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  1. #1
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    How far should I strip my commuter down for a double metric

    I was just curious what would be advantageous or senseless to strip off the bike for my upcoming century. Would the be any advantage to taking fenders off or the front rack. I will have my rear rack and trunk bag & I don't see much point in removing the fenders. Just checking some thoughts.

    Hybrid) Trek FX 7.2
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  2. #2
    Gear Combo Guru Chris_W's Avatar
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    I would remove everything that I could, which would include fenders (but wait to see the forecast first), front rack, chain guard, wheel reflectors, and kick stand (you can nearly always find a wall instead).

    A note on wheel reflectors: They only help you to get seen from the side; people who are approaching from the side and are close enough to see you will be looking at the front of your bike to start with (and at the important moments when they could react and stop), only once it's too late will they see the side of your bike. It will also help people who are far away and to the side of you to see you, but it doesn't really matter if they see you or not. For some reason, somebody who didn't understand this and just thought that more reflectors must be better made wheel reflectors legally required on all new complete bikes. They are therefore about as useful as would be having tassles hanging out the end of your bars.
    Last edited by Chris_W; 04-26-10 at 12:10 AM.

  3. #3
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    Take off most of the bags, other stuff that doesn't require tools and time to remove and replace. leave the fenders, especially if you are going to be riding with others with the possibility of rain. actual rack and fender removal Is totally unnecessary and a waste of time unless its am actual race, or you absolutely must be as fast as possible.

    Only bag i had for my first double metric was my mid size saddle bag, with some flat repair stuff and a couple cliff bars. I did freeze my a$$ off for the first 4 hours though, not wearing "excess" clothing for the morning because I had nowhere to put it.
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  4. #4
    Senior Member bobbycorno's Avatar
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    OK, I'll be the contrarian. My brevet bikes have always had fenders, racks and full lighting. I don't have time to futz around taking stuff off and putting it back on for some illusory "advantage". It will not make one iota of difference in your ablility to complete the ride.

    FWIW, the fastest North American finisher in the last Paris-Brest-Paris was riding a 30+ year old steel bike with 30mm tires, fenders, generator lighting, a canvas handlebar bag, leather saddle, etc. He's firmly convinced that that bike was (and continues to be) the best tool for the job. I'm not about to argue with anybody who can do 1200km in the pouring rain in 50 hours flat. Anyway, it's the motor that makes the difference, not the bike to any significant degree.

    Getting off my soap box,

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  5. #5
    Senior Member Homeyba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbycorno View Post
    OK, I'll be the contrarian. My brevet bikes have always had fenders, racks and full lighting. I don't have time to futz around taking stuff off and putting it back on for some illusory "advantage". It will not make one iota of difference in your ablility to complete the ride.
    FWIW, the fastest North American finisher in the last Paris-Brest-Paris was riding a 30+ year old steel bike with 30mm tires, fenders, generator lighting, a canvas handlebar bag, leather saddle, etc. He's firmly convinced that that bike was (and continues to be) the best tool for the job. I'm not about to argue with anybody who can do 1200km in the pouring rain in 50 hours flat. Anyway, it's the motor that makes the difference, not the bike to any significant degree....
    That 30+yr old bike only weighs something around 24lbs (if I remember correctly) not to mention the fact that Jan is hardly your average cyclist. He's going to be fast on any bike you put him on...

    If you are a strong rider and the additional weight isn't a problem for you then there is no reason to remove all the extra baggage (unless you just don't want to haul it around). If you aren't such a strong rider and will possibly be fighting control cutoffs then I'd ditch everything you don't think you'll need.
    It doesn't get harder, you just go slower.

  6. #6
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    I'd probably take off any bags I wasn't using, but then I'm the kind of rider that when asked what was in my big Carradice saddle bag on a recent 50 mile club ride, responded "Library books I need to return"
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  7. #7
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    I don't know what type of roads you will be riding. If the conditions are good, I would ride as light as possible. Your bike is set up really nice for commuting. It would be a real hassle to take everything off to lighten it up and then re-install everything for commuting. I don't know if you have the option, but if it were me, I would go to my LBS where they rent bikes and I'd rent a 17 lbs road bike for $25 for the day. Just swap out your own pedals and saddle and you would be ready to roll. $25 is worth it to me not to have to spend a few hours tearing apart a bike and then putting it back together.

    I did the seattle-to-portland one-day 203 mile ride on a road bike. The ride was supported and the only things I packed were in a small saddle bag (tube, C02 pump, tire levers, patch kit) and a few things in my jersey pockets.

    A lot depends on the road conditions (all paved road? chip seal? gravel?) and whether or not the ride is supported (carrying your own food and fluids?)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by barturtle View Post
    I'd probably take off any bags I wasn't using, but then I'm the kind of rider that when asked what was in my big Carradice saddle bag on a recent 50 mile club ride, responded "Library books I need to return"
    Thats me.
    I leave my racks,fenders,lights and kickstand on my touring bike.The carradice pendle bag stays on back with plenty of food and tools for repairs,although for anything over 80 miles or so I do try to leave the library books at home.
    I'm not fast but I finish my rides in time,for me thats all that really matters.

  9. #9
    Uber Goober StephenH's Avatar
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    I've been riding my Raleigh Sojourn on brevets. It has the fenders and a rear rack on it. I'll point out though, that I seldom need the fenders, I just don't bother taking them off.
    "be careful this rando stuff is addictive and dan's the 'pusher'."

  10. #10
    Gears? CliftonGK1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Homeyba View Post
    That 30+yr old bike only weighs something around 24lbs (if I remember correctly) not to mention the fact that Jan is hardly your average cyclist. He's going to be fast on any bike you put him on...
    Jan is "put your arse in the hospital" fast. He could probably finish a 200k on a Big Wheel and still beat me.

    That said, I'd strip a bunch of stuff off that commuter bike. Every bit of luggage except for that front bag. Move tools, etc. into that bag, and it's got enough room for snacks and stuff. If you need a jacket it can lash to the rear rack. Keep the fenders. Keep the light, if you'll need it.
    "I feel like my world was classier before I found cyclocross."
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  11. #11
    Randomhead
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    I would only remove bags. 200k is a "short ride" This time of year in the Northeast, there is a good possibility that weather is going to change a lot. I would keep the trunk bag for extra clothing and some of the smaller bags for food. No panniers.

    That's a well equipped commuter, what do you take with you?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Timber_8's Avatar
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    Thank you all for your response & opinions. My ride is from Boston to Provincetown Massachusetts. 130 miles 1 day. The ride is organized and supported. I will be spending the weekend in Ptown so it is more than the ride. My riding partner is also on a hybrid so changing the bike for the ride is not a good option. I have been putting down about 165 miles a week commuting and weekend rides. My Caridise computer bag will make the trip down in a support van and my Topek trunk will make the trip on the bike. The nashbar bag on the front is more or less my tool box but the contents can be moved to the trunk, the only thing that makes me question it is hybrid configuration does not let you ride no hands on the bar but the front bag changes that dynamic, not that I am a big no handed rider but it does make an opportunity to rest the wrist.

    My commute is 17.6 miles each way to work 35 miles a day. My topek trunk has all my everyday junk, it is with me if I bike or drive, It is very handy and organized. The Caradise bike bureo hold my 17" laptop and what ever cloths I use at work but its primary purpose is to carry the computer. The nashbar front bag is a tool box and holds the battery pack for the lamp. it is smaller than a bar bag & a bar bag is not an option on this bike anyway. The acorn bag has a rain poncho, one of the small bags is for my blackberry and the other one usually has my keys. My commuter is set up so when I leave my truck at the park & ride I can be sure I haven't left anything behind at a glance if that makes sense.
    Hybrid) Trek FX 7.2
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