MTB commuter

Questions about purchasing bicycles and parts

MTB commuter

Postby bigbuzz73 » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:08 pm

Hi all,
Now we are finally getting some rain I'm finding I'm occassionally taking the tin box to work rather than my bike. I don't mind riding in the rain, in fact I actually enjoy once I'm out there, but it's a pain cleaning the bike after.
I find I haven't been riding Chuck Norris (my Spesh MTB) lately so I'm thinking about a couple of mods to make him a bit more suitable for commuting. He is a lot quicker to clean after a ride than the (Stunningly beautiful :roll: ) celeste Bella, plus MTBs seem to be a bit more tolerant of mud and rain.
My questions are: Can anyone suggest a good value slick/semi slick for commuting? I assume it will make Chuck a lot easier to commute on.... am I correct?
Secondly, I'm considering fitting a pair of mudguards, such as the Topeak M1/M2 combination. Anyone had experience with these type of fenders? The rear 'guards look a bit gumby, but I hate all the crap you get all over the back of your rain jacket.
Or should I just buy somethig like a flat bar roadie for general commuting? I don't really want to go this way if I can set Chuck up as a cool urban warrior! :roll:
Any input appreciated.
Regards,
Wayne
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by BNA » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:17 pm

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Postby MountGower » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:17 pm

Wayne
Last edited by MountGower on Tue Feb 15, 2011 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:27 pm

Well, I'm going to recommend a tyre which is thinner than MountGower recommends. I've been riding a pair of Serfas Baristas (26x1.25") for over 6 months - either on the HT MTB or the 'bent, doing 48km return trip commutes. I run them at 100psi. I've been very happy with them so far - fast tyres indeed.

The fat tyres with lower psi have lower rolling resistance, but at speed, the wind resistance of fat tyres becomes a factor which can't be ignored. That's the real reason the racers have thin tyres - wind resistance. They then need to pump them up to 100psi+ to avoid the pinch flats such low volume tyres are prone to.

So it all comes down to how fast you ride your MTB on your commute. Do you pass that threshold?

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby MountGower » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:33 pm

Graeme
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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:40 pm

For punctures, fantastic, but I do have liners in there. Lumpy footpaths are not an issue for me so I can't answer that one. I was using the MTB as a road bike until the Fremantle Doctor prescribed something more aerodynamic. Now those same wheels/tyres are on the 'bent.

(Even managed to get told off for speeding by a couple of roadies who seemed annoyed that I'd overtaken them on a MTB, but that's another story. :wink: )

I don't mind the harsh ride, but I have good tracks to ride on. Not everyone does.

Cheers,
Graeme
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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:47 pm

Yep, I was one of those without a road bike. My MTB with a second set of wheels was the answer. One set for off-road use and one for on-road use. The only reason I bought the 'bent was the farkin headwind which killed me each afternoon in summer and early autumn.
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Postby Kalgrm » Thu Jun 28, 2007 5:53 pm

Oh, forgot to mention: narrow bags are lighter too. Not that it's a huge consideration on a commuting bike, but it is a factor to think about when deciding which tyres to get. Rotating mass and all that crap ..... :wink:
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Postby europa » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:15 pm

Definitely put tyre liners in there.

I've got the Tuffy's in the Black Beast and haven't had a puncture in over 1,000km of mixed roads (including gravel and glass). Mind you, that might just be good luck too but ... :roll:

The Black Beast runs 700x35mm tyres at 110 psi on the back and 100 on the front and you can't tell they are in there, no change at all to the ride. They're a bit funny to put in and you have to make sure you buy the right length for your diameter tyre (and don't cut off the excess), but they seem to be very cheap and easy insurance against dirty fingers - the Black Beast has to resort to throwing chains to get my fingers dirty :roll:

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Postby MountGower » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:20 pm

J
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Postby europa » Thu Jun 28, 2007 6:28 pm

MountGower wrote:Just release your front derailleur and pedal slowly. The chain will pop back on by itself.


Nah, doesn't always work for me. The trouble is that I've put a 26 tooth granny on her and the poor old 105 derailleur just wasn't designed to work across 26-52 teeth chainrings. I'll put a jump-stop on her one day, when it annoys me enough - careful shifting and making sure the adjustment is spot is usually all I need worry about.

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Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:17 pm

Continental Town & Country's 26X1.95 at 85 psi for the road.
Maxxis Ranchero's 26X2.0 at 35-50 psi on Rhino Lite rims for the dirt.

My mudguards are homemade I'm afraid so I can't help you there.

Of course, now there's a roadie in the shed.....

Shaun
Last edited by Mulger bill on Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:20 pm

europa wrote:I've got the Tuffy's in the Black Beast and haven't had a puncture in over 1,000km of mixed roads (including gravel and glass). Mind you, that might just be good luck too but ... :roll:

Richard


Anybody want to start a book on how long it takes now he's let the Genii out of the bottle? :twisted:

Shaun
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Postby MountGower » Mon Jul 02, 2007 12:35 pm

M
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Postby Mulger bill » Mon Jul 02, 2007 8:03 pm

I must add that Conti recommends 35-65 psi on the sidewall. Tim at the LBS said 75 would be OK, so I just tinkered a bit more :oops: I'd suggest starting at 70 and see how you go on your bike.

The mudguards are scrounged. Plastic cover for electronic wiring conduit given a bit of manipulation and luck they work. The front is cable tied to the down tube like a Crud Catcher, the rear bolts to the rear "brake bridge" via a bent bit of brass electrical contact (more scrounging) and a cable tie to the seat tube near the front mech.

I don't have guards for the Roadie, these ones won't fit.
Time for some more head scratching methinks... :?

Shaun
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Postby Hotdog » Mon Jul 02, 2007 11:17 pm

I'd suggest Continental Sport Contact, though they're not the cheapest tyre. I've been running the 26x1.25 version for 6 months or so of daily commutes on the Trusty Steed (a 'comfort bike' would probably be the current bike shop description) and they've been fast and puncture free. There's a wider (1.5 or 1.6, can't remember) version for those who prefer fatter tyres.
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