Looking for a new rigid steel mtb/hybrid

Titiritero

Retro Guru
I need your help! Currently looking for a new bike (to replace 2-3 bikes I’m planning in selling in the next months) and it seems the market doesn’t have (or I can’t find) what I’m looking for.

I need to reduce my bike collection to make room to the newly arrived baby & his gadgets (pram, bike trailer, etc.), so I want a “do it all” bike I can use to commute, touring, and moderate mountain biking. . My requirements would be:
-steel frame and rigid steel fork
-29er wheels
-clearance for mtb tires (at least 2.1)
-overall cost below 800 EUR (I have the parts if I were to buy a frame/fork only, but I don’t want a boutique frame I can’t lock in the street)

The nearest I found are:
-Marin Muirwoods: this is the best candidate so far for what I want. Plenty of eyelets for racks and mudguards front and rear, 3 bottle cages, discreet design… Only drawback is that clearance at the back is limited to 2.0. And the fork steerer is pre-cut, which I don’t like as I also want to use the bike for touring, so the higher the handlebar the better.
-Surly Ogre: the price of the frame and fork is nearly the same as the Marin complete. And I don’t like the horizontal dropouts at the rear. A PITA for mudguards, chain tension, etc. But plenty of wheel clearance and options for racks. And I like the choice between rim or disk brakes.
-Surly LHT: as good as the Marin, but again frame-only as expensive as the complete Muirwoods. Clearance is also limited, according to Surly to 700x47, but I’ve seen plenty of people online using 2.0

Has anyone some other recommendations? Anyone with a Muirwoods that can comment on rear clearance and overall opinion?

Thanks!
 

Titiritero

Retro Guru
Re:

Hmmm, thanks for the tip, had not seen that Kona before!

It definitely ticks many of my boxes, and I love its mtb look. However, it's nearly 3 times my budget, hard to justify at home...

I'm a bit of a retrogrouch so not so keen on the thru-axle and 1x drivetrain either, although they wouldn't be show-stoppers.

Looking at the Sutra LTD, I found in "similar" bikes that Marin has the "Four Corners", which is not bad at less than half the price, with a 3x9 Sora. And wheel clearance is not much different to the Kona, both at around 2.1". Still above my budget though.

https://www.marinbikes.com/gb/bikes/four-corners-blue
 

xerxes

Old School Grand Master
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There are quite a few variations on the theme under the monster cross/gravel/adventure bike banner.

Why do you specifically want 29er wheels?

Go with 26" wheels and you've thousands of 90s rigid mountain bikes to choose from.
 

Titiritero

Retro Guru
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xerxes":zw4h8d1m said:
Go with 26" wheels and you've thousands of 90s rigid mountain bikes to choose from.

Funny fact, most of my current bikes are all rigid 90s mountain bikes, exactly 4 to 1 if I count my wife's. The only reason I was thinking in getting a new one was on one hand "just because", only an excuse to get a new bike, and on the other hand to sell 2-3 of my bikes to reduce my "exposure to 26inch" bikes by getting some other sizes.

But yeah, you have convinced me! Why looking in a new bike what my current bikes can already do beautifully. I'll still get rid of some (I can't cope with maintenance and many are not ridden now with the new baby) but I'll keep one as the "do it all" I was looking for.
 

xerxes

Old School Grand Master
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In which case you can choose your favourite frame and cherry pick the best bits from your existing bikes to make something you really like.

I would consider having a cheaper shopper/commuter though. I have three bikes, two nice ones and a cheaper one, an old Kona Fire Mountain, which I use for riding to the gym or popping to the shops, where I might need to leave it locked up unattended for a time. I keep the "shopping bike" in good running order, but don't bother too much about keeping it clean and shiny so as not to appear too attractive to thieves. It also has full mudguards and a rack, so it's not a particularly handsome thing anyway.

Lastly, whatever you decide, I'd get a good lock, a proper U lock, not one of those crummy cable locks. I have one of these: http://www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/bi ... -bike-lock. The only downside is that it weighs as much as an anchor. :?
 

hamster

Retro Wizard
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xerxes":1qjmjcl5 said:
Lastly, whatever you decide, I'd get a good lock, a proper U lock, not one of those crummy cable locks. I have one of these: http://www.cyclingweekly.com/reviews/bi ... -bike-lock. The only downside is that it weighs as much as an anchor. :?

Any bike plus lock always weighs 20kg. :LOL:

Either a 7kg top-end bike with 13kg of locks, or
11kg nice bike with 9kg of locks
or
20kg of rusty Dutch roadster locked with baler twine.
 

xerxes

Old School Grand Master
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Any bike plus lock always weighs 20kg.

Yep, prior to the Kona, I had a bottom of the range Claud Butler with heavy, puncture proof tyres, rack, mudguards and a lot of steel components, together with a 7lb lock bungeed to the rear rack, it weighed in at a hefty 45lbs, which is about 20kgs. :shock:

The upside is, it made my other two bikes feel really light in comparison, even though they are by no means weight weeny builds at around 24 and 26lbs.
 

Titiritero

Retro Guru
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I already have an Abus Granit xPlus bla, bla, bla...(u-lock). It's the top of the range from Abus, equivalent to your Kryptonite. I had both in my hand and I decided for the Abus because it was lighter, both being similar in security "rating" and price.

I have no fear of carrying the weight of locks. As Bikesnob says, nobody ever has complained of "too many locks", so when I was living in Dublin (Ireland) where bike theft is quite widespread, I would carry 2 u-locks (the Abus and a much simpler Specialized Hardlock), plus wheels and seatpost had those allen-key locks.

My friends would laugh at me, but nearly all got their bikes stolen at least once (my girlfriend 3 times!) but mine is still with me after 16 years...! (a 2001 Trek 721). Twice I went to pick my bike and the bike next to mine was stolen, the broken lock hanging from my bike.

No lock is indestructible, you just need to have a stronger lock than the bikes next to you. Some people try to "uglify" their bikes, but they miss the point. Thieves go for the easiest bike to steal, not the fanciest. They don't care if your bike has XTR or Tourney, but if you have a proper u-lock or a flimsy cable.
 

xerxes

Old School Grand Master
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No lock is indestructible, you just need to have a stronger lock than the bikes next to you. Some people try to "uglify" their bikes, but they miss the point. Thieves go for the easiest bike to steal, not the fanciest.

Often, outside the gym, mine is the only bike in the rack; everyone else drives there to run on the treadmills and ride the stationary bikes. :facepalm:
 
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