Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Commuting
Reload this Page >

Has Your Commuter Bike Been Optimized for You?

Notices
Commuting Bicycle commuting is easier than you think, before you know it, you'll be hooked. Learn the tips, hints, equipment, safety requirements for safely riding your bike to work.

Has Your Commuter Bike Been Optimized for You?

Old 02-26-15, 08:44 AM
  #1  
AlmostTrick
Tortoise Wins by a Hare!
Thread Starter
 
AlmostTrick's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Looney Tunes, IL
Posts: 7,398

Bikes: Wabi Special FG, Raleigh Roper, Nashbar AL-1, Miyata One Hundred, '70 Schwinn Lemonator and More!!

Mentioned: 22 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1548 Post(s)
Liked 934 Times in 502 Posts
Has Your Commuter Bike Been Optimized for You?

For comfort and/or efficiency?

It seems most riders will make at least a few modest modifications or upgrades to their bikes. Some canít stop!

Do you have plans to upgrade or modify your bike? Tell me about them.
AlmostTrick is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 09:21 AM
  #2  
12strings
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Madison, IN
Posts: 1,351

Bikes: 2015 Jamis Quest Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 270 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
-Saddle
-stem
-ergon grips with bar ends
-clip-on aero bars...then hack-sawed the aero-bars and wrapped them in handle-bar tape
-rear rack
-pump
-water bottle cage
-lock
-dual-sided SPD/flat pedals for maximum versatility
-under-saddle bag
-lights
-LBS tune-up.
(That's all I can think of right now.)
12strings is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 09:30 AM
  #3  
kickstart
Senior Member
 
kickstart's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Kent Wa.
Posts: 5,332

Bikes: 2005 Gazelle Golfo, 1935 Raleigh Sport, 1970 Robin Hood sport, 1974 Schwinn Continental, 1984 Ross MTB/porteur, 2013 Flying Piegon path racer, 2014 Gazelle Toer Populair T8

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 396 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 7 Posts
My quest for the perfect commuter involved lots of modifications and experiments on a couple of old bikes until I figured out what would work best for me.
Then I purchased a new bike that was 95% of what I wanted, a Gazelle dutch bike. I added a rear centerstand, upgraded the headlight, and grips, added front and rear flashers, and upgraded the stem to Gazelles tool less adjustable Switch stem so I can sit upright for commuting and utility riding, and drop the bars lower and further forward for recreational riding. Also added a Cardiff seat bang and Dutch panniers.
Will be upgrading the OE roller brakes to the largest size Shimano offers as they are more powerful and fade resistant, not that the OE ones are bad, and have been adequate, but they are the smallest size.

My bike is heavy and a little on the slow side, but it basically requires no maintenance even though I ride it daily in a wet, grimy environment, and its the most comfortable bike I have ever ridden.
kickstart is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 09:53 AM
  #4  
PatrickGSR94
Senior Member
 
PatrickGSR94's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Memphis TN area
Posts: 7,391

Bikes: 2011 Felt Z85 (road/commuter), 2006 Marin Pine Mountain (utility/commuter E-bike), 1995 KHS Alite 1000 (gravel grinder)

Mentioned: 25 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 675 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 13 Times in 13 Posts
Yeah I bought a 2011 Felt Z85 road bike in September 2012, then later in May 2013 decided to start making the 31 mile round trip work commute. A road bike is obviously a better choice for a commute that long. Since I started I have:

- rigged up a rear rack to carry a Topeak trunk bag with fold-out panniers
- adjusted the stem height and changed the stem angle several times. Started with 3 spacers and a 17 deg. 90mm stem. Now I run the 3 spacers plus a flipped -7 deg. 90mm stem.
- switched to Conti GP 4 Seasons 700x25 tires.
- switched the stock Mavic CXP22 wheelset out for a MUCH lighter Vuelta Corsa Lite wheelset.
- switched to nicer-looking Bontrager bottle cages
- chunked the stock Felt saddle for a thinner and lighter Selle Italia saddle
- Topeak Road Morph G pump
- under-saddle bag
- Cygolite ExpiliOn 700 front light and (2) Hotshot rear lights
- Raceblade XL clip-on fenders in case of the threat of rain
- Shimano A530 dual SPD/flat pedals
- Ultegra 6600 10-sp cassette
- KMC X10L Ti gold chain
- KoolStop dual compound black/salmon brake pads

That's about all I can think of...
PatrickGSR94 is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 10:07 AM
  #5  
mustang1
Senior Member
 
mustang1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: London, UK
Posts: 2,719

Bikes: 2006 road bike, 2012 cx bike, 2012 carbon rb, 2014 hardtail

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have a cx bike for commuting. Schwalbe marathon supreme 35mm tires. I like these because I hardly have to fill them air and they still maintain air pressure. They're not as fast as other tires I've used but very comfortable. Added 45mm SKS fenders and to peak rack early on when I ouchased the bike in 2012. Recently converted to rechargeable lights which are far better than the normal ones I used previously.

I never used the rack though and neither have I used the schwalbe ice tires. I've moved from a timbuk2 messenger bag to a rucksack though and its far more comfortable when riding though a pita when needing to get stuff out of the bag while I'm still sitting on the bike.
mustang1 is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 10:11 AM
  #6  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 5,723

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 2007 Dahon Boardwalk, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International, 2006 Felt F65

Mentioned: 53 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1297 Post(s)
Liked 1,407 Times in 704 Posts
I have made many, many modifications on my MTB-Based commuter, but not so much on my road and touring-style bikes. All bikes sport lights, mirrors, bells and Airzound horns (even though I use a glasses mounted take-a-look mirror, I like the redundancy). I've also added foam pipe insulation on the handle bars and gel seat covers to all the bikes as I have hand issues. I don't have butt issues, but I enjoy the comfort. I also prefer toe-clips, so all bikes have those. On the Nishiki Blazer MTB-based commuter I installed a 53-tooth chain ring up front for higher-gearing. It's the largest ring that will physically fit on the frame. I also installed a wider handlebar with a slight rise which is canted forward to give me a less upright position. Due to the need for more hand positions, I first added bar-ends, but moved them in-board for more of a "jockey" position. And then I added an aero-bar for even more hand and posture positions. The MTB-Commuter and the light-tourer have back racks and fenders (fenders on order for the tourer). The Blazer MTB-Commuter also has Wald Folding Baskets. Oh and all three bikes have reflective tape. I also have road tires on the Blazer.
BobbyG is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 02:04 PM
  #7  
1nterceptor
LET'S ROLL
 
1nterceptor's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: NEW YORK, NY - USA
Posts: 4,782

Bikes: 2014 BMC Gran Fondo, 2013 Brompton S6L-X

Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 306 Post(s)
Liked 44 Times in 33 Posts
My bike already came with some features that make it a convenient commuter;
multiple gears, fenders, internal gear hub, luggage carrier block. Some of the
mods I did were just to make it lighter; titanium seat post, titanium clipless pedals,
carbon/ti roadie saddle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fh5V...aIoDLA&index=6
1nterceptor is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 03:50 PM
  #8  
InTheRain
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Puget Sound
Posts: 1,982

Bikes: 2007 Rocky Mountain Sherpa 30 (bionx), 2015 Cannondale Synapse Carbon Ultegra

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 141 Post(s)
Liked 11 Times in 6 Posts
Oh yes. Always looking to do the next upgrade. I think the frame, seat post, and drivetrain are original equipment. However, everything else has been upgraded,replaced, or added. The next upgrade (if I don't just buy a new bicycle - hydraulic disc brakes are tempting) will be an expensive one. New front wheel with a Schmidt son hub dynamo. I already have a Shimano hub dynamo... but it has quit a bit of drag. When I can wear out these Specialized Armadillo tires, I'll replace them with Schwalbe Marathon Plus.
InTheRain is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 04:09 PM
  #9  
alan s 
Senior Member
 
alan s's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 6,977
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1496 Post(s)
Liked 189 Times in 128 Posts
My entire commuter bike is a custom build to my specs, except the frame is a stock size.
alan s is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 04:14 PM
  #10  
javierf
Junior Member
 
javierf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Corpus Christi, TX
Posts: 20

Bikes: Diamondback Haanjo Metro, 1965 Schwinn Twinn and others.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I have only cut 2 inches at each end of handlebar.
Bike: Diamonback Haanjo Metro, aluminum frame, 9 sppeds, discs brakes.
Commute: 22 miles one-way, so I only do it once or twice/ week.

Attached Images
File Type: jpg
DbHaanjo.jpg (41.4 KB, 39 views)
javierf is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 04:42 PM
  #11  
rmfnla
Senior Member
 
rmfnla's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: La La Land (We love it!)
Posts: 6,301

Bikes: Gilmour road, Curtlo road; both steel (of course)

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 273 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 9 Posts
I have a custom Curtlo road frame that I built as an all-purpose bike, but since I ride it to work at least three days a week it is my commuter.

Just replaced my Terry Fly with a Brooks Flyer and I love the bike even more...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
Seat.1.jpg (91.6 KB, 35 views)
__________________
Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
rmfnla is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 05:38 PM
  #12  
gregjones
Senior Member
 
gregjones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 2,826

Bikes: K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
I started with a bare Fuji frame from Nashbar that I bought during one of the 40% off/free shipping sales. So it's all pretty much my own mistakes!!

Everything other than the frame, fork and bottom bracket has been changed and swapped around at one time or another. And, the days of the original bottom bracket are numbered. I just got a Sram X5 crankset that uses a GXP bottom bracket.

One day I hope it's done, in the meantime its latest incarnation is on my PedalRoom page. Except for a few minor changes.
gregjones is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 05:41 PM
  #13  
kelsodeez
Senior Member
 
kelsodeez's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: SF bay area
Posts: 133

Bikes: are pretty cool

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
my commuter is honestly just a collection of leftover parts after i upgraded my nice road bike.
kelsodeez is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 06:18 PM
  #14  
Darth Lefty 
Disco Infiltrator
 
Darth Lefty's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2013
Location: Folsom CA
Posts: 13,228

Bikes: Stormchaser, Paramount, Timberjack, Expert TG, Samba tandem

Mentioned: 69 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2895 Post(s)
Liked 1,753 Times in 1,151 Posts
I keep futzing with all my bikes.
__________________
Genesis 49:16-17
Darth Lefty is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 09:23 PM
  #15  
Daniel4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,256

Bikes: Sekine 1979 ten speed racer

Mentioned: 15 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1367 Post(s)
Liked 514 Times in 346 Posts
1) rack
2) large mirror
3) bell located so all I need is to flick my thumb without moving my hand from the handlebar
4) mount for Garmin GPS
5) radio with speakers if I have room
Daniel4 is offline  
Old 02-26-15, 09:27 PM
  #16  
TransitBiker
contiuniously variable
 
TransitBiker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,280

Bikes: 2012 Breezer Uptown Infinity, Fuji Varsity

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 8 Times in 6 Posts
I actually like my bike as-is, though I'm getting a chain guard because my last bike had a chain incident & tried to kill me.

- Andy
TransitBiker is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 11:37 AM
  #17  
SJX426 
Senior Member
 
SJX426's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Fredericksburg, Va
Posts: 8,934

Bikes: '73 Bottecchia Giro d'Italia, '83 Colnago Superissimo, '84 Trek 610, '84 Trek 760, '88 Pinarello Veneto, '88 De Rosa Pro, '89 Pinarello Montello, '94 Burley Duet, 97 Specialized RockHopper, 2010 Langster, Tern Link D8

Mentioned: 63 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1364 Post(s)
Liked 1,550 Times in 816 Posts
Added bar ends, lights, Brooks saddle, platform/spd pedals, BP fenders, 2.5 tires, Topeak rack and bag, pump, computer and Hornit. Optional front suspension. I love the disk brake and I haven't noticed any difference with the suspension but I don't have a fender for the suspension configuration.
[IMG]Commuter RockHopper by superissimo_83, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]P1020526 by superissimo_83, on Flickr[/IMG]
SJX426 is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 12:22 PM
  #18  
Booger1
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Gaseous Cloud around Uranus
Posts: 3,741
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 36 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 8 Times in 4 Posts
It started life as a frame and fork.....
Booger1 is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 05:28 PM
  #19  
noglider 
aka Tom Reingold
 
noglider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: New York, NY, USA
Posts: 40,190

Bikes: 1962 Rudge Sports, 1971 Raleigh Super Course, 1971 Raleigh Pro Track, 1974 Raleigh International, 1975 Viscount Fixie, 1982 McLean, 1996 Lemond (Ti), 2002 Burley Zydeco tandem

Mentioned: 495 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7026 Post(s)
Liked 1,796 Times in 1,114 Posts
See the Commuter Bike Pics thread. Lots of optimizations there!
__________________
Tom Reingold, tom@noglider.com
New York City and High Falls, NY
Blogs: The Experienced Cyclist; noglider's ride blog

ďWhen man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments.Ē ó Elizabeth West, US author

Please email me rather than PM'ing me. Thanks.
noglider is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 05:50 PM
  #20  
spare_wheel
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: NA
Posts: 4,267

Bikes: NA

Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 7 Posts
My two commuters:

Frames: Crabon with disc and rack/fender mount points.
DT: Full ultegra compact drive train.
Brakes: XT discs.
Stems and posts: Ultralight alloy (Thomson masterpiece for the post).
Fork: Crabon with alloy steerer.
Wheels: Alloy and crabon disk (CX and XC).

Things I would like to upgrade in the next 2-5 years:

Fork: Spot carbon fork ~450 gms.
DT: Di2 10 or 11 speed.
Wheels: 1500 gm carbon disk wheels.

In the next 5-10 years
Frame: Something like a foundry CX frame.
Brakes: 140 mm road brakes.

Last edited by spare_wheel; 02-27-15 at 05:56 PM.
spare_wheel is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 07:01 PM
  #21  
MichaelW
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: England
Posts: 12,948
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 19 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
My bike came with MTB flats but they rotated my arms in an uncomfortable position. I switched to On One Mary with rear-swept, angled grips.
Other mods are additions such as dynamo-hub lighting, rack, fenders.
Also wear-and-tear upgrades like cork ergo grips
MichaelW is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 07:17 PM
  #22  
Gresp15C
Senior Member
 
Gresp15C's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 3,786
Mentioned: 20 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1026 Post(s)
Liked 594 Times in 386 Posts
Everything. I enjoy making incremental improvements, though I usually wait until I find a spare or second hand part that I can use.
Gresp15C is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 07:46 PM
  #23  
jaxgtr
Senior Member
 
jaxgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Jacksonville, FL
Posts: 5,952

Bikes: Trek Domane SLR 7 eTap, Trek Emonda ALR 6, Trek FX 5 Sport

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 458 Post(s)
Liked 950 Times in 573 Posts
I think I've pretty much done everything I'm going to do outside of moving it to 11 speed which is not even in consideration. I have a mix of 105 an ultegra 10 speed, carbon seatpost, upgraded wheels, upgraded the brakes and Lizard Skin bar tape.
__________________
Brian | 2023 Trek Domane SLR 7 eTap | 2016 Trek Emonda ALR 6 | 2022 Trek FX Sport 5
Originally Posted by AEO View Post
you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.










jaxgtr is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 08:10 PM
  #24  
PaulH
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 3,676
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 108 Post(s)
Liked 69 Times in 50 Posts
Replaced sidewall dynamo with hub dynamo
Switched to Marathon Plus for summer; Marathon Winter for winter
Replaced Lunotec N halogen headlight with Lumotec IQ Cyo LED
Replaced taillight with B&M Standlicht LED
Replaced mild steel fenders with Giles Berthold stainless after they rusted out
Brooks saddle for durability

I'd like a full chaincase to replace the current partial one.
Panniers
PaulH is offline  
Old 02-27-15, 11:41 PM
  #25  
jyl
Senior Member
 
jyl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Portland OR
Posts: 7,643

Bikes: 61 Bianchi Specialissima 71 Peugeot G50 7? P'geot PX10 74 Raleigh GranSport 75 P'geot UO8 78? Raleigh Team Pro 82 P'geot PSV 86 P'geot PX 91 Bridgestone MB0 92 B'stone XO1 97 Rans VRex 92 Cannondale R1000 94 B'stone MB5 97 Vitus 997

Mentioned: 144 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 391 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 48 Times in 30 Posts
I started with an early 80s Peugeot road bike. Very good frame, nice drilled Stronglight crank, other stuff not so great. Over time I changed out or added:
- Wheels. Mavic 500 hubs, Mavic Open Pro rims, butted spokes.
- Derailleur. Mavic.
- Brakes. Mavic.
- Shifters. Simplex shift levers on Retroshift brake levers.
- Saddle. Selle Italia Turbo.
- Pedals. Ultegra SPD.
- Fenders. PDW Full Metal Fenders.
- Tires. I've tried a few, settled on 25mm Gatorbacks.
- Lights. Nite Rider front, Serfas rear, various backup blinkies, TACX bar end lights.
- Bell.
- Frame pump.
- Saddlebag. Carradice small. Carries tools, tubes, lock, gloves, etc.

It is a fast, all weather, comfortable commuter. I've ridden it on four centuries.

Future projects are generator hub and lights, reflective strips, remove the bell, change the headset, better mudflaps.

jyl is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2022 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.