Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
Maybe somebody knows if my ideal commuter bike is already out there or if parts of it exist (primarily the frame)?
My ideal commuter bike:
- Has drop handlebars
- Has disk brakes
- Weighs less than 10kg including rack and mudguards
- Has a rack with rack-top bag and mudguards
- Conventional gearing probably preferred assuming IGH's would be too heavy/not work with drop-bar brifters
- 700c x 25 minimum
As some back story I'm currently commuting on my carbon road bike which weigh's 8.5kg and has 25c tyres. I love how fast it is, I love the drop bars and it's light enough to just barely get up the big hill on the way to work (up to 20% grade). I don't love that it doesn't have mudguards or a rack because that means the groupo gets covered in dirt in the rain and I have to carry a backpack. I also have a super crappy steel hybrid which does have a rack and mudguards but I find the flat bar upright nature of it too slow and at around 18kg all up it's just too heavy to make it up the hill.
I'm not really looking to buy at this point but I'm certainly keeping an eye out for something that ticks all the boxes, especially if it doesn't cost the earth (such as a custom Ti jobby might).
Sounds like you want a cyclocross bike:
Have got to agree. I commute on my Merida Cyclocross bike everyday. I have 35mm tyres to soak up all the crap roads and potholes.
Only issue so far was I needed a new back rim at 4300kms. But that was replaced under warranty. I got 5700kms out of the rear brake pads and the fronts are still good.
Giant Reign 1 Merida CX4 Trek Superfly Al Trek Earl
Yeah cyclocross bikes sound about right but none of those bikes have mounting points for a rack or mudguards (that I can see). Mudguards I could probably live without but I really do hate commuting with the backpack. I suppose if I had to I could custom make a rack that strapped onto a frame without dedicated mounting points seeing as I really wouldn't be carrying much on it anyway. Thanks for the suggestions so far!
Edit: Actually the one MuggleChops posted appears to have the correct mounting points...
Or just get some plastic crud guards http://www.evanscycles.com/products/cru ... r-ec020485
Then get a seat post mounted pannier. http://www.bicyclestore.com.au/topeak-m ... frame.html
You may need to get an alloy seat post if you are running a carbon post at the moment.
I briefly considered the seatpost mounted rack but there are two problems, firstly I'm using a carbon seatpost and secondly it's an aero seatpost not a circular one so I'm not going to be able to get an aluminium one to replace it. Looking at the 2011 and 2012 Merida cyclocross offerings none of them have the rack and mudguard mounting points that the older ones seem to have had.
Muggles Merida has rackmounts by that pic, what year is it mate?
I'd be interested in hearing of any non cf bike that fits the weight criteria, my Dew Drop hits around 11ish IIRC ready to roll without rack. (28mm Gators, multiple lights, saddlebag, pump, guards, Tiagra/105 triple) I could lose a bit with better wheels.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
London Boy 29/12/2011
Under 10kgs? Nah. Doesn't exist. if you're happy to accept 11kg, the Honky Inc is REALLY good. If you want something a bit slower, the Jamis Aurora Elite is really good, with rack and guards stock.
That Merida had rack mounts on the back AND mudguard holes for the back. You could easily attach the guards through the rack hole.
Yes the alloy Merida frame has rack mounts and mudgaurd mounts. The website just doesnt show it. Heaps of room to fit them with 28mm to 35mm tyres too.
Giant Reign 1 Merida CX4 Trek Superfly Al Trek Earl
Mugglchops, so what year is yours? Do you know what it weighs? Also cute rabbit in the background.
The Honky inc looks good too, I'd seen it but assumed that it would be too heavy, but at an apparent weight of 10.9kg it's not too bad. No doubt with lighter parts it could be lower too, too bad I can't just buy the frame and fork and kit it out myself (might be cheaper and I could use my preferred bits).
Mine is 2011 first year of discs with 130mm rear end. I think the 2012 has 135mm rear.
Weight is right on 10kg but the wheels are heavy and thefront fork is alloy.
Giant Reign 1 Merida CX4 Trek Superfly Al Trek Earl
Why focus on sub-10kg? OK, its not unrealistic, but its pretty close. Have you considered the geometry change between the two? Weight wouldnt count for as much as geometry on these things. I can commute on my 9kg carbon or 11kg steel in the same time. But add the length of the dedicated commuter ride and it adds 4-6 minutes without any less effort.
I've seen a few Honky Inc's about. If I was looking for another commuter, that'd be high on the list. Not long and super-stable like a full-stack tourer, but not pin-sharp like a roadie. Seems like a good option.
MY RIDES: My Velospace Profile
I've got a Boardman Comp CX (from wiggle).
~10.5kg naked. Add ~0.5 kgs for muddies and the same again for a rack (which I do not use). Minimum tyre with is 28mm (24mm rims... I think? Not road rims in any case). Oh and add <whatever> for pedals.
The problem with discs is that the wheels are going to be heavier, end of story, and that makes much more of a difference than the same weight elsewhere. However, this does not seem to have made a real difference to my actual commute time and I can actually stop in the rain now .
Did my first 200km at > 25km/h the other day on my roadie. Considering I had not done a ride longer than 24km for ~3 months, I reckon some of that has to be due to the fact I ride a heavier bike around most of the time now. So a bit of weight on a commuter may not necessarily be a bad thing.
Recommend going CX. They really are good jack of all trades bikes and CX racing is hilarious(ly hard but fun).
BTW, were you riding on the Epping Rd track today? Had a brief discussion regarding muddies with a guy on a carbon bike this am.
"My bicycle masters boardwalk and quagmire with aplomb. Those that doubt me... suck THUMB by choice."
No unfortunately I wussed out and didn't ride today, I do work in Maquarie park though so I do ride around that area when going to work.
The sub 10kg thing isn't really hard and fast, just a way of saying no boat anchors like my aldi hybrid. I only weigh 64kg so the weight of the bike affects me relatively more than a larger guy, there are a few hills in the area and one monster that I struggle on with my fairly light roadie so really the lighter the better within reason. My average speed on the road bike for the commute ranges between 28.2 and 29.3kph over 24km so you can see why I don't really want a flatbar, I'd be perfectly happy on the road bike except that I hate carrying the backpack and I often choose not to ride if it looks like raining because I don't really want to have to clean it all the time and have it wear out that much faster.
So far the Honky inc, merida CX and boardman CX bikes all look like equally good options. Honky being slightly heavier, steel and a little more expensive, the Merida and boardman bikes are much the same price and specifications. Perhaps I'll be keeping an eye out for one of them used, I kinda like repairing and servicing my bikes anyway so that would probably be the best value option.
You could also look at the Specialised Tricross elite disc. I used to ride a Tricross 2009, but it got stolen when I moved back to Oz last year. I found it to be a great bike for commuting and I had a very solid pannier rack attached on the back of the bike. From memory, it weighed somthing like about 12-12.5kg with the rack. I did a bit of touring with it as well so needed the extra strength. If/when I look to upgrade from my current second hand bike, I'm going to have another look at this bike, so I do highly recommend it.
For the top rack, I used this one. It had a landing strip which attached to the rack and acted like a rear mud guard in the wet, even if you didn't take the bag. You needed it for London!! I didn't have a front mud guard though, but I reckon you'd be able to find one pretty easily. I also had the same brand of pannier bags.
My Volagi Ultegra ( www.volagi.com ) is 8.6kg and is a carbon drop bar road bike with disks, fender mounts, takes 28mm tyres. Who said this bike doesn't exist? I don't know anything about pannier mounts, so that may be the clincher...
Santa Cruz Blur TRc XTR
Volagi Liscio Ultegra
I know about the Volagi and it definitely looks like a nice bike, more towards the race end of the spectrum which I like but as you mentioned no rack mount points (you can see that there are no bolts towards the top of the seatstays).
Honky Inc probably could be lighter, but that comes at the expense of durability. I have done some HORRIFYING things to this bike and it keeps going strong. You're asking for trouble commuting on a light roadie regularly if only because it's just not designed to take the bump and grind day in, day out.
You can buy the frame and fork from bike24.com
those bikes look very tasty but are a little pricey for me for a commuter.......
I got sick of my flatbar bike and bought a 2nd hand ( but in fantastic condition ) giant defy 2 road bike.
its not carbon frame ( i wouldn't want one for commuting ) weighing in at 9.8 kg. I have chucked on my topeak rack and pedals and it's a svelte 11 odd kg...
no disc brakes and 25 mm vittoria tyres ( which i have done 1500 km on my other defy with no punctures )....
its much better to ride than the flat bar....could you go a less expensive road bike?
Yeah, don't get me wrong there are plenty of perfectly fine commuter bikes out there with which I'm sure I would be happy, I just kinda made this thread to see if there was anything out there that ticked ALL my boxes because I honestly didn't know. Older road bike with a rack would certainly do, it would be better than what I'm currently doing anyway, I just thought disk brakes would give me more confidence in the wet and there wouldn't be any rim wear (rim and pad wear in the wet can get pretty crazy with rim brakes).
My current road bike isn't too pricey, I got the frame direct from China and most of the other parts from the UK for cheap and built it myself so all up it probably cost me $1500. I've looked to see if any of the Chinese carbon frame makers do a road bike with disk brakes yet but none do, which is a shame because I've been completely happy with mine so far.
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