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I'm shopping around for a new bike. I ride 4-10 miles a few times a week and an occasional ~50 mile road trip. I'm looking for recommendations on bikes similar to a SE Lager, Surly Steamroller, or Raleigh Rush Hour.

Ideally, I'd like the bike to have 3-gears, but it looks like the only way to have that is to custom build. Is this so?

I'm trying to stay within a $1200 or so budget, but this is secondary.

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where are you based? and why do you want 3 gears not a 6/7 Shimano Nexus hub –  Ian Sep 17 '10 at 13:30
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I'm in SF. I can't offer too much of a rationale for wanting 3 gears other than I prefer simpler parts. –  rz_ Sep 17 '10 at 13:49
    
All of the bikes you mention are single speed; are you saying you want one of those with 3 chainrings up front? –  Drew Stephens Sep 17 '10 at 14:33
    
Yeah, I'm aware that all of them are single speed. I'd like something similar to one of those, but with 3 gears in the back. I haven't been able to find anything like that. I may just give up on the 3-gears and go with a single speed/fixed. –  rz_ Sep 17 '10 at 14:55
    
What's your budget? –  Neil Fein Sep 17 '10 at 17:26
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2 Answers

up vote 6 down vote accepted

It sounds to me like you want a fairly simple bike with rear hub gears, styled similarly to a track bike... There's now "Urban" bikes that match up to that category... The traditional thing would be to take an old 10-speed (horizontal-dropout) or singlespeed and replace the rear wheel with a 3-speed hub. (7 or 8 are common now, too)

Here's a few I found (starting with brands my 3 favorite LBSs carry, then some stuff I've randomly run into elsewhere):

† "Urban" or maybe "City" or "Street" or something that means "road" without actually saying road. Sort of a silly term that their marketing departments came up with.

‡ If you hadn't heard, Globe is a spinoff from Specialized.

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FYI: the Trek links at the top of the list no longer work. –  user500 Mar 22 '13 at 13:35
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Not sure it'll fit your needs, but I absolutely swear by my Kona Dew FS. (although I've removed the suspension fork and locked the seat post, so it's not really FS anymore...) I've put over 17,000km on it in all-weather commuting, and done a couple of 200km rides as well. Great bike, for well under $1000.

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