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Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 12:20 am
by sipowicz
How would you approach getting a fast road bike for commuting and city riding without spending a fortune? I live in a city where the roads are bumpy and bike theft is pretty common. I used to ride a Cervelo but that would be overkill for commuting. I would like to buy / build a practical and wallet friendly bike. Still somewhat light and fast. Aluminum frame is fine and don't need high end specs. Budget max. $1000.

CAAD 9/10? Specialized Allez?

Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 12:20 am
by Weenie

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:16 am
by evan326
I am in the process of doing that exact thing. I have an 7.5mi ride to work that is all but .5mi on a bike path. I scored a caad10 frameset after scoring eBay for months. I'm gonna post the build in a week or so. Through heavy use of eBay I've got almost everything and have spend just under $800

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Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 1:26 am
by Broady
Second hand caad, Chinese carbon finishing kit, kalloy stem, 1x sram force or something.

Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 7:35 am
by mpulsiv
Why would you want a fast bike (e.g. race bike) for commuting? Not to mention bumpy roads. Look for used cross bike or gravel bike. Mount 32mm Compass https://www.compasscycle.com/shop/compo ... mpede-pass tires and enjoy a stable and plush ride on bumpy roads. You can pick up Fuji Jari frameset for $500 http://www.fujibikes.com/usa/bikes/road ... -1-1-frame

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:12 am
by Miller
You might want mudguards (fenders) also if you ever ride on wet or muddy roads. Arriving at work with a wet stripe down your back isn't a good look.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun May 14, 2017 8:45 am
by sipowicz
I already have a steel frame touring bike and a single speed road bike. They serve their purpose. New bike needs to be faster than those two.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 7:32 pm
by sipowicz
OK, I spent a couple of months on Craigslist and finally a Specialized Allez popped up. It was the right size and quite cheap, so I bought it. The problem is that it has a triple crank and kind of cheap components.

I still have some money for upgrades, but not sure where I should start. It's 2009 model with Shimano BB-ES25 Octalink (68mm x 118mm). What crankset and BB should I look at if I go double? Would 105 (5700/5800) work? Any others that are affordable? This is not a WW bike and it won't be with my budget. I would like to get it to the point where the components are reliable and pleasant to use.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:09 pm
by spartacus
sipowicz wrote:I already have a steel frame touring bike and a single speed road bike. They serve their purpose. New bike needs to be faster than those two.


Needs to be faster? lol... pedal faster dude, you don't need a freaking modern racing bike to commute on. That said, buy an old steel racing bike for $200-300 on craigslist and put fenders on it. Done. If you aren't keeping your bike somewhere 100% secure and indoors you would frankly be an idiot to leave a nice racing bike locked up somewhere outside on a regular basis. And that's not even getting to the fact that modern racing bikes don't take fenders.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:10 pm
by spartacus
sipowicz wrote:OK, I spent a couple of months on Craigslist and finally a Specialized Allez popped up. It was the right size and quite cheap, so I bought it. The problem is that it has a triple crank and kind of cheap components.

I still have some money for upgrades, but not sure where I should start. It's 2009 model with Shimano BB-ES25 Octalink (68mm x 118mm). What crankset and BB should I look at if I go double? Would 105 (5700/5800) work? Any others that are affordable? This is not a WW bike and it won't be with my budget. I would like to get it to the point where the components are reliable and pleasant to use.


Sell it and get something you can put fenders on.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:17 pm
by sipowicz
spartacus wrote:Sell it and get something you can put fenders on.


Thanks for the advice. I already have bike with fenders.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Sun Jul 30, 2017 10:50 pm
by loudtiger
How about a fixed gear? I recently picked up a Fuji Track classic, and love it for city use and my work commute.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 12:17 am
by sipowicz
I have settled on a road bike because I like riding road bikes. No science behind it - I just like it. Now, can we get back to the crankset question?

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:48 am
by silvalis
Just buy a tiagra 4700 crankset and a tiagra HT bb. Cheapest HT crankset available.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:25 am
by nemeseri
Seriously. You have sooo many options. The new entry level specialized allez with claris / sora is a very good base and it's $750 / $950 with lifetime guarantee.

The entry level specialized diverge series can take fenders and relatively cheap too.

Two years ago I had a pretty bad crash and I had to buy a random bike for commuting until I got my insurance money. I ended up buying a Bianchi pista steel bike used for $300 with spd-sl pedals. I added some decent brakes from the drawer (ultegra 6600) and sram brake levers. It was such a fun bike to ride. Strong and cheap.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:45 am
by 3Pio
For my commuting duties i use Bianchi Pista bike (Sei Giorni), fixed single speed with Carbon Fork. I just replaced the handlebar and im using BullHorn (Cinelli Lola, and using only front brake with Cane Creek Carbon Fibre Brake lever). Another change from stock i replaced the terrible Hutchinson tires for Continental Grand Prix 4Season.

This bike cost me around 1000 EUR but brand new. Im sure u can find it second hand for much less, or if u go for Steel Bianchi frame (i wanted steel frame as first, but they did not have on stock, so i ended with this one and dont regret after using it for 2.5 years now) u can have it brand new for around 700 eur.

This bike is light, very fast, no maintence at all (in last 2.5 years using everyday i just replaced the chain once and pedals), and fun to ride. I put it SKS fenders, and ride whole season. Just to say after getting this bike, i sold my car :) since i stopped using it for commuting duties. And this bike u can ride in commuting mode, intervals or racing the cars (they are so suprised from accelration on traffic light :) ).. I must mention that riding fixed gear improved my pedaling techniques and my power on my other bikes improved a lot..

Extra is that is looking very good.

Re: Fast city commuter on a <$1000 budget?

Posted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 6:45 am
by Weenie