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05' Allez Sport: Advice converting this bad boy into a commuter

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05' Allez Sport: Advice converting this bad boy into a commuter

Old 06-17-17, 12:17 PM
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b2h3m
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05' Allez Sport: Advice converting this bad boy into a commuter

Ok, so there's a somewhat similar thread to this (too new to link it ), but the OP wasn't really interested in fenders/rear racks for his build and unfortunately the lovely Chicago weather and mostly urban road-based commute necessitate that I have both. I just moved to the city and bought this thing off of CL ('05 Allez Sport, too good a deal to pass up), but I'm now wondering if I made a mistake in thinking that converting it to a legit commuter would be easy (if even realistically possible given my total lack of experience/general know-how).

As of now, everything on the bike stock (and not at all city-ready) - I'm gunna be adding some more puncture resistant 25mm tires (though I haven't 100% decided which would be best; I want to grab some GP 4 seasons come winter but in the meantime I'm still debating, so any thoughts would be most welcome). I also want to add fenders/a back rack (suggestions on either would be amazing), but am a bit worried about possible clearance issues and honestly don't know enough to say whether or not adding both is possible.

So, commuting gawds, please help a newbie out. I currently don't even really know where to start, so legitimately any/all thoughts and/or advice on how to make this thing a commuting machine would be immensely appreciated!

TLDR; halp, newbie needing advice on Allez Sport-to-commuter conversion
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Old 06-17-17, 12:54 PM
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Welcome to the forum.

The bike likely does not have enough clearance for regular sized fenders, nor does it come with eyelets for fenders or rack mount, so you're behind the eight ball. However, all is not lost. There are fenders that you can buy which are made for low-clearance caliper brakes. These come to mind:

wiggle.com | Crud RoadRacer Mk3 Mudguard Set | Bike Fenders

Pricey for flimsy plastic fenders, but they will work with your bike. I have a set of the older MK2's and they are great. Not heavy duty, mind you.

As for a rack, you can get racks that bolt onto your seatstay using p-clamps and your seat post. I have never used them, but there are others here who have them. They can point you in the right direction.

Finally, if you're planning to ride through winter in Chicago, you might need studded tires. The narrowest studded tires that I've heard of are 32 mm in width.
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Old 06-17-17, 01:18 PM
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BobbyG
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My 2015 Charge Plug...before and after.
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Old 06-17-17, 02:15 PM
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A commuter bike is what you ride to work. Don't be so hung-up about making it fit some ideal "commuter bike" standard envisioned by the Internet, before you actually start riding to work.
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Old 06-17-17, 02:19 PM
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I used a back pack with my 05

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Old 06-17-17, 02:24 PM
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10 Wheels
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This one came with a rear rack. I was going to tour with it.

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Old 06-17-17, 02:40 PM
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Originally Posted by thermionicscott View Post
a commuter bike is what you ride to work. Don't be so hung-up about making it fit some ideal "commuter bike" standard envisioned by the internet, before you actually start riding to work.
+1
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Old 06-18-17, 11:56 AM
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thanks y'all! the '05 sport actually has eyelets for a rack, but the main issue seems to be clearance. those MK3s look promising though!

also Scott, that's legit the best advice I've received thus far
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Old 06-18-17, 02:21 PM
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Mudguards?
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Old 06-19-17, 03:30 PM
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Over the last decade, I've put many, many commuting miles on an '05 Allez that I got in '07. A rack is no problem as you've discovered but be careful if you want to use panniers because heel-strike can be an issue. The panniers I used for awhile were fine.

Traditional fenders won't fit but I've used Crud Mk3s, SKS Raceblades, and RaceBlade "Longs". All worked to some extent. My favorite of that group is the Longs.

The thing I didn't like about the regular Raceblades is that they are intended to be temporary. If you leave them on for a long time, grit can collect under the pads where they attach to the fork and scratch up the paint. If you clean them periodically, it won't be a problem.

In recent years I've started commuting more on a fixed gear so I don't worry about fenders so much with the Allez, though I still commute with it fairly often.


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Old 06-20-17, 08:07 AM
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After looking at your original post again, I thought I'd mention that I don't consider this an OK bike for winter unless you're pretty selective about what conditions you'll ride under.

During the Fall and Spring I've ridden the Allez in very light/wet accumulations of snow but IMO the clearance is not enough for any tire really suitable for winter riding.

Peoples' opinions do very and I've seen some winter commuters on pretty skinny and smooth tires but that is not for me.
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Old 06-20-17, 08:47 AM
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That's an 05? Dang, it looks really clean, and somehow the graphic design and matte finish look modern to me.

I got my son a 2010(?), red and black with a curved top tube (that I think looks dumb with the brake cable going in a straight line under it). I recently discovered it can fit 28s.
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Old 06-20-17, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
A commuter bike is what you ride to work. Don't be so hung-up about making it fit some ideal "commuter bike" standard envisioned by the Internet, before you actually start riding to work.
+2. Don't sweat the fender thing. Focus on mounting a decent rack. The Axiom Streamliner is a nice option that accounts for the heel strike. Get quality lights. Cygolites are pretty hard to beat. Make sure you have a good multi-tool with a chain breaker. Carry a spare tube and pump. The Topeak Masterblaster is awesome. Get reflective. Tires are a personal choice. I may get flamed but I just installed a set of tire liners and am really surprised. You might want to do the same as your researching puncture resistant options.

Enjoy riding and figure out what works for you over time. It's an organic process.

You have a rad bike. I love the pre-zertz Allez, that generation was good looking. It will be a great commuting machine.

Last edited by Zap Hassellhoff; 06-20-17 at 01:17 PM. Reason: SP.
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Old 06-20-17, 06:25 PM
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How far is your commute? Have commuted by bicycle before or is this a new gig?

I used to have a 15 mile one way commute and I just prefer to use a backpack. I figured since I already had a bike and a backpack the only thing I needed to get started was some motivation. Maybe start small and add on what you feel you need. Keep us posted and good luck.
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Old 06-28-17, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by b2h3m View Post
TLDR; halp, newbie needing advice on Allez Sport-to-commuter conversion
On my allez, I:
put a $15 fender on my seat post (for rear wheel). Never know when it will be wet.
Put at thudbuster ST seatpost on. Optional, but great for rough roads or longer commutes.
Put 28mm Conti 4 seasons on. Big is good - and these have less rolling resistance than 23 or 25mm versions.
Cygolite 350: Daytime running light, or light up the morning/evening light: https://tinyurl.com/yddj4ksu
I use a messenger bag (with front cross strap) because:
- I don't like weigh and aero resistance on a fast light bike
- I don't like sweaty backs from backpacks.

Doesn't take much!
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Old 06-29-17, 06:01 PM
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I have a GT Grade and i roll with an axiom streamliner disc DLX which can use the eyelets above the dropouts or be mounted using the QR skewer. i go with a pair of Ortlieb sportpacker plus or just one sportpacker and an ortlieb office bag on the other side of my rack.
for fenders, i'm using planet bike harcore 45mm wide fenders and they're great. i think that i should put a mudguard on the front fender but it isn't necessary and they offer great covarege.
i use a cygolite Metro 1100 lumen (but was fine with the same light with a 360 lumen output) and the Cygolite hotshot 150 in the back.
for tires i've gone through a pair of Gatorskins in 25mm width but didn't particularly enjoy how they rode when pumped up or aired down so now i have the conti GT4000 SII at 28 mm wide and i love those tires, very grippy, very comfy tires and so far they've been great against all the glass i come across in my city.

On a 2016 Felt Z85 with no eyelets of any sort, i've used the Crud MK2's and kinda liked them. they looked pretty good on the bike and offered pretty good coverage from the front tire towards the bottom bracket and did a pretty good job of covering the rear wheel throwing grime and stuff at my chain set. just felt flimsy and wasn't the easiest to set up. then i used the SKS raceblades. on their maiden voyage, a huge stick got stuck between the fender and my wheel and broke the plastic clip that holds the fender together and i wasn't able to source a replacement part so REI took them back.

probably too much info, but at least its there and hopefully you can glean something from someone else's experience.
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Old 06-30-17, 02:14 AM
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Originally Posted by srestrepo View Post
i've used the Crud MK2's and kinda liked them. they looked pretty good on the bike and offered pretty good coverage from the front tire towards the bottom bracket and did a pretty good job of covering the rear wheel throwing grime and stuff at my chain set. just felt flimsy and wasn't the easiest to set up.
Agree 100+

I've done about 2500km with the Crud MK2's and find them very unobtrusive and functional. I found them a pice of cake to get on and it was night and day with/without them.

You can see them here ...
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