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Thread: 29er Commuting?

  1. #1
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    29er Commuting?

    I did a mountain bike ride through 200 miles on the Colorado Trail and for training I ran my mountain bike all over as a singlespeed. I've always commuted with a road bike, but I had lot of fun with the beefier tires and now I'm thinking I want to get a road gear range on a 29er with some slicks and start commuting with one.

    So I have a couple questions;

    1. Anybody recommend a cheaper 29er for commuting? Even though it isn't cheap, I really like the Haro Mary... (I'm a student, so...)
    2. I have a road bike with SS, so I was wondering how wide of tires one can get on road rims and ride safely, assuming I have a lot of frame clearance.
    3. I run 71 gear inches with 700x23c- what is a good mix for a 29er with fat tires?

    Thanks for any and all help in the matter....

  2. #2
    Yayer!
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    Hey, I run a Surly Karate Monkey as a commuter rig...Im not sure if you would consider the KM a "cheap" build or not for a commuter. If I were in your shoes looking for a good 29er commuter I would spend the money on a Redline Monocog 29er....they are a decent rig for the money you will spend and you can hook it up with racks no problemo. Here is how I am rolling:

    Broken ankles = bullshit!

  3. #3
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    My bike is a KM I bought on craigslist- what is your gear ratio? Think you get going pretty quick?

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    My bike is a KM I bought on craigslist- what is your gear ratio? Think you get going pretty quick?
    sweet man! The KM is a stellar bike to commute with, I am really glad I decided to go that route. I run a 36-18 setup so its a 2:1 ratio....most people might think that is a pretty flat ratio to work with but for my terrain its really awesome as I run an average of 16 MPH which is moving for a single speed setup.
    Broken ankles = bullshit!

  5. #5
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    redline d440+ hybrid type tires should do nicely ... may need a little taller chainring depending on how fast you are...

    i'm looking to buy a surly KM soon and if that happens my redline will likely turn into a commuter, some new tires and perhaps a different bar is all it'll need... already does pretty well on the road with the nanoraptors... but no reason to waste such good tires on the road...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson
    redline d440+ hybrid type tires should do nicely ... may need a little taller chainring depending on how fast you are...

    i'm looking to buy a surly KM soon and if that happens my redline will likely turn into a commuter, some new tires and perhaps a different bar is all it'll need... already does pretty well on the road with the nanoraptors... but no reason to waste such good tires on the road...
    If you have the means certainly pick yourself up a KM...I got my frame / fork off of Ebay for $225 shipped. My next build is going to be the Pugsley I have to rescue from my dads house.
    Broken ankles = bullshit!

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    i need to take apicture of my gary fisher supercaliber in commute mode. I got an axiom oddysee rack that bolts to the swing arm. I run to cheap panniers and some bontrager commuter tires. Works great. I get some wobble if I am not smooth when hammering though. The wobbli I am positive is the panniers weight on the rack. SO i just be smooth. I did 23 miles yesterday for "fun." 75% hills.

  8. #8
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    have my eye on a specific one... just waiting to sell some stuff for funds to come though for it ... pretty good parts on it... i'll decide which i prefer for trail duties then build the other into a commuter...
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson
    have my eye on a specific one... just waiting to sell some stuff for funds to come though for it ... pretty good parts on it... i'll decide which i prefer for trail duties then build the other into a commuter...
    Mine was built with a commuter in mind...somewhat anyway. I went with:

    Crankset: Truvativ Hussefelt 36t with bash
    Stem: FSA OS 100mm carbon
    Seatpost: FSA carbon
    Wheelset: WTB laserdisc trail 29er w/ lite hubs and single duty rear
    Brakes: Juicy 7 ultimate 185mm rotor
    Headset: PInk chris king
    Bars: FSA 180 alloy riser
    Pedals: primo super tenderizer & Shimano M540's
    Saddle: Brooks b17 special in black
    Tires: Schwalbe big apple 235's

    Also Old Man Mountain racks front and rear covered up with Jandd mountaineering pannier sets. Need to get a hard ass trailer to haul groceries with but we'll see.
    Broken ankles = bullshit!

  10. #10
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    Try to contact Chad at soul cycles. Their website ridesoul.com is supposed to be finished it's construction today.(7-12), but the contact number is there. I think they have frames in the $250 area. I have one of their rigid forks ($35), but I can't tell you anything about it because I haven't used it yet. It's 485mm axle to crown. A couple of forum members say it's flexy.Ask around in the forum about their frames. I have no experience with them except I know they sell them. I think the frame is called the "Dillinger" frame.

  11. #11
    Another Retro Grouch
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    Here's mine, it's a SS rigid Motobecane Outcast29 frame with Salsa Cromoto fork, Surley rack, Planet Bike 29er fenders, Priceton SBII LED light, Easton carbon bars (i-Motion 9 hub is in the house, not sure if it's needed):
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Another vote for Karate monkey

    I love mine and those big old tires sure make it comfy.
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  13. #13
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    I think you have to use the imotion just to post a review. If you don't need it for the commute, take it out on the trail. I'm interested in seeing how various internal geared hubs hold up.

    Anybody ride a 29er with slicks and a road bike? How do they compare. My current commuter is a schwinn madison with a 48x18 and it really rips- avg 20 over the ride home; the KM with knobbies and I top out around 15 and is a different kind of fun. If I ran single/fixed with a slick clad 29er, will it be a bit closer to roadbike performance?

  14. #14
    Fat boy Mod Moderator
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    i'm still wondering how an off road style drop bar would do at making the bike a good do it all bike... swap between some nice road tires and then to some knobies for the trail... drops should give a bit more comfort...

    maybe it's just an excuse to try something new
    - Surly Disc trucker
    - '82 trek 560 roadie

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I think you have to use the imotion just to post a review. If you don't need it for the commute, take it out on the trail. I'm interested in seeing how various internal geared hubs hold up.

    Anybody ride a 29er with slicks and a road bike? How do they compare. My current commuter is a schwinn madison with a 48x18 and it really rips- avg 20 over the ride home; the KM with knobbies and I top out around 15 and is a different kind of fun. If I ran single/fixed with a slick clad 29er, will it be a bit closer to roadbike performance?
    As far as internal hubs go....the Rohloff Speedhub 14 speed hub is the way to go, its a bit of cash to spend but its really worth it...you could say its the "chris king hub" of internal hubs.
    Broken ankles = bullshit!

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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I think you have to use the imotion just to post a review. If you don't need it for the commute, take it out on the trail. I'm interested in seeing how various internal geared hubs hold up.

    Anybody ride a 29er with slicks and a road bike? How do they compare. My current commuter is a schwinn madison with a 48x18 and it really rips- avg 20 over the ride home; the KM with knobbies and I top out around 15 and is a different kind of fun. If I ran single/fixed with a slick clad 29er, will it be a bit closer to roadbike performance?
    I've got a fixed gear wheelset for my Karate Monkey with 2.35 Big Apples. You can really feel the extra weight of the wheels, but once they get moving it's fine. Definitely more work overall, and climbing is a little bit more arduous, but it's a lot more comfortable to ride. You just go where you want and never work about potholes, gravel, anything. My IRO Mark V is way faster, and about ten pounds lighter, but they both cruise at the same speed with ease. It's harder to get the KM up past 30mph with the big wide tires.

  17. #17
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    Wreck the malls with cows on Harleys

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by donalson
    maybe it's just an excuse to try something new
    ... like I needed more encouragement...

    I know Rohloff has a great hub, but it is not one I can afford, so I'm looking to see what other people are liking.

    Schmucker- you give me some hope- what is the gear ratio for your KM?

  19. #19
    Another Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    ... like I needed more encouragement...I know Rohloff has a great hub, but it is not one I can afford, so I'm looking to see what other people are liking....
    Lots of folks love the $230 Shimano 8 speed Alfine:
    Shimano Nexus 8 "Red Band" gearhub: review thread
    shimano alfine

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    I think you have to use the imotion just to post a review....
    Well, I went for an 8 mile ride yesterday, 4 miles into the wind. When I got home I had made the decision to use the i-Motion 9. It's a lot of work pushing too big a gear into the wind....

    If I ran single/fixed with a slick clad 29er, will it be a bit closer to roadbike performance?
    In a word, YES.

  21. #21
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    The hub discussions are interesting, but so far not many have used them on the trails- so a bit of a mixed bag? I don't want to use it for the commute, but for the trails instead of my 1x9 option.

    There is an XIXX on craigslist right now, so I might pick it up and put on some apples. With a midge bar....

  22. #22
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    I can't be a test case, there's no way I could use a 1x9 or an i-M9 on hard trails. The gear ratio limit on an i-M9 1.73, for a 29er, that's a low gear of 26.7 inches. Today on the Kettle Moraine Blue trail (10.5 miles) I was using my 18.8 inch gear (22x34) several times and walk/pushed the big hill. Any trail I consider using the i-M9 on would be more XC style as opposed to technical single track. I do think it's ideal for commuting and XC touring on paved/gravel/logging roads.

  23. #23
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    You could make it biased towards the lower gear ratios- use a smaller chainring or a bigger cog (or both). Or not, I'm just being selfish.

    Quote Originally Posted by pursuiter
    I can't be a test case, there's no way I could use a 1x9 or an i-M9 on hard trails. The gear ratio limit on an i-M9 1.73, for a 29er, that's a low gear of 26.7 inches. Today on the Kettle Moraine Blue trail (10.5 miles) I was using my 18.8 inch gear (22x34) several times and walk/pushed the big hill. Any trail I consider using the i-M9 on would be more XC style as opposed to technical single track. I do think it's ideal for commuting and XC touring on paved/gravel/logging roads.

  24. #24
    Another Retro Grouch
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    Quote Originally Posted by umarth
    You could make it biased towards the lower gear ratios- use a smaller chainring or a bigger cog (or both)....
    Can't go below 1.73 ratio, it's the law. With a 29" wheel, the lowest possible gear allowed by the manufacturer is 27". Anything lower than 1.73/27" and I expect the hub will eat itself.

  25. #25
    PM Me for Wood Fenders
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    OP,
    If you have the KM, you have all you'll need unless you choose to do more road/commuting, it's an excellent ride. If you choose to step up for more of a commuting option frame, the staying in the Surly family, check out a Cross Check. I ride one and my MTB has been collecting dust for two years. It's geared with a beefier road casette 12-13-14-15-17-19-21-23-25t and a double chain ring 36/48. It still gives you decent torque for uphills and higher gears for the cruise. I average about 18MPH on my commute as compared to 15 on my MTB. But you can always gear the KM the same way. GOOD luck and welcome to the commuting world!!
    The wood is being bent! Let me know what you need!

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