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Utility Cycling Want to haul groceries, beer, maybe even your kids? You don't have to live car free to put your bike to use as a workhorse. Here's the place to share and learn about the bicycle as a utility vehicle.

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Old 05-15-08, 07:15 PM   #1
gascostalot
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What to do from here?

Hi all!

This is my new main form of transportation



I recently got it all put together recently. It still needs some tweaks, but for now it's rolling dependably.

But, it needs utility! I took it to the library, but riding a bike one handed while juggling books isnt very fun or safe. How do I install a trunk o this thing?

Also the handlebars is a killer, should I invest in something more comfortable?

Thank you all for the help!

*edit* LMAO no wonder my 'were teh sun dont shine' hurts! I need to level out that saddle!
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Old 05-15-08, 07:41 PM   #2
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Two wheels, a chain and a working crank are always a good spot to start! That bicycle appears to be missing attachment points for racks and fenders - but no worries, there's ways around that.

Axiom (and others) make racks that attach to the seat post that might give you something to bungie cord your items to. http://www.axiomgear.com/product/racks/seatpost_racks/

Handlebars are another matter - it seems someone's replaced the stem with one that accommodates mountain bike sized bars. This might be good, since you can go looking for something more comfortable that will fit in the clamp and have more options. You'll get various opinions. I use whatever comes by in the junk - so the best I've got aside from my drop bars (won't fit on that stem) is riser bars. You can get some bull-horns for the ends that will give you some alternate hand positions, if replacing the bars is not your thing.

A little bit of advice... Loosen the quick release on the seat post, rotate it and clamp it so it's facing down. If something catches that you're looking at big drop into the bike!
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Old 05-15-08, 08:18 PM   #3
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The bike does have attachment points for stuff (brazeons?). Do you attach racks on that thing?

Thanks for the tip with the quick release!
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Old 05-15-08, 08:31 PM   #4
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The Trek 720 does in fact have rack and fender braze ons. Two above your axle and two above your brake is for a rack. The other four, including the ones behind your front axle, are for fenders.

For handlebars you may be interested in the Northroad style, or even just a pair of bar-ends.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:46 PM   #5
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So I can only install 1 rear rack, and 2 fenders? What about a basket?
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Old 05-15-08, 10:40 PM   #6
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A front basket will clip onto your handlebars and bolt onto the front axle. Rear baskets will attach to a rear rack. So yeah, you can have a basket too.
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Old 05-17-08, 07:06 AM   #7
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As far as handlebars, I know some people love the north road type bars, but I really like something right in between that and a straight bar. there are actually a lot of handlebars being made lately with 20 to 40 degrees of sweep. really comfy. Since I started riding bars with 40 sweep on my Big dummy, the ones with 12 on my mtb just feel wrong. I'd really like to try something with 24.

There's really no good image I can post to illustrate, so I'll just draw something in Sketchup.

The straight, 12, and 24 are a bit narrow, the curve on the north road is off, but other than that, fairly accurate.
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Old 05-17-08, 07:09 AM   #8
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not sure that image attachment worked


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Old 05-17-08, 09:03 AM   #9
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If you are new on the bike, the handlebars will hurt. Your hands and forearms will acclimate and strengthen the more you ride.

Here's a bar that will give you lots of hand positions, allow to use your existing brake/shifters and is very affordable. I used one on my previous commuter and loved it.

http://www.nashbar.com/profile.cfm?c...B%20Handlebars

If you click on Nashbar from within the forum you are supposed to get an additional discount.
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Old 05-17-08, 09:07 AM   #10
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Rack and baskets or shopping bag panniers

Here is my grocery getter to give you an idea of the setup...

Front Basket is a Wald 933 rear are the folding Wald 582 in black. FWIW a rack and milk crate work just fine too. FWIW the front basket is removable. I use it as a market basket, and have extra brackets mounted on a different bike so I can use it on that one too.

Aaron


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Old 05-17-08, 09:12 AM   #11
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Good suggestion on the swept bars. I have a set on order for my Staiger. I should also point out that the Staiger came pretty well equipped. All I added was the baskets. But you can get fenders, racks and lights to suit yourself and your budget.

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 05-17-08, 09:22 AM   #12
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not sure that image attachment worked


Maxwell, this is great! There aren't a lot of formal drawings or images out there of utility/city bike geometries. I hope people are welcome to use this when appropriate?
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Old 05-17-08, 09:30 AM   #13
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I know I've posted this before, but here is a really excellent article about bike fit with a focus on the kinds of bikes many of us prefer on this forum. It was written by tfahrner, a member here.

I am not very good with 3 dimensional spatial visualization, so I especially appreciate this diagram.
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Old 05-17-08, 01:45 PM   #14
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Any advice on locks? As you can see my bike isnt exactly valuable (though it is valuable to me because I put time and effort into making it roll near flawlessly), but I dont want to take any chances.

I'm thinking I just replace the quick releases with bolt on stuff, and use a mini-u lock. Would that be sufficient? I'm not planning to leave this bike overnight in front of a meth lab or anything.
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Old 05-17-08, 03:32 PM   #15
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You could use a mini-U lock, but a full sized one would allow you to lock it more places. If you're in N. America, the Kryptonite Evolution or even the KryptoLok would be fine. If you've got your heart set on a mini, the Evolution is a very good one.

What's bike theft like where you live?
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Old 05-17-08, 03:43 PM   #16
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Get rid of the QR on the seat post ASAP. You can purchase a replacement bolt at your LBS. Most of my city bikes have bolt on hubs...for a reason I always lock up with a Ulock (currently use a Pitbull) and a fairly substantial cable or chain. On my best bike with QR wheels I avoid locking it up anywhere I can't keep an eye on it. They do make PitLocks to replace the skewers but they are pricey. Three of my bikes have the Dutch style wheel lock, the newest version of this lock comes with an optional chain They run about $60 plus shipping for the combo. I use them on bikes that came with the braze on's. But the Axa lock can be mounted on any bike with the supplied brackets. I got mine from Clever Cycles in Portland, OR.

Aaron

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ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

"Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
_Nicodemus

"Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
Aluminum: barely a hundred
Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
_krazygluon
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Old 05-17-08, 05:34 PM   #17
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Maxwell, this is great! There aren't a lot of formal drawings or images out there of utility/city bike geometries. I hope people are welcome to use this when appropriate?
yes, repost away!


Quote:
Any advice on locks? As you can see my bike isnt exactly valuable (though it is valuable to me because I put time and effort into making it roll near flawlessly), but I dont want to take any chances.

I'm thinking I just replace the quick releases with bolt on stuff, and use a mini-u lock. Would that be sufficient? I'm not planning to leave this bike overnight in front of a meth lab or anything.

I would definitely agree about quick release seatposts, definitely the number one part of a bike to get stolen. 700c wheels that aren't high end, I don't find that likely to get nabbed, but bolt on skewers couldn't hurt.
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Old 05-17-08, 05:35 PM   #18
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I dont think people remember what a bicycle is around my neighborhood, and in the city there's people riding around on bikes that's worth more then the cars they're driving. So I have good camouflage.

LBS recommended this

http://www.cannondale.com/a_a/gear/0...U03.html#locks

and I was sold seeing that it came with a cable and a U-Lock, I was sold. Honestly the bike only cost me $120 so far, and if anyone is desperate enough to steal my ugly half-hazardly rattle-can painted bike.....well karma will come and get them.

My only worry is how easy it is to dismantle this bike done to skeleton, but I can solve that by filling up the allen holes with epoxy.

Is there anything else I should be worried about?
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Old 05-17-08, 07:28 PM   #19
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My only worry is how easy it is to dismantle this bike done to skeleton, but I can solve that by filling up the allen holes with epoxy.
I wouldn't worry about anything allen bolted on unless you either leave it locked for days on end, or live somewhere like NY or SF. Bikes don't usually get stripped until they've sat for days or weeks, usually abandoned because the saddle or wheels have been taken long ago.

That lock setup looks pretty good, mini u-locks are alot less likely to break than big ones, the small cable is more than enough deterrent for something like a front wheel or baskets. Anybody with cutting tools is out for whole bikes.
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