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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 11-05-13, 10:14 AM   #1
GeraldF
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Customizing a lightweight utility bike for stairs

Requirements:

1. Chainguard
2. Full fenders
3. Eyelets for front basket and rear rack
4. Vertical dropouts (will be adding Pitlocks to lock the wheels and seat; it's my understanding that horizontal dropouts are not compatible with the better theft deterrent skewers)
5. No shocks (due to desire to have a front basket)
6. Dynamo lights
7. 30 pounds fully equipped (I have to carry the bike up/down 32 stairs every day). Assuming chainguard, fenders, rack and basket will weigh in at 5 pounds, so the bike itself should be < 25 pounds
8. Under $1,200 for everything
9. XL frame size. 58cm to 60 cm or 23" to 25"

I'd like to purchase a new bike that comes stock with as many of the above features as possible. I have moderate mechanic skills, so I'm willing to go the extra mile to modify the bike to suit my needs.

What bike would you recommend I start with? Thanks for your input.

Last edited by GeraldF; 11-05-13 at 10:18 AM. Reason: typo
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Old 11-05-13, 06:00 PM   #2
roashru
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you might want to ask a moderator to move your posting to commuting.

there are riders that carry cyclocross based bicycles up/down stairs.
.

Last edited by roashru; 11-05-13 at 06:23 PM.
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Old 11-06-13, 05:11 AM   #3
MichaelW
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The problem is going to be the chainguard. Bikes with OEM chainguards are almost always heavy.
Aftermarket chainguards for derailleur systems are very rare. The options for clean running are either a Gates belt drive with Alfine 11 (and some integral chain-tensioning system) or a DIY chainguard made from eg bits of carbon fibre glued together.

The front basket requires flat bars rather than drops so you need the flatbar roadbike style such as Specialized Sirrus, Merida Speeder. I have fitted Rixen and Kaul bolt-on basket brackets and they are lightweight and very strong. I would recommend them over a front rack for lightweight build. Baskets can make the forks flop around when shouldered.

If weight is critical, go for V rather than disc brakes. Beware of brake cables on the underside of the top tube, you want a nice clean underside for shouldering.
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Old 11-06-13, 04:33 PM   #4
fietsbob 
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Basket: http://www.somafab.com/archives/prod...argo-frame-set
Build from there .

built , longer .. http://www.somafab.com/archives/prod...pick-up-artist

and NB in many places that use a lot of bikes , you have a ramp on the edges of the stairs
to roll the bike up, while you climb the stairs. not lifting and carrying it.

they can be made of wood and laid on top of existing stairways.

Last edited by fietsbob; 11-06-13 at 04:49 PM.
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Old 11-06-13, 06:00 PM   #5
mel2012
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I was going to add to your step-thru frame post, but this works just as well. I was going to suggest that you might want to look at the 58 cm Soma Buena Vista mixte frame set. The link shows what the bike can look like built up with many of the features you want. If you read the article, the bike with the heavy Burley Mooserack is 35lbs. You'd probably want 700cc wheels, which would add weight, as would a front basket, but you could use a lighter rear rack.

http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2011/04/somas-fab-in-650b-test-ride-of-buena.html


The 2014 Novara Gotham could also fit the bill, though it is slightly above your listed price range without a front rack and the weight of the new model is unclear. The Novara Barrow is also a potential option:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...224285031.html
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Old 11-06-13, 10:47 PM   #6
GeraldF
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mel2012 View Post
I was going to add to your step-thru frame post, but this works just as well. I was going to suggest that you might want to look at the 58 cm Soma Buena Vista mixte frame set. The link shows what the bike can look like built up with many of the features you want. If you read the article, the bike with the heavy Burley Mooserack is 35lbs. You'd probably want 700cc wheels, which would add weight, as would a front basket, but you could use a lighter rear rack.

http://lovelybike.blogspot.com/2011/04/somas-fab-in-650b-test-ride-of-buena.html


The 2014 Novara Gotham could also fit the bill, though it is slightly above your listed price range without a front rack and the weight of the new model is unclear. The Novara Barrow is also a potential option:
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-relea...224285031.html
Thanks for these suggestions. The Novara Barrow looks great. Whatever I end up going with I'm determined to add a chain guard. I currently own a 21 speed hybrid that has an aftermarket SKS Chainboard chain guard. The previous owner had to get rid of the three sprockets in the front, and replaced them with only two sprockets to make the chain guard fit. So now it's a 14 speed. Check it out:
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File Type: jpg SKS Chainguard.jpg (98.6 KB, 7 views)
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