Beating the system - the cycling commuting section
I've had mine for a week now. I love how quiet and smooth it is.
From previous experience I expect the Sports Contacts to last me about 6 months before they start getting punctures from the glass and thorns along my route. I've ordered a set of 700x32 Vittoria Randonneurs to replace them and will fit some decent mudguards once they are fitted. Can you get lightweight spanners for the puncture repair kit?
Always a good idea to try in advance!
Once you can climb hills on a bike it's all downhill.
Hopefully I'll know what that's like..... one day.
If you guys haven't tried out out one of the belt drives you definitely should.
I have a '12 Focus Planet TR2.0 that is just smooth as butter. Doesn't hurt that it looks pretty darn good too.
The avanti INCs are pretty awesome too, decided on the Focus because of the better brakes, belt and slightly more aggresive geometry which I prefer.
Unfortunately it doesn't get too much play as I use the roadie for most of my commute so will be putting it up for sale here soon!
Yep, center-track. DIfferent strokes for different folks in terms of geo I suppose!
I tried the 11 in the INC and it only gave me approx 1 extra gear I can play with, just tighter spacing between the rest. Could be wrong of course, but that's what it felt like.
I thought I'd post something here since I was unable to find much info on the Avanti bikes.
I bought an Inc 3 the other day and I have commuted 2 or 3 times into work on it so these are very much just first impressions. I was commuting on a old POS roadie.
It is a bit heavier and slower than the roadie - but not by much. My commute is taking me around the same time with just a little more effort. If you are used to a fast drop bar road bike then you will certainly notice a difference.
The star of the show is obviously the IGH and belt drive. Initially I was a little worried, there was a certain 'mushy' feeling when pedalling. But I've gotten used to it and while it does not feel as crisp or direct as a chain/dérailleur set up I am happy with the way it pedals. It's so quiet too.
Gearing. Low gear is as low or just about as low as the roadie I was riding (8 speed with triple). There is a bigger jump to second than I would like, then pretty good ratio's all the way till 11. Going down my commute's biggest hill I was not spinning out at top speed (maybe 55kph?). My ride is reasonably hilly (Dee Why to North Sydney) and the gears are fine.
Geometry is very upright, I think I'll try take off a couple of spacers to drop the bars a bit.
Hydraulic brakes are fantastic, I can brake, signal and change gear all at the same time and when I brake I actually come to a stop unlike road bike brakes.
I love the look of the bike, matt black with all black trim.
Issues. Well the biggest issue was with the LBS not setting it up right (you can probably work out which shop). They did not tighten the eccentric BB properly so that slipped over the course of a ride causing the crank arm to hit the frame. Even though the belt lost all tension it didn't miss a beat.
Have had a few miss shifts and crunches from the hub when standing on the pedals. I have started being a bit more careful about shifting and how I apply power and no problems.
Overall I'm really happy. If your commute is really long and if max speed is your main concern then this is not your bike. if your commute is a bit shorter and all out speed is not your main concern (although it is not the slowest bike by any means) then this is a good option.
I have just purchased the new 2013 Avanti inc2 i love it, so smooth i notice a lot of talk regarding belt life, i have been riding Harleys for over 20 years
which run gates belts my current harley is a roadking which runs down the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds at 114 miles an hour it has toured all over oz and has 108 thousand Ks on the clock
on the same belt it left the showroom with so i can imagine that the belt on my inc 2 will last my lifetime.
I have been riding an 11 sp Inc 3 for a few months now. I ride from Elwood to Collingwood every day, which is nearly all bike path and a return distance of 32km.
This bike is smooth, quiet and comfy. I have changed to a better seat, and trimmed the handlebar width by 50mm. Feels just right. It is a comfy 30-35 km cruise without really pushing, and I have sat on over 40kph with a bit of a tailwind. The gear change has taken a bit of getting used to, and seems to not quite pull through far enough on the down change, which has led to some delayed changes and some slipping to the lower gear in the middle of a push. I have checked the adjustment a few times, and my bike shop is having a look now as part of its' 900-1000km service. The other issue I have had is that the seals on the rear hub have leaked oil, which spread to the rear disc / pads. New seals and pads are being fitted under warranty as I write. I'll let you know how this goes.
Overall though, so far this has been a very nice bike, and I look forward to putting another 1000km on it over the winter months.
Inc 2 for runabouts around melb for a few months now. Had some problems with the EBB which LBS corrected (tightened?) but all otherwise it's a pleasant bike and really smooth and low maintenance.
I have noticed that from 4th to 5th gear (on my alfine that 5th gear+ is a little noisier than 4th and below. Is this normal?
...and, yes, there is more noise on some changes than others, but I notice this more on the down shifts, as my up shifts seem smooth and consistent. I think that this is mostly to do with fine tuning the shift-cable adjustment.
I should add that I have also up-graded the saddle to a bigger/softer/better unit, and moved it back a little for max comfort.
I am running 60psi in my tyres, which is more than the 45 it was delivered with, and still much less than the 84 max. I talked to a fellow Inc rider on my commute one day who had been having puncture issues, to the point of replacing tyres, but wonder whether this was because he might have left the originals under-inflated.
Other additions: A decent bell, water bottle cage, small bar bag to carry my spare tube etc, computer and front light, and shimano pedals (soon upgrading to MTB shoes with cleats).
I've replaced my tyres with Vittoria Randonneurs - they aren't as quick but they have much much better puncture resistance. The seat is probably next. If anyone wants to buy a cheap set of barely used Conti Sports Contacts 700x40 let me know.
So it was back onto a humble 'loaner' from Avanti Plus in Collingwood, tonight. Not the most comfy ride, but it got me home. It will be at least until the end of next week until I get my Inc3 back. Once Shimano have acknowledged the warranty claim, they will need to either fix the seals or replace the rear hub completely, so I had better get used to the old loan bike, as it looks as though I will be on it all week! Bummer!!
Had the Inc 3 for 18 months now and put a few thousand kms on it. Some notes:
Hub leaked twice, once each side. Fixed under warranty by Shimano (LBS sent the wheel back each time). No further problems. Have heard it can be caused by pumping the oil in too quickly and causing the lips of the seals to turn outward.
Creaking BB fixed twice by LBS, creak returned each time, now out of warranty and still creaking. Tension wrench is only a temporary fix it seems.
Servicing is almost non existent. Oil change every year or two with the worlds most expensive oil. I Bought a litre as the small bottles are a crazy price, and made my own oil injection tool from a syringe and a bit of plastic tube, and a drilled out bolt. Works fine.
No chain or derailleurs means no cleaning, no oiling, no adjusting. The ONLY thing I do is top up the tyres. Thats it. A huge time saver.
If you need to check the belt, rough guide is about 10-12mm of play in the middle of the straight section, with firm finger pressure. Looser and it may skip, tighter will put a load on everything. You will go faster if you get the belt tension right!
At 5000kms belt still looked brand new.
Gear shifts are quick, really quick, but you need to let off the pressure for a fraction of a second as you change. They are so easy I probably change gear twice as often, (or maybe three times as often) as with a chain gear, meaning I can be in the right gear more often. Great on bike paths where there are frequent corners and short steep sections. And I can stop at lights in top gear, flick down to instant first gear, and take off without waiting for a chain to cross several cogs. Nice.
Low gear is a real granny gear, climb almost anything. Apart from a larger first to second jump, the spacings are pretty even. Top gear is good for 55kph comfortably. It is not a road racer, but as I live right on the Outer Circle trail, I don't spend a lot of time on roads. There are good bike trails connected that give me up to 80km circuits with only a couple of kms of roads.
It is quiet. You WILL need a bell.
Fitted SPD pedals, got better performance and got rid of a pesky knee problem.
Fitted Zero ergo handgrips, just makes cruising for 3 hours easier.
The Contis are good, run at 85psi, no punctures yet. Carry tyre levers, pump and sticky patches, hoping to avoid wheel removal when the time comes.
Hydraulic brakes work fine. The second oil leak went all over the rear disk, but Shimano not only fixed the leak, they fitted new pads and a new disk as well. Great service, thanks Shimano.
Going to belt drive and 11 speed Alfine seems to make riding a bit smoother and easier.
Thanks for your update.
I have had exactly the same experiences. Leaking hub was replaced by Shimano, as were the oiled up rear pads. I also have a creaking pedal spindle. Seat post also creaked, but I took it out and cleaned it: silent. I am not sure about my next move with the spindle.
My replacement hub has a much better shift, especially on the downshift. The original felt quite mushy and often jumped to a diff gear mid push, and my cable adjustment has been constantly checked, so that wasn't the cause.
I am up to about 1400km now (500 with the new hub) and no new leaks to date.
I am running 60 psi and also no punctures yet.
Have also replaced pedals and hand grips. Seat too.
It is a lovely, smooth and comfy commute and, like you (bay trail in my case) I am mainly off the roads, which I love.
Enjoy your winter journeys! Stay warm...ish!
Interesting to hear about your issues. I've had a few clunks from the rear hub while under light load and the drive train is feeling less smooth over time. The bottom bracket shell was creaking and needed to be re-greased (a bit like a creaking seat post I suppose). A spoke in the rear wheel came loose after the first service (on the way home from the shop in fact) which they fixed on the spot. I am trying to convince them to replace the gear indicator which points at the next highest gear (apparently my bike has no first gear and two 11th gears).
I'm trying reproduce the gear issues so I can get the gears fixed or replaced but despite all that I'm loving this bike. Comfortable, quiet and smooth (for the most part) and looks awesome!
Hi Biffidus. Are you sure the indicator was in the right position when you adjusted the cable? The indicator should be set on 6 when the two yellow markers line up. Shimano instructions are here...
http://techdocs.shimano.com/media/techd ... 713439.pdf
Yes I am certain. The indicator clearly points to the wrong gear so I am counting gears to determine when I am in sixth. I've left the bike with the shop for a week and I'm hoping they will get to the bottom of it. It is possible that the noise is a belt issue - I wouild be disappointed with the centretrak belt if that was the case.
My Inc3 is still going strong after over 6000km. I do still have a creaking bottom bracket (which I am told by my LBS is typical of the concentric offset setup), but this only happens under extreme load. The Alfini change is certainly not perfect and sometimes I need to go down a second click and then back up one for a change to happen, and sometimes it can clunk through quite roughly. At other times though it is as smooth as silk.Otherwise, there is nothing to complain about. This is still a comfy and quiet commuter. I have even ridden with road bikes on beach road down to Mordialoc without being disgraced .
Roager, I had this problem, not on an Avanti, but another eccentric BB. I ended up stripping it, giving it a thorough clean, then closing up all the holes / gaps with candle wax during installation. This stops grime getting in-between the BB shell and the eccentric contraption. Done about 3yrs of riding like this now and haven't had any issues again.
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