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ANY advice is appreciated

Old 12-11-19, 11:50 AM
  #1  
Liquidspacehead
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ANY advice is appreciated

I recently was looking to purchase a good strong commuter and something I can comfortably ride long rides and some gravel as well perhaps. I was hung up on surly and salsa for a long time but I would like to keep it sub $1,000. I am finally open to other brands. I am looking for something simple as well that I can maintain easily and keep strong over the years. I live in the mountains as well so my commute is an average 300ft incline one way. I am 5'11" and weigh 195lbs. I'm a decently strong rider as well (if any of this information helps). So my bottom line is, what is a good company or bike that can get me around and I can have a little fun on while being able to maintain and keep her up without worrying about breaking extra hardware??
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Old 12-11-19, 12:40 PM
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For a sturdy bike, I would look at a category called gravel bikes which are designed for rigged service and will have room for wider tires than a pure road bike. They will most likely have steel or aluminum frames and can take some abuse. For reliability, and long distance touring, many people use bar end shifters which are very simple and consequently, trouble free. There is a sub forum here for gravel bikes and another for touring. I would also make inquires there as those people would have much experience with the kind of bike you are looking for.
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Old 12-11-19, 12:52 PM
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My Trek Dual Sport 3 seems as if it would fit your criteria. While I’m far from an experienced expert, I have multiple very comfortable 20+ mile rides on it and it holds its own on dirt, gravel, etc. just a bit over $800.
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Old 12-11-19, 01:21 PM
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Been commuting since 1978. Was carless for 20 years and live in snow country. Tried internal hubs, but changing flat tires out on the road is too much hassle for me and I don't like a heavy rear end on the bike when going up or down curbs and other obstacles. Tried flat bars, but my wrists and hands don't like them so I use drop bars. Bar ends have been the best so far and require very little attention. When snow and ice build up on the freewheel, it can usually be cleared by pulling up on the bar end to run the der up the cassette. Sometimes the ice is really bad and only a thaw will clear it from the sprockets.

Friction shifting is by far the lowest maintenance and can go for years without any service. My short commute bike for trips 10 miles round trip has friction and I have not had to address any shifting issues since 2002 when I changed the housing and cables. My long commute bike has bar ends on it, and I changed from index to friction in 2001. The index shifters wore out after only 8 years, but the friction shifters (Suntour Bar Cons) are decades old and work beautifully.

If you must have index shifting, stick with bar ends as they really are super low maintenance. Cables don't break off in the shift lever like brifters, and they don't gum up like brifters.

This is the most durable, low maintenance shifting that I know of aside from IGH, which as stated earlier, I do not like for the reasons previously stated.

Oh, yeah, I ride steel frames. Vintage ones can be had at prices far lower than anything new on the showroom floor.

Last edited by TiHabanero; 12-11-19 at 01:24 PM.
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Old 12-11-19, 02:35 PM
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Base models of Giant Revolt and Toughroad. Also Raleigh Willard.
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Old 12-11-19, 02:53 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Been commuting since 1978. Was carless for 20 years and live in snow country. Tried internal hubs, but changing flat tires out on the road is too much hassle for me and I don't like a heavy rear end on the bike when going up or down curbs and other obstacles. Tried flat bars, but my wrists and hands don't like them so I use drop bars. Bar ends have been the best so far and require very little attention. When snow and ice build up on the freewheel, it can usually be cleared by pulling up on the bar end to run the der up the cassette. Sometimes the ice is really bad and only a thaw will clear it from the sprockets.

Friction shifting is by far the lowest maintenance and can go for years without any service. My short commute bike for trips 10 miles round trip has friction and I have not had to address any shifting issues since 2002 when I changed the housing and cables. My long commute bike has bar ends on it, and I changed from index to friction in 2001. The index shifters wore out after only 8 years, but the friction shifters (Suntour Bar Cons) are decades old and work beautifully.

If you must have index shifting, stick with bar ends as they really are super low maintenance. Cables don't break off in the shift lever like brifters, and they don't gum up like brifters.

This is the most durable, low maintenance shifting that I know of aside from IGH, which as stated earlier, I do not like for the reasons previously stated.

Oh, yeah, I ride steel frames. Vintage ones can be had at prices far lower than anything new on the showroom floor.

So what shifting are you suggesting? Downtube? I'm just not familiar with friction shifting. And if you had to buy a bike complete from a company for under 1000 today what would you buy? Your situation sounds pretty close to mine!
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Old 12-11-19, 03:01 PM
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"ANY"? advice ... how about buy pre-owned instead of new?
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Old 12-11-19, 04:00 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
"ANY"? advice ... how about buy pre-owned instead of new?
No need to mock my wording. And I have bought used my whole life. I dont like having parts wear down on me faster than I wear them down. And things that are older than they seem. As well as buying used in my location is almost outlawed (no shops or pawnshops will purchase them due to the extreme increase in bike theft this year) so buying used is a huge risk in my area. Although I'm sure I will end up just settling for something used as I always do...
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Old 12-11-19, 04:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Lab4Us View Post
My Trek Dual Sport 3 seems as if it would fit your criteria. While Iím far from an experienced expert, I have multiple very comfortable 20+ mile rides on it and it holds its own on dirt, gravel, etc. just a bit over $800.
I have the ds 8.3 I agree perfect type bike for different type of paths
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Old 12-11-19, 05:53 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
I have the ds 8.3 I agree perfect type bike for different type of paths
THANK you! Will be looking into this bike
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Old 12-11-19, 06:02 PM
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Originally Posted by coffeesnob View Post
I have the ds 8.3 I agree perfect type bike for different type of paths
So what is the deal with the hydraulic fork? What's the maintenance on that?
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Old 12-11-19, 10:04 PM
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Are you looking at a flat bar bike or drop bar? Do you prefer steel, aluminum or carbon fiber? What is your idea of a "long ride".

You mentioned Salsa by name and their journeyman claris model is within your budget and comes in either drop or flat bar. With Surly, there is the cross check, but it doesn't have disc brakes, if that is important to you.
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Old 12-11-19, 10:25 PM
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https://aroundthecycle.com/collectio...y-touring-bike
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Old 12-11-19, 10:51 PM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
Are you looking at a flat bar bike or drop bar? Do you prefer steel, aluminum or carbon fiber? What is your idea of a "long ride".

You mentioned Salsa by name and their journeyman claris model is within your budget and comes in either drop or flat bar. With Surly, there is the cross check, but it doesn't have disc brakes, if that is important to you.
Lol I know or both of the bikes I actually was between them but I couldn't justify paying that much for lack of some things that other decent bikes in that range cost. I hate carbon and can not personally see how carbon could ever supply what I'm asking. The difference to steel or aluminum doesn't matter to me as much as some things. Yes I understand that can be night and day to a lot of people but to me it's not that big of a deal. And I'd like to spend an entire day riding at a time. Sometimes up to 40 miles sometimes more. But not often. I did my research and as far as I've come, which I still have a long way to go. The Trek DS3 seems to be EXACTLY what I've been looking for for 100 less than the journeyman AND the surly crosscheck. I don't really want bigger than 700x40 tires and the dual sport seriously packs a punch for the dollar. I love drop bar as well but I'm beyond willing to compromise and if not I can make the proper arrangements to make it my dream ride! Thank you all for your help. Seriously! I think I'm leaning toward Trek right now but still open to options. But I swear the dual sport 3 is exactly what I'm looking for. Minus the handlebars
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Old 12-11-19, 11:05 PM
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I personally wouldn't want the DS due to the suspension, as I only like suspension for actual mountain bike riding. To do 40+ miles I'd also have to add bar ends for different hand placements. Some other suggestions in the flat bar realm that caught my attention in the past were:

Marin Muirwoods ($800)
Jamis Sequel ($1100)

You can always upgrade components as they wear out if you go for something lower end like a journeyman.
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Old 12-12-19, 12:12 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I personally wouldn't want the DS due to the suspension, as I only like suspension for actual mountain bike riding. To do 40+ miles I'd also have to add bar ends for different hand placements. Some other suggestions in the flat bar realm that caught my attention in the past were:

Marin Muirwoods ($800)
Jamis Sequel ($1100)

You can always upgrade components as they wear out if you go for something lower end like a journeyman.

Thank you! I appreciate the help and also the suspension has a lockout system as well so you dont have to use it unless you need to
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Old 12-12-19, 12:17 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I personally wouldn't want the DS due to the suspension, as I only like suspension for actual mountain bike riding. To do 40+ miles I'd also have to add bar ends for different hand placements. Some other suggestions in the flat bar realm that caught my attention in the past were:

Marin Muirwoods ($800)
Jamis Sequel ($1100)

You can always upgrade components as they wear out if you go for something lower end like a journeyman.
I also wouldn't call any of the bikes being discussed lower end. Maybe if you were talking about $300 and $400 bikes I'd understand but $800-$1000 is not low end. Yes I understand bikes can average well over 2k and it reaches as high as 20k. But for an average person with a **** ton of Bill's I'd say an $800 bike with the features the DS has is not lower end. Just please explain to me so I can better understand how?
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Old 12-12-19, 12:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
Thank you! I appreciate the help and also the suspension has a lockout system as well so you dont have to use it unless you need to
It's not that simple as there is still movement when locked out (though minimal) and you are riding with the additional weight of having the fork all the time. But I like steel bikes so there is additional weight for that as well.

Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
I also wouldn't call any of the bikes being discussed lower end. Maybe if you were talking about $300 and $400 bikes I'd understand but $800-$1000 is not low end. Yes I understand bikes can average well over 2k and it reaches as high as 20k. But for an average person with a **** ton of Bill's I'd say an $800 bike with the features the DS has is not lower end. Just please explain to me so I can better understand how?
I am referring to the component level. Claris is 2nd from the bottom on the Shimano road hierarchy (above tourney).

Shimano Road Hierachy
Shimano Mountain Hierachy

All Shimano components generally work as they are suppose to, the higher levels are generally lighter and feel more refined.

Edit: I'd highly suggest visiting a few shops and test riding some bikes. When you visit Trek to ride a DS, also ride the FX to compare. There are many different types of bikes and everyone has their preferences.

Last edited by katsup; 12-12-19 at 12:45 AM.
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Old 12-12-19, 01:46 AM
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Another vote for used. No, you do not buy used bikes in stores. Yes, caveat emptor always applies. If you can solve the problems any commuter has to solve every day you can manage friction shifting. It's been done for 95 years and somehow we survived. Commuters want reliability and simplicity. Older bikes have that in spades.

Same bike for gravel and spirited long rides and commuting makes no sense. Do you have parking at your desk? Do you imagine you can do a long gravel ride on Sunday and the bike needs zero maintenance every time? The bike is just ready to go Monday morning?

Suspension and reliability can sort of go together. Long term? See a lot of old suspension on the street?
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Old 12-12-19, 04:56 AM
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Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
No need to mock my wording. And I have bought used my whole life. I dont like having parts wear down on me faster than I wear them down. And things that are older than they seem. As well as buying used in my location is almost outlawed (no shops or pawnshops will purchase them due to the extreme increase in bike theft this year) so buying used is a huge risk in my area. Although I'm sure I will end up just settling for something used as I always do...
oh sorry for any misunderstanding didnít intend to ďmockĒ you, buying used is my standard contribution when I see bike shopping threads. Cuz Iím so horrified by prices for new stuff. Best wishes for your next bike!
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Old 12-12-19, 06:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
I also wouldn't call any of the bikes being discussed lower end. Maybe if you were talking about $300 and $400 bikes I'd understand but $800-$1000 is not low end. Yes I understand bikes can average well over 2k and it reaches as high as 20k. But for an average person with a **** ton of Bill's I'd say an $800 bike with the features the DS has is not lower end. Just please explain to me so I can better understand how?
Not to sound like a jerk, but we all understand that a thousand dollars is a thousand dollars not a quarter. Any bicycle that you purchase new at that price point is a bike that is set up to compete in the market at that price point. In other words it is going to be a canned set up, not a custom machine. There will be compromises. The only problem is while you can swap out components to make it fit your particular tastes, usually doing a component swap will increase the amount of money you spend.

So if swapping out bars, stems and shifters, brake levers, saddle on a new $800 bicycle costs an additional $300 then quite obviously your now buying a $1100 bike. So you should then consider comparing $1100 bikes not $800 bikes. Personally I'm a firm believer that you should get exactly what you want. Even if that means saving up more money for a few months. If you purchased a $1500 bike, for the first month or so you would be like "wow what a bike" but a year later you will be saying to yourself It's a nice bike but I really would like to have _______ and ______.

I started getting semi-serious about riding about this time last year. Second or third time out on a rail trail I went with a friend that has a bike worth twice mine. This guy during our 14 mile ride literally blew my doors off. I thought my legs were going to explode! During our time together he politely pointed out the benefits of where the additional money he spent on his ride made for an overall better riding experience. I'm talking better quality forks, disk brakes and so forth. But today this guy is still doing 14 mile rides where as I'm doing 40-50 mile rides, I've managed to turn it around so that I'm blowing his doors off and doing so on the same bike I had this time last year. In my opinion, on anything over $500-$600 it's more the rider not the horse.
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Old 12-12-19, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by katsup View Post
I personally wouldn't want the DS due to the suspension, as I only like suspension for actual mountain bike riding. To do 40+ miles I'd also have to add bar ends for different hand placements. Some other suggestions in the flat bar realm that caught my attention in the past were:Marin Muirwoods ($800)
the pics in that link don't do it justice. saw one in person, at a VT bike shop, 'bout a year ago. started salivating instantly. loved the big tires. wound up buying a used 29er for $200 w a cheap suspension fork. been having a blast off road & glad to have the fork, even if it is a cheap one. would still love to trade my Trek FX for the Muirwood tho, if I could find a modern unit, my size, at a price I can afford ... I like having a road bike, a straight bar hybrid & a legit MTB. 3 bikes, is the right number for me
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Old 12-13-19, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by rumrunn6 View Post
oh sorry for any misunderstanding didnít intend to ďmockĒ you, buying used is my standard contribution when I see bike shopping threads. Cuz Iím so horrified by prices for new stuff. Best wishes for your next bike!
Thank you and i apologize for any attitude I may have seemed to show! Thank you got your help
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Old 12-13-19, 01:52 PM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Thomas15 View Post
Not to sound like a jerk, but we all understand that a thousand dollars is a thousand dollars not a quarter. Any bicycle that you purchase new at that price point is a bike that is set up to compete in the market at that price point. In other words it is going to be a canned set up, not a custom machine. There will be compromises. The only problem is while you can swap out components to make it fit your particular tastes, usually doing a component swap will increase the amount of money you spend.

So if swapping out bars, stems and shifters, brake levers, saddle on a new $800 bicycle costs an additional $300 then quite obviously your now buying a $1100 bike. So you should then consider comparing $1100 bikes not $800 bikes. Personally I'm a firm believer that you should get exactly what you want. Even if that means saving up more money for a few months. If you purchased a $1500 bike, for the first month or so you would be like "wow what a bike" but a year later you will be saying to yourself It's a nice bike but I really would like to have _______ and ______.

I started getting semi-serious about riding about this time last year. Second or third time out on a rail trail I went with a friend that has a bike worth twice mine. This guy during our 14 mile ride literally blew my doors off. I thought my legs were going to explode! During our time together he politely pointed out the benefits of where the additional money he spent on his ride made for an overall better riding experience. I'm talking better quality forks, disk brakes and so forth. But today this guy is still doing 14 mile rides where as I'm doing 40-50 mile rides, I've managed to turn it around so that I'm blowing his doors off and doing so on the same bike I had this time last year. In my opinion, on anything over $500-$600 it's more the rider not the horse.

I dont mind upgrading parts later on it's a matter of gathering the entire amount and I will be more then flexible to buy those things later. I'm not between the kona Rove and trek ds 3
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Old 12-13-19, 07:59 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Liquidspacehead View Post
I'm now between the kona Rove and trek ds 3
They are quite different bikes. Test ride them both and one may stand out.

Kona Rove
Trek DS3
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