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  1. #11401
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    Pics of my new-to-me commuter bike, from craigslist. It looks pretty drab but rides so much better than the full-suspension Mongoose I had been riding. This is much faster, especially uphill. I bought it yesterday evening after work and rode it to work this morning after adding the underseat bag with a tube and lock and the front water bottle cage with a mini-pump clipped to the side.

    It's a Raleigh USA MT 400, made in Seattle. The brakes, brake levers, shifters, and tires don't match each other, but both derailleurs are Shimano Deore LX. I imagine I'll change stuff over time - like having matching brake levers, especially. Do you guys have any favorites on the lower side of the price range? Right now one feels great (Shimano, looks like aluminum to me) but one feels cheap and flimsy (ProMax, looks like cheapest Chinese pot metal available).

    Do either of the tires look backwards to you guys? They both do to me, but I confess I know little about bike tires.

    Shopping list - brake levers...maybe I can buy one that matches the Shimano I like on craiglist, eBay, etc.?

    Pedals - I don't like clips on pedals and while I could remove these, the pedals themselves are pretty mashed up. Is there sort of an inexpensive but durable favorite pedal among MTBers and commuters who wear regular shoes while riding?

    Fenders, rear rack, and some kind of rack bag. Maybe a little stubby front rack too that mounts on the brake...uh...mounts? You guys know what I mean. There's a recent thread about them.

    Grips. These are terrible. They are thicker at the outside and after my five mile commute this morning, it felt like all the pressure was on the bone between my pinky and wrist on each hand, instead of evenly distributed across my hands.

    Saddle. It looks and feels like the stock seat on my Mongoose but I've been at my desk for about an hour now and I still feel like I'm on the bike. That didn't happen on the other bike. I guess it might be the lack of suspension, but otherwise I stand whenever going over bumps and such. I'll switch them out tonight and see how that works tomorrow.





    nice ride. I'm looking for something like this in the northern UK but am not having so much luck

  2. #11402
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    From the picture... Southern California, maybe Los Angeles county.
    Big Ben's right. Southern California

    The picture is Los Angeles Union Station.

  3. #11403
    Senior Member IthaDan's Avatar
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    Got the electric bike to work today. That's a 14Kv DC transformer it's hanging in front of.


    Shimano : Click :: Campy :: Snap :: SRAM : Bang

  4. #11404
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninevictor View Post
    Big Ben's right. Southern California

    The picture is Los Angeles Union Station.
    ok, thanks - so you don't have to worry about snow, cold extremes, etc. Curious how the belts will hold up in the winter
    I'm slow, go around

  5. #11405
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninevictor View Post
    Big Ben's right. Southern California

    The picture is Los Angeles Union Station.
    I was looking at that pic and thinking, "isn't he somewhere over by Union Station with that ramp...", but I haven't gone through there in years, so wasn't going to be that specific.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  6. #11406
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    Quote Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
    ok, thanks - so you don't have to worry about snow, cold extremes, etc. Curious how the belts will hold up in the winter
    According to Gates' FAQ, the belt will handle winter pretty much anywhere. The belt has an operating temperature range of -65F to 185F
    http://www.gatescarbondrive.com/prod...AA8145290F3%7d

  7. #11407
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    I was looking at that pic and thinking, "isn't he somewhere over by Union Station with that ramp...", but I haven't gone through there in years, so wasn't going to be that specific.
    Yes sir. Multimodal commute FTW.

  8. #11408
    Senior Member Yalc's Avatar
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    I know how much we like to see commuter bikes in there loaded and full. So here are a few of my "rainy day bike" from my commute this morning.

    WP_20130815_07_58_40_Pro.jpgWP_20130815_07_59_27_Pro.jpg

  9. #11409
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninevictor View Post
    According to Gates' FAQ, the belt will handle winter pretty much anywhere. The belt has an operating temperature range of -65F to 185F
    http://www.gatescarbondrive.com/prod...AA8145290F3%7d
    interesting, thanks! I still have visions of mud and gunk building up between belt and sprocket, but I'm sure they know that not everyone lives in California!
    I'm slow, go around

  10. #11410
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    Quote Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
    interesting, thanks! I still have visions of mud and gunk building up between belt and sprocket, but I'm sure they know that not everyone lives in California!
    This latest iteration of the CarbonDrive sprocket is designed to shed mud. Gates has a name for it but I haven't committed it to memory since my bike likely won't ever see mud.

  11. #11411
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    I'm slow, go around

  12. #11412
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Is Gates still based in Denver? They used to have a big plant there, and that might help explain things a little.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX
    Previously: 2000 Trek 4500 (2000-2003), 2003 Novara Randonee (2003-2006), 2003 Giant Rainier (2003-2008), 2005 Xootr Swift (2005-2007), 2007 Nashbar 1x9 (2007-2011), 2011 Windsor Shetland (2011-2014)
    Current Linux Usage (by machine): Arch: I Debian: I openSUSE: II

  13. #11413
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    Do either of the tires look backwards to you guys? They both do to me, but I confess I know little about bike tires.
    FWIW, both of those tires look backwards to me as well. Usually for asymmetric tires you should be able to find somewhere on the sidewall a rotation arrow. Also, if there is more lettering/branding on one side, that side belongs on the 'display' side, i.e. the rhs with all the drivetrain. I have seen tires before that actually were designed to be mounted one way on the front, and reverse on the rear. The front tire is mounted, you've got the flat parts of the triangles digging in for forward traction, which is a rear-tire characteristic.

    In any case, if you are not going to ride this bike on rocks, I would recommend you replace with slicks or semi-slicks. Eliminating knobby tire rolling resistance is the number one way to speed up a bike on hard surfaces, i.e. asphalt; or even smooth hardpack dirt trails.

    brake levers, pedals, grips, saddle...If possible, get thee to a co-op! All these things should be available very cheaply used, and most anything that looks non-crappy will work fine for you. Exception, you'll probably want to buy new grips, but those will be under $10. And seats are very hit-and-miss, and particular to individuals. If you still have the seat you liked before, swap seats at least in the short term while you shop. You might have to go through a large number of seats before you find one that works for you.

    Racks/fenders: Your bike has the interesting, but for this purpose unfortunate, design element of wishbone seatstays (with no rack mounts that I can see), and cantilever brakes. There are rack- and fender-mount screw-holes at the top of the dropouts, that's a start, but any rack you might want to clamp up top is going to have a hard time getting around the cantilever brake cable. Maybe you can find a rear rack that mounts onto dropout holes below, and cantilever brake bosses above (i.e. screw on top of your brake calipers). Other than that, I think you're stuck with seatpost racks, which IME are annoyingly difficult to keep stable, and don't keep bags out of your spokes. Fenders, similar issues. I can't tell if there is a mounting hole at the junction of the wishbone.

  14. #11414
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigbenaugust View Post
    Is Gates still based in Denver? They used to have a big plant there, and that might help explain things a little.
    Based on their contact phone numbers it appears they are still based in Colorado.

  15. #11415
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    Pics of my new-to-me commuter bike, from craigslist. It looks pretty drab but rides so much better than the full-suspension Mongoose I had been riding. This is much faster, especially uphill. I bought it yesterday evening after work and rode it to work this morning after adding the underseat bag with a tube and lock and the front water bottle cage with a mini-pump clipped to the side.

    It's a Raleigh USA MT 400, made in Seattle. The brakes, brake levers, shifters, and tires don't match each other, but both derailleurs are Shimano Deore LX. I imagine I'll change stuff over time - like having matching brake levers, especially. Do you guys have any favorites on the lower side of the price range? Right now one feels great (Shimano, looks like aluminum to me) but one feels cheap and flimsy (ProMax, looks like cheapest Chinese pot metal available).

    Do either of the tires look backwards to you guys? They both do to me, but I confess I know little about bike tires.

    Shopping list - brake levers...maybe I can buy one that matches the Shimano I like on craiglist, eBay, etc.?

    Pedals - I don't like clips on pedals and while I could remove these, the pedals themselves are pretty mashed up. Is there sort of an inexpensive but durable favorite pedal among MTBers and commuters who wear regular shoes while riding?

    Fenders, rear rack, and some kind of rack bag. Maybe a little stubby front rack too that mounts on the brake...uh...mounts? You guys know what I mean. There's a recent thread about them.

    Grips. These are terrible. They are thicker at the outside and after my five mile commute this morning, it felt like all the pressure was on the bone between my pinky and wrist on each hand, instead of evenly distributed across my hands.

    Saddle. It looks and feels like the stock seat on my Mongoose but I've been at my desk for about an hour now and I still feel like I'm on the bike. That didn't happen on the other bike. I guess it might be the lack of suspension, but otherwise I stand whenever going over bumps and such. I'll switch them out tonight and see how that works tomorrow.

    That Raleigh is a fairly decent bike with a good parts spec, you front wheel has been put in backwards while the alignment of the rear tread is right if you are hitting the trails.

    If it was me I'd replace the flat bars with risers, replace the crappy lever, and find some comfortable ergo grips. With fenders and a rack this bike will look great and should be a very capable urban assault vehicle tm

    That series of Shimano lever is pretty solid... LX level STI's are very nice and you will need to match the number of speeds so it indexes properly and get the model that works with cantis as they have a different pull than v brake levers.

  16. #11416
    High Plains Luddite
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    Racks/fenders: Your bike has the interesting, but for this purpose unfortunate, design element of wishbone seatstays (with no rack mounts that I can see), and cantilever brakes. There are rack- and fender-mount screw-holes at the top of the dropouts, that's a start, but any rack you might want to clamp up top is going to have a hard time getting around the cantilever brake cable. Maybe you can find a rear rack that mounts onto dropout holes below, and cantilever brake bosses above (i.e. screw on top of your brake calipers). Other than that, I think you're stuck with seatpost racks, which IME are annoyingly difficult to keep stable, and don't keep bags out of your spokes. Fenders, similar issues. I can't tell if there is a mounting hole at the junction of the wishbone.

    Thanks for your entire reply. With regards to the quote above - you can't see them in the picture, but on each side of the single tube that forks into two for the rear wheel is a hole. I'm no expert, but it looks pretty easy to me. Still, thanks for pointing stuff like this out. I have been away from bikes for a long time and don't know nearly as much as I wish I did.

    I think fenders will work too. There is a hole in the vicinity of the...uh...uh, part of the frame that the pedals connect to each other through...sorry, don't know the correct names...that I think is for mounting a rear fender. I have two eyelets on each side in back and one on each side in front.

  17. #11417
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sixty Fiver View Post
    That Raleigh is a fairly decent bike with a good parts spec, you front wheel has been put in backwards while the alignment of the rear tread is right if you are hitting the trails.

    If it was me I'd replace the flat bars with risers, replace the crappy lever, and find some comfortable ergo grips. With fenders and a rack this bike will look great and should be a very capable urban assault vehicle tm

    That series of Shimano lever is pretty solid... LX level STI's are very nice and you will need to match the number of speeds so it indexes properly and get the model that works with cantis as they have a different pull than v brake levers.
    Thank you. My commute is about 25% gravel trails and I like to ride trails on weekends too. Should I remount the front tire or just flip the whole wheel around until it's time to change the tire or fix a flat?

  18. #11418
    Bicycle Repair Man !!! Sixty Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Squeeze View Post
    Thank you. My commute is about 25% gravel trails and I like to ride trails on weekends too. Should I remount the front tire or just flip the whole wheel around until it's time to change the tire or fix a flat?
    Just flip it.

    A tyre with a cross like profile would probably be better suited... I really like Schwalbe Hurricanes for this.

  19. #11419
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    Somewhat of operation drop bar disc MTB, I've still got a few parts I'm waiting to ship, and I still need to finish paint but this is the basic form.

  20. #11420
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    A Nashbar Mk. III (Ishiwata Steel!) frame I found and and then cobbled together as an about town bike.




  21. #11421
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    ^ you're tall! Nice bike though

  22. #11422
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    I have only been riding for a few months and started commuting by bike a couple of months ago. I know very little about bikes. If you see something I can improve for commuting please say so. )

    IMG_0370.jpgIMG_0370.jpgIMG_0371.jpgIMG_0372.jpgIMG_0373.jpgIMG_0374.jpgIMG_0375.jpg

  23. #11423
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by costelde View Post
    I have only been riding for a few months and started commuting by bike a couple of months ago. I know very little about bikes. If you see something I can improve for commuting please say so. )

    IMG_0370.jpgIMG_0370.jpgIMG_0371.jpgIMG_0372.jpgIMG_0373.jpgIMG_0374.jpgIMG_0375.jpg


    Maybe a better fender set like this one


    Otherwise, it looks good.

  24. #11424
    Senior Member SpeshulEd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by costelde View Post
    I have only been riding for a few months and started commuting by bike a couple of months ago. I know very little about bikes. If you see something I can improve for commuting please say so. )

    IMG_0373.jpg
    If you commute after sunset, I'd get another taillight, those aren't very bright.
    Hey guys, lets go play bikes!

    Strava

  25. #11425
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
    Maybe a better fender set like this one


    Otherwise, it looks good.
    Thanks much. I will look into those fenders. My front fender has already fallen off on me and I don't have any confidence it wont do it again without remembering to tighten them frequently.

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