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My ultimate commuter rig? need help

Old 05-02-16, 03:47 PM
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UberIM
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My ultimate commuter rig? need help

I have been commuting for 25 + years by bicycle and over the years have needed/wanted different characteristics for my commuter.
Presently I have two bikes: One is a Fuji touring bike converted to SS (it has a rack-I need to bring way too much stuff back and forth), drop bars, cantilever brakes, and thinnish tires ; unfortunately I have come to really love my disc brakes on my second bike which is a Kona Unit SS 29er with disc brakes but it doesn't have braze ons for a rack. So when I commute with it I often use a very heavy loaded backpack. I want to marry the two.

So, my fantasy ultimate commuter rig. I commute year round and though it is hilly here in northern NH I am happy to continue single speed riding.

single speed; ideally a bike with horizontal drop outs. don't like the chain tensioner with a vert drop out.
disc brakes
braze ons for a rack
and takes 40c + tires ( I am short and squat and I like my tires to be the same).
+/- on drop handle bars
prefer steel

don't care about fenders

don't want to spend a ton of money.

Ideally less than a grand, but looks like my wife will need to be flexible (hahaha)

I have a LBS (which I want to support) which is largely a mtn bike shop but is a dealer for Salsa, Surly and Raleigh among others. We looked at the Raleigh Furley which fit the bill except it has an eccentric BB and my bike guru felt it would need too much maintenance-gets noisy with road grime, sand, salt, snow

Surly makes a bunch of bikes-the Troll and the Ogre but not SS and thus I would end up paying a bunch to convert
Karate Monkey makes a SS but no braze ons for a rack. Flat bar but could live with that. Anyway I could get a rack on the K Monkey?

Salsa Fargo X7 but again i would need to convert to SS; spending a lot of money

Any other ideas?

Thanks,
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Old 05-02-16, 03:58 PM
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Does the Surly Straggler have the same horizontal dropouts as the crosscheck? It meets the rest of your criteria (possible exception of price).
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Old 05-02-16, 04:03 PM
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will your ultimate bike be a theft magnet where it sits while you are at your job?
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Old 05-02-16, 04:04 PM
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Here's a non-horizontal dropout option, maybe too complicated. Swiveling rear dropout rather than eccentric bb, go figure. Also, says max tire size is 35mm but it can fit 40s. They have a complete in their closeout store for $844 You should be able to convert it to ss and get fatter tires and stay w/in your budget...
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Old 05-02-16, 04:29 PM
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The Surly Straggler and Soma Wolverine are options that immediately come to mind.

You can probably mount a rack to your Unit with the right hardware.

Any bike with a BB30 or PF30 bottom bracket can be made singlespeed with an eccentric bottom bracket, but those are much more common on aluminum and carbon frames. I haven't had maintenance issues going this route.
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Old 05-02-16, 04:35 PM
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Old Man Mountain makes rear racks that should be compatible with your Kona. Alternately, is the Salsa Fargo frame available with singlespeed Alternator Dropouts with rack & fender eyelets?
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Old 05-02-16, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Andy_K View Post
The Surly Straggler and Soma Wolverine are options that immediately come to mind.

You can probably mount a rack to your Unit with the right hardware.

Any bike with a BB30 or PF30 bottom bracket can be made singlespeed with an eccentric bottom bracket, but those are much more common on aluminum and carbon frames. I haven't had maintenance issues going this route.
so.....all thoughtful responses. Interested in hearing about the eccentric bottom bracket-really not noisy?

And mounting a rack on my Unit (sounds obscene)-we had a problem with heel clearance......
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Old 05-02-16, 04:57 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob View Post
will your ultimate bike be a theft magnet where it sits while you are at your job?
We have a locked cage in the garage at work near security. I lock the bike in a rack in the cage and then lock the cage. If it gives you more piece of mind-there are nicer bikes in the caged area......Some of my colleagues who have much nicer bikes or are more worried wheel their bikes into their offices. That is an option I could employ if I were worried. Lots of uber carbon fancy bikes that I think are more enticing.....
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Old 05-02-16, 05:07 PM
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Originally Posted by UberIM View Post
so.....all thoughtful responses. Interested in hearing about the eccentric bottom bracket-really not noisy?
I've been using the Problem Solvers E46 eccentric bottom bracket (PF30) with an aluminum Jake the Snake. I've used it primarily for cyclocross racing, so it definitely hasn't stayed clean. I've also put some rainy commuting miles on it. It's been solid. There was a time early on when I thought that it was creaking, but it turned out to be the brake cable (internally routed) scraping against the frame (needed a ferrule). That's the kind of quiet this has been -- quiet enough that a cable scraping against the frame was the loudest source of noise.

I was careful to grease the bottom bracket when I installed it, and I use a torque wrench every time I adjust it to make sure it's tight enough. I think those are both important factors.

I'm not sure what kind of EBB the Raleigh uses. If it uses a different design than the one I've got my experiences might not be relevant.
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Old 05-02-16, 05:17 PM
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This is what they use as an eccentric BB:

FSA PF30 Eccentric w/Sealed Bearings
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Old 05-02-16, 05:29 PM
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Originally Posted by UberIM View Post
And mounting a rack on my Unit (sounds obscene)-we had a problem with heel clearance......
That's unfortunate. I drilled and tapped the track fork ends on my Redline Monocog 29er for rack and fender eyelets, and it has worked well (now tested with many thousands of loaded miles, including 3200 mile solo tour with camping load). A quick Google search indicates my chainstays are about 1 cm longer (less than half inch) than yours, and I wear a US size 10.5 shoe.

Do your panniers have rounded lower front corners? My (discontinued) Axiom panniers do, as do Ortliebs, I think. It adds some clearance.
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Old 05-02-16, 09:21 PM
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Originally Posted by UberIM View Post
This is what they use as an eccentric BB:

FSA PF30 Eccentric w/Sealed Bearings
OK, that's exactly the same design as what I have. It should be fine.
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Old 05-02-16, 09:30 PM
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+1 on the Traitor Ruben.

I just purchased and put into operation the flat bar version of the Ruben and I had similar needs - ability to go ss or geared, discs, fit 35-40mm tires, preferred steel if possible, needed rack mounts. The Ruben ticks all the boxes and the flat bar is currently on sale for $749. It's a 3x8, but you could pull the shifters/derailleurs off, get a spacer kit to space out a single cog on the rear wheel and you'd be set.

Originally Posted by HardyWeinberg View Post
Here's a non-horizontal dropout option, maybe too complicated. Swiveling rear dropout rather than eccentric bb, go figure. Also, says max tire size is 35mm but it can fit 40s. They have a complete in their closeout store for $844 You should be able to convert it to ss and get fatter tires and stay w/in your budget...
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Old 05-03-16, 05:53 AM
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thanks everyone. Food for thought.
the easiest/cheapest would be to get the Raleigh Furley.
A
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Old 05-03-16, 08:47 AM
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Could you find a rack that attaches to the axle and the seatpost, or get some p clamps instead and just use your current favorite?
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Old 05-03-16, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by bmthom.gis View Post
Could you find a rack that attaches to the axle and the seatpost, or get some p clamps instead and just use your current favorite?
what are p clamps? As you can see I am not very sophisticated or handy
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Old 05-03-16, 11:48 AM
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They go on the seat stays instead of having braze ons. Lots of old bikes used them instead.
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Old 05-03-16, 12:28 PM
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P-Clamps/Loop Straps

You would need a diameter to match your seatstays

A new bike is more fun but yes pricier
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Old 05-20-16, 04:59 PM
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So, I decided to go with the Salsa Marrakesh. Takes 40c tires and already has a Brooks saddle and rack and of course disc brakes. My LBS is a Salsa dealer and will convert it into a ss.
QED.
Should be arriving soon!
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