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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Currently commuting 30 minutes each way on the Merckx, want something simple with more clearance for fatter tires and fenders by winter. It’s flat so I just want a 42 x 16, but I want to freewheel (not interested in going fixed). And I'm half considering using a flat bar instead of drops.

These are the new bikes/frames I’m looking at. The last three are just framesets, but I have a ton of parts lying around so I can build up the rest for probably around $200. Might consider a cool older used frame if the right one came along.

<b>Bianchi San Jose (complete bike)</b>

Pros: cheap, cool, complete, and it’s a Bianchi
Cons: I hate black bike parts

<b>Surly Cross Check</b>

Pros: incredibly versatile
Cons: ugly and more expensive than the Bianchi

<b>Milwaukee </b>

Pros: awesome, orange, made in the USA
Cons: what’s up with the one bottle cage braze-on? I need two once it gets dark and I start using the Nite Rider. Also, less room for big tires than the canti bike options. And it's the most expensive.

<b>IRO Rob Roy</b>

Pros: fairly cheap
Cons: curved seat stays are ugly

Wild card options: <b>Surly Karate Monkey, On One 29er</b>

Any thoughts?
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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I'd probably get the San Jose. I hear you about black parts. If you are thinking about flat bars, what about a Redline with moustache bars? I can't stand flat bars because I feel stuck in one position.

http://www.redlinebicycles.com/adultbikes/925.html

Cross Check is a great bike if you want the option of doing something else later, but I'd get the San Jose.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
jplatzner said:
I'd probably get the San Jose. I hear you about black parts. If you are thinking about flat bars, what about a Redline with moustache bars? I can't stand flat bars because I feel stuck in one position.

http://www.redlinebicycles.com/adultbikes/925.html

Cross Check is a great bike if you want the option of doing something else later, but I'd get the San Jose.
Yeah, I was thinking about the Redline Monocog til I found out it was made in China... I like flat bars for general MUT riding, curb hopping duties.
 

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Where exactly do you think the Bianchi is made?

Henry Chinaski said:
...... til I found out it was made in China....
BTW most of the bicycle factories in mainland China were set up by the Taiwanese when their homeland labor costs got too high. There is not any real difference in what the factories can do and location doesn't really make any difference except the factories on the mainland tend to be newer with slightly more modern equipment (and worse food for the visiting Americans).
 

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Henry Chinaski said:
<b>Surly Cross Check</b>

Pros: incredibly versatile
Cons: ugly and more expensive than the Bianchi
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I happen to think my dark green Cross Check looks beautiful! I too live in the flat lands, Chicago, and use it to commute to work daily (21 miles each way all year long) with a 44-16 gear combo (fixed though). Steel is real! Matted to 32mm tires (Panaracer Urban Max's) and no suspension necessary. Fenders and cyclocross tires (35mm Ritchey Speed Max's) in the winter are no problem. A little heavy, but that doesn't bother me. When I get to my group rides on my Litespeed it feels like I'm pedalling thin air!

Cheers,
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
MB1 said:
BTW most of the bicycle factories in mainland China were set up by the Taiwanese when their homeland labor costs got too high. There is not any real difference in what the factories can do and location doesn't really make any difference except the factories on the mainland tend to be newer with slightly more modern equipment (and worse food for the visiting Americans).
The Bianchi is made in China now? I don't like buying stuff from China. If it is made in China that pretty much rules it out for me. I know the Iro and Surly are made in Taiwan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Fattybiker said:
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I happen to think my dark green Cross Check looks beautiful! I too live in the flat lands, Chicago, and use it to commute to work daily (21 miles each way all year long) with a 44-16 gear combo (fixed though). Steel is real! Matted to 32mm tires (Panaracer Urban Max's) and no suspension necessary. Fenders and cyclocross tires (35mm Ritchey Speed Max's) in the winter are no problem. A little heavy, but that doesn't bother me. When I get to my group rides on my Litespeed it feels like I'm pedalling thin air!

Cheers,
Yeah, I like the looks of this Cross Check with Big Apple 2.0s.

 

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Henry Chinaski said:
Might consider a cool older used frame if the right one came along.
I love my Cross Check but also like the idea of finding an older 'cross frame and building something cool.

one option:
<a href="http://cgi.ebay.com/VINTAGE-1986-BIANCHI-VOLPE-CYCLOCROSS-BIKE-ROAD-BICYCLE_W0QQitemZ7247456760QQihZ015QQcategoryZ98084QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem">ebay</a>
 

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"It's alive!"
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Henry Chinaski said:
Any thoughts?
Take three long, centering breaths. As you expell the last breath, pick a bike. Then march straight out a buy it without thinking about it anymore. Then build it (if necessary), ride it, and love it.

You won't go wrong with any of the options you listed.

- FBB
 

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Lizzie will ride free
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fbagatelleblack said:
Take three long, centering breaths. As you expell the last breath, pick a bike. Then march straight out a buy it without thinking about it anymore. Then build it (if necessary), ride it, and love it.

You won't go wrong with any of the options you listed.

- FBB
Another variation on this I always liked. Toss a coin. WHen it's in the air ask yourself which way you hope it lands.
 

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Van Dessel

Henry Chinaski said:
Currently commuting 30 minutes each way on the Merckx, want something simple with more clearance for fatter tires and fenders by winter. It’s flat so I just want a 42 x 16, but I want to freewheel (not interested in going fixed). And I'm half considering using a flat bar instead of drops.

These are the new bikes/frames I’m looking at. The last three are just framesets, but I have a ton of parts lying around so I can build up the rest for probably around $200. Might consider a cool older used frame if the right one came along.

<b>Bianchi San Jose (complete bike)</b>

Pros: cheap, cool, complete, and it’s a Bianchi
Cons: I hate black bike parts

<b>Surly Cross Check</b>

Pros: incredibly versatile
Cons: ugly and more expensive than the Bianchi

<b>Milwaukee </b>

Pros: awesome, orange, made in the USA
Cons: what’s up with the one bottle cage braze-on? I need two once it gets dark and I start using the Nite Rider. Also, less room for big tires than the canti bike options. And it's the most expensive.

<b>IRO Rob Roy</b>

Pros: fairly cheap
Cons: curved seat stays are ugly

Wild card options: <b>Surly Karate Monkey, On One 29er</b>

Any thoughts?
Take a look at the Country Road Bob. Love mine, great commuter.
 

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some thoughts

-if you want to run full-length fenders a front-loading dropout is preferable.
-the Bianchi San Jose is a nice bike but it's weak point are the cheap hubs.
-You'd have to have the Cross-check built as a singlespeed. Surly only sells the complete bike with gears.
-The Redline 925 may be made in China but the others are made in Taiwan.
-I ride an old Miyata road bike that has been converted to fixed gear. It's got caliper brakes and clearance for fenders and 28mm tires maybe even 32mm. Lot's of older bikes were designed this way.
 
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