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xtown
12-10-2006, 08:25 PM
I want to buy a steel-frame commuter bike for under $900. I'm not yet sure whether I want to go single-speed or geared. Bikes I am considering: Bianchi Volpe (which is geared but could be set up as a single-speed later), Bianchi San Jose (single-speed only), Surly Crosscheck (this would be a custom build. The CC can be built as geared or single-speed).

Any recommendations either way? Are there any other bikes I should consider?

Thanks.

lynnef
12-11-2006, 09:44 AM
You could also get a bicycle from the Community Cycling Center store. They often have steel-frame bikes. I know two folks who bought bikes there; they are both pleased with them. I commute on a bicycle of the same vintage, but I'm the original owner.:)

xtown
12-11-2006, 06:42 PM
Thanks for the reply, lynnef.

That's good advice about checking places such as CCC for used bikes. So far I haven't found any used bikes or frames I like, but I'll keep looking.

ben
12-12-2006, 03:14 PM
i've been pleased with my novara randonee.
(which i usually use for light touring, commuting, and hauling crap around).

i bought it during one of REI's sales for $750.

patrick_barber
01-03-2007, 02:35 PM
All the options you've listed are good ones.

Note that the Volpe has vertical dropouts (I think) so converting it to single speed would be a tad more difficult than converting, say, a Cross Check.

if you're willing to build up a Cross Check you might also consider the Kogswell P/R, a cargo/touring bike based on a French newspaper delivery bike.

I just finished building mine up and I love, love, love it. It's tough and rides smooth and sure-footed.

It's sold as a frame and fork, similar to the Cross Check.

It's got horizontal dropouts for a variety of gearing options.

It has some peculiarities that will either complicate matters or make it more attractive...depending on what you're after.

check out www.kogswell.com for details.

City Bikes here in Portland is a Kogswell dealer. Beth at City Bikes was one of the beta testers and she can tell you all about it. I ordered my frame and fork through City Bikes.

lynnef
01-03-2007, 07:53 PM
The peculiarity of the Kogswell P/R (a cool bike, by the way) is the wheelsize - 650B. Bigger than 26", smaller than 700c. As far as I know, the wheels are not available locally. Tires are, but not tubes.

I'm building a 650B bike myself, and sure would like it if all the consumables were findable here.

xtown
01-24-2007, 11:40 AM
The peculiarity of the Kogswell P/R (a cool bike, by the way) is the wheelsize - 650B. Bigger than 26", smaller than 700c. As far as I know, the wheels are not available locally. Tires are, but not tubes.

I'm building a 650B bike myself, and sure would like it if all the consumables were findable here.

650B wheels and tubes should not be hard to find or order locally, because QBP, the biggest bicycle parts distributor in the country, stocks them.

lynnef
01-25-2007, 01:50 PM
650B wheels and tubes should not be hard to find or order locally, because QBP, the biggest bicycle parts distributor in the country, stocks them.

True. But I'm not going to go to a store, have them order something, and then go back when it gets in, when I can just order it off the internet, and save myself a couple of trips.

Donald
01-26-2007, 11:03 AM
Here's a shot of my 1980 Raleigh Comp GS. I'm the original owner and just had Revolver set me up with a nice wide mbx seat, mustache bars, fenders and some clipless pedals. They did a great job.

The only thing I've noticed is that the reach to the downtube gear levers seems a lot further than it did with the original bars.

Stick with a geared bike and see if you can't pick up a steel frame secondhand. You should be able to get it all done for under 500 bucks and spend the extra 400 on some nice foul weather gear!

_Donald

rainperimeter
01-28-2007, 06:57 PM
lynnef. i'm not sure where you looked but i can't imagine that 650b tires or tubes are that difficult to find. they aren't that much of an oddball thing. coventry on 20th and hawthorne will absolutely have 650b stuff. generally speaking recumbents don't utilize wheels larger than 650b. and i know for a fact some of the bikes they sell use 650b's. unless your lbs is a little shoebox they really ought to carry tires and tubes in that size.

i'm not a recumbent rider but worked in a recumbent only shop when i moved to minneapolis.

also, rivendell, who's influence on bike things is debatable, has been pushing 650b frames for a good while now and seemingly others are following. those tires, tubes and rims are definately here in portland...

lynnef
01-28-2007, 07:27 PM
lynnef. i'm not sure where you looked but i can't imagine that 650b tires or tubes are that difficult to find. they aren't that much of an oddball thing. coventry on 20th and hawthorne will absolutely have 650b stuff. generally speaking recumbents don't utilize wheels larger than 650b. and i know for a fact some of the bikes they sell use 650b's. unless your lbs is a little shoebox they really ought to carry tires and tubes in that size.

i'm not a recumbent rider but worked in a recumbent only shop when i moved to minneapolis.

also, rivendell, who's influence on bike things is debatable, has been pushing 650b frames for a good while now and seemingly others are following. those tires, tubes and rims are definately here in portland...

Mmmm. I live in Beaverton. I'm not really inclined to travel very far for bike parts, when the internet is in my house. I can get tires at UniversalCycles in NW. When you say "look", I'll go to a business' web page. If they say 650b, great. If they don't, and they aren't close, I'm probably not going to go see. I'm probably going to work something out with my LBS. Right now, I'm fine for parts...

Shopping just isn't really my idea of fun. I'd rather be riding.