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Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

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Old 02-22-08, 09:33 PM   #1
pinkpowa
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New Commuter/Cyclocross Build - your thoughts?

Turns out Brodie isn't going to have a 58cm 2008 Ronin for me, so the plan is to build up a 07 Romax. So I commute 5 days a week on a mostly flat and paved 6.5mile route. The bike will also be used for errands around town, light touring and the occasional triathalon/alleycat. Without vbrake bosses, it can't be used for a CX race (or at least one with people who are sticklers for rules), but I'm ok with that. Yeah, quite the spread of uses, I know. So I'd appreciate input on the proposed build with relation to commuting.


07 Brodie Romax, 58cm, Alum frame with front and rear rack and fender mounts.
SRAM Rival Shifters
SRAM Rival rear derailleur
SRAM Force front derailleur
SRAM PC1070 10sp chain
SRAM OG1070 cassette 12-25
Avid BB7 Road Front Brake 160mm
Avid BB7 Road Rear Brake 160mm
Origin 8 Pro Propulsion Stem
Origin 8 Elite Carbon Seat post
Selle Italia Pro Link Light Gel Flow Black
Pyramyd QR seatpost
SRAM S300 Cross 46/38
Crank Bros SPD pedals
Vittoria EVO Cross XN 700x32
Spinergy Xyclone 700c disc wheels, 32h yellow spokes
Rear Rack
Ortlieb Back Roller Classic Panniers, red
Planet Bike Cascadia full length fenders




Thanks for your thoughts!

-david in fla
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Old 02-22-08, 11:30 PM   #2
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Why the 700x32 tire for pavement? I vote you get some moderately narrow, higher-pressure tires like a 700x25 100psi tire. Then go back to the 700x32 tires when you want to go off pavement.
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Old 02-23-08, 02:10 AM   #3
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...Thanks for your thoughts!

-david in fla
awesome build - good luck. Post some pictures once it's up and running please.
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Old 02-23-08, 02:59 AM   #4
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I'm riding the poorman's version of your build. I have Sun Ringle Highrider wheels and 700c x 32 Pasela TGs. I think 32mm tires make perfect sense for a commuter. Commuting, for me is riding through one road construction site after another, pot holes that magically appear, etc. Add riding during hours of darkness and avoiding this stuff becomes near impossible. A wider tire is saving my rims from destruction and pinchflats.
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Old 02-23-08, 03:48 AM   #5
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IMO- a commuting tool needs wider tires to be effective, comfortable and reliable.
The Marathon Supreme is a great tire- the 32c or 35c tire are light at around 450 gm
each, tough and roll nicely. I know they are expensive.
When someone asks about gearing set up, especially for a commuter I always suggest
a 1X9. My CxCK is set up with an 11-34 cassette and 34 T chain ring; I also have the
larger 42 mm Marathon tire. If i lived in a flatter area probably would use 38 or 42.
The chain ring with a disc protector is a lot more pragmatic for a commuter than any sort of front deraileur set up.
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Old 02-23-08, 08:57 AM   #6
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Why the 700x32 tire for pavement? I vote you get some moderately narrow, higher-pressure tires like a 700x25 100psi tire. Then go back to the 700x32 tires when you want to go off pavement.
On reading reviews on those Vittorias, it sounds like they are closer to 28c than the listed 32c. I have some 23c's on my hybrid Schwinn Crisscross now and hate them for the commute: too small (though nice and light) to absorb anything on the rougher trails or any off road excursions (yay girls with ipods and dogs at 6am!).


Also I forgot to mention, a pair of salsa moto ace bell lap CX bars are going on there as well. The flare looks pretty nice and ergo...
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Old 02-23-08, 09:00 AM   #7
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I'm riding the poorman's version of your build. I have Sun Ringle Highrider wheels and 700c x 32 Pasela TGs. I think 32mm tires make perfect sense for a commuter. Commuting, for me is riding through one road construction site after another, pot holes that magically appear, etc. Add riding during hours of darkness and avoiding this stuff becomes near impossible. A wider tire is saving my rims from destruction and pinchflats.

That's exactly my commute: constant construction, even on the MUP! The current bike with 700x23 is a flat waiting to happen in that environment. Commuting in Homestead has got to be fun....though I haven't lived there for years now, it didn't seem very commuter friendly...

-david in fla
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Old 02-23-08, 09:07 AM   #8
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IMO- a commuting tool needs wider tires to be effective, comfortable and reliable.
The Marathon Supreme is a great tire- the 32c or 35c tire are light at around 450 gm
each, tough and roll nicely. I know they are expensive.
When someone asks about gearing set up, especially for a commuter I always suggest
a 1X9. My CxCK is set up with an 11-34 cassette and 34 T chain ring; I also have the
larger 42 mm Marathon tire. If i lived in a flatter area probably would use 38 or 42.
The chain ring with a disc protector is a lot more pragmatic for a commuter than any sort of front deraileur set up.

I was thinking a 1x10 would be a pretty good setup. I figure I'll start with the 2x10, then figure out what ratios work best for my nice and flat commute and then convert it to a single ring w/protector to help the simplicity. I definitely believe simplicity should be a priority on a commuter, because the last thing you need is to have to continually adjust FD trim when you're just trying to get to work. What RD do you use with the 11-34? I currently have my eye on the short cage SRAM, but maybe they have a longer cage that would be more flexible in range...
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Old 02-23-08, 12:19 PM   #9
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The RD is an LX "regular rise & cage" and a Bar end shifter.
The 1x9 gear ratio with 11-34 cassette covers a similar range of ratios to the 2x10 with 12-25.
I don't have a 32 mm tire to measure the circumference, however an almost new 37 mm Marathon
measures within a couple mm of 2190. The Schwalbe web site has a chart of tire circumferences
for their tires. It indicates 37-622 has a circumference of 2190 mm. It also indicates a 32-622 has a circumference of 2160 mm, if one presumes that to be correct. Below is a chart comparing the gear in ratios for 32-622 tires and 1x9 (44 chain with 11-34 RD) vs. 2x10 (38 & 46 chain with 12-25 RD). The ratio range is similar, actually the 1x9 just a little wider, of course the 2x10 has more individual smaller steps.

1x9 2x10
2160 32-622 2160 32-622
27.1 44 27.1 38 46
11 108 12 86 104
13 92 13 79 96
15 79 14 73 89
17 70 15 69 83
20 60 16 64 78
23 52 17 61 73
26 46 19 54 66
30 40 21 49 59
34 35 23 45 54
25 41 50

That is why IMO, the 1x9 is a more pragmatic set up for the commuter and most knock about cycling.
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Old 02-24-08, 07:33 PM   #10
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Having ridden bikes with at least 21 gears for a number of years, I definitely appreciate the small steps to find the sweet spot to keep you churning at optimal efficiency on whatever ride you're on. However, right now I ride a single speed 52x16 masher, and I appreciate the simplicity that it affords. I think the 2x10 isn't overkill for a commute, and would be much appreciated for any short tours or Tri's in the future. I'd also add that the 32c tire from your chart will likely have lower rolling resistance (and perhaps traction and ride quality), so that will add a bit to the overall speed.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:48 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by pinkpowa View Post
That's exactly my commute: constant construction, even on the MUP! The current bike with 700x23 is a flat waiting to happen in that environment. Commuting in Homestead has got to be fun....though I haven't lived there for years now, it didn't seem very commuter friendly...

-david in fla


Oh, let there be no doubt Fun it is! Getting to the mup is fun. Only a mile and I get honked at least once, especially nearing the intersection of NE 11 st and Old US1.

Recently, the powers have decided that signals are not properly connected and or controlled and have decided that underground conduits are needed, right across the mup at intersections. This mup parallels the BusWay . Riding on the busway is dangerous. Now, riding on the mup is even more dangerous. The construction is unmarked. I crashed into one of these recently. Saw it just soon enough to hit the brakes and swerve enough to avoid crushing front wheel perpendicular to a concrete knife edged conduit ditch. It wasn't there 9 hours earlier.

It still took a chunk of tread out of the edge of the front tire.
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Old 02-24-08, 08:49 PM   #12
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Personally, I prefer SKS fenders to Planet Bike's. Where can you buy a Brodie on the east coast? I'm strangely drawn to the Section 8.
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Old 02-24-08, 09:27 PM   #13
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Personally, I prefer SKS fenders to Planet Bike's. Where can you buy a Brodie on the east coast? I'm strangely drawn to the Section 8.
Oh, the section 8 is beautiful. My wife is trying to get me to sell her GT ZUM with drops I built up to get her one of those. Body colored fenders and rack, internal hub and brakes, relaxed geometry...beautiful.

http://brodiebikes.com/2008/dealers/index.php?id=10

It looks like on the east coast you've got 3 choices: Gainesville (my LBS just came on as a dealer, so my bike will be in the first order), ATL, or NJ. The shop owner from the ATL came down as an informal rep as he's been dealing Brodie for a while I reckon. We'll see once the first order of bikes gets here, but I've got the feeling Brodie might be a much smaller company than they appear on the internet...

I've got the Planet bikes now on my Single speed 27" Raleigh, and have got nothing but compliments on the looks and their function has been great! However, we'll see how they do on a 700x32ish tire...
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Old 02-24-08, 09:46 PM   #14
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On reading reviews on those Vittorias, it sounds like they are closer to 28c than the listed 32c. I have some 23c's on my hybrid Schwinn Crisscross now and hate them for the commute: too small (though nice and light) to absorb anything on the rougher trails or any off road excursions (yay girls with ipods and dogs at 6am!).


Also I forgot to mention, a pair of salsa moto ace bell lap CX bars are going on there as well. The flare looks pretty nice and ergo...
The Bell Lap bars kick butt! I've got 'em on my X-Check complete. It's about a 2 - 2.5cm flare from the hoods to the bottoms on the drops. Very comfortable. (I just did 80 miles on 'em today.)

32's are fine for commuting, but unless you've got a lot of cruddy streets a 28mm tire will work fine and offer some lower resistance.
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