Build me the ultimate commuter!

Beating the system - the cycling commuting section

Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby lynskey_rider » Fri Nov 08, 2013 11:54 pm

Hey guys,
Looking for those of you to do a lot of commuting (especially in bad weather) to help me build up a bike to commute on. I currently commute on a titanium road bike here in WA, but am moving back east and have to down size the collection, which means ill be cutting away the road bike in order to keep one of the 3 mountainbikes!

Anyway, I am looking at building something around a surly cross check or a surly 1x1.
I am open to suggestions. Bike will be secure during the day, so spensing a bit of money is not a huge issue at this stage, just looking for parts that are durable and effective. Will be commuting 50km round trip on 95% road 5% gravel.

Looking for advice on wheels, gearing, componentry, tyres etc.

Cheers!
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by BNA » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:03 am

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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby MattyK » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:03 am

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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby neild » Sat Nov 09, 2013 9:48 am

+1 on that. I was also going to suggest the Genesis Equilibrium Disc if you didn't want Di2 or internal gears.

Only thing lacking to possibly make it the ultimate one is belt drive.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby MattyK » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:22 am

neild wrote:+1 on that. I was also going to suggest the Genesis Equilibrium Disc if you didn't want Di2 or internal gears.

Only thing lacking to possibly make it the ultimate one is belt drive.

And hydraulic brakes.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby queequeg » Sat Nov 09, 2013 11:34 am

Why not just swap the Ti Road bike for a Ti commuter.
I am on a Lynskey Cooper CX with rack/guards/discs/heavy commuter tyres, running SRAM Apex with an 11-32 cassette and 46/38 chainring (swapped from a 50/34). As an all weather bicycle it is fantastic. It serves that purpose to perfection. It is not the fastest bike (compared to a road bike), but I have had almost 20,000km of trouble free commuting on it in the last two years.

I looked at the Crosscheck before I settled on the Lynskey. My main reason is I didn't want cantilever brakes, and I couldn't run guards and thick tyres with standard road calliper brakes.

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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby jasonc » Sun Nov 10, 2013 7:43 am

I've done over 23000kms on my flat bar. most of that commuting
I'd go a similar direction to Paul next time

compact drive train, Di2, disc brakes (unsure if i'd go hydro)
heavy/strong wheels
Ti - don't know if I'd be able to afford that!
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby queequeg » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:09 am

jasonc wrote:I've done over 23000kms on my flat bar. most of that commuting
I'd go a similar direction to Paul next time
...
Ti - don't know if I'd be able to afford that!


Keep an eye on CRC, as they sell Lynskey Frames/Forks and have thrown up some real bargains from time to time.

For me, the extra cost of the Ti frame was worth it. I got sick of breaking alloy frames! It came down to Steel vs Ti, then I picked up the Lynskey during a promotion that made it irresistible. It has been worth every dollar.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby Calvin27 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:14 am

Tell us a budget lol. My ultimate commuter would be a titanium split frame with belt drive and rohloff = ridiculous budget.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby jasonc » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:14 pm

queequeg wrote:
jasonc wrote:I've done over 23000kms on my flat bar. most of that commuting
I'd go a similar direction to Paul next time
...
Ti - don't know if I'd be able to afford that!


Keep an eye on CRC, as they sell Lynskey Frames/Forks and have thrown up some real bargains from time to time.

For me, the extra cost of the Ti frame was worth it. I got sick of breaking alloy frames! It came down to Steel vs Ti, then I picked up the Lynskey during a promotion that made it irresistible. It has been worth every dollar.


my problem is my distaste of relaxed geometry frames, otherwise it'd be easy
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Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby queequeg » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:11 pm

jasonc wrote:
queequeg wrote:
jasonc wrote:I've done over 23000kms on my flat bar. most of that commuting
I'd go a similar direction to Paul next time
...
Ti - don't know if I'd be able to afford that!




Keep an eye on CRC, as they sell Lynskey Frames/Forks and have thrown up some real bargains from time to time.

For me, the extra cost of the Ti frame was worth it. I got sick of breaking alloy frames! It came down to Steel vs Ti, then I picked up the Lynskey during a promotion that made it irresistible. It has been worth every dollar.


my problem is my distaste of relaxed geometry frames, otherwise it'd be easy


That is exactly what you want in a commuter bike. It is not that relaxed though, and you can flip the stem if you want to. The bid advantage is being able to run huge tyres with guards. You just can't do that on a pure road bike.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby jasonc » Sun Nov 10, 2013 1:13 pm

long chain stays and tall head tubes are my hate.
Don't really want to run anything bigger than a 25c marathon plus anyway.

the greenguard comes in a 23c but the only place I can find them is on ebay and are over $50ea
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby lynskey_rider » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:20 pm

Yeah probably should have put a budget! Considering spending between $1500 to $2000.
Cheers for the input so far! Definately dont want di2 for a commuter.
Keep the ideas coming!
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby biker jk » Sun Nov 10, 2013 4:27 pm

jasonc wrote:long chain stays and tall head tubes are my hate.
Don't really want to run anything bigger than a 25c marathon plus anyway.

the greenguard comes in a 23c but the only place I can find them is on ebay and are over $50ea


Well you would have to rule out panniers if you went short chainstays.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby jasonc » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:09 pm

biker jk wrote:
jasonc wrote:long chain stays and tall head tubes are my hate.
Don't really want to run anything bigger than a 25c marathon plus anyway.

the greenguard comes in a 23c but the only place I can find them is on ebay and are over $50ea


Well you would have to rule out panniers if you went short chainstays.


I use a dueter air comfort backpack, no problems there
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby Crawf » Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:52 am

Have it built yourself, easily under $800 delivered (the frame) with all the bells and whistles.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby warthog1 » Sun Nov 17, 2013 4:47 pm

jasonc wrote:long chain stays and tall head tubes are my hate.
Don't really want to run anything bigger than a 25c marathon plus anyway.

the greenguard comes in a 23c but the only place I can find them is on ebay and are over $50ea


I have a ribble 525 I commute on.
Ticks the boxes you listed above and cheap :D
I bought the frame and fork for $300 and pulled the ultegra 6600 and other gear off my broken Azzurri aluminium frame.

http://www.bicycles.net.au/forums/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=62959&hilit=steel+commuter+frame&start=50

I am currently running a 25c SMP on the back at the moment with chromoplastics on and it fits, just. 25c lithion 2 on the front
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby Flighter » Sat Dec 28, 2013 3:09 pm

neild wrote:+1 on that. I was also going to suggest the Genesis Equilibrium Disc if you didn't want Di2 or internal gears.

Only thing lacking to possibly make it the ultimate one is belt drive.


Are these even available in Oz or do we have to run the gauntlet importing one and paying huge customs clearance fees and taxes?
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby jasonc » Sat Dec 28, 2013 5:18 pm

warthog1 wrote:I have a ribble 525 I commute on.
Ticks the boxes you listed above and cheap :D
I bought the frame and fork for $300 and pulled the ultegra 6600 and other gear off my broken Azzurri aluminium frame.


cheers for the option. does everything except it's steel. could deal with alloy but would prefer carbon
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby Flighter » Tue Dec 31, 2013 9:22 pm

The ultimate commuter for me doesn't yet exist, unless I get a custom build, which I can't aford.

First, it has to be butted, high-quality steel, as I'm over the harsh ride of alloy. Nice old-school relaxed frame sizing with some decent curvature on that front fork for a supple ride would be the go too. The frame would need horizontal drop outs for an internally geared hub, which would be operated with a twist shift so I can change (mostly down) more than one gear at a time. Disc brakes all round for wet weather stopping power, rack mounts in the rear to get the load off my back, and provision for mudguards. Strong rims required for dealing with pot holes (of which there are many) and the odd curb. Add a quill stem so I can adjust the handlebar to my preferred height, which will be above the Brooks saddle for a more comfortable ride and better visibility in traffic. My preference for the handlebar would be flat with a mild curve at the ends to ease the strain on the wrists. The Pashley Countryman comes damned close, but it lacks disc brakes. Although it's not a deal-breaker for me, there's nothing to indicate whether the Reynolds 531 tubing is butted or not, although they should be using it given their prices! It also uses an Alfine hub, which requires a trigger shift I suppose I'd get used to soon enough.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby MattyK » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:18 pm

Sounds like a custom build would be required. Alfine 8 speed can be used with the Nexus twist shifter. They are great for dumping heaps of gears at once.

Consider the complexities of horizontal dropouts and rear disc positioning also.

My bike is approaching what you describe but about to go drop bar and has an alloy frame and carbon forks and only one disc brake.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby Flighter » Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:50 pm

MattyK wrote:Sounds like a custom build would be required. Alfine 8 speed can be used with the Nexus twist shifter. They are great for dumping heaps of gears at once.

Consider the complexities of horizontal dropouts and rear disc positioning also.

My bike is approaching what you describe but about to go drop bar and has an alloy frame and carbon forks and only one disc brake.


I thought the Alfine had a different cable rate to the Nexus, but I'll look into it some more. A front-only disc set up is pretty sensible idea in that case, both for the point you raised and because it does most of the braking duties anyway.
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby MattyK » Thu Jan 02, 2014 8:55 am

I would happily have a rear disc but it was easier just to change the forks in my existing bike. There are other methods for chain tensioning like eccentric BB or external tensioner or even sliding vertical dropouts

Yes Alfine 8 and Nexus 8 have the same cable pull and are are largely interchangeable
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby alexander » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:19 am

queequeg wrote:Why not just swap the Ti Road bike for a Ti commuter.
I am on a Lynskey Cooper CX with rack/guards/discs/heavy commuter tyres, running SRAM Apex with an 11-32 cassette and 46/38 chainring (swapped from a 50/34). As an all weather bicycle it is fantastic. It serves that purpose to perfection. It is not the fastest bike (compared to a road bike), but I have had almost 20,000km of trouble free commuting on it in the last two years.

I looked at the Crosscheck before I settled on the Lynskey. My main reason is I didn't want cantilever brakes, and I couldn't run guards and thick tyres with standard road calliper brakes.

Image

Paul


Excellent choice.

Amazing how different our bikes are and yet based off the same platform. Shows how flexible the set up can be. I bought mine as an aggressive all purpose CX/Commute/wet weather roady.

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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby MattyK » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:18 pm

Flighter wrote:The ultimate commuter for me doesn't yet exist, unless I get a custom build, which I can't aford.

First, it has to be butted, high-quality steel, as I'm over the harsh ride of alloy. Nice old-school relaxed frame sizing with some decent curvature on that front fork for a supple ride would be the go too. The frame would need horizontal drop outs for an internally geared hub, which would be operated with a twist shift so I can change (mostly down) more than one gear at a time. Disc brakes all round for wet weather stopping power, rack mounts in the rear to get the load off my back, and provision for mudguards. Strong rims required for dealing with pot holes (of which there are many) and the odd curb. Add a quill stem so I can adjust the handlebar to my preferred height, which will be above the Brooks saddle for a more comfortable ride and better visibility in traffic. My preference for the handlebar would be flat with a mild curve at the ends to ease the strain on the wrists. The Pashley Countryman comes damned close, but it lacks disc brakes. Although it's not a deal-breaker for me, there's nothing to indicate whether the Reynolds 531 tubing is butted or not, although they should be using it given their prices! It also uses an Alfine hub, which requires a trigger shift I suppose I'd get used to soon enough.

Not sure if you're small (all that's left), but this frame might suit:
http://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/FROOPOMPET ... rban-frame

The only negative in my eyes is the rear-facing dropouts - you need to disconnect the chain to remove the rear wheel.

Ask me nicely and I might be willing to unload a handlebar setup on you:
Nexus twist shifter
Ergon grips
Tektro RX1 levers
Alloy flat bar with 25.4mm clamp
110mm alloy stem (Ahead type not quill)
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Re: Build me the ultimate commuter!

Postby mitchy_ » Fri Jan 17, 2014 4:26 pm

MattyK wrote:The only negative in my eyes is the rear-facing dropouts - you need to disconnect the chain to remove the rear wheel.


depends where you sit the wheel in the dropouts, generally it wont be hard up against the front of the dropout anyway. my track bike has the axle about 3-4mm from the front of the dropout and that is enough to slip the chain off and slide the wheel out.
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