Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby nezumi » Thu Jul 04, 2013 4:56 pm

skull wrote:Hills in Melbourne? 8-)

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For my money as a new-ish commuting cyclist, the elevation changes in the area are quite high - see http://connect.garmin.com/activity/176665726 for something similar to the route I will be taking.
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by BNA » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:03 pm

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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby nezumi » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:03 pm

Well, a variety of responses.

So far I am decided that I want:
Essential:
- Mudguards, or the eyelets to attach these.
- Panniers/rack attachment points.

Highly valued:
- Disc brakes

Unclear:
- Internal geared hub vs derailleur
- pedals/shoes Clips/clip system (I have no idea here)

I am keen to check out a few different bikes, specifically:
Kona Rove
Vivente Randonneur
Consider the CX Boardman, although I may not be able to get a test ride on this in Aus? (unclear here)

Anything I have missed/stuffed up?
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby KenGS » Thu Jul 04, 2013 5:22 pm

Lights: Battery vs Dynohub
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:48 pm

KenGS wrote:Lights: Battery vs Dynohub

Image :P
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby jasonc » Thu Jul 04, 2013 7:59 pm

nezumi wrote:
skull wrote:Hills in Melbourne? 8-)

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The route I would take is close to this - for me this is some decent elevation for a commute:
http://connect.garmin.com/activity/176665726


that's about the same elevation as my standard commute. you can do that with any gearing you want - plenty of guys around my area ride single speeds.

so compact or standard is fine
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby rangersac » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:34 am

nezumi wrote:
Unclear:
- Internal geared hub vs derailleur
- pedals/shoes Clips/clip system (I have no idea here)



The big plus for an internal geared hub is that they require very little maintenance. The downsides are a much higher initial cost (although over the lifespan of the unit you may well save money as you don't have to replace cassettes, derailleurs and chains last much longer), slightly less efficiency, they are a bit noiser than a well turned chain/ derailleur combo, and changing tubes if you have a puncture is a pain.

As for pedals, I think having clips gives a nicer riding experience as you are more firmly attached to bike giving better control. I use SPD cleats as you can walk around easily with them in most MTB shoes, and they are a good range of fairly cheap, robust pedals that go with them. From the comments on this forum it sounds like the new Shimano Click-R system is also definitely worth considering for commuting.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby jasonc » Fri Jul 05, 2013 10:40 am

rangersac wrote: I think having clips gives a nicer riding experience as you are more firmly attached to bike giving better control.


+1 to SPD. SPD is easy to get in and out of (don't bother with r-click or whatever it's called. SPD is easy enough)
the big advantage is in the wet - your feet don't move around on the pedal
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby WestcoastPete » Fri Jul 05, 2013 11:38 am

I'm in Birkenstock plastic clogs and MKS Touring pedals for my 18km commute. It works fine for me. I tour in SPDs.

I love my dynolights. I ride this bike everyday, and everytime I get on it my lights are ready to go. They're bright enough for dark single track, they're bolted on so I don't have to take them on or off, and I never have to think about whether they're charged or not. It's such a pleasure. Like I say; works for me.

IGHs are great for the reasons rangersac suggested; very low maintenance, straight chainline. Taking the wheel off involves another step yes, but it's pretty easy, and you only need to do it if you're changing the tube; you can leave the wheel on if you're just patching it. If I was getting one now, I'd try to stretch the budget to an Alfine 11. They seem to be a great oil bath design and quite efficient. Rohloff is the ducks knees obviously, but they cost a lot more, and add to the anxiety of leaving your bike locked up around the place. I have a touring bike with a Rohloff and Gates Belt Drive. It is such a pleasure maintenance wise; you just don't have to worry about anything apart from maybe changing the oil every 5000kms. If buying again, I'd make sure I got one with the Centertrak system. At the moment though, I'm stuck using derailleurs. There's something romantic about them that pleases me at the moment. It works for me.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby skull » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:23 pm

nezumi wrote:
skull wrote:Hills in Melbourne? 8-)

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For my money as a new-ish commuting cyclist, the elevation changes in the area are quite high - see http://connect.garmin.com/activity/176665726 for something similar to the route I will be taking.


You call those hills. Cute :cool:

By the way just taking the piss. They do look like steep pinches.

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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby Crawf » Fri Jul 05, 2013 12:37 pm

If you intend on becoming a true dedicated commuter - rain/hail/shine, then really do spend that bit more and get the right equipment up front...

-Rugged and durable frame with plenty of mount points and options. Steel/alu/ti/carbon all have their advantages, what suits you?
-Dynamo lights, most people think old school and have a preconception, but there are some superb dynamo/lights systems around now, set and forget.
-Backup lights and some reflectors (they're not daggy)
-Full mudguards with proper mounts, not strap on junk.
-Disk brakes, nuff said.
-IGH or SRAM Apex is a great entry level groupset that wont break the budget and performs fine, cheap to replace too.
-Wheels, no matter how light you are go at least 32h/32h.
-Tyres 28-32mm, comfy yet performs.
-Reflective clothing/baggage.

These are the key features you should really nail, everything else is personal choice, pedals, bars etc.
As someone who commutes short of broken bones, my bike has evolved into the above features (maybe with just more bling), save yourself the time/money and ensure you get setup right initially.

A good example
http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/cro ... -alfine-11
http://www.genesisbikes.co.uk/bikes/cro ... oix-de-fer
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby nezumi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:18 pm

Crawf wrote:-Rugged and durable frame with plenty of mount points and options. Steel/alu/ti/carbon all have their advantages, what suits you?

From what I have gathered, carbon and rack/mudguards don't mix? Other than that I'm not sure what the merits are of the various frames - other than titanium being good but difficult to work with, thus rarer?

Crawf wrote:-Dynamo lights, most people think old school and have a preconception, but there are some superb dynamo/lights systems around now, set and forget.
-Backup lights and some reflectors (they're not daggy)

I probably fall into the preconception camp - I remember dynamo lights as being painful things that sap any power out of the ride. What should I look for in these?

Crawf wrote:-Full mudguards with proper mounts, not strap on junk.

Should I look for ones that have mudguards installed out of the box, or after-market items?

Crawf wrote:-IGH or SRAM Apex is a great entry level groupset that wont break the budget and performs fine, cheap to replace too.

Still novice to all the groupsets/ranges. I am debating the convenience of an IGH against the upfront cost.
I also fall into the camp of never learning to maintain my bike in the first place, or recognising when things are dieing (or dead). As a result I am contemplating the IGH purely because it seems like it is either working or busted, and if it's busted then it's gone.

Crawf wrote:-Wheels, no matter how light you are go at least 32h/32h.

... I have no idea what that means :(


I was looking at both of those, and the Day 1 Alfine 8. I'm guessing there are no AU distributers for Genesis, and the landed price would probably be way above budget.

A friend has a flatbar I can borrow for a time to try, and I also have my Apollo MTB (front suspension and dodgy gears) to see how I go commuting by bike. At this stage I am considering lighting options for those two to see how I feel about riding in to work each day.
Unfortunately this would involve a backpack, but thems the breaks.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby nezumi » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:23 pm

skull wrote:You call those hills. Cute :cool:

By the way just taking the piss. They do look like steep pinches.


Unfortunately my only local cycling friend lives at the top of the hill near the hospital - refered to by the land owner as "the highest point in Melbourne".

When my girlfriend and I were looking for a place in the area, I ruled out that side because there was no way I wanted to climb that hill after work each day - now I am looking at it going "well, if we were there then cycling to work and home could be easier..."

Hindsight eh?
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby lobstermash » Fri Jul 05, 2013 1:47 pm

nezumi wrote:
skull wrote:You call those hills. Cute :cool:

By the way just taking the piss. They do look like steep pinches.


Unfortunately my only local cycling friend lives at the top of the hill near the hospital - refered to by the land owner as "the highest point in Melbourne".

When my girlfriend and I were looking for a place in the area, I ruled out that side because there was no way I wanted to climb that hill after work each day - now I am looking at it going "well, if we were there then cycling to work and home could be easier..."

Hindsight eh?


I used to live on Elgar Rd and had a friend near the top of Kireep Rd. Melbourne has hills...
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby queequeg » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:17 pm

nezumi wrote:From what I have gathered, carbon and rack/mudguards don't mix? Other than that I'm not sure what the merits are of the various frames - other than titanium being good but difficult to work with, thus rarer?


I probably fall into the preconception camp - I remember dynamo lights as being painful things that sap any power out of the ride. What should I look for in these?

Should I look for ones that have mudguards installed out of the box, or after-market items?

Still novice to all the groupsets/ranges. I am debating the convenience of an IGH against the upfront cost.
I also fall into the camp of never learning to maintain my bike in the first place, or recognising when things are dieing (or dead). As a result I am contemplating the IGH purely because it seems like it is either working or busted, and if it's busted then it's gone.

Crawf wrote:-Wheels, no matter how light you are go at least 32h/32h.

... I have no idea what that means :(


The main advantages of Ti are that it is light and strong (like carbon), does not rust (like steel), and does not fatigue (like Alu). Carbon is really not suitable for daily abuse as a commuter workhorse. You want something that is durable. Steel is good, but if you ride all weather you need to make sure the inside of the frame is protected or it can rust from the inside out. It also weighs a bit more than Ti, so if weight is a big factor for you then Ti has that advantage.
I have busted two Alu frames just by riding normally every day (on a bike path). The weak spot was the seat tube at the weld with the bottom bracket. The torque applied by pedalling was too much over time, and the seat tube sheared off completely, which was a bit scary at 50km/h!

Dynohubs are nothing like the old dynos of yesteryear, but the downside is that lights are stuck on the bike. If you have multiple bikes then you need multiple sets of lights. A Dynohub will also require a custom wheel, unless it comes with your bike.

Mudguards should be generic enough to go aftermarket. Once upon a time you used to get mudguards included on every bike, but not anymore.

Gearing (IGH vs External) is a personal choice. If you need lots of gears, IGH might not work for you. If you get a flat and need to change the tube, you could find yourself getting a lift from someone instead. SRAM Apex is cheap, chains and cassettes are easy to change.

Wheels: I don't care what the shop tells you, your wheels should have no less than 32 spokes on each wheel. Fancy wheels with 24 spokes are fine on a weekend racing bike, but they will fall apart from daily abuse of commuting, and when you lose 1 spoke out of 24 your bike will not be rideable. If you have a rack on your bike, get a 36 spoke rear wheel.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby Crawf » Fri Jul 05, 2013 2:20 pm

nezumi wrote:From what I have gathered, carbon and rack/mudguards don't mix? Other than that I'm not sure what the merits are of the various frames - other than titanium being good but difficult to work with, thus rarer?

Carbon with mounts/eyelets is very rare and $$$$. Ti is rust free and has a durable finish. Steel/Alu is cheaper and more common, more options.

nezumi wrote:I probably fall into the preconception camp - I remember dynamo lights as being painful things that sap any power out of the ride. What should I look for in these?

I feel no drag difference with my lights on or off. You'd need a front wheel with a dynamo hub to go with the lights:
http://supernova-lights.com/en/products/index.html
http://www.bumm.de/produkte.html

nezumi wrote:Should I look for ones that have mudguards installed out of the box, or after-market items?

Either-or. SKS Chromoplastics are light/cheap/durable.

nezumi wrote:Still novice to all the groupsets/ranges. I am debating the convenience of an IGH against the upfront cost.
I also fall into the camp of never learning to maintain my bike in the first place, or recognising when things are dieing (or dead). As a result I am contemplating the IGH purely because it seems like it is either working or busted, and if it's busted then it's gone.

IGH sounds right for you then, go the latest model with less maintenance.

nezumi wrote:... I have no idea what that means :(

Basically means 32 spokes up front and 32 spokes in the rear. Stronger wheel build and more durable vs performance wheels with less spokes. If you snap a spoke the wheel wont go massively out of true and not rotate/rub.

nezumi wrote:I was looking at both of those, and the Day 1 Alfine 8. I'm guessing there are no AU distributers for Genesis, and the landed price would probably be way above budget.

I've always thought a http://chargebikes.com/products/mixer/ was an excellent all-rounder. Could easily be converted to drop bar later on too.

nezumi wrote:A friend has a flatbar I can borrow for a time to try, and I also have my Apollo MTB (front suspension and dodgy gears) to see how I go commuting by bike. At this stage I am considering lighting options for those two to see how I feel about riding in to work each day.
Unfortunately this would involve a backpack, but thems the breaks.

I tried a rack/panniers but didn't like the weight over the rear wheel so switched back to a backpack, each to their own.

This is what my commuter now looks like.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby MattyK » Fri Jul 05, 2013 4:21 pm

Re: IGH:
queequeg wrote:If you get a flat and need to change the tube, you could find yourself getting a lift from someone instead.


Simply not true with Alfine or Nexus. The only extra tool you need is a 15mm spanner for the axle nuts. The rest is the same as any other bike. The cable can be released without tools, and you may need to open the brake somehow, like anything else. Of course, if you're not on a glass-bottle-smashing zone then just get good tyres and forget it til they wear out.

Oh yes, add Schwalbe Marathons to your requirements list.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby KenGS » Fri Jul 05, 2013 7:11 pm

nezumi wrote:Unfortunately my only local cycling friend lives at the top of the hill near the hospital - refered to by the land owner as "the highest point in Melbourne".

The highest point is Mt Cooper over at Bundoora Park at about 140m - just sayin'.

nezumi wrote:When my girlfriend and I were looking for a place in the area, I ruled out that side because there was no way I wanted to climb that hill after work each day - now I am looking at it going "well, if we were there then cycling to work and home could be easier..."

The slope on the Darebin Creek side is much easier
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby nezumi » Wed Sep 11, 2013 3:00 pm

For the curious among you - I know there are many - I ended up going with a 2014 Merida Cyclo Cross 4 ($1,410 from 99 bikes).

I have gone with a Topeak super tourist disck rack and MTX expander bag (insta-pannier)
Lezyne (power?)drive - 400 lumens front light
Shimano M-530 pedals and M088 shoes
SKS Longboards (waiting to be attached)

I bought a minoura space bar to mount the light on, discovering that there is precious little real estate on the top bar of a CX bike with interrupter brakes.

Still deciding what tyres to rund. Possibilities include Vittoria Randonneurs and one of the Schwalbe Marathon variants. I am thinking 28mm tyres for minimal rolling resistance.

I have also gone full cycle-clothing - bib knicks, jersey etc. :)
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby rjk » Wed Sep 11, 2013 5:28 pm

nezumi wrote:For the curious among you - I know there are many - I ended up going with a 2014 Merida Cyclo Cross 4 ($1,410 from 99 bikes).

I have gone with a Topeak super tourist disck rack and MTX expander bag (insta-pannier)
Lezyne (power?)drive - 400 lumens front light
Shimano M-530 pedals and M088 shoes
SKS Longboards (waiting to be attached)

I bought a minoura space bar to mount the light on, discovering that there is precious little real estate on the top bar of a CX bike with interrupter brakes.

Still deciding what tyres to rund. Possibilities include Vittoria Randonneurs and one of the Schwalbe Marathon variants. I am thinking 28mm tyres for minimal rolling resistance.

I have also gone full cycle-clothing - bib knicks, jersey etc. :)



lovely bike i know someone who has the 2013 model she loves it, the standard tyres on it will last you quite a while and they roll quite nicely, i run conti 28mm gp4seasons as my commuter tyres, a trade off between stickiness, weight and punture protection, love them
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby il padrone » Wed Sep 11, 2013 11:45 pm

KenGS wrote:
nezumi wrote:Unfortunately my only local cycling friend lives at the top of the hill near the hospital - refered to by the land owner as "the highest point in Melbourne".

The highest point is Mt Cooper over at Bundoora Park at about 140m - just sayin'.

A Melways error and urban myth.

Mt Cooper might be the highest point in the northern suburbs. At 138m it certainly is not the highest point in Melbourne. Just in my area there are at least two points that are over 140m, and out near Mooroolbark there are hills over 160m. If you consider Belgrave to be part of Melbourne it is over 200m. The highest point in all the Melways maps of Melbourne's streets would have to be Mt Dandenong.

Nitpicking and OT I know, but I like to see some geographic accuracy in a street map.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby scirocco » Thu Sep 12, 2013 10:56 am

nezumi wrote:I want a luggage rack/panniers - I tend to sweat when I ride hard, and this would not be helped by a backpack.


Those days are gone. Modern cycling-specific backpacks from brands like Deuter have mesh straps and you can hardly tell you are wearing them. Sweaty back is a thing of the past. And for loads up to about 8kg there is no need to go to all the extra weight and hassle of panniers. Try a proper cycling backpack, you'll never go back to panniers unless you need to move the kitchen sink every day.

And we have USB-rechargeable lights these days which are fine for commuting - no need to carry round half a kilo of dynohub. (Not to mention the USB lights keep shining when you stop).
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby il padrone » Thu Sep 12, 2013 5:22 pm

scirocco wrote:Those days are gone. Modern cycling-specific backpacks from brands like Deuter have mesh straps and you can hardly tell you are wearing them. Sweaty back is a thing of the past. And for loads up to about 8kg there is no need to go to all the extra weight and hassle of panniers. Try a proper cycling backpack, you'll never go back to panniers unless you need to move the kitchen sink every day.

And we have USB-rechargeable lights these days which are fine for commuting - no need to carry round half a kilo of dynohub. (Not to mention the USB lights keep shining when you stop).

Got to disagree with this on both counts.

I have used a modern backpack (Vaude) with the mesh, tensioned back. I find that I still get a hot back using it. Panniers are very useful for light loads, keeping your back totally free and they give the verstility of being easily able to add in extra gear whe required.

Dynamo lights are very effective for street and road riding (in town and in the country). Modern LED dynamo lights are very efficient and bright - 20-80 lux - and the hub is only about 450g in total (remenber without a dynahub you still have a 100g hub). If they're any good they have a standlight too which keeps them on when stopped. No messing around with battery recharging at all. This suits me very well.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby diventare » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:16 pm

il padrone wrote:]
Got to disagree with this on both counts.

I have used a modern backpack (Vaude) with the mesh, tensioned back. I find that I still get a hot back using it. Panniers are very useful for light loads, keeping your back totally free and they give the verstility of being easily able to add in extra gear whe required.

Dynamo lights are very effective for street and road riding (in town and in the country). Modern LED dynamo lights are very efficient and bright - 20-80 lux - and the hub is only about 450g in total (remenber without a dynahub you still have a 100g hub). If they're any good they have a standlight too which keeps them on when stopped. No messing around with battery recharging at all. This suits me very well.


Not a fan of the urban tourist approach. Dynohub with connected lights are expensive heavy and integrally attached, as are panniers.
Sometimes I just like to take the bike on a fun ride without lugging kilos of commuting platform.
Can just leave the backpack at home and take the option to do likewise with the lights.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby il padrone » Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:30 pm

diventare wrote:Dynohub with connected lights are expensive heavy and integrally attached, as are panniers.....

.....without lugging kilos of commuting platform

Overstating things mucho I'd say:

B&M iQ Cyo - 100g
B&M Toplight Line Plus - 52g
SON28 dynohub - 440g

Total of 592g plus another 20-30g for cabling.

diventare wrote:Sometimes I just like to take the bike on a fun ride without lugging kilos of commuting platform.

N+1. That's what the road bike/single speed/MTB is for.
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Re: Commuting in Melbourne 18km with hills

Postby Uncle Just » Thu Sep 19, 2013 6:52 am

Nothing at all wrong with a backpack and battery lights. I used a Deuter and a Berghaus pack for many years touring and commuting. I rode whatever was suitable for the tour or carried the backpack even when I wanted to do some after work training on the roadie. Today's battery lights are far superior to the heavy bottle SLA battery I bought in the 90s. Hub dynamos have their uses but are expensive and heavy whereas very good lithium ion battery lights are now quite cheap very light and put out enormous power. They recharge quickly too. The much maligned backpack for touring/commuting applies when it's too hot and where people carry far too much. That's where panniers come in but I've done hard week long tours in the alps and elsewhere on my mtb and roadie with just 4-5 kgs in my Deuter/Berghaus. Travel light, travel far.
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