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  1. #1
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Upright city commuter bike build finished

    I finished the build this morning and took it for it's maiden ride before hurricane Sandy hits us. Pictures are below. It's an aluminum Nashbar touring frame in a size 58 (I normally ride a 55 or 56). The fork is from my old Cannondale T800. Wheels are Mavic Open Pros on Ultegra hubs. Rear derailleur is Deoro, Front derailleur is Tiagra tripple. Brifters are Ultegra 9 speed. Handle bars are Ritchey Logic II WCS. Crankset is a Shimano tripple. Saddle is Sella An-Atomica. Fenders are SKS. Rack is a Tubus titanium. Brakes are TRP CX9s. Tires are Seca Survivors size 28. It weighs in (as in the final photo) at 22 lbs. Not all that bad.

    So, how does it ride? Well, it does put me in an upright position, making it easier to see the traffic. The fit is spot on. By going with a longer top tube and raising the handlebars, I've got a very comortable reach, similar to my primary road bike, but I am more upright. The bike is stable at speed on downhills, but I don't think I'd want to cut real sharp turns with it. On the flat and climbing, the frame is stiff enough to get moving quickly, and with no flex uphill. No toe overlap. I think I'm going to like this as my commuter a great deal.

    I forgot one of the most import things. I have to figure out what to name it. I'm toying with Green Giant, given it's so much larger than my other bikes. Ideas/suggestions welcome.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by NOS88; 10-28-12 at 03:18 PM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  2. #2
    Senior Member Retro Grouch's Avatar
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    I like your philosophy - all pretty good quality components but no hyper-expensive stuff.

    I'll be interested in hearing how you like the riding position compared with your road bike.

  3. #3
    Senior Member jmccain's Avatar
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    Nice build!

  4. #4
    just keep riding BluesDawg's Avatar
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    Nice build. I like your homemade headset race press. You definitely got it upright!
    The more you ride your bike, the less your ass will hurt.

  5. #5
    Senior member Dan Burkhart's Avatar
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    Love the colour. Nifty home grown headset press there.
    Gearhubs demystified and other cool stuff.


    Rule #12: The correct number of bikes to own is n+1

  6. #6
    USMC Veteran qcpmsame's Avatar
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    NOS,
    Beautiful looking build, as said, the colourway is very nice in that dark metal flake green. Very well thought out component choices for your purpose and the fenders and rack look good on this build, too. Hope the maiden voyage/test flight goes well and waiting for a ride report hurricane allowing.

    Bill
    "I Can Do All Things Through Christ Who Strengthens Me" Philippians 4:13

  7. #7
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    I vote for "Green Hornet"!

  8. #8
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Retro Grouch View Post
    I like your philosophy - all pretty good quality components but no hyper-expensive stuff.

    I'll be interested in hearing how you like the riding position compared with your road bike.
    I'll try to remember to post after a week or so of commutes on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
    Nice build. I like your homemade headset race press. You definitely got it upright!
    That I did. I'm sitting like I used to on my old 60's English 3 speed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Burkhart View Post
    Love the colour. Nifty home grown headset press there.
    Thanks. Wasn't sure the race press would work, but it did like a charm.

    Quote Originally Posted by qcpmsame View Post
    NOS,
    Beautiful looking build, as said, the colourway is very nice in that dark metal flake green. Very well thought out component choices for your purpose and the fenders and rack look good on this build, too. Hope the maiden voyage/test flight goes well and waiting for a ride report hurricane allowing.
    Bill
    Thanks, Bill. I'll try to give a fuller ride report when the storm passes.

    Quote Originally Posted by David Bierbaum View Post
    I vote for "Green Hornet"!
    Green Hornet? Will I get a buzz when I ride it?
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  9. #9
    Has opinion, will express
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    Yay! Someone who is not afraid to have a loooonnnggg steerer tube and steep stem angle, and is prepared to post them on these forums! In that regard, the bike is very reminiscent of the commuter bikes in the Netherlands, parts of Germany and in France.

    The short headtube on the bike does sort of limit possibilities with handlebar height.

    You also didn't say in this thread why you opted for a bike that is quite a bit bigger than what you normally ride.

    Did you consider flat, swept-back handlebars, or did the fact you had the brifters already dictate the drop bars?

    On some of my bikes (older steel ones, not the CF or Ti or new steel tourer), I've used a rubber mallet with a block of wood as my homemade headset press. It's not something I'd recommend, however (see my bit about CF, Ti and new frames) and it's really important to ensure you have the right specced cups for the headtube!!
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  10. #10
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rowan View Post
    Yay! Someone who is not afraid to have a loooonnnggg steerer tube and steep stem angle, and is prepared to post them on these forums! In that regard, the bike is very reminiscent of the commuter bikes in the Netherlands, parts of Germany and in France.

    The short headtube on the bike does sort of limit possibilities with handlebar height.

    You also didn't say in this thread why you opted for a bike that is quite a bit bigger than what you normally ride.

    Did you consider flat, swept-back handlebars, or did the fact you had the brifters already dictate the drop bars?

    On some of my bikes (older steel ones, not the CF or Ti or new steel tourer), I've used a rubber mallet with a block of wood as my homemade headset press. It's not something I'd recommend, however (see my bit about CF, Ti and new frames) and it's really important to ensure you have the right specced cups for the headtube!!
    We actually spent several weeks in Leiden, Netherlands two summers ago. We rented some bikes and this is where I made the decision that my commuter would some day allow me to ride the same way; the way I rode my touring bikes decades ago. It is a bike for the utility of commuting.... nothing more nothing less.

    I went with the drop bars, because the plan was to purchase only the frame for the build. I was not able to do that. I needed to purchase the headset. But other than that, it is all built from parts I already had, including cables and chain. Frame cost was $99 and headest was $45; not a bad price at all.

    I used to work in a bike shop in the 60's. The mechanic there, in his late 60's, said that if you had a bigger frame, you could raise the handlebars, and get a reach similar to that you would get with a smaller frame. The difference would be that you would be more upright. He argued that Italian frame design and size was wonderful for racing and/or going fast, but that it wasn't great for comfort and utility. My older touring bikes (1970 - 80) were all bikes with longer top tubes than today's bikes with similar sized seat tubes. I just looked for a frame with the top tube length in the range of what I used to ride on my touring bikes.

    I used to install headset with a rubber mallet too. However, These were all older steel, as were yours. I was a bit concerned about doing this with aluminum. So, I went with the homemade press. With a bit of Phil Wood grease, it worked well.
    Last edited by NOS88; 10-28-12 at 07:05 PM.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post
    I used to work in a bike shop in the 60's. The mechanic there used to say the if you had a bigger frame, you could raise the handlebars, and get a reach similar to that you would get with a smaller frame. The difference would be that you would be more upright. He argued that Italian frame design and size was wonderful for racing and/or going fast, but that it wasn't great for comfort and utility. My older touring bikes (1970 - 80) were all bikes with longer top tubes than today's bikes with similar sized seat tubes. I just looked for a frame with the top tube length in the range of what I used to ride on my touring bikes.
    The advice persisted well into the 1990s. When I was scouting around to find a good touring bike, a friend who had had his frame custom-built, said the two keys were going to as big a frame as would fit me, and to find as long a head tube as possible.

    The Fuji Touring I bought circa 2001 had those elements, and served me well, with stems that were 90 to 100mm long. It originally had a quill stem, so finding any additional height wasn't such as issue.

    As a result, most of my bikes have moderate to long head tubes, which leads them to be mostly horizontal in the top tube.

    I do have to say that the Fuji was a let down in one area -- the unicrown fork didn't seem to have the right rake and trail, and as a result I spent more time concentrating on keeping a straight line that actually seeing the sights as they passed by. I solved that by getting a Surly fork and now the bike steers as it should have done for the previous 55,000km.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  12. #12
    Senior Member David Bierbaum's Avatar
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    You can forget about the name "Green Hornet." It seems the name is already taken. By a bicycle, that is. I was thinking about the '60's TV show, when I suggested it.

    (Is it lamentable that I watched the Green Hornet when it originally aired? )

    Maybe FrankenDale?
    Last edited by David Bierbaum; 10-28-12 at 08:42 PM.

  13. #13
    Senior Member miss kenton's Avatar
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    NOS, Nice work on the bike! I'll be scanning the bike rakes on the Uni's campus to see if I can spot it! Scanning the bike racks on campus for interesting bikes has become my new past time as I walk through.

    I hope you are not planning to commute on it during the early days of this week as you may be blown away, although I suspect you are one of the lucky souls that doesn't have to report for the next few days.

  14. #14
    Have bike, will travel Barrettscv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NOS88 View Post

    I forgot one of the most import things. I have to figure out what to name it. I'm toying with Green Giant, given it's so much larger than my other bikes. Ideas/suggestions welcome.
    "Velovert"
    2014 Trek DS.1: "Viaggiatore" A do-it-all bike that is waiting in Italy
    2012 Pedal Force CG2: "Secolo Bicicletta" the modern carbon fiber road bike
    2012 Pedal Force CX2: "Carbone CX" the carbon fiber CX bike
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    1997 Simoncini Special Cyclocross: "Little Simon" lugged Columbus steel CX bike
    1987 Serotta Nova Special X: "Azzurri" The retro Columbus SPX steel road bike
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  15. #15
    Senior Member NOS88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by miss kenton View Post
    NOS, Nice work on the bike! I'll be scanning the bike rakes on the Uni's campus to see if I can spot it! Scanning the bike racks on campus for interesting bikes has become my new past time as I walk through.

    I hope you are not planning to commute on it during the early days of this week as you may be blown away, although I suspect you are one of the lucky souls that doesn't have to report for the next few days.
    Thanks. You are correct. Monday and Tuesday will be WAH days.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. - S. Wright
    Favorite rides in the stable: Indy Fab CJ Ti - Colnago MXL - S-Works Roubaix - Habanero Team Issue - Jamis Eclipse carbon/831

  16. #16
    Senior Member Mort Canard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barrettscv View Post
    "Velovert"
    How about Veloverde?
    "The future's all yours, you lousy bicycles" Butch Cassidy

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