Commuter world, post your ride here.

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Commuter world, post your ride here.

Postby Fletcher » Thu Oct 22, 2009 12:49 pm

Thought I would start a thread where folks could post good commuter bikes. I was just killing time over lunch, and stumbled across this, and I think it's new for 2010. Behold, the Trek Portland. Sorry, haven't put in the time to find out how to post pics.

http://www.trekbikes.com/au/en/bikes/ro ... /portland/
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by BNA » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:14 pm

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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby simonn » Thu Oct 22, 2009 2:14 pm

Why 24 and not 36 spoke wheels?
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Oct 22, 2009 6:10 pm

That Trek looks yummy, but I'm very happy with my new workhorse as tweaked...
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...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Fletcher » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:07 am

Sweet ride. Your commuter grabbed my attention in the bike gallery Mulger Bill. In fact I was thinking of your bike when I saw the Portland on the Trek site. Love the colour of the frame on it too.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Chris249 » Sun Oct 25, 2009 6:25 pm

Something different.......

This is my favourite commute (out of the 2 MTBs, 2 cheap pretend MTBs, 2 hybrids, 1 roadie and 1 TT bike I've tried). It's fantastic to ride, and keeps you very cool because it requires less output and there's a nice cool airflow over the body. That's important for those of us without showers at work.

I haven't been on it for a week, because it needs a new gear cable and I'm trying to ensure the old one last 'till this weekend's TT (AT) Calga (NSW)..... I'm suffering withdrawal symptoms.

NOT to be recommended for the commutes many people do, though. It doesn't handle as easily as a roadie by a long shot, and it's a problem in traffic.

I really must get a pic of my own one....this one has the nicer Ritchie wheels. :mrgreen:

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There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

2003 Cervelo P2K time trial bike
2010 Merida Cyclocross 4
2008 Giant SS/track
2008 Vivente Como roadie
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby waynohh » Mon Oct 26, 2009 10:38 am

This would be my bike:
Carbon frame
Compact drops
Disc brakes
700C wheels
Thick tires (I guess "thick" is >= 35mm)
< 9kg

I guess if you could "settle" for V brakes...
http://www.bikeradar.com/gear/category/bikes/cyclo-cross/product/addict-cx-rc-09-33662

Or go custom :)
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby ad91on » Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:02 pm

I would love to have disc brakes on my commute, specifically hydraulic ones. Just so much more effective than v-brakes.

in my opinion, any bike is a good commuter bike if it:

Has tyres with excellent puncture protection (gatorskins et al)
A large variety of chainrings
full-sized fenders
A strong, sturdy frame probably of aluminium
and mounting points for rack + panniers if that's your thing.

Been commuting on my scott S30 speedster for over a year and the biggest problems i've had are punctures. therefore, good commuting bike = good tyres.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby gdt » Mon Oct 26, 2009 4:48 pm

I think the notion of a generic commuter bike misses the point. Commuters go A to B, B to A and the next day they do it over again. The opportunity is there to use a bike which exactly suits the ride. And that's going to change depending what the ride is and on the facilities at the end.

My A to B is 40Km of freeway and highway, so my commuter bike is a road bike.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Chris249 » Tue Oct 27, 2009 6:15 pm

Good post, gdt. Trips, facilities and riders are all different and their bikes should change to suit their needs.

I like the other rides here, esp the bars on Waynoh's beast!
There are many types of racing cyclists. There is the sprinter, the rouleur, the stagiaire, the danser, the descender.... sadly, I'm a mediocre. :-(

2003 Cervelo P2K time trial bike
2010 Merida Cyclocross 4
2008 Giant SS/track
2008 Vivente Como roadie
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby martinjs » Tue Oct 27, 2009 8:17 pm

This is the best commuter. :D

Image

Felt SR91 Flat bar road Bike.
Not even 2 years old and has done over 20,000 kilometres on it. Running cost estimated $300 or so.

Martin
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Fletcher » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:33 am

So that's your ride Martin. Very nice, and very well used. You're no doubt aware that there are plenty of people who drive their cars every day, and still don't travel as far as you have on your bike. 20,000km is worthy of applause. :mrgreen:

I know who to ask for tyre recommendations now. You would have gone through a few sets in 20,000k's.

Oh, and Waynohh, your slicked up mtb is impressive.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby ajh003 » Fri Oct 30, 2009 9:58 pm

Martinj my Jamis Flat bar has a very similar look - although it is way faster (RED BIKE)
Forgive my ignorance but the Aero Bars - can you give me a run down

I have been playing with the idea of going drop bar - or road bike due to wind resisitance issues
Do these type of bars FIX or assist the wind resistance issue on flat bars
I love my Jamis Flat bar and although I'd love the drop bars for wind etc I like the convenience of flats in traffic etc
Jamis CODA SPORT Flat Bar CONVERTED to a DROP BAR for Daily commutes
Giant "Talon" MTB for weekend Trails and "FAMILY" stuff
SW 168.5 kgs CW 111 kgs woohoo !
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby martinjs » Fri Oct 30, 2009 10:55 pm

ajh003 wrote:Martinj my Jamis Flat bar has a very similar look - although it is way faster (RED BIKE)
Forgive my ignorance but the Aero Bars - can you give me a run down

I have been playing with the idea of going drop bar - or road bike due to wind resisitance issues
Do these type of bars FIX or assist the wind resistance issue on flat bars
I love my Jamis Flat bar and although I'd love the drop bars for wind etc I like the convenience of flats in traffic etc


On the whole I love the flat bar, but I do find the constant wind we get out here gets me down from time to time so I find the Aero bar a great way to get a bit of variety. I don't use them that much and some times I actually use the pads to sit up a bit straighter.
I got them of my drop bar bike that I rode on and off for over ten years. Also find them really good at keeping the average speed up when I feel like pushing into the wind.

I'll get my drop bar Apollo back up and running again one day but the Flat Bar will always be my first choice. Can't see the scenery properly bending over all the time and I just love the country side. :D

Martin

Only used 3 sets of tires in that time and my front one has just clocked up 10000 k's and still looks like has a couple left. :)
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby hartleymartin » Sat Oct 31, 2009 10:52 pm

It seems to me that for short commutes traditional roadster designs with modern components such as a lighter frame, alloy accessories and an 8-speed hub make ideal commuter bicycles. For longer commutes I am inclined to recommend a touring bicycle, simply because they are designed to be comfortable long-haul and therefore should be comfortable to ride for an hour each way each day.

At the moment I have taken my eye off the Pashley Roadster Sovereign, and been making eyes at the new Fuji Cambridge. Only a few customised changes and I think I'd have the perfect all-rounder!

The new Sturmey-archer 8-speeds with 325% gear range has a similar spread of gears as my old 18-speed set-up (just lose the top gear and it's basically identical!)
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby lang » Thu Nov 26, 2009 9:44 pm

Mulger bill wrote:That Trek looks yummy, but I'm very happy with my new workhorse as tweaked...
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Shaun

Shaun that looks like an awesome commuter. I read the other thread. Did you buy the whole original bike from Wiggle?
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Mulger bill » Sun Nov 29, 2009 8:36 pm

G'Day Lang, must've missed this one.

I got mine from bsc QV in Melb. As usual, the Wiggle sale started a week later. :roll:

I'm still happy with the choice, toe overlap with the mudguards is something to get used to, but overall a very good unit.

Shaun
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Fletcher » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:30 am

Shaun
Your lovely Kona - coupla questions.
Is its frame Alloy or steel?

What size and make of tyres is it wearing?
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Mulger bill » Tue Dec 01, 2009 8:58 pm

Thanks Fletch, I do enjoy time on it.

Frame is beercan, steel fork.
OEM tyres were Conti Countryrides 700x35c IIRC. Great on the right surfaces. Bitumen is not the right surface. I fitted Conti Gators in 700x28c, love 'em.

There's a bit more here.

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Fletcher » Wed Dec 02, 2009 9:16 am

Thanks for the reply Shaun
Is that an unusual combination - ally frame & steel forks?
Aesthetically, that bike is spot on. The frame colour, shiny drivetrain, black wheels & guards works perfectly to the eye.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Mulger bill » Thu Dec 03, 2009 10:13 pm

The Al/Fe combo used to be the go for rigid MTBs once. AFAIK the steel fork gives a bit of compliance to the front end.

Agree 100% on the looks, the pic don't do justice to the red. It's almost a candy in daylight. Shame the 2010 went for matte black.

Shaun
...whatever the road rules, self-preservation is the absolute priority for a cyclist when mixing it with motorised traffic.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby hoboct » Wed Dec 16, 2009 3:05 pm

Hello all, I'm a new member here - for those with looong memories, I am the poster 'rek' from cyclingforums.com, but have been idle there for the last few years.

The search for an "ultimate" all weather commuting bike is something that has been my hobby for the last couple of years. My commute has usually been anywhere between 11km (ultra short) to 25-30km (and beyond, if I go the scenic route) so it's a very difficult mix of comfort, practicality, and performance to get right. Hopefully some of you will enjoy the (very much abbreviated) tale below...

Before getting seriously into this ultimate commuter project I did the typical commute things - start out with slicks on the MTB, then chuck a rack on it, then buy and set up a cheap MTB dedicated for commuting. Then one summer, feel the need for speed and buy a CX bike with a rack, and learn to hate cantilever brakes. Then when winter comes, put on some mudguards and learn to really hate not just cantilevers, but simply not having disc brakes anymore!

Commuter Mk.1 "Donkey", late 2007 - is very similar to Mulger Bill's Kona. Back then the "Dew Drop" model didn't exist, so I had to put one together myself starting with a Dew Plus (the cheapest disc-specific Dew frame I could find at the time), and rebuild it with drop bars, an Ultegra 9sp groupset and Avid BB7-Road disc brakes. I used a super-close-ratio 28/36/44 triple chainring which was great, but in the long term was a pain to keep in adjustment - it was just too far off normal Shimano specs for what the front derailleur design was expecting to deal with (both the rings, and the different chainline of the MTB crank).

I also came across the toe clip overlap issue Mulger Bill mentioned, which I solved by using 26" wheels (with 1.6" Continental Sport Contacts - excellent 26" slick, by the way) on the bike instead of 700c. It did lower the bottom bracket a few centimetres, but not enough to have any pedal-scraping issues on the commute. Because of this I called this bike the "Donkey" - it was a workhorse, but with little 26" donkey feet instead of 700c (pathetic I know, but the name stuck)

Here is a picture of it, in its current semi-retired state (105 groupset, 36h wheels and 28/38/48 trekking gearing):

Image

Commuter Mk.2 "Moose", mid 2008 - one day a friend flippantly commented, "hey your commuter bike is cool, but can it handle a monsoon?" Well this was an itch I had to scratch, so went all-out and built a Rohloff equipped commuting bike, Wippermann rustproof singlespeed chain, with a Hebie Chainglider to protect the chain from the elements. Unfortunately with the Rohloff meant no more drop bars, which I find more comfortable.. with the combination of a riser bar and Ergon grips with horn-like bar-ends on the tips, it looked like it had antlers, so it was called the "Moose". I used a Kona Explosif steel frame for the build, as it had sliding dropouts. It was comfortable, but h-e-a-v-y and quite lethargic compared to the Donkey (a good 2km/h average speed slower) - didn't really like it on longer commutes.

Image

Shortly after building the Moose I moved from inner Melbourne (Ivanhoe) to Eltham, and in doing so my commute route changed from city streets to the Main Yarra Trail, most of which is a gravel path. You'd think this would be perfect for a bike like the Moose, burly bike with hub gears and a chaincase - low maintenance right? Sort of, but not really ... the dust kicked up from the gravel path made its way into the chaincase (and stayed trapped inside), polluting the chain oil and causing the chain to wear very quickly. I only got 2000km out of a thick rustproofed singlespeed chain, even with regular cleaning. (I get double that, out of a normal exposed derailleur chain!) .. and cleaning that chaincase and the chain was a really messy process I hated doing.

As such, I moved back to the Donkey, and sold the Moose early this year. The moral of the story for me was that instead of trying to "seal" the drivetrain as much as possible and hope for the best, a good maintenance programme for a derailleur drivetrain (rotating multiple chains and a good cleaning regimen, replacing cables and outers yearly) is, in practice, more effective for a bike that sees a lot of action, and a lot of weather in the process.

Commuter Mk.3 "Chairman", late 2009 - when I built the Donkey, a friend of mine in Sydney was also building up a custom Titanium disc-specific cyclocross bike as a commuter. But after using it for a while he wasn't keen on the mudguards and disc brakes (apparently it never rains in Sydney :wink: ), and wanted something that was faster and more sporty - so we swapped: I found and sent him a Ti road frame, and I got his Ti CX frame. Fortunately the CX frame fit me pretty much perfectly (just need more head tube height - so flipped the stem). 700c is okay with this bike, thanks to a very generous front-centre measurement. To alleviate the drivetrain issues I had with the Donkey, I moved to a more normal 30/39/50 triple. This bike's name is "The Chairman" - the Ti frame was built by Hi-Light in China...

It is just as, if not more comfortable than the Moose, and with Michelin Dynamic 32c tyres (which are more like 35s when you measure them) it is almost as fast as my racey road bike! Steel may be real, but even both sides of the Cold War agreed that Titanium was better. :)

This picture was from my first commute on it, using the Conti Countryride tyres that came from that Dew Plus I pulled to pieces in making the Donkey. (The other parts of that Dew now make up the bike I ride to the shops/Parkiteer cage)

Image

I'm absolutely wrapped with this bike (as is my friend with his new sporty commuter - win-win!) I do still have the Donkey in the shed, but I don't use it anymore. I keep telling myself that it makes for a good spare bike, in case the Chairman breaks for some reason - it's a nice excuse as I can't bring myself to list it for sale.

Someone mentioned a carbon commuter bike - I actually found some rack/mudguard friendly carbon CX framesets about recently. Linking to eBay is acting up but it's item 290379275999.
Peter
Steel may be real, but even both sides of the Cold War agreed titanium is better
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby hartleymartin » Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:13 pm

Image

My usual commute is to the train station (1.5km there, but 2km return - I live uphill from the station). In reality this is a bicycle for short utility trips, even though I have ridden longer distances on it. I have managed to ride 45km in one day on this bicycle.

However, I had managed to ride the 12km (or so) to Sydney Olympic Park from home on this bicycle, and I also enjoy riding it along the basically flat bike paths around Fairfield and district. A slightly longer seat-post and a 3 or 5-speed hub will make this a much better commuter bicycle.
Martin Christopher Hartley

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http://madmartysblog.blogspot.com - my cycling adventures
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby Fletcher » Sat Dec 26, 2009 9:15 am

Some great rides showing up here. Good stuff people, keep em coming. :D

Love that Ti commuter. Can totally understand why you ride it the most. Ti is fantastic frame material. Are you tempted to put some carbon forks on it, or would that make it vulnerable to monsoons?

Marty, is that folder with 20' wheels a Raleigh or Moulton? I've seen a few around here lately. My dad used to ride a Moulton to work in the early 80s, until he had a collision with a car. All ok, fortunately.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby rkelsen » Sat Dec 26, 2009 8:45 pm

hoboct wrote:one day a friend flippantly commented, "hey your commuter bike is cool, but can it handle a monsoon?"

Please pardon my ignorance here, but why would you need a "monsoon-proof" commuting bike in Melbourne?

Does your commute route take you through Cairns?

My commuter is an early 90's road bike with Kool Stop brake pads.
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Re: Great Commuter Bikes

Postby hoboct » Sun Dec 27, 2009 5:24 pm

rkelsen wrote:
hoboct wrote:one day a friend flippantly commented, "hey your commuter bike is cool, but can it handle a monsoon?"

Please pardon my ignorance here, but why would you need a "monsoon-proof" commuting bike in Melbourne?
Does your commute route take you through Cairns?

:lol: it wasn't so much monsoon-resistance I was looking for, but his remark started to make me think about how to build a bike that was as weather-resistant as possible. It was something to do, purely for the reason of seeing if it could be done.
Peter
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