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Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation



 
 
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  #1  
Old April 22nd 07, 03:51 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,477
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

The spousal unit has finally conceded that she needs a new bike. Her
previous bike got transferred to my daughter, and she'd been riding my
old Montague Urban folder that is really too big for her. I added a
Delta extension onto the headset to raise the bars, put on an adjustable
stem to raise them more and to bring them closer, but the reach is just
too far.

She insists on a bike with upright handlebars, and for the riding she
does, mostly in-town riding, or multi-use paths, etc., I guess it's
okay, and I have no choice.

Requirements
-Triple crankset, no Nexus
-No suspension
-Cromo Frame, no aluminum
-Threaded headset (preferred, but I can always add an extender to a
threadless headset).
-Braze-ons for racks and fenders, and at least two sets of bottle braze-ons
-Upright handlebars
-Frame size of 19-20"/48-50 cm

So far, all I've found (new) is the Bianchi Avenue
("http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_avenue.html"), which doesn't have the
greatest components, though it's not too expensive and I could always
upgrade components as needed. There are some used Jamis bikes around
before they went to the cheaper AL frames, but CroMo bikes are in such
high demand that they're no bargain.

I prefer 700c wheels over 26" just because it's so much easier to get
road tires for these bikes. I've had to special order road tires for 26"
and 24" wheeled bicycles in my fleet, and the selection is very limited.

Are there any bikes I'm missing here? I've checked the major (and minor)
brands, and couldn't find anything else.
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  #2  
Old April 22nd 07, 06:34 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Mike Jacoubowsky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,452
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

So far, all I've found (new) is the Bianchi Avenue
("http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_avenue.html"), which doesn't have the
greatest components, though it's not too expensive and I could always
upgrade components as needed. There are some used Jamis bikes around
before they went to the cheaper AL frames, but CroMo bikes are in such
high demand that they're no bargain.


Unless you're good with a welding torch and plan on entering a
destruction-derby contest, there is no good reason to rule out aluminum as a
frame material for a hybrid.

Even if you believe that steel imparts some magical quality to a ride,
whatever that magic is would be likely lost on a bike with larger than 25c
tires. Plus, you can build some absolute junk out of steel, just as you can
aluminum, ti or carbon. It's up to the manufacturer to come up with an
intelligent design that makes the best of a particular material's
properties.

For what it's worth, chrome-moly bikes are anything but in "high demand."
They appeal to a "demanding" subset of cyclists, but it's a very small
subset. Vocal, certainly. But the primary reasons for choosing steel over
other materials (particularly for something with wider tires) should be for
aesthetics.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"SMS" wrote in message
...
The spousal unit has finally conceded that she needs a new bike. Her
previous bike got transferred to my daughter, and she'd been riding my old
Montague Urban folder that is really too big for her. I added a Delta
extension onto the headset to raise the bars, put on an adjustable stem to
raise them more and to bring them closer, but the reach is just too far.

She insists on a bike with upright handlebars, and for the riding she
does, mostly in-town riding, or multi-use paths, etc., I guess it's okay,
and I have no choice.

Requirements
-Triple crankset, no Nexus
-No suspension
-Cromo Frame, no aluminum
-Threaded headset (preferred, but I can always add an extender to a
threadless headset).
-Braze-ons for racks and fenders, and at least two sets of bottle
braze-ons
-Upright handlebars
-Frame size of 19-20"/48-50 cm

So far, all I've found (new) is the Bianchi Avenue
("http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_avenue.html"), which doesn't have the
greatest components, though it's not too expensive and I could always
upgrade components as needed. There are some used Jamis bikes around
before they went to the cheaper AL frames, but CroMo bikes are in such
high demand that they're no bargain.

I prefer 700c wheels over 26" just because it's so much easier to get road
tires for these bikes. I've had to special order road tires for 26" and
24" wheeled bicycles in my fleet, and the selection is very limited.

Are there any bikes I'm missing here? I've checked the major (and minor)
brands, and couldn't find anything else.



  #3  
Old April 22nd 07, 08:08 AM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,477
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
So far, all I've found (new) is the Bianchi Avenue
("http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_avenue.html"), which doesn't have the
greatest components, though it's not too expensive and I could always
upgrade components as needed. There are some used Jamis bikes around
before they went to the cheaper AL frames, but CroMo bikes are in such
high demand that they're no bargain.


Unless you're good with a welding torch and plan on entering a
destruction-derby contest, there is no good reason to rule out aluminum as a
frame material for a hybrid.


There are other reasons as well.

I may have S&S Torque couplers installed on several of my family's
bicycles now that even the international airlines are charging for
bicycles. While it's a lot to do a retrofit, it's less than the cost of
paying for a bicycle on 2-3 round-trip flights. You can't put the torque
couplers on aluminum frames.

I'd prefer to retrofit a better quality bicycle than the Bianchi, but if
none are available then it'll do. I may get the Surly Long Haul Trucker
and switch the brakes, shifters, headset, and bars to upright, but the
size I'd need comes with 26" wheels, rather than 700c. This may be a
compromise I have to make.
  #4  
Old April 22nd 07, 03:24 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
landotter
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,336
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

On Apr 21, 9:51 pm, SMS wrote:
[snip]

So far, all I've found (new) is the Bianchi Avenue
("http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_avenue.html"), which doesn't have the
greatest components, though it's not too expensive and I could always
upgrade components as needed. There are some used Jamis bikes around
before they went to the cheaper AL frames, but CroMo bikes are in such
high demand that they're no bargain.


Cromo bikes ain't in demand around here, but each region is different.

At any rate, not a thing wrong with that Bianchi Avenue. Even cheaper
components shift great these days, and considering this bike probably
won't be getting thousands and thousands of training miles, a plastic
bushing here or there matters little. If you need them, spares will be
dirt cheap. AFAIK, it's Gripshift (ewwww), but if that doesn't bother
her, you're good to go, after you dial in the wheels and replace the
likely ****e stock brake pads. Rims are Alex X202s, which are single
wall and look gimpy on paper, but I've got a pair of the 27" version
that I laced up nice and tight on a utility bike, and they've stayed
perfectly true.

  #5  
Old April 22nd 07, 04:44 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,477
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

landotter wrote:

At any rate, not a thing wrong with that Bianchi Avenue. Even cheaper
components shift great these days, and considering this bike probably
won't be getting thousands and thousands of training miles, a plastic
bushing here or there matters little. If you need them, spares will be
dirt cheap. AFAIK, it's Gripshift (ewwww), but if that doesn't bother
her, you're good to go, after you dial in the wheels and replace the
likely ****e stock brake pads. Rims are Alex X202s, which are single
wall and look gimpy on paper, but I've got a pair of the 27" version
that I laced up nice and tight on a utility bike, and they've stayed
perfectly true.


Yeah, I feel that since it won't be a high mileage bike, it'll be
sufficient. The older Specialized she got a few years ago had similarly
lower end components and nothing has needed replacement.

In this region (SF Bay area) the demand for cro-mo has kept used prices
abnormally high. There are people that rebuild the higher end cro-mo
bikes and resell them for relatively high prices. You've even got people
posting on craigslist offering to buy cro-mo bikes, and others asking
where to buy them. If not for my eventual plan to S&S couple several
bikes in our fleet, I'd probably go to aluminum.
  #6  
Old April 22nd 07, 05:13 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
landotter
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 6,336
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

On Apr 22, 10:44 am, SMS wrote:
landotter wrote:
At any rate, not a thing wrong with that Bianchi Avenue. Even cheaper
components shift great these days, and considering this bike probably
won't be getting thousands and thousands of training miles, a plastic
bushing here or there matters little. If you need them, spares will be
dirt cheap. AFAIK, it's Gripshift (ewwww), but if that doesn't bother
her, you're good to go, after you dial in the wheels and replace the
likely ****e stock brake pads. Rims are Alex X202s, which are single
wall and look gimpy on paper, but I've got a pair of the 27" version
that I laced up nice and tight on a utility bike, and they've stayed
perfectly true.


Yeah, I feel that since it won't be a high mileage bike, it'll be
sufficient. The older Specialized she got a few years ago had similarly
lower end components and nothing has needed replacement.

In this region (SF Bay area) the demand for cro-mo has kept used prices
abnormally high. There are people that rebuild the higher end cro-mo
bikes and resell them for relatively high prices. You've even got people
posting on craigslist offering to buy cro-mo bikes, and others asking
where to buy them. If not for my eventual plan to S&S couple several
bikes in our fleet, I'd probably go to aluminum.


Have you considered a folder to save the hassle and expense of
installing the S&S couplers? For about the same price as the Bianchi
you can get a basic Dahon D7, and it even comes with fenders and a
rack.

  #7  
Old April 22nd 07, 05:48 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
SMS
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 9,477
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

landotter wrote:

Have you considered a folder to save the hassle and expense of
installing the S&S couplers? For about the same price as the Bianchi
you can get a basic Dahon D7, and it even comes with fenders and a
rack.


Ironically, a lot of the 20" wheel folders will not fit in airline legal
suitcases as will an S&S coupled bicycle.

I currently have six folding bicycles, three Bromptons (Taiwanese
version), one Montague Urban, one Dahon Speed TR, and one Gekko (got it
free for evaluation). I had three others that I sold, two of which I got
free for evaluation.

Two of the folders would be fine for longer rides, and one of those
would fit into an airline legal case. Unfortunately, DaHon decontented
it's touring model and did away with the adjustable height stem. I can
get DaHon bicycles very inexpensively, and I wish I had purchased
multiple Speed TRs before they changed the design.

If I get a folder, it has to fit into an airline legal case, and it has
to have wide gearing. I could buy the Gaerlan gt20 at a good price, and
that's one option, "http://gaerlan.com/bikes/gotravel/gotravel.htm".
  #8  
Old April 25th 07, 04:27 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Mike Jacoubowsky
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,452
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

I may have S&S Torque couplers installed on several of my family's
bicycles now that even the international airlines are charging for
bicycles. While it's a lot to do a retrofit, it's less than the cost of
paying for a bicycle on 2-3 round-trip flights. You can't put the torque
couplers on aluminum frames.


Darned good reason. Sorry if I came across a bit too strongly

Having said that, the S&S couplers are *so* expensive, it almost puts you
into a different category, like a Bike Friday.

--Mike-- Chain Reaction Bicycles
www.ChainReactionBicycles.com


"SMS" wrote in message
...
Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:
So far, all I've found (new) is the Bianchi Avenue
("http://www.bianchiusa.com/07_avenue.html"), which doesn't have the
greatest components, though it's not too expensive and I could always
upgrade components as needed. There are some used Jamis bikes around
before they went to the cheaper AL frames, but CroMo bikes are in such
high demand that they're no bargain.


Unless you're good with a welding torch and plan on entering a
destruction-derby contest, there is no good reason to rule out aluminum
as a frame material for a hybrid.


There are other reasons as well.

I may have S&S Torque couplers installed on several of my family's
bicycles now that even the international airlines are charging for
bicycles. While it's a lot to do a retrofit, it's less than the cost of
paying for a bicycle on 2-3 round-trip flights. You can't put the torque
couplers on aluminum frames.

I'd prefer to retrofit a better quality bicycle than the Bianchi, but if
none are available then it'll do. I may get the Surly Long Haul Trucker
and switch the brakes, shifters, headset, and bars to upright, but the
size I'd need comes with 26" wheels, rather than 700c. This may be a
compromise I have to make.



  #9  
Old April 26th 07, 12:51 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
Steve[_4_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 17
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

Mike Jacoubowsky wrote:

I'd prefer to retrofit a better quality bicycle than the Bianchi, but if
none are available then it'll do. I may get the Surly Long Haul Trucker
and switch the brakes, shifters, headset, and bars to upright, but the
size I'd need comes with 26" wheels, rather than 700c. This may be a
compromise I have to make.




Long haul trucker is a great frame for the price.
the wheel size is to prevent toe overlap with full fenders
and there are some great touring tires available in 26"
S
  #10  
Old April 26th 07, 03:46 PM posted to rec.bicycles.misc
[email protected]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 970
Default Hybrid/Comfort Bike Recommendation

Steve wrote:

Long haul trucker is a great frame for the price.


REI will sell one now or so I heard.... is that true/

REI will sell a LHT?
 




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