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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 05-29-13, 08:18 AM   #1
thugpipe
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Just finished my ultimate comuter/city bike. its sweet!

for a while now I have wanted a mini velo bike with disc brakes to ride in NYC, I had tried out a hooligan 8 a couple of years ago but i didn't really like the geometry and i really wanted a steel framed bike. A few weeks ago I randomly wandered into a bike shop in midtown and i spotted this bike I had initially thought was a bmx but i noticed it had a rear derailleur and disc brake mounts, best part it was on sale, after a test ride I was sold I walked off with it for $341. The bike is an Origin8 Bully and i think they only bade it in 2011, I basicly paid for a frame and a fork because I proceeded to change every component on the bike. well I just thought I would share the project and I would recomend that if you ever see one of these bikes to pick one up its a blast to ride.


Before:



New parts added:

FSA Vero double 130 BCD Crankset
FSA Super Road 55T chainring
FSA Single chainring bolts
Shimano Saint MX-80 Pedals
Shimano Sora RD-3400-SS rear derailleur
Shimano Alivio SL-M430 9-speed rapid fire trigger shifter+cables
Shimano BB-UN55 Square Taper Bottom Bracket
Sram PG950 11-28T cassette
Sram PC971 9-speed chain
Sram X.7 disc hub 32H Front and Rear
Velocity Aero Heat 20" 406 BSD rim non-MSW Front and Rear
Maxxis Hookworm 20 x 1.95" tires
Origin 8 Chain Tensioners
Origin 8 Stash Bar 2 handle bars 25.4mmx 450mm(425mm actual)
Avid Speed Dial 7 Brake Levers
Avid BB7 Road Disc Brake Calipers (short pull)
Avid G2 Clean Sweep 160mm rotors
Jagwire SS brake cable/Houseings
ODI Ruffian Lock-on Grips
Cane Creek ten series headset with 40 series crown race
Salsa Lip-Lock Seatpost Clamp 30mm
Thomson Elite stem 100mm 25.4 bar 5Deg rise

Old Parts:

Origin 8 Bully Frame
Origin 8 Bully Fork
Origin 8 seatpost 27.2mmx400mm
Origin 8 seat

After:



now that I have ridden it for a few weeks i have to say it is the most fun I have ever had on two wheels! With the hookworm tires pumped up to 70psi it rolls super fast, I love the looks i get when i pass road bikers (they don't seem to like it), the narrow handlebars let me pass tight spaces with ease, the tire width lets me roll over cobble stones without cringing, it can handle my heavy ass(190lbs) plus 30+lbs of crap i carry, and its small.

Last edited by thugpipe; 05-29-13 at 08:43 AM.
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Old 05-29-13, 08:53 AM   #2
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I like it.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did all the upgraded parts set you back?
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Old 05-29-13, 09:01 AM   #3
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I like it.
Me too. It's an interesting looking bike.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:06 AM   #4
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I like it.

If you don't mind me asking, how much did all the upgraded parts set you back?
well.........about that..........

all said and done I probably spent like $1200 but that is including the bike and a number of parts I already had. I was originally going to try and put disc brakes on a mercier nano back in 2011 but hadn't gotten around to it for a number of reasons, so I had the hubs and brakes and I had some of the other parts hanging around. the thing that really hammered me was getting the the wheels built up, because you can't just run out and pick up a set of 20" disc brake wheels, with the spokes it was about $165 to build them and the rims were $140 on top of that but they are super nice. I realize I probably could have gotten a hooligan for less money but as I had said between the geometry and the steel frame I like this a whole lot more and this is exactly the way I want it now.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:11 AM   #5
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Just missing flames coming off the back! Nice bike!!!
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Old 05-29-13, 09:11 AM   #6
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oh man, now I have to put my mini-velo back together...
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Old 05-29-13, 09:12 AM   #7
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of this over a regular bike?
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Old 05-29-13, 09:53 AM   #8
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of this over a regular bike?
the advantages(as i see them):

1.its small which makes it much easier to carry up stairs into my apt to store and to cram onto the train when needs be, it is also nice when walking it through crowds.
2.it is very nimble which i love on the tight streets of nyc and with the tire size I can pull crazy cornering at maximum speeds, I can touch my knee to the pavement
3. it is very rugged with small strong wheel and a steel frame I can load the hell out of it or jump off a curb with confidence, its kinda like the fastest bmx you've ever ridden.

the disadvantages

1.the gearing can be a little tricky because of the small wheels, so I top out at 100 gear inches (not really a problem for me) and that is with a 55t chainring.
2.some people complain that the small wheels don't deal well with pot holes but I have found that with the 1.95 hookworms that isn't a big deal although they weigh alot. and i dont know how you feel about it but I cringe more on my 700c wheeled road bike when I hit a hole than I do in this thing.
3. it is a little harder to get the chain through the wheel and the frame when locking it up. No U-locks no way no how!

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Old 05-29-13, 09:56 AM   #9
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Looks like a blast to ride... no problem selling me on the virtues of smaller wheels... my new ride only runs 16's.
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Old 05-29-13, 09:59 AM   #10
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3. it is a little harder to get the chain through the wheel and the frame when locking it up. No U-locks no way no how!
Flippin' excellent bike build, thugpipe, loving it.
Perfect setup for dense inner cities.......

3. Just ulock through the rear wheel and lower frame triangle. Should still work. So does heavy chain.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:07 AM   #11
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Flippin' excellent bike build, thugpipe, loving it.
Perfect setup for dense inner cities.......

3. Just ulock through the rear wheel and lower frame triangle. Should still work. So does heavy chain.
thanks.

yea I mostly do the heavy chain that's 7 of the 30lbs i usually carry with me? I just don't love the really long u-bolts but you are probably right.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:11 AM   #12
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of this over a regular bike?
i am interested in the answer to this question as well.

ps it is a sweet looking bike.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:17 AM   #13
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i am interested in the answer to this question as well.

ps it is a sweet looking bike.
See above /\
||


Thanks btw
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Old 05-29-13, 10:21 AM   #14
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Can you maintain a good average speed over a long period or is it just for a city commute?

I agree with jrickard: flames would be awesome!
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Old 05-29-13, 10:25 AM   #15
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How long is your commute?

Awesome ride btw
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Old 05-29-13, 10:30 AM   #16
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Can you maintain a good average speed over a long period or is it just for a city commute?
well the bike isn't too light but with the tires at the correct psi the bike can maintain speed well I feel and I actually think it is almost as easy to roll as my lotus hi-ten with 23x700c tires. The longest ride I have taken it on was about 16mi so far and it was great granted with the gearing I am not going to climb the rockies and I didn't time my ride against another bike.
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Old 05-29-13, 10:32 AM   #17
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How long is your commute?

Awesome ride btw
about 6mi each way

thanks

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Old 05-29-13, 11:28 AM   #18
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What are the advantages and disadvantages of this over a regular bike?
It is all physics and when you do the math the performance one gets from a smaller wheeled bicycle can be equal to bicycle with standard sized wheels with some small advantages and disadvantages.

Smaller wheels are tougher and proportionally lighter because they use less material, for example a 20 inch wheel with a Marathon is roughly 40% lighter than a 700 wheel with a equal Marathon tyre.

Small wheeled bicycles are very agile and accelerate quickly (faster) although they lose a little ride quality because of the smaller diameter of the wheel, this is usually overcome by using higher volume tyres which do not have a huge effect on performance and by utilizing suspensions with very small wheels, which adds weight.

I would consider my P20 the equivalent of my Expedition bike as they are very similar in set up and their function and do not find it a step up or down to switch them up... the P20 probably runs the strongest wheels I have ever built but they are still quite light, it is a great century and long distance bike.

The granddaddy of current folders and smaller wheeled bicycles in the venerable Moulton which was originally equipped with high pressure 16 inch tyres and the Moulton introduced a full suspension design 30 years before mountain bikers embraced this. They have gone through many incarnations since the early 1960's and the modern variants are unbelievably nice although the original Mk1 and Mk2 are said to have the nicest ride quality.

The one thing that held back development of smaller wheeled bicycles has been the tyres but now you can get high performance variants of many models in a huge range of sizes... the Primo Comet tyres on my Moulton weigh 206 grams in a wider 349/37 size but this is only a few grams off my racing tyres which are 700:23 (190 grams) and they have a very fast rollout and contribute to the Moulton's excellent ride quality.

One other disadvantage is that smaller diameter tyres wear out more quickly, they have to travel farther to cover the same distance as larger tyres and one might get 60-70% of life out of the smaller 20 inch version of the same 26 inch or 700c.
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Old 05-29-13, 11:46 AM   #19
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This is very interesting -- I wish I could click on the pictures to see higher-rez. All I can tell right now is that you upgraded from a desk and open boxes to a nice-looking shelf full of books. Were you able to buy (m)any of your parts used, or did you have to pay retail for all those that you list? (FYI, here's my experiment in building "cheap").

When you ride one of those, does it feel like you're perched on stilts above tiny wheels, or if you close your eyes could you imagine it's a regular diamond-frame bike with 700C wheels and your hands close up on the flats?
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Old 05-29-13, 12:52 PM   #20
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This is very interesting -- I wish I could click on the pictures to see higher-rez. All I can tell right now is that you upgraded from a desk and open boxes to a nice-looking shelf full of books. Were you able to buy (m)any of your parts used, or did you have to pay retail for all those that you list? (FYI, here's my experiment in building "cheap").

When you ride one of those, does it feel like you're perched on stilts above tiny wheels, or if you close your eyes could you imagine it's a regular diamond-frame bike with 700C wheels and your hands close up on the flats?
I actually just turned around in the same space to face a different wall. well the only used part is the thomson stem, the brakes i got on sale for like half price back in 2011 the derailleur i pulled off the Mercier nano, the cranks i got off ebay for like $60 delivered every thing else was new retail mostly online, I think I did ok.

the wheel base is almost as long as my road bike but the head tube is a smidge more vertical so it isn't exactly the same. I don't feel at all like I am sitting higher because I am not, the bars and seat are at about the same height as my other bikes. that said if you could ride it with your eyes closed(NOT RECOMMENDED!) I suppose it would not feel too much different than a similarly equipped bike with bigger wheels. the bike does not feel cramped in anyway although I am not a particularly tall man at 5'7".

if you want to see all the images I have of it at full resolution:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thugpip...7633088472276/
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Old 05-29-13, 01:03 PM   #21
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Nice
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Old 05-29-13, 01:27 PM   #22
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That is a good looking bike.

Why the short pull calipers? I realize the Speed Dial levers will let you get away with that, but I'd expect better performance with MTB BB7's. Did you just have these on hand?
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Old 05-29-13, 02:09 PM   #23
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Thx for the fullrez pics, looks really cool. Quite minimal and clean to the first glance, but packed with useful features.

One thing that caught my eye is how that brake cable jumps the gap in a perfectly straight line. It would be kinda cool if the upper stop was rotated upwards to the left side of the tube instead of the bottom, and the cable could run without housing to a lower stop near the brake. But I guess maybe not a good idea to have the cable exposed across the open middle (bump it and accidental braking!), and for city use it's probably better to enclose the whole cable for cleanliness.

Also, that chain is so short, how many links did you have to discard! That really has to bring the back of the wheelbase forward. Maybe wheelbase forward of COG is more important to handling than rearward?

Looks real cool though, I bet you have a blast zipping through the city on that. Good work!
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Old 05-29-13, 03:05 PM   #24
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That is a good looking bike.

Why the short pull calipers? I realize the Speed Dial levers will let you get away with that, but I'd expect better performance with MTB BB7's. Did you just have these on hand?
I had picked the BB7 road versions up in 2011 to try and adapt them to my road style mini velo a mercier nano, I had planned to put bullhorn style bars and my tiagra 9 speed lever/shifter on it but I put them on this instead and they work just fine, this bike stops almost too well with such small wheels.

Last edited by thugpipe; 05-29-13 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 05-29-13, 04:00 PM   #25
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the advantages(as i see them):

1.its small which makes it much easier to carry up stairs into my apt to store and to cram onto the train when needs be, it is also nice when walking it through crowds.
2.it is very nimble which i love on the tight streets of nyc and with the tire size I can pull crazy cornering at maximum speeds, I can touch my knee to the pavement
3. it is very rugged with small strong wheel and a steel frame I can load the hell out of it or jump off a curb with confidence, its kinda like the fastest bmx you've ever ridden.

the disadvantages

1.the gearing can be a little tricky because of the small wheels, so I top out at 100 gear inches (not really a problem for me) and that is with a 55t chainring.
2.some people complain that the small wheels don't deal well with pot holes but I have found that with the 1.95 hookworms that isn't a big deal although they weigh alot. and i dont know how you feel about it but I cringe more on my 700c wheeled road bike when I hit a hole than I do in this thing.
I think you have almost the perfect design for the job - small wheels are super agile, and the fat tyres you have will grip like crazy and have low rolling resistance. If I was in NY I'd go out now and buy the same frame.
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