Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
There may be some confirmation bias here but I'm still loving my Inc3. I have some noise from the spokes which the Avanti dealer wont fix and a better mechanic tells me will require a wheel rebuild if I find the noise annoying enough. I also get a little noise from the bottom bracket. The bike isn't as fast as a derailleur-based bike with narrower wheels (I'm running 700x32 Vittoria Randonneurs) but has been an excellent replacement for my old MTB commuter. It is fitted with mudguards, a rear rack and will probably be sporting a wheel lock, centrestand and child seat at the rate I'm going.
i also have put 1500km on an inc 2 which had the 8 speed alfine replaced with the 11 under warranty and i have had hydraulic discs fitted also.
i think it is a great bike for commuting. No grease, low maintenance and clean to put in the car. I have also fitted 28mm 4 seasons and m530 pedals with mt34 shoes
it is a reasonably fast bike but not road bike fast. My commute is 20km each way and includes some roads but mainly paths for safety. there are some nice long stretches though that let me get into good rhythm and i can get up to 30 plus averages and low 40s on the sprint sectiuons.
I am thinking about converting to drop bars with the versa 11 shifters and avid bb7 mechanical discs as i think the drops give me more riding position options depending on what im doing. Does anyone have any experience with modifying the incs or with any of the gear im proposing to use? i think i can do it for about 4-500 so all up my bike will have cost me $2k once setup.
any advice would be good
I looked at this for VRS 8 so prices might be different (actually just looked on amazon and VRS 11 is cheaper...what the?). Anyways, total was about $600. The first thing is you will have to downgrade your brakes again to cable and that doesn't mean re-use your old brakes either. They are short pull so you will need to cough up for something like BB7 road callipers. That's an extra $90 per end. Add little bits and pieces like cables (I would spend the extra to get compression less housings) stems and bar. So my cost make up was about:
-VRS 8 $300
- BB7 road $180
- Jagwire cables : $60
- Bar $40
- Stem $20
- Bar tape $20
Total $600 ish
Specialized Secteur Expert
Kona Hei Hei DL
OK, this may be a long post... I modded my older (2007) Avanti Blade 8 recently with a Versa shifter, and I had previously changed the front brake to a BB7 disc (rear mini-V-brake). I have a build thread on here somewhere...
If you're in Melbourne you are welcome to test ride it.
I have enjoyed it as an all season commuter, though having recently bought a proper carbon roadie I realise it's nowhere near as fast. Though the brakes are a bajillion times better than rim brakes, and it has mudguards and racks and all the rest...
The ergonomics of the Versa levers are OK without being brilliant; the big lever (upshift for 8 speed, downshift for 11 speed) requires a long push to shift gears, and the small lever (downshift-8 or upshift-11) is rapid and easy to reach from the hoods but less so from the drops - you need to twist your wrist up a bit, though this may depend on the bars you choose.
here's a vid of that:
you should be able to romp it in under that budget:
Versa shifters: ~$150 http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BLVEVRS11/ ... lfine-11sp
Shifter cable outer*: $5 http://www.wiggle.co.uk/transfil-outer-gear-casing/
(*levers come with an inner cable only)
Brake cable kit: $12 http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BSCLSSUFRB ... pe-housing
Drop bars: $30 http://www.evanscycles.com/products/ded ... r-ec028619
Bar tape: $11 http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/BTPXCOG/pl ... l-bar-tape
Brakes: $87 x 2 http://www.evanscycles.com/products/avi ... ign=121196
You already have a 31.8mm stem so that won't need changing, unless you wanted to adjust the reach (but having gone from 110mm with flat bar to 80mm with drop bar, I'm likely to go back to a longer stem ~100-110). Keep it for starters, change it later if you want.
thanks Matt i will have a look through all that sounds like it is just what im looking for. i had heard similar stories of the versa shifters but i can live with that and the bb7s are still meant to be pretty close to hydraulics in performance.
i want to keep the belt drive and internal hub but from my riding so far i feel like i want to get into a lower position on my commute so im thinking drop bars are the best option. The benefits i see of the belt and hub are too great to sell the commuter and buy a cx or road bike with a filthy chain and drop bars.
on the other hand im really spending $600 just to go faster as my current setup is still comfortable to ride but in headwinds most days i would like to get lower.
thanks for the info
Nope I didn't pull the trigger. I put some drop bars on and tried it out (carefully without brakes, bar tape and the shifter weirdly attached, there were quite a few zip ties haha). Changed the stem to make it fit better and then gave it a ride. Did this for 70mm 80mm 100mm and 120mm. It just didn't feel right. I even did permutations of the seat offset. I don't know but it just felt strange, maybe some aspect of geometry.
Also on the note of disc brakes, cable brakes will never feel as nice as a good set of hydros. if you don't believe me go into a shop and try out the new hydro sti shifters. Feels nothing like my 105/BB7. The other option is TRP cable actuated hydro. Problem is they cost a bomb (I can't find them for anything less than $400 and a few months wait).
I figured if I could spend $600 to convert, I could wait a bit and just get another bike.
Specialized Secteur Expert
Kona Hei Hei DL
I can't speak from experience there but they are a darn sight better than rim brakes
That's what led me down the same path... hub is pretty unbreakable, perfect for a commuter.
As per my figures, it's possible under $400 (assuming Planet X get the levers back in stock). Even more so if you choose different brakes, say BB5 Road or Shimano BR-R517. But if you wanted to spend more you could always put a TRP Hylex on the left side and have one hydraulic brake
i was concerned about the geometry but when comparing the inc to a avanti cx bike the specs are pretty close. this is my biggest hurdle to pulling the trigger and given what you described maybe i should borrow a set of bars and put them on to see what happens first.
I cant find another bike to do what i want without compromising something. I figure for 4-600 bucks i can get this bike pretty damn close to being spot on.
yeah there are gripes about the shifters and mechanical discs but they will all still do what i want pretty well.
I just compared specs between inc and circa, there are quite a few differences - mainly ETT and some important angles. The largest circa has an ETT of 575, whereas a large inc has 600 with the option of XL too which is 615. That's a massive difference especially when fitting drop bars but it could make it better or worse depending on your circumstances (i.e. if the bike fit errs on a smaller or larger size).
For me the large inc was on the bigger side of things to me but still comfortable in flat bar guise. This might have exaggerated the problem, but I agree, grab some bars and try them out even stationary. Good luck and let us know how you went.
And remember to make sure everything you stick on the bike is still jet black! It's one of the most stealth looking bikes from factory!
Specialized Secteur Expert
Kona Hei Hei DL
I have the xl frame with the seat back as far as it goes, bars slammed and rolled forward a fair bit.
On my ride this arvo i estimated i would want the drops about 75mm lower than current setup.
The bars are way below the seat already. Im just worried that bars with s 135mm drop might be too low as ive only got 3 spacers of room on the post to move stem up. This would also make the tops too high.
But 75mm is only a guess, i need to try a set just to se
Righto ive done a bit more research
Versa shifters $210
Shimano r517 calipers $60 ea avid discs dont fit the alfine hub
Bars $25 off gumtree
$425 all up.
My LBS wanted $130 to fit it all or $750 for the whole conversion.
Or a full di2 conversion for $1700.....
The shifters are on bna for sale so i gotta make a decision to spend or not by friday
Installation is DIY, with a couple of basic tools (that are like $5-10 each) and some enthusiasm. It's not rocket surgery.
BB7s will work with either centrelock rotors, or an centrelock-to-IS adaptor. Note that the Shimano mech disc brakes do NOT come with a rotor, so you would have to buy that anyway.
Wait for the Versa shifters to come back in stock at Planet X. Cheapest place I've found, unless you need them sooner.
Unless you do this, which might be more involved:
http://www.bike24.com/1.php?content=8;n ... duct=52060 (remember to subtract the VAT from that price)
I already have the shimano discs installed so it is calipers only. Couldnt find the bb7s for a caliper only purchase they all come with rotors which i dont need. Anyone know if the r517s are equivalent?
The only issue is that the inc 2 came with mech discs originally and the cable was hitting my herl when pedalling due to the connection point. Dunno if the r517s or the bb7s will do this as well.
Not in a big hurry so might wait on the shifters although they were 50% off on planet x dunno if new stock would be discounted.
I looked at the di2 kit, as nice as it would be a $3k plus commuter is crazy.
Yeah might as well just buy a Genesis Day One if you're going nuts...
New stock at Planet X should still be at the same price, but you could always send them an email. They had the discount on and off when I was looking at the VRS-8 even when they went out of stock, but it has stayed applied for a while. They seem to have discontinued listing the 8 speed though.
I can't see why the R517 wouldn't be compatible, I'm sure there is small variation with "160mm" rotors but not likely to be significant, and they aren't expensive if need be: http://www.pushys.com.au/shimano-alivio ... -2012.html
You might also need an inline barrel adjuster with the R517, which I don't think it comes with (my BB7 Road did).
Ref: http://si.shimano.com/php/download.php? ... 00-ENG.pdf page 7
This is only to pull slack out of the cable, not adjust the pad position. I managed without it on my BB7 though, just pre-loaded the cable before clamping
It looks like all the cable discs have the cable connection on the outside of the caliper. This is how the original m375 calipers were and my heel hit the cable when i pedal.
https://www.sram.com/avid/products/bb7- ... disc-brake
http://www.bicyclestore.com.au/shimano- ... liper.html
This is why i went to hydraulics as the elixir 1 connects on the inside of the calliper
https://www.sram.com/avid/products/elix ... disc-brake
Anyone know of any calipers that wont have this problem? The bb7s look a bit narrower but im still not sure they will avoid the cable sticking out near the stay as the cranks come in close at this point
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