Paddy Wagon vs. San Jose for commute. Help!!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Paddy Wagon vs. San Jose for commute. Help!!

    What's your opinion? Commute is 15 miles each way, two mellow hills, and is mostly rural.

    I was pretty set on the Kona Paddy Wagon, but the guy at the LBS says, BY FAR, the better commuter is the Bianchi San Jose, as it's more upright and more comfortable.

    Help!

  2. #2
    Ovaries on the Outside
    Reputation: umarth's Avatar
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    Schwinn Madison? That is what I use... Uh... IRO bikes makes good ones and they are a small company, which counts a lot for me. They have a singlespeed/fixed cyclocross (San Jose) and a bike like the paddy wagon.

    If it is just between those two, I have a bit of a crush on the San Jose. Prolly better for commuting than then Paddy Wagon, but that is because I'm assuming better clearances for fenders and whatnot.

  3. #3
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    I have a San Jose, and looked at the Paddy Wagon as well.

    The San Jose will be...
    - more upright, relaxed geometry. It's a better "around the neighborhood cruiser". But, the Paddy Wagon handles a bit quicker - which some people may prefer.

    - Both have similar builds - cheapish, but usable, components. The wheelset on the San Jose has a reputation for being weak, but I haven't had a problem with mine (170lb rider, 98% pavement, some gravel, no singletrack).

    - Both are butted steel. Nothing fancy.

    - The San Jose can fit larger tires (canti brakes vs road calipers, more frame clearance) and go off-road a bit easier. But, the Paddy Wagon is probably a bit faster on the road. The Paddy Wagon can fit 32mm tires, not sure if it will take them with fenders. The San Jose will do 32s with fenders.

    So, it's really a matter of geometry preference (racey vs relaxed) and intended use (100% road vs limited off-road). If neither matters to you, buy whichever one your favorite LBS stocks.

    I picked the San Jose because I already have a Cannondale road bike. So, the relaxed geometry and cross-tire clearance filled a gap in my bike garage.

  4. #4

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    My LBS has both of them and they're about the same price.

    My commute is mostly straight road and highway and fenders and offroad don't matter too much to me.

    Is the geometry and stiffness THAT different?

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Reputation: Henry Chinaski's Avatar
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    If you want to run fenders during the winter get the Bianchi.

  6. #6
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    Bianchi's customer service has gone to crap. A lot of shops are dropping them. They are both good bikes, you just have to decide what's important to you.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by rice
    Is the geometry and stiffness THAT different?
    Yes. Ride them back-to-back and you'll find that the San Jose is more upright with the stock stem. You can certainly arrange either one to get the same body position, but the San Jose still has that raked out fork, which slows the handling a bit and gives a little more "give".

  8. #8
    Raidero desde Torino
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    I guess during a 15 miles commute you do want to lay down and be aerodynamic. Upright is for 4 to 8 miles commute.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by rice
    My LBS has both of them and they're about the same price.

    My commute is mostly straight road and highway and fenders and offroad don't matter too much to me.

    Is the geometry and stiffness THAT different?
    Your LBS has them, so really, ride both and you might have an instant favorite.

  10. #10
    Wolf nipple chips
    Reputation: Cabin Fever's Avatar
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    +1 for the Paddy Wagon. Kona's have a great culture and, I feel, are more unique.

  11. #11

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    It looks like I'm going with the 60cm Paddy Wagon. I've ridden both a couple times now and it just comes down to the fact that I like the Kona better, if only aesthetically.

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