Make my Cog a commuter, or get a second ride?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Make my Cog a commuter, or get a second ride?

    Hello everyone,

    About two weeks ago, I purchased a gently used 2012 Redline Monocog 29er SS that currently serves as my only bike. After selling my way-too-large Surly Cross Check that I couldn't get to fit me right, I had intentions of buying 2 bikes - one I could use as a daily commuter/bike path cruiser and one that I could use on your basic off road/single track rides.

    Now that I have the Monocog and have been using it as a commuter with the stock mountain bike tires and bars on it, I'm wondering what I should do next and would appreciate your feedback.

    1. Should I start setting the Monocog SS up as a cruiser by putting some commuter tires and a set of Jones bars on that I have already, then purchase something I can use for my off road/single track purposes?

    or

    2. Should I keep the Monocog as it is now, which is great for the off-road/single track stuff, and purchase something I can use for pavement/daily commuting purposes?

    I originally had intentions of spending less than $1500 for both bikes combined, but now that I found the Monocog as cheap as I did, I've lowered the total and would like to keep a second bike to around $800, give or take a little wiggle room as needed.

    I'll surely ride the pavement/daily commuter bike more than I will the off road/single track bike, but wanted to avoid having to swap wheels, remove racks, etc. And let's face it - I want 2 bikes.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Do you enjoy the Monocog for mountain biking? If you're happy with it as a mountain bike, I think it makes sense to keep that for mountain biking and get something else set up for pavement from the get-go. If you get into buying new tires, different gearing, and any other changes you'd want to make to make the Monocog street worthy, you'll spend some of your second bike fund. I'd look for a SS road bike if I were you. I see them all over CL, or you can certainly find a new one for <800.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    Do you enjoy the Monocog for mountain biking? If you're happy with it as a mountain bike, I think it makes sense to keep that for mountain biking and get something else set up for pavement from the get-go. If you get into buying new tires, different gearing, and any other changes you'd want to make to make the Monocog street worthy, you'll spend some of your second bike fund. I'd look for a SS road bike if I were you. I see them all over CL, or you can certainly find a new one for <800.
    Thanks for the reply! You bring up a ton of great points. I really hadn't thought about the costs associated with making the Cog a commuter.

    I absolutely love the Monocog thus far, for every type of ride. It's been enjoyable as a pavement cruiser with the knobby tires and everything. The stock 20t cog has already been replaced with a 17t, so city cruises are a bit better than they would be with the 20t. That said, the bike is more at home on dirt paths, jetting down single tracks, etc. It's a ton of fun!

    If I keep the Cog as my mountain bike, I'd actually thought about something like a Cross Check SS for a commuter/pavement ride. I'd also looked into Long Haul Truckers, but cringe at the $1250-1300 price tag new, and everything I've seen used really leads me to believe these bikes carry their value as the used prices aren't far off the new prices considering wear and tear.

    Is there a pavement/commuter (geared or SS) bike that you'd recommend in the $800 range new?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by cassavant89 View Post
    Is there a pavement/commuter (geared or SS) bike that you'd recommend in the $800 range new?
    If cost is an issue, I'd go with a SS for sure. Derailleurs and shifters add quite a bit of money to a bike. Nashbar has a SS CX bike with a steel frame for $400 and it's an additional 22% off today. You could probably get it for under $350 shipped. That would leave you with a ton of money for road tires (since it comes with CX tires), the gearing of your choice, rack, fenders, etc.

    Nashbar Single-Speed Cyclocross Bike - Single-Speed & Fixed Gear Bikes

    Otherwise, I'm not too well versed in what's available for SS bikes new.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    If cost is an issue, I'd go with a SS for sure. Derailleurs and shifters add quite a bit of money to a bike. Nashbar has a SS CX bike with a steel frame for $400 and it's an additional 22% off today. You could probably get it for under $350 shipped. That would leave you with a ton of money for road tires (since it comes with CX tires), the gearing of your choice, rack, fenders, etc.

    Nashbar Single-Speed Cyclocross Bike - Single-Speed & Fixed Gear Bikes

    Otherwise, I'm not too well versed in what's available for SS bikes new.
    Cost is an issue, but only to a point. If I need to spend more than $800, I can and will. My goal is to buy something of good quality that I can change up down the road, if I choose to. Something that I can change over to a geared road-ish bike, or throw some racks and fenders on it and use it as a semi-touring rig, etc.

  6. #6
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    A dinglespeed is always a pretty cheap option. Here's my 26er set up as a dinglespeed cruiser:


    The high gear is about 70 gearinches, and the low is about 50.

    I've got bigapples on there, which are surprisingly decent on most surfaces, as long as things are dry (they're deadly on mud).

    And I've also recently started to run two cogs on the back of my 29er, giving me a reasonably comfy commuting gear that also works for many trails around here (32x16) and a lower gear for harder, weekend trail rides (32x18):


    That bike still has Ardents on, since it's really meant for dirt.

  7. #7
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    OP - you really need to decide what it is that you want the bike to do, and pick accordingly. Since you already have a mountain bike that you like, decide if a CX bike would be right for you. SS or fixed makes an ideal commuter, with less parts to break, less to adjust, and less to pay for.
    The pedals turn, not just the left one, but the right one too.

  8. #8
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    I commuted a lot on my monocog flite that i picked up for $300 last year.

    It made me much stronger on the hills.

    That being said, having a singlespeed that you ride road and dirt is a pretty big compromise when it comes to gearing. I would top out on the road at pretty low speeds.

    This year I bought a commuter bike for $60 and I am really happy with that.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by TenSpeed View Post
    OP - you really need to decide what it is that you want the bike to do, and pick accordingly. Since you already have a mountain bike that you like, decide if a CX bike would be right for you. SS or fixed makes an ideal commuter, with less parts to break, less to adjust, and less to pay for.
    Hello TenSpeed - you're right, I probably should try and be more clear when I post.

    I know (for the most part) what I'd like my bikes to do. I'd like to have one that I can take off road and ride single track without having to worry about swapping wheels, removing racks, using drop bars, etc. I'd like another to be more of a comfortable but road-worthy bike with pavement tires for my daily commute, trips on our paved bike paths, and the occasional 50-ish mile road trip semi-loaded with gear.

    I have a nice SS mountain bike that I enjoy now, so the question becomes:

    Is it cheaper to make my Monocog a commuter (buy tires, racks, fenders, and a comfy saddle) and then buy a new 29er mountain bike for the off road stuff, or keep my Monocog as it is and buy a pavement commuter/semi-touring bike?

  10. #10
    jrm
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    on one pompino. pentamine or kaffenback.

  11. #11
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    If you have the dollars to spend look for a commuter. With your budget, you should be able to find an excellent commuter SS bike.

    My trail bike is a Surly KM SS and my go to commuter is a BikesDirect Gravity SS Track Bike I picked up for $129.00 on a blow-out sale. Granted I needed to replace lots of cheap parts (headset, BB, Freewheel, and brakepads). With those and upgrades I'm probably only $300.00 into that bike. Perfect for a commuter.

    Good luck!

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