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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #1 
Hey,

I travel and spend around 2-weeks a month in the Miami area. I have storage available and am looking to ride down there. My goal here is a bike that's $1000-$1500, drop-bar, bomb-proof and all terrain. I currently ride a '14 Crux (56) and a Surly Wednesday (Large).

I'm open to about anything. 


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chas

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Reply with quote  #2 
I've seen the "new" 2017 Rokers selling for $1500-$1700 - that is the best deal out there.
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Slim

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Reply with quote  #3 
How about a Salsa Journeyman Sora 650b? if you truly want all terrain, in my book that means 2.2” tires.

It’s also affordable and with 9 speed Shimano drivetrain, you can mix and match mtb and road components, as they wear or for modifying purposes. Including the excellent and affordable XT cassettes.
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NoCoGreg

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Reply with quote  #4 
+1 for wide tires  tho I'd be willing to go a bit narrower than 2.2".  Much of the width depends upon how "bomb proof" they need to be.  So places have large and sharp gravel similar to what's used on rail bed - this stuff will trash sidewalls.

If the bike is going to be stored where it will be subject to salt and water then I'd suggest paying extra attention to setting up the bike with frame saver or similar as salt will attack both aluminum and steel.  Applying grease to all the bolts will ensure one will be able to remove them in the future (pedal threads, derailleur hanger, brake mounting bolts, etc etc).

Since you'll likely encounter much sand, lower end components will definitely ease the pain.  10-spd is the last generation of interoperability between road and mountain components.  SRAM 10spd road/mountain shifters & derailleurs are compatible.  Shimano 10spd shifters are compatible with 9spd through 6spd mountain derailleurs.  In general, the 9spd Shimano stuff really durable and is inexpensive to replace.

In addition to the Roker, check out the Diamondback Haanjo EXP. I've seen places closing out the 2017's and this looks like the setup ticks most of the boxes for a bomb proof bike.   The fit is (IMO) a bit different as it has a very short top tube and reach so do confirm you'd fit.

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DarKris

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Reply with quote  #5 
+2 for the Journeyman, simply because of the clearance you get for the price. At $1100 you can swap out the cranks and square taper BB for an external one (or not) and I would personally go with whatever wheel-size (700c/650b) or frame color you like more. The tire clearance is so good that will be the one thing you won't ever have to worry about.
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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #6 
Thanks...I am leaning towards Journeyman. I looked at a CAADX today. I liked it. I think my LBS also has a floor model Raleigh Stuntman they may want to move. 

But at the Journeyman pricepoint..I can run the drivetrain into the ground and then replace it.  I have to say I like how Salsa builds off-road machines



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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #7 
OK....after much deliberation,  I am about sold. I think I'm springing for a Salsa Vaya Tiagra. I want to ride road to trail in Miami. I am thinking it will also handle light single-track.

The price is right and my LBS in NH will assist with Bikeflight to where it will live.



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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #8 
Can anyone comment on or help me out with one more piece of the puzzle. It looks like gravel is not close to MIA. That’s ok since gravel bikes can handle the road just fine. Next,there is some single-track nearby. Is the Vaya up to that task for a beginner intermediate mountain biker?
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mr_slow

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Reply with quote  #9 

I was following this thread, as I have a similar situation, but my second location has me up in Maine. I called some local (Maine) shops today, and it looks like the Salsa Journeyman is sold out, at their warehouse, with no dates on getting more. I'm on the taller size, and trying to find a 59.5cm,  seems to be out of the question... One shop did suggest the Surly Bridge Club, but its a flat bar bike... I'm not sure I could do the Vaya, as it has a rear QR, instead of a TA, and on a "cheaper" bike, I assume I'd feel that sucker flexing. Whatever you decide, I'd probably buy the bike in Florida, as buying a bike at a local shop, and if you're not great with mechanical issues, they'd likely fix it for free, or have some service you get for buying local.

Cheers,
Greg

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stud.beefpile

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Reply with quote  #10 
If you'll be riding 80% singletrack and 20% gravel, I'd recommend going the hardtail route. There's so many hardtails that I won't try to recommend one.

One other bike I'd suggest checking out is the Breezer Radar. I picked one up for just over $600 after tax. You can use your savings to get a nice wheelset (wheels are my favorite upgrade). It's not running the newest and greatest componentry (mine came with the same Shimano kit that I've beat on on another bike for the last 5 years with good luck), but it's a great value, has a comfy steel frame and distance-riding geometry and can fit a 29x2.0 (XC) tire, front and rear. It also has 5 water bottle braze-ons and attachment points for front and rear racks if you need a bikepacking or commuting bike.

Breezer has a couple of other models in their endurance all-road genre that are worth a glance if you're partial to through-axles, rando, or more racy geometry. (I'm not an ambassador or employee; just impressed with the value)
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mr_slow

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Reply with quote  #11 
Quote:
Originally Posted by stud.beefpile
If you'll be riding 80% singletrack and 20% gravel, I'd recommend going the hardtail route. There's so many hardtails that I won't try to recommend one. One other bike I'd suggest checking out is the Breezer Radar. I picked one up for just over $600 after tax. You can use your savings to get a nice wheelset (wheels are my favorite upgrade). It's not running the newest and greatest componentry (mine came with the same Shimano kit that I've beat on on another bike for the last 5 years with good luck), but it's a great value, has a comfy steel frame and distance-riding geometry and can fit a 29x2.0 (XC) tire, front and rear. It also has 5 water bottle braze-ons and attachment points for front and rear racks if you need a bikepacking or commuting bike. Breezer has a couple of other models in their endurance all-road genre that are worth a glance if you're partial to through-axles, rando, or more racy geometry. (I'm not an ambassador or employee; just impressed with the value)


Funny you should mention Breezer, I was just looking at their offerings, and I kind of like the Doppler Pro - Shimano drive-train (if its not SRAM Red, why bother), thru-axles front and rear, as well as comes with fenders, which are a needed commodity up in Maine (possibly in Florida as well). And its on Nashbar for $1k (less than a nice set of carbon wheels).
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stud.beefpile

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Reply with quote  #12 
I haven't ridden a Doppler, but it looks like a solid bike. They market it as their rando bike, I believe. It is a 650b, I think, too.

I've been very happy with my Radar. I had a nicer wheelset and gravel tires I put on mine straightaway, and otherwise, it came with a pretty bulletproof 2x9 (mostly) Shimano kit that I continue to run. The handlebars were a very pleasant surprise for me. Just the right flare and drop.

I've used my Radar for commuting and gravel (racing) finishing (I'm too slow to "race"). It's excelled in both of those capacities for me (I have a Salsa Fargo which is also excellent for both of those).
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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #13 
Ordered...price was right and ordered a Salsa Vaya Tiagra...It's a travelling gravel bike that will live near where I stay for 2-weeks a month when I'm at work.

I almost bought the Straggler, but leaned towards the Salsa after talking to 3 different guys at the shop and a friend of mine who's a mechanic.


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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #14 
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chas

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Reply with quote  #15 
Nice, that is going to be fun!
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TimmyR

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Reply with quote  #16 
Well, first ride was today. Bike was shipped new to Miami by my LBS and got some chips and damage to the crank. I have a claim filed with BikeFlights and am still trying to work out the details, but as for riding...wicked fun bike. I think part of the feel is I have it set up in a much more upright geometry (I guess) than my Crux at home...in fact...I want to duplicate how comfortable this bike is. It also soaks up bump and chatter like a champ. It may be heavy, but I do not really care. Nice ride....
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