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  1. #1
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    The Ultimate Bike

    What would your ultimate bike be? I ask this based on your experience and desires.

    I have (and have had) some very nice bikes, but as usual am looking for the perfect bike. Right now my Salsa Vaya fits the bill quite closely with my Shimano Ultegra brifters and gearing, BB7 disc brakes, beautiful Mavic rims and Schwalbe Marathon Supreme tires. What I would contemplate changing are the sloping top tube, going to an internally geared hub (even though after well over 100,000 miles on Shimano I have NEVER had an issue), and maybe going back to rim brakes for weight savings (although I'm not looking for super light).

    My idea is a bike that I can commute with, recreational ride with friends and family, and long and short distance tour with (my touring, whether long or short does not involve a lot of weight since I am somewhat of a minimalist).

    Here is what I have been looking at lately (I have a picture of the same bike with an IGH, but cannot seem to place it in this post). The Expat SL. Not sure I can justify the cost or even come up with the much $$ even after selling off all my bikes , but it is what is on my mind:

    https://www.sevencycles.com/bikes/expat-sl.php

    So, titanium or steel (I don't want carbon for this one), S&S couplers, IGH or the old tried and true gears, chain or carbon belt, disc or rim, sloping or straight top tube, etc. etc. etc.? Is there a different brand that fits the same bill?
    Last edited by Ridefreemc; 10-19-13 at 01:25 PM.
    On the move!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    The Ultimate Bike

    I'd go with deurailers. If they break, I can usually fix it in 10 minutes. If need replacing an igh I have to relace a wheel. I'm cheap and I like a crapload of gears, so I want front and rear deurailers. My trek 520 does almost everything I ask of it, so not changing. I may get another set of wheels and mount some 36 or 40 mm more aggressive tread and try some packed dirt and gravel, perhaps studs for the winter. Maybe a dynamo front hub and USB charger. Oh, and retro fit brake shifters. Love how fast I can change gears with barcons and the reliability factor but don't like moving my hands. Also wellco spd pedals. I have a small platform on the one side of my current spds but want something that'll grip my tennies when I'm not clipped in. Oh, and either lower geared cluster or mtb crank haven't decided yet. Again, I'm cheap and just deal.

  3. #3
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    Ridefreemc, I like your taste in ultimate bikes!

    Here's my ultimate commuter:

    KVA MS2 stainless steel frame
    Gates Carbon Drive
    Shimano Alfine 11 Di2
    BB7 S Road disc brakes
    Stan's ZTR Alpha 340 Disc tubeless rims
    Hutchison Secteur 28c tubeless tires


  4. #4
    Senior Member Badger6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
    What would your ultimate bike be?
    Not sure you can get one perfect bike for all of it. I still want drops for the weekend, despite my flat bar obsession for commuting.

    Ultimate bike, Ultegra (or even Dura Ace) bits on the drivetrain. Flat bars, with the requisite shifters and levers. Carbon frame (oh yeah, I already have it, realize you don't want it, but I really like the carbon a lot). Road gear range on the cassette, and a double up front (triples are useless to me). Discs would be pretty awesome, actually beyond awesome.

    My 2 cents.

  5. #5
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    Ultimate BIKE, or ultimate COMMUTER bike? Ah, hell -- I'll answer both.

    Commuter: Classic Ibis Ripley(could also be a Silk Ti), size XL, SID fork, SRAM X.0 triggers/RD, XT FD; Race Face Next crank/bar/stem. BB7's in 185mm, TRP carbon levers, Clark City grips. 11-34 cassette. Selle SMP Trk saddle, Michelin Country Rock tires with Stan's, on Mavic 819's. Likely weigh in about 27lb.

    BIKE: Santa Cruz Nomad, black, XL; Marzocchi 66 fork, also black. Cane Creek 110 headset, ano red. Truvativ AKA stem, 100mmm, black. Da Bomb riser bar, 740mm, black. X.0 drivetrain, Avid Code R brakes in 180/185mm. Azonic Outlaw wheels, ano red, Race Face Atlas crank, ano red. Selle SMP Trk, RockShox Reverb seatpost. 11-34. Kenda Straight Six tires.
    Last edited by DX-MAN; 10-16-13 at 07:44 AM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kookaburra1701's Avatar
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    My ultimate commuter bike would be a Surly Troll or Ogre, Schwalbe Big Apple tires, fenders, Rohloff or Alfine IGH with disc brakes, chain case, dyno hub, Wald Giant Delivery basket and a tubus logo rear rack.
    2014 Specialized Dolce, 1987 Schwinn Tempo, 2012 Windsor Kensington 8

  7. #7
    born again cyclist Steely Dan's Avatar
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    Silly question. The ultimate bike is having a whole stable of bikes for various types of weather, terrain, missions, etc.
    The first rule: if you're riding a bike and not having fun, then you're doing it wrong.

  8. #8
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    I like my Troll, because I can commute and tour with it pretty much anywhere.


  9. #9
    Senior Member corwin1968's Avatar
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    High quality cro-moly frame
    Road bike geometry (73/73 angles, 70mm BB drop, 45mm fork rake)
    Longer chainstays (43-45mm)
    Canti braze-ons
    Road bike top tube length
    Clearance for 50+ mm tires
    Vertical dropouts with 135mm spacing

    I'd set it up with a 3 x 9 drivetrain, V-brakes and Schwalbe Big Apple tires. I'm undecided on wheel size (currently have 700c) but it would basically be a modern version of the Bridgestone XO-1. This "ultimate" bike is based on the Handsome Cycles Devil I'm currently riding, which meets several of the criteria I listed. If it had just a little more tire clearance it would suffice as I can live without the vertical dropouts (but would be nice) and the higher quality tubing.

    IMG_1303.jpg
    Last edited by corwin1968; 08-17-13 at 06:47 AM.
    Currently riding a 1983 Takara Highlander converted to a single-speed.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Badger6's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    Silly question. The ultimate bike is having a whole stable of bikes for various types of weather, terrain, missions, etc.
    This!

  11. #11
    coprolite fietsbob's Avatar
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    Long ago i wished I had a place for one of these*, ..Ultimate job paying enough, location to use and house to store within,
    never materialized // so I have 2 wheel bikes .. apartments and such have to do..

    I like Schmidt and Rohloff Hubs and have a 26" and a 20" wheel bike with them ..


    *
    http://www.leitra.dk/
    Last edited by fietsbob; 08-17-13 at 10:49 AM.

  12. #12
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    I think right now my ultimate N=1 bike would be a Volagi Viaje. That's their steel model, so hopefully you can get a lot more years out of the frame than carbon Liscio; it's sleek like a road bike, and can be built to under 20lb, so no problem with road rides; but it also allows up to 42mm tires, has braze-ons for fenders and (rear) rack, and disc brakes, so it covers the commuter end, and could even do light touring or trails. And their 'longbow' seatstay design is supposed to be incredibly comfortable (so they claim).

    So I think my answer would be, Volagi Viaje with a 700x42 wheelset for 'work', and a 700x25 wheelset for 'play'.

  13. #13
    Senior Member GTryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    Silly question. The ultimate bike is having a whole stable of bikes for various types of weather, terrain, missions, etc.
    I have to agree. A lot depends on where you live: geographically (climate/topography), urban/rural, bike friendly, distance & infrastructure of your commute, etc...
    Even though I have a relatively short commute, climate wise, there is no one ultimate commuter bike.

    To be fair, I could come up with a few compromises. Since I work in education, I have July and August off, and could get by without an efficient, light, derailleur equipped bike.
    So, here goes:
    Titanium, stainless or chro-mo frame that can fit fatties (up to 3")
    Road geometry with long chainstays
    Belt drive IGH wide range hub (or NuVinci?) that can withstand -30C (-20F)
    26" 36 spoke wheels
    Disc or hub brakes
    Dynamo for lights
    Braze-ons or eyelets for every imaginable mounting point
    Full fenders/mudguards - front & rear racks
    3 sets of wheels/tires - 1.5" slicks for summer, 3" fatties for early winter/late spring, 2"+ Ice Spiker or equivalent for winter
    (which would mean 3 hubs! so maybe one bike just can"t do it)

  14. #14
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I'd go with deurailers.
    Yes, in my ultimate bike question money was still an issue for me. I looked at the price of the Rohloff and I think that might cause it to be dropped from the list.

    Quote Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
    Road gear range on the cassette, and a double up front (triples are useless to me). Discs would be pretty awesome, actually beyond awesome.
    Agreed. I don't like the looks of the triples and I would likely never use the small ring. I'm in Florida/flat, but even in the mountains I just like the compact doubles.

    Like you I have the bar issue. Some days I want upright touring bars and other my drops!

    Quote Originally Posted by DX-MAN View Post
    Ultimate BIKE, or ultimate COMMUTER bike? Ah, hell -- I'll answer both.

    Commuter: Classic Ibis Ripley, size XL, SID fork, SRAM X.0 triggers/RD, XT FD; Race Face Next crank/bar/stem. BB7's in 185mm, TRP carbon levers, Clark City grips. 11-34 cassette. Selle SMP Trk saddle, Michelin Country Rock tires with Stan's, on Mavic 819's. Likely weigh in about 27lb.

    BIKE: Santa Cruz Nomad, black, XL; Marzocchi 66 fork, also black. Cane Creek 110 headset, ano red. Truvativ AKA stem, 100mmm, black. Da Bomb riser bar, 740mm, black. X.0 drivetrain, Avid Code R brakes in 180/185mm. Azonic Outlaw wheels, ano red, Race Face Atlas crank, ano red. Selle SMP Trk, RockShox Reverb seatpost. 11-34. Kenda Straight Six tires.
    Wow, you really have this thought out!

    Quote Originally Posted by Steely Dan View Post
    Silly question. The ultimate bike is having a whole stable of bikes for various types of weather, terrain, missions, etc.
    Yes, but with a family of five (each with two bikes and me with 3 already) it gets tight in the garage. Agreed though. But part of my reasoning was the simplicity of one bike that you love to ride, looks great, and will tour or commute perfectly.

    Quote Originally Posted by GTryder View Post
    I have to agree. A lot depends on where you live:

    Titanium, stainless or chro-mo frame that can fit fatties (up to 3")

    Full fenders/mudguards - front & rear racks
    3 sets of wheels/tires - 1.5" slicks for summer, 3" fatties for early winter/late spring, 2"+ Ice Spiker or equivalent for winter
    (which would mean 3 hubs! so maybe one bike just can"t do it)
    Florida flat and hot.

    Surprised by some of your fatter tire wishes. I don't disagree, just thought most would go for skinny tires. I have 40mm wde Schwalbe Supremes and they are nice, but thinking of going don just one size to the 35s.
    On the move!
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ninevictor View Post
    Ridefreemc, I like your taste in ultimate bikes!

    Here's my ultimate commuter:

    KVA MS2 stainless steel frame
    Gates Carbon Drive
    Shimano Alfine 11 Di2
    BB7 S Road disc brakes
    Stan's ZTR Alpha 340 Disc tubeless rims
    Hutchison Secteur 28c tubeless tires

    ,
    Oohhh. I think you have come pretty close with that. Can it take racks and fenders?
    On the move!
    2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2012 Mezzo D9, 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro

  16. #16
    Senior Member GTryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
    Yes, in my ultimate bike question money was still an issue for me. I looked at the price of the Rohloff and I think that might cause it to be dropped from the list.



    Agreed. I don't like the looks of the triples and I would likely never use the small ring. I'm in Florida/flat, but even in the mountains I just like the compact doubles.

    Like you I have the bar issue. Some days I want upright touring bars and other my drops!



    Wow, you really have this thought out!



    Yes, but with a family of five (each with two bikes and me with 3 already) it gets tight in the garage. Agreed though. But part of my reasoning was the simplicity of one bike that you love to ride, looks great, and will tour or commute perfectly.



    Florida flat and hot.

    Surprised by some of your fatter tire wishes. I don't disagree, just thought most would go for skinny tires. I have 40mm wde Schwalbe Supremes and they are nice, but thinking of going don just one size to the 35s.
    Early winter & spring road conditions = snow & slush; hence the fat tire (have been using a hard-tail with 26x 2.25's and fatter would be ideal). When winter really sets in studded tires are needed & they don't come much wider than 2.25". Currently have Schwalbe 700x35's on my hybrid commuter for summer/fall use, but don't like them in heavy rain - feel like I have much more control in traffic with the 26x1.5 flack jackets on my Globe 3 speed (current bad weather bike - soon to be winter commuter with studded tires & possibly a NuVinci Hub).

    That's why one bike is not be ideal for me, and I have (too?) many set up for specific purposes.
    Last edited by GTryder; 08-17-13 at 10:11 PM.

  17. #17
    Senior Member GTryder's Avatar
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    After some hard re-thinking...and re-reading this thread...I had made the assumption that the OP was referring to ultimate commuter bike as this is the Commuting Forum.

    Not an ideal replacement for all my bikes, but I could make it work.

    GLB_SanFran_2_Black_l.jpg

    My 2009 Specialized Globe San Francisco 2

    With the following modifications:
    NuVinci N360 rear hub
    Gates Carbon Belt drive (frame has split stays to accommodate)
    Dynamo front hub/ head & tail lights
    Trekking/Butterfly/Jones handlebars
    Full fenders / front & rear racks
    Added Seasonal tires: Continental Top Contact 26 (spring/fall)
    Schwalbe Ice Spiker 26 (winter)


    Gotta save my pennies...LOL
    Last edited by GTryder; 08-17-13 at 10:48 PM.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridefreemc View Post
    ,
    Oohhh. I think you have come pretty close with that. Can it take racks and fenders?
    The frame and fork have eyelets for front and rear fenders and the frame has eyelets for a rear rack.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Badger6's Avatar
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    Man, I've been telling my wife I wouldn't even think about another bike for at least a year...then this thread comes along... and I realize I need a winter bike.


  20. #20
    Senior Member Ridefreemc's Avatar
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    Now that's a sloping top tube that I like the looks of!

    Yes, my post is here on commuting because I commute by bike a lot, but also because I seem to identify most with the commuters on this forum.

    I didn't think about the need to have a split frame/stays for the Gates. That puts a lot of bikes out of the running.


    Quote Originally Posted by GTryder View Post
    After some hard re-thinking...and re-reading this thread...I had made the assumption that the OP was referring to ultimate commuter bike as this is the Commuting Forum.

    Not an ideal replacement for all my bikes, but I could make it work.

    GLB_SanFran_2_Black_l.jpg

    My 2009 Specialized Globe San Francisco 2

    With the following modifications:
    NuVinci N360 rear hub
    Gates Carbon Belt drive (frame has split stays to accommodate)
    Dynamo front hub/ head & tail lights
    Trekking/Butterfly/Jones handlebars
    Full fenders / front & rear racks
    Added Seasonal tires: Continental Top Contact 26 (spring/fall)
    Schwalbe Ice Spiker 26 (winter)


    Gotta save my pennies...LOL
    On the move!
    2013 Velo Orange Campeur, 2012 Mezzo D9, 2004 Marin Mount Vision Pro

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    My ultimate bike would be a Trek 520 with disc brakes.
    Life is good O^o

  22. #22
    Senior Member DVC45's Avatar
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    My ultimate commuters are the ones I already own.

    These two.



  23. #23
    Keepin it Wheel RubeRad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
    Man, I've been telling my wife I wouldn't even think about another bike for at least a year...then this thread comes along... and I realize I need a winter bike.
    Pity me: I live in San Diego, so I don't get to want a winter bike...

  24. #24
    Senior Member GTryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RubeRad View Post
    Pity me: I live in San Diego, so I don't get to want a winter bike...
    Where I live a winter capable bike is required from mid November (sometimes earlier) to mid April (sometimes later); so I feel it is justified to have one dedicated for the purpose.

  25. #25
    Senior Member GTryder's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DVC45 View Post
    My ultimate commuters are the ones I already own.

    These two.


    Nice combination of commuters.

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