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  1. #11401
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    It's funny, I grew up in Corona... I will have to see if I know these guys.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  2. #11402
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninevictor View Post
    OK! =)

    The bike is a custom build by Zealot Bikes out of Corona, CA. The frame is KVA MS2 stainless steel with Paragon Poly Drops designed for belt drive. The frame and fork have eyelets for racks and fenders should I choose to go that route instead of the backpack I currently use.

    The drivetrain is Gates Carbon Drive paired with Shimano Alfine 11 Di2

    I wanted disc brakes so they selected Avid BB7 S Road calipers with Shimano centerlock rotors.

    The front hub is an Alfine dynamo hub laced to Stan's ZTR Alpha 340 Disc tubeless rims with Hutchison Secteur 28c tires.

    The framebuilder is a fellow bike + train commuter and rides a belt-drive bike. It was my interest in belt drive that sparked the conversation that resulted in this bike. We imagined a low-maintenance commute bike that could stand in for a traditional road bike because of my propensity to throw in some "extra credit" mileage on my afternoon rides home. Stainless steel was selected as the low-maintenance frame material. Shimano's mechanical Alfine 11 was the initial IGH of choice but we soon changed to Di2 after Di2 parts started becoming more readily available in the US. There's no functional reason we decided on Di2. The honest truth is that we all thought it would just be really cool. Gates' Carbon Drive was always the drive component of choice because of its durability and clean method of operation. No lube required; can't have grease getting on the pant legs. Disc brakes were used because I commute by bike rain-or-shine and the improved wet-weather performance of disc brakes over standard road calipers cannot be denied.

    The Alfine 11 gear range is incredibly wide and very functional. I've taken the bike up some of the steeper climbs (>15% grade) in the area so the low gears are more than sufficient. Additionally I can easily cruise at 20 mph on the local MUPs and still have a couple of taller gears at my disposal. An added benefit is the belt drive is extremely quiet! It's even quieter than the single speed chain that was used to test the bike while the builders were waiting on Gates to release the Di2-compatible rear sprocket.

    I hope that covers what you were looking for!
    Tre cool! Can I ask in what part of the world you live?
    I'm slow, go around

  3. #11403
    derailleurs are overrated bigbenaugust's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arsprod View Post
    Tre cool! Can I ask in what part of the world you live?
    From the picture... Southern California, maybe Los Angeles county.
    --Ben
    Carrboro Bike Coalition - putting the "bike" in "CARrboro" :)
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  4. #11404
    High Plains Luddite
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    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.






  5. #11405
    http://www.538.nl acidfast7'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.





    nice ride. I'm looking for something like this in the northern UK but am not having so much luck
    Movimento 5 Stelle (M5S)
    Rohloffs seen on the commute: 3

  6. #11406
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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.

  7. #11407
    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

  8. #11408
    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

  9. #11409
    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" :)
    2011 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno, 2009 Motobecane Fantom CX, 2011 Windsor Shetland
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  10. #11410
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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

  11. #11411
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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.

  12. #11412
    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

  13. #11413
    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

  14. #11414
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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.

  15. #11415
    Senior Member arsprod's Avatar
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    I'm slow, go around

  16. #11416
    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, 2011 Windsor Shetland
    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)
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  17. #11417
    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.

  18. #11418
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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.

  19. #11419
    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.

  20. #11420
    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.

  21. #11421
    High Plains Luddite
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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?

  22. #11422
    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.

  23. #11423
    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.

  24. #11424
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    A Nashbar Mk. III (Ishiwata Steel!) frame I found and and then cobbled together as an about town bike.




  25. #11425
    Stealing Spokes since 82' Fizzaly's Avatar
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    ^ you're tall! Nice bike though

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