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  1. #1
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    Getting a FS as a comfort street bike?

    I have been eyeballing some 4-5 inch FS bikes lately, I was thinking about building one up as a comfort bike for the street/commuting and also for commuting when there is snow and non pavement commuting.

    Anybody use their Fs bikes for commuting and have something to say about it?

    I've been looking at Nicolais offerings, they look nice to me at least.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

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    Specialized sucks ass.

  2. #2
    dru
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    Anything other than a X bike or road bike sucks for commuting unless your commute is very short. I've used my hardtail MTB and a road bike on 50 minute commutes and the difference is night and day. A FS would be even worse.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  3. #3
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    I could see if maybe you already had an old full suspension bike laying around doing nothing but you are talking about buying one. I just fail to see why you would need or even want a full suspension for a commute unless your commute is through some gnarly single track.
    It is more expensive to buy and maintain and just is not going to do the job nearly as well or be half the fun as full rigid or hard tail.

    Just my $.02
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  4. #4
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    My commute is about 30 minutes. And this bikes intended purpose would be when its snow outside and you can't really see whats lurking under there. I had a front suspension bike once and its really smoothed everything out in the winter, I could literally just plow though things. And i really liked that when I was tired. Just sit on the bike and pedal no matter what, not even slowing down.

    Any type of rigid frame would require more moving around on the bike, being more active avoiding stuff and such. Or?
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  5. #5
    dru
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    I do a ton of snow biking off road and the issue isn't the snow in your case it is the salt and road grime. The very few times I've ridden the roads the bike has almost required a complete disassembly afterwards. You literally have to coat every exposed component with grease or oil of some sort to keep the salt at a bay. A full suspension bike will be destroyed after one season of such abuse. Any kind of suspension fork will suffer too. Get a rigid bike of some type.

    Drew
    occasional cyclist

  6. #6
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    I think a fs would make a good comfort street bike. I got a el mariachi set up as
    a comfort bike. Bar is 4'' highter than seat.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by dru View Post
    I do a ton of snow biking off road and the issue isn't the snow in your case it is the salt and road grime. The very few times I've ridden the roads the bike has almost required a complete disassembly afterwards. You literally have to coat every exposed component with grease or oil of some sort to keep the salt at a bay. A full suspension bike will be destroyed after one season of such abuse. Any kind of suspension fork will suffer too. Get a rigid bike of some type.

    Drew
    What he said. Salt destroys suspension pivots and if you don't wash it off right away starts to corrode paint and other parts too. Even had a front derailleur seize up once.

  8. #8
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    Check out bikes like the 8.5 and 8.6 DS from Trek. Theyre "Dual Sports" with an elastomer type bushing on the seat stays to help smooth out the ride. Its not suspension, but they do have a short travel suspension fork. Theyre basically urban mtn bikes.

  9. #9
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    You may want to get FAT BIKE instead with 3 inch tires. I have a friend with a modified Trek Fuel EX 8 with a 140mm fork who is moving to Canada and often times thought that he would be better off with a Fat Bike with 3 inch tires. Of course this assumes that you're going to be dealing with ALOT of snow and terrain that would be difficult for even normal mountain bikes:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=noywHFfS3zI

    However if you aren't going to be dealing with ALOT of snow and salt I can say from own experience there is no downside to using a mountain bike as a commuter. Heck you can ride down stairs and jump things that would be unthinkable for a normal town bike. You can also get some gnarly slick tires as well:

    Fat Frank HS 375 | Schwalbe North America

  10. #10
    Hi There!
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    I was thinking about doing this with my 2003 Trek Fuel 80 full susser. I have a new bike and stuck the Trek in storage but living a mile from the beach and with my wife riding a Townie the wheels were spinning in my head, as it were. Take off the SPD's for flats, add a fat seat, and some swooped back handlebars, and bald tires...I even talked to the guy at my LBS about it, he's in. It would be purely pavement to the beach down here in SOFLO so not the weather concerns of the OP. Oh yeah, add one of those beer holders on the handlebars...
    Last edited by thegweed; 06-25-2013 at 01:39 PM.
    NTFTC

  11. #11
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    all these naysayers... I've got over 2000 miles on my old 99 FSR that is my urban beast. YES it is a lot more comfortable as it absorbs all the shock of little bumps. The way I ride though is all over, I don't stick to the street as often I don't want to.

    I'm recovering from a neck muscle injury and today I rode the FSR and my 29er HT out in the urban world, the FSR was preferred due to smoother ride. The FSR is great out in the urban world as it will give my body a break and it does make the world more enjoyable, sometimes you don't want to feel every little thing as sharply as what an alu HT delivers.
    Last edited by zephxiii; 07-01-2013 at 08:34 AM.

  12. #12
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    I have great fun on my fs set up for road/urban usage. I use an older swinger air shock and pump the ifp to 100-125 psi.

    Its not always about miles/calorie or getting somewhere fast.
    lean forward

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by zephxiii View Post
    all these naysayers... I've got over 2000 miles on my old 99 FSR that is my urban beast. YES it is a lot more comfortable as it absorbs all the shock of little bumps. The way I ride though is all over, I don't stick to the street as often I don't want to.

    I'm recovering from a neck muscle injury and today I rode the FSR and my 29er HT out in the urban world, the FSR was preferred due to smoother ride. The FSR is great out in the urban world as it will give my body a break and it does make the world more enjoyable, sometimes you don't want to feel every little thing as sharply as what a alu HT delivers.
    This is what I was thinking too, to ride very comfortably. I'm usually totally dead in the morning due to not enough sleep, and after work I'm even more dead due to physically demanding tasks. then it would be nice with something that just goes with the flow, no matter what, no finesse needed.

    Would coil a shock/fork be preferable here? I'm not too woried about weight, hey I'm riding a FS as a commuter right. My last bike had 1kg tires, and it went forward when I pedalled.

    Right now I'm waiting for the last parts for my chromag sakura dropbar commuter, its gonna be a rigid 26er "monsterroad"
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1niceride View Post

    Its not always about miles/calorie or getting somewhere fast.
    I'm happy if I just get there with some kind of energy left over to be able to work, my boss will be too I guess.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    This is what I was thinking too, to ride very comfortably. I'm usually totally dead in the morning due to not enough sleep, and after work I'm even more dead due to physically demanding tasks. then it would be nice with something that just goes with the flow, no matter what, no finesse needed.

    Would coil a shock/fork be preferable here? I'm not too woried about weight, hey I'm riding a FS as a commuter right. My last bike had 1kg tires, and it went forward when I pedalled.

    Right now I'm waiting for the last parts for my chromag sakura dropbar commuter, its gonna be a rigid 26er "monsterroad"
    Air would ride nicer but you'll have to maintain air pressures and probably require more maintenance so for me coil sprung is best for an urban beater. I have a Judy XC on mine and like it...though it needs oil to be smoother since i lost a bit recently. I also have carbon bars on it which are nice

    1kg tires are wayyyy too heavy!!

  16. #16
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    If your goal is to spend as much as you possibly can while getting the slowest bike, yeah, great idea. Suspension set up soft enough to be useful on a road is going to be like pedaling through molasses the 99.9% of the time the suspension isn't doing anything useful.

    Big fat tires like hookworms would do a lot more to smooth things out without being such a burden when it's not so rough.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Joules View Post
    If your goal is to spend as much as you possibly can while getting the slowest bike, yeah, great idea. Suspension set up soft enough to be useful on a road is going to be like pedaling through molasses the 99.9% of the time the suspension isn't doing anything useful.

    Big fat tires like hookworms would do a lot more to smooth things out without being such a burden when it's not so rough.
    I just invested in these tires for my bike: Schwalbe Kojaks 2 different widths, Marathon supreme 2 different widths, and Continental contact2 1,75, they will have to do. I hade the older version of the contact for a few years and those were great, but heavy.

    I'm gonna be running a 28mm rim in the rear and a 24 in the front. I also have a dt ex500 (28mm) for the front and a dt 600 (more than 28) for the rear for the winter. Gonna try out those first before I deciede on a new frame.
    Rule #9 // If you are out riding in bad weather, it means you are a badass. Period.

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    Specialized sucks ass.

  18. #18
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    You don't need to setup the suspension soft.... and my FSR is nothing like pedaling through molasses (even with XC tires)... any decent XC FS is going to pedal pretty darn good. In fact my old 99 FSR competes pretty well on pavement against my 3 other HTs (based on Strava segments)...and holds quite a few PRs over them.
    Last edited by zephxiii; 07-02-2013 at 07:02 PM.

  19. #19
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    Hell yeah, if this guy can rock the TT bike, why not a FS. Lone Wolf all the way.

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    NEMBA Freetown VP

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by car bone View Post
    ...I could literally just plow though things...Just sit on the bike and pedal no matter what...Any type of rigid frame would require more moving around on the bike, being more active avoiding stuff and such...
    This is the main reason I don't ride a FS bike anymore. It made me a lazy rider.

    As far as advice on a commuter bike...build a commuter bike. Steel frame, wide tires, suspension seatpost, you'll be fine.

    Or even something like a Giant Roam. Front suspension, add a suspension seatpost if you like.
    Mountain bikers who don't road ride have no legs...
    Road riders who don't mountain bike have no soul...

  21. #21
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    I use my FS bike this way all the time. The longest run has been 55 miles. Once you accept the fact that you are not going to go 23 mph, its actually kinda fun. I keep one set of tires for rough stuff, and a set of smoother tires for use on pavement (helps to have two wheelsets). So far the only real issue has been the lack of good ways to put a bag on the back -- forces you to use a big pack or a larger Camelbak which can get a little warm sometimes. I've gotten strange looks on Vail Pass, and even stranger looks on Independence pass, but so what? I had a blast and it was easy going -- but long.

    I know that most of you won't like me for saying this, but the other neat thing is that its really good training for road stuff. Its amazing what a good carbon road bike feels like after a week on the FS bike.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by sasquatch rides a SS View Post
    This is the main reason I don't ride a FS bike anymore. It made me a lazy rider.

    As far as advice on a commuter bike...build a commuter bike. Steel frame, wide tires, suspension seatpost, you'll be fine.

    Or even something like a Giant Roam. Front suspension, add a suspension seatpost if you like.
    That's why i own both. I love HT and FS. My FS is a lil too old for the trails but there are times when I get sick of getting beat up on my HT and that's when a FS is nice. The other thing is i know FS makes me faster because it smooths things out thus letting me power through more, or ride through faster. Yes that gets old too at times and the HT always feels nice and responsive when u switch back to it.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by jwh321 View Post
    I use my FS bike this way all the time. The longest run has been 55 miles. Once you accept the fact that you are not going to go 23 mph, its actually kinda fun. I keep one set of tires for rough stuff, and a set of smoother tires for use on pavement (helps to have two wheelsets). So far the only real issue has been the lack of good ways to put a bag on the back -- forces you to use a big pack or a larger Camelbak which can get a little warm sometimes. I've gotten strange looks on Vail Pass, and even stranger looks on Independence pass, but so what? I had a blast and it was easy going -- but long.

    I know that most of you won't like me for saying this, but the other neat thing is that its really good training for road stuff. Its amazing what a good carbon road bike feels like after a week on the FS bike.
    I get into the 20s on mine (but not avg speed) but yeah I love using mine for rides like this:

    http://www.xti9.com/pics/bike/fsrnickelplate.png

    and that was on my FSR (platform pedals) too which for the most part is my favorite bike for such rides mainly due to geo, fit, ride, and the hubs are VERY nice. I'm thinking on swapping my Maxxis Overdrives to it to really reduce rolling resistance as i'm currently running a Spec' Hardrock'r (rear) and Fast Trak Control (front). With the Overdrives in combo with those hubs (which spin the best out of all my bikes, including Arch EX set on 29er) that bike will go quite nicely.

    I've done that route on an old 90s Hardrock (full rigid) but it sucks in comparison because the hubs & drive train doesn't spin as nice and I absolutely hate those 170mm crank arms. This bike had the Overdrives on it too unlike the FSR's XC trail tires.

    There is a 5 block sprint segment (with about 1.5 block of uphill out of the saddle stomping) in which i've gone all out on my 29er Hardtail (locked out fork) and FSR (full squish) and the 29er only beat my FSR by 1s. I was actually pretty pissed about it only being 1s faster because i felt like i had the best run at it I've ever had lol (and i didn't get my KOM back). The 29er was probably at a slight disadvantage with heavier rotational and I don't think the rear hub spins as nice as the FSR's.

    Now though i have a set of Arch EX's which weigh 1750g and bearings that spin much better on the 29er so it will be excellent for pavement rides and will out perform my FSR...now if u put a set of equivalent Arch EX on the FSR it would probably be pretty close.

    In the end when someone tries to tell me that riding a FS on pavement is going to be really inefficient and like "pedaling through molasses"... I'm sorry but I'm going to have to disagree from experience. The loss is pretty minimal while in the saddle. Out of the saddle yes there is some loss with the bob and absorption...but the loss isn't all that major.

    I tell u one thing though. I hate how those low volume Overdrives ride. My FSR will make them much more enjoyable

    I'm just comparing mountain bikes. A road bike is ultimately the most efficient and fast due to rotational and overall weight. I noticed with the new Arch EX wheel's in which i lost 1.86lbs total of rotational weight that it was a lot easier to pedal at the higher speeds than before.

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