Need help deciding for a new commuter- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Need help deciding for a new commuter

    Hi everyone,

    I have been doing tons of research but still can not decide among these three bikes and was hoping if anyone can shed some light and help me reach a decision. I currently own a 2012 Trek Mamba 29er which I love on the trails but cautious of taking it along route to the local grocery store and around town for quick errands since a lot of bikes here end up getting stolen. I am looking for a cheap commuter where i can run quick errands around town without having to worry so much about losing it. My budget is $500 max. I am currently looking into the Redline Monocog, Motobecane Fantom Cross UNO, and the Windsor Timeline. Here are my thoughts of the three.

    Redline Monocog: Since I am use to a 29er, why not a singlespeed 29er? Similar geometry and loving to ability to hit the trails if needed but heavy and slow on the road.

    Motobecane Fantom Cross UNO: Road/Trail bike: best of both roads? But not sure how I would feel on a road bike geometry.

    Windsor Timeline: Cheapest, since I will be mostly on the road why not a true roadbike?

    Please any comments will be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    CB of the East
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    The decision depends on personal taste, road conditions, how far you will be going, riding style, climate likelihood of getting stolen etc. etc. etc.

    Out of the 3 you posted I'd go for the cross bike. You add some interrupter brakes and ride it upright, or you can swap the tires and have a road bike. If you like riding the trails you can do that on it too.

  3. #3
    Bedwards Of The West
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    I'd say if you have a nice 29er for the trails, a cross bike would round out the stable better than a SS 29er. It opens the door to that whole century/roadie/road riding thing, and it's still OK with some dirt use.
    You have no excuse for driving to work
    (unless you don't have studded tires)
    (no excuse for that either)

  4. #4
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    Thank you so much for the comments. =)

  5. #5
    Short-Change-Hero
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    I agree with CommuterBoy... I have always had a cruiser and then finally built my 29er HT Inbred last year at this time and I love that bike. Now that I am commuting a lot the 29er was just to much drag. I ended up looking at a few shops for a decent road/commuter bike and came across a used Kona Jake for $500. It needed some tuning and what not but it seriously rounds out my stable like no other, GREAT for commuting and has been exceptional as a road bike. I have yet to take it on the gravel but waiting for some better weather for that. I have a feeling this is going to be my favorite bike.

  6. #6
    Fat-tired Roadie
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    For a long time, I was buying older bikes for under $200 as my commuters.

    I wore out and damaged a few, so I recently bought a later-model bike for the task.

    Something to think about with a grocery and errands bike is how you'll be taking home your groceries. I had a set of collapsible wire baskets for a while. They were heavy enough that I noticed some tail whip, but that was on a bike with a relatively flexible rear triangle and not a ton of chainstay. A hybrid or light touring bike (or a mountain bike) will play more nicely with something along those lines, or really any load on a rear rack.
    "Don't buy upgrades; ride up grades." -Eddy Merckx

  7. #7
    Let's Ride Cowboys
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    Let me get this straight. Your reason for getting a commuter bike is that you don't want your $1000 bike stolen but you'd rather have your $500 bike stolen?

    I wouldn't want either stolen. I'm not sure thieves are going to care as long as the bike is easy to steal.

    I've got the same Trek Mamba that I have been using as my daily commuter to work. A 2 mile ride one way.

    I like the ability to keep my fork locked out. But some of the roads are a little rough so having the front suspension is nice.

    I also lock it up with a u-lock and cable lock. The only thing I need a is a seat cable lock.

    I've been thinking about putting some Big Apple tires on it to make it roll a little better on the road.

  8. #8
    since 4/10/2009
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  9. #9
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    I took my very first mtn bike (1996 GT something or other) put skinny road tires on it (26'r) and a PB SS conversion kit. It is now my beater commuter that I don't even care if it gets stolen. + I think if someone did take it, they'd hate it, LOL

  10. #10
    since 4/10/2009
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    where TF did my post go?

    wonder if it was the tapatalk app?

    anyway, I posted something to this effect:

    You have two choices:

    1: commute on a cheap POS and don't worry about security, and just replace it with a new POS when it gets vandalized/stolen.

    2: ride what you want/like regardless of how much it costs and be careful with security. take it inside when you can. lock it with a good lock in a visible place, to a secure location for a short amount of time in a visible spot when you cannot.

    I can't speak enough to the advantages of a dedicated road/city bike for commuting and errands instead of riding my mtb. but I am glad I didn't just get a cheap bike for that job.

  11. #11
    dirtbag
    Reputation: ranier's Avatar
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    With a $500 budget and worrying about the bike getting stolen, I'd scour ebay/craigslist for a used mtb and do a simple conversion. Don't see why you have to buy new.
    Amolan

  12. #12
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    I just did the opposite and went from a bike I bought for $360 to a dedicated commuter. For the bargain side I suggest craigslist and a shop that specializes in used bikes.

    I'll defend my decision as not as expensive as I thought because the purpose-built commuter saved time and money. Instead of my usual build something up regardless of price point, it put me on a better and more comfy machine the moment I paid for it. Not a moment wasted getting it ready, and keeping bell, rack 'n stuff on my old one made it an easy craigslist sell.

    The shop specializing in used bikes by me has nice steel bikes that will be comfy and bikes with nicer parts compared to the less expensive new bikes.

    Internal gears: I've had 3 commuters with internal hubs in past 35 years and suggest them for the lack of maintenance. My latest iteration has belt drive which builds on the no worries concept but it did blow all past budgets.

    One more to consider: Burley Travoy. The Travoy lets any bike be a commuter and it turned grocery shopping into something more practical for bike.

  13. #13
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    Thanks everyone for the advice. Happy belated Easter!

  14. #14
    29er and 26er
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    What did you get?

    If its not too late for my $0.02, I would recommend the road bike if your commute won't be too rough on your equipment.

  15. #15

  16. #16
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    I just picked her up over the weekend. =) Also had a chance to do a quick 8 mile run. Not bad at all for the price I paid. I slapped on some Tioga City Slickers 1.95 and tuned her up a bit. Not sure if I should slap a rigid fork or a used lockout suspension since the front shock is a bit worn.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Need help deciding for a new commuter-fixation-1-1-.jpg  


  17. #17
    29er and 26er
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    Very nice. Enjoy your new ride.

  18. #18
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    Thanks =) In the future I still got my eye on a cyclocross heheeh. Hopefully, I can come across a great deal.. Bikes are like tattoos lol once u get one u want more!

  19. #19
    CB of the East
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    Hmm, 5-6 bikes but only 2 tattoos. I'm out of calf muscles to put them on.

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