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What the what???
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12,922 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It's taken a while, perhaps longer than it should have, but I have come to the conclusion that I am in need of a new bike. I am still a long way from making an actual purchase, but I thought I should start by trying to figure out a few things. This is me, thinking out loud, so feel free to skip over to PG, or PO, or the Lownje at any time. I won't take it personally. :)

What I am looking for is the best all-around bike for the kinds of riding I do and the price I might be able to afford. There are some basic categories/criteria:

A.) Strength / Durability - I am a Clydesdale and uses for the bike would include primarily commuting on some pothole infested roads, weekend solo road rides, and possibly some light touring. I am not interested in carbon, aluminum is just fine by me. Wheels would need to be relatively bombproof.
B.) Flexibility - The ability to easily convert the bike for a variety of uses (road rides, commutes, etc.) This would include the need for rack/fender mounts and proper clearance to run anything from 25mm slicks to 32+mm with tread.
C.) Comfort - I am not a racer. I'm not even a strong rider. I just like to ride. I don't particularly care if the bike is aero... or terribly light weight (I'm neither of those things, so why should my bike be). I do want something I can get on and ride long distances. I want to have to stop riding because I'm too tired... not because I'm too sore.
D.) Groupset - I've been spoiled by the performance of 105. I am also intrigued by the possibilities of Apex. Any higher up the food chain I know is going to conflict with my next point...
E.) Price - I am a cheap bastard. I would likely have to be out the door for under $1500.

Given these criteria, I have started looking in two distinct directions: 1.) cyclocross bikes and 2.) "flexible" road bikes. By "flexible" I mean road bikes that come with rack/fender mounts.

Each type of bike obviously has it's pros and cons. I imagine cyclocross would offer more strength of frame and wheels, but might sacrifice something on longer road outings. I'm also not sure of the performance difference (if any) between cantilever brakes and the center-pulls typically found on cyclocross bikes. The road bike, on the other hand, would be great for the weekend ride, but might not stand up as well to the rigors of the daily commute.

I'm not looking for a recommendation of a specific bike. At this point, I'm trying to decide which of the two types of bikes would be the best All-Arounder for my situation. Any thoughts you might have would be most welcome.
 

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World's 1st Anal-rapist
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1,086 Posts
Check your PM.
 

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Resident Curmudgeon
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11,980 Posts
Take a look at the Giant Defy line. They're a very comfy ride, relaxed, do it all geometry, nice components, in your price range, and readily available. You may want to shell out some extra $$ for some sturdy rims like Velocity Deep Vees.
 

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Hucken The Fard Up !
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3,983 Posts
Maybe what you need is a alu/carbon cyclocross frame built as an all conditions bike. just like the one I use for all-year/all-weather commuter.

http://forums.roadbikereview.com/showpost.php?p=2494565&postcount=4

Advantages compared to a full touring bike
- Light enough ( that is lighter than a full touring bike )
- Sportlier geometry and handling ( shorter wheelbase )
- Can mount wide tyres, fenders and chainguards and racks ( or not )
- Alu harshness is cancelled by wide tyres and the suspension seatpost

Disadvantages
- Lower handlebar positioning than on a touring bike, that could be corrected by a riser stem ( just like the one on your avatar )
- Costlier

Cost to build a bike like mine... around $1500
 

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What the what???
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12,922 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ventruck said:
but zomg you'll deface it with that stem! :p
You'd be surprised (or mortified) to know how many PMs I get about that stem from folks looking to high-rise their bars. They won't say it publicly, of course, out of shame and fear of ridicule :)
 

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What the what???
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12,922 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Salsa, that's a nice looking build and the kind of end result I'm looking for.

For everyone else, I appreciate the suggestions. The closest I've come to specific bikes is to look at web sites/pics/specs of bikes (road and cross) that might meet my criteria. Thus far, that's included:

Cannondale
Specialized
Raleigh
Jamis
Kona
Masi

As a kind of case in point, take Cannondale for example. On the one hand, there's the CAADX cross bike. On the other hand, there's the Synapse Alloy. Neither is perfect, of course, but which one is closer to being an all-arounder? Once I've figured out the type of bike, then I can start looking at specific models, test riding, etc.
 

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414 Posts
Another vote for the Surly Cross-Check. It's classified as a CX bike, but has more versatility than most (eyelets for racks & fenders, 132.5mm rear spacing accepts Road or MTB hubs, clearance up to 45mm tires, etc.). And while not the lightest frame, they are legendary for being durable. It is available complete (~$1,100) or as a frameset only (~$400) .

http://surlybikes.com/bikes/cross_check_complete/

Hope this helps,

Paul
 

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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts

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263 Posts
I have/love/recommend a Salsa Casseroll(in single speed). I also have and recommend a Specialized Tricross. I also think the Surly Cross Check would be your bike. I almost bought one, but I found a 2010 Casseroll with gears on this site and bought it. But, if and when I need a new bike, it will most likely be the Cross Check.
All of the above would come in under $1500 and allow you to pimp it out with racks, fenders, and stuff.
I always enjoy the point of research where you are. It is part of the fun.
Ride them all before you buy and have fun.
 

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5,830 Posts
Salsa Casseroll, Soma Smoothie or ES, and Gunnar Sport would all fit your criteria. Cross bikes are another good option and Salsa, Soma and Gunnar have good options. What I like about the new Casseroll is that it is very road-worthy but also has canti brakes and room for larger tires and fenders. It is a very versatile bike.
 

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World's 1st Anal-rapist
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1,086 Posts
^^^This^^^

I rode the Soma Double Cross and loved it. Very nice and can pretty much do anything. Any of these would be great.
 

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Just Plain Bitter
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8,602 Posts
Check the Kona Honky Inc and Honky Tonk. Both amazing bikes in that price range. My next bike will be Honky Inc without a doubt.

Specs on the Honky Inc.

Frame Material Kona Cromoly Butted
Sizes SC49, SC53, SC56, SC59, SC61cm
Fork Kona Carbon Disc Race
Crankarms Shimano FC-R550
Chainrings 39/50
B/B Shimano
Pedals N/A
Chain Shimano 105
Freewheel Shimano 105 12-27 10 spd
F/D Shimano 105
R/D Shimano Ultegra SS
Shifters Shimano 105
Brake Calipers Avid BB-7 Road Disc
Front Brake Rotor Avid G2 Clean Sweep 160mm
Rear Brake Rotor Avid G2 Clean Sweep 160mm
Brake Levers Shimano 105
Headset FSA
Handlebar Kona Road
Stem Kona Road
Seatpost Kona Double Clamp w/offset
Seat Clamp Kona Clamp
Grips Kona Cork Tape
Saddle Kona Retro Road
Front Hub Formula XRD-5 Wheelset
Rear Hub Formula XRD-5 Wheelset
Spokes Formula XRD-5 Wheelset
Rims Formula XRD-5 Wheelset
Front Tire Continental Ultrasport 700x28c
Rear Tire Continental Ultrasport 700x28c
Paint Color Charcoal Metallic
 

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n00bsauce
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13,507 Posts
A dual pivot sidepull brake might not be the best choice for your use. Not sure what kind of commuting you do, particularly how much you carry, but you do say you're not a lightweight. Any other type of brake would have more power than dual pivots. This might come in handy for loaded commuting in poor conditions. Disc brakes would be best if you commute in rain, snow, mud or other wet weather conditions. If you ever think you might do loaded touring I'd definitely not go with dual pivots. Any type of modern brake, including dual pivots, would be fine for recreational riding.

The type of brake pretty much dictates the style of frame/bike you choose. For this reason I'd nix any that don't have bosses/mounts for canti's, linear or disc brakes.
 
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