Help needed in finding a new commuter

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Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Dodsun » Mon May 30, 2011 11:25 pm

Help, I am trying to find a replacement for my old Dodsun Fire Power mountain bike which has been a faithful commuter for the past 14 years. – I am looking for a reliable bike that will be primarily used as a commuter, but also suitable for longer rides on the weekend. My daily commute is on sealed but hilly terrain approximately 28Km per day, but stretching out to 40 Km when time permits. I want to keep to a tight budget, and have found these two tourers. Any views on which would be the better buy?...or suggested alternatives

[b]SCHWINN WORLD TOUR DLX 2011 $1200[/b]Frame: Schwinn N'Gauged CroMo Bio Tuned Touring Geometry
Fork: N'Gauged CroMo TIG welded Unicrown with forged dropouts and low-rider mounts
Color(s): Black
Drivetrain
Crank: FSA Vero compact triple 50/39/30T
Bottom Bracket: FSA cartridge sq. JIS taper
Shifters: Shimano Tiagra STI
Cog Set: SRAM PG 850 8-speed, 11-32
Derailleurs: Shimano Deore rear, Sora front
Chain: KMC Z-99
Wheels
Rims: Jalco DT21 double wall alloy with eyelets, 36 hole
Hubs: Shimano MC18 rear, MC12 front
Spokes: 14 G stainless
Tires: Continental Sport Contact 700x32C
Components
Pedals: FPD NWL-326 with one side clipless and one side TPR insert
Brakes: Tektro Oryx forged cantilever
Brake Levers: Shimano Tiagra STI with Tektro bar top levers
Handlebar: Road Tuned 6000 series alloy ergonomic drop bar, 26.0
Stem: Alloy road 25.4 quill
Headset: 1 1/8" threaded
Grips: Road Tuned Gel tape
Saddle: Schwinn Bio-Tuned with Globe System
Seat Post: Alloy micro adjust, 27.2
Extras: Planet Bike Freddy Fenders, Planet Bike rear alloy rack, and alloy seat binder


FUJI TOURING 2011 $1250
MAIN FRAME Fuji Elios 2 custom butted CrMo with outer butted seat tube, Double water bottle mounts
REAR TRIANGLE Fuji Elios 2 custom tapered CrMo with forged dropout, eyelets, spare spoke holder, rack mounts
FORK Fuji 1" Custom Tapered CrMo, with Low Rider mounts
CRANKSET Shimano Sora HollowTech design, 30/39/50T
BOTTOM BRACKET Shimano Included w/crank
PEDALS Fuji Alloy Road
FRONT DERAILLEUR Shimano Non-series FD-R453
REAR DERAILLEUR Shimano Deore, Top Normal
SHIFTERS Shimano Dura-Ace Bar End Shifter
CASSETTE Shimano HG50 11-34T, 9-speed
CHAIN KMC Z99
WHEELSET Fuji Sealed Alloy Road, 36H Hubs with Alex Ace 17 Black CNC Sidewall Rims, 36H
TIRES WTB Freedom Ryder Sport, 700x32c
BRAKE SET Tektro 992A Mini Canti
BRAKE LEVERS Shimano R-400 Road Levers
HEADSET Fuji 1" Threaded Alloy Road W/Roller Bearing
HANDLEBAR Fuji 6061 Butted Road, Classic Drops
STEM Fuji Superlight Road Alloy, 30 Degree
TAPE/GRIP Fuji custom cork wrap
SADDLE WTB Freedom Racine Sport Saddle
SEAT POST Fuji Superlite Micro Adjust Alloy, 300x27.2mm
FENDERS Nil
HEADLIGHT Nil
TAILLIGHT Nil
REAR CARRIER Alloy rear carrier with stainless hardware w/Spring Clip
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by BNA » Tue May 31, 2011 12:51 am

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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Mulger bill » Tue May 31, 2011 12:51 am

If you could swing the extra dollars past the funds manager, there's THIS.
No worries about wet weather braking. Better quality running gear.

I recall there's a few rolling around BNA. Pretty sure the owners are happy little vegemites too. I'd be one of them if I wasn't saving for a new MTB.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Dodsun » Tue May 31, 2011 11:03 pm

Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the Kona Mulger bill. Yes I can see the value in the higher spec running gear.

I have checked out the gearing however and am not sure if it would suit me. The Honky Inc. has a 39/50 chain ring with 12-27 freewheel. On my current MTB (on 26" rims) I am currently using a 22 / 18 gear to get up the one long climb I have each night on my return ride. - used to do it on a 22 / 16 combination so I must be getting older! The lowest combination on the Honky inc would be 39 / 27 which would be just slightly above what I am comfortably riding in now.

I'd be hesitant about making the purchase without having access to the bike for a test ride. I like the spiel on the bike though..."made for cyclists who commute through rain, sleet and sometimes snow"... Yep that would be me.

I haven't totally written off this suggestion, but will keep looking for what else may be about.
Cheers
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Mulger bill » Wed Jun 01, 2011 1:57 am

True but I'm sure the Kona would weigh a bit less than your MTB.

Going back around four years now when I got me first roadie, I looked at the higher gearing compared to me slick shod MTB and thought I'd be pushing up the last hill going home. I was wrong, big wrong. Faster, easier, funner :D
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby lang » Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:24 pm

Hey Dodsun,
I'm one of the Honky Inc owners round here so I can give you my view on it. I bought the 2010 model from Evans Cycles (UK) to use as my full time commuter bike. It's perfect for a serious commute, as it's a road bike with relaxed geometry, can take a rack and full fenders and has the disc brakes which are a must in a downpour. The groupset is good, although the interesting thing is my model came with a 34/50 chainset, and the same 12/27 cog. Most steep hills I take on the 25t rear cog, so there's plenty of low range with this set up. Looking at the 2011 model though, I have a feeling that chainset is not compact just from looking at it...

It'd also be nice for long weekend rides as it rolls nice and fast on the flats, particularly with 25c tyres. The ride comfort is also pretty good - the head tube is enormous!

I guess the only downsides are that it's a bit heavy, at almost 11kg unladen I think. This makes it feel a little slow up the hills. Of course, I'm comparing to my carbon roadie. Mine and Xplora's have a bit of a pulsating from brake, mine due to the disc not spinning completely true - I've just learned to live with it for now. Also, I wish the FD would shift a little better - I think it's a bit clunky due to the large jump between my two chainrings (34 to 50).

Basically, it's a quality bike with good mid-range components.

You see a pic of mine, and read about Xplora's Honky Inc here:
http://bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=35392

Good luck!
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Mulger bill » Fri Jun 03, 2011 1:14 am

Thanks Lang :D

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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Dodsun » Fri Jun 03, 2011 10:59 pm

Thanks Gents, Yes I have previously read the link you referred to Lang, which spurred me to depart from a MTB / Flat Bar Road Bike as the new replacement.

The search continues, and I found some interesting “potentials" - one was another Schwinn - Le Tour Legacy - Reynolds steel frame, 105 components 50/39/30 & 12-25. I found this on sale now in WA for $999. Approx. $150 freight to bring it in would be a good value. It doesn't quite fit the picture however as it doesn’t have lugs for a rack & guards. (I’m not prepared to mount a kiddie seat for my daughter on a rack that uses brackets that clamp around the frame.) The relaxed frame would make it a good randonneur bike though.

I'll be checking out some more bikes tomorrow. I haven't totally ruled out an alloy frame / carbon fork, so the Avanti Circa will be one of them. The Circa has mounts for racks front and back. I believe that Giant are also introducing a Cyclo-cross to their 2012 Australian line up of bikes. – Due out in 4 – 5 weeks.

So the search will continue for the best value bike that meets my budget. I’ll let you know what I end up with!

For the record, the old mountain bike weighed in at 14 kg when kitted out with rack, guards etc. which is about the same weight as some of the tourers that I checked out earlier.
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby JBark » Sat Jun 04, 2011 5:32 pm

I've got to say those Avanti Circas look to be excellent commuting bikes. I've basically been set on a Giro 3 to replace my MTB commuter, but wasn't sure it would be a good rain/shine 5 days-a-week bike and wanted something with rack mounts. I've got no idea why I never noticed the Circa 2 before, since it's pretty much a Giro 3 with rack mounts and beefier tires.

I'd probably through on some Marathon Plus tires, but other than that it's perfect. Hopefully they'll start showing up used in the next year or so, since the new pricing is a bit too much for me. :)
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Dodsun » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:53 pm

Time flies when you are having good fun. I made my choice 3 weeks ago and picked up an Avanti Circa 2. - Soarer / Tiagra Components, but it enabled me to get a new bike, fitted out with guards, rack, panniers, lights and a few other bits and pieces such as upgraded pedals and a pair of shoes at price that was close to the original budget ($1600).

The first service was today with just over 400 km on the odometer. After 15 years of commuting on a MTB, I haven't looked back. I am really noticing a difference in the acceleration of the bike in comparison to the old MTB, and I am finding that the triple chain ring is giving me enough range to comfortably ride home. This was a concern to be before the upgrade, as I live in quite a hill area. - So far I have managed to keep the lowest gear in reserve and not use it to tackle my biggest climb each day.

Average commuting times are slightly quicker than before, and I am quite comfortable on drop bars once more. Actually, I find myself being more comfortable on the drops than on the hoods.The only changes that I still have in mind is changing the tyres to a slick 700 / 28 set once the stock tyres are worn out. So overall, I am very happy with the bike.

The only disappointment so far is putting the bike down a couple of nights ago on the way home at night. It wasn't due to any issue with the bike however - but a gravel dump left on the road by contractor’s. It was right over the access to the bike track that I use. Blue metal on a black road is hard to pick at night. Especially when there aren't appropriate barricades around it....My discussions with the contracting company's site manager are continuing!
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby CommuRider » Fri Jul 01, 2011 9:56 pm

Dodsun wrote:The only disappointment so far is putting the bike down a couple of nights ago on the way home at night. It wasn't due to any issue with the bike however - but a gravel dump left on the road by contractor’s. It was right over the access to the bike track that I use. Blue metal on a black road is hard to pick at night.


Better get some decent lights!
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Dodsun » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:06 pm

The lights are good, the gravel was in a really dumb place. - I would post an image if I could, but it seems that I don't have the capability in this forum.

It was the first time I've out the bike down for about 6 years....all the previous occassions have been when hitting ice. Ice is much better, as there is less friction when you slide accross the road!
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby mitzikatzi » Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:15 pm

Dodsun wrote:The lights are good, the gravel was in a really dumb place. - I would post an image if I could, but it seems that I don't have the capability in this forum.

It was the first time I've out the bike down for about 6 years....all the previous occassions have been when hitting ice. Ice is much better, as there is less friction when you slide accross the road!



I think you need 10 posts.
Xplora wrote: Do not get cheap SPDs, your body will hurt you.

trailgumby wrote:29ers are awesome.
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby Mulger bill » Sat Jul 02, 2011 12:14 am

mitzikatzi wrote:
Dodsun wrote:The lights are good, the gravel was in a really dumb place. - I would post an image if I could, but it seems that I don't have the capability in this forum.

It was the first time I've out the bike down for about 6 years....all the previous occassions have been when hitting ice. Ice is much better, as there is less friction when you slide accross the road!



I think you need 10 posts.


PM any mod with a link to this thread and links to your pics and they'll be up ASAP. We do more than ban spammers. :wink:

Shaun
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Re: Help needed in finding a new commuter

Postby ACT_Commuter » Sat Aug 06, 2011 9:02 pm

Dodsun wrote:Time flies when you are having good fun. I made my choice 3 weeks ago and picked up an Avanti Circa 2. - Soarer / Tiagra Components, but it enabled me to get a new bike, fitted out with guards, rack, panniers, lights and a few other bits and pieces such as upgraded pedals and a pair of shoes at price that was close to the original budget ($1600).

The first service was today with just over 400 km on the odometer. After 15 years of commuting on a MTB, I haven't looked back. I am really noticing a difference in the acceleration of the bike in comparison to the old MTB, and I am finding that the triple chain ring is giving me enough range to comfortably ride home. This was a concern to be before the upgrade, as I live in quite a hill area. - So far I have managed to keep the lowest gear in reserve and not use it to tackle my biggest climb each day.

Average commuting times are slightly quicker than before, and I am quite comfortable on drop bars once more. Actually, I find myself being more comfortable on the drops than on the hoods.The only changes that I still have in mind is changing the tyres to a slick 700 / 28 set once the stock tyres are worn out. So overall, I am very happy with the bike.

The only disappointment so far is putting the bike down a couple of nights ago on the way home at night. It wasn't due to any issue with the bike however - but a gravel dump left on the road by contractor’s. It was right over the access to the bike track that I use. Blue metal on a black road is hard to pick at night. Especially when there aren't appropriate barricades around it....My discussions with the contracting company's site manager are continuing!


Hi Dodsun,

I'm looking at the Circa 1 and I'm interested to know whether you ended up buying a Circa 1 or a Circa 2 because I'm confused with the specs that you give for the Circa 2. You said that it has Sora/Tiagra components and a triple chainring etc, but that sounds like the Circa 1. Regardless of which one it is, is the bike still performing well in the month since your last post?

Cheers
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