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Old 10-14-06, 07:42 AM   #1
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I hope this is not a fad.

http://www.bikeiowa.com/asp/hotnews/...sp?NewsID=1799

What do you think?
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Old 10-14-06, 08:10 AM   #2
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I see absolutely nothing new mentioned in that article. Carbon for commuter frame? You've got to be joking.
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Old 10-14-06, 09:19 AM   #3
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Sounds to me like the genre-of-the-year. Bike manufacturers keep trying to invent the next "mountain bike" to open up the market to new users.
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Old 10-14-06, 10:28 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
Sounds to me like the genre-of-the-year. Bike manufacturers keep trying to invent the next "mountain bike" to open up the market to new users.
Amen.
I can't see the practicality of CF for a commuter frame of all things. Besides being pricey it is too fragile to take the kind of abuse that a normal commuter bike typically recieves. Give me a good old mild steel Raleigh any day What they need to be doing is looking at price points and what a typical minimum wage earner would be willing to spend. I realize that there will be a need for "re-education" in costs of a bicycle vs cost of a car, but as energy costs continue to rise they won't have many choices.

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Old 10-14-06, 10:42 AM   #5
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While not earth shattering news a couple of things to note:

First, it was originally published in the Wall Street, a major publication to affluent readers. Hopefully it got widely read.

Second, Taking a peruse of bike manufactures sites does leave me with the impression that after seeing what seemed to me to be a decline in commuter specific bikes last year, it appears that there are more new models in the new lineup in a variety of material and price points. I see a lot of steel and aluminum, and while most are flat bar road bikes there are some other configurations and several with fenders, racks, lights, and chain guards.

I would consider both points a good thing.
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Old 10-14-06, 11:11 AM   #6
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Too utilitarian for our style oriented American public. We deserve the overpriced, finicky, uncomfortable crap that's become the norm.
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Old 10-14-06, 03:58 PM   #7
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friction shifting needs to make a comeback
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Old 10-14-06, 05:33 PM   #8
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If commuter bikes get more people onto bicycles and out of their cars - YAAAAAAAAAAA!

I can tell you that lots of folks go into a bike shop these days and think that nothing in the entire shop even remotely looks like a "bicycle" as they know it. Does this keep lots of them from looking (or riding) any farther? Probably. If commuter bikes sell, fine. If they don't, then we'll all get more of the same that we've been getting over the past decade. Me; I'd prefer the variety.
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Old 10-14-06, 06:08 PM   #9
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SB commented about the latest models of "coaster" bikes at the latest Interbike.

What is needed is both a solid product (the Ellsworth Ride with the infinite gear hub is a likely candidate), and some good marketing to sell to the average Joe Sixpack a solid commute bike. Something that is strong enough to take the daily stuff a commute bike has to, but not weigh 50 pounds and look exactly like the bikes rusting in grandpa's back yard. Maybe chuck in a gimmick or two for a perceived cool factor.

IMHO, I'm not sure how bike companies can sell "commute" bikes to average Americans who barely can tell the difference between a freeride bike and a recumbant. Its likely hard to convince Joe Sixpack to buy a bike unless it is perceived that it can bounce over boulders the size of houses, or win the Tour by just looks alone...

Maybe bike companies need to get the same marketing guys that Apple did, who turned what was a relatively fringe geek toy at the time (a MP3 player) into an electronic item that is a must have for most.

In any case, I sort of don't care what the bikes look like, if people buy them... more bikes, the more accepted it is to use them to commute, and the more facilities people will make available for bike riding at stores, offices, and other places.
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Old 10-14-06, 06:29 PM   #10
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I can't see the practicality of CF for a commuter frame of all things.
Why not? My bike has CF and it is quite sturdy. I don't really understand why people think a commuter bike is subjected to any more abuse than regular road riding. A road is a road regardless of the destination.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:03 PM   #11
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whatever happened to "thermoplastic"? GT used to make some LTS bikes out of thermo and they were pretty tough.
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Old 10-14-06, 07:08 PM   #12
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Why not? My bike has CF and it is quite sturdy. I don't really understand why people think a commuter bike is subjected to any more abuse than regular road riding. A road is a road regardless of the destination.
+1
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Old 10-14-06, 08:08 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by v1k1ng1001
whatever happened to "thermoplastic"? GT used to make some LTS bikes out of thermo and they were pretty tough.
I'm still waiting. I kind of think that may be the next really big change in bicycles. If they can come up with the right material and injection mold bike frames we might see the cost of production absolutely plummet.
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Old 10-14-06, 09:09 PM   #14
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CFRP (carbon-fiber reinforced plastic) is commonly used in industry. The technology is inexpensive, mature, and available. If bike companies don't use it, it's probably because current alternatives are lighter, cheaper, or both.
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Old 10-14-06, 11:54 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boyze
+1

+10

CF is plenty strong and sturdy. Of course "commute" is different for everyone, so it is hard to make a blanket statement about it anyhow. My full "commute" (when i have the energy) is 31 miles each way. Pretty much on 2 lane rural type roads. The same roads my non-commuting "roadie" friends ride for fun. (I do too).

Now if I had a super potholed, inner city commute where I had to lock my bike outside, I wouldn't use the same bike. But like I said above, we all have different commutes to begin with.

And heck, the US is all about fads. If it takes a fad to get more people cycling, then so be it.

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Old 10-15-06, 07:21 AM   #16
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Of course "commute" is different for everyone,
That's a really good point. I think these "new" commuter bikes are designed around a 12 block ride to a train station.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:03 AM   #17
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They would have to be a better trend than those AWFUL chopper looking things I see in the local Performance bike shop. I have only seen one actually being ridden. It was on a MUP and the early teen aged guy's little sister, not much more than a toddler, was complaining that he was going too slow. He looked like he was in pain and they were probably less than a mile from their car.

Lighter versions of the bikes from the 40's and 50's would be a BIG improvement of those "chopper" pieces of junk.
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Old 10-15-06, 09:53 AM   #18
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Why CF isn't a popular candidate for commuting? When commuting is heavy or the norm for inner city travel your frame tends to be nicked, kicked & abrased far more often. If there are no other or very few commuters to share a rack or pole with, CF is fine.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:20 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staehpj1
They would have to be a better trend than those AWFUL chopper looking things I see in the local Performance bike shop. I have only seen one actually being ridden. It was on a MUP and the early teen aged guy's little sister, not much more than a toddler, was complaining that he was going too slow. He looked like he was in pain and they were probably less than a mile from their car.

Lighter versions of the bikes from the 40's and 50's would be a BIG improvement of those "chopper" pieces of junk.
I passed one of those recently on my commute home. The guy riding it looked like he would have been equally as comfortable on a real chopper. They're neat. And if it gets more people on a bike I'm all for it.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:56 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by SamHouston
Was that photo from Amsterdam? I remember seeing a 3 level parking garage for bikes that was absolutely overflowing, with dozens or even hundreds more parked outside. That's something I'd love to see in the US. The quote in the article, taken from a Specialized catalog, about the wide-ranging benefits of cycling hits the nail on the head. Cycling can have beneficial effects on health (obesity, cardiovascular conditioning, stress reduction, diabetes, etc) and the environment (less air pollution and therefore reduced impact on the ozone layer, less congestion on the roads, decreased use and reliance upon gasolne, etc.) There are so many reasons why the US could benefit from getting more people on bikes regularly, whether it is for recreation, fitness, or commuting. Of course I'm preaching to the choir here on Bike Forums.
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Old 10-15-06, 11:57 AM   #21
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And if it gets more people on a bike I'm all for it.
Amen... just get out and ride!
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Old 10-15-06, 12:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Retro Grouch
That's a really good point. I think these "new" commuter bikes are designed around a 12 block ride to a train station.
You mean like this at the Leiden and Amsterdam, NL (top two) and Heidelberg, Germany train stations?



My bike in foreground at Heidelberg HauptBahnhof:



BTW many of these commuters manage to do more than a 12 block ride. Probably don't go with the club on training peloton rides in the evening with 'em though. So I can see why US cycling experts would find them less than adequate for commuting.
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Old 10-15-06, 12:16 PM   #23
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ILTB...
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Old 10-15-06, 12:38 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHouston
Why CF isn't a popular candidate for commuting? When commuting is heavy or the norm for inner city travel your frame tends to be nicked, kicked & abrased far more often. If there are no other or very few commuters to share a rack or pole with, CF is fine.
SamHouston +20
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Old 10-15-06, 02:02 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SamHouston
Why CF isn't a popular candidate for commuting? When commuting is heavy or the norm for inner city travel your frame tends to be nicked, kicked & abrased far more often.
Yes if you want to generalize commuting to inner city travel. My point is that there are all kinds of commuters. No single bike or frame type is going to be perfect.

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