Sports & Recreation

Quality commuter bike w/disc brakes in $700-800 range?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 16th, 2018 6:42 pm
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 4, 2006
1466 posts
312 upvotes
Toronto

Quality commuter bike w/disc brakes in $700-800 range?

I've been out of the cycling world and bikes for such a long time (last bike was an old 90's Trek mountain bike).
I don't know what gears are good or what really to look for in a quality bike.

Looking for something faster, mostly for city commuting preferably with disc brakes.
I found a Giant Escape City bike for $679...but their disc brake model is over $1000.
Also interested perhaps in the Trek FX line.

If there is a hybrid of commuter and road bike, I'd be open to that as well.
18 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
11460 posts
2274 upvotes
Ottawa
Couple more options for a basic disc brake commuter.
https://www.sportchek.ca/categories/sho ... olor%5D=99
https://www.sportchek.ca/categories/sho ... olor%5D=99
edit: the second bike uses mechanical disc brakes, as opposed to hydraulic disc brakes which have a stronger superior braking.

For fast commuting though, it seems like you need an "adventure" style road bike like a Trek Crossrip, but these kinds of bikes start over $1K usually
example: https://www.sportchek.ca/categories/sho ... olor%5D=99
Newbie
Aug 3, 2017
66 posts
25 upvotes
Out of curiousity, why the strong interest in disc brakes? For a bike in that price range, you may be better with traditional rim brakes. I have a $1,500 commuter with disc and wish I hadn't gotten them. They don't work as well as cantilever brakes and cost more to maintain.
Deal Addict
Feb 18, 2016
1586 posts
430 upvotes
^^^
I think the disc brake thing is for the "hey look at me" aspect. The brakes are so close to the centre of the wheel, so the clamping force must be greater to brake, compared to conventional rim braking. Also, beside the flash factor of disc brake, I noticed the wheels that have those brakes have logos on the side of the rims, so the manufacturer can advertise their name more, which they couldn't do with conventional brakes. So other riders will see that and tell themselves they want it too.

Also read about wireless electronic derailleur/shifter combos? Seriously?
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 4, 2006
1466 posts
312 upvotes
Toronto
dolfan1980 wrote:
Jul 21st, 2018 1:20 pm
Out of curiousity, why the strong interest in disc brakes? For a bike in that price range, you may be better with traditional rim brakes. I have a $1,500 commuter with disc and wish I hadn't gotten them. They don't work as well as cantilever brakes and cost more to maintain.
I'm not opposed to traditional rim brakes. A local bike shop told me the maintenance costs of disc brakes can run you $100+.
He did however say disc brakes are superior for breaking especially in wet weather. That is a big factor for city commuting given how busy (and dangerous) Toronto roads have become.
Newbie
Aug 3, 2017
66 posts
25 upvotes
blindemboss wrote:
Jul 21st, 2018 4:34 pm
I'm not opposed to traditional rim brakes. A local bike shop told me the maintenance costs of disc brakes can run you $100+.
He did however say disc brakes are superior for breaking especially in wet weather. That is a big factor for city commuting given how busy (and dangerous) Toronto roads have become.
That's why I bought it, but my experience has been they are inferior to the rim brakes. I'm guessing it's because I only have a $1,500 bike. That's why I wonder what they'll be like on a cheaper model.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Mar 6, 2003
11460 posts
2274 upvotes
Ottawa
Disc brakes are definitely recommended for riding in wet weather. There really isn't a comparison....they will stop faster, stronger and more predictably in wet weather.

I don't think you need them on a road bike (which is mostly ridden in dry conditions) and likely you want the weight savings of a rim brake anyway, but I would definitely choose them on a bike that's ridden in all weather conditions. But yes there is more maintenance involved.
Deal Addict
Aug 28, 2014
1839 posts
396 upvotes
Toronto, ON
dolfan1980 wrote:
Jul 21st, 2018 7:32 pm
That's why I bought it, but my experience has been they are inferior to the rim brakes. I'm guessing it's because I only have a $1,500 bike. That's why I wonder what they'll be like on a cheaper model.
I thought disk brakes were unnecessary before I bought a MTB, crashed it within the hour, bent the wheel and rode it back out of the trail because the disc was perfectly straight while the wheel was swaying side to side by about an inch.

Your experience is one of poorly matched and mated pads and rotors; if you bed them properly then either mechanical or hydraulic disk brakes will lock up the wheels with little effort. I was playing around and installed a different brake set I got off kijiji with resin pads when my old ones were metallic; I installed the front and saw that it had no braking power at all so I slightly sanded the rear pad before installation and it locked up the wheel just like I expected; the front wouldn't lock no matter how hard I pulled the lever. Bedding in your pads is that important and makes the difference between zero braking force and enough to flip the bike.
Newbie
Jun 18, 2018
21 posts
10 upvotes
Are you also looking at the components!? Because although disc brakes are great, you might want to look at what your shifter, derailleur, etc are....

If you're commuting in toronto and parking it outside you might want to have cheap components though lol. If it's going to be parked in a secure location though, you might wanna get better quality parts for the price you wanna pay. It's gonna take a lot of shopping around.

Good luck :)
Newbie
Jul 25, 2018
3 posts
$600-$1000 is a great range. I ride a specialized hyrid in that range. I easily reach 40kph on slight hills.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Oct 4, 2006
1466 posts
312 upvotes
Toronto
I popped into a Giant retailer this weekend.
They had a City Escape 2 with hydraulic disc brakes for $749.

Can you typically haggle on price with a bike purchase?
Newbie
Oct 14, 2017
75 posts
7 upvotes
Just bought a Giant Roam 2 hydraulic disc from Bike Depot. Came with a 5 years of basic tune ups for under 800 all in. Sweet bike and couldn’t be happier so far.

They had a no HST sale going and misprinted it on my bike. They honoured it so I’d say there’s a little wiggle room with some stores.
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