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  #1  
Old 12-10-2006, 07:25 PM
xtown xtown is offline
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Default Steel-frame commuter bike

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.
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  #2  
Old 12-11-2006, 08:44 AM
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lynnef lynnef is offline
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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.
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Old 12-11-2006, 05:42 PM
xtown xtown is offline
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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.
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Old 12-12-2006, 02:14 PM
ben ben is offline
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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.
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  #5  
Old 01-03-2007, 01:35 PM
patrick_barber patrick_barber is offline
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Default kogswell porteur/randonneur

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.

Last edited by patrick_barber; 01-03-2007 at 01:39 PM.
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Old 01-03-2007, 06:53 PM
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lynnef lynnef is offline
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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.
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Old 01-24-2007, 10:40 AM
xtown xtown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lynnef View Post
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.
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2007, 12:50 PM
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lynnef lynnef is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xtown View Post
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.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2007, 10:03 AM
Donald Donald is offline
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Default It's not a flat town...

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
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Last edited by Donald; 01-26-2007 at 10:07 AM.
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  #10  
Old 01-28-2007, 05:57 PM
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rainperimeter rainperimeter is offline
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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...
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