspot.co...g-on-heat.html

  3. #3
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    Canyon does have the 8-speed urban commuter in the 'outlet' section for $1170 right now. It doesn't run the proprietary stem, which is more practical in my view, but doesn't look as weird/cool.

    It's a good deal IMO for a pavement/bike path commuter with an IGH. Seems practical to me if you want a dedicated bike for that. I'm fortunate to have singletrack commuting options, so I prefer a bike that can get dirty when I feel like it... I'm happy with my cross check.

    https://www.canyon.com/en-us/outlet/...ahmengroesse=S
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  4. #4
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    Never-mind, buy this it seems like a steal. No front fender mounts though.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    Never-mind, buy this it seems like a steal. No front fender mounts though.
    It looks like there's a hole in the front fork for a fender mount. Are you seeing/reading something that I'm missing?

    Thanks for the tip on this one--I might spring for it!

  6. #6
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    If I didn't already have a garage full of bikes, converted mtbs, gravel and road bikes, placed into commuting duties I wouldn't hesitate to pony up for this,

    https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/the600

    It's only $300 above your budget but it's a steal considering it's got a Pinion/belt drive.

    Or save some $$ and get the cheaper Nuvinci bike,

    https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/continuumonyx
    Amolan

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by ranier View Post
    If I didn't already have a garage full of bikes, converted mtbs, gravel and road bikes, placed into commuting duties I wouldn't hesitate to pony up for this,

    https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/the600

    It's only $300 above your budget but it's a steal considering it's got a Pinion/belt drive.

    Or save some $$ and get the cheaper Nuvinci bike,

    https://www.prioritybicycles.com/products/continuumonyx
    Priority is pretty cool. I thought about those, but they're heavier than I want. Priority doesn't advertise the weights (even though it does with the L-Train and Classic Plus), but I've seen them listed as at least 30 lbs. And I'd be paying for stuff I don't need or want (dynamo hub, lights).

  8. #8
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    Any thoughts on the Cube Editor or Hyde Pro? Not a lot of info out there on these. I know next to nothing about belt drive and internal gearing.

    https://www.cube.eu/uk/2020/bikes/ur...knpurple-2020/

    https://www.cube.eu/uk/2020/bikes/ur...acknblue-2020/

    Or maybe the C-Dale Bad Boy 1? [NVM - just re-read your first post]

    https://www.cannondale.com/en/Canada...6-a1ab79049dc3
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  9. #9
    CB of the East
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbotron View Post
    It looks like there's a hole in the front fork for a fender mount. Are you seeing/reading something that I'm missing?

    Thanks for the tip on this one--I might spring for it!
    No, I was going by the pictures. I didn't see any holes in the bottom of the fork. And they didn't mention it in the description.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by bedwards1000 View Post
    No, I was going by the pictures. I didn't see any holes in the bottom of the fork. And they didn't mention it in the description.
    I emailed Canyon, so hopefully they can clarify.

  11. #11
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    FWIW, I bought my wife a Canyon carbon fatbike online and it has been a great bike at a great value.

  12. #12
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    Talked at length with my LBS today, which sells Cubes and C-Dales, which are among the options available for belt drive and IGH. They 100% discouraged me.

    I am told that they hear of a ton of issues when running those bikes in extreme winter conditions. They cited a number of problems, including tolerances of the belt drive going for a shit in the extreme cold, as well as the speed of shifting. They told me that they wanted so much to be believers, because potentially the belt drive IGH bike gets rid of so many winter maintenance issues. But no go.

    They have belt drive bikes in stock they can sell me, but they strongly encouraged me to continue doing what I have been doing the last 10+ years - ride, try to maintain, replace components as they die. All the components on my winter commuter are super inexpensive. The rear d is $20 and lasts 2 seasons or more. The whole drivetrain is less than $100 to replace.

    Back to square 1.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    Talked at length with my LBS today, which sells Cubes and C-Dales, which are among the options available for belt drive and IGH. They 100% discouraged me.

    I am told that they hear of a ton of issues when running those bikes in extreme winter conditions. They cited a number of problems, including tolerances of the belt drive going for a shit in the extreme cold, as well as the speed of shifting. They told me that they wanted so much to be believers, because potentially the belt drive IGH bike gets rid of so many winter maintenance issues. But no go.

    They have belt drive bikes in stock they can sell me, but they strongly encouraged me to continue doing what I have been doing the last 10+ years - ride, try to maintain, replace components as they die. All the components on my winter commuter are super inexpensive. The rear d is $20 and lasts 2 seasons or more. The whole drivetrain is less than $100 to replace.

    Back to square 1.
    Humph. Looks like I have to do more thinking.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbotron View Post
    Humph. Looks like I have to do more thinking.
    There is a guy who parks in my bike cage who also commutes year round. He has a belt drive IGH Cube. I left my business card on his bike and asked him to call me. If he does, I will find out what he thinks about that bike in the winter, and will report back. He rides every single day so he should have some useful info for all of us.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtnbkrmike View Post
    There is a guy who parks in my bike cage who also commutes year round. He has a belt drive IGH Cube. I left my business card on his bike and asked him to call me. If he does, I will find out what he thinks about that bike in the winter, and will report back. He rides every single day so he should have some useful info for all of us.
    Great idea--hope he gets back to you.

    I've been thinking about what count as "extreme weather conditions." Where I live, I get maybe 10-15 weeks where I'm commuting as low as 0-5 degrees F, but usually it's more like 10-15 degrees, plus snow and salt. Even if a belt and IGH aren't great with that, it might still be worth sucking it up to get the advantages for the rest of the year.

  16. #16
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    Well, closing my own loop, at least: I took the plunge and ordered up a Breezer Beltway 8 (2017, NOS). It checks off all the boxes. Not the best components by a longshot, which doesn't bother me in part because, not being able to leave well enough alone, I'm going to convert it to drop bars.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbotron View Post
    Well, closing my own loop, at least: I took the plunge and ordered up a Breezer Beltway 8 (2017, NOS). It checks off all the boxes. Not the best components by a longshot, which doesn't bother me in part because, not being able to leave well enough alone, I'm going to convert it to drop bars.
    NICE. Congrats. Keep us posted.

    As I reported in another thread, I'm going to stick with the tried and true for cold weather riding. I'm going with a 2020 Unit frame, a Chromag cockpit, a Chromag seat post and QR clamp, an SLX 11 speed drivetrain and brakes, the yet to be released Kahva studded tires (which are replacing the Nicotines), some Fluid Film and some Ride Wrap.

    Hoping it will be a sensible but fun daily winter commuter.
    2020 Kona Unit
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  18. #18
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    Iím currently looking at the Orbea Vector Drop LTD, and the BMC Alpenchallenge 01 one...also considering the BMC Alpenchallenge 02 One
    https://www.orbea.com/us-en/bicycles...ector-drop-ltd

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jumbotron View Post
    Iím starting to look for a new commuter, and narrowing it down to a few options. Any why not let mtbr weigh in, I figure?


    Requirements Iím committed to, so donít bother trying to talk me out of these (Oh who am I kidding, it'll probably happen anyway!): (1) belt drive. (2) gears, probably eight. (3) disc brakes, (4) able to take fenders (so no Bad Boy 1, sadly). (5) looks awesome. (6) keeping it simple and trying to avoid stuff I donít need (dynamo hubs, electronic doodads and whatnots).



    óSpot Acme. Like the Canyon, they at least used to make a cheaper model with an 8-speed hub. I donít really need 11 for what I ride. Look sweet, but not as crazy as the Canyon. Dynamo hub which Iíd never use. https://spotbrand.com/collections/ci...29011389874210
    If you do a post history, I went down the path of the belt drive a few years back. Spot Brand is a fantastic company. If you're not committed to "brand new" SPOT made "Steel" bikes.




    Group 3: secret other options that havenít occurred to me.
    Someone else mentioned the Breezer Beltway. The Breezer Beltway received A LOT of positive reviews and was acknowledged as a "commuting bike of the year" several times over.

    That all said, let me the only person to the "secret option" that no one else has suggested and would meet all your requirements AND some you haven't mentioned and look completely sweet:

    Cafe Moto Go!

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Help me pick my new commuter-cafemoto.jpg  


  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by griz View Post
    Iím currently looking at the Orbea Vector Drop LTD, and the BMC Alpenchallenge 01 one...also considering the BMC Alpenchallenge 02 One
    https://www.orbea.com/us-en/bicycles...ector-drop-ltd
    Man, Orbea's bikes are just hot!

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