First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

CapnBloodbeard
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First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby CapnBloodbeard » Wed Dec 06, 2017 8:29 pm

Hi brains trust! And thanks in advance to anybody who read through my long post and responded :P

Just wanting some thoughts from the brains trust. Looking at getting a commuter bike that I can also ride for a bit of fitness on the weekend. So, commuter/hybrid/flat bar road bike (with pannier eyelets). My commute is only a couple of suburbs and I'd probably only be taking 1 pannier rack, so not heaps of weight. Upgrading from a mountain bike - not doing offroad at all these days.

Looking to keep it fairly budget, $500-700. I was initially thinking of a drop bar bike, but then I thought that at the price range I'm looking at - even slightly over - I'm probably going to wind up with a bike that I'm not quite happy with in any of it's duties, so if I still want a drop bar bike later I can always get another one (N+1 and all that).

It seems like most bikes in this price range are much of a muchness. A few bikes at this price range seem to be using the cheaper MTB components - either Tourney, Altus - or in one case (the XDS CT 430, Alivio, which is surprising). The occasional bike may use Claris...then there's the ones using the unnamed Shimano components.

Sort of bikes I was looking at are:
Giant Cross City 2
Cannondale Quick 5
Trek FX 2
XDS CT 430

There were probably a couple of others that would fit in that price range too, I think there may have been another XDS one. The CT 430 was interesting, because it had Alivio groupset which is the highest 'ranked' groupset out of anything in this price range, by far. Still MTB groupsets though. XDS was quite heavy though at 16 kg...

Given my purposes, should I care that it's offering MTB components versus road components, or would I still be better trying to lean towards Claris over a higher-ranked, but MTB component set? I know there may be some differences in the ratios between MTB and road groupsets, but not sure what else it means for the shifters, deraillers, etc.

Any thoughts / insights on what I've said here and the sort of bikes I'm looking at?

tez001
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby tez001 » Thu Dec 07, 2017 7:24 am

For flat bar, any of those will do the job. Also have a look at Reid and Polygon as they have some priced in your range with disc brakes which is what I would go for. Just for that tad better braking in all weather.

The Cannondale Quick 5 looks good out of all those.

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bychosis
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby bychosis » Thu Dec 07, 2017 9:02 am

I haven't looked at the ones you listed, but would also try to go for hydraulic disc brakes if possible.

I recently built a flat bar disc braked road bike by buying a new frame and switching components from a damaged but near new hybrid style bike. So glad I got discs, the bike it replaced was fine at stopping in the dry, but the discs are much better. I come from experience with disc brakes on MTB and was still surprised how well the disc brakes performed with road tyres.

The difference between road and MTB groupsets is negligible in terms of performance for equivalent level stuff. The difference tends to be that road sets are closer ratio gears and MTB is specifically designed for flat bar bikes. In function they do the same job - changing gears. My flat bar is running MTB 9 speed gear in a 2x9 arrangement after I ditched the granny ring to shed a few grams and also learn to harden up.
bychosis (bahy-koh-sis): A mental disorder of delusions indicating impaired contact with a reality of no bicycles.

CapnBloodbeard
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby CapnBloodbeard » Thu Dec 07, 2017 11:27 am

bychosis wrote:I haven't looked at the ones you listed, but would also try to go for hydraulic disc brakes if possible.

I recently built a flat bar disc braked road bike by buying a new frame and switching components from a damaged but near new hybrid style bike. So glad I got discs, the bike it replaced was fine at stopping in the dry, but the discs are much better. I come from experience with disc brakes on MTB and was still surprised how well the disc brakes performed with road tyres.

.

My MTB has mechanical disc brakes, but it seems to be that the bikes on sale at the moment are the non-disc ones. Disc I'd prefer, but I think the price is pushing out of my budget on those.

tez001 wrote:For flat bar, any of those will do the job. Also have a look at Reid and Polygon as they have some priced in your range with disc brakes which is what I would go for. Just for that tad better braking in all weather.

The Cannondale Quick 5 looks good out of all those.

I thought Reid tended to be more cheaply made?
Also, why have you suggested the Cannondale when, say, the xds has higher grade components?

CapnBloodbeard
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby CapnBloodbeard » Fri Dec 08, 2017 5:45 pm

I ended up getting the XDS CT430. The Cannondale's were out of my price range The Giant, I just didn't like the feel of the SRAM components in the 2017 Cross City 2. The 2018 model was out with Shimano components, and the bike itself looked quite sexy. I took that for a ride along with the CT 430, and straight away I could feel the difference in the components. The Giant is a really light bike and handled quite well riding it around the shop, but once I hit the street the XDS was superior. Much better tyres too - I deliberately locked up the rear brakes on both and the Giant, the wheel wanted to slide right out from under me. Picked up some lights and a lock too. The XDS annoyingly went with silver mud guards on a black frame which looks a bit ordinary, but oh well.
And of course I managed to scratch the damn thing getting it into the car....lol

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DavidS
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby DavidS » Sat Dec 09, 2017 10:26 pm

Sounds good, I have a Cannondale, great bike, but, yes, more expensive. It has done 31K although it is on its second frame.

The XDS sounds good and a flat bar is quite a flexible bike, you can commute and go for sporting or recreational rides.

I have never had a bike with disc brakes, they are meant to be excellent but I certainly haven't had problems with V-Brakes, get decent brake pads which don't wear out the minute it rains. Mudguards are essential in the rain, good to have them.

Enjoy.

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Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

Arbuckle23
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby Arbuckle23 » Sun Dec 10, 2017 8:40 am

DavidS wrote: although it is on its second frame.


Grandfathers axe ? :wink:

I like to think that the frame is the essentially the bike. The rest are just bolt on bits that can be changed any time.

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OnTrackZeD
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby OnTrackZeD » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:59 pm

Arbuckle23 wrote:
DavidS wrote: although it is on its second frame.




I like to think that the frame is the essentially the bike.


I was thinking the same thing.

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DavidS
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Re: First commuter/fitness bike - looking for some insight

Postby DavidS » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:17 pm

OnTrackZeD wrote:
Arbuckle23 wrote:
DavidS wrote: although it is on its second frame.




I like to think that the frame is the essentially the bike.


I was thinking the same thing.


Yeah I get it, but . . . , I bought the bike, frame broke, fixed under warranty and to me it is the same bike. I am pretty hard on bikes, I broke 26 of the 32 spokes on the back wheel of that bike before replacing the wheels after about 15K.

The Allegro I also have is a steel frame on purpose as I've broken 2 aluminium frames in 21K, we'll see how a steel frame goes.

DS
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Cannondale Quick Speed 2, Allegro T1

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