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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    176

    new bike recommendations

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    Hi all!
    It's been a while since I've posted, but I have been keeping up on reading now and again and am happy to see everyone still sharing ideas and stories here.

    I'm in the market for a new bike (!). I have been road cycling for about 7 years on a Focus Corrente and I love it. Really appreciate the flat bar (had it rebuilt into a slightly angled bar, with bar ends) and more upright position due to low back challenges. I started commuting to work in the spring and fall - won't ride in the dark - and am thinking it's time to either a) get a 'better' bike for my road/exercise/distance bike and turn the Focus into my commuter, or b) get a lower-end bike for commuting and take the pannier racks off my Focus.

    In looking at the newer flat-bar bikes and comparisons to drop-bar bikes, it sounds like geometry is changing with some drop-bar bikes to accommodate the non-racing riders, but I do like the wider grip of the flat bar as it makes me feel more in control, and I have pretty wide shoulders, too. Currently riding 28mm tires and they are suiting my needs, which include the occasional foray into the gravel roads of Forest Park. Love disc brakes for our often wet roads.

    Would love to hear any advice, love/hate stories about bikes/brands/styles, or other insights that are out there.

    Many Thanks!
    Susan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Hi Susan

    Don't know your specific commuter situation, but when I lived in Portland and Chicago and commuted, we purposely used cheaper bikes if we had to leave our bikes outside a building when we worked because of the theft problem. Actually knew some guys who purposely made their bikes look cheap and junky to avoid attracting attention from bike thieves. On the other hand, if your able to store a bike, inside, when you work, use any bike you want.

    I'm all flat bar bikes, now, but have ridden drop bar bikes, too, for many, many years. I've just found it too hard to switch back and forth between the two bikes because they use such different riding positions. That, and I'm also a mountain biker, anyway, so using flat bars for all my riding is very practical.

    I'm a big fan, though of wider tires for all my bicycling. I'm sure those 28mm tires are fine, but going even wider will make for a more comfy ride, especially on gravel. 35 or even 40mm tires won't slow you down much, but will provide an extra measure of safety on rough or loose surfaces. You don't have to go as crazy as I do - my narrowest tire bike is 2.25" - but I would recommend exploring wider than 28mm, at least.

    I'm a big fan of Surly bikes. They're all steel and rugged as a bike can get and set up with basic, but durable components. Won't cost you a lot, either. A Surly is no racing bike, for sure, but if you want a bike that will always get you there and back, no matter what you encounter, Surly is a great choice. They'll last a lifetime of hard riding. They do have a few drop bar models, but most of their bikes are flat bar bikes. I know the Surly line, well. Have four of their bikes and they get ridden hard.

    Since I'm a steel bike freak, another great line of bikes is Salsa with their steel models, though they are mostly drop bar bikes. The Fargo and Vaya are great choices for do it all bikes.
    Last edited by north woods gal; 07-29-2018 at 10:56 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Traveling Nomad
    Posts
    6,840
    I haven't bought a new bike in so long I can't begin to reply to this thread, but I just wanted to wish you luck in your search, Susan. My husband and I have both had really good luck with our old Trek road bikes and would certainly buy Trek again. His roadie is even older than mine -- it's like a 2002 Trek 5200, way back when Lance rode for USPS, it's the US Postal Service model/paint job. Dates it just a bit! He just keeps changing components on it and riding thousands of miles a year!

    Hope you find what you are looking for. New bikes are a real thrill!
    Emily

    2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
    2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
    2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    north woods of Wisconsin
    Posts
    1,127
    Hey, I remember that Trek 5200, Emily. I had the model just below that. It was my first carbon road bike. Guess that dates me, too.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    176
    Thank you, NWG and Emily! I am looking forward to this process!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,467
    I had the same model Trek as Emily's DH for a few years. Actually, ever should have sold it! I now have a Trek Silque (now part of the Domane series), which has more of an endurance geometry, though still a carbon drop bar road bike. If you want to stick wit flat bar, I'd suggest looking at one of the mid to higher end Trek FX series. There are tons of models, but they are a really good flat bar road bike.
    I also had a Jamis Coda, which is a steel flat bar road bike. It's heavier and I used it for commuting and errands, but it was fun to ride. They make a lighter alu version. Again, cheaper components, but fun.
    2015 Trek Silque SSL
    Specialized Oura

    2011 Guru Praemio
    Specialized Oura
    2017 Specialized Ariel Sport

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    6,717
    What is your budget? what frame material do you want?

    The Salsa Journeyman is their new 'all road' offering. It's cheaper than their other bikes. Geometry similar to a Vaya. Aluminum. Available in flatbar. Or, just get a Salsa Vaya, and have the bars changed to flat. Vaya is steel. For either, I'd replace the wheels for something lighter weight just to make the bike easier to pick up if necessary. You could also get one of the Sora models for higher components, and have the drop bars replaced with flat. The bikes are reasonably priced, so changes are easier. Tires up to 50 mm wide are sweet (but you can go more narrow if you want). And you can choose either 700 c or 650b. Really nice bike for the price.

    https://salsacycles.com/bikes/journe...eyman_sora_700
    Last edited by Muirenn; 08-09-2018 at 11:11 AM.
    So long as the wheels are still turning, life is good.

    Battswebb

    Pinarello Quattro~CAADX~ Zurich Lemond
    Specialized Romin Saddles


    Surly Karate Monkey!!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Portland, OR
    Posts
    176
    Thanks, Crankin and Muirenn!
    Some financial roadblocks have come up - our new dog broke his leg : ( so it may be spring before the bike shopping can seriously begin, but now I have some great ideas about things to research and consider.
    S

 

 

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