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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in the process of looking for a bicycle to commute to work (30-35 miles on a paved trail) a few times a week. Budget is under $2K. A local bike shop recommends a Cyclocross w/ road tires. The FUJI Cross Pro is sold out in my size but they have a GT GTR Type CX. Anyone have advice on the GT or other bikes I should consider? Others I've been told about are the Specialized Roubaix, Trek 520, or the Motobecane Immortal Spirit (bikesdirect).

Thanks
 

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If you're looking for a commuter bike and will be riding in wet conditions (wet roads or in the rain), I'd highly recommend a bike that can accept full fenders (this requires eyelets on your frame). A lot of nice road bikes like the Specialized Roubaix do not support full fenders, and I can tell you from experience that clip-ons are inadequate for serious wet weather riding.

I'm about a week away from buying a Salsa Casseroll, which is a steel road bike with relaxed geometry with full fender mounts and room for wide, comfy tires. $1500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I did some more research and think I'll either get the surly cross check or the lemond poprad. Its my first bike so I think a cross would be a good option. I'll head out to bike shops and try to get test rides later in the week and also see what they would charge to get a surly frame and customize the components (e.g. ultegra, better wheels, etc). I read a few posts where others have done this.

I did notice that the largest size the poprad comes in is a 59cm. I'm hoping the geometry is such that this is equivalent to a larger frame on other bikes (I'm 6'4" 225).
http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/cross/poprad.php

Thanks for the replys.
 

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bcommuter said:
I did some more research and think I'll either get the surly cross check or the lemond poprad. Its my first bike so I think a cross would be a good option. I'll head out to bike shops and try to get test rides later in the week and also see what they would charge to get a surly frame and customize the components (e.g. ultegra, better wheels, etc). I read a few posts where others have done this.

I did notice that the largest size the poprad comes in is a 59cm. I'm hoping the geometry is such that this is equivalent to a larger frame on other bikes (I'm 6'4" 225).
http://www.lemondbikes.com/bikes/cross/poprad.php

Thanks for the replys.
I ride a cross check that is built with same rigging as the poprad. It works for me.
 

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The Lemond is a great frame and fork (other than the "Lemond" name on it) but I caution you on the wheelset under your weight. The Bontrager Select wheels have not been known as a super durable item.

I would go with the CrossCheck...and upgrade the barcon shifters to brifters.
 

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If yer planning on mostly commuting, I'd skip the upgrade to STI levers...

The big thing to remember about commuting is that it's extremely hard on gear, especially if you decide you really like it and start doing it year round.

Bar end shifters are bulletproof. I'm not sure there's a way to break them that doesn't involve getting run over by a truck. And, they're light. Most important of all, they have a friction option for when your derailleur gets out of adjustment.
 

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I suggested brifters because commuting also involves riding in traffic. Barcons are uber durable...no argument there...but do require you to remove your hands from the brake levers and rely on one hand to control the bike.

Great when touring...not so great when riding in heavy traffic
 

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hayduke1972 said:
I suggested brifters because commuting also involves riding in traffic. Barcons are uber durable...no argument there...but do require you to remove your hands from the brake levers and rely on one hand to control the bike.

Great when touring...not so great when riding in heavy traffic
Gotta disagree- I ride bar-ends in traffic, no problems. You never really remove both hands from the bars.

But, yer right, a new rider might find them a bit challenging at first.
 

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buck-50 said:
If yer planning on mostly commuting, I'd skip the upgrade to STI levers...

The big thing to remember about commuting is that it's extremely hard on gear, especially if you decide you really like it and start doing it year round.

Bar end shifters are bulletproof. I'm not sure there's a way to break them that doesn't involve getting run over by a truck. And, they're light. Most important of all, they have a friction option for when your derailleur gets out of adjustment.
Bar ends may be bullet proof.. but I've put 30k miles between two bikes over the years, never had any problems with STI levers. Not once did I have to have them serviced. One was an Ultegra build the current is Dura-Ace.
 

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mikeyp123 said:
Bar ends may be bullet proof.. but I've put 30k miles between two bikes over the years, never had any problems with STI levers. Not once did I have to have them serviced. One was an Ultegra build the current is Dura-Ace.
What I like with bar-ends is the friction option- I don't have a lot of time to perform basic maintenance on my commuter during the week, so when the derailleur goes out of whack, I just switch to friction shifting and fix it on the weekend. In the winter, when my drive train gets covered in ice and snow, I can still shift in friction mode.

I agree with you, STI levers are solid and hard to break, but they're also finicky and require more adjustment.

When building a commuter, my goal is to build a bike that I can ride home in the rain at 10:30 at night in the freezing cold with no problems- If I have to take my gloves off to adjust something, that part is coming off.
 

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I've dabbled with bike commuting in the past few years (13 miles each way), but never really got consistent until this summer. I initially tried it with a hybrid (Trek 7500fx), but it was slow (I'm used to a road bike) and I felt like a wind sail going over the ocean-bay bridges here. I next tried a traditional-frame road bike with no spacers on the steering tube. Fast, but it proved to be too difficult, both in carrying a backpack and seeing traffic from a low riding angle. This year, I've purchased the perfect bike and have been consistently riding to work since April. It is a Jamis Xenith Comp. It has a compact frame, which helps with the seeing/backpack problem, and it is fast like my regular road bike; the perfect combo. If there's a lesson I learned from trial and error, its don't stray too far from the type of bike you're accustomed to. If you don't enjoy riding it, you won't commute. Oh, also, flats were a constant on all bikes. Get good puncture-proof tires and put the Mr. Tuffy liners in. Nothing worse than flatting on a work commute. Also a messenger bag, rather than a backpack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I decided to have a shop custom build a surly cross check. We started putting together a configuration. The config is not concrete yet and I still have to think about seat post, handle bars, stem, pedals, and other components. Any opinions/advice on components are much appreciated.

I see that there are other forums for surly, wheels and tires, etc. Should I stick to this thread or would it be more appropriate to start another thread somewhere else? Thanks.

Frame: surly cross check
Shifters: ultegra st-6600 dual control
Front derailler: ultegra fd-6600 clamp-on
Rear derailler: ultegra rd-6600
Crankset: ultegra rc-700 compact (34-50)
Cassette: ultegra cs-6600 10-speed
Chain: ultegra cn-6600 10-speed
Brakes: cane creek scr-5 or tektro r200a
Wheels: Easton EA90 SL, Mavis Ksyrium Elite/Equipe/SL, or custom built
Tires: Conti Ultra Gatorskins (w/ tuffy liners?)
Seat: Brooks B17 standard
 

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Scott in Maryland
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Does anyone have any experience building an economical, durable, corrrosion resistant frame (ahhhh .... Aluminum!) with 700C wheels, a cyclecross carbon fork and a flat bar? I have an Ultegra 9 speed drive trail with low miles and have been thinking about using this for a commuter. Anybody done this? What kind of shifters and levers would you use on a road group flat bar?

Bcommuter I don't mean to hijack your groovy thread but it's an interesting topic...
 

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I know this may sound nutty.. sometimes it does even to me, but if your ride is relatively flat you could get a single speed. They're cheap, and pretty much bomb-proof, esp when weather turns bad. I use a fixed gear for my grocery getting, but my road-bike for commuting (group rides, etc), I've got some nasty hills to climb. But if it wasn't for the terrain I'd ride the fixie to save on maintenance costs of the road-bike, as well as the piece-of-mind when locking it up.. everything is bolted together.

Although if it came down to one bike, I'd stick with my road-bike. Err, you know.. fixed it sort of dangerous, I ride with a front brake.. and still sort of nervous on the thing.. most have flip-flop hub with freewheel on one side.
 

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bcommuter said:
I decided to have a shop custom build a surly cross check. We started putting together a configuration. The config is not concrete yet and I still have to think about seat post, handle bars, stem, pedals, and other components. Any opinions/advice on components are much appreciated.

I see that there are other forums for surly, wheels and tires, etc. Should I stick to this thread or would it be more appropriate to start another thread somewhere else? Thanks.

Frame: surly cross check
Shifters: ultegra st-6600 dual control
Front derailler: ultegra fd-6600 clamp-on
Rear derailler: ultegra rd-6600
Crankset: ultegra rc-700 compact (34-50)
Cassette: ultegra cs-6600 10-speed
Chain: ultegra cn-6600 10-speed
Brakes: cane creek scr-5 or tektro r200a
Wheels: Easton EA90 SL, Mavis Ksyrium Elite/Equipe/SL, or custom built
Tires: Conti Ultra Gatorskins (w/ tuffy liners?)
Seat: Brooks B17 standard

I wouldn't put liners in with gatorskins, for a bar I would check out Salsa Bell Lap but that is personal preference.
For brake pads look at Kool Stop salmon colored or harris sales a dual compound that looks good as well
 
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