Need fast strong commuter bike. Anything OTHER than cross check?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need fast strong commuter bike. Anything OTHER than cross check?

    Well, now that I've become completely sick of my attempts to build a mountain bike commuter (they don't have BOTH SLX shifters in stock?! Really?! ) I've decided to go with a cyclocross style commuter. The only reason I was avoiding this in the first place was to not have my rims eaten up in the winter, but that was a stupid idea. I mean, for LESS than the price of my crazy assed MTB commuter I could just get this proper cyclocross type commuter and the tools I need to replace rims.


    It needs to do heavy shopping duty and commuting and maybe some exercise duty as well.

    I am thinking of using the free load rack with it.


    So, what would you recommend?

    I don't want the surly because they only sell them in shops and I don't like my local shops.

  2. #2
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    You could look at the bikes on bikesdirect, or Salsa, Swobos, Redline, Novara, Jamis, nashbar, all make what I think you are going for. Looking at the commuter photo thread and cyclocross photo thread ought to give you some ideas.

    While I don't own either, I like Salsas and Swobos. The ex has a Swobo along the lines you're talking and is pleased

  3. #3
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    Soma Doublecross?

  4. #4
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    Well, owning one I'd have to say... Cross Check. But in the spirit of the request the Nashbar Steel Cyclocross has always been on my radar. Good components and stellar reviews. I think it is the bike I would have ended up with if I hadn't found a used CC.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Well, now that I've become completely sick of my attempts to build a mountain bike commuter (they don't have BOTH SLX shifters in stock?! Really?! ) I've decided to go with a cyclocross style commuter. The only reason I was avoiding this in the first place was to not have my rims eaten up in the winter, but that was a stupid idea. I mean, for LESS than the price of my crazy assed MTB commuter I could just get this proper cyclocross type commuter and the tools I need to replace rims.


    It needs to do heavy shopping duty and commuting and maybe some exercise duty as well.

    I am thinking of using the free load rack with it.


    So, what would you recommend?

    I don't want the surly because they only sell them in shops and I don't like my local shops.
    Well the fast and strong is not part of the bike......that depends on the engine.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by rodar y rodar View Post
    Soma Doublecross?
    This. Or a Salsa Vaya, or a Salsa Fargo, or a GT World Tour, or a Surly Disc Trucker, or....

    Lots of options if you really want to avoid the Cross Check, but I'd absolutely keep it in consideration.
    Jason
    Disclaimer: www.paramountfargo.com

  7. #7
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    I love my steel Nashbar CX

    "I have one speed. I have one gear: Go." -- Charlie Sheen

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post

    I don't want the surly because they only sell them in shops and I don't like my local shops.
    Surly Cross Check Frameset '11 > Components > Frames > Cyclocross frames | Jenson USA Online Bike Shop

  9. #9
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    loving my salsa casseroll.
    also been keeping my eye on the Origin8 CX700.
    If steel is real then aluminium is supercallafragiliniun!

  10. #10
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    Raleigh has their new CX/commuter line...Roper, Furley, Tripper. Very nice looking in person and on paper...priced competitively.

  11. #11
    Wierdo
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    Habenero. Light, tough, fast. You did not say how much you wanted to spend though.


  12. #12
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    Yeah, I should build it up from scratch eh?

    How do you determine the size without going to a shop? (shop ain't an option)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Yeah, I should build it up from scratch eh?

    How do you determine the size without going to a shop? (shop ain't an option)
    That's the direction I personally prefer and the direction I took on the Cross Check I built a couple months ago. To determine my size I looked at the geometry of my last 2 road bikes and the geometry of the Cross Check and it was easy to figure out. Really, the ETT length is by far the most important part. Keep in mind, the Cross Check runs on the large side, I went with a 50cm which was more similar to a 52 on most frames. How tall are you and what's your inseam? FWIW, you can likely find Cross Check bikes on the web too, not just frames.

  14. #14
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    My Bianchi Volpe makes a great commuter.
    Free people must travel the road to productive social relations at the speed of a bicycle.- Ivan Illich

  15. #15
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    Think disc brakes, lots of options available.

  16. #16
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    On-One has a couple of options, too.

    wrenchscience.com has a nice fit tool. make sure you have a cloth measuring tape, and a buddy is almost necessary.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Straz85 View Post
    That's the direction I personally prefer and the direction I took on the Cross Check I built a couple months ago. To determine my size I looked at the geometry of my last 2 road bikes and the geometry of the Cross Check and it was easy to figure out. Really, the ETT length is by far the most important part. Keep in mind, the Cross Check runs on the large side, I went with a 50cm which was more similar to a 52 on most frames. How tall are you and what's your inseam? FWIW, you can likely find Cross Check bikes on the web too, not just frames.
    You can't order them online. My inseam is 31.5 to 32 inches. Right now I'm trying to decide between a 50cm and a 52 cm. I'm on the fence about it but kinda think I should go with a 50 since the ETT is only .3 inches short but it would give me more stand-over height.

    Right now my MTB has a TT of 22 inches and an ETT of 23 inches which feels a bit too long to me.

  18. #18
    CB of the East
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    I am 6'0", 34" inseam and ride a 62cm cross check. A 50cm bike for somebody with legs only a few inches shorter than mine seems too small. But I do like a big bike.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    You can't order them online. My inseam is 31.5 to 32 inches. Right now I'm trying to decide between a 50cm and a 52 cm. I'm on the fence about it but kinda think I should go with a 50...
    Sounds small. I am 6' with a 33" inseam and I'm comfy and sit quite upright on my 56cm cross check.

    -Dan

  20. #20
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    I tried a trek 1.1 with a 52cm frame and found it better than the 54cm frame. I'm too stretched out on the 54cm, but just by a smidgen.

    I tried a cannondale synapse and the 51cm felt great. a caad 10 in 54cm felt too long.


    So, what say you?

    To me it looks like the 50cm is the right choice. There's only .2 inches difference between it and the 52cm, so I could just get a longer stem if I found later that it was too short I think.


    Here are some geometry charts.

    Trek Bicycle

    Trek Bicycle


    Cross-Check | Bikes | Surly Bikes


    CAAD10 5 105

    SYNAPSE 6 TIAGRA
    Last edited by aBicycle; 08-05-2012 at 11:45 PM.

  21. #21
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    I'll throw in a vote for the Redline Conquest. Particularly any of the steel models. I have roughly about 14,000 miles on the 2010 Conquest Classic I picked up last year and haven't had a single issue. Road it across country, done a cross race, and hit singletrack with it. Absolutely love the bike.
    Upgrades are a carbon fork, on-one midge dirt drops, Brooks sadle, Mavic TN719 wheelset laced to XT hubs.
    Oh noes. I'm going to drink the Kool-Aid.

  22. #22
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    I hope this suggestion does not spoil any fun, but I just went with an already made ready to go dedicated commuter earlier this year. Even a nice or higher level one came out cheaper than my various theoretical builds. Then I factored how years of building up bikes always had them over budget. This move also let me get belt drive at an economical price.

    The bike is a Trek Soho Deluxe, there are others similar. It's not custom, not steel that I like, but does the job perfectly whether that's low maintenance, strong wheels, no time wasted putting on rack and fenders, I'm sure the list could go on. Basically the nice side of a commuter with time and money saved.

  23. #23
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    Aren't Salsa and Surly both QBP brands meaning having to go to the shop?

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by jseko View Post
    Aren't Salsa and Surly both QBP brands meaning having to go to the shop?
    Universal Cycles -- Salsa Chili Con Crosso Complete Bike - 2012

    Nope. No restrictions on shipping salsa.

  25. #25
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  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by aBicycle View Post
    Well, now that I've become completely sick of my attempts to build a mountain bike commuter (they don't have BOTH SLX shifters in stock?! Really?! ) I've decided to go with a cyclocross style commuter. The only reason I was avoiding this in the first place was to not have my rims eaten up in the winter, but that was a stupid idea. I mean, for LESS than the price of my crazy assed MTB commuter I could just get this proper cyclocross type commuter and the tools I need to replace rims.


    It needs to do heavy shopping duty and commuting and maybe some exercise duty as well.

    I am thinking of using the free load rack with it.


    So, what would you recommend?

    I don't want the surly because they only sell them in shops and I don't like my local shops.
    There is a thread called modern steel frames or something in the cx forum. And its also on other forums like bikeforum.net or what its called, lots of info there.

    Racks are always diy more or less. You can put a rack on anything so thats not really a problem.

    I'm also looking for cx commuter and I have zoned in on either Salsa vaya, they also have a vaya Ti which cannot rust. However its 2000 so its approaching custom prices. You can have a Ti custom for only a few hundred more. And Ti last forever.
    The vayas are supposedly slow and sluggish, however I would take that with a grain of salt.

    There are many "cummuterized straight from the factory" bikes with racks and whatnot but these are always rated as so so in the tests I have seen. Jamis and Raleigh comes to mind. But if I was getting a boring "commuter" with all the kit I would just get a proper boat anchor from the start. Like a dutch one or danish one or swedish, they have many brands that only does commuters, like skeppshult.





    This one is bad ass! Stooshie image gallery: Reynolds 853 steel cyclocross frame

    Traitor cycles Ruben also looks nice.

    Cotic X seems like a very good deal.

    Genesis from the UK seems nice.

    Dirty disco (carbon) seems nice.

    Curtly, Gunnar, Norco and Brodie might have something thats nice.

    Moulton could be worth a look if you want something compact but still good.

    Civilian cycles.

    Lots of options. I would go with the one that looks best.
    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.

  27. #27
    jrm
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    Singular Kite

    City, Nature Boy. Swobo Crosby, SOMA Double Cross

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