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New bike: I'm so happy

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New bike: I'm so happy

Old 04-16-10, 12:27 AM
  #1  
stockholm
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New bike: I'm so happy

Please just let me share my new pride and joy with you all:

Today I'm picking up my brand new Commencal Babylon 2, full spec here https://www.commencal.com/news/bicycl...n_black_en.htm

I've added combi pedals (SPD/platform), Marathon tires, asked them to shorten the handlebar since it was silly-ly wide for me, and was talked out of a Brooks B17.

I'll use it mainly for commuting in Stockholm (3-10 kms, depending on my mood and weather), and some weekend rides with the occasional gravel road. I'm also planning on donning a proper touring-light setup with fenders, panniers and such for adventures during holidays with the family. But that will have to wait until later.

I had done my homework beforehand (thank you, BF!), and the guy at the LBS was thrilled and really excited to give me the best possible bike and double-checked all details so it'll be prepared for whatever stuff I'll want to add as the years pass.

Plus it's stealth black and way too cool looking for a soon to be middle-aged mom to be dancing around with. Need I say I LOVE it?
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Old 04-16-10, 02:16 AM
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Very nice! Congrats on the new ride. Out of curiosity, why not the B17?

--J
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Old 04-16-10, 02:33 AM
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I've never even heard of the brand, but that bike is pretty! Congratulations.
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Old 04-16-10, 04:48 AM
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Thank you!

Juha, the LBS guy claimed a bike with an "aggressive" position is downright wrong for the B17. He said I should be looking for their "racing" options instead, he didn't have one in stock but I liked the default saddle so I kept it as is.
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Old 04-16-10, 06:06 AM
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Congrats on the beautiful bike! I wish you many safe and happy miles together!
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Old 04-16-10, 06:09 AM
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nice. pics of you on it smiling?
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Old 04-16-10, 06:45 AM
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Originally Posted by stockholm View Post
Juha, the LBS guy claimed a bike with an "aggressive" position is downright wrong for the B17.
"Aggressive"? The bike has flat handlebars, right? I don't see that as very aggressive. But anyways, kör på bara, it's easy enough to change the saddle later if you wish to do that. Happy riding!

--J
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Old 04-19-10, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Juha View Post
"Aggressive"? The bike has flat handlebars, right? I don't see that as very aggressive. But anyways, kör på bara, it's easy enough to change the saddle later if you wish to do that. Happy riding!

--J
B17 wouldn't be a good choice for a bike with bars so low compared to the saddle. They were right in suggesting a Brooks racing saddle. As an example I have a couple leather saddles that I can ride 100miles on with no pain or discomfort on my upright touring bikes. I swapped the same saddle to my road bike and was uncomfortable after 30kms. Your weight is distributed quite a bit differently if you are upright or leaned far over the TT.

The type of bar you are holding onto doesn't define how aggressive a position you have on the bike.
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Old 04-19-10, 03:53 PM
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So stockholm, how is it? You've probably got dozens of miles on it already, right?
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Old 04-20-10, 03:06 AM
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Not quite, my commute isn't that long unfortunately.

I am having so much fun! Thanks for asking. I'm playing around with light trails, steep gravel roads, and downtown "racing". Honestly, I haven't had this much fun on a bike since I was 12.

I will be swapping the saddle. The WTB is not my friend at ALL, so I will be looking in to the Brooks racing line. Any recommendations? I'll also add fenders and a back rack with panniers, but I'm hesitant since I'm having such a blast with it as is.
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Old 04-20-10, 03:21 AM
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I agree with vik except for the part about bar type. With road style bars you have distinctively two different positions (plus a whole bunch of variations in between), with flat bar you basically have one (and less variations). I have a Brooks B17 Narrow, and my (flat) handlebars are a touch lower than my seat level. I'm sure that's not aggressive by road bike standards, but it seems a lot like the pic in the link above. The setup works for me, which is why I was surprised a B17 was ruled out automatically. I haven't tried any racing saddles from Brooks, so cannot offer any suggestions there.

stockholm, glad you enjoy the bike!

--J
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Old 04-20-10, 03:36 AM
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Hi Stockholm, I'm not an expert on bikes or hardware, so I can't answer the question about which specific hardware to get.

But before you start modding, maybe you should do some soul-searching:

1) Do you have room for another bike? If so, maybe you should just buy another one as the dedicated commuter. It can be much cheaper & humbler. As others have said: almost anything will work for a commuter. 3 km is a pretty short commute. Then, keep this one as your play bike. If space is an issue, consider a folding bike.

2) Would adding all this hardware spoil some of the fun of this bike? It seems like you will add a kilogram or two and more things to knock out of alignment with your mods. Do you ride it hard enough that you would worry about that? Or would the weight go unnoticed and the fenders stay put?

3) Do you already have another bike that is (or can be) set up as a commuter, so you can leave this one as a play bike?

By the way, Stockholm & Juha: your English is excellent. Are you two from the US or the UK originally?
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Old 04-20-10, 04:31 AM
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JeremyZ, thanks for the compliment. Me, I'm all Finnish, but we have patient teachers at schools around here.
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Old 04-20-10, 04:35 AM
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Thank you, JeremyZ. I'm altogether Swedish, working in a very international telecom environment.

I've just recently sold a bad-fitted Kona Jake, which was my all-purpose bike. But sadly, the fit wasn't perfect. For several reasons (my SO being on top of that list), one bike has to suffice. And let me tell you, 3 km is enough during winter, I can assure you that ;-) and the rest of the time I take the long way home as often as possible. So yeah, the hardware will probably spoil some of the fun, but on the other hand it will add to the possibilities of summer: longish holiday rides with the family? Anyone?

So now I'm surfing the web for racks that are reliable AND easy to add/remove. Plus I'm thisclose to buying a Brooks B15 Swallow.

Thanks for the comments and suggestions!
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Old 04-20-10, 05:01 AM
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Yikes, sorry to hear there are no better options for your for winter commuting. I think Stockholm's winters are at least as bad as our Chicago winters. They're too much for me on a bike, hehehe. One false move, and I'm under the cars' wheels.

Sounds like you really use the hell out of your bike. You should be able to invest a bit in it. Go ahead & get that Brooks saddle.

I'd probably get sturdier accessories, rather than easier-to-remove accessories.
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Old 04-20-10, 05:24 AM
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Originally Posted by JeremyZ View Post
One false move, and I'm under the cars' wheels.
Studded tyres>slippery roads. Then again, it would be preferrable cars around you had studded tyres as well.

Depending on how much OP has to haul on bike, Carradice have some very nice bags that mount on saddle or their own QR mount. I've been thinking about a light touring bike with just a handlebar bag and a large Carradice, for weekend and/or credit card tours. In that setup load would be fairly high up compared to low rider panniers, but that would be just another incentive to finally learn to pack light.

--J
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