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Thread: Drop-bar disc commuters

  1. #1
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    Default Drop-bar disc commuters

    Making a list, checking it twice. No, thrice. No, just until drool shorts out my keyboard.

    Every time the weather's nasty, I start getting the urge to go bike shopping. If I really knew what I needed, I'd have bought it by now, but this is the set of requirements that I'm working with:
    • Disc brakes (BB-7s, equivalent, or such a good deal that upgrading is economical)
    • Drop-bar, or drop-bar-ish. I run mustache bars and like them.
    • Enough tire clearance for studs and fenders (45mm?)
    • Geometry somewhere between touring and relaxed cross (inclusive).
    • Rack and fender compatible


    I'm flexible on frame material and cost, not all of which meet my 'requirements.' I'm just trying to maximize some value metric which I can't quite pin down.

    Here's my current watch list:
    Last edited by ronwalf; 12-08-2013 at 07:52 PM. Reason: More bikes!

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    Surly Straggler or All-City Macho Man Disc?

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    I read somewhere recently that Surly is going to start putting disc mounts on the Cross Check. Makes me want to leave my current CC unlocked in downtown DC.

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    I'd personally lean toward aluminum rather than steel for a winter commuter. And if you want 45mm clearance you're going to have a pretty short list; if you drop your requirement to 35 or 40 you'll have a lot more choices and can still get studs & fenders.

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    Specialized makes nice bikes but the company is run by scumbags, if that matters to you.

    Just the latest example in a looong line.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    I'd personally lean toward aluminum rather than steel for a winter commuter. And if you want 45mm clearance you're going to have a pretty short list; if you drop your requirement to 35 or 40 you'll have a lot more choices and can still get studs & fenders.
    That's why there's the titanium one on the list 40 + fenders is fine. Usually they required 5-8mm of clearance, thus the 45mm total.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronwalf View Post
    That's why there's the titanium one on the list 40 + fenders is fine. Usually they required 5-8mm of clearance, thus the 45mm total.
    Well, a gold plated bike would also be corrosion resistant, but given the parenthetical comment on the titanium one I left those options off.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mstone View Post
    Well, a gold plated bike would also be corrosion resistant, but given the parenthetical comment on the titanium one I left those options off.
    Many of the aluminum ones come with steel forks, so I'm not sure how much it buys me. The Kona Jake is all aluminum and doesn't look like a bad choice, so I put it on the list. In practice (on my steel commuter), frame rust is just cosmetic. Everything else will die a thousand deaths in the rain before rust compromises the integrity of the frame.

  9. #9
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    What, no internal hub gear/belt drive requirement?

    I used to think I wanted the ultimate commuter bike too, and I did get a drop bar disc brake bike that can handle rack/fenders (Kona Jake) but I commute on it less than I expected... winter conditions and road salt, urggghh. (But it does fine as a gravel grinder and okay as a CX rig too). I think now I would prefer something that just has very few moving parts, or even a cheap 26" MTB beater bike (which I use for studded tire rides). I've also learned that gears aren't actually necessary on my commute.

    If it were me, I would probably go with a Salsa Fargo (I've always been intrigued by that bike), or the Macho Man Disc (love the paint scheme) but then my n+1 habits/preferences obviously depend on what bases I've already got covered. I liked that Redline a lot in the model year I was looking at too (12+ months ago), but no LBS had them ready to look at in stock. The paint scheme is more boring again now though imo. Jamis I dropped off my list because at the time their rear spacing was all 130mm instead of 135mm (and I was only looking at Al bikes).

    Some other ideas here, maybe: http://www.joe-bike.com/bikes/commuter-bikes/
    They also have a 56cm Spot Mod Disc SS for half price. If it were a size down I would've bought it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by vvill View Post
    I used to think I wanted the ultimate commuter bike too, ... but I commute on it less than I expected...
    If it were me, I would probably go with a Salsa Fargo
    I have space constraints, so this'll be my only bike. I seem to be out in the muck regardless of how much my bike hates it, so I'm not too worried about how much I'll ride it.

    I have an inquiry in with this guy, so that Fargo may come to pass (or not - that ad is ancient).
    Last edited by ronwalf; 12-08-2013 at 08:42 PM.

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