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My Ultimate Touring/Commuting Combo Bike- Help!

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My Ultimate Touring/Commuting Combo Bike- Help!

Old 03-03-17, 04:13 AM
  #1  
zeppinger
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My Ultimate Touring/Commuting Combo Bike- Help!

Hello all,

I have been touring on a LHT for the last 6 years or so now and love that bike. Commuting duty has fallen on a number of clunkers including an 1970s Raleigh Sport 3 speed and a winter beater MTB. Recently, I moved to Chicago where my bicycle storage space is much more limited and I needed to get a bike that would replace my two commuters. I ended up buying a Breezer Uptown 8. I love the internal hub, dyno lights, and full chain case for commuting! Just being able to hop on the bike and not worry about rolling up my pants or whether or not I brought extra batteries and lights is incredibly liberating so I am glad that I made this investment.

http://www.breezerbikes.com/bikes/details/uptown-8

This experience got me thinking. Could I similarly invest big in a single bike that would further combine my LHT with my commuter? Is there a touring bike out there that has something like a Rolhoff hub with a chain case or belt drive with dyno lights, touring geometry, etc etc? I am thinking steel might not be the best material since I commute in snow/salt so maybe AL or TI? Would I have to go custom or is there something out that that I dont know about? I think the Commotion Pangea gets pretty close, and so do some of the Koga Miyata models but are ther other options I dont know about?

http://co-motion.com/bikes/pangea

Obviously, this brings up the problem of the bike being rather expensive and expensive bikes tend to get stolen if you commute long enough but I think its a fun thought experiment since I dont like maintaining and storing a huge fleet of bikes all the time. The only other bike I really have to own is my polo bike but I dont think I am going to find anything that fits the bill for Touring/Commuting/Polo! X-D

Thanks in advance for ideas and advice!

Last edited by zeppinger; 03-03-17 at 04:17 AM.
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Old 03-03-17, 05:25 AM
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zeppinger, WRT commuting, a spare bicycle seems a no brainer. A good position for a versatile touring bike, IMHO. If the chip are really down, out comes the polo bike.

Brad
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Old 03-03-17, 06:44 AM
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So let me get this straight, zeppinger... you have three bikes and only space for two, and you're exploring the idea of upgrading from your LHT into a Rohloff commuter?

Why not get yourself a nice folder like a https://www.brompton.com/The-Bike or a https://www.bikefriday.com/folding-bikes/

This way, you can upgrade the LHT to a Co-Motion Rohloff for touring, and still keep your polo bike. WIN!
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Old 03-03-17, 07:59 AM
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If I had the money, the Co-Motion Pangea Pinion is what I would go for. Or the Divide.
You could always slap on some god-awful paint job, score up the fenders, etc. to make it look like something no one would want to steal.
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Old 03-03-17, 09:53 AM
  #5  
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
... Recently, I moved to Chicago...

...Obviously, this brings up the problem of the bike being rather expensive and expensive bikes tend to get stolen if you commute long enough...
Chicago is a top 5 bike theft city... if you don't have dedicated secure bike parking at your destinations, then I'd personally go with a junker.... or +1 for a Brompton which you can take inside (and it makes for a nifty multi-modal short tourer).

Last edited by reppans; 03-03-17 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 03-03-17, 12:11 PM
  #6  
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So many computer people. who are not mechanics, seem to want a bike company to read their mind and come fully equipped just like they dereamed , over the internet

Co Motion is a small Oregon manufacturing company , you can call them on the telephone or write an eMail and submit your custom order list and see how much they can fulfill


then plan on adding the rest of your accesory choices, on your own.

The Bike Friday Company is also in Eugene Oregon , they can make a bike with a lot of buyer desire input, and size choice

and potentially also be brought in off the street with you, to not be exposed to theft locked up outside on the street..





...
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Old 03-03-17, 01:57 PM
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I am unaware of any off-the-shelf touring bike that has a dynohub. In this case I do not call a Pangea an off-the-shelf bike because you specify what you want on it before they build it.

There are a lot of off the shelf frames that you can put a Rohloff or other IGH on. The choices of a belt drive however make the list of frames a lot shorter.

The Hebie chainglider is used by some people that have Rohloff hubs, it encases the chain so that would give you similar advantages as you would get with a belt. I have never seen a chainglider, have only seen photos of it so I can't advise. But I know some people that love the chainglider.

If you do not want to build up a bike with the components and parts you want, a lot of bike shops would be able to. But it would not be cheap. Chicago is a big enough city that I am sure there are a lot of competent bike shops that could do it. That way you could get the exact bike you want. And it might be cheaper if you got an off the shelf frame instead of a Co-Motion frame that is custom made and custom painted to your specification.

I think you want steel frame. For winter use, you would want it treated with framesaver first. Note that Aluminum will also corrode, so that may not be ideal.

The best way to prevent theft is to be knowledgeable of teh risks and problems, sounds like you have that down. So, I can't advise on the best way to prevent the theft. But a really nice paint job is one thing that makes a bike more prone to theft.

Not sure what tires you use in winter, I use Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires in 2.0 width. Clearance for a studded 2 inch wide tire that has snow clumped on it and fenders adds another criteria to a frame. You need good clearance. I included two photos of the back end of my bike with 2.0 width Marathon Winters. You will note that I prefer an exposed chain.
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Old 03-03-17, 05:18 PM
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I really hate the fact that I have been made aware of this bike's existence!

Could this be love? lol

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Old 03-03-17, 05:25 PM
  #9  
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Really? I just looks like a basic chromo mtb frame with some fancy components and a glossy paint scheme to me. The frame is almost exactly like my 1991 Marin chromo rigid frame. If you only look at the frame set it doesn't offer anything different only it costs $2000 more. As is in that pic it's a 4k bike! For what is essentially, a rigid frame 26" mtb.

Not knocking the bike if you need or want a custom made bike for some reason but as it is, it's pretty plain jane technology.



OP: Your situation raises a curious question.

While very expensive bikes are nice I believe the more costly a bike is, the less versatile it becomes.

A lot of time people focus on buying the best bike they can or can't afford but in a situation like this you also have to consider other things like theft and portability. Yeah, it would be nice to ride a co motion bike to work but if it's going to be locked up outside it will unfortunately probably only be yours for a short time. Bike thieves may be dicks but they are not stupid. Giving it a ghetto paint job will be of little use as most will look at the components as well as the bike. In fact, many thieves would rather part out a bike to resell as they get more and components really can't be traced.

The other problem is do you really want to ride a high quality bike as a daily commuter in the winter? I daily commute and it's a jungle out there with rain, gravel from sanding and salt. For the winter I am using my 90's era Trek, which is a fairly low quality frame in one sense but a fun versatile platform on the other. I've been toying with it over the last while through several iterations and now really enjoy riding it.

It's cheap enough that I won't cry too much if it gets stolen but performs well enough as a ride. If I park it outside I take the lights and seat post off (brooks saddle under the cover) and stuff a plastic bag down the seat tube. As a bonus it's harder to steal a bike and ride away with no seat but usually I park it in my office. It's also a step through which I like for convenience but is low on the "steal" list of bike frames.

Another bonus is that I can fit pretty big tires on as it is a hybrid frame. Currently 700x35 but I could probably fit 42's even with the fenders on. I invested in dropbars/brakes/interuptors/stem shifters for just over $100 so along with the seat it's a great riding bike for about $350 (bike was free).

The only downside is that it is a Hi Ten frame set which weighs a fairly light 30lb's all in. If it were a lighter Chromo frame with a bland paint job I would say it is almost the perfect all around commuter/light tourer for me.

Before:



After:


That pic was taken today on my ride home from work. It was raining pretty good but I took the scenic route anyhow and along the way saw a bald eagle, blue heron, geese and two beavers building a dam.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 03-03-17 at 05:48 PM.
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Old 03-03-17, 07:16 PM
  #10  
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
Hello all,

I have been touring on a LHT for the last 6 years or so now and love that bike. Commuting duty has fallen on a number of clunkers including an 1970s Raleigh Sport 3 speed and a winter beater MTB. Recently, I moved to Chicago where my bicycle storage space is much more limited and I needed to get a bike that would replace my two commuters…This experience got me thinking. Could I similarly invest big in a single bike that would further combine my LHT with my commuter?…

Obviously, this brings up the problem of the bike being rather expensive and expensive bikes tend to get stolen if you commute long enough but I think its a fun thought experiment since I dont like maintaining and storing a huge fleet of bikes all the time…

Thanks in advance for ideas and advice!
Originally Posted by Maelochs View Post
a "Do-Everything" bike won't do anything really well ... but for most of us it will do everything well enough
As a fussy decades-long year-round commuter, my premier bike to ride in the best weather is a Specialized S-Works carbon fiber. As previous cycle tourists in the 1970’s, including a fully loaded cross-country ride, my wife and I rode French Road Bikes called Merciers. Probably neither bike would be considered appropriate for the job, but they were fun to ride and did the task.

I recently bought as a quality beater bike for my commute an aluminum Specialized Diverge Elite, with 30C tires, currently equipped with Marathon studded tires. It has disc brakes and can accommodate fenders and a rack. Though I bought it for commuting, with my experiences as above, I think it would also be suitable as an off road bike, at least for gravel, and even a touring bike.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
…After 40 years of cycle commuting on a year-round minimal one-way 14 mile route [and road cycling and touring], I have [last] year finally assembled IMO, the perfect bicycle fleet:
  • One nearly year-round dry,clean-road bike (carbon fiber road bike,except for deep winter with lingering salt)
  • One year-round wet,dirty-road bike (aluminum road bike, just recently acquired) [outfitted with 30 C studded tires for winter, trunk bag with fold–out panniers, computer, clipless pedals and fenders]
  • One winter bike for anything (steel mountain bike with Marathon Winter studded tires always on, for the least possibility of ice…)
So I recently bought the Specialized Diverge Elite aluminum bike as a wet weather beater, and it rides nearly as nicely as the S-Works.The ride and shifting of the Diverge is as smooth as the S-Works, but the feel is more ”solid,” with 30 C tires. I think this is a great all-purpose bike…

So now, the Cannondale will be reserved completely for only miserable studded-tire riding, maybe about 3 to 4 weeks during the winter and my riding needs are completely met. I liken my three bikes to a Lamborghini, a Lexus, and a Humvee
.
Originally Posted by Jim from Boston View Post
I am very impressed with Diverge Elite as an an all purpose bike for road, possibly gravel, and even touring. The Elite model, fully equipped, was about $1500, but I think there are cheaper versions of the Diverge models.

Nonetheless, while the S-Works carbon fiber was MSRP $8,000 (got it for half off) if I were to pro-rate the value of the Diverge Elite for quality of ride plus utility compared to the $4K S-Works, I would estimate its value at $2500-3000. You may be significantly less satisfied in the long run with a bike for $ 600…Just sayin’.
BTW, I have the luxury of keeping my bikes indoors in a secure area close to my office.
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Old 03-03-17, 07:31 PM
  #11  
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Hi there Zepp, so Chicago now?
A friend recently bought an Ikea ALU frame belt drive city bike as a winter commuter. Has a goofy 2 speed automatic transmission and disc brakes so good for snow etc.

I guess the only option you are wondering about are internal gear bikes like yours and to put on a chain guard thing. I commuted in snow right up until I left on this present trip (am in Honduras right now) but I had the luxery of a garage to wash the bike down quickly to keep the salt damage to a minimum.
Cheers
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Old 03-04-17, 09:03 AM
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Commuting/Touring bike

I chose to buy a used Haro MTB and outfit it for winter road biking, mostly for commuting locally (<30 miles). I save my Trek 520 for longer rides in better weather. That's allowed me to optimize both bikes for their respective uses rather than trying to set up a single bike for everything. It frees me up to do things that I would never have done with my summer touring bike, like hauling my skis to some of our favorite cross country skiing trails.
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Old 03-05-17, 12:43 PM
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Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
...storing a huge fleet of bikes all the time.
Are you talking 500 bikes because that would be pain to store?! I could probably do max 100 so some of those bikes might need to be multi-use bikes ; )

Go for a Co-Motion and you will be happy. I love my Cascadia though I do wish I had opted for the contactless dynamo fork however at the time I was on the fence about dynamo but leaning more against it and now I am 110% for it so I might get things redone or something.
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Old 03-05-17, 02:49 PM
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Originally Posted by AdvXtrm View Post
I really hate the fact that I have been made aware of this bike's existence!

Could this be love? lol
Its nice looking, but that pic make it look not much different than what i would expect a steel framed disc brake adventure touring bike to look like. Nice color.

I am missing what makes that bike so alluring.
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