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Has Your Commuter Bike Been Optimized for You?

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Has Your Commuter Bike Been Optimized for You?

Old 02-26-15, 08:44 AM
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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.
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Old 02-26-15, 09:21 AM
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-ergon grips with bar ends
-clip-on aero bars...then hack-sawed the aero-bars and wrapped them in handle-bar tape
-rear rack
-water bottle cage
-dual-sided SPD/flat pedals for maximum versatility
-under-saddle bag
-LBS tune-up.
(That's all I can think of right now.)
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Old 02-26-15, 09:30 AM
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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.
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Old 02-26-15, 09:53 AM
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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...
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Old 02-26-15, 10:07 AM
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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.
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Old 02-26-15, 10:11 AM
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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.
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Old 02-26-15, 02:04 PM
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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.

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Old 02-26-15, 03:50 PM
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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.
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Old 02-26-15, 04:09 PM
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My entire commuter bike is a custom build to my specs, except the frame is a stock size.
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Old 02-26-15, 04:14 PM
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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.

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Old 02-26-15, 04:42 PM
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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...
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Today, I believe my jurisdiction ends here...
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Old 02-26-15, 05:38 PM
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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.
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Old 02-26-15, 05:41 PM
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my commuter is honestly just a collection of leftover parts after i upgraded my nice road bike.
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Old 02-26-15, 06:18 PM
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I keep futzing with all my bikes.
Genesis 49:16-17
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Old 02-26-15, 09:23 PM
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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
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Old 02-26-15, 09:27 PM
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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
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Old 02-27-15, 11:37 AM
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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]
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Old 02-27-15, 12:22 PM
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It started life as a frame and fork.....
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Old 02-27-15, 05:28 PM
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See the Commuter Bike Pics thread. Lots of optimizations there!
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Old 02-27-15, 05:50 PM
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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.
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Old 02-27-15, 07:01 PM
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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
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Old 02-27-15, 07:17 PM
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Everything. I enjoy making incremental improvements, though I usually wait until I find a spare or second hand part that I can use.
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Old 02-27-15, 07:46 PM
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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.
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you should learn to embrace change, and mock it's failings every step of the way.

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Old 02-27-15, 08:10 PM
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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.
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Old 02-27-15, 11:41 PM
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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.

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