Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
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Update on City Commuter
Several weeks ago I posted about my "Upright CIty Commuter" I built from extra parts and a Nashbar aluminum touring frame.
Iíd like to provide an update now that I've had some time to commute on it.
First, let me say that the bike has accomplished what I wanted rather well. It provides a very upright position making visibility in traffic quite good. With the addition of the Tubus rack I've been able to carry two panniers with laptop, lunch, extra clothesÖ.all-in-all about 26 lbs of load on the days when I must carry the most. Even with the additional load the bike is stable and very predictable. The upright position has created a bit more work in that there is virtually no aerodynamic advantage. But, since Iím rarely moving more that 12 to 14 mph in traffic; it has not been a real problem. If I were out for five to six hours a day taking that much wind, it would be a real annoyance.
Now Iíll move on to some of the specific details. While a bit on the heavy side, the Cannondale fork, salvaged from a Cídale T800, works well. It may have a bit more rake than ideal, but the bike is still stable enough for hands free riding. Perhaps Iím just used to a tighter front end? The triple crank has worked well. I think, however, I might swap out the large chain ring for a chain ring guard. Realistically, Iím not likely to need the big ring for the commute Iím doing. The lowest gear, however, is one Iím going to keep. In the attached photo the largest rear cog is 30 teeth, but Iíve swapped this out for one that is 34 teeth. This gives me a 30 X 34 or 24 inch low. I believe I could climb a wall with it. Given Iíve one 19% grade climb on my return trip home; the low gearing is quite welcome. The Selle Anatomica Titanico saddle is working well. It took two or three rides to get the tilt and tension adjusted properly. I think there are some folks that never get to like this saddle, because they donít adjust both tension and tilt. It is the right combination of both that really allows fine tuning. The Mavic Open Pro rims on Ultegra hubs are trouble free, as one might expect. The Deoro derailleurs are working just fine. The real nice surprise, however, is just how good the TRP CX9 brakes are. I can lock up the wheels with ease should I desire. The soft lever feel takes a bit of getting used to, but after the second commute, it was natural. I do wish the SKS mudguards were just a bit longer. There is still enough spray to get your feet wet if you have to ride through too much water.
Well, Iíve rambled on enough. Suffice to say that Iím happy with the build and would not hesitate to recommend such a build for others who must commute in heavy traffic with loads.
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